The Malta Independent 21 March 2019, Thursday

DNV GL issues Statement of Feasibility for University of Malta’s FLASC offshore energy storage techn

Thursday, 7 March 2019, 11:32 Last update: about 14 days ago

The independent certification body DNV GL has awarded the University of Malta's innovative offshore energy storage system (FLASC) with a Statement of Feasibility. DNV GL performed an independent high-level study of the FLASC concept, including an assessment of technical and commercial feasibility. The certificate confirms the FLASC technology to be feasible, and therefore suited for further development and qualification.

This February, Dr Inġ. Daniel Buhagiar (FLASC co-inventor) and Dr Inġ. Anton Bartolo (director at the University of Malta's Knowledge Transfer Office), were hosted by Dr Koen Broess (Business Lead - Energy Storage) at the DNV GL Energy's Arnhem headquarters. This visit concluded months of rigorous work and culminated in the award of the final certificate.

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Prof Inġ. Tonio Sant, co-inventor of FLASC and project leader said: "This statement is a critical step in the extensive process of offshore technology qualification. It confirms that the FLASC technology can be adequately certified to meet the highest international standards. It is a crucial milestone that implies a show of confidence in our innovative technology and puts us in a strong position to continue attracting partners, investors and end-users with the ultimate aim of bringing this technology to the market."

FLASC has been in development since 2014 at the Department of Mechanical Engineering with collaboration from the Institute for Sustainable Energy. The three co-inventors, Prof. Inġ. Sant, Dr Inġ. Buhagiar and Dr Inġ. Robert N. Farrugia, had set about solving the challenge to develop an energy storage solution that is suited for use in the offshore environment and which can be integrated within large-scale renewable technologies, such as floating wind turbines.

The resulting system contributes to increasing the use of clean, renewable resources by converting the intermittent energy produced by a wind turbines into a more stable and predictable supply that meets consumer demand better. FLASC has been granted patent protection in Europe and China and has patents pending in the US and Japan.

A prototype of the system was constructed and deployed in the Grand Harbour with the technical assistance of Medserv plc and has been in operation since November 2017. The FLASC project received financial support from the Malta Council for Science and Technology, Malta Marittima, the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business, and the University Research and Innovation Development Trust.

DNV GL is the world's largest classification society and the largest technical consultancy and supervisory to the global renewable energy sector. It is also the leading independent advisor and certifier to the renewables industry, notably within wind energy. It sets standards and provides certification services for offshore structures. 
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