Subsea cables - R&D innovations for long runs
PUBLISHED: 28 Nov 12
Maillefer Polymer Discharge Isolator PDI 50 for clean room handling and conveying of polymer to the extruder
Renewable power generation has increased the demand for subsea power cables. The growth is stimulated by several new offshore wind projects and additional grid interconnections.
Ideally, utilities seek to install a continuous uninterrupted section of cable which covers the full distance from the offshore equipment to the mainland. However, cable production or deployment constraints make this requirement difficult if not impossible to realize. Maximizing production lengths for subsea cables becomes key to minimizing costly undersea joints.
Maillefer's R&D puts to work its strong process knowledge and a long tradition of extrusion innovations for producing quality subsea cables according to the length requirements. It calls upon its solid partnerships with research centers, raw material suppliers and universities. Scientific methods like mathematical modeling are employed. It exploits the latest technology from nanotechnology on the molecular level to precision handling of large heavy product on the factory floor.
Below is a short list of leading solutions where Maillefer's R&D team places its focus for high performance subsea power cable production. They include:
- Clean room handling and conveying of polymer to the extruder
- Pellet scanning to detect and sort out contaminants down to 50 µm
- New extruder screw designs for limited pre-scorch
- Extrusion process modeling and parameter optimization
- Extrusion melt cleanliness scan control
By employing some of the above innovations on a Maillefer line, one can expect longer runs for the production of subsea power cables that require minimum undersea joints.
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