Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has won the 2017 IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award for its solar-direct current (DC) inverter system. The system, developed using micro grid technology, converts in-home power distribution from 230V Analog Current to 48V DC to directly power appliances and devices. The system is also equipped to tap rooftop solar power, making it the most energy efficient solution for homes and offices, according to a press release.
It was developed by Centre for Decentralised Power Systems at IIT-M. The system consists of DC solar generation, DC power-line, DC appliances and battery. Currently, the system has been deployed in 4,000 off-grid homes in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and is being deployed in around 7,200 homes in Assam. The inverter system has been installed in villages in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.With energy efficiency becoming a mantra, many offices and homes are using DC to power devices and appliances using existing AC power-lines. This requires an AC to DC converter, which adds to the losses, cost and unreliability. So solar-DC is a viable and cost-effective solution for powering homes in remote off-grid areas, due to its reliability, affordability and its operation without dependency on grid.
The IEEE Spectrum Technology in the Service of Society Award is presented to the company/institution voted by IEEE Spectrum editors as having developed the technology that has the potential to benefit mankind.