DNV GL, Deltares, ECN and other partners are joining forces in Cables Lifetime Monitoring, a joint industry project (JIP) expected to reduce power-cable failures affecting the development and operation of offshore wind farms.
A monitoring system will be designed within the project and developed to supervise the health of the cables during all stages of their lifetime, while outage costs caused by failures will be quantified in order to obtain financial key-figures.
An earlier analysis conducted by DNV GL showed that cable failures can partly be attributed to manufacturing, design and installation errors, while morphodynamic processes such as sand waves can expose submarine cables, significantly increasing the risk of third party damage.
In addition, the failure data of the JIP participants, among others, will be analyzed in order to further understand the major causes of power cable breakdowns, which will then be used for improvements in design, manufacturing, installation and operation of the submarine cable systems.
The information will also be used for new verification protocols that ensure that failure causes are not part of a submarine cable project anymore, as well as for new monitoring systems, the project partners said.
“Continuous monitoring of the cable’s state of health enables early identification of possible failures,” said Jan-Joost Schouten, Senior Project Manager for Offshore Wind at Deltares.
“By preventing a significant number of cable failures caused by damage during manufacturing, installation and operation, we are convinced that our study will allow us to significantly reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) of offshore wind, in other words the average cost price of an electricity production unit over its lifetime. Reducing failure probabilities enhances the reliability of the energy network.”
The duration period of the project is from mid-2018 to mid-2020.
The project partners expect to be able to reduce the LCoE, insurance costs and the CO2 footprint of the offshore industry by increasing the reliability of offshore wind energy, Deltares said, emphasizing that the results can be applied to both existing and future wind farms, as well as for other submarine cables, like interconnectors.