We test, validate and demonstrate high-voltage electrical components, cables (static or dynamic) and materials in our UKAS-accredited laboratories. Clients also have access to our eGrid facility, which is one of the most advanced grid emulation systems in the world. Further, real-world technology trials are conducted at our 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine.
As offshore wind develops into deeper, harsher environments, lifetime product performance of critical electrical infrastructure is vital to maintaining cost-effective levels of power efficiency to the grid. We specialise in providing extensive test programmes across a wide variety of complex electrical transmission and distribution infrastructure, operated from UKAS-accredited laboratories.
We work with clients on component development, materials selection, system certification, electrical grid integration and accelerated lifetime test programme delivery, improving reliability and ensuring complex multiple arrays and generation sources operate at optimum efficiency.
Our HV Electrical Laboratory is the UK’s only accredited facility for the testing of power cable systems, capable of providing type testing services for underground and submarine cable systems.
We provide clients with new and bespoke test programmes, as well as guidance on test processes and requirements. We can design bespoke tests to support client requirements to better understand and optimise their products.
Our Materials Laboratory offers the full spectrum of non-electrical type testing, root-cause failure investigations as well as materials characterisation and research. Clients are able to undertake analysis as part of the HV electrical testing programmes, immediately after testing, without causing delay or damage to test samples.
MATERIALS LAB SERVICES
A bespoke, state-of-the-art cable bend fatigue test rig supporting the development – and improving the performance and reliability of – subsea cables. The rig is capable of testing floating wind and tidal cables, carrying out operational research, and acting as a representative test bed for all aspects of subsea cable development. Unique features include:
eGrid is an extension of ORE Catapult’s 3MW and 15MW nacelle testing facilities, where clients can test the major mechanical components while also collecting vital electrical performance data and achieving grid-compliant assurance. eGrid emulates connection with the grid in order to understand how wind and tidal turbines integrate and affect the power network. This laboratory route eliminates the risk of new components or systems creating network instability when deployed in the real world, as well as being a more cost-effective and faster way of understanding grid interactions than lengthy field tests.
In Fife, Scotland, we operate a 7MW working offshore wind turbine for testing, validation and demonstration of new technologies. There, we can install electrical components and materials in the real-world environment, enabling analysis and furthering understanding of electrical infrastructure as part of overall turbine performance.
In 2022, a new platform for tracking cable failures across the UK wind industry will be launched by our electrical infrastructure team. It will follow our successful SPARTA model for collecting and anonymising offshore wind farm performance data in a commercially secure way. It will provide trend analysis on cables failures, service downtime, as well as the effectiveness of the repair and monitoring procedures, and use of technology in cable failures.
Find out more > https://ore.catapult.org.uk/stories/electrode/
Dr Alex Neumann, Head of High Voltage, Ensure cables have gold-plated reliability before they hit the water (blog, 2021)
Charlotte Strang-Moran, Electrical Engineer, Subsea cable failures – what we know and what we don’t
Dr David Hoyle, Senior High Voltage Material Engineer, Data and Design – The Twin Approach to Solving Subsea Cable FailureFind out more