Sustainability at Deutsche Windtechnik

Not Just a Formality

When we talk about sustainability, it’s not just an advertising slogan. We work with commitment in the area of renewable energies and are always willing to refine our own activities and guiding principles to actively support the energy revolution.

Sustainability is often used as a buzzword and a caption. However, it is not that easy to capture its significance. Nevertheless, we would like to act in such a way that we can achieve positive effects for our environment. We are not just active in the climate-friendly energy sector in our professional role through wind energy. We also like think outside the box. We ask ourselves the essential questions: How can sustainability be integrated into business processes? How can economic interests and responsibility for the environment fit together? And how is it possible to sensitise employees, partners and our wider environment to this important topic?

Projects and partnerships that make a difference

We believe that ambitious objectives can also be carried out on a smaller scale. This includes the will to act beyond key economic figures. In the process, we want to join forces with like-minded people and pass on our experiences and our knowledge to the coming generations. In the following, we present individual projects that show that we are going down this route and wish to continue on it.

Book project “55 Gründe für Nachhaltigkeit” (55 reasons for sustainability)

“Sustainability” is not just a term bandied about often and frequently, it is also not uncommon for it to be incorrectly used in the abstract. In the book project supported by Deutsche Windtechnik, 55 Gründe für mehr Nachhaltigkeit, students of economic psychology at the University of Bremen wanted to know why: In a collection of illustrated stories, texts and dialogue, they have highlighted the many-sided facets of sustainability as it relates to resources, health, complexity, trade-offs and many other aspects in a practical and personal way. Informative, surprisingly exciting and very readable!

Book tip: 55 Gründe für mehr Nachhaltigkeit, published by the scientific publishing house NOMOS, ISBN 978-3-8487-0945-8

PPU Bremen is made up of 164 Bremen businesses, including Deutsche Windtechnik AG since 2014. The members are united in the idea of actively practicing sustainable development and integrating it into business processes. This involves close cooperation between the Bremen businesses as well as with the public authorities.

A range of voluntary activities, starting with the introduction of an environmental management system up to involvement in the development of environmental technology, are prerequisites for participation in the PUU. What all members have in common is that they are committed to voluntarily acting in ways that go beyond the regulatory laws governing environmental activities and to promoting voluntary environmentally friendly investments. Above all, the partnership is expressed in the exchange of information between the companies.

In 2014, Deutsche Windtechnik AG was presented with the "Klimaschutzbetrieb CO2-20" (climate protection company CO2-20) award. The reason for this honour was the building of our regenerative combined cycle power station on our Bremen company site, with which we were able to reduce our CO2 emissions by more than 20 percent over the last five years.

www.umwelt-unternehmen.bremen.de

We started thinking about the further-reaching aspects of the energy revolution early on: How is it possible to combine individual volatile energy sources and storage units? And how can they be used to ensure complete self-sufficiency?

The result was a very exciting project on the Deutsche Windtechnik AG grounds in Bremen.

The basic idea was based on the idea of balancing out volatile electricity generators, such as photovoltaic systems and wind turbines, by cleverly combining them with combined heat and power units, storage modules and electric mobility.

Small answers to the big questions posed by the energy revolution

The components of the RCCPSare connected centrally in a so-called “virtual power station” and controlled there by means of modern information and communication engineering. Newly developed workload and schedule management makes it possible to optimally operate the system. The following components on the Deutsche Windtechnik grounds are a part of the RCCPS in Bremen:

  • Photovoltaic system: 58 kWp*
  • Combined heat and power unit: 50 kWel**
  • Storage battery: 110 kW lithium-ion battery
  • Vestas V90 wind turbine with 2 MW

*= kilowatt peak, **= kilowatt electric

The optimised schedule of the regenerative power station not only takes the requirements of the location in consideration but also the market demand of the electricity and the availability of network services.

Research topics and services

Due to the different sizes of the generator components, special challenges arise in terms of self-sufficiency. There is not yet an economical solution available on the market, particularly in the case of storage technology. This inspires us even more in our search for new ways of integrating renewable energy sources; true to the principles of the energy revolution, be it centralised or decentralised.

However, the task of the virtual power station is not just to regulate 100-percent self-sufficiency on the site but also to make system services available in the long term, to contribute to grid stability. This includes:

  • Regular and reserve power (frequency stability)
  • Provision of reactive power (voltage stability)
  • Active power management (redispatch)

During the provision of system services, above all, the project encountered legal and regulatory obstacles. In spite of the difficulties and the challenges, we consider this project to be an important one, as it throws up many issues on a small scale that still need to be solved at a national level by the energy revolution. Which is exactly what research should do.

The project was implemented with our partner, energy & meteo systems GmbH, and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economy Affairs and Energy.

For us, universities are an invaluable treasure chest of knowledge and naturally an indispensible place for recruiting new talent. We get involved in an active way, initiate research projects and provide them with practical support. Close collaborations with the following institutions are currently ongoing:

  • The University of Bremen
  • Bremen University of Applied Sciences, the Institute for Aerospace Technology (IAT)
  • Flensburg University, Institute
  • IWES

We engage full-time students in our company, mostly in the form of internships and degree theses, with detailed material and information on processes on the subject of onshore and offshore wind energies. Occasionally, individual projects also throw up new issues that are then examined intensively in research work.

Because for us, education is an essential part of university life in addition to research, we are also active in this area. We have taken part in a series of lectures on the subject of technology, energy and sustainable development, with board member Matthias Brandt as a lecturer, under the auspices of the Virtual Academy of Sustainability.

The Virtual Academy of Sustainability supports German-speaking universities in providing innovative teaching concepts and video-based events. We made presentations within the scope of a series of lectures entitled “Technology, energy and sustainability” on the subject of wind energy. The project is available online at www.va-bne.de.

In addition to our engagement with universities, universities of applied science and research institutions, we consider another approach to be very important: We strive to fascinate children and young people right from an early age with the topic of renewable energies, and wind power in particular, using special activities. That is the reason we regularly take part in events such as Zukunftstag (future days).

In April 2015 alone, 20 children and young people between the ages of 11 to 15 visited Deutsche Windtechnik. Our employees introduced them to the topic of wind energy in a fun way. Under the supervision of our employees, the kids were able to try their hand at programming a Lego wind turbine, abseil from a training tower and view a turbine from the inside, amongst other activities.