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Press release #Business/economy

Stationary fuel cell: Bosch plans to start full-scale production in 2024

Stationary fuel cell: Bosch plans to start full-scale production in 2024

Alliance with Ceres Power intensified

  • Bosch and Ceres Power intensify partnership to prepare for full-scale production.
  • The aim is an annual production capacity of some 200 megawatts.
  • Up to 2024, Bosch plans to invest hundreds of millions of euros in the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC).
  • Christian Fischer: “We see the highly efficient solid oxide fuel cell as an essential element of a sustainable energy supply.”
  • With an overall efficiency of more than 85 percent, the solid oxide fuel cell is clearly superior to any other energy converter.
Dörthe Warnk

Dörthe Warnk >

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Stuttgart, Germany / Horsham, United Kingdom – When it comes to stationary fuel cells, Bosch is stepping up a gear. In 2024, the supplier of technology and services intends to start full-scale production of distributed power stations based on solid oxide fuel-cell technology – hence the agreement to intensify its alliance with Ceres Power. Following a successful prototype construction phase, the two companies now want to press ahead, initially with the pre-commercialization process for stationary fuel cells. For SOFC systems, Bosch is aiming for an annual production capacity of some 200 megawatts. This is enough to supply around 400,000 people with electricity in their homes. Bosch is planning to produce the stationary fuel-cell systems at its manufacturing sites in Bamberg, Wernau, and Homburg, as well as its development sites in Stuttgart-Feuerbach and Renningen – and will invest hundreds of millions of euros by 2024. This means Bosch is positioning itself clearly as a systems supplier for stationary fuel cells with its own value creation in the cell and stack segment. One intended application of SOFC technology is in small, distributed, connectivity-enabled power stations, which can then be used in cities, factories, trade and commerce, data centers, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Bosch estimates that the market for decentralized power generation will reach a volume of 20 billion euros by 2030. A total of more than 250 Bosch associates are now working in this promising new field – 150 more than a year ago. “We see the highly efficient solid oxide fuel cell as an essential element of a sustainable energy supply. To bring it about, we are pooling Bosch expertise from across several divisions,” says Dr. Christian Fischer, the Bosch board of management member responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector. “With stationary fuel-cell systems, Bosch is establishing a new business field in which development, manufacturing, sales, and service come from a single source,” Fischer continued. “Together with our partner Ceres Power, we are now taking the next important step toward full-scale production.”

We see the highly efficient solid oxide fuel cell as an essential element of a sustainable energy supply. To bring it about, we are pooling Bosch expertise from across several divisions

Dr. Christian Fischer, Bosch board of management member Energy and Building Technology

Bosch intensifies alliance with Ceres Power

Since August 2018, Bosch and Ceres Power have been successfully collaborating in the field of fuel cell and fuel-cell stack development. As early as fall 2019, Bosch was able to start prototype production of its first fuel-cell systems in Germany; in January 2020, it acquired a stake of around 18 percent in the U.K. company. The alliance has now been extended to include the phases leading up to full-scale production in 2024. The agreements specify how Bosch will further use its alliance partner Ceres Power’s technology. “We are proud to have reached this milestone in collaboration with our important partner Bosch. Combining innovative Ceres technology with Bosch’s manufacturing expertise made it possible to create pioneering stationary fuel-cell systems that will help overcome the global challenges of the energy transition,” says Phil Caldwell, CEO of Ceres Power. “We’re looking forward to continuing our close collaboration with Bosch.”

SOFC systems are already hydrogen-compatible

Ceres Power is a leading player in the development of innovative solid oxide fuel cells and stacks. Bosch holds an extensive technology license from Ceres Power and has been manufacturing fuel cells and stacks in-house since 2019. Pilot plants based on solid oxide fuel cells are already being successfully tested at various Bosch locations. The SOFC systems can already be operated with eco-friendly biogas or natural gas – and are already hydrogen-compatible for the energy system of the future.

For cities and conurbations with high energy requirements, SOFC systems can ensure sustainable power supplies – with zero emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulates, and CO2. With an overall efficiency of more than 85 percent, the solid oxide fuel cell is clearly superior to any other energy converter. As Dr. Wilfried Kölscheid, who is responsible for stationary fuel cells at Bosch, explains: “Depending on energy supply requirements, in the future any number of plants with the same output can be interconnected. This interconnection creates virtual power plants that work together to supply power as and where it is required.”

About Energy and Building Technology

The Energy and Building Technology business sector accounted for 4.6 billion euros, or roughly 9 percent, of total Bosch Group sales in 2014. It offers a wide range of products, solutions, and services for heating, hot water, ventilation, air conditioning, security, and building management, power generation, and energy storage. Bosch Energy and Building Technology encompasses the Thermotechnology and Security Systems divisions. The former is a supplier of resource-conserving heating products and hot-water solutions. The latter provides solutions for video surveillance, access control, voice evacuation systems, intrusion control and fire alarm systems, professional audio and conference systems, and services for remote surveillance and business process management. The business sector also includes Bosch Energy and Building Solutions GmbH, which specializes in services designed to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings, and Bosch Energy Storage Solutions, a provider of modular energy storage solutions.

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. It generated sales of 46.8 billion euros in 2019, and thus contributed 60 percent of total sales from operations. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is safe, sustainable, and exciting, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of personalization, automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 400,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2019). The company generated sales of 77.7 billion euros in 2019. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT provider, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, Industry 4.0, and connected mobility. Bosch is pursuing a vision of mobility that is sustainable, safe, and exciting. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to facilitate connected living with products and solutions that either contain artificial intelligence (AI) or have been developed or manufactured with its help. 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 Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs some 72,600 associates in research and development at 126 locations across the globe, as well as roughly 30,000 software engineers.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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