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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Environmental Controls on the State of HV Cables under the Seafloor

Currently Active: 

Submarine HV cables are becoming increasingly important to modern power transmission strategies, as initiatives like offshore wind farms and the european supergrid are developed. Despite numerous studies into the behaviour of land-based cables, the thermal performance of cables under the sea floor has not been extensively investigated.

For a slab of porous material with constant lower and upper boundary temperatures, the Rayleigh number is given by Figure 3.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 3










Differences between example terrestrial and marine environments were studied to infer the potential origin of any changes in behavior. Models of heat transfer from a cylindrical element in a porous medium are currently being developed using COMSOL.

Further modelling will be conducted in order to investigate the impact of secondary effects such as sediment drying around the cable exterior, and build-up of compounds precipitated out of the heated seawater. This approach will be complemented by a lab experiment designed to investigate heat dissipation in a 2.5x2m 2D cross-section of a porous medium. Methods for estimating the important parameters involved will also be considered and developed.

Key Contacts

Mr Tim Hughes (PhD Student)

Prof Tim Henstock (Supervisor)

Prof Justin Dix (Supervisor)

Dr Tom Gernon (Supervisor)

Dr James Pilgrim (Supervisor)

Related Project Pages

Understanding Environmental Controls on the State of Sub-seafloor High Voltage Cables

Tim Hughes

PhD and Other Opportunities

Please visit GSNOCS

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