High-temperature fuel cell systems
The new solid oxide ceramic high-temperature fuel cell systems (SOFC) from Bosch provide flexible and ultra-efficient electricity and heat generation using renewable and conventional energy sources. SOFCs are a key technology for our future energy system and accelerate the transition to renewable energies.
A flexible and efficient fuel cell system
Our most important goals for the future are improved energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, new technologies need to generate electricity and heat with greater efficiency – and they need to work across a variety of fuel sources. The solid oxide ceramic high-temperature fuel cell systems (also known as “SOFC systems”) from Bosch do exactly that. They achieve an electrical efficiency of 60 percent, generating electrical power between five and eleven kilowatts. In addition, they can be operated using different energy sources – whether it is renewable hydrogen or methane or conventional natural gas.
efficiency generating electrical power between five to eleven kilowatts
Running on gas – renewable or conventional
Bosch high-temperature fuel cells will be a key technology in our future energy system, thanks to its efficient and flexible properties. Importantly, the fuel cells play a critical role in complementing the fluctuations that are inherent to energy generation from wind farms and photovoltaic power plants, supplying power when wind dies down and the sun sets. Innovative control algorithms guarantee that SOFCs always supply the exact amount of electric power that is needed at any given time. This degree of flexibility makes power grids exceedingly stable. The high-temperature fuel cells will also play a key supporting role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources because both hydrogen and methane – produced using renewable energy – can serve as fuels.
renewable hydrogen, synthetic methane and conventional natural gas
The new fuel cell systems have a highly compact and modular design. They can generate electricity in a decentralized manner as individual units. Additionally, they can also be integrated into larger systems providing a greater total power output. Several prototypes of the high-temperature fuel cell systems were developed as part of a research project at Bosch. The research team worked on a technical and thermodynamic concept and design, as well as on the accompanying system simulations. Their goal is to industrialize the SOFC technology.
Creating a mass-produced product
The Bosch operating units Powertrain Solutions and Thermotechnology are now responsible for the further development of these high-temperature fuel cell systems. They are working on turning this efficient and flexible energy converter into a market-ready, mass-produced product.
Podcast about fuel cells
Learn more about fuel cells in the Bosch Global Podcast From KNOW-HOW to WOW. In this episode, astronaut Mike Foale explains why space engineers rely on fuel cells to power space shuttles, while the Bosch experts Tobias Beck and Markus Ohnmacht tell us how a Solid Oxile Fuel Cell (SOFC) can support the renewable energy landscape down on earth now.
High-temperature fuel cell systems are flexible and highly efficient, which makes them the perfect technology for balancing out fluctuations in energy generation from wind farms and photovoltaic power plants. They can also be used with both renewable and fossil fuel sources, which means they support the transition to a sustainable energy system. Bosch contributes to a significant reduction of greenhouse gases and improves our quality of life with this innovative solution.