ScottishPower Renewables, part of the Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola, has granted industrial sponsorship to Proserv Controls for its subsea cable condition monitoring system for the offshore wind segment.

The system, called Electro Cable Guard, or ECG has been initiated and driven by Proserv with support from its consortium partners Synaptec, a power system monitoring firm, and cable engineering specialists BPP Cable Solutions. 

“The system offers a paradigm shift in present market offerings around condition monitoring of both inter-array and export cables,” Proserv Controls said.

The sponsorship agreement will see ScottishPower Renewables provide its expertise and resource both from a cable owner and operator perspective, bringing vital knowledge into the project to assist in the on-going development and ultimate functionality of ECG, Proserv said.

“[ScottishPower Renewables] input will greatly help the future commercialization of the system, with its close understanding of the key requirements of the industry across asset owners and developers,” Proserv added.

According to Proserv, in developing the ECG solution, the consortium has incorporated several parameters such as distributed temperature, acoustic and electrical sensing, with synchronous, real-time monitoring across an asset, and continuous automated data analysis.

“Machine learning will be integrated into the system, so that, once fully engaged, minute anomalies in performance, even within normal operating boundaries, will be detected, potentially indicating future issues requiring remedial action,” the company said. 

“It is anticipated that the capabilities of ECG will lead to huge advances in the way subsea cables are managed, significantly reducing the incidence of faults and failures on offshore wind farms in the future,” Proserv added.

Proserv’s Business Development Director – Renewables, Paul Cook stated:”[ScottishPower Renewables] recognizes there is a critical requirement for an innovation in the offshore wind industry that monitors cables using a methodology that goes way beyond what is available today within the market.”

Proserv’s agreement with ScottishPower Renewables comes months after the ECG project received two-thirds of its £1.5 million development costs, totaling £1mn, via a Smart Grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency. The funding program is offered to the “best game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas.” The remaining sum is being supplied by the respective members of the consortium.

Proserv expects the ESG technology will be demonstrated on a UK commercial-scale wind farm in Q2/Q3 2022.

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