Power Electronics

EMerge Alliance Launched to Create New Power Distribution Standard

To increase the flexibility, efficiency and sustainability of commercial buildings, the EMerge Alliance was recently formed. The goal of the alliance is to lead the creation and deployment of a new power, control and device-level technology standard for commercial interiors, developed around the use of safe, low-voltage dc power.

Founding members at the governing level include: Armstrong World Industries, Johnson Controls, Nextek Power Systems, Osram Sylvania and Wave. Participating members include: Crestron Electronics, Delta Power, Finelite, Kanepi Innovations, Lighting Science Group, Steelcase, WattStopper and Zumtobel. Eden Park Illumination is a general member. Supporting members include: AVP, Brinjac Engineering, CleanTech Commercialization, EdCampus, Green Plug, Houston Advanced Research Center, JB Electrical, Los Angeles Community College District, Paladino and Co., Sensor Switch, Southern California Edison and Webcor Builders.

The central feature of the proposed EMerge standard is the selective and scalable distribution of low-voltage dc power within common infrastructures already present in commercial interiors. For example, dc power is suitable for integration into the ceiling plane, providing facility managers with the ability to readily arrange and rearrange lighting, sensors, actuators and other devices without the need for rewiring.

In addition, the EMerge standard embraces the trend toward using on-site alternative energy, by providing a means of direct and more efficient connection between these new energy sources and interior electrical loads, such as lighting and controls.

Brian Patterson, EMerge Alliance chairman, views the development of this new commercial technology standard as providing a platform for innovation to create even more energy-efficient and individually controllable devices for the future, such as LED or other solid-state general lighting devices.

The EMerge Alliance is accepting new members interested in developing or supporting the EMerge standard. Membership is open and available at a variety of levels, from those interested in contributing to or making products compatible with the new standard, to companies and organizations supporting the overall development of this new platform. The alliance is professionally managed by Global Inventures.

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