Intelligent energy management

Using green energy flexibly

Virtual power plants pool energy from a broad variety of plant types and forward it to the distribution networks that are connected to them. To do this, they must be able to strike a balance between the over- and under-supply of power that occurs when renewable sources of energy are used. For this reason, most combined power plants are equipped with energy storage systems. These “giant batteries”, which Bosch is developing in cooperation with its industry partners, take excess energy from wind or solar parks, for instance, and either feed it into the grid or forward it to connected consumption points. Stationary energy storage systems can vary in capacity, from several hundred kilowatts to several megawatts. Depending on their size, they can supply a household, a company, or even entire communities with power.

A windy success:

How a small community in Germany’s north experienced a wind power miracle

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The more facilities are connected to the virtual power plant, the more flexibly and efficiently it can operate. At the same time, however, this networking makes managing the system more complex. For the desired power to be supplied as needed, the system must ensure the seamless interaction of the decentralized sources of power. It must also be able to make reliable forecasts on the capacity of individual power plants.

Against this backdrop, Bosch has developed software that continuously determines ideal production volumes and makes recommendations with regard to the management of power plants. In addition to drawing on weather forecasts, the “Virtual Power Plant Manager” also takes price developments on energy markets into account. In so doing, the system can determine the best point in time to sell excess power.