Wind parks off the shores of northern Germany, hydropower from the Black Forest, or photovoltaics on your roof: Tomorrow’s energy production will be far more decentralized and volatile than today due to the increasing proportion of regenerative energies. Integration of renewable resources will make energy systems face big challenges, as energy will have to be available any time, day and night. With increasing complexity of the systems, high- and highest-performance computers will gain importance in the solution of energy management problems.
The challenges to be mastered are in the focus of the research activities of the Energy Solution Center (EnSoC) e.V. Its partners are Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Siemens AG, SAP AG, T-Systems SfR GmbH, Hewlett-Packard Deutschland GmbH, and bridgingIT GmbH. EnSoC has now started its first projects on electromobility and high-performance computing (HPC) as a service. Both projects are funded by the State Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts (MWK) and KIT.
Under the pilot project “Optimization of the Load Shift Potential of Electric Vehicles in Cloud Environments”, a project consortium of KIT and EnBW AG researchers studies how the demand for electricity in the future can be adapted to volatile energy supply by making the load cycles of electric vehicles more flexible. The project is managed by the Institute for Industrial Production (IIP) of KIT. Activities focus on the development of a “smart energy platform” to model complex interaction of millions of stationary and mobile consumers. Close cooperation of scientists from KIT and industry is the basis to pool practical experience and findings of top research and to develop concepts for tomorrow’s energy systems.
High-performance computers and large computing capacities are indispensable for such highly complex studies. In the past years, technical progress in high- and highest-performance computing (HPC) as well as in the field of cloud computing was remarkable. However, need-tailored and efficient use of HPC systems and cloud computing resources for the solution of energy-related problems of industry are still at their beginnings.
This aspect will be covered by the second EnSoC pilot project “Dynamic IT for the Energy Sector”. A consortium of KIT scientists and representatives of Hewlett-Packard GmbH, T-Systems Solutions for Research GmbH, and EnBW AG will conceive an IT service market place. This online market place is to autonomously supply customers from industry and research – ideally without waiting times – with IT services in the field of high-performance computing. In this way, smaller enterprises may dynamically extend their local computing capacity according to their needs and avoid costly and long investments.
The Energy Solution Center was founded in 2009 within the framework of an initiative launched by the State of Baden-Württemberg. It is a non-profit association. Its members are Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, T-Systems Solutions for Research GmbH, Hewlett Packard Deutschland GmbH, Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Siemens AG, SAP AG, and bridgingIT. Apart from the conception and execution of research projects to promote the use of high-performance computers in the energy sector, EnSoC supports the dissemination of scientific findings of energy research and regularly informs the public about research into current technical and economic challenges in the energy sector.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.