Power System Design Considerations for a Seafloor Mining Vehicle
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The main goal of this paper is to give a framework for designing the power distribution system for seafloor mining vehicles operating in deep and ultra-deep waters. As the starting point prior to the design, the tethered seafloor mining vehicles are compared with their counterparts in the terrestrial mines and the well-developed remotely operated vehicles. Then, various power distribution alternatives are studied and compared taking into account the main design criteria such as efficiency and size of components. Although the major loads of these vehicles are AC motor loads for drilling, pumping and locomotion, it is concluded that the DC distribution, both in topside and subsea sections, is the best option. Typical values for efficiency and volume grades (normalized values) for the major components in the distribution system have been considered in the calculations.