WHY? We collectively unearth many exciting stories and inventions. We need to deepen some of our discoveries to better understand them and to be able to give them a more contemporary resonance in the energy transition.


FOR WHOM? You are a student, researcher, teacher, in the academic or non-academic world, retired or simply passionate about inventions, questions and energy issues? This is for you !


⇨ Join our collaborative research team to advance the energy transition!

⇨ Interested? Send us an email with your questions and the mission you are interested in to or fill in the participation form at the bottom of the page.



Mission 0 – Collective Intelligence: In Search of Forgotten Women

⇨ MISSION: After all these years of research we realized that we had only one woman in our timeline! Today we want to balance things out. Lead with us this research work and help us exhume the work of these still invisible but inevitably numerous women. The call concerns all inventions related to energy: a solar panel, a washing machine, a lamp, a new type of car etc… You can help us by looking for inventions but also by spreading the call to your surroundings or on your networks.

Do not hesitate to contact us for any further information concerning this mission.

⇨ FOR WHO: For everyone!



Mission 1 – Collective Intelligence: Share our projects!

⇨ MISSION: Invite your friends on social networks, share our pages and posts. For those who don’t have access to the internet, don’t panic, you can also print and post the “Call for Participation” poster in your neighborhood, your workplace, your school, your offices. You can download it here.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone interested in the theme of paleo-inventions.



Mission 2 – Research: Collaborative research project and citizens

⇨ MISSION: Within the context of Paleo-energy, our collaborative and citizen research project in the field of energy, we are looking for old inventions, old social innovations or collective imaginaries!

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone interested in the theme. You just need to know how to do internet and archive research.



Mission 3 – Research: Energy expertise

⇨ MISSION: For this mission we need an energy expertise of a project dating back to 1945. Indeed, in the Angevin region, Mr. L. Hubault and Mr. G. Dubled have developed a Saurer truck running on hydrogen. The hydrogen was manufactured using a dynamo installed in their water mill. A few years later, Jean-Luc Perrier, professor of physics at the Catholic University of Angers, prototyped a 50 kW solar concentrator that could transform solar energy into hydrogen by electrolysis of water. The concentrator heated water in its central focus and the pressurized steam produced ran an electric generator needed for the process. A vehicle modified according to the G.P.L. equipment principle could thus run while emitting only water vapour. Pure hydrogen in direct combustion in vehicles equipped with combustion engines therefore works well, even if some adjustments or adaptation of parts are necessary.

Regarded as an interesting energy vector with regard to the necessary storage of renewable energies due to their intermittency, hydrogen is once again becoming an interesting and developing technology.

In vehicles using hydrogen, it is systematically thought that it is the fuel cells that provide the transformation into mechanical energy. But can’t hydrogen be used directly as a fuel? Why couldn’t the industrial ecosystem of combustion engines/garages/knowledge and all the associated jobs and skills adapt to this new energy situation and thus propose transitional innovations?

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone with a passion, work or knowledge in the fields of physics, chemistry, energy and/or the history of techniques related to hydrogen.



Mission 4 – Research: The Saurer Truck Investigation

⇨ MISSION: In 1945, Mr. L. Hubault and Mr. G. Dubled developed a Saurer truck running on hydrogen!(description of the invention on the paleo timeline).  In order to help us in our research, you can contact or search directly for information and images in the Angers archives on this theme.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone who is passionate, working or has knowledge in the field of history, the history of techniques.



Mission 5 – Engineering: The Silent Hydrogen Revolution

⇨ MISSION: To propose small hydrogen storage units for the urban environment. Hydrogen is on the way to becoming an energy carrier alongside electricity and heat. After an initial development phase dedicated to transportation technologies, this vector has gradually taken on an increasingly central role in a landscape where the capacity to store and transport energy is becoming a priority. Like the electric vector, it can be used for any purpose, whether stationary or mobile. Today, most of the technologies for producing, storing and converting hydrogen are already mastered. Competitiveness may be at the meeting point in the near future, especially if a genuine policy to promote clean energies is put in place.

In this context, what role can collaborative citizen innovation play? Propose small hydrogen storage units for the urban environment.

For example: Hydrogen will be produced by catalysis of water at low temperature, the energy efficiency is 35%. The energy required would come from PV. The main advantage of such a system is to compensate for the intermittency of this energy. Coupled with a fuel cell, this energy device would provide a constant supply of energy to replace, for example, the generators needed for certain events.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone with a passion, work or knowledge in the field of engineering, physics, the energy market or hydrogen production.



Mission 6 – Research: Investigating a missing generator…

⇨ MISSION: While it was on the market, Karl Kordesch’s regenerator saw its production stopped. Why did the Renewal Regenerator disappear? Problem of profitability? Did one of the suppliers of one of the components of the box go bankrupt? The mystery remains…

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone with a passion or working in the field of electronics, journalism, history of technology or history in general.



Mission 7 – Research: Jean Laigret’s Bacteria

⇨ MISSION: Since the beginning of the 19th century, two theories on the origin of oil have been clashing. The most commonly accepted, the biotic theory, states that oil is formed by the slow transformation of biological detritus.  In 1947, Jean Laigret announced that he could reproduce oil from organic waste. In his laboratory at the Pasteur Institute in Tunis, he identified the bacterium that transforms various organic waste into oil. As part of this mission, search for information in the archives to enable us to determine whether an industrial model can be set up, whether the model is economically viable, and finally what is the quality of the oil produced.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone who is passionate, working or has knowledge in the field of management, biology or biotechnology.



Mission 8 – Research: Energy Storage

⇨ MISSION: With a focus on energy storage, we are looking for innovations and technologies, objects, methods, social mechanisms… enabling energy storage and distribution.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone with a passion, working or having knowledge in the field of engineering, thermics, sociology, design…



Mission 9 – Research: Find in the archives photos of world exhibitions

⇨ MISSION: Find the photos taken by one of the most documented writers of the 19th century. We know from a reliable source that one of the main photographers of the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris was Emile Zola! The mission is to go and consult these photos (they are kept at the BNF in Paris…) and in particular to look for pictures of Abel Mouchot’s inventions, and of other inventors who were working at the time on solar energy.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone with a passion, working or knowledge in the field of design, history and ancient photography.



Mission 10 – Research: Find Emile Zola’s correspondence in the archives.

⇨ MISSION: Find in Emile Zola’s correspondence his relationships with engineers and inventors of the time. While writing his book Travail (The Work in English) between 1900 and 1901, Zola necessarily had to call upon many engineers to explain to him the functioning of their machines in order to describe them in the novel. Surely there must be some remarkable documents to understand the mindset of these inventors.

⇨ FOR WHO: Anyone who is passionate, working or has knowledge in the field of history or literature. Access to the archives or to the complete correspondence of Emile Zola would be a plus to facilitate research.


To participate: fill out the form below!