Design of a special hyperbaric machine for the SuperGrid Institute

Jul 3, 2018 | Engineering

Special machine for hyperbaric tests up to 40 bar internal pressure to validate the submarine connection concepts for offshore high voltage electrical cable networks. In addition to its imposing size, this hyperbaric chamber has the distinctive ability to perform combined tests on submarine systems of high-voltage cables, including water pressure, dielectric stresses, and temperature cycles. The hyperbaric chamber will allow the integration of one or two input cables and one output cable to allow the creation of an electrical circuit.

In 2017 the SuperGrid Institute entrusted COMEX with the design, realization, and integration of this hyperbaric enclosure.

 

A few technical features of this special tool :

 

  •  Combined tests of cables and connectors up to 40 bar pressure and 60°C temperature
  •  Stainless-steel hyperbaric chamber equipped with a porthole and two lights
  •  Self contained handling system necessary to operate this 5 meter long / 10 tons equipment
  •  Innovative 50 bar pressure and watertight feedthroughs for large dimension cables
  •  Provision for various configurations of input and output cables, different in numbers and diameters

 

International standards such as IEC61886 are considered as the basis on which these tests will be carried out. However, many of the tests to be carried out by the SuperGrid Institute relate to new technologies. Therefore they will not correspond to any existing test standard. This innovative test chamber ensures that the electrical performance and the mechanical integrity of the design conform to the specifications of the product. Any water leak, any dielectric or mechanical degradation would lead to a non-compliant result.
In December 2017, the innovative concept of the cable-gland was successfully validated in the CE 1000 test chamber, one of COMEX Hyperbaric Test Center tools.

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The SuperGrid Institute for Energy Transition (ITE) is a platform for collaborative research in the field of low-carbon energy, bringing together the skills of industry and public research in a public-private co-investment logic and close collaboration between all the players in the sector.

The objective of the Institute is to develop technologies for SuperGrid, namely the future networks transporting electrical energy, using direct and alternating current at high voltages (in the order of a million volts). These networks are designed for the large-scale routing of energy produced from renewable sources remote from the centers of consumption, including a significant part located in the ocean (offshore), and which will allow, together with the means of flexible storage, to manage the intermittent nature of renewable energies and to ensure the stability and security of the network.

 

Website : http://www.supergrid-institute.com/

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