Issues in the Focus of our Experts
Fichtner’s engineers and consultants concern themselves with many questions and tasks. Examples are the application of innovative technologies and topics like networking of energy infrastructure components.
Addition of data centers to our already vast portfolio of mission critical facilities
In the era of digitalization, the growth of data centers will be further accelerated by 5G, Autonomous vehicles, high quality streaming, content delivery, AI, and cloud services & technologies. Data Centers consume a lot of electricity to provide IT and cloud services mainly for the data processing, delivery, and storage. The share of power for the data centers in the global power consumption is projected to increase significantly in the next 10-20 years to a level that the existing and upcoming power generation infrastructure will struggle to keep pace with the demand unless there will be serious national and international effort to study the growth and make the right decisions and design for planning and preparation of the infrastructure which is crucial for this critical industry and our world’s digital economy. The importance and criticality of this industry have been proved many times, e.g. during the Covid-19 pandemic. The behavioral changes in the way we do business today will have a lasting effect and will further boost the acceleration rate.
We at Fichtner Group as one of the leading consultants in the power generation and renewable industry are fully committed to contribute to the design and growth of the data centers and the required infrastructure and therefore have opened a new business line to streamline our focus.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Full digitization of all planning data and implementation-relevant information for conceiving, executing and operating structures as a virtual model is summed up in the term 'building information modeling', abbreviated to BIM. This is a methodology that embodies the creation and administration of virtual representations of the physical and functional attributes of a structure. The digital structural models are a 3-D depiction of the actual project in the form of an information database related to the building and populated by, for example, temporal, cost and material parameters. This creates a reliable source for decisions to be taken throughout the structure's life cycle, from initial planning through to its demolition. Compared with conventional IT models, it makes use of appreciably more information, and provides a synchronized database to which all participants have access.
BIM – 3D planning in all project phases
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is used to create a digital model containing all the relevant planning data of a building. It allows for an interconnected way of working that makes the planning and construction process efficient and transparent using three-dimensional data models. We apply this method in numerous projects, e.g. in our work for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) or for planning substations:
Development of smart data platforms
Together with partners from academia and industry, Fichtner is currently developing a smart data platform by means of which infrastructure operators and energy consortia can undertake forecast- and market-based energy management. These platforms’ task is to merge large volumes of diverse data from heterogeneous sources, so "big data" becomes "smart data". On this foundation, new procedures for optimizing infrastructure operation can be worked out. At the same time we develop standardized services that allow energy consortia to optimize energy systems that transcend the boundaries between individual operators. Alongside project coordination, Fichtner undertakes analysis of the infrastructural system and conceptual design of the smart data platforms’ general architecture. Quite frequently, these projects are subsidized, for example by the Federal German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
HVDC Studies for VSC Links and hybrid transmission lines
The development of large-scale generation in remote locations in respect to the load centers requires a high transmission line capacity in order to evacuate the generated power to the loads. This leads to the need to increase the existing transmission network capacity. One of the options investigated by the utilities over the world is to use Hybrid HVAC/HVDC lines in order to cope with limited right of ways. Using existing infrastructure is ideal for dealing and arguing with public opposition to new power lines. Since new power lines can take transmission towers shared by different voltage systems into account during design, existing transmission lines and towers are usually not meant to be used for a HVDC system when designed to support HVAC circuits only.
Fichtner is involved in studies for different projects using HVDC transmission technology, including the HVAC and HVDC on the same tower. The topic requires different considerations, from the transmission line and HVDC converter technology point of view. Fichtner experts are actively involved on working level in different international scientific organization, professional organizations and standardization bodies which deal with these special interdisciplinary topics and with emerging technologies (CIGRE; IEEE; IEC; CENELEC).