Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3660856 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 9, 1972
Filing dateOct 9, 1969
Priority dateOct 10, 1968
Also published asCA927216A1, DE1951038A1
Publication numberUS 3660856 A, US 3660856A, US-A-3660856, US3660856 A, US3660856A
InventorsSmulders Robert
Original AssigneeSingle Buoy Moorings
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mooring buoy
US 3660856 A
Abstract
A mooring buoy for transferring fluids between a vessel and the shore comprises a buoy anchored to the bottom of the body of water on which it floats, and a turntable carried by the buoy. To prevent icing, a shield in the form of an inverted bowl is carried by the turntable and is heated, either electrically or by a fluid such as sea water, closed circuit fresh water, or the handled fluid itself. The buoy is also heated adjacent the rim of the cover and adjacent the turntable bearings.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I United States Patent [151 3,660,856

Smulders 1 May 9, 197 2 54] MOORING BUOY 2,485,672 10/1949 Sparklin .219/530 x 3,178,737 4/1965 Brackx ..9/8 P 1 memo" Robe" Smulders, Belglum 3,365,734 1/1968 Petrie et al. ...9/8 P [7 Assignee: s g Bu y' i g Inc. Zuz, i 3,455,270 7/1969 Mascemk et a1 P X an Primary Examiner-George E. A. Halvosa Filedi 1969 Assistant E.vaminerGregory W. O'Connor [2]] pp No: 865,153 Att0rney--Young&Thompson [57] ABSTRACT [30] Foreign Apphcanon Pnomy new A mooring buoy for transferring fluids between a vessel and Oct. 10, 1968 Netherlands 1.6814522 the shore comprises a buoy anchored to the bottom of the body of water on which it floats, and a turntable carried by the [52] U.S;Cl ..9/8P buoy. T preve ng. a hi l in he form of an inverted [51,] Int. Cl, ,,B63b 21/50, [363]; 21/00 bowl is carried by the turntable and is heated, either electri- [58] Field of Search ..-..9/8 R, 8 P; 1 14/05 T, 230; cally or by a fluid such as sea water, cl e cir i fr h r, 7 137/236; 219/462-463, 530 or the handled fluid itself. The buoy is also heatedadjacent the rim of the cover and adjacent the turntable bearings. [56] Reierences cued 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,418,205 4/1947 Taylor ..244/134 SHEET 1 UF 2 INVENTOR ATTORNEY3 PTENTEDIAY 9 I572 SHEET 2 OF '2 ATTORNEYS MOORING BUOY The present invention relates to apparatus for assisting in the transfer of fluids in either direction between a vessel and the shore, more particularly of the type in which an anchored buoy provides mooring for the vessel and also a connection for the conduits through which the fluid flows.

It is known to provide a floating body for this purpose and to anchor the floating body to the bottom of the body of water on which it floats. It is also known to provide a turntable on such floating body, which turntable is provided with mooring means for the vessel and with a support for the conduit con nections.

However, mooring buoys of this type are subject to icing in cold climates. When a heavy icecap forms on the buoy, there is danger that the buoy may capsize, or at least sink so low in the water that its use is hampered. Also, ice can impede the relative movement of various parts of the buoy.

It is an object of the present invention to provide mooring buoys which overcome the above and other difficulties and disadvantages of the prior art in this field.

Another object of the present invention is to provide mooring buoys in which icing is completely or largely prevented.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to provide mooring buoys which will be relatively simple and inexpensive to construct, easy to operate, maintain and repair, and rugged and durable in use.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly'in section, of a mooring buoy according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary side cross-sectional view of a portion of a cover for a mooring buoy according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing a different embodiment thereof; and

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side cross-sectional view of a portion of a cover of a mooring buoy according to the present invention, showing still another embodiment thereof.

Briefly, the present invention overcomes the above difficulties by providing a cover for the buoy which is rotatable with the turntable and which is heated to impede the formation of ice thereon. The buoy may also be heated adjacent the margins of the cover, and also adjacent the bearings of the turntable. Heating may be effected'electrically, or by a relatively warm fluid such as sea water, closed cycle fresh water, or the fluid itself which is being handled.

Referring now to the drawing in greater detail, and first to FIG. 1 thereof, there is shown a mooring buoy according to the present invention indicated generally at 1. It is to be understood that mooring buoy 1 is provided with means (not shown) to anchor it to the bottom of the body of water, so that buoy 1 will float thereon. Buoy 1 comprises a floating annular body 2 having a central upright opening 3. Fluid connections 5 and 6 are carried by body 2 within central opening 3, for the purpose of connecting with the shore. These connections can be of conventional nature and need not be further described.

Connections 5 and 6 to the shore are interconnected with connections 7 and 9 to the vessel through a rotary head indicated generally at 4, that has a lower part that is stationary with annular body 2 and in communication with the connections 5 and 6, and a rotating upper part that is rotatable relative to the lower part about a vertical axis and which is fixed to and in communication with connections 7 and 9. Connections 7 and 9, in turn, are fixedly secured to a turntable 8 which rotates about a vertical axis coaxial with rotary head 4 by means of conventional bearings whose inner race may, for example, be carried by the outer side of the stationary part described above and the outer race of which may be secured to turntable 8.

As thus far described, the structure can be as disclosed in copending application Ser. No. 783,797, filed Dec. 16, 1968, to which reference is had for further details so as to shorten the present specification.

The present invention is characterized in that a shield-like protective cover 10 in the form of an inverted bowl is mounted coaxially on and rotatable with turntable 8 by mounting means (not shown), the cover 10 being sufficiently large to cover the entire upper portion of the mooring buoy and to somewhat overlap the upper outer edges of the body 2 in close proximity therewith. Connection 7 passes through cover 10 and has no movement relative to cover 10. A space 11 is confined between'the underside of cover 10 and the upper deck of body 2, and it is in this space 11 that turntable 8 and the exposed portions of rotary head 4 are disposed.

As is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a plurality-of electrical conductors 12 are provided on the underside of cover 10, and are preferably arranged so as to extend radially from the center of cover l 0 toward the sides; although they may be arranged in other patterns. Conductors 12 are enclosed in U-shaped metal channels 13 or L-shaped metal channels 14 attached to the underside of cover 10 as by welding. Electrical power means (not shown) are provided for passing alternating current through the conductors 12 thereby to convert electrical energy into heat energy by electrical induction.

For example, power may be supplied from shore at 800 kilowatts and 6.6 kilovolts and may be converted by one or more transformers on the buoy itself. Of course, control and switching and measuring apparatus may be operated remotely from the shore. Alternatively, of course, the power source might be carried by the buoy itself.

Another heating arrangement is shown in FIG. 4, in which the cover 10' is comprised of two parallel shells having a space 15 therebetween which may be channeled or not for the radially outward flow of a heating fluid between the shells. I-Ieating fluid may be supplied through an inlet 16 and through an electric heating coil 17 and may leave through outlet 18 at the margins of cover 10. If it is necessary to pump the heating medium, then the pump is preferably driven by electricity. The heating medium can be sea water or closed cycle fresh water. Also, it iscommon practice, in connection with mooring buoys of this general type, to provide some circulation through the buoy of the fluid itself which is being handled, for example hydrocarbon oils. In this case, it can be the handled oil itself which serves as the heating medium in the FIG. 4 embodiment.

Referring again to FIG. 1, it may also be desirable to heat the joint between the cover 10 and the body 2 so as to prevent the formation of ice at this location such as might impede the rotation of the cover relative to the body. In this case, heating devices 20 similar to those shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 are provided in the upper outer portions of body 2. Finally, in order to prevent icing of the turntable bearings, such as might impede rotation of the turntable relative to body 2, it may also be desirable to provide heating elements 19 such as those shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, at the upper inner margins of body 2 about opening 3, that is, beneath the turntable bearings.

In view of the foregoing disclosure, therefore, it will be evident that all of the initially recited objects of the present invention have been achieved.

Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in connection with preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be resorted to, without departing from the scope of the invention, as those skilled in this art will readily understand.

What is claimed is:

l. A mooring buoy for transferring fluids between a vessel and the shore, comprising a buoyant body adapted to be anchored to the bottom of a body of water, a plurality of elements secured to the upper surface of said buoyant body, said elements comprising means for the attachment of at least one first'pipe from the shore, means for securing a vessel to the buoy and means for the attachment to said first pipe of at least one second pipe leading to said vessel, 21 shield-shaped protective cover over the mooring buoy, the cover being in the form tion for all of said plurality of elements against environmental conditions, and means for heating the upper outer edges of the body adjacent the margins of the cover.

2. A mooring buoy for transferring fluids between a vessel and the shore, comprising a buoyant body adapted to be anchored to the bottom of a body of water, a plurality of elements secured to the upper surface of said buoyant body, said elements comprising means for the attachment of at least one first pipe from the shore, means for securing a vessel to the buoy and means for the attachment to said first pipe of at least one second pipe leading to said vessel, a shield-shaped protective cover over the mooring buoy, the cover being in the form of an inverted bowl whose margins closely overlie the upper outer edges of the body, said bowl constituting a complete enclosure of the buoy's upper surface, thereby providing protection for all of said plurality of elements against environmental conditions, a turntable mounted on and rotatable relative to the upper side of the body, the turntable and the cover being rotatable together as a unit, bearings by which the turntable is mounted for rotation on and relative to the buoy about an upright axis, and heating means carried by the body adjacent the turntable bearings to impede the formation of ice on the turntable bearings.

3. A mooring buoy for transferring fluids between a vessel and the shore, comprising a buoyant body adapted to be anchored to the bottom of a body of water, a plurality of elements secured to the upper surface of said buoyant body, said elements comprising means for the attachment of at least one first pipe from the shore, means for securing a vessel to the buoy and means for the attachment to said first pipe of at least one second pipe leading to said vessel, a shield-shaped protective cover over the mooring buoy, the cover being in the form of an inverted bowl whose margins closely overlie the upper outer edges of the body, said bowl constituting a complete enclosure of the bouys upper surface, thereby providing protection for all of said plurality of elements against environmental conditions, means to heat the cover to impede the formation of ice thereon, said heating means comprising electric heating means including electric conductors on the underside of the cover, and metal channels secured to the underside of the cover and surrounding the conductors.

4. A mooring buoy for transferring fluids between a vessel and the shore, comprising a buoyant body adapted to be anchored to the bottom of a body of water, a plurality of elements secured to the upper surface of said buoyant body, said elements comprising means for the attachment of at least one first pipe from the shore, means for securing a vessel to the buoy and means for the attachment to said first pipe of at least one second pipe leading to said vessel, a shield-shaped protective cover over the mooring buoy, the cover being in the form of an inverted bowl whose margins closely overlie the upper outer edges of the body, said bowl constituting a complete enclosure of the buoys upper surface, thereby providing protection for all of said plurality of element against environmental conditions, and means to heat the cover to impede the formation of ice thereon, said heating means comprising means for conveying a heating fluid along at least a portion of the cover.

5. A mooring buoy as claimed in claim 4, said cover comprising a pair of spaced shells between which said heating fluid flows.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2418205 *Nov 1, 1941Apr 1, 1947Goodrich Co B FApparatus for preventing the accumulation of ice
US2485672 *Sep 6, 1946Oct 25, 1949Birtman Electric CoHeating element
US3178737 *Sep 30, 1963Apr 20, 1965Brackx Laurent H JFloating buoy for mooring of vessels and transfer of liquids from the land to the vessel and vice versa
US3365734 *Oct 20, 1965Jan 30, 1968Mcdermott & Co Inc J RayBuoy for transferring fluent materials
US3455270 *May 8, 1968Jul 15, 1969Exxon Research Engineering CoProtective dome for underwater mooring swivel
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3850125 *Sep 24, 1971Nov 26, 1974Global Marine IncIcebreaking
US4066030 *Mar 1, 1976Jan 3, 1978Louis MiloneMechanical coupling for marine vehicles
US5411424 *Jun 2, 1993May 2, 1995Hill; Jeffrey S.Replaceable buoy cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/5
International ClassificationB63B22/00, E02B3/20, B63B22/02, E02B3/24
Cooperative ClassificationB63B22/021, E02B3/24
European ClassificationE02B3/24, B63B22/02B