Silixa recognised for lighting the way in fibre-powered data solutions in alternative energy


Silixa Ltd., a driving force in fibre-powered data solutions, has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2021 for the commercialisation of its ground-breaking Carina Sensing System. The system takes the high-density coverage of distributed sensors beyond that which can be achieved by point sensors, redefining the possibility for such systems across the energy, infrastructure, mining, and environmental sectors. This allows actionable insight for the refinement of existing processes and the development of new applications to improve sustainability, reduce costs, and enhance operational safety.

The Queens Award for Enterprise recognises innovation coupled with commercial success. In 2018-20, Silixa reported record compound annual growth of over 40% giving sales of £22.42m in 2020.

Glynn Williams, CEO, Silixa, said, “With the launch of the Carina Sensing System in 2019, we doubled down on our diversification strategy, entering underserved sectors that required accurate monitoring solutions. The remarkable growth resulting from this strategy reflects the benefits that the technology delivers in applications such as carbon capture & underground storage and enhanced geothermal systems.”

The alternative energy sector faces increasing operational efficiency, safety, social license, and environmental footprint challenges. The system can improve operational performance by delivering critical information that will ensure underground carbon storage is safe and affordable, and alternative and renewable energy costs stay competitive.

The environmental benefits are most noticeable in seismic applications where the system has no requirement for specialised heavy equipment or sizeable seismic source vessels when acquiring geophysical data. It can map the subsurface with minimal source effort in significantly less time, visualising the subsurface in unparalleled detail and supreme clarity.

For geothermal wells, the Carina GeoTH (geothermal monitoring) solution provides a reliable understanding of the thermal, mechanical, and hydraulic properties in a field. It delivers sophisticated information on rock mechanics and hydrology at work, maximising energy production from geothermal wells. By providing detailed information on fracture networks, hydrothermal reservoirs can be operated more efficiently, and enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) harnessed to expand the geothermal sector. This efficiency can lead to the scalable deployment of renewable baseload power generation from geothermal on a broader scale.

The Carina Sensing System, Silixa’s distributed fibre optic acoustic sensor (DAS) utilising the family of engineered Constellation fibres, provides sensitivity one hundred times greater than that of standard fibres. The higher sensitivity addresses rapidly emerging critical measurement challenges and paves the way for affordable continuous monitoring in Silixa’s markets.

Mahmoud Farhadiroushan, Founder and Executive Director Silixa added, “This is an exciting time for our company, and we are delighted to have received this internationally recognised prestigious award which is a reflection of a great Silixa team effort across all our international operating centres. The Carina Sensing System was developed with support from our investors Chevron Technology Ventures, Lime Rock Partners and Equinor Ventures and has been used by many of the major oil companies. Going forward, we believe that the system’s passive monitoring capabilities will create huge potential across a multitude of emerging sectors and applications.”

The Carina Sensing System is enabling the development of new digital solutions that were previously impossible, helping resolve some of the world’s most significant industrial and social challenges.