Winter 2013

Renewable application for proven technology

RMSpumptools has applied its expertise in wet mate technology to develop a range of subsea wet mateable electrical connectors to meet the needs of the marine energy sector.

Michael Winfield, subsea business manager, managed the product development through discussions with system developers and operators. He discovered that one of the key issues in tidal and wave energy arrays was the ability of electrical connectors to mate and break away reliably and in complete safety under water – an important function in the process of recovery of devices for maintenance. The power connectors also need to maintain a safe and reliable connection in a wide range of temperatures and sea conditions, including salt, dirty and turbid water, and at elevated pressures due to depth of submersion.

Michael explains:

“During consultations with device manufacturers and developers we quickly realized that marine renewable energy has an important role to play in decarbonizing grid power supplies. We are confident that our proven technology will help facilitate the development of the required subsea power cable networks, from individual devices through to farm-scale installations in this new and exciting market sector.”

The RMSpumptools range of seawater protected electrical connectors is ideal for such applications, as well as for maintenance and inspection systems such as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). The connectors incorporate a patented positive latching device, oil-filled chambers with dual barriers for effective insulation, and can compensate for misalignment during connector mating. These high quality devices can handle loads of up to 8kV/200-300A, and have a design life of 25 years.

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