Bosch is collaborating with a number of partners to develop a way of combining the electrolyzer stack with a control unit, power electronics, and various sensors to create a ‘smart module’. With pilot plants scheduled to commence operation in the coming year, the company plans to supply these smart modules to manufacturers of electrolysis plants and industrial service providers from 2025 onward.
Using a simple process, Bosch will incorporate a number of these compact modules. They can then be used both in smaller units with capacity of up to ten megawatts and in gigawatt-rated onshore and offshore plants – whether in new-build projects or in existing plants for conversion to the production of green hydrogen. To maximize the efficiency of hydrogen production and extend the service life of the stack, the smart modules are to be connected to the Bosch cloud. At the same time, the use of a modular design for the electrolyzers is expected to make maintenance more flexible: any scheduled work will require the shutdown of certain sections of the plant only, instead of the entire facility. The company is also working on service concepts that will include the recycling of components in order to promote a circular economy.
Unlike many of the electrolyzer components currently on the market, the Bosch smart modules will be mass produced. As such, the manufacturing operation will generate economies of scale. The company is now planning to start volume production as quickly as possible at a number of European locations. These include Bamberg and Feuerbach (Germany), Tilburg (the Netherlands), Linz (Austria), and České Budějovice (Czech Republic).