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Electric Heating of Pipelines and Large Export Flowlines > 30" and more
than 100 km

Ole Heggdal, Aker Solutions AS, Atle Pedersen and Jens Kristian Lervik, SINTEF Energy Research, Ole-Johan
Bjerknes, Aker Solutions AS
Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Conference
This paper was prepared for presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 30 April3 May 2012.
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.

Direct electric heating (DEH) of long flowlines and large export pipelines provides many advantages compared to alternative
methods. DEH has been applied actively in the past 10 years to prevent hydrate formation and is now breaking new ground
that was not previously considered feasible. By using qualified technology and existing design models, longer and larger
pipelines can be heated intermittently or continuously.
Electric heating of pipelines is attractive for long step outs greater than 100 km, as DEH running costs are considerably
reduced compared to the use of chemicals. The technology is unique and commercially and technically attractive. It allows for
the use of DEH for both infield flowlines and export pipelines of 30 and above. An increased number of DEH systems have
been evaluated for oil and gas field project developments on continental shelves around the world, and the extension of this
new technology will give higher flexibility in operation of the fields during planned or unplanned shut downs. Material aging
and other failure mechanisms caused by high temperatures and water pressure are also of great importance. Accuracy in design
and analysis as well as industry experience are important in solving project specific hydrate or wax issues in long DEH
The system is easy to install and operate and has low CAPEX and OPEX costs. A new cable design and installation method
has improved the robustness of the overall system and makes the system more compatible with large and heavy pipes on the
seabed. New condition monitoring also secures optimal heat input and improves service-life.
Complete heating systems for large export pipelines, with power supply from shore, are available within the industry.
Key words
Long Step Out, Flowlines, Pipelines; Hydrate Prevention; Electrical Heating; Cable Aging, Time of Use; AC Corrosion
Protection; Electrical Power Requirements; Generated Heat.
- direct electrical heating.
DEHC - direct electrical heating cable (cable piggybacked to the pipeline).
DEHS - direct electrical heating system.
CWC - concrete weight coating.
- current transfer zone.

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Hydrate management of long step outs by direct electric heating systems for 30" carbon pipelines in the range of 100-300 km
is considered for 1000-2000 m water depths. A typical layout is illustrated in Fig. 1. Within the industry all necessary skills
and resources are available for deliveries of complete advanced pipeline heating systems.
The system described is a robust DEH system that fulfils the operational and functional requirements, [1-5]. The long step out
technology and components described in this document are patent pending. The installation friendly DEH cable solution is
qualified specifically to reduce the total risk in using a DEH system. The system has several unique advantages and it
represents the next generation in DEH technology. The installation friendly design and enhanced protection eliminates the risk
of damage during handling and installation. The DEH systems have long track records and most system components are
analysed, designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned using standardised analysis tools, design solutions and

Fig. 1. DEH pipeline with a piggybacked DEHC.

This paper considers the rating of DEH for a 30" pipeline of 100 300 km with thermal coating. The U-value is in the range of
3.5 - 2.5 W/m2K. A comparison is made between the "traditional design" and a new "subsea design" for two connections to the
pipeline, i.e. end fed system and midpoint fed system. The rating is based on a required temperature rise given a surrounding
seawater temperature of the pipe content of 20 oC.
This "traditional design" needs a large conductor cross section of the power supply cable since the DEHC current is fed
directly from the topside power system, while the "subsea design" has a subsea transformer and a reactive compensation unit
and therefore requires a considerably reduced conductor cross section of the power supply cable, which can be designed for a
higher voltage level. An increased voltage level of the "subsea design" reduces the generated heat in the supply cables and
increases the efficiency of the system compared to the "traditional design".
This paper presents the main components of the DEH system and gives the current status of the feasibility using DEH on long
step-out pipelines.
General System Design
The DEH system has to be terminated at least 30 m away from any subsea structure or riser. The template, spool pieces and
riser can be heated by induction heating, which can be provided by the DEHCs. The pipelines may need to be split up in
defined lengths, due to the long step out. The longest single pipeline length operated with DEH today is 42 km (Tyrihans in the
North Sea). The main limiting factor is the DEHC operational voltage, which limits the heated length to approximately 50 km
depending on heating requirements, such as DEH system impedance, for the actual case. Hence, heating a 100-300 km
flowline as a continuous heated length will be far beyond any experiences at the moment. In order to avoid comprehensive
verification issues it is proposed to design the DEHS as a sectioned heating system. I.e. the pipeline will be heated from a
power supply system feeding a number of DEH sections. If the first end is powered from shore or a fixed platform, the other
sections will be designed as separate sections. The sections can be fed by separate power cables to each section ("traditional
design") or each section can be galvanically separated by a transformer and fed through a common power cable ("subsea
The DEH method requires the use of a designated anode system at the ends, where the ac supply current will be partly
transferred to seawater. This is due to the nature of this heating method (open loop), since the connections between the cables
and the flowline are exposed to seawater. Typically, the current transferred to seawater is approximately 60 % of the total
(supply) current. The anode system is designed with traditional sacrificial anodes, arranged as half shells or sledges.

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Long step-out configurations for a 30" pipeline

Alternative designs
The use of DEH is considered for a 100 300 km long 30" pipeline that is supplied with thermal coating. The pipeline may
have an additional concrete weight coating.
The maximum heated section length depends on a number of different factors. The main issue is the voltage level. The DEHC
is presently restricted to a certain voltage level. Exceeding this level requires qualification work. Due to capacitive currents,
the DEHC current and hence the generated heat in the pipeline, will vary along the heated section. For a 30 pipeline of 50km,
the generated heat increases by approximately 10 %, while for a 100 km long pipeline the increase is approximately 60 %. In
order to limit the variation of the generated power in the pipeline the length should be limited to approximately 50 km.
However, it is possible to limit the current increase with a new cable design, which gives considerable less capacitive currents,
but this may require comprehensive development work.
There are several alternative designs for sectioning the DEHS. This can be carried out by end fed and midpoint fed systems.
Traditionally the DEHS is fed from the topside directly to the heated pipeline, without any subsea transformer. The conductor
cross section of the supply cables for a traditional DEHS is similar to the large cross section for the DEH system, typically
1200 mm2 for each cable conductor. A "subsea design" with a transformer and reactive compensation located subsea will
reduce the size of the power supply cable considerably. Given the subsea design an optimum utilization is achieved by using
a three phase supply system and is carried out by sectioning the heating system in a multiple of three, i.e. a common three core
power cable feeding three sections. This requires separate transformers to divide each section galvanically.
For the end fed system, three lengths of 50 km (i.e. total 150 km length) can be fed by a three phase system from a three core
power cable. A sketch of the end fed system is shown in Fig. 2. By using a midpoint connection pipeline interface, the section
length can be increased to 2x50 km, i.e. the practical limit for a heated section given the midpoint connection is approximately
100 km. A sketch of the midpoint fed system is shown in Fig. 3. The midpoint fed system can be separated into two parts by a
midpoint connection to the pipeline, with an additional CTZ supplied with anodes at this position. With this connection it will
be possible to heat the two parts separately. However, this configuration is similar to the two end fed systems.
It may be possible to supply three 100 km long sections with the use of midpoint connections, i.e. a total length of 300 km, by
using a three phase power cable system. If the same power cable voltage level is used for a midpoint system of 300 km as for
the end fed case (of total 150 km), at least a six core cable would be required.
An alternative to the "subsea design" (Figs. 6 and 7) with a three phase power supply cable is the traditional design (Figs. 14
and 15), i.e. to use a separate two core power supply cable for each of the three sections. However, this single fed
configuration for the three sections needs twice the number of single core cables compared to using a common three phase
supply cable.
Power supply cable


Transformer with
reactive power

50 km
Thermally coated pipeline

Piggyback cable (DEH cable)


Fig. 2. End fed system.

100 km
Thermally coated pipeline

Fig. 3. Midpoint fed system.

(Current transfer zone
supplied with anodes)

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Fig. 4 shows a DEH configuration with the DEHC piggybacked to the coated pipeline. Fig. 5 shows a case with CWC with
steel armouring. The steel armouring has an impact on the generated heat in the pipeline and the system impedance. The
reduction of the generated heat in the pipeline due to armouring may be 10 %.

Fig. 5.

Fig. 4. DEH configuration with DEHC piggybacked to

the pipeline.

DEH configuration with DEHC piggybacked to

the pipeline supplied with CWC.

Figs. 6 and 7 illustrate long-step out layouts with three sections for end and midpoint fed systems respectively. For the end fed
system in Fig. 6 a total of 150 km may be sufficient with a single supply cable with three single core cables. A voltage level of
52 kV may be sufficient to keep the pipe 20 oC above surrounding seawater temperature with a U-value of 3.5 W/m2K. For the
midpoint fed system in Fig. 7 a total of 300 km may be required to install two 52 kV three core power cables in order to keep
the pipe 20 oC above surrounding seawater temperature given the same U-value.
52 kV power cable

50 km

50 km

50 km

Transformer with reactive compensation


Fig. 6. End fed system with subsea transformer and reactive compensation unit.

52 kV power cable

50 - 100 km

Fig. 7. Midpoint fed system with subsea transformer and reactive compensation unit.
The designs in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 require a subsea transformer and capacitor bank for reactive power compensation for each
pipe section. Both serial and parallel reactive compensation of the DEH load are possible. Typical value of the load power
factor is close to 0.3.

Fig. 8. DEH configuration with a DEHC piggybacked

Fig. 9. DEH pipeline with a piggybacked DEHC and a
to the pipeline and a three phase supply power cable
3 core power supply cable.
located close to the pipe in the same trench.
In case of trenching it may be an advantage to locate the power supply cable in the same trench as the pipeline as indicated in
Figs. 8 and 9. However, the DEH pipeline will induce voltage in the power cable conductors. Calculations show that the
induced voltage is in the range of 1 kV for a 50 km section. In the next section the induced voltage will have a 120
displacement and hence the maximum induced voltage will not be higher than the value induced in one section. Steel
armouring and other conducting material that may be connected in parallel to the DEH pipeline should be avoided in the
power cable since these conductors may take a considerable part of the pipe current and hence reduce the generated heat
(temperature) in the pipeline.
The 3-phase power cable that is piggybacked to the flowline as shown in Fig. 9 does not have steel armouring, but a poorly
conductive or non-conductive outer jacket armouring based on metallic carbon composite, glass fibres and PVC. The total
capacitive charging currents of the three cores will be zero since the screens interconnect via semi conductive materials and
water. This is in contradiction to the DEH specific single-core piggybacked cable designs, where the capacitive charging
currents should be drained to the pipeline through holes or semi conductive areas in its outer jacket armouring.
Examples of DEH for a 30" pipeline
For conventional thermal pipe coating it is feasible with a U-value of 3.5 W/m2K. For the new "Ultra" coating the U-value is
expected to be as low as 2.5 W/m2K. Calculations carried out for a 50 km long pipeline give the following results in order to
achieve 20 oC of the pipe content at steady state conditions for the pipeline without CWC:
A U-value of 3.5 W/m2K requires a current of approximately 1700 A, a supply voltage of 26 kV and power demand of 13.3
MW for a 50 km length. For three sections, i.e. 150 km, the three phase supply current is approximately 450 A and a power
conductor cross section of approximately 400 mm2 is required for each phase conductor.
Reducing the U-value to 2.5 W/m2K ("Ultra") requires a current of approximately 1430 A, a supply voltage of 22 kV and
power demand of 9.4 MW for 50 km length. For this case, approximately 240 mm2 is required for each phase conductor of the
52 kV power cable.
If the pipeline is supplied with CWC an additional 5 % of current is needed, the voltage increases by approximately 7 % and
power demand by approximately 10 %.
For the midpoint case the required current for a U-value of 3.5 W/m2K is 1700 A, as for the end fed system. The power
demand for 100 km is 27 MW, and for three sections, i.e. 300 km, the three phase supply current is approximately 900 A and
the power demand is 81 MW. A power conductor cross section of approximately 630 mm2 is required for each phase
conductor of the 52 kV power supply cable. By reducing the U-value to 2.5 W/m2K the power conductor cross section can be
reduced to 500 mm2 for each phase conductor of the 52 kV power cable. In this case the power demand is 56.4 MW for 300
km. A conductor cross section equal to 1200 mm2 for the DEHC is assumed for all cases above.
Fig. 10 Fig. 13 show the results from the computations for a long step out between 100 and 300 km for sectioning the DEHS
into three sections for U-values of 2.5 and 3.5 W/m2K.
Fig. 10 shows the current in the three phase supply cable versus total heated length, Fig. 11 shows the required conductor cross
section for each of the three phase conductors of the 52 kV supply power cable, Fig. 12 shows the power demand of the DEHS
and Fig. 13 shows the total generated heat in the supply cable in relation to the total heat development in the DEHS.

Fig. 10. Current in the three phase supply cable vs.

total heated length.

Fig. 12. Power demand of the DEHS vs. total heated


Fig. 11. The required conductor cross section for each

of the three phase conductors of the 52 kV supply
power cable vs. total heated length.

Fig. 13. The total generated heat in the supply cable in

relation to the total heat development in the DEHS vs.
total heated length for the subsea design.

The computations in this section are based on a required temperature rise of 20 oC in relation to the surrounding seawater
temperature. Additional temperature rise requires additional currents and generated heat in the steel pipeline. If an additional
10 oC is required (additional 50 %) the power demand will increase accordingly, i.e. by 50 %. The required current will
increase by approximately 22 %, which will also be the case for the cable conductor cross sections.
Comparison between the traditional and subsea design
The traditional DEH design has the transformer and reactive compensation unit topside. Figs. 14 and 15 show sketches of the
traditional design with end and midpoint fed systems. These configurations need large conductor cross sections for the power
supply cable since the DEHC current is fed directly from the topside power system. Each section is in this case supplied with
two core 52 kV power cables with a cross section of 1200 mm2 for the pipeline with U = 2.5 W/m2K and with a cross section
of 1400 mm2 for the pipeline with U = 3.5 W/m2K. Compared to the subsea design in Fig. 6 and Fig. 7, the supply power cable
requires twice the number of phase conductors and each of the phase conductors need at least twice as much conductor cross
section. Furthermore, the traditional design requires the same conductor cross section independent of the heated length, while
for the subsea design the conductor cross section is increasingly linearly with the total heated length. For a 100 km length the
required cross section for the subsea design is less than 20 % of the traditional design and only half the number of phase
conductors is needed.
2 core 52 kV power cables

50 km

50 km

Fig. 14. End fed system - traditional design.

2 core 52 kV power cables

50 - 100 km

Fig. 15. Midpoint fed system - traditional design.

50 km

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The required heat input to the DEHS is the same for the subsea designs in Figs. 6 and 7 as for the traditional design in Figs. 14
and 15. However, the generated heat loss in the supply cables is considerably increased for the traditional design. Fig. 16
shows the generated heat in the supply cables versus heated pipeline length. In the figure, the pipeline length between 100 and
150 km assumes an end fed system and a midpoint fed system is assumed for 200 300 km. For a 100 km pipeline the
generated heat in the supply cables is more than 30 % of the generated heat of the DEHS. For the largest distances the
generated heat may be even more than 50 % of the generated heat of the DEHS. A further increase of the cross section of the
supply cable will reduce the losses, but the benefit of increasing the cross section from 1400 mm2 to 2000 mm2 gives only a
reduction in the total generated heat of nearly 5 %.

Fig. 16. The generated heat in the supply cable vs. total heated length (traditional design).
Table 1 shows a comparison of the total power demand between the subsea design and traditional design for a U-value of
2.5 W/m2K. As seen from these results, the total copper conductor cross section for the supply cable of the subsea design is
only 12.5 % of that for the traditional design.
Table 1. Comparison between the subsea design and traditional design for a 30" pipeline. U-value of 2.5 W/m2K and 20
C temperature rise of the pipe content with a 52 kV supply power cable.
Subsea design
Traditional design
Cable conductor cross
Power demand
Power demand
Cable conductor cross section
[mm ]
Two possible solutions for the "subsea design" are shown in Figs. 17 and 18.

Fig. 17. Possible solution for the "subsea design" with one end fed section and two mid point fed sections, the two
sections are supplied with mid point connection.

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Fig. 18. Possible solution for the "subsea design" with one end fed section and three mid point fed sections without mid
point connection.
For the "traditional design" the efficiency is in the range of 50 60 % of a maximum 300 km heated length. For the "subsea
design" the efficiency is 70 75 %. The efficiency is defined as the ratio between the generated heat in the steel pipe and the
total generated heat in the DEHS.
Riser design
DEH is in most cases supplied via a dynamic power cable from the topside power supply and connected subsea to a power
cable. Experience shows that the worst case regarding temperature conditions for the cables occurs in the region where the
riser is above the sea water. The riser may be located inside a steel tube which increases the heat in the cable.
The "traditional design" requires large conductor cross sections (1600 mm2) in order to keep the cable temperature below the
limit of 90 C for the cable insulation of XLPE. To supply three sections with the traditional design, six cable conductors are
required. A possible solution is to supply these sections with one 4 core and one 2 core riser cable. The maximum temperature
occurs in the riser with 4 cores. Computations have been carried out given 1430 A which is required for a U-value of 2.5
W/m2K. The temperature plot is shown in Fig. 19. As seen, the temperature limit of 90 C is exceeded.

Fig. 19. Temperature plot of a riser with four cores conducting 1430A in total. The maximum temperature inside the
conductor is 98 C which is above the acceptance criteria.
A possible solution to reduce the temperature is to use water cooling inside the riser. Fig. 20 shows a solution with water
cooling, supplying 20 C water in two 16mm pipes close to the centre of the umbilical. With this water cooling system the
maximum temperature is 70 C which is well below the 90 C limit.

Fig. 20. A four core riser with water cooling inside the conduit. The cooling water has a temperature of 20 C. The
cooling water reduces the maximum temperature in the riser to 70 C.

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For the "subsea design" a three core riser consisting of 3 x 240 mm2 conductors is sufficient. For such a design the current will
be 450 A for the same heat requirement of the pipeline as for the cases referred to Figs. 19 and 20. Fig. 21 shows the
calculated temperatures for this three core riser.

Fig. 21. Temperature plot of a three core riser, each core with a 240 mm2 conductor cross section. The cables conduct
450 A. The maximum temperature inside the conductors is 65 C.
The results show that a three core riser for the subsea design that supplies all three sections has a maximum temperature of
65 C inside the conductors. No water cooling is required in this case.
Design of DEH systems
The DEH cable with an installation friendly protection profile can be strapped directly onto the pipe without clamps. The DEH
system design contains only proven and reliable technology. Aker Solutions has high and redundant capacity in the supply of
DEH cables from several cable manufacturing sites. The cables will be delivered in full length and closed without splices.
The engineering and analysis work on a DEH system is an iterative process that starts with empirical and experienced data.
When the pipes are manufactured, the electrical data (relative permeability) for the pipes will be used. However, the relative
permeability will change during sandblasting, coating, welding, reeling, installation and with the final temperature of pipes etc.
At this stage the electrical data measured at pipe manufacturer will be used. The final impedance of the system will be
obtained during final commissioning and start-up. A number of operational acceptance criterias, alarms and fault protection
settings will therefore be settled during start up. The system will then be ready for 25 years continuous operation. Only
maintenance checks will be necessary.
Main design requirements of the DEH piggyback
The main design requirements for a piggyback cable (ref.
Fig. 22) are:
Resist loads during handling, strapping and
Resist loads from fishing gear or trawl boards
Resist thermal loads from pipelines or cable itself
when pipe is trenched
Resist loads if the cable is compressed under the
Resist loads from pipe movement or upheaval
Resist mechanical strain from thermal expansion
or compression of the pipe

Fig. 22. 30 pipeline with concrete coating and 120

mm2 piggyback cable

Qualifications show that the DEH cable protection can be designed to meet the requirements above. Project specific
verification testing may be necessary.
Piggyback cables with enhanced protection designed to be strapped
The DEH cable with an installation friendly protection profile can be strapped directly onto the pipe without clamps, ref. Fig.
23. The piggy back cable design will be based on the electrical system and thermal analysis and the cable cross section varies


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between 800 and 1600 mm2. The cable cross section will normally be defined after thermal analysis. The conductor
temperature is the limiting factor.

Fig. 23. 120 mm2 piggyback cable with mechanical protection.

Design tools for mechanical protection
The overall cable design is based on calibrated analysis models. The methods for testing the high velocity deformation are
shown below.

Fig. 24. Method for testing high velocity deformation.

Fig. 25. Impact test rig, NTNU.

Impact analysis of the cable protection

This analysis is made in order to assess the impact of fishing gear/trawl board into a pipe with the DEH cable located worst
case with respect to load transfer through the cable protection, ref, Fig. 26. It is assumed that all kinetic energy from the trawl
board effective mass is absorbed by a combination of effective pipe mass acceleration and elastic/plastic deformation of the
DEH cable protection and pipe. Both local and global pipe deformation is considered.


Pipe with

DEH cable with


0.5 kc1b


Trawl board

0.5 k(s+c2+c3)
0.5 kc1a



0.5 ma

0.5 mt



Fig. 26. Trawl board impact worst case situation.

Fig. 27. Impact model for trawl board, cable and pipe.

Global model
The system has been modelled according to the advanced impact calculation method given in DNV-RP-F111 Appendix A.

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Local model
A local model of the DEH and protection was created in ANSYS LS-Dyna, ref. Figs. 25, 26 & 27. This is a well proven Finite
Element solver based on an explicit method. This approach is suitable for analyses of such large deformations and local
fracture as present in this application. The material was modelled using a bi-linear plasticity material model with a fracture
strain. The material parameters such as yield stress, hardening and fracture strain were determined from experimental results.
The numerical model was set up as a transient simulation, with the trawl board having a prescribed initial velocity. Only a
small portion of the trawl board was modelled, so in order to have the correct kinetic energy in the system the density of the
trawl board material was increased. The interaction between the various parts was modelled using non-linear frictional contact.
The local model was used to find the optimum cross-sectional design of the cable protection and to calculate the resulting
stiffness that was input to the global model.
Dynamic DEH riser
The Aker Solutions cable cross-section eliminates unacceptable tension in the cables. This secures proper fatigue life for the
1200 - 1600mm2 DEH riser to beyond 2000 m water depth. The extensive use of carbon composite armouring rods in
combination with the conduit profiles in the cable gives an extreme impact resistant design. The DEH riser system will secure
a safe and reliable transport of power and signal cables between the host and the subsea system.
The DEH riser includes bend stiffener, bend restrictors, clamps, tether/anchor systems and buoyancy as required, obtaining
desired configuration and subsea layout.
The DEH riser design is based on planetary bundling into helices with small lay-angles that lead to several mechanical
advantages such as, low torque built-in during fabrication and high compression load capacity. The specially designed profiled
elements form several continuous conduits inside the umbilical. Each of these conduits is designed to match the individual size
of each of the internal cables. In deep waters the DEH Riser needs to be reinforced to get the elements within stress limits. In
such cases steel armouring laid at the periphery in a steep helix angle would have a poor performance to limit the strain.

Fig. 28. Dynamic DEH riser cables with 4 and 2cables.

This is due to the weight of steel armoring that grows proportionally with the water depth. In such cases, the Aker Solutions
DEH risers are reinforced with carbon fibre rods, see Fig. 28. These rods, which are bundled into the DEH riser cross section
at the same lay length as the other internal element, contribute with stiffness without the negative effect of added weight. The
density of a carbon fibre rod is 1.6 kg/dm^3 compared to 7.8 kg/dm^3 of steel. Using this technology, the DEH riser can be
tuned to any water depth meeting the maximum strain requirement of the umbilical.
When crushing the DEH riser during installation the PVC conduit elements absorb energy as they are deformed, and they also
distribute loading over a greater area on the functional elements. Installation capability is therefore unique. Torque balanced
design and full back twist will give close to zero torque in the individual elements, regardless of their position in the cross
Alternative methods
Temperature challenges and cable design
One of the most important parameters in DEHC design is the temperature. The temperature of the cable varies with the
different operational conditions through different parts of the system, from topside I-tube, bend stiffener, trench along the
flowline etc. High voltage (HV) cables can be subjected to high temperatures and seawater in these areas. Such conditions can
limit the electrical and mechanical lifetime of the polymer materials used in the cable design. The cable temperature should be
kept well below the limit of 90 oC by choosing a sufficient cable conductor cross section to improve the service life.


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A DEHC consists of an insulation system (semi-conductive insulation screens and insulating material, typically cross-linked
polyethylene, XLPE. In addition, in order to prevent water flowing longitudinally in the conductor (e.g. after a cable service
failure), a semi-conductive sealing material is filled in between the strands. The DEHC design needs some modifications to the
traditional HV cable design since the water barrier in metallic materials will have negative effect on the heating effect.
Therefore, the DEHC has a wet design.
Corrosion protection and cable termination
The cable termination is comprised of the cable end connector and the termination plate, ref. Fig. 29. The connector can be
welded to the termination plate, or an ROV mate connector type can be used. In the DEHS the current is conducted to the far
end of the pipe through a piggyback cable. Due to safety reasons and in order to avoid AC corrosion, the system is grounded
by a number of anodes at both ends (current transfer zones and CTZs). By grounding the cable in the end termination plate,
approximately half of the return current will be conducted through the pipe and the rest by the seawater.

Fig. 29. DEH piggyback cable termination.

Fig. 30. 30 pipeline with piggyback and feeder cable.

Fig. 29 shows the piggyback cable terminated into the grounded termination plate.
When a DEHS is in continuous use it is recommended to make the anodes in the CTZ replaceable. Special ROV mate
connectors are qualified for connection of the anode continuity cable.
Long step out feeder cables
If the feeder cables shall be laid within a 30m zone from the DEH heated flowline, the cable must be designed specifically for
that purpose. The design includes non metallic armouring rods in combination with super impact resistant conduit profiles, ref.
Fig. 30.
This unique design reduces the electrical losses and the temperature generated in the cable if the cable is trenched together
with the pipeline. The new generation DEH feeder cables made of super impact resistant structure is patented. The DEH cable
design will protect the sensitive DEH cables during handling, installation and operational loads throughout the service life. The
cable shown (ref. Fig. 31) is a three-phase cable designed to be piggybacked to a flowline. It needs to be protected in order to
resist strapping and loads from the pipeline. This is achieved by introducing armouring based on metallic carbon composite,
glass fibre armouring. The cable can be strapped along the entire pipeline, thus reducing the installation cost significantly.

Fig. 31. 3-phase power supply feeder cable.

Conventional topside power supply
The direct pipeline heating system (pipeline and cables) is a single-phase load, and requires a substantial amount of reactive
power, ref Fig 32 and 33. A capacitor bank, installed in parallel with the load, compensates 95-100 % of the reactive load
needed to maintain a power factor above 0.95. The single-phase load will cause an unbalance in the power system and a

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symmetry network consisting of a reactor and a capacitor bank has to be installed to maintain a symmetrical load towards the
platform power system).

Fig. 32. DEH power supply layout.

Fig. 33. Topside DEH containers Olowi Project.

The DEH transformer features a number of taps. By tapping the transformer, the required load current will be obtained. The
reactor and the two capacitor banks can all be adjusted in several steps. The steps and tapping of all components are chosen to
obtain adequate compensation and symmetry for all relevant conditions and load tolerances.
Fault protection and thermal monitoring
The integrity of the pipeline is mainly threatened by mechanical damage to the piggyback cable during production, installation
or service. The purpose of the DEH protection system is to detect faults in the subsea system, and to have protection functions
that protect the DEH system and all components against overload and faults. Today, there are more than 20 DEH-systems in
operation world wide. These systems are equipped with conventional protection systems with the following main functions:
Imbalance/negative sequence protection function on the three phase system
Impedance protection function on the single phase system
Overload and short circuit protection function on the single phase system
Protection based on detection of broken optical fibres in the piggyback cable.
FO temperature monitoring system that secures 100 % monitoring of operational temperature along the piggyback,
feeder and riser. This is the latest developed and the preferred fault protection system. The fibre cable is located in the
protection surrounding the cable. Ref. Fig. 34.

Fig. 34. Latest fault protection/conditioning monitoring

system developed.

Fig. 35. DEH cable manufacturing facility.

Fabrication of DEH cables

Aker Solutions has a large and redundant capacity for supplying DEH cables. ABB and GC have both supplied cables with
high quality to Aker Solutions. The DEHCs will be tested in full length before manufacturing of the external protection and
FO cable takes place. The DEHCs can be delivered in full length without splices. The DEH risers design is based on planetary
bundling into helices with small lay-angles, ref. Fig. 35, this leads to a more predictable design and longer service life.


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Logistics and installation

A long step out DEHS is comprised of long and heavy cables. A 200 km DEHC has a weight of 200 N/m, equalling 4000
tonnes in total. Feeder cables have a slightly lower weight. Safe and reliable methods for reeling, storage and sea fastening
during transit are required. All equipment will be sent on a vessel to the dedicated site, ref Fig. 36. The cable will be stored
there ready to be reeled onto the installation vessel.

Fig. 36. Barge transport of DEH or long step out feeder


Fig. 37. Typical installation vessel reeled pipelines with


Installation metrology and vessels

Various installation methods can be used for installation of a DEHS and integrated production umbilicals (IPUs), ref. 6,7 & 8.
Reeled flowlines and installation/welding from barge can be used, ref Fig. 37. The continuous DEHC should not increase the
installation time. Only termination or cable splicing may require additional time.
Installing piggyback cables
The cables can be strapped to the pipeline by manual strapping tools or by automatic strapping systems, ref Fig. 38. For long
flowlines, saved installation time and HSE issues will be a driver for automatic installation systems. The automatic strapping
systems will fit into most installation vessels. The system is patent pending. The strapping system will provide necessary
snaking of the piggyback cable to accommodate thermal expansion of the pipe.

Fig. 38. Automatic strapping machine for piggyback


Fig. 39. ROV DEH strap system.

Retrofit DEH cable strapping

A retrofit cable strapping system will be developed, ref. Fig 39. The system is snaking the cable, flushing/removing mud and
automatically strapping the feeder or piggyback cable to the flowline. The subsea retrofit strap system is a unit mated to a
conventional ROV. The system is patent pending.

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Fig. 41. Cable installation.

Fig. 40. Subsea termination splice between dynamic
riser and feeder cable.
Dry splicing between feeder and riser
The cable terminations from the piggyback and near end feeder will be laid on the seabed during installation of the flowline.
During or after installing the riser, the feeder ends will be picked up and mated to the termination box shown in Fig. 40. The
DEH power and fibre optic cables will be spliced using conventional cable splicing or connector technology.
Subsea transformer and reactive compensation unit (STRU)
The STRU is comprised of transformers, capacitors and monitoring systems. The pressure compensated STRU is oil filled and
pressure compensated. The tank also contains watertight penetrators. The cables are connected to the unit in dry mode. The
cables will be laid on the seabed during installation and will be lifted up and mated to the STRU before installation. The
installation will require space on the seabed for the over length of cables during installation, ref. Fig 41. As an alternative, wet
mate connectors can be considered for this voltage and current level. The four cables are comprised of: one three- phase power
feeder from land, one cable with the same design going further to the next STRU and 2 off DEH cables. The unit is designed
for a minimum 20 years service life.
Long step out DEH systems are applicable for 100-300 km long pipelines.
Using the "subsea design" for the application of DEH, the copper conductor cross section for the supply cable is
reduced to 20 % of the cross section used in the traditional design.
The efficiency is improved by 20 % when using the "subsea design" compared to the "traditional design".
The use of ultra insulation instead of conventional insulation improves the efficiency by 25 %.
The power demand required using new thermal insulation and 30 pipe is 56.4 MW for 300 km, given a temperature
rise of the pipe content is equal to 20 C.
An automatic piggyback cable strapping system has been developed. The system reduces the HSE risk and
installation time.
An automatic retrofit DEH ROV strap system has been developed.
The ROV piggyback strap system can also be used for installing DEHCs after installation of the pipeline or export
flowlines. The installation of the DEHC will then be performed with conventional cable installation vessels.
The subsea reactive power compensation system has a defined qualification program.
By using a piggybacked power supply cable the cost for installation will decrease significantly.
Aker Solutions can deliver complete a DEHS with transformers, power compensation and symmetry network. This
will remove critical interfaces and uncertainties in responsibility.
The DEHS has a long track record and most system components are analysed, designed, manufactured, installed and
commissioned using standardised analysis tools, design solutions and methods.
The technology gaps in order to extend the DEH systems from 50 km to > 100 km will be closed within approx. 1-2


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Applications ISOPE 2007-JSC-563.
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Heating ISOPE 2005-JSC-413.
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of Very Long Flowlines. ISOPE 2005.
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5. J. K. Lervik, A. H. Brnes, H. Kulbotten, A. Nysveen Design of Anode Corrosion Protection System on Electrically
Heated Pipelines ISOPE 2004-CTS-01.
6. Ole Heggdal, Aker Kvaerner Subsea AS, A Erik Ulland Statoil DOT 2002. Integrated Production Umbilical (IPU):
Heated Flow line Technology for Satellite Tie-Back at Norne.
7. Ole Heggdal, Aker Kvaerner Subsea AS, Bjrn Hjermann Norsk Hydro ASA DOT 2004 Integrated Production
Umbilical (IPU) for the Fram st (20 km Tie-Back) Qualification and Testing.
8. Ole Heggdal, Kvaerner Oilfield Products, The Integrated Production Umbilical (IPU) and design tools for deep water.