Electricity – Modern Energy Routing


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Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Flex Power Control are developing a home energy router that collects, converts and distributes electricity from multiple power sources through a single unit.

ORNL is co-developing a prototype device, known as a Smart Power Integrated Node or SPIN, which is designed to route multiple direct current energy sources in a home. Credit: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

“We are seeing more direct current power from solar panels, electric vehicles and backup energy storage being introduced into the home,” said Greg Smith, president of Flex Power Control. “It all needs to be converted and routed seamlessly for optimal home energy use.”

The co-developed home router leverages power conversion hardware based on ORNL’s ENABLE (Environmentally Neutral Automated Building Electric Energy) platform. The hardware will use advanced wide-bandgap semiconductors that can operate at much higher voltages, as well as 3D printed heat sinks that dissipate heat generated by the device, resulting in a smaller, more efficient router.

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