Submarine Power Cable Design Validation through Model Testing
- Howard Wang (ExxonMobil Production Company) | C. Blake Hebert (ExxonMobil Production Company) | Gianluca Barbato (Prysmian Group) | Lauro Silveira (Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies) | Marco Vinicius dos Santos Paiva (Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies) | Tiago B. Coser (LAMEF – UFRGS) | Facundo S. López (Símeros) | Telmo R. Strohaecker (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland) | Fabiano Bertoni (Símeros)
- Document ID
- International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers
- The 26th International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference, 26 June-2 July, Rhodes, Greece
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2016. International Society of Offshore and Polar Engineers
- full-scale testing, strength, Umbilical, fatigue, bending stiffness., power cable
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- 50 since 2007
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Submarine power cables play an important role in offshore applications, being responsible for transmission of electric power from shore to offshore, platform to platform and offshore surface facilities to subsea equipment. They are a flexible structure made up from different layer components and they are able to withstand large deformation without failure. Over the course of their service life, they experience different loading which can induce fatigue damage to their components. It is of great importance to validate the submarine power cable design and verify the manufactured products with full-scale tests.
ExxonMobil OPSRB (Offshore Power System Reliability – B) project recently replaced the aged and damaged submarine power cables located in Santa Barbara Channel, California with new power cables designed by Prysmian Powerlink. A key new element was the requirement for dynamic operation off the fixed platform “Harmony”, one of three platforms in the field. In order to prove the power cable integrity for the project dynamic application, a joint power cable qualification program was carried out by ExxonMobil, Prysmian, Konsberg and LAMEF. The main objectives of the qualification program were to confirm the cable mechanical properties, to confirm electrical properties after testing, to validate numerical local model and to verify the cable product suitable for the installation. A series of full scale tests were performed by the test lab, LAMEF, following the protocol requirements and lab capabilities.
As first of three papers (Coser, Wang, Hebert and et al. 2016) (Paiva, Wang, Hebert, et al. 2016) on the power cable qualification program, this paper will present the power cable qualification using model tests with focus on copper conductor core fatigue testing and cable full scale fatigue testing. It will also present the main findings from the qualification program.
In 2008, ExxonMobil decided to reconfigure the offshore electrical power distribution system of a production unit located in Santa Barbara Channel, California due to previous offshore submarine cable failures in the field and offshore electrical equipment obsolescence on the platforms. The platforms were located several miles offshore with the power source onshore. The OPSRB project involved submarine cable sections onshore, near shore and offshore up to depths of 1500 ft. The project scope included removal of two submarine cables totaling 17 miles and installation of three submarine cables totaling 30 miles. The installation also required the selection of mechanical access of new cables to the central platform “Harmony”, which had completely utilized all of its existing J-tubes from sea floor to surface. Harmony is located in approximately 1300 feet of water depth.
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