C-Ling® cable protection for Blyth offshore wind demonstrator

Our innovative C-Ling® system completed an extensive 20-month trial at Blyth in Northumberland in 2020, demonstrating a robust seal in dynamic offshore conditions. Based at the Anemometry Hub, a team from AIS conducted a full-scale C-Ling® system technical demonstration.

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The problem

The enormous turbines have been connected to around 11km of buried 66kV offshore cables to bring electricity onshore, all of which need protection from corrosion.

The solution

A team of experts from AIS, installed a video camera enabling live data to be streamed to the AIS network capturing the performance of the C-Ling® system.

The results

Despite significant hard and soft-shell marine growth was visible, the hydrophilic C-Ling® material showed no sign of attack, with the seal till withstanding pressure differentials up to 0.8 bar.

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C-Ling® system demonstration

EDF Renewables established the £5m Blyth Offshore Demonstrator windfarm project for a trial period of three years to monitor the largest operational wind turbines. With a total generating capacity of 41.5MW, the turbines produce enough low carbon electricity to power around 34,000 homes. Each wind turbine is supported with a unique 15,000t gravity-base foundation, transported by floating, making this type of structure cheaper and more efficient to install.

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Success for C-Ling® in Blyth

Our team installed a video camera, along with pressure and temperature sensors, enabling live data to be streamed via microwave to the AIS network: a system that allows C-Ling® seal performance to be monitored live, from anywhere in the world. 14 months of data were gathered, testing C-Ling® performance in tough physical conditions in rough seas driven by cold north east winds, and enduring two severe winter storms offshore.

At the end of the trial the system was stripped down to assess the susceptibility of C-Ling® to attack from marine growth and microbiological activity. Whilst significant hard and soft-shell marine growth was visible, the hydrophilic C-Ling® material showed no sign of attack, with the seal still withstanding pressure differentials up to 0.8 bar.

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The future for offshore wind farms

Following the successful demonstration, a spokesperson from AIS Renewables said,

“We are pleased to have successfully demonstrated our C-Ling® solution to achieve TRL7 and grateful to the ORE Catapult for the opportunity. We will now move to a retrofit deployment on a live offshore wind turbine before rolling out the solution across the full field.”

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