Created in 2001 and located in Aix en Provence (France), HELION belongs since 2007 to the AREVA group Renewable Energy Business Unit. Within this organization, HELION is in charge of the development, manufacture and commercialization of PEM fuel cells and electrolysers systems. Its development work also uses AREVA group competences as well as world class expertise from national and international partners and suppliers, focusing on energy systems key technologies improvement and technological breakthroughs (such as performance, power, durability and costs).

HELION designs and delivers turnkey solutions for electrical power generation meeting high added value markets demands such as stationary distributed energy (coupling to Renewable Sources and back-up power systems), naval industry and urban transport. HELION is certified ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and integrates competencies in engineering processes, as well as electrochemistry, electricity, fluidics and materials to ensure technological mastery and optimization of stacks and systems performances. HELION has several test benches equipped with all necessary features for a wide variety of experiments up to 50 kW electric power.

Fuel cell systems built and supplied by HELION to date have significantly increased in power, from 2 to 100 kWe, operated either with pure hydrogen / oxygen or with hydrogen / air. Its stacks integrate proprietary design, low-cost composite bipolar plates and commercial MEAs that result in high efficiency and high durability in operation.

The main tasks attributed and previous experiences
HELION will lead the stack and system development. In addition, Helion will have the main responsibility for activities for further optimisation of system aspects in order to reduce cost, increase efficiencies and increase the lifetime of the PEM electrolyser stack. Helion will also lead the evaluation of the lifetime and durability investigations of the NEXPEL demonstration stacks at the start of the NOVEL project. Regarding electrolysis, AREVA started its development in the late eighties focusing on hydrogen production in nuclear power stations for preventing oxygen corrosion by de-oxidation of cooling water with hydrogen. A number of lab scale prototype stacks have been built and tested as well as some industrial scale stacks and systems which are still in operation.

These developments are being validated through demonstration projects, like MYRTE project taking place in Corsica, where a 550kWp photovoltaic plant is being built and associated with a 50kWe Fuel cell system (soon 200 kWe) and a 10 Nm3/h electrolysis system (soon 40 Nm3/h) for peak shaving. Furthermore, following its technological developments, HELION is now qualifying an integrated hydrogen-based energy storage solution, namely the Greenergy Box™ with the idea to deliver an allin-a-box product.

For more information, please visit:.


Published March 11, 2013