Underwater Patents (Class 137/81.2)
  • Patent number: 9570224
    Abstract: A pressure compensation system is provided. A subsea enclosure of the subsea device encloses the chamber. A first pressure compensator has a first compensation volume and provides pressure balancing between ambient medium surrounding the subsea device and the first compensation volume. A first biasing device is configured to bias the first pressure compensator such that the pressure in the first compensation volume is higher than the pressure in the ambient medium surrounding the subsea device. A second pressure compensator has a second compensation volume and provides pressure balancing between the ambient medium and the second compensation volume. A second biasing device biases the second pressure compensator such that the pressure in the second compensation volume is higher than the pressure in the ambient medium. A control unit is connected to control first and second valves arranged in flow connections between the first and second compensation volumes and the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Knut Schonhowd Kristensen
  • Patent number: 9032987
    Abstract: The invention relates to a wet gas compression system comprising a compact flow conditioner (21), intended to be placed below sea level in close vicinity to a well head or on a dry installation, said flow conditioner (21) being intended to receive a multi-phase flow through a supply pipe (11) from a sub sea well for further transport of such hydrocarbons to a multi-phase receiving plant, and where preferably avoid sand accumulation or remove as much sand as possible from the multi-phase flow, the gas (G) and the liquid (L) being separated in the flow conditioner (21) whereupon the separated gas (G) and liquid (L) are re-assembled and enters a multi-phase meter (46) prior to boosting by means of a compressor (22). In the combined multi-phase pump and compressor unit (22), as an integrated unit, comprises a combined multi-phase pump and compressor unit (22) functioning on the centrifugal principle, used for trans-porting liquid and gas from a flow conditioner (21) to a remote multi-phase receiving plant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: STATOIL PETROLEUM AS
    Inventors: Tor Bjørge, Lars Brenne, Harald Underbakke, Bjorn-André Egerdahl, Rune Mode Ramberg, William Bakke
  • Publication number: 20150101674
    Abstract: A pressure regulator having an outlet port, an inlet port, and a vent port, and a regulator piston having an internal passage in constant fluid communication with the outlet port. The regulator piston has a first position where the passage is in fluid communication with the inlet port and not the vent port, a second position where the passage is not in fluid communication with either the inlet port or the vent port, and a third position where the passage is in fluid communication with the vent port and not the inlet port. The pressure regulator also has a spring piston in mechanical communication with the regulator piston that is biased to exert a force on the regulator piston sufficient to move the regulator piston between the first, second, and third positions. The spring piston is enclosed in a spring housing with an internal area maintained at about atmospheric pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventor: Ryan Cheaney Gustafson
  • Patent number: 8978687
    Abstract: An actuating device or displacing a control device, such as a valve, gate valve or other control mechanism, in particular for use in oil or gas production systems, comprises a motor-gear unit (21) and a thread drive (22) which is operable by said motor-gear unit (21) and which comprises at least a threaded spindle (23) and a screw nut (24). The threaded spindle (23) is displaceable in an essentially axial direction so as to displace the control device (2) between a use position (7) and a non-use position (8, 9, 19, 20). To ensure a safe displacement into the non-use position in a simple way and independently of the pressure conditions prevailing between conveying medium and inner medium, the threaded spindle (23) is substantially axially displaceable beyond the use position (7) into a second non-use position (9). The invention also refers to a corresponding method for displacing the actuating device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventor: Norbert Lenz
  • Patent number: 8834069
    Abstract: A buoyancy compensation apparatus for underwater use by a SCUBA diver, includes a pressurized air source, a buoyancy vest including air chambers and a pressure regulating unit. The pressure regulating unit includes a chamber in communication with the vest air chambers and the pressurized air source. The pressure regulating unit also includes a normally closed air injection valve and a normally closed relief valve. The wall of the pressure regulating unit chamber includes a flexible portion that flexes inwardly when outside water pressure exceeds the pressure in the vest air chambers, which, in turn, opens the air injection valve. The relief valve opens when air pressure in the vest air chambers exceeds outside water pressure. The air injection and relief valves respond faster than the walls of the buoyancy vest air chambers so that the volume of the vest air chambers remain generally constant even as the diver changes depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Aequus, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Benjamin James Harvey
  • Patent number: 8826931
    Abstract: Disclosed is a gas release device that is adapted to be secured to an inflatable article. The device includes an container, which can be a commercially available gas bottle, a salinity sensor, and an end cap. The salinity sensor operates an electrically fireable primer that serves to release an inflation gas from the container and inflate the article. The end cap includes a cylindrical through hole that accepts a rotatable D-ring. The D-ring is dimensioned to fit over the valve of the inflatable article. The D-ring includes a series of peripheral apertures that can be selectively aligned with a slot to create a fluid passage between the container and valve. The D-ring allows the device to be rotated between different angular positions while maintaining a pneumatic coupling between to the inflatable article and the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Carleton Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert E. Clark, Brian Ford, Michael E. Kelley, Christopher Motta, Alphonse S. Larose
  • Publication number: 20140174552
    Abstract: A pressure regulator includes a regulator body, and a piston slidably disposed in the regulator body, wherein an end of the piston extends axially beyond an end of the regulator body and is exposed to an external pressure. A method of regulating pressure includes providing a pressure regulator having a piston slidably disposed in a regulator body, wherein an end of the piston extends beyond an end of the regulator body and is exposed to an external pressure, applying external pressure on the end of the piston, and outputting a regulated working fluid pressure from the pressure regulator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2012
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Applicant: Hydril USA Manufacturing LLC
    Inventor: Ryan Cheaney Gustafson
  • Patent number: 8757192
    Abstract: This invention relates to a valve comprising a housing having first and second apertures for the ingress and egress of fluid into/from a passageway located within the housing extending indirectly from the first to the second aperture. The passageway forms an air-lock. The valve further comprises at least one bleed valve for allowing fluid out of the passageway at a rate slower than fluid is able to enter one of the apertures. A liquid entering one of the apertures is prohibited from passing along the passageway to the other of the apertures until substantially all air within the valve has bled out of the bleed valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Inventor: Toby Priestly
  • Patent number: 8716963
    Abstract: An actuating device for displacing a control device, such as a gate valve or other control mechanism, in particular for use in oil or gas production systems, includes a motor-gear unit and a threaded spindle drive, which is operable by said motor-gear unit. The threaded spindle drive includes at least a threaded spindle and a screw nut. The threaded spindle is displaceable in an essentially axial-direction so as to displace the control device between an advance position and a retracted position. The threaded spindle drive further includes a position holding means holding the attained position of the threaded spindle. The position holding means is directly connected to a motor shaft of the motor-gear unit so as to apply a holding torque to said motor shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Klaus Biester, Peter Kunow, Norbert Lenz
  • Patent number: 8714176
    Abstract: The invention provides a protection system for a fluid compartment of variable volume. The protection system comprises a detection means for detecting when the volume of the fluid compartment is outside a predetermined acceptable limit. The protection system also comprises a valve arrangement mountable on at least one port that is in selective fluid communication with the fluid compartment. The protection system further comprises an actuator, wherein the detection means is coupled to the valve arrangement via the actuator. When the detection means detects that the volume of the fluid compartment is outside the predetermined limit, the actuator causes the valve arrangement to change state and alters the volume of the fluid compartment. The protection system can be used with a compensator to protect a movable part of the compensator from damage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Subsea 7 Limited
    Inventors: Gareth Ian Kerr, John Arthur Mair
  • Patent number: 8711002
    Abstract: A subsea control module has a casing inside which there is at least one pair of electrodes, there being electronic means connected with the electrodes of the or each pair for monitoring at least one electrical characteristic between the electrodes as a result of a fluid to which the electrodes are exposed. This can include, for example, a change due to an ingress of seawater and/or an ingress of hydraulic fluid into the interior of the casing. The or each pair of electrodes include an array in which each electrode of the pair has finger portions interleaved with finger portions of the other electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Controls Limited
    Inventors: Julian R. Davis, Simon David Gill, Adrian John Derrick
  • Publication number: 20140069514
    Abstract: A water-proof structure has an internal barometer for a terminal device. The water-proof structure is an internal cavity of the terminal device. The water-proof structure is provided with an opening on a casing of the terminal device. Abarometer is arranged inside the water-proof structure. A water drop detection device is arranged between a water-proof mesh net and the barometer. The water drop detection device is electrically connected to a control valve, and when a water volume detected by the water drop detection device reaches a water volume threshold value, the control valve is closed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 12, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Inventor: Xu Peng
  • Publication number: 20140014195
    Abstract: A water-inflow prevention device is provided by installing a closing lid 6 for blocking a duct 2 of an air pressure regulating valve 1, which regulates air pressure inside a cabin 101. A buoyant body 9 is attached to the disc-shaped closing lid 6 installed to the duct 2 so as to be rotatable around a rotation shaft 7. The buoyant body 9 receives a buoyant force from water when immersed in the water. Since the side of the closing lid 6 in which the buoyant body 9 is attached is thereby floated in the water, the closing lid 6 automatically rotates around the rotation shaft 7 so as to close a ventilation port 2a.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2013
    Publication date: January 16, 2014
    Inventors: Shingo KAWANO, Tomoka MASHIO, Akitaka URANO, Shuichi HAGINO
  • Patent number: 8464745
    Abstract: A pressure equalizer for an underwater vessel can include a pneumatic reservoir and a pressure compensating valve (PCV). The PCV can be in fluid communication with the surrounding underwater environment and the vessel interior, and in selective fluid communication with the reservoir. The PCV can further include a valve body and a valve plug. As the PCV opens, the plug moves within the body to establish a path of fluid communication from the reservoir, through the PCV to the vessel interior, to allow flow of high pressure compressible fluid from the reservoir into the interior to pressurize the vessel interior. As the vessel interior pressure equalizes with the surrounding environment, the plug moves within the body to close the fluid communication path with the reservoir, thereby stopping the flow of compressible fluid into the vessel interior to maintain the equalized pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: The United States of America, as Represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Charles Ringer
  • Patent number: 8427336
    Abstract: A subsea control module has a casing (1) inside which there is at least one pair of electrodes, there being electronic means (26-33) connected with the electrodes of the or each pair for monitoring at least one electrical characteristic between the electrodes as a result of a fluid to which the electrodes are exposed, the or each pair of electrodes comprising an array (19) in which each electrode of the pair has finger portions interleaved with finger portions of the other electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Controls Limited
    Inventors: Julian R. Davis, Simon David Gill, Adrian John Derrick
  • Patent number: 8327875
    Abstract: An apparatus that includes a chemical-injection management system. The chemical-injection management system may include a tree interface configured to couple the chemical-injection management system to a tree and a positive-displacement flow meter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Grace, Gregory Greene, Edmund McHugh
  • Patent number: 8274245
    Abstract: An actuating device for displacing a control device, such as a gate valve or other control mechanism, in particular for use in oil or gas production systems, includes a motor-gear unit and a threaded spindle drive, which is operable by said motor-gear unit. The threaded spindle drive includes at least a threaded spindle and a screw nut. The threaded spindle is displaceable in an essentially axial-direction so as to displace the control device between an advance position and a retracted position. The threaded spindle drive further includes a position holding means holding the attained position of the threaded spindle. The position holding means is directly connected to a motor shaft of the motor-gear unit so as to apply a holding torque to said motor shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2012
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Klaus Biester, Peter Kunow, Norbert Lenz
  • Patent number: 8196598
    Abstract: Submarine actuator for the actuation of a submarine device comprises a container body (2), from which a drive shaft (4) projects that is suitable for inserting in a seat of said submarine device, which through its rotation actuates said submarine device. Said shaft is moved by an electric motor (21, 22) arranged inside said container body and actuated by an electric control signal generated by a remote station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventors: Carlo Liberale, Fabio Imperiali
  • Patent number: 8196581
    Abstract: A mouthpiece supply valve which may be used in connection with a rebreather. An exemplary mouthpiece supply valve may include a housing, an inlet mushroom valve, an outlet mushroom valve, a supply gas regulator, an exhaust valve, and a mode selector. An exemplary mouthpiece supply valve may perform manual diluent valve, automatic diluent valve, overpressure relief valve, excess fluid ejection, and bail-out valve functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Inventors: Jeffrey Evan Bozanic, Lars Erik Frimann, Magne Tessem, Forrest P. Gauthier
  • Patent number: 8087424
    Abstract: A subsea valve actuator apparatus is disclosed for actuating a subsea valve. The valve actuator apparatus includes a housing which defines an enclosure and a rim. A cover cooperates with the rim for sealing the enclosure. A gearbox is disposed within the enclosure the gearbox including a worm wheel which is connected to the subsea valve for actuating the valve. The gearbox includes a seal which is disposed between the worm wheel and the housing for sealing the worm wheel relative to the housing so that lubricant disposed within the enclosure for lubricating the gearbox is sealed within the enclosure. A pressure compensator is disposed within the enclosure for maintaining pressure of the lubricant disposed within the enclosure at substantially the same pressure as the pressure of seawater outside the gearbox.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Inventors: David D Swartzentruber, Tushar Kulkami
  • Patent number: 8051872
    Abstract: A subsea equipment (1) used for natural gas or crude oil production, such as a subsea actuator (2) for a valve, a restrictor or the like, a control module or other means, comprises at least an oil-filled first component (3) and a compensator unit (4) which is associated with said first component and which is in fluid communication therewith for pressure compensation. To improve such a subsea equipment in a structurally simple manner in such a way that it is capable of functioning and that pressure compensation is still possible, even if the associated compensator unit is damaged or fails to operate, a second compensator unit (5) is in fluid communication with said first component (3) or said first compensator unit (4) for pressure compensation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2011
    Assignee: Cameron International Corporation
    Inventor: Norbert Lenz
  • Patent number: 7921866
    Abstract: A first stage pressure regulator for a two-stage underwater breathing apparatus, comprises a second movable wall (16, 18) for separating a balance chamber (10) from an ambient exposed chamber (17) . The second movable wall is formed by a disk-shaped piston (16) which is slideably and non sealingly guided along the peripheral walls that delimit the balance chamber (10), and by an elastically deformable diaphragm (18), which overlies the side of the piston (16) facing forward the ambient exposed chamber (17) . The elastically deformable diaphragm (18) forms with said piston (16) a diaphragm type pressure relief valve (20, 318).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Scubapro Europe S.R.L.
    Inventor: Rolando Aluigi
  • Patent number: 7686032
    Abstract: In a scuba diving first stage pressure regulator soft silicone rubber is bonded to the first stage spring to prevent water from freezing between the coils of the spring thereby assuring unrestricted movement of the spring coils even during freezing conditions. By placing a soft molded material bonded directly to the spring surface through the method of chemical and/or mechanical bonding, a soft pliable silicone rubber encapsulates or cocoons the entire area between spring coils and works as a barrier to prevent water from filling the regions between the spring coils and freezing in cold diving conditions. The thickness and volume of the pliable material silicone is not critical as long as the area between the coils is occupied with enough material to prevent ice from forming and otherwise preventing the spring from deflecting. Further, a radial clearance hole is needed to allow the piston to fit inside the silicone bonded spring hollowed center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Inventor: Dean R. Garraffa
  • Patent number: 7578312
    Abstract: A female hydraulic coupling member is equipped with an internal displaced water compensation system comprising a spring-biased piston in a generally axial cylinder bored into the coupling body and that is offset from the central axial bore. The cylinder is in fluid communication with an interior portion of the receiving chamber such that seawater within the receiving chamber that is displaced by the probe of a male coupling member inserted in the receiving chamber may move into the cylinder of the displaced water compensation system. During coupling separation, the process is reversed and seawater retained in the displaced water compensation system moves into the receiving chamber under the influence of the spring-biased piston thereby preventing a vacuum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2009
    Assignee: National Coupling Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert E. Smith, III
  • Patent number: 7520291
    Abstract: A backpressure-protected valve suitable for subsea well treatment chemical injection applications includes an improved gate valve, a check valve and a pressure compensator responsive to ambient hydrostatic pressure. The check valve may comprise a poppet valve in a detachable outlet body. The pressure compensator comprises a free piston in a cylinder. The portion of the cylinder on one side of the piston is exposed to seawater whereas the portion of the cylinder on the opposing side of the piston is filled with a selected hydraulic fluid. In this way the valve actuator is not exposed to the corrosive and/or contaminating effects of seawater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: National Coupling Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Richard R. Watson
  • Publication number: 20080185046
    Abstract: Systems and methods for recovering power fluid from a device under water and for pumping recovered power fluid to a surface of the water, the systems and methods, in certain aspects, including: flowing fluid from a subsurface apparatus to a subsurface recovery system, the fluid initially provided to the subsurface apparatus to power the subsurface apparatus; and the subsurface recovery system including pump apparatus for selectively pumping recovered fluid to a fluid container above a surface of the water. This abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract which will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure and is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims, 37 C.F.R. 1.72(b).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Publication date: August 7, 2008
    Inventors: Frank Benjamin Springett, Eric Trevor Ensley
  • Publication number: 20080135102
    Abstract: A first stage pressure regulator for a two-stage underwater breathing apparatus, comprises a second movable wall (16, 18) for separating a balance chamber (10) from an ambient exposed chamber (17) . The second movable wall is formed by a disk-shaped piston (16) which is slideably and non sealingly guided along the peripheral walls that delimit the balance chamber (10), and by an elastically deformable diaphragm (18) , which overlies the side of the piston (16) facing forward the ambient exposed chamber (17) . The elastically deformable diaphragm (18) forms with said piston (16) a diaphragm type pressure relief valve (20, 318).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2006
    Publication date: June 12, 2008
    Applicant: SCUBAPRO EUROPE S.R.L.
    Inventor: Rolando Aluigi
  • Patent number: 7331345
    Abstract: A self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) served by a source of breathing gas with a mask and a demand regulator connected to the mask. The regulator has a flexible diaphragmatic member having a side exposed to pressure differentials to cause a valve mechanism to introduce breathing gas to the mask. An expanding and contracting member and a chamber fluidically connected to the diaphragm compensates for movement of the diaphragm while shielding the diaphragm from ambient contaminants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2008
    Assignee: Survivair Respirators, LLC
    Inventor: David V. Haston
  • Patent number: 7108006
    Abstract: A hydraulic pressure compensation system for valve actuator assemblies is described having particular application for subsea wellhead installations. The compensation system includes at least one valve actuator assembly having a housing that retains a reciprocable piston therewithin. The piston is spring biased into its fail safe configuration. The valve actuator assembly is hydraulically associated with an accumulator reservoir that defines a closed fluid reservoir and an open fluid reservoir that is exposed to ambient pressures. The two chambers are separated by a membrane. The valve actuator assembly is also operationally associated with a fluid pressure intensifier that boosts the ambient pressure of the accumulator so that an increased fluid pressure may be transmitted to the actuator assembly to bias the actuated valve toward its fail safe configuration. In a described embodiment, the fluid pressure intensifier comprises a housing that defines a chamber having a fluid inlet and fluid outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2006
    Assignee: Vetco Gray Inc.
    Inventor: John Taylor Armstrong
  • Patent number: 7025093
    Abstract: The invention relates to the use of a thermally insulating composition in the form of crosslinked polyurethane elastomer gel, obtained by reacting at least one polyol and at least one polyisocyanate in the presence of at least one inert organic filler, for the thermal insulation of pipeline systems present in a product-transfer conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Atofina
    Inventors: Evelyne Bonnet, Laurent Martin, Helene Egret
  • Patent number: 6964304
    Abstract: A technique for maintaining pressure integrity within a submersible system. The system utilizes a pressure housing with an internal component, such as a valve. The internal component is actuated by an external actuator via an actuator stem. A seal region is positioned to interact with the stem, such that the interior of the pressure housing is sealed and pressure integrity is maintained upon retraction of the stem from engagement with the internal component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2005
    Assignee: FMC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Harold Brian Skeels, Michael R. Williams
  • Patent number: 6273019
    Abstract: A regulated pressurized system for use in an ambient fluid environment such as water and for mounting to an underwater vehicle, having at least one compressed fluid supply such as air in a tank. A pressure regulator is connected by tubing to the air tank, the regulator capable of regulating an outlet air pressure relative to an ambient pressure of the water. At least one main housing has at least one pressure relief valve connected by a tube to the pressure regulator. At least one electric control system is preferably provided contained within the main housing. A plurality of first peripheral housings are provided, each first peripheral housing having a first tube coupled to the main housing with the tubes having electric wires routed therethrough and interconnecting at least one first peripheral electric device to the main electric control system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Inventor: Theodore Joseph Ciamillo, II