Living lab ETA factory

The ETA factory is located on the Lichtwiese campus of the Technical University of Darmstadt and is considered together with its premises as a living lab. The main objective of the investigations in the ETA factory is to increase efficiency in manufacturing processes by testing innovative production solutions in combination with innovative energy technologies. The living lab ETA factory includes a hybrid storage and an intelligent charging station developed by the Institute of Mechatronic Systems.

The Eta factory was built in 2016 in the context of publicly funded projects and since then offers its premises for numerous research activities. The Institute for Production Management, Technologies and Machine Tools (PTW) has a leading role in both the infrastructure and coordination of research activities. Aspects such as flexibility in manufacturing and waste heat utilization belong to the central research goals of the ETA factory. In addition, overarching research objectives are pursued, such as the contribution of industrial plants to grid stabilization and the efficient use of industrial charging infrastructure.

The hybrid storage aims not only to increase the power quality of the factory, but also to contribute to the stabilization of the electricity grid. Moreover, the hybrid storage system facilitates the testing of operating strategies that pursue multi-criteria objectives. Real-time and forecast data on energy prices are useful for this purpose. In addition, the hybrid storage system can temporarily self-supply the factory in island mode, whenever needed.

The intelligent charging station enables the communication between industrial charging infrastructure and vehicles. In addition, the charging station facilitates the continuous control of the charging power, which can be used for the investigation of optimizing charging strategies. With regard to charging strategies, different objectives can be pursued, including power quality, battery aging and energy procurement costs. Furthermore, the touch display integrated on the charging station can be used to survey the interface between the driver and the charging infrastructure.