The InnovateUK-funded Clematis programme has successfully tested a smart integrated monitoring system for offshore energy subsea cables at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney.

The 'Cable Lifetime Enhancement via Monitoring using Advanced Thermal and electrical Infrastructure Sensing' project included partners Fraunhofer, EMEC and Systems Engineering & Assessment.

Work included demonstration deployment on a live subsea cable at the Fall of Warness tidal site.

Results from the tests are expected to lead to better maintenance and repair of underwater cables, reducing costs in the offshore energy sector. 

The 12-month programme was designed to demonstrate the technical and commercial viability of a multi-functional distributed sensor system for monitoring cable infrastructure for offshore renewables. It built on the 2016 desk-based Orchid programme.

Clematis leader Henry Bookey of Fraunhofer UK Research said: "The ability to monitor real time cable status can save huge sums in lost production through early indication of fault development and help avert major problems by diagnosing and pinpointing cable damage in real time.

“The technology emerging from the Clematis project will allow cable health to be monitored accurately and cost effectively. As the project draws to a close, we are seeking opportunities and potential partners to take this solution to market.”

Image: Fall of Warness test site (EMEC)