Under Pressure

How does pressure at depth affect the technology you are developing?

We know that there is potential to develop the fields in ultra-deep waters, at 3,000 meters. Clearly, we need to push the boundaries of engineering to ensure that our switchgear can withstand extreme pressures at these depths. However, we were also aware of the need to standardize our solution as much as possible. A major challenge we faced was the mechanical structure of materials could collapse with such pressure. We achieved our goal by using oil pressure compensation – all while controlling cost, dimensions and weight.

What setbacks have you managed to overcome?

The subsea environment presents challenges as tests that are usually performed topside become impractical when subsea.

Some standards require us to test parts that are not accessible after the unit is assembled. So, in collaboration with our project partners, we developed detailed test procedures which takes into consideration each manufacturing stage. This is a good example of how the collaboration with project partners allowed us to develop groundbreaking product solutions.

When did your dream for the extreme become a reality?
A significant milestone for the subsea switchgear was when we successfully completed two test campaigns: one with the main components and the other with the complete assembly. We knew it was possible and with hard work and commitment, we completed the internal tests and had the unit ready for the 3,000-meter shallow water test.


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NameVitor Moritsugu
PositionProduct Manager
EducationVitor is an Electrical Engineer specialist in Electronics (University of São Paulo, Brazil) and post-graduated in Business Strategic Management, a programme offered in partnership between FIA and ABB.


What drives you personally?

“Continuous improvement, being a better person day by day, drives my professional and personal life.

Reaching objectives considered impossible energises me. The challenge to achieve results beyond existing capabilities is worth taking: going out of my comfort zone enables me to climb steep learning curves, adapt my current skills and improve as a person. This path is even more rewarding when I have the opportunity to develop strong relationships and contribute to the success of colleagues and organisations.

In the JIP Subsea Power, I have the opportunity to work with a team of high-skilled professionals. Our multi-cultural background and interdisciplinary approach (from mechanical, electrical to chemistry) allow us to tackle challenges from the subsea environment and deliver disruptive technologies that brings value to our customers. Being part of such a team and a project is extremely meaningful!”


Vitor’s story:

Vitor joined ABB as an intern in 2009 in Brazil, he worked for the growth of ABB in the Offshore Market as application engineer and sales engineer, where he combined commercial and technical expertise. In 2014, he joined the Joint Industrial Project Subsea Power team in Norway as a R&D Engineer responsible for the development of the subsea low voltage distribution system. His deeply rooted customer-first perspective and hands-on approach drove him in conducting the final assembly stages and tests of the medium voltage subsea switchgear. He is currently the Product Manager for the Subsea Switchgear, with the objective of providing reliable solutions that enable higher efficiency and production rates to the customers.

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