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The infrastructure is created in two stages:

Stage 1 (2019-2021): establishment of Module 1.  The available distributed infrastructure, with every one  of the partners enters into ESHER is structured in 2 thematic laboratories, integrated on the basis of 11 active partner laboratories. A  part of the integrated laboratories also has a distributed structure within the framework of the partner organization i.e. unification is based on the availability of applicable lab equipment and personnel expertise also, not by location and affiliation with the entity of any specific organization. This approach introduces the principle of defragmentation and raises the research potential, quality of the expertise and helps fully utilize the material base, thus creating the conditions to quickly form versatile and highly qualified research teams. It is designed to serve developments at the level of technological readiness (TRL) 1-3.

In order to increase the laboratories capacity to accommodate a wide user range – internal (structure members and their partners) and external (national, international, other research entities), a partial modernization and expansion of the existing integrated labs is envisaged. The structure is digitized, such that the geographic location of ESHER facilitates its utilization by external and/or remote users.

Manager of Modul 1 is Assoc. Prof. Eli Grigorova, Ph.D. She is an associate professor at the Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry (IONH), BAS. She conducts research in the field of metals and intermetals for hydrogen storage. Her research interests also include intermetals suitable for anodes in NiMH batteries, as well as mechanochemical synthesis of alloys.

Stage 2 (2021-2023): establishment of Module 2: Construction of an experimental base for the development of demonstration projects together with the industry (TRL over 4). The construction of two  experimental platforms which are not provided in other national infrastructure projects  is in progress:  

  • New generation of alkaline battery technology developing (zikn-air, nickel-zinc, metal hydride-air) and its implementation in the production together with the Bulgarian industry. The development of zinc-based batteries as an alternative to lithium batteries is promising due to the wide zinc supply as raw material, and its value in batteries increases compared to than of metal price.
  • Introduction of methane-hydrogen mixtures in industry, transport and household (injection of hydrogen into natural and biogas): exploitation of a developed portable station for demonstration of green hydrogen injection into the gas grid network; development of technology; development of a regulatory frames.

Manager of Modul 2 is Dr. Blagoy Burdin. He is a Assistant Professor at the Institute of Electrochemistry and Energy Systems "Acad. Evgeni Budevski ”(IEES), BAS. His skill in the field of hydrogen electromobility combines knowledge and expertise in battery electric vehicles and those of motor vehicles with an internal combustion engine. He defended his doctorate in the Department of Transport Engineering at the Technical University in Sofia, being a leader of the team that designed the first Bulgarian hydrogen fuel cell car and won second place in the Shell Eco Marathon 2011. He has knowledge and skills for design, installation and implementation in operation of laboratory research equipment and facilities, as well as to perform specialized tests in laboratory conditions.