Javier Dominguez, managing Director of Scottish firm, TWEFDA develops probably the first and most efficient energy tool to date, to provide generation or storage on demand, comprised of four machines in one single piece of hardware.
How the story began
Through my accelerator programs, I learnt from Dr John Park that a case for a business always starts with a ‘p’; either pain resolved, or pleasure created.
In the past, I was working as a chief maintenance engineer in the pork industry. At work, I met a man who was relieving our company’s pains by taking away Iberico pork fats for a small fee. Then, he treated the fats and created products that were solving other problems in the market.
During one of our meetings, he told me, “Javier, if you want to be really successful in business, find a way of using a painful resource to create pleasure for others”.
Identifying the right product
By 2015, I was hearing that decommissioning was becoming a new market and wondered if I could repurpose those big masses in the middle of the ocean to make them reciprocate with waves and extract the energy associated with its movement. That inspired me to create the acronym TWEFDA which stands for Tidal and Wave Energy From Decommissionable Assets.
Soon after, I realised that there were liabilities associated with those tasks but also that the big masses were too heavy to extract any meaningful power. Nevertheless, this idea had already some kind of shape that needed further investigation.
By mid 2016 I signed my first non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The approach was settled. Now, I had direction.
I incorporated TWEFDA Limited in January 2018 and soon after, did the Grey Matters accelerator programme with Business Gateway. By then, I had a brief understanding of what I wanted to do and teamed up with a member of the cohort, did an IP audit with Scottish Enterprise and Murgitroyd, then conducted a technical feasibility study with the University of Aberdeen.
In December 2020, TWEFDA Limited was awarded £25K from Scotland Unlocking Ambition. That gave us the ability to speak with clarity thanks to imagery, videos, and a website as well as the ability to speak with confidence, thanks to a patent application.
In 2022, we were awarded £5K at the RGU Accelerator Program. This allowed us to elevate the patent to the PCT status (right to protect the invention worldwide) but also allowed us to create our first prototype and more importantly to assess our main concept with a preliminary hydrodynamic study.
This study, conducted by the reputed consultancy TADEK with the renowned ORCAFLEX software meant a desktop proof of concept and revealed the existence of the Weight Changing Energy. The theory is now backed by five professionals in the wave industry, including the Offshore Wind Technical Authority of a renowned renewable company.
This is not just my business; it is also yours.
TWEFDA can potentially reuse old oil and gas platforms. This defers decommissioning costs which are partially paid by you, as the taxpayer, and are measured in billions.
The energy that we consume needs to be produced instantly and the less resources we use for that, the easier we can achieve net zero in a cost-effective way. With rising prices and a cost of living crisis affecting millions in the UK, this technology is highly relevant.
The dual functionality of energy generation or storage on demand is a highly efficient feature of TWEFDA technology. If there is an excess of power in the grid, our system will swallow the surplus by behaving in storage mode. If there is not enough power in the grid, our system will either release the energy stored or behave in ‘generation mode’ to tackle the deficit.
At present, too much energy leads to curtailment or the need to utilize a storage machine in addition to the generators that are producing the excess to absorb the surplus production. In a deficit situation, we need to burn gas to balance the grid (3rd machine). And guess what, as taxpayers, we all pay not only to decommission oil and gas assets, but also for inefficiencies of the grid. It is certainly your business.
We are developing a hybrid machine, the ESWave, which is capable of harnessing unprecedented levels of energy from waves, as well as storing large amounts of energy. This creates a hydro-pumped application in the middle of the ocean with no environmental constraints and with great efficiency thanks to the use of the tidal range. With negligible visual impact on the seascape, the technology does not pose the same planning consent problem that is often associated with wind turbines.
Four machines in one, working 24/7, to provide what the grid requires, reducing its inefficiencies and lowering the costs for the taxpayers. With a forecast to achieve £1 billion by mid 2028, this system represents a sustainable energy solution, with potential on a global scale.
This video gives a visual representation, explaining the TWEFDA system.
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