Can dc power an entire home gas dryer vs electric dryer calculator


As some of you may or may not know, there was a long standing battle between the two types of power raging back in the 1880s between two giants. The proponents of this war knew that whoever won would determine the future of the power distribution in the United States and possibly the world. In the first corner was Thomas Edison and his company that would eventually become General Electric; Edison wanted the world to run on DC. In the other corner was Westinghouse Corporation, funded by George Westinghouse and led (intellectually) by Nikola Tesla. Westinghouse represented AC power and would be the eventual winner. You can read more about the battle HERE, but I thought it would be interesting to point out that this battle eventually became a political one. Edison even started fighting dirty, secretly funding the invention and use of the first electric chair powered by AC, in order to give some bad press.

AC of course won out over DC as the power distribution of choice, mainly because of the ability to have large generators in a central location and then transmit the power efficiently over power lines to homes and businesses. DC would have required local generators on every street or even every home, which was not possible nor economically viable at the time.

Hang on a second though…a DC generator on every home…sounds familiar…where have I heard about something like this before? Oh right, solar power. However, even more interesting than the fact that solar power produces DC power output is that any kind of storage will have to be in DC. So THAT means if you have any kind of renewable energy resource on your premises (wind, geothermal, any kind of generator which will have an AC output) and it’s not continually supplying power to your home, you will likely need to store it somewhere (assuming you are not selling power back to the power company, which is the case in some areas still and a must in the remote areas). Further, barring any possibility of storing AC power (a huge inductor?), you will need to store that power in DC. So let’s look at a theoretical wind turbine on a theoretical property:

That’s a lot of steps! Not only are there a multitude of steps to convert wind into air conditioning (heh, the electrical way…the natural way is opening the window), there are lots of places that you will be losing energy to inefficiencies. These occur in the power generation (motors have friction), the storage in the batteries (heat and losses due to chemical impurities in the wet cells), the AC to DC conversion and the DC to AC conversion (both processes lose energy to heat in the electronics). gas vs electric range All told, it’s not hard to see why this is not the preferred method of powering ones’ home.

Other articles on this site will deal with improving efficiencies of each of these steps, but the simplest method for improving overall efficiency would be to remove one or more of those steps. The way I see it, one of these ways would be to convert a power scheme in a house. Let’s look at all the ways a DC power system in a house could be beneficial or detrimental to ones’ living situation: Concerns about DC wall power

• This would be a definite issue. Have you ever had to power a guitar pedal board? Random question perhaps, but if you saw what the power strip looks like, you’d catch my drift. Every one of those little electronic devices is too small for a transformer, so they all have AC-DC converters which can power the device with a different required voltage. s gashi Now take this idea and expand it to all the doo-dads in your house. I would be willing to guess that there are at LEAST 5 different required DC voltages for all of the normal devices in a home.

• One of the most popular notions in renewable energy today is the idea of selling your excess power back to the power company, hopefully at a decent rate. Then when your device is not outputting power, you simply switch to grid power and start buying it from the power company. This is great because it does not require battery systems. And while this exercise excludes that option (for people living in the middle of nowhere or with unaccommodating power companies), it would be nice to sell any excess power back to make a small profit.

• Motors are the first kind that come to mind. This is basically how Nikola Tesla got started onto AC, proving that it is much more efficient when using AC than DC AND that these motors do not rely on voltage level (DC motors’ speed can be controlled by the voltage applied). This would mean you would either have to convert your DC back to AC to run the vacuum cleaner or you would have to make sure that your DC could supply constant DC and the whopping currents that those kinds of devices use.

• You know those big garbage can looking things that are attached to power line poles? Those are changing the ridiculously high voltages in the power lines (done for transmission efficiency) down to something that we can use in our houses. Further, these are VERY high efficiency devices. For power in general, you really can’t beat AC-AC conversion; the system proposed here would have to use transistors (note: not trans formers) which will have some amount of heat loss associated with them. So even though we wouldn’t be using the AC power from the power company, we would be losing a critical tool in the electrician/electrical engineers’ arsenal, the transformer.

• No transistor is perfect, they all let just a little bit of current through. The more components in a system or the higher voltage you run at, the more leakage you will tend to have (Ever wonder why electronic devices run out of batteries eventually, even if you don’t use them for a long time?). This would apply to any DC system too and when you don’t have the lights on or anything running, there’s still a chance that the power devices are leaking. This will cut into overall efficiency.

• This point was discussed above, but is THE main point of the article and for going to all this trouble. grade 6 science electricity unit test The less you need to convert between AC and DC, the less energy will go to waste. And if you do need an AC power source, the inverter could be much smaller, in order to handle smaller loads or in order to sell power back to the power company (once the battery is fully charged)

• I’m sure most of you know what this sounds like from a faulty light switch, an older device with poor power supplies or even by sticking a fork in the wall. The native frequency of power coming out of the wall is 60Hz in the US, but varies by region. Either way, this is something that I’ve had to deal with at my job and that all electronics designs have to deal with. With an all DC system there would be other issues such as power filtering and voltage stability… no hum though!

• As devices continue to get smaller, the power supplies are reaching a lower limit. 1.8V is currently the lower end of DC supplies for microchips. This allows for less power consumption, as is governed by the formula P = V² * f * C (where P = power, V = voltage, F = frequency and C = capacitance). Have you ever noticed how they stopped increasing the frequency of microchips past a certain point (~3.5 GHz)? Yeah, it was because they started getting so hot you could fry eggs on the processors. Plus mobile processors became much more prevalent. As more and more devices go towards these lower voltages, there will be less need for conversion (or alternately, more need for AC-DC converters if wall power remains as AC).

So the final question comes back to that posed by the giants of the 19th century: AC or DC power? Well, really the answer will be both, as history has shown. Perhaps over time we’ll see a shift back towards DC power as devices continue to shrink and manufacturers don’t want to include bulky transformers or as people hopefully begin producing their own power at home; but one thing that is for certain is this battle will continue raging for a long time and hopefully we’ll help renewable energy find it’s place.

Hi Chris, I have been living off solar and direct DC for 5 going on 6 years now off grid. I still do have one ac device and power tools but as they break I will replace them with DC. You can buy off the shelf, a 24v dc washing machine, mine is still 240vac with inverter. That is my only ac device. Vacuum 19v dc is a rechargeable one, 12v led lights, 12v water pump, I have converted my 42 inch TV and 32 to 12v actually 5v to 36v but i run on 12v. Cost $15 each TV to convert. 12v pedistal fan, 12v heated blanket. For fun I have now successfully run a 125 litre 120v DC electric hot water system for over a year. Hoping to drop it down to 60 or 48 volts in the next month or two. Currently heat it to 84 degrees Celsius each day, arduino controlled, and is usually there by 11am. But made it through winter fine and just coming into our second winter. I’m in Brisbane Australia. In the suburbs. Not in the bush. Our biggest problem is the lack of 12v appliances. I believe 48v for kitchen and laundry and heavy usage appliences. youtube gas monkey I’m building a 48v induction cooktop at the moment. Currently using gas cooktop and oven which is far cheaper, but we all have to have hobbies. I spend my money on achieving 100% elv DC. Battery are lifepo4 winston batteries and I highly recommend that you use these over lead. 2 more days and I can guarantee you will get 5 years at minimum. que gases componen el aire y su porcentaje I have been told 15 to 20 years but I have my doubts. I’m using a 90ah lifepo4 and it runs my 360 litre fridge fine, 24/7. I have a 188 litre 12v DC chest freezer too. So it is possible just a little hard as it is not main street yet. Electrically it has cost around $5000 AUD. Solar panels, batteries and wiring and breakers. And no bill ever again!! But it does still cost for new batteries etc, so it is not free. Still costs around $7 a week. But way cheaper than being on grid!!!! And DC is a much cheaper way to go. No microwave yet, an inverter microwave is lower peak power, but once the freescale one comes out that should be easy to convert or at least much lower power usage. Who knows they may release a DC one. But it is 100% possible, just hard at the moment. It will take corporate change to make it happen, making direct DC appliences in mass quantities. They will have to take the lead.