Cambridge Vacuum Engineering shortlisted for prestigious energy award

Cambridge Vacuum Engineering (CVE) – a specialist in power beam welding technologies – has been shortlisted for a prestigious International Energy Award for its ground-breaking RapidWeld project.

RapidWeld saw CVE work alongside industry partners to fast track the production of an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation destined for the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. During the project, CVE and the RapidWeld team demonstrated that critical pieces of energy infrastructure can be produced up to 25 times quicker if the correct electron beam welding technologies are deployed.

Organised by the Energy Institute, the annual International Energy Awards celebrate game-changing and disruptive technologies that are supporting the transition to net zero and / or extending universal access to energy. CVE has been shortlisted in the ‘International Energy Technology Award’ category, alongside five other businesses including Octopus Energy and UK Power Networks.

The RapidWeld project was funded by Innovate UK and led by a consortium including CVE, SSE Renewables, DNV, Sif Netherlands B.V., Agile NDT and The Welding Institute (TWI).

Harnessing CVE’s innovative Ebflow technology, the consortium delivered the first-ever electron beam welded section to be incorporated into an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation (transition piece). Ebflow uses a local vacuum system that creates and maintains a vacuum around only the seam that is being welded. Significantly quicker, cheaper and cleaner than conventional welding techniques, this innovative method can be used on the largest structures. During RapidWeld, CVE demonstrated that it is possible to weld monopiles far quicker than current methods. It also proved that Ebflow uses 90% less energy, costs 88% less, and produces 97% less CO2 emissions.

Bob Nicolson, Managing Director at Cambridge Vacuum Engineering, said: “Once complete, Dogger Bank will become the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The scale of the project and its ambitious delivery timeline necessitates the use of novel technologies that can expedite construction, whilst maintaining the highest quality standards. As a team, we were excited to get RapidWeld off the ground and honoured to deploy our Ebflow solution on such an important energy infrastructure initiative. The results we achieved were outstanding and to be shortlisted for an award for the project is the icing on the cake.

“Our nomination is testament to the partnerships we forged across the RapidWeld consortium. It also reflects CVE’s ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence within the energy sector and to finding innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges that can support the journey to net zero. RapidWeld was an incredible project to work on and we are excited about what could be achieved by scaling up the use of electron beam welding in this and other similar renewable energy projects. We eagerly await the outcome of the awards ceremony.”

Now in its 25th anniversary year, the International Energy Awards attract entries from businesses across the world that are championing more sustainable ways of working. Winners are decided by an elite judging panel including some of the biggest names in the energy sector such as Dame Angela Strank DBE FRS FREng FIChemE HonFEI. Winners of the International Energy Awards will be announced at the International Energy Week Dinner on 29th February 2024 at The Grosvenor House, London.