Without energy, there is no chemistry. Without chemistry, there are no smartphones, no enamel. Also no energy-saving automobile, and yes not even one single tire. That's why it is important in the chemical industry to use the necessary energy as economically and efficiently as possible. The Central German Dow Olefinverbund GmbH located in Schkopau, Germany, one of the largest synthetic material producers of the new federal states, works according to a certification energy management system. "For many years the protection and efficient handling of resources with Dow has had highest priority", says company spokeswoman Astrid Molder. For some months the system has been supplemented, developed and adapted with software by researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technology and Image Exploitation in Ilmenau, Germany.
The new software EMS-EDM PROPHET measures, analyzes and documents not only the energy fluxes in the company, Molder explains. "As operator of the ValuePark, Dow supplies many companies that have settled in Schkopau with chemical raw materials - and with the energy necessary for their production." For this purpose, river and gas, steam, compressed air and water are used. These consumption data - thus when which quantity of energy and in which form whereto was supplied - can be documented by means of the new software. A task of biblical proportion: data are collected at nearly 2000 measuring points alone in Schkopau, in addition to those coming to the Dow location in Böhlen, Germany. The challenge has been indeed immense, Fraunhofer spokesman Martin Käßler then confirms. "For with the structure of the measuring data net the current operation in the ValuePark may not be disrupted." Finally, existing databases have to be integrated into the system and interfaces have to be created for prior and stored systems. After six months the mammoth task was tackled - by now the system runs unimpeded. TÜV South (German Association for Technical Inspection) has acknowledged EMS-EDM PROPHET as certified energy data management. "We are therefore particularly proud", Käßler says. The new energy management system now brings a complete documentation and analysis of the energy fluxes for Dow and its partners. Author: Kathrin Wöhler