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OTC 20030

Ormen Lange Subsea Compression Pilot Subsea Compression Station

Hkon Skofteland, Mike Hilditch, Truls Normann, Klas Gran Eriksson, Knut Nyborg / Aker Solutions;
Michel Postic / Converteam, Massimo Camatti / GE Oil&Gas

Copyright 2009, Offshore Technology Conference

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2009 Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 47 May 2009.

This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.

Aker Solutions is the main contractor for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the subsea
compressor station being built as part of the Ormen Lange pilot project. The compression station pilot is a full scale 12.5 MW
compressor train which is equal to one of the four trains required for the permanent subsea compression station for the Ormen
Lange gas field.

This paper describes the system design, equipment and subsea technology developed for the compression station pilot. The
main part of the project has been to design equipment and technology fit for installation at 900 meters water depth and to
ensure that the stringent requirements for reliability and robustness are fulfilled.

The process system is exposed directly to the wellstream at Ormen Lange and is designed to handle varying gas-condensate
rates, liquid slugs and sand production. The main process equipment is the separator, compressor, pump and cooler.
The high voltage power distribution system includes subsea circuit breakers, subsea transformers and frequency converters to
drive the subsea compressor and pump. The electrical equipment is included in subsea enclosures with high voltage mating
mechanisms between the units.

The control system is key component for the subsea compression station. The long tie-back of 120 km and the requirement
for high speed closed loop control and high bandwidth communication to shore initiated development of new technology
solutions. An all electrical control system is developed with subsea uninterruptible power supply and electrical actuators. A
SIL2 rated Process Shut-Down System (PSD) is also included for additional protection of the subsea components.
Communication subsea to shore is via fibre optic lines in the power umbilical.

Figure 1: Ormen Lange subsea compression station

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The Ormen Lange gas field is located off the northwest coast of Norway. The field has been developed with subsea wells and
export pipelines for multiphase transport of gas-condensate to the onshore processing plant. The subsea production templates
are located at around 900 meters waterdepth and the tie-back distance to shore is 120 km. The production from Ormen Lange
started October 2007 and the maximum gas production rate is 70 MSm3/sd. The exploitation is by depletion utilizing the
natural reservoir pressure. The reservoir pressure will decrease gradually until pressure boosting is needed around 2016 to
maintain plateau production and increase the total recovery from the reservoir.

Subsea compression is an alternative to a compression platform for boosting the gas and condensate at the Ormen Lange
field. A full scale subsea compression train pilot is currently being built and will be tested for 2 years before the final
decision whether to go for subsea compression or a topside compressor platform will be taken in 2012.

The subsea compression station is planned to be installed at 859 meters waterdepth at a location close the existing production
templates. The location close to wells is beneficial for reducing the back-pressure on the wells and maximizes the recovery of
the reservoir. The subsea compression will maintain the flowrate required to avoid severe slug production in the gas-
condensate export pipelines to shore.

Installing a subsea compression station instead of a platform will eliminate the need for offshore manning, helicopter
transport and offshore supply and will increase offshore safety. Offshore operation is only required during installation and for
retrieval and replacement of subsea modules for maintenance and repair.

There are no emissions or disposals from the subsea compression station. The only hazardous fluids present on the subsea
compression station is MEG used for hydrate inhibition and the hydrocarbon gas-condensate being produced.
Calculations show that carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 60 per cent in the construction of the subsea station
compared with building a floating platform.

Subsea Compression Station

The Ormen Lange subsea compression station is arranged with four parallel compressor trains on one subsea template. All
four trains (4 x 25%) are required for the design production case with an inlet pressure of 80 bara, a discharge pressure of 140
bara and a production capacity of 60 Msm3/sd. The design duty is 12.5 MW for each compressor and 400 kW for each pump.
The electrical power and signals is distributed from shore to the subsea compression station through a 125 km long power
umbilical. The subsea compression system is shown in figure 2 on the next page.

Each of the compressor trains comprises the following main retrievable process and power modules:

Separator/slug catcher module including Aker Solutions subsea separator

Anti-surge cooler module from Aker Solutions
Compressor module: Aker Solutions GasBoosterTM including motor-compressor from GE Oil&Gas
Pump module: Aker Solutions LiquidBoosterTM
Variable speed drive modules: Subsea enclosures including variable speed drive units from Converteam
Circuit breaker module: Subsea enclosure including circuit breakers from Schneider
Uninterruptible power supply and utility power distribution modules: Subsea enclosures including UPS from

The system design and arrangement of the compression station is shown in figure 3 on the next page. The station is 70 m
long, 54 m wide and 14 m high (excluding suction anchors) and the total dry weight is 6500 tonnes. The station is designed
for installation down to 900 meters water depth.
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Ormen Lange Subsea

Compression Station /SCSCt)

Anto surge
Recycle valve

Scrubber M UPS



VSDs Circuit
M Breakers &

Main step-down




Figure 2: Subsea compression station system Figure 3: Subsea compression station arrangement

The system design is developed with focus on robustness and reliability. The availability requirement for the subsea
compression station is 97.6%.

The process system is directly exposed to the wellstream and the process equipment is designed to handle varying
composition of unprocessed hydrocarbon gas and liquid, produced water, sand production and chemicals injected at the
wellheads. The main design principle for the process system has been to include an inlet separator/slug catcher that protects
the compressor against liquid and sand/fines that would lead to excessive wearing and reduced availability. The liquid and
sand/fines removed in the separator is boosted by a variable speed driven centrifugal pump.

The process equipment and piping is arranged to avoid pockets/dead legs and prevent build-up and clogging of solids in the
liquid piping and ensure that any liquid condensation in the gas lines is sloped back to the separator vessel. The pump module
is elevated below the separator module to satisfy the net positive suction head (NPSH) requirement. Subsea mechanical
connections and ROV operated isolation valves are included to allow for separate retrieval of the process modules. The
mechanical clamp connectors used are a variation of both single and multi bore types depending on the function and size of
the connecting piping.

The arrangement of the power modules is made to simplify the interfaces between modules and to reduce both cable lengths
and high voltage electrical wet mate connections where possible. The arrangement of the high voltage wet mate connection
mechanisms has been designed to allow for separate retrieval of each power module.

Subsea Compression Station Pilot

The subsea compression station pilot comprises one compression train equal to and with the same capacity and duty as one of
the four compression trains for the future Ormen Lange subsea compression station. The compressor train has a capacity of
15-20 MSm3/sd and a compressor shaft power of 12.5 MW.

The pilot station modules will be installed and tested in a test pit at Nyhamna within the Ormen Lange onshore terminal. The
test pit is 28 meters wide, 42 meters long and 14 meters deep. A cooling water system provides continuous flow of seawater
into and out of the test pit for cooling of the subsea equipment during operation.

The pilot will be operated with the real wellstream composition received from the Ormen Lange onshore facilities, and the
test facilities are equipped to emulate slug production, sand production and other operating conditions for the future Ormen
Lange subsea compression station.
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The electrical power from the test facilities is provided in a power cable to the pilot main transformer unit located in the test
pit. The main transformer is connected to the 22 kV circuit breaker module, which includes circuit breakers for the
compressor and pump variable speed drives.

The system design and arrangement of the pilot is shown in figure 4 and 5 below. The pilot is 30 m long, up to 18 m wide
and 13 m high and the total dry weight is approximately 900 tonnes. The process and power module arrangements are
identical to the future subsea compression station to ensure that all aspects of the process equipment, electrical power
equipment and overall system operation are qualified.

Figure 4: Subsea compression station pilot Figure 5: Subsea compression station pilot system arrangement
system design

Assembly and testing

The fabrication, assembly and testing of the process and power modules will be performed at Aker Solutions yard in
Egersund, Norway. A new subsea test hall is being built at Egersund and will be used for this work.

The equipment from the different suppliers will be transported to Egersund for assembly into the modules. The exception is
the pump which is delivered as a complete module. After mechanical completion and testing of each module they will be
assembled into the pilot system. The complete pilot will be subject to extensive dry testing to verify all mechanical, electrical
and control system functions.

After final testing of the pilot it Egersund, the pilot will be disassembled and transported to Nyhamna for installation in the
test pit and ready to start the 2 year testing period.
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Separator Module
The vertical separator is designed for two-phase separation. The separator vessel is 3m ID and 7 m T/T. The separator
module arrangement is shown in figure 6 and fabrication of the separator vessel is shown in figure 7.

Figure 6: Subsea separator module Figure 7: Separator vessel under fabrication

The separator will work as a slug catcher and has the required volume to accumulate the slugs being produced due to well
start-up, pressure transients and terrain induced slugging. The internals are designed to withstand the forces generated by the
expected slugging for the lifetime of the separator.

The liquid level is detected by instrumentation, and is controlled by variable speed operation of the liquid pump in the
compression train.

The gas demisting is performed by devices that have an open flow path sufficient for clogging not to occur. The performance
of the gas demisting is very conservative relative the compressor acceptance for liquid entrainment in the gas phase to the

The solids in the wellstream are separated out in the separator together with the liquid. The separator design must ensure that
no solids are accumulated in the gas demisting device or in the bottom of the separator. Extensive sand testing has been
performed to qualify the separator and internals, see figure 8 below.

Figure 8: Sand testing for subsea separator at Aker Solutions in Norway

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Anti-surge cooler module

The anti-surge cooler is used during recycle operation of the compressor and is designed for 9 MW heat dissipation to the
surrounding seawater.

Testing of the cooler performance in seawater is performed as part of the Ormen Lange subsea compression pilot project
Figure 10 show the testing of the cooler in a test pit at Aker Solutions in Norway. The cooler performance may degrade over
time due to biological growth and contaminates caused by mineral deposition and the cooler heat exchanging surface must be
increased to take this into account.

Figure 9: Anti-surge cooler module Figure 10: Testing of subsea cooler heat transfer at Aker
Solutions facilities in Norway

Compressor module
The GasBoosterTM compressor module is designed for high reliability and includes a 12.5 MW motor-compressor designed
for subsea operation. The subsea design development has resulted in a vertical unit and a common hermetically sealed
enclosure for the motor and compressor. The enclosure is pressurized and a barrier system separates the compressor and
motor volumes ensuring a clean operating atmosphere for the electrical motor and magnetic bearings. The motor cooling gas
is circulated in the motor enclosure by an impeller mounted on the motor shaft and then cooled in an external seawater
cooler. The closed motor cooling loop means that the motor is significantly less exposed to the unprocessed gas being
compressed in the compressor. The only utility supply required to the motor-compressor is the low voltage power to the
magnetic bearings.

Figure 11: Subsea compressor module Figure 12: Motor-compressor casing at General Electric in Massa
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The vertical configuration gives a smaller footprint which is beneficial for the subsea station arrangement as well as subsea
installation and intervention of the compressor module. The electrical motor is physically located above the compressor with
optimum protection against any liquid or seawater accidentally leaking into the unit. The vertical arrangement facilitates any
liquid droplets and solids particles to settle by gravity, and be collected at the bottom of the compressor vessel. The vertical
configuration draws advantage of the fact that gravity will drain all liquids from the motor-compressor to a common
extraction point located at bottom of the compressor.

Pump module
The 400 kW LiquidBoosterTM pump from Aker Solutions is a vertically
orientated multistage centrifugal pump with liquid filled motor. The
complete unit is enclosed in a pressure-retaining casing. The pump is
equipped with a barrier fluid pressure control system capable of following
rapid process pressure variation, to avoid leakage of process fluid into the
pump motor. The system will maintain an overpressure compared to the
process pressure during all conceivable process system transient
operations. The barrier fluid is glycol/water which will be supplied from
the existing production facilities at Ormen Lange and no dedicated utility
supply from shore is required.

Sand/fines/solids entering the compression station will be separated out in

the separator and transported via the liquid pump to the discharge pipeline.
The liquid pump must be designed to handle high sand concentrations and
the pump has been extensively tested with both sand and high gas rates to
prove its efficiency during subsea operation.

Figure 13 show the subsea pump module arrangement.

Figure 13: Subsea pump module

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High Voltage Power Supply

System Overview
The main function of the high voltage (HV) electrical system is to ensure steady power transmission from shore and an
accurate speed / torque control of the subsea high speed compressors and pumps. Aker Solutions has the total power system
engineering, design, marinisation and construction responsibility, including the following:
Interfaces with 132kV main bus on onshore gas plant and 420kV National Grid
System behavior (load flow, short-circuit harmonics, transients analyses) and detailed simulations between shore and
subsea station, including implementation of an On-load Tap Changer (used to adjust for subsea load changes), Static
VAR Compensation unit and phase compensating reactors (used to compensate up to approx 90MVar reactive power
from cable in no-load operation)
Subsea HV power system detailed requirement specifications
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and earthing design (which can be particularly challenging in subsea HV systems)
Marinised design of the high voltage equipment for 900m water depth

Figure 14: Subsea Compression Station single line diagram.

In above diagram the overall power system for the subsea compression station is described. In addition to the total system
design, Aker Solutions are delivering the equipment in the lowest blue box above. In the middle blue box the delivery scope
is done by Vetco/GE (based on Aker Solutions system specifications).

Another aspect of importance is high system availability and reliability, while still maintaining an optimized weight / size of
equipment. To ensure the high robustness goal of (minimum) 5-10 years continuous operation without maintenance / 30 years
lifetime the electrical system building blocks include the following main features:
Auxiliary low voltage (LV) supply by redundant uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units
Implementing a fully redundant control system with passive cooling and no fans
Using 1-atm enclosures that allow well proven components to be used. Minimizing number of flanges/penetrators
towards sea pressure, and using testable body flange and penetrator flanges with metal seals
Earth fault tolerant design: Possibility for continuous operation with an earth fault on one of the three phases in the HV
and LV systems (allows for planned replacement of failed modules, keeping production going while waiting for offshore
installation vessels). This means that 6.6kV systems have IEC (international eletroctechnical commission) insulation
system rating of U0/U(Um) = 6/10(12)kV, and similarly 22kV operational voltage implies 18/30(36)kV insulation.
Extensive focus on electromagnetic properties of various steel qualities used in the system, ensuring no potential
problems with eddy currents in single phase cables/connectors/penetrators.
Ensuring no electromagnetic compatibility problems with high current connections, especially focusing on the right way
of grounding cable screens and modules
Focus on thermal balance and verification of thermal models
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This has lead to the following number of Ormen Lange Pilot Test Single Line Diagram
components for the Subsea Compression Station: Test Pit supply from 132/22kV 20MVA transformer

1 off LSPS (long step-out power system) Step- Circuit Breaker Module
down Transformer (by others)
2 off Subsea Circuit Breaker (CB) Modules, 22kV / 50 Hz
each with supply/protection for 2 trains 22kV CB

4 off Subsea Compressor VSD Modules

(CVSD), supplying the Pre-charge system Auxiliary
12.5MW/6.6kV/10162rpm gearless high speed 400V

motor with magnetic bearings

4 off Subsea Pump VSD Modules (PVSD), 22kV 620V 620V
supplying the 400kW/2.5kV/3600rpm Aker VSD Module UPS Module A UPS Module B

Solutions condensate pump 22kV

4 off Subsea VSD Transformers (fixed on 16MVA &
500kVA VSD
CVSD module), each supplying power to one Transformers

CVSD and one PVSD

4 off Subsea Uninterruptible Power Supply 2x 3.7kV
2.8kV Pump VSD
(UPS) units, independently supplying all
control and low voltage auxiliary systems,
valves, control modules etc. 400V 400V
The Pilot Station is based on the same design
criteria as the final subsea station in terms of
performance and layout, with the same full scale 6.6kV 2.5kV

1 off CB Module, supplying one compression M M
12.5MW 400kW
train and two UPS units 6.6kV 2.5kV

1 off Compressor VSD Module

0-200Hz 0-70Hz
1 off Pump VSD Module Compressor Pump
2 off independent UPS Modules and auxiliary Module Module

distribution systems ensuring full redundancy Figure 15: Subsea Compression Station Pilot single line diagram.

In the following sections the main Electic Modules for the Pilot Station are described, and differences with the final Subsea
Station are highlighted.

Circuit Breaker Module

The main purpose of the circuit breaker module is to distribute 22kVac from the upstream LSPS step-down transformer to the
various main loads, and to protect and maintain functionality of the rest of the system in case one or more of these
downstream modules fail. Two of the total of 4 off 22kV circuit breakers (by Schneider Electric, France) supply two
compressor trains, and the other two supply 2 step-down auxiliary transformers inside the CB Enclosure. These two oil-filled
transformers are designed to supply 620Vac to the UPS Modules and to supply 400Vac to the VSD pre-charge system.

Figure 16: Subsea Circuit Breaker Module. Figure 17: CB enclosure under fabrication.

The main purpose of the pre-charge system is to pre-energize approx 100kVA power to the CVSD/PVSD before closing the
main 22kVkVac power to the VSD. If the pre-charge was not included, the long cable from shore and limited short-circuit
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power available subsea would have resulted in too high inrush current to the transformers (typically up to 10x nominal
current), resulting in a voltage drop that would trip the subsea power supply and damage the VSD DC capacitors. By using
this pre-charge system the VSDs are soft-started in a few seconds, before closing the main 22kV breakers, and by this the
inrush current is reduced significantly.

The pre-charge circuit is also very simple and robust, only consisting of a step-down transformer from 22kV, two 400V low
voltage breakers, and a step-up transformer to 22kV (see Figure 15). A special design of the impedance in this circuit is also
what eliminates pre-charge solutions based on more complicated power electronics / thyristors.
The main CBs and HV connections are rated at 36kV, which allows the 22kV busbar to be operated with an earth fault, and it
also comprises an earth fault monitoring system for each outgoing feeder, as well as provisions for a differential protection
system for the LSPS transformer. The Pilot CB module is dimensioned for two compressor trains, but includes only 3 of 4
22kV breakers for one train and two UPS units, as the CB and subsea HV connection system for train 2 is not included during
the pilot test phase.

The CB Enclosure is nitrogen filled at 1-atm, allowing ruggedized and proven standard industrial components from
Schneider Electric to be used, including a fully redundant control and protection relay system. The unit is cooled by natural
convection. Total weight is approx 140 T, with an enclosure diameter of 2.8m and length of approx 17.6m.

VSD Input Transformers

The CVSD and PVSD input transformers (from ABB, Finland), rated at 16MVA and 500kVA respectively, are passively
cooled and housed in the same oil-filled compartment, thus saving weight and space, and sharing pressure compensators.
Another outer chamber with its own pressure compensator is filled with another type of oil which is not aggressive to the
special materials used in the HV and LV penetrators. Since the biggest 3-winding transformer is supplying a 12-pulse VSD, it
has dual 3.7kVac star/delta secondary windings, whilst the 6-pulse 2-winding transformer for the Pump VSD steps the
22kVac down to approx 2.8kVac. The outer termination chamber has two barriers between seawater and electric conductors,
and is designed to tolerate water ingress while still maintaining operation. The total transformer weight is approx 28 T, and
size approx 4.6x2.1x3.5m (LxWxH).

Figure 18: Subsea Compressor VSD Module. Empty space cassette on Figure 19: VSD internal power electronic Rack.
top of VSD Transformer Module (grey item, lower right hand of module) is Sections from top to bottom: controllers, rectifiers,
allocated for the separately retrievable Pump VSD Module. To the right the inverter section, DC link capacitors, filter reactors and
ROV operated retractable wet mate connection arm is shown. cooling unit.
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Compressor Variable Speed Drive

The Compressor VSD is based on the Converteam (France) MV7616 series, which delivers 16MVA/14MW at 170Hz and
6.6kVac to the compressor motor. The drive uses a 12-pulse diode rectifier with simple semiconductor components that
converts the 2x 3.7kVac input voltage at fixed 50Hz frequency to 10kVdc voltage. This dc voltage is in turn utilized by the 3-
level press-pack IGBT (insulated gate bi-polar transistor) inverter that converts the fixed dc voltage to a pulse-width
modulated ac voltage of up to 6.6kV and 0-200Hz at the output. To enhance motor efficiency and lifetime, the drive also
includes a sine wave filter which smoothes the motor current to a nearly perfect sine wave, which avoids potentially
damaging torque pulsations. The efficiency of drive + filter is >97%.

In order to improve system availability the following main

features are implemented in the VSD:
Fully redundant low voltage distribution and control
system (i.e. VSD controllers, power interface boards and
dual IGBT gate drive supply/fiber optic communications)
Minimizing complexity by using fewer components with
high power capability as well as well proven power devices
from rough navy/marine applications
Achieving significant voltage/current design margins in
key power electronic components, allowing reduced
thermal and electric field stresses, which in turn reduces
component ageing mechanisms
Using N+1 IGBT press pack technology with inherent
redundancy by adding 1 extra IGBT in series with each set
of IGBTs. If 1 out of 3 IGBTs in series fails, full
production is still maintained through a fail-to-short-circuit Figure 20: Subsea Compressor VSD IGBT press-pack
(fail safe) solution and associated control hardware / inverter bridge (one phase), including gate drive cards,
cooling tubes, heat sinks, snubber circuits.
Redundant active cooling systems for VSD power electronics, based on canned hermetic cooling pumps proven for long
lasting maintenance free operation in the nuclear industry.
Utilizing deionized water as cooling medium for power electronic devices and sine filter

The VSD converter is located in 1-atm nitrogen atmosphere

inside an Enclosure designed for 900m water depth. A special
design of the internal rack and components has been
implemented, ensuring that the approx. 4% power losses
(<20kW) to nitrogen (96% of the power losses goes to the
external water-to-water heat exchanger) are circulated
passively, and heat exchanged with the surrounding internal
walls. The enclosure is 3m in diameter with, approx 12m tall
and weighs approx 100 T including external cooler piping, and
a total of approx 120T including the VSD + filter and
control/auxiliary systems inside.

Pump VSD
This 6-pulse drive is based on mainly the same subcomponents
as the CVSD, and the main architecture originates from the
Converteam MW 7306 series, rated for up to 3.3kV/6MW.
Since the load is a 2.5kV/120A/400kW motor at conventional
frequencies (0-70Hz), the reliability, availability and
maintainability (RAM) study made it possible to eliminate the
extra N+1 IGBT redundancy due to the inherent voltage margin
and current margin (<10% power loading), allowing for
simplicity, high robustness and maintained reliability.
Apart from this, the redundant water cooling, VSD control,
power interface board and gate drive redundancy is the same in Figure 21: Subsea Pump VSD Module. Internal power
both drive solutions. Module size is approx 2.8m x 2.8m electronic rack shown to the right.
footprint, 6.3m height and a weight of approx 40T.
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UPS Module
Each of the two redundant UPS modules includes a back-up battery and
distribution system to all low voltage subsea consumers, e.g. anti-surge
valves, control modules, magnetic bearing systems, CB, VSDs, etc.

In case one UPS Unit fails, productions can be maintained in normal mode
without any shut-down, as the control/loads are automatically transferred to
the other UPS unit is a safe and bumpless way. The main reason why this is
possible is that all consumers have double A/B supply connections. In
addition, the UPS output LV feeders are equipped with isolating
transformers, allowing operation with single phase earth fault.

Lithium-ion technology is used in the battery system, and the main reasons
why this is most suitable is related to the fact that these batteries are
maintenance free, no gas is released, energy/volume ratio is high and they
are well proven from other special applications like telecom systems,
satellites and electric vehicles. The battery package is dimensioned to power
the main parts of the subsea control system during a shutdown sequence (in
particular the magnetic bearing system during compressor run-down) in
case of loss of the main power supply. If needed the UPS system can be
commanded to go to sleep for up to one month and revert back for a
system check and startup. If required for any reason, the back-up battery can
be recharged by an ROV after which a black start can be performed.

The UPS unit comprises two compartments at an internal pressure of 1 atm.

The upper nitrogen filled section contains all power electronics, batteries,
control system and water cooling system, and the lower oil-filled section
with all the output feeder transformers and filter reactors. Enclosure diam. is
1.5m with height of approx 8.5m and module weight of approx 34T.

HV Connectors
Another challenge has been to design a large enough HV Connection
System for 36kV/900A/50Hz used for the 22kV distribution and
12kV/1600A/0-200Hz for the VSD and 6.6kV compressor motor (see figure
23). To undertake this job, Deutsch (France) was brought into the team, and
have over the last two years brought forward a complete set of single phase
penetrators, jumpers and wet mate connectors, which are also earth fault
tolerant for this purpose. Figure 22: Subsea UPS Module. Enclosure
domes under fabrication
Among the key obstacles that have been overcome, one may mention rapid
gas decompression in the compressor (which potentially could transform
plastic insulating parts into popcorn) steel quality to avoid heat problems
due to potential eddy currents, as well as partial discharge free cable
interfaces. Since these components are relatively big and heavy, Aker
Solutions have also designed ROV operated mating mechanisms to couple
the connectors and high voltage power supply between the modules

Figure 23: Deutsch 18/30(36)Kv 900A wet mate

connectors (male on top, female at bottom
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Assembly and Testing

The internal racks are built by Converteam in France (Schneider Electric builds the Circuit Breaker rack), and all functions
are fully tested (including load test of VSDs) before shipment to Aker Solutions yard in Egersund, Norway. At this location
the racks are function tested after transport (to verify everything is OK), and then integrated into the Enclosures. After this
the assembled Units (rack + enclosure) are integrated into their respective structures, forming the final Module, including HV
connector mating mechanisms and LV/HV cable bridges, ROV panels, etc. Then all modules are connected together (ref
Figure 5) for the first Pilot System Test. During this test the system is powered up with 22kV and low voltage, and all status
checks are made by the control system. As part of this, all main functions in valves, magnetic bearing controllers, UPS units,
control modules etc are tested. Main purpose is to do as much as possible of testing as part of the Mechanical Completion
verifications. After this, everything is shipped to the Nyhamna gas plant test pit, and prepared for the full load test period.

Aker Solutions subsea marinisation experience, system engineering capability and project execution excellence together
with Converteams key knowledge about unique power electronic components and systems for special applications have also
been among the key factors for the subsea power system and Electrical Modules prototype development.

At the moment this team is also doing front-end engineering and design work for other similar applications, including subsea
VSD and CB technology for even deeper water down to 3000m water depth. Spin-off applications like offshore floating wind
power and tidal water power applications that require subsea CBs and transformers are also being explored, with an
increasing interest from various market players.

Control System

To operate the subsea compressor system, including manifold valves, an all-electric control system is implemented. The
onshore equipment will connect to the subsea equipment via a high voltage electrical cable also containing fiber optic cables
for communication to shore.

The design of the subsea compressor control system has been established to fulfill the requirements and need for:
Normal operation monitoring and control, inclusive of facilities for maintenance control
Emergency monitoring and control, including procedures for emergency alarming and locally implemented shutdowns
Communication between the interface parties
Interface towards potential future expansions
SIL2 rating for critical shutdown loops
Segregation between control, shutdown and condition monitoring functionality

The compressor operating modes that have been implemented into the control system design are:
Slug production and other process upsets
Liquid level control of the scrubber
Anti-Surge/Recycle Operation
Load Sharing between two and up to four compressors
Start-up and Shut-down
Emergency Shut down
Normal Operation
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Control Overview

Up to four compressors variable speed-driven compressors:

Each Compressor: Recycle control valve
Anti-Surge Control: Algorithm with fallback protection
Overload Protection: Motor MW
Load Sharing: Equal distance load distribution
Capacity Control: Speed control
Decoupling: Anti-surge and process
Sequencing/Logic: Start-up and Shut-down

Figure 24: Subsea control system block diagram

The Aker Solutions all electric control system consists of:

Topside equipment (SAS) and optical modems for subsea communications (TCP/IP)
A fully redundant subsea uninterruptible power supply with a low power sleep mode, with minimal battery drain
One SCM for each compressor train, each housing multiple SEMs. This is a hub for communications between the surface
and the subsea units. It also controls the subsea units, operates local valves and takes input from local sensors. It contains
the following internal SEMs:
- One dual SEM used for Process Control
- One dual SEM used for Process Shutdown (handling SIL 1 and SIL 2 shutdown loops)
- One single SEM used for Condition Monitoring and service functions
Fibre-optic communication used between Subsea and topside, with:
- Dual network for Process control functions
- Dual network for Process Shutdown functions
- Single network for Condition Monitoring and Service functions
Electrical actuators for all remotely operated valves, capable of SIL 2 operation
OTC 20030 15

A subsea Ethernet LAN and Industrial Communication Bus system interfacing the SCM to the following equipment
o UPS System
o Compressor controller
o Magnetic bearing controller
o Compressor VSD
o Compressor circuit breaker
o Pump VSD
o Pump circuit breaker
o Subsea Electrical Actuators

A nucleonic level sensor is being developed for measuring

gas/liquid interface level in the subsea scrubber. This is based on
small modules inserted into horizontal thermo-wells in the
scrubber as shown in the sketch beside. The sketch shows the
arrangement for the test site, where the devices will be flange-
mounted. In the subsea version, each sensor will be ROV

Calculation of level from the nucleonic sensors is done by subsea

electronic solvers. The level control loop is closed by the subsea
control system. There are 2 redundant A/B systems, each
consisting of 4 sensors + one electronic solver. The 3 sources
irradiate all 8 sensors.

Figure 25: Thermowells for nucleonic

level sensors on separator

We wish to acknowledge the Ormen Lange License partners
Dong Energy

for sanctioning and supporting the Subsea Compression Pilot Project.

1. OTC 20028, Ormen Lange Subsea Compression Pilot System, Bernt Bjerkreim/StatoilHydro, 2009