Energy and Building Technology

World-record-holding dryer and fuel cells Bosch technology for energy efficiency Fuel economy thanks to predictive navigation

  • Built many times already: the energy-plus house
  • Successful model: direct injection reduces fuel consumption by up to 15 percent
  • Current research: electricity from wave energy
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  • October 21, 2014
  • Energy and Building Technology
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press release

        In Germany alone, the nationwide use of modern Bosch heating technology
        could save roughly 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year. There are many
        other ways to increase energy efficiency.

Stuttgart – The climate report issued by the IPCC states that the predicted warming of the Earth’s atmosphere by more than two degrees Celsius could still be prevented if decisive action is taken. One prerequisite for this is enhanced energy efficiency. As the report states: “In the building sector, the use of advanced technologies, the energy-efficient retrofitting of existing structures, and the introduction of energy efficiency standards for new buildings could stabilize or reduce final energy consumption by 2050.”

The researchers also write: “The energy intensity of the industrial sector could be directly reduced by about 25 percent compared to the current level through widespread use of the best available technologies.” They also state that improving energy efficiency even further could lead to additional reductions of about 20 percent.

Bosch already has the necessary technology in its portfolio, and generates more than 40 percent of its sales from environmental and resource-saving technologies and products. A selection:

Building technology examples

  1. An energy-plus house has been built in Wetzlar, Germany, that generates more energy per year than its inhabitants require. The house was built by Buderus, a project team created by Bosch Thermotechnology, Buderus Immobilien GmbH (BIG), and SchwörerHaus.

  2. Efficiency savings at Cologne Bonn airport: Technology conversions carried out by Bosch have allowed airport operators to permanently switch off the 342 circulating air cooling systems on the exterior façade of the Terminal 2 building. All nine of the airport’s door air curtain systems, which prevent cold air from entering the building, are now no longer needed, even at very low outdoor temperatures. Now the conversion is complete, ventilation technology at the airport predominantly operates at partial load. Energy costs have been reduced by around 40 percent and CO2 emissions cut by 1,800 tons per year.

  3. Rothaus, the state-owned brewery located in Grafenhausen, has been using a Bosch biomass heating plant since 2008 to generate the steam and heat energy required for its operations. The plant has reduced not only energy costs but also CO2 emissions by 3,000 tons per year. The plant is fuelled with natural woodchips sourced from the Black Forest that have guaranteed availability all year round.

  4. Buderus – a Bosch Thermotechnology brand – has a portfolio that includes Logapower FC10, a decentralized electricity and heat production system intended both for new installations and for refurbishments. Based on fuel-cell technology, it is able to supply single- and two-family homes with a high proportion of the heat and power required by the occupants. The system is fuelled by natural gas and generates both electrical and thermal energy through combined heat and power generation. Its electrical efficiency of more than 40 percent and overall efficiency of 90 percent make this one of the most efficient systems for decentralized power and heat generation on the market.

  5. German home-improvement retailer OBI has opted for CO2-neutral heat at its Heidelberg store. Bosch supplies the store with renewable energy from biomass through connection to an existing power station nearby, where a biomass boiler supplies a large part of the energy required by the neighboring company, Eternit AG. Locally sourced biomass keeps transportation routes short, strengthens regional value creation, and reduces CO2 emissions.

  6. Freizeitbetriebe Worms GmbH, the organization that operates public swimming pools in the German city of Worms, has modernized the heating and ventilation system at one of its facilities. The installation of Bosch technology to replace the control module has made the pool’s muggy indoor climate a thing of the past. There is now a comfortable ambient temperature throughout the entire building, while energy and operating costs have fallen by 30 percent.

  7. Thanks to Bosch, farmers in New Zealand can use gas instead of electricity to heat the water required to clean their dairy plants every day. This lowers their energy costs by some 60 percent while simultaneously reducing emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. What enabled them to make this quick and cost-effective upgrade of an existing electrical system to gas was the use of a patent-protected valve.

  8. The Bildungszentrum Worms (BIZ) now uses Bosch Energy and Building Solutions (BEBS) ventilation technology products and services. Over the course of a modernization project, the building shell was renovated and the building’s technology upgraded. As a result, the building is now over 40 percent more energy efficient than the mandatory legal requirement for new buildings.

  9. In Germany alone, the nationwide use of modern heating systems made by Bosch could save 50 million metric tons of CO2 per year. This is roughly equivalent to one-third of all the CO2 emitted by traffic in Germany. Bosch’s product portfolio includes an oil-fired condensing boiler that significantly reduces fuel and maintenance costs. Its modulation makes the Logano plus GB145 made by Buderus so flexible that it can adjust its performance at any time to suit specific heat requirements.

  10. With Bosch’s online energy efficiency advisor, all house owners have to do is enter their building data to receive suggestions for renovating their house, from the roof to the boiler. The tool uses figures computed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics.

Savings through improved ventilation control

Engineers from the Bosch Energy and Building Solutions (BEBS) subsidiary are unlocking hidden potential for efficiency. Measures such as controlling ventilation according to actual demand and using waste heat from production to heat offices make it possible to achieve an average 20 percent energy saving in commercial buildings. “Such investments often pay off within two to three years,” says Michael Blichmann, general manager of BEBS.

With conventional systems, air is forced to circulate in a certain direction, which often means it is not mixed in the best possible way. As a result, the temperature is unevenly distributed, and some areas of the space are cold and drafty. Moreover, the space needs a relatively large supply of fresh air, which has to be cooled in summer and heated in winter. This creates a poor indoor environment and frequently leads to high energy costs. By contrast, Bosch’s innovative management algorithm ensures an omnidirectional flow of air and thus even air distribution in a room. The result is a constant temperature and an evenly ventilated space. Energy savings can be as much as 70 percent.

Storing energy for occupant’s own use

  1. What if I could use my own solar power late into the night? Photovoltaic systems generate electrical power, although in the middle of the day when often nobody is home. But in the evening, when demand is at its peak, the sun is no longer shining. The BPT-S 5 Hybrid energy storage system balances out supply and demand.

  2. Bosch is supplying a flexible energy storage system for a new housing complex that comprises 180 townhouses in Kelsterbach, a town close to Frankfurt, Germany. The system has an installed capacity of 135 kilowatts. On paper, this is enough to meet the daily power requirements of ten average four-person households. The storage system helps ensure the best possible local use is made of the power generated in the complex.

  3. Improving the use of intermittent wind power as a power source: One of Europe’s largest hybrid batteries stores the electricity generated at a community wind farm in the northern German municipality of Braderup and feeds it back into the power grid as needed. The system has a total capacity of 3 megawatt hours (MWh) and comprises a 2 MWh lithium-ion storage unit and a 1 MWh vanadium redox flow battery.

More efficient manufacturing

At its manufacturing facility in Mellansel in Sweden, Bosch Rexroth produces heavy-duty engines used on ships, in the extraction of raw materials, and in recycling plants. Engines that are later exposed to saltwater receive a multi-layered coating to protect against corrosion. The coating is applied in the factory’s on-site paint shop, which was modernized to reduce energy consumption by 75 percent. Measures that helped improve energy efficiency include an energy recovery system using heat-pump technology, and the use of smaller drying booths instead of the drying tunnel featured in the old plant. Between 40 and 60 engines are painted each day on the new, automated assembly line. The next expansion stage is to increase the throughput from 12,000 to 16,000 units per year.

More efficient household appliances

  1. World record in the laundry room: The new Bosch HomeProfessional WTY887W3 dryer is currently the most economical and the quietest dryer in its class. With its annual energy consumption of 158 kilowatt-hours (kWh), this appliance knocks another 10 percent off the best efficiency class A+++. One of the reasons is that its optimized EcoSilence compressor compresses the coolant extremely quickly and flexibly. Then there is the self-cleaning condenser, which Bosch has patented. Thanks to an automatic rinsing system, the condenser no longer needs to be cleaned. That means the dryer’s electricity consumption will stay low throughout its service life.

  2. Bosch’s KSV36AW40 refrigerator in the best energy-efficiency class A+++ requires 75 kWh per year to operate 24 hours a day for 365 days. That’s half the amount of energy required by an 18 W energy-saving lamp, which would need 157.68 kWh per year.

  3. Based on the European energy label, BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH brings its most efficient products together in the super-efficiency portfolio. Appliances in this portfolio must meet the condition of consuming extremely low levels of energy or water, and therefore have the best energy-efficiency class for their category. The portfolio includes washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators graded A+++ or A++, and also cookers, ovens, and driers that achieve an A label with their most efficient model. In 2011, the portfolio products sold saved a total of 1.87 billion kilowatt hours of electricity – that is equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 525,000 households.

Researching our energy future

  1. Bosch is an industrial and research partner on the Technische Universität Darmstadt’s “eta factory” project – the “energy-efficient factory for interdisciplinary technology and application research.” Their objective 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.

  2. Bosch invests roughly half its R&D budget worldwide in technologies that conserve resources and protect the environment. Bosch spent some 4.5 billion euros on research and development in 2013 alone – almost 10 percent of its sales – and applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide.

  3. Bosch has implemented on an industrial scale a new technology that uses ultrashort laser pulses to drill the finest possible holes. This method is able to bore out gasoline injection nozzles so precisely as to optimize fuel distribution within the combustion chamber, contributing to a fuel saving of up to 15 percent for gasoline direct injection systems. In 2013, the idea won researchers from Bosch, TRUMPF Laser GmbH, and Friedrich Schiller University of Jena the German Future Prize awarded by the German Federal President.

  4. Eco-friendly electricity from wave energy: A demonstrator model in a Bosch laboratory illustrates how wave energy can be converted into electricity. A publicly funded research network made up of four companies and two universities aims to establish sustainable power generation along the world’s coastlines.

More efficient packaging technologies

Just one of its plants for packaging chocolate bars, biscuits, and other foods saves Bosch Packaging Technology some 390,000 square meters of plastic film annually – an area equivalent to the size of 54 football fields. This is possible because the ends of the packaging are sealed using ultrasonic technology, which requires only a very small contact area between the films forming the seal. Over the course of a year, this adds up to a huge amount of material saved. What’s more, there is no need to produce, print, or transport any more film than is required.

More efficient automotive technology

Bosch extras that make new cars more economical:

  • Continuously variable transmission – reduces fuel consumption by up to 7 percent.
  • Start/stop – fuel is no longer used at a red light, reducing fuel consumption by at least 5 percent.
  • Electrification – reduces fuel consumption by up to 60 percent.
  • Adaptive cruise control (ACC) helps drivers maintain a constant speed and reduces fuel consumption by up to 5 percent.
  • Bosch gasoline direct injection helps reduce fuel consumption by up to 15 percent.
  • Bosch has developed the iBooster, an electromechanical brake booster that provides situation-dependent support when the driver initiates braking. The iBooster makes hybrid and electric vehicles even more efficient, while enhancing safety through shorter braking distances. Depending on vehicle design, the iBooster can increase the range of electric vehicles by up to 20 percent. It also allows more comprehensive use of fuel-saving functions that stop the engine for periods of time, such as start-stop or coasting. If hybrid and electric vehicles are to achieve their intended range and fuel efficiency, they must recover as much electrical drive energy as possible when braking. Ideally, cars would be slowed down purely as a result of their electric motor converting their kinetic energy into electricity. This would avoid the loss of valuable energy through braking. The iBooster recovers almost all the energy lost in typical braking operations.
  • Bosch’s start-stop coasting function means that whenever the vehicle is able to maintain its speed simply by rolling – for instance on a gentle decline – the engine is stopped. As soon as the driver touches the gas or brake pedal, the engine starts up again. Tests carried out by Bosch have shown that the combustion engine runs needlessly about 30 percent of the time, meaning that the vehicle could simply coast for about a third of every journey. Although these phases are not taken into account in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), under real traffic conditions the function will give drivers a fuel saving of roughly 10 percent. Reduced fuel consumption also means lower CO2 emissions. In Germany, some three million new vehicles were sold in 2012. According to statistics, the annual average distance driven is around 11,500 kilometers. If every new car were equipped with the coasting system and emitted just ten grams less CO2 per kilometer as a result, the theoretical annual reduction in CO2 would amount to over 30,000 metric tons.
  • In stop-and-go traffic, the Bosch eClutch allows drivers using manual transmission to use first gear without using the clutch. This electronically controlled clutch closes the gap between automatic and manual transmission. In addition, the eClutch makes the coasting function possible, which saves fuel.
  • The pioneering Eco.Logic motion navigation system enables more economical driving for commercial vehicles. In the new Mercedes-Benz Actros, information about inclines is used to calculate an efficient driving strategy for engine management and transmission control. By accelerating at the right time in advance of inclines and by avoiding unnecessary gear shifts, fuel consumption can be reduced by 3 percent on average. (
  • Electromobility will play a major role in the future. Bosch is already firmly established in this area, producing essential components such as electric motors, power electronics, energy-recovering braking systems, and battery systems. Although a volume market here will likely develop only after 2020, by the end of 2014 at the latest Bosch will have completed 30 projects relating to powertrain electrification in production vehicles. The goal for electric powertrain systems by the end of the decade is to more than double the energy density of batteries and to develop engine concepts that require either fewer rare earth elements or none at all. “Electromobility is currently still a niche business, but after 2020 it could very well become a mass market. I expect that by 2020, electric cars will have a range of at least 300 kilometers,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Robert Bosch GmbH board of management and who is responsible for research and advance engineering.
  • E-mobility goes far beyond the traditional automotive product business. With components for e-bikes and e-scooters, Bosch supports multi-modal transport concepts in urban centers. Its subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations is developing the necessary infrastructure. For example, the system enables e-roaming, which allows vehicles to use charge spots belonging to different providers. The company has developed such a software platform for Berliner Hubject GmbH, a consortium of automotive and energy companies.
Savings through combined heat and power plants, heat recovery, and ORC

Bosch 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.
A combined heat and power (CHP) plant produces electrical energy and heat at the same time. A combustion engine, for example fuelled by biogas, drives a generator. The waste heat it produces heats water – hence we refer to combined heat and power generation. The warm water is usually used to heat houses located directly by or close to the CHP plant, but it can also be fed into a heat network. This combination is much more energy efficient than producing electricity in a large power plant and heat in many separate small heating systems in homes. CHP plants therefore conserve both financial resources and the environment, as less gas is required to achieve the same output as in separate power and heat generation. Emissions are also lower as a result. This is true not only for CO2 emissions; NOX (nitrogen oxides) and CO (carbon monoxide) levels also drop to significantly below legally established limits.

Primary energy savings compared to conventional solutions can be as high as 40 percent. CHP plants built by Bosch KWK Systeme GmbH achieve overall efficiencies of up to 95 percent. By way of comparison, conventional energy supply systems that provide electricity generated by power plants and heat from boilers can achieve an overall efficiency of only 56 percent. Bosch CHP plants improve the economic and ecological balance in many cases. One example is the Hetlingen sewage treatment plant in Schleswig-Holstein, which treats more than 30 million cubic meters of waste water from over 480,000 people. The CHP-plant modules achieve an electrical efficiency of 41 percent and an overall efficiency of almost 84 percent.

Heat recovery steam boiler
Bosch Industriekessel heat recovery steam boilers are good additions to energy concepts involving combined heat and power generation. They provide an efficient way of using accumulated flue gas heat by converting it into process steam. Depending on the version, it is possible to generate between 400 and 4,100 kilograms of steam per hour. Used in conjunction with a combined heat and power unit, heat recovery boilers can play a significant part in strategies for using primary energy efficiently. This additional option for using heat means that combined heat and power units can generally be designed on a larger scale than thermal heat-driven plants. The result is that the plant operator is able to obtain more of its own electricity, which in turn leads to excellent savings on energy costs and short payback periods.

Organic Rankine cycle (ORC): Electricity from waste heat
A large proportion of all energy used around the world is lost in the form of waste heat. This is not only an expensive waste, but one that is also damaging to the climate when we consider that a major proportion of this energy is generated from fossil fuels.

The ORC solutions offered by Bosch KWK Systeme enable waste heat to be used to generate electric power. The process is based on an organic coolant that makes it possible to generate electric power at comparatively low temperatures. ORC technology involves passing waste heat through a heat exchanger, transferring its thermal energy to a coolant in a closed cycle that creates high steam pressure, even at low temperatures. This pressure is used to drive a turbine connected to a generator. The steam is returned to its fluid state in an air-heat exchanger, cooled, and then fed back into the vaporization cycle. Depending on the situation, the electrical power this generates can be fed into the public grid or be used as a personal power supply on site.

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.

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PI8592 - October 21, 2014

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