It has become clear that the power supply to industrial factory floors will increasingly be established via direct current in the future. By deviating from the previous AC supply, a higher energy efficiency and many other advantages can be achieved in an increasing number of applications that already internally rely on DC intermediate circuits. Companies can thereby also reduce their CO2 emissions.
What benefits and opportunities does a DC supply system offer?
In the following text, you will find an overview of the objectives of factories supplied with direct current. Cables and wires are essential components when planning the construction of such infrastructure. We can, of course, supply you with our range of DC cables for the low-voltage range, which is perfectly tailored to industrial requirements.
LAPP is a founding member of the ODCA
LAPP has been actively involved in research projects on the topic of direct current in industry for years and joined the newly formed ODCA (Open Direct Current Alliance) in 2022 as a founding member. ODCA is considered a successor project to DC-INDUSTRIE2. The focus is now on the benefits of supplying industrial energy grids with direct current and the necessary international standardisation of existing concepts. Direct current is a promising lever to support a successful energy transition and thus an important contribution to climate and resource protection.
Objectives of an industrial supply network with direct current
Large-scale involvement of the industry speeds up standardisation for DC systems. Through close collaboration between users, planners, manufacturers, suppliers, research institutes, standardisation organisations and associations, the hope is to accelerate the transition of the industrial power supply.
When and for whom is direct current an option?
In essence, anyone constructing a new plant today should explore the topic of power supply through direct current.
Which production plants are suitable for a DC system?
- Plants with high power requirements, e.g. arc or welding applications
- Factories that generate electricity on site using renewable energy
- Plants that precisely control, position, accelerate and brake devices and machines using a variety of servo drives
- Plants with robotics applications in which dynamic movements are performed
- Large office buildings
Whether it's plant and mechanical engineering, data centres, logistics or renewable energies – DC grids are making their way into many industries. We will provide you with information about the benefits of supplying plants with direct current.
Let's dive into the transformation process together!
Alternating current and direct current – simply explained
The abbreviations AC/DC denote more than just an Australian rock band. In electrical engineering, these abbreviations have always stood for the two types of current: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
What are alternating current and alternating voltage?
Most classic machines or household appliances operate using alternating current. An alternating current is a current that constantly changes its direction of flow.
An alternating voltage is generated in large power station generators (e.g. in water, coal or nuclear power stations). This is an electrical, sinusoidal voltage with periodically changing polarity. If consumers (in the grid) are connected, a sinusoidal current flows.
In addition to systems with a single-phase alternating voltage, there are also three-phase current systems. Instead of just one, there are three current-carrying conductors with 120° phase-shifted alternating voltages to be able to supply electricity to large machines and devices that require more power.
What are direct current and direct voltage?
Computers, mobile phones and even LEDs work with direct current. A direct current is a current that does not change its direction of flow.
A direct current is only generated when a direct voltage is present. This is an electrical voltage which always has the same polarity.
5 solid reasons to use direct current in your factory floor
Switching industrial production plants from alternating current to direct current offers several advantages:
Direct current supply: what savings can you expect?
A DC supply promises not only many benefits, but also various cost savings, which can allow the installation expenses to amortise in good time.
Energy savings through
- Integration of storage systems
- Integration of renewable energies
- Use of all recuperation energy
- Fewer transmission losses
Resource savings through
- Cables with smaller cross-sections and fewer cores (low copper requirement)
- Fewer converters, smaller converters (means more space)
Protection against plant downtimes caused by external grid fluctuations
- Costly downtimes in the production process and high repair costs are avoided.
What is the difference between DC and AC cables?
At LAPP, we are the global market leader in the field of cable and connection technology and are well versed in the properties of cables for the low-voltage range. Our explanation provides you with a brief overview of the key differences between AC and DC cables:
Cables and wires from LAPP for a full-fledged DC grid
At LAPP, we have been researching the long-term stability of insulation materials for cables and the insulation strength of core insulation for decades. We are now also a pioneer in the development of low-voltage cables for industrial and other DC applications.
We understand your challenges and have a high-quality, state-of-the-art portfolio geared towards direct current with the essential components for a DC grid.
You can find further valuable information about the individual products in our online shop.