SINFONIES - Sustainability IN Flexibly Operated reNewable Industrial Energy Systems

In order to achieve the climate and energy policy goals of the European Union, national legal regulations have been created that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of renewable energy. In the long term, meeting climate targets involves investments in new and renewable technologies. However, available methods for optimal investment planning are limited, as they cannot consider all essential aspects (technical restrictions, optimal heat exchanger networks, integration of new components, etc.) at the same time. This creates uncertainties and thus investment risks, making the transition to a renewable energy system more difficult.

There are approaches to determine the optimal operation, the optimal heat exchanger network or the optimal production planning of an industrial plant. What is missing, however, is a holistic formulation that considers all these aspects at once and subsequently exploits synergy effects. It also reduces uncertainties and thus eliminates barriers to investment. Such a method is developed in the SINFONIES project.

The overarching goal is to reduce obstacles in industrial companies when making investment decisions to increase the share of renewable energy sources. By combining the existing optimization problems Unit Commitment, Heat Exchanger Network Synthesis and Scheduling, additional savings potentials and synergy effects are used compared to the consideration of the individual problems. Due to the coupled consideration, wrong investment decisions are avoided, which can occur due to insufficient consideration of technical restrictions when considering individual optimization problems separately. The SINFONIES approach identifies lucrative and forward-looking investment scenarios for industrial retrofit measures with reduced investment risk, thus supporting industrial companies in the transition to a renewable energy system in the long term.

By combining the optimization problems mentioned above, additional savings potentials and synergy effects are developed compared to the single consideration. Furthermore, wrong investment decisions due to insufficient consideration of technical restrictions in the individual optimization problems are excluded. Thus, realistic, lucrative and future-oriented investment scenarios with reduced investment risk are identified, supporting industrial companies in the transition to a renewable energy system in the long run. For this purpose, necessary interfaces between the subproblems are identified and the complexity of the combined optimization problem is reduced (e.g. by reasonable simplifications, model reduction, decomposition) to make the problem solvable in acceptable time. For the proof-of-concept, the SINFONIES approach was compared with existing methods using a reference process and scenario, and the potentials tapped were quantified.


Structure of the SINFONIES optimization framework and the interfaces between the individual optimization sub-classes


Reproduced from Beck, A.; Knöttner, S.; Unterluggauer, J.; Halmschlager, D.; Hofmann, R. An Integrated Optimization Model for Industrial Energy System Retrofit with Process Scheduling, Heat Recovery, and Energy Supply System Synthesis. , opens an external URL in a new windowProcesses 2022, 10, 572.

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