The important new market for offshore wind in the United States has been opened to an innovative and award-winning solution for one of the biggest challenges facing offshore industries.
Scour Prevention Systems, Ltd have been granted a full US patent for their Scour Prevention Mattresses (SPM) which protect offshore structures, cables and pipelines from scour. The unique anti-scour product is already patented for the UK and numerous other countries including Japan and China. US patent approvals are notoriously difficult to achieve so this is a significant milestone for Lowestoft based company.
The Scour Prevention team are already working with partners to supply their approved SPM products for the latest offshore wind projects in the US.
Seabed erosion and scour around marine structures have been highlighted by offshore industry leaders as being among the biggest challenges facing the development of major offshore projects in shallow waters. This scour is caused by water turbulence and often as a direct result of a man-made structure interrupting current flow. Scour prevention measures are regularly deployed when wind turbines are installed in order to address this serious risk.
The SPM is uniquely constructed from a matrix of end-of-life vehicle tyres which traps sediment to form a stable protective layer on the seabed or over cables and pipelines. SPM’s have already been used to prevent scour and associated damage at subsea cable and foundation structures in the North Sea and are being considered for new projects offshore Africa and South East Asia.
John Balch, SPSL chairman, said the award of the US patent protection offered huge potential for selling the SPM concept for prevention and remediation of scour for US offshore projects.
“We are delighted with the award of this patent for the US and now free to openly work with key industry partners, industry bodies, agents and distributors, as well as directly to the end users. Our run of successes in getting a string of international patents awarded for the SPM over the past 12 months has given us a great platform to expand our offer internationally.
“We will be starting with the US Offshore Wind sector which is predicting rapid growth with more than 8GW of installed capacity by 2030. This will take hundreds of new larger capacity turbines and thousands of kilometres of cabling, all of which needs protection!”
Marine and offshore scour is recognised as a continuing challenge for subsea engineers across all offshore markets including preventing and repair to protect offshore structures, and monitoring and inspecting subsea cables and pipelines.
This innovative solution of the SPM has applications across the offshore and coastal marine markets in the likes of offshore wind, oil & gas, telecoms, ports and harbours and decommissioning markets. The SPM mattress is formed from car tyres and thereby offers unique and dual benefits of preventing scour and recycling tyres.
Scour Prevention Systems is a previous winner of East of England Energy Group’s Energy Innovation award and was highlighted by national trade body Decom North Sea as one of 10 companies with cost-saving solutions for the market as part of industry innovation showcase.