Sustainability

Bosch compact Innovative Bosch products and solutions help save energy

  • Sustainable mobility and powertrain solutions
  • Resource-conserving, efficient manufacturing technology
  • Smart energy and building technology
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  • September 27, 2013
  • Sustainability
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press release

Protecting the environment is an important pillar of Bosch business activities. In nearly all its divisions, the company is working on technologies and services that will make greater energy efficiency possible. Even today, Bosch generates more than 40 percent of its sales with technology and products that protect the environment and conserve resources.

Of global energy demand, 28 percent is due to transportation, 32 percent to industry, and 40 percent to buildings. In all these areas, Bosch is working to save energy. In its own manufacturing operations, Bosch works efficiently and conserves resources, and offers products and solutions that are economical and optimize energy consumption. Bosch solutions intelligently link and control the generation and consumption of electricity and heat. Since the company was founded, energy conversion has been a core Bosch competence. The product portfolio for improving energy efficiency ranges from systems for economical internal-combustion engines and electromobility to the recycling of automotive components, to energy-saving heating systems and household appliances, and to highly efficient hydraulic powertrains.

Sustainable mobility and powertrain solutions
Intensive research activities play a major role in making Bosch a market and innovation leader in electronic powertrain and safety systems. And in diesel and gasoline engines as well, there are technological possibilities for reducing consumption even further. Through further downsizing and improved combustion, an extra 20 percent of fuel can be saved compared with 2012 levels. On the basis of this improved technology, even the strict CO2 limits that are in the pipeline for the EU in 2020 will be achievable for smaller vehicles. In the case of larger vehicles, an electrification of the powertrain may be necessary as well. For its diesel and gasoline injection systems, Bosch has recently started using ultrashort laser pulses to drill extremely tiny holes in its injection nozzles. It is the first manufacturer to do so. Compared with a conventional system, gasoline direct injection offers a fuel saving of up to 15 percent. This new laser drilling process also helps achieve a significant reduction in emissions.

The future belongs to electromobility. In this area, Bosch is already a recognized authority, supplying key components such as electric motors, power electronics, regenerative braking systems, and battery systems. A volume market here will likely only develop after 2020. But by the end of 2014 at the latest Bosch will have completed 30 projects relating to powertrain electrification in production vehicles. By the end of the decade, Bosch wants to have more than doubled batteries' energy density, and to have developed motor designs that can make do with a smaller quantity of rare earth elements, or possibly no such elements at all. If all-electric vehicles are to become established, it will be important for them to be fun to drive, comfortable, and affordable. This was the secret behind the rapid rise of e-bikes.

That said, the road to electromobility will be a long one. Until then, innovative hybrid solutions will necessarily play a significant role. For example, plug-in hybrids combine all-electric driving in urban areas with effective long-range mobility in one and the same vehicle. And using another technical alternative, hydraulic hybrids, Bosch improves the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of mobile machinery, buses, and garbage collection trucks.
In the future, we want to harness the benefits of hydraulic accumulators in passenger cars driving in urban areas as well. This can create a fuel saving of up to 45 percent. This technology is robust and, since it does not require a battery, comparatively inexpensive.

As an entry-level hybrid for the middle class, Bosch offers the boost recuperation system. Since its core element, the generator, supplies a high level of voltage, it is also the basis for the new, high-performance, 48-volt onboard part-networks. It offers a number of advantages. First, the system allows fuel-saving coasting. Due to its higher power, it makes far better use of regenerative braking than conventional generators. Second, using this system can reduce fuel consumption by up to 7 percent. The electric motor delivers up to 10 kilowatts, and thus supports the combustion engine. This is especially advantageous for downsizing concepts.

The Bosch eClutch makes it possible for drivers of cars with manual transmissions to drive off in stop-and-go traffic without using the clutch. In this way, they can save fuel. This electronically controlled clutch closes the gap between automatic and manual transmission. In addition, the eClutch makes the coasting function possible, which saves fuel. Independently of the driver, the clutch decouples the engine from the transmission if the driver is no longer accelerating. The engines then stops. In this way, fuel consumption is reduced by an average of 10 percent.

Resource-conserving, efficient manufacturing technology
The potential energy savings in industry are even higher. By 2030, the energy demand of the secondary sector could be reduced by roughly one-quarter if state-of-the-art technology were used across the board. To drive this process forward, Bosch is leading by example. By 2020, it has set itself the target of reducing the CO2 emissions from its manufacturing locations by 20 percent from their 2007 levels. Energy efficiency is also to be improved by 20 percent. More than half of the 260 locations of this supplier of technology and services have been certified according to the international ISO 14001 environmental standard. Bosch is working hard to improve the energy efficiency of its own manufacturing facilities. The results are promising: between 2007 and 2012, Bosch was able to reduce its relative CO2 emissions by 15 percent. In plants that have already fully completed the move to energy-saving processes, it has been possible to reduce emissions by more than 30 percent.

The Bosch Drive and Control Technology division has developed a program known as “Rexroth for Energy Efficiency,” or 4EE for short. The program can be used to optimize manufacturing machinery – through integrated systems design, efficient components, energy recovery and storage, and energy on demand. Here, energy use is optimized not only for individual stages of production, but also for entire manufacturing systems. At the company's Homburg location in Germany, for example, Bosch energy experts have optimized the energy consumption of its energy-intensive cleaning systems. At the beginning of June 2013, this systematic approach earned the location the “Deutscher Ideenpreis” (German prize for ideas).
For its Reutlingen location, Bosch received the Baden-Württemberg environment award in 2012. The citation described Bosch as a company whose scope of activities for generating renewable power, saving energy, and developing solutions for increasing the company's energy efficiency is exemplary". Bosch has developed an especially sophisticated energy concept for the location: All the waste heat from production processes is exploited, water is recovered, and the cooling-water and heating systems are interlinked. This reduces consumption of fossil fuels and saves on electricity for re-cooling. Other aspects of the energy concept include a combined heat and power (CHP) plant, heat pumps, flue-gas heat exchangers, a solar heating system, and a photovoltaic array. Together with efficient production processes and modern plant engineering, the concept helps Bosch save around 10,000 metric tons of CO2 a year at the Reutlingen location. Rather than by burning fossil fuels, 90 percent of the modern wafer fab's heat requirement is met by way of waste-heat utilization, a renewable form of energy.

Bosch is an industrial and research partner for the “eta factory.” This refers to a project of the Technical University of Darmstadt, named “Energy-efficient factory for interdisciplinary technology and application research.” The objective of the project is to further reduce and improve energy consumption in industrial production. The project members believe that the energy-saving potential is as high as 40 percent. What makes the project special is its interdisciplinary approach to reducing energy consumption. All a factory's sub-systems, such as the building, technical infrastructure, and machinery and equipment, are considered as a whole and their energy requirements optimized. As well as specialist and process-related know-how, Bosch Rexroth and Bosch Thermotechnology will contribute technical infrastructure. For example, Bosch Rexroth will supply the factory's production line. Bosch Thermotechnology has supplied an ORC (organic Rankine cycle) plant, among other things. This technology allows waste heat to be used intelligently.

Smart energy and building technology
Even though buildings consume the most energy, they are far less state-of-the-art than vehicles. The heating systems currently in use in Germany are nearly twice as old as the vehicle fleet. Through its Energy and Building Technology business sector, Bosch offers the owners of houses and commercial buildings a combination of technology and service. Exchanging old heating systems for new is generally only the first step toward improving buildings' energy efficiency. Bosch solutions intelligently link and control the generation and consumption of electricity and heat. This will make power supply even more efficient and smarter, as well as more decentralized. To achieve this, Bosch brings relevant sets of competence together – from the control of heating and security systems to energy management services. This allows customers to use energy more efficiently, and thus to save costs. With intelligent, energy-efficient systems for industry and buildings, Bosch is complementing the increased use of renewable energy, and in this way helping to achieve energy efficiency and to make the move to alternative energy a success.

The aim of optimizing buildings' energy efficiency by using new, efficient heating technology that also exploits renewable sources of energy is is something that can be achieved quickly and simply using products that are already available. For example, inefficient heating systems can be replaced. In Germany alone, the nationwide use of modern Bosch heating technology could save roughly 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year. This is roughly equivalent to one-third of all the CO2 emitted by traffic in Germany. For example, Bosch has just launched an oil-fired condensing boiler that significantly reduces fuel and maintenance costs. What makes this so exciting is that the injection valve and lambda control have been adapted from Bosch gasoline systems. This is a premiere for automotive components in heating systems.

While Bosch does not want put the central heating on the sofa, it can certainly be operated from there. And there seems to be no reason why the central heating should not be controlled using smart devices. Bosch Thermotechnology alone offers 15 different apps. Saving energy should not just be about doing without. It should be fun too, and simpler at the very least. On this subject, Bosch offers its own online energy-efficiency advisory service for buildings at www.effizienzhaus-online.de (German only). To use it, all house-owners have to do is enter their building data. Using figures computed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, the advisory service then presents them with suggestions for renovating their house, from roof insulation to the boiler. Up to now, such ease of use was only available when choosing extras for a car.

A further development pointing the way forward is the energy-plus house – a house that generates more power than it consumes. In a recent demonstration project, Bosch was able to show that such a house is already possible and affordable, using technologies that are currently available. As in the industrial sector, the approach taken here is an integrated one. It includes concepts for the generation of heat and power, for example using heat pumps and photovoltaics, efficient building technology for things such as optimum ventilation, and efficient, A+++ household appliances. Moreover, economical energy-storage devices can optimize occupants' power consumption even further, which is a further reason for Bosch to step up its research into battery technology.

Bosch also offers efficient technology for commercial buildings. The company has already installed 1,200 combined heat and power plants and waste heat power plants, with this figure set to reach more than 5,000 by 2020. But it is especially in business premises that the intelligent networking of energy systems is important. This calls for two things. The first is process and monitoring technology – know-how that Bosch brings with it from its business with machinery and industrial plant. The second is professional advice – a competence that is contributed by the subsidiary Bosch Energy and Building Solutions. Bosch engineers can unlock even hidden potential for efficiency. Controlling ventilation according to actual demand, using air compressors to channel waste heat from production to heat offices – with measures such as these, the Bosch experts can already achieve an average 20 percent energy saving in commercial buildings. Current BEBS projects reduce annual CO2 emissions by 80,000 metric tons – as much as the emissions of a small town.

Research and development
With more than 42,000 researchers at over 80 locations worldwide, Bosch invests roughly half its R&D budget in technologies that conserve resources and protect the environment. In 2012 alone, the company spent some 4.8 billion euros for research and development – more than 9 percent of its sales – and applied for over 4,800 patents worldwide.

For more information online:
Sustainability at Bosch
Bosch Sustainability Report 2012
Rexroth 4EE – Rexroth for Energy Efficiency
The energy-efficient factory of the future (German only)
Bosch ORC systems
Effiziency House online (German only)
Gasoline injection systems
The eClutch saves fuel and makes driving easier
Bosch eBike Systems
Bosch wins DeutscherIdeenPreis for the Best Green Innovation
Environment Award for Businesses 2012 for Bosch

Videos:
Start-stop coasting and boost recuperation system
Boost Recuperation System
Start-Stopp-System
Plug-in-hybrid
Flex Fuel
Gasoline direct injection
Regenerative braking
Bosch Thermotechnology: Combined heat and power plant
Bosch Thermotechnolgoy: Solar Thermal System

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8345 - September 27, 2013

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