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Balmoral’s ‘Discovery Unit’ develops offshore wind integrated cable protection solution

Posted on 23 July 2020

Balmoral’s ‘Discovery Unit’ develops offshore wind integrated cable protection solution

Multi-discipline engineering outfit Balmoral offers a range of cable protection systems (CPS) for inter array and export cables for fixed and floating offshore wind installations.

The independent company’s in-house ‘Discovery Unit’, a combination of product R&D, materials and testing specialists, has created an integrated CPS the company reports is unique.

The patented system, which is available in three standard sizes, includes a combination of bend restrictors and a bend stiffener, foundation interface device, standard dynamic unit and a detachable pull head, all of which is designed, manufactured and brought together in-house before being tested on the company’s test rig.

Solutions for varying apertures on monopile installations are available as well as J-tube and I-tube options for jacket structures.

Dr Aneel Gill, product R&D manager, says: “Our systems are designed based on the fatigue limit state (FLS) and offer something different because of their unique diverless removal feature and the ability to account for free span caused by scour development.

“Our patented fibre reinforced technology adds stiffness to the system controlling the curvature during the project lifespan. This reduces the amount of movement experienced by the cable, improving fatigue performance and greatly reducing the risk of failure through the life of field.

“The low weight components of the system permit efficient transportation, handling and assembly on deck. The system also allows for diverless removal of the CPS should cable maintenance be required.”

Balmoral says it is totally committed to the renewables sector and has invested heavily in its engineering, manufacturing and testing services. It said the company’s 40-year engineering and technical background was critical in creating the new CPS system.

Ian Milne, sales manager, comments: “With over 300 employees at our Aberdeen facility we retain an impressive complement of design engineers, project managers, R&D, laboratory and testing personnel helping us maintain and strengthen our position as a leading subsea solutions provider for the energy sector.”

Through an established global network, Balmoral is ready to bring the benefits of its system to the worldwide industry. Milne continued: “From what we read in the press and glean from the available data, the scale of global opportunity is quite staggering.

“Considering what is already happening in Europe and the Far East, to the potential that lies off the coasts of North and South America, the industry offers great prospects for companies that are willing to invest in new technology and innovative solutions – something we’ve been doing at Balmoral for many years.”