Fuel cell efficiency put to the test by consortium

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European fuel cell manufacturer Elcogen will supply its technology for a groundbreaking new project demonstrating how reversible solid oxide cells can be used in innovative clean energy storage systems. Elcogen’s solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology will be used in the upcoming Reflex project, which will operate an energy hub coupled to solar and mini-hydro renewable sources to provide both electricity and heat to the nearby technology park.

At the heart of this energy hub, Elcogen SOFCs will be operating either 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 – including any gaseous or liquid biofuel such as bio-gas, methanol or ethanol.

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.

Reflex is a cross multidisciplinary consortium gathering nine organisations from six member states, including: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy and Spain.

With funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme, the Reflex 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).

 

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