Simulation Notes Europe, Volume 30(4), December 2020

Electrical Power Peaks in the Simulation of Material Handling Systems

Simulation Notes Europe SNE 30(4), 2020, 189-195
DOI: 10.11128/


The expansion of local power supply with renewable sources is one option for shaping the energy transition. Power supply from renewable sources has to be balanced with power demand of dynamic technical systems. Investigation of detailed electrical power demands in production and logistics systems receives increasing attention in this context. This paper describes a method for the analysis of power demand of material handling components within a material flow simulation. The simulation approach enables the examination of power peaks as well as the system throughput during system operations. The power calculation model was developed with the environment MATLAB and integrated into the AutoMod simulation environment. The simulation of a high-bay warehouse with several handling machines delivers the proof of concept. We introduce a new control approach for the reduction of power peaks and investigate its effect on the transport performance with simulation experiments. The results of experiments show that the control approach can limit power peaks without a considerable reduction of the transport performance in the warehouse system. The achieved reductions of the maximum power peaks range from 80 % up to 67 % in different settings and correspond with a transport performance decrease of no more than 3 % in maximum.