How data has become an enabler and a predictor for asset managers
First on our development roadmap has been creating an ecosystem that captures and transforms data into actionable insight and, ultimately, into a predictive operating and maintenance tool for operators and asset managers.
What do we mean by that? Insulation resistance (IR) in electrical system cables is the subsea equivalent of the canary down a mine – it warns of problems and possible electrical system failure. When IR is fluctuating, and in the real world it is constantly changing, what does this mean?
A statutory requirement for monitoring the types of electrical systems used subsea, most existing, integrity, or line insulation monitors (LIMs) simply tell us when IR changes, and if that’s a steep fall, it probably means something bad is happening to the cable. This has been a useful indicator used in the industry for decades. If the LIM’s IR reading shows a significant loss of integrity, an operator probably has time to act, make repairs or replace the umbilical, electrical flying lead, or other system components. Do this before the cable fails and causes a loss of production and an expensive subsea intervention.
This basic yet valuable functionality is the first half of the challenge, but it is largely reactive. What if deeper insights were possible? What if almost undetectable patterns in the voltage, capacitance and IR revealed the nature of the fault so it could be resolved much earlier? This would enable asset owners to make more accurate strategic maintenance and capital expenditure plans.