Panasonic Electric Works Co Ltd announced Sept 30, 2009, that it will facilitate the standardization of its "AC/DC Hybrid Wiring System" in and outside Japan as a home electricity distribution system to supply direct-current (DC) power.
The AC/DC Hybrid Wiring System enables to use distribution lines dedicated to DC power feeding in addition to existing AC distribution lines.
Currently, air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines that are quipped with inverters as well as digital home appliances convert AC power to DC power. If the conversion is conducted by a high-efficiency AC/DC converter of a distribution panel, power loss can be reduced, Panasonic Electric Works said.
Moreover, if systems to generate DC power, such as photovoltaic systems and fuel cells, are installed in more homes, it will enable to supply DC power to appliances, reduce the number of conversions and save a considerable amount of power, the company said.
However, because DC power feeding has some safety issues, Panasonic Electric Works plans to offer low-voltage systems of 24 or 48V at first. Specifically, the company considers using those systems to provide electricity to LED lighting equipment, ventilation fans, telephones, notebook PCs and other low-power appliances. But it intends to develop high-voltage electricity distribution systems for air conditioners, refrigerators and so forth in the future.
Panasonic Electric Works assumes that AC power will continue to be used for heat source equipment such as ovens and floor heating appliances. The company considers that it is possible to save 5 to 10% of the power used in a home by introducing its electricity distribution system.
It plans to have an exhibit on the AC/DC Hybrid Wiring System at CEATEC JAPAN 2009, which will run from Oct 6 to 10, 2009, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.