Exploring the Potential of the “BObby Energy Hub” at Bochum University of Applied Sciences

Exploring the Potential of the “BObby Energy Hub” at Bochum University of Applied Sciences

The Seed Project partners had the opportunity to visit the “BObby Energy Hub” project during their recent meeting at Bochum University of Applied Sciences (BUAS). This project is run by the Sustainable Technologies Laboratory of BUAS, and the partners were able to learn about the innovative prototype, discuss its development with the experts involved, and see first-hand the progress made so far. During the discussion, the partners gained unique insights into the initial steps of the project’s development and witnessed the passion and dedication of the individuals involved in bringing the Bobby Energy Hub to life. Furthermore, the “BObby Energy Hub” project is one of the Good Practices to share with other regions!

But what is the “BObby Energy Hub”?

Together with the Berlin start-up SunCrafter, the Laboratory for Sustainability in Technology has piloted a modular and off-grid solar charging station on the grounds of Bochum University of Applied Sciences.

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Ten photovoltaic modules, each with 250W of power, were installed, which will be tested for the off-grid energy supply of electrified micromobility vehicles. Students work interdisciplinarily on sustainable mobility and energy supply issues using the Problem-Based Learning approach. The Energy Hub will initially be used for the Kumpan electric scooters used in the BObby Sharing project study in sharing mode. These will be charged with a maximum power of 1.2kW by cable and, in future, also inductively – i.e. wirelessly. Further charging solutions are planned for electrified vehicles such as pedelecs, cargo bikes and electric scooters.

The aim of the project is to develop solutions suitable for everyday use for users’ location-flexible charging of light electric vehicles, e.g., to reduce additional service trips by sharing fleet operators in terms of sustainability. The system will also be connected to the internet and can thus be monitored and controlled regardless of location. In addition, the data can be recorded and used for third-party-funded research projects in the future. Additional charging functions via USB and the installation of a W-LAN hotspot are intended to make the solar charging station an attractive place for exchange, learning and teaching.

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Lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 7.2kWh store energy and enable temporary use even when there is no sunlight. Since the modules function self-sufficiently, a variety of mobile applications are possible. Installing modules at other locations opens up a wide range of possible applications to provide sustainable energy services and test them in future teaching and research projects.

This hands-on experience allowed the partners to fully appreciate the project’s potential to revolutionise the charging of light electric vehicles, as well as its wider applications in providing sustainable energy services. The Bobby Energy Hub promises to be an exciting venture, and the project partners were thrilled to be given a glimpse of its progress and share it with the SEED Community!