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Scientific Operations


These three Scientific Operations are at the heart of projects conducted by the Réunion Region, local authorities and the French Government in terms of territorial competitiveness within the Regional Innovation Strategy.

Terrestrial solar radiation shows strong spatial and temporal variability in relation to climate.

In this context, the Scientific Operation “Variability and Energy Management” proposes to document the variability of solar radiation incident at the surface on medium to fine scales in time and space, in the insular areas of the south-west Indian Ocean in general and Reunion Island in particular, for applications, particularly those of predictability of climate change and daily and hourly variations in the resource.

To document the variability of solar radiation on the ground, it is envisaged to develop solar radiation data in high resolution grid points with a continuous spatial and temporal coverage, by an original approach combining two scientific approaches:

  • Experimentation
  • Simulation

The scientific operation “Variability and Energy Management” focuses mainly on:

  • Characterization (estimation, forecast) of a renewable energy source: solar radiation
  • Energy modelling of systems using a fatal intermittent source that varies in space and time.

This resource evaluation is also essential when the associated energy systems will be integrated on non-interconnected electricity networks, as it is often the case in island environments.

The Scientific Operation supervised 4 Phd students (funding Reunion Island Region) and a post-doctoral researcher, Li Peng, whose work focused on the “Spatial and temporal variability of the solar deposit in Reunion Island and the South-West Indian Ocean: regional climate modelling” (funding: European Union and Reunion Island Region)


The research carried out in the Scientific Operation (OS) 2 concerns electrochemical converters of PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) type:

The design and conception of a reversible Fuel Cell (at the scale of the fuel cell core)

Renewable electricity production, whatever its source, has the major disadvantage of being intermittent. The question then becomes “how to store electricity during production peaks to consume it during consumption peaks”? One of the solutions currently recommended is to store energy via an electrolyzer that converts electricity into hydrogen and oxygen during low consumption hours. This energy is then returned via a Fuel Cell which converts hydrogen and oxygen back into electricity during peak consumption hours.

OS2 researchers are currently developing an innovative three-chamber reversible fuel cell concept that can perform the functions of electrolyser or fuel cell. The aim of this work is to design a an optimized system in terms of both space and cost.


Modeling and control of a PEMFC Fuel Cell A (system-wide)

PaC systems are electrochemical converters able to convert hydrogen into electricity. Several locks limit the large-scale integration of PEM type PAC systems, including membrane aging, which impacts both the durability, performance and maintenance cost of generators.

The PACs operation being governed by non-linear, multi-physical and multi-scale interactions, it is difficult to accurately characterize the operating conditions in order to optimize their performance and service life.

OS2 researchers are working on the diagnosis of system failures, and on service life forecast. The method used is the modelling of system behaviour and the design of fault-tolerant control algorithms. These tools help to prevent premature aging of these systems and thereby increase their reliability and durability.


Another related theme, in collaboration with the DSIMB laboratory (Dynamics of Systems and Interactions of Biological Macromolecules), is to explore, model and optimize new biological hydrogen production pathways by upgrading sugar co-products (second-generation biofuel).


Smartphones, UAVs, temperature or motion sensors… By 2020, 50 billion devices will be connected to a vast network: the Internet of Things, whose technology used is the wireless sensor.  There are many challenges ahead. One of our team’s concerns is the energy autonomy of the sensors.

The sensor networks are perfectly integrated into the daily life of the population for years to come, especially in smart city projects. The multitude of data that OS3 Researchers will be able to measure and collect will be as many services to people that can be developed (among other things in the form of business creation).

Energy Optimization of Sensor Networks

The scientific operation  focuses mainly on:

  • The precise definition of the energy evolution of the network, both at local level (node and its constituents) and global (the network as a whole and communication protocols)
  • The development of topologies and routing protocols at low energy cost
  • Energy/information coupling, with integrated RF energy recovery within communication protocols and in the power supply of network nodes (Wake Up Radio or Radio Trigger).