US 2684166 A
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F. D. DE JARNETT 2,684,166
POWER-ELEVATOR FOR OIL WELLS 3 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. /QnA//e 0. 0E m/wsrr rro/ewfy July 20, 1954 Filed sept. 10, 1951 July 20, 1954 F. D. DE; JARNETT 2,684,166
POWER-ELEVATOR FOR OIL WELLS Filed Sept. lO, 1951 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Een/vz 0. onfmwsrr July 20, 1954 F. D. DE JARNETT 2,684,166
POWER-ELEVATOR FOR OIL WELLS Filed Sept. l0, 1951 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Patented July 20, 1954 POWER ELEVATOR FOR OIL WELLS 'Frank D. De J arnett, Long Beach, Calif., assigner of one-half to Paul A. Medearis Application September 10, 1951, Serial No. 245,898
(Cl. .2M- 658) 19 Claims.
This invention relates to hoisting apparatus for raising and lowering heavy objects, more particularly hoisting devices mounted in oil well der ricks, and is specifically directed to mechanization of an oil well elevator. Such an elevator for engaging and disengaging casing, tubing, sucker-rod and the like is carried by a traveling block which in turn is suspended by a cable from a stationary crown block, the cable being operated by a power-driven hoisting drum on the derrick floor.
The usual elevator for handling pipe and the like is an engagement means having jaws that are opened and closed by hand to engage or disengage the object to be raised or lowered. The
manual operation of the elevator jaws requires 'two workmen, one on the derrick floor and one on an elevated platform.
For a number of reasons it is desirable to use an elevator that is actuated by power. One reason is that a power-actuated engagement means can be operated by remote control from the oor of the elevator and thus eliminate the need for a workman on the upper platform. Another reason for providing power actuation is to avoid the fatigue involved in hand operation and to make practical the use of elevators of exceptionally large size to handle exceptionally long stands of heavy pipe.
Power-operated elevators have been developed to meet this general need. For example, the Stone Patent No. 2,496,360 issued February '7, 1950, discloses a fluid-pressurc-actuated elevator designed to engage the inner threads of a tool lioint box. The Oil and Gas Journal in the issue dated July l2, 1951, mentions another type of power-operated elevator for pipe.
The disadvantage of power-actuated elevators as heretofore employed resides in the use of fleX- ible communication means in the form of air hose, electric cable and the like that hang from the moveable elevator for the purpose of connecting the elevator with a remote stationary power source and also for the purpose of connecting the eievator with a remote control station. Usually these lines hang in loops with one end of each loop fixed to the derrick at an elevated point and the other end xed to the traveling block, the loop being long enough to accommodate the entire vertical range of movement of the traveling block. Communication lines arranged in this manner are objectionable not only because they get in the way of workmen and may cause accidents but also because the communication lines themselves are subject to exceptional wear and damage in their exposed positions.
The general object of the present invention is to eliminate the need for such exible loops for motivation and control of power-operated elevators. A feature of the invention is that this object is obtained with respect to the use of a power line by eliminating any need whatsoever for such a power line. The omission of the power line is made possible by using the movement of the traveling block itself as a source of power for operating the elevator carried by the traveling block. In the preferred practice of the invention the traveling block carries an air compressor together with an associated pressure tank and the air compressor is actuated by movement of the hoisting cable relative to the traveling block. lElimination of the usual exible loop for remote control of the elevator is accomplished in the present invention by running the control line upward from the traveling block to an elevated point on the derrick and then down the derrick structure to the remote control station. A feature oi the preferred practice of the invention is the concept of employing an automatic reel to wind and unwind the portion of the line between the traveling block and the derrick in accord with movements of the traveling block thereby to avoid any undesirable sag in the control line.
A further object of the invention is to provide a duid-pressure-actuated elevator having a safety latch with provision for actuating the latch in proper sequence to the actuation of the elevator Jaws.
The various objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent in the following detailed description of the invention taken with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings, which are to be regarded as merely illustrative,
Fig. l is a simplified side elevation of a derrick at an oil well incorporating the preferred embodiment of the present invention;
Fig. 2 is a front elevation of the traveling block and associated structure with parts broken away to reveal hidden elements;
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view showing how a reel included in the combination is connested into an electric circuit;
Fig. 4 is a diagram indicating how the fluid system for actuating the elevator may be controlled;
Fig. 5 is a plan view of a power-actuated ele" vator that may be employed in the practice of the invention;
Fig. 6 is a side elevation of a compressor showing how the compressor may be directly driven by a cable in a modied practice of the invention;
Fig. 7 is a plan view of the arrangement in Fig. 6 with parts shown in section; and
Fig. 8 is a section taken on the line 8-8 of Fig.
Fig. 1 shows a derrick generally designated ii] having a header or water-table ii on which is mounted the usual crown block. The usual traveling block i2 is suspended from the crown block by the several loops of a cable i3 that pass around the sheaves Ed of the traveling block. The winding end of the cable I3 passes downward as shown at i5 for actuation by a power means i6 that includes the usual hoisting drum (not shown).
The traveling block i2 carries the usual hook 2B from which an elevator generally design-ated 2i is suspended by a pair o loops or links 22. The elevator 2i is shown engaged with the upper end of a pipe 23.
The elevator 2i may be of any type of construction known to the art including the type set forth in the previously mentioned Stone patent. By way of example, Fig. 5 shows such a power-actuated elevator adapted to engage pipe or the like from the outside.
In the construction shown, the elevator 2i is of a well known type having a pair of jaws hingedly interconnected by a pivot pin 25. rThe two jaws 25 are formed with integral ears 2 to receive the two links 22 and may have the usual handles it for manual manipulation when the power is 01T.
For the purpose of power-actuation, each of the jaws 25 also has an integral arm Sii and these two a-rms are connected respectively to a pneumatic power means i. ln the arrangement shown, the power means 3i comprises a cylinder 32 that is hingedly connected to one of the arms Sii by a suitable pivot pin t3 the other arm 3G being connected by a pivot pin 3d to a piston rod 35 extending from the other end of the cylinder.
A suitable latch member 'iil is mounted on one of the jaws 25 by a pivot pin il and is adapted to releasably engage a hook-shaped latch i2 integral with the other jaw 25 in a manner well lmown in the art. For power actuation, the latch member lil has an integral arm d3 that is operatively connected to a second pneumatic power means dei. In the construction shown, the second power means @d comprises a cylinder d5 hingedly connected by a pin d@ to a bracket el on the jaw 25 that carries the latch member. A
iston rod 2S extending from the opposite end of the cylinder de is connected by a pivot pin 49 to the latch member arm de. Preferably a suitable helical spring 5S acting between the latch member arm d3 and the corresponding jaw 25 of the elevator continuously urges the latch member to its closed or engaging position.
The operation of the elevator 2i may be readily understood from the description. With the elevator open, a-s shown in Fig. 5, the admission of compressed air behind the piston in the cylinder 32 will cause the two arms 3G to spread apart for closing action of the two jaws 25. Either the spring eil or the second pneumatic power means it may be depended upon to hold the latch inember lili yieldingly in its engaging position as the two jaws 25 move together so that the latch member will automatically engage the catch 42. It is apparent that if power fails while the elevator is latched in its closed position it will remain latched by virtue of pressure exerted by the spring 5). The elevator is opened by the pneuma-tic power means M disengaging the latch member fit 'from the catch d2 and the subsequent opening of the two jaws 25 by the pneumatic power means 3 i.
The structure shown in the drawings to this point is broadly old. The novel features to which the present invention is directed resides in the arrangement for actuating and controlling the elevator 2! as will now be described. It is to be understood that under the broadest concept of the invention the two previously mentioned power means 3l and i4 may be hydraulic instead of pneumatic but pneumatic is preferred.
`The power source for pneumatic operation in the presently preferred embodiment of the invention includes a reciprocating-type compressor mounted on top of the traveling block i2 in the manner indicated in Fig. 2. The air compressor 55 is connected by ay suitable pipe 5S to a pressure tank or air receiver 5l mounted on the lower end of the traveling block.
It is contemplated that the air compressor 55 will be operatively connected to the cable i3 for actuation by movement or" the cable relative to the traveling block i2. Rather than operatively connect the air compressor directly with the cable I prefer to actuate the cable by one of the sheaves Mi of the traveling block. To this end the right hand sheave i4 in Fig. 2 drives a suitable sprocket 58 concentric thereto and the sprocket 58 is connected by a sprocket chain with a second sprocket te on the air compressor 55. Preferably the air compressor is adapted to compress air when operated in either rotary direction.
Mounted on the pressure tank 51 in communication therewith is a suitable control valve generally designated t5. The contr-ol valve i5 may be of the rotary plug type incorporating two iuid passages. The control valve may be moved to one of its two positions by a suitable solenoid G5 and may be moved to its other position by a suitable spring @l (Fig. 4) connected to an operating arm 68 of the valve. The control valve has an intake port 'id communicating with the pressure tank 51, an exhaust port ii to the atmosphere, a third port l2 connected to a hose 'i3 leading to one side of the jaw-operating pneumatic means 3i, and a fourth port lll in coinmunication with two lengths of hose 'l5 and 'i5 leading to the two power means 3i and lle.
In one of the two positions of the control valve the pressure tank 5l is connected by angular Valve passage Sil with the air hose I3 while a second angular valve passage BI connects the two hose 'irl and i5 with the atmosphere.
The hose i3 is connected to one end of the cylinder 32 and the hose Td is connected to one end or the cylinder 55. The third hose 75 which has a suitable check valve 82 is connected to the second end of the cylinder 32 and likewise is connected by a branch S3 with the second end of the cylinder d5.
Fig. 4 shows the previously mentioned spring Eil diagrammatically as enclosed by the cylinder d5 to oppose the inward movement of the corresponding piston 81E, and, of course, the spring may be installed in this manner if desired. The previously mentioned piston rod It@ is connected to this piston ed and the previously mentioned piston rod 35 is connected to a piston 85 in the cylinder 32.
" noid 66.
The diagram in Fig. 4 vshows the piston the control valve 95 takes in response to the action `of the spring 91 when the solenoid 66 is de-en- `is open to the atmosphere through hose 'I5 and the control valve.
When energization of the solenoid 66 causes the control valve 55 to be rotated to its second position, the two angular valve passages 89 and 9i are shifted to the dotted line positions in Fig. 4. The first result of this shift in the valve position is the flow of compressed air from the pressure tank 51 through the control valve into the hose 14, air ilow through the hose 'I5 being prevented by the check valve 82. The air admitted to the cylinder t4 shifts the piston 84 to the right as viewed in Fig. 4 to throw the latch member 49 to open position and when the piston 84 uncovers a port 99 in the cylinder 45, conipressed air flows into the branch hose 83 to en- `ter the cylinder 32 and shift the piston 85 to the right to open the two jaws 25 of the elevator 2l. Air is exhausted from the cylinder 32 to the atmosphere through the hose 'I3' and the control valve 65.
It is apparent that the valve 55 and thereby H the elevator 2l may be controlled from a remote point by a suitable circuit that includes the sole- Preferably such a control circuit is provided in the manner now to be described.
Fig. l shows a control switch 9I accessible from the door of the derrick, the switch being connected to a suitable two-wire cable 92 in the Circuit for controlling the valve-actuating solenoid 69. Instead of extending directly from the switch 9| to the traveling block I2, the cable 92 extends up the derrick structure, being xedly attached thereto, and then extends downward from the top of the derrick to a reel l93. The reel 93 is journaled in a pair of standards 94 on the upper side of the traveling block I2 near the compressor 55.
The cable 92 is Wound on the reel 93, and, as shown in Fig. 3, each of its two wires 92o, is electrically connected to a cylindrical metal body 95 that is concentric to the reel and extends through one of the reel supporting standards 9&5. In a particular construction shown in Fig. 3 the reel 93, which is preferably constructed of non-conducting material, has a cylindrical body 96 and an end wall 97, the end wall 91 being formed with a collar or circular iiange 99 that serves as a trunnion for the reel and is journaled in a suitable bearing 99 carried by the corresponding standard 945.
A suitable contact for brush member |92 mounted in a xed holder m3 and backed by a spring IlilI continuously presses against the periphery of the rotary metal body 95 and is connected with one wire of a two-wire cable m5 that extends down to the solenoid 56. At the other end of the reel 93 a second arrangement like that shown in Fig. 3 is provided to connect the second wire of the cable 92 with the second wire of the cable IUS.
It is contemplated that the reel 93 will be ac- 6 tuated automatically to take up the slack in the downwardly extending portion of the cable 92 as the traveling block I 2 moves up and down. While any suitable arrangement may be employed to continuously urge the reel 93 in the rotary direction for winding up the cable 93, I prefer to use a suitable pneumatic means I 96 for this purpose. The pneumatic means IMS is actuated by compressed air delivered thereto from the compressor 55 through a supply pipe I 0l. The pneumatic means IGS may, for example, be a well known type of rotary engine which rotates in one direction in response to air pressure and may be driven in the opposite direction by the downward movement of the traveling block I2 to serve as a compressor for restoring compressed air to the pressure tank 5l. The pneumatic means I 96 is operatively connected to the reel 93 by an arrangement of sprockets and sprocket chain indicated at IIB in Fig. 2.
The manner in which the described invention operates may be readily understood from the foregoing description. The elevator 2| is raised and lowered in the usual mannerl for handling stands of pipe and an operator standing on the derriclr floor manipulates the control switch 9! to open and close the elevator 2l to disengage and engage pipe as required, actuating the elevator 2I is derived by the compressor 55 from the cable I3 as the cable moving relative to the traveling block I2 actuates the sheave of the traveling block that is connected to the compressor. The reel 93 Winds and unwinds the cable 92 automatically to maintain the hanging cable taut as the traveling block moves up and down. Thus, neither a power line nor a control line hangs from the traveling block I2.
Figs. 6, 'l and 3 show how a compressor I 29 may be directly driven by the cable i3. The compressor I 29 has a laterally extending drive shaft I2I and is mounted on a fixed base plate I22 on the traveling block i2 in such manner as to permit the drive shaft to shift relative to a selected vertical run of the cable. For this purpose the base of the compressor 29 may have a wing I 23 (Fig. '7) pivotally connected to the base plate by a suitable bolt I2l. YFor stability the compressor base has a second wing I25 with an arcuate slot concentric to the pivot bolt 24 and a second bolt l2? extends upward from the base plate 22 through this slot to secure the compressor on the base plate and yet permit the compressor to swing about the pivot bolt.
The shaft I2! carries a drive wheel I3@ of suitable material such as hard reinforced rubber that makes frictional contact with the selected run of the cable I2 to be rotated by movement of the cable relative to the traveling block I2. Suitable means is provided to insure the needed frictional contact with the cable.
In the particular arrangement shown in the drawings, a suitable yoke I 3i comprising two legs I32 and a cross-piece E33 straddles both the drive wheel I3@ and the selected run of the cable I3. The ends of the two legs I3?! incorporate suitable bearing-s I3# in which the drive shaft IZI is journalled.
The yoke i3! carries a pair of small pressure wheels ISE positioned respectively above and below the level of the drive shaft l2! and also carries a suitable helical spring :I 36 to press the pressure wheels toward the cable. The two pressure wheels IE5 are mounted by axles M0 on a vertical pressure block vIII `and the spring |36 is confined under compression between the pressure The power forblock i!!! and the cross piece i325 at the outer end of the yoke. The pressure blocir` lill is cut away on each of its two sides to provide slide channels is? (Fig. 8) that are slidingly engaged by the two legs 32 of the yolre.
It will be readily understood. how the yoke derives force from the compressed spring i3d and pulls the drive shaft i2! in one direction while pushing the pressure wheels R35 in the opposite direction to hold the drive wheel H30 in constant effective pressure Contact with the cable I3. No bending strain is created in the drive shaft i2| since the pivotal mounting of the compressor permits the drive shaft to swingl in response to .force created by the spring My escription in specific detail of preferred.
crnbodimenis ci the invention will suggest to those skilled in the art various changes substitutions and other departures from my disclosure that properly lie within. the scope and spirit of the appended claims.
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. In hoisting apparatus including a traveling block suspended by a cable, a prime mover connected with a cable for raising and lowering the traveling block, and engagement means carried by the traveling block for engaging and disengaging objects to be raised and lowered, the combination therewith of: means supported by said traveling block to derive power from the movement of the traveling block; means supported by the traveling block and actuated by said powerderiving means to operate said engagement means; and means to control said operating means.
2, A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said power-deriving means is operatively connected with cable for actuation by movement of the cable relative to the traveling block.
3. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said power-deriving means is operatively connected with one oi the sheaves of said traveling block.
4. In hoisting apparatus including a traveling block suspended by a cable, a prime mover connected with the cable for raising and lowering the traveling block, and engagement means carried by the traveling block for engaging and disengaging objects to be raised and lowered, the combination therewith of: means supported by said traveling block to store power; means supported by said traveling block to derive power from movement of the traveling block and to deliver the derived power to said power-storing means; means deriving power from said powerstoring means to operate said engagement means; and means to control said operating means.
5. A combination as set forth in claim 4 in which said power-deriving means for delivering power to said power-storing means is operatively connected with said cable for actuation by movement of the cable relative to the traveling block.
6. A combination as set'iorth in claim 4 in which said power-deriving means that delivers power to said power-storing means is operatively connected with a. sheave of said traveling block.
7. ln hoisting apparatus including a traveling block suspended by a cable, a prime mover connected with the cable for raising and lowering the traveling block, and engagement means carried by the traveling block for engaging and disengaging objects to be raised and lowered, the combination therewith of: an air compressor supported by said traveling block: means supported by the traveling block to derive power from movement of the traveling block to actuate said air compressor; a pressure tank supported by said traveling block; pneumatic means supported by said traveling block in communication with said pressure tank for operating said engagement means; and means to control said pneumatic means.
8. A combination as set forth in claim 7 in which said control means is electrically actuated and includes a control circuit extending from the traveling block to a stationary control station.
9. A combination as set forth in claim 8 in which said control circuit includes a flexible electric conductor on a reel that winds and unwinds in accord with the travel of the traveling block.
10. A combination as set forth in claim 9 in which said reel is carried by the traveling block.
l1. In hoisting apparatus including a crown block, a traveling block suspended from the crown block by a cable, a prime mover connected with the cable for raising and lowering the traveling block, and engagement means carried by the traveling block for engaging and disengaging objects to be raised and lowered, the combination therewith of means supported by said traveling block to derive power from the movement of the traveling block relative to the crown block; means supported by the traveling block and actuated by said power-deriving means to operate said engagement means; electrical means to control said operating means; and a control circuit for actuating said control means from a station remote from said traveling block.
12. A combination as set forth in claim 11 in which said control circuit includes a flexible conductor wound on a reel associated with one of said blocks.
13. In hoisting apparatus including a crown block, a. traveling block suspended from the crown block by a cable, a prime mover connected with the cable for raising and lowering the traveling block and engagement means carried by the traveling block for engaging and disengaging objects to be raised and lowered, the combination therewith of an air compressor carried by said traveling block; means carried by said traveling block to derive power from movement of the traveling block to actuate said air compressor; a pressure tank carried by the traveling block to store air from said compressor; pneumatic means carried by said traveling block in communication with said pressure tank to operate said engagement means; valve means to control said pneumatic means; electric means to actuate said valve means; means including a ilexible conductor to provide a circuit for actuating said electric means from a remote control station; and a reel Xedly related to one of said blocks to wind and unwind said flexible conductor as said traveling block moves relative to said crown block.
14. A combination as set forth in claim 13 in which said reel is mounted on said traveling block and a portion of that ilexible conductor is xedly related to said crown block.
15. A combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said power-deriving means includes a compressor driven by a wheel in frictional contact with said cable.
16. A combination as set forth in claim 15 which includes means in contact with said cable on the side of the cable opposite from said wheel 9 to maintain the Wheel in pressure contact with the cable.
17. A combination as set forth in claim 16 in which said means in contact with the cable is operatively connected with a drive shaft for the compressor carrying said wheel.
18. In hoisting apparatus including a traveling block suspended by a cable, a prime mover for actuating the cable, and engagement means carried by the traveling block for engaging and disengaging objects to be raised and lowered, the combination therewith of: pneumatic means to actuate said engagement means; a lcompressor carried by said traveling block to supply compressed air to said pneumatic means; a drive shaft for operating said compressor; a drive wheel on said snai-t in peripheral frictional contact with sai-d cable for actuation by movement of the cable relative to the traveling block; and means mounted on said shaft in pressure contact with said cable to maintain driving pressure between the cable and the drive wheel.
10 19. A combination as set forth in claim 18 in which said drive shaft is relatively movable laterally with respect to said cable;
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