Older Equipment: As equipment ages over time, it may be taken out of service and replaced with newer solutions. These old systems are then scrapped, laid up, sold, re-purposed or modified to accommodate other needs. In some situations, modification and redesign of older equipment can result in meaningful service extension, but this can come with numerous disadvantages.
While older systems may provide some advantages (low acquisition cost, etc.), the age can present some major limitations. For example, vehicles built for deeper telecom work are typically rated for 2500 to 3000 meters of seawater depth. They are designed to work with smaller diameter cable and can be vastly underpowered for dealing with the larger diameter and heavier power cable. Also, their larger flotation profile may create problems in the high-current, shallow waters typical of wind farm sites.
In addition to the limitations of their technology and design, one-off and older legacy systems can also present a myriad of potential operational problems. Finding experienced operators familiar with the operating system may be difficult or even impossible. Outdated procedures and unique system idiosyncrasies become an issue. Plus, spare parts can be difficult to source and expensive to procure.
With the well-defined unique cable burial equipment requirements of inter-array cable, it is clear that new systems must be designed to meet the technical and capacity requirement demands unique to the OWF industry.