...radiates more than 6,000 times the energy requirements of the entire world population, every day. Bosch exploits this energy, and is working on technologies that can guarantee both a secure supply of energy and economic viability, and this in every segment: silicon photovoltaics, organic photovoltaics, and solar thermal systems.
State-of-the-art solar technology at the very highest level
With its headquarter in Erfurt, Germany, Bosch Solar Energy is currently the newest business division in the Bosch Group.
Bosch Solar Energy supplies first-class solar cells and modules with high annual yields, even at sub-optimal levels of sunlight. The fundamental basis for such excellent operation comprises state-of-the-art production equipment and highly effective processes. Since 2009, we have also constructed turn-key solar power plants to order, featuring well-developed technologies. These provide high levels of operating efficiency, ensured by our optimally matched components. As a system provider, our plan in the medium term is to offer all the components our customers need for a photovoltaic power plant, supplying everything from a single source – Bosch, naturally. In doing so, we will maintain our consistent focus on product quality.
The Thuringian town of Arnstadt is where Bosch Solar Energy manufactures ingots and wafers – the preliminary products for solar cell production – as well as mono- and polycrystalline solar cells. Additionally, we produce high-yield thin-film solar modules in Erfurt and Brandenburg an der Havel.
The global photovoltaic market will continue to grow in the years to come; market observers expect 17 gigawatts of new installations for 2010. In 2013 some 85 gigawatts of photovoltaic power will be installed around the world. Thanks to a strong solar industry and major political support, Germany has been by far the biggest market in recent years, and will continue to play an important role in the future. However, other countries are now catching up, especially China and the US. More and more countries are recognizing the potential of solar energy and promoting photovoltaics as a technology for renewable power generation.
As a strong, globally active company in the photovoltaic sector, we help eliminate the creation of carbon dioxide during energy production. We aim to ensure that photovoltaics represent a significant proportion of the future energy mix. To achieve this, we are constantly improving performance in our cells and modules, while working to reduce production costs and developing cell and module concepts of the future.
Turning a window into a power plant
The transparent plastic film came with the morning mail, and has now been stuck to the window. People can still see perfectly well out of the window, but it has now become a miniature power plant. The unassuming film is made of a light-sensitive material that can convert solar radiation into electrical power. In the evening, the film becomes a light source, illuminating the interior of the house.
Science fiction? Not quite. The Bosch Group, the chemicals group BASF in Ludwigshafen, and Heliatek GmbH in Dresden have agreed to work together to make plastic solar cells ready for series production. In a few years’ time, the alliance hopes to be able to launch organic photovoltaics on the market at a price that can compete with conventional energy sources. While today’s conventional solar cells still cost around 350 euros per square meter, the aim is to bring the cost of organic photovoltaics down to less than 100 euros for the same output.
”With organic photovoltaics, we want to bring the company one step closer to our vision of a building that is self-sufficient in its energy needs,” says Siegfried Dais, deputy chairman of the board of management at Bosch. One major challenge still remains: how to make energy available at night that was generated with photovoltaics during the day. Suitable storage units are still not available. However, a first milestone has already been reached: a building that delivers the same amount of energy as it temporarily consumes from external sources. Some components of this system, such as solar thermal or wood pellet heating systems, are already part of the Bosch product range.
Solar thermal systems
Solar thermal systems generate clean heat
When compared to other systems using renewable energies, solar thermal systems make the largest contribution to covering the worldwide energy requirements behind wind and geothermal energy. No CO2 emissions are generated during operation. Two collectors with an area of about two square metres each are sufficient to meet the domestic water requirements of a family of four.
In 2010, Bosch launched the gas condensing + solar combination Condens 6000 W. It requires up to 30 percent less energy than a conventional condensing gas boiler and achieves a standard efficiency of up to 124 percent. The device includes a patented controlling function for the optimisation of solar systems, which additionally saves up to 15 percent of energy for water heating and 5 percent for space heating support. Moreover, the standard speed-controlled heating pump of energy efficiency class A ensures that the Condens 6000 W saves up to 70 percent of auxiliary energy.
The market for solar collectors is growing strongly. This market was worth 2.3 million euros worldwide in 2009 and is expected to grow to 4.0 billion euros by 2014. Bosch continues to expand its capacity to meet the increasing demand. The global production capacity of Bosch Thermotechnology in the field of solar thermal systems is currently more than one million square metres of collector area per year. In 2009 and 2010, Bosch Thermotechnology launched a new collector series for hotter climate zones and expanded its sales of solar systems to Latin America and Australia. As a systems supplier, Bosch Thermotechnology also expanded its range of large solar systems. In 2009, sys-tems using renewable energies accounted for 15 percent of sales at Bosch Thermotechnology. This share is to be increased to 30 percent by 2020.