French start-up unveils its first energy storage unit

French start-up unveils its first energy storage unit

The Grenoble-based start-up Sylfen in conjunction with the French energy agency and fuel cell specialist CEA have just announced the first successful test of their Smart Energy Hub energy storage unit in Grenoble. Sylfen’s Smart Energy Hub is an energy storage unit which uses hydrogen and cogeneration and is designed for use in buildings. The Smart Energy Hub project was conceived as a method of demonstrating the prowess of France’s high-temperature reversible electrolysis industrial recovery technology.

Sylfen have revealed that their energy hub is an innovative hybrid device that will ensure the energy supply of buildings or eco-neighborhoods through local and renewable energy sources. The energy produced by the hub will be  self-consumed by households directly while surplus production energy can then be stored as hydrogen and in Li-ion batteries. The device also uses a reversible system which allows the user to store the electricity and heat produced when needed.

The Sylfen hub is the fruit of more than 10 years of research and development carried out at the CEA’s Liten Institute of Technology, an institute which specializes in renewable energy and which is based in Grenoble. The hub uses 3-in-1 technology which is a French innovation based on the use of a system of reversible steam electrolysis and combustible solid oxide batteries. The hub therefore uses three different processes for storing and generating energy, namely electrolysis, hydrogen batteries and gas cogeneration.

Sylfen plans to launch their innovative product with a major industrial partner and the company hopes that the hub demonstrates the ability of French industry to implement innovative solutions to turn their technological success into commercial and industrial success.

Sylfen have already received their first order for the Smart Hub with the company contracted to deliver a hub to the Italian city of Turin by the end of 2019. The Smart Energy Hub for Turin is expected to deliver an energy output whose power will be over 100 kilowatts.