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Workpackage 3 - Energy, harvesting & efficient use

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Energy is of major concern in the Factory of the Future and resorting to energy sources which minimize carbon production is one of the most important means of action. The research projects of the workpackage enter this context and are resolutely devised to design some specific targeted innovative and efficient means of energy production, harvesting and storage. Three main tasks will form the spinal cord of the workpackage.

The first one aims at developing a highly innovative micropower generator that will replace the (unsuitable and non-sustainable) battery solutions. The integrated generator will make use of three cooperative sources of ambient energy (radio frequencies, light and vibrations) that will synergistically improve the Carnot efficiency of the overall system (increase of both the power density and overall efficiency when compared to individual use of these sources).

The second task aims at the development of a methodology for dimensioning and evaluating the performance of a thermal energy production/storage system in a cogeneration framework. Innovative latent thermal storage units based on phase change materials will be investigated. This will include characterizations of the most promising materials. The next step will be the development of optimal charge/discharge in required characteristic times for the application under concern. A specific test case made of a cogeneration system based on a hydrogen production unit feeding a Proton Exchange Membrane-type fuel cell combined with a specific thermal storage unit will be considered as a validation of the proposed strategy.

The third task is dedicated to an innovative, and yet unexplored, sensible heat storage process relying on the specific properties of a fluid near its gas-liquid critical point, in particular, its divergent specific heat at constant pressure. Storage at low temperature in CO2 will be considered as it represents an excellent opportunity considering its low critical temperature and, meanwhile, an ecologically virtuous valorization mean of this greenhouse gas. Heat storage efficiency will be assessed through a proof of concept which must be demonstrated by a small-scale experiment. Optimal thermodynamic paths will be carefully studied to optimize storage efficiency. Moreover, coupled mass, heat and momentum transfer must be studied in details.

Priority topics and actions

  • Wireless powering of micro-devices
  • Material and systems for energy storage
  • Heat storage in supercritical fluids

 Examples of other topics and actions of interest

  • Rational design of enzymatic biosensors and biofuel cells
  • Optimal anticipative monitoring of buildings
  • User inspired design and management of buildings


  • Didier LASSEUX

    I2M laboratory

  • Olivier BRIAT

    IMS laboratory