A project led by the National Oceanography Centre that uses remote monitoring to reduce the cost of cable repairs has been awarded funding from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund
Submarine High-fidelity Active-monitoring of Renewable energy Cables (SHARC) aims to improve the operational efficiency of offshore renewable energy generation by addressing the failure of submarine cables.
“Remote monitoring can be performed in socially distanced settings, removing the need to deploy crews offshore to operate in the tight confines of vessels,” said the NOC.
“This approach is more economically efficient, as it will allow in-service fibre-optics to be remotely accessed. Additionally, it will reduce the health risks to employees by limiting their potential exposure to Covid-19.”
The SHARC project will develop innovative techniques to monitor the condition of cables in real-time, taking into account the combined influence of environmental and cable heating effects.
This will result in early detection of potential threats to cables or better prediction of potential failure, which will enable timely intervention, avoiding large-scale damage and costly downtime.
To achieve this goal, the NOC is leading a team of experts in marine geoscience, distributed fibre optics design and instrumentation, ocean technology and engineering, machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithm design, and exploitation and modelling of dynamic and static cable rating. The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) is the end-user and key stakeholder.
SHARC project lead Dr Mohammad Belal said, “The project will develop the capability to accurately monitor and assess the condition of subsea infrastructure that supports offshore renewable energy production in real time. It has the potential to avert and address potential damage before it’s too late, by which time it becomes incredibly expensive to repair.”