Energy | SaltPower

Intelligent automation enables commercial production of

breakthrough energy technology.

SaltPower is a Danish-based innovative clean energy company. The company has developed the world’s first commercial energy production technology based on osmotic energy.  Automation Lab – part of Init delivered the automation system for the company’s first clean energy plant.

 

SaltPower focuses on the osmosis principle where salt water from the underground is used in the production of clean and CO2-free energy.

 

The company has a full-scale test facility in Sønderborg, and since 2019, the company has been working with Danish salt manufacturer, DanskSalt/Nobian, to test its osmotic power installation. In 2021, SaltPower successfully established its first plant prototype in DanskSalt/Nobian’s factory in Mariager.

 

Challenge: Automating a first-of-its-kind energy plant

In 2022, SaltPower began the construction of its first full-scale energy supply facility. The new 100kW plant will supply DanskSalt/Nobian’s Hvornum facility with enough electric energy to operate the salt-brine supply for the factory entirely on renewable energy.

 

The plant is the first in the world to produce electrical energy from the osmotic pressure in a saltwater solution. And a first-of-its-kind facility requires a first-of-its-kind automation solution.

 

SaltPower entrusted Automation Lab – Part of Init with the task of developing an automation system to enable effective operation for the breakthrough technology.

Solution: Close collaboration and a fail safe control system

The collaboration with Automation Lab – Part of Init started already in 2021, before the construction of the new plant began. Init’s engineers and SaltPower’s development team joined forces to develop an automation solution that would support commercial manufacturing of clean energy based on osmosis.

 

After exploring different possibilities, the team decided on a Siemens fail safe PLC system. The PLC system and the frequency converters’ interconnected direct current (DC) bus make it possible to control the system in the most energy-efficient way.

 

The technical content of the project was quite extensive, because the inverters in the project deliver regenerated energy back onto the common DC bus. This placed severe demands for the design of switchboards and electrical installations.

 

The control system is a result of close collaboration between Init’s software developers and SaltPower’s develop engineers.

 

“The collaboration with Init has worked flawlessly and the engineers involved have shown great enthusiasm and proactivity in the project. “

Lars Storm Pedersen, CEO at SaltPower

 

Result: Effective operations and reduced energy consumption

The first-of-its-kind green energy production facility was successfully commissioned in 2023. As result, DanskSalt/Nobian’s has reduced its energy consumption.

 

With a well-proven and fully automated facility concept for full-scale energy production, SaltPower is now ready to commercialise its breakthrough technology.

 

The process of developing the automation solution has been an interesting journey. And the result is a true testament that the best solutions are the ones we build together.

 

“Building an automation system for a new technology is always a fun challenge. But when it also pertains to an advanced technology that facilitates sustainable development, we are particular proud and excited. We thank SaltPower for the teamwork and hope to continue our collaboration on future projects.”

Lars Kirkegaard, Business Unit Director at AutomationLab – Part of Init

 

Facts about the plant:

  • The actual plant can produce approximately 100 kW hydraulic energy
  • The actual plant will eventually replace 1 high-pressure pump at DanskSalt/Nobian
  • The actual plant uses 100 membranes, all of which are installed in pressure vessels

 

Reach out

for more information

Lars Kirkegaard

Business Unit Director

+45 5311 2913

[email protected]

Automation Lab, Part of Init, Svendborg, Denmark

Automation Lab, Part of Init, Vrå, Denmark

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