N470 – Provincial Road
Power management company Eaton has reached a new milestone in the energy transition with the new DC grid on the N470 in a collaboration with DC Systems, SmartGrid and Dynniq Energy. This network, the first of its size in the Netherlands, is a major step towards a more efficient DC energy grid that is better equipped for the large-scale use of sustainable energy. After the test program and commissioning, the network is now fully operational.
The N470 is the most sustainable road in the Netherlands, partly thanks to a self-sufficient local energy grid. This grid was developed on behalf of the province of South Holland and Boskalis, and operates on direct current - a unique situation in the Netherlands.
DC is extremely suitable for sustainable energy networks. Sustainable generation is decentralized, which means that you quickly have several different energy sources on one network, all of which are based on DC voltage. The largest consumers, such as street lighting with LED fixtures and traffic control systems, are also supplied with DC voltage. It is then obvious to also run the intermediate grid in direct voltage.
The N470 uses green energy that is generated, stored, and used locally along the highway. Solar panels installed in the N470’s noise barrier generate enough electricity to power more than 300 lampposts and 200 traffic lights along the highway’s 4.7 kilometer (3 mile) length. And thanks to the highway’s 1.2MWh battery storage, all electricity generated during the day can be used at night, lowering the burden on the local power grid. If there’s no traffic on the road late at night, the N470’s energy-efficient LED lampposts are designed to dim to save power.
"The N470 project demonstrates a successful “proof-of-concept” that can be used as model for future carbon-neutral highway systems in the Netherlands and around the world."