MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft The expansion of photovoltaics and wind power has long been accepted as a necessity in view of the threat of climate change. Without the far-reaching restructuring of the energy supply system, the ambitious goals of the energy transition cannot be achieved. However, electricity production from renewable energies depends on the weather or time of day and therefore fluctuates constantly. The more volatile the electricity generation, the more often energy suppliers have to take complex measures in order to be able to reliably deliver the electricity in demand. This includes the regulation of power plant capacities, the rerouting of electricity in the distribution networks and, last but not least, the expansion of the network infrastructure. Battery storage systems also make an important contribution, but due to the magnitude of the fluctuations and the high investment costs, this is not enough. Now the Fraunhofer Institute for Foundry, Composite and Processing Technology IGCV, together with the overall project coordinator Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, is involved in the project SynErgie developed novel concepts to support the power supply system. The Fraunhofer Institutes for Integrated Circuits IIS, for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, for Applied Information Technology FIT, the Fraunhofer FIT Business Informatics project group and partners from industry and science were also involved. The concepts provide for the fluctuations in renewable energies to be balanced out by adjusting industrial electricity consumption. SynErgie is one of four projects of the research initiative “Kopernikus projects for the energy transition”. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded the first phase of the projects between 2016 and 2019 with a total of 120 million euros. SynErgie accounted for 30 million. The second three-year phase is currently running with a similar budget, a third phase has been announced by the ministry. Power demand and power generation are synchronized The basic idea of SynErgie is to adapt the energy demand of the industry to the current power production. For this purpose, for example, production steps with high electricity demand are planned at times with a lot of wind and sun. When wind and photovoltaic power plants are weak, systems with low power consumption are preferred. In individual cases, energy-intensive machines can also be throttled temporarily. The production targets are adhered to at all times despite the flexibly adjusted energy consumption. The SynErgie project was able to demonstrate in the first funding phase from 2016 to 2019 that this is actually possible and that this is actually possible and even brings significant savings in CO2 emissions Augsburg and the surrounding districts as a model region. Here you can find u. a. Companies from mechanical engineering, metal production and processing as well as paper, chemical and plastics industries and thus a representative cross-section of German industry. The share of renewable energies in the total electricity supply is currently around 35 percent. Because of this profile, which is typical for German industrial regions, the model region Augsburg is very well suited to identify the potential and the possible problems of an energy-flexible factory and to implement exemplary solutions. SynErgie examines energy-intensive processes “Sectors with high energy requirements in particular have flexible systems that, due to their size, have noticeably positive effects on the supply system,” explains Stefan Roth, research associate and project manager at Fraunhofer IGCV. Melting processes in foundries, forming machines for steel processing or pulp production in paper manufacture are particularly energy-intensive. The researchers also wanted to find out what consequences the flexibilisation measures have for production goals and the energy balance, for example if a system is throttled and then started up again. Because a machine often needs a lot of electricity to restart. With the help of simulations, the researchers analyzed how the flexibilization of the electricity demand would affect the production targets, the efficiency and performance of the machines and the overall energy balance of the company. The result shows that the energy-flexible factories can be implemented cost-effectively and the CO2 balance of the overall system is improved. »For the model region Augsburg, three exemplary measures of energy-flexible factories achieved clearly positive effects on the regional energy balance. These are on the scale of a medium-sized fossil fuel power plant. Due to the higher share of renewable energies in the electricity mix, the CO2 emissions of electricity generation also decrease, «explains Jana Köberlein, research assistant at Fraunhofer IGCV. Electricity prices flow into the ERP system. But how does the information about the current status of electricity generation get to the company? This is where data from power exchanges come into play. Because fluctuations in electricity generation also affect electricity prices. On platforms such as EPEX SPOT, the price for one megawatt hour of electricity depends. a. from the time when this is consumed. The concept of the energy-flexible factory therefore provides that the company’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platforms include the current electricity price and electricity price forecasts in addition to the company’s internal data. Production planning can then use all relevant parameters and data and thus reduce energy costs without jeopardizing production goals or even reducing product quality. »This energy-oriented production planning is a prerequisite for the implementation of energy-flexible factories. If process steps, system availability and delivery dates are mathematically modeled, an algorithm can calculate a cost-optimized production plan, which is then displayed graphically, “says Lukas Bank, research associate at Fraunhofer IGCV. Current and future benefits for companies SynErgie is initially particularly attractive for energy-intensive companies . But small and medium-sized companies can also benefit from the systems developed in the future, for example by avoiding expensive peak loads or by aggregating flexibility in marketing. If the industry is able to adapt to the generation of electricity in terms of electricity consumption, fewer conventional power plants will be needed and the rapid expansion of the electricity grid will become less urgent. A well thought-out technology mix also ensures regional energy value creation and helps to establish Germany as a lead market for energy technology. Fraunhofer IGCV and its partners are working on further pilot projects in the Augsburg model region and installing software platforms at industrial partners. These can then be tested in cooperation with the regional network operators.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.