Bosch Thermotechnology, Londonderry, N.H., is a leading source of high quality water heating, comfort heating and cooling systems. The company offers Bosch tankless, point-of-use and heat pump electric water heaters, Buderus solar thermal systems, Bosch and Buderus floor-standing and wall-hung boilers, Bosch and FHP geothermal systems, as well as controls and accessories for every product line.
Bosch is encouraged by improving economic signs, especially with regard to the national housing market. As the market for new home construction improves, the company expects to see sales gains for the most advanced, energy efficient products. Smaller footprint, more compact condensing boilers and water heaters will be in demand for their space savings and energy efficiency ratings. Gas-fired products will gain increasing market share over oil fired products based on cost and efficiency, especially as Mid-Atlantic and Northeast oil-dependent states (and utilities) encourage switching over to gas. Bosch also sees increasing demand for geothermal-based solutions for both commercial properties and new home building.
Recently, Mechanical Hub conducted an exclusive Q&A with Bosch Thermotechnology representatives, and the following is taken from Bosch (BT) from a general standpoint.
MH: How does Bosch differentiate itself from other boiler manufacturers?
BT: Bosch stresses attainment of 90+ high energy efficiency because many customers demand high efficiency, which translates into energy savings for end users. High-efficiency products are eligible for federal and local rebates, where offered. We also offer a complete line of heating and air conditioning products (like water source and geothermal heat pumps) as well as domestic hot water products, so we are much more than just a boiler company.
Hydronic heating provides an unrivaled level of comfort, and our boilers, tankless water heaters and geothermal heat pumps are manufactured with some of the lowest sound levels in the industry, which Bosch is recognized for with its extensive line of home appliances.
MH: Is geothermal regaining momentum in this new era of energy efficiency? How is Bosch a major player in that regard?
BT: Definitely! Due to rising energy prices (oil, propane and even natural gas), consumer education and rising environmental consciousness, plus demand for the most comfortable, quiet and reliable heating-cooling systems, plus the available federal, state and local rebates, geothermal’s moment has come – Bosch is heavily involved in advancing the geothermal industry. We offer both water-source and geothermal heat pumps produced in our Fort Lauderdale, Florida facility. We have just entered into a marketing agreement with Orca Energy, a geothermal utility service that installs the geothermal loop during construction in new home communities and then serves as the utility for the homeowner, billing a modest, predictable monthly charge for the geo connection and the electric use. Under agreements reached with developers through Orca Energy, Bosch heat pumps are installed in the new homes to complete the geothermal system. It’s an innovative model that eliminates the first cost hurdle relating to geothermal energy. We think it will be a game changer.
MH: Describe some of your new product offerings.
BT: Bosch has introduced two new Greenstar gas condensing boiler models for residential applications – the Greenstar Combi 131 and the Greenstar 79. Both are wall-mounted with new venting options including concentric up and out and polypropylene twin pipe venting for installation flexibility. The Greenstar Combi is offered from 100 to 151MBH input and is designed for space heating and domestic hot water at up to 4.0 GPM. The Greenstar heat-only boiler, with input range from 57 to 151MBH, can be used for space heating only or connected to an indirect hot water tank to provide domestic hot water.
For smaller commercial buildings as well as larger homes Bosch offers the Buderus GB162 with a multi-boiler cascade option. The GB162 combines condensing and cascade technologies in one compact, lightweight design for ultra-high performance efficiencies up to 93 AFUE. The GB162 is ideal for wall-mount or rack-mounted applications for multi-boiler cascades — up to 8 units can be cascaded for up to 2664 MBH input.
MH: Talk about the Bosch tankless offerings.
BT: Bosch has just introduced a new higher kW electric tankless water heater — the WH36 — to its Tronic line. The Tronic 5000 WH 36 has an efficiency rating of 97% and can provide virtually unlimited hot water for one or two major appliances at a time. It can be installed almost anywhere inside a home to provide hot water on demand. The WH 36 produces 5.4 gallons per minute at 45°F temperature rise.
We have also expanded our popular Greentherm tankless water heater line with the addition of two new gas condensing models – the C 1050 and the C 950 ES. Both new models are ENERGY STAR rated and feature up to 14% improved energy efficiency over non-condensing models. They offer maximum efficiency even at low flow rates. These wall-mounted models come with multiple venting options including fast and simple concentric polypropylene up-and-out venting for single units and two-to-four unit single pipe cascades vented together through a sidewall or roof with the new Polypropylene Venting System from Bosch. They are available in both NG and LP versions.
MH: Where are Bosch products produced?
BT: Bosch Thermotechnology geothermal products are manufactured at an ISO 9001 Certified factory in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hydronic heating and water heating products are manufactured at facilities in Europe.
MH: What does Bosch offer contractors in terms of training?
BT: Bosch offers a full range of training opportunities, from basic installation to advanced troubleshooting. We host contractors at our Londonderry, NH and Fort Lauderdale, FL facilities as well as through our manufacturer rep agencies. For training opportunities visit htps://dealers.bosch-climate.us/bosch-training. Bosch’s extensive library of training videos may be viewed on YouTube – visit http://www.youtube.com/user/BoschheatingCooling. Our training department has expanded in the last year with the installation of a Buderus SB625SW commercial condensing boiler in our live-fire training lab. We also have mobile training trailers equipped with hydronic and geothermal equipment to enable hands-on training at customer sites.
Technology is transitioning to high-efficiency products, which require different skills for the installer. Bosch training programs are geared to enabling the installer to learn more efficient techniques to install, service and maintain high-efficiency HVAC equipment. Homeowners are more educated and engaged, and they are asking about connectivity within their home and communication with their mobile devices. As we develop new products and control systems, these factors figure strongly in their development.
MH: Since Mechanical Hub is an online resource, does Bosch offer any online resources or apps?
BT: Bosch Thermotechnology’s main website is www.boschheatingandcooling.com. Our site for professionals is http://boschprohvac.com/. We offer a tankless water heater pro-sizing app for iPhone and Android mobile phones.
MH: What are two commonly asked contractor questions regarding Bosch and its products and how do you address those questions?
BT: Our installers frequently ask for tools they can use to explain the benefits of installing high-efficiency equipment to the consumer. An educated consumer is a more empowered decision maker, which benefits all of us as well as our environment.
Contractors ask for support and commitment from Bosch Thermotechnology to enable them to grow their business. Accredited Bosch Contractors (ABC) are members of a select group of professional heating and air conditioning installers individually selected by Bosch, factory-trained and equipped with the information and tools required to install, service and maintain Bosch and Buderus equipment. Only an ABC Contractor can offer accredited installation and a one-year extended warranty in addition to the standard warranty. In return, ABC contractors commit to meeting goals and attending product training classes annually.
MH: What are some tips you can provide that can help contractors during the busy heating season?
BT: Encouraging homeowners to maintain their HVAC equipment during the off-season helps avoid emergency calls during the hottest or coldest times of year. Contractors can help educate their customers to schedule preventive maintenance — much like maintaining their physical health — to minimize problems and optimize energy efficiency all year long.
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.