Open District Hub (ODH) is the name of the non-profit association that fortiss co-founded with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and partner institutes. The aim of the organization is to integrate the electricity, heat supply, mobility and industrial sectors, all of which currently operate independent of one another, into an open, scalable system solution by means of intelligent energy integration. The vision is that communities will one day cover their energy needs by automatically drawing from local, renewable energy sources.
Numerous industrial countries have committed to reducing their CO2 emissions in order to keep global warming at a specific level. Although this can work by drastically sinking energy consumption, not every country manages it. A more efficient path to protecting the climate is to decarbonate, which means covering 100 percent of a country’s energy needs through renewable sources instead of relying on carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
The issue with sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar is that they are not available around-the-clock, plus there are few options to store the energy that is produced. A solution is fortunately looming on the horizon: integrated energy, an approach that involves merging the electricity, heat supply, mobility and industrial sectors into a hybrid system.
The integrated energy concept envisages converting the heat supply and mobility sectors to green electricity sources, while in parallel expanding reliance on energy-efficient technologies such as cogeneration and thermal pumps. Surplus wind and solar energy will be stored in the form of hydrogen in the gas grid or in electric vehicle batteries, which is more cost effective than building expensive energy storage facilities. This leads to greater flexibility in responding to the demand for electricity. Energy can be delivered at the right time, to the right location.
To move the energy integration concept forward, the newly-created association plans to establish additional branch and connection points in the energy grid and efficiently manage up to 1 billion devices and systems with corresponding automation solutions. The power grid of the future will be controlled by a self-learning energy management system. In order to detect anomalies and protect critical infrastructures, a relevant cyber security concept will be developed based on artificial intelligence technologies.
14 founding members
The association "Open District Hub e.V." was founded on April 9th, 2018. Its 14 founding members are: DSK Deutsche Stadt- und Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG, eLoaded GmbH, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, fortiss GmbH, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V., GETEC Wärme & Effizienz GmbH, inno2grid GmbH, Jost Energy AG, PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Sortimo Innovationspark Zusmarshausen GmbH, Schneider Electric GmbH, Thüga AG, Viessmann Deutschland GmbH und Vonovia SE. The registered head office is in Berlin. The indenpedent business office of "Open District Hub e.V.", located in Munich, started operations directly after the establishment of the association.