The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science has awarded three Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants targeting key advances in solid-state lighting (SSL) technology. One of them caught my eye: VoltServer, Inc. won a grant for “Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Integration of SSL and Building Controls using a PET Power Distribution System”.
Interesting technology for increasing the power capacity of DC circuits (most notably for the lighting industry, it can significantly up the power capacity for Power-over-Ethernet systems). According to VoltServer:
VoltServer is developing a new technology that revolutionizes the way electrical power is controlled and distributed. The technology is referred to as Packet Energy Transfer or PET. More specifically, we have focused our first product offerings on…a new segment of Power over Ethernet (PoE) delivering a 20x power improvement over existing PoE solutions. PET delivers Digital Power in a modular system to power remote components over standard communications cables such as CAT 3, CAT 5 or CAT 6. Hundreds of Watts of power can be safely transmitted, eliminating the need for installing electrical service or reserve power components at the edge of the network.
If a person, or perhaps a tree branch, touches the conductors carrying the energy packets, a verification signature within the packet is corrupted and the power is discontinued or rerouted in microseconds; leaving the person unharmed and the power grid undamaged.
My guess is that it will take a long time for the safety standards to recognize and accommodate such technology. I hope this company has “patient capital”!