The power transfer capability of high voltage subsea cable systems is limited by thermal considerations, as excessive core temperatures can lead to premature cable failure. Heat generated by the cables must be effectively dissipated away to the ambient environment to prevent potentially damaging elevated temperatures and lower the risks of an expensive asset failure. As interconnector power ratings increase, the importance of understanding the subsea thermal environment also grows, yet direct real time cable temperature measurements are often impossible.
This project will develop models for the evolving thermal environment experienced by buried transmission cables installed in a range of realistic seafloor substrates. We will identify environments of greatest thermal risk and seek to improve cable installation procedures as a result. Benefits will be realised worldwide by enabling better planning and operational management of the subsea interconnectors that will prove vital in realising the MegaGrid.