Bosch Sensortec, Akustica

International CES 2015 in Las Vegas (January 6-9) Bosch shows smart solutions for a connected world Designed for a convenient, efficient, and secure life

The world is becoming ever more connected. And at times it seems as though the internet and globalization have developed a momentum of their own. Companies like Bosch can help shape these developments, however. At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2015, Bosch will be showcasing intelligent solutions designed to enable consumers to lead convenient, efficient, and secure lives. These sustainable solutions for a connected world range from smart sensors to smart energy solutions, from eMobility to automated driving, from smart software to smart cities, from telematics to thermotechnology, from home appliances to power tools.

Energy conversion is a core Bosch area of expertise. Bosch offers owners of residential and commercial buildings packages that combine technology and services. Bosch solutions intelligently link and control the generation and consumption of power and heat. This will make the power supply even smarter and more efficient, as well as more decentralized. Bosch’s expertise spans multiple areas here. Its technical systems know-how is the basis of heating and security control systems. The company also offers software and sensor technology as well as services for energy management, remote monitoring, and the handling of business processes. This allows customers to use energy and resources more efficiently, and to reduce costs. The internet of things makes it possible for devices and systems in buildings to communicate with one another.

By 2015, Bosch expects about 75 percent of the world's population to have access to the internet. At the same time, six billion things will be connected to the internet. This development will also bring about major changes in the market for energy and building technology in the coming years, and will pave the way for new services and business models. Bosch already has considerable experience in this realm, for instance with the 50,000 networked heating systems it has already sold. Bosch Security Systems already generates more than half its sales in the video surveillance segment with internet-enabled cameras.

Smart thermostat to control the heating at home via smartphone
Bosch is presenting a wi-fi-enabled remote room controller with a modern touch screen and a corresponding app, which allows users to control their heating systems via their smartphones. Compatible with a wide range of Bosch’s Greenstar gas and oil-fired boilers, the sophisticated smart thermostat allows heating to be adjusted from a smartphone or tablet using a wireless internet connection. The sleek black glass wall-mounted panel is simple to install and connects to the boiler using a low voltage two-wired connection. Through an easy-to-use free app, homeowners can take complete control of their heating and hot water, whether at home, at work, or on holiday. The app not only allows remote adjustment of heating and hot water settings, but also provides valuable information on gas consumption for both heating and hot water, helping homeowners to manage bills in an era of rising energy costs. And users can rely on the extremely high safety and data security standards Bosch has developed. Since all customer data is stored on the controller at the user’s home, privacy is assured – Bosch itself has no access to the data.

Open software platform for the smart home
For a home to be “smart,” it is crucial that all the appliances and systems in the home – e.g., washing machine, heating units, lamps or window blinds – can simply and securely exchange data with each other as well as with smartphones and tablets. ABB, Bosch, and Cisco plan to establish an international joint venture that will develop and operate an open software platform for smart home devices and applications. In addition to developing and operating a software platform, the companies intend to invite appliance electronics manufacturers, home automation vendors, and service providers to join a business ecosystem. The business ecosystem will aim to facilitate collaboration and incorporate a wide range of user requirements when developing the software platform.

Home Connect app connects home appliances from different brands
A common language for all domains is decisive when it comes to the connected home. Bosch is presenting the world's first solution that allows various home appliances from different brands to be controlled and a host of features used with just one app. In addition, Bosch is showcasing the first networked home appliances equipped with this system, including a fridge, an oven, a dishwasher, and a washing machine. The system is designed as an open platform that will keep evolving to cover a growing range of services.

Smart energy system increases efficiency and saves costs
Bosch is demonstrating how smart connectivity can be implemented for electrical and thermal energy using a photovoltaic system combined with the latest in heat pump technology. This solution allows users to consume the lion's share of the electricity they themselves generate from solar power in their own homes – which significantly reduces their electricity costs – while also powering the heat pump so it can extract heat from the air, water, or 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.

Smart energy storage solution
Integrating the Bosch Power Tec BPT-S 5 Hybrid storage solution into this energy system 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.

Smart security systems for enhanced security at home
Another innovation being presented is a way to access surveillance video remotely. Limited bandwidth makes it impossible to stream HD video on mobile devices whereas dynamic transcoding technology delivers both smooth live video streaming and instant access to HD (1080p) images when needed, regardless of available bandwidth. Combined with the Video Security app, users are allowed access to camera controls, live video streams, and HD images via a mobile device anytime and from anywhere. It also enables users to instantly retrieve the correct video data from hours of recorded material.

Bosch is also showcasing burglar alarm systems. The B-Series intrusion control panels provide convenient security monitoring of homes and small businesses. These flexible panels offer customized security and remote operation from smart phones and tablets. B-Series panels can be programmed to control individual rooms or up to four distinct areas of a home or business property. This enables arming or disarming certain areas – such as a guest suite, sunroom, kitchen, or detached garage – without affecting other rooms. The panels check for open windows and doors, monitor smoke detectors, activate panic devices and perform other services to keep homes and businesses secure. The Remote Security Control app allows system operation from iOS or Android devices. Arm or disarm the system, check status and control monitored devices over the panel’s cellular connection, the internet, or through a local wireless network using a hand-held device. Event notifications – such as alarms or other warnings – can also be sent directly to mobile phones to keep owners informed about the status of their homes or businesses while they are away.

In addition, Bosch is presenting the Z-Wave Home Control Gateway. This solution allows Bosch B-Series control panels to be connected with Z-Wave devices including lighting controls, door locks, temperature sensors, IP cameras, and more, in order to provide customers with home automation and remote monitoring capabilities. Programming possibilities include automatically arming the security system when an exterior door is locked or disarming the system when the door is unlocked. When a user leaves home, tapping an “away” button on a smartphone can also trigger the doors to lock, the security system to arm, interior lights to turn off and the thermostat to adjust to conserve energy and reduce costs. These are just a few of the options available for effortless home control, as the intuitive wizard makes it easy for integrators to program trigger- or schedule-based automation tailored for each customer. A web interface allows the user access to a system dashboard and home control via an iOS or Android smartphone or other web-enabled device.

Smart mobility solutions: more safety and convenience on the road
20 years ago, the internet revolutionized computing. Over the next few years, it will revolutionize the car. At the CES, Bosch is demonstrating how it is making cars an active part of the internet – and bringing drivers a range of benefits. Bosch already has extensive know-how in all relevant areas. The company offers hardware that establishes the connection to the outside world, a flexible basic software suite that brings together service providers and users, as well as numerous related services.

The physical enabler for any smart solution is Bosch’s connectivity control unit. This small box is connected to the in-car network and comprises a GMS module for communication, and usually also a GPS module that provides data on the current position – important information for many services. Bosch offers the unit in various configurations for applications in passenger cars, trucks, as well as motorcycles. As early as 2016, for example, Bosch expects every new long-haul commercial vehicle in Europe and the United States to be offered with a networking solution.

The wholly-owned subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations offers a modular software suite that can be flexibly utilized. For example, it has been in use as the basis for a networked and easy-to-use vehicle charging infrastructure in Singapore since 2011 and as the basis for a fleet management service in Germany since 2013. From 2015, it will form the platform for an innovative intermodal transportation concept in Stuttgart.

Bosch’s new telematics services provide greater transparency and a clearer overview for fleet operators. Via the interface for the on-board diagnosis (OBD) system in the vehicle, journey and service data is sent to Bosch for data analysis. On the basis of this evaluated data, the fleet operator can optimize operating and maintenance times. Thanks to the integration of GPS vehicle tracking, services such as an electronic logbook and a theft warning system are also available. This helps to reduce the overall cost of the vehicle.

A truly lifesaving solution is the in-vehicle emergency notification service eCall. If the system detects that the vehicle has been involved in an accident, this information is sent to a Bosch communication center which is manned around the clock. The center’s multilingual associates contact the driver and alert the police as well as emergency services if necessary.

Bosch is pushing connectivity forward in workshops
Connectivity doesn’t end when the car has to go in for service or repair. Since vehicle electronics are getting ever more powerful and complex, Bosch has made it possible for workshops to access certain vehicle data helpful for error diagnosis and repair online. Bosch’s “Flex Inspect” diagnostic system can automatically read out the fault memory, check the battery, tire inflation pressure, and chassis geometry. On the basis of this, a customer service advisor is able to immediately discuss any necessary repairs with the driver. During the repair work, the technician can make use of augmented reality technology. After focusing the diagnostics tablet computer’s camera on the engine compartment, relevant information such as repair instructions and necessary tools are superimposed on the image. The time-consuming consultation of service manuals is thus unnecessary. Even parts that are hidden behind covers or the dashboard can be depicted as three-dimensional images. Error diagnosis and repair has never been so easy.

New display techniques and an appealing smartphone integration solution
On one hand, new connected services are leading to an ever increasing amount of information. On the other hand, driver distraction must be minimized. At the CES, Bosch is showcasing technical solutions that help to prioritize information and display it in a highly intuitive way. A particularly attractive approach is display-based instrument clusters. These replace conventional displays and project all of the instrument, navigation, and multimedia information into the driver's field of vision. Depending on the situation and the driver’s wishes, they offer different layouts. Two Bosch solutions for fully display-based instrument clusters are already in series production in the BMW i8 and the Audi TT, with more to come. Another cost-effective solution is the Bosch combiner head-up display. The system does not project the information onto the windshield but instead onto a small special plastic screen positioned below it. This image is superimposed on the scenery outside the vehicle in such a way that these appear to merge with one another at a distance of around two meters in front of the vehicle. Since 2014, the system has been installed in a variety of BMW Group vehicles.

Connectivity with the outside world is currently achieved mainly via the smartphone. With its mySPIN solution, Bosch is offering a highly appealing way to integrate Android-based phones as well as iOS-based ones. mySPIN creates a perfect device-vehicle link and ensures much safer and more reliable in-car use. Other Bosch infotainment systems being showcased at the CES demonstrate natural voice input or a navigation system that offers a proactive driving strategy based on real-time traffic info. To keep the new assistance and convenience functions up-to-date, the Bosch subsidiary ESCRYPT is showcasing a solution for secure wireless software updates.

Assisted driving and e-bike demos at the Vehicle Intelligence Marketplace
The mobility of the future is electrified, automated, and connected. At the outdoor area of the vehicle intelligence marketplace, Bosch is showcasing innovations that bring us a step closer to automated driving. A demonstration vehicle featuring the Bosch traffic jam assistant will prove that self-guided driving in heavy traffic already has become reality. The car can brake, accelerate, and steer within its lane completely independently. The driver still has to monitor the vehicle, but the overall burden is much lower. Visitors are also welcome to try out e-bikes of various brands featuring Bosch e-bike drive units on a dedicated course. There will also be an overview of Bosch’s various sensor technologies as well as its wide range of electromobility solutions, from e-bikes and e-scooters to hybrid and fully-electric vehicles.

Smart devices, software, and sensors
Bosch is the global market leader in the area of microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS), a key technology when it comes to connecting things over the internet. Today, every second smartphone in the world is equipped with Bosch sensors. Bosch's strategic aim is to offer solutions for connected mobility, networked production, as well as for networked energy systems and buildings. Intelligent sensors represent the next level of technical advancement. 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. Software integration is decisive for the next wave of advancement in micromechanics, which are already widespread in automotive and consumer electronics.

All objects can be fitted with sensors and wi-fi devices and assigned their very own web address for exchanging data. This connectivity is the cornerstone of the internet of things. It is what makes connected living happen. Bosch provides sensors for a wide range of uses in the automotive and consumer electronics applications. Every second smartphone in the world is equipped with a Bosch sensor. Following the technological trend to a greater range of measurable variables and increased intelligence, Bosch Sensortec will unveil a new multi-functional sensor at CES 2015 that integrates four measurands, enabling a new range of applications in areas such as consumer electronics, wearables, and the IoT. Bosch brand Akustica will also highlight its high-performance, HD voice microphone portfolio.

The aim is to transmit only relevant information to the internet, and not raw data. This local data processing calls for the special kind of systems know-how that Bosch brings to the table. But there is practically no limit to what can still be connected via sensors. As a result, things that were free of electronics in the past, such as doors and windows, will be able to transmit data on their status to the internet. In brief, micromechanics make the internet of things possible. With its new company Bosch Connected Devices and Solutions GmbH, Bosch aims to develop new solutions in this realm. The company focuses on the segments Smart Home, Transport, Logistics and Traffic, Smart Activity, and Connected Industry.

A new dimension in charging: Bosch Wireless Charging System
Bosch is the world's first supplier to enable the advantages of inductive energy transfer to be used with cordless tools. With its Wireless Charging System, Bosch is presenting a new dimension in charging technology and providing new ways to make working with cordless tools efficient, cost-saving, and time-saving. The technology, which is used in other areas in devices such as charging stations for electric toothbrushes and recently also in cellphones, is based on contactless energy transfer. An alternating magnetic field is generated in the transmitter using a coil. The receiver also contains a coil which is penetrated by the alternating magnetic field. This induces a voltage and generates a current flow. In the case of Bosch's Wireless Charging System, this means that the charger emits a magnetic field which is received by the battery and transformed into charging current. However, the power transferred is more than 50 times greater than that used in ordinary electric toothbrushes (one watt), in order to reach the same charging times as those provided by conventional power tool battery chargers.

3D printer for creative and functional purposes
The Bosch brand Dremel is presenting the Dremel 3D Idea Builder, the most user-friendly 3D printing experience on the market. This adds a new dimension to the brand’s robust portfolio of versatile tool systems. The Idea Builder is yet another high-quality, easy-to-use tool from Dremel designed to inspire and empower the end users to build on their own ideas with the support and mentorship of the Dremel Experts. Through a strategic partnership with Autodesk, Dremel will provide free print-ready 3D models and simple design tools, while continuing to release new design tools on to coach users through the building process.

Overview of Bosch at CES

January 5, 2015, 8 a.m. PDT
Bosch Press Conference
with Dr. Werner Struth,
Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
Mandalay Bay South Convention Center, Level 2, Ballroom F

January 6-9, 2015

Bosch Booth 71032
Sands Expo, Smart Home Marketplace

Bosch Outdoor Experience
Bosch eMobility World
Bosch eBike Ride Course
Bosch Driver Assistance Driving Experience on Las Vegas city streets
Las Vegas Convention Center, Vehicle Intelligent Marketplace
Gold Lot near North Hall

January 6, 3:30-4:30 p.m. PDT
Panel “Getting to Low Power and Maximum Functionality through Sensor Fusion” with Stefan Finkbeiner, General Manager & CEO of Bosch Sensortec
Venetian Hotel, Level 1, Marco Polo 702 conference room

January 7, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. PDT
Keynote panel “Fast Innovation: Disrupt or Be Disrupted”
with Dr. Werner Struth,
Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
and John Chambers, CEO, Cisco
Theater of the Westgate Hotel (formerly the LVH hotel).

January 7, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PDT
Panel “Obstacles on the Road to Self-Driving Cars" with
Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, Member of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, N261 conference room

January 7, 1-2 p.m. PDT
Panel "Evolution of the Smart Home" with
Dr. Rainer Kallenbach, CEO of Bosch Software Innovations
Venetian Hotel, Level 1, Room Casanova 605

January 7, 3:30-4:30 p.m. PDT
Panel "Eye on Automotive Technology" with
Jim Fish, Bosch Automotive Service Solutions
Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall, N261 conference room

Contact persons for press inquiries:
Christian Hoenicke, phone: +49 711 811-6285
Stephan Kraus, phone: +49 711 811-6286
Add to my press materials
  • December 18, 2014
  • Press releases
  • Bosch Sensortec, Akustica
  • Images: 16

Christmas 2014 – High-tech gifts high on wish lists Sophisticated Bosch sensors under the Christmas tree Sensors as electronic “sensory organs”

  • New and in demand: fitness wristbands
  • One in every four Germans plans to purchase a tablet PC
  • Bosch is the global market leader for micromechanical sensors
        Going high-tech for the holidays: Christmas gifts for many Germans will
        include smartphones and tablet PCs. This trend means fascinating sensors
        are becoming commonplace. Bosch equips many of these must-have
        devices with tiny “sensory organs.”

Stuttgart – This year, many of the Christmas gifts waiting under the tree to be unwrapped will be modern electronic devices. Roughly one in four Germans (26 percent) is planning to purchase a smartphone or give one away as a gift, and just as many people would like to do the same with tablet PCs, according to a representative survey conducted by BITKOM, the major association of the digital industry in Germany. Some of the world’s most sensitive gauges are installed in such devices, thus finding their way into consumers’ homes. Tiny sensors are responsible for determining the position of cell phones and tablets, which then turn the image on screen in the corresponding direction.

Smaller than the diameter of an atom
The sophisticated detection elements in the sensors (MEMS sensors, microelectromechanical systems), which measure just a few millimeters in length, are manufactured out of silicon. The moving structures created within them are no bigger than a few thousandths of a millimeter. Whenever a sensor is moved, a very small electric current is generated that provides information on position, geomagnetic field, and acceleration – all details that make it possible to control and operate cell phones and tablets. The intuitive operation of these devices accounts for a large part of the fascination they have for users.

The finest movements measured in the sensors occur within a space no larger than the diameter of an atom. Bosch is the global market leader in the field of sensors. Approximately three million sensors are manufactured every day and installed in roughly every second smartphone worldwide.

Fitness trackers are new on the list of the most popular high-tech devices, according to the BITKOM survey. The survey reveals that 16 percent of people in Germany would like to purchase a fitness wristband or give one away as a gift. For the first time, these fitness trackers are among the most popular high-tech gifts. MEMS sensors are also used in these devices, for example, to turn the jolts and vibrations measured while the wearer is jogging into a motion profile.

A world record-setting sensor
Bosch has set a world record, creating the world’s smallest and most energy-efficient sensor unit – the BMI160 – to ensure that all these devices have as long a service life as possible. Among other things, an acceleration sensor and a yaw-rate sensor (gyroscope) are found in the unit’s tiny housing, which measures 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.8 mm. The sensor gauges the position of cell phones with great accuracy. Other devices that benefit from sensors are remote controls, game controls, smart glasses, and head-mounted displays. The latter are worn like ski goggles, and give their wearers the sense of being in a virtual space. When they move their head, the virtual image changes accordingly.

Conventional sensors often consume a lot of power. But even when the BMI160’s acceleration sensor and gyroscope are in full operational mode, typical power consumption amounts to a mere 950 microamperes, which is less than half the market standard – a world record.

“That is why our chip can now run the entire day. It no longer needs to be switched off from time to time to conserve the smartphone’s battery,” says Torsten Ohms, project manager for the development of the chip at Bosch Sensortec. This means that the cell phone can now use the sensors to record all the user’s activity throughout the day. At the end of the day, it can then show them how much energy they used up going to work, at the office, and walking up and down stairs. “Users looking to lose weight, for instance, can choose their evening meal based on how many calories they burned over the course of the day,” Ohms says. In the days immediately following Christmas, this may prove to be one feature of the latest high-tech gifts that is in particularly high demand.

Sensors at the 2015 CES
Bosch will be attending the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show from January 5-9, 2015, where it will present its smart sensors that facilitate intelligent solutions for a connected world, all designed to make life more comfortable, more efficient, and safer.

Link to BITKOM survey:
Background information on record-breaking sensor:
Background information on MEMS sensors:
Add to my press materials
  • December 11, 2014
  • Press releases
  • Bosch Sensortec, Akustica
  • Images: 3

Giant industrial steam boilers and tiny semiconductor sensors Savings on really big and really small items

  • Tailored boiler systems
  • Micro-gyroscope with world’s lowest energy consumption
Stuttgart/Reutlingen – In the opinion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), one of the ways to limit our atmosphere’s rise in temperature is by improving energy efficiency – in other words, achieving the same output while using less energy. Bosch research engineers are pursuing this goal for both the largest and the smallest of the company’s products: industrial steam boilers that weigh tons and tiny semiconductor sensors.

Giant industrial steam boilers
Steam boilers are Bosch’s biggest and heaviest energy-supply products. They are over 12 meters long and can weigh more than 130 tons in operation. Every hour, they are capable of delivering around 55 tons of steam – as is the case at Valenzi GmbH & Co. KG, a company based in Suderburg, Germany, that produces some 4,000 tons of mushrooms, 2,000 tons of fruit, and 700 tons of soup vegetables annually. The company employs two efficient Bosch steam boilers.

  • Each produces five tons of steam per hour. First, the boiler feed water passes into the integrated waste heat recovery unit and is pre-heated using hot flue gas. This increases the boiler’s energy efficiency by roughly 5 percent – with a proportionate drop in fuel consumption.

  • The gas burners’ electronic combined control system ensures optimum doses of fuel and combustion air. Compared to the mechanical control used by older combustion systems, this allows for more precise tuning, which further reduces fuel consumption. The burner output is smoothly adjusted to the actual steam requirement, and can be throttled back to approximately 17 percent of rated output. This greatly reduces the switching frequency of the burners, as well as reducing energy losses caused by upstream ventilation of the flue gas channels.

  • The fan’s engine speed is adjusted depending on burner output. In the partial-load range, this leads to significantly lower electrical power input.

  • The boilers are equipped with a heat maintenance device: a heating coil is built into the boiler floor. This allows the boiler in operation to maintain the heat of the second boiler at a low pressure, which saves energy, avoids corrosion, and ensures rapid availability.

  • A boiler system has a service life of between 20 and 40 years. Depending on the situation, it is typically possible to achieve efficiency gains of between 10 and 30 percent by replacing or modernizing older systems. At today’s fuel prices, even the largest facilities will amortize quickly.

  • Valenzi is expecting its investment in the new boiler system to deliver annual energy cost savings of some 40,000 euros. It will bring down CO2 emissions by some 300 tons per year.
Tiny semiconductor sensors
Semiconductor sensors are Bosch’s smallest products. These MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) sensors act as sensory organs for smartphones and other electronic devices. Engineers create the most delicate of silicon structures for them. As the sensor casing measuring just a few millimeters moves, these structures shift a fraction of a thousandth of a millimeter. The finest movements measured are less than half the diameter of an atom. These minuscule movements change the sensors’ electrical properties, which are then converted into a data stream that lets a smartphone “know” how it is oriented. Then the phone can rotate the image on its display accordingly. The dimensions that Bosch works to here are incredibly small; while a human hair has a diameter of 70 thousandths of a millimeter (70 micrometers), some sensor components measure only 1 micrometer – that is 70 times smaller than the diameter of a single human hair.

This is how Bosch subsidiary Bosch Sensortec (BST) produces the world’s smallest and most energy-saving sensor unit, the BMI160. Inside its housing, which measures just 2.5 x 3.0 x 0.8 millimeters, this unit contains an accelerometer and a yaw-rate sensor (gyroscope), among others. The BMI160 measures the orientation of smartphones with great precision. Other applications include tablets, wearables, remote control units, game controllers, head-mounted displays, and smart glasses. The problem is that today’s sensors draw too much electricity from mobile devices. But when the BMI160’s accelerometer and gyroscope are in full operational mode, its typical electricity consumption is just 950 microamperes – that’s less than half the standard in the market and is a world record.

“That means our chip can be running all day inside the smartphone and doesn’t have to be turned off when not in use to conserve the device’s battery,” says Torsten Ohms, who is responsible for developing this chip at Bosch Sensortec. One application sees a smartphone using the sensors to record all its user’s activities throughout the day, so it can then report how much energy the user expended traveling to work, walking around the office, or going up and down stairs. “People who want to lose weight can for instance choose what to have for dinner based on how many calories they’ve burned that day,” Ohms says.

To save energy, one of the things he and his colleagues have done is refine the chip’s silicon structures even further. It now converts movements into electricity even more efficiently than before, so it takes less energy to amplify the weak electrical signals. In addition, the sensor can store its own data, rather than constantly transmitting them to the smartphone’s particularly energy-hungry main processor. “What’s more, we switch off parts of the BMI160 when they’re not needed,” Ohms explains. “If a smartphone is just lying motionless on the table for two hours, there’s no need for the sensor to be calculating the yaw rate. So the gyroscope stays switched off – until the accelerometer detects motion, when it switches back on again.”

Details on the boilers at Valenzi:
Details on the BMI160 sensor:

Readers’ contact (sensors):
Tina Horstmann,
phone: +49 7121 35-35924
Add to my press materials
  • November 27, 2014
  • Press releases
  • Bosch Sensortec, Akustica
  • Images: 5

Interview with Michael Blichmann,
general manager of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions:
“If energy isn’t used, there’s no need to supply it in the first place”

  • Savings of 20 percent possible for nearly every building
  • “Carbon footprint” as sales argument
  • Opportunities offered by connectivity
        Can the waste heat produced in manufacturing be used to generate
        electricity or to heat buildings? Is a proprietary cogeneration plant
        a good alternative supplier of power and heat? Bosch believes
        a 20 percent energy saving can be achieved in nearly every building.

Stuttgart – The energy specialists of the Bosch subsidiary Bosch Energy and Building Solutions GmbH (BEBS) estimate that they can reduce the energy consumption of any building by at least 20 percent. BEBS offers this service to the facility managers of large buildings such as hospitals, office complexes, and medium-sized enterprises. These activities focus on improving the way various supply systems are connected, with a view to optimizing energy use, cost savings, and resource conservation. With the IPCC report having been presented at the UN climate change conference, Michael Blichmann, who heads up the Bosch energy services subsidiary, explains why this has an increasingly important role to play.

Mr. Blichmann, what are your customers looking for?
Whatever their field of business, our customers are facing increasingly fierce competition. Their response is to comb through all their costs for potential savings. Those with large buildings in particular find energy is becoming a more important factor. Just think about cooling in data processing centers or electricity and process heat in a manufacturing plant. In hospitals, energy is second only to personnel costs as an expense. As a result, our customers expect to noticeably streamline energy use and hence reduce costs. At the same time, the topic of energy efficiency is gaining in importance for many people against the backdrop of climate change.

Can you put a number on the savings potential?
We generally work on the assumption that energy consumption for any existing building can be trimmed by at least 20 percent.

Why weren’t such steps taken long ago?
Not only have dramatic rises in energy costs escalated the urgency of the situation, but also technical solutions are available today that didn’t exist a few years ago. Thanks to these technological advances, we can unlock new potential for greater energy efficiency in our customers’ operations. At the same time, power supply systems are becoming more and more complex. That’s why companies, especially medium-sized companies, are looking to entrust this aspect of their business to a specialist service provider – leaving them free to devote their time and resources to what they do best.

What has changed in this sector to make things so complex?
Decentralized power generation, for one, has made things more complex on the supply side. Keeping tabs on the big picture and getting the best out of what’s on offer is no easy task. Take, for instance, intelligent networks – better known as smart grids. The ranks of devices and systems connected with one another via the internet are swelling. In our business, the internet of things and services is a growing phenomenon. In the coming years, these networks will give rise to many more solutions and services geared to increasing energy efficiency. Dynamic electricity rates are just one example of this.

What kind of rates are those?
They depend on total demand. Electricity is very expensive during peak hours, but it becomes more affordable at night. This is the energy industry’s way of attempting to flatten out the spikes in demand. We can take advantage of these rates today because we are able to precisely meter and control current the electricity, heating, and cooling requirements in a building at any given time. At times when electricity prices are high, certain equipment can be switched off and then put back into full operation when rates drop at night. This calls for legislators to act as well – such rates are legally permissible but they are still not being offered everywhere. A considerable amount of potential is squandered here.

Hospitals and plants with complicated manufacturing processes require a constant supply of electricity. Shutting equipment down is hardly an option. How can you help them?
Even in those facilities, there are systems and machinery that are not in constant use. With the appropriate control measures in place, these facilities can also reap the rewards of switching equipment off. In the case of facilities that require a constant supply of electricity, acquiring a dedicated power plant, for example, should be seriously considered – especially as the plant can be precisely tailored to the customer’s needs.

But these customers have to invest heavily before they can eventually see any savings…
Not necessarily. We also offer to operate a decentralized power plant for our customers and charge them only for the heat or electricity they actually use. A careful case-by-case assessment is made to determine what is required, what up-front costs this will incur, and what makes the most sense for the customer. This clearly shows just how important customized power supply services are going to be. In a few years’ time, an individually tailored service will probably even be the make-or-break factor in selecting an energy supplier.

But isn’t operating power-generating facilities really the big utilities’ core business? What can Bosch offer customers that they can’t?
Word is spreading that Bosch has a broad expertise base. We can turn to our colleagues at Bosch Thermotechnology to draw on their decades of experience in operating combined heat and power plants, for example, or reach out to the Bosch Security Systems team to help with optimizing networks and control systems at complex sites. At Bosch Rexroth, we have a ready source of knowledge on streamlining manufacturing plants and facilities. Consequently, our customers see Bosch in a completely different light from a company that specializes solely in selling energy.

What exactly is your approach?
Our experts start by analyzing the status quo on site. From there, they can calculate the potential gains in efficiency and determine the appropriate methods for achieving them. A central aspect of this is working out how energy can be used as effectively as possible. After all, if energy isn’t used, there’s no need to supply it in the first place. For instance, we investigate whether heat released during a manufacturing process can be used to generate electricity or heat other areas of the building. As I’ve already mentioned, it often pays for large sites to run their own combined heat and power plant.

How big is the market you are active in?
It’s a rapidly expanding market. In Germany alone, the market volume for energy-related services will grow from 2.5 billion euros today to almost four times that in a decade. We expect that markets in other major industrial countries, such as those here in Europe, will follow a similar trajectory.

In the domestic construction sector, we have passive houses and even houses that produce more energy than they use. Are factories that are self-sufficient in their energy needs conceivable?
Absolutely. There are an increasing number of sites and companies that have made their production CO2-free or are powered entirely by renewable energy. Both large and small companies have already set this as as their goal, for example for power or heat, or because it allows a particular product to be marketed as having a small “carbon footprint.” By systematically using every available option for saving and regenerating energy, this already works quite well.

What is the energy efficiency situation in German companies?
Some manufacturers have already been able to achieve a remarkable level of efficiency, particularly in production. But there is still considerable potential to be harnessed in ancillary processes such as heating, cooling, compression, and ventilation. Many of these processes have seen very little invested in them over the past few years.

Is energy primarily being used or wasted in the industry?
Wasting would mean that manufacturers are deliberately using energy in an inefficient manner, which is definitely not the case. In order to make a business sustainable, however, it’s important to deliberately decide to address the topic of energy efficiency, to cement it as a corporate objective, and to put it into practice step by step.

What are the typical approaches in order to see results quickly?
There are often optimizations that can be made where air-conditioning and ventilation are concerned. The same is true for the regulation and control of air compression and heating as well as for heat transport. These are all areas in which investments in the improvement of energy efficiency would pay off quickly.

And which measures are designed to rather pay off over the long term?
This is where the really big potential lies, with efficiency gains in the two-digit percentage range. Examples including using waste heat or cogeneration systems, or switching from one fuel source to another, such as from oil to biomass. Following our analysis, the Rothaus brewery switched over from oil to wood chips, and it now saves an enormous amount of money. And it’s still good for the environment.

How is your export business? What markets are experiencing dynamic growth?
Bosch Energy and Building Solutions is a provider of services and systems solutions which can’t just be simply exported. Interesting markets are the large European economies, the BRIC states, North America, as well as Japan and Korea. In all those places, we’re seeing the trend toward increasing energy efficiency on the consumer side – sometimes fueled by environmental concerns, other times because of the desire to reduce costs and increase competitiveness.

Why does it pay off for companies or communities to generate their own electricity? And how eco-friendly is it?
It’s difficult to make a general statement here. In principle, there can be a number of objectives behind someone generating their own heat and electricity. Above all, having a cogeneration plant pays off where usage is high enough that a low fuel price leads to an overall savings on electricity costs. Other objectives can be to reduce CO2 emissions or achieve energy self-sufficiency.

What will be the big drivers of energy efficiency technology in the future?
The intelligent networking of buildings, property, and decentralized facilities in order to make energy flows and use transparent, comprehensible, and controllable – not just for electricity but also for heating, cooling, and ventilation. This transparency is the key to doing business in a truly sustainable way.

Bosch Energy and Building Solutions homepage:
Add to my press materials
  • November 27, 2014
  • Press releases
  • Bosch Sensortec, Akustica
  • Images: 1