Eliminate Insulation Monitoring Crosstalk Issues within the same Umbilical Quad with a Simple Upgrade

29 March 2018

In late 2016 we received a call from a customer reporting that they were unable to get stable readings from the two (competitor’s) insulation monitoring devices (IMD) installed on two pairs of an electrical quad. This variance was due to cross-disturbance (crosstalk) of the measurement devices on the cables. At the time we recommended switching off one of the devices so that only one was in operation at a time. This solved the immediate problem but clearly was not a workable long-term solution. After a survey of our subsea contacts, we identified that this was a widespread industry problem. Being a company driven by customer needs and innovative at our core, our engineering team embarked on solving this challenge.

Viper Innovation’s Line Integrity Monitor, V-LIM is more than a standard IMD. Not only does it monitor insulation resistance, but also other electrical parameters such as insulation capacitance, line voltage and frequency.  It operates on unearthed electrical (IT/ ungrounded) systems and presents trending graphs and corresponding alarms. The V-LIM is Viper Innovation’s answer to the industry’s insulation monitoring challenges and does all of this as standard. It is also capable of synchronising with other V-LIM (IMD) measuring devices to provide seamless monitoring topside, without any cross-channel interference.

Its capabilities don’t stop at the topsides. When faults appear on IMDs, historically, the only resolution has been to embark on lengthy and expensive diagnostic and restoration campaigns using ROVs or divers. The V-LIM forms part of the solution to this paradigm as it has the additional functionality to act as the topside data collection hub for the V-IR subsea network integrity monitoring system. V-IR uses advanced directional insulation resistance monitoring technology at subsea nodes installed by integrating into the electrical flying leads. The system integrity information is broken down and displayed remotely as manageable sections. The information provided enables operators to dispatch the remedial action to the right place, the first time, which is a key benefit which is appreciated by the five supermajors (including BP, Chevron, Shell and Total) who have supported the development of this system (V-IR) through a Joint Industry Project.

Where the V-LIM’s true super-power comes to the fore, is with its insulation recovery abilities when water ingress causes the insulation resistance failures in the cable. V-LIM can, with the enabling of the V-LIFE service, remedy this failure by building up a non-conductive barrier, restoring insulation resistance.  

So, if you’re looking for more than a reactive IMD, Viper Innovations’ V-LIM provides support tailored to the lifecycle stage of the asset. V-LIM provides a means of informing condition and preventative, risk-based maintenance, avoiding loss of production and downtime, and even provides a means of cost-effective asset life extension through the remedial V-LIFE function.  V-LIM also has the added bonus of working seamlessly in parallel with another V-LIM on the same umbilical quad, to eliminate any crosstalk issues. If you already use V-LIM, our team will be in touch with the free software upgrade, and if you don’t, give us a call or drop us a line to see how we can support you.

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