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article imageThree transformative energy applications for Industry 4.0

By Tim Sandle     Nov 27, 2017 in Technology
The fourth industrial revolution requires new technologies and a robust infrastructure. These also need powering. There is an array of energy related innovations coming through; we look at three of these.
The three applications that signal future changes are: more powerful batteries for renewable energy; an intelligent drive and provides real-time machine performance; and fuel cells for stationary power systems.
100-megawatt battery
Industrial applications will require more power and batteries with greater capacity will be needed. This month Tesla have reported about the development of the world's largest lithium battery. This is shortly to begin testing in South Australia. The aim is to provide sufficient power to run 30,000 homes for one hour or 8,000 homes for 24 hours.
Power Grid Network
An interconnected electrical grid network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers.
Doug Waldron
The aim of the battery is to power South Australia's renewable electricity grid. The 100-megawatt battery is formed from Tesla power packs. The importance of the project is to help drive greater capacity with renewable energy, something of importance to remote areas and for businesses looking for future ways to lower costs.
The Internet of Things is expected to trigger further transformations for industry. A key focus is with collecting more real-time information about machine performances so that repairs or replacements can happen speedily, as well as collecting information in order to develop operational efficiencies.
Intelligent drive for Industrial IoT
Siemens has unveiled a new drive concept for industrial applications, a device that integrates into the industrial Internet of Things. The drive is called the Simotics IQ. These low-voltage motors come with compact sensor technology. The technology can record important operating and status parameters, and these can be transmitted to a control center or to a cloud via Wi-Fi.
This picture taken with a fisheye lens shows a woman next to servers in one of the server rooms of t...
This picture taken with a fisheye lens shows a woman next to servers in one of the server rooms of the Facebook Data Center on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland
Jonathan Nackstrand, AFP/File
The operating data can be analyzed using Simotics IQ MindApp to create a technical engine picture, which is described as being particularly useful for engineers to plan in preventive maintenance activities. Such information could include temperature or the degree of machine vibration.
Fuel cells for data centers
Power supply systems consume high levels of energy. One means to reduce power consumption is through the application of fuel cells. Recently Daimler, in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, demonstrated the use of fuel cells for stationary power supply systems.
Hot and cold aisles in a data center
Hot and cold aisles in a data center
The new fuel cells are 40 percent more powerful and 30 percent smaller than those in current use. This is an important concern for businesses, given that data centers are one of the largest energy consumers in the new economy. Moreover, data centers are likely to become bigger given the significant growth in data consumption across industry. The U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council predicts that the power requirements of data centers in the U. S. will most probably increase to 140 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year by 2020.
The Daimler concept of a hydrogen-based data center is composed of fuel cells, electrolyzer, storage tanks, photovoltaic and wind power plants. With this model, Smart2Zero reports, the essential power requirements of the data center are provided by solar and wind power plants. When the solar and wind energy generated exceeds the data center's requirements, excess energy can be used to produce hydrogen via electrolysis.
This means that energy can be stored instead of generating power. Then, in the event of a power failure, the fuel cell systems can generate electricity from the hydrogen stored previously.
More about industry 40, Industry, Manufacturing, Power, Energy