Developers of offshore windfarms lay hundreds of miles of cables under the seabed in order to transmit energy from the turbines to an onshore substation. To date, operators have had to use inappropriate technology designed and built for the oil and gas industry, which simply are not equipped to deal with the varying soil conditions found on most offshore wind farm sites, leading to significant and costly project delays.

Royal IHC spent over a year developing an advanced sub-sea trenching vehicle, Hi-Traq, for which ORE Catapult supported them to secure research and development funding to demonstrate this concept. The remote-operated machine can deal with gradients up to 20 degrees, perform tight turns and navigate uneven terrain for installation purposes. It can also continue operating in high currents, reducing operational downtime for critical offshore wind farm cable burial operations.

Hear more about how Hi-Traq’s annular eductor system was tested in ORE Catapult’s shallow water facility and how the trenching vehicle offers wind farm developers a solution to reduce potentially high cost cable installation activity in our next series of Game Changers films.