Customer Challenge

A customer approached Winchester Interconnect’ Clements National division with a need for a  connector assembly to transport power from a central source to the top drive of a land rig. The  connector would need to be rugged, able to tolerate a high number of mating cycles, and have  an easy mating process. The central power source provides power to the top drive motor and  other drilling equipment, such as mud pumps and draw-works.

Challenge Review

Winchester’s Clements National division reviewed the application and discovered that the  customer experienced frequent drilling operation downtime because of top drive issues caused  by power failures. Rig shutdown is a serious issue in the Marine Oil & Gas (“MOG”) industry  because it costs the end customer money. When a drilling rig goes offline, the well is not  producing, which makes it harder to cover overhead.  Land rigs are designed to be mobile so they can be used in multiple drilling sites, which makes  setup and teardown common. During its review, Clements found that when the rig is  undergoing maintenance, repairs, or is getting disassembled for another site, operators would  often drop the connector assembly from a few feet above ground. As a result, the solution  would need to withstand rough handling by the operators on the field. Also, operators are often  exposed to “live” powered machinery when they are performing routine maintenance and/or  repairs, so the connection method would need to ensure operator safety and prevent  hazardous, high-voltage shocks.  The system needed a reliable power connection rated up to 1,135 Amps and 1,000 Volts AC/DC. The solution  would also need to be compatible with the existing Type P drilling cables that run from the power source to the top  drive motor. The connector would have to be ruggedized given its exposure to rain, heavy winds, dust, and  temperatures ranging from -40°C to 125°C, and be able to quickly connect and disconnect without special tools.

Winchester Solution

Winchester’s Clements National division recommended its MOG Single Pole series  connector that features a reliable, heavy-duty ACME threaded coupling that will  reduce downtime. ACME threads have a tooth shape and a wider base versus a  similar square thread size, allowing the connector to carry more load and be more  tolerant to wear. The ACME thread feature allows the MOG single pole power  connectors to be rated to over 1 million mating cycles.  The connectors feature a machined aluminum shell with a hard anodized coating that is suitable for outdoor  usage, including exposure to extreme temperatures. Anodized coating helps achieve corrosion resistance and  hardens the aluminum shell material to make it more wear-resistant to the impact from operators dropping the  connectors during setup and teardown. The grommet and the tight fit of the  solution when mated allows it to be sealed against dust and makes it suitable for  permanent submersion in water of up to 1 meters deep in accordance with Ingress  Protection (“IP”) 68 standards.  Each connector features a protected “dead front pin.” The dead front pin protects  an operator from being shocked when touching a “live” open contact. Also, the  connectors are compatible with the Type P 535 MCM drilling cable conductor and  777 MCM top drive motor power connection. The connectors are rated for 1,135  Amps and 1,000 Volts of AC/DC and have a quick connect and disconnect feature  without the need for special tools.

Customer Improvement

Winchester provided the customer with:

  • A ruggedized, reliable, single pole power connector capable of withstanding over 1 million mating cycles
  • High amperage and high power connectors
  • Durable, aluminum shell power connector with anodized coating resistant to salt corrosion, drilling mud,  humidity, moisture, oil, and dust
  • Improved efficiency for setup and teardown

For more information on Single Pole Power Interconnect Solutions, visit www.clementsnational.com.

Single Pole Connectors for Drilling Rigs