The 24-month SEASNAKE project will address ocean energy affordability, survivability, reliability and installation of Medium Voltage cable systems.
An ocean energy array of 100 MW is likely to have several hundreds of units in operation. Collecting the electricity produced in hubs and substations requires a huge amount of array cables and subsequently on higher voltage levels export cables. This is necessary to ensure that as little energy as possible is lost during transmission over long distances to feed green energy to the grid.
All the electricity converted by each unit will be transmitted to the hub/ substation via medium-voltage cables that are exposed to constant loads and risk and present a highly critical component. The effects of maintaining cables of over a hundred units in a single array will be a challenge both in terms of material cost and maintenance logistics, impacting the Levelized costs of energy (LCoE) severely. Marine growth has a direct impact on the loads that the cable and accessories are exposed to.
Chalmers will support the project with simulations
By introducing environmentally friendly coatings based on I-Tech’s biocide, the anti-fouling solution represents the second huge step-change in innovation provided by the SEASNAKE project. Chalmers will support the project with simulations of the dynamic behaviour of the cable.
“Chalmers will have the advantage to continue to develop and validate their numerical models and codes for cable mechanics simulations and structural integrity analyses of a variety of power cables” says Jonas Ringsberg, head of the division Marine Technology.
As all other industrial sectors, bringing down the LCoE in the ocean energy sector requires teamwork.
“Innovations and finding the mutual benefits and strengths is key to accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral, green, competitive and inclusive economy” says Johannes Hüffmeier, Project manager at RISE.
By bringing together a strong supply chain across Europe, the SEASNAKE project aims to reduce the weight of the cable by introducing a new type of armor, allowing the cable to move with a high frequency avoiding fatigue damages and remain functional over a long period of time. The cable will have a smaller diameter than a steel armoured cable, making it possible to save material. It will be lighter and more flexible and thereby easier to install, as well as having a long life even if connected to objects moving with the same frequency as waves on the sea.