We describe the general concept and practical feasibility of a dc-based open energy system (OES) that proposes an alternative way of exchanging intermittent energy between houses in a local community. Each house is equipped with a dc nanogrid, including photovoltaic panels and batteries. We extend these nanogrids with a bidirectional dc–dc converter and a network controller so that power can be exchanged between houses over an external dc power bus. In this way, demand-response fluctuations are absorbed not only by the local battery, but can be spread over all batteries in the system. By using a combination of voltage and current controlled units, we implemented a higher-level control software independent from the physical process. A further software layer for autonomous control handles power exchange based on a distributed multiagent system, using a peer-to-peer like architecture. In parallel to the software, we made a physical model of a four-node OES on which different power exchange strategies can be simulated and compared. First results show an improved solar replacement ratio, and thus a reduction of ac grid consumption thanks to power interchange. The concept’s feasibility has been demonstrated on the first three houses of a full-scale OES platform in Okinawa.