The N470 provides energy!


The N470 provides energy!

Our innovative microgrid will soon form the backbone of the most sustainable road in the Netherlands. The microgrid will be implemented as a direct current (DC) system instead of the usual alternating current (AC). But what is a microgrid?

The connection between energy sources and end users takes place via networks – grids – which fan out to all of us at home. The energy transition focuses on a better balance between demand and supply of energy and a more efficient energy use. At the same time, energy supplies must become more sustainable and cleaner. In order to achieve these objectives, it is very important to eliminate consumed and generated energy peaks and use locally generated power as much as possible. Smart networks and microgrids play an important role in achieving these targets.

What is a microgrid?

A microgrid is an intelligent local energy network that can be connected to the larger power grid as well as operate independently. A higher level of efficiency can be achieved by using a direct current (DC) connection instead of the generally used alternating current (AC) connection. Sustainable energy sources such as electric vehicles, heat pumps, and solar panels already use DC. In order to be able to deliver to the electricity grid, DC is usually converted into AC by adding an extra conversion step. However, conversion always leads to energy losses and results in a lower efficiency. By connecting these sources directly to the DC network, we save energy and improve the efficiency.

Our direct current (DC) grids provide a decentralised generation and storage of energy that can be used in commercial and industrial areas at lower operational and capital costs. The DC grid facilitates different energy solutions – from solar panels to charging points for electrical vehicles – to optimise sustainability.

The innovative road: the N470

At the N470, our DC microgrid connects the power supply of the Energy Wall, a sound barrier that simultaneously generates power, with the users such as the traffic lights and smart street lighting. The street lighting can be controlled remotely, making it possible to react in real time to incidents on the road. This is the first time a smart lighting solution will be linked directly to the DC grid.