Subsea wet-mate connectors could be very beneficial for floating offshore wind farms. They enable a ’plug and play’ philosophy, reducing the turbine and cable installation effort and risk. Also they allow the turbines to be more easily removed for maintenance, as well as less costly replacement of damaged cables.
Wet-mate fiber optic connectors have been used in subsea oil and gas industry for around 10 years. This paper discusses how to transition that technology into the specific requirements of FOSW.
Methods for upscaling the quantity of fibers per connector are explored through a review of existing technology and how new FO ferrule technology can be implemented.
The environmental impact of the product is discussed through a review of a product life-cycle assessment, and methods to reduce the product-embodied CO2 are discussed.
Also, how costs can be reduced by developing FOSW-specific products is explored.
With the topics discussed in this paper, it can be seen how application-specific wet-mate connectors can contribute to the technical, economic, and environmental viability of FOSW.