So, is DC (direct current) about to come to greenhouse horticulture, or not? What’s the situation at your end? You probably haven’t given it much thought, but I get asked increasingly often if the change to DC power is imminent.
My name is Cor-Hein Slobbe, Senior Product Manager at Isolectra, and my career in electrical systems spans more than four decades. The adoption of DC is one of the major changes I am noticing in the world of electrical engineering. And I’m convinced developments will very quickly gather pace!
You may not have noticed, but big changes are coming to your operation too. Just look around: practically all electrical devices we use, need DC current and come with a converter, to convert AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current). Electric cars have become commonplace almost overnight. And then there is solar power, all of it generated using panels that produce DC. Converting DC to AC and vice versa causes a lot of energy to be lost. This means that it will be unsustainable to continue on the AC path if we are to meet our international environmental commitments. In the future, dc generation and storage of this energy will be a major issue. After all, the sun cannot be made to shine brighter, or the wind to blow harder, whenever our demand for energy increases.
A large Energytransition is necessary. But how do we tackle this, for your house, your business, your town, or even the whole country? How will you get the energy to where it is needed? Questions, questions…
The switch to DC will involve major changes for our power networks. Demands will change, and energy will have to be stored locally if we are to have enough energy at our disposal during hours of darkness. Will the switch be made in one massive leap? Of course not, changes will have to be made gradually, one step at a time.
Who will be organising this major operation? Well, things have been happening behind the scenes. An updated version of several standards, which regulates low-voltage systems, are to be changed or will be changed with much added content covering DC systems.
In greenhouse horticulture too, LED lighting (a DC system) is increasingly being deployed. Many horticulturists choose for a gradual transition from HPS to LED, using a combination of both systems known as a hybrid system.
At Isolectra we already helped many customers to realise a good solution. Our range of products includes several possibilities for adapting existing AC systems for use with LED lighting.
So, DC in greenhouse horticulture, when? Whenever you are ready! We are here to help you make the switch.
Would you like to know more? Click here!