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. The trial was based at the Anemometry Hub, where a team from AIS conducted a full-scale C-Ling® system technical demonstration.
The enormous turbines have been connected to around 11km of buried 66kV offshore cables. This brings electricity onshore, and they required protection from corrosion.
Our team installed a video camera enabling live data to be streamed to the AIS network. This footage captured the performance of the C-Ling® system.
Significant hard and soft-shell marine growth was visible, yet the hydrophilic C-Ling® material showed no sign of attack. The seal still withstands pressure differentials up to 0.8 bar.
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. These turbines have a total generating capacity of 41.5MW, and 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.
Success for C-Ling® in Blyth
Our team installed a video camera, along with pressure and temperature sensors. This enabled 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.
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.”