Originally posted by: BrownTown
Man, AC being better is because of one thing: transformers, you could change the voltage of AC at 99% efficiency 100 years ago and that is incredible. It means that you can produce power at a low voltage, step it up very high to transmit if over long distances (for minimal losses) and then step it back down for residential applications. It isn't some evil coorperation that allowed AC to win or some giant conspiracy that it remains now its the fact that it is simply better than DC, and now that the entire world is set up for AC power it isn't just magically going to change to make solar panels more efficienct (while screwing over everything else).
STOP right there.
Until you've read about the feud between Edison and Tesla / Westinghouse, the tactics used to impose the current system upon us, that which is bolded above remains a false statement in historical fact.
Were it not for the influence of Robber Barons and their Industrialist Cronies leading to the Corporatism we currently enjoy, we might have actually been able to use the technology that Tesla was developing upon his demise.
Current Power Transmission over Air technologies are only scratching the surface of what Tesla had discovered and was working on at the time of his death.
Back to the topic at hand.
Given that CONVERSIONS of energy / power are the thieves of effiency we are attempting to keep at bay, it makes more sense to me to use DC as a source for lighting, et al and AC as a source for motor force as well as other frequency dependent / synchronous devices.
I do not think it's unreasonable to use different modes if they are more efficient. This could allow for PV to lighting circuits to be roof top mounted, heavy current demand machinery / manufacturing be supplied by more traditional means, and residential being served by a combination of Co-Gen Sources and roof-top or community generated lighting / Water heating / boiler operations.
De-centralizing makes thing more manageable in the event of an emergency or terrorist attack. Can't plunge the city into darkness if they generate their own lighting power within the various communities and neighborhoods.
The only thing screwed up by such a diversifying model is the current business model that allows Energy Companies to ignore new, more efficient technology by claiming poverty if change is "forced" on them.
Just as a drug company will not market the drug that cures over the drug that simply treats, power companies will not go willingly into new frontiers, despite the obvious benefits to human interests.