DC Smart Grid at Home becomes Reality
14 May 2014
The second prototype of renovated homes of the project the "Stroomversnelling", which translates to "Rapids", has been delivered in Soesterberg, and received a lot of interest.
The Stroomversnelling is a project started by four major construction companies and six housing associations in 2013 with the aim to renovate 110,000 homes into energy efficient homes, the so-called zero-energy-meter homes. This is the first prototype in which Direct Current Ltd installed a centralized DC system. This DC system makes a DC smart grid possible. With this prototype we have achieved a real scoop : a DC smart grid at home becomes a reality!
In the second prototype of the Stroomversnelling delivered by construction company BAM, Direct Current Ltd has installed a DC system that is directly connected to the USB wall sockets through a DC net. This is Phase 1 in the development of the final DC smart grid. The plan is to develop the DC system in three steps into a complete DC smart grid for the whole house, from solar panels to the USB wall sockets and LED lighting. Consequently, the current AC grid will no longer be necessary.
Image: Implementation of the DC smartgrid in three steps.
First of all, all the electronics, such as computers, mobile phones , TV, tablets, and LED lighting, work on DC. Secondly, the solar panels generate DC. So we will save a lot of costs by making the AC grid obsolete since we will save on the costs of devices such as the DC/AC and AC/DC converters, and there will also be savings on power losses in these conversions.
The prototype house in Soesterberg is also the first in having USB wall sockets that are powered by a DC system. To clarify, this is a DC USB wall socket and not an AC USB wall socket that are now sold on the market!
We are now working hard on the development of Phase 2 of the DC smart grid. The implementation of Phase 2 is scheduled for the next prototype house that the BAM will realize.