Bosch entry into inverter business
The Bosch Group plans to acquire voltwerk electronics GmbH, a Hamburg-based supplier of electronic components and software solutions for the operation of photovoltaic arrays. An agreement to this effect has been signed with Conergy AG. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchasing price. The acquisition is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities. In 2010, voltwerk electronics and its roughly 100 associates generated sales of some 68 million euros. Its product portfolio mainly comprises string and central inverters for photovoltaic arrays. “In acquiring voltwerk electronics, Bosch can enter the inverter market, as well as draw on a broad product portfolio ranging from 3 kW string inverters to 1400 kW central inverters,” said Dr. Volkmar Denner, the Bosch board of management member responsible for research and advance engineering.
Inverters are used wherever direct current has to be converted into alternating current. As renewable energy and electromobility become more and more widespread, these inverters are playing an increasingly important role. For example, the direct current generated by a solar cell has to be converted into alternating current before it can be fed into the grid. And in electric vehicles, a conversion process is also needed so that the electric motor can use the direct current from the battery. Furthermore, when recuperating brake energy and feeding it back into the battery, inverters and their sophisticated power electronics are needed once more.