(60f) Smart Grid: Opportunities for the Process Industries

Harjunkoski, I., ABB Corporate Research
Merkert, L., ABB Corporate Research Germany
Feng, X., ABB

The transition to more intelligent electrical grids, enabling remote and distributed generation, poses a challenge to the process industry [1]. Due to the increasing amount of uncontrollable renewable generation, e.g. wind and solar, the volatility of the availability and price of electricity has significantly increased. At the same time, each company needs to strive for better efficiency. The smart grid provides an opportunity for traditional electricity consumers to increase their awareness of their electricity consumption, as well as, also become flexible market participants as producers (prosumers) through the concept of virtual power plants, mainly enabled by industrial demand-side management [2].

There are several ways how to master the change in the dynamics between electricity producers and consumers, where smart grid is just one enabler of on-line both-way communication between the parties. These ways comprise hardware applications such as metering, visualization, analysis and monitoring and finally optimization. An ARC study shows that very few companies are utilizing this potential. In this presentation we will show some recent research results, existing software approaches and example solutions that are already today running in various industries [3]. We also briefly discuss what the main conditions are that needs to be fulfilled in order to be able to participate in the volatile energy markets. Here, the process flexibility plays a key role. Being able to adapt the production – even partially – according to the changing electricity markets can in best cases offer significant annual savings (MUSD). The key word to identify the best win-win-win scenarios is collaboration!

  1. Harjunkoski, I., Scholtz, E. and Feng, X. (2014). Industry Meets the Smart Grid, Chemical Engineering Progress (CEP),August 2014, pp. 45-50
  2. Hadera, H., Harjunkoski, I., Sand, G., Grossmann, I.E. and Engell, S. (2015). Optimization of Steel Production Scheduling with Complex Time-Sensitive Electricity Cost. Computers and Chemical Engineering, 76, pp. 117-136
  3. Merkert, L., Harjunkoski, I., Isaksson, A., Säynevirta, S., Saarela, A. and Sand, G. (2015). Scheduling and energy – Industrial challenges and opportunities. Computers and Chemical Engineering, 72, pp. 183-198