Offshore wind and solar energy have been getting all the attention in the quickly growing renewable energy industry, but there’s another player that is beginning to grow strength in the energy market – ocean waves and tidal currents, or “marine energy”. There are vast amounts of energy that are produced within the moving waters of oceans and rivers, and companies working to harness this energy are quickly gaining speed.
While not nearly as large as the main competitors in renewables, marine energy has strong advocates and is quickly gaining steam in the renewable market. About 30 tidal and 45 wave energy companies are at an advanced stage of technological development. One of the biggest issues these companies are facing that has impeded forward movement in the market is the harsh ocean environments – the same thing that makes the industry work in the first place.
The intensity of sea waves is greatly unpredictable and can cause damage throughout the process. Installation of the equipment is often difficult – the areas that are best suited to harness wave and tidal energy are often very hazardous and can be difficult to navigate. As we mentioned in our article on subsea cable vulnerability, subsea cables and hardware have to withstand 14.5 psi per every 10.05 meters they are lowered into the ocean. That coupled with the harsh environment that marine energy succeeds in, makes for a harsh environment for equipment.
PMI has many years of experience engineering proven subsea hardware for companies around the globe. We are excited to be part of the quickly growing marine energy market and are ready to create custom and quality solutions that will withstand harsh and hazardous environments.
Read more about the potential of wave and tidal energy.
The outcome of your project will rely on the quality of your subsea terminations. Make sure to download our guide – 7 Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Subsea Terminations – for a through breakdown of what you should be looking for in your subsea terminations.
We’re excited for the coming year, and to share the enthusiasm and high expectations among industry leaders for steady growth in 2016. RenewableUK, a trade association for wind and marine energy, predicts a busy year ahead for the wind industry. We couldn’t agree more, with over 50 onshore wind projects, and an additional six offshore projects, scheduled to become fully operational in 2016 in the UK alone! That’s more than three times the capacity installed in the UK during 2015. And construction on another five offshore wind projects will begin there during 2016.
These projects will surely bring billions of pounds of investment to British companies across the supply chain and will support nearly 35,000 jobs.
As the wind industry grows, so do the risks. With rapid growth, the need for dependable offshore engineering solutions is imperative. Why? Because one small setback, like damaging a cable during installation, could put an entire wind farm out of service for months and lead to damage to turbine equipment, too. A study done by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on Offshore Electrical Cable Burial for Wind Farms estimates that 70% of insurance claims for offshore wind farms come from some kind of damage or breakage to the subsea cables.
And a subsea cable isn’t a quick fix either. A typical subsea cable repair equals several days for the ship to reach fault position. It’s 3-5 days once the ship is on site, and even longer if bad weather is involved.
PMI has years of experience in the offshore industries and continues to develop innovative hardware solutions for subsea cables.
To find out more about our subsea cable hardware equipment, schedule an appointment to talk to our experts today.
As the world’s energy sources quickly shift towards renewables, wind farms are becoming a leading source of sustainable power. With many of these wind farms being located miles off shore, engineers depend on subsea cables to move power to and from the farms. When dealing with miles of cables, length, wear and tear, and improper usage all propose challenges. Those reasons, coupled with the sheer pressure from the vast amounts of water, many things are bound to go wrong during the offshore engineering process of wind farms.
The facts about subsea cables:
- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, subsea cables have to withstand 14.5 psi per every 10.05 meters into the ocean they are lowered.
- Subsea cables are susceptible to accidental breakage by natural disasters, anchor damage, soil/erosion related damage, and damage from installation. Such mishaps snap cables about 100 times a year.
- There are no agreed upon international or national standards for installing subsea cables.
Why does do all these issues matter? Subsea cable damage can put an entire wind farm out of service for months and can lead to damage to turbine equipment. A study done by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement on Offshore Electrical Cable Burial for Wind Farms estimates that 70% of insurance claims for offshore wind farms come from some kind of damage or breakage to the subsea cables.
As the industry grows, so do the risks associated with these wind farms failing. Europe and Asia lead in wind energy production globally – Denmark itself uses wind power for almost 40% of Danish domestic electricity. The United States continues to grow in the market as well, with the U.S. Department of Energy reporting that by 2030, wind power could supply 20% of all U.S. electricity. This rapid growth emphasizes the need for more dependable offshore engineering solutions.
PMI has years of experience in the offshore industries and continues to develop innovative hardware solutions for subsea cables. Let us help you tackle your offshore project needs.
Read more about studies done by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement regarding Offshore Electrical Cable Burial for Wind Farms.
While it appears as thought the U.S. is falling far behind Europe in the Offshore Wind and Wave Energy department, you really need to understand the lay of the land – literally.
The U.S. coastline, with a relatively small continental shelf, is not quite as amenable as Europe’s North Sea for offshore wave and wind. Conventional offshore wind turbines are limited to a depth of around 50 meters. In these depths, foundations are typically open truss frame structures that are anchored to the seabed. They are expensive to build and aimed at supporting extremely large turbines. The larger the turbine, the more energy it produces, keeping the overall cost per kilowatt-hour down.
But as the water depth increases, foundation costs increases. So along the U.S. coast, floating structures similar to the ones deep-water oil and gas industry use are nearly the only option.
The U.S. would benefit from not only looking at floating offshore wind but also wave energy, both of which are economically equal in extracting energy from the marine environment.
But what is most important is that these types of projects get in the water soon, generate interest and start working towards lowering costs. We need to work to achieve lower costs through simplicity, reliability and economies of scale.
Today it appears that we are likely only to employ only a tiny fraction of this available resource and offset the needs within the U.S. The problem we truly face is not obtaining the resource; it is the practical deployment and the economical conversion of it into electricity.
We need to look at the most viable methods of capture it at the lowest cost.
Our years of experience in the offshore oil and gas industry will benefit offshore renewable energy companies that are navigating along the U.S. shoreline.
Want to know more? Read Ocean/Tidal/Stream Power: Wave Power’s Path to Commercial Acceptance – A Comparison with Deepwater Wind by Timothy R. Mundon.
For decades, PMI has been extremely focused on building the best products that withstand the extreme environments of the deep ocean. But as we’ve come to work with Offshore Wind and Renewable Energy companies, we understand our product doesn’t have to be used in the deepest and harshest place on our planet, the sea. Instead, rivers in rural areas are a huge focus of the renewable energy field today. And these companies are offering solutions that serve a large portion of the population, who still have no access to electricity.
We see a great future in the power coursing through our rivers. And, of course, we will be providing cable equipment for these projects as they evolve. If you want to know more about our custom engineered cable hardware equipment, schedule to talk to our experts today.
India is facing an energy revolution. Despite broad grid coverage, electricity supply in remote areas remains unreliable. For the future, the government is setting a favorable political scenario by introducing solutions for decentralized electrification based on renewable energies, such as photovoltaic (PV), small wind, and explicitly kinetic hydropower.
Companies such as Smart Hydro Power have the advantage of realizing its systems in rural areas, without the requirement for any kind of infrastructure, suitable for running canals, rivers and streams, which inhabit a large portion of India’s typography. At the distribution part of this system, integrated load management introduces an auxiliary productive load – a water purification plant – that utilizes all excess energy and stabilizes the micro grid with variable operation. Through this feature, additional value is brought to the lifestyle of people residing in these communities. Read more…
The main ambition behind the development of the Smart Hydro Power turbine was cost efficiency. Selected materials had to be robust and yet affordable which resulted in a majority of HDPE, aluminum and stainless steel components. The turbine consists of a three bladed rotor, a 5 kW generator, the floating body consisting of a three piece diffusor and two floats.
Watch how it works here: http://www.smart-hydro.de/en/product/turbine.html
The Dutch Government will soon be inviting offshore wind power companies to bid on building two wind farms off the Dutch coast.
Companies bidding the lowest price will be awarded a 30-year permit to build and operate the relevant wind farm.
So it’s not a surprise to tell you that everyone will be extremely focused on cost control measures.
From our experience, it will be important for those involved to understand how proven subsea cable equipment can reduce the overall cost over time. And throwing the cheapest solution out to grab a bid could be a very costly problem in the future.
While our high-end, custom engineered subsea cable hardware may not be the cheapest on the market, our engineering team understands there are other ways to save costs. Our experience led us to create “No Tools Required” custom cable systems, and our in-depth hydrodynamic efficiency studies are helping other companies innovate new systems on existing subsea cable devices and analyze cost saving opportunities.
According to the Government, critical to the overall plan for The Netherlands is that the energy produced from renewable sources is cost-competitive. In meeting its future energy demand, the country aims to keep costs under control.
For most wind projects, the pre-construction and even pre-bid costs are high for individual companies. Costs must be made for site investigations, for environmental impact assessments, and so on. This increases risks for bidders, and by consequence the overall costs for offshore wind development. To address this, the Dutch government has now decided to take over the responsibility for many of these pre-development issues. Read more…
You may not have noticed, but offshore wind is taking our world by storm.
Since offshore wind turbines are transported by ships and barges, they easily reduce logistical challenges that land-based turbines encounter, such as narrow roadways or tunnels. This allows offshore wind developers to build larger turbines capable of producing more electricity.
But what’s really exciting is that offshore wind turbines can float. Several U.S. companies are developing innovative floating offshore wind platforms for use in deep waters. These floating platforms are placed in water depths where bottom-mounted towers are not feasible. Their structures are tethered to the seabed with cables.
And where there are cables, there is cable hardware.
We’ve been creating subsea cable hardware for years. Today our products, which offer protection against cable bending and abrasion, are being adapted for the renewable energy field.
This need for subsea cable hardware will be on the rise right along with the demand of
clean, renewable energy to fulfill the electrical needs of cities along U.S. coastlines. And being located near the east coast, where many of the first offshore wind farms will be developed, means we are a close resource for the industry.
Read more about our thoughts on wind energy.
Here are all top 10 things you didn’t know about offshore wind energy.
Our location near the Great Lakes has many advantages. One of them is being a close resource for our east coast clients. The other is getting the chance to witness some fabulous things happening in our territory.
LEEDCo has kicked off geotechnical studies in connection with its proposed 18MW Icebreaker offshore wind demonstration project in the U.S. Great Lakes.
The company is investigating lakefloor soils including sampling at six different turbine locations, building on geotechnical work carried out in 2013.
Read about another Great Lakes project here.
Read more about LEEDCo’s project here.
There is no shortage of new technologies and ideas in the wave and tidal energy business. New floating tidal platforms in the Netherlands are already feeding electricity to the Dutch grid almost upon deployment. The results are amazing and not yet seen in the tidal industry until now,
Their recipe for success is one we share – minimize the impact of equipment costs and grow with minimized risk. That’s exactly how we work customers to find a solution within budget and create top-quality cable hardware maintaining cable integrity in extreme underwater environments.
In a recent interview with Tidal Energy Today, Allard van Hoeken, Head of New Energy at Bluewater Energy Services, echoed our beliefs.
“Learn with low costs, grow with minimized risk, and keep offshore access easy in the early phase.” This recipe for success in tidal energy industry was shared with [Tidal Energy Today] by the Head of New Energy at Bluewater Energy Services, Mr. Allard van Hoeken.
Read the interview with Allard van Hoeken here.
Submarine power cables are going to be critical to bring renewable energy on shore as this industry grows. And this industry is going to grow fast as many non-utility purchasers, such as IKEA, Facebook and Google, are jumping on the bandwagon and beginning to invest in wind power.
It’s imperative that these growing energy companies use products that assure the ease of installation, provide a long service life, reduce lead-time and survive in harsh environments. Choosing the right subsea hardware ultimately can make the difference between early failure and long-term survivability.
Read more about our thoughts on off shore wind.
Want to know more about market growth for wind energy as leading U.S. brands lock in low prices? Read this great article.