ORE Catapult overhauls subsea cable testing prowess

ORE Catapult’s dynamic cable test rig (Photo: ORE Catapult)

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has taken delivery of a bespoke cable bend fatigue test rig designed to support and improve the performance and reliability of subsea cables.

The 15-tonne test rig was designed and built by Northumberland-based Osbit according to ORE Catapult’s specifications.

It is capable of proving floating wind and tidal cables, carrying out operational research and acting as a representative test bed for all aspects of subsea cable development, ORE Catapult said.

The rig enables the innovative testing of offshore array and subsea cables to improve their efficiency and resilience – one of the key areas identified by the offshore renewables’ sector in need of technological improvement.

Key features of the new  rig include the ability to test up to three samples simultaneously, while fully submerged in seawater.

Alex Neumann, ORE Catapult’s Electrical Infrastructure Asset Manager, said: “ORE Catapult is a leading independent expert in the test, validation and certification of High Voltage (HV) electrical systems.

“By adding the new test rig to our UKAS-accredited HV laboratories, we are able to fully integrate our extensive suite of specialist test and measurement facilities and engineering expertise to provide a better understanding of failure modes and in so doing improve the efficiency, performance and resilience of subsea cable systems.”

ORE Catapult was established in 2013 by the UK government as the country’s flagship innovation center for offshore renewable energy.

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