Code: EDI-2018-10-VW_1

Domain: Industry 4.0


Improving energy efficiency in natural gas consumption by optimising thermal power plant operation, adjusting starts and stops according to plant heat demands.

Proposed by

Volkswagen Navarra S.A, located in Pamplona (Spain), is one of the 119 plants belonging to the Volkswagen Group worldwide. Since 1984, the plant has been uninterruptedly producing the Volkswagen Polo.


Natural gas is the main energy source of Volkswagen Navarra (overall 60% gas consumption vs 40% electricity). Gas consumption of the thermal power plant inside Volkswagen Navarra represents approximately 30% of the whole gas consumption of the plant, i.e. almost 20% of the whole plant energy consumption.

Moreover, the control and decision system that steers the start of the thermal power plant’s 5 boilers is neither well documented nor robust. It depends a lot on the thermal power plant operator and on the opinion of the Maintenance and Installations Shift Manager.

An automation of this process is sought, in order to get more efficient boilers starts and stops and to make these decisions according to several parameters, analysing, among other data: facilities temperature, weather forecast, wind direction, expected production figures, etc.


The challenge has the following sample datasets available for download

  • BData energy management system
  • VW Navarra weather station

Expected outcomes

The expected results are oriented to environmental impacts that can be attained thanks to the use of big data technologies in the production plant. These include:

  • reducing gas consumption and, therefore, CO2 emissions to the atmosphere
  • reducing the ratio of energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 45% energy efficiency as compared to 2010 figures of the company.

How do we apply?

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