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DC in utility building becomes reality

Aalsmeer, March 22, 2016

Direct Current BV has started with the engineering and realization of DC nets in utility building. Examples include the Pulse building at the Delft University of Technology designed by Valstar Simonis and the ABN AMRO Pavilion at the South Axis in Amsterdam.

Why are we doing this?

The next step for DC is to create cases in utility buildings. It is not just about avoiding conversion losses -this is just an important by-catch-, but it is about the bigger picture. Through this technique we can add more functionality in buildings and lay the foundation to be connected to a smart DC network where congestion management are in the roots of the internal and external network. In this way we build an organic smart grid that allows optimum use of renewable energy and put it in use at the lowest cost. This applies to users but also for the operators. which directly leads to the lowest social cost in order to allow a sustainable society.

Needless to mention that balancing the energy bill is further reduced here, especially in combination with storage, which in DC nets can be much smaller than the current AC nets. We are closely involved in the following projects in order to achieve this.

In the recent years, Direct Current BV has worked hard at the technology to make this as safe and efficient as possible. This includes the following Innovations:

  • Current/OS (i.e. the software layer used within this network where privacy violation is impossible; therefore it does not need to be protected) containing the Operating System of the currents and the Priority System.
  • Current Router (i.e. security system and power management modules; electronic breakers "short circuit and overload," leakage current and ARC detection).
  • LED drivers 350VDC.
  • USB-C 100W power outlets including data (still in development).
  • AC/DC converter station.
  • Corrosion protection.

ABN AMRO Pavilion at the Zuidas in Amsterdam

The ABN AMRO Pavilion aims to be the most sustainable circular building and DC takes this one step further. With 3000m² of meeting venues with LED and PV panels connected to a complete DC net of 350Vdc. This is realized in cooperation with BAM Engineering.

 

DC smartgrid in utility building becomes reality

Image of the ABN AMRO Pavilion.

Pulse building at Delft Technology University

The DC net ensures that the DC generated by solar cells can be used directly, so practically no energy loss, for laptops, tablets, smartphones, lighting and emergency lighting inside the education building. In addition, a DC net saves on materials (eg heavy transformers). Furthermore, it simplifies the transition to the so-called "smart grids", linking generators and users of electricity in the future and keeping the supply and demand of electric power in balance.

We are directly involved in the implementation and this will be in collaboration with an installer. The smart DC net at 350VDC in this building consists of:

  • USB-C connectors,
  • LED lighting,
  • 150kW solar panels,
  • 150kW AC/DC network station.

DC smartgrid in utility building becomes reality

Image: Pulse building designed by Valstar Simonis.