Offshore Wind Turbines



Marine Enabled Superconductor Cable Systems – Phase 1

Start Date

1st November 2020

End Date

31st October 2021

Funding Body

Joint Industry SFI Industry Project

Project Partners

UCC & Supernode

Principal Investigators

Michael O’Shea & Jimmy Murphy

Project Manager

Michael O’Shea

Research Area

Offshore Renewable Energy


The SuperNode concept is focused on providing a single superconductor connection to offshore renewable energy sources. The technology aims to achieve efficient delivery of power back to shore by transforming to a higher voltage, converting to DC, and focusing distribution to high demand locations via a subsea superconductor. A constraint of the SuperNode concept is that existing land-based superconducting cables are not fit for the purpose of offshore deployments. Superconducting cables require extreme cooling to operate HVDC efficiently. The primary issue is that over the length of pipes heat ingress reduces the performance of the superconducting material. To operate under deep-sea high-pressure conditions a new type of conduit will have to be developed. SuperNode is currently developing conduit concepts or “CryoStats” to overcome this constraint.

This project aims to develop these superconducting Crysostats into physical prototype designs and test them to determine suitable solutions for deep-sea operation. This will be achieved through a range of numerical modelling and physical testing activities.

The “Marine Enabled Superconductor Cable Systems” will include:

  • Analytical and numerical modelling of product thermal, hydraulic, and structural performance;
  • Developing and commissioning innovative test rigs to assess the performance of Cr in relevant conditions;
  • Characterising product performance in cryogenic temperatures and demonstrate the capability to enable superconductivity to be established and maintained.(Phase 2)

The Project has a ground-breaking scope and will demonstrate, at a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3-4 stage that subsea superconducting cable systems are technically feasible.