Use of stock levels as energy storage solution

Theme Production planning, Ecology
Project title Use of stock levels as energy storage solution (LagBEnS)
Project duration 01.03.2016 – 28.02.2018
Press release

Energy is considered to be a substantial cost factor for manufacturing companies. This importance is steadily increasing due to ascending energy price variations, which are driven by the expansion of renewable energy sources. To that extend the lack of technological energy storage solutions leads to a dependency on the energy supply and thus to a considerable increase in manufacturing cost for small and medium sized companies (SMEs). The idea of this research project is to use stock levels as energy storage. For this purpose the production program shall be planned as such that energy intensive production steps are conducted in times of high energy availability and that the resulting stock levels can be accessed in times of low energy availability. For this matter it is crucial that the emerging inventory costs are not outweighing the gained energy cost savings. The advantage of this method is the potential implementation of a new form of energy storage in addition to existing production planning methods without high investments.

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  • 29.06.2016
  • IPH - Institut für Integrierte Produktion Hannover, Hollerithallee 6, 30419 Hannover

Publications about the project

Resource depletion and climate change are the main drivers for the rapid change of power generation structures. The energy transformation is causing an increase in energy prices for manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Within the last decade energy prices in Germany have doubled and are expected to grow even further . Metal processing SMEs are already attributing 4.5 percent of their gross production value to electricity costs. The paper shows the possible savings potential of the use of inventory levels as energy storage and provides approaches to an efficient solution of the associated optimization problems.

production program planning, energy costs, inventory level, energy storage

In respect to the expansion of renewable energies, temporary oversupplies of electrical energy cause a resulting price decline on the German electricity exchange. The electricity traded on the electricity exchange already shows high price volatility. For this reason, energy storage systems are needed that can balance energy supply and demand to ensure grid stability. The production industry can make a contribution by adjusting its consumption by shifting energy-intensive production steps to times of negative residual load.

energy cost, production planning, requirements, power

The volatility of electricity prices is steadily increasing due to the growing expansion of renewable energies. This is particularly observable at the electricity exchange. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing sector can save energy costs due to these fluctuations through targeted load management methods. To increase this potential, SMEs need to use smart meters and obtain their electricity at pricest as close to those at the electricity exchange as possible.

power procurement, electricity exchange, load management, electricity costs

Due to the continuous expansion of renewable energy sources manufacturing companies are confronted with steadily rising as well as more and more volatile electricity prices. The current lack of energy storage technologies leads to a dependency on the energy supply and, consequently, to a significant increase in manufacturing costs. This article describes a new approach to planning cost-optimized production programs with the targeted use of stock levels as storage solution for in the production process employed energy.

production program planning, energy costs, energy storage, inventory


The IGF project 19073 N of the Institut für Umwelt & Energie, Technik & Analytik e. V. (IUTA) was funded via the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) in the programme of Industrial Collective Research (IGF) by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.


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