FLEX4FACT - Industrial cluster FLEXibility platform for sustainable FACTories to reduce CO2 emissions and to enable the energy transition

 

The aim of the FLEX4FACT project is to utilize energy flexibility in the industrial sector. In the course of the overall goal of the EU Green Deal to achieve climate neutrality within the European Union by the year 2050, a comprehensive expansion of renewable energies is targeted. With the accompanying increase in the volatility of power generation, the need for large-scale flexibility options is growing. The energy-intensive industrial sector offers great potential for this. Load shifting of production processes can provide the energy sector with previously untapped flexibilities. Additional flexibilities can be offered through the installation of renewable energy generators and energy storage systems and the cross-site energy exchange of surplus process energy. With increasingly fluctuating and rising energy prices, flexibilization can reduce the costs of production processes and ensure the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries. At the same time, the integration of renewable energies can be promoted and the sustainability of products increased.

  FLEX4FACT consortium Copyright: © SINTEF FLEX4FACT first press release: https://www.sintef.no/en/latest-news/2022/flex4fact-integrating-more-renewables-in-the-industry-energy-mix/

The participating RWTH Aachen University Institutes, Institute of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building and the Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, contribute their expertise in sustainable building physics and energy systems engineering. They are hereby expanding the expertise of the FLEX4FACT consortium to include flexibility and sustainability potentials through a holistic view between industrial processes, buildings and building energy systems.

 

In FLEX4FACT, a modular digital platform that integrates partial solutions for automating the planning of production processes, which have been considered independently of each other up to now, is to be developed as an end-to-end solution. The platform is intended to support industrial companies in determining the flexibility potential of production sites and in planning and implementing energy-optimized production operations.

The partial solutions are based on the development of a standardized and transferable IT and monitoring infrastructure for the measurement, processing and analysis of process data. The measurement data will be used to create Digital Twins of the production processes. The models will enable the analysis of complex relationships and synergies between production process and machine parameters and energy consumption. Thus, the energy flexibility and potential for load shifting of production processes can be identified. The physics-based models will be transformed into reduced-order models and data-driven models. This will allow real-time monitoring and prediction of the energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions of the modeled production processes. Optimization algorithms will be developed for planning the integration of energy generation plants and energy storage in production sites. The use of surplus energy flows from production processes and local energy generation within the industrial site and across sites and sectors will be considered.

Based on the information from the energetic optimization and the Digital Twin, optimization algorithms for the automated scheduling of production processes will be developed on two levels. On the local level, production processes are to be scheduled taking into account energy costs, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. On a cloud-based aggregation platform, the consideration level is to be extended to the environment of the industrial site. Here, additional economic flexibility potentials are to be made available through the supply and demand of energy technology services by integrating external market participants.

The platform's solutions will be demonstrated in five use cases from the industrial sector, spread across northern and southern Europe. The industrial companies involved are characterized by different product types, company sizes and geographical constraints. The modular and standardized approach of the digital platform is to be universally applicable and transferable to all use cases distributed across Europe.

 

PROJECT INFORMATION AND PARTNERS

Duration:  3.5 years

Start: 06/2022

End: 11/2025

Project partner: Sintef Manufacturing AS, Sintef Industry AS, Sintef Energy AS, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Instituto tecnologico de Aragon, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, Evolvere SPA societa benefit, Aingura, IIOT SL, Ikergune, We Plus S.p.a, Centro di competenza Start 4.0, Standard profil Spain SA, Inaventa solar AS, Seacsub SPA, Barna Steel SA, University College Cork, Capgemini Engineering, Fachhochschule Albstadt-Sigmaringen, Insitutt for energiteknikk, Stam SRL, Sener ingeniera and sistemas SA, Theben AG

Funding source: European Commission, Horizon Europe

Funding code: 101058657

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Thomas Bruno Schreiber © Copyright: EBC

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Thomas Bruno Schreiber

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