First Subsea to Introduce New Hang Off Connector for Offshore Wind Turbines
Connector specialist First Subsea will introduce a revolutionary cable connector for offshore wind turbines at Windforce 2014 in Bremen (17-19 June).
The Hang Off Connector reduces the time, cost and risk associated with offshore cable installation. Unlike traditional hang off devices, the First Subsea Connector provides an instant airtight structural connection to the lower deck, significantly reducing cable installation and termination times.
With the offshore wind industry under pressure to reduce the CAPEX investment needed to deploy offshore wind, the cost of installing foundations, turbines, and subsea cables is under scrutiny. First Subsea has developed a cable connector that enables a leaner installation of array cables, either when installed through a J-tubeless monopile entry point, or a traditional J Tube. It provides a quick and instantaneous structural connection to the monopile’s internal hang-off deck.
By the industry’s own estimates pre-termination of power cables will cut installation times by 36 hours per cable, with an equivalent cost saving of just under 100,000 Euro per turbine. Pre-stripped cables will contribute significantly to this figure by reducing the time needed to install the cable to just a couple of hours.
First Subsea’s hang off connector is assembled onto a factory pre-stripped cable; this can be done either onshore or offshore. The cores are cut to length, protected, and prepared for installation and connection to the distribution board, effectively removing this element of cable preparation from the offshore critical path. Fewer people are now needed to work on the monopile, stripping the cable and assembling the traditional connector. It also significantly reduces the number of crew transferred from one vessel to another and from vessel to monopile. In turn, eliminating a number of offshore operations and the health and safety risk associated with them.
In the event of damage to the cable, or perhaps a cable failure, First Subsea connector can be readily disengaged and the cable recovered, whilst leaving the cable protection system in place.
“The Hang-Off connector marks a step-change in the ease, speed and safety with which cable is connected to the monopile,” says Greg Campbell-Smith, sales and business development manager, First Subsea Ltd. “Shorter installation times reduce the weather window needed for cable installation allowing greater optimisation of expensive offshore vessels and resources.”