Today there are more than 30 operative vessels in the subsea laboratory, covering a wide range of volumes up to 1000 litres. One pressure vessel has optical windows that enable visual observations of the test object during the experiments. Experiments with gaseous pressure or hazardous chemicals are performed at Ex-certified laboratory cells that are a special part of the subsea laboratory.
A compact high voltage penetrator was developed to fit the specific needs of the subsea laboratory. The penetrator design is based on a miniature model cable as the high voltage insulation component. The penetrator design is very simple, and the manufacturing time is short. Combined with a low material cost, new penetrators are always produced for new experiments. Special versions of the penetrator have been made for operation in pressure vessels with methane and gas condensate.
The miniature cable penetrator has been qualified for pressures up to 515 bar and temperatures up to 140 °C. The penetrators are pd-free up to 25 kV using oil-filled cable terminations, and the breakdown voltage is higher than 45 kV. The design can readily be scaled for higher pressures, temperatures, currents, and voltage levels.