BMW uses big data to maximize CHP plants at factory

BMW Group is using big data software to optimize the efficiency of CHP plants at its factory in Leipzig, Germany.

The software called BoFiT is from solutions provider ProCom, based in Aachen in Germany. ProCom supplies daily forecasts for optimal deployment of two CHP modules, each with a capacity of 3 MW, and four boilers.

Based on data provided by BMW and forecasts of electricity and heat demand, the software generates deployment schedules for the next day. The objectives are to provide energy for the site as economically as possible and to use more than 70 per cent of the heat generated by the two CHP modules.

ProCom says that optimization is “based on a model that reflects contracts, plant characteristic curves and procurement channels”. Using this model along with current operating data, demand forecasts and fuel prices, ProCom calculates when it is worthwhile to deploy the CHP plants and when it is better to purchase electricity or operate the boilers in order to comply with the German high-efficiency and grid-use criteria.

BMW started testing the optimization service at Leipzig in May. After several weeks, deployment of the CHP and boiler plants will be solely based on the ProCom recommendations.

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