StadEnergyVille provides the necessary know-how to realise the energy transition focusing on high and low voltage direct current grids, decision support for grid operators, and digital substations in order to enable the seamless integration of renewable energy sources into distribution and transmission systems. EnergyVille has the expertise in developing simulation and optimisation models and tools for planning, operation and control of electrical networks in a digital world.

Research line coordinators

profielfoto dirk van hertem


Dirk van Hertem

Professor Electrical Engineering at EnergyVille/KU Leuven, Research line coordinator electrical networks
Koen Vanthournout


Koen Vanthournout

Senior Researcher at EnergyVille/VITO
profielfoto johan driesen


Johan Driesen

Professor KU Leuven/EnergyVille
profielfoto iza kielichowska


Iza Kielichowska

R&D Strategy Leader Energy Technologies

Business developers

profielfoto kris baert


Kris Baert

Business Developer Electrical networks
Wim Michielsen


Wim Michielsen

Business developer Energy Markets and Smart Energy Management Systems for Buildings at EnergyVille/VITO


HVDCEnergyVille believes in High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Grids as key enabler for large scale integration of renewable energy in the energy transition. The technology offers new perspectives for cross-border infrastructure investments and at the same time, it is the only technically feasible solution for connecting remote offshore wind farms.  EnergyVille’s activities to move towards HVDC grids are centred on control and protection of HVDC systems, as well as on planning aspects.

More info about our HVDC research

Decision support for grid operators

Decision support for grid operatorsEnergyVille provides new computational methods and tools to assist the grid operator to take decisions proactively and to allow optimal integration of all service providers in the market, making use of various optimisation techniques. Transmission and distribution system operation and planning is becoming ever more complex, due to uncertainty caused by renewables and new sources of flexibility provided by demand side management, storage and flexible grid elements. Using decision support tools, system operators can improve utilisation of equipment and avoid over-investment. 

Digital emulation of electrical networks

Digital emulation labThe EnergyVille team provides expertise for hardware-in-the-loop tests of electrical power system equipment coupled to real-time electrical networks computation thus testing device interoperability under realistic test conditions. Indeed, in order to ensure a reliable operation of the next-generation power system, such new test procedures are necessary: the energy transition has resulted in a fundamental change in the behaviour of the power system, with increasing renewables, new organisational structures and faster interactions.


LVDCAlthough electrical power networks in buildings and districts have been for about a century equipped with AC technology at 50 or 60 Hz, the energy transition is putting into question whether that is still the right choice. The transition to decentralized production, energy-efficient technologies and the electrification in heating and transportation all contribute to the question whether the current “lock-in” of AC technology for building technologies is still justified. EnergyVille is investigating low-voltage DC technology and the potential safety concerns. To do this, a representative building-level bipolar DC nanogrid (as opposed to the wide area microgrids) was set up in the Home Lab of EnergyVille I. For this we now mainly focus on protections and a stable and flexible way of managing the DC nanogrid.

What clients have to say:

“The deep theoretical knowledge and scientific productivity of the research group led by Jef Beerten, the first ever awardee of the ABB research award in honor of Hubertus von Gruenberg, helps ABB and Power Grids to convince customers of the technical and economic feasibility of a next generation HVDC-based SuperGrid, by their research on DC grid economics, control dynamics and protection. They provide not only excellent results supporting our internal research group, but are also a reliable and able partner to work with in international study groups and committees.”

Bazmi Husain, Chief Technology Officer, ABB Ltd

‘’ KU Leuven/EnergyVille has been a key partner for Mitsubishi Electric (MELCO) in the development of protection solutions for DC grids. Mitsubishi Electric has benefited from the experience from the team at KU Leuven/EnergyVille while developing the first industrial HVDC protection IED. This Mitsubishi Electric HVDC IED has been tested at the EnergyVille labs using novel testing procedures.’’

Kuroda Kenichi, Senior Manager Power System Technologies Group, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

"Fluvius has been working with EnergyVille to better understand how we can tackle the challenges in our distribution system with rising deployment of electric vehicles and photovoltaics while making use of new ICT approaches. EnergyVille has helped us in performing detailed studies using state of the art approaches, resulting in clear recommendations and helping us in the decision making process."

Filip Van Rompaey, Chief Strategy Officer, Fluvius