Cross-industrial Networks

Strengthening communal industrial districts

Press release / January 22, 2020

The energy transition is a supporting pillar of structural change and requires a rethinking in many areas. In order to ensure that successful economic ecosystems can grow in an increasingly dynamic and volatile environment, coordinated, adaptable solutions are needed at the interface of the energy and materials industries. This is precisely where the Performance Center DYNAFLEX® takes part and develops sustainable solutions with the direction of Fraunhofer UMSICHT. A pilot site is currently being built in Bad Langensalza, which will serve as a pioneer for cross-industrial networks and open up new value chains.

DYNAFLEX® High-Performance Center at e-World 2020.
© Fraunhofer UMSICHT
DYNAFLEX® High-Performance Center at e-World 2020.

Current business activities and corporate strategies are increasingly focusing on technologies to improve efficiency and avoid CO2 emissions. Although sustainable and environmentally friendly value creation initially means a change for those involved, this also serves as a clear competitive advantage. Experts see the future in a joint approach of the participants in regional cross-industrial networks, in order to position German medium-sized companies well in the competition and to reduce the challenges for individual companies. In the future, value chains will have to go beyond the previous sector and industry boundaries. Why not jointly exploit local material and energy flows as best as possible on site? This can create crucial advantages through regional synergies, explains Dr. Georg Janicki of Fraunhofer UMSICHT in his function as the manager of the Performance Center DYNAFLEX®. In close cooperation with science and companies, the performance center plans future-oriented interface projects for the energy and materials industry.

Dynamic business management

In order to create a sustainable local energy and material flow, the energy supply has to be designed accordingly. However, the integration of electricity from renewable energy sources in, for example, production plants is subject to temporal and location specific fluctuations – due to the time of day/night and the amount of wind. In addition to this, there are aspects such as customer-specific production and therefore varying demands on products, which also have to be manufactured and delivered just-in-time. Varying raw materials due to changing conditions (on the market and customer side) have also been taken into account as well as a switch to more environmentally friendly raw materials.

A pilot project is being implemented in an industrial estate in Bad Langensalza, Thuringia, in which a network of different players is being implemented based on renewable energies and sustainable raw materials. The project takes a national and international pioneering role in the implementation of climate-friendly and cross-sectoral technologies. With the support of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, various partners from the industry intend to set up a ground-mounted photovoltaic plant in a joint project. The produced electricity will be directly integrated into existing and new value-added chains of neighbouring commercial enterprises through innovative and sustainable concepts. The concepts contribute to grid stability and enable the development of a new technology cluster based on sustainable raw materials and energy sources. This, in turn, should enable new companies to settle in this area.

Researchers at Fraunhofer UMSICHT are also working on a power-to-gas concept. Electrolysis plants powered by PV electricity are intended to produce hydrogen that can be fed directly into the natural gas grid and used for the production processes. The hydrogen can also be refined with CO2 to form methane or processed into basic products for the chemical industry, plastics industry, fertilizer industry or fuel industry.

E-world: Easy understanding of cross-industrial networks

The Performance Center DYNAFLEX® will be presented at the E-world energy & water, from the 11th to 13th of February 2020 in Essen. At the exhibition stand, various current aspects and challenges in the energy and raw materials industry can be experienced in a playful manner with the help of an exhibit. In this way, the necessity of cross-industrial networks, such as those planned in Bad Langensalza, will be illustrated. Visit us at the joint stand in Hall 3, Stand 370, where we will be happy to discuss individual solutions for your company and the concrete implementation of the DYNAFLEX® network. We are looking forward to meeting you.