CEA-Liten is the coordinator of the European project REFLEX, funded by the Hydrogen Europe program H2020 / FCH-JU.
This project, started in January 2018, with a total budget of € 3 million, brings together industrial and academic partners from 6 European countries:
- France: CEA-Liten (R&D on stacks, the heart of the technology), SYLFEN (design and implementation of the system) and ENGIE (economic analysis and extrapolation to other markets)
- Italy: ENVIPARK Turin (experimental site), ENGIE-COFELY Italy (experimental partner)
- Spain: GPTECH and University of Seville (developers of the battery / power conversion part)
- Finland: VTT (Finnish Technology Research Center), in charge of system modeling
- Estonia: ELCOGEN (cell developer)
- Denmark: DTU (Technical University of Denmark), in charge of a part of the R&D on cells and on the stack, including performance tests
The REFLEX project has a triple objective.
First of all, it aims at the realization of a Smart Energy Hub of 3 modules, each module being able to store a power of up to 40kWe in electrolysis, hybridized with a battery of 50kWh. Overall, the REFLEX system will be more than 10 times more powerful than the prototype commissioned today by CEA-Liten and SYLFEN. Each module will contain several stacks, the stack being a pile of cells ensuring the function of converting electrical energy into chemical energy and vice versa. These modules will be associated with external hydrogen storage.
The Smart Energy Hub thus created will then be directly coupled, and then operated in 2020 for more than 8000 hours, on the headquarters building of ENVIPARK, an innovation technopole located in Turin. The renewable energy supply will be provided both by photovoltaic solar panels and a small hydroelectric turbine, for which the electrical energy produced will be stored within the Smart Energy Hub during periods of overproduction and return back electricity to cover the building's needs.
Finally, the teams of Elcogen, CEA and DTU are working within the project to increase the power of the stack, the heart of the electrochemical reaction. The goal will be to double the surface area of the cells, thus making it easier to design superior power systems.
For Sylfen, the REFLEX project is the first signed contract providing for the delivery of a modular Smart Energy Hub that will be tested in real-life conditions on a building in operation. In 2019, it will be a key milestone in its development roadmap.