SEACON » Summer 2011

Summer 2011

Newsletter Summer 2011


The SEA CON® Group has exhibited at a number of events so far this year.  These include Underwater Intervention in New Orleans, LA, Subsea Tieback in San Antonio, TX and the Australian Oil & Gas conference in Perth, Australia all held in February, 2011. Other exhibitions have included the Offshore Mediterranean Conference (OMC) held in Ravenna, Italy back in March, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) held in Houston, TX, All Energy exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK and the Ocean Tech Expo event held in Newport, RI, USA during May. More recently, the Group exhibited at Brazil Offshore in Macae, RJ, Brazil and Energy Ocean in Portland, Maine, where SEA CON®’s Renewable Energy Business Development Manager, Mr. Dave Pye presented a paper on the ‘Selection of Electrical and Optical Connectors for Marine Renewable Energy Applications. A number of other events are also planned for the Group this year including the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) being held in Washington, D.C., USA and the Navy Gold Coast conference in San Diego, CA, USA both being held in August,Offshore Europe in Aberdeen, Scotland, UK and Oceans in Kona, Hawaii in September, Kormarine in Busan, Korea in October and Subsea Survey in Houston, TX, USA during December. In addition SEA CON® is planning to hold a number of ‘Technology Days’/’Lunch & Learns’ this year in various locations. Keep an eye for details on our website at
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48 Channel Optical Wet-Mate HYDRALIGHT Under Development

A high count optical wet-mate HYDRALIGHT is currently under development with a maximum of 48 Angled Physical Contacts (APC) optical channels using a modular approach.  The external size is identical to the current standard field proven 8-channel HYDRALIGHT family of connectors with an increased fiber interface utilizing high density optic ferrules. The design is being driven initially through the need to optimize optical data transfer between the surface platform and a vast array of optical sensors that are deployed subsea.

Principle of Operation
The critical fiber-to-fiber joint is made without exposure to external contamination in a harsh subsea environment. This is achieved as both ends of the optical termination are protected from seawater, sand and silt by being enclosed within separate, oil-filled and pressure compensated chambers. The sequence of operation is as follows:

The first stage is the ‘physical alignment’ of the two connector halves. The receptacle is shown on the left and the plug on the right. The next step is the ‘front seals’ of each connector half contact and engage on their respective other half. Continued mating ‘squeezes out all external fluids and contaminants’ as the connector halves seal against each other. The two connector halves then open up into a single patented ‘joined chamber’. The connectors continue to move and the flexible contact guide tubes splay and align via guideways in their opposite half, which facilitates the coupling of the optical ferrules within the benign oilfilled environment. The connector is fully mated.
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New Product Developments

SEA CON® Advanced Products, LLC of Bellville, Texas, USA is pleased to introduce a new SEA CON® Optical wet-mate configuration integrating a dry-mate  OPTI-CON electrical hybrid connector.

This latest design provides a number of advantages:

Allows a quick and simple hook-up of the SEA CON® via the OPTI-CON dry-mate connector in the field before deployment. Allows the flexibility of selecting different cables or PBOF hoses during the design phase that terminate to the much simpler and standardized OPTI-CON connector. Modularity allows quick change out of either system for maintenance or repair. Once connected topside, these systems can be installed underwater by a diver or ROV Weighing over 125 pounds and with a mated length of 40 inches, the CM2012 / 6mm /3.3kV / 60 amp PBOF connector is the largest in the CM Series to date and has been designed with permanent subsea use in mind. Each of the connector’s 12 channels is rated for constant voltage/current of 3,300 Volts/60 amps at depths of up to 10,000 feet, making it ideal for operating large subsea motors or other devices with large current requirements.  Oil-filling is required to balance the pressure differential across this connector and therefore it has been designed to work with a variety of either silicon or mineral-type compensation oils.

Originally developed for major offshore operators, the initial configuration was for a bulkhead mounted socket plug half, with a pin receptacle connector.  Manufactured from Stainless Steel, the weight of this connector makes this ROV handle configuration suitable for a vertical ROV installation/retrieval operation only.  Either connector can be easily adapted for several different types of mounting or with various types of handles, as well as any hose exit configuration. Dielectric withstand voltage testing, temperature rise testing, mate/de-mate and breakdown voltage testing have all been successfully conducted with excellent results.

Our optical 8 channel wet-mate SEA CON® connector is now also available in a hybrid configuration.

Fully underwater mateable, oil filled and pressure balanced, this field proven connector incorporates 4 modular optical and 4 electrical contacts with a voltage rating of 1,000 VAC and a current rating of 5 amps. Quaified to 7,000m (23,000ft), with an average single-mode insertion loss of less than 0.2dB and an average single mode back reflection of -50dB. With a design life of 25 years and a life cycle of a minimum of 100 mate/de-mates, this connector meets ‘Optical Wet-Mate Connector Specifications’ for Norsk Hydro, Statoil, Elf Exploration, Total, Hess and BP.

Originally designed for installation onto an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), this new connector provides a protection system to prevent water penetration should the connector body be severely damaged, therefore preventing catastrophic failure of the equipment. Mounting details are the same as the standard FAW bulkhead connector, however instead of solder buckets this new version has wires molded into the GRE insert therefore providing excellent protection and avoiding soldering breaks in the field. This also reduces the pigtail bend radius making it ideal for tight or reduced spaces.

Manufactured from Neoprene with a 316 Stainless Steel shell and brass gold plated contacts this new addition is currently available in 2, 3, 4 and 5 configurations although others are available upon request. Pressure rated to 10,000 psi (mated)/5,000 psi (open face), this connector has a voltage rating of 500 VDC and an amperage rating of up to 5.6 amps.
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Expansion of Testing Capabilities

With continued growth and the large range of connectors being supplied, SEA CON® Advanced Products, LLC has expanded its Qualification Department with the addition of a fourth hydrostatic pressure vessel bringing the total number of pressure vessels across the SEA CON Group to 19. In use around the clock since it was commissioned in May, 2011, the new vessel is housed in a climate controlled facility complemented with a 5 ton crane. Designed to 2001 ASME, Section VIII, Div. 2 specifications, the vessel has an operating area of 39″ ID x 110″ deep and features a working pressure of 6,750psi/465 bar. Furthermore, it is equipped with a clam shell lid that allows quick opening in less than 2 minutes and programmable software for controlled ramp rates and hold times.
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Award Presented to SEA CON (europe) Ltd

SEA CON® (europe) Ltd has been awarded a plaque from Tidal Generation Ltd to mark the successful development of the Deep Gen III 500kW Tidal Stream Turbine located in Orkney, Scotland, UK which has been generating since September 2010 and providing power for up to 300 homes. A number of SEA CON® products were supplied for this project including the WET-CON, Micro WET-CON and SEA-MATE wet-mate connector ranges and the S-SERIES wet-mate optical connector.

SEA CON® are presently expanding their range of products in order to fully meet the needs of the Marine Renewable Energy sector. This will involve the introduction of high power connectors which are specifically designed to work for extended periods in this very challenging environment. The focus is mainly on providing Oil & Gas reliability at prices which better suit the resources of Marine Renewables.
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SEA CON Advanced Products, LLC Receives Big Business of the Year Award

Back in March, 2011 SEA CON® Advanced Products, LLC received the Big Business of the Year Award from the Bellville Chamber of Commerce. This award was presented to SAPL in recognition of the company’s contribution and participation in the community and also the employment of more than 50 people.

The evening started with a social hour and silent auction featuring items donated by local merchants. The money raised from this event was awarded to area graduates through the Chamber’s Scholarship Program. Following the auction, guests & honorees were served dinner during which local Houston celebrity Jim Mcingvale delivered a very inspiring and humorous presentation which was enjoyed by all.

SAPL feels extremely privileged to receive such a prestigious award and is honored to be part of the Bellville community.
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