Siemens will be opening two new subsea competence centers in Houston, Texas, U.S.A., and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as part of the company’s initiative to develop subsea power grid technology. The subsea power grid is designed to supply power to processing systems at depths of up to 3000 m and is scheduled for deployment in late 2012.

The Siemens subsea system encompasses power cables, transformers, switchgear and variable speed drives to power and control electrical driven pumps or turbocompressors, separators and other processing equipment. The requisite power is provide and an industrial onshore or topside combined cycle power plant remote to the subsea facility.

The high water pressure in subsea application can lead to a recovery gap as high as 30% compared to surface wells, said Siemens, and the new system is engineered with the aim of reducing the gap for full subsea processing, said the company.

A pressure compensated configuration was designed to lower the unit’s weight and increase robustness. The system is mounted on a single base frame directly mounted on the seabed and will feature Siemen’s seal-less STC-ECO compressor driven by a bearing-free integrated electrical drive.

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