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Subsea - Offshore Power Supply

The costs for repair and maintenance of high voltage equipment installed in deep waters can be very high. Therefore, high operating reliability is crucial for the components placed at the seabed.

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At high hydrostatic pressures, water ingress is the most challenging for the electrical insulations systems and materials used in power supply components. Due to environmental issues the equipment positioned at remote distances from land must be supplied by using subsea power cables. In many cases this calls for developments of new technologies, such as pressure compensated high voltage components.

Our services:
SINTEF performs testing at high hydrostatic pressures combined with high voltage and current on high voltage equipment as transformers and cables. In addition, pressure testing of insulation systems and models are performed in different media as gas, oil or water. Currently more than 30 pressure vessels are available with different volumes up to 1000 bar and temperature ranging to 200 °C. Feedthroughs for high voltage and current are developed at SINTEF that makes testing above 100 kV and 1 kA possible. SINTEF has a long experience with testing at high pressure at service and accelerated conditions. We co-operate with leading companies within the oil and gas sector to develop and improve technologies for subsea high voltage apparatuses such as cable systems, transformers, generators and motors.

Photo: SINTEF / Oddgeir Kvien


  • Pressure testing of high voltage equipment, components, models and system in gas, oil or water.
  • Study the short and long term effect of pressure and temperature at pressures up to 1000 bar and 200 °C under high voltage and currents.
  • Temperature and pressure cycling testing of materials and systems.
  • Measure partial discharges at low external noise (< 0.5 pC) for components and systems subjected to high pressure using adopted Faraday cages.
  • Study ageing and electrical breakdown phenomenon at high pressure , voltage and temperature using pressure vessels equipped with optical see-through penetrators.
  • Long term ageing of insulation systems and materials at high pressure in liquids and gases.
  • Testing at crude oil conditions (condensate gas).
  • Study material properties at high pressure (as oil and water transport properties, compatibility).

SINTEF has laboratories and facilities for testing of high voltage AC and DC equipment at high pressures and temperatures. The laboratories are also utilised in research projects for the Research Council of Norway and the oil and gas industry.



Electrotechnical laboratories

Electrotechnical laboratories

SINTEF Energy Research operates laboratories for high voltage, high power and climatic testing. Customers are manufacturers, suppliers and users of electric power equipment.