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Title:
OFFSHORE ENERGY GENERATION SYSTEM (OEGS)
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2022/162519
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is an Offshore Energy Generation System (OEGS), zero greenhouse gases emissions during operations, earthquake and tsunami proof, nuclear meltdown safe, floating ship-shaped, moored. The INVENTION delivers clean energy in the form of electricity and/or ammonia (N H3) and freshwater to offshore or onshore consumers. The INVENTION is effective, affordable and reliable solution for the global climate change and the freshwater scarcity crisis. By deploying this INVENTION across the world, the net zero emissions targets from IPCC can be achieved and the water scarcity crisis mitigated. The INVENTION enables better safety of the population served, optimal use of land, eliminate land use conflicts and enables the protection of the world cultural heritage. The INVENTION comprises of a electric power generation system based on nuclear or hydrogen (H2) fuel cells, ammonia generation, freshwater generation, offshore cranes, data processing centers, blockchain, helideck, telecommunications system, automation and control system, nitrogen and hydrogen generation systems.

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Inventors:
DO VALLE FEHLBERG, Leonardo (BR)
RICARDO CASTILLO, Javier (CO)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2022/050607
Publication Date:
August 04, 2022
Filing Date:
January 24, 2022
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DO VALLE FEHLBERG, Leonardo (BR)
RICARDO CASTILLO, Javier (CO)
International Classes:
G21D1/02; B63B35/44
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Claims:
What is Claimed is:

1. An INVENTION comprising:

A floating ship-shaped facility safely moored to the seabed eliminating earthquakes and tsunamis impacts on the technical integrity of the INVENTION as it is illustrated in the Fig 6.

An Electric Power Generation System based on nuclear fission or nuclear fusion or Hydrogen (H2) fuel cell.

A steam generation system.

A seawater collection system.

A freshwater generation system using the seawater collected on location and the residual thermal energy generated by the INVENTION.

A Hydrogen (H2) Generation system using the freshwater distilled onboard and the electrical energy generated onboard the INVENTION.

A Nitrogen (N2) Generation System using compressed air and the electrical energy generated onboard the INVENTION.

An Ammonia Generation System using the Hydrogen (H2), the Nitrogen (N2) and the electrical energy generated onboard the INVENTION.

A cooling water system.

An electric power export facilities and cables connecting to the consumers, being other offshore structures like FPSOs (Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading), semi-submersible, spars or alike. Or connecting to the host country electrical power grid.

A freshwater export system.

An ammonia export system.

Multiple Offshore Cranes for safe and reliable operations and material handling

Living quarters with Helideck.

A state of art automation, control and safety system. The INVENTION according to claim 1 wherein said Floating ship-shaped facility safely moored to the seabed could have Type 1 : Spread mooring or Type 2: Turret mooring. The INVENTION according to claim 2 wherein said Spread mooring could have where mooring lines are connected to the seabed by means of suction piles, anchors or torpedoes anchors. The INVENTION according to claim 2 wherein said Spread mooring the shipshaped floating structure could be outfitted with mooring equipment on the perimetry (forward-portside, forward-starboard side, aft-portside and aft- starboard side), where the mooring lines will be connected and properly tensioned as illustrated in the Fig 2 and 3. 17 The INVENTION according to claim 2 wherein said Turret mooring, where the bow of the ship-shaped floating structure is outfitted with a turret equipment, as illustrated in the Fig 4 and 5 The INVENTION according to claim 5 wherein said Turret mooring, the said turret could be installed internally or externally to the ship-shaped structure. The INVENTION cording to claim 5 wherein said Turret mooring, the said turret has the option of being outfitted with a disconnectable system.

1. The INVENTION according to claim 5 wherein said Turret mooring, the said electrical power export line, the freshwater export line and the ammonia export lines pass inside the said turret and are laid on the seabed. The inner portion of the turret outfitted with mooring equipment, where the mooring lines are connected and properly tensioned. The INVENTION according to claim 1 wherein said electric power generation system based on nuclear fission of fusion will be provided with a said cooling water system that will minimize, and almost eliminate, the possibility of a severe nuclear meltdown. The INVENTION according to claim 1 wherein said a freshwater export system to be exported to shore or other offshore or subsea systems via pipelines and/or other marine vessels. 18 The INVENTION according to claim 1 wherein said an ammonia export system to be exported to shore, or other offshore or subsea systems via pipelines and/or other marine vessels. The INVENTION according to claim 1 could also be used to provide energy for other offshore facilities offshore or subsea systems, such as offshore oil and gas production systems needing energy for carbon capture via reinjection into the reservoir, e.g., spars, semis-submersibles, FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading) or similar; offshore marine terminals, ports, industrial or recreational parks, offshore and/or underwater computer data centers, aerospace offshore facilities, offshore fish and food processing, etc. The INVENTION according to claim 1 could be fabricated to provide any combination of electric power and/or ammonia and/or freshwater. To help resolve the customer needs and alleviate the climate challenge and water scarcity. The INVENTION according to claim 1 could include with an onboard data center with computing and networking equipment for the purpose of collecting, storing, processing, distributing, or allowing access to large amounts of data or operations for telecommunications, internet or blockchain technologies for crypto currency operations or similar. The INVENTION according to claim 1 could include freshwater storage tanks and/or ammonia storage. 19

15. The INVENTION according to claim 1 is outfitted with freshwater conditioning systems such as mineralization system and chlorination system.

Description:
Offshore Energy Generation System (OEGS)

Technical field of the invention

This invention is related to Offshore Energy Generation System (OEGS).

Background of the invention

Considering that the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), from the United Nations, is calling for a net zero challenge; that require a step change in technology innovation in critical areas such as making low-carbon electricity the main source for manufacturing, heating buildings and powering vehicles, capturing, storing and utilizing carbon dioxide before it escapes into the atmosphere, realizing the potential of clean Hydrogen across many industries, and massively expanding the use of sustainable bioenergy.

Considering that to accomplish this challenge it will be necessary to increase our worldwide energy supply to about 50% more than was being produced in 2018; and at the same time execute a major decarbonization of entire economies worldwide to reduce the carbon emission to the atmosphere to levels that ensure a secure environment. This will require the rapid development of many technologies that are still in their very early stages today - some of them are barely out of the laboratory. Recent IEA (International Energy Agency) analysis have assessed the market readiness of 400 different technologies that will be needed, but finds that only about half of the additional emissions savings needed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 are available to the market today.

Considering the urgency of this call to action the authors performed a very detailed and systematic analysis of all the current technologies available for power generation and storage. Utilizing their extensive project management, engineering experience and business mindset as the foundation; as well as market analysis from the customer perspective to provide a best-in-class solution to address the climate challenge.

At the time of submittal of this document, about 13% (940 million) of the world population does not have access to electricity; about 11 % (840 million) of the world population does not have access to drinking water and about 40% (3 billion) of the world population does not have access to clean fuels for cooking. This comes at a high health cost for indoor air pollution. Based on current forecasts about 25% of the world population will likely live in a country affected by chronic or recurring freshwater shortages.

The total area of the world ocean is about 361.9 million square kilometers (139.7 million square miles), which covers about 70.9% of Earth's surface and there are about 620,000 kilometers (372,000 miles) of coastline in the only planet we have. Over one- third of the total human population, nearly 2.4 billion people, lives within 100km (60 miles) of an oceanic coast.

The Offshore Energy Generation System (OEGS), from this point forward referred as INVENTION (in capital letters), is conceived based on the careful and systematic study of the worldwide people needs, worldwide resources and hands on experience of the inventors delivering world class solutions. The INVENTION design philosophy is from the customer perspective and delivers unique functionality, superior safety, reliability, flexibility, low-cost clean electrical energy, freshwater and ammonia. The INVENTION generates no greenhouse gases and no carbon-based products during its normal operations or through the products it delivered. The INVENTION leverages on the existing laws of physics instead of trying to oppose them as other prior art. The INVENTION generates clean energy that can be delivered in the form of electricity and/ or ammonia (NH3) and freshwater to offshore or onshore consumers. There could be some greenhouse gases during its construction and transportation to site based on the construction and materials employed produce these emissions.

Chinese patent CN105059489A, describes a constantly stable offshore nuclear power platform set of structures very different that the ones proposed in the ship-shaped INVENTION. The patent CN105059489A it is also limited to the generation of electricity and water desalinization, meanwhile the INVENTION also generates ammonia that could be used as an energy source and/or agricultural fertilizer; and it is not characterized to produce zero carbon emissions. The claims on the patent CN105059489A are mainly centered in hull components that are also very different than the ones proposed in the INVENTION.

Chinese patents CN104960637A offshore nuclear power platform for shallow ice sea regions and CN104960637B marine nuclear power platform for shallow water ice formation marine site relates to an offshore nuclear power platform for shallow ice sea regions; meanwhile the INVENTION is not intended for shallow sea regions and it not designed for artic climate conditions.

US Patent US9443620B2 reactor containment vessel and nuclear power plant is related and limited to the specific design of a nuclear reactor; meanwhile the INVENTION can use any nuclear fission or fusion reactor or Hydrogen cell for power generation and includes many other systems as comprising water desalinization, Nitrogen generator, Hydrogen and ammonia generation systems.

The Chinese patents CN105501404A oversea floating type nuclear power generating device of polygonal structure, CN104264646A Concrete marine nuclear power platform and CN204252096U the marine nuclear power platform of a kind of concrete are related to specific geometry like the polygonal structure defined in the CN105501404A or the concrete materials used on the CN104264646A and CN204252096U. The INVENTION is not claiming the use this geometry or concrete materials.

The international patent WO2015147952A3 and the US patent US7331303B2, floating nuclear power reactor with a self-cooling containment structure and an emergency heat exchange system; claim a specific type of nuclear reactor meanwhile. The INVENTION does not claim to work with this type of nuclear reactors. The WO2015147952A3 floating nuclear power reactor includes a self-cooling containment structure and an emergency heat exchange system meanwhile the INVENTION does not claim this or similar design.

The Chinese patent CN204066759U nuclear power station of removable marine nuclear power platform describes a specific nuclear platform design that has a removable caisson. The INVENTION does not claim to include a removable caisson or similar design.

The US patent US10269462B2 semi-submersible nuclear power plant and multipurpose platform scope includes a nuclear power plant is integrated into the submerged hull of an offshore, floating spar or cell spar platform and the INVENTION is not claiming to use a semi-submersible spar hull type but a ship shaped hull. Furthermore, the patent US10269462B2 it is also limited to generating electricity and ancillary services for its own use like desalinated water, meanwhile the INVENTION generates clean energy that can be delivered in the form of electricity or ammonia (NH3) and/or freshwater to offshore or onshore consumers.

The International Patent W02010/096735AI and the US patent US20140140466A1 for the offshore energy carrier is a nuclear fission plant intended to produce and dispatch energy carriers from hydrogen to hydrocarbons such as methanol and jet fuel. The INVENTION differs from this patent, as it is a zero-carbon facility that does not generate any type of hydrocarbons such as methanol, jet fuel and others. Even though that the INVENTION also generates hydrogen for its internal processes, the INVENTION is not claiming to deliver hydrogen as a product. Moreover, the INVENTION is not limited to the use of nuclear fission for electricity generation as it can generated from nuclear fusion or Hydrogen (H2) fuel cell.

The US Patent US4302291A for an underwater nuclear power plant structure comprising a triangular platform formed of tubular leg and truss members upon which are attached one or more large spherical pressure vessels is completely different than the INVENTION is not installed underwater and does not have a triangular arrangement of truss members. The INVENTION is a ship shaped floating energy system.

There have been multiple floating nuclear facilities constructed since the 1960’s when the US Army commissioned the Sturgis as the first floating nuclear power plant. But none of these facilities have the unique characteristics included on the claim of the INVENTION. The INVENTION is based on the current desired of the humanity of having zero carbon emissions, clean freshwater and ammonia as energy carrier for the hydrogen. None of the previous INVENTIONS have the process described on the figures of the specification of this patent.

Brief Summary of the Invention

The INVENTION is the solution for the net zero challenge for producing clean energy, in the form of electricity and/or freshwater and/or Ammonia (NH3) as energy carrier for Hydrogen (H2). The INVENTION is flexible to provide all the three products: electricity, freshwater and Ammonia (NH3) or any combination of one, two or three of them according to the customer requirements.

The INVENTION consists of a ship-shaped floating structure moored at the seabed with the systems required to deliver electricity and/or freshwater and/or Hydrogen (H2) and/or Nitrogen (N2) and/or Ammonia (NH3) to be exported to shore or other offshore or subsea systems via submerged electrical cables and/or pipelines, as applicable. Other offshore or subsea systems, such as offshore oil and gas production systems, e.g., spars, semisubmersible, FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading) or similar; offshore marine terminals, ports, industrial or recreational parks, offshore and/or underwater computer data centers, aerospace offshore facilities, offshore fish and food processing, etc.

The INVENTION responds effectively to the climate challenge and freshwater scarcity, the need for clean liquid fuels; but it also enables a better land management and urban planning and development. The INVENTION could accelerate the development of many coastlines that are currently deserted as they are isolated due lack of freshwater; or the coastline is used for existing oil refineries, coal facilities and other facilities that could be transitioned to other use to satisfy the needs of the society.

The INVENTION is a floating system that will operate in a similar way of an offshore oil and gas producing system, with crews manning the systems 24 hours, accommodation facilities, helipad and/or boat landing for crew transport, cranes for handling material and people to and from the supply boat, life-saving equipment, electronic connectivity to the outside world and other systems.

Brief Description of the Several Views of the Drawings

Fig. 1 - High level schematic process view, where the steam generator feeds steam to the steam turbine for electricity generation. The steam coming out the turbine is further used for seawater distillation process to generate freshwater. The remaining steam (not represented) could be used to power certain machines, as an example the freshwater export pumps, Ammonia (NH3) export pumps (or compressors), seawater intake pumps and others. From a fraction of the freshwater generated onboard, Hydrogen (H2) is generated via water electrolysis; Nitrogen (N2) is generated via commercially available systems. Utilizing the Hydrogen (H2) and the Nitrogen (N2), Ammonia (NH3) is generated, and exported to shore via pipeline in liquid or gaseous form.

Fig. 2 - Schematic profile view of the ship-shaped floating structure, outfitted with spread mooring. It shows the general main components layout.

Fig. 3 - Schematic plan view of the ship-shaped floating structure, outfitted with spread mooring. It shows the general main components layout.

Fig. 4 - Schematic profile view of the ship-shaped floating structure, outfitted with Turret. It shows the general main components layout. Differentiation between internal turret and external turret are not shown.

Figure 5 - Schematic plan view of the ship-shaped floating structure, outfitted with Turret. It shows the general main components layout. Differentiation between internal turret and external turret are not shown.

Fig. 6 - Schematic isometric view for the spread mooring option of the INVENTION, showing the general overview, section of the mooring system, section of the export pipelines and section of the power export cable.

Detailed Description of the INVENTION

The process starts with high heat generation reaction; this heat is transferred to the water surrounding the reactor. The water surrounding the reactor is circulated through a heat exchanger never enters in contact with the secondary heating medium of the heat exchanger. Steam will be generated in the secondary heating medium system. This steam is conditioned and directed to a steam turbine where high voltage electrical power will be generated. The steam that leaves the steam turbine is used in the process of freshwater distillation. From the freshwater distillation the remaining steam will be utilized to drive machinery and will be returned to the beginning of the process for further recirculation. Nitrogen (N2) is generated onboard via commercially available Nitrogen (N2) generation systems. Hydrogen (H2) is generated onboard utilizing a fraction of the freshwater produced via electrolysis process. Combining the Hydrogen (H2) and the Nitrogen (N2) in the Ammonia (NH3) Generation System, we’ll have a carbon-free energy source that is exported to shore via subsea pipeline that connects the ship-shaped floating structure to the receiving terminal. The Ammonia (NH3) could be exported in liquid or gaseous phase, depending on the capabilities of the receiving customer. The receiving shore terminal processes the Ammonia (NH3) further for sales and distribution. Oxygen (O2) is a by-product from the Nitrogen (N2) Generation System and the Hydrogen (H2) Generation System and is to be safely vented to the atmosphere.

The INVENTION is outfitted with electrical transformers to condition the power for exportation. The power exported could be alternated current (AC) or direct current (DC), depending on the power level and the distance between the INVENTION and the substation onshore, or at the offshore consumer.

The subsea power export cable connects to the INVENTION and is laid on the seabed until it reaches the shoreline, or other offshore systems, where it’s connected to the receiving substation for further conditioning and distribution to the consumers. This receiving substation, if needed could be located onshore, or in other offshore systems, such as offshore oil and gas production systems, e.g. spars, semi-submersibles, FPSO (Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading), etc.

If Freshwater is also required, the Seawater from the ocean will be pumped to the freshwater maker plant for distillation. Brine will be returned to the ocean and freshwater will be conditioned and stored in the ship-shaped tanks for further processing and exportation. The storage tanks layout and design are similar to the regular tanker ships found in the market today.

If Hydrogen (H2) is also required a Hydrogen (H2) generation system electrically driven will be supplied using electrolysis and the freshwater distilled as the inputs of the Hydrogen (H2) generation system.

If Nitrogen(N2) is also required a Nitrogen generation system electrically driven will be supplied using commercially available systems.

If Ammonia (NH3) is also required, an Ammonia (NH3) Generation System will combine Hydrogen (H2) and Nitrogen to produce Ammonia in the form of NH3. The generated Ammonia (NH3) is pumped to the shore terminal in liquid or gaseous form via pipeline connecting the ship-shaped floating structure and the shore terminal.

A subsea pipeline connects the ship-shaped floating structure and is laid on the seabed until it reaches the shoreline where it’s connected to freshwater city-grid for further processing and distribution. If required a water pump export pumps system is provided that is responsible to transfer the freshwater from the storage tanks to the pipeline that connects to the city grid. If required an Ammonia (NH3) export system is provided from the storage tanks to the pipeline that connects to the consumers.

The ship-shaped floating structure is kept in place by a mooring system. Depending on the water depth, oceanic and meteorologic conditions, there are two types of mooring method that could be selected:

Type 1 : Spread mooring, where mooring lines are connected to the seabed by means of suction piles, regular anchors or torpedoes anchors. The ship-shaped floating structure is outfitted with mooring equipment on the four comers (forward-portside, forwardstarboard side, aft-portside and aft-starboard side), where the mooring lines will be connected and properly tensioned. This system has an inherent flexibility that allows the floating structure excursion within the operational limits of the whole system

Type 2: Turret mooring, where the bow of the ship-shaped floating structure is outfitted with a turret equipment, This turret equipment allows multiple 360 degrees free rotation around the center-point of the turret according to the prevailing weather (wind and ocean conditions). The turret could be installed internally or externally to the shipshaped structure. The electrical power export line, the freshwater and Ammonia export lines pass inside the turret and is laid on the seabed until they reach the consumers. The inner portion of the turret outfitted with mooring equipment, where the mooring lines will be connected and properly tensioned. In case the INVENTION is installed in a hurricane area, disconnectable turret are to be selected. This system has an inherent flexibility that allows the floating structure excursion within the operational limits of the whole system.

For both types of mooring system, the mooring lines are designed with a combination of chain and synthetic mooring lines, according to the design specific to the installation area.

Advanced automation and control technology is to be utilized to control all the processes onboard the ship-shaped floating structure. Additionally, encrypted remote control capabilities are installed to enable control from the central control room located in a designated location onshore, where the operator has offices. Safe, reliable and secure remote control is archived by the selection of power cable outfitted with multicore fiber optics, which enables direct connection to the operator’s network infrastructure.

The ship-shaped floating structure is to be outfitted with suitable accommodations for the crew living onboard in a rotation scheme. Helideck to be outfitted on the top of the accommodation in order to allow transportation of people and small parts. Cranes suitable for regular operation and special maintenance are to be outfitted on both sides of the ship-shaped floating structure. Other systems like lighting, air conditioning, compressed air, sewage, firefighting, navigational aids, entertainment, ballast, hot water, and others required by flag State, International Labor Organization and Classification Societies are to be installed to assure safety of man onboard.

For increased protection, the ship-shaped floating structure is outfitted with an emergency generator capable to sustain emergency systems in operation for a period of 21 days with intensive automation and remote control as described above. The INVENTION is also outfitted with an uninterruptable power system (UPS) that is able to sustain emergency systems operations for few minutes while the emergency generator is automatically started and put online.

The ship-shaped floating structure is outfitted with the isolation technology called “double hull” on the critical areas (side shell and bottom), according to the state of art shipbuilding current standards.

The ship-shaped floating structure is yet designed to be built in a regular shipyard, where the integration of the heat generator system will be carried out. The heat generating equipment supplier will deliver the system in large parts for further integration with the ship-shaped floating structure. The INVENTION is also designed to be wet-towed or dry-transported from the shipyard to the final operation location and latter at the end of the design life, from the operation to the scrap yard or any other relocation required during the life of the asset.

The ship-shaped floating structure design life is between 20 and 60 years with major maintenance during the operational life.

The heat generating source technology chosen could be nuclear fusion, nuclear fission or Hydrogen (H2) fuel cell. All of them are viable solutions. The latter require a simpler system once electricity is produced directly from the fuel cell, excluding the requirement of steam handling and steam turbines. The system is outfitted with multiple redundant emergency pumps and fail-open valves that ensures constant source of cooling medium (seawater) to the heat generating source in order to avoid overheating and further damages.

The diagram in Fig. 1 illustrates the process described above. The system is scalable from micro to giga generators and as many redundancy sub-systems as required by the client and regulatory authorities. Which will drive the size of the ship-shaped floating structure.

Additionally, the freshwater storage tanks serves the purpose to regulate the freshwater export flow and as an emergency secondary heat-sink system to cooldown the heat generator. The freshwater storage volume will depend on the operator’s preference, could range from 0 hours of storage to multiple days.