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.

Five causes of cable fire and explosion

1. Insulation damage causes short circuit fault
The protective lead cover of power cables is damaged during laying or the cable insulation is damaged by mechanical damage in operation, which causes the insulation breakdown between cables or between the lead cover. The electric arc will cause the insulation materials and the protective layer of cables to burn up.
2. The cable is overloaded for a long time
For a long time in overload operation, the operating temperature of the cable insulation material exceeds the maximum allowable temperature of normal heating, making the cable insulation aging and dry up. This phenomenon of aging and dry up insulation usually occurs in the whole cable line. As the cable insulation ages and dries up, the insulation material loses or reduces the insulation performance and mechanical properties, so it is easy to break down and burn, or even burn up in many places along the whole length of the cable.


3. Insulation breakdown of intermediate connector box
The intermediate joints of the cable connector box are oxidized, heated and glued during operation due to loose pressing, weak welding or improper selection of joint materials; When making cable intermediate joint, the quality of insulating agent in the intermediate joint box does not meet the requirements. During the filling of insulating agent, there will be air holes in the box memory and leakage of moisture into the cable box due to poor sealing and damage. All the above factors can cause insulation breakdown, form short circuit, and cause cable explosion and fire.
4. Cable end combustion
As the surface of the cable head is contaminated by moisture, the porcelain bushing of the cable head is broken and the distance between the lead wires is too small, which leads to flashier fire and causes the surface insulation of the cable head and lead wire insulation to burn.
5. Cable fire caused by external fire source and heat source
Such as oil system fire spread, oil circuit breaker explosion fire spread, boiler pulverized coal system or coal conveying system coal spontaneous combustion, high temperature steam pipeline baking, acid and alkali chemical corrosion, welding spark and other fire, can cause the cable fire.

What will affect the cable life?

Popularity has very high power, manufacturing from all walks of life cannot leave the electricity, the power is inseparable from the cable, so the service life of the cable will directly affect the safety of production, the service life of the cable is determined by the oxidation induction period of sheath material, use 20 years general cable design, real life is far greater than this value.
What are the factors that lead to reduced cable insulation?
1. External damage
From the operation analysis in recent years, especially in the rapid economic development today, a considerable number of cable faults are caused by mechanical damage.
2. Damp insulation
This is also common, usually at the end of a cable in a buried or drain pipe. For example: cable joints made unqualified and in humid climate conditions to do the joint, will make the joint water or mixed with water vapor, for a long time under the action of the electric field to form water branches, gradually damage the cable insulation strength and cause failure.


3. Chemical corrosion
Cables buried directly in areas with acid and alkali effects will often cause corrosion of the cable armor, lead or outer sheath. Long-term chemical or electrolytic corrosion of the protective layer will lead to failure of the protective layer and reduced insulation, and also lead to cable faults. Change: the cable corrosion situation of unit is quite serious.
4. Long-term over-load operation
In overload operation, due to the thermal effect of current, the conductor will inevitably heat up when the load current passes through the cable. Meanwhile, the skin effect of charge, the eddy current loss of steel armor and the insulation medium loss will also generate additional heat, which will increase the cable temperature. In long-term overload operation, excessive temperature will accelerate the aging of insulation and even the insulation will be broken down. Especially in the hot summer, the temperature rise of the cable often leads to the first breakdown of the cable insulation weakness, so in the summer, the cable faults are particularly frequent.


5. Cable joint failure
The cable joint is the weakest link in the cable line. The fault of the cable joint caused by the personnel’s direct fault (poor construction) often occurs. In the process of making the cable connector, if the original network such as the joint is not pressed tightly and the heating is not sufficient, the insulation of the cable head will be reduced, thus causing an accident.
6. Environment and temperature
The external environment and heat source in which the cable is located will also cause the cable temperature to be too high, the insulation to break down, and even the explosion and fire.
7. Other factors
Normal aging of cable body or other reasons such as natural disasters.

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.

This summer, U.S. electricity demand fell to its lowest level since 2009

Summer electricity demand in the US is expected to be the lowest since 2009, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
The summer demand level from June to August is expected to be 998 billion kilowatt-hours, down 5% from last summer’s demand, the report said. The lower power demand is mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects.
Compared with demand in 2019, the EIA said it expected residential electricity use to increase by 3 per cent, while commercial electricity use would fall by 12 per cent and industrial use by 9 per cent.
The EIA says coal production is likely to be lower than last summer. Coal is forecast to generate 178 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, down from 272 billion kilowatt-hours last year.
It said it expected coal to account for just 17 per cent of electricity generation this summer, down from 24 per cent last summer.
Gas is expected to grow from 460 billion KWH last summer to 467 billion KWH this summer, with low gas prices making it attractive. Natural gas is expected to account for 44% of electricity generation this summer, up from 41% last year.
The EIA says the share of wind power will reach 7% this summer and utility-scale solar will grow to 3%.

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%.

Cable raw material copper, trend analysis in July

Analysis of the main products of cable raw materials (copper): According to the monitoring data of the cable network, the domestic spot copper price continued to fall sharply in July, and the overall copper price fell during the month. The average spot copper price in the beginning of the month was 42585. RMB/ton, the average spot copper price at the end of the month was 39,030 yuan/ton, and the price dropped by 3555 yuan/ton, a decrease of about 8.35%.

Macroscopically, abroad, the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting announced recently confirmed the recovery of the US economy. The Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in September may intensify. This topic may still be the focus of the market in August. However, the US GDP in the second quarter fell short of expectations. It was not easy to realize the interest rate hike in September. What is more certain is that the strength of the US dollar will not change, which may trigger a new round of upsurge of funds leaving the commodity market, which will also put pressure on copper prices. On the domestic front, the current Chinese economy is still operating at a low level. Although the Chinese government continues to introduce loose monetary policy in the second half of the year, it has limited room for short-term boost to the real economy. Therefore, the copper market may still be under pressure in the first half of August. When the off-peak season alternates, copper prices may rebound.

Market: Since the second quarter, the downstream operating rate has gradually increased, and through the arrival of the peak season of copper pipes and other industries, the overall market turnover has improved, but year by year, this year’s peak season is not busy. Affected by the weakening of consumption in the off-season in July and the weakness of China’s economy, spot copper prices have dropped sharply, but merchants’ adjustments have remained stable and no selling has been seen. After the copper price hit a new low, suppliers are reluctant to sell. When copper supply has shrunk, consumption has shrunk, and the overall economy is severely severe, copper prices are unable to rebound, and the subsequent continued decline may break through.

Inventory: LME and Shanghai copper inventories continued to show a slight growth trend this month. The latest statistical data shows that LME copper stocks reported 345,475 tons, which is a bit higher than before; while in the past week, Shanghai copper stocks on the Shanghai Futures Exchange increased slightly to 103,117 tons. Inventory has been in a downward channel for several months, but it increased slightly in July. The growth in July may be related to the recent cross-market arbitrage. Due to the continued profitability of imports, the positive arbitrage of buying LME copper and selling Shanghai copper has the opportunity. This may attract some traders to ship the goods to the warehouse, but the overall amount of change is not large. . At present, the overall supply pressure of copper is not great, and the difficulty of copper price upwards still comes from the shrinkage of the demand side.cable cu

Outlook forecast: July economic indicators have been significantly eased compared to the previous month, but the market focus has remained on the economic side. The recent US data has been weak and unfavorable, but the dollar is still strong, putting pressure on basic metals such as copper, plus China Copper consumption has always been in a weak position, which has greatly reduced global copper consumption. Therefore, copper prices have been unable to rebound and have fallen frequently. In the short term, there is still room for rebound in copper prices, but in the long run, US interest rate hikes have reached the long-term strength of the US dollar index, coupled with the copper market demand has not yet recovered significantly, copper prices will weaken again later.

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.

Photovoltaic cable under the epidemic

A sudden outbreak in the beginning of the year disrupted the development and construction rhythm of downstream photovoltaic power cable stations, and a large number of projects may be difficult to be connected to the grid as scheduled.Photovoltaic cable under the epidemic.

According to the policy, the bidding photovoltaic project in 2019 should be completed and connected to the grid by the end of the year. If it is not connected to the grid, the price subsidy will be reduced by 0.01 yuan/kWh for each quarter of the overdue; if the grid is not completed and connected to the grid within two quarters of the overdue , Disqualification of project subsidies.

 

According to industry estimates, the scale of unsuccessful carry-over bidding projects in 2019 is about 12GW. From January to March, the country’s new photovoltaic installations will be 3.95GW, most of which are carried-over projects in 2019. Based on this estimate, there are still 8GW The project is faced with “630” pre-installation.Photovoltaic cable under the epidemic.

Nan Cunhui, member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, vice chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, and chairman of Chint Group, said in the “Proposal to Extend the Term of Grid-connected Photovoltaic Power Stations in 2019” that the construction of domestic photovoltaic power plants in the first quarter was basically at a standstill, and construction started in late March The rate is only about 35%, about 65% in mid-April, and a large number of projects are difficult to connect to the grid as scheduled. However, for other regions outside Hubei affected by the epidemic, no policy has been issued for the extension of the bidding project grid connection, which will have a greater impact on the domestic photovoltaic market and enterprise operations.Photovoltaic cable under the epidemic.

Nan Cunhui said that without the support of subsidies, about 6GW of projects across the country are expected to choose to abandon construction, and about 24 billion yuan of investment will be lost. A large number of photovoltaic companies are facing the risk of inventory backlogs and profit declines and are even forced to stop production.Photovoltaic cable under the epidemic.

Not only the “630” project, at the industry public meeting, according to Hu Yidong, member of the Party Committee and deputy general manager of the Yellow River Upper Hydropower Development Responsible Company (hereinafter referred to as the Yellow River Hydropower) of the State Power Investment Corporation, affected by the epidemic, the “930” developed by the Yellow River Company “The project is also facing pressure on grid connection. In the 5GW new energy configuration project of the Qinghai Hainan UHV transmission base, the Yellow River Hydropower won the 4.1GW wind and solar project, of which the photovoltaic project scale was 2.4GW (including the size of the consortium). According to the construction progress requirements, the project should be completed and connected to the grid by September 30, 2020. If the full capacity is not completed and scheduled to be connected to the grid, the grid-connected electricity price will be reduced by 0.01 yuan/kWh every month beyond the deadline. By December 31, 2020 If the full capacity cannot be built and connected to the network, the project subsidy qualification will be cancelled.

Hu Yidong said that due to the sudden outbreak, the 4.1GW wind and light project “930” grid connection is under great pressure. From the current judgment, the entire project’s full-capacity grid connection may be delayed until the end of November. The photovoltaic project may reach 80% by September 30. ~90% capacity is put into production.Photovoltaic cable under the epidemic.