Direct current instead of alternating current


About the ‘Direct Current’ project

Our electricity grid is based on alternating current. Until recently, this was the most logical option; alternating current can easily be transformed to higher values, meaning transmission losses are minimal. However, power electronics are now opening up the development of direct current transformers. This will allow us to base our electricity grid on direct current, which is likely to prove more useful considering almost all electricity consumers use it. A large number of the solar panels on our roofs also produce direct current, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that research institutes and businesses are working together to develop applications for direct current.
The Hague University of Applied Sciences supports these developments. Together with partners such as Delft University of Technology, TNO and Siemens, we are researching smart applications for direct current in machines and homes, for example. We are constantly adjusting our technical education programme, to ensure our students are well-prepared for a future with direct current.


Knowledge about direct current is not yet widely available, and that means our degree programmes are valuable for both students and businesses.

Project manager Johan Woudstra

What are the results?

Direct current offers numerous advantages over alternating current. DC equipment often consumes less energy and is more durable, and uses less iron and copper. On top of that, direct current creates opportunities for new products. All of these factors make it attractive for businesses to participate. Let’s take greenhouse horticulture as an example: in that sector, direct current lighting is resulting in annual savings of € 15,000 to € 20,000 per hectare. The Hague University of Applied Sciences is investing in education and research to achieve breakthroughs of that kind in other sectors too.

National Taskforce for Applied Research SIA

The National Taskforce for Applied Research SIA (Nationaal Regieorgaan Praktijkgericht Onderzoek SIA) finances and stimulates practically-focused research in universities of applied sciences. THUAS too has been a recipient of funding, for the SIA-RAAK-MKB project ‘Go further with direct current’. Currently, THUAS is taking part in two ongoing subsidised projects, and we will shortly be making use of a new scheme.

Read the management summary.

RAAK Top-up scheme

for educational development project ‘Go further with direct current’

On 20 July, the Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree programme received some great news from the National Taskforce for Applied Research SIA. In 2015, various lecturer/researchers were able to successfully conclude the SIA-RAAK project ‘Go further with direct current’.

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DC-Flexhouse project

In this project, all partners are working on the development, implementation and testing of direct current components and a direct current system for application in renovation projects in construction. One important factor in this project is the method used to transform alternating current systems that exist in homes into direct current system at the lowest possible cost.

Scheme: iDEEGO by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, provided by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

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USB-(D)C project

USB Type-C technology is becoming the new standard for connecting, charging and linking smartphones, tablets, laptops and monitors, amongst others. Through a single connection, USB is able to transfer up to 100 W of electrical power, as well as send and receive high-speed data.  

Scheme: iDEEGO by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, provided by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

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Johan Woudstra | LinkedIn
Pepijn van Willigienburg | LinkedIn

The Hague University of Applied Sciences
Faculty of Technology, Innovation & Society
Rotterdamseweg 137
2628 AL Delft 

Telephone: +31 (0)15 - 2606 318