When it comes to stationary fuel cells, Bosch is stepping up a gear. In 2024, the supplier of technology and services intends to start full-scale production of distributed power stations based on solid oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) technology - hence the agreement to intensify its alliance with Ceres Power. Following a successful prototype construction phase, the two companies now want to press ahead, initially with the pre-commercialization process for stationary fuel cells.
For SOFC systems, Bosch is aiming for an annual production capacity of some 200 megawatts. This is enough to supply around 400,000 people with electricity in their homes. Bosch is planning to produce the stationary fuel-cell systems at its manufacturing sites in Bamberg, Wernau, and Homburg, as well as its development sites in Stuttgart-Feuerbach and Renningen - and will invest hundreds of millions of euros by 2024.
This means Bosch is positioning itself clearly as a systems supplier for stationary fuel cells. One intended application of SOFC technology is in small, distributed, connectivity-enabled power stations, which can then be used in cities, factories, trade and commerce, data centers, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Bosch estimates that the market for decentralized power generation will reach a volume of 20 billion euros by 2030.
A total of more than 250 Bosch associates are now working in this new field - 150 more than a year ago. Dr. Christian Fischer, the Bosch board of management member responsible for the Energy and Building Technology business sector said, “With stationary fuel-cell systems, Bosch is establishing a new business field in which development, manufacturing, sales, and service come from a single source. Together with our partner Ceres Power, we are now taking the next important step toward full-scale production.”
Since August 2018, Bosch and Ceres Power have been successfully collaborating in the field of fuel cell and fuel-cell stack development. In 2019, Bosch was able to start prototype production of its first fuel-cell systems in Germany; in January 2020, it acquired a stake of around 18 per cent in the U.K. company. The alliance has now been extended to include the phases leading up to full-scale production in 2024. The agreements specify how Bosch will further use its alliance partner Ceres Power's technology.