ABB - Supporting the transition to DC micro grids in the built environment

The growing penetration of renewable energy generation and the expected increase in the number of direct current (DC) loads, in combination with the technological advance of power electronics have increased the interest in low voltage direct current (LVDC) technology as a solution for a sustainable and smart energy system. By distributing DC power to DC devices instead of converting it to alternating current (AC) along the way, it's possible to avoid substantial energy losses that occur every time electricity is converted.

In this context, the implementation of the DC-Flexhouse project was initiated. DC-Flexhouse project  is being implemented under the national TKI-iDEEGO program with main objectives the development of a DC in-building prototype installation and the investigation of the business case of DC for end-users and actors within the value chain.  

Although DC seems to be a promising solution for more sustainable energy systems, the business case is still debatable due to both technology- and market-related challenges. DC technology is a radical innovation that requires the transformation of the well-established AC energy system. This project contributes to the DC-Flexhouse project and targets to support the transition to DC micro grids in the built environment, taking into account both technology and market aspects. The aim is to analyze the challenges in this transition, assess the market potential of DC applications in the built environment and develop a framework that leads to a commercial success based on principles grounded in transition and innovation management practices and literature.

This project was completed by Evi Ploumpidou, January 2017.