Estonia’s Elcogen has been selected to supply its innovative solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology for the EU Horizon’s REFLEX Smart Energy Hub program.
REFLEX is a cross multidisciplinary consortium featuring nine organisations from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy and Spain.
The Smart Energy Hub will demonstrate fuel cell and stack development and testing (Elcogen, CEA, DTU), power electronics (USE, GPTech), system design and manufacturing (SYLFEN), system modelling (VTT), field testing (Envipark); and techno-economical and market analysis (ENGIE).
Elcogen will manage an energy hub coupled to solar and mini-hydro renewable sources to provide both electricity and heat to the nearby technology park.
The company’s SOFCs will either operate in electrolysis mode (SOEC) – to store excess electricity to produce hydrogen – or in fuel cell mode (SOFC) when energy needs exceed local production, to produce electricity and heat from H2 or other locally available fuel.
Installed at the Environment Park in in Turin, Italy, the modular Smart Energy Hub will be comprised of multi-stack or multi-module SOFC arrangements. Scale up studies will be performed to evaluate both the efficiency and the economic performance of the technology to address different scales of products for different markets.
“The challenge for the solid oxide fuel cell energy hub will be to achieve high rates of efficiency and flexibility during its operation while proving the economic case for the energy storage and transfer system, said Elcogen CEO Enn Õunpuu. “Elcogen addresses that challenge through its development of the reversible solid oxide cells, which are then developed into stacks by French alternative energy commission CEA, and incorporated into the system of electronics and heat exchangers.”
“We’re looking forward to demonstrating how renewable energy storage systems providing both heat and electricity can utilise reversible solid oxide cell technology, with Elcogen’s high-performance, low-temperature fuel cells and stacks powering that ambition.”
Image credits and content: Elcogen