IHC Merwede has introduced the world’s first four-tracked subsea trencher, specifically developed for shallow water operations and targeted towards cable burial in offshore wind farms.
Read an in-depth feature here: Traq-ing underwater trenching
The Hi-Traq was presented at a special event at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, which was attended by offshore wind industry professionals from the UK, Europe and the USA.
The new remotely operated vehicle was developed with efficiency in mind, capable of tackling the full range of challenges typically faced in this application. High wave loadings and strong currents at the seabed meant the vehicle had to have a minimum weight to guarantee safe, accurate working and efficient trenching operations.
Chris Jones, product manager of the Subsea Vehicle team at IHC Engineering Business, part of IHC Merwede, explained how the Hi-Traq differed from existing trenching assets ”Features such as the independent four-track undercarriage and a flexible tooling arrangement were engineered as integral parts of the design, and have remained the main focus of the project throughout.”
A high level of maneuverability also sets the Hi-Traq apart from the competition. The four-track undercarriage design enables it to climb slopes with gradients of up to 20 degrees. This high traction functionality gives the vehicle its name.
Hi-Traq has been successfully tested and demonstrated at IHC’s Port of Tyne facility in South Shields, where special terrain was created to mimic subsea conditions.