Indeximate commences cloud cable condition monitoring with MeyGen

Indeximate Ltd, announces the start of cloud-based cable condition monitoring with SAE Renewables MeyGen tidal-stream energy plant in Caithness, Scotland.  The contract covers an annual subscription to Indeximate’s Scattersphere for cable and environment condition monitoring across all of MeyGen’s four turbines which in addition incorporates the storage of all of MeyGen’s DAS data throughout the monitoring period.

The permanent condition monitoring project builds on MeyGen’s commitment to the understanding of cable condition and exploits their existing ASN OptoDAS monitoring.  Indeximate adds to this the long-term trending of cable condition established from the raw DAS data stream which will profile the risk of fatigue, armour degradation, abrasion, vibration and free span condition.  

The cable conditions at MeyGen are quite unique featuring unburied quad armoured cable on an exposed seabed in one of the highest energy tidal streams on the planet.  Prior analysis of a single month’s data by Indeximate has suggested that the presence of the multiple layers of armour are successfully preventing fatigue.  Continued analysis of the complete data record will allow this analysis to be extended to the full range of conditions experienced.

Risk profiles to cable from Indeximate Scattersphere
Indeximate Scattersphere risk profiles

In addition to the dashboard of condition data, Indeximate will be storing the complete annual DAS record of raw data in their cloud architecture – the Scattersphere.   The raw data is expected to sum to around 1 Petabyte of signal each year which presents significant challenges in storage and access – Indeximate address this via their proprietary Indeximation® process – a compression mechanism which supports cloud streaming of the data.


MeyGen is the operator of the worlds largest tidal array, located in the Inner Sound of the Pentland Firth between the Scottish mainland and the island of Stroma. With over 10 years of operating experience MeyGen is a world leading organisation in the production of renewable electricity from tidal stream.

Having generated over 62GWh of electricity and achieving year on year system availability in excess 95% from tidal turbines generating 1.5MW, MeyGen have continually sought to increase system efficiency and reduce operating costs in their commitment to demonstrate the commercial opportunity the tidal industry presents to the UK.

MeyGen have exploited their operational knowledge and position as industry leaders to develop the asset management strategies needed to reduce the Levelised Cost of Energy of this source of predictable renewable electricity.

With array subsea export cables deployed directly onto the exposed bedrock present in high flow tidal environments where these machines are installed, MeyGen has worked with Alcatel Submarine Networks to monitor the subsea assets using Distributed Acoustic Sensing. Utilising this system MeyGen have contracted Indeximate to provide continual monitoring of this exposed asset to provide early warning of concerns in the integrity of this crucial asset.

Fraser Johnson, Operations & Maintenance Manager for MeyGen PLC

The award of a support contract to Indeximate to utilise our DAS system supplied by Alcatel Submarine Networks and provide continual monitoring of the subsea cables will have a considerable impact in reducing our OPEX costs. We are aware that the cables have some movement due to the tidal flow, the support of Indeximate will enable us to identify the location and quantify that movement. Operating an informed asset management strategy MeyGen will where necessary intervene to avert cable damage and loss of generation. We see this capability as an intrinsic element of our operating strategy, reducing the exposure of our insurance under writer may otherwise be exposed to. Working with the insurance market MeyGen will seek to utilise the knowledge provided by Indeximate within the scope of an informed asset management strategy to focus our planned maintenance activities while reducing our insurance premiums.”

Paul Clarkson, Director for Indeximate Ltd

“This contract marks a key step in our development, opening for the first-time permanent condition monitoring with trending of risks to cable health which builds on our success in delivering discrete cable health checks. Storing a year’s DAS data in the cloud will additionally open new opportunities for understanding change in the local environment over an extended time period”

Dan Danskin, Commercial Manager, Alcatel Submarine Networks

“The ability to analyse and store a years of OptoDAS data will enable Meygen to further improve upon the exceptional range and sensitivity capabilities of the ASN OptoDAS Frequency Swept Interrogation (FSI) solution.  We are looking forward to future collaborations with Indeximate on power cable monitoring projects.”

Alcatel Submarine Networks, part of Nokia, leads the industry in terms of transmission capacity and installed base with more than 750,000 km of optical submarine systems deployed worldwide, enough to circumnavigate the globe almost 19 times. From traditional telecom applications to content and “over the top” service provider infrastructures, as well as to offshore oil and gas applications, ASN provides all elements of turnkey global undersea transmission systems, tailored to individual customer’s needs. An extensive services portfolio completes its comprehensive offering for the submarine business, including project management, installation and commissioning, along with marine and maintenance operations performed by ASN’s wholly owned fleet of cable ships.

Simon Cheeseman, Sector Lead, Wave & Tidal Energy, ORE Catapult 

A better understanding of cable prognosis and failure modes to minimise downtime will be essential in reducing project OPEX costs while maximising energy generation in tidal stream projects. In our recently published Tidal Stream Technology Roadmap report, we estimated that effective condition monitoring of subsea cables could reduce the levelised cost of energy in tidal energy projects by 2-5%. We are delighted that the TIGER project has been able to support MeyGen in demonstrating the capabilities of subsea cable condition monitoring for the tidal sector.”