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The importance of proper cable management in a WIV

2022-06-23

Good cable management can prevent an increase in project costs and delays in its schedule. That is even more true in offshore wind projects. Here is how.

Endiprev performing cable management at Saint Nazaire Wind Farm

In an initial stage of a project, several tasks can ensure its success, being good cable management one of them. That may seem a basic task. However, more than a decade of experience has shown our teams that cable management can be crucial to a project’s successful execution. Especially now that wind turbines are more digital. They gather more information from sensors, requiring even more connectors to communicate well.

If it plays a key role in several industries, it is even more vital in offshore wind projects. For a couple of months now, Endiprev is performing High Voltage connections and cable management on board Saint-Nazaire’s Wind Installation Vessel (WIV). Its performance has been highly recognized by our customer because our technicians know exactly what to do. With a total of 24 experts, we have been working on:

  • High Voltage Electrical Completion between the transition piece and the T1.
  • Low voltage and signals interface between the transition piece and the T1.

With these tasks at hand, it is a great opportunity to highlight the importance of proper cable management.

 

Why is cable management crucial for wind power projects?

For being a basic task, many inexperienced companies may scorn the correct execution of cable management. That leads to overlooking key details and their importance. A well-performed job will make a difference in the project at hand. It will also bring future benefits to wind turbine maintenance activities. The success of good cable management involves three moments.

 

Cable Routing

One of the tasks that can impact the behavior of your project is cable routing. This task goes beyond just passing cable. It will facilitate the installation stage, where automation and repeatability of tasks are desirable to achieve target times, and it will ensure the absence of electromagnetic interference.

When done by experienced professionals, cable routing optimization can represent a major result in reducing power losses and huge savings in a project. It has been shown that these savings, representing millions of euros, can be achieved in a wind farm lifetime.

 

Cable Crimping

Wrong fixing between cables can cause several electrical fires. Good cable crimping is crucial to avoiding these accidents. When poorly executed, it can either let the cables loose or over-crimp them. Both problems can lead to loss of efficiency, overheating, and electric fires. One of our team’s allies in making sure that both these problems don’t happen is to properly control crimping with a pachymeter and strictly follow the manufacturer’s tool and die charts.

 

Cable Looping

Wind industry professionals are very familiar with the cable looping problems in wind turbines, especially in the nacelle. As the Yaw System allows it to rotate in a position perpendicular to the wind, it creates a challenge to the electric cables management. With the nacelle having the ability to rotate up to 720º in the same direction, there is the possibility to have several cables twisting and rubbing against each other. If technicians don’t properly address this, it can create excessive heat and wear down the jacket insulation, exposing the cable conductor.

To avoid this, wind turbine technicians must keep the cables sufficiently separated to allow them to make a good looping by crossing them and using a horse neck.

 

Cables cannot just be set and forgotten, especially in wind turbines. If they are not well managed and maintained, they could originate many complications and accidents. Among many benefits, a good cable management performance will bring benefits to both onshore and offshore projects by:

  • Saving installation time.
  • Eliminating risks and technical failures.
  • Increasing energy efficiency.
  • Ensuring stable communication and data transmission.

 

That’s why we have in our teams the best professionals with several years of experience as well as a strong work ethic to make sure that they complete every task successfully.