Bosch offers energy and building technology with smart connectivity as well as services for industry, businesses, and private households
Bosch management board member Hartung: “Our technical systems expertise and understanding of regional markets are decisive success factors.”
Building automation eliminates routine tasks and cuts operating costs
Top priority for data protection and security
Stuttgart, Germany – Industrial customers and users are increasingly demanding technical solutions that increase comfort, safety and security in factories and apartment blocks while saving energy and cutting costs. They want installation and operation of the technology to be intuitive – and they want it to look good. Bosch’s response to these trends is to offer integrated solutions comprising energy and building technology with smart connectivity as well as services. These cover areas such as heating, hot water, ventilation, air conditioning, protection against intrusion and fires, facility management, power generation, and energy storage. This business is brought together in Bosch’s Energy and Building Technology business sector.
Speaking at a press event in Stuttgart, Dr. Stefan Hartung, the member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector, said: “Our wide-ranging technical systems expertise and our understanding of regional markets are decisive success factors. Bosch is well positioned in the market for energy and building technology, in terms of both technology and global footprint. We are strategically expanding our portfolio and our market presence: this is the foundation for further growth.”
Great potential for energy efficiency in industrial plant, machinery, and buildings Having more than doubled over the last 40 years, worldwide demand for energy is growing faster than ever. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy demand will grow by more than a third by 2040 – accompanied by a 25 percent increase in CO2 emissions. This makes energy efficiency the best place to start to avoid CO2 emissions and meet climate-change targets. The potential for savings is highest in buildings and heating: buildings account for 40 percent of global energy demand, yet electricity accounts for only a small proportion of that energy. In industry, 75 percent of all energy used is in the form of heat. Worldwide, industry could achieve energy and hence cost savings of up to 30 percent by adopting efficient technology.
Connectivity supports automation – increasing comfort and security As standards of living rise and societies age, particularly in advanced economies, expectations of comfort are growing – and so is the need for security technology such as intrusion and fire protection systems. These developments are driving demand for solutions that automate standard procedures and facilities in buildings and energy systems: such as lighting, heating, air-conditioning, and alarm systems that automatically turn on or off when entering or leaving a building. Users expect the relevant technology to be easy to install and operate, for instance by using a touch screen of the kind they are familiar with from their smart phones and tablets. A prerequisite for building and energy system automation is connectivity between facilities and devices that share information over the internet of things.
“Our connected solutions enable us to make buildings smart and energy systems fit for the future. But connectivity isn’t an end in itself. Users need to see that it really adds value: for example, that it relieves them of the burden of tiresome, time-consuming routine tasks or cuts their operating costs,” Hartung said. “When it comes to connectivity, we are focusing on open standards and open platforms. Our solutions always meet the highest standards of data protection and data security.”
Bosch solutions provide customers with full transparency, allowing them to decide for themselves how their data are used. For example, the company has set up a center of competence that defines uniform standards for the security of connected products.
Bosch to create new division for its thriving services business Connected solutions pave the way for many new business opportunities, especially for services. In this respect, Bosch has excellent prospects: the company possesses the necessary software know-how and operates its own communication centers, for example for remote monitoring and remote maintenance of buildings, energy systems, and industrial facilities. These also support telematics services, such as the eCall automatic emergency call service, which is available in 16 languages and more than 30 countries for some 1.5 million vehicles. Effective January 1, 2016, Bosch plans to set up a new division, Bosch Global Service Solutions, in order to bring together its range of services more effectively and further expand them.
Business sector further expands its range of products and its market presence As a foundation for further growth, Bosch is further expanding the range of products and the global market presence of its Energy and Building Technology business sector. In January 2015, for example, the company announced its acquisition of Climatec in the United States. Climatec is recognized in the building industry as an independent provider of services for the integration and automation of essential building systems including power generation, air conditioning, and security. The company offers consulting, planning, installation, and remote maintenance from a single source, and is active across widely differing sectors.
Bosch has founded a joint venture with the Chinese technology company Midea to produce variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems. These systems employ variable flows of refrigerant to provide commercial buildings with heating and air conditioning. In the future, Bosch will be able to offer industrial customers worldwide a complete range of systems including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Start of production is planned for January 2016.
In April 2015, Bosch acquired the connectivity specialist ProSyst, a supplier of gateway software and middleware. In connected – or smart – homes, ProSyst’s software acts as an interpreter for the devices of different manufacturers.
Unrivalled industrial and software know-how for connectivity solutions Bosch’s activities in widely differing areas of business give the company a unique selling point in cross-domain connectivity: No other company compares when it comes to connecting energy, building, and industrial technology with mobility solutions and consumer goods. Moreover, for some years now, Bosch has been expanding its software competence. Today, one in three of the company’s 45,700 associates working in research and development is a software engineer. Three thousand engineers are working on the internet of things alone. For Bosch, software expertise is a key competence for the future. What is more, Bosch is the only company that is active on all three levels of connectivity: sensor technology, software, and services.
Connected solutions for industrial buildings and the smart home Bosch offers comprehensive connected solutions for buildings, such as the BIS building integration system, which greatly simplifies and standardizes the central monitoring and control of security and fire protection equipment. Bosch also offers EffiLink, a system platform for services such as the remote monitoring and remote maintenance of building installations. This solution makes it possible to quickly resolve up to 60 percent of faults with no need for a technician on site.
Bosch puts its expertise in connecting industrial buildings to good use in solutions for the smart home. The company is putting in place the technical foundations for this and successively launching its first products. April saw the start-up of mozaiq operations, a Bosch joint venture with ABB and Cisco. Its goal is to establish an open software platform for the smart home – and to ensure it is also open for the developments of suppliers from widely differing sectors. At the IFA trade fair in September, Bosch presented not just ovens and dishwashers, but also refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, and fully automatic coffee machines that can be controlled using a smartphone.
Connected solutions for efficient energy systems Bosch offers a wide range of connected solutions and services for smart, decentralized power generation, conversion, and storage, as well as software solutions for smart control of power grids. Last spring, the company presented a new generation of connected boilers for residential buildings; installing and operating these boilers is intuitive. Their pioneering design is just as impressive on the inside, offering easy access to all the components – which makes them much easier, quicker, and cheaper to fit and service. Having sold more than 100,000 connected products, Bosch is the leading supplier of smart heating solutions that greatly increase convenience, energy efficiency, operating safety, and service quality. The new “HomeCom” portal provides installation companies with detailed information about their customers’ connected heating systems, including faults and predictions of what might have caused them. End users receive full and clear information about their central heating, along with consumption data and tailored energy efficiency tips.
To optimize the use of solar power in the home, Bosch offers a smart, connected energy system comprising an inverter, a heat pump, and a smart control unit. Any surplus electricity can be used to operate a heat pump. This takes heat from the ambient air, water, or the ground and converts it into power for heating or hot water. A data card enables the contactless installation of the Bosch inverter, making it easy to quickly get the solar energy system up and running. With the monitoring tools, users can call up and view the system’s performance online at any time.
Bosch also offers control for large systems with the new Master Energy Control (MEC System) product family. This enables industrial customers to integrate boilers, combined heat and power plants, and storage into an efficient energy system and control it using an intuitive interface such as a tablet or smartphone. Direct communication between system components, such as CHP plants and steam boilers, increases system efficiency and extends system lifetime, meaning operators save energy, cut costs, and reduce CO2 emissions. Meanwhile, the intuitive user interface allows them to view and evaluate system status quickly and effectively. With the MEC Remote optional remote connection, users can safely access their systems from anywhere.
For manufacturing companies, energy efficiency and reductions in energy costs are becoming an increasingly significant competitive factor, as well as an important consideration when choosing a location. In the field of energy services, Bosch recently began offering an integrated, connected energy efficiency solution that enables industrial customers to achieve energy savings of up to 30 percent.
Bosch develops turnkey storage solutions for power utilities and commercial customers. One example is Second Life Batteries, a Bosch project with BMW and Vattenfall. In Hamburg, used batteries from electric vehicles are being joined together to form a large power storage system. It can provide energy within seconds, and helps stabilize the grid.