Alongside rising power costs and charges for grid usage, companies also face growing social pressure to show increased environmental awareness.
Bosch says it is a company leading by example with all the company’s 400 locations worldwide becoming carbon neutral in 2020. This makes Bosch the first globally operating industrial enterprise to achieve net zero carbon emissions with respect to the energy it produces and the energy it sources externally. Nevertheless, they are committed to going even further with the next step to address emissions along the entire value chain, from procurement to product use.
In order to achieve these ambitious targets, Bosch is developing software to improve energy usage at their own plants as well as looking at different ways to support their customers.
“Bosch is engaging with its customers to develop a close relationship and understand their needs and challenges, so we can best help them on their own carbon neutrality journeys”, says Mark Woodcock, Business Development Manager for Bosch.IO.
This is where it is crucial to maximize the consumption of self-generated power. To achieve this, companies must connect production machinery and distributed energy resources in such a way that the former can be managed in accordance with the availability of renewable energy sources. This enables companies to defer planned production – and the power consumption that this entails – to periods when they can increase consumption of their own, self-generated power and thereby reduce the amount of power obtained from the grid.
In terms of their load profile, industrial companies and their production facilities are ideal candidates – as are commercial buildings such as offices or shopping centres – for a tool that maximizes the consumption of self-generated power.
But how do these enterprises use their captive renewables most productively and in a predictive way that benefits their energy procurement? This requires holistic energy management. The Internet of Things (IoT) provides the means to obtain a transparent view of energy flows and the insight needed to make sound, data-driven decisions.
Most conventional solutions merely present and aggregate energy data but Bosch, through their subsidiary Bosch.IO, are looking a step further by taking a holistic, IoT-based approach that includes installing sensors and measuring equipment and merging various data sources. They believe that coordinating power consumption and production with a navigation system for energy flows could be a solution of choice for manufacturing, logistics, building technology, and power plants. This smart energy management tool not only monitors energy flows with the help of artificial intelligence, it also provides reliable forecasts and enables energy-optimized control of the systems. Therefore providing a so-called Balanced Energy Network.
Pilot: Bosch Plant Eisenach
As a pilot project, Bosch is trialling the Balancing Energy Network system at their own plant in Eisenach. They no longer uses gas to generate heat in Eisenach, instead, they have connected several heat pumps to a heat storage tank. These heat pumps had operated on a fixed cycle triggered by specific threshold values. Now, with the Balancing Energy Network, these pumps operate predictively, filling the storage tank according to the amount of electricity produced by the company’s captive PV systems. The factory has to buy less power from the grid, shrinking its CO2 footprint and electricity bill.
“The forecasting provided by the Balancing Energy Network from Bosch.IO helps us react to volatilities in generating output. This software enables us to draw up a precise operating schedule, so that we can make the best use of renewable power,” stated Andreas Klinzing, head of technical functions, Bosch Eisenach.
Woodcock continued: “The principle of the Balancing Energy Network can be applied across many commercial and industrial domains. It is a tool that supports companies, particularly those with means to generate their own energy, to achieve visibility of and balance their energy generation against demand, thus enabling continuous CO2 insights. It could be solution of choice for so many use cases and we continue to learn from our pilot project.”
Maximizing the captive use of electricity generated by own PV systems
Solar power plants’ output depends on the weather, so it is volatile by nature. However, businesses can better manage their heating, air-conditioning, refrigeration, and other systems’ power consumption based on the amount of captive PV electricity available. They end up buying less electricity from the grid and do not have to feed any of their captive electricity into the grid at negative prices.
Taking advantage of the flexibility in vehicle charging
The Balancing Energy Network helps manage charging processes so companies use renewable power more efficiently and buy less electricity from outside sources. The system also shaves peaks to smooth out the heavy loads that can occur when charging many vehicles at once. With the Balancing Energy Network, companies can better plan their charging cycles by factoring shift schedules and logistics commitments into the equation. This ensures vehicles are charged and ready to go at the right time, precisely when they are needed. Employees and guests alike benefit from efficient charging processes.
Optimizing energy purchasing
The Balancing Energy Network provides accurate consumption forecasts that can be used to shave peaks, smooth out power loads, and identify potential for improving efficiency. Forecasts also make it easier to assess future power requirements, which makes working life easier for energy procurement specialists. The Balancing Energy Network also enables these companies to play an active role in the energy market.
To learn more about the Balance Energy Network go to https://bosch.io/use-cases/ind...