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Bosch begins operation of largest solar power plant in the Indian automotive industry
The Bosch location in Nashik, India, has installed 36,000 solar panels at its site. The plant in the Indian city specializes in the production of components for fuel injection systems. To reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions at the plant, the site is now operating the largest solar power plant in India’s automotive industry. In three project phases since 2015, the local project team has had thousands of solar panels installed on rooftops, in parking lots, and in vacant areas.
To ensure that the solar modules operate seamlessly, they need to be thoroughly cleaned. To this end, Bosch experts have developed an inexpensive solution: a sprinkler system with special nozzles that spray the panels with constant water pressure at a 360-degree angle. The smart approach towards renewable solar energy saves energy equivalent to that required by 16,700 households and equivalent water saving 1.4 billion liters/year. With peak performance of 10 MWp, the solar power plant already covers 40 percent of the Nashik location’s day time energy needs. The aim is to increase the figure to 100 percent of day time energy need by 2018.
The new power plant is part of a comprehensive energy management approach that is based on three pillars. First, Bosch Nashik is systematically increasing energy efficiency throughout the value chain. Second, thanks to precise consumption analyses and forecasts, energy costs can be continuously reduced. Third, the Bosch location promotes projects that drive the expansion of renewable sources of energy forward. As a result, Bosch Nashik has reduced its CO2 emissions by 31,000 tons in the past four years, and saved 35 million units (35.000.000 kilowatt hours) of energy.
The project in India reflects the Bosch vision of sustainability: By 2020, the company aims to reduce its CO₂ emissions relative to value added by 35 percent over 2007 levels. More information about individual locations’ current efforts to protect the environment can be found in the Sustainability Report.
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).
Bosch Rexroth Austria provides hydraulics for the world’s biggest tidal power plant
Unlimited resources, a high level of safety, and no CO2 emissions – tidal power plants make it possible to generate power in an eco-friendly and sustainable manner. The world’s biggest power plant of this kind went into operation in 2011 in Sihwa-ho, South Korea, and generates 254 megawatts of completely emissions-free power. This is enough power to supply a city of 500,000 with electricity.
Photo: Tidal power plant / Andritz Hydro
The power plant was mainly the product of chance: the man-made Sihwa lake was initially intended to protect the land from the ocean and to serve as a freshwater reservoir for agriculture. However, the water quality in the artificial lagoon deteriorated so quickly that water exchange with the ocean was the only viable solution. The state water authority thus combined the necessary with the useful and quickly turned the levee a dam.
The results were astonishing: since 2011, the power plant has reliably provided power, and has since restored the initial water quality in the artificial lagoon. This is because around 25 percent of its water is exchanged with every tide. The dam, which is 12.7 km long, contains ten pipe turbines, each of which generates 25.4 MW of power . Bosch Rexroth Austria provided the plant’s customized hydraulic aggregates. Their guide and rotor blades can be adjusted to ensure the optimal performance of the turbines throughout the tidal range of eight meters. The aggregates can be operated with a biodegradable hydraulic fluid and are particularly durable, even in this challenging environment.
More information on Bosch Rexroth hydraulic technology at the Sihwa-ho tidal power plant can be found here.
Bosch software plays a key role in the energy turnaround
Virtual power plants are helping push the energy turnaround forward
Renewable sources of energy play a decisive role in efforts to significantly reduce CO2 emissions around the world. However, the transition to a sustainable energy supply can only succeed if energy from renewable sources can contribute to the basic supply quickly and reliably. In other words, even when the wind is not blowing or sunshine is nowhere to be seen, power must continue to flow seamlessly into the grid. Virtual power plants can ensure that this is the case. Such plants are complex systems that can pool the power generated by photovoltaic arrays and wind parks in a single storage system. Virtual power plants can offset fluctuations between energy supply and demand. As a result, they help provide consumers with power from renewable sources of energy as needed, and are thus pushing the energy turnaround forward.
From wind turbines and energy storage systems to software-based control systems, Bosch offers a broad range of solutions. For more information on virtual power plants, a sample project, and an interview with an expert on the matter, please consult our current online special: Technology for the energy turnaround.