CableFish to lower cable installation costs up to 75 percent

The new cable installation device is expected to lower the costs of cable installations for up to 75 percent when compared to the current mechanisms used by the industry, according to Carbon Trust.

UK innovator, North Sea Systems, has completed the first full scale trials of its CableFish at EMEC.

The final trial began in November 2014. The project was funded by Scottish Government through Marine Renewables Commercialization Fund (MRCF).

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Developers who are trying to generate clean, green power from our oceans face many challenges, and the Scottish Government is committed to supporting collaborative efforts to find solutions to these problems. CableFish will help reduce the costs and risks of installing cables in the first array projects, such as MeyGen’s tidal energy project in the Pentland Firth.”

CableFish represents a new concept for the installation of cables in high flow tidal environments, which de-risks cable installation by providing continuous visual and position monitoring of the touchdown point (the point at which the cable meets the seabed), Carbon Trust’s press release reads.

The CableFish is attached to the cable, then rides down from the installation vessel to the touchdown point. Movements on the cable are controto lolled by a winch device.

The system is equipped with cameras, an altimeter, a motion sensor, a USBL beacon, and high power lights for night work. Real-time data is fed back directly into the installation vessels survey system.

ROV’s are usually used for cable installations, and they can operate in up to 2 knots of tidal flow. CableFish system operates in up to 6 knots of tidal, and does not require ROVs and post-lay surveys, which drives down the costs of cable installation, the press release reads.

Dan Pearson, CEO of Meygen, commented: “We think that the CableFish is an exciting development in that we need to microsite our cable deployment at the Meygen site and the Cable Fish provides that capability in both an easier and cheaper capacity then ROVs.”

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Image: Carbon Trust

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