Imagine a world that uses the same type of power, that requires no conversion everywhere! It is possible to live in a world that can rely on 100% Direct Current (DC) power generated from renewable energy sources. Ampere LLC has developed, tested, and most importantly, proven this is not an unreachable dream. In fact, it's not a dream at all - it is our future. A report released by the U.S. Department of Energy, notes that importance of moving ahead with renewable technology.
“Buildings last for decades (consider that more than half of all commercial buildings in operation today were built before 1970), so it’s important to consider technologies that can be used to retrofit existing buildings as well as new buildings.”
Using solar panels, battery storage, and LED lighting, we've created an off-grid, 12-36V direct current lighting system that can be scaled to any size and create an infrastructure the rest of our household devices.
Changing the World with LED Systems
Looking back through history, lighting has been the major factor for continuing the world's reliance on and expansion of traditional grid power. This is simply due to the sheer number of lights we use and the energy those lights rely on.
How have LED systems changed?
LEDs do not require high-voltage, AC power. Even the giant stadium lights can be replaced with a low-voltage, reliable LED light. With the commercialization of LED and the unbelievable benefits of LED technology, we are now given the opportunity to change everything and get off the AC power grid altogether.
The Ampere team spent the last 5 years privately funding research and development, and manufacturing for a more permanent solution to AC power grid dependence, We've built a system to address incompatibility issues between AC and DC power and power lost during conversion and inversion. This system is a completely universal, off-grid lighting system. Enabling the adoption of a singular power system, that is completely independent from any large scale power grid. Our system “open source” (non-proprietary) and IoT compatible.
Below is a brief explanation of contrast between the current method for solar powered lighting and the method developed by Ampere.
What do we use today
Currently, all major solar companies install panels that inherently produce safe, clean, no EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference), DC (Direct Current) power. The next step is to install expensive inverters to push the low-voltage DC up to (typically 120v-22ov) dangerous, life-threatening power. It can cause fires and heavily interfere with our wireless communications (large EMI field). It then requires thick, expensive copper wire to a large number of outlets (by code) that must be housed in shock-proof, fire-proof boxes. Now, certifications must be obtained to properly handle the dangerous wires and hiring a certified electrician is expensive. All of this is needed because of the amount of power produced by the inversion process. These receptacles are so high powered that some parents even use plastic plugs to prevent their children from even touching the outlet.
Considering lighting, a typical home converting electricity for lights alone wastes a massive amount of energy, materials, time and money! All for the end-point lightbulb to use a small (crude at best) LED “driver” or transformer, that converts the 120v AC to (in most cases) 12v-36v DC power for all of our LED lights. Yes, all of them! The process of converting DC to AC and ultimately back to DC again is incredibly wasteful.
What we should be doing
It is easy to radically improve the efficiency of the lighting circuit used in today's solar applications. Just remove the inverter, add a charge controller and send the power directly to the light. Many people already do this and it works well. However, there has been a major component missing in the equation - control. Ampere has introduced a patented lighting controller for the low-voltage circuit. The number of benefits in controlling the low-volt power to the LED are mind-bending. A major benefit of doing this is the lack of thick, solid copper wire. When sticking to a class 2 lighting circuit, you can use a very thin, inexpensive wire and that doesn't need to be passed through a switch or dimmer. All dimmers, switches or control devices in your home can be 100% wireless. You can even use your phone with an app while completely removed from any grid power. This is only the beginning of benefits that can come from this technology.
Because this is new technology, there are fragmented versions of a complete solution and some proprietary systems being slowly introduced. We have scoured the internet, spoken with military and government officials, large commercial general contractors, electrical components companies, and low-voltage LED companies and there is no other system that is a 100% reliable solution, besides the one Ampere has created. In other words, there is not a single competitor for Ampere's off-grid technology.
Lastly, this is not just a conceptual design. We have a fully operational, completely off-grid lighting system in our Denver showroom. We can demonstrate how easy it is to put together, the inherent benefits of the system and prove it is also less expensive than even the most common form of lighting available.