Drymate connector aids wave and tidal development

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

23 February 2017

European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) provides the hard infrastructure necessary to test wave and tidal energy prototypes at sea. The electricity produced at EMEC’s test sites is fed into an onshore substation through subsea cables, and is then connected into the national power grid.

Connected to the subsea end of EMEC’s cable, Cohort Company Systems Engineering & Assessment (SEA)'s Drymate Connector provides pressure balanced make and break connectivity. This enables rapid connection, proven in operation at the EMEC test site.

The connector also includes termination using a Partial Discharge (PD) free, testable stop-end solution allowing full energisation and testing of the terminated cable. This enables the cable to be terminated when it is first laid and left on the seabed until it is needed. It can then be raised and reconnected as required, for example when it is to be connected to a prototype device, or if a cable is damaged.

This overcomes the issue of isolating a cable out of the water for up to 48 hours, while sealants harden, before it can be put back into the sea.

EMEC Managing Director Neil Kermode explains: “Operations at sea can be very complex. While a connection takes place, vessels must not move more than a few metres off station or the cable could get damaged, so the quicker we can get the job done the better. We’ve seen SEA’s connector installed and running in just 24 hours, using the vessel’s time on station very effectively.

SEA Subsea Engineering Director Matt Blair adds: “SEA is delighted to be supporting EMEC again at the Renewable UK Wave & Tidal exhibition this year and to support the cutting edge of renewable energy solutions that is wave and tidal.”