A collaboration between the UK research centre Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and technology company GnoSys Global is developing a new insulation material for power cables to improve their performance in the renewable energy sector.

The two organisations are working on a project to further develop a new generation of polymer blend-based cables to provide greater insulation, which they say will improve electrical connection reliability and increasing energy to power conversion.

The companies state that “new, more reliable electrical connections are needed to meet the growing demand from the UK’s offshore renewables networks and smart grids for cables that can deal with larger and more variable current loadings”.

ORE Catapult innovation programmes director Chris Hill said: “Innovative technological improvements in the performance of onshore and undersea power cables is an important step in the drive to lengthen the life of connections between offshore wind turbines and between wind and marine offshore renewable energy power stations and onshore connections, improving their ability to handle increasingly variable peak loads.

Using innovative materials and testing their robustness and resilience in cable designs could lead to a step-change in electrical cable technology, and ultimately drive down whole life network costs.”