Pioneering innovation was back in the spotlight at World Future Energy Summit 2023. Here, we highlight six game-changing inventions from this year’s ground-breaking event
Innovation showcase: WFES ’23 in pictures
Hae.Balagi solar thermal collector
Designed to boost air-conditioning or desalination production capabilities, this solar thermal energy collector was developed by Korean company Geumchul. The Hae.Balagi solar-assisted air conditioner concentrates solar thermal energy to produce hot water (~150℃) or steam (2~3 barG) via thermal oil. It features a precise solar tracking function driven by electricity foam batteries and solar panels, which can be installed on-skid or remotely.
Suiso Frontier liquified hydrogen carrier
The Suiso Frontier is the world’s first liquid hydrogen (LH2) carrier vessel. It completed its maiden voyage between Kobe, Japan and Victoria, Australia in January 2022, carrying 1,250 cubic metres of -253℃ LH2. The carrier is part of the Japanese-Australian government-backed Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain Project, which aims to establish a global hydrogen energy supply chain. It is built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and represents a new era in hydrogen energy.
Below Farm desert mushrooms
Abu Dhabi-based Below Farm is bolstering the UAE’s food security agenda with the country’s first fully automated, controlled-environment, vertical mushroom farm. Locally sourced waste wood and palm frond cuttings are mixed with grains, such as wheat bran, then compressed to create special blocks for mycelium fungal colonies to grow. Consuming minimal water and eliminating the need for arable land, the grow blocks can be reused and later composted for use as fuel or fertiliser, supporting circular economy goals.
Taurob automated inspection robot
Developed for use in civil defence, policing and other sectors, Taurob’s fully autonomous inspection robots gather video, audio and sensor data in harsh environments for real-time transmission to the cloud. In December 2022, the company introduced the world’s first specialised gas leak-detection robot that uses thermography, gas-detecting sensors and intelligent monitoring to detect methane leaks on offshore platforms.
Developed by Masdar City-based startup Mahaya, the TerraPod is a fully automated air-pruning planter that uses a closed loop fertigation system. Designed for plants or mini crops growing in space-constrained urban spaces, such as apartment balconies, the hydroponics-inspired pod is made from locally recycled materials using food-safe plastic. Its intelligent design water reservoir also helps to avoid unnecessary water usage.
2023 Toyota Mirai
A pioneering zero-emission automotive solution, the 2023 Toyota Mirai is a 100 per cent electric vehicle, powered by innovative fuel-cell EV hydrogen technology. Refuelled in just three to five minutes, with a 650km range, the car features a reinforced three-tank layout to maximise hydrogen storage capacity and safety. It also has an end of on-road life recoverability rate of more than 95 per cent through Toyota’s fuel cell stack collection and recycling network.