Alencon Brings DC Coupling to Washington DC

Alencon SPOT’s have been commissioned at a unique, solar power DC distribution project at the American Geophysical Union in Washington DC.

Earlier this year, Alencon’s SPOT devices were commissioned in a truly first of its kind DC-coupled solar project at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) headquarters in the heart of Washington, D.C. AGU supports 130,000 enthusiasts to experts worldwide in Earth and space sciences to advance discovery and solution science that accelerate knowledge and create solutions that are ethical, unbiased and respectful of communities and their values.

Picture 1: Shown above, the AGU headquarters in Washington DC. Photo Credit: Beth Bagley, AGU

The Alencon SPOTs are part of the renovation of AGU’s 87,780 square foot headquarters, which was the first ever net zero energy renovation in Washington, D.C. In this renovation, the SPOTs serve as the DC voltage bridge from a 259 KW rooftop solar array to a DC electrical distribution system in the building to power its electrical loads, including its lighting system. This approach significantly improves energy efficiency by eliminating the need to convert the DC generated by the PV array to AC only to have it rectified back to DC to power the DC electrical loads.

Picture 2: Five of the fifteen Alencon SPOTs installed underneath the AGU building’s rooftop PV array are shown here.

In this deployment, the SPOT’s leverage their unique, galvanically isolated topology to step down the DC voltage generated by the building’s 1000-volt Sunpower PV strings to a lower voltage volt DC distribution system to power the AGU building’s lighting system.

Picture 3: The DC powered lighting system in the AGU building. Photo Credit: Beth Bagley, AGU.