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News | The Internet of oysters

Bosch is developing solutions for connected agriculture

According to a recent study published by the McKinsey Global Institute, the agricultural sector is currently one of the least digitized industries. Many farmers have yet to be convinced of the benefits of digital technology. This may be because available technology is often not adequately user friendly, and services usually cover only a fraction of a farmer’s needs. However, Bosch sees a great deal of potential for innovative solutions in agriculture, for instance in the areas of sustainable food production, packaging, and distribution – from the fields to the consumer’s plate.

 

 

In cooperation with “The Yield“, and Australian start-up, the company is showing how connected solutions can improve oyster farming in aquaculture. Sensors monitor the parameters that are critical for the oyster harvest, such as water temperature and salt content. Software records and analyzes data and then sends the results directly to the farmer’s smart phone. Based on this analysis, the farmer can determine the best possible moment for the harvest. Since oysters are filters that absorb water contaminants, they cannot be harvested if contaminant levels are too high, and this means that oyster farmers risk generating losses. With their joint project, “The Yield“ and Bosch have made it possible to increase the number of harvestable days by as much as 30 percent. In addition to hardware and software, Bosch has also provided the computing center required to collect and record data. As shareholder, the company has thus far invested more than two million euros in “The Yield”.

Bosch offers connected solutions in other areas of agriculture as well. For instance, connected wireless sensors help improve the yield of asparagus harvests. Moreover, with intelligent containers, Bosch is contributing to making the transport of goods more agile and efficient in the future. These containers can monitor the two-week sea voyage of bananas, for example.

Connected agriculture is one of the main topics at the Bosch Connected World conference, which is taking place until March 16. More information on the conference program can be found here.

More information on the cooperation between Bosch and “The Yield” can be found on the Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

News | A grid from Stralsund to Plauen

Bosch is supplying software solutions for a smart energy grid in northeastern Germany

While wind and the sun are excellent sources of energy, the amount of energy they provide depends to a large extent on weather conditions, and is thus unpredictable. To ensure a successful transition from dependence on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, consumption and production must be better synchronized. This can be done by setting up a smart grid that links system components. These components can communicate with each other almost in real time via an “energy internet.”

 

 

The government-funded WindNODE project, which was launched in northeastern Germany in December 2016, focuses on building such a network. The project is part of the “Smart Energy Showcases – Digital Agenda for the Energy Transition” (SINTEG) program, which is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The region, which comprises six German states, is particularly suitable for this project: 42 percent of its total energy demand is already being met with renewable energy sources.  The sparsely settled areas where large quantities of wind energy are produced are connected to urban centers and a range of storage solutions via a smart grid. The findings from WindNODE are expected to provide the knowledge required to implement smart grids on a larger scale.

Providing more intelligent measurements and smart coordination among installations

Bosch Software Innovations (SI) is one of several companies playing an active role in driving the project forward. For instance, Bosch is supplying various software solutions to ensure that the power grid functions efficiently and securely. The goal is to better utilize the capacity of the available infrastructure of intelligent measurement systems (iMsys), and thus increase profitability.

With the “Virtual Power Plant Manager,” the operation of decentralized facilities such as thermal power stations, small solar power installations, and storage systems can be actively managed. If, for example, more electricity is being produced than is needed, production can be curtailed or excess energy temporarily stored by employing a radio ripple control. In this way, the power grid stabilizes itself in a matter of seconds. This is just one way that software can be used to reduce the burden on power grids when energy is fed in from renewable sources – thereby also reducing grid expansion costs.

More information on the WindNODE project can be found here (only in German available).

Smart technology for the cars of the future

Bosch takes top ranks in a European innovation ranking for alternative drive systems

According to the Thomson Reuters “2016 State of Innovation” report, when it comes to alternative drive systems, Bosch holds more patents than any other company in Europe. The analysis was based on the number of patents that companies filed between 2011 and 2015. Even in a global comparison, Bosch did very well with 3,057 inventions: only Toyota did better during the same time period. In the general ranking of the most innovative companies in the automotive industry, in 2015 Bosch took third place behind Toyota and Hyundai, with a total of 2,390 patents.
 


 

The high ranking is largely attributable to the company’s activities in the realm of e-mobility, which is considered decisive for reducing the CO2 emissions caused by road traffic and conserving fossil fuels, which are increasingly scarce around the world. Each year, Bosch spends 400 million euros on e-mobility related research and development activities. The aim is to enable the technology to achieve a breakthrough.

Bosch’s development work not only includes continuous innovation in the areas of electric motors, power electronics, and batteries. The company is also working on developing a networked charging infrastructure. Most recently, Bosch Software Innovations cooperated with carmakers to develop charging apps for the owners of electric vehicles. With the help of their smart phones, the electric cars can now be navigated to the next charging station, where drivers can make a cash-free payment using the app. The service, which is already offered by Mercedes-Benz and smart, and will soon also be available for Renault drivers, already includes a network of 3,700 charging stations of different providers across Germany. Some 80 percent of the stations in the network are public charge stations. The network is an important step toward making electric vehicles suitable for everyday use, and thus more attractive to potential buyers.

 

More information on Bosch charging apps can be found here
The complete Thomson Reuters innovation report can be found here.

News | The smart power network of the future

Bosch software plays a key role in the energy turnaround

 

 

Stromnetz Berlin supplies energy to 3.6 million people 24 hours a day, every day. To continue to reliably meet this commitment while also increasingly making use of renewable energy, the Berlin-based energy supplier has now joined forces with Bosch Software Innovations and e*message to develop a piece of radio-controlled, intelligent software – StromPager.
 
As a result of the energy turnaround in Germany, grid operators are faced with the challenge of pooling electricity from decentralized production in photovoltaic systems, wind farms, and combined heat and power plants, and controlling it so as to create a constant flow of energy. Unlike conventional power plants, this kind of production is no longer dictated solely by demand, but rather also depends on environmental factors such as wind, sun and tides. If it is particularly sunny, or if there are frequent storms, more energy is fed into the grid than if it is still and rainy. Intelligent solutions are therefore required to ensure a stable supply without overloading the grid.
 
 
The StromPager represents precisely this kind of flexible solution. Decentralized generation plants such as wind farms and combined heat and power plants and power stores can be switched on and off at the click of a mouse. Electric vehicles can also be integrated. Using rapid and dynamic controls, they can serve as storage devices when they are plugged into a charging station, and thus optimize grid utilization. The radio-based controller uses the same pager technology that proved so valuable to authorities and emergency services in the past. It is more reliable and cost-effective than the audio-frequency ripple-control devices used previously.
 
“This is another important step toward a smart energy grid. Everyone involved benefits from this new, reliable, and stable ripple-control technology that can also be used in other cities to improve load and generation management. It cuts costs and increases flexibility for generators, operators and users,” says Michael Hahn, Chief Operating Officer of Bosch Software Innovations GmbH. “This project shows just how pioneering our software is and makes an important contribution to the energy turnaround.”
 
More information about smart power network can be found here
 

 

 

News | The future of mobility

Bosch is pushing the transition to e-mobility forward

 

 

The preliminary figures that were recently published showed that the Bosch Group’s innovation strategy is paying off. In 2014, the company’s sales increased 6.2 percent to 48.9 billion euros, and this despite a challenging market environment. Especially at Bosch Mobility Solutions (formerly known as Automotive Technology), Bosch recorded significant growth.

 

 

“We see ourselves as a provider of solutions for the mobility of the future, which will be automated, connected, and electric,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the Bosch board of management. Not only does the company develop energy-efficient automotive components for diesel, gasoline, and electric vehicles, it also offers software solutions and technologies that aim to increase the use of low-carbon mobility solutions. For instance, Bosch Software Innovations has developed an app that makes it easier to book and pay for charging stations across Germany. In the past, users needed a customer card for each individual provider. Thanks to Bosch, the entire offer is now available via a single app.

 

Moreover, with Stuttgart Service, Bosch is now involved in a project that aims to promote eco-friendly traffic concepts and make the transition to e-mobility in Stuttgart much more attractive. The concept allows users to combine the most suitable modes of transport for their selected routes. Via an online platform, public transport services are networked with car and bike sharing providers. Electric charging stations are also included in the mix. In the future, the platform will be able to process some 400,000 requests per day.

Twenty-three partners are cooperating on the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics as part of the “Electromobility showcase” project. The intermodal information and booking platform was designed by Bosch Software Innovations.

 

More information about networked mobility solutions can be found here