Philippines - DC-Only Network

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Network diagram of computer Center in Saloy, Mindanao

When running an ICT facility directly off batteries, it can make sense to select end-user equipment that runs directly on DC. A DC-only configuration does not require an inverter to convert output from the batteries into AC, and therefore less of the stored energy is lost on the way to the devices and the cost of the inverter is avoided. This approach was used in May 2004 by Hamtel Systems, an IT systems integration company based in Davao, Mindanao in the Philippines, for the USAID-funded Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) program implemented by Winrock International. Hamtel designed a small off-grid computer center with two low-power desktop computers, LCD monitors, an inkjet printer, and a network switch that were all designed or modified to run on DC (see diagram above). The desktop computers were designed by Hamtel based on the Mini-ITX platform using VIA low-power CPUs, hard drives designed for notebook computers, and DC power supplies. The telecenter, which ran off two 12 V batteries charged by a local micro-hydro site, thus requires only 350 – 400 Wh per day to operate.

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