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The Bosch SOFC fuel cell system: We supply you with electricity and heat – free of carbon emissions thanks to hydrogen

Bosch fuel cell system as part of a sustainable energy supply
The energy transition is motivating us to develop technological solutions that will help all of us better achieve global climate goals. How? One way is with a carbon-neutral energy supply. Part of our solution is an energy-efficient fuel cell system for decentralized applications that generates electricity and heat fuel-flexibly.

Efficient, reliable, and independent electricity and heat

Generating and using energy without CO₂ emissions – this is what the energy transition is all about. The electricity comes from photovoltaic and wind power plants. But what happens when it is dark and there is no wind? This is where hydrogen and fuel cell technology come into play: Hydrogen as a storage medium for renewable energies, the Bosch SOFC fuel cell system for reliable and efficient generation of electricity and heat – enabling secure and grid-independent supply.

Bosch SOFC system

Prefabricated, modular, and scalable

The ready-to-operate solution for electricity and heat production

Bosch SOFC systems feature a modular design and are prefabricated: The centerpiece of the systems is the SOFC unit with a stack comprising hundreds of series-connected cells, where electricity and heat are generated in a highly efficient manner – with up to 90% overall efficiency at the beginning of life. “SOFC” stands for solid oxide fuel cell. To keep the planning and installation effort to a minimum, we combine several of these SOFC units and all relevant auxiliary systems to create a plug-&-play system with an output of 100 kW. This is sufficient to cover the power requirements of a corresponding edge data center or the average annual electricity consumption of the residents of an entire residential area. Depending on the requirements and the energy demand, several of these systems can be scaled up to create a decentralized energy supply system in the megawatt range in the future.

One innovation – many possible applications

Bosch SOFC systems can be scaled according to the requirements, enabling us to offer customized solutions for a multitude of different applications that can simply grow with our customers’ increasing demands.

Bosch SOFC system at a pilot installation at the Bosch plant Wernau

Bosch SOFC in practical application

The Bosch fuel cells systems are already used in practical application in several pilot projects as a decentralized, efficient, and low-emission power generation solution.

Woman with tablet in front of an SOFC system

Efficient and flexible use of hydrogen

The strength lies in efficiency: Our power plant based on a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) has an electrical efficiency of about 60 percent at beginning of life. When waste heat is additionally utilized, its overall efficiency reaches up to 90 percent. In the future, the fuel-flexible SOFC system will run on 100 percent hydrogen, generating electricity and heat without carbon emissions and directly on site.

The hydrogen SOFC consists of special solid oxide ceramic elements that are combined in a hotbox as a stack. This fuel cell runs on sustainably produced hydrogen with zero carbon emissions.

How does the Bosch SOFC technology work?

In the fuel cell, the energy carrier hydrogen and oxygen are split into their components. They react with each other between two electrodes, producing direct current, process heat, and steam. Where no hydrogen is available (yet), a reformer is used that enables natural gas to be used as fuel. As a result, the Bosch SOFC fuel cell technology can already be used in many applications.

Frequently asked questions about our SOFC fuel cell system

Our Bosch SOFC systems generate about 60 percent electricity and up to 30 percent heat. They are special high-temperature fuel cells that can already run on natural gas, biomethane*, or a mixture with hydrogen. Their electrical efficiency is about 60 percent at beginning of life. When the generated heat is also put to productive use, our SOFC system can even achieve an overall efficiency rate of up to 90 percent.

* Biogas according to DVGW G260 = biomethane.

Our prefabricated complete systems have an electrical output of 100 kW and a thermal output of up to 50 kW. Depending on the requirements and the energy demand, several of these systems can be combined to create a decentralized energy supply system in the megawatt range in the future. This high level of electrical power is what differentiates fuel cells from conventional combined heat and power plants (CHPs) that mainly generate heat.

Our SOFC systems are appropriate for various industrial and commercial application areas that rely on a safe, emission-free, and decentralized electricity and heat supply with high efficiency. This includes urban quarters and buildings, industrial and commercial enterprises, data centers, and decentralized energy solutions. Our SOFC system can also be connected to other power generation systems in an energy grid.

The solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system is currently in the pre-industrialization phase. We are working at full speed to prepare for the start of production, including with the help of numerous pilot plants.

No, our prefabricated SOFC system is developed for use in industrial and commercial applications and has an electrical output of 100 kW. This is sufficient to cover the average annual electricity consumption of the residents of a small village or the electricity requirements of a small local shopping center.

Brochure title page: Bosch SOFC

Our SOFC system brochure

Everything you need to know about the Bosch SOFC system at a glance

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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