DC Smart Grids in South Africa

8 July 2014


On July 8, Harry Stokman of Direct Current BV signs the letter of intent for the new DC smart grid project in Cape Town with the involved parties Joulz BV, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), the Sustainability Institute at the University of Stellenbosch Foundation, the Dutch DC Foundation and The Hague University. They will collaborate to develop and realize a smart grid on DC in the Townships of Cape Town. Minister Ploumen of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development of the Netherlands and Deputy Mayor Ian Nielson of Cape Town were present at the signing ceremony.


In front from left to right: Tim Zijderveld (Joulz), (Professor Nicolaas Beute, CPUT) and Harry Stokman (Direct Current BV). In the back: Minister Lilianne Ploumen (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development), and Ian Neilson (Deputy mayor of Cape Town).


In this innovative DC smart grid project, a 350 VDC smart grid will be developed and implemented. The DC system solves issues with high-power loads, such as stoves, reduces risk of fire and is able to work with local and community-owned generation. In the homes the USB PD outlets are used as standard. The 350 VDC system offers at a later stage options for local or centralized storage, and is suitable to charge electric motors and scooters, for example. In collaboration with Stellenbosch University and CPUT, this technological breakthrough will be implemented with close attention to all social and economical aspects.


World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 WDC2014Cape Town, the capital of South Africa, is this year's World Design Capital 2014 (WDC 2014). In this context, the Dutch government facilitates 'Corporate Netherlands' in Cape Town to showcase as well as to boot projects and technology from the Netherlands. For this reason, the Dutch Consulate in Cape Town has established the Department of Design to give the Dutch research and industry the opportunity to present itself to the South African public.


Department of Design has organized a workshop on the potential of DC grids and smart grids in South Africa. On July 9, 2014 as an introduction to this workshop Harry Stokman Direct Current BV and Tim Zijderveld of Joulz BV, also board members of the Dutch DC Foundation, will present their ongoing innovative projects with DC grids in the Netherlands in a lecture. For more information see http://departmentofdesign.nl/events/workshop-smart-grids-2/

For more information on World Design Capital 2014 Cape Town: http://www.wdccapetown2014.com/




What if small towns were leading the country with the most advanced electrical grids? The  Consul  General  of  the  Kingdom  of  the  Netherlands,  Ms.  Bonnie  Horbach  is delighted to invite you to #cocreateSA with the Department of Design by joining our  workshop  on  the  possibility  of  using  Smart  Grids  to  provide  power  to  small town and cities in South Africa.

Over 10% South-African households are still without electricity and forced to use unsecure  fuels.  However  this  lack  of  existing  infrastructure  could  offer  the directly  to  the  newest  and  most  sustainable micro grids and direct currents.

Micro grids using direct current can be the safest, cheapest and easiest systems to  build  for  small  municipalities,  offering  the  community  the  chance  to  receive training  to  develop  and  maintain  the  system  themselves,  resulting  in  capacity building and job creation.

Tim Zijderveld and Harry Stokman of the Direct Current Foundation will present concrete  examples  and  experiences  of  creating high  yield direct  current  micro grids in the Netherlands in a keynote prior to the workshop.

As an expert in your field, your input into this process would be greatly valued and we hope that you are able to join in the discussion.

Date:  Wednesday, 9 July 2014 
Keynote:  08h00 – 09h00
Workshop:   09h30-12h30
Venue:  Department of Design, 6 Vrede Street, Gardens. 
Parking: Parking for Department of Design

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Tuesday, 1 July 2014.

For  more  information  about  the  Department  of  Design  and  our  full  programme, please visit www.departmentofdesign.nl  and follow us on twitter @dept_design

Kind Regards.

Ms. Bonnie Horbach
The Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Twitter: @HorbachBonnie

Share this page




DC Mailing List

Sign up for news and updates on our DC innovations, DC projects, and coming DC events and DC conferences!