The Micropower team is far ahead in developing and implementing this concept – having designed, built and installed advanced systems for practical application of DC power in everyday use for the past 30 years. Micropower’s proprietary DC power systems provide the means to realize tomorrow’s power solutions today.
Mr. Edwards established DMI Philippines in 1980, which became the first manufacturer of solar photovoltaic panels in that country. Following the economic collapse of The Philippines in 1983 and the concurrent abandonment of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, he directed the company in the development of new continuous uninterruptible lighting technology utilizing proprietary DC electronic ballasts originally produced for use with solar systems. This new technology allowed businesses to continue working through protracted power outages which resulted from the insufficiencies of the Central Luzon grid.
The revolutionary technology, subsequently yielding six patents in 26 countries, was installed by the U. S. Air Force at Clark Air Base, at major manufacturing plants including Colgate-Palmolive, Avon Cosmetics, Glaxo Pharmaceuticals, Raytheon Semiconductor and many others, along with many hotels, offices, retail stores, and residences.
In 1990, Mr. Edwards returned to establish manufacturing and distribution in the United States. Following establishment of a nationwide sales network, the company's systems were rapidly adapted and installed by many companies and institutions including:
- NASA Stennis Space Center
- U.S. House of Representatives dining room
- Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (following 1993 bombing)
- World Trade Center
- Holland Tunnel
- New York City Board of Education
- Tulsa and Oklahoma City Public Schools
- University of Montana
- Hendrix (Ark.) College Library
- Federal Way, Washington Federal Prison
and many hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities nationwide.
They were specified by the California State Department of Corrections for all new state prison construction, and placed on the master specifications for Eli Lilly & Co., AMC Theater Corp., Humana Hospital Group, Supervalu Foods, and other national chains.
Mr. Edwards was recognized nationally as the pioneer in applying DC systems to occupied spaces in the United States and worldwide - introducing and promoting the concept at least 20 years ahead of the marketplace and in the process laying the groundwork for the shift to DC that is now occurring. He was often characterized in the industry during the 1990s as "the man that was going to prove Edison right" about the advantages of DC. Since that time the industry has proven them both right, as evidenced by the continuing transformation of the national grid to more efficient HVDC (High Voltage DC).
As the new millennium began, Mr. Edwards began collaborating with the Electric Power Research Institute as it began its research on new materials for semiconductors that would allow for building of fully electronic substations in support of HVDC on the grid, and its promotion of the concept of distributed generation through DC microgrids. This concept directly coincided with the company's philosophy and strategy to bring power to people around the world who do not have access to it with emphasis on renewable energy and its 21st-century technology for efficiency and control.
In addition to its proprietary advanced technology in lighting, power conversion, and controls, the company has developed its disruptive Neodyne DC motor technology - promising unprecedented advantages in size and efficiency for applications including HVAC, tools, transportation, medical devices and much more.
The Neodyne technology allows the construction of motors that are as little as 10% of the size and weight of an equivalent AC motor, while yielding as much as 96% efficiency - compared with typically 55% in AC. Neodyne motors, being DC, are inherently speed-variable and will have a lifetime of four to five times that of an AC motor as it is not subjected to AC line voltage fluctuations, spikes, and transients. In an air conditioning application, Neodyne technology can bring a reduction of up to 75% in power consumption.
In the past two years, Micropower has brought into its portfolio state-of-the-art community-friendly waste conversion technology offering a platform that transforms municipal, industrial, forestry and agricultural waste into gas, liquid and solid-based renewable energy components using a starved-oxygen, closed-loop pyrolitic process that contributes to the restoration of our land, sea and air.
The first gasification plant of similar design, owned by the North Slope Borough, was built in Barrow, Alaska, to generate heat and has been successfully operating since 1996, meeting or exceeding all EPA standards. Since that time the basic design has been significantly enhanced - starting with the up-sizing of the feedstock processing module capacity to 50 TPD (i.e. a 25 ton module used twice per day); an enhanced 21st-century control, sensing and monitoring network; and significant enhancements to the heating elements and triple-redundancy filtration scheme to not only meet or exceed the current US EPA, European Union and California emission standards, but also potentially more stringent emerging emission standards that may be applicable for the next 20 to 30 years.
Currently the company is in the development stage of projects to build waste-to-energy plants utilizing its new MICROPOWER TC Waste Transformation System, as well as DC microgrids for rural and village electrification in the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Domestically, Micropower is preparing to launch three solar energy projects in the state of California and is in discussions with a number of US entities for the development of waste-to-energy plants.
Micropower is also in discussions with the US Department of Defense to construct waste-to-energy facilities on US Army installations over the next 10 years, and with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help them meet the Kyoto Accord agreement to empty their landfills by 2015.