Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_SSEN_0034
Title Submarine Cable Sensing (SUBsense)
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Scottish and Southern Energy plc
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 August 2018
End Date 28 February 2023
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £1,458,218
Industrial Sectors Power
Region Scotland
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Scottish and Southern Energy plc (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Scottish and Southern Energy plc (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives The project aims to install a real time monitoring system utilising Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) on several new subsea cables which will have single mode fibre optics embedded in the cable. A DAS interrogator unit is connected to the optical fibre which essentially turns the fibre into an array of virtual microphones. Short pulses of highly coherent light are transmitted down the fibre by an interrogator unit, and backscatter returns are observed coming from the inherent physical imperfections present in any standard fibre optic. The backscatter observations detect minute cable strains induced by acoustic events. The backscatter is then passed through to a processing unit which provides interpretations and visualisation of the signal.The DAS system has algorithms which can categorise the acoustic vibration events in real time such as third party intervention, cable movement and fault identification. The location of these events is recorded by the DAS system by way of accurately identifying the distance from the cable end, typically +/- 10m. Such events are time stamped and alerts are issued to control rooms and asset management for further review and investigation. Real time monitoring enhances the ability to be proactive in responding to alarm events, such methods may include additional rock dumping to reduce cable movement, cable inspections after third party intervention and planning for cable repairs due to an impending fault. The scope of the project is to install a live system on several cables which are due to be laid in a variety of different locations to monitor for third party intervention, cable movement and fault detection. These cables will be monitored during the project and the data gathered will be assessed by the relevant teams. An evaluation will be completed at the end of the trial with recommendations of the systems suitability for transfer to BAU. The objectives of the project are:To have installed multiple fully functional DAS systems providing real time monitoring of submarine cables.Establish an effective communications method to enable real time alerts from remote islands to be received, investigated and actioned from asset management.Documented a baseline condition of the monitored submarine cables.To monitor for an extended period to assess for alerts from third party intervention, cable movement or cable faults.To have gained an understanding of the systems suitability as a condition monitoring tool for business as usual adoption and its impact on assetCreated a specification for condition monitoring best practices to be used on submarine cables.
Abstract Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) has 112 33kV and 11kV submarine electricity cables in Scotland spanning 455km. These cables are surface laid and can be subject to harsh environmental conditions. These cables are high value assets whose current condition is difficult to assess due to their location on the seabed. Presently, inspections are completed via costly routine inspection of the cables by divers or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) which can only inspect the external condition of the cable. There are no real time monitoring systems which identify cable movement, damage or fault locations (should they arise).
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 02/11/22