The global subsea power cable market will grow at a compound annual rate of over 4% from 2020 to 2024

The market for subsea power cables is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 4 percent from 2020-2024, driven largely by surging demand for electricity, according to Technavio.

According to the report, 47 percent of the market growth in the forecast period will come from Europe, with Italy, Denmark and Finland being important markets for European subsea power cables.

Europe is the largest subsea power cable market in 2019, and government support and growing concern about wind power will significantly drive growth in the subsea power cable market in the region during the forecast period.

Offshore wind turbines can produce more energy using fewer turbines than conventional ones. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region will enjoy rapid growth during the forecast period. Thanks to heavy investment in offshore wind projects over the past few years, China and India will account for most of the region’s share of the forecast period.

According to the IEA, demand for electricity will rise by 40 per cent by 2024. Similarly, growing environmental concerns will force economies to use renewable energy to generate electricity. As a result, the number of renewable projects such as wind and tidal power projects is increasing in most countries, which in turn will increase the demand for undersea power cables or submarine cables. The growing demand for intercountry and island connections will be one of the main drivers of market growth. Subsea power grid interconnection projects in France – UK, Belgium – UK and Ireland – UK are under construction.

On the other hand, the growing demand for high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power cables will also drive the market growth. These HVDC cables are more and more popular compared with traditional cables because they are safe and reliable and can transmit power over long distances. These factors will drive the global subsea power cable market to grow at a compound annual rate of over 4% over the forecast period.

From the manufacturers’ point of view, Prysman, Nexans, Sumitomo Electric, Lenny Cable, Ankart Cable, Tengura Cable, Guhe Electrician, LS cable will continue to dominate the global subsea power cable market in the forecast period.

Design and laying of submarine cable

The design of submarine optical cable: anti-corrosion, anti-seepage, but also against sharks, compared with coaxial cable, optical fiber is quite obvious advantages, but its own is quite fragile, so this protection of optical fiber submarine cable peripheral protection structure put forward higher requirements. Specifically, the design of submarine optical cable must ensure that the internal optical fiber is not affected by external forces and the environment. Its basic requirements include adaptability to submarine pressure, abrasion resistance and non-corrosion, etc. It also has to prevent hydrogen from forming inside (and therefore not using aluminum) and hydrogen from outside (preventing gas infiltration). In addition, it must be properly armored to protect it from trawlers, anchors and sharks. When the cable is broken, but also as much as possible to reduce the length of seawater into the cable; At the same time, it can withstand the tension during laying and recovery; Last but not least, the service life of submarine cables is generally required to be over 25 years.

Based on the above requirements, the current design structure of submarine cables usually consists of one or two coating treatments of the fiber in a spiral wrapping around the center, and then reinforcing members (made of steel wire) wrapped around (usually 69 mm in diameter). Specifically, it includes: polyethylene layer, polyester resin or asphalt layer, steel strand layer, aluminum waterproof layer, polycarbonate layer, copper or aluminum tube, paraffin layer, alkane layer, fiber bundle, etc.

Laying process: from relying on the tide to relying on robots

The laying project of submarine optical cable is recognized as one of the most complicated and difficult large-scale projects in the world, which is not difficult to understand why the service life of submarine optical cable is required to reach more than 25 years, because laying once is very troublesome! The laying process of submarine optical cable can be divided into two parts, namely, the laying of shallow sea area and the laying of deep sea area. In the deep sea area, the laying of submarine optical cable has to go through three stages, namely, exploration and cleaning, sea cable laying and burial protection. The laying of submarine cables mainly depends on the cable laying ships and underwater robots. The cable laying ships should pay special attention to the sailing speed and cable release speed, so as to control the water inlet Angle and laying tension of the cable, so as to avoid damaging the fragile optical fibers in the cable due to too small bending radius or too large tension.

As shown in the figure above, this is the laying process of an undersea optical cable. In shallow sea areas, the laying ship stays a few kilometers away from the coast, and the cable placed on the floating bag is pulled to the shore by the shore tractor. Then the floating bag is removed to make the cable sink to the sea floor. In the deep sea, the laying ship is mainly responsible for releasing optical cables, and then the underwater detector is combined with the underwater remote control vehicle for underwater monitoring and adjustment, so as to avoid uneven and rocky areas on the seabed. The robot then proceeded to a three-step operation: first, it created a trench about 2m deep in the sea floor, using high-pressure flushing; The second step is to put the cable into the trench; Third, cover it with the sand nearby.

Special to note here is that a intercontinental submarine cable is difficult to a complete laid, because at present the most advanced optical cable laying ship can only carry 2000 kilometers of fiber optic cable (and now laying rate can only reach 200 km/day), thus laid to segments, and each paragraph “cable docking”, needs to be done in laying the ship, and requires high technology.

Two cable news from Japan

1. Japan plans to popularize optical fiber network nationwide 2 years ahead of schedule

Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in an effort to promote online education and other coVID-19 response measures, will advance its plan to complete fiber optic lines nationwide by two years, aiming to make the network accessible to almost all households by the end of 2021, Japanese media reported.
Japan’s first and second supplementary budgets for 2020 totaled 53 billion yen (3.5 billion yuan) to support local governments and enterprises to improve fiber optic networks, hoping to provide necessary communications infrastructure for areas not covered at an early date. Since the fibre-optic network will also form the basis of online medical and administrative procedures, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will give up to 90 per cent of subsidies to local governments and businesses to improve the lines.
As of the end of March 2019, there are still about 660,000 households in Japan that are not yet connected to the fiber optic network. The lowest coverage rate was 91.8% in Nagasaki prefecture. Shimane prefecture was second with 92.0%, and Kagoshima prefecture was third with 93.3%.
In June 2019, the Ministry of General Affairs and Communications set a target to reduce the number of uncovered households to 180,000 by the end of 2023, covering almost all households. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, such as working at home and distance learning, the importance of network applications has been highlighted. The Japanese government has decided to advance the coverage of optical fiber network by 2 years.
Japan’s ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications intends to make fiber optic networks and fixed telephone networks a “universal service” that must be provided to the whole country.
In addition, optical fiber is also the basis of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile communication system built by mobile phone companies. More than 210,000 base stations are expected to be built by the end of 2023, about three times the original plan, the Ministry of Communications announced Thursday.

2.Japan may build 22 more coal-fired power plants in the next five years

The move by the Japanese government stands apart from the broader global push for renewable power generation. In fact, as far as the Japanese government is concerned, its “enthusiasm” for renewable energy is much lower than we think.
Indeed, after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan did embrace renewable energy. Naoto Kan, the prime minister at the time, announced that Japan would start from scratch with a new energy strategy to boost its share of renewable energy. So far, however, progress has been slow. Between 2010 and 2018, the share of Japan’s electricity supply generated by renewable energy sources only increased from 10 percent to 17 percent, with nearly half of that coming from existing hydropower projects.
Not only that, but the power gap created by Japan’s nuclear shutdowns has been replaced by coal-fired and natural gas plants. While the government plans for nuclear power to still provide at least 20 per cent of Japan’s electricity demand by 2030 (up from more than 25 per cent before the Fukushima accident), coal’s share is set to grow and it has approved plans to build 22 new coal plants over the next five years. By contrast, Japan’s renewable energy targets of 22-24% are well below those of many European countries and below the current global average.

The difference between photovoltaic cable and ordinary cable

The characteristic of photovoltaic cable is determined by its special insulating material and sheath material, which is called cross-linked PE. After irradiation by the irradiation accelerator, the molecular structure of the cable material will change, thus providing its performance in all aspects.

Photovoltaic cables are often exposed to sunlight, and solar systems are often used under harsh environmental conditions, such as high temperatures and ultraviolet radiation. In Europe, sunny days will result in solar system site temperatures of up to 100°C. At present, we can use all kinds of material with PVC, rubber, TPE and cross-linked with high quality material, but unfortunately, the rated temperature of 90 ° C rubber cable, and even the temperature of 70 ° C rated PVC cable is also often used outdoors, the national golden sun project horse, there are many contractors in order to save costs, not to choose cable specially used for solar system, choosing instead to replace the ordinary PVC cable photovoltaic cable, obviously, this will greatly affect the service life of the system.
The characteristic of photovoltaic cable is determined by its special insulating material and sheath material, which is called cross-linked PE. After irradiation by the irradiation accelerator, the molecular structure of the cable material will change, thus providing its performance in all aspects.

Mechanical load resistance:
In fact, during installation and maintenance, cables may be wired along sharp edges of the roof structure and subjected to pressure, bending, tension, cross-tensile loads and strong shocks. If the cable sheath is not strong enough, the insulation layer of the cable will be seriously damaged, which will affect the service life of the whole cable, or lead to problems such as short circuit, fire and personal injury risk.

What is aluminium alloy power cable?

Aluminum alloy power cable is a new material power cable with AA8030 series aluminum alloy material as the conductor, adopting advanced technology such as special roll forming wire twisted production process and annealing treatment. Alloy power cable made up for the inadequacy of previous pure aluminium cable, although there is no improve the conductive properties of the cable, but the bending performance, creep resistance and corrosion resistance are greatly improved, to ensure that the cable for a long time to keep continuous stable performance when overload and overheat, the AA – 8030 series of aluminum alloy conductor, which can greatly improve the conductivity of the aluminum alloy cable, high temperature resistance, and solves the problem such as pure aluminium conductor, creep. The conductivity of aluminum alloy is 61.8% of that of copper IACS, the most common reference material. But at the same volume, the actual weight of an aluminum alloy is about a third that of copper. Therefore, the weight of the aluminum cable is about half that of the copper cable with the same load flow. The use of aluminum cable instead of copper cable can reduce the weight of the cable, reduce installation costs, reduce equipment and cable wear, making installation easier.
Aluminum alloy cables add copper, iron, magnesium, silicon, zinc, boron and other alloying elements into the electrical aluminum. At the same time, through process adjustment, the mechanical properties of aluminum alloy conductors are greatly improved to avoid the problems of low elongation, poor creep resistance and poor flexibility of pure aluminum conductors and increase the connection reliability of the cable system. In addition, keep the electrical properties of aluminum alloy and electrical aluminum conductor equal, at 61%IACS above.
Alloy power cable made up for the inadequacy of previous pure aluminium cable, although there is no improve the conductive properties of the cable, but the bending performance, creep resistance and corrosion resistance are greatly improved, to ensure that the cable for a long time to keep continuous stable performance when overload and overheat, the AA – 8030 series of aluminum alloy conductor, can significantly improve the conductivity of the aluminum alloy cable, high temperature resistance, at the same time solve the pure aluminium conductor electrochemical corrosion, creep, etc.
The conductivity of aluminum alloy is 61.8% of that of copper IACS, the most common reference material. But at the same volume, the actual weight of an aluminum alloy is about a third that of copper. . Therefore, the weight of the aluminum cable is about half that of the copper cable with the same load flow. The use of aluminum cable instead of copper cable can reduce the weight of the cable, reduce installation costs, reduce equipment and cable wear, making installation easier.
Aluminum alloy power cable has good mechanical properties and electric properties, it can be widely used various fields of national economy, such as common people residence, high-rise buildings, elevators, both large supermarket shopping malls, subway, airport, railway stations, hospitals, Banks, office buildings, hotels, postal telecommunications building, exhibition hall, library, museum, ancient buildings, schools, electricity, building, public places of entertainment, tunnels, underground buildings, warehouses, etc., can also be used for metallurgy, steel, coke, coal mines, power plants, power transmission and transformation station, shipbuilding, petroleum, chemical, aerospace, military, medicine, nuclear power plants, paper and other industries, And home appliances, cars, public transportation, and so on.

China’s optical fiber and cable market is recovering

With the novel Coronavirus epidemic under rapid control in China and the policy requirement to speed up the construction of new infrastructure such as 5G and big data center, the three domestic operators have also substantially increased the capital expenditure related to 5G. All these have provided further room for the growth of demand for optical fiber and cable.

Economic recovery CRU raised China’s optical fiber and cable market demand forecast

Michael Finch, director of CRU cables, said that given the latest statistics, worldwide demand for cable is expected to contract by 12-13 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, falling below 100 million core kilometres, the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2015.

Looking at the Chinese market, Michael Finch points out that demand for fiber optic cable in China has collapsed in Q1, down 18.6% year on year. Meanwhile, In Q1 of 2020, China will account for only 44 percent of the global demand for optical cable, compared with 53 percent in the same period of 2018.

Michael Finch said, “While fTTX-related demand continues to weaken, increased capital spending and a greater focus on 5G will support growth in China’s fiber demand. So we think the market will be brighter for the rest of 2020.”

It is clear that the signs of China’s economic recovery are becoming more and more obvious, and all eyes are now on the bidding of China’s three major operators. Against this backdrop, CRU raised its forecast for the Chinese market in 2020, with a projected demand decline of 5.7%. Michael Finch noted that CRU had forecast a 9% decline in February.

According to Michael Finch, China’s naked fiber market will be dominated by destocking in 2020, and the country’s naked fiber production is expected to fall 14 percent for the full year, while fiber optic cable production will fall 5 percent. Meanwhile, Michael Finch notes that despite the difficulties, many Chinese manufacturers will seek opportunities to expand exports this year.

In asia-pacific, excluding China, overall demand will remain weak in 2020, especially in India. In addition, in The North American market, higher demand growth was supported by regional protection and increased capital spending by U.S. carriers such as Verizon. However, in the European market, due to the impact of Q1 and Q2 epidemic, the demand showed a significant decline. “The delay in 5G deployment across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region has also affected the demand for fiber optic cables in the region to some extent.” Michael Finch says.

According to Michael Finch, operators are experiencing certain performance and financial pressures as a result of the outbreak, which will affect their investment and deployment plans. According to the latest estimates, global demand for optical fiber and cable is expected to drop by 3.6% in 2020, compared with a 1.9% decline in the absence of the epidemic. However, CRU also raised its market forecast for 2021 to 10.5% from 9.3%.

High temperature superconducting cable

High temperature superconducting cable is a kind of power facility that adopts unimpeded superconducting material that can transmit high current density as the conductor and can transmit large current. It has the advantages of small volume, light weight, low loss and large transmission capacity, and can realize low loss, high efficiency and large capacity transmission. HTS cables will first be used for short distance power transmission (e.g., generator to transformer, substation to substation, underground substation to urban grid port) and short distance power transmission of large current, such as electroplate plant, power plant and substation, as well as large or super-large city power transmission.

The transmission loss of HTS cables is only 0.5% of the transmission power, much lower than the 5-8% loss of conventional cables. Under the same weight and size, compared with the conventional power cable, the capacity of HTS cable can be increased by 3-5 times and the loss reduced by 60%, which can obviously save the occupied area and space and precious land resources. Retrofitting existing underground cable systems with HTS cables would not only increase transmission capacity by more than three times, but also reduce total costs by 20%. The use of HTS cable can also change the traditional transmission mode, using low voltage and high current to transmit electric energy. Therefore, HTS cable can greatly reduce the loss of power system, improve the total efficiency of power system, and have considerable economic benefits.

The global market for superconducting applications is forecast to reach $244 billion (1516.4 billion yuan) by 2020, with HTS cables accounting for about 5 percent of the total. The world’s existing underground cables with a total length of about 130,000 kilometers will probably be replaced by HTS power cables. Therefore, the market prospect of HTS cable is very broad.

European cable standard and IEC standard

European countries such as Britain, Germany, and France are highly developed countries. The requirements of their cable standards are generally higher than IEC standards. However, these standards are now being integrated with each other to form an absolutely authoritative standard system, that is, the European standard.
In charge of European cable standards is the European Electrotechnical Association: CENELEC, whose members include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain , Sweden, Switzerland and the UK’s national electrical associations.
CENELEC members are obliged to implement the CEN/CENELEC international agreement, which stipulates: This European Standard shall be implemented in accordance with national standards and no changes shall be made. Once a European standard is promulgated, all members must announce it according to the level of the national standard within 6 months after the European promulgation, and implement the European standard according to the national standard within one year after the European promulgation. And within the next 5 years, the original national standard that conflicts with the European standard will be abolished.
In addition, the European Electrotechnical Association has also issued a coordination document that has the same effect as the European standard, namely the HD document. HD documents also supersede the national standards of member countries within the period specified above.
In fact, European countries often replace their corresponding national standards with European standards in a short period of time. For example, the European standard for cable bundle burning test, namely EN50266, its promulgation date is 2001, but Britain, Germany and other countries In 2003, similar national standards BS4066 and DIN VDE0472-804 have been abolished.
The number of the European standard is directly included in the national standards of various countries without change. For example, the national standard numbers of EN50306 in Britain, Germany, France and other countries are BS EN50306, DIN EN5050306 and NF EN50306. HD files are numbered separately.
The European standard also integrates certain standards in IEC and ISO, such as IEC60811, whose European standard number is EN 60811, and the national standards are BS EN60811, NF EN 60811, etc.
The European standard converted from the IEC standard, the first digit of the standard number should be “6”.
France, Germany and other countries are the most active supporters of European standards. Nowadays, some important cable standards of France, Germany and other countries have been integrated into HD files. Currently, about half of the national cable standards in France are European standards.

The most commonly used low-voltage cable standards in France, Germany and other countries, namely the series standards for rubber cables and PVC cables (DIN VDE 0282, NF C32-102 and DIN VDE 0281 and or NF C32-201), have been integrated into HD22 and HD21.
The IEC and ISO standards are the most widely used standards in the world, while the European standards are the standards used by most developed countries. To connect our products with the world, we must first implement standard integration. In fact, many countries with underdeveloped industries often adopt the standards of advanced countries such as BS.
The advanced nature of European standards exceeds the IEC standard, and the authority is higher than the national standards of Britain, Germany, France and other countries. Compared with American standards, European standards are closer to Chinese standards.

What is the basic structure of the cable?

One is the conductor structure.The conductor of cable is usually made of high purity copper or aluminum of certain toughness and strength with good electrical conductivity. Conductor sections are commonly used in circles and sectors. A conductor with a smaller section (less than 16 square meters) is made of a single copper wire, while a conductor with a larger section (16 square meters or more) is made of several copper wires twisted in fractional layers. When twisted, the twisted direction of the two adjacent layers is opposite.Cable structure

The second is the insulation layer of the cable.The insulation layer of cable is used to make the multi-core conductor and conductor and sheath mutually isolated, and to ensure a certain electrical compressive strength, it should have a certain heat resistance and stable insulation quality.
The thickness of the insulating layer is related to the working voltage. Generally speaking, the higher the voltage level is, the thicker the insulation layer will be, but not in direct proportion.Cable structure

Third, cable sheath.So that the cable insulation is not damaged, and to meet the requirements of various use conditions and environment, divided into inner sheath and outer sheath.Inner sheath is a protective covering covering the cable insulation to prevent the insulation from being affected by moisture, mechanical damage, light and chemical corrosive media, etc., and can also flow through short-circuit current. Common inner protective layer has non-metallic polyethylene sheath, polyvinyl chloride sheath, metal corrugated aluminum sheath and so on.Outer sheath is the protective covering layer outside the inner sheath of the cable, which mainly plays the role of mechanical strengthening and anti-corrosion. The outer sheath is usually composed of metal tape armor or wire armor plus polyvinyl chloride or polyethylene sheath.Cable structure

If there are related problems, we can communicate with each other.

What are the advantages of environmental friendly cables?

What are the advantages of environmentally friendly cables compared to other traditional cables? Compared with ordinary cables, environmentally friendly cables have the following advantages:

The first is to have high flame retardancy. We all know that the flame retardant performance of the cable is very important. It fully ensures the safety and fire resistance of the cable. The cable is not easy to burn and catch fire, and can prevent the flame from expanding.

The second is halogen free, green insulation, special oxygen barrier material, not only has good electrical performance, mechanical properties, and to ensure that the product does not contain halogen, to prevent the formation of traditional PVC wire burning in the combustion process to produce cancer-causing dioxins British materials to prevent secondary pollution.

The third is a new environment-friendly coated wire and cable material that is free of odor and corrosive odor, does not contain hydrochloric acid and other toxic gases, and produces no pollution to the environment. It will not produce or emit very little during the use and combustion. Acidic gas, to ensure the safety of personnel and reduce environmental protection features such as equipment damage.

The fourth one is high light transmittance. The smoke produced by burning environmentally friendly cables is very thin, which is helpful for evacuation and fire fighting. The light transmittance of the product is greater than 40%, much higher than that of the traditional flame-retardant cable and the light transmittance is lower than 20% or even higher.

The last one is the environmental protection type cable waterproof and ultraviolet protection performance, environmental protection type wire and cable special molecular structure, to ensure the production of ultra-low water absorption . Special ultraviolet absorber makes the product have good anti-ultraviolet performance。