Power Controllers

3DFS plans ahead for grid distribution in a digital world

In an effort to find a permanent solution to the historically nagging problem of electricity loss during distribution, 3DFS LLC has developed an innovative energy technology with unique capabilities. It is a computer system built with a combination of computer and power electronics roughly the size of microwaves built using off the shelf, UL-listed components. They are called Software-Defined Power (SDP) Controllers. The computer language and machine code that drive the power controllers are proprietary, written for the explicit purpose of interfacing directly with electricity with at ultra-high speeds with optimum efficiency.

Each power controller serves two purposes. First they correct and balance the electrical network and intelligently distribute power within each distribution panel with absolute precision so that zero electricity is wasted. Second, they report a portion of the electricity data collected to a dashboard through an internet connection to provide real-time data, non-intrusive load monitoring, predictive analytics, and software control of the power in the network.

The result is something similar to a real-time operating system for electrical networks that automatically manages the electrical environment with the speed, precision, and repeatability of computers. The dynamic monitoring and electrical digital correction significantly improves the quality of electrical service by maintaining electrical balance and essentially “self-healing” when the network is disrupted by any electrical disturbance.

The technologies and infrastructure that connect today’s electricity grid are still almost entirely analog. The result of this inefficient distribution is loss of nearly 70% of the electricity that is generated. The losses occur throughout the entire grid, at generation, through transmission and distribution, at the grid edge, in the last mile of transmission after the final substations and in our homes and businesses. Hence, solutions such as 3DFS’ power controllers arise at a time when many feel the grid requires a drastic digital makeover.

3DFS is making waves in more than just the electrical form. The company just won a North Carolina tech showcase in May. This week’s high-profile Vox magazine article was the latest of an increasing trend of news coverage for the company. It also debuted a program recently that intends to help military personnel.

The company, founded in 2010, designs, manufactures and implements its controllers among a laboratory that also doubles as a think tank for the efficient transfer of energy. Its nine employees work out of the 10,000-square-foot lab and manufacturing site, located in Pittsboro, N.C.

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