Bi-Directional Components Enable Easy System Upgrades

June 20, 2016

Our webinar, Enabling Bi-Directional Energy Flow Using DC Power Transformers webinar covered different applications of bi-directional power components, including their use to step-up voltages to reduce transmission loss if power has to be distributed using long cables. Although this approach offers huge benefits with new designs, it’s when systems need to be upgraded that the technique can be game-changing.

Today systems, whether they’re telecommunication networks, tethered drones or any of the many other applications where power is provided remotely, rarely have a fixed specification throughout their lifetime. Upgrades are common, which inevitably means that power requirements change.

Consider a telecommunications system, with a number of remote microcell base stations. The microcells are connected to a central controller, with cables providing both data transmission and power. A typical approach might be to use a 48 V power rail.

During the lifetime of the system, new microcells will be deployed to support high bandwidth transmissions and new telecommunications standards. Typically, the power requirements increase, presenting a real headache if the conductors are not capable of delivering the increased current. In many cases, however, conductors are insulated to several kV, so although it is not possible to increase the current without running new cables, there is no such restriction on voltage, provided appropriate safety rules for the higher working voltages are followed.

Bus Converter Modules (BCMs) – or NBMs if isolation is not required – can be used to step the voltage up and down at the start and the end of the cable, allowing a dramatic increase in the available power. The small size, and high efficiency of these components mean that it is straightforward to increase the voltage at which power is distributed in most systems.

To learn more about the use of bi-directional components to increase distribution voltages, watch the on-demand rebroadcast of our Enabling Bi-Directional Energy Flow Using DC Power Transformers webinar.


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