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15-11-2023 | Production + Production Technology | Editor´s Pick | News

System Concept Developed for Direct Current Factory

Author: Thomas Siebel

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The concept developed in the DC-Industrie2 project paves the way for a standardized DC factory. It is manufacturer-independent and is designed to help save energy and resources in production.

In the DC Industry and DC Industry2 research projects, 39 companies and institutes have developed a DC system concept. It is intended to define a "common language" between component manufacturers, industrial grid operators and service providers and thus facilitate the implementation of DC grids in factories. A key part of the concept is the grid management system developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA, which reduces peak loads through decentralized and flexible control of loads and storage systems.

With the help of direct current, factories can be operated much more energy-efficiently. According to the IPA, up to 12% energy can be saved in ventilation or lighting, for example, up to 15% in production robots and up to 20% in logistics systems. In addition, there are no losses due to reactive power and the usually oversized rectifiers of the individual machine tools. Furthermore, braking energy from machines and energy from photovoltaic systems can be fed into the DC grid. One phase of the power lines is eliminated, which saves copper.

In addition to Fraunhofer IPA, the 39 project partners include companies such as Bosch Rexroth, ABB, Siemens, Rittal, BMW, Daimler and Audi. The concept is being further developed and promoted globally under the leadership of the Open DC Alliance (ODCA). Among other things, it is to be extended to other countries and sectors, including private households and retail.

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