The British Council for Offices (BCO) has launched new research that addresses how the distribution of DC power in the modern office environment is feasible and offers significant benefits including a potential £13 million reduction in electricity costs in London alone.

The use of AC in the built environment arose because it was initially more efficient to transmit AC over longer distances than DC and it has maintained its dominance over the subsequent 100 years. Two trends are conspiring to challenge the continued use of AC: the need for more energy-efficient building systems and the explosive growth of portable low-power devices.

The report, authored by Nick Cullen and Anthony Miller of Hoare Lea & Partners, details the benefits of adopting a building-scale DC infrastructure. These include:

  • Energy savings
  • Reduced CO2 emissions
  • Reduced cooling-plant requirements
  • Reduced need for power supply units

If DC power infrastructure was applied across the London office market, the following points could potentially be achieved:

  • A reduction in electricity use of 110,000 MW h
  • A reduction of £13million in electricity costs
  • A reduction of 47,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum