Direct current – Stuttgart-based company Bachmann has long been dealing with this issue. And not just in theory: the global electronics company’s own IT equipment, air-conditioning system and lighting has been operated using 380 V DC voltage for two years now. We visit these pioneers.
The Bachmann Group develops, produces and sells innovative electronic components and systems, predominantly for the office, IT, electrical wholesalers, kitchenware and industry. It employs around 700 staff and has 12 subsidiaries and a partner network spanning 27 countries.Bachmann
The first installation where the servers, lighting and air-conditioning run on DC does not even seem like a pioneering achievement: it is a technical room, a server room. “Warning! 380 V direct current” is written on the door. This is the only indication that a mini-revolution is under way behind these doors. And it is meant to be this way. “The more inconspicuous the DC technology is, the more likely people are to trust it,” explained Tilo Püschel when discussing Bachmann’s thoughts behind this.
Püschel is kind of like a project pilot for this pilot project. His task is to look for new business fields. To do this, he has spent years analysing the market for direct current technology, and ultimately utilised it himself. The Bachmann server room features IT equipment, lighting and an air-conditioning system operated using direct current – they are connected to the company’s rooftop photovoltaic system.
Knowing how direct current works
Why is Bachmann so committed to direct current? “You will find a plug socket in each of our products,” explained Tilo Püschel. “If the direct current market comes to fruition, we want to be ready.” When they started, they had neither components nor experience. “So let’s go out and gain this experience” was the ethos shared by all at Bachmann.
Tilo Püschel, Business Development Manager at Bachmann
Püschel believes in direct current. He predicts that it will soon take hold in computer centres. Soon meaning within the next three to four years. In small-scale offices with isolated installations. But he adds that the fear of contact is too high in domestic environments. Yet at Bachmann, they are sure that direct current is coming.
In this sense, Lapp and Bachmann are not just connecting geographic environments but technological ones, too. The two companies are joining forces to further the topic of direct current. Our attention turns to the multitude of design awards on the wall. You don’t win these for following suit; you have to lead the way. Be a pioneer and break ground. This seems to be the way of life at Bachmann.
Bachmann uses specialised connectors in direct-current applications. Their special shape prevents any accidental arcing.