VIDEO: Tidal farm in-field cabling RD&D

(Video: Aquatera)

The video shows the recently completed project whose aim was to investigate cost-effective methods of cable laying for tidal arrays in strong tidal flow conditions.

Tidal Array Cabling Solutions project was launched in December 2013 with the aim to develop and demonstrate efficient methods of locating, securing, protecting and retrieving cables for tidal energy arrays.

Stromness-based energy and environmental consultancy Aquatera was awarded a contract to undertake two demonstration projects in Orkney.

The first of these involved the installation of 50 m long Jee Ltd’s ‘U-tube’ cabling protection structure, believed to be the longest fixed sub-sea structure in the world installed to date at a tidal site.

The second and final phase of the project was conducted at a specially licensed site in the fast moving tides of Hoy Sound.

The programme of work successfully tested over 10 different technological and procedural innovations within a ground breaking set of cable laying trials.

The key areas of innovation included the type of cable lay vessel, the decking arrangements, the mooring arrangement and materials, surveying techniques, the use of a novel cable locating and protection system and the proving of cost effective cable layout and cable deployment and recovery techniques.

Aquatera has led and managed the year long programme, with the collaboration and support from Stromness based Green Marine, who provided the GM700L heavy lift barge specially adapted for use as a cable-laying platform using a movable modular decking system installed between the barge hulls.

Other key contractors in this second phase of the project included JGC (fabrication), LUPUS (structural design) TTI (mooring analysis) and Orcades Marine (procedures and onsite services) with Roving Eye, Sula and Triscom providing deployment support services.

The funding for the project in the amount of £2.4 million was provided by the Scottish Enterprise.