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Industry 4.0 and Smart City save energy

Industry in future will be a far cry from what we know and recognise today when it comes to production and energy management. Rather than an accumulation of businesses operating in relative isolation, goods will be produced in energy and raw material optimised processes in a networked, highly efficient and flexible system with intelligent energy management. This future approach to production is being developed by researchers and companies in a joint endeavour under the „Industry 4.0“ banner. In intelligent energy efficiency networks, cooperating companies support one another to boost the energy efficiency of their production processes.
Yet, the holistic optimisation of energy flows does not stop there. The various generators and consumers are intimately connected at a regional level. In two EnEff:Stadt projects, models are being developed by researchers for an energy network. In the Welheimer Mark quarter in Bottrop, Germany, they demonstrate how a mixed area containing industrial, commercial and residential infrastructures can be optimised with regard to energy utilisation and in terms of economic and ecological considerations. Software is being developed in this respect for the simulation, analysis and optimisation of urban districts, with the scope of application to be extended to other towns and cities too. The focal point in this regard is on modelling the individual system components and on creating simulation models for estimating the energy consumption of buildings. The Heatloop project investigates how waste heat in commercial areas with different industries and business sizes can be utilised via small-scale heating networks, using the example of two commercial zones in Bochum, Germany. The objective is to establish a reliable heating network that is economical to operate on a sustained basis and transferable to other districts.
Other concepts comprise entire cities. Such Smart-City strategies allow significant modernisation potential to be tapped with networked technologies in terms of energy utilisation, water economy, mobility, logistics and buildings. For Stuttgart, the “City with energy efficiency” research project has produced a long-term energy concept. It considers all energy consumers and includes households, transportation, industry, the commercial, trade and service sectors and municipal real estate. The objective for 2020 is to consume 20 % less energy than 1990 figures.

Projektinfo 12/2014:
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Project management
RWTH Aachen, LTT

GFaI e. V.

Operator, energy service provider
InfraServ GmbH & Co. Knapsack KG

Operator, energy service provider
Siemens AG


Structural optimization of distributed energy supply systems
Link to the website of the research project of RWTH Aachen university

Learning Energy Efficiency Networks
Website of the LEEN GmbH