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Bath Uni installs Britain’s first local DC computer network on campus

Over the Christmas vacation, Bath University took advantage of the absence of students to install 50 new computers on the 5th floor of its library.

These new machines are faster, smaller, quieter and generally better to use, as well as being part of a demonstration of a new method of distributing energy.

These computers are powered using direct current (DC) electricity rather than conventional alternating current (AC). The supply network is unique and will act as a showcase for future projects of this type.

AC electric power from the grid is converted to DC and runs 50 specially adapted computers in the University Library. Students using the system have noticed that the new computers are more compact and much quieter than the previous systems.

The immediate advantages of the new system are not only for the user but for the energy bill payer and the environment.

Initial tests show that the system emits approximately half as much heat energy as the previous AC powered system while running much faster. This results in a double energy saving – initially from energy efficiency rather than emitting heat – and secondly in avoiding the need to use air conditioning units.

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