Vicor helps squeeze up to 2kW down data cables

Vicor helps squeeze up to 2kW down data cables

Digital Electricity, as it has been branded (rooftop installation right), “uses standard data cables and endpoint transformation to efficiently deliver significant power safely across long distances”, according to Vicor, which is providing power converters for the receive end.

Power transfer up to 2kW is possible, or less up to 2km. Specifically: 300W over ~370m using one 18AWG pair, doubling to 600W over two pairs, then 1kW over more than 400m using for 18AWG pairs.

Wiring methods are NEC Article 725 / CEC Rule 16-200, with Class 2 (no conduit) wiring practices.

Vicor helps squeeze up to 2kW down data cablesVoltServe’s website is reticent on how the scheme works. However, Vicor’s diagram (left) reveals 320V at 4A in the cable – 1,280W.

Unspecified digital over-sight is applied to increase safety: It “takes conventional electricity and breaks it into small energy packets,” said Vicor. “Each packet is analysed using a DSP engine to determine that power is being precisely and safely distributed. If a fault is detected, the next energy packet is not sent.”

Again according to Vicor: individual packets are not harmful to people, animals, systems nor buildings, and “VoltServer products are listed and certified to safety and EMC standards by a nationally recognised test laboratory.”

Two different Vicor’s fixed-ratio 61 x 25 x 71mm BCM6123 dc-dc converter modules are used in the VoltServe RX548 receiver (see diagram and photo). Both connected to the input in parallel, their 9V and 39V nominal outputs are connected in series to deliver a nominal 48V at up to 25A. These are sine amplitude converters, reducing EMC filtering requirements, and do not need fan cooling as they are 97% efficient.

The RX548 is rated for 48V out at 1.2kW and is IP65 sealed. Other VoltServe receivers have outputs up to 336V or 2kW.