The gradual decline of traditional energy sources and the simultaneous expansion of renewable energies poses a challenge for energy-intensive industrial companies in particular in dealing with increasingly fluctuating electricity prices and the threat to security of supply. Against this background, the "ILLumINE" consortium project is developing a digital energy management platform that controls own producers, flexible consumers and external procurement and ensures grid-stable operation in addition to economically sensible control.
The increasing abandonment of nuclear and coal-fired power plants and the expansion of photovoltaic and wind power plants are current trends in energy generation in Germany. In particular, the growing share of renewable energy sources is increasingly jeopardizing the security of supply and increasing the fluctuation of electricity prices. This presents industrial companies with enormous challenges, as rising and strongly fluctuating energy costs have a negative impact on their production costs. Intelligent energy management solutions with integrated consideration of self-supply, external procurement and flexible consumption are therefore becoming increasingly important.
Against this background, the consortium project “ILLumINE” was launched. The aim of the project is to develop a digital energy management platform for industrial customers. The core of the platform is a specially developed, complex optimization algorithm, which – based on information from generators, photovoltaic and wind power plants, energy storage systems, electricity markets and consumers – automates an intelligent, data-driven and grid-stabilizing energy supply management and enables it to be carried out in real time. The users of the platform are to be provided with special user interfaces, through which user-specific goals and framework conditions can be set in the form of parameters and current and historical data on the status of operational energy supply can be analysed. In phases of high electricity prices, for example, gas engines or batteries can be used flexibly to cover the company’s own energy requirements. In addition, it can make economic sense in high-price phases to produce a surplus of energy and sell it on the energy markets, which also contributes to stabilising the electricity grid. In addition, the platform offers the possibility of decoupling from the power grid in order to be able to ensure a stable, self-sufficient energy supply in the event of power failures. To test different operating modes, the platform will be tested on a demonstrator after successful implementation. A corresponding microgrid is currently being built on the MAN Energy Solutions site in Augsburg. The interdisciplinary project team consists of experts from research (Fraunhofer FIT’s Business Information Technology project group) and practice (MAN Energy Solutions and XITASO).