New Wave Media

January 12, 2015

Software Aids Subsea Power Cable Installation

Photo: Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.

Photo: Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. recently modified the popular telecom cable lay software, MakaiLay, to address specific issues experienced by the subsea power cable industry.
The result of this effort was MakaiLay Power, a real-time software tool for controlling power cable deployment at-sea. This software was recently purchased and used by the OUOCI Consortium to install a subsea power cable in Venezuela for the Chacopata-Margarita Submarine Cable Interconnection Project. 
The OUOCI Consortium, which stands for Oceanus Co., Ltd. (OU) and Ocean C&I (OCI), used the cable ship CS Creator (IMO No.9630846) for the lay. The cable installation involved two separate 230kV XLPE (polyethylene-insulated) power cable lines from and was completed by OUOCI Consortium successfully in November, 2014, with the following highlights:
  • Length: ~31km x 2 lines
  • Depth: approximately 30m
  • Placement accuracy : within 1m from the planned RPL
  • No cable suspensions
  • On time: Installation completed 3 days earlier than planned
  • Bottom tension maintained: below 0.2 ton
According to the developer, MakaiLay Power enables operators to accurately model the cable shape, bottom tension and touchdown location as it is installed on the seafloor, reducing the risk of damage to the cable. This software can greatly enhance the speed, safety, and accuracy of a power cable lay in any water depth. In the transition from shallow-water to mid- and deep-water, and for bathymetry with steep slopes, it becomes difficult to accurately control the cable’s tension and bend radius at the seafloor, unaided. In these situations, MakaiLay Power’s cable payout and navigation instructions become critical. With the accurate picture of subsea cable conditions provided by MakaiLay Power, operators can control cable bottom placement and tension accuracy, which significantly reduces the time, labor, cost and risk involved in subsea power cable installation. The MakaiLay suite includes a route planning tool, a simulating/training tool, as well as the real-time, at-sea tool for controlling cable deployment.
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