REFLEX is a project funded by H2020, the European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation, under the FCH JTI – Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
The REFLEX project aims at developing an innovative renewable energies storage solution, the “Smart Energy Hub”, based on reversible Solid Oxide Cell (rSOC) technology, able to operate either in electrolysis mode (SOEC) to store excess electricity to produce H2, or in fuel cell mode (SOFC) when energy needs exceed local production, to produce electricity and heat again from H2 or any other fuel locally available.
An in-field demonstration will be performed in Environment Park, where the Smart Energy Hub will be coupled to local solar and mini-hydro renewable sources and will provide electricity and heat to the headquarters of the technological park. It will demonstrate, in a real environment, the high power-to-power round-trip efficiency of this technology and its flexibility in dynamic operation, thus moving the technology from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to 6.
Scale up studies will be performed to evaluate the techno-economic performance of the technology to address different scales of products for different markets.
REFLEX is a cross multidisciplinary consortium gathering nine organisations from 6 Member States (France, Italy, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland). The partnership covers all competences necessary: cells and stacks development and testing (ELCOGEN, CEA, DTU), power electronics (USE, GPTech), system design and manufacturing (SYLFEN), system modelling (VTT), field test (Envipark), techno-economical and market analysis (ENGIE).
Electrical architecture for the REFLEX configuration
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The Reflex system will be installed at the ENVIPARK headquarter, in order to cover the eco-building and eco-districts and maximize auto-consumption of local renewable energies mixture. The site is full in line with the concept of the project and the pilot is an interesting testing bed to assess the interoperability of distributed generation under different weather conditions and consumer behaviour.
Part of the RES of the Park (PV and mini hydro) will be dedicated to the hub in order to reduce the cost of the consumption of electricity of the administrative building, in addition the heat produced will be reinjected in the heat network with additional savings in thermal energy consumption.
The hub produce also a quantity of hydrogen stored. One of the research sector of the Company, Advanced Energy, is devoted to the production and storage of electrical energy using alternative, high-efficiency technologies. It is a centre for the development and testing of the latest generation batteries and hydrogen-based fuel cells. The hydrogen produced by the Hub could be used to compensate the hydrogen consumption of the laboratory.