US 3700014 A
Apparatus for transferring fluid between an underwater storage unit and a floating vessel has a rigid elongated member with its lower end connected to the storage unit through a universal joint, a buoyant chamber on the rigid member, a pipe in communication with the storage unit and the floating vessel attached to and extending along the rigid member, and a cable attached to the floating vessel and the upper end of the rigid member.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Scales et al.
[ 1 Oct. 24, 1972 APPARATUS FOR TRANSFERRING FLUID FROM AN UNDERWATER STORAGE UNIT TO A FLOATING VESSEL Inventors: Ralph E. Scales; James O. Whitley,
Jr., both of Beaumont, Tex.
Assignee: Bethlehem Steel Corporation Filed: April 30, 197.1
Appl. No.: 139,074
Related US. Application Data Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 853,717, Aug. 28, 1969, abandoned.
US. Cl. ..141/388, 9/8 P, 141/279, 285/ l 85 Int. Cl. ..B65b 1/04, B65b 3/00 Field of Search ..14l/279, 387, 388; 137/236; 285/185, 223, 265 9/8 P; 114/206, 230
[5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,519,036 7/1970 Manning ..l37/236 Primary Examiner-Houston S. Bell, Jr. Attorney-Michael J. Delaney [5 7] ABSTRACT Apparatus for transferring fluid between an underwater storage unit and a floating vessel has a rigid elongated member with its lower end connected to the storage unit through a universal joint, a buoyant chamber on the rigid member, a pipe in communication with the storage unit and the floating vessel attached to and extending along the rigid member, and a cable attached to the floating vessel and the upper end of the rigid member.
8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDIIBT24 I9 2 Y Y 3.700.014
' sum 1 or 2 ATTORNEY PATENTEDnuI 24 m2 SHEET 2 OF 2 APPARATUS FOR TRANSFERRING FLUIDFROM AN UNDERWATER STORAGE UNIT TO A FLOATING VESSEL CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-patt of our copending application, Ser. No. 853,717 filedAug. 28, 1969, now abandoned, for Apparatus for Transferring Fluid from an Underwater Storage Unit to a'Floating Vessel.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION the vessel resulting from wind and wave-action. In addition, the apparatus should be sufficiently rigid to withstand the forces applied to it by such movement. Furthermore, it is desirable that these forces do not produce any appreciable bending stresses in the apparatus.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of this invention is to provide an apparatus for transferring fluid between an underwater storage unit and a floating vessel which allows for considerable movement of the floating vessel.
Another object of this invention is to provide apparatus for so transferring fluid which is sufficiently rigid and relatively free of bending stresses.
The above objects can be attained by providing an apparatus which includes a rigid elongated member having its upper end extending above the surface of a body of water and its lower end connected by a universal joint to an underwater storage unit resting on the bottom of the body of water. A buoyant tank on the member, pipe means in communication with the storage unit attached to and extending along the member, flexible pipe means connected to the upper end of the pipe means and extending to a floating vessel, and a cable attached to the floating vessel and the upper end of the member.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the apparatus of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a cross sectional side elevation of another embodiment of this invention.
FIG. 3 is a view taken along the lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an isometric view of another embodiment of this invention showing the cable anchoring means and pipe fastening means.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to FIG. 1, fluid storage unit 10 of large capacity is in contact with the bottom 11 of a body of water. The storage unit 10 may include a plurality of tu- A rigid elongated member 13 extendsupwardly from storage unit and projects above the surface of the water. A universal joint 14 pivotally connects the lower end of member 13 to storage unit 10. Universal joint 14 has a body portion with downwardly extending spaced ears 6. A first pin l7'passes through holes in ears 16 and bracket 18 whichis connected to the top of the storage unit 10. A second pin 19 passes through holes in the upwardly extending ears 20of body portion of universal joint 14 and downwardly-extending plates 21 attached to the lower end of member 13. Pins 17, 19 are retained in theirrespective holes by any suitable means. Secondpin 19 extends substantially transverse to the first pin 17.
Rigid elongated member '13 comprises a cylinder having open ends with a buoyant air chamber 22 formed therein by longitudinally spaced circular plates 23. Plates 23 are secured along their entire circumferences to the interior wall of member 13'such that the buoyancy of chamber 22 is maintained. Buoyant chamber 22 is of a size and is positioned on member 13 such that member 13 tends to assume. a vertical position in the absence of an external force. The upper end of member 13 includes a platform 24 surrounded by a railing and a suitable fastening means 25 for a cable 26 which extends to floating vessel 27.
A pipe 28 extends through member l3'including circular plates 23 and is suitably attached thereto. Suitable sealing means is used about the holes where pipe 28 passes through circular plates23 to prevent the ingress of water into chamber 22. The lower end of pipe 28 is connected to the storage unit by a flexible pipe 29, and.
the upper end includes a pipe fitting to receive a flexible pipe 30 which extends to floating vessel 27.
Referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, tubular rigid member 13 comprises a cylinder having open ends and a buoyant chamber 22' slidably mounted therein. Buoyant chamber 22 comprises an outer cylinder 31 having an outside diameter slightly smaller than the inner diameter of member 13, an inner cylinder 32 having an inside diameter slightly greater than the diameterof pipe 28 and longitudinally spaced end plates 33 having holes therein to allow pipe 28 to pass therethrough. Buoyant chamber 22' is restrained from moving upwardly within the member 13 by stop means 34 comprising bolts which are in threaded engagement with member 13. As shown in FIG. 2, the water level 35 extends above the top end plate 33 of buoyant chamber 22. If the water level should drop to a position shown by line 36, or if the apparatus were used in a shallower body of water, the buoyant chamber 22' would then automatically descend within the member 13 to the position shown by the dotted outline of buoyant chamber 22'. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the buoyant chamber is positioned within the rigid member and as such is not likely to be subjected to external forces which might damage the chamber and render it inoperable for its intended purpose.
As shown in FIG. 4, pipe fastening means 37 comprises a tee section 38 having the lower ends of its vertical portion 39 rotatably attached to pipe 28 which extends through an opening in platform 24. Thus, tee porbular containers suitably secured together and tion 38 may rotate within pipe 28 as shown by arrow mounted on a base 12. The containers are suitably interconnected so that communication with the interior of each container is obtained through pipe 15.
40. Rotatably attached to opposite ends of horizontal portion 41 of tee section 38 are the legs 42 of U-shaped pipe member 43. The connection between horizontal portion 41 and U-shaped pipe member 43 allows member 43 to rotate as shown by arrow 44. Flexible pipe 30 is attached to U-shaped pipe member 43 by a suitable flange connection 45 between pipe 30 and a pipe section 46 extending from and attached to U- shaped pipe member 43.
Cable 26 is anchored to U-shaped pipe member 43 by a plate 47 attached to member 43, a clevis 48 attached to cable 26, and a pin 49 extending through holes in clevis 48 and plate 47. Flexible pipe 30 is attached to cable 26 by suitable clamping means 50.
As is apparent from FIG. 4 and the above description, pipe fastening means 37 with cable 26 anchored to U-shaped member 43 allows universal movement of vessel 27 about rigid member 13.
In operation, a floating vessel 27 is positioned adjacent the upper end of member 13. Flexible pipe 30 is connected to pipe 28 by pipe fastening means 37 through flange connection 45 and a tank on vessel 27, and cable 26 is connected to U-shaped member 43 of pipe fastening means 37 and floating vessel 27. Due to wind and wave action, floating vessel 27 will tend to move relative to storage unit 10. Movement of the vessel 27 in a direction away from member 13 will cause cable 26 to exert a force on the upper end of member 13 through pipe fastening means 37. Since the member 13 is connected to storage unit through a universal joint 14 and the cable 26 through pipe fastening means 37, this movement may be in any horizontal direction and member 13 will move in that direction and not be subjected to any appreciable bending stress. The phantom lines in PEG. 1 shows the limit to which floating vessel 27 and member 13 may so move. At this limit, the force exerted by the floating vessel 27 places the member 13 in tension and the storage unit 10 acts as an anchor and prevents further movement of the vessel 27 away from member 13.
1. Apparatus for transferring a fluid comprising:
a. an underwater storage unit adapted to act as an anchor for a vessel floating in water,
b. a rigidly elongated tubular member having open ends and a length greater than the depth of water above said unit,
c. a universal joint attached directly to said unit and the lower end of said member to allow said member to move between a position in which the member extends vertically and above the surface of the water and a position in which the member is inclined from the vertical and completely submerged in the water,
d. a buoyant chamber within said member including a pair of spaced plates longitudinally spaced from each other and from the ends of said member,
e. pipe means for transferring said fluid between said unit and said vessel attached to and extending along the entire length of said member, and
f. a cable fixed to said vessel and the upper end of said member to limit the movement of said vessel away from said member and to cooperate with said universal joint to completely submerge said member in the water and to place said member solely in tension when said vessel reaches the limit of said movement n said mit actsas an anc or.
e apparatus 0 c aim wherein each 0 the plates of the buoyant chamber of subparagraph (d) is attached to the interior wall of said member.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the buoyant chamber of subparagraph (d) is slidably mounted within said member and further includes an outer cylinder having an outside diameter smaller than the inside diameter of said member and attached to each of said plates. 1
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the pipe means of subparagraph (e) extends within said member, said buoyant chamber and openings in said plates and the buoyant chamber of subparagraph (d) further includes an inner cylinder attached to each of said end plates and having an inside diameter greater than said pipe means.
5. The apparatus of claim 4 further comprising stop means attached to said member to limit the upward movement of said buoyant chamber.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the upper end of the pipe means of subparagraph (e) is connected to flexible pipe means extending to a vessel floating in said water and the upper end of said member of subparagraph (b) is connected to a cable fixed to said vessel.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the upper end of the pipe means of subparagraph (e) is connected to flexible pipe means by a tee section rotatably attached to said pipe means and a U-shaped member rotatably attached to said flexible pipe means, and said cable is attached to said U-shaped member.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein the buoyant chamber of subparagraph (d) is slidably mounted within said member and further includes an outer cylinder having an outside diameter smaller than the inside diameter of said member and attached to said plates and the pipe means of subparagraph (e) extends within said member, said buoyant chamber and openings in said plates and the buoyant chamber further includes an inner cylinder attached to each of said plates and having an inside diameter greater than said pipe means.