Great Facts How the First Digital Switch In the World Could Completely Change Our Powered World
3000 times faster than the fastest mechanical switch, this innovation could radically change our energy management.
This week is the world’s first and only digital switch certified for commercial use. The technology invented by Atom Power, included Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a global standard for consumer safety. This new switch facilitates energy management is 3000 times faster than the fastest mechanical switch, which is one of the most radical discoveries of Thomas Edison in electricity distribution, Nikola Tesla.
Imagine a box with fuses in your basement, with each switch assigned to different electrical components in your home. These switches are designed to break the circuit and prevent overheating of overloaded wires in your wall and causing a fire outbreak. When this happens, he goes to his engine room and switches on switches again.
Multiply now this simple system in your home with skyscrapers and industrial buildings, which can have 250 switches on any floor, from 15 to 4000 amps each at higher voltages. On this scale, the limitations and dangers of a manually-operated energy system are becoming much more obvious and expensive.
Ryan Kennedy, President of the Atom Power Board, seeks to build a better electric system from the beginning of his career 25 years ago, first as an electrician, then as an engineer and project manager for large power projects.
His experience-based research is based on the central claim that analog infrastructure does not allow us to control our power in the way we should do it. This idea led to quite critical questions: “What would it take for energy systems to be controlled?” And “why this control can’t be built into the switch itself?”
In 2014, Denis Kouroussis, director of Atom Power technology, decided to answer these questions. They designed a digital switchgear infrastructure that uses semiconductors and energy management software from many-sorted sources known to industry experts through distributed energy resources or DERs. The state-of-the-art digital platform combines the input streams into a hyper-intelligent device, dynamically adjusting the amplifiers to requirements and application.
“Instead of using mechanisms to change the current, we use digital inputs,” said Kennedy for Popular Mechanics. “Now I do not have mobile parts, I now have the ability to connect devices such as the iPhone and iPad for remote energy management, which increases security efficiency “. I can configure the distribution board according to the schedule so that the flow of energy is continuous, unlimited and automatically moves between the sources. Literally, you will not notice it, as the lights were not blinking.
The Growing World of Renewable Energy Sources
When you consider the mechanical complications of replacing renewable energy sources and centralized energy sources in the network, the idea becomes even more powerful. Sometimes it’s completely impossible. Kennedy believes that the static nature of existing energy distribution systems is one of the reasons why we have not seen the broad acceptance of renewable energy at the housing level.
For example, a solar connected to a network; residents sometimes need to unplug their solar input because traditional power systems (including switches) are not advanced enough to properly manage multiple energy sources that are changing.
In short, “the modern world has overcome the risks and limitations of traditional switches”: a social claim, but also an indisputable fact when considering the inefficiencies and dangers of a system that requires manual repair of electricity.
“Those who break the old school simply cannot function as fast as the energy flow,” says Kennedy. “When problems arise in large buildings, they are true because you usually have too much of larger sources responding to demand.”
Security In The First Place
Poor energy management results in 30,000 electrical accidents annually. Arc events can eliminate the entire building for weeks. Due to their ability to break 100,000 amps at unprecedented speed, digital switches effectively eliminate these risks, making them the “safest, fastest and smartest system”.
Unfortunately, this idea is often used. Manufacturers were unsuccessfully trying to find a comparable solution, mainly because the technology of semiconductors was not advanced enough. In addition, many saw the issue as a problem with the switching function, not as a complete system design problem.
After overcoming this 140-year-old barrier, which included compliance with strict building requirements and UL durability, the next challenge for Atom Power was to reduce the heat loss from its digital switches to make them more efficient than their mechanical counterparts.
With the investments of three of the four leading coupling manufacturers, ABB, Siemens, and Eaton, Atom Power takes on the challenge and continues its revolutionary work to configure the future of the network.