Nexans’ high-voltage cable plant underwent a significant expansion to become the first plant in the USA producing for offshore wind farms. Cable roundness goes a long way to help achieve excellence.

Nexans’ high-voltage cable plant, located outside of Charleston, South Carolina, USA, underwent a significant expansion dedicated to manufacturing underwater cable for offshore wind farms. It has become the first HV subsea cable plant in the country and the Americas. The plant manufactures cables for the offshore wind farms newly emerging in the USA and those in the global market.

Most advanced VCV

The Charleston plant has a VCV line with the most innovative manufacturing technology available. Cable roundness, long lengths, high production rates, reliability, and improved metrics characterise the new plant capacity and the cable produced. The aim is to achieve excellence at every level.

Take, for example, the Maillefer Round Curing (MRC) that allows for the quality production of cables without sacrificing speed. Here, the answer for high productivity first focuses on tight roundness control via rapid crosslinking rather than insulation cooling. The line’s optimum speed is not compromised by reconsidering the parameter priorities.

Round to perfection

Here is an overview of some of the advantages cited thanks to the state-of-the-art technology found in Charleston.

  • MRC for excellent cable roundness
    – Critical for subsea cables and water tightness
    – Dynamic HV cables that require tight geometry tolerances
  • Higher line speed rating compared to earlier technology
    – For increased productivity
    – Previous constraints to achieve roundness are removed
  • Capability to produce longer cable and fewer factory joints
    – Campaign length increase due to line speed increase and tightened controls
  • Fulfilled specifications for export of HV wind farm cables
  • Increased reliability and valuable metrics
    – Topography scanner and data prove roundness quality
    – Statistics on roundness display a narrowed distribution.

Achieving excellence at plants like Nexans’ Charleston is a reality and is realisable elsewhere. The MRC technology applies to HVAC as well as HVDC cable production. Maillefer has already proved it on four VCV lines. Six more units are in preparation for newly ordered projects. In short, MRC makes better products on more efficient lines.

Image source: Courtesy of Maillefer

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