Energy and Building Technology

Innovations cut down on CO2 emissions Responding to climate change with energy efficiency Vehicle coasting and electricity from waste heat

  • Summary of climate report to be prepared October 27-31, 2014
  • Bosch CEO Denner: “We need to tap hidden energy potential”
  • Example: saving gasoline with the finest possible holes
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  • October 21, 2014
  • Energy and Building Technology
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press release

        The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes that the use of
        advanced technologies to improve energy efficiency could stabilize or even
        reduce energy consumption by 2050. Bosch already has a lot to offer.

Stuttgart: Our atmosphere is heating up – and it’s the greenhouse gases emitted by human activity that are primarily to blame. So says the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its latest internationally significant report. The scientists recommend that emissions of greenhouse gases must be reduced if we are to combat the global warming trend. One of the ways to do this is by improving energy efficiency. “Its findings present the global community with the crucial task of finding new solutions that will help us make efficient use of energy. If we approach this challenge in the right way, we can turn it to our advantage,” says Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner. “Done the right way, products that protect our environment are innovative advances that combat climate change and increase comfort. They will also save users money.”

Submission of recommendation for action to heads of state
From October 27-31, 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be meeting in Copenhagen to produce a condensed recommendation for action for heads of government and heads of state. This will be presented on November 2, 2014 in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Leaders will then meet at the beginning of December 2014 for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Peru’s capital city Lima, where they will discuss how they want to go about countering climate change. “Globally speaking, development work to improve energy efficiency is not moving quickly enough. If we want to achieve our aim of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius, we must give higher priority to energy efficiency improvement initiatives,” Denner says. The Bosch CEO is a physicist by training and counts research among his areas of responsibility.

“Taking precautionary action”
Denner is at pains to point out that we don’t yet know exactly what effects our behavior today will have in the future. “But really, that is exactly what sustainable behavior is all about: understanding the relationship between cause and effect. Man-made climate change is an important example. We need to know how the energy consumption of everything from manufacturing operations to private vehicles will impact tomorrow’s environment – even if that impact is on the other side of the world. Wherever we can establish this sort of transparency, we have the chance to make the right choice. As an individual, to buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle. As a company, to invest in energy-efficient production or resource-saving products. What’s really important is that even if we don’t yet fully understand all the effects, we should still make an effort to act in a way that minimizes any negative impact of our behavior. We would be well advised to take this sort of precautionary action with regard to climate change as well.”

Bosch is responding with a whole range of innovations. Factories can be heated with the waste heat from production processes; gasoline direct injection contributes to a fuel saving of 15 percent; Bosch makes the most energy-efficient dryer in the world, which knocks another 10 percent off even the most energy-efficient A+++ class. “There’s still a lot of hidden energy potential to unlock, and we’re far from exploiting all of it,” explains Denner. “Simply by improving the way air conditioning is controlled in existing commercial buildings, we can achieve energy savings of at least 30 percent and improve comfort levels. These sorts of investments often pay off for the customer within two to three years.”

Vehicle coasting
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 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 can simply coast for almost a third of every journey.

Electricity from waste heat
“As elsewhere, in Germany a significant portion of energy is lost as unused waste heat. Such waste is costly and bad for the environment,” says Denner. “It’s much better to channel that waste heat through a heat exchanger, for instance, so it can heat a coolant in a closed cycle. Even at low exhaust temperatures, this achieves high pressures to drive an electricity generator via a turbine.” This organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is just one of the solutions in the Bosch portfolio.

Researching our energy future
Bosch is also industry and research partner for the Technical University of Darmstadt’s “Energy-efficient factory for interdisciplinary technology and application research,” a project that aims to further reduce the amount of energy consumed in industrial production. The project members believe that the energy-saving potential is as high as 40 percent. Elsewhere, Bosch is investigating how wave energy can be converted into electricity. A research network made up of four companies and two universities aims to establish sustainable power generation along the world’s coasts.

Saving gasoline with the finest possible holes
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 that the fuel distribution within the combustion chamber can be optimized, contributing to a fuel saving of up to 15 percent for gasoline direct injection systems. In 2013, the team of Bosch researchers and partners responsible for developing the idea won the German Future Prize awarded by the German Federal President. “Protecting the environment and doing business sustainably are central tenets of our corporate strategy. Bosch focuses almost half of its research and development spending on the development of eco-friendly products,” says Denner.

Voluntary commitment to cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020
Bosch has also pledged to cut CO2 emissions from its own value-added activities with a 20 percent reduction by 2020 – compared against 2007 levels. The company is well on its way, since value-added CO2 emissions in 2013 were already 16 percent lower compared against 2007 levels.

This has been achieved by bringing in new, energy-efficient technology. At the Nuremberg plant, for instance, making use of the waste heat from the electrical machining has in large part replaced the need for gas and oil for heating purposes – saving 1,800 tons of CO2 emissions every year. In the south of France, the Bosch plant in Rodez uses an efficient biomass boiler fueled by wood chips – saving 600 tons of CO2 emissions every year. And in Schwieberdingen near Stuttgart, a combined heat and power plant saves 1,600 tons of CO2 a year. “This all goes to show that we don’t just set climate protection priorities at Bosch, we implement them too,” emphasizes Denner.

Timeline for climate report summary:
Start-stop coasting:
ORC (organic Rankine cycle):
German Future Prize:
Electricity from wave energy:
Logano plus GB145:
Sustainability at Bosch:

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 and,

PI8599 - October 21, 2014

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