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Cutting-edge platforms and equipment for energy R&D

Published on 28 June 2016

​Learn about research equipment available to companies in the area of energy.

solar platform

​Solar Platform

The Solar Platform, with 360 employees and €150 million in equipment, contributes to the development of the French solar energy industry.

It includes materials, procedures and equipment for photovoltaics and high and low temperature thermal solar power.

Its flagship project is LabFab HET, a pre-commercial assembly line capable of producing photovoltaic cells with a conversion efficiency exceeding 20%.

The platform includes 25,000 m² of buildings and works with 150 industrial firms, including SMEs (ECM, CIAT, Thermocompact, etc.), larger companies (Alcen, Socomec, MPO, etc.) and major companies, including EDF, Mersen, Alstom, etc.

Batteries platform

Batteries Platform

Covering 3,000 m², including 1,000 m² of clean rooms, the Batteries Platform employs 200. Covering the entire process from synthesizing materials to integration in complete systems, it produces lithium-ion batteries in limited series.

It receives €50 million in funding and develops complete production lines for all types of applications, from ear implants to electric buses. Its objectives are to reduce costs and improve battery life and reliability.

The platform size and level of its equipment make it a R&D tool unlike any other in the world. More than 50 industrial firms use its services, from SMEs to major companies like Renault and Michelin.

​Lithium-ion assembly line – Filling machine

​Lithium-ion assembly line – Filling machine © P.Avavian/CEA


HélioBiotec: third generation biofuel technology platform

The HélioBiotec platform is a bioenergy and biotechnology research cluster. HélioBiotec has been set up to study and optimize biological mechanisms of certain microorganisms that are naturally able to produce molecules with a high energy content. Grown on a large scale, these organisms may eventually produce “third generation” biofuels. The platform includes cutting-edge scientific equipment, including techniques for high-throughput screening of interesting strains, a set of instrumented photobioreactors, climate-controlled rooms, quantitative analysis techniques for gene expression, a series of separation techniques (advanced gas and liquid chromatography combined with mass spectrometry) for lipid analysis, a mass spectrometry facility for gas analysis as well as a microalgae and cyanobacteria cryobank.

Culture in erlenmeyer flask under controlled conditions

​Culture in erlenmeyer flask under controlled conditions © G.Lesénéchal/CEA

Parking lot equipped with photovoltaic cells

​Parking lot equipped with photovoltaic cells
© P.Avavian/CEA

Calendering in the anhydrous room

​Calendering in the anhydrous room
© P.Avavian/CEA

​Microscope view of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii culture

​Microscope view of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii culture © G.Lesénéchal/CEA