to the manufacturers, three of the main operational challenges faced by those
laying cables, and in particular landing them, are how to avoid point-loading
those cables during the process, how to ensure that it is laid exactly where it
needs to be, and how to complete the process as time-efficiently as possible so
as to maximise project margins.
the risk of point-loading compared to traditional individual floats which are
secured to the cable every few metres from a workboat as the cable hits the water,
the SeaSerpent is a system of continuous support which pays out onto the cable
and is fastened to it back up on the deck every 1-1.5m with simple straps or
on reels offering section lengths of 50m, 100m or 200m which are linked via
jumper hoses, the SeaSerpent pays out from its own launch system which is
controlled by a Seaflex technician on the deck who will also oversee its initial
inflation to the correct pressure and then maintenance of its pressure along
its entire length.
greatly reducing the risk of point-loading when compared to installing
individual floats, the ability to control the buoyancy along the entire length
of the cable from the deck and to lay the cable in a controlled fashion gives
the user a unique flexibility throughout the process. In the event of bad weather coming in
quickly, the cable can be dropped to the seabed to see it out and then re-floated. The same applies if for whatever reason the
trench is missed.
end of the process, the SeaSerpent is detached from the cable and spooled back
onto a reel by its dedicated recovery system.
service for well over a decade in projects right around the world, most
recently in the Middle East and with upcoming work in South East Asia, the most
high-profile recent use of the SeaSerpent around Northern European waters was
in 2012 by VSMC on the London Array project where 3.2km of 90kg/m export power
cable was safely and efficiently landed with the on-deck assistance of two
to Unique Seaflex, the SeaSerpent is extremely cost-effective to manufacture as
a single long tube compared to smaller discrete units which, depending upon
size, can be up to twice the price of the SeaSerpent to produce the same
overall amount of uplift. Transportation
and stowage deflated on palletised reels, they claim, makes for efficient
mobilisation and deck logistics.