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Partner Podcast

Exploring the power dynamics of ROVs

High-density power modules are enabling smaller ROV designs with higher power. Vicor power modules are instrumental in providing compact, thermally adept DC-DC power converters for underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). Listen to the podcast.

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Podcast with Paige West, Electronic Specifier Insights, and Philip Simpson, Field Application Engineer, Vicor

ROVs are pivotal in providing technical support directly to customers, often working on-site or remotely to assist with development work. The discussion highlighted the significant growth in the ROV market, driven by a surge in subsea applications, from exploring historical sites like the Titanic wreck to subsea mining and environmental monitoring. These developments are pushing the boundaries of ROV technology, demanding more sophisticated and robust designs to operate in increasingly hostile environments.

ROVs are categorized into three primary types: inspection, measurement, and working-class ROVs. Each serves distinct purposes but shares the common goal of reducing human exposure to hazardous conditions. Inspection ROVs, for instance, are used for checking the integrity of oil platforms and pipelines or exploring shipwrecks. Measurement ROVs focus on collecting environmental data, such as water temperature and ocean currents, critical for research. Working-class ROVs, the largest among the three, are equipped with powerful manipulators to perform tasks that would typically require human divers, thus enhancing safety and efficiency.

The podcast delves into the technical challenges faced by companies developing ROVs, including thermal management, power supply, and the need to fit complex electronics into confined spaces. These challenges are compounded by the need to operate under high pressures and in deep-sea environments, pushing engineers to innovate continually. For instance, tethered ROVs, which are connected to a surface vessel or platform, face unique challenges due to the long cables required for power and data transmission. This necessitates innovative solutions to manage power efficiently and ensure reliable operation under extreme conditions.

Vicor contributes to addressing these challenges are notable, with advancements in power module design that offer higher efficiency and power density. These innovations enable the development of smaller, more capable ROVs that can carry larger payloads and operate for extended periods in demanding underwater environments. The company's focus on creating compact, high-efficiency power converters is crucial for both tethered and untethered ROVs, ensuring they meet the evolving requirements of various subsea applications.

Listen to Paige West speak with Philip Simpson, Field Application Engineer, Vicor about the power dynamics of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).


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