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Theoretical Industry Case Study BASF and HeidelbergCement Outside-in Case Study

The two companies were chosen, assuming that they are prototypical for a purely theoretical set of simulations (1) because they are relatively close to each other, so that they can potentially realize economies of scale and (2) because they are located in a region with relatively high solar and wind resources.

Both companies have already converted large parts of their energy supply to renewable energies and are aiming for CO2 neutrality in the future.

The case study has been prepared without the participation of the companies and is only intended to show theoretically and by way of example how the supply of large industrial sites with decentrally generated renewable energies could look in 2050.

All data and information on the companies are estimates made on the basis of publicly available information.

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Energy Bands can run towards industrial sites and supply them with green electricity: a theoretical case study with BASF and HeidelbergCement

For BASF and HeidelbergCement (HC), 5.6 TWh/a of electricity can be generated with the help of Energy Bands along the highways and federal roads in their region. If the Energy Bands are specifically routed to wind farms, around 2.4 TWh/a of electricity from wind power can be added.


Of this 8 TWh/a of electricity, about 1 TWh/a can be stored in battery storage for nighttime operation, and about 3 TWh/a of electricity can be put into the production of hydrogen to be used theoretically (a) for hydrogen refueling stations in the region, (b) for the combustion processes at HeidelbergCement, and (c) for both companies to generate electricity in the winter. The remaining approximately 4 TWh/a would potentially be available as electricity to BASF, HC and -in minor parts- also to be supplied to the local grid as well as to the e-fueling stations in the region.

HeidelbergCement and BASF, like most corporate groups in Germany, have the declared goal of using CO2 -neutral energy sources by 2050

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This case study is a theoretical simulation that is not based on the current energy supply portfolio of the two companies. They have already invested in renewable energies, thus covering their demand to some extent from renewable: For example, HeidelbergCement already produces in cement with a nearly climate-neutral fuel mixture (39% hydrogen, 12% animal meal as well as 49% glycerine) in some of their sites, using hydrogen technology; and in the ready-mix concrete operating line the company has switched to green electricity, and much more.


BASF already covered more than 16% of its global electricity demand from renewable energies in 2021. Accordingly, the power supply of both companies by Energy Bands was simulated purely theoretically as a "case study" to show how industrial sites in Germany in general could be supplied in the future - especially if one focuses on electricity and the other requires hydrogen in significant quantities.

A theoretical case study: Approx. 5.6 TWh/a gross electricity can be generated with Energy Bands from the surrounding area of BASF and HeidelbergCement AG

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The individual state highways and federal highway sections in question in the region were recorded and analyzed

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The electricity yield (DC) per running kilometer was calculated with 1000 bifacial black PV modules (1m x 1.5m)

Taking into account the direction of the modules, the electricity yield (DC) of the solar plants was simulated using Polysun software at 15° directional angle intervals from 0° (south side) to 180° (north side) and calculated with interpolation for 5° directional angle intervals. The roads were divided into directional segments so that a value could be determined for each directional segment.

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In the shadow analysis using PVsyst software, the influence of shading from the upper solar row to the lower solar row was considered for each direction. Then the shading factors were calculated by interpolation

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Hourly photovoltaic power generation was simulated for the state highway and federal highway sections over a one-year period

In addition to the photovoltaic harvest of the Energy Bands, the wind plants in the region were also recorded - The goal: to create as comprehensive volatility compensation as possible in order to reduce storage quantities for the night and winter months

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Um Volatilität in der Strom-Erzeugung auszugleichen, wurden die Erträge aus Windparks in der Nähe der beiden Industriestandorte, zu denen die Energiebänder hin verlaufen, ebenfalls in die Simulation mit aufgenommen – auch wenn derzeit der Strom dieser Windpark bereits auf Jahre verkauft ist 


The wind profile of 5 sites in the region was taken as the basis for simulating the wind energy harvest - on an hourly basis for the duration of one year

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The simulation was performed using SAM software (System Advisor Model). To simplify the simulations, the weighted average of hourly wind energy is evaluated, assuming 20% of wind turbines are located near site 1, 20% near site 2, 10% near site 3, 25% near site 4, and 25% near site 5. The weighted wind profiles have been imported into the Polysun software and the entire energy concept has been simulated on an hourly basis for the duration of one year.

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Scenarios were then analyzed to determine how much energy should be used for hydrogen production and how much should be stored in batteries.

Most of the energy from Energy Bands is collected by photovoltaics during the day or in summer. Battery systems are suitable for storing this electricity for the night or for short-term periods with little sunshine. Hydrogen as electricity storage for electricity recovery in winter, on the other hand, was kept low in the present example because of the space required and the comparatively low efficiency.


Instead, almost 3 TWh of the total 8 TWh of electricity generated was put into the production of hydrogen to supply both green production processes at HeidelbergCement and hydrogen refueling stations in the region.

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Approx. 0.8 TWh of electricity is stored per year in approx. 670 batteries, and approx. 77% of this is discharged

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On most days of the year, the batteries are fully charged and discharged at least once - on days with little sun or wind, however, the batteries are only partially charged and discharged

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If we simulate the daily power generation by PV and wind parks, it becomes clear that although there is a high level of volatility compensation, grid purchases are still necessary to cover the power demand - especially in winter

In the simulations, the power consumption profile from a standard industrial site was used

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From 80% of the surplus electricity, 54,200 tons of hydrogen can be produced by PEM electrolysers - usable for the production of green cement at HC and for hydrogen refueling stations in the region

80% of the electricity surplus (2.86 TWh/a) can be consumed in PEM electrolysers to produce 54,200 tons of hydrogen. The rest is fed into the power grid.


If one wanted to store 54,200 tons of hydrogen at 350 bar completely at one time, in tanks with a diameter of 3.6 m and a length of 15 m, a total area of 2.26 km2 would be required for this. However, since the required storage capacity is much smaller due to the daily hydrogen consumption, only (roughly estimated) an area of 0.9 km2 is needed. Both the tanks and the corresponding electrolysers can be installed underground - with ventilation and maintenance shafts.

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The usage of electricity generation by PV and wind turbines was simulated over the year and potential grid purchase, own electricity consumption and hydrogen production for the two companies as well as filling stations in the region were defined

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The optimization of use through batteries and the permanent conversion of surplus electricity into hydrogen means that the Energy Bands have a high annual degree of self-sufficiency of 91% on average

In summer, when photovoltaic electricity is produced or collected in excess with the help of the Energy Bands, the degree of self-sufficiency of the Energy-Band-System is almost 100%. Only in winter are Energy Bands dependent on the purchase of electricity from the grid - at the peak with approx. 20% of their demand.

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To increase the degree of self-sufficiency up to 100%, fuel cells could be used to generate electricity and heat simultaneously in winter - in this case, fewer H2 filling stations would be supplied with hydrogen

With 25,000 tons of hydrogen (almost half of the hydrogen produced), 90% of the electricity shortage could be met using 40% efficiency fuel cells.


At the same time, 0.4 TWh/a 60-65 ⁰C heat would be generated as a „side effect“. This could be used to heat BASF and HC buildings in winter.  

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With Energy Bands, two prominent industrial companies in Germany could cover most of their energy needs with renewable energies

Energy Bands and adjacent wind turbines in the region can generate a total of 8 TWh/a of electricity per year.

Of this, 3.4 TWh/a could be consumed directly by BASF and HC and 0.8 TWh/a could be stored in Li-ion batteries.


In addition, 80% of the excess electricity (2.9 TWh/a= 54,200 tons) can be used for hydrogen production:

1.8 TWh/a (34,100 tonnes H2 ) for HeidelbergCement to produce up to 2 million tonnes of cement using this energy, and

1 TWh/a (20,100 tons of H2 ) for H2 filling stations along the Energy Bands. This fully supplies 24 filling stations (each filling station supplies 120 trucks per day).

With only 0.1 TWh/a, 80 e-filling stations along the Energy Bands can be supplied (each filling station supplies approx. 120 passenger cars per day.


Approx. 20% of the electricity surplus (0.6 TWh/a) is fed into the grid, because it is not economically viable to produce hydrogen with all the electricity surplus.


Approx. 0.7 TWh/a are the losses in batteries, cables and power inverters.

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Conclusion: Energy Bands can supply industrial companies with green electricity, which can also be converted into hydrogen as needed for combustion or chemical processes. Combined with wind turbines, they create mini-grids that compensate for volatility and reduce storage volumes for nighttime and winter periods