Utility Buildings on DC Smart Grids

Direct Current BV develops and realizes smart DC grids in utility building. 

Our DC technology is the foundation for a smart DC grid where congestion management is the basis for the internal and external grid. For this DC infrastructure we build an organic smart grid that allows optimum use of renewable energy.

Sustainability and lower costs for society

The costs for a DC grid is substantially lower than the Current AC grids. Besides reducing the costs for the electricity grid, balancing the energy bill is also further reduced here, especially in combination with storage. The energy storage in DC grids are much smaller than in the current AC grids. All these advantages apply to end users as well as to the operators of electricity grids. The lower social cost allows for a faster energy transition into a sustainable society.

Innovations in DC technology

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

  • Current/OS (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.
  • AC/DC converter station.
  • Corrosion protection. 

Reference projects that are finished and successfully running, are the following:


CIRCL Pavilion of ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam

The multifunctional building CIRCL of ABN AMRO Bank 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 fully integrated smart DC grid on a secure 350V DC system. This is realized in cooperation with BAM Engineering. 

Related article: 2017-09-05 The Circl of ABN AMRO shows boldness in DC and circularity


Pulse building at the campus of Delft Technology University

This project was in collaboration with Kuipers Installation to install the DC components inside the multifuncional building. The Pulse building is designed by Valstar Simonis.

The solar panels are directly connected to the smart DC grid so that the generated Direct Current electricity can be used directly for laptops, tablets, smartphones, TV screens, lighting and emergency lighting, which are all working on DC. Energy conversion to AC voltage in a traditional AC grid is obsolete in this DC infrastructure, so there is practically no energy loss. In addition, a DC system saves on materials (for example, heavy transformers and copper). Furthermore, the 350V DC system is more secure for the users than the traditional AC grid and the supply and demand of electric power is kept in balance thanks to the innovative DC technology. 

Related article: 2018-08-30 First energy-neutral building Pulse on TU Delft campus officially opened