DNV GL Deems Maltese Offshore Energy Storage System Feasible

DNV GL has awarded the University of Malta’s new offshore energy storage system with a Statement of Feasibility certificate.


Before the allocation, the Floating Liquid-piston Accumulator using Seawater under Compression (FLASC) concept underwent a high-level study, including an assessment of technical and commercial feasibility.

According to DNV GL, the certificate confirms the technology to be feasible and thus suited for further development and qualification.

“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,” said Tonio Sant, Co-Inventor of FLASC and Project Leader.

“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.”

The University of Malta’s Mechanical Engineering department has been developing FLASC since 2014 in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Energy.

A scaled prototype of FLASC was deployed in the Maltese Grand Harbour at the end of 2017 to gather key performance data, while the installation itself served to demonstrate the efficiency of a novel method for tension leg platform (TLP) deployment.

The prototype, comprising a small-scale TLP with a gravity anchor, stores energy generated from an array of PV panels and discharges it in a controlled manner, allowing close monitoring of the performance and efficiency of the device.

The FLASC system matches the lifetime of contemporary wind turbines and is cost-competitive with Li-ion batteries, with the added advantage of not relying on hazardous chemicals and avoiding high recycling costs, according to the FLASC team.

The concept has been granted patent protection in Europe and China, and has patents pending in the US and Japan.