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Title:
VESSEL COMPRISING A BARGE LOADING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/002534
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a vessel comprising a barge loading system (10) for loading a secondary vessel positioned alongside the vessel (1) with a mixture of water and material, comprising a discharge pipe (11) and a discharge head (12). The barge loading system (10) comprising at least two moveable crane arms (20) connected to the discharge head (12). The crane arms (20) being arranged to move the discharge head (12) to an overboard position. The crane arms (20) comprise respective base arm portions (21) rotatably connected to a deck (2) of the vessel (1) and respective remote arm portions (22). The remote arm portions (22) are with one end rotatably connected to respective base arm portions (21) and with another end connected to the discharge head (12). The barge loading system (10) comprises cable systems arranged to move the base arm portions (21) and the remote arm portions (22).

Inventors:
HOUT, Corné (Achterstraat 4, BV Poortvliet, NL-4693, NL)
Application Number:
NL2014/050434
Publication Date:
January 08, 2015
Filing Date:
July 02, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
IHC HOLLAND IE B.V. (Molendijk 94, EP Sliedrecht, NL-3361, NL)
International Classes:
E21B41/00; B63B23/08; B63B27/25; B63B27/34; B63B35/30; B63B38/00; E02F7/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011003438A12011-01-13
Foreign References:
EP0503137A11992-09-16
DE19802458A11999-08-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NEDERLANDSCH OCTROOIBUREAU (J.W. Frisolaan 13, JS The Hague, NL-2517, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Vessel (1) comprising a barge loading system (10) for loading a secondary vessel positioned alongside the vessel (1) with a mixture of water and material,

the barge loading system (10) comprising a discharge pipe (11) and a discharge head (12) being in fluid communication with the discharge pipe (11) to receive the mixture,

the barge loading system (10) comprising at least two moveable crane arms (20) connected to the discharge head (12), the crane arms (20) being arranged to move the discharge head (12) to an overboard position,

characterized in that the crane arms (20) comprise respective base arm portions

(21) rotatably connected to a deck (2) of the vessel (1) and respective remote arm portions (22), wherein the remote arm portions (22) are with one end rotatably connected to respective base arm portions (21) and with another end connected to the discharge head (12), wherein the barge loading system (10) comprises cable systems arranged to move the base arm portions (21) and the remote arm portions (22).

2. Vessel (1) according to claim 1, wherein the remote arms portions (22) are rotatable independently of the base arm portions (21).

3. Vessel (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the crane arms (20) comprise respective cable systems (31 - 34) for moving the remote arm portions

(22) with respect to the respective base arm portions (21). 4. Vessel according to claim 3, wherein the cable systems (31 - 34) for moving the remote arm portions (22) are entirely mounted on the respective crane arms (20).

5. Vessel according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each base arm portion (21) has an associated cable system for moving the base arm portion (21), wherein the respective cable systems (25) are drivable by a shared driving unit (26).

6. Vessel according to claim 5, wherein each cable system comprises a winch (28), each winch (28) being drivably connected to the shared driving unit (26).

7. Vessel (1) according to any one of the claims 5 - 6, wherein each cable system (25) for moving the base arm portion (21) comprises a cable (27), a winch (28) and one or more pulleys (29) and cable connection means to transfer force from the winch, via the cable, to the base arm portion (21).

8. Vessel (1) according to any one of the claims 6 - 7, wherein the winches (28) drivably connected to the shared driving unit (26) are positioned in between the crane arms (20). 9. Vessel (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the discharge head (12) is formed by an elongated pipe section extending in a longitudinal direction of the vessel, the discharge head (12) comprising one or more discharge openings (13).

10. Vessel (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the base arm portions (21) are rotatable connected to the deck (3) of the vessel (1), the base arm portions (21) being rotatable about a coaxial axis of rotation (RA).

11. Vessel (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein part of the discharge pipe (11) forms a structural component of the base arm portion (21) of one of the crane arms (20).

12. Barge loading system (10) for unloading a mixture of water and material from a vessel (1) into a secondary vessel positioned alongside the vessel (1),

the barge loading system (10) comprising a discharge pipe (11) and a discharge head (12), the discharge pipe being with one end in fluid communication with the discharge head (12) and with another end connectable to a further pipe system of a vessel,

the barge loading system (10) comprising at least two moveable crane arms (20) which are attachable to a deck of the vessel (1), the crane arms (20) being connected to the discharge head (12) and arranged to move the discharge head (12),

characterized in that the crane arms (20) comprise respective base arm portions (21) rotatably connectable to the deck (2) of the vessel (1) and respective remote arm portions (22), wherein the remote arm portions (22) are with one end rotatably connected to respective base arm portions (21) and with another end connected to the discharge head (12), wherein the barge loading system (10) comprises cable systems arranged to move the base arm portions (21) and the remote arm portions (22).

Description:
Vessel comprising a barge loading system

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a vessel comprising a barge loading system.

PRIOR ART

Barge loading systems are known in the field of dredging. Dredged material, like sand, clay, rocks, can be transferred from a primary vessel, usually the dredging vessel, to a secondary vessel comprising a loading space or floating barge with an open top. The secondary vessel may come alongside the primary vessel. The primary vessel comprises a discharge pipe comprising a discharge head which comprises one or more discharge outlets. The primary vessel positions the discharge head such that the discharge openings are positioned above the loading space of the secondary vessel. Next, a pump is operated to pump a mixture of dredged material and water through the discharge pipe via the discharge head into the loading space of the secondary vessel.

An example of such a barge loading system is present on the cutter suction dredger Athena owned by Van Oord. This vessel comprises a discharge pipe. The last part thereof is formed as a discharge head comprising discharge openings. The discharge head is moveable between an onboard position above the deck of the vessel to an overboard position, where it can be positioned above a loading space of secondary vessel by two hydraulically operated cranes. The discharge head extends in a direction parallel to a longitudinal axis of the vessel.

The cranes comprise hinged crane arms, which are connected to different positions of the rigid discharge head. It is important that the crane arms move synchronically in order to prevent damage of the discharge head and/or the crane arms.

Another example of a barge loading systems is known from US2012/0198733, wherein a discharge unit is formed by a T-shape end portion. The discharge unit can be positioned by a single hydraulically operated hinged crane arm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

One object is to provide a vessel with an improved barge loading system.

This object is achieved by a vessel comprising a barge loading system for loading a secondary vessel positioned alongside the vessel with a mixture of water and material, the barge loading system comprising a discharge pipe and a discharge head being in fluid communication with the discharge pipe to receive the mixture, the barge loading system comprising at least two moveable crane arms connected to the discharge head, the crane arms being arranged to move the discharge head to an overboard position, characterized in that the crane arms comprise respective base arm portions rotatably connected to a deck of the vessel and respective remote arm portions, wherein the remote arm portions are with one end rotatably connected to respective base arm portions and with another end connected to the discharge head, wherein the barge loading system comprises cable systems arranged to move the base arm portions and the remote arm portions.

The mixture of water and material is for instance collected from an underwater bottom. The vessel may be a dredging vessel, a hopper vessel or a combination thereof.

The discharge pipe is connected to a further pipe system comprised by the vessel to guide the mixture of water and material from a dredging tool or a hopper via the discharge pipe to the discharge head.

Such a remote arm portion which can be rotated with respect to the base arm portion provides the crane arms with additional freedom of movement.

The term cable system is used to refer to a system comprising a cable and a cable control device, such as a winch, driven by a drive unit to give out or take in cable, and possibly one or more pulleys to guide the cable such that a force can be transferred via the cable to the base arm portion or remote arm portion to move the respective arm portion.

The base arm portions and the remote arm portions are controlled by means of cable systems, and not by hydraulic actuators.

The use of cable systems has many advantages. For instance, the forces that work on the cables and arms are to some extent visible for an operator and are therefore easier to use. Also, cable systems are relatively easy to maintain and don't use or leak hydraulic fluids. Cables are also very suitable for taking up varying loads.

According to an embodiment the remote arms portions are rotatable

independently of the base arm portions.

Each remote arm portion may have its own associated cable system. Each base arm potion may have its own associated cable system. This makes independent movement of the remote and base arm portion possible. This creates a lot of freedom in positioning the discharge head at a desired overboard position.

According to an embodiment the crane arms comprise respective cable systems for moving the remote arm portions with respect to the respective base arm portions.

Each crane arm may comprise a cable system for operating the remote arm portion. The cable system may comprise a cable control device, such as a winch, a cable, and one or more pulleys or reels and/or cable connection means to transfer force from the winch, via the cable, to the remote arm portion. The cable system may further comprise a drive unit or engine to energize the winch.

It will be understood that many alternative cable systems may be used, including a relatively simple cable system which comprises a cable control device positioned on the base arm portion or the remote arm portion, and a cable being controlled by the cable system (giving out cable or taking in cable), the free end of the cable being connected to the other of the base arm portion and the remote arm portion. The cable system may be made more sophisticated by providing more cable and/or adding pulleys and the like to create a more advantageous transmission of force.

According to an embodiment the cable systems for moving the remote arm portions are entirely mounted on the respective crane arms.

The cable systems may be mounted on the respective base arm portions and remote arm portions. The crane arms may also comprise a frame positioned on the deck of the vessel forming part of the crane arm to which the cable systems are connected. The frame may extend upwardly from a footprint of the crane arm.

The cable systems for moving the remote arm portions are not in direct or structural contact with the deck of the vessel. Of course, there may be connections between the cable system and the rest of the vessel, such as for instance control lines for controlling the cable systems or power lines for powering the cable systems.

However, mechanically or structurally the cable systems are connected to the crane arms. This minimizes the foot print of the barge loading system on the deck of the vessel and allows the barge loading system to be mounted on or demounted from the vessel as a single unit.

According to an embodiment each base arm portion has an associated cable system for moving the base arm portion, wherein the respective cable systems are drivable by a shared driving unit.

The barge loading system comprises a single driving unit to drive all the cable systems for moving the base arm portions synchronously. The respective cable systems are thus arranged to take in or give out cable synchronously.

The single shared drive unit is arranged to drive the different cable systems of the different base arm portions to take in or give out cable synchronously, thereby ensuring synchronous movement of the base arm portions.

The drive unit may for instance be an electromotor or a diesel engine arranged to drive the cable systems, for instance by means of a drive axis driving a reel of the cable system.

According to an embodiment each cable system comprises a winch, each winch being drivable connected to the driving unit.

Each cable system comprises a cable and a cable control device or winch, wherein the cable winches, in use, are driven by the single, shared driving unit. The cable systems may further comprise one or more pulleys and the like to connect the cable to the respective base arm portions.

The cable winches, and preferably the shared driving unit, are connected to a deck of the vessel. The cable winches are arranged to give out and take in cable. By giving out and taking in cable, the associated crane arm can be moved. As the cable control devices are driven by a shared driving unit, synchronous movement is ensured.

According to an embodiment the winches drivably connected to the shared driving unit are positioned in between the crane arms.

The winches may be positioned coaxial with respect to each other, allowing them to be driven easily by a shared driving unit. The rotational axes of the winches may be orientated in a substantially horizontal direction (parallel to the deck of the vessel), in a direction perpendicular to a line along which the crane arms are positioned, which in practice will be parallel to an alongship direction running from bow to stern.

In such a configuration, the different winches driven by the single shared driving unit are then exposed to opposite forces as the cables run in opposite direction towards the respective arms. This is advantageous as these opposite forces at least partially cancel each other, and mainly a torsion force will remain. Such a torsion force can be relatively easy absorbed. This embodiment will in particular be advantageous in case an even number of cranes is used, in particular two crane arms.

According to an embodiment each cable system comprises a cable, a winch and one or more pulleys and cable connection means to transfer force from the winch, via the cable, to the base arm portion.

According to an embodiment the discharge head is formed by an elongated pipe section extending in a longitudinal direction of the vessel, the discharge head comprising one or more discharge openings. The longitudinal direction of the vessel is defined by the axis running from bow to stern of the vessel.

According to an embodiment the base arm portions are rotatably connected to the deck of the vessel, the base arm portions being rotatable about a coaxial axis of rotation.

The axis of rotation of the different crane arms is parallel to the deck of the vessel and parallel to the longitudinal direction of the vessel. By rotating the crane arms about the axis of rotation the discharge head can be moved to an overboard position, allowing it to be positioned above a loading space of a secondary vessel. The discharge head can be moved between an onboard position above the deck and an overboard position.

Rotating the crane arms about the axis of rotation can be done by operating the cable control devices by means of the drive unit to give out or take in cable.

According to an embodiment part of the discharge pipe forms a structural component of the base arm portion of one of the crane arms.

So, at least one base arm portion of one crane arm is at least partially formed by part of the discharge pipe.

At least part of the discharge pipe moves together with one of the base arm portions, in particular when the discharge pipe forms a structural component of the base arm portion. The discharge head moves together with the remote arm portions. The connection between the discharge head and the discharge pipe may therefore be formed by a flexible conduit.

According to a further aspect there is provided a barge loading system for unloading a mixture of water and material from a vessel into a secondary vessel positioned alongside the vessel,

the barge loading system comprising a discharge head which is connectable to a discharge pipe of the vessel

the barge loading system comprising at least two moveable crane arms which are attachable to a deck of the vessel, the crane arms being connected to the discharge head and arranged to move the discharge head,

characterized in that the crane arms comprise respective base arm portions rotatably connectable to the deck of the vessel and respective remote arm portions, wherein the remote arm portions are with one end rotatably connected to respective base arm portions and with another end connected to the discharge head, wherein the barge loading system comprises cable systems arranged to move the base arm portions and the remote arm portions.

The base arm portions are rotatable independently from the remote arm portions and vice versa. The base arm portions are rotatable synchronously. The remote arm portions are rotatable synchronously. The barge loading system may comprise cable systems for moving the remote arm portions which are entirely mounted on the respective crane arms. The barge loading system may comprise cable systems for moving the base arm portions. Each base arm portion may have a cable system for moving the base arm portion, wherein the cable systems are mounted on the crane arms and the deck of the vessel. The different cable systems for moving the base arm portions may be driven by a single driving unit, such as an engine. For instance, the driving unit may be connected to different winches, where each winch controls giving out or taking in a different cable of a different cable system for moving the base arm portions. This ensures synchronous movement of the different base arm portions

The different base arm portions may be connectable to the deck of the vessel in a rotatable manner, having a coaxial axis of rotation. This allows the barge loading system to move the discharge head from an onboard position (above the deck) to an overboard position (e.g. above a secondary vessel). The discharge head may be formed by an elongated pipe section extending in a longitudinal direction of the vessel, the discharge head comprising one or more discharge openings.

The discharge pipe may form a structural component of the base arm portions of one of the crane arms.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention will be described below, purely by way of example, with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings, wherein

corresponding components are indicated by corresponding reference symbols, and wherein:

Fig.'s la - Id schematically show a barge loading system in different position according to an embodiment, The drawings are intended for illustrative purposes only, and do not serve to restrict the scope of protection, which is defined by the claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments will be discussed with reference to the figures.

Fig.'s la - Id all relate to one embodiment, schematically depicted in different positions.

Fig. la shows a vessel 1, which may be a dredging vessel or a hopper vessel. The vessel 1 may also be a dredging vessel comprising a hopper, such as a trailing hopper suction dredger.

The vessel 1 comprises a barge loading system comprising two crane arms 20. It will be understood that any number of crane arms may be used, including one, three, four or more crane arms.

The barge loading system comprises a discharge pipe 11 which is connectable or connected to a piping system of the vessel to bring the discharge pipe 11 and the discharge head 12 in fluid communication with the mixture of water and material obtained from a dredging tool or a hopper. A pump may be provided to pump the mixture via the discharge pipe 11 into the discharge head 12. The discharge head 12 comprises openings 13 to allow the mixture to exit the discharge head 12.

Both crane arms 20 comprise a base arm portion 21 which is rotatably mounted to the deck of the vessel 1. The base arm portions 21 are both rotatable about a coaxial axis of rotation RA which runs parallel to the deck of the vessel 1 and parallel to a side of the vessel 1.

The crane arms 20 further comprise a remote arm portion 22 rotatably attached to the base arm portions 21. The remote arm portions 22 are rotatable about a coaxial axis of rotation RA2, parallel to the axis of rotation RA of the base arm portions 21.

The rotatable connections between the base arm portion 21 and the (deck of the) vessel 1 and between the base arm portion 21 and the remote arm portion 22 may be provided by suitable hinges or the like.

The connection between the discharge pipe 11 and the discharge head may be formed by a flexible conduit 14 to allow relative movement of the discharge pipe 11 and the discharge head 12.

The discharge pipe 11 may comprise a rotatable connection 15 to the piping system of the vessel to allow the discharge pipe 11 to move together with the base arm portion 21 with respect to the piping system of the vessel. The rotatable connection 15 may have an axis of rotation which coincides with the axis of rotation RA of the base arm portions 21 and with the body axes of the piping system and the discharge pipe 11 at the location of the rotatable connection 15.

The barge loading system comprises different cable systems to move the different arm portions. The remote arm portions 22 can be moved independently from the base arm portions 21. The cable systems provided to move the remote arm portions 22 are structurally and mechanically mounted on the barge loading system and are thus not mounted on the vessel 1, although there may be connections between the cable system and the vessel, such as energy and control lines.

The cable systems to move the remote arm portions 22 comprise one or more cables 32 which run between the base arm portion 21 and the remote arm portion 22 to transmit a force to the remote arm portion 22 to move the remote arm portion 22 with respect to the base arm portion 21.

As shown in the figures, the cable system for moving the remote arm portions 22 may comprise a cable control device 31, such as a winch which can be driven by a suitable drive device (engine), a cable 32 being provided on the control device which runs via a number of pulleys 33 provided on the base arm portion 21 and one or more pulleys 34 provided on the remote arm portion 22. The cable control device 31 may be mounted on the base arm portion 21.

The winches of the different cable systems for moving the remote arm portions 22 are controlled synchronously, for instance by a shared control device (not shown), which may for instance be a computer or the like.

Each base arm portion 21 may have an associated cable system, which is mounted between the base arm portion 21 and the (deck of the) vessel 1. The different cable systems are driveable by a single shared driving unit 26 to ensure synchronous movement of the different base arm portions 21. The cable systems for moving the base arm portions 21 comprise a cable control device 28, such as a winch, driven by the shared driving unit 26.

The different winches 28 may be positioned with their rotational axes orientated coaxially with respect to each other. The different cables 27 are partially wound around the winches 28 and having their free ends connected to the respective base arm portions 21.

As the different winches 28 may have a different relative position with respect to their associated crane arms 20, while the winches are driven synchronously and in the same direction, the different cables 27 may be wound in different directions to make sure the different cables are taken in or given out simultaneously.

A plurality of pulleys 29 may be provided to guide the cables 27 from the winch 28 to the base arm portion 21.

As shown in the figures, the discharge pipe 11 may form a structural component of one of the cranes 20, in particular of the base arm portion 21. This is for instance shown in Fig. la at the left.

All the cable systems described may be controlled by a single shared control device, which may be a computer device, which may for instance control the cable systems based on real-time input received from an operator via a suitable user interface, such as a keyboard on a remote control.

Control of the crane arms may be done by a master-slave control, wherein one crane arm (slave) follows the other crane arm (master).

Further embodiment

According to a further embodiment there is provided a vessel comprising a barge loading system 10 for loading a secondary vessel positioned alongside the vessel 1 with a mixture of water and material, the barge loading system 10 comprising a discharge pipe 1 land a discharge head 12 being in fluid communication with the discharge pipe 11 to receive the mixture, the barge loading system 10 comprising at least two moveable crane arms 20 connected to the discharge head 12, the crane arms 20 being arranged to move the discharge head 12 to an overboard position, wherein at least part of the crane arms 20, in particular base arm portions 21 rotatably connected to the deck of the vessel 1, are controllable by respective cable systems, wherein the respective cable systems 25 are drivable by a shared driving unit 26. Each cable system

comprises a winch 28, wherein each winch 28 is driven or drivable connected to the one driving unit 26. The crane arms 20 may comprise respective remote arm portions 22, wherein the remote arm portions 22 are with one end rotatably connected to respective base arm portions 21 and with another end connected to the discharge head 12. It will be clear that the embodiments described above are described only by way of example and not in any limiting sense, and that different modifications and adaptations are possible without exceeding the scope of the invention, and that the scope is determined only by the attached claims.