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Offshore Wind Journal

Offshore Wind Journal

Floating wind partnership to tackle dynamic cables and asset integrity

Fri 13 Apr 2018 by David Foxwell

Floating wind partnership to tackle dynamic cables and asset integrity
Dynamic export cables are a key technical challenge for floating offshore wind projects

A Carbon Trust-led floating wind joint industry partnership has kicked off two new studies to investigate key issues for large-scale floating windfarms.

Commissioned by the Scottish Government and 12 industry partners – EnBW, ENGIE, Eolfi, Eon, Iberdrola, innogy, Kyuden Mirai, Ørsted, Shell, Statoil, Vattenfall, and wpd Offshore – the joint industry partnership (JIP) will support the development of high-voltage dynamic cables and outline monitoring and inspection requirements for commercial floating wind power projects.

BPP Cables will lead the study on dynamic export cables, which has been identified as a potential bottleneck for commercial deployments. While lower voltage dynamic inter-array cables (~22-66 kV) are readily available, there is a notable gap in the market for suitable high voltage dynamic cables for export purposes (~130-250 kV) to enable efficient transmission of power back to shore.

As part of the study, the Carbon Trust intends to launch a competition to support cable manufacturers to develop suitable designs. The competition, expected mid-year, hopes to accelerate the development of the technology to ensure that high voltage dynamic cables are available for the first commercial floating wind projects within the next 5-10 years.

In parallel, Oceaneering will deliver a study to investigate monitoring and inspection requirements for floating windfarms. The large number of components in commercial deployments, including hulls, mooring lines, anchors, and cabling, could create challenges for operators to cost effectively monitor and inspect their assets. Oceaneering will draw on extensive experience in the oil and gas industry to develop a risk-based approach to monitoring and inspection regimes, as well as identify innovative technologies that can support cost reduction.

Carbon Trust manager Rhodri James said “The lack of available dynamic export cables is currently a key technical and commercial risk for floating wind projects and we are hopeful of playing an important role in stimulating the market to develop solutions for the industry.

“Monitoring and inspection also becomes increasingly important in large-scale deployments and we again hope to play a role in both ensuring that current standards and guidelines are fit for purpose, whilst identifying novel technologies that can reduce operations and maintenance costs.”

The JIP also recently launched two other projects, focusing on heavy-lift offshore operations and the impact of larger turbines on floating wind structures.

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