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Novel wet-mate connectors for high voltage and power transmissions of ocean renewable energy systems

Date: November 07, 2013 at 10:16 GMT

Renewable energies currently constitute 16% of global electricity production and this proportion is projected to increase significantly by 2030. Ocean energy should play a role in this trend, with tidal-stream energy conversion systems reaching technical maturity. The transmission of the electrical power produced by these devices is a linchpin of the technology: suitable connectors are needed to transfer the energy produced in-situ. No off-the-shelf wet-mate connector perfectly meets the specifications of such applications, while dry-mate connectors require that the device be raised to the surface to carry out the connection. POWERMATE is an innovative concept in wet-mate connection that meets the electric and installation requirements of the systems described above. Its patented design consists of an underwater tool that is used to connect standard dry inserts in a removable oil chamber. Existing wet-mate connectors are expensive and, due to their sophisticated mechanisms, have high failure rates. POWERMATE consists of a recoverable tool that supersedes most functions. The connector itself is simple, economic and can be adapted to various applications. The tool can be used for numerous connections since it is recovered after each operation. 

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