Robot “sheepdog” among subsea ideas at workshop

9th May 2017

How do you keep seals away from offshore windfarm piling work? Maybe by using a robotic “sheepdog”?

It was one of the Ideas which flowed when we at SCORE led an innovation workshop looking into solutions for subsea challenges facing the offshore renewable energy industry.

SCORE is here to help companies develop new ideas for the sector – either technological or business systems – through grants and advice. But we are more than that.

So, with the help of delivery partners Nwes, ORE Catapult, and Nautilus Associates, we hosted the first of a series of workshops to pick the brains of businesses to hatch solutions to a series of challenges.

The first, held at the OrbisEnergy innovation hub at Lowestoft, Suffolk, looked at subsea engineering and was hailed a success after coming up with a raft of ideas to tackle other issues such as: cable inspection; seabed scour prevention; marine growth on turbine towers, and monitoring inside monopoles.

Other possible solutions included: sonar checks for seal movements; using water jets and bubbles to make piling easier and quieter; and thermally-sprayed aluminium rather than paint to tackle corrosion.

SCORE is keen to harness the expertise of companies in oil & gas to help its offshore wind “younger sister” – but is happy to hear from any business which can bring ideas to the table.

More workshops will follow over the next three years, tacking a range of challenges and seeking to drive down costs. Watch this space for news on the next one.

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