Bosch Thermotechnology is a leading source of high quality cooling and heating systems, including tankless, point-of-use and electric water heaters, floor-standing and wall-hung boilers, Bosch and FHP geothermal heat pump systems as well as controls and accessories for every product line.
Bosch Thermotechnology is committed to reinventing energy efficiency by offering smart products that work together as integrated systems that enhance quality of life in an ultra-efficient and environmentally friendly manner. For more information, visit www.boschheatingandcooling.com.
Mechanical Hub recently talked with Shilai Xie, Product Manager for Heating Products, Bosch Thermotechnology Corp:
How do you see the heating industry for 2016?
With continued improvement in the US economy, especially with a strong new housing and construction market, the heating industry is projected to continue to grow in 2016.
We expect the boiler and hydronic heating market will see a relatively modest growth, with stronger growth in the commercial replacement and upgrade segment. Although the residential renovation segment keeps its growth pace, penetration rate of hydronic systems for new construction is tempered by popularity of gas furnaces and heat pumps.
Air-to-air heat pump growth will gather strength as the products gain more awareness. And gas furnaces will witness stronger growth in 2016 with strong residential housing market and low natural gas prices.
What are some indicators you look at to make such an assessment?
Both boilers and furnaces will continue the trend of shifting to condensing technology. Although natural gas prices remains low, previous volatility of energy prices and more stringent energy efficiency regulations will continue to push the migration towards high-efficiency condensing products.
Smart technology with connectivity are also gaining a very strong foothold in the HVAC industry. With many manufacturers launching energy-efficient variable capacity products, more complex electronic control systems are deployed to provide feedbacks and precise control over the equipment. This technology provides better diagnostics and service tools for the contractors. For homeowners, it provides a much better comfort experience by integrating a system with customized temperature, humidity, air quality, and ventilation control. Homeowners can also enjoy the flexibility of live control and remote monitoring through a variety of connected consumer electronic devices.
What new technology are you most excited about?
Connectivity is an exciting topic these days. “Bosch has been exploring Internet of Things (IoT) technology for some time and already has considerable experience in this realm,” said Goncalo Costa, director of Product Management for Hydronic Heating, Domestic Hot Water and Geothermal for Bosch Thermotechnology Corp. serving U.S. and Canada. “We have sold 150,000 networked heating systems in Europe. Bosch Security Systems already generates more than half of its sales in the video surveillance market with internet-enabled cameras. And, there is more to come.”
Within the controls of Bosch’s heating equipment, is a contractor able to access remotely through a mobile device? If not now, any plans in the works?
On the market currently is Bosch’s next generation of smart controls for boilers. The Bosch Smart Control is managed from the Smart Control app, which is free to download on Apple and Android devices. With specific permission by the homeowner, there is a function within the Bosch Control to allow remote access by a contractor.
Many smart Wi-Fi-enabled controls collect and distribute user data, but the Bosch control stores user’s information within the unit in their home, not on an external server or cloud. This ensures personal information is secure and won’t be shared. And when there’s a temporary loss of an Internet connection, the thermostat will still function in manual mode by using the touchscreen.”
Describe how the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart device connectivity could possibly enhance boiler/contractor communications.
The Bosch Control interfaces with compatible Bosch and Buderus condensing boilers and allows the user to control both heating and on/off hot water settings for greater energy savings. It employs Energy Management System (EMS) technology that matches the boiler output with user demand. It has been designed to work with residential condensing Bosch Greenstar Series boilers and Buderus GB142 and GB162 boilers.
The Bosch Control programmable room thermostat comes with an integrated temperature sensor and remote boiler control, all in one device, controlled via an easy-to-use touchscreen. The Bosch Control App can show the homeowner the desired scheduled settings as well as the outdoor temperature, current space heating or domestic hot water production status and overall energy consumption, all at a glance. Unlike other “smart” room thermostats on the market, the Bosch Control is the only thermostat of its type that can adjust the flow temperature of the boiler to the minimum level required to enhance condensing operation, yet still maintain the required room comfort level. It can do this in two ways – utilizing demand compensation or weather compensation.
New products on the horizon?
We are pleased to introduce the new hydronic air-handler with a variable speed blower motor. Paired with Bosch Greentherm condensing tankless water heaters, this system delivers on-demand domestic hot water and precise space heating, with system efficiency over 95%. With reduced footprint and less venting requirement, Bosch tankless water heater and air-handler hydro-air system offers a perfect alternative to replace furnace and storage water heaters. On the geothermal heat pump side, we are launching the new Bosch CDi SM series with significantly enhanced cabinet design resulting in quicker installation. The new SM series will also be equipped with a new communicating control. Coupled with Installation and Service App, it will provide much easier and faster equipment diagnostics and trouble shooting.
What about recently released products?
Bosch Thermotechnology is introducing a new sealed combustion high efficiency stainless steel boiler line with condensing technology. The Buderus SSB Series consists of a total of eight models in four separate chassis sizes with inputs ranging from 85MBH up to 1024MBH, and are applicable for use in small studio units all the way up to commercial buildings. Bosch is introducing the new SSB Series in phases with mid-size range 255, 399 and 512 MBH models available initially. The SSB Series was designed as a modular platform for commonality and familiarity for the installer, with fewer spare parts for faster service and less inventory requirements. SSB boilers have a 5:1 turndown, an onboard control that includes weather compensation, mod-bus connectivity, a two-wire cascades link, plus terminal wiring. They also feature a factory installed low-water-cutoff (LWCO) and safety temperature high limiter with a manual reset to reduce installation time.
As heat loads become smaller with better building practices, are you designing boilers with smaller overall input ratings?
As building envelopes getting tighter and thus heat loads become smaller, it is anticipated that there will be more demand for smaller capacity heating equipment. As a global company serving over 100 countries, Bosch already offers a very extensive product portfolio covering a wide capacity range for different applications.
Our Greenstar boilers have sold more than four million units worldwide, with many smaller capacity models providing heating for many smaller European and Asian residences.
We look forward to bringing more compact products with sleek appliance-look designs and high-efficiencies to North American customers.
Can you share something that contractors might not know about the company?
The Accredited Bosch Contractor Program is designed to support and reward “ABC” Members who install Bosch products. When an ABC member installs a Bosch boiler, geothermal heat pump or tankless water heater, everyone benefits, from the installing contractor to the consumer. Being an Accredited Bosch Contractor enables the Member and their employees to receive complementary Bosch product training, a company profile listing on the Bosch Dealer Locator, sales leads and more. Earned Loyalty Reward Points can be redeemed for local advertising, vehicle wraps, Bosch tools, and other marketing development programs.
The consumer who wants to purchase a Bosch product benefits by being able to locate a knowledgeable ABC Member in their area who is trained to install the product and offer the ABC extended warranty. – Ann Emanuele, Bosch ABC Program Manager.