Digital Electricity™ accelerates digital transformation for today’s Smart World
Powering Innovation: Digital Electricity™ accelerates digital transformation for today’s Smart World
VoltServer uses standard data cables and endpoint transformation to efficiently deliver power safely across long distances
Global digital transformation is well underway, driven by artificial intelligence, a rapidly maturing 5G wireless network and Internet of Things (IoT) systems that deploy billions of intelligent edge sensors to send real-time data to the cloud. But have you ever stopped to wonder how we will power all of these devices and technologies?
VoltServer, Inc., an East Greenwich, R.I., manufacturer of power distribution products, is changing the future of energy delivery with its unique, patented Digital Electricity™ technology that safely transmits up to 2kW of power across long distances (up to 2km) using low-cost, off-the-shelf data cables.
To date, VoltServer has been deployed in hundreds of marquee venues including stadiums, airports, convention centers, office towers, hotels, condominiums, hospitals and indoor gardens, powering 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi wireless communications, LED lighting and IoT applications.
Harnessing power one pulse at a time
What exactly is Digital Electricity™? Digital Electricity is a line powering system, which is a means of energizing remote equipment from a centralized location over structured copper cables. It safely runs high-voltage power over lightweight data cable and delivers low current downstream to power loads. It’s a natively digital form of electricity transmission that can be considered a third power format in addition to the AC and DC formats that were first harnessed nearly 150 years ago.
How does it work? VoltServer takes conventional electricity and breaks it into small pulses, or “energy packets.” Each packet is sent to a receiver from a transmitter that contains local, embedded processing. Each energy packet is analyzed using a digital signal processing engine to determine that power is being precisely and safely distributed. If a fault is detected, the next energy packet is not sent. Each packet contains only a very small amount of energy, so individually they are not harmful to people, animals, systems or buildings. The receiver converts Digital Electricity back into analog AC or DC to power local loads.
VoltServer leverages a patented packet energy transfer to deliver significant power over long distances. The technology splits energy into packets and transfers hundreds of packets each second from a transmitter to a receiver. Safety is continuously monitored. The result is safe, efficient energy transfer over long distances. The VoltServer products are listed and certified to safety and EMC standards by a Nationally Recognized Test Laboratory.
“Imagine a powerful stream of water sent through your plumbing. If a pipe were to burst, the high pressure could injure someone. Instead, break the stream down into millions of droplets,” explained VoltServer co-founder and CEO, Stephen Eaves. “The droplets can be put back together to get the amount of water needed, but each droplet of water is safe. Digital Electricity is similar by only putting a small amount of energy in packets. Each packet becomes safe, but the total power needs can still be met.”
Digital energy enables plug-and-play power sources
Because of its inherently safe energy-transfer design, the VoltServer Digital Electricity™ platform can send power over a distance up to 2,000 meters using off-the-shelf structured copper communications cable and Class 2, low-voltage wiring methods. Similar to power-over-ethernet (PoE), this enables VoltServer to transport both digital data and power in a single hybrid cabling infrastructure, making it much easier and more economical to install than conventional 110/220 electrical systems.
This simplicity allows architects, designers and facility managers to quickly and easily configure and reconfigure wireless networks, office floorplans and agricultural grow rooms. And because the platform is natively digital, it provides unprecedented insights into energy use with a centralized dashboard. This gives building operators and maintenance staff a granular view of their electric grid to better manage critical loads while eliminating the need for traditional circuit breaker panels.
Power-efficient Vicor converters eliminate the need for added cooling
Vicor has worked closely with VoltServer since they began product development. Vicor ruggedized, passively-cooled BCM® DC-DC fixed-ratio bus converters are designed into the receivers transforming the higher transmission voltage to a safe low voltage to power the loads. The 97% power efficiency allows reliable cooling without a fan within a smaller enclosure. They provide the power efficiency that allows the receivers to be placed in tight, enclosed spaces that are too small to accommodate cooling fans. This allows the VoltServer platform to operate more efficiently with much smaller heat sinks and significantly shrinks the receiver footprint.
“With the Vicor converter, we have 43% less heat loss than a normal converter, and the heat sink size decreases proportionately,” said Dan Lowe, VoltServer co-founder and Chief Business Officer. “Our customers include the top three mobile network operators in the U.S., so the requirements for reliability are extremely demanding. That’s where Vicor comes in really, really neatly.”
VoltServer Digital Electricity™ provides the most reliable and cost-effective remote powering solutions for 4G LTE, 5G and Wi-Fi radios that are optimally located for coverage and capacity. The centralized digital architecture provides resiliency for always on communication networks.
VoltServer uses the Vicor compact BCM6123 fixed-ratio bus converter (0.99 x 2.402 x 0.286in) in the endpoint receivers to efficiently convert the power packets. Vicor BCMs use a proprietary, low-noise, high-efficiency Sine Amplitude Converter (SAC™) topology that requires little electromagnetic filtration. This further shrinks the power system footprint and simplifies the design while meeting EMI standards.
Vicor ruggedized, passively-cooled BCM® DC-DC fixed-ratio bus converters are designed into the VoltServer receivers to transform higher voltage to low voltage loads. The BCM is up to 97% efficient and has reduced heat loss for VoltServer by 43% compared to conventional converters.
Vicor compact BCM6123 fixed-ratio bus converter (0.99 x 2.402 x 0.286in) is in the endpoint receiver to efficiently convert high voltage power to various loads. Vicor BCMs use a proprietary, low-noise, high-efficiency Sine Amplitude Converter (SAC™) topology that requires little electromagnetic filtration.
“With so little electromagnetic filtering needed, we can make the Digital Electricity receiver very compact and mount it pretty much anywhere,” Lowe said. “Any other converter would generate more heat. That means that the receiver box would need to be much bigger and would require a lot more cooling – and ultimately would cost a lot more and be more difficult to install in space constrained locations.”
The patented VoltServer Digital Electricity™ platform distributes electricity in a safe, digital format. The technology is simple to deploy, lower-cost, resilient and proven in the large venues with the leading mobile network operators. VoltServer empowers organizations to pursue true digital transformation no matter the complexity or demands of their venue.
Learn more about VoltServer and Digital Electricity.
Vicor Corporation, the leader in high-performance power modules, solves the toughest power challenges for our customers, enabling them to innovate and maximize system performance. Our easy-to-deploy power modules provide the highest density and efficiency enabling advanced power delivery networks from the power source to the point of load. Headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, Vicor serves customers worldwide with unequaled power conversion and power delivery technologies. www.vicorpower.com
BCM® is a registered trademark and SAC™ is a trademark of Vicor Corporation.
VoltServer is a technology leader reinventing how electrical energy is distributed. Patented and proven Digital Electricity™ is an innovative method for distributing power with the high power aspects of AC and the safety and simplicity of Power over Ethernet (PoE). The company is the leading provider of intelligent, premise-based power distribution solutions leveraging Digital Electricity™ from centralized source to distributed endpoint loads to improve customer’s essential business applications. The Digital Electricity™ platform delivers safe electricity where, when, and how it is needed, and can be delivered using off-the-shelf data cable, at a significantly reduced cost, and with greater speed, power, distance, efficiency, intelligence, and flexibility, when compared to competing electrical installations. www.voltserver.com
Digital Electricity™ is a trademark of VoltServer, Inc.