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Bosch SOFC

How our decentralized SOFC system meets your requirements

We help you get the most out of the technology

Our SOFC system can’t fail to impress because it was developed with expertise and passion and always with one clear objective in mind – to move from fossil fuels to hydrogen, the sustainable energy source. We take our cues from today‘s challenges and do our part to support a carbon-neutral energy supply in order to increase efficiency, connectivity, flexible power matching, scalability, and reliability.

The characteristics of our SOFC

Efficient, hydrogen-ready, decentralized, scalable, and connected: These characteristics of the Bosch SOFC enable us to meet energy supply requirements and the requirement to generate green electricity, both today and in the future.

Efficient and low-emission power generation

With our Bosch SOFC system, we generate electricity at efficiencies higher than 60 percent at beginning of life. An overall efficiency of more than 85 percent is possible if waste heat is utilized. Our SOFC system enables sector coupling directly on site. In addition to electricity as the main output, the heat cogenerated by the fuel cell can be used, for example, for nearby residential buildings.

When using natural gas as fuel, the fuel cell emits two-thirds less carbon than conventional coal-fired power plants. When running on pure hydrogen, the SOFC generates electricity and heat without any carbon emissions at all.

With electrical efficiencies of more than 60 percent, a solid oxide fuel cell is far superior as a means of generating power than conventional gas and coal power plants.
Efficiency of the SOFC system (beginning of life) without taking into account heat extraction compared to the average efficiency of other forms of power generation (Source: Average gross efficiency of conventional power plants, German Environment Agency)

Connected thanks to the IoT and AI

The digital twin makes it possible to monitor the real SOFC in real time. Predictive maintenance offers a number of advantages, including a longer service life, a significant decrease in unplanned downtimes, and the elimination of unnecessary routine monitoring tasks.

The Bosch SOFC keeps pace with digitalization. Every system is connected to the cloud. As an IoT device, it can acquire and link data based on the digital twin, a virtual model of the fuel cell. Service and maintenance personnel are then able to access data at any time and monitor the system in real time. And the SOFC takes this one step further, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). AI enables predictive maintenance, which has a number of advantages, including a longer service life, reduced downtimes, and a reduction in manual, routine monitoring. Over the long term, it will be possible to integrate the solid oxide fuel cell system into existing ecosystems – for example, in power management and building automation platforms.

Flexible in many different ways

The energy transition requires that we move away from fossil fuels like coal and oil. The future is in renewable energies and pure hydrogen, which can be used to generate carbon emissions-free, sustainable electricity.

However, a conversion to pure hydrogen doesn’t happen overnight. This is where the Bosch SOFC fuel cell system comes into play because it can already be fueled by natural gas or biomethane and, in the future, by pure hydrogen, making fuel cell technology an important element for successfully transforming the energy sector today.

But the Bosch SOFC offers even more flexibility. Depending on energy requirements, it can be freely scaled – from the individual unit to the entire power plant. A single SOFC unit generates about 10 kilowatts. Five units connected in a system can on average supply sustainable electricity to a standard supermarket or more than 100 four-person households in an urban quarter.

The SOFC is immediately ready to run on natural gas and biogas, with the result that carbon emissions from the power supply are significantly lower than those of conventional power plants. Using a mix of natural gas and hydrogen reduces carbon emissions even further. When operated with green hydrogen, carbon emissions drop to zero.

A constantly reliable power supply

The Bosch fuel cell system is suitable for many applications, including for supplying power to urban quarters, buildings, industrial plants, and data centers – wherever decentralized power generation and independence from the power grid play a major role.
The Bosch fuel cell system is suitable for many applications, including for supplying power to urban districts, buildings, industrial plants, and data centers – wherever decentralized power generation and independence from the power grid play a major role.

All the Bosch SOFC needs to generate power is fuel in the form of natural gas, biomethane, or hydrogen. Because our SOFC system uses the existing gas infrastructure, power can be generated independently of the grid and electricity from the SOFC systems can even be fed into the power grid. In this case, the gas network simultaneously serves as an energy storage system.

Moreover, the energy is produced right where it’s needed and no longer has to be transported via power lines spanning kilometers. A decentralized power supply is also more reliable and resistant to power outages.

The individual units of our SOFC are independent elements connected together to form a stable overall system. In this way, we guarantee resistance to failure without additional backup solutions.

With SOFC systems, security of supply can be maintained independently of grid stability and shutdowns. This is especially important when supplying energy to critical infrastructure like healthcare, the food industry and food trade, water supply, and wastewater disposal, and even transportation, and telecommunications.

Our summary

Green light for a future-ready power supply

The decentralized Bosch SOFC system has an impressive resume. Because it is efficient, climate-friendly, connected, scalable, and reliable, it meets all the requirements for a power supply of the future. Anyone wanting to use a fuel cell in the future won’t have to wait until the hydrogen infrastructure is in place. The SOFC can already be connected to existing gas utilities and is immediately ready for use today, making it, along with photovoltaics and wind energy, an important pillar and a vital contributor to the energy transformation.

The Bosch SOFC system is currently in the pilot phase. All technical specifications given are development objectives and refer to the beginning of life.

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