How to save energy costs without expensive investments

Manufacturing control making use of energy price fluctuations due to renewable energies (Photo: davis - Fotolia.com)

IPH | To reduce electricity costs, companies do not necessarily have to spend a lot of money. At the IPH, researchers have developed a method that simply through smart manufacturing control reduces energy costs to a considerable extent – by making use of energy price fluctuations.

The more wind and solar energy is fed into the grid, the wider the energy price fluctuations. Industrial companies can benefit from this fact by carrying out highly energy-consuming tasks during low-price periods. In this way, electricity costs can be reduced without the need for costly investments.

For this purpose, researchers at the Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover (IPH) have developed a novel sequencing method for the scheduling of tasks. The ECO-S (Energy Cost Oriented Sequencing) method considers two factors: task priority and energy requirement. 

In a simulation model, the researchers have compared the newly developed method to the FIFO (First-In, First-Out) scheduling method. The result is: With the ECO-S method, as many tasks as with the FIFO method were treated in due time - together with a reduction of energy costs of up to 13 percent.

by Stefan Willeke

Image gallery for this article

  • Manufacturing control making use of energy price fluctuations due to renewable energies (Photo: davis - Fotolia.com)
  • Since 2000, increase in industrial electricity prices by a factor of two and a half (Chart: IPH, Source: BDEW)
  • Low-cost at night, expensive in the evening: Electricity prices at the European Energy Ex-change in Leipzig. (Chart: IPH, Source: EEX)