Renewable Energies

Project „Management of energy flexible factories“ (MaXFab)

The advancement of the electricity market, which is occurring in the course of the energy revolution, allows a cross-sectoral coordination of electricity demand and generation. Energy flexible factories benefit from this development by utilizing the prize fluctuations on the electricity markets and by providing control energy to stabilize the power supply.

This leads to two essential implications for management. On the one hand, it is important to overcome the traditionally separated dimensioning of energy infrastructure and production, to consider new options of energy production, energy storage, as well as load-based scaling and balancing in the strategic planning of factories. On the other hand, existing procedures for operational production planning must be reconsidered.

Concerning this matter, in the context of the MaXFab Project, the chair of operations research works on quantitative models based on classical scheduling models, which consider energy flexibility using alternative energy systems. The structure of the model has to be selected in such a way that both the stochastic nature of the problem and the specific preferences of the user regarding a flexible, efficient and ecological production are embedded reasonably.

As is well known, electricity generation in emission-intensive power plants (coal and gas) is more cost-effective than, for example, in lower-emission power plants such as nuclear power plants if capital costs are also considered. In such a case, we have a competition among the goal of minimizing energy costs and minimizing emissions. In this context, we make use of so-called multi-objective optimization theory. Therefore, our focus is not only on classic scheduling goals, such as minimizing the total throughput time, but also on minimizing energy costs and emissions.

As part of the modeling, restrictions on different operating states and the flexible use of renewable energies must also be incorporated. In addition, software-supported scenario calculations are performed. The resulting reference models are to be tested using mathematical modeling systems.

Marketing of electricity from renewable energies

In recent decades, power generation from renewable energies has increased significantly. When it comes to the marketing of electricity from renewable energies, the legislator in Germany has created a framework with the Renewable Energy Sources Act that poses many challenges to theory and practice. Therefore, when marketing renewable energies such as wind and sun, it should be noted that their supply depends on factors that are hardly to predict for the supplier of a plant.

A project in collaboration with TransnetBW investigated how to optimize the forecast of electricity from renewable energies. Optimizing the operation processes of photovoltaic systems is the focus of a collaborative project between Bosch Tec Ltd and our chair.


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