Innovate UK has awarded Jee a GBP 75k in funding to develop a conceptual design of its ‘Excalibur’ system, a subsea infrastructure solution for the deployment of tidal arrays and the protection of subsea array cables.
The project, kicked off in October 2016, is due to be completed by June 2017.
It will enable the cost-effective installation and maintenance of tidal energy convertors (TECs) at an array scale and will standardize and modularize the design of the structural foundation, cables, cable protection system and the TEC connection to the infrastructure, Jee explained.
The solution facilitates the quick installation of tidal turbines, thus reducing design and installation costs, as well as the lead times for these projects. The solution also enables maintenance of the TECs above the waterline without the need to disconnect or disrupt the power production.
John French, head of design at Jee, said: “Excalibur will reduce operation and maintenance costs and ultimately improve the reliability of tidal arrays. The combined cable protection system and innovative lifting system means that the difficulties associated with subsea cable connections are either eliminated or controlled. The system will allow for routine offshore inspections of the TECs without the need for heavy lift vessels or subsea intervention and the robust cable protection removes the need to inspect the cable.”