The EMerge Alliance announced the release of the EMerge Alliance Standard, the first roadmap for the use of safe, low-voltage direct-current (DC) power in commercial interiors.

The EMerge Alliance Standard establishes a more efficient means of powering the rapidly increasing number of digital, DC-powered devices, such as sensors, lighting and information technology equipment, found in today’s workplaces. It creates an integrated, open platform for power, interior infrastructures, controls and a wide variety of peripheral devices to facilitate the hybrid use of AC and DC power within buildings. In the standardized scheme, AC power is converted to low-voltage DC for efficient distribution at the room level, eliminating the inefficiency of numerous AC-to-DC power conversions at the device level.

The standard also provides for an optional connection to on-site alternative power generation, including solar panels and microturbines that naturally generate DC power. Historically, these native DC power generators required their power to be converted to AC for local distribution, reducing their efficiency and increasing costs. Using native DC power generated from on-site sources to drive DC loads more directly can dramatically improve building efficiency, reduce energy costs and reduce environmental footprints.

The alliance is establishing a third-party registration and evaluation program for labeling products based on the standard. This program will benefit alliance members, system specifiers and building owners by ensuring a variety of products will be available from the growing EMerge Alliance membership base and that all products will be easily identifiable in the market. The program is scheduled to begin this fall.