Dynamic cabling R&D for floating marine renewables starts in France

The partners in the collaborative research and development initiative aimed at metaphysical characterization of dynamic umbilicals for floating marine renewable energy devices, known as the OMDYN2 project, have held a kick-off meeting last month in France.

The OMDYN2 project, selected for support in the EMR ITE 2017 call for projects, will last for three years with the aim to characterize the electro-mechanical behavior of dynamic power cables, and develop models for predicting their life expectancy.

Also, the project will seek to explore the constraints posed to the cables by biofouling, and develop a monitoring method for the cables that will be used in floating marine energy applications for wave, floating tidal and floating offshore wind devices.

The cables, which can be up to several hundred meters long, pose considerable technical challenges – notably biofouling – in operational conditions, the project partners have said.

“These cables usually measure several hundred meters and are constantly moving, undergoing the movements of the float head, swell and current. They are also very sensitive to bio-colonization or biofouling – the installation of marine species on the cables, which can accelerate their aging, modify their behavior and possibly affect their performance.

“All these constraints confirm the R&D needs on this essential component in floating marine renewable energies,” according to École Centrale de Nantes – one of the project partners.

OMDYN2 launch meeting in Brest (Photo: France Energies Marines)

The OMDYN2 builds on the work conducted in the OMDYN1 project which ran from 2016 to 2017. The research conducted in OMDYN1 focused on analyzing industrial needs for dynamic cable design and operation in order to identify key issues and propose innovative and sustainable solutions.

OMDYN2 brings together several partners with complementary skills, including France Energies Marines, École Centrale de Nantes, Bureau Veritas, Naval Energies, EDF, Innosea, Ifremer, and Total – amongst others.

The work is supported by France Energies Marines and the government of France, and is managed by the French National Research Agency under the Investments for the Future program.