Delivering Reliability for Wave & Tidal Energy
A 2016 study by insurers Genillard & Co found that subsea cable incidents accounted for over 70% of offshore wind farms insurance losses globally, with losses totalling over EUR 350 million in incurred claims in the previous 7 years. This clearly highlights the need for robustness and reliability in the world of subsea cabling.
Drawing on their heritage in manufacturing cable systems for submarines, SMI have been successfully applying their expertise to the world of ocean renewables, utilising fit and forget data, power and control cabling. Using their expert thermoplastic moulding techniques SMI are now delivering long term reliability to wave and tidal projects of up to 33.6kV across the globe.
The technology now exists to ensure uninterrupted power and signal transmission, whilst supporting live monitoring of tidal and wave systems. Advanced fibre optic connectors address the spatial challenges and can deliver the intelligence from Fiber Bragg Grating based sensor systems. Real time, accurate information of the in-service loads are of great importance both for optimising design, quantifying fatigue loading of blades and bearings, but also for long-term structural health monitoring. Meanwhile sensors embedded into the moulding can provide an early indication of declining electrical insulation resistance, particularly important when deploying hygroscopic Polyurethane jacketed cables in warmer waters. This vital performance data can be used to support the introduction of ‘on condition maintenance’, planned and accounting for the restricted access associated with seasonality, tides and weather. Accessing and maintaining a turbine ahead of a failure provides long-term operability and enhanced profitability.
Wet-Mate & Deck-Mate Interconnect Solutions
Ocean power systems are deployed in hostile, turbid conditions and therefore SMI provide expert underwater technology and interconnect solutions, both wet-mate and deck-mate, to wave and tidal projects, to be fitted and working from the moment of installation.
Gisma’s Hybrid Wet-Mating Electro-optic Connectors
Reliable cable solutions can help reduce operational and through-life costs overall, however early economies can be delivered by cutting expenses on connector solutions. Therefore, SMI utilise glanded systems including Gisma’s hybrid wet-mating electro-optic connectors, for a number of renewable power projects where electric and fibre optic matings can be delivered in a single connector as opposed to using two.
Technical Advancement in Subsea Cable Design
SMI are advocating a standardisation of cable design to encourage subsea connector manufacturers to focus product developments around a rationalised scope which would utilise total industry volumes. SMI’s technical discussions and collaborative workshops have begun to enable rival operators to collectively demand for technical advancements, which would have previously been seen as commercially non-viable.
By SMI sharing their subject matter expertise they are enabling operators to optimise their subsea cable systems considering material options, alternative mating environments, added marine logistics as well as electrical and data loads. SMI have highlighted how cable design and jacket material decisions can limit technical opportunities for connectivity, therefore their expertise in renewable energy and cable systems has helped operators optimise and transform their cable systems to deliver more reliable and robust renewable energy solutions.
Get in touch with SMI
With a 25-year record of consistently delivery robust and reliable solutions, SMI are proud to now be delivering this fit and forget technology to ocean renewables.
If you would like to find out more about our wave and tidal energy solutions, speak to our team today and find out exactly how we can help you.
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