Electrical systemsThe predominant conventional electrical systems including domestic appliances in Australia operate at single phase 240V AC. The conventional electrical service is delivered from 3 phase public supply, with this transformed from 11,000V at local area transformers and leaving the power station at 312kV. Buildings are usually reticulated exclusively in 240V AC.
Renewable energyoften generates electricity at direct current (DC); conventional wisdom is that this energy needs to be stored and inverted to 240V AC suitable for reticulation.
The rationale is that voltage drop across distance transmission in small diameter core cables is low in alternating current (AC), while in DC both voltage drop and arc spark distances are large.
Yet during the same period of evolution, DC electricity has been developed to operate successfully in:-
This architectural practicestarts with the philosophy, that a low energy demand building will meet peak effectiveness if the best fuel for each use is supplied; and that losses during inversion from DC to AC and return are avoided.
A number of the projects developed in this office therefore
integrate mixed electrical distributions; notably 12V DC, 24V DC
and 240V AC.
Integral to low energy demand is the strict avoidance of
some appliances , notably electric element heating
including space heating, water heating boost elements, even
Energy efficiencyis maintained by building-in larger diameter cabling to DC circuits. Operational effectiveness is maintained by fitting all switches with indicator lights which are 'on' when the zone circuit is live.
The system also includes main and sub-boards with extensive zoning of the building to ensure unused portions can be easily shut down and spurious energy losses (base load keeping VCR LED's glowing, etc.) avoided.
Energy demand is contained by minimising the demand from