We have previously discussed the various ways subsea cables can be damaged underwater (Link: https://pmiind.com/damage-to-subsea-cables-a-huge-risk-to-offshore-wind-farms/), but how are these cables fixed? The answer lies on a ship like the Pierre de Fermat, a ship specially designed for undersea cable repairs. Once the break location is identified, the ship launches a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to retrieve the cable and return it to the ship.
The repairing process of a cable isn’t the simplest process, as we’ve explained in our blog post “When it comes to subsea cable repair, time is of the essence”. As the cable is being repaired, cables and equipment are vulnerable to damage by other vessels and fishing gear. It’s a delicate feat that requires speed and precise navigation in some of the most extreme ocean environments. Because of this, subsea cable hardware should provide secure, fast assembly. Once the cable is repaired, the ROV returns to the sea floor and attaches the newly repaired piece of cable to the existing subsea cable network and uses high pressure water jets to bury the cable.
To read more about the fascinating process of repairing subsea cables, check out the article “This Giant Robot Fixes Undersea Broadband Cables“.
PMI’s proven, high quality subsea hardware is the ideal solution increase subsea cable performance, assist in cable reparation, and in ROV and ship attachments. Call us today to chat about how our solutions can help your subsea cable problems.
Below the surface of the earth’s crust, there is constant movement as tectonic plates slide past one another and bump into each other. These plates have rough edges that sometimes get stuck. When this happens, the rest of the plates keep moving, and when the edges finally unstick, it causes earthquakes. For centuries, scientists have been trying to study these plate shifts to better understand, and maybe predict when and where earthquakes will hit next. The dramatically deep trenches on the ocean floor where oceanic plates converge would be the ideal location to study these shifts, but due to the cost and difficulty of reaching these locations, scientists have only been able to catch quick glimpses of what’s going on under the surface.
The relatively recent advent of fiber optic cables have dramatically changed the way scientists study tectonic plates on the ocean floor. University of Washington oceanographer John Delaney was one of the first scientists to come up with the idea to attach a network of sensors to subsea cables that could transmit data instantly and continuously. His idea of an “underwater observatory” has recently come into fruition off the Northwest coast of the US and Canada. A constant stream of data from this observatory is now capturing events that scientists have previously only been able to examine after the fact, including the first recording of an eruption of an underwater volcano as it happened.
For more information about Delaney’s work on seismic testing with fiber-optic cables, watch this video: UW scientists capture underwater eruption with new fiber-optic array, set up HD web cam
PMI’s cable management and bending strain relief hardware is already integral in marine seismic data acquisition, as we’ve mentioned in our article “Cable Hardware Adds Productivity to PGS’ 3D Seismic Acquisition Vessels”. As seismic technology and marine exploration continues to evolve, PMI is ready to provide quality hardware to solve the next generation of issues. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to talk to our experts.
Any young, new industry will have growing pains, and the offshore wind farm industry is no different. Among other issues with offshore wind farms, one of the biggest problems to affect the industry are issues with subsea cables. Failures and issues during installation and maintenance of subsea cables have cost companies millions of dollars and have caused many delays in this new and quickly rising industry.
While much information on cable issues is closely guarded, there have been some high profile cases as well as some studies done regarding damage to offshore wind farms. One of these studies, conducted by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), partially delves into issues specific to subsea cables. Failure statistics have shown that third party mechanical damage to cables is three to five times more likely that the risk of internal cable failures. A few examples of third-party subsea cable damage include:
- Jackup “Jacked Up” On a Cable:
One issue is the risk of Jackups “Jacking Up” on a cable. A Jackup is a floating barge fitted with long support legs that can be raised or lowered to service oil and gas platforms or wind turbines. According to the study by the BSEE, there have been issues with cables getting caught in the jackup and being damaged in the equipment.
- Anchors Damage To Cable:
Another common issue is damage from third party anchors. Often times, anchors of laying vessels will tangle with the cable being laid and cause damage to the cable.
- Cable Kinked
Perhaps one of the most common issues with subsea cables is their tendency to kink or bend. It is very easy to get a kink into the line when preparing to install cables and unkinking is a major exercise requiring special skills.
In addition to these issues, other common problems to cable installation can include: damage to cable during installation, weather or soil-related damage, cable or joint failure, or sediment movement that can lead to cable exposure.
Subsea cables are complicated pieces of equipment and need to be handled with care and should only be used with only the best cable hardware to promote longevity and fortification. PMI is ready to equip your cables with the highest quality cable hardware.
For more information regarding subsea cable vulnerability, read our blog: Why the growing renewable energy market should be concerned about subsea cable vulnerability or call us today to schedule a meeting.
The shift towards sustainable and renewable energy sources has made a real change in the energy industry. As we previously reported on our blog, 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. However, as more wind turbines are being created, the more people are beginning to speak up about them being an eyesore. The solution? Offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farming has proven to be a successful solution, not just for eyesore issues, but for productivity. Outside of populated areas and buildings, wind blows more steadily over the water, thus creating more energy for consumption. Moreover, studies are being done to use wind farms to temper violent hurricanes and other large scale weather incidents that can cause devastation.
For more information, watch this great video on Why the Future of Wind Energy Lies Offshore
Despite all these solid moves in the right direction, offshore wind is still a new and growing industry. Carrying power to and from wind turbines miles out in the ocean requires proven subsea hardware and cables. PMI’s years of experience and knowledge of subsea conditions and high quality equipment is the solution to many problems that can develop in the harsh waters off shore. PMI is ready to help your company solve your subsea cable and engineering issues. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to talk to our experts.
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 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.
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.
PMI Industries, Inc.’s location will be extremely beneficial for clients along the east coast in the next few years. As New York is mandating 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, offshore wind and renewable companies will find themselves very busy along the eastern shoreline.
One innovative way for these industries to save cost while they begin ramping up their energy solutions is to find ways to reduce shipping costs on their subsea equipment needs. They can do this by working with companies, like PMI, who are situated nearby and have years of experience in offshore cable management.
Meet with a PMI Engineering Expert who will help you tackle your offshore project needs today.
“The Governor has already shown his vision for a successful low-carbon energy economy in New York thorough the state’s path-breaking Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, and ACORE applauds his continued leadership with the proposed mandate for 50 percent renewables by 2030,” said Dan Reicher, Interim President and CEO of ACORE and Executive Director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance at Stanford University. “With the adoption of this mandate, New York would join an elite group of states reaching for 50 percent clean, renewable power that cuts carbon emissions and grows the economy.”
Read more about New York’s Energy Mandate here.
Drawing energy from river currents represents a massive untapped source of electricity development. This is especially true in countries like Canada, where rivers and coastal waters provide an enormous range of development options that can provide growth and economic benefits.
Indeed, Canada is emerging as a leader in the global marine renewable energy industry, thanks to supportive government policies, shared infrastructure and strategic research initiatives. These facts provided the backdrop for last week’s Marine Renewables Canada 2015 Annual Conference, where PMI was among the vendors showcasing products and services in the fast-growing renewables market.
At PMI, we’re already reaching out to companies in the offshore-wind sector, and we’re seeing the potential of freshwater rivers to provide clean, renewable energy.
River energy initiatives provide a new twist on age-old technology: the water wheel. New ventures in this sector are exploring placing turbines — much like you’d see on a jet aircraft — deep in the waters of a river. Water turns the blades, generating kinetic energy that can be converted into electricity.
This creates the potential to fix the one major drawback of hydroelectric projects: massive dams that devastate the local environment. Rivers also can provide power around the clock, unlike solar panels.
Canadian businesses and researchers are unlocking the potential of marine renewable energy through innovations and new approaches to key challenges in the lifecycle of wave, tidal and river projects. Solving problems here definitely opens opportunities in the global market.
PMI is proud to be on the cutting edge of this opportunity, supplying contractors with our proven subsea hardware equipment for river energy exploration. At Marine Renewables Canada 2015, we gobbled up knowledge on topics including:
- Technical acceptability — an international effort to reduce technical risk
- Building scale — an international project pipeline
- Supplying the industry — device development
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.