Case study

Optimising Offshore Grid Layout

THE CHALLENGE

Optimise the cable layouts for arrays of marine energy devices.

OUR SOLUTION

We developed an electrical architecture planning tool that can be applied to energy farm layouts, to both model and optimise the farm electrical configuration and calculate costs.

Costs are considered for:

  • CAPEX - cabling purchase and installation, including the cost of substations and shore connections;
  • OPEX - the cost of running the farm including planned and unplanned maintenance;
  • Lost revenue - this is due to cable failures or electrical losses.

The tool is then used to run these three sources of cost through an optimisation loop in order to minimise the total. This optimisation step can:

  • Evaluate the cost effectiveness of a specific design, including resilience and redundancy;
  • Automatically generate a cable layout with the required balance of CAPEX and resilience built-in;
  • Explore the impact of varying the degree of 'design for resilience' on through life projects.

THE BENEFITS

The tool can be used for energy projects of any type where cabling layout is a significant challenge; offshore wind, wave or tidal farms would all be suitable projects for this process.

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