Jean-Luc FLEUREAU’s interview – CTO of H2X Ecosystems
Founded in 2020, H2X Ecosystems is a company located in Bruz, next to the city of Rennes in Britanny, France. It is specialized in the development of green hydrogen production systems. It was created by Stéphane Paul, expert in the use of hydrogen for small vehicles, and Jean-Luc Fleureau who benefits from a strong experience concerning electric and solar car racing since 2010.
At the present time, the two men are H2X Ecosystems’ CEO and CTO respectively. They share the same values and they both have the ambition to take a step towards a greener energy. Therefore, they have bet to deeply move the established model by choosing an eco-responsible power source in contrast with most of the current solutions on the market.
Indeed, green hydrogen implies a simple manufacturing method with a zero-carbon footprint since it only requires water and electricity from renewable energies. For instance, a territory can produce its own hydrogen and thus bring autonomy to a city or an area.
Through its solutions, H2X Ecosystems aims to encourage a virtuous ecological approach and an energetic independence while taking part in the industrial production decarbonization.
We want to create equipments taking part to the creation of a local ecosystem about green hydrogen.
CEO of H2X Ecosystems
It isn’t the first time TYVA Energie collaborates with H2X Ecosystems, in particular with Jean-Luc Fleureau. He was looking for a battery when he founded the Eco Solar Breizh association in 2014. The purpose was to equip its solar and electrical vehicle Heol for a competition taking place in Abu Dhabi in January 2015. TYVA Energie intervened to power Heol with energy from our compact and modular Moduloo 3D lithium batteries.
At the time, Heol has already a successful project which notably stood out thanks to its non-welded battery’s cells. This technology provided a safe access to cells and easy handling allowing operations or upgrades of the vehicle’s capacity. Nowadays, Heol is still active and has recently participated in the Albi Eco Race, the 4th edition of the 24 hours competition taking place in Albi, France. The vehicle is still as powerful as before as evidenced by its 8 operating years where Heol has been smoothly powered by the Moduloo 3D batteries.
H2X Ecosystems called on TYVA Energie in a special context. Indeed, the company is elaborating a hydrogen powered vehicle as part of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles race which occurs every year in the Moroccan desert. On this occasion, the rally restricted to female crews only commits almost 400 « gazelles » contestants each year and nearly as many staff members.
The relevant vehicle will accompany the Gaz’Elles West team with Sophie Fleureau and Cendrine Meyer who will compete during the rally’s 33nd edition in 2024. To this end, H2X Ecosystems has designed a buggy powered with electric, solar and hydrogen propulsion based on a thermal buggy frame with 4 drive wheels. The vehicle embeds a 30 kW brushless engine but also two hydrogen containers as well as 5 kW fuel cell to reload the batteries.
Concerning the batteries, the buggy must carry an energy of 25 kWh with a 100 V voltage. This amount of power must fit inside a reduce weight and its use must be adapted to the desert’s conditions.
During the rally, the speed is not as important as the navigation accuracy to travel the shortest distance possible between two steps. Through this buggy, H2X Ecosystems and the two contestants want to prove that a vehicle combining hydrogen with an electric engine is a forerunner to the future while being powerful such as Eco Solar Breizh’s Heol.
In order to answer such constraints, TYVA Energie has fitted two Flat 12 lithium batteries from its Flat & Kube range to H2X Ecosystems’ buggy. The batteries are connected in series to each other with both 50.4 V for a total voltage larger than 100 V and an energy capacity of 234.5 Ah. Thus, the buggy has the amount of power and high autonomy required to travel through the desert with ultra-compact batteries with a thickness of 10 cm each.
When it comes to the desert, high temperatures are implied. In order to avoid overheating risks, H2X has developed a custom cooling plate in collaboration with TYVA Energie. It was assembled in our production site in Annonay, France. This plate is placed inbetween the two batteries to simultaneously cool them down as well as the fuel cell. Thus, the whole system can be maintained at the right operating temperature. We obtain a complete system with an optimized performance and an essential significant lightness for the race’s good execution.
It is fundamental for our vehicle to be lightweight especially with such extremes conditions. The batteries and the cooling system weigh nearly 145 kg while the fuel cell is 40 kg heavy and each hydrogen cylinder contains 700 g of fuel. Added to the others vehicle’s components, we get the ideal lightness allowing us to be more performing and providing essential autonomy to the buggy.
CTO of H2X Ecosystems
H2X Ecosystems’ Engineers team took over the direct integration of the battery system as well as the cooling plate inside the buggy. The installation went very well since all the components were easily secured thanks to the batteries’ mechanical structure.
The hybridization as well as TYVA Energie’s lithium batteries and H2X Ecosystems’ fuel cell form a high energy density formula representing a major asset for embedded systems. The flexibility brought by interchangeable hydrogen cylinders is another advantage providing great convenience and a better autonomy coupled with the batteries’ one.
The true added value of TYVA Energie’s batteries for H2X Ecosystems is their mass energy. Indeed, the buggy now benefits from a very high amount of energy for a reduced space inside the vehicle and a better performance. Comfort is also important whether in terms of space gained thanks to fin batteries or silence implied by the electric engine, allowing a total immersion in the middle of the desert.
H2X Ecosystems still calls on TYVA Energie for its projects involving electric mobility. It is our space-saving batteries’ lightness and customization which convinced them to trust us.
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