Legal requirements, the growing environmental awareness of consumers and rising energy prices are forcing companies to make production more sustainable. Against this background, future-oriented companies must reduce not only economic, functional and socio-cultural aspects in the areas of time, quality and costs, but also energy requirements and the resulting CO2 emissions from production. For the supply of production plants and the temperature control of the production sites, different media such as electricity, natural gas, cooling, warm and hot water, compressed air and steam are required in industry. For this purpose, energy is converted into various forms of useful energy by various plants and transported to the point of use. With the complexity of these hybrid and multimodal industrial energy systems, the challenges to optimally design and operate the plants and systems with regard to the simultaneous target variables of economy, security of supply and environmental friendliness also grow. Against this background and due to state regulations (energy audit obligation according to EDL-G) as well as funding possibilities (e.g. peak balancing according to StromStG, special compensation regulation according to § 63 ff EEG 2017), energy management systems (EnMS) are gaining popularity. They make it possible to transparently show the energy flows in production, eliminate energy wastage and thus reduce energy costs in the long term.
So far the user has been left largely alone with the evaluation and optimization of energy systems. However, energy teams rarely have all the necessary interdisciplinary skills from the areas of production, building, energy and control technology as well as energy management. As a result, the potential for optimizing energy costs often remains untapped due to a lack of transparency or excessive costs for identification and the high degree of complexity of real energy systems.
Nucleus of Innovation:
The ETA Factory
Our team is part of the research group ETA | Energy Technologies and Applications in Production that realized the large-scale demonstrator ETA-Fabrik at the Lichtwiese campus of Technische Universität Darmstadt. The facility offers a unique opportunity to explore the research fields of energy and resource efficiency in greater depth, to open up new research fields – such as energy flexibility in connection with the energy system transformation – and to test the solutions developed in practice.
When we built the factory and had to integrate thousands of sensors and energy meters, we found that previous solutions for data-based energy management were too complicated in many respects and lacked important functionality. This was the birth of the etalytics idea.
Energy Research Transfer
Today, the factory represents the core of the research activities and the headquarters of the ETA research group.
In several research projects (e.g. PHI-Factory, SynErgie) we developed innovative digital solutions for efficient monitoring, modeling, simulation, forecasts and optimization of complex energy systems.
Our etalytics spin-off is one way to transfer some of those developments in practical solutions for the industry.
Solutions for intelligent Energy Management
We supplement energy management systems with artificial intelligence in such a way that an employee with incomplete method knowledge can intuitively analyze, operate and optimize a complex energetic system. Our smart assistance services support energy management teams in identifying potentials and implementing cost-optimized operating strategies in real time.