Electrical power cables are used in conjunction with floating units for provision of energy to installations on the sea bed, power from land to the floater, or export of power from a wind turbine to land. Power cables that are linked to a floating unit are subjected to fatigue loading from the waves and due to the movement of the vessel in the waves. Fatigue strength needs to be verified for design. Fatigue performance of a 300 mm2 stranded copper conductor was investigated. The experimental work included fatigue tests of individual wires and full cross section conductors including unlubricated and lubricated conductors. Individual wires from different layers were tested in tension-tension mode with stress ratio R = 0.1. Full cross-section conductors were tested in cyclic reversed bending with constant tension at ends, simulating the loading at the top end of a conductor hanging off a floating structure through a bellmouth. The objective of this paper is experimental assessment of the fatigue strength of a 300 mm2 copper conductor and to investigation of the mechanisms of fatigue crack initiation and growth in individual wires. At the time of submission the test program was still in progress, and conclusions are tentative only. An updated paper with complete results will be published at a later stage.

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