The V-Slim electronics can be incorporated into an electrical flying lead or into electrical distribution unit. Numerous V-SLIM devices can be deployed in the subsea network in order to obtain a full visualisation of the network's integrity.
With current subsea architectures, subsea power and communications are distributed from a single umbilical to many subsea control modules, each acting as a power consumer and communication node. The electrical distribution network comprises many electrical cables and connectors all configured in a multi-drop layout with multiple 'spurs' or 'legs'. Currently there is no way of monitoring the electrical integrity of each of these cables and connectors individually, and if there is a failure then the only way of fault finding is through intensive intervention and part replacement until the fault disappears. Such an approach is very costly and is reactive only.
The V-SLIM units are designed to measure various electrical parameters at each point in the distribution network and transmit the measured data back to the surface via a proprietary line-to-earth communications system. This provides the operator with a real-time visual picture of the integrity of the electrical performance system and because of the continuous monitoring any degradation at any point can be monitored and analysis techniques can be utilised to predict time to failure and therefore allow for intervention planning. The V-SLIM utilises patented techniques to measure insulation resistance and capacitance both upstream and downstream of its location. It also measures the voltage, current, and power factor.