16 April 2018

EDS HV Group successfully completes trials at Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm

EDS HV Group, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has successfully completed trials at Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm as part of its EU Funded Horizon 2020 project.

EDS were awarded over €1.3 million in grant funding from Horizon 2020 - Europe’s largest research and innovation programme to support the roll-out of Cable Sentry, an innovative solution based on Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology that detects subsea cable faults in real time.    

The funding is allowing EDS to carry large-scale customer trials that will help to demonstrate technical advantages over the current deployed technology and ensure that all technical and commercial targets are hit prior to market entry.

Competition for Horizon 2020 grant funding is intensely fierce.  Of the 1534 proposals received at the same time as EDS’s, only 71 were funded, with EDS being 1 of only 3 UK based companies to be awarded the funding.

The recent trials took place at Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm in partnership with Balfour Beatty, one of the trial partners. John Sinclair, development director – Power Transmission and Distribution, at Balfour Beatty Investment said:

“The location of subsea HV power cables means that the risk profile associated is high and can sometimes be underestimated. They are neither visible nor easily accessible in a way that other components of a wind farm are, and when things do go wrong and a cable has to be repaired reactively, it is a slow process, and a very costly one too.”

Therefore, a proactive strategy to repair cables makes sense. The DAS technology permanently monitors export circuits remotely to ensure a quicker response to any cable failure, ensuring that engineers can accurately pin-point where the fault lies if the worst should happen. Knowing where the fault is located immediately saves time and therefore can help minimise consequential loss.  

John added: 

“We welcomed the chance to get involved with these trials as cable health is something that is at the forefront of our O & M strategy.  Having seen the performance of Cable Sentry on our Gwynt y Môr site recently, it is something that we are very excited about and we are delighted to play a part in supporting its roll out."  

 Geoff Briggs, technical manager at EDS HV Group said:

 “We truly believe that the development of this technology will be a game changer within the industry, and the funding will enable us to develop Cable Sentry to the next level. Having already used Cable Sentry out on site to accurately locate cable faults, we are very excited about the possibilities for the system once it is fully developed.”