Smart City Rheintal

Bosch software is supporting a city's pilot project

Cities account for 80 percent of global CO₂ emissions. In attempts to address the issue, several pilot projects have been initiated around the world in recent years that have tested sustainable living, energy, and mobility concepts for the city of the future. One of them is currently being carried out in the Austrian region of Rheintal, which comprises 29 communities. The “Smart City Rheintal” project has an ambitious goal: to make the region's energy supply CO₂-neutral by 2050 with the help of decentralized green energy power generation.

To make this vision reality, Bosch is currently helping to overhaul the Voralberg region’s power supply. In the future, a virtual power plant will replace the large power plants that currently transport power directly to the region's consumers. It will pool the power generated by local solar power plants and smaller hydro power plants, and distribute it as needed.

Under the leadership of Bosch Software Innovations, the project partners have connected a group of photovoltaic arrays via an online interface. The aim is to control the combined solar power plant in such a way that its capacity can be planned reliably and in advance with the help of weather forecasts. Moreover, the software will eventually be able to identify the energy needs of the city's electric vehicles. This would not only make it possible to calculate optimized timetables for charging purposes. It would also allow for car batteries to be used as energy storage systems that could store excess energy from the photovoltaic arrays. Electric hot water boilers and heat pumps could also be controlled intelligently in the future to optimize power consumption and thus reduce energy costs.