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Reduce CO2 emissions and save costs in production

Through the Energie Star 2021 Award, the OÖ Energiesparverband and the province of Upper Austria awards innovative, ground-breaking academic and industrial research projects. Under the same theme is The Young Energy Researcher Award for young, aspiring researchers which promotes the future of energy at scientific level. A Mechatronics/Economics graduate, Dominik Leherbauer, from the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria in Wels won the Young Energy Researchers Award 2021 with his MSc thesis on optimal order sequencing based on electrical energy composition.

In his thesis, Leherbauer (28) from Riedau, analysed different energy sources and price fluctuations occurring in electrical energy networks in order to demonstrate their employability in the manufacturing industry. His research also identified and proved a correlation between the product mix of electrical energy and CO2 emissions.

Energy-intensive processes with their own PV electricity
"With a novel approach, I adapted a manufacturing company’s production planning based on future energy composition. On one hand, this makes it possible to optimally use the company's own electricity generation, and on the other hand, to optimise the purchase of electricity ecologically and economically." Leherbauer explains and adds: "These optimisations make sense for companies that operate discrete production processes - that is, produce different products in smaller quantities. For example, more energy-intensive productions can be scheduled during sunny phases, when there is an abundance of own PV power. This is not only cost-effective and economically profitable, but also environmentally friendly. Low-energy production processes are then run at times when there is no electricity available."

Leherbauer is a research assistant in the field of Smart Mechatronics Engineering at the FH OÖ Campus Wels. He is currently working on the H2020 EU project, ENERgy Efficient Manufacturing System MANagement (EnerMan). In this project, work is being conducted in collaboration with European research project partners from industry and academia. EnerMan focuses on the implementation of decision support systems for the energetic use of resources. The aim is to enable holistic energy sustainability in terms of energy efficiency, energy costs and attributable emissions for the manufacturing industry.

Dominik Leherbauer with Markus Achleitner, Minister of Economy and Research of Upper Austria and Dr. Gerhard Dell, CEO OÖ. Energiesparverband. | Image Source: OÖ Energiesparverband

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