Bosch is currently expanding its business for systems and components that put solar and wind energy, as well as biomass, to use. The company offers solutions in the areas of power generation, energy storage, and the smart management of renewable energies.
Bosch Thermotechnology develops ecofriendly solutions for a comfortable indoor climate and warm water.
Buildings account for around 40 percent of global energy consumption. The lion’s share of this goes toward heating and hot water for residential buildings. Efficient Bosch heating technologies reduce energy needs and thus also CO₂ emissions, especially when they draw on renewable sources of energy such as solar or ambient heat.
Solar heat: Solar energy uses the sun’s endless supply of energy to generate heat and hot water. To this end, the carrier fluid contained in the solar modules absorbs solar heat and transfers it to a hot water tank via a heat exchanger. Even in countries with less sunshine, such as Germany, drinking water can be heated almost entirely with solar power. To this end, an energy-plus house requires some six square meters of collectors, which prevent up to 1,000 kg CO₂ each year. And the bigger the collector surface, the less dependent a building’s residents are on fossil fuels.
Ambient heat: Heat pumps work like a reverse refrigerator of sorts: they draw heat from the ground, the ground water, or ambient air and transfer it to the heating cycle. To do this, the pumps operate with small amounts of electricity or gas. The most efficient models — among them the Buderus Logatherm WPL 8 AR air heat pump — require 25 percent primary energy to provide 100 percent of the required heat. The efficiency of a heat pump can be determined through the seasonal performance factor and the coefficient of performance value. The higher the value, the more energy-efficient the heat pumps.
In energy-plus houses, regenerative heating systems are already contributing to generating more energy than the residents need.
Energy storage technology
Energy storage systems balance out demand fluctuations and help to integrate power generated with renewable sources of energy into the energy system.
With the shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, power generation is also changing. There is a clear move away from large power plants and toward smaller producers. Wind and solar parks, cogeneration units, heat pumps, and biogas plants are already feeding power into the public grid. This has given rise to new challenges for network operators. In contrast to coal-fired power plants, for instance, wind parks cannot consistently generate the same amount of power, and thus cannot guarantee a reliable power supply.
Stationary energy storage systems can offset this volatility. On particularly windy days, they store power surpluses and feed them into the grid at a later point in time. In this way, the giant high-performance batteries contribute to better integrating renewable sources of energy in the existing power generation system. This increases the market value of power generated with renewable sources of energy. Thanks to energy storage systems, operators can always feed power from renewable sources into the grid whenever supply is low, and this helps keep prices on the energy markets high.
Bosch offers a range of comprehensive energy storage solutions for residential, commercial, or industrial applications. The stationary batteries can have capacities ranging from several hundred kilowatts to several megawatts. Depending on their size, they can supply power to a household, a company, or even a whole community.
Virtual power plants
Bosch Software Innovations software solutions pool and manage energy from a broad range of sources, many of them renewable.
Over the course of the energy turnaround a number of different parties are now selling their power to local energy providers. Their task is to manage the many small and large power plants to ensure a consistent current flow, as this is the basis of a reliable supply.
To balance out fluctuating demand, Bosch Software Innovations has developed the Virtual Power Plant Manager, a software solution that pools energy mainly from renewable sources and manages it in an centralized manner. The result is a virtual power plant, also known as a combined power plant, which makes energy available only when it is needed.
The more power generation facilities are connected to the virtual power plant, the more flexibly and efficiently it operates. At the same time, however, its management becomes more complex: in order to ensure that the power required is always available; the system must guarantee the seamless interplay of the decentralized sources of power. It must also be able to make reliable forecasts about future energy needs and the capacity of the individual power plants. Against this backdrop, the virtual power plant continuously determines the ideal production volume and makes recommendations regarding the best possible plant management. It also keeps track of weather forecasts and current price developments on the energy market. This helps determine the best moments to sell power surpluses.