DC INDUSTRY - Intelligent open DC network in industrial production for highly efficient system solutions with electric drives


With the 6th Energy Research Program of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Government supports companies and research institutes that develop innovative energy technologies. In this context, the go-ahead for the cross-industry DC research project "DC INDUSTRY" was given on 1 July 2016. A total of 21 companies from industry, four research institutes and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) are working together in the project to implement the energy transition in industrial production and to bring more energy efficiency and energy flexibility into industrial production.

The aim of the DC-INDUSTRY research project is to redesign the power supply of industrial plants via a smart, open DC network and to digitize the industrial energy supply architecture. The result is the industrial energy system of the future, a DC-based smart grid for industry. "A DC-based smart grid must be fundamentally different from today's type of energy supply. This is the only way to meet the requirements of greater energy efficiency and energy flexibility in industrial production," says Gunther Koschnick, Managing Director of the ZVEI trade association, Automation Division.

Producing energy in this way offers many benefits. Thanks to intelligent network control and integrated storage, it can react flexibly and robustly to fluctuating network quality and energy supply. In addition, renewable energies can be integrated more easily and conversion losses from AC to DC can be avoided. Among other things, energy savings result from the simpler exploitation and buffering of braking energy, so-called regenerative braking, in DC networks. "This is where the energy transition meets Industry 4.0," says Koschnick.
The six-million-euro project was initiated by 15 partners in the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI) together with eleven associated partners and is coordinated by Siemens. Over the next three years, test facilities will be built at Daimler, Homag Group and KHS, among others.

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