RWE will test a novel data transfer and analytics tool to monitor cables at its 385MW Arkona offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea to enable preventative maintenance.

The new tool by UK start-up Indeximate also is slated to provide vessel tracking, ambient noise measurements and monitoring of marine life, such as mammals.

Indeximate has won a global innovation competition the German power giant had launched to find innovative solutions in the fields of system integration, circularity and environmental protection in offshore wind.

“Combining our own expertise with promising new technology concepts will support us in achieving RWE’s ambitious growth and sustainability targets,” RWE Offshore Wind technical innovation lead Anika Borm said.

“The innovative element of [Indeximate’s] solution is the ‘Indeximation’ of acoustic data, ensuring a more detailed and targeted analysis of acoustic signatures in the subsea soundscape.

“In addition to cable condition monitoring, this system will provide for vessel as well as marine mammal identification and tracking. The technology has thus great potential for creating exciting insights into the ecological systems and supporting the preventive maintenance of RWE’s global offshore wind fleet.”

Indeximate works with an innovative fibre optic sensing-based approach, which can support preventive maintenance of subsea cables and at the same time monitor vessel traffic as well as the underwater environment, and thus build a picture of the ecology pattern of marine life in offshore wind farms, RWE explained.

“We are hugely honoured to receive this prestigious award and are excited at the opportunity to demonstrate how we can bring long-term sensing intelligence gains to RWE via cable condition monitoring,” Indeximate co-founder Chris Minto said, who according to RWE has a long-standing expertise in acoustic and fibre optic sensing.

The Arkona offshore wind farm is located at 35kms of the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea.