Intelligent DC Microgrid Living Lab

Latest News

  • News: There is an article in NYTEKNIK Sweden which refers to the iDCLab project. To read more about it, please see the link

  • News: During his visit to Nanjing IOT Sensor Technology Co., Ltd. , Professor Josep M.Guerrero and Wulian vice-president Zhu Jian, met to to lay the foundation for mutual cooperation.  The cooperation will aim to design a smart IoT home energy management system. Please see the full news in the link here (Chinese only)

  • There is an article in NYTEKNIK Sweden which refers to the iDCLab project. To read more about it, please see the link

  • Mr. Enrique Rodriguez-Diaz received the Outstanding Student Paper Award of IEEE Conference On Consumer Electronics. Please see all the details here

  • We introduce the new Intelligent DC Microgrid Living Laboratory. The IDClab will be is a test facilitiy dedicated to to demonstrate the viability of low voltage DC systems for future households.

Project Description

Today, DC appliances and equipment/devices are available only for 5 V (USP), 12 V (HEV), 24 V (automation) and 48 V (telecommunication), however there is a strong trend in telecom-munication and date center power supply industry in moving to higher DC voltages (300-400V) due to possibility of significant energy savings as well as technical applicability. Also industry shows a trend in moving to higher DC voltages, and therefore there is a strong need for reliable and efficient DC/DC converter that allow the interconection of DC appliances to the DC distribution system.

DC power systems bring in a possibility of easier and more efficient integration to any local renewable DC generation & energy storage when compared to alternating current (AC) systems. Moreover, there are neither phase unbalances nor harmonic and synchronization problems, leading to higher availability. These facts have induced a fast increase in the use of DC systems in residential, commercial and industrial systems. It will practically become a standard in data centers and telecom central offices. ICT equipment, lighting, consumer electronics, white goods, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) all utilize DC voltage.

Collaboration with industrial companies through directed research of specific problems occurring in real facilities (PhD guests partially sponsored by company specialized in developing DC power supplies for remote telecommunication stations. Industrial solutions are developed for leading telecom service providers and several remote locations.

Future electrical distribution systems will use more direct current (DC) architectures. Practical efforts that underpin this global trend can already be seen in US, Japan, Korea and European countries through efforts of conceptual design and demonstration projects for low voltage DC networks. The first and a more natural step for this revolution is to develop residential and industrial DC based microgrids.

The DC Home laboratory aims to demonstrate the viability of technical and cost advantages of using low voltage DC technology for supplying residential consumers in favor of traditional AC. This technology will enhance their power quality, reliability and also efficiency (up to 340% according to some U.S reports). Comparatively with ever increasing shares of renewable energy sources, more and more DC electronic appliances (laptops, smart phones, LED lights, home entertainment systems and white goods), final consumption level is shifting worldwide distribution networks towards DC. Therefore, the change in paradigm for electrical power supply of low voltage users may provide many new opportunities to considerably increase the overall quality of service.

Description of the DC Home LIVING Laboratory

The new DC home Laboratory will be located in front of the building Pontopidastræde 109 of the Department of Energy Technology in Aalborg University. The location of the future laboratory is shown, also where the DC Microgrid laboratory and the Microgrid Research Laboratories is indicated. The DC Home Laboratory will use a modular structure manufactured and installed by ABC-Pavilloner. The modular structure will allow to design and install the structure within months, and therefore to develop the project in a short period of time. The structure will have 60m2 available for installing required equipment for the demonstration iDC Home Laboratory. The facility is strategically located for interconnecting the DC Home Laboratory with the rest of the microgrid research laboratories being able to integrate the new demonstration facility into a bigger microgrid if required.

DC Home Living Laboratory Location in the Department of Energy Technology at Aalborg University

The laboratory will be based on several setups where each one of them will have following components:

  • Real-Time control and monitoring platforms
  • Bidirectional DC/DC converters.
  • Constant power electronic loads.
  • Different kinds of energy storage systems and technologies.
  • Multiterminal medium voltage connection.

DC Home Laboratory Power Architecture

The DC Home laboratory will be used as a demonstration of the low voltage DC distribution systems for residential applications in comparison with an equivalent AC system. The DC Home laboratory will be divided into two sections. Both sections are fully functional residential apartments. However in one section a low voltage DC distribution system will be implemented, which is designed as a multi-bus system with voltages form 380 VDC to 12 VDC. The second section will use an ordinary 230 VAC distribution system.

DC Home Laboratory Electrical Distribution

Both distribution systems of the DC Home laboratory will be connected to the DC microgrids laboratory in building 109, allowing the integration of the iDC home laboratory into a bigger grid if required. In addition, the DC Home laboratory will be equipped with smart devices in order to have full controllability of the system aimming to increase safety, comfort, flexibility and efficiency, while the wireless communication system between devices reduces the simplicity of its installation. The DC Home laboratory will consist of a Energy Management System and multiple DC buses with different voltage levels: 380V, 48V, 24V, 12V.

Wulian Smart Home Devices and EMS implementation

The Energy Management System (EMS) in addition with the Wulian´s smart devices will allow the user to have full-access to the system´s information, and also provides the user the option to remotely control the system. The energy management system monitors the generation and consumption, receives all the data from the appliances through the smart devices, and applies the control strategies developed in order to fulfill the user set policies, while optimizing system performance.
It is expected that the energy management system together with the Wulian´s smart products will enhance the overall system performance and users experience, reaching new levels of flexibility, controllability, comfort and efficiency.

DC Home Laboratory Power Architecture

The power architecture will be designed and built to be as flexible as possible, in order to facilitate the integration of modern devices and equipment that are suitable for such installations. The projects intends to integrate different types of renewable energy sources, energy storing systems and modern loads as shown in the figure below.

The DC Home Laboratory will also incorporate different energy systems as a non electrical heating installation and micro Combined Heat and Power system(micro-CHP) lining up with the Danish Smart Grid Strategy for Denmark, which intends to incorporate both the smart electrical grid and the gas grid and district heating grid in order to exploit the synergies between types of energy grids. The micro-CHP system is based on fuel cells, which are an efficient and environmentally friendly way to obtain power, since it produces electricty and heat, by combining hydrogen and air, with only one by-product, pure water. The heat produce by the Fuel cell will be use by the heating system to regulate the room temperature, whereas the electricity is used to feed the appliances and loads. Therefore when there is an excess of renewable energy production the energy can be used by the electrolyser to produce hydrogen, which will be stored till the EMS requires the production of heat or electricity.

Publications in relation to the project







Project Manager

Professor Josep M. Guerrero
Direct phone: +45 9240 9726


Professor Juan C. Vasquez
Direct phone: +45 20378261

Enrique Rodriguez
Saeed Golestan


Grant and Period

Project Granted from Danish Council for Strategic Research’s Programme Commission on Sustainable Energy and Environment

See granted projects here.

Project Period: 1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2017

Host Institution: Aalborg University



  • Department of Energy Technology, Aalborg University (AAU) - Josep M. Guerrero, Juan C. Vasquez.
    Collaborators: Amjad Anvari-Moghaddam and Tomislav Dragicevic
  • Institute of Flexible Electric Power Technology, North China Electric Power University (NCEPU) - Minxiao Han
  • Smart Grid Research Institute of the State Grid Corporation of China (SGRI) - Wenpeng Luan
  • Electric Power Distribution Department of China Electric, Power Research Institute (CEPRI) - Wangxing Sheng
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) - Zhipin Qi