The Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) has launched a new global innovation competition to find and fund the development of innovative solutions to a challenge facing the offshore wind farm industry today: how to monitor the condition of subsea cables to ensure that they are not damaged during the load out and installation process. The competition aims to solve this challenge by identifying and supporting the development of novel condition monitoring systems for subsea cables.
Current available solutions are not able to detect and monitor mechanical cable limits with the required accuracy, so the OWA is searching for new systems and technology ideas from complementary industries such as telecommunications, civil engineering, automotive and oil and gas which could be adapted for subsea cable application.
Looking at £213 million in insurance losses from 28 UK offshore wind claims between 2002 and 2015, 68% were directly due to cable faults occurring predominately during the construction phase. Condition monitoring techniques used during the installation process have the potential to reduce instances of these faults, as they can be used to monitor the cable condition and detect potential issues before they develop into failures.
Developing a novel monitoring system could dramatically improve the reliability of offshore wind subsea cable systems by ensuring that the cables' mechanical limits are not exceeded in real-time during load out, installation jointing and wind farm operation.
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. Through this international innovation competition we are really interested in receiving applications from other industries around the world, which have capabilities in measuring and monitoring physical parameters that could result in cable damage.
Jan Matthiesen, Director of Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust
Notes to editors
The competition formally opened on 10 January and closes on 13 February 2017. Applicants can access full details of the competition at: https://www.carbontrust.com/about-us/tenders/offshore-wind-accelerator-cable-condition-assessment-competition
About the Offshore Wind Accelerator
Set up in 2008, the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) aims to reduce the cost of energy from offshore wind by concentrating on five research areas: foundations; wake effects; electrical systems; and access and cable installations.
OWA activities include research, development and demonstration projects to unlock technological barriers to advance the industry.