Bosch’s contribution to the energy transition: decentralized and environmentally friendly power generation
- Forward-looking: Electricity production at the Wernau plant using three SOFC-based fuel cell devices
- Flexible: Operation with hydrogen, biogas or natural gas possible
- As needed: Reliable and scalable small power plants from Bosch production
- Environmentally friendly: almost noiseless and with low emissions
Bosch is opening a new chapter in the energy transition: At the Bosch training center in Wernau, a fuel cell pilot plant based on SOFC is being put into operation. SOFC stands for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell. The plant consists of three fuel cell devices for stationary applications that supplement the existing power supply of the plant in Wernau in a way that saves CO 2 and drive the further development of these decentralized energy systems.
Franz Untersteller, Baden-Württemberg State Minister for the Environment, Climate and Energy Industry, Andreas Schwarz, MdL, and Andreas Elbl, Mayor of Wernau, among others, accepted the invitation from Bosch Thermotechnik for the official commissioning. “You can see: Bosch has recognized the huge economic potential associated with hydrogen and fuel cell technology, both in the mobility sector and in the area of stationary energy supply. And not only that: with hydrogen, the economic prospects complement each other wonderfully with the ecological benefits. This technology is a key technology for climate protection, ”explains Franz Untersteller during the event.
Fuel cell devices from Bosch with a wide range of applications
It was only the close cooperation between Bosch’s Corporate Research, Powertrain Solutions and Thermotechnology departments that made the development of these new fuel cell systems possible. Additional SOFC pilot plants for testing and validation are located at the Bosch locations in Bamberg, Homburg, Renningen and Schwieberdingen. The construction of demonstrator systems is also planned in Stuttgart-Feuerbach and Salzgitter.
The locations of the Bosch Group left from 2020 world no CO 2 footprint more. The further development of the solid oxide fuel cell as an efficient and sustainable energy system also plays an important role here, reports the CEO of Bosch Thermotechnik, Uwe Glock: “The energy transition can only succeed if we invest in sustainable, renewable energies in the long term. For Bosch, the highly efficient fuel cell is therefore an important contribution to security of supply and flexibility of the energy system of the future. “
Focus on CO 2 reduction: Operation with hydrogen, eco / biogas or natural gas
The Federal Government’s recently adopted hydrogen strategy will make hydrogen an important energy source of the future.
The SOFC fuel cell can be operated flexibly with hydrogen, eco / biogas or natural gas: “The gradual conversion to hydrogen as an energy source in the next few years will make the stationary fuel cell particularly future-proof in terms of achieving the climate targets,” explains Dr. Wilfried Kölscheid, head of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell project at Bosch.
Compared to the electricity mix in Germany, a SOFC fuel cell system saves up to 40 percent in CO 2 emissions even when operated with natural gas . If the fuel cell is operated with hydrogen or green gas, there are no longer any direct CO 2 emissions. A SOFC unit with an output of 10 kW can cover the annual electricity requirements of more than 20 four-person households. At the Wernau plant, this means that the energy requirements of a building within the plant can be covered almost entirely by the three fuel cell devices.
“With the SOFC pilot plant in Wernau, Bosch is demonstrating that safe, environmentally friendly and flexible energy supply can be guaranteed locally through systems such as the fuel cell,” reports Uwe Glock. “The installation underscores our efforts to promote the energy transition and the associated containment of climate change in all Bosch energy and heating solutions,” adds Wilfried Kölscheid.
SOFC devices with an overall efficiency of more than 85 percent
In a purely electrochemical process in the SOFC fuel cell, oxygen ions pass from an anode to the cathode through a thin ceramic electrolyte and react there with hydrogen to water. Electricity is generated with an efficiency of over 60 percent. The additional heat generated can supply heating and hot water systems via a heat exchanger. With this double use, an overall efficiency of more than 85 percent is achieved for SOFC devices.