French national grand prize for engineering: SEGULA Technologies’ REMORA project (offshore energy storage) rewarded


As part of the French national engineering grand prize (GPNI – « Grand Prix National de l’Ingénierie »), the global engineering group SEGULA Technologies has just won the Industry and technology consulting prize for its REMORA project.

A forward-looking solution for the development of renewable energies which enables energy to be stored under the sea using compressed air and fed back into the grid with high efficiency. Cetim was in charge of the test bench, from the design to operation on its site in Nantes (France). It designed the reversible hydraulic and pneumatic operation of the system by lending its expertise in the dimensioning of complex hydraulic networks.

Mass underwater storage of energy by compressed air is a guarantee of a continuous supply of electricity and is now recognised as an option for the future!
Indeed, candidate for the GPNI (French Grand prize for Engineering) 2020, the REMORA project ticked all the boxes for a new distinction, according to the criteria evaluated by the jury. These were: the innovation deployed, the multidisciplinary nature of the project team, the technical and economic contribution of engineering, the integration of sustainable development components, and the fact that the project contributes to the revival of a resilient economy. With REMORA, energy is stored by compressing air into reservoirs installed on the seabed. As a means of preventing gas temperature rise and drop phenomena due to pressure fluctuations, the system developed by SEGULA Technologies uses a hydraulic principle to change the pressure at a constant temperature. For that purpose, water is pumped to fill several compression chambers and thereby reduce the volume of air until the storage pressure is reached. This process prevents the air from heating and features an efficiency level of approximately 70%. Then, to feed back the energy, the system works in reverse mode and the pumps run in turbine mode.

The technology works!
In last June, the first tests of the land-based prototype confirmed that REMORA was operating as expected. The prototype, named OdySEA, was developed as part of a collaborative project led by SEGULA Technologies, Ireena, the Electrical Energy Research Institute of Nantes Atlantique, IMT Atlantique (Institut Mines-Télécom), a prestigious French higher education institution and Cetim.
The next step will involve the building of a sea-based demonstrator as part of a new project named Seamac (Stockage d’énergie adaptatif en mer par air comprimé, or Adaptative offshore underwater storage of energy by compressed air).

Find out more about the OdySEA project and the Remora technology in this video, available on the Cetim France YouTube channel.
Watch the origin and operation of REMORA in this video.