Power engineering specialist EA Technology is experiencing an increase in demand for investigations into the causes of failures in subsea electricity cables and joints. The company's forensic laboratories at Capenhurst in the United Kingdom are being called in to examine a growing number of offshore cabling faults, as a result of increasing marine activity worldwide in the oil, gas and wind generation industries.
Lead consultant Steven McIntosh said: “Failures in subsea cables are normally serious, because of the logistics and cost implications of removing and replacing faulty items offshore. The lost time involved can also result in significant financial losses through lost production.
“There are numerous reasons for carrying out failure investigations, but often operators require us to identify the various mechanisms involved, so they can apportion responsibility in the event of claims for compensation. However, ultimately the majority of clients want to learn from these experiences and prevent avoidable faults occurring in the future. We have found that failures occur for many reasons, but we have also seen that clients can benefit from our recommendations through the implementation of simple low-cost measures that can prevent huge failure and disproportionate losses.”
EA Technology's forensic investigation department is staffed by a multidisciplin-ary team of engineers and scientists, using advanced metals, materials testing and an-alytical facilities. It also provides a rapid response site investigation service, sending experts to examine evidence of failures as soon as possible after they occur.