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

Master’s Thesis Defense of Faik Nizam

We are happy to announce that today Faik Nizam successfully defended his MSc thesis on “Energy Management in USB-C Based Modular Solar Home Systems” . During the past year and a half, Faik has been working within the rural electrification project focusing on implementing power delivery communication to perform the energy management of our Solar Home System. Congratulations Faik!

Master’s Thesis Defense of Pedro Parreira

Last week Pedro Parreira graduated from the MSc in Electrical Engineering at TU Delft. During his thesis, he has been working on “Distributed optimal power flow for low voltage DC grids” at DC Opportunities. For the past months, Pedro developed an optimization algorithm for low-voltage DC grids which eliminates the need of a central controller. By utilizing physiscal measurements of the grid, it is now possible to control local voltage and power with the goal of minimizing cost.

Master’s Thesis Defense of Lukas Irazusta Gorostidi

Today, Lukas Irazusta Gorostidi successfully defended his Master’s Thesis titled “Power Electronics in Modular Solar Home Systems” at Delft University of Technology. During the last year, he has been developing the hardware for our modular solar home system. Several prototypes were realized and Lukas demonstrated that today to the audience in his well-attended public presentation. We are very happy that Lukas will stay with us after his graduation to continue this development!

DC Event at Vakbeurs Energie

DC. Een hype of een dingetje?

Datum: 08-10-2019

Tijd: 13:30 – 16:30

Sprekers/Partners: Henry Lootens, Bestuurder Stichting Gelijkspanning Nederland | Maarten de Vries, Programmamanager TKI Urban Energy | Diego Zuidervliet, R&D Engineer ATAG Benelux | Laurens Mackay, Oprichter DC Opportunities R&D | Henri Overbeek, Technisch specialist Venema Technisch Bedrijf

Meer energie distribueren met gelijkspanning
In Nederland ligt al heel veel koper in de grond. Met gelijkspanning kunnen we hier veel beter gebruik van maken dan nu met AC. Laurens legt aan de hand van een onderzoek in Zoetermeer uit dat 5 keer meer energie over dezelfde kabel echt kan.

Vragen die beantwoord worden:
Klopt het dat er met gelijkspanning 5x zoveel energie over dezelfde kabel kan?
De LED straatverlichting in mijn gemeente werkt toch al op gelijkspanning?
Wat kun je nog meer met de stroomkabels die lantaarnpalen van energie voorzien?
DC Foundation at Vakbeurs Energie.

IEEE Empower a Billion Lives Competition

Early this year, DC Opportunities R&D participated in the 2nd stage regional round of the IEEE “Empower a Billion Lives” competition held in Seville, Spain. This global competition seeks scalable solutions to tackle energy poverty.

Dr. Laurens Mackay and Lukas Irazusta pitched the rural electrification concept that DC Opportunities R&D is currently working on. A field test is scheduled later this year in Ethiopia.

It was a great opportunity to meet people working in this field, and share ideas and points of view.

Master’s Thesis Defense of Dolaputra Diwangkoro Muhammad

Today Dola, successfully defended his master’s thesis titled “Fully Distributed Optimal Power Flow”.


There are many methods for solving an optimal power flow (OPF) problem. Most of them employ one central unit to solve the problem (centralized) while in others, every node/area computes for its coverage and send information to its neighbors every time. The mentioned method is called Distributed OPF. In this thesis, the Distributed OPF aims for a fast and resilient algorithm to solve a DC-OPF problem based on Consensus + Innovation (C+I) method. The research focuses on developing a faster algorithm in solving an OPF problem for a DC distribution grid. The current C+I method has tuning parameters, all of which are determined by trial and error for every case. They are sensitive parameters that determine the speed of the iteration to converge to the solution. This thesis attempts to form adaptive tuning parameters by understanding their function in every equation for a variable update. By understanding the purpose of each tuning parameter and the physical interpretation, some parameters can be formulated while the other is still determined by estimating the value. The losses and congestion are also taken into account. In the results, by formulating these parameters, they are shown that the iteration number has dropped significantly compared to the previous research. Regarding the resilience of the algorithm, the distributed approach relies on the information exchange between the nodes and delay on the information exchange will stall the whole iteration process. Therefore, an asynchronous algorithm is implemented to resolve the problem by setting a timeout duration. The timeout duration enables the algorithm to wait for the new information only for the desired duration, and therefore the calculation converges in faster.