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Title:
METHOD AND DEVICE FOR COUNTERACTING OF HEELING OF A VESSEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1998/038081
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method for counteracting heeling of a vessel due to a movement of first masses on the vessel, by means of movement of second masses thereon, which movements create respective static moments about the vessel's centre of gravity. According to the invention the movement of the second masses is performed synchronously with the movement of the first masses, by ensuring that the static moment which is generated by the movement of the second masses continuously and completely counteracts the static moment as a result of the movement of the first masses. A device for implementation of the method.

Inventors:
Daviknes, Morten (Ole Fladagers gt. 1A, Oslo, N-0353, NO)
Application Number:
PCT/NO1998/000058
Publication Date:
September 03, 1998
Filing Date:
February 25, 1998
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Kv�rner, Maritime A/s (P.O. Box 120, Lysaker, N-1324, NO)
Daviknes, Morten (Ole Fladagers gt. 1A, Oslo, N-0353, NO)
International Classes:
B63B39/03; (IPC1-7): B63B39/03
Foreign References:
US4207828A
GB2162482A
GB1468786A
Other References:
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN, Vol. 11, No. 330, (M-636); & JP,A,62 113 687 (MITSUBISHI HEAVY IND LTD) 25 May 1987.
PATENT ABSTRACTS OF JAPAN, Vol. 8, No. 28, (M-274); & JP,A,58 185 392 (MITSUI ZOSEN K.K.) 29 October 1983.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Onsagers, Patentkontor Defensor A/s -. (P.O. Box 265 Sentrum, Oslo, N-0103, NO)
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Claims:
PATENT CLAIMS
1. A method for counteracting heeling of a vessel due to a movement of first masses on the vessel, by means of movement of second masses thereon, which movements create respective static moments about the vessel's centre of gravity, where the first masses are composed of fuel etc. which is pumped from tanks in the vessel to respective tanks of a rocket which is carried by the vessel, characterized by performing the movement of the second masses synchronously with the movement of the first masses, the static moment which is generated by the movement of the second masses continuously and completely counteracting the static moment as a result of the movement of the first masses.
2. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the second masses are composed of water and the movement of the water is performed by the water being pumped from one tank (1, 2, 3) to another.
3. A device for implementing the method which is indicated in claim 1, for counteracting heeling of a seagoing vessel due to a movement of first masses on the vessel, by means of movement of second masses thereon, which movements create respective static moments about the vessel's centre of gravity, where the first masses are composed of fuel etc. which is pumped from tanks in the vessel to respective tanks of a rocket which is carried by the vessel, characterized in that the device comprises a control device (50) which co operates with a first device for movement of the first masses, and which controls a second device (32, 34) for movement of the second masses, the control device (50) when controlling the movement of the second masses continuously creating a static moment which completely counteracts the static moment as a result of the movement of the first masses.
4. A device according to claim 3, characterized in that the control device (50) is a programmable logic control unit, which is arranged to receive an impulse at the starting point for the movement of the first masses and simultaneously start and control the movement of the second masses, the progress of the movement of the first masses being established in advance.
5. A device according to claim 3, characterized in that the control device (50) is a programmable logic control unit which is arranged to control the progress of the movement of the first as well as the second masses.
Description:
Method and device for counteracting of heeling of a vessel The invention concerns a method for counteracting heeling of a sea-going vessel due to a movement of first masses on the vessel, by means of movement of second masses thereon, which movements create respective static moments about the vessel's centre of gravity.

The invention further concerns a device for implementation of the method, as indicated in the introduction to claim 3.

From the prior art it is known that semi-submersible platforms can be employed as support structures for rockets which are to be launched, e.g., in order to place satellites in an orbit around the earth. In this connection some of the preparation work for the rocket is performed while it is located lying in a hangar, i.e. while the rocket's longitudinal axis extends horizontally.

The rocket with the mounted satellite is then transported out of the hangar to a launching site on the platform where the rocket is raised to a standing position, in which its longitudinal axis extends vertically, whereupon fuel is pumped from tanks on board the platform to tanks on board the rocket and the rocket is launched.

In a rocket of this type, its height is relatively great in relation to the diameter of its rear end section whereby it rests on the launch site, and in the event of substantial heeling there is a risk that it may overturn. However, minor heeling must also be avoided, since the hull of the rocket may be overloaded. For example, the heeling should not exceed 0.5 degrees. There is a special need to monitor the heeling when rocket fuel is being pumped on board the rocket from tanks in the platform, since large quantities of fuel are involved.

For controlling the platform's draught, the use is known of a ballast device comprising tanks from which sea water can be filled or emptied. For compensation of a heeling of the platform, it is similarly known that by means of the same ballast device sea water can be pumped from one tank on board the platform to another. This filling and emptying can be performed by means of suitable pumps, valves, etc. However, the angle of heeling is established before, e.g., any heeling compensation takes place.

If a standing rocket as described above is located on a platform of this type, and the rocket is being filled with fuel, an inadmissably high degree of heeling and reduction of the rocket's stability may therefore occur before any compensation of the heeling can take place, nor can the possibility be overlooked that the rocket's stability may be affected by additional forces as a result of wind and waves.

The object of the invention is to provide a method and a device as mentioned in the introduction, whereby the above-mentioned disadvantages can be avoided and which is not encumbered by the above-mentioned disadvantages.

The characteristics of the method and the device according to the invention are presented by the characteristic features indicated in the claims.

The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to the single figure which is a schematic top view of a piping arrangement for a device according to the invention.

As illustrated in the figure, on the left side of a longitudinal axis 4 of a sea- going vessel such as an offshore platform, there is provided a first tank 1, which is placed and designed in such a manner that its centre of gravity is constantly, i.e. during every stage of filling, located at a distance A from this longitudinal axis 4, assuming that the platform 5 centre of gravity is located on this longitudinal axis 4 or in a vertical plane through it. On the opposite side of the longitudinal axis 4 there is provided a second tank 2 which is also provided in such a manner that its centre of gravity is constantly at a distance A from the longitudinal axis 4. These tanks 1, 2 constitute a first tank pair.

In the platform there is further provided a third tank 3, which is similarly arranged in such a manner that its centre of gravity is constantly located at a distance B from the centre of gravity of the second tank 2 and at a distance A from the longitudinal axis 4. The second and the third tanks 2 and 3 respectively constitute a second tank pair.

Between the tanks 1, 2 of the first tank pair there is provided a first and a second flow control set 11 and 12 respectively, which are coupled parallel to each other, and between the tanks 2, 3 of the second tank pair there is provided a third and a fourth flow control set 13 and 14 respectively, which are coupled parallel to each other.

The first and the second flow control sets 11 and 12 are connected to the first tank 1 and the second tank 2 via pipes 20 and 22 respectively, and the third and the fourth flow control sets 13, 14 are connected to the second tank 2 and the third tank 3 via pipes 24 and 26.

Each flow control set 11, 12, 13, 14 comprises components which are identical with or have the same function as corresponding components of the other flow control sets, and the flow control sets are constructed in the same way. However, the first and the third flow sets 11 and 13 respectively are arranged to permit flow only in the direction towards the second tank 2, while the second and the fourth flow sets 12 and 14 respectively are arranged to permit flow only in the direction from the second tank 2.

The components of the flow sets will now be described with reference to the second flow set 12 which permits flow only away from the second tank 2.

From the pipe 22 there extend two branch pipes 28, 30 to the intake of respective pumps 32, 34 which are arranged to pump a fluid such as sea water from the second tank 2 to the first tank 1. The pumps' outlet is connected to respective one-way valves 36, 38 which permit flow only away from the second tank 2. The outlet from the two one-way valves 36, 38 is connected to a pipe 40 in which there are coupled in series two shut-off and control valves 42, 44. The outlet from the downstream-arranged shut-off valve 44 is connected to the pipe 20 which connects the first and the second flow control sets 11, 12 with the first tank 1. The reason for providing pairs of pumps, one-way valves and shut-off and control valves is the requirement for the device to be able to function despite a possible failure of one of the components of the pair.

For control of a flow of water to and from the tanks 1, 2, 3, the device includes a control device 50 which may be composed of a programmable logic control device. This can be arranged for control of the operation of the pumps 32, 34 and the shut-off valves 42, 44 for each of the flow control sets 11, 12, 13, 14, as indicated by broken lines extending between some of these components.

The device may include flow meters 56, 58, a level gauge 52 in each tank and inclinometers 54.

The control device 50 may be arranged to initiate a pumping of water from at least one of the tanks to at least one of the other tanks on receiving an impulse concerning initiation of, e.g., pumping of fuels to the rocket from tanks (not shown) in the platform, the characteristics of this fuel pumping, such as pumped volume as a function of time, the fuels' specific weight as a function of the temperature etc. being established in advance or measured and communicated to the control device before the pumping is initiated.

Alternatively, the control device 50 can control the initiation and implementation of the pumping of both the fuels and the water.

During the fuel pumping water is transported in a suitable manner between the tanks 1, 2, 3 in such a fashion that an alteration of the fuels' static moment about the platform's centre of gravity as a result of the fuel transport, is continuously and completely counteracted by the alteration in the water's static moment about this centre of gravity which is obtained by the water pumping. The platform's position can thereby be maintained during the fuel pumping, since the device is not based on the premise that a heeling of the platform first has to be established before a counteraction of this heeling can be initiated. The above-mentioned level gauges and inclinometers are hereby intended to give feedback to an operator of the device in order to permit a correction to be made as a result of an error in input data.

A device as described above can also be employed for other sea-going vessels where there is a requirement for the vessel's position to be maintained during movement of a mass thereon.

Even though a device is described above with tanks whose centre of gravity during filling is constantly located at predetermined distances from reference axes, it will be understood that a heeling of the vessel can also be avoided in the case of tanks whose centre of gravity is shifted in relation to the reference axes, as long as the vessel's centre of gravity can be kept steady during a suitable filling of the tanks controlled by the control device or by the use of further tanks.