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Title:
HELICAL ANCHOR GROUP INSTALLATION SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/118798
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
Disclosed herein is an offshore anchor system comprising two or more helical anchors, each having a predetermined length; and a template acting as a base connecting the two or more helical anchors. Some embodiments further comprise a skirt protruding from the periphery of the template in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the two or more helical anchors thereby providing additional lateral support.

Inventors:
MILLER ZACHARY (US)
MANDUJANO RAFAEL (US)
BRADSHAW AARON (US)
ROBERTSON TYLER (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/061834
Publication Date:
June 17, 2021
Filing Date:
November 23, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TRITON SYSTEMS INC (US)
International Classes:
B63B21/50
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATANE, Michael A. et al. (US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An offshore anchor system comprising: two or more helical anchors, each having a predetermined length; and a template acting as a base connecting the two or more helical anchors.

2. The offshore anchor system of claim 1, further comprising: a skirt protruding from the periphery of the template in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the two or more helical anchors thereby providing additional lateral support.

3. The offshore anchor system of claim 2, wherein the skirt protrudes from the template in the same direction as the two or more helical anchors, wherein the skirt protrudes about 5% to about 50% of the length of the two or more helical anchors.

4. The offshore anchor system of claim 2, wherein the template and the skirt are separate items that can be assembled on site.

5. The offshore anchor system of claim 4, wherein the template and the skirt are a uniform construction.

6. The offshore anchor system of claim 1 , wherein the template further comprises a metal template comprising an attachment point for each of the two or more helical anchors, such that each helical anchor can be permanently attached to the template.

7. The offshore anchor system of claim 1, wherein each helical anchor comprises a shaft and a helical blade.

8. The offshore anchors system of claim 7, wherein each helical anchor is substantially parallel with each other.

9. The offshore anchor system of claim 7, wherein at least one of the two or more helical anchors is not parallel to at least one other of the two or more helical anchors.

10. The offshore anchor system of claim 1, wherein the shaft of each helical anchor passes through the template and is secured thereto.

11. An offshore anchor system comprising: two or more helical anchors, each having a predetermined length; a template acting as a base connecting the two or more helical anchors, and a skirt protruding from the periphery of the template in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the two or more helical anchors and for a distance of about 5% to about 50% of the length of the helical anchor thereby providing additional lateral support.

12. An offshore mooring system comprising two or more offshore anchor systems of claim 1.

13. A method of anchoring an offshore floating platform comprising: anchoring a template to the sea floor with one or more helical anchors passing through and securing the template; and mooring the floating platform to the template with a mooring line.

14. The method of claim 13, further providing a skirt extending from the periphery of the template into the seabead.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the skirt extends into seabead about 5% to about 50% of the length of the helical anchor.

Description:
HELICAL ANCHOR GROUP INSTALLATION SYSTEM

GOVERNMENTAL RIGHTS

[0001] This invention was made with government support under contract number DE- SC0017969, project number 2576, awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0002] This application claims the benefit of US Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/939,239, filed November 22, 2019, entitled Helical Anchor Group Installation System, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

SUMMARY

[0003] Disclosed herein is an offshore anchor system comprising two or more helical anchors, each having a predetermined length; and a template acting as a base connecting the two or more helical anchors.

[0004] Some embodiments further comprising a skirt protruding from the periphery of the template in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the two or more helical anchors thereby providing additional lateral support.

[0005] In some embodiments, the skirt protrudes from the template in the same direction as the two or more helical anchors, wherein the skirt protrudes about 5% to about 50% of the length of the two or more helical anchors.

[0006] In some embodiments, the template and the skirt are separate items that can be assembled on site.

[0007] In some embodiments, the offshore anchor system comprising two or more helical anchors, each having a predetermined length; a template acting as a base connecting the two or more helical anchors, and a skirt protruding from the periphery of the template in a direction substantially parallel to the length of the two or more helical anchors and for a distance of about 5% to about 50% of the length of the helical anchor thereby providing additional lateral support.

[0008] Some embodiments provide a method of anchoring an offshore floating platform comprising anchoring such anchor systems to the seafloor and mooring a floating platform thereto. [0009] These and other aspects will be apparent from this disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0010] FIG. 1 is a schematic depiction of a wind turbine and anchoring system in accordance with an embodiment described herein.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a partial cut-away view of an anchoring system as described herein.

[0012] The drawings are illustrative only and are not necessarily to scale.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0013] The popularity of offshore wind farms is increasing, as is its practicality. Key to the success of such offshore wind farms is safely anchoring the turbines. The current anchoring solutions are massive in size for the growing increase in turbines which creates installation issues, transportation complications, and extensive manufacturing. The invention provides a solution that is easily manufactured, shippable and provides a straightforward installation in a lower overall cost to the offshore floating wind farms. The proposed anchoring solutions benefit from one or more of low cost, ease of manufacture, low noise, ease of shipping, simpler installation, etc.

[0014] Instead of massive anchoring solutions, the proposed system employs multiple small easily manufactured helical anchors in close proximity combined with template and an optional skirt. Such a combination is not used in the offshore floating wind sector. [0015] The systems disclosed herein use multiple small helical anchors, a template, and an optional skirt to provide the uplift and lateral capacities required to moor a floating wind platform. The invention is made up of three components to provide the capacities needed for the offshore wind sector; helical anchors, a template, and an optional skirt. The anchor system will be installed by a subsea remote tool. The helical anchors provide the majority of the uplift capacity for the system. Helical anchors are installed by applying torque and crowd (down force) and screwing them into the seabed. Based on the site-specific soil conditions, the helical anchors style, size and length will be determined for the optimal performance. The template is a base platform that holds all the helical anchors together and provides a mooring connection for the floating platform or to which the rigid components are connected. The template also provides the base for the subsea tool to sit on while each anchor is installed. The template will provide some uplift and lateral capacities but compared to the overall system will have relatively small benefits. The main purpose of the template is to provide stability and load transfer from anchor to anchor from the mooring connection point. The skirt will provide increased lateral capacity for the system.

[0016] Each helical anchor comprises of a shaft, and a helical plate. Shaft lengths may range from approximately 5-20 feet and may be connected by couplers. The helical plate is designed and positioned such that twisting the anchor forces the shaft downward into the seabed. Multiple anchors maybe employed in a single anchor system held together via the template.

[0017] The template comprises a base portion that may be made of any suitable material, such as, but not limited to concrete and/or metal. The template engages and connects each of the multiple anchors together as a system. The template and anchors may be transported separately and assembled in place, making the system easy to transport, use, and install, as well as making it scalable depending on site needs. [0018] The skirt comprises an exterior shell ranging in size and thickness attached to the circumference of the template, made of suitable material which includes but is not limited to metal, stone, or concrete.

[0019] FIG. 1 depicts a schematic view of a single wind turbine moored to the seafloor using an anchoring system as described herein. As shown, a wind turbine is affixed to a floating platform at or near the waterline. Any suitable turbine and floating device may be used. Various turbine (single or multiple) and floating devices (e.g. floating platform, Dutch tri-floater, barge, spar, mono-hull TLP, etc.) may be used in conjunction with the anchoring system described herein.

[0020] The floating platform is affixed to one or more anchoring systems via one or more mooring lines.

[0021] Each anchoring system comprises a plurality of helical anchors, each of which is embedded in the seabed and coupled to the template. A skirt is provided at the periphery of the template such that the skirt is also embedded in the seabed to provide additional lateral support. The depth of the skirt, as with the helical anchors themselves, is determined on a case by case basis in light of the site where they are installed, factors such as depth, seabed composition, currents, and more may come into consideration. In some embodiments, the skirt extends into the seabed up to 5% of the length of the anchor shaft, in some embodiments the skirt extends 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 40%, or up to 50% of the length of the anchor shaft.

[0022] As depicted in Fig. 2, the template is circular and the accompanying skirt is a hollow cylinder. Any shape may be used, including oval, square, rectangle, etc. for the template, with sidewalls extending therefrom to form the skirt in a complimentary shape.

[0023] As depicted, a single mooring attachment and mooring line is affixed to the template. In some embodiments, multiple mooring lines may be affixed to the template. [0024] The combination of the plurality of helical anchors, the template and the optional skirt create a secure anchoring arrangement that is easy to manufacture, ship, and install.

[0025] In some embodiments, two or more anchoring systems are used to moor the same platform.

[0026] These and other embodiments will be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reading this specification, without deviating from the scope and spirit of this disclosure.

[0027] The cost of anchoring offshore floating wind turbines is an obstacle to reducing the cost of energy from offshore floating wind projects and presents an opportunity for savings. Deep water at sites on the West Coast further drives up these costs. Traditional anchoring systems use large heavy weights, casings, or high drag embedment forces to achieve high-pullout forces required for moorings. High weights and forces ultimately convert into high costs. Proposed herein is a robust anchoring system that can be installed with low forces and managed remotely from a generic offshore vessel. This approach is being adopted as a cost-saving measure for seafloor characterization surveys in deepwater and can provide similar cost savings for mooring installation costs. This anchoring technology is scalable and applicable to many types of subsea foundations beyond offshore wind, such as oil & gas, pipelines, and other renewable energy systems. Beyond the public benefit of lower cost green energy, the system minimizes acoustic impacts on the environment.