Smart connectivity for heat pumps and photovoltaic systems
Controlling highly efficient air/water heat pumps via smartphone
Electricity storage system for pioneering housing complex
Stuttgart – At Intersolar Europe 2014 (June 4-6) in Munich, Bosch will show how smart connectivity can be implemented for electrical and thermal energy using a photovoltaic system combined with the latest in heat pump technology. Bosch will be demonstrating the solution using the SWI-2 heat pump made by Bosch Thermotechnology brand Junkers. This solution allows users to consume the lion's share of the electricity they themselves generate from solar power in their own homes – which dramatically reduces their electricity costs – while also powering the heat pump so it can extract heat from air, water, or the ground and convert it into energy that can be used for heating or hot water. The Bosch system features an energy management system that knows when the heat pump requires electricity and – provided there has been enough sunshine – answers that need with solar power.
At the heart of the smart control system is e.Control, which is connected to the household's electricity meter and monitors power flows within the home. The system is designed to always prioritize supply to any home appliances currently in operation. Should the photovoltaic system connected to a Bosch inverter generate any surplus power, e.Control sends a signal to the heat pump to heat the hot water tank. This means optimum use is made of the household's solar power, since it avoids feeding any surplus electricity into the grid at too cheap a price. What's more, it relieves the public grid.
Integration of electricity storage makes consumers largely self-sufficient Integrating Bosch Power Tec BPT-S 5 Hybrid storage into this energy system further boosts the degree to which a household can make use of self-generated electricity from the photovoltaic system. Even when the sky is overcast or after sunset, the storage system continues to provide the heat pump with a reliable supply of electricity. If the storage system has been integrated, any surplus electricity is sent to the powerful lithium-ion batteries before a signal is sent to the heat pump. When the hot water tank is heated, electrical power is converted into thermal energy, which in effect increases the stored energy. So running such a system is a large step toward achieving independence from the public grid.
Controlling highly efficient air/water heat pumps via smartphone At Intersolar, Bosch will also be presenting the new Junkers Supraeco SAO-2 modulating air/water heat pump – one of the first on the market to feature a modulating exterior unit. Thanks to a speed-controlled compressor, the Supraeco SAO-2 always supplies only as much energy as is required. This inverter technology makes the heat pump 11 percent more efficient than previous models. Its reduced electricity consumption is reflected in a drop in CO2 emissions, and it is easily adapted to use in detached or semi-detached houses. As standard, the heat circuit's flow temperature never exceeds 62 degrees Celsius during heat pump operation. The Supraeco SAO-2 can actively cool rooms and can be operated via the internet without having to install any additional hardware. The IP gateway required for web communication is already integrated, paving the way for convenient operation via smartphone or tablet. Junkers will soon be introducing its heat pump app JunkersHome. The Supraeco SAO-2 has also been classed “smart grid ready.”
Electricity storage/battery system for pioneering housing complex Bosch Energy Storage Solutions will also be at Intersolar, presenting a modular, safe, and turnkey storage solution for housing complexes. The Bosch turnkey storage system uses lithium-ion technology, is around 7 meters wide, 0.6 meters deep, and 1.8 meters tall, and is designed to be installed in an electrical services room. Its capacity and electronics are tailored to the requirements of the complex's power grid. Thanks to its power of 50 kilowatts, the battery can be fully charged or discharged in two hours. Its inverter enables it both to feed electricity into to the grid and to recharge from it. The means by which the battery system is controlled, in combination with Bosch's expertise in the right way to charge and discharge batteries, extends the battery's operating life. Bosch designs, develops, and builds storage systems on a variety of scales all the way up to the megawatt-hour range. Bosch is supplying just such an adaptable energy storage system to a housing complex comprising 180 row houses currently being built in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt. The storage system has an installed capacity of 135 kilowatt hours, which is enough to power ten average four-person households for a day.
Bosch booth at Intersolar Europe 2014: Hall B3, booth 310
Bosch Thermotechnology is a leading European manufacturer of resource-efficient heating products and hot water solutions. In fiscal 2013, the company generated sales of 3.12 billion euros (66 percent outside Germany) and employed approx. 13,500 people. Bosch Thermotechnology has strong international and regional brands and manufactures a diversified product range in Europe, America and Asia.
Bosch Power Tec GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH and was founded in January 2011. The business purpose is the development and sales of electronic power components for the use of renewable energies. The portfolio includes highly-efficient solar inverters, pre-fabricated inverter stations, system management solutions and pioneering electricity storage technologies. Extensive service and maintenance contracts for every product group enhance the Bosch Power Tec range.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”
Hotmobil, a supplier of mobile energy plants for heat, cooling and steam, has presented a technical innovation in the area of mobile heating plants: the six-metre long Hotmaster MHC 1.500 container system, which weighs 8,500 kilograms, with integrated Bosch heating boiler and condensing heat exchanger features a high standard utilisation efficiency of up to 104 percent at an output of 1,500 kW.
“This mobile heating plant with condensing technology, which is the largest on the market, is yet another result of the many years of successful cooperation between Hotmobil and Bosch Industriekessel”, says Reto Brütsch, Technical Director of Hotmobil. The Bosch heating boiler UT-L in 3-pass design, which is built into this heating plant, has already proven its worth thousands of times in practical use. The integrated condensing heat exchanger ensures that the system operates particularly economically. It reduces the flue gas temperature below the flue gas dew point and uses the condensation heat, which is released. The efficiency increases, emissions and fuel use decrease. The dual oil/gas firing system ensures that there is the greatest possible flexibility.
The new Hotmobil container system with integrated Bosch boiler technology has three sides, which can be opened completely. This makes operation easier and enables maintenance to be carried out quickly and efficiently. Another advantage is the extremely compact construction, which means that the logistics costs remain at a very low level. In emergencies the plant can be made ready within a few hours. The possible applications of the mobile energy plant are very varied. As a mobile and modular solution, which is also capable of being upgraded, it can be used for office buildings, hospitals, large residential complexes, local and district heat supply and for a wide range of applications to provide process heat.
2013: without extraordinary effects, margin of 6 percent
Sales growth of roughly 7 percent in the first three months of the year
Growth between 3 and 5 percent expected for 2014
Market leader in micromechanical sensor technology, a gateway technology
Opening up new and internet-based market segments
One billion euros in sales with driver assistance systems by 2016
Sales to double in Asia Pacific and the Americas by 2020
*Note: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the previously published figures for 2012. The decision to forego the application of proportionate consolidation affects mainly BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH and ZF Lenksysteme GmbH with a consolidated sales volume of some 7.3 billion euros.
Stuttgart – The Bosch Group has started the new year with a good increase in sales. In the first quarter, sales grew by roughly 7 percent. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, the increase was roughly 10 percent. For the current fiscal year, the global provider of technology and services expects its sales to grow 3 to 5 percent. “We continue to move forward with our traditional business and are opening up new fields of business. In so doing, we are benefiting from our broad technological and industrial expertise,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management, at the company's annual press conference. The Bosch Automotive Technology business sector continued its strong business performance of the previous year, growing impressively in the first quarter of 2014. “We have also seen clear growth in our other business sectors. With regard to the regions, business in Asia Pacific is developing especially well,” said Dr. Stefan Asenkerschbaumer, the Bosch CFO. Bosch also aims to further improve result in 2014.
Sensor technology – global market leader for the technology of the future Internet-enabled products and internet-based services are one of the focal points of the company's future sales growth. With its hardware know-how and broad technological expertise, Denner believes Bosch is well prepared to move into this direction. “Bosch's traditional strengths – our innovative strength, high standard of quality, international presence, and the integrative force of our corporate culture – are also valuable in the connected world,” Denner said. Moreover, the company is global market leader in the area of micromechanical sensors (MEMS), a key technology when it comes to networking things on the internet. Bosch's strategic objective is to create solutions for connected mobility, connected industry, connected energy systems, and connected buildings.
Intelligent sensors – basis for the internet of things Sensors enable a new form of technical assistance in day-to-day life. Describing the strategic significance of sensor technology, Denner said: “Whether we are speaking of automated driving or the smart home, a new quality of comfort, safety, and efficiency is developing, and Bosch is creating the technical conditions for this change.” In 2013, the market leader produced one billion micromechanical sensors. This year, a further 30 percent increase is planned. Intelligent sensors are the next level of technological progress. These are equipped with a radio interface and a microcontroller. As a result, sensors are able to transmit relevant data via the internet, for instance to mobile end devices. “Smartphones will not be the only devices to be equipped with sensors. Any 'smart' object will feature internet-enabled sensor technology,” Denner said.
Automated driving – also at higher speeds from 2020 Sensor technology is also a major technological prerequisite for future driving. Modern driver assistance systems require ultrasound, radar, and video sensors. This year, Bosch will produce nearly 50 million ultrasound sensors, 25 percent more than the previous year. The number of radar and video sensors produced will double to more than two million units. As early as 2016, sales of driver assistance systems will exceed one billion euros. By 2020, the company aims to enable automated driving at higher speeds on freeways. In the coming decade, fully automated driving using an autopilot function could become possible. “Automated driving is a technology that saves lives. At the same time, it can spark drivers' enthusiasm, since it offers them support with tiresome driving tasks,” Denner said.
Connected road traffic – new services For driving to be automated, there has to be connected traffic as well as car-to-x communication. By 2025, almost every new car will be equipped with wireless data communication technology. Even now, the connected vehicle makes a broad range of services possible. In 2013, Bosch began offering its eCall emergency call system. When sensors record that a vehicle has had an accident, an automatic emergency call is made. Last year, the Bosch monitoring center processed a good 30,000 emergency calls. In the area of telematics, Bosch offers fleet management services for leasing and insurance companies. “For us, connectivity on the roads not only means efficiency and comfort, it also means safer driving,” Denner said.
Doubling sales in Asia and the Americas by 2020 Asia continues to be Bosch's number one growth region. By 2020, the company aims to double its sales in the region. For this reason, the level of capital expenditure will remain high. From 2010 to 2014, Bosch will have invested some 3.3 billion euros in the region. The company also aims to double its sales in North and South America by the end of the decade. In addition to expanding its manufacturing capacity, Bosch is strengthening its local development activities. In Guadalajara, Mexico, the company is currently opening a new development and software center. In Africa, too, Bosch aims to significantly increase its sales in the years ahead. In 2014, the company will further expand its presence on the continent. In Europe, Bosch aims to grow faster than the market despite the region's economic situation, which continues to be weak. As it expands its international presence, Bosch is also developing a growing number of products and services that are tailored to local customer needs.
The business year 2013 – improved sales and earnings In fiscal 2013, Bosch increased its sales by 3.1 percent, to 46.1 billion euros (*based on an adjusted previous-year figure of 44.7 billion euros). The disclosed sales figure takes the exit from crystalline photovoltaics into consideration as well as consolidation effects resulting from changed accounting policies and acquisitions in the previous year. After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales grew 6.3 percent. As a result of negative exchange-rate effects to the tune of some 1.5 billion euros, the strong euro had a very negative impact on the sales figure. Excluding burdens from photovoltaics, Bosch disclosed a 6 percent EBIT margin. This translates into EBIT of 2.8 billion euros. The positive developments in the Automotive Technology business sector made a significant contribution to the improvement in result. “Also thanks to our many efforts to cut costs, we have taken an important step toward achieving our target EBIT margin of 8 percent,” Asenkerschbaumer said. Even including the extraordinary burden of 1.3 billion euros resulting from photovoltaics, EBIT margin increased to 3.2 percent. Bosch has discontinued the activities in the area of crystalline photovoltaics. The company has now sold most of its activities in this area. The sale of the remaining activities is planned to be finalized in the first half of 2014.
Headcount increased in 2013 – further workforce expansion planned in 2014 In 2014, Bosch expects headcount requirements to increase mainly in the Asia Pacific growth region. Altogether, some 9,000 university graduates will be hired around the world. In Germany, the company is planning to hire some 800 university graduates. The number of new apprentices in Germany will be same as the previous year, at around 1,400. In 2013, the Bosch Group's workforce grew by about 8,500, to 281,000 (*adjusted previous-year figure: 273,000).
Automotive Technology – strong growth around the world in all divisions In 2013, the Automotive Technology business sector increased its sales by 6.7 percent (10.3 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects), to 30.6 billion euros. Its EBIT of 2.4 billion euros and EBIT margin of 7.7 percent were considerably higher than the previous year.
Industrial Technology – packaging machinery sales of one billion euros In 2013, the Industrial Technology business sector's sales amounted to 6.8 billion euros, 9.2 percent below the previous-year level (down 6.5 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects). The difficult economic situation hit the Drive and Control Technology division especially hard. In contrast, the Packaging Technology division developed positively. Overall, the Industrial Technology business sector recorded a negative EBIT margin of 1.2 percent. EBIT showed a loss of 83 million euros.
Energy and Building Technology – connected products for smart heating The Energy and Building Technology business sector increased its sales by 3.9 percent (5.9 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 4.6 billion euros. The sector improved its result to some 106 million euros. Its EBIT margin came to 2.3 percent. In particular, the Thermotechnology division developed well.
Consumer Goods – market leader for innovative power tools In 2013, the Consumer Goods business sector generated sales of 4.1 billion euros (note: as a result of changes to accounting policy, this figure includes sales of the Power Tools division only, plus some miscellaneous other sales). After adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales were 2.9 percent higher than the previous year. In nominal terms, sales decreased slightly. The Consumer Goods business sector achieved an EBIT margin of 10.4 percent. Its EBIT of 415 million euros included the proportionate after-tax profit of the BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH joint venture. Even without this result, the business sector's EBIT margin was encouraging.
Europe – growth in a difficult economic situation In Europe, Bosch sales grew despite the ongoing difficult economic situation. The company's sales in the region increased 2.2 percent (2.9 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 25.5 billion euros. Sales increased slightly in Germany as well. Bosch invested 1.6 billion euros in Europe in 2013. Especially in eastern Europe, the company is currently expanding its manufacturing capacity. Last year, Bosch invested more than 900 million euros in Germany.
The Americas – strong growth in North America, recovery in South America In the Americas, sales in nominal terms varied considerably in 2013. In North America, Bosch sales grew by 3.5 percent (6.8 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to 7.8 billion euros. This was in part the result of an increase in vehicle production. In contrast, sales in the South American market decreased by 3.6 percent, to 1.7 billion euros. However, after adjusting for exchange-rate effects, sales increased 8.9 percent. Bosch invested some 280 million euros in North and South America in 2013.
Asia Pacific – improvement in China, severe currency effects In Asia Pacific, Bosch achieved sales growth of 5.8 percent (13.8 percent after adjusting for exchange-rate effects) to roughly 11.1 billion euros. Especially in the Chinese growth market, demand for automotive and industrial technology picked up significantly over the course of the year. Demand for automotive technology was also high in Southeast Asia. In India, poor economic conditions meant that business developed less well than forecast. The same applied to Japan. In 2013, Bosch again made considerable investments in Asia Pacific. With some 620 million euros spent, Bosch focused especially on expanding its manufacturing capacity for automotive components.
Research and development expenditure remains high Last year, Bosch spent some 4.5 billion euros, or 10 percent of sales, on research and development. Bosch researchers filed nearly 5,000 patents over the course of 2013, some 20 per working day. The company plans to continue expanding its research and development capacity this year. By the end of 2014, Bosch will have some 45,000 researchers and engineers on board. More than 2,000 additional researchers will be hired in Asia Pacific, for instance. The company is also boosting its innovative strength in Germany, with a new center for research and advance engineering in Renningen, near Stuttgart.
Maintaining cutting-edge research – rapid transfer to industrial application Denner, whose responsibilities on the Bosch board of management also include research and development, called for greater political commitment to promoting innovation: “Policymakers need to set their sights higher.” While Germany is close to spending 3 percent of GDP on research, the private sector has played a greater role in this achievement than the public sector has. Denner deplored the fact that universities were chronically underfunded. In some cases, he said, there was not enough money to pay for the buildings' upkeep. For him, the result was obvious: top researchers were leaving Germany in favor of research institutes in other countries. Denner went on: “In research and development, Germany and other European countries have to measure up to the world's leading countries.” He said that funding must above all benefit basic research, as well as its rapid transfer to industrial application. “Top universities make the regions they are located in more appealing. Companies indirectly benefit from this as well.” Bosch itself is an active member of 250 university research partnerships.