Flexible electricity prices – intelligent dishwasher: Bosch presents SmartGrid technology together with EnBW
SmartGrid research project MeRegio: 15 households equipped with intelligent Bosch dishwashers
Flexible and time-optimized use of electricity lowers costs
Energy-efficient home appliances have first priority
Munich – When it's about saving electricity costs and lowering household energy requirements, Bosch is in a pioneering role: The company has been setting milestones year after year with its highly efficient home appliances. In parallel, Bosch is also involved in a topic that, given current developments, is forecast to increase massively in importance in coming years – the "networked household" in an intelligent electricity grid, the so-called SmartGrid. Bosch has taken up the question of how home appliances can contribute to using inexpensive electricity offerings at exactly the right time, in order to in this way lower costs. At the IFA 2011 Bosch shows what an answer to this could look like. The SmartGrid technology is currently being tested (in a joint field trial with the electricity provider EnBW) on a Bosch dishwasher connected to the electricity grid and communicating via this medium. Interested visitors can examine this trial in detail and find out what insights it could provide for the future in a separate exhibition zone on the Bosch stand in hall 3.1.
Future vision: "Offering-optimized electricity usage"
Electricity isn't always electricity. Households who themselves generate electrical energy – for example by means of a photovoltaic system – know that: Sometimes more, sometimes less, of the valuable resource that they produce is available – just as electricity is that is provided in conventional fashion. Others, who only depend on an external supplier, can however utilize the flexible electricity prices that will become more readily available in the future, or in an intelligent grid profit from an oversupply of "cheap" electricity from renewable energy sources. In all cases, what is important is that – assuming the consumer desires to do so – the use of high-consumption home appliances are matched to these various offers and prices. Energy suppliers and companies have therefore been working for a considerable time on solutions for a "smart" load- and price-related usage of electricity. An economically meaningful SmartGrid does however require uniform norms and standards – both on the home appliance manufacturer side as well as on the energy generation and distribution side. "We still have a lot of conceptual and development work to do" explains Bosch Marketing Manager Michael Bohn. "But as soon as we see a blanket coverage infrastructure that permits large-scale use of the so-called SmartGrid-capable home appliances, we will be ready with appliances such as our dishwasher prototypes, the use of which in practice we are currently testing."
Bosch technology for a smart grid
The basic requirement is a working intelligent electricity grid that operates with dynamic price signals and permits interaction between the end appliance and the energy supply. This is the case for the SmartGrid MeRegio research project from EnBW: The test households, selected EnBW customers in the Göppingen area who, among other things, have decentralized generating plants available, are without exception connected to the MeRegio infrastructure with dynamic price signaling. From August of this year, they will use an ultramodern intelligent Bosch dishwasher for just under a year. Its functions will be adapted to the grid using the MeRegio control box. It contains a communications module for connection to a WLAN network and an "Op