ORE Catapult’s dynamic cable test rig.
Rebecca Wayman

Regional firm builds 'world's first' cable test rig for subsea cables improvement

Engineering specialist, Osbit Ltd has developed a state-of-the-art cable bend fatigue test rig for the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult that will support the development, and improve the performance and reliability, of subsea cables.

Northumberland-based Osbit designed and built the 15-tonne cable fatigue test rig to ORE Catapult’s specifications.

With cable-related failures accounting for up to 80 per cent of offshore wind project insurance claims, the rig aims to enable the testing of offshore array and subsea cables to improve their efficiency and resilience.

Brendon Hayward, managing director of Osbit, said: “We are pleased to deliver a bespoke testing system to support ORE Catapult in advancing the global development of subsea cables.

“This project is a great case study showing how we employ our risk-mitigating programme delivery system to develop appropriately engineered solutions, fully aligned with our client’s requirements.

“We achieve this by applying Informed Engineering, an in-house methodology combining awareness of functional requirements and boundaries, with understanding of operational objectives.

“This has supported us in ensuring a suitable system was delivered On Spec, Budget and In Time - OSBIT.”

The development of floating wind represents an economic opportunity for companies in research and development, design and manufacturing - with 4GW of installed floating wind capacity expected by 2030, representing an annual market value of £3bn.

The development and qualification of dynamic cables and connectors suitable for floating wind is crucial for the development of the sector, especially as these wind farms move further from shore and are subjected to harsher conditions.

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