Jan Willem Fokkink Defends his Bachelor’s Thesis

Yesterday, Jan Willem Fokkink successfully defended his Bachelor’s Thesis at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. He has been working on our string level solar MPPT converter, in particular on the software. This included implementation of maximum power point tracking but also implementation of droop control that allows also for islanding operation and decentralised curtailment in case of overproduction. Further, the handling of abnormal operation conditions and safety aspects where part of his work. Until now operation has been verified with solar simulators, up next is demonstration with real solar panels which we will be performing very soon at the Green Village in Delft.

Casper Grootes Defends Bachelor’s Thesis

Today Casper Grootes defended his Bachelor’s thesis at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. And was awarded a grade of 9/10! This project was carried out in collaboration with the DC Lab of the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

Casper worked on our active front end with which we are connecting our DC Microgrids to the AC grid. Alternatively this AC/DC converter can be used to drive motors or to create an AC grid for connecting legacy appliances in a DC environment.

We wish Casper all the best with the continuation of his studies at the Delft University of Technology were he will be pursuing his Master’s degree.


Cas Pruisken Defends Bachelor’s Thesis

Last week Cas Pruisken successfully defended his Bachelor’s Thesis on the Development of a DC Electric Vehicle Charge Controller at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. He was awarded an outstanding grade of 9/10 for his work which he performed during the last months at DC Opportunities R&D. Cas has been working on our new V2G EV charger that will be able to charge from a 700V DC grid and could be integrated with DC public lighting infrastructure.

We are happy that Cas is staying with us as permanent staff after this milestone and we are looking forward to making many great developments in DC microgrid technology together.


Power Flow Control Converter for Meshed Bipolar 350/700V DC Grids

A sneak peek into our power flow control converter prototypes directly after assembly.

A few weeks back we assembled the next prototypes of our Power Flow Control Converter. It will support power flow control in meshed DC distribution grids and be able to feed loads from two sides to more than double the power transfer capacity of a DC distribution cable to a single location. It supports bidirectional power flow and is made for bipolar DC grids of 350/700V DC. In this way, we can combine low power appliances like LED lighting at 350V and high power loads at 700V on the same grid. A further function of this converter is the ability to increase the voltage in very long lines. In this way, the feeding points in public lighting grids can be reduced. The converter is a partial power converter that only converts a fraction of the power. In this way, the system efficiency can be significantly be improved while the cost of the converter is only a fraction of traditional fully-rated converters. We develop this converter within our FLEXDC project with support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Netherlands.

Gerasimos Maroulis Defends MSc Thesis

Last week Gerasimos Maroulis successfully defended his Master’s Thesis titled “DC-DC Converters for Photovoltaic Powered DC Microgrid” at Delft University of Technology. He was awarded an outstanding grade 9/10 for his work, which he performed during the last year at DC Opportunities R&D. Gerasimos has been working on our new string level solar maximum power tracking converter as well as a converter for balancing the poles in bipolar DC microgrids of 350/700V.

As of November 2020, Gerasimos is now part of our permanent staff and we are looking forward to making many great developments in DC microgrid technology together.

Master’s Thesis Defense of Jesse Echeverry

We are happy to announce that Jesse Echeverry today successfully defended his Master’s Thesis at Delft University of Technology. As usual these days, the defense was done online. Jesse joined our team over a year ago and in his internship started to work on and 100W inverter and arc-fault detection. In his Master’s Thesis titled “Isolated DC/DC Converters for DC Distribution Grids in Rural Electrification” he first developed a unidirectional DC/DC converter from 350V DC to 24V DC using GaN technology, planar transformer and switching frequencies up to 1.5 MHz. Then he continued to design a bidirectional version of this converter with a higher power rating. We are happy that Jesse will join us again after a well-deserved break to continue our development in this field.

Master’s Thesis Defense of Mohamed-Youssef Najjar

Today Mohamed-Youssef Najjar successfully defended his Master’s Thesis with the title: Decentralized Optimal Power Flow for Bipolar DC Grids. Mohamed-Youssef has been doing already his internship with us at DC Opportunities where he did a power electronics converter design. Afterwards, he moved to the algorithm side of things and pushed forward our research and development on real-time electricity markets with dynamic pricing and demand response for future DC Microgrids.

Progress Update on the Rural Electrification Project

We have been working on our rural electrification project for more than a year and a half now. During this time, we have been researching, developing and building prototypes of our own USB-C based solar home system. With this off-grid system we intend to provide a solution to villages that do not have a grid connection. Our ultimate goal is to interconnect households to create DC microgrids and provide reliable access to electricity for all.

One of our team memebers, Faik, standing behind the new MPPT converters

We planned to carry out our first field test in Ethiopia this month. Unfortunately, due to the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic, we had to postpone this field test. However, we at DC Opportunities still feel very enthusiastic to keep working on improving our prototypes.

One of our team members, Lukas, debugging newly arrived PCBs

In spite of the aforementioned challenges we were able to book some progress. Last week we have received 50 of our PCBs to assemble power-banks and in the coming weeks we expect to receive more components such as solar charging stations and power-hubs. We would like to take a moment and thank all the parties who are helping us throughout this journey including TU Delft | Global Initiative, Students4Sustainability, 3E Royal, Mekelle Institute of Technology & Victron Energy.

A working prototype of our power-bank supplying a LED light built by us