IK4-IKERLAN is taking part in the European REEMAIN project, aimed at developing a set of energy management tools and enabling the industrial sector to reduce CO2 emissions and electricity consumption. The main tool to be developed in this initiative is a software programme which will analyse all data concerning energy management in a factory and, after processing them with a predictive simulation programme, will propose improvements in the energy efficiency of the facility.
To achieve this goal, in addition to developing this programme, the sustainable management of waste generated during manufacturing processes will be encouraged and renewable energy harnessed by developing technological innovations that enable the creation of more efficient devices. These tools will be tested at three companies: Bossa textiles, Gullón biscuits and the SMC foundry.
The simulation tools will have a series of fields where key information will be entered, such as energy consumption (and, if applicable, production) at the plant which wishes to analyse how production processes are carried out in its factory, total energy consumption, the tariffs being applied, the type of machinery and its condition, whether the company has any energy production or storage facility (such as photovoltaic (solar) panels or batteries), etc.
The programme will analyse them, perform a simulation based on them and provide a set of solutions for implementing more efficient production. It will propose measures for optimising the performance of machines, such as the use of renewable energy where it might be useful, energy storage of batteries for use when needed, or even recovering and harnessing energy that would otherwise be wasted.
Iñigo Gandiaga, REEMAIN project leader at IK4-IKERLAN, provides an example of the latter: “if, in the biscuit factory production process, there is a stage where waste heat is released, the software will propose the use of a system which recovers this heat to use it in another process, for example to maintain chocolate in a liquid state, thereby eliminating unnecessary costs”.
In addition to the software, two other energy efficiency related tasks will be carried out within the REEMAIN framework, consisting of enhancing the efficiency and control of parabolic trough power plants (a type of solar collector) and developing a system of electric energy storage based on ion-lithium batteries, a task to be undertaken by IK4-IKERLAN.