The ongoing development of a 66 kV wet mate connector will close a technology gap and enable cost-efficient power distribution with subsea substations for 15 MW floating offshore wind turbines. The 66 kV operating voltage is a significant leap for wet mate connectors and beyond existing industry standards. The wet mate must be able to interface modules and cables that are not yet fully defined or qualified.
Under the Green Platform initiative, Benestad Solutions develops a 66 kV Wet Mate Connection System in collaboration with Aker Solutions, ABB, Equinor, SINTEF, and Mainstream Renewable Energy. When the system is qualified and ready for market by the end of 2024, it will enable subsea power distribution in any field layout and it will be compatible with any commercially available cable.
During development the size and weight have been minimized, while ensuring sufficient robustness and reliability in harsh conditions. The wet mate connector features a two-stage mating where the mechanical and the electrical mating is performed in sequence. This two-stage mating ensures environmental protection of the internal conductive components at all times. The mechanical interface of the wet mate enables a significant capture range that reduces the requirements and the cost of the stroke-in connection system.
Benestad’s wet mate system is designed with modular interfaces providing a highly configurable cost-efficient solution. Modularity is also an essential a key enabler to reduce the lead time during manufacturing as the individual components of the wet mate and power string can be produced and verified separately.