Hannover. Is it possible to gather and manage more and more data and save energy at the same time? According to energy system providers, the answer is clear: "absolutely". By employing a wide array of sensor technologies, smart communications systems and intelligent automation solutions, many industrial and energy sector processes can be made much more energy efficient, and the untapped potential is huge. No wonder, then, that ways of boosting energy efficiency are quickly rising to the top of many companies' agendas around the world. Following its successful debut at last year's Energy fair (part of HANNOVER MESSE in Hannover, Germany), the Digital Energy display will be back again in April of 2018 to showcase the latest in forward-looking ways of achieving optimal energy flows in industry. Among much else, the display provides a window on the latest energy data capture, visualization, analysis and optimization systems. By means of various real-world application scenarios, the display also helps visitors to grasp how energy management technology can be optimally deployed in Industry 4.0 settings such as those featured within the neighboring Automation and Digital Factory shows.
However, big-name companies are definitely not the only ones with promising products and turnkey solutions to offer at Digital Energy; several innovative SMEs will also be on board. Indeed, highly agile companies often excel at developing novel and commercially attractive software, hardware and energy management solutions with what it takes to optimize complex industrial and energy-sector installations to the fullest. Startups even enjoy special, low-cost participation options at Digital Energy.
Among the participating startups are PCVue GmbH and IngSoft GmbH . IngSoft has already made a name for itself as one of the first German companies to develop software that supports effective and sustainable energy management in accordance with DIN EN ISO 50001. The company will be showcasing its software at this year's Digital Energy . "Our solution offers wide-ranging functionality and is particularly well suited to companies that are focused on flexibility and automation. It is designed to be user friendly so that authorized users can make all necessary changes themselves at any time. It can accommodate even the most sophisticated components of an energy system, including meters linked to several pre-meters, complex steam meters, cogeneration plants, heat pumps and in-house energy generation plants. The software is designed to be highly flexible in terms of data interface and analysis options, which also means it's able to handle any future energy management tasks," said IngSoft CEO Karsten Reese. As an example of the software's automation focus, he points to its optional automatic consumption pattern recognition functionality. "One of the add-on modules we offer automatically spots irregularities hidden in vast volumes of energy consumption data. This alleviates the need to manually check consumption data and define detailed target and threshold parameters. The module is self-learning and doesn't require any configuration or additional information. It automatically alerts and points energy managers to any irregularities in the system, thereby enabling them to quickly identify and remedy the underlying problems. This is an innovation that really makes life a lot easier for the user."
Another innovative Digital Energy exhibitor is Slovenia-based Solvera Lynx , a provider of hardware and software platforms for the Internet of Things (IoT). In 2017, Solvera Lynx set up a LoRaWAN™ network which covers the entire city of Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital. According to Solvera, the network is a major step towards creating a Smart City, which in turn is a key requirement for energy efficient building management and smart factories. Such networks are particularly critical in hard-to-access locations (e.g. under water) or in extreme environments (e.g. high temperatures or dust levels). "Our innovative communications solution stands out because of its long range, low energy consumption and low operating costs. And it's not tied to particular technologies or manufacturers," explained Solvera's Marketing Manager Maria Iglova.
TQ-Systems GmbH is also exhibiting at the Digital Energy display . TQ-Systems expects that energy management will profoundly change as renewable generation and climate-friendly mobility solutions continue to gain traction. "These trends will boost demand for smart energy distribution solutions. Without such solutions, energy self-sufficient buildings will not be possible. The same goes for consumers' ability to control electricity feed-ins to optimize their own energy costs," explained Jörg Jungbauer, Head of Business Unit B-Control at TQ-Systems . The company's focus is squarely on optimizing the distribution of photovoltaic energy among consumers and energy storage facilities. According to Jungbauer, eMobility represents another major challenge: "Once eVehicles are in widespread use, demand for charging stations and the associated electricity supply infrastructure will surge. Our TQ-Automation division has developed a smart charging station management system for this scenario. This system enables the intelligent automation of several hundreds of charging stations. Once installed, eVehicles of part-time employees can be charged more quickly than those of full-timers, for instance. Our B-Control product range caters for public parking buildings, corporate parking lots and other large-scale parking facilities."
The Digital Energy display also features a lecture forum. On the Monday of the show, the German Energy Agency (dena) will be at the forum to present the findings of a recent survey on the market potential and uptake of digital technologies facilitating the smart integration of industry 4.0 systems with the energy supply infrastructure of industrial companies. Also on the Monday, the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF) will be exploring the challenges posed by the new ISO 50003 and 50006 standards as well as the benefits of energy management systems. On the Friday, DENEFF will be staging a careers event. From Tuesday to Thursday, the forum will feature application examples presented by the participating Digital Energy exhibitors . The German Association of Energy Consumers (VEA) will be on hand throughout the show to offer free advice on a range of subjects, including the ISO 50001 and 50003 standards.
The official media partner of this year's Digital Energy display is the Energy 4.0 trade journal, which provides comprehensive coverage of the energy market and technology trends shaping tomorrow's energy systems.