Energiewende meets Industrie 4.0


The German Federal government supports companies and research institutions in developing innovative technologies that support reaching the international climate targets. Specifically, the Energy Research Programmes of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, focus on the large industrial and manufacturing base in Germany. Since October 2019, 39 partners - 33 of which are companies and 6 research institutes - have been working on seamless, efficient integration of renewable energy (e.g. solar panels on factory roofs) and storage devices for balancing power supply and demand in factories. The focus of DC-INDUSTRIE2 is the direct current supply of an entire production hall, after the direct current supply of a production cell had already been realized in DC-INDUSTRIE since 2016. The DC infrastructure will be realized and rigorously tested in nine model plants and transfer centres at various partners. They range in power levels up to approximately 2 MW.
The predecessor project DC-INDUSTRIE (2016 – 2019, with 27 partners) laid the groundwork for the power supply of industrial plants via a smart, open DC grid. The partners collaborated to implement the energy transition in industrial production achieving up to 80% reduction of feed-in power and a total recovery of braking energy in four model applications at the industrial partners.

In short, DC-INDUSTRIE provides: 
1.    An open system
2.    Efficient integration of renewable energy
3.    Lower energy consumption
4.    Reduced feed-in power
5.    Increased system availability

Please read more in our white paper and our project presentation

DC-INDUSTRIE2 direct current research project successfully completed

"Direct current from renewable energies can be easily integrated into production and at the same time makes an important contribution to greater energy and resource efficiency," Prof. Dr. Holger Borcherding with TH OWL, scientific director of the DC-INDUSTRIE2 research project, is enthusiastic.

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Open Direct Current Alliance (ODCA) founded

ZVEI today founded the Open Direct Current Alliance (ODCA) with 33 companies from industry, academia and research. The goal is to build a worldwide direct current ecosystem and establish direct current technology across applications. The ODCA, a working group of the ZVEI, follows on seamlessly from the successful DC-INDUSTRIE2 research project, which will be completed next year.

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Sustainibility by DC-INDUSTRIE

Sustainability is an important aspect of DC-INDUSTRY. For the publication of the system concept, Lenze's CTO Frank Maier thought about the contribution industrial DC grids offer for sustainable production. Please click to listen to his inspiring talk.

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DC-Industrie and the United Nations‘ sustainable development goals

The energy transition is a necessary building block to achieve climate neutrality. DC-INDUSTRIE describes an open system for the efficient integration of renewable energies with reduced energy demand for sustainable production. Thus we make a major contribution towards achieving the UN sustainability goals.

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DC-INDUSTRIE at Hannover Fair 2021

Direct current plays a key role in the future industrial power supply. With direct current, more energy efficiency and energy flexibility can be realised in industrial production. In the DC-INDUSTRIE2 direct current project and its predecessor project DC-INDUSTRIE, more than 40 partners from industry and research have been working since 2016 to implement the energy transition in industrial production. This is how the industrial energy system of the future, a DC-based smart grid for industry, is being created. (German only)

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Quick check: Bidirectional power supply

A central AC/DC converter supplies all load areas of the factory with direct current. In this way, the overall energy efficiency of the system increases and the rectifiers in the units can be saved. The energy supply in the factory's DC network is not a one-way street: energy feedback into the AC network is also possible.

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Quick check: Renewable energies

The DC grid enables easy integration of photovoltaic cells and other renewable energy sources. Conversion losses are reduced; synchronisation with a three-phase AC grid is not necessary.

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Quick check: energy storage

Energy storage is easier to integrate into the factory DC grid with lower conversion losses. This ensures production stability in case of AC grid failure and better balancing of peak loads.

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Quick check: grid management

The decentralised grid management is new. It ensures optimal energy exchange between the plants and brings more stability to the industrial power grid.

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Quick check: Robot production | Industrial robots

The dynamic energy demand of robot production benefits from the distributed energy storage in the DC grid. In addition, the high proportion of recuperative energy provided by the industrial robots can be fed back into the system and used.

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