Subsea Cable and Types

In the telecommunications industry, there are generally two types of subsea cables: fiber optic cables and power cables. Let’s explore the major differences between these two types:

  1. Fiber Optic Cables:
  • Purpose: Fiber optic cables are primarily used for transmitting data and communication signals over long distances.
  • Construction: They consist of multiple thin strands of glass or plastic fibers surrounded by protective layers. These fibers carry pulses of light that encode and transmit the data.
  • Bandwidth: Fiber optic cables offer high bandwidth, which allows for the transmission of large amounts of data at high speeds.
  • Signal Type: They transmit digital signals in the form of light pulses.
  • Applications: Fiber optic cables are crucial for international and intercontinental data transmission, internet connectivity, telecommunication networks, and submarine internet cables.
  1. Power Cables:
  • Purpose: Power cables, also known as electrical cables, are used for transmitting electrical power across subsea distances.
  • Construction: They consist of conductive materials, such as copper or aluminum, surrounded by insulation and protective layers to prevent electrical leakage and damage.
  • Voltage: Power cables transmit high-voltage electrical power for various purposes, including offshore oil and gas operations, renewable energy projects (such as offshore wind farms), and interconnectors for power grids.
  • Signal Type: Power cables transmit alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC) electrical signals.
  • Applications: Power cables are essential for supplying electricity to offshore facilities, powering underwater equipment, and connecting power grids across different regions.

It’s worth noting that some subsea cables can serve a dual purpose, carrying both data and power. These hybrid cables are designed to transmit both communication signals and electrical power simultaneously, providing a comprehensive solution for various offshore applications.