Rock Climbing Researchers Solve Key Question for Subsea Cable-Laying

What does a rock climbing belay device have in common with a subsea cable installation vessel?

The answer is that both can cause torsion, meaning the climbing rope or cable will start to twist. Up until now, no one could explain why this happened. However, two enthusiastic researchers, who happen to be rock climbers, made it their business to solve the mystery.

The construction of offshore wind and solar farms requires electrical cables, both as components of the farms themselves, and to carry the generated electricity onshore. Operators responsible for handling the cables during their manufacture, transport and installation have from time to time found that they quite literally have a tendency to twist and curl up. The same thing can happen to a rope when a climber is abseiling.

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