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Contest Launched To Improve Subsea Cable Monitoring

Posted: 01/02/2017

A new global competition has been launched to help find innovative solutions to the problem of faults on subsea cables in the offshore wind farm industry and how they can be monitored more effectively during the load-out and installation process.

Devised by The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), the contest is open to complementary industries such as civil engineering, telecommunications, oil and gas, and the automotive sector since current solutions are not yet able to detect and monitor cable limits with the necessary accuracy.

Director of offshore wind at the trust Jan Matthiesen commented: “Damage to cables during the installation of an offshore wind farm is unfortunately a common occurrence, which also results in unnecessary expenditure for the industry. The challenge we face is finding a cost-effective, easy to connect and operate, robust and reliable system which can be used to monitor the condition of subsea cables throughout the cable installation phase.”

Between 2002 and 2015, £213 million in insurance losses from 28 offshore wind claims in the UK was seen, 68 per cent of which were directly down to cable faults that occurred for the most part during the construction phase.

The OWA is the Carbon Trust’s research and development programme between the trust and nine other offshore wind developers, set up back in 2008. The emphasis is very much on improving the economics of UK offshore wind farms by developing technologies that can be deployed elsewhere.

Research areas are structured around cable installation, electrical systems, foundations, access and wakes and wind resource.

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