The SEMC project (Subsea Electrical & Mooring Connection) will assess the feasibility of a submarine connector, composed of a watertight device capable of housing the electrical terminals necessary to carry out an electrical connection (including, optionally, optical fibres) between an underwater electrical cable and a floating structure, e.g. a WEC, and furthermore having the function of mooring the device to the seabed through the mooring line(s).
The connector is capable of withstanding the typical loads of a WEC mooring system. It is based on a double clamp hang-off and cover system that will avoid the electrical terminals, harboured inside the connector, coming into contact with the marine environment at any time. Consequently, these terminals will be those usually used in the terrestrial industry, and thus lower cost than the marinised connectors which might normally be employed in this application.
This proposed project presents a series of innovations around the connection/disconnection system, such as a lower requirement for specialized mooring installation vessel and personnel, and shorter time requirements for the whole installation operation. Consequently, shorter weather windows are needed, resulting in lower costs and a more viable O&M strategy.