An Innovate UK-funded project focused on developing a smart integrated monitoring system for offshore energy subsea cables has drawn to a close after the trials at EMEC
The novel technology will ultimately lead to better maintenance and repair of underwater cables, reducing costs in the offshore energy sector, according to EMEC.
The 12-month project, named CLEMATIS, demonstrated the technical and commercial viability of a new multifunctional distributed sensor system for the monitoring of subsea cable infrastructure in the offshore renewable energy sector.
The project included the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics and Synaptec, whose technologies were integrated into the system, and EMEC and SEA, who provided market intelligence, test equipment and facilities to enable the system to be tested in real life conditions.
The CLEMATIS system is a holistic monitoring system that exploits the optical communications fibre in marine power cables. The system turns entire lengths of power cable into reconfigurable acoustic and temperature sensors.
A quasi-distributed electrical system makes use of the same optical fibre to interrogate passive electrical current and voltage sensors distributed throughout the infrastructure.
In June 2018, the system was demonstrated on a live subsea cable at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal energy test site.
This is the first time that such techniques have been combined into one monitoring system enabling end users to simultaneously monitor temperature and load on the energy network, and log any cable trauma such as anchor strike, scour related cable strumming or mistakes in cable installation, EMEC said.
Potential faults can be captured before turning catastrophic, and major faults or outages can be located immediately with accuracy, according to PERISCOPE partner, EMEC. Therefore, the system is expected to bring about a step change in offshore renewable energy operations and maintenance.
Image © Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics