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1. WO2020185089 - EXTENSION OF DIRECT ELECTRICAL HEATING SYSTEMS

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[ EN ]

Claims

1. A method of providing direct electrical heating, DEH, to one or more of at least three subsea pipelines, where all of the pipelines are attached to a common structure and wherein a first set of DEH cables associated with a first of said subsea pipelines terminate at or adjacent to the structure, the method comprising:

coupling terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables associated with said first subsea pipeline into an input of a switching device;

coupling terminal ends of sets of DEH cables respectively associated with the further pipelines to outputs of said switching device; and

configuring the switching device to

a) couple together the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables associated with said first subsea pipeline in order to provide DEH only to said first subsea pipeline, or

b) couple the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables associated with said first subsea pipeline to terminal ends of one or more of said sets of DEH cables respectively associated with said further subsea pipelines in order to provide DEH to said first subsea pipeline and extend the DEH to one or more of said further subsea pipelines.

2. A method according to claim 1 , wherein step b) further comprises configuring the switching device to couple the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables sequentially to terminal ends of each of said sets of DEH cables respectively associated with said further subsea pipelines, in order to provide DEH to said first subsea pipeline and extend the DEH sequentially to each of said further subsea pipelines.

3. A method according to claim 1 wherein , when the method provides DEH to at least four subsea pipelines, the method comprises the further step of detecting a level of power available to supply DEH and, when the determined power level is sufficient to provide DEH to at least three pipelines concurrently, step b) further comprises configuring the switching device to couple terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables sequentially to terminal ends of at least two of said sets of DEH cables respectively associated with said further subsea pipelines, in order to provide DEH to said first subsea pipeline and extend the DEH sequentially to at least two of said further subsea pipelines

4. A method according to claim 2 or 3, comprising the further step of determining an operational status for the further subsea pipeline provided with DEH, before sequentially

coupling the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables to terminal ends of another set of DEH cables respectively associated with another of said further subsea pipelines.

5. A method according to any of claims 2 to 4, comprising the further step of detecting at least one environmental value at or adjacent the further subsea pipeline provided with DEH, before sequentially coupling the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables to terminal ends of another set of DEH cables respectively associated with another of said further subsea pipelines.

6 A method according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein each set of DEH cables comprises a plurality of cables adapted to supply single- or three-phase power.

7. A subsea direct electrical heating (DEH) system, comprising:

at least three sets of DEH cables, wherein each set is associated with a respective subsea pipeline, and each pipeline is attached to a common structure ;

a switching device having at least one input and a plurality of outputs, wherein terminal ends of a first set of DEH cables associated with a first of said at least three pipelines are coupled into said at least one input, and terminal ends of remaining sets of DEH cables are coupled with respective outputs ; and

a controller for configuring the switching device to

a) couple together the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables associated with said first subsea pipeline in order to provide DEH only to said first subsea pipeline, or b) couple the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables associated with said first subsea pipeline to terminal ends of DEH cables associated with one or more of said further subsea pipelines in order to provide DEH to said first subsea pipeline and extend the DEH to one or more of said further subsea pipelines.

8. A system according to claim 7, wherein the controller is further configure to couple the terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables sequentially to terminal ends of each of said sets of DEH cables respectively associated with said further subsea pipelines, in order to provide DEH to said first subsea pipeline and extend the DEH sequentially to each of said further subsea pipelines.

9. A system according to claim 7 wherein, when the system comprises at least four subsea pipelines, the controller being configured to cause the switching device to couple terminal ends of said first set of DEH cables sequentially to terminal ends of at least two of said sets of DEH cables respectively associated with said further subsea pipelines, in order to provide DEH to said first subsea pipeline and extend the DEH sequentially to at least two of said further subsea pipelines

10. A system according to any of claims 7 to 9, wherein the subsea switching device further comprises actuation means operably coupled to said controller for switching switches of the switching device automatically.

11. A system according to any of claims 7 to 10, further comprising at least one sensor operably coupled with said controller, whereby the controller uses data provided by the sensor to operate said switches via the actuation means.

12 A system according to any of claims 7 to 11 , wherein each set of DEH cables comprises a plurality of cables adapted to supply single- or three-phase power.