Within the framework of NEFI_Lab, a concept of a physical laboratory infrastructure was implemented, which shall serve the development of technologies and the promotion of cross-sectoral cooperation, while being available to all consortium members of the NEFI Innovation Network.
Altogether, the NEFI laboratory infrastructure expedites the NEFI innovation process by providing scientific support to subprojects, enabling knowledge transfer within the model region, and engaging both existing and new stakeholders. This comprehensive concept is based on three interconnected physical laboratory infrastructures which allow industrial energy systems surveys at different levels. The labs are made up of the N2P – NEFI_Lab:InToPublic, SES – Stakeholder Enabling Space and the E.Factory.
The physical infrastructure N2P – NEFI_Lab:InToPublic is at Montanuniversität Leoben based on the “Power Hardware in the Loop – PHIL” approach implemented. This approach enables the combination of innovative energy supply- and consumption technologies as well as flexible components (storage, DSM technologies, etc…) as a complete system and an optimisation on the technology, system integration and operation management level. Thereby, a most realistic representation of a hybrid energy system can be obtained, which embeds non-existing hardware components as simulation models in almost real time and integrates external producers and consumers (e.g. industry, electromobility, etc.) via connections to PHIL-capable communication devices.
The Stakeholder Enabling Space by Business Upper Austria supports the Idea finding and development of innovative as well as ongoing projects for the implementation of industrial decarbonisation. For this purpose, at the TECHCENTER Linz an innovation room equipped with the very latest technology as well as a NEFI_Lab toolbox will be implemented, which will be available to all sub-project partners and stakeholders for the NEFI_Lab innovation process. In total, existing and newly created physical and virtual innovation rooms must be linked to provide a large innovation space for all NEFI innovation fields. The innovation room should accelerate technological and systemic innovation development, and also support the Idea generation, development and enhancement of existing projects.
The Energy.Factory Lab of the OÖ Energiesparverband aims to arouse interest among schools and universities to the industrial energy transition in order to counter the shortage of skilled workers in industry and research. To this end, age- and target group-specific information and communication activities seek to motivate pupils and students to deal with the energy transition in industry and to consider it as a future career field. In general, the E.Factory is built on a modular structure with interactive didactic concepts that are stepwise implemented as an integrated part of the NEFI innovation process. In this context, a software is implemented that simulates an “energy system factory” and uses a digital factory with didactic accompanying measures to awaken understanding for the energy system factory in the first step among students of the 7th and 8th school level.