College of Engineering
Electrical Engineering Department
BS in Electrical Engineering
Despite the importance of electricity and the impact it has on our daily lives, many people around the world still live without this essential utility today. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), approximately 1.1 billion people in the world did not have access to electricity in 2017. The DC House Project at Cal Poly aims to provide electricity to people living in rural areas by directly utilizing DC energy generated from renewable or human powered sources without the need for DC-AC conversions. However, one significant issue is the lack of a standardized DC wall socket. Standards for AC wall sockets exist in different countries around the world making it simple for consumers to power their appliances and electronics. No such standard currently exist for DC power delivery to consumer devices. This makes DC power within the house inconvenient for consumers as there is no single plug that all their electronic devices can share.
In pursuit of the DC House Project’s overall goal, our project is to design and build a USB-C Power Adapter for the DC House Project. The power adapter will interface with the DC House’s existing 48VDC infrastructure to deliver up to 100W at 20V to various electronic loads, such as laptops. Although USBC is a new and emerging technology, it is well placed to become a standard for DC power delivery. IHS technology projects that USB-C will be utilized in nearly five billion devices by 2021. Additionally, Apple vouched for the versatility of USB-C’s power delivery capability by replacing all of the ports on their current laptops, including the charging port, with USB-C ports. Thus, this project aims to standardize the wall socket utilized within the DC House Project and potentially other DC powered homes so that DC power can be as convenient for consumers as AC power.