Bosch has taken a minority equity stake in Horsham-based Ceres Power. The German manufacturer signed an agreement with Ceres in January which has now been made public, and will invest an initial £9m for a 4.4% share.
Ceres said the collaboration will see Bosch start low volume production of its fuel cells, which will enable scale up and mass manufacture of its steel oxide technology. The firm said its units, currently 5kW, can be used in multiple applications, including small power stations to be used in cities, factories, data centres and charge points for electric vehicles.
The company, which is backed by FTSE 250 firm IP Group, also has agreements with firms including Weichai Power, Nissan, Honda and Cummins.
As part of the Bosch deal, the manufacturer will also pay licence fees, which Ceres says will total around £20m over the next two years.
As well as business and transport applications, Ceres has also conducted household trials. The company believes its technology, when operated as a CHP plant, could help decarbonise both heat and power.
Ceres completed a one-year small scale residential trial in September 2017, involving five houses in London and the South East. The firm said its fuel cells provided most of the houses’ power (80% on average) and all of their hot water. It claimed the units save up to 2 tonnes of CO2 per household, with “near zero” NOx and SOx emissions. The fuel cells were connected to existing natural gas infrastructure, but can also take biogas or hydrogen where available, which would further reduce emissions.