Subsea ROV Trends (and their impact on your cable)

What are relevant ROV trends that impact my subsea cable design?

The world is developing rapidly and the same is true for ROVs and subsea cables. The latest trends and developments might be of great importance for your own ROV project.

Which cable matches which type of ROV? What does this mean for the life expectancy and the risks of downtime? How does sustainability affect the use of ROVs and subsea cables? And what about depth?

Subsea solutions exist in all shapes and sizes, but it is important to know what fits your project best. On this page, we will zoom in on some of the most important trends and developments, affecting your subsea ROV.

Going deeper with ROV Cables

Mankind is increasingly entering deeper waters in search of resources. For example, deep-sea mining machines are being used for mining battery materials for electric cars. Exploring deeper water means that equipment has to adapt and longer subsea cables are necessary.

Longer subsea cables entail a new challenge: the cable holds more steel and will be significantly heavier. Because the cable itself is heavier, a stronger cable is necessary for lifting the ROV.
In fact, from 4000 meters depth, standard steel becomes far too heavy and other materials are required to support the ROV. Such materials include synthetic fibers.

However, these lightweights are more brittle and do not conduct heat as well as steel. As a result, going deeper with ROVs makes cable design more complicated; careful consideration must be given to the specifications and to which material is most suitable for the subsea project in question.

To overcome the challenges above, DeRegt Cables is constantly testing different materials and innovating on cable designs to help several industries to deepen their business.

Less downtime, longer life expectancy

Both money and risks can be saved if we would be able to tell exactly when an ROV system or its subsea cable is due for replacement. To help us do this, extensive knowledge of materials is crucial. For steel wires, this knowledge already exists. Thanks to this, we are able to make accurate estimates through proven inspection methods.

For the less familiar synthetic fibers, global research is being conducted to gain more knowledge and experience. How can we measure when such cables reach the end of their life cycle? Fiber optic cables can be a viable solution. For example, optical fibers are already being used in measuring the impact of aircraft landings.

Groundbreaking inventions as self-healing materials and other trends might increase the lifespan of subsea cables drastically. By keeping a close eye on these developments, DeRegt can implement them directly in custom solutions for your specific challenges.

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The Sustainability Trend

Independence from fossil fuels is something that has long concerned mankind, and modern developments have made this reality closer than ever. That’s why the demand for Renewable Energy is increasing sharply every year.

This trend also has implications for ROVs and the subsea cable business. Wind farms are being placed further and further from the coast, where they take up less coast space. These “floating wind farms” demand dynamic marine cables, as wind turbines are exposed from swaying waves to the most extreme weather conditions. The latter also relates to an interesting development in sustainability: thanks to Ocean Power Technology (OPT), cables can extract energy from wave action.

Cables and ROVs that are used far from the coast must also have a long lifespan. Products that last longer have less impact on the environment and are more sustainable. There are many developments in this area too, as described above.

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Deep Sea Mining

Deep Sea Mining is a relatively new field that makes extensive use of ROVs as deep-sea mining machines. As the name suggests, this is done at great depths (up to 6000 metres).

Deep Sea Mining involves the search for minerals like cobalt, nickel, and even gold or silver at the bottom of the sea. Cobalt, as one of the most important components for batteries, is becoming indispensable due to the development of electric cars and other inventions that require large batteries.

But how can we get such valuable minerals to the surface without damaging the environment in the process? The huge harvester used as deep-sea mining machines can create huge dust clouds and damage habitats. Researchers are concerned about the impact that Deep Sea Mining and the developments in this market may have on nature.

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Trend Report: 7 Trends that impact your ROV Cable Design

Which specifications match your cabling needs? And how do you choose the perfect subsea cable? Read all about the trends on this page and what consequences these trends have for your specific project or subsea cable design.