By Thomas Leurent, CEO
The Akselos team is really pleased to be joining the list of the world’s most innovative companies. We’ve been chosen from hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers. It means that our mission-driven company, with its focus on accelerating the energy transition, has achieved global recognition of its ability to make a significant impact on business and society.
It’s an important acknowledgement of the way our breakthrough technology can be used to design, deploy and protect critical energy infrastructure. RB-FEA, packaged within the world’s most advanced engineering simulation software, is nothing less than game-changing.
We have identified an opportunity to lower the cost of energy from offshore wind by applying extreme engineering. We’ll do this by applying model-based systems engineering to maximise design and operational efficiencies.
We’ve made that breakthrough using new MIT-licensed algorithms that are 1000 times faster than their 20th Century counterparts. More powerful simulation is capable of modelling limitless scale. Its integration into system engineering transforms the economics of energy transition creating a powerful new innovation curve.
Akselos was established in 2013 to help mechanical engineering align with modern society’s goals. That meant going far beyond the established pattern of incremental innovation. Our engineering simulations offered an obvious solution to the most advanced integrated energy companies, becoming both customers and investors.
We believe that now, more than ever, that this is the time to apply extreme engineering to solve our most complex environmental challenges. The mathematical breakthrough that’s behind our technology has allowed mechanical engineering to make that step change.
Our new innovation curve is critical to realise the transition. The economics of 10GW offshore wind farms demand a network of technologies that incorporate system engineering in design, and predictive maintenance throughout their operational life.
Incremental innovation in mechanical engineering is one reason why electricity from offshore wind has been left at a competitive disadvantage when compared to solar. While both have reduced in cost, solar LCOE has decreased around four times faster than offshore wind over the last decade. Now projected to be the cheapest energy source by the end of the decade, solar has set an impressive precedent that wind must follow.
The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) must reduce by a further 60% if offshore wind is to be viable at the scale required. We believe that the inaccuracy of “old school” simulation algorithms is a significant factor in over design, inflating costs.
The solution lies in the creation of a digital feedback loop that optimises the design of the entire mechanical system and extends the lifetime of critical assets including turbines.
We have proved that a new innovation curve is possible for large mechanical assets. Akselos was introduced to Shell through the MIT Industrial Liaison Program, and subsequently worked together to deploy our real-time digital twins on some of the world’s largest oil and gas assets. We will forever be indebted to the team at Shell for their unfaltering support of our technology. The commitment to digital transformation combined with their unrivalled expertise in engineering, are undoubtedly contributing factors to our success.
While we find ourselves increasingly asked to apply our advanced technology to other projects from the world’s biggest bridges to relaunchable rockets, our focus is absolutely clear. Our raison d’etre must be to apply our real-time digital twins to accelerate the energy transition. As a Technology Pioneer our contribution to the World Economic Forum’s initiatives will be concentrated on delivering solutions that address climate change.
The Forum’s purpose-driven communities have been established to address the extraordinary challenges and opportunities the world faces. The Akselos team is ready to play their part in the ‘Great Reset’.