Liten is a major European research institute and a driving force behind the development of the sustainable energy technologies of the future. The institute is spearheading the EU’s efforts to limit dependency on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in three key areas: renewable energy, energy efficiency/storage and development of materials.
Our platforms, sophisticated tools for industry & the scientific/technical infrastructure/expertise to overcome technological hurdles
Liten's research teams work across a vast portfolio of renewable energy technologies. Cutting-edge photovoltaic technologies are developed at INES, the French National centre for solar research and R&D with Hydrogen and Biomass activities being managed from the LITEN's main site in Grenoble, Rhone-Alpes.
“Radically improving energy efficiency will reduce the need for investment in energy infrastructure, cut fuel costs, increase competitiveness, lessen exposure to fuel price volatility, increase energy affordability for low-income households and cut local and global pollutants improving consumer welfare” Source OECD Energy report, 2014
From nanosecurity, nanocharacterisation,and anti-counterfeiting technology to the development of advanced materials and point of sale: a comprehensive offering.
Transverse activities help add value to our technology portfolio. An optimised modeling and characterisation model, for example, can help reduce time to market. Browse this section to find out more....
Article | Energies | Energy efficiency | Photovoltaic solar power
Moving toward self-sufficiency: the future of PV energy production
Self-sufficiency—using PV energy produced locally rather than drawing energy from the grid—appears simple, at least at first glance. However, managing and using PV equipment optimally presents a number of challenges, not all of them technical. The way the grid is set up is, of course, crucial. But so are utility energy purchasing policies. In France, utilities offered attractive energy purchase rates—an incentive that proved effective at encouraging PV producers to sell energy back to the national grid. Over the course of a year, 20 sq. m of PV panels produce just about the amount of energy needed by a single-family home. So self-sufficiency would appear to make sense. However, in reality, it is difficult to align supply and demand in real time due to:
Fluctuations in the amount of energy produced over the course of a day and actual consumption needs
Fluctuations in production due to weather and seasonal factors
Therefore, designing a truly self-sufficient home is more complicated than it first appears. A self-sufficient system would require energy storage systems and smart energy management systems to constantly monitor and align supply and demand. The potential economic and environmental gains would be substantial: self-sufficiency helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces energy costs.
Our researchers in fields like electrical engineering, IT, and mathematics are developing energy management and complex systems algorithms for tomorrow’s smart grids. And, as increasing numbers of applications are implemented as connected objects on the Internet of Things, our researchers in telecommunications and digital technologies are also contributing their know-how. Liten enjoys a unique position, with vast experience combining knowledge from various fields and broad, deep know-how cutting across three fields crucial to smart grids: electrical engineering, telecommunications, and digital technology.
Smart energy management algorithms encompass predictive command features, which use production and consumption forecasts to manage energy and perform real-time control. We have developed several numerical and physical modelling and testing platforms. Our researchers have developed solutions already used by renewable energy producers to right-size their equipment and achieve self-sufficiency. These solutions take into account the characteristics of different grids (either robust and interconnected like the European grid, or so-called “weak” grids where uptime does not exceed 50%). Our software provides performance monitoring, validation of the chosen hypotheses, and/or corrective actions to implement in order to achieve self-sufficiency.
Software development platforms tested and approved by manufacturers
Our integrated approach to energy software development and evaluation is inspired by model-based design. Very early on in the process—during the modelling phase—we create controllers virtually identical to those that will be implemented on the actual infrastructure. Our testing methods include predictive controls to optimize energy according to forecast consumption and production data. Our models can be used to right-size storage and management systems to get as close to self-sufficiency as possible. The models are tested on a power hardware in the loop (PHIL) bench.
Growing interest on the part of major industrial systems integrators in the solutions developed at Liten is proof that our approach is relevant and viable on the market.
Solion, backed by the French Single Interministerial Fund (4th wave of funding), aims to develop a PV storage system for self-sufficient residential properties. The product developed as a result of the project is today commercialized by Bosch.
EU projects Ambassador (coordinated by Schneider Electric) and Greendatanet (led by Eaton): these projects address energy management for individual homes, microgrids, and datacenters with the goal of helping achieve self-sufficiency.
Icones with Alstom Grid: development of energy management algorithms for stationary storage for electricity grids.
Parasol: self-sufficiency and electric mobility (a solar-powered mobility concept at the local scale).
Around ten researchers
Technologies protected by APP (Agence de protection des programmes), a French organization to protect the rights to digital intellectual property
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.