Aberdeen-based Hydro Group Plc launches new product, set to be a technological lead in the offshore renewable energy systems market.

The group, a global design and manufacturer of underwater cables and connectors for subsea, underwater, topside and onshore applications, invested £300,000 into research and development in 2012. It has now confirmed its position as market leaders in the marine renewable energies sector with the development of the 36kV Dry Mate Hydro Bond Renewable Connector (HRC).

Doug Whyte, Hydro Group managing director, said: “The new connector is a significant advance on our previous product, the HRC 12 kV, with an impressive reduction in installation time from 24 hours to less than 12 hours, and its ability to carry three times more power.”

The reduced installation time means the 36kV Dry Mate HRC is a lower risk, more cost effective and safer option, due to the reduction in offshore-man hours. The connector has a 25 year operational lifespan and the ability to work at water depths of 100m and temperatures of minus four to over 25 degrees Celsius.

“The advancement of systems in the offshore renewable sector is at an incredibly progressive and evolving phase. There are however currently no standard interconnect products defined within this market. Being first to develop any innovative product is always challenging, but the team at Hydro Group have taken advantage of this gap in the market, and established a forefront position in this area - providing extremely rewarding results,” commented Mr Whyte.

The success of Hydro Group’s existing HRC product line means the new connector is being considered for a number of projects currently under development.These all involve submerged interconnection with varying detail regarding systems architecture, but a common need for underwater interconnection with the ability to carry increasingly higher levels of power.

Mr Whyte continued: “As the new 36kV Dry Mate HRC greatly reduces installation time, we anticipate project lead times will be reduced and a number of jobs will be running in parallel. This means it is important that we as a company take a pro-active approach to creating a sufficient portfolio of products, ready for production, to support these projects successful connection to the supply grid.”

The group plans to continue its strong level of investment into the development of HV connection infrastructure in order to enhance connection technology for subsea connection of offshore energy networks. This continued progression aims to help contribute to Hydro Group maintaining a leading position as a supplier of appropriate technology for the emergent applications.

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