Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Energy Storage Systems

ENEA activities in this field are generally aimed at contributing to the development of energy vectors and electrochemical systems for energy conversion and storage. Such systems can reduce energy consumption and emissions in the distributed energy and transport sectors, thus encouraging the latter to benefit from the use of renewables.
The R&D lines of activity are mainly:

Hydrogen
  • Development of processes producing hydrogen both from renewable energy sources (solar-powered thermochemical cycles, biomass gasification, biological processes), and from fossil fuels (methane, GPL, for small applications and with solar-powered systems);
  • Studies of materials and processes for hydrogen storage.

 

Fuel Cells
  • Development of materials and components for different cell types (polymer electrolyte, molten carbonate, solid oxide cells);
  • Development and testing of small-sized generation/cogeneration systems, fed both with natural gas, and with fuels derived from biomass gasification and anaerobic digestion.

 

Electric Storage
  • Development of new materials and components for electrochemical storage, such as lithium batteries and supercondensers;
  • Characterization and testing of storage systems for mobile and stationary applications.

 

All of these activities are performed thanks to the ENEA staff including about 50 researchers and technicians, specific experimental infrastructures (facilities and laboratories) located at the Casaccia and Trisaia Research Centres, and a network of collaborations with national and EU industries and research institutions.

Finally, in more mature fields such as wind energy, ENEA gives its innovative contribution on issues like materials, and participates in national and international collaboration activities allowing the Agency to play the role of technological observatory on technology and market development.

 

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