Start-up FLASC B.V. has won the Best Innovation Award at Offshore Energy 2020 for its unique Hydro-Pneumatic Energy Storage (HPES) solution. The judges lauded the simplicity and elegance of the concept, which promises to deliver a sustainable solution to a crucial renewable energy challenge: the mismatch between intermittent renewable energy supply and consumer demand.
The technology targets specifically stationary offshore applications and combines pressurised seawater with compressed air to create an efficient, large-scale energy storage device that can be applied across a wide range of applications. It 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 idea was originally developed by the co-founders at the University of Malta. After successful proof-of-concept prototyping and an extensive experimental campaign, a spin-off was strategically established in the Netherlands, currently based at the Buccaneer Delft accelerator, to pursue commercialisation opportunities. The technology has been patented in numerous jurisdictions and in 2018 was granted a Statement of Feasibility based on a technical and commercial assessment by DNV-GL. The company is already working on larger embodiments to be deployed over the coming years and has recently established a strategic collaboration with Subsea 7 to support industrialisation of its proprietary technology.
Daniel Buhagiar, Co-Founder and CEO of FLASC B.V., says:
“Being a small start-up and nominated for such a prestigious award alongside two giants of the industry is already an accomplishment in itself. To then win is of course a tremendous honour. We would like to express our gratitude to the jury for their consideration and constructive feedback. Of course we would also like to thank all those who expressed their support through the public voting, and everyone who has encouraged and supported us on this journey so far. Such an award is an encouraging show of confidence in what we are doing, and we now certainly look forward to the exciting steps ahead.”
About the Award
The Best Innovation Award highlights the best innovation in the entire offshore energy market in the last two years (2019 and 2020). The innovation or technology needs to be focused on offshore energy and has to be feasible through full-scale application or successful prototype testing. It also has to be a new concept/feed study or variation on an existing product or technology, and must provide significant technological benefits (safety, cost reductions, efficiency etc.) beyond existing technologies.
Jury member Jan van Bekkum (left) and FLASC Co-Founder and CEO, Daniel Buhagiar (right) receiving the Best Innovation Award at Offshore Energy 2020 (photo credit: Navingo BV)
(from left) Fellow nominee Sander Suur (Van Oord), award winner Daniel Buhagiar (FLASC), with jury members Joop Roodenburg and Jan van Bekkum (photo credit: Navingo BV).