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

July 20, 2020
MEMBER NEWS: 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.”

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The team at AREG is committed to ensuring that businesses in Aberdeen City and Shire capitalise on opportunities in renewable energy and that our members achieve success in this rapidly growing market. Please contact us with your news, views, concerns and successes so that we are well placed to deliver on your behalf.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.

All-Energy

Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.

Vattenfall

Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise