The Oceanology International conference covers such a wide range of industries, all with the common mission of measuring, developing, protecting, or operating in the world’s oceans, providing lots of room for potential collaborations and idea sharing among market leaders.
Being a conference with numerous offshore/subsea market leaders in attendance, it provides an opportunity for attendees to become inspired by new advancements within the industry and develop new customer relationships. Of particular interest to our team were new equipment and companies that acquire, transfer, and store data and analytics technologies.
We also noticed many oil spill company leaders were in attendance, which was interesting to see the continuing developing partnerships and collaborations between the marine technology companies and the oil and gas sector.
Through the bustling exhibit halls and between sessions, we had the opportunity to talk with multiple attendees about the economic status of some of these new markets. One thing most sector leaders agree on is that the market will eventually bounce back—but the one unanswered question is still a matter of when.
Much of the conference buzz also surrounded themes around autonomous unmanned vehicles (AUVs,) oil spill equipment, remote operated vehicles (ROVs), and various new software opportunities pertaining to data management.
The ever-growing capabilities of unmanned vehicles, along with industry applications, communications, and data are driving further advances in the ways that we collect information and work within the oceans.
With nearly 500 exhibitors from dozens of countries around the world, Oceanology International gives PMI a unique opportunity to meet with companies and discover their innovative solutions to today’s marine technology challenges. It also provides a great opportunity to share about our innovative subsea cable technologies and to create new partnerships and collaborations.
PMI is positioned well within this field given the application of various cable solutions such as our no tool or prep required cable strain relief systems (BSRs), synthetic cable terminations, and 3rd party cable testing capabilities which provide much needed services to the a wide range of markets who are associated with ocean work. Our custom cable subsea systems and deep subsea cable expertise explain why companies around the world count on PMI. When you’ve got a lot of ocean in front of you, you need PMI behind you.
See you back in London for Oceanology International 2020!
PMI certainly enjoyed the always educational environment at Subsea Expo 2018 in Aberdeen! It was a pleasure to meet with so many energetic and skilled specialists working within the industry.
The innovative solutions our industry develops continue to amaze and inspire us within the promising direction of the offshore energy market.
From the Awards Dinner, State of Sector/Industry Overview Keynote Session presented by Subsea UK Chief Executive Neil Gordon, to the breakout sessions, panel talks, and networking events, Subsea 2018 was surely an event not to be soon forgotten.
Breeding Ground for Innovation
The conference offers a unique environment attended by Subsea operators, supply chain engineers, CEOs, sales marketers, developers, IRM companies, cable suppliers, and more. The expo is a breeding ground for innovative solutions and partnerships to further evolve today’s subsea industry.
Through our many conversations with game-changers in the industry, a few common themes emerged that we wanted to share with you as our conference takeaways.
New Cable-free ROV Solutions
Much of the current market buzz seems to revolve around the possibilities surrounding AUV & ROVs. The implementation of remote subsea junction charging boxes for AUVs would eliminate the costly need for traditional subsea cables. Instead, the vehicle would plug into a charging station on the sea floor. This opens up a multitude of new opportunities surrounding sea floor connections, potential cost benefits, and the need for specialized remote subsea junction box cables.
Mentoring Future Leaders
In addition, reiterated throughout the event was a strong emphasis of the need to educate and train the next generation of subsea market leaders for an exciting, yet challenging industry.
This was also evident throughout the exhibit hall with opportunities for pupils to experience various facets of the subsea industry, from operating machinery with virtual reality, to Subsea UK and OPITO’s “Energise Your Future” campaign.
It was not uncommon to run into multiple local high school pupils attending the expo and looking to absorb all the knowledge and information they could.
While these young, future leaders may currently not hold the answers for commonly shared frustrations around market conditions, lead times, costs, and CAPEX restrictions, it was a friendly reminder that within years, a fresh pair of eyes may be able to revolutionize the markets we’ve all taken part in growing to the high level which it is at today.
It’s impossible to separate underwater engineering from the research emerging from major universities. Indeed, this engineering discipline is proving central to the evolution of offshore wind power in the United States.
That’s especially true at three Ohio universities, where researchers are building a scientific and engineering foundation for the development of offshore wind in the Great Lakes region. Since PMI is based in Cleveland not far from the shores of Lake Erie, we have interest in the success of our local researchers.
These scientists join a host of researchers around the country exploring the potential of offshore wind. Scientists and engineers also have explored the phenomenon of stranded energy in Alaska and weighed the potential of offshore wind along Florida’s thousand-mile coastline. (Stop by ScienceDaily.com and search on the phrase “offshore wind”—you’ll find a bevy of fascinating projects).
A quick review of these studies paints an impressive picture of the potential of underwater engineering to address the challenges of developing offshore wind farms.
Offshore in the Great Lakes
Case Western Reserve University, University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University have tested potential wind turbine designs and modeled wildlife travels around installed wind turbines. And, a local company has won a $40 million grant to develop an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie about eight miles north of Cleveland. These two projects offer a window on the development of offshore wind in the U.S.
- The Icebreaker Project. Lake Erie Energy Develop Corp. (LEEDCo) is spearheading the development of a six-turbine wind farm whose construction could start as early as 2018. It’s called Icebreaker because ice is a serious winter hazard on Lake Erie—to survive, a wind farm must be able to fend off massive ice floes. But the project’s importance goes far beyond underwater engineering. It’s also a pilot project for tapping the massive resources of the U.S. industrial heartland—potentially creating a center for offshore wind manufacturing for the whole country.
- Coastal Ohio Wind Project. This study united scientists from University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University to figure out whether offshore wind turbines in northern Ohio work better with two blades or three (two is a smarter choice, they concluded). They also studied migratory patterns of local bird species to assess the potential environmental risks of offshore wind on Lake Erie.
Stranded Energy in Alaska
Alaska’s energy potential stretches far beyond its oil and gas reserves. The state also has ample tidal, wind, and geothermal energy resources, but there’s a fundamental challenge: They’re all stranded—either too far from the nearest population center or simply too difficult to develop economically.
A report from the Alaska Center for Energy and Power at University of Alaska-Fairbanks explores the challenges of stranded energy in Alaska. Areas with abundant wind, for instance, have few people to use it. The report raises another fascinating (if remote) possibility—moving energy-intensive industrial processes like metals smelting to sections of Alaska that have enough cheap renewable energy to make such a move economically feasible.
Offshore wind in the Sunshine State?
Florida has abundant coastline and coastal breezes, but how ready is it for offshore energy development?
“Florida’s wide continental shelves and 1,197 miles of coastline present ample opportunities for siting wind farms outside of coastal view sheds,” concludes a report from the University of Florida-Gainesville. The report notes that offshore wind in Florida could conceivably produce thousands of megawatts of power, though it recommends further research to derive more authoritative energy estimates.
“A systematic and thorough evaluation of Florida’s wind resource is critical to identify the best opportunities for investing in the state’s offshore wind energy resources,” the report concludes.
Recently, the Northwestern National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) received a $40 million award from the United States Department of Energy to develop a tidal energy testing facilities along the Pacific coast. This project, the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC), interacts with campuses across the coast, including:
- The University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Washington
- Oregon State University
These different facilities are testing everything from wave flume to river energy converters. Over time, more testing facilities might be added to further build the PMEC portfolio and realize the goal of renewable wave technology.
Research will guide us forward
It’s refreshing to see that researchers are undaunted by the considerable economic, ecological, and logistical challenges of developing offshore wind in the U.S.
At PMI, we’d certainly like to see the Great Lakes become a center of offshore wind technology, industry, and development. Our region has the wind, the skill and the industrial base to take offshore renewable energy as far as it can go.
And suffice to say if it can happen in the middle of the continent, it certainly can happen along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts.
We’ve gone in depth before on how cable terminations are used , now we’re going to explain what sets our terminations apart from the competition.
Many current terminations require an epoxy/polish method of installation. There are many disadvantages to using epoxy. If you’re using heat-cured epoxy, it takes a ½ to cure, but you need an oven to cure it. Room temperature epoxy doesn’t need a special oven, but the cure time can be 2-3 hours or more. When researchers are spending days or weeks out on the ocean gathering information, time is of the essence.
Other terminations on the market don’t use epoxy, but require specialized equipment to install or require extensive cable preparation before installation. In addition, many epoxy-less terminations have a higher connector cost.
PMI provides quality epoxy-less terminations for your ROV needs. Here are 5 that the EVERGRIP Helical Gripping Termination is your ideal solution:
- Faster Installation
The EVERGRIP termination is field installable and easily applied – usually in 30 minutes or less.
- No Special Tools Needed
Our product requires no additional tools or cable preparation to install
- Less Down Time
With the EVERGRIP, there is no need to wait for a termination/retermination to cure.
- Strain Relief for Cables
The special helical rod design relieves strain from the cable. We also have BSR solutions for additional strain relief to prolong cable integrity.
The housing of EVERGRIP can be used – a Retermination Kit comes at a much lower cost than purchasing a new termination
As new challenges are placed on the ROV industry, PMI continues to provide new solutions to meet those challenges. Whether it’s greater strain capabilities, faster installation or higher cost savings, PMI has the capability to develop and supply the highest quality and reliability solutions.
To read more advice on choosing the best subsea terminations for your project, download our checklist:
7 Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Subsea Terminations
As the energy market continues to turn away from oil and gas and towards renewable energy, many companies that specialize in deep ocean engineering, like PMI, are following suit. One company that has made great efforts to shift from oil and gas into the renewable energy field are the Norwegian subsea specialists Ocean Installer. The company’s advanced vessel, the Normand Vision, was used for work on subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) for major companies in the oil industry. Realizing that their subsea construction support equipment could also be used to work on the underwater cables that connect offshore wind platforms with the power grid, the Normand Vision began working with wind farms, including Germany’s Gode Wind 1 farm. Ocean Installer is not the only subsea construction company to jump on the renewable energy bandwagon. Singapore’s EMAS has also begun adding wind energy projects to their portfolio.
PMI shares the vision of these companies as our energy markets focus on new horizons and is excited to work with customers to solve their cable issues with budget friendly and top quality underwater cable hardware that will maintain cable integrity in every kind of underwater environment.
Read more about Ocean Installer and the Normand Vision.
To find out more about our custom ocean engineered cable hardware equipment, schedule an appointment to talk to our experts today.
Equipping ROVs is a growing industry for us, so it’s exciting to read about America’s very first Bachelor of Science in Maritime Technology program, offered by Northwestern Michigan College, and their special Falcon ROV. The Falcon is the most widely used ROV in the industry and students are most likely to come across in their working life.
We’re thrilled to learn that this program is basically in our backyard, in Lake Michigan, and that it allows students to fit and study an array of sophisticated equipment.
The aim of the BSc program is for students to become proficient in applied technology for the marine industry onshore and offshore.
Their studies cover the calibration, deployment, operation, maintenance and management of marine technology assets, including data collection, processing and mapping. Read more…
As we find our products being used more and more for shipwreck explorations, we were really excited to read about this one nearly in our backyard in Lake Michigan and learning that there are many more to discover.
The bottom of Lake Michigan is literally a graveyard of shipwrecks. Local maritime historians say 1,200 of the 2,000 sunken vessels in Lake Michigan no longer exist because they hit shore and broke apart.
Experts add that about 360 wrecks have been found in the lake’s deeper water, but there are still many wrecks out there that remain undiscovered. Read more…
Subsea equipment (umbilicals, risers, flowlines) and pipelines are generally one third of all expenditure of a total project. Equipment purchases add up quickly and in order to save costs, companies will be looking for hardware with proven results – hardware that increases efficiency and quickly realizes a significant return on investment.
Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre recently stated that over the last ten years, the cost of subsea developments has increased by 250 percent. According to analysts Douglas-Westwood, subsea spending will continue to rise, and there are projects and locations to watch out for. Read more…
PMI is always searching for new territories for our underwater cable hardware systems. We strive to make waves in the subsea industry, and seek out projects – like the one below – that set the bar to explore uncharted waters.
After months of planning, mobilization and trials, the Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy (FORCE) has successfully installed a data cable designed to connect to a recoverable underwater research platform – the first subsea cable ever installed in the Minas Passage. Read more…
Geraint West, Director of National Marine Facilities at the National Oceanography Centre, is correct when he says: “The ocean is a dynamic, rapidly changing environment that is a challenge for scientists…”
Engineering subsea cable equipment to withstand this challenging environment for marine innovators, like these hopeful grant recipients, is what PMI does best.
Recently, a competition to improve ocean research methods has awarded £250,000 to innovators looking to develop robot technology.
Five proposals have each been awarded £50,000 to develop an integrated system for the National Oceanography Centre that will coordinate a suite of autonomous systems, such as a fleet of gliders, to gather data over a period of months at sea. Read more…