NEW TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES - A multi-scenario research spectrum Key results...14

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2 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:25 Page 1 CONTENTS - CEA-Liten organisation chart Editorial Liten, energy technologies for the future Industrial partnerships Latest developments in technological platforms...10 NEW TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES - A multi-scenario research spectrum Key results...14 NEW BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES - The multiple facets of solar energy Key results...19 NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR NOMADIC ELECTRONICS - Production of low cost, large-area components outside the clean room Key results...24 NANOMATERIAL ENGINEERING PUBLICATIONS

3 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:25 Page 2 Director D. MARSACQ Assistant J. TAMMONE Programme Manager B. FILLON Deputy R. BACCINO Scientific management H.BURLET Communication S. BAHRI Institut Liten: Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials Major building industry accounts N. Mermilliod Arc-Nucleart - Grenoble P. VAUDAINE INES, the National Solar Energy Institute/Solar Energy Technologies Department Le Bourget du Lac: J.P. JOLY Deputy: P. MALBRANCHE, solar energy systems Deputy: D. SARTI, silicon technologies Programme managers: A. MANIFICAT, integration of solar energy technologies into buildings Hydrogen Technologies Department Grenoble: P. BACLET Program managers: G. LE MAROIS, extreme materials F. LEFEBVRE-JOUD, fuel cells Nanomaterial Technologies Department Grenoble: M. MOUSSAVI Program managers: P. JULIET, nanomaterials S. VALETTE, nanostructured surfaces F. FUSALBA, energy storage Solar energy cells D. HESLINGA Testing/Validation E. BOUYER Hybrid components F. GAILLARD Integration into buildings J.L. SIX Fuel cell systems L. ANTONI Energy components S. MARTINET Thermal systems P. MERCIER Hydrogen technologies PH. BUCCI Surface technologies G. RAVEL Electric systems J. MERTEN Fuel cell components N. BARDI Tracer technologies F. TARDIF Communication contact:

4 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:25 Page 3 editorial From research to industry, from components to systems With an increase in its activity of over 25%, in 2007 CEA-Liten demonstrated its capacity to support industry in developing technological innovations in many fields. Our bilateral contracts with French companies increased by more than 30%, as did our participation in European projects. Outside Europe, our first contracts are taking shape, targeting two main regions: Asia (China and Taiwan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates). There has been a large increase in the number of our industrial partners, especially with respect to our work on solar energy and energy efficiency in buildings: industry in this sector is well aware that it pays to integrate solar energy into building projects and makes good use of this financial lever. Being awarded the «Carnot Institute future energies» label recognises the importance of these industrial partnerships. We join Léti and List, two other laboratories in the CEA Technological Research Division which obtained this label before us. It is worth noting that we are the only Carnot Institute dedicated to new energy technologies. We are also precursors, revolutionising the world of public research by creating strong and lasting links with INPG, CNRS and Joseph Fournier University. The second main feature of 2007 is strategic: after focusing our efforts on components like fuel cells, solar batteries and cells over the past few years, we are now increasingly concentrating on their integration into systems (nomadic electronics, vehicles, buildings). This is undoubtedly behind the increased industrial interest in our work. This systemic vision is fundamental to anticipating requirements and improving our understanding of our customers road maps. At the same time, we are stepping up our efforts in the field of nanomaterials and their use in new energy technologies as we are convinced that they will eventually lead to major technological breakthroughs such as a leap in the efficiency of photovoltaic solar-cell conversion to 30% (compared with 15% today) or dividing the fuel-cell platinum load by 10, thereby reducing the cost. Successful research depends on our capacity to ensure safety during the different phases of nanomaterial preparation, integration and use. It is for this reason that a platform dedicated to this issue is under construction at Liten should see the consolidation of Liten with a strong growth rate estimated at around 30% and the recruitment of several dozen collaborators to meet the requirements of this increased activity. Didier Marsacq Director of LITEN 3

5 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 4 Liten, energy technologies for the future As one of the main players in French R&D, CEA is a leader in the field of technologies for non-greenhouse gas emitting sources of energy, largely thanks to Liten (Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials). Based mainly in Grenoble, it brings together some 550 researchers specialising in Physics, Chemistry and Nanomaterials for energy applications. Its activities are mainly dedicated to solar energy and its use in buildings, sources of electrical energy for use in transports and nanomaterials for energy applications. Liten is also a key player in INES (France s National Solar Energy Institute), a center of excellence that brings together all the players involved in French research on solar energy. Its annual budget is approximately 52 million euros and it manages a portfolio of 250 patents with international impact (74 new patents were filed in 2007). Its research activities are organised into three divisions (Solar Technologies, Hydrogen Technologies, Nanomaterial Technologies) and basically concern three markets: - buildings: solar energy (thermal and photovoltaic), electrical and thermal systems, energy storage, energy efficiency, renovation methodology, convergence of habitat-transport requirements. Human resources: 548 members of staff - transport: advanced batteries, fuel cells, hybridisation, energy recovery, energy efficiency, hydrogen production, depollution, lightening of structures. permanent: % engineers: % - nomadic electronics: energy source miniaturisation, nanomaterial synthesis and manipulation, nanostructured surfaces, organic electronic components, smart surfaces. 35% non-permanent: % technicians: 148 Scientific and technical excellence Liten is the leading centre for new energy technologies in France. It is the main force behind the creation of INES, France s National Solar Energy Institute, based in Chambéry, plays a major role in Tenerrdis, the renewable energies research cluster, was awarded the Carnot Institute label in 2007 and works on research contracts with regional, national and international industrial partners: Sofileta, Acxys, Apollon Solar, Photowatt, STMicroelectronics, Meca-chrome, EDF, PSA, Jusung...Its research work covers complete technological processes, from basic components to prototypes integrated into a system for the purposes of demonstration. Its approach to research takes into account the need for quick turn-around times and constraints on industrial costs. Liten has several first-class technological platforms, clean rooms for testing equipment and processes, and heavy equipment for characterisation and testing. In addition, LITEN has access to the other CEA Grenoble and Minatec facilities. It also sets up joint laboratory facilities with its industrial partners.... internationally recognised Liten is also developing its activity on the international scene with its participation in European projects (35 projects underway for FP6 and 7) and specific efforts in the direction of the Asian market concerning solar energy, hydrogen vector, energy storage, energy microsources, organic energy. Partnerships involving solar energy and hydrogen as a new energy vector are also taking shape in the Middle East. Employees per activity sector: Portfolio of 250 patents, including 74 filed in 2007 nanomaterials for energy nanomaterials for energy applications: 40 applications: % 39% Budget (in millions of euros): 51,7 external income 28,1 M 31% 54% 30% new transport technologies: 170 new building technologies: ,6 M CEA (FRENCH ATOMIC ENERGY 46% COMMISSION) Budget per activity sector: new transport technologies other activities 3% 18% 42% 23% 28% new transport technologies: 21 new building technologies: 13 nanomaterials for energy applications 32% new building technologies 4

6 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 5 Industrial partnerships 43 new bilateral contracts. Significant increase in international partnerships. A highlight in 2007 was the increasing number of bilateral contracts signed with major industrial groups and SMEs. Income breakdown (in thousands of euros) Liten signed 43 new bilateral contracts out of which 28 were with major groups and 15 with SMEs. The international nature of its activity is undeniable with research partners (both in industry and laboratories) coming from different countries, mainly in Europe. Among these industrial partners, we find major groups in the following sectors: transport (automotive, aeronautics, shipping), energy, microelectronics and building. The first contracts outside Europe are under preparation and should be signed in Identified targets are Asia for energy storage and organic electronics and the Middle East for hydrogen technologies and solar energy. Industry Programme agencies Local authorities Europe Nuclear industry All three fields of technological research developed at Liten witnessed an increase in turnover of around 25%. Concerning the fuel cell, together with industrial partners Liten initiated several showcase projects based on the Genepac technology, a spin-off of developments for the automotive sector. These showcases were opportunities for testing the fuel cell technology in so-called niche sectors (electric power for boats, construction vehicles, light aircraft, ). Trends in bilateral contracts excluding the nuclear sector (in thousands of euros) On the solar energy front, the year saw the creation of a new company (PV Alliance) with Photowatt and EDF Energies Nouvelles. This company will be dedicated to producing photovoltaic solar cells on silicon and validating INES concepts in technico-economic terms. The Rhône-Alpes region thus strengthens its position as the national reference in solar energy research. The energy requirements for nomadic applications are steadily increasing. To meet this challenge, Liten created a joint laboratory with the Tours division of STMicroelectronics, dedicated to energy microsources. This laboratory will focus its activity on micro fuel cells and micro batteries. Their aim: ever-increasing energy density. New building technologies New transport technologies Nanomaterials for energy applications Income prospects for 2008 (in millions of euros) Industrial partnerships 5

7 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 6 Industrial partnerships Creation of a joint STMicroelectronics CEA Liten laboratory On 29th July 2007, STMicroelectronics and Liten signed a partnership agreement for developing new miniaturised energy sources. The joint laboratory, set up for a four-year period, will be distributed over two sites, Grenoble and Tours, where the industrial company has a leading production site. It will employ some fifty researchers shared equally between the two sites. Targeted applications: mobile telephones and nomadic electronics Research will focus on developing micro components for energy storage and conversion in addition to thin-film microbatteries and silicon-based micro fuel cells operating with hydrogen. Other promising technologies for recovering energy in the environment and converting it into electricity will also be investigated, in particular, thermoelectric microsystems (converting heat into electricity). These new miniaturised energy solutions are intended mainly for mobile telephones, laptop computers and other nomadic electronic devices. These new energy technologies using thin films and spin-off processes from flat-screen development will benefit from STMicroelectronics industrialisation expertise and should therefore prove advantageous in terms of cost, size and weight with respect to the solutions currently available. In addition to which, they are the source of environment-friendly technologies, thus meeting a major requirement on the part of users. Thin-film microbatteries should also open up new opportunities with respect to smart sensors where it is essential to replace traditional disposable batteries. 6

8 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 7 Industrial partnerships PV Alliance, a new company dedicated to silicon photovoltaic cells PV Alliance was created by two industrial firms, Photowatt and EDF Energies Nouvelles (an EDF subsidiary) and CEA. Its goal is to speed up innovation in the field of photovoltaic solar cell production, mainly thanks to micro and nanotechnologies. Since November 2007, PV Alliance has been established at Bourgoin-Jallieu (Isère) near the Photowatt industrial site and at a stone s throw from INES (National Solar Energy Institute) Its pilot laboratory, Labfab, will be operational by the end of 2009, with an installed capacity of approximately 25 MW. As a specialist in the production of silicon cell prototypes, it will validate research laboratory innovations on an industrial scale, and especially those developed by INES. PV Alliance will develop three types of cell: - solar cells made from so-called metallurgical silicon, obtained using the PHOTOSIL process. Emphasis will be on obtaining the best compromise between efficiency and cost with a short term efficiency objective of around 15%, - high efficiency cells using microtechnologies where the expected efficiency should be above 20% in the long term, - cells based on nano-technologies whose revolutionary design should make it possible to obtain an efficiency of more than 25% in the longer term. The company is funded by its founders, local authorities and the State by way of a project submitted to AII, the French agency for Industrial Innovation, now called OSEO-Innovation. CEA/JUSUNG partnership: a goal of 20% efficiency or more A two-year joint development agreement was signed between the Korean company JUSUNG, one of the world s leading suppliers of equipment for semi-conductor and thin-film technology manufacturers, and Liten. Its goal is to develop silicon solar cells with more than 20% efficiency. Based on its expertise in the fields of micro/nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, Liten has been developing solar cells for several years, with an efficiency of 17 to 18% depending on the characteristics of the silicon used. JUSUNG contributes its experience in developing equipment specially designed for thin-film technology applied to solar cells and large-area LCDs. The aim is to speed up development in the solar energy sector based on high efficiency and improved cost control. Worth a total investment of around 7 million euros, this agreement will enable the two partners to rapidly develop a new technology based on the concept of heterojunction, for the production of solar cells boasting efficiency of over 20%. The new equipment will soon be set up at INES. Industrial partnerships 7

9 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 8 A Eurotungstene - Liten alliance for producing injectable metal compositions using nanomaterials Liten and the Eurotungstene SME (Isère), a subsidiary of the ERAMET mining group, have entered into a two-year agreement to develop and industrialise production of feedstocks (master mixes) based on fine and ultra-fine metal powders which can be injected using the same techniques as for plastics. Eurotungstene, a Grenoble-based company, is a leading manufacturer of powders and fine metal powders for industrial use. A joint technical team has been created to conduct an R&D programme to develop and produce mixtures of polymer materials with fine and ultra-fine metal powders using an injection-sintering process. With this process, metal components of complex shapes can be produced without resorting to long and costly machining. The main scientific and technical obstacle lies in optimising powder morphology and surface state to increase their proportion in the polymer matrix before the injection-sintering phase or MIM (Metal Injection Molding). MIM is a process for manufacturing small-sized metal or ceramic components. Potential applications are numerous: automotive components, energy, electrical equipment, etc. Liten and the Carnot label In 2007, Liten was awarded the Carnot label by the French ministry in charge of Higher Education and Research following a joint application process with the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble (INPG). The two institutions were selected for their R&D initiatives involving materials and processes for energy applications, components for hydrogen applications, components and systems for solar energy applications and energy management and also energy microsources. The Carnot label certifies Liten s capacity to conduct government-funded research projects in partnership with socioeconomic players such as private companies. It is awarded for a renewable period of four years. Carnot-certified laboratories receive a State grant based on the number of contracts signed with their industrial partners. For Liten, this means being able to initiate R&D where the outcome is uncertain but the potential added value is significant. 8

10 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 9 Increased cooperation with an Indian research centre Since 2003, Liten has been working on cooperative initiatives with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in India, developing civil nuclear and hydrogen applications and fuel cells. In 2007, this cooperation was extended when an Indian PhD graduate in materials science took up a post-doctoral position at Liten. He will be working on innovative concepts related to high-temperature electrolysers (EHT), more specifically, on the production of ceramic oxides and on high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Developing a fuel cell for aeronautical applications Industry increasingly calls upon the Liten fuel cell laboratory to integrate fuel cells into their demonstration units. A partnership has been set up recently to design, produce and integrate a 30 kw fuel cell for an aeronautical application. For this market, the fuel cell has the competitive advantage of silence, an energy density which considerably increases aircraft performance and range and a high embedded-energy source compared to other technical solutions (heat engines, batteries ). Higher energy densities can be obtained with the advanced system integration of this technology than with Li-ion batteries. The supercritical CO2 heat pump, a real technological breakthrough Liten has confidential agreements with several industries in the domestic heating sector and is developing the use of supercritical CO2 in heat pumps and air conditioners in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiency. The main potential applications concern heating and hot-water production in buildings. In addition to its much lower environmental impact compared to other refrigerating fluids, supercritical CO2 is compatible with a large number of materials and boasts thermodynamic properties which are advantageous for use in heat pumps. For many years, its disadvantages (high pressure operation, critical temperature of 31 C) have deterred industry from using it. Liten is innovating in using CO2 in its so-called supercritical phase which enables an increase in temperature to 70 or 80 C instead of the 45 C obtained when using traditional refrigerants (see also pg. 23). Industrial partnerships 9

11 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 10 Latest developments in technological platforms INES continues to grow and benefits from a range of equipment unique in Europe The National Solar Energy Institute located near Chambéry is now fitted with equipment to be found nowhere else in Europe. During the first quarter of 2008, the delivery of a 750 m 2 clean room dedicated to the production of solar cells and an R&D line for photovoltaic module innovation will complete this setup. Upstream of the photovoltaic sector, towards mid-year the PHOTOSIL facility for purifying metallurgical silicon became operational and the teams were successful in obtaining very promising results (see also pg. 19). The energy storage systems activity is now fully operational. The aim is to increase the lifetime of batteries by optimising the charge and discharge management system. All equipment for testing and studying batteries became operational at the beginning of 2007 and has gradually been completed with additional elements. Among these figure the high current test bench (up to 700 A at 1000 volts) and the climatic chamber accommodating Lithium-ion elements for temperature cycles between -40 and +60 C. Regarding photovoltaic systems, the natural insolation of 24 photovoltaic modules can be characterised minute by minute thanks to a new test bench. Design studies have been initiated for the electrical micro network with an 80kW photovoltaic generator which should be built during the first half of The thermal solar systems for generating heat or cold air benefit from a semi-virtual platform. This is used for characterisation procedures (from -5 C to 180 C), industrial development and modelling. For the highest temperatures, and linked to the scheduled revival of the Thémis facility at Odeillo, a test oven designed to simulate highly concentrated radiation enables testing of boilers and solar receivers with concentrations up to 750 C. Concerning low-energy buildings, two Passys adiabatic cells have been renovated for characterising façade components such as windows, doors and shutters, in order to determine their impact on energy consumption. Last but not least, several positive energy buildings have been planned for construction during These buildings are unique experimental platforms in France and will be used to assess the contribution of solar energy. 10

12 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 11 Latest developments in technological platforms Nanostructured surfaces at Saint Etienne D2M will soon be 100% operational The first equipment has been delivered to D2M, the Litenoperated micro-nanostructured and multifunctional deposits platform based on the Jean-Monnet university campus at Saint Etienne. The facility will be fully operational by mid D2M pools resources for producing micro- and nanostructured surfaces. This includes equipment for three types of application: - thin-film deposition using wet processes (sol-gel and Langmuir-Blodgett), - no-contact microstructuring by direct laser etching, laser ablation or ink-jet processes, - fine characterisation, e.g. using low-voltage scanning electron microscopy, compatible with large, flexible areas. These resources and processes are chosen and optimised in response to the challenges of dealing with large areas and sizable production volumes. They are particularly aimed at opening up traditional industrial sectors to the use of micro and nanotechnologies, with their very different manufacturing constraints compared to microelectronics. On the HEF industrial site at Andrézieux ISIS opens up the market for PVD deposits On the two ISIS sites based in Isère and Loire, HEF and Liten are preparing new processes for dry deposition aimed at industries where these techniques are not yet used. Several projects are now underway. With six patents filed in two years and a current budget of 13 millions of euros, ISIS has secured the necessary resources for opening up the market for physical vapour or plasma depositions. The preliminary phase of advanced research is being conducted at CEA Grenoble while the Loire site hosts the scale 1 industrial equipment for carrying out the technicoeconomic studies. Some research projects are already underway, e.g. reflective thin films for car mirrors or thin carbon films for the components of car engine distributors. Numerous others are in the starting-blocks. Components for the automotive, aeronautical and energy sectors are among the targeted applications. Many industrial sectors previously considered PVD deposits to be unsuitable or too expensive but are now becoming aware of their advantages while the number of market outlets is increasing rapidly e.g. electrochrome deposits for saving energy, water repellant or self-cleaning coatings for hospital walls and floors. Latest developments in technological platforms 11

13 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:26 Page 12 FC Lab at Belfort runs 1000-hr tests on fuel cells FC Lab is a facility dedicated to testing fuel cells (FC) under conditions simulating transport conditions. It participates in a dozen or so national and European projects and has run very long duration tests on elements of several fuel cell cores. The Belfort-based FC Lab platform under Liten management focuses on three thematic areas: control command systems, system architecture and auxiliary system design. Complete fuel cell systems can be tested using a 3-axis vibration table combined with a climatic chamber in a realistic simulation of the vibrations, temperature and humidity conditions observed in transport applications. Liten research teams developed long duration (1000-hour) tests of significant scientific interest conducted on fuel cells. The tests were carried out under conditions representing the electric stresses exerted on the cell by an electric converter simulating a vehicle s power demands. These were among the first tests in the world to be carried out on such a scale. 12 Latest developments in technological platforms

14 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:27 Page 13 Transports A multi-scenario research spectrum Will the vehicle of the future be of the optimised thermal variety, a hybrid model or electric? Will these three options coexist or will they come on the market one after the other? It is impossible to say Which is why Liten is keeping the three options open: it contributes to improving thermal engines, conducts important research in the field of batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles and is increasingly active in developing high-efficiency, competitive fuel cells (FC). A Peugeot 207 fitted with a fuel cell to be available soon Working with the manufacturer to fit a fuel cell into a Peugeot 207 was one of the year s highlights. The car will be operational by the end of Another major event concerns the reduction of the platinum load in fuel cells since this extremely expensive material represents approximately 80% of the target cost. During the year, Liten has already managed to reduce quantities by two thirds with no change in efficiency. This is the first step in a process which should result in reduction by a factor of 10 before the end of Organising hydrogen production Electricity will remain a major energy vector. Its challenger, hydrogen, will be an additional resource for future transport options by enabling the transport and storage of energy. Liten has launched several research programmes on producing hydrogen supplies for fuel cells or for storage to avoid using batteries. These include a massive, centralised production system based on high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) of steam which can be linked to a nuclear or a thermodynamic solar plant and a decentralised production system based on renewables (solar, wind, hydraulic) for maximum synergy of transport and habitat requirements. New transport technologies 13

15 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:27 Page 14 Energy efficiency of engines Nanofluid technologies: promising experiments Liten continues to develop fluids with improved thermal properties by adding nanoparticles in suspension. These fluids should improve the efficiency of thermal exchangers and therefore their size, especially for use in vehicles. Thermal conductivity measurements were taken on some twenty water/nanoparticle pairs. An imposed thermal flux test bench for flow characterisation was validated. On-going research with Renault and Chevron aims to achieve a formulation which is stable in terms of time and temperature without increasing the cooling liquid's viscosity. The first demonstrations were conducted using two identical microcomputers, cooled respectively using water and nanofluids. They showed that in the latter case, the temperature of the microprocessor decreased by 3 4 C, giving a 20% improvement in cooling efficiency. Ultra-slippery and microlubricated coatings Two major developments in research on films such as DLC (Diamond Like Carbon), a low-friction material used for certain engine components, have led to combining low-friction and wear resistance characteristics: - creation of a nanostructured coating combining a hard sublayer and an ultra-slippery DLC surface coating: its efficiency in terms of lifetime exceeds that of the market-reference product - inclusion in a DLC-type surface of 15 _m squares with a given depth, using an inexpensive, mechanical masking device: the resulting cavities could be used as micro reservoirs for fuel after they have been covered with an oleophilic film. By improving the lubrification of engine components, this material would reduce friction, improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption and pollution. Particle filters: efficient nanostructured catalysers at lower temperatures Particle filters contain noble metals for converting dangerous elements. The price increase of these metals is a major obstacle to widespread use of particle filters. Liten is attempting to develop innovative methods for reducing catalyser load without altering the level of efficiency. Platinum-based nanostructured catalysers produced by CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) result in better efficiency than those of the market reference products with far less platinum load e.g. they are efficient as from 180 C with deposits containing 300 ppm of platinum whereas the market reference containing 1800 ppm requires a temperature of 225 C. These results, which the industrial partner considers very promising, open up a number of prospects for particle filters and oxidation catalysis. The main technical obstacle lies in obtaining a homogeneous deposition on filters with a complex geometry (non-thru hole channels measuring merely a few mm 2 of section). With the CVD process, narrow nanoparticle-size distributions were achieved. 14

16 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:27 Page 15 New transport technologies Electric vehicles Energy storage using Li-ion batteries: 220 Wh/kg achieved Based on improvement in cathode and anode materials and an original design concept, the prototype of a high-voltage Li-ion accumulator (4,6 V) of 220 Wh/kg has been developed in partnership with ESA. Until now, the state-of-the-art in this sector has been Wh/kg. The cathode benefits from a surface processing which reduces the high level of oxidation usually observed at this voltage. The anode graphite is replaced by a silicon/carbon nanocomposite material with a theoretical weight capacity 5 to 10 times higher. In this battery design, numerous large capacity electrode films (6 8 mah/cm 2 instead of the usual 3 4) are stacked. The 250 Wh/kg target should be achieved during Fuel cells: two-third reduction in platinum load Fuel cell production on an industrial scale depends largely on cost and lifetime potential. This is why reducing platinum load is a priority. Technologies for the deposition of platinum nanoparticles with catalytic properties on fuel cell cores have progressed and the amount of platinum per kw has consistently decreased from 1.2 g to 0.4 g whereas standard components on the market with comparable efficiency contain 1 g/kw. This is incompatible with world platinum resources and cost constraints on the automotive market. Our aim is to reduce amounts even further, reaching between.03 and.02 g/kw by optimising the nanocatalyser deposition conditions on the micro structure of the fuel cell core and thus increasing its efficiency. Basic research combining technological development and modelling has now been underway for three years; this is aimed at mastering OMCVD (Organic Metallic Chemical Vapor Deposition) techniques for the deposition of platinum nanoparticles measuring 2 to 3 nm in diameter, supported by carbon grains measuring about 50 nm in submicron agglomerates. New transport technologies 15

17 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:27 Page 16 Running for 1000 hours with no deterioration An 80 kwe fuel cell developed for rail and road transports was tested to assess its lifetime, using a software tool for energy management developed by Liten. This demonstrated that the cell functions correctly for 1000 hours showing no sign of any aging phenomena whereas efficiency decreases in the first few hours if this management tool" is not used. A patent is being filed. This indicates that a fuel cell s lifetime depends largely on the way it is handled. Cold startup: aim -20 C Maintenance at -20 C The cell suffocates and shuts down after 2 min. operation. The water freezes in the cell core. Existing fuel cells have great difficulty in starting up in negative temperature conditions and are in danger of breakdown or premature aging. Liten research teams are developing startup and shutdown procedures enabling their use at temperatures of -20 C especially in vehicles. A specific test bench has been built, enabling a detailed understanding of the cell s startup and suffocation phenomena controlled by the production and freezing of water. Initial research demonstrates the advantage of partially dehydrating the membrane by circulating non-humidified gas before the cell s hot shutdown. This makes it easy to restart at -10 C. Further testing combined with modelling should lead to defining a startup/shutdown procedure which is efficient at -20 C and to attenuating premature aging phenomena. A Peugeot 207 fitted with a fuel cell 16 The 21 kw cell using the Greenpac technology developed in partnership with PSA was fitted in a 207 cabriolet. It will be coupled with a 40 kw Li-ion battery whose role will be to absorb the wide range of load variations incurred during the vehicle s acceleration phases. On the test bench, the cell has already run for more than 2000 out of the 5000 hours targeted for automotive applications. The cell will be incorporated into the vehicle in The demonstration vehicle looks like a standard 207 model, will have an autonomy of 400 km. and at top speed will reach 130 km/hr. It should consume around 1 kg of hydrogen per 100 km. and run at temperatures of -20 C. Road tests will provide experience feedback on Genepac reliability in an automotive environment and its suitability for integration in the vehicle s electric system.

18 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:38 Page 17 First tests in real-world conditions for the EPICEA fuel cell EPICEA is a generator powered by a PEMFC-type fuel cell producing a power of 2 kw with a 30% system efficiency. Liten developed it in 2006 and has now tested it in real-world conditions for the first time, using it as the power source for a 10-metre yacht running non-stop for 7 hours. Successful operation throughout the tests validates it potential for such applications. EPICEA is both noiseless and odourless and it improves passenger comfort. Compared with traditional batteries, the on-board energy supply is seven times greater for the same weight, increasing the craft s autonomy. On the basis of these real-world tests, Liten hopes to rapidly identify niche markets and promote PEMFC production on an industrial scale. Hydrogen technologies A compact, high-performance electrolyser for HTE (High Temperature Electrolysis) The construction of a prototype electrolyser named EHTape confirms the potential of High Temperature Electrolysis (HTE) for hydrogen production when coupled to a nuclear reactor, an approach which produces no CO2. It was specifically designed for massive hydrogen production and is characterised by its extremely compact size. In addition to which, its weight has been reduced by a factor of 10 compared to current designs. The prototype uses components which are inexpensive to produce and does away with elements like the complex joints generally used in these technologies, given that the electrolyser s cost will be a determining factor in the cost of the hydrogen produced. Four patents have been filed. Unique facilities for mechanical tests under hydrogen Liten has acquired two facilities for conducting mechanical tests under hydrogen at high pressures: a hydraulic machine with an autoclave under hydrogen gas (up to 350 C and 350 bars) for instrumented testing of traction, fatigue and resilience; and a device for breaking disks under a maximum hydrogen pressure of 1000 bars at 20 C. This set of equipment, dedicated to studying and validating metal materials and welds (pipelines and bottles) to be used in a hydrogen environment, is unique in France. New transport technologies 17

19 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:38 Page 18 Buildings The multiple facets of solar energy International competition is fierce in the photovoltaic sector. For French players to remain on the scene, Liten participated in creating PV Alliance, a company supported by CEA, EDF Energies nouvelles and Photowatt. This new company will speed up the innovation process by fostering constant interaction between the INES research teams and French industry. The Liten approach to new energy technologies for buildings is based on the whole range of solar energy techniques, from solar thermal to photovoltaic systems and including concepts such as positive energy buildings, methods for building renovation and synergies with electric transport systems. With respect to solar photovoltaic energy, the overall research priority is to validate a new source of solar-quality silicon using the PHOTOSIL process. The goal is to use metallurgical silicon for cell manufacture, thus dividing raw material costs by two. Fine-tuning of the industrial pilot facility set up at INES is underway using 80 kg batches of silicon. The process can be replicated on production lines without any significant adjustments. Special focus is on state-of-the-art B and P type substrates and the crystallisation phase. At the same time, Liten has continued its research into the testing of solar thermal systems. The INES test bench is unique in Europe. It has been used throughout the year to study products already on the market on behalf of the manufacturers. This is their first opportunity to obtain an objective assessment of their materials efficiency, identify weaknesses and work towards overcoming them. In 2008, the completion of the INES positive energy laboratory-houses" will increase its research spectrum to studies on energy saving in buildings, efficiency forecasts and the emergence of several, new concepts in the field of positive energy buildings. On the cell front, Liten has made progress in all silicon substrate technologies (polycrystalline, monocrystalline and heterojunction silicon), achieving an efficiency which is among the best in the world. The concept of an ultra-high efficiency cell based on micro/nanotechnologies could lead to even higher levels of efficiency. 18

20 MEP CEA UK /06/08 11:38 Page 19 New building technologies Solar photovoltaic technologies Solar-quality metallurgical silicon: an end to boron The PHOTOSIL project achieved a major breakthrough when it validated a plasma purification process for eliminating boron under industrial conditions. Boron extraction is achieved at constant speed over a wide range of initial concentrations. The process takes 4 to 10 hours depending on the initial load, which is compatible with the cost price objectives determined by Liten s industrial partners (CNRS, FerroPem, Apollon Solar). Following this process, the residual boron concentration is less than 2 ppm (1 2 ppm), which is the lowest limit of detection using this analysis technique. Cells manufactured using silicon produced by the PHOTOSIL pilot facility boast an efficiency of nearly 12%, whereas we achieved 14% efficiency on cells with a purified silicon load, using the same process but in the laboratory. This difference will be reduced during the first half of 2008 by optimising each phase (selection of the basic silicon material, improving the phosphorus load, improving the crystallisation phase). These developments indicate that plentiful, competitive supplies of solar-quality silicon will soon be available at less than 20 euros per kilo of silicon load i.e. two to three times less than the cost of electronic silicon. This would lead to a spectacular drop in the price of photovoltaic cells, the main stumbling block to their distribution. Simultaneously with the PHOTOSIL project, Liten has just initiated upstream research into more innovative silicon purification and crystallisation techniques with the prospect of supporting several industries (components manufacturers, silicon and cell industries ) interested in the photovoltaic cell market. Selective emitter technology: 17.8% efficiency! The Liten platform known as Restaure, dedicated to producing wafer-based silicon solar cells, achieved a record efficiency of 17.8% which is one of the best in the world. This result was attained by optimising industrial processes for producing 125 x 125 cm 2 monocrystalline silicon cells based on a selective emitter technology. With 156 x 156 cm 2 multicrystalline silicon cells, the same technology results in an efficiency of 16.6%. The process in question consists in varying the density of the emitter s phosphorus doping in the different zones. It is higher around the contact elements to lessen their resistance and make it lower than in the rest of the cell to improve the conversion rate. The main technical difficulty lies in correctly localising the highly doped zones aligned with the metal conductors. By simplifying the procedure, it should be transferable to industry within a year. New building technologies 19

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