Innovative DC grid concept for a production site expansion by Lapp

© Lapp Holding SE

In short

The partnership between Lapp Holding SE and Fraunhofer IPA resulted in the creation of a scalable DC power grid concept for expanding a production site in France. This advancement enhances efficiency and facilitates the integration of PV systems into sustainable grid designs. This pioneering collaboration fosters the shift toward direct current in factory power supply, championing efficiency and sustainability.

In detail

Lapp and Fraunhofer IPA collaborated on a project to optimize energy supply at a production site in France. The main project goals included:

  • Designing an efficient DC power grid for Câbleries Lapp Sarl in Forbach, France: This involved the development of a tailored DC power grid in three stages to enhance energy efficiency within the new production facility.
  • Integrating renewable energy systems into both new and existing buildings: The project explored solutions for the seamless integration of renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, into the industrial energy system.
  • Evaluating the potential of battery storage to increase self-consumption: The project analyzed the utilization of energy storage to boost self-consumption rates, ensure grid stability, and enhance the reliability of power supply.
  • Integrating existing machinery into the DC power grid to minimize conversion losses: Efforts were made to efficiently incorporate existing machinery into the DC power grid while reducing energy losses during the conversion process.

The devised solution was based on a three-pronged strategy for establishing and expanding a DC infrastructure:

  • Sizing PV systems with DC grid connections: This entailed selecting and connecting photovoltaic systems with DC interfaces to harness renewable energy sources.
  • Developing a scalable DC power grid concept: A flexible DC power grid concept was created to adapt to the facility's increasing demands.
  • Implementing an investment evaluation tool that considered variable factors such as electricity prices.

The outcomes of this collaboration yielded numerous advantages:

  • A scalable DC power grid capable of growing alongside power demands and expanding to adjacent existing buildings: This implementation allowed for efficient power supply, not only for current DC-powered production but also for the anticipated increased power demand of local production and neighboring existing facilities.
  • Efficient integration of PV systems into the DC grid and optimization of self-consumption: The inclusion of photovoltaic systems within the DC power grid optimized self-consumption and reduced dependence on conventional power sources.
  • Efficient integration of existing major consumers: Integrating existing major consumers into the DC grid minimized conversion losses and improved overall efficiency.

This partnership between Fraunhofer IPA and Lapp serves as a prime example of how innovative technologies and meticulous planning can contribute to making factory power supply more sustainable, efficient, and economically successful. Based on the project's results, an electrical planner is now working on the detailed implementation and overseeing it through commissioning. For specific inquiries during this planning phase, Fraunhofer IPA offers further support through detailed analyses for the design and commissioning of grid control, protection systems, and energy distribution infrastructure.

Insights into the project

»The design of a direct current grid at our Forbach site was a challenging and technically exciting project, especially for a technology that is just beginning to enter the industry. Fraunhofer IPA, with its strong practical and scientific approach, was the perfect partner for this endeavour.«

Dr. Susanne Krichel & Eric Lebert, Lapp Group

© Lapp Illustration DC