Drymate Connector Aids Wave & Tidal Development

The SEA drymate connector (Photo: SEA)

Posted by Eric Haun

Marine energy facility EMEC provides the hard infrastructure
necessary to test wave and tidal energy prototypes at sea. The
electricity produced at EMEC's test sites is fed into an onshore
substation through subsea cables, and is then connected into the
national power grid.

Connected to the subsea end of EMEC's cable, SEA's Drymate
Connector provides pressure balanced make and break connectivity.
This enables rapid connection, proven in operation at the EMEC
test site.

The connector also includes termination using a Partial Discharge
(PD) free, testable stop-end solution allowing full energization
and testing of the terminated cable. This enables the cable to be
terminated when it is first laid and left on the seabed until it
is needed. It can then be raised and reconnected as required, for
example when it is to be connected to a prototype device, or if a
cable is damaged.

This overcomes the issue of isolating a cable out of the water
for up to 48 hours, while sealants harden, before it can be put
back into the sea.

EMEC Managing Director Neil Kermode explained, "Operations at sea
can be very complex. While a connection takes place, vessels must
not move more than a few meters off station or the cable could
get damaged, so the quicker we can get the job done the better.
We've seen SEA's connector installed and running in just 24
hours, using the vessel's time on station very effectively.

"In addition to that, live cables running at 11kV produce complex
magnetic fields at the cable end so we need effective termination
and testing capabilities to make sure it is safe to electrically
'pressurise' a cable before going live. The SEA termination, with
its fibre optics, provide a test end which means we can test a
cable from shore electrically and ensure it is in good order
before handing it over to our clients. These features offer
significant operational benefits."

SEA Subsea Engineering Director Matt Blair added, "SEA is
delighted to be supporting EMEC again at the Renewable UK Wave
& Tidal exhibition this year and to support the cutting edge
of renewable energy solutions that is wave and tidal."

Feb 22, 2017

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