Subsea power is the enabling technology for subsea processing to be implemented in more challenging applications. The current point-to-point power distribution systems are not sufficient to meet the increasing demands of future subsea processing developments. The development of a robust and high capacity subsea power grid is the technological first priority to achieve future subsea processing applications.
Four power system architectures, which meet the future needs of field developments, have been modeled and simulated in EMTP-ATP under both normal and fault conditions. The major contribution is that this study identified the system characteristics and the functional requirements of the major subsea and topside power components for the future subsea power grid. Comparing to the present point-to-point connection, additional power and control equipment necessary for the subsea power grid have been proposed. The conclusion is that having a more complicated subsea power system is necessary and feasible but there are a number of technical challenges to overcome, which requires close collaboration of field operators, system integrators, and equipment suppliers.