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.