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About the company

Startup or self-employed

Members type

38000 Grenoble, France

Company size

Nicolas Bardi / Caroline Rozain



  • Affordable and clean energy

  • Sustainable cities and communities



Alliance member


Smart Energy Hub: hybrid energy storage solution for self-sufficient and carbon-free energy buildings.

Established in 2015, Sylfen develops Smart Energy Hubs, a hybrid energy storage solution combined with real-time energy management software that ensure or reinforce energy autonomy and flexibility for self-sufficiency and carbon-free energy buildings and eco-districts. These hubs allow both (i) storing excess renewable energy for several days or weeks, and (ii) covering electricity and heating needs even in periods of high demand or low renewable energy production. Only hub reversibility and flexibility are able to provide an answer to create a largely decarbonated solution based on local energy sources. For owners of buildings, the advantages of the solution proposed by Sylfen include: • the reduction and control of energy costs, the new energy mix of intermittent energy + hybrid storage + natural gas CHP allowed by Sylfen being at parity or cheaper than the electrical grid rates; being based on mainly Capex and maintenance cost, it is decreasing with passing years contrarily to the grid prices; • an outstanding reduction of CO2 emissions (up to -70% compared to electric grid) and primary energy use (down to 25 kWh/m²/y), making it possible to reach the most advanced standards for sustainable buildings and near zero energy districts which is a key value for players who engage on social and environmental responsibility; • a patrimonial added value on the real-estate that will comply with future standards thus avoiding accelerated depreciation; • the securing of electricity supplying areas where the electrical network is insufficient –there are many of these, even in developed countries; At the heart of this product, Sylfen implements the Solid Oxide Cells (rSOC) technology, benefiting from 12 years of R&D at CEA-Liten, 40 million euros and 22 patents granted, whose successful implementation on a pilot plant in 2014 was a worldwide record performance in electrolysis. This breakthrough technology operates in a reversible manner, either as an electrolyser or as a fuel cell: it stores electrical energy in the form of hydrogen obtained from the electrolysis of water and co-generates electricity and heat in the fuel cell mode (the fuel is primarily stored hydrogen but can also be biomethane or natural gas). This technology is packaged with (i) 200 bars hydrogen storage units (ii) Li-ion batteries covering peak power needs and (iii) a proprietary software tailor-made and operate the energy management according to the customer’s specific needs. A 1-10 kW proof of concept prototype of the Smart Energy Hub operates in Grenoble, demonstrating the full integration of all the above-mentioned subsystems and an automatic flexible operation among all possible energy storage and supply modes. A first contract is signed to deliver a 3-modules 120 kW unit in Turin (Italy) in 2019.


Smart Energy Hub

Hybrid energy storage solution for self-sufficiency and carbon-free energy buildings and eco-districts

The Smart Energy Hub is a fully-integrated system which combines two energy storage technologies: batteries for their fast switching capabilities, and hydrogen for storing large quantities at lower costs. To bridge these two technologies, SYLFEN is developing a proprietary disruptive technology: a rSOC energy processor, capable of operating in a reversible manner, either as an electrolyser to store energy in the form of hydrogen, and as a fuel cell to consume hydrogen or (bio-)methane to provide back electricity and heat. Due to high operating temperatures, cold can be produced thanks to an absorption chiller to cover cooling needs. These hubs ensure or reinforce energy independence and flexibility in large buildings. They allow both (i) covering electricity and heating needs and (ii) storing excess energy generated by solar panels for several days or weeks, while adapting to the arbitration rules set by users. The Smart Energy Hub developed by SYLFEN will bring to the targeted users the following advantages: - the reduction and control of energy costs, particularly in areas where electricity rates show strong daily and seasonal fluctuations or where there is a high risk of increase, such as in Germany or Italy; - the securing of electricity supply in areas where the electrical network is insufficient – there are many of these, even in developed countries (North America for instance); - the adoption of an energy profile in compliance with future standards, with less risk of seeing building value depreciate over the long term; - a positive image, especially for emblematic buildings, both for private players who communicate on social and environmental responsibility and for public players who highlight sustainable development. The Smart Energy Hub developed by SYLFEN will allow the customers to substantially decrease their dependency on the electric grid and allow them to increase the energy savings. To precisely dimension and design the Smart Energy Hub and its piloting strategies, SYLFEN has developed a comprehensive methodology based on simulations, capable of measuring the impact of production and storage technologies to answer the user’s needs (both in terms of electricity and thermal comfort). This methodology establishes what would be the GHG emissions of buildings and what savings would bring these new energies coupled with storage. This is done through proprietary algorithms, capable of confronting complex data and crossing their influence on each other’s to reach the project’s objectives. Our methodology is iterative, with exchanges with customers, and lead to the best scenario with its optimal technology configuration for energy management.

Available in
South America, Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Polynesia, Western Sahara, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Canada, United States, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore,

Categories of application
Affordable and clean energy, Sustainable cities and communities

Sector of application
Renewable fuels, Energy storage, Energy distribution & management, Building and shelters

Tested implementation