Who we are
Never waste a good crisis
When Norway and other countries closed down due to COVID-19 in March 2020, the oil prices dropped (even negative), and a surge of bankruptcies seemed inevitable, we concluded, 'Now is the time'. After 27 years working with R&D and consulting within the safety and risk field, Olav Roald Hansen told his employer he wanted to quit his job and start on his own. His son, Eirik Søreide Hansen, was more than happy to join. He was half-way through his final year diploma thesis at Chemical Process Engineering at NTNU, testing catalysts for hydrogen production from ethanol. As his university closed, he lost access to the labs, and had to start over again on the diploma with a theoretical focus. The prospect of finding an interesting job at graduation had vanished with COVID-19.
HYEX Safety - Hydrogen first
Safety and risk studies for the growing hydrogen business had been the main focus for Olav since 2016. Before that, from 2000 to 2012, he had been in charge of hydrogen testing projects, FLACS-HYDROGEN development, participated in HYSAFE project and in IEA hydrogen expert groups. In 2019, he was invited to give presentations about maritime use of hydrogen at conferences in five countries. He was safety consultant for wide range of hydrogen projects, including vessels under development and facilities at various scale. He was active participant in R&D projects MoZEES and H2Maritime, and in advisory groups for EU-project PresLHy and NPRA LH2-experiments. One side-effect of the COVID-19 crisis seems to be a wish among authorities to increase the focus on transition towards a low emission society and hydrogen.
Safety and risk studies related to hydrogen and hydrogen carriers (e.g. ammonia) is a primary focus for HYEX Safety. Another speciality is to perform challenging CFD-studies (dispersion/explosion) where precision matters, e.g. incident investigation support, studies to evaluate problems and propose improved designs, and planning and interpretations of experiments.
CFD -faster, better and beyond!
In our business, CFD-studies have been a service for 25 years. A common, but wrong, perception is that computational fluid dynamics is R&D, studies are costly, take forever, and are unreliable. During the FLACS development and consulting career, Olav has focused on the ability to prepare and perform simulations quickly, to produce accurate results, often beyond the stated application/validity range of the software (relevant for hydrogen is e.g. the modelling of DDT and detonation, tank burst and LH2-dispersion).
For interactive design screening workshops even a 30 min CFD-simulation will be too slow. For hydrogen projects a suite of self-developed consequence screening models has been developed, giving immediate predictions of outflow rate, dispersion distances, gas accumulation, fire radiation and blast consequences. These models are very useful during workshops to illustrate hazard potential for various options and may be the backbone of a risk assessment study. For scenarios where detailed 3D layout is important, more accurate CFD predictions, using FLACS, are performed.