USA: Makai Ocean Engineering Releases Subsea Cable Control Software

USA: Makai Ocean Engineering Releases Subsea Cable Control Software

Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. has released MakaiLay Power, an extension of its successful cable installation software, MakaiLay, which is a PC-based, real-time cable modeling program used by over 75% of the cable installation ships in the world.

Subsea power cables are considerably heavier and stiffer than fiber optic cables, so MakaiLay Power has been adapted from the telecom & array cable control software, and is specifically designed to address the unique challenges faced by the subsea power cable industry to accurately install and retrieve power cables in mid- and deep waters.

The most common and costly problems that power cable installers face involve installing the cable on the seabed with tensions that are too high, or with slack (zero tension). Installing a cable with tension that is too high can result in cable suspensions between outcrops on the seafloor, leading to large point forces at the cable contact points, and exposing the cable to increased current and wave loads that vibrate the cable, causing fatigue and abrasion at the heavily loaded contact points. Suspensions can substantially shorten the life of the cable.

Installing a cable with zero tension may result in a small bend radius at the touchdown point, potentially kinking and damaging the cable. In addition, laying the cable with slack will result in longer cable lengths for a given route, which increases the cable and project costs.

MakaiLay Power allows operators to accurately model the cable shape and bottom tension and touchdown location as it is installed on the seafloor, reducing the risk of damage. This software is particularly useful in mid- and deep waters and for bathymetry with steep slopes where it is impossible to accurately control bottom tension using measured top conditions like top tension and top cable angle. With an accurate picture of the cable conditions below the sea surface, operators can significantly reduce the time, labor & cable material cost, and risk involved in subsea power cable installation, while extending the life of the cable asset.

The software includes an in-office planning, simulating and training mode, as well as a real-time, at-sea mode for controlling cable deployment during installation.

Press Release, December 18, 2012