An innovative energy management system for the integration of volatile energy into industrial processes
The generation of electricity by volatile renewable energy sources, such as wind and sun, has increased significantly in many European countries in the last decade. Such a success is mostly due to the economic incentives given to the power producers by renewable energy sources. It has encouraged many small- and medium-sized enterprises to generate a part of their electricity consumption locally. Such a modern business model has created a new actor within the electric power system: the prosumer. The electricity generated by decentralized power plants in many small- and medium-sized enterprises to date is not integrated into the industrial processes, but it is, firstly, fed into the electric grid and is, successively, withdrawn from the grid. A direct integration of the electric power generated into industrial processes is preferable both from the energetic as well as from the environmental point of view. In order to do this, it is necessary to use Energy Management Systems (EMSs), which control the consumption and/or the energy storage systems optimally according the power produced by the volatile renewable energy sources. Such EMSs will allow the enterprises to develop Industry 4.0 solutions and, therefore, cut the energy costs for manufacturing. This study aims to describe the information and communication architecture as well as the modus operandi of a developed intelligent EMS for the integration of the volatile electricity into an industrial process.