The socially and politically recognized need to operate industry in a more sustainable and energy-efficient manner is contrasted by the lack of powerful, application-ready digital tools for the optimized design and planning of complex energy and production systems for industry. And although the basic possibility and potential benefits of synchronizing industrial energy demand with the fluctuating energy supply (increasingly, due to the increasing share of renewable energy sources in the supply mix) are recognized, digital tools are also lacking for this purpose, as well as concepts for flexible energy supply for industrial consumers. Thus, ecological and economic optimization potential in a high-tech environment remains unused.

Schematic representation of the developed planning method

© Fraunhofer

Overview and flowchart of the developed planning method

LEOPOLD develops an application-oriented digital method for the flexibilization of energy systems through optimized planning and control of industrial systems, based on flexible and efficient modeling and optimization of process and structure. Thereby, an energy efficiency increase in the overall process of up to 20 % is targeted, as well as an economic and ecological optimization potential as the synchronization of industrial energy demand and supply. The newly developed method is based on hybrid simulation and metaheuristic optimization on the overall system level, as well as gradient-based optimization on the level of complex energy systems, in an integrated and coordinated procedure. LEOPOLD includes a use case in the steel processing industry, which ensures the practical application perspective of the approach.