Offshore renewables can provide us with more clean energy than we need.
The problem is that variable renewable energy supply and consumer energy demands do not always match.
This limits the use of large-scale renewables, such as offshore wind, as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
Renewable Energy Storage
Store energy where it is being produced, and use it when it is needed.
A suitable buffer can store excess energy production and deliver it later to compensate for deficits to meet demand.
So we can take an intermittent renewable resource and turn into a predictable source of clean energy.
The FLASC Technology
Our vision is to integrate large-scale energy storage into offshore renewables.
Conventional onshore energy storage technologies are not ideal for large-scale offshore applications.
Our technology is tailor-made for the offshore market, exploiting existing infrastructure and supply-chains.
FLASC is an energy storage device that can be integrated directly into a floating offshore platform. Energy is stored using a hydro-pneumatic liquid piston, driven by a reversible pump-turbine.
Charging Mode: electricity is used to pump water into a closed chamber containing pre-charged air.
Discharging Mode: the pressurised water is released through a hydraulic turbine to generate electricity.
FLASC leverages existing infrastructure and supply chains, along with the marine environment itself as a natural heatsink, resulting in a safe, reliable and cost-effective solution.
The technology was awarded the “Best Innovation Award” at Offshore Energy 2020, an award which recognises the best innovation across the entire offshore energy market.
The technology has been awarded the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label, rewarding profitable solutions to protect the environment, and identifying it as one of 1000 Solutions to Change The World.
The first FLASC prototype was deployed in Q4 2017 in the idyllic Grand Harbour of the Maltese Islands.
This set-up stores energy generated from an array of PV panels. The stored energy is released in a controlled manner, allowing for close monitoring of system performance and efficiency.
Comprised almost entirely from standard off-the-shelf components, the prototype is the ultimate proof-of-concept of our energy storage technology.
The prototype was constructed in collaboration with industrial partner Medserv plc., thanks to financial support from the Malta Council for Science and Technology.
Key outcomes of this experimental campaign have been published in the Journal of Energy Storage: doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2019.100774
The FLASC technology embodies the core principles of offshore engineering
Safe by Design: The technology uses pressurised seawater and compressed air. None of the sub-components or materials are considered hazardous or flammable throughout their life-cycle.
Long Lifetime: One installation, designed for more than 25 years of continuous operation under the harshest operating conditions. The lifetime is independent of the charging-discharging regime, an excellent match for intermittent renewables.
Scalable: The energy storage capacity rapidly upscales with volume and pressure, and is ideal for embodiments requiring storage capacities in excess of 10 MWh.
Suitable for Shallow Water: The patented pre-charging process allows for high energy densities even in shallow water. The storage capacity can be adjusted and is not reliant on the external hydrostatic pressure.
Established Supply-Chains: Despite its highly-innovative nature, the technology itself can be built with mostly off-the-shelf components, already well-understood and widely used in the offshore sector.
Renewable energy sources deliver a power output that oscillates with time. However, grid operators can only accept small variations in supply.
The FLASC technology can be used to convert intermittent renewable energy supply into a stepped output.
This facilitates grid integration by allowing the operator to schedule operations at specific intervals.
When generating power from renewable sources, the natural conditions may change suddenly. This results in a rapid increase or decrease in output power.
The FLASC technology can be used to control the ramp rate, absorbing or dissipating energy to slow down rapid changes in output power.
This allows the grid operator to better adapt to changes in the natural environment.
The FLASC technology can also be used in applications requiring large volumes of cold pressurised seawater.
- Liquefaction of natural gas (LNG)
- Offshore H2 production
- Liquefaction of CO2 for carbon capture and storage
- Seawater desalination
- Water injection for oil extraction from subsea wells
The pre-charged, hydro-pneumatic principle is what makes FLASC a unique energy storage device.
This core technology is protected by international patents across a number of critical jurisdictions:
Ref: WO 2016/128962 A1
The founding team combines years of experience in offshore renewables, energy storage, cost analysis and project management. Our advisors include founders and CEOs of global technology and offshore engineering companies.
This internal expertise is compounded by a network of contacts ranging from oil & gas multi-national companies to top research institutions.
Prof. Inġ. Tonio Sant
+17 years experience in wind energy, including offshore wind turbines and cost assessment
Dr Inġ. Daniel Buhagiar
+7 years experience in industrial R&D, hydraulics and offshore energy storage
Dr Inġ. Robert Farrugia
+23 years experience in renewable energy research and wind resource assessment
Get in Touch!
2611 PA Delft,
FLASC B.V. is a spin-off of the University of Malta, established in The Netherlands in 2019 with company registration number: 76566404
Registered address: Paardenmarkt 1, 2611 PA, Delft, The Netherlands
The experimental campaign in Malta was supported by Medserv plc.
FLASC B.V. is part of the Buccaneer Delft energy & offshore accelerator.