The Circl of ABN AMRO Shows Boldness in DC and Circularity

September 5, 2017
ABN AMRO and BAM show boldness by giving Direct Current BV the opportunity to realize an electrical installation on DC (direct current) in the new ABN AMRO building 'Circl' at the Gustav Mahlerplein in Amsterdam.

Last update on 01 February 2022

A World First Office Building on DC Grid

The Circl is the first building worldwide with a DC infrastructure. This innovative DC installation opens the way to a new market with sustainable DC offices. This is a world first combined with the introduction of an innovative circular economy concept of recycling used materials in the building. On September 5, the Circl is officially opened.

The DC grid works with a 350V DC distribution system and DC components developed by Direct Current BV. More than 500 solar panels on the Circl building are connected directly to the DC grid by DC micro converters. In the standard AC grid, all energy must first be converted to AC which gives energy conversion losses. The ventilation unit is also connected to the DC grid. Compared to the usual AC installations, DC yields a significant saving of raw materials and energy. The DC installation is furnished to implement batteries and to optimize the energy balance in a later stadium, innovations Direct Current BV is working hard on. Energy storage in batteries in combination with solar panels allows for a smaller grid connection in this building. Therefore, the costs for a DC grid in an office building are considerably lower than a conventional AC grid.

USB-C on DC Grid

Another major innovation in the Circl are the 100W USB-C socket outlets, powered directly from the DC grid. USB-C plays a very important role in the buildings of the future. As USB-C enables both energy and data communication through the same cable, it is to be expected that the USB-C plug becomes the standard connection for laptops, desktop computers, monitors, phones, tablets, LED lights and media devices. Devices that do not support USB-C can make use of locally generated 230V AC power. The USB-C socket has been developed by Direct Current BV and ABB developed the enclosure.

Current Router Breakthrough in DC

Direct Current BV is currently in the interest of the world. Regularly, delegates from the big multinationals visit the company to take a look. Since 2009, Direct Current BV has been developing DC components to enable a sustainable DC network. From network codes (Current/OS), electronics, and firmware, to system integration, the company realized a major breakthrough in DC by the invention of the Current Router that protects the DC system in combination with their own developed operating system Current/OS. As of 2011 to date, many pilot projects throughout the Netherlands have demonstrated the workings of the DC system and the savings on resources and energy. This ensures that the Netherlands have a global lead in the field of DC.

Since 2013, Direct Current BV has played an important role in TC64 wiring regulations to achieve a practical guideline for DC installations.

Whilst aiming at innovating and creating a sustainable future, ABN AMRO has set a trend with this state-of-the-art circular building Circl. Many investors in the Netherlands and abroad will visit Circl to gain inspiration.