Eni is taking part in REM – the Renewable Energy Mediterranean Conference & Exhibition – on 14 and 15 March.
The Grand Hotel Mattei in Ravenna is hosting this conference dedicated to renewable energy, with ‘Industry 4.0 – Paving the road to a sustainable energy transition’ the topic chosen for the event.
The constant and ongoing evolution of digital technology in recent decades is one of the emerging trends in the sector, and one that promises to transform the entire industrial supply chain. The event brings together leading players in the digital industry, oil and gas companies and contractors and service providers in the energy sector to discuss the current applications of new technologies, the major technological and organisational barriers to overcome and the potential for large-scale implementation of these technologies at an industrial level.
Eni’s contribution: our model for Industry 4.0
Eni has a long history of using technology to improve efficiency and sustainability, and as a result it is attending REM with a stand describing the main ways it is applying advanced technology to promote innovation. Costantino Chessa, programme director of Eni Digital Transformation, is taking advantage of REM to present Eni’s new vision for Industry 4.0. “We are working on over 150 digitalisation projects, which will see data become one of Eni’s strategic assets, alongside our staff,” he says. The Industry 4.0 model is divided into three areas: smart production, smart services and smart energy. Through the infrastructure Eni creates and the projects it is developing, the company’s work fits neatly under each of those headings.
Smart production, smart services and
smart energy at Eni
We have used advanced data-processing systems for the identification of new deposits to make hydrocarbon production more efficient. The computational software that our ultra-powerful supercomputer HPC4 runs at the Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone, near Pavia, combines the most sophisticated seismic-imaging algorithms with cutting-edge programming techniques.
Opening the conference in Ravenna, Innocenzio Titone, chairman of REM 2018, cited our HPC4 as “a pivotal example of the shift towards Industry 4.0”. In addition, the first photovoltaic system to be created as part of Project Italy has been installed at the Green Data Center with a total capacity of 1MW, providing some of the facility’s power.
Solar technology is another major part of our ongoing research and one of its applications is building-integrated photovoltaics. The Eni Renewable Energies and Environmental Research Centre is working on designing Organic PhotoVoltaics (OPV), aiming to produce solar panels that use polymers instead of silicon, which would reduce costs and expand their usability and fields of application. In addition, studying solar energy has allowed us to produce energy from surfaces that remain transparent, such as windows.
Another piece of technology that began life at Eni’s research centre in Novara is LSCs or luminescent solar concentrators. These transparent and coloured plates absorb some of the sun’s light and re-emit it at a longer wavelength. Light radiation is directed towards the plate edges, which become luminescent, and small photovoltaic cells then convert that radiation into electricity. All these lightweight and flexible solar-energy technologies can be integrated into buildings, noise barriers and electronic devices, and can be used to provide electricity to remote areas.