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Eaton receives German government funding for DC-INDUSTRIE2 project

January 14, 2020

Bonn, Germany… Power management company Eaton today announced that it has received funding for the DC-INDUSTRIE2 project from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). Eaton’s Power Distribution Division is leading a consortium of 38 members in the ambitious €13 million research initiative, which focuses on enabling energy efficiency and flexibility in industrial production.

Started on 1 October, 2019, the consortium’s work is being coordinated by Dr. Hartwig Stammberger, head of digital prototyping and tools, Power Distribution Division, Eaton, along with professor Dr. Holger Borcherding, scientific project lead, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences (TH OWL). Together, they were instrumental in developing both the technical application for funding and the contract for consortium partners in the months prior to receiving the government grant

The three-year research initiative will investigate the potential of direct current (DC) technology in industrial production plants. An industrial shift away from traditional alternating current (AC) technologies is essential given the rise of key applications that natively use or produce DC power, such as renewable energy sources and energy storage solutions. The DC-INDUSTRIE2 project aims to support this energy transition - creating a ‘smart grid for industry’ by designing an open DC power supply network and digitizing its underlying architecture. The goal is to scale up this intelligent DC network to support an entire production hall or large processing plant.
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“DC technology offers many advantages that meet the requirements of a modern, intelligent, industrial power grid,” comments professor Borcherding. “For example, new power generation systems - such as photovoltaic or energy storage systems - can be very easily integrated, since they generate a DC voltage anyway. Furthermore, system availability improves because a DC network can react flexibly to disturbances in the upstream AC supply network. A DC grid can even actively support the AC grid; this grid serviceability is particularly important with weak grids or with a high proportion of decentralized energy generators such as photovoltaics.”

DC-INDUSTRIE2 is one of the largest joint research projects in Germany. The program unites 35 industrial partners, five research institutes and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (ZVEI), which supports the project with an industrial working group as part of its activities. Eaton's contribution will focus on ensuring high selectivity in the DC grid, as well as proving system feasibility at the scale of large industrial plants while ensuring safety and reliability in all operating states.

“We’re delighted to be leading this outstanding collaboration of expert partners,” comments Karl-Heinz Mayer, director of innovation and engineering, Power Distribution Division, Eaton. “The DC-INDUSTRIE2 project is a perfect example of how we can stay at the forefront of energy innovation. We’re helping enable Factories of the Future that have the ability to harness local renewable power and feed energy back into the grid - reducing both their operational costs and carbon footprints. This initiative also gives us the opportunity to interact with many organizations that already rely on our products at a deeper level, one focused on research and technology.”

The consortium would like to thank both BMWi, which supports DC-INDUSTRIE2 within the framework of the 7th Energy Research Program under the funding numbers 03EI6002A-Q, as well as the project management organisation Forschungszentrum Jülich for its content-related and administrative support of the 18 funded partners.

To learn more about the DC‑INDUSTRIE2 project, please visit: www.dc-industrie.de.

Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 101,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit Eaton.com.


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Jonathan Hart, +41 21 823 47 15