Anyone who is familiar with the early history of the utility industry knows that a battle raged over whether the electric grid should be Direct Current (DC) or Alternating Current (AC). Thomas Edison and General Electric favoured DC while Nikola Tesla and Westinghouse thought AC would be best. Ultimately, AC power won out because of the ease of changing voltage levels with a transformer. So today, with few exceptions, the electric grid is predominately AC. However, it appears that DC may be on the verge of a comeback of sorts. Digital equipment, solar PV, batteries, electric vehicles and other end-use devices all require DC power. Read More


New courses, labs and projects for educa­tional institutions, based on state of the art research and industrial development.


Modern DC-lab-inventory at South African Universities.


Internships, projects and so-called Real Life Proof of Concepts will research, demonstrate and promote the use of new DC-technologies in various conditions.


An international educational community for collaboration between many universi­ties.


In collaboration with Industry, NGO’s and government, partners aim to offer test DC-technology related cases for students in projects, in the safety of labs or at least on campus grounds. This can cover small scale setups for Renewable or Alternative Generation, the development and testing of active components for for example safety and control with the use of power elec­tronics, Solar Home systems or Nano-grid level solutions for electrification. Next to small scale setups, the partners aim to develop several large scale ‘DC-Real Life Proof of Concepts’ for real life applications on for example Micro-grid level. These Real Life Proof of Concepts suit local needs for Industrial, NGO or governmental chal­lenges. In the EU some DC-Real Life Proof of Concepts exist, and help to close the gap between university lab testing, Industrial R&D and complex, real life settings with higher power and/or voltages.


The DCT-REES project team is interested in collaboration with Industry, NGO’s and gov­ernments. Collaboration, for example, as:


  • User or reviewer for new educational materials.
  • Partner in projects for students
  • Coordinator or owner of a DC-demon­strator.
  • Co-developer of courses for professionals and many more opportunities like these.
  • Collaboration can be established in Europe, in South-Africa and between Eu­rope and South-Africa.


Collaboration with the DCT-REES team will offer insights in the latest results in research and access to industrial R&D for projects and ‘DC-Real Life Proof of Con­cepts’. For a limited number of Industrial, NGO and/or governmental partners, the DCT-REES team will organize a visit to Europe to existing projects, research and Real Life Proof of Concepts. Meeting with leading researchers and entrepreneurs will be part of the programme.


This Project is funded by the Erasmus Programme (EU). The Erasmus Programme is a European Union funding programme, originally established for exchanging students, but since 2014 extended with Erasmus+ to also support education, training, youth and sports in international context. After extensive project preparations of the 14 universities and partners involved in the DCT REES Project, a funding of 1.000.000 euros has been granted by the EU for a 3 – year plan of work packages, including strict financial and quality control.

DCT REES Partners


European Union (EU) Partners:


South African (SA) Partners:

DCT-REES Contact Information 



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Project Outcomes

  • Notes

    All DCT-REES partner institutions have different profiles and specializations, as well as different needs. These profiles are reflected in the skills and knowledge of staff members. The partners agreed on a DCT strategy whereby each partner (in some cases in conjunction with other partners) develops particular sets of the Notes which in turn will serve as building blocks for DC systems or sub-systems. There are several advantages to the DCT strategy with flexible building blocks:

    1. Every institution can develop notes or short courses suited to its own profile (in the disciplines of electrical power engineering, industrial automation, electronic and computer engineering, etc.). Any user can use these as building blocks to suit their needs in terms of content, skills and knowledge.
    1. Every partner can contribute new educational content. Updating materials is more sustainable with Notes, as ownership of each Note is clear.
    1. Students from other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can browse materials (via the educational community) and search for courses tailored to their personal needs. The information required will be provided in ‘Front Pages’, which contain learning objectives and required knowledge. As such, the Project can support every individual institute with implementing curricula for new qualifications.
    1. Several South African partners are currently refining development of the new Bachelor of Engineering Technology qualification. The needs, identified in 2016, is the emphasis on fundamentals of DC technology and its applications which differ substantially from the AC mains systems currently included in most curricula. DC technology content continues to develop at a rapid pace, notwithstanding the lack of coherent standards, the very limited availability of products, and the very limited experience of professionals and industry with this new technology.
    1. Building blocks content is being developed in the form of Full Notes and Front Pages. 6) Categories are: Knowledge Notes and Application Notes. Some of these notes are already being implemented in the curriculum by some of the partners, for example, B.Eng. Tech Honours programme DUT.

    *  2019/02/07_ Front- Pages Notes All
    *  2019/06/06_ Notes Matrix DCT -Rees


  • Equipment 

    DUT Steve Biko Campus DC Lab

          Equipment Data:
            DC lab

  • Events

    Past Activities:

          General meetings in Durban: 11-15 Feb 2019.
          General meetings in Hague/Delft: 01-05 Jul 2019.


          General meetings in Cape Town: 11-15 Nov 2019.

  • Student Exchange