Great research starts with great data.

Learn More
More >
Patent Analysis of

Underwater pipeline burying apparatus and method

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10151079

Application Number

US15/494165

Application Date

21 April 2017

Publication Date

11 December 2018

Current Assignee

BISSO MARINE, LLC

Original Assignee (Applicant)

BISSO MARINE, LLC

International Classification

E02F5/10,E02F3/92

Cooperative Classification

E02F5/107,E02F5/105,E02F5/104,E02F3/9206,E02F9/06

Inventor

ANDERSON, RICHARD ALLEN,BISSO, IV, WILLIAM A.

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10151079 Underwater pipeline burying 1 US10151079 Underwater pipeline burying 2 US10151079 Underwater pipeline burying 3
See all images <>

Abstract

The present invention provides an improved pipeline burying apparatus that uses specially configured jetting nozzles that intake sea water surrounding the nozzle. The apparatus provides a frame supporting spaced apart left and right inclined pipe sections that are configured to be placed on opposing sides of the pipeline to be buried. Each inclined pipe section is fitted with a plurality of jetting nozzles that are positioned on one of the inclined pipe sections, in vertically spaced apart positions and in horizontally spaced apart positions. In one embodiment, the main central longitudinal channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section having an outlet section diameter and a connecting section that is in between the inlet section and the outlet section.

Read more

Claims

1. An underwater pipeline burying apparatus, comprising:

(a) a frame;(b) spaced apart left and right inclined pipe sections of the frame that are configured to be placed on opposing left and right sides of the pipeline to be buried;(c) each said inclined pipe section fitted with a plurality of jetting nozzles that are positioned on said inclined pipe section in vertically spaced apart positions and in horizontally spaced apart positions, wherein said inclined pipe sections have an internal bore; and(d) at least some of said plurality of jetting nozzles including:

a nozzle body having an outer surface and a main, central longitudinal channel with a central channel axis; a fluid inlet end portion of said body having an externally threaded portion, said fluid inlet end portion communicating with said internal bore; a discharge end portion of said body extending outwardly from said inclined pipe section and said threaded portion, said discharge end portion having a discharge channel section; a plurality of lateral channels that intersect said main channel next to said discharge channel section at an acute angle; wherein the diameter of the central longitudinal channel does not reduce downstream of said lateral channels; and(e) a source of pressurized fluid that includes air and one or more conduits that transmit said pressurized fluid to said inclined pipe section interior and jetting nozzles.

2. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein said main central longitudinal channel having an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section having an outlet section diameter and a connecting section that is in between the inlet section and the discharge section.

3. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 2 wherein the connecting section is generally cylindrically shaped.

4. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 2 wherein the connecting section has a diameter that is smaller than the diameter of the discharge section.

5. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 2 wherein at least one said lateral channel intersects with said discharge section.

6. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 2 wherein multiple said lateral channels intersect with said discharge section.

7. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 2 wherein each lateral channel has a lateral channel inlet and a lateral channel outlet that is in fluid communication with said discharge section, and wherein the lateral channel outlet is closer than the lateral channel inlet to the discharge end portion.

8. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein there are at least three of said lateral channels.

9. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein there are at least four of said lateral channels.

10. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is conically shaped.

11. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is frustoconically shaped.

12. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein said angle is between about ten and eighty degrees.

13. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein said angle is between about twenty and seventy degrees.

14. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein said angle is between about thirty and sixty degrees.

15. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein said angle is between about forty and fifty degrees.

16. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein said angle is about forty-five degrees.

17. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein the fluid inlet includes a supply of pressurized air.

18. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 17 wherein the pressurized air has a flow rate of between about 400 cubic feet per minute (c.p.m) (11 cubic meters per minute) and 10,000 cubic feet per minute (c.p.m.) (283 cubic meters per minute).

19. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 17 wherein the pressurized air has a pressure of between about 100 and 300 p.s.i. (689 and 2,068 kpa).

20. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein the fluid inlet connects to a source of fluid of between 400 c.f.m. (11 cubic meters per minute) at 100 p.s.i. (689 kpa) and 10,000 c.f.m. (283 cubic meters per minute) at 300 p.s.i. (2,068 kpa).

21. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein the apparatus is powered by 100 to 20,000 total horsepower (74.57 to 14,913 kilowatts).

22. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the frame weighs between 5 tons (4.5 metric tons) and 250 tons (227 metric tons).

23. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein the frame includes spaced apart skids.

24. the pipeline burying apparatus of claim 23 wherein the inclined pipe sections each extend above and below the skids.

25. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 23 wherein the elevation of the skids is adjustable up or down relative to the inclined pipe sections.

26. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein there are multiple pairs of inclined pipe sections including a front pair of inclined pipe sections and a rear pair of inclined pipe sections positioned behind said front pair of inclined pipe.

27. A method of burying an underwater pipeline, comprising the steps of:

(a) providing a frame that is adapted to travel along the underwater pipeline to be buried, the frame having one or more hollow inclined pipe members fitted with multiple jetting nozzles, each jetting nozzle having an outer surface and a central flow channel having an inlet that communicates with an interior bore of an inclined pipe member and an outlet that discharges pressurized fluid externally of an inclined pipe to cut soil or sediment at a seabed;(b) pumping fluid under pressure to the central flow channel of the jetting nozzles via the internal bores of the hollow inclined pipe members, wherein said fluid includes air;(c) mixing sea water that is at a hydrostatic pressure based upon water depth at the jetting nozzles with the fluid under pressure of step “b” by intaking the sea water via one or more lateral flow lines that each communicate with the nozzle outer surface and the nozzle central flow channel; and(d) wherein in step “c” the lateral flow lines are positioned externally of said inclined pipe members.

28. The method of claim 27 wherein the pressure in step “b” is between about three hundred p.s.i (2,068 kpa) and three thousand p.s.i. (20,684 kpa).

29. The method of claim 27 wherein the central channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section with a discharge section diameter and a connecting channel section in between the inlet section and discharge section.

30. The method of claim 29 wherein the connecting channel has a diameter that is smaller than the discharge section diameter.

31. The method of claim 27 wherein in step “b” the fluid includes air.

32. The method of claim 31 wherein the air flows at between 400 and 10,000 cubic feet per minute (c.f.m.) (11 to 283 cubic meters per minute).

33. The method of claim 27 wherein the frame operates at a seabed soil pressure of between about 200 pounds per square foot (9.58 kilopascals) and 6,265 pounds per square foot (299.97 kilopascals).

34. The method of claim 27 wherein the soil or sediment density is between about 68 pounds per cubic foot (1,089 kilograms per cubic meter) and 187 pounds per cubic foot (2,995 kilograms per cubic meter).

35. The method of claim 27 wherein the pipeline is between about 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) and 84 inches (213 centimeters) in diameter.

36. The method of claim 35 wherein the pipeline is rigid steel, flexible steel, an umbilical, HDPE, or a cable.

37. The method of claim 27 wherein in step “b” the pumped fluid enters each jetting nozzle at the inlet of the central flow channel.

38. The method of claim 27 wherein the frame is pulled with a winch mounted on a barge or vessel.

Read more

Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. An underwater pipeline burying apparatus, comprising:
    • (a) a frame;
    • (b) spaced apart left and right inclined pipe sections of the frame that are configured to be placed on opposing left and right sides of the pipeline to be buried;
    • (c) each said inclined pipe section fitted with a plurality of jetting nozzles that are positioned on said inclined pipe section in vertically spaced apart positions and in horizontally spaced apart positions, wherein said inclined pipe sections have an internal bore; and
    • (d) at least some of said plurality of jetting nozzles including: a nozzle body having an outer surface and a main, central longitudinal channel with a central channel axis; a fluid inlet end portion of said body having an externally threaded portion, said fluid inlet end portion communicating with said internal bore; a discharge end portion of said body extending outwardly from said inclined pipe section and said threaded portion, said discharge end portion having a discharge channel section; a plurality of lateral channels that intersect said main channel next to said discharge channel section at an acute angle; wherein the diameter of the central longitudinal channel does not reduce downstream of said lateral channels; and
    • (e) a source of pressurized fluid that includes air and one or more conduits that transmit said pressurized fluid to said inclined pipe section interior and jetting nozzles.
    • 2. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • said main central longitudinal channel having
    • 8. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • there are at least three of said lateral channels.
    • 9. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • there are at least four of said lateral channels.
    • 10. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is conically shaped.
    • 11. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is frustoconically shaped.
    • 12. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • said angle is between about ten and eighty degrees.
    • 13. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • said angle is between about twenty and seventy degrees.
    • 14. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • said angle is between about thirty and sixty degrees.
    • 15. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • said angle is between about forty and fifty degrees.
    • 16. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • said angle is about forty-five degrees.
    • 17. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • the fluid inlet includes a supply of pressurized air.
    • 20. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • the fluid inlet connects to a source of fluid of between 400 c.f.m. (11 cubic meters per minute) at 100 p.s.i. (689 kpa) and 10,000 c.f.m. (283 cubic meters per minute) at 300 p.s.i. (2,068 kpa).
    • 21. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • the apparatus is powered by 100 to 20,000 total horsepower (74.57 to 14,913 kilowatts).
    • 22. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • the frame weighs between 5 tons (4.5 metric tons) and 250 tons (227 metric tons).
    • 23. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • the frame includes spaced apart skids.
    • 26. The pipeline burying apparatus of claim 1 wherein
      • there are multiple pairs of inclined pipe sections including
  • 27
    27. A method of burying an underwater pipeline, comprising the steps of:
    • (a) providing a frame that is adapted to travel along the underwater pipeline to be buried, the frame having one or more hollow inclined pipe members fitted with multiple jetting nozzles, each jetting nozzle having an outer surface and a central flow channel having an inlet that communicates with an interior bore of an inclined pipe member and an outlet that discharges pressurized fluid externally of an inclined pipe to cut soil or sediment at a seabed;
    • (b) pumping fluid under pressure to the central flow channel of the jetting nozzles via the internal bores of the hollow inclined pipe members, wherein said fluid includes air;
    • (c) mixing sea water that is at a hydrostatic pressure based upon water depth at the jetting nozzles with the fluid under pressure of step “b” by intaking the sea water via one or more lateral flow lines that each communicate with the nozzle outer surface and the nozzle central flow channel; and
    • (d) wherein in step “c” the lateral flow lines are positioned externally of said inclined pipe members.
    • 28. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • the pressure in step “b” is between about three hundred p.s.i (2,068 kpa) and three thousand p.s.i. (20,684 kpa).
    • 29. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • the central channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section with a discharge section diameter and a connecting channel section in between the inlet section and discharge section.
    • 31. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • in step “b” the fluid includes air.
    • 33. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • the frame operates at a seabed soil pressure of between about 200 pounds per square foot (9.58 kilopascals) and 6,265 pounds per square foot (299.97 kilopascals).
    • 34. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • the soil or sediment density is between about 68 pounds per cubic foot (1,089 kilograms per cubic meter) and 187 pounds per cubic foot (2,995 kilograms per cubic meter).
    • 35. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • the pipeline is between about 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) and 84 inches (213 centimeters) in diameter.
    • 37. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • in step “b” the pumped fluid enters each jetting nozzle at the inlet of the central flow channel.
    • 38. The method of claim 27 wherein
      • the frame is pulled with a winch mounted on a barge or vessel.
See all independent claims <>

Description

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to underwater pipeline burying and more particularly to an improved underwater pipeline burying apparatus and method wherein jetting nozzles on a sled or frame mix a high velocity jetting stream with surrounding sea water that surrounds the outer surface of a nozzle body. The high velocity fluid stream flows in a central channel. Mixing uses one or more diagonally extending lateral channels that each connect the central channel to the nozzle body outer surface which is in communication with the surrounding sea water.

2. General Background of the Invention

Pipeline burying sleds typically use a frame that can be self-propelled or towed. The sled travels along the pipeline, usually straddling the pipeline. One or more (e.g., usually two or more) inclined pipes are each fitted with multiple jetting nozzles that can cut the seabed as the sled moves (or is moved). The nozzles preferably only cut the seabed. The sediment that has been cut must then be fluidized and slurried so that it can be removed from the trench or ditch area. Patents have issued that are directed to pipeline burying apparatus/methods. The following table lists examples, each of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference:


TABLE
U.S. Pat.
No.
Title
Issue Date
9,140,382
Gripper for Continuous Elongated Members,
Sep. 22, 2015
Vehicles Movable Along a Continuous
Elongated Member, and Method of
Advancing the Vehicle
8,834,068
Group and Method for Laying and Burying
Sep. 16, 2014
Pipelines at the Seafloor
8,066,450
Device and Method for the Towing of
Nov. 29, 2011
Underwater Pipelines
7,637,696
Underwater Trenching Apparatus
Dec. 29, 2009
6,821,054
Method and System for Laying Pipe Through
Nov. 23, 2004
the Use of a Plow
6,719,494
Cable and Pope Burial Apparatus and
Apr. 13, 2004
Method
6,705,029
Trenching Machine
Mar. 16, 2004
6,681,711
System for Developing Cable
Jan. 27, 2004
6,449,883
Method and Device for Dredging
Sep. 17, 2002
Underwater Ground Layers
6,273,642
Buoyant Propulsion Underwater Trenching
Aug. 14, 2001
Apparatus
6,154,988
Machine for Digging Under Pipes and
Dec. 5, 2000
Caterpillar Traction Device
6,022,173
Underwater Trenching System
Feb. 8, 2000
5,944,447
Underwater Pipeline Entrenching Apparatus
Aug. 31, 1999
and Method of Using the1 Same
5,659,983
Device for Filling in a Trench Dug in the
Aug. 26, 1997
Sea Bed in Order to Cover a Pipe Laid
Down in the Trench
5,626,438
System for Excavating and Rehabilitating
May 6, 1997
Underwater Pipelines
4,986,697
Marine Pipeline Trenching Plow for Simulta-
Jan. 22, 1991
neous Pipe Laying and Entrenchment
4,787,777
Method and Device for Progressively
Nov. 29, 1988
Producing an Underwater Laying-Out
Channel
4,721,409
Method and Device for Progressively
Jan. 26, 1088
Producing an Underwater Laying-Out
Channel
4,714,378
Apparatus and Method for Trenching Subsea
Dec. 22, 1987
Pipelines
4,586,850
Underwater Trenching System
May 6, 1986
4,537,530
Marine Cable Burying Method and Device
Aug. 27, 1985
Therefor
4,516,880
Underwater Trenching Apparatus
May 14, 1985
4,479,741
Device for Laying Underground or Digging
Oct. 30, 1984
up Subsea Conduits
4,389,139
Oscillating Jet Head Underwater Trenching
Jun. 21, 1983
Apparatus
4,280,289
Underwater Trenching Machine for Burying
Jul. 28, 1981
Pipeline and the Like
4,274,760
Self-Propelled Underwater Trenching
Jun. 23, 1981
Apparatus and Method
4,165,571
Sea Sled with Jet Pump for Underwater
Aug. 28, 1979
Trenching and Slurry Removal
4,114,390
Burying a Conduit in the Bottom of a
Sep. 19, 1978
Body of Water
4,112,695
Sea Sled for Entrenching Pipe
Sep. 12, 1978
4,091,629
Marine Pipeline Installation System
May 30, 1978
4,044,566
Machine for Forming Trenches for Pipelines
Aug. 30, 1977
or the Like in the Sea Bed
3,982,403
Laying Cables and the Like Under Water
Sep. 28, 1976
3,877,237
Underwater Trenching Apparatus Guidance
Aug. 15, 1975
System
3,338,059
Methods and Apparatus for Entrenching
Aug. 29, 1967
Submerged Elongate Structures

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention provides an improved pipeline burying apparatus using a specially configured jetting nozzle arrangement that includes an intake of sea water surrounding the nozzle.

The apparatus provides a frame that can support spaced apart left and right inclined pipe sections that can be configured to be placed on opposing sides of the pipeline to be buried.

Each inclined pipe section is preferably fitted with a plurality of jetting nozzles that can be positioned on the inclined pipe sections, in vertically spaced apart positions and in horizontally spaced apart positions.

At least some of said jetting nozzles preferably include a nozzle body having an outer surface and a main, central longitudinal fluid flow channel with a central channel axis.

A fluid inlet end portion of the nozzle body has an externally threaded portion that enables connection to an internally threaded portion of a selected one of the inclined pipe sections.

A discharge end portion of the nozzle body extends outwardly from an inclined pipe and a threaded portion.

A plurality of lateral channels each intersect the main channel at an acute angle.

In one embodiment, the main central longitudinal channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section having an outlet section diameter and a connecting section that is in between the inlet section and the outlet section.

In one embodiment, the connecting section is generally cylindrically shaped.

In one embodiment, the connecting section has a diameter that is smaller than the diameter of the discharge section.

In one embodiment, at least one lateral channel intersects with the discharge section.

In one embodiment, multiple lateral channels intersect with the discharge section.

In one embodiment, each lateral channel has a lateral channel inlet and a lateral channel outlet that is in fluid communication with the discharge section, and wherein the lateral channel outlet is closer than the lateral channel inlet to the discharge end portion.

In one embodiment, there are at least three of the lateral channels.

In one embodiment, there are at least four of said lateral channels.

In one embodiment, at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is conically shaped.

In one embodiment, at least a part of said longitudinal axis is frustoconically shaped.

In one embodiment, the angle is between about ten and eighty degrees.

In one embodiment, the angle is between about twenty and seventy degrees.

In one embodiment, the angle is between about thirty and sixty degrees.

In one embodiment, the angle is between about forty and fifty degrees.

In one embodiment, the angle is about forty-five degrees.

The present invention also provides an improved method of burying an underwater pipeline.

The method includes providing a frame that is adapted to travel along the pipeline to be buried, the frame having one or more vertical members fitted with multiple jetting nozzles, each jetting nozzle having a central fluid flow channel having an inlet that communicates with the interior of an inclined pipe and an outlet that discharges pressurized fluid externally of an inclined pipe.

Water and air are pumped under pressure to the central channel of the jetting nozzles via the vertical members.

Sea water surrounding at least part of the outer surface of the nozzle is water that is at a hydrostatic pressure based upon the water depth at the nozzle. Sea water mixes with water in the central channel by intaking the sea water via one or more lateral flow lines that each communicate with the nozzle outer surface and the nozzle central channel.

In one embodiment, the pressure of air and water flowing in the central channel is between about three hundred and three thousand p.s.i. (between about 2,068 and 20,684 kilopascal).

In one embodiment, the central channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section with a discharge section diameter and a connecting channel section in between the inlet section and discharge section.

In one embodiment, the connecting channel has a diameter that is smaller than the discharge section diameter.

In one embodiment, air flows into one or more air lifts that lift cuttings away from the trench or ditch.

In one or more embodiments, an underwater pipeline burying apparatus, comprises:

(a) a frame;

(b) spaced apart left and right inclined pipe sections of the frame that are configured to be placed on opposing sides of the pipeline to be buried;

(c) each said inclined pipe section fitted with a plurality of jetting nozzles that are positioned on a said pipe section in substantially vertically spaced apart positions and in substantially horizontally spaced apart positions; and

(d) at least some of said plurality of jetting nozzles including:

    • a nozzle body having an outer surface and a main, central longitudinal channel with a central channel axis;
    • a fluid inlet end portion of said body having an externally threaded portion;
    • a discharge end portion of said body extending outwardly from a said inclined pipe section and said threaded portion; and
    • a plurality of lateral channels that intersect said main channel at an acute angle.

In one or more embodiments, said main central longitudinal channel having an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section having an outlet section diameter and a connecting section that is in between the inlet section and the discharge section.

In one or more embodiments, the connecting section is generally cylindrically shaped.

In one or more embodiments, the connecting section has a diameter that is smaller than the diameter of the discharge section.

In one or more embodiments, at least one said lateral channel intersects with said discharge section.

In one or more embodiments, multiple said lateral channels intersect with said discharge section.

In one or more embodiments, each lateral channel has a lateral channel inlet and a lateral channel outlet that is in fluid communication with said discharge section, and wherein the lateral channel outlet is closer than the lateral channel inlet to the discharge end portion.

In one or more embodiments, there are at least three of said lateral channels.

In one or more embodiments, there are at least four of said lateral channels.

In one or more embodiments, at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is conically shaped.

In one or more embodiments, at least a part of said central longitudinal axis is frustoconically shaped.

In one or more embodiments, said angle is between about ten and eighty degrees.

In one or more embodiments, said angle is between about twenty and seventy degrees.

In one or more embodiments, said angle is between about thirty and sixty degrees.

In one or more embodiments, said angle is between about forty and fifty degrees.

In one or more embodiments, said angle is about forty-five degrees.

In one or more embodiments, the fluid inlet includes a supply of pressurized air.

In one or more embodiments, the pressurized air has a flow rate of between about 400 cubic feet per minute (c.p.m) and 10,000 cubic feet per minute (c.p.m.) (between about 11 to 283 cubic meters per minute).

In one or more embodiments, the pressurized air has a pressure of between about 100 and 300 p.s.i. (between about 689 and 2,068 kilopascals (kpa)).

In one or more embodiments, the fluid inlet connects to a source of fluid of between 400 cubic feet per minute (c.f.m.) (11 cubic meters per minute) at 100 p.s.i. (689 kpa) and 10,000 c.f.m. (283 cubic meters per minute) at 300 p.s.i. (2,068 kpa).

In one or more embodiments, a method of burying an underwater pipeline, comprises the steps of:

(a) providing a frame that is adapted to travel along the pipeline to be buried, the frame having one or more vertical members fitted with multiple jetting nozzles, each jetting nozzle having an outer surface and a central flow channel having an inlet that communicates with an interior of an inclined pipe and an outlet that discharges pressurized fluid externally of an inclined pipe to cut soil or sediment at a seabed;

(b) pumping fluid under pressure to the central flow channel of the jetting nozzles via the vertical members; and

(c) mixing sea water that is at a hydrostatic pressure based upon water depth at the jetting nozzles with the fluid under pressure of step “b” by intaking the sea water via one or more lateral flow lines that each communicate with the nozzle outer surface and the nozzle central flow channel.

In one or more embodiments, the pressure in step “b” is between about three hundred and three thousand p.s.i (between about 2,068 and 20,684 kilopascal).

In one or more embodiments, the central channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section with a discharge section diameter and a connecting channel section in between the inlet section and discharge section.

In one or more embodiments, the connecting channel has a diameter that is smaller than the discharge section diameter.

In one or more embodiments, the apparatus is powered by 100 to 20,000 total horsepower (74.56 to 14,914 total kilowatts).

In one or more embodiments, in step “b” the fluid includes air.

In one or more embodiments, the air flows at between 400 and 10,000 cubic feet per minute (c.f.m.) (between about 11 to 283 cubic meters per minute).

In one or more embodiments, the frame weighs between 5 and 250 tons (between 4.5 to 227 metric tons).

In one or more embodiments, the frame operates at a seabed soil pressure of between about 200 pounds per square foot (976 kilograms per square meter) and 6,265 pounds per square foot (30,588 kilograms per square meter).

In one or more embodiments, the soil or sediment density is between about 68 pounds per cubic foot (1089 kilograms per cubic meter) and 187 pounds per cubic foot (2,995 kilograms per cubic meter).

In one or more embodiments, the pipeline is between about 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) and 84 inches (213 centimeters) in diameter.

In one or more embodiments, the pipeline is rigid steel, flexible steel, an umbilical, HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a cable.

The present invention provides an improved pipeline burying apparatus that uses specially configured jetting nozzles that intake sea water surrounding the nozzle. The apparatus provides a frame supporting spaced apart left and right inclined pipe sections that are configured to be placed on opposing sides of the pipeline to be buried. Each inclined pipe section is fitted with a plurality of jetting nozzles that are positioned on one of the inclined pipe sections, in vertically spaced apart positions and in horizontally spaced apart positions. At least some of said jetting nozzles include a nozzle body having an outer surface and a main, central longitudinal fluid flow channel with a central channel axis. A fluid inlet end portion of the nozzle body has an externally threaded portion that enables connection to an internally threaded portion of a selected one of the inclined pipe sections. A discharge end portion of the nozzle body extends outwardly from an inclined pipe and the threaded portion. A plurality of lateral channels each intersect the main channel at an acute angle. In one embodiment, the main central longitudinal channel has an inlet section with an inlet section diameter, a discharge section having an outlet section diameter and a connecting section that is in between the inlet section and the outlet section.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

For a further understanding of the nature, objects, and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, read in conjunction with the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote like elements and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a front elevation view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a rear view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a rear view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 14 is an fragmentary end view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle;

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary side view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle;

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle;

FIG. 17 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle;

FIG. 18 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle;

FIG. 19 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle; and

FIG. 20 is a fragmentary view of a preferred embodiment of the apparatus showing the jetting nozzle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1-20 show a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention, designated generally by the numeral 10. Pipe burying apparatus 10 and the method of the present invention provides a frame or sled 11 (e.g., of welded steel construction). In one embodiment of the present invention, pipe burying apparatus 10 is preferably about 25-50 feet (7.62 to 15.24 meters) in length, more preferably about 30-40 feet (9.14 and 12.19 meters) in length, and most preferably, about 31 feet (9.45 meters), 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in length. In one embodiment of the present invention, pipe burying apparatus 10 is preferably about 10-60 feet (3.05 to 18.29 meters) wide, more preferably about 15-45 feet (4.6 to 13.7 meters) wide, and most preferably about 20-30 feet (6.1 to 9.14 meters) wide.

In one embodiment of the present invention, pipe burying apparatus 10 is preferably about 15-45 feet (4.6 to 13.7 meters) in height, more preferably about 20-40 feet (6.1 to 12.19 meters) in height, and most preferably about 26 feet, 15 5/16 inches (7.9 meters and 38.89 centimeters) in height. In one embodiment of the present invention, frame or sled 11 is preferably about 20-50 feet (6.1 to 15.24 meters) long, more preferably about 30-40 feet (9.14 and 12.19 meters) long, and most preferably about 35 feet (10.67 meters) long. In one embodiment of the present invention, frame or sled 11 is preferably about 10-55 feet (3.05 to 16.76 meters) wide, more preferably about 12-40 feet (3.6 to 12.19 meters) wide, and most preferably about 16-26 feet (4.87 to 7.9 meters) wide. In one embodiment of the present invention, frame or sled 11 is preferably about 10-30 feet (3.05 to 9.14 meters) in height, more preferably about 12-25 feet (3.7 to 7.6 meters) in height, and most preferably about 15 feet (4.6 meters), 10 5/16 inches (26.12 centimeters) in height.

Frame 11 has a pair of spaced apart pontoons or skids 12, 13 that track the seabed 44 as the frame 11 is moved or moves along the seabed 44 while burying a pipeline 40 (as seen as in FIG. 12 and indicated by direction of travel arrow 21). In one embodiment of the present invention, skids 12, 13 are preferably made out of steel, stainless steel or aluminum. In one embodiment of the present invention, each skid 12, 13 is preferably about 1-24 inches (2.54 to 60.96 centimeters) in height, more preferably, about 2-18 inches (5.08 to 45.72 centimeters) in height, and most preferably, about 8 ⅝ inches (21.9 centimeters) in height. In one embodiment of the present invention, each skid 12, 13 is preferably about 2-10 feet (0.61 to 3.05 meters) wide, more preferably, about 3-8 feet (0.91 to 2.43 meters) wide, and most preferably, about 4 feet (1.22 meters) wide.

In one embodiment of the present invention, each skid 12, 13 is preferably about 25-60 feet (7.62 to 18.29 meters) long, more preferably about 30-45 feet (9.1 to 13.71 meters) long, and most preferably about 31 feet (9.45 meters), 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) long. The frame 11 can be made to straddle the pipeline 40, with one pontoon or skid 12 being a port side pontoon or skid, the other pontoon or skid 13 being a starboard pontoon or skid (see FIG. 13).

In order to excavate a trench or ditch 41 and thus bury the pipeline 40, multiple jetting nozzles 20 are provided. These nozzles 20 are mounted to inclined or vertical pipe sections 14-17 on frame 11. The vertical pipe sections 14-17 preferably define the width of the trench or ditch 41. The position of each inclined or vertical pipe 14-17 can be adjusted relative to the frame 11. In one embodiment of the present invention, the nozzles 20 can be made out of stainless steel with inserts (e.g., metal that is harder than steel).

Pipe sections or pipes 14, 15, 16 and 17 on frame 11 can be inclined or generally vertically oriented. In one embodiment of the present invention, pipe sections 14, 15, 16, and 17 can be made out of steel, stainless steel or aluminum. There can be forward pipe sections 14, 15 at the front of frame 11 and rear pipe sections 16, 17 at the rear of frame 11.

Each vertical or inclined pipe or pipe section 14, 15, 16, 17 can be fitted with multiple or several spaced apart jetting nozzles 20 (see FIGS. 1-2, 12). Jetting nozzles 20 can be vertically spaced apart and laterally spaced apart. The jetting nozzles 20 can point in different directions such as forward, sideways, angled up, or angled down to provide jetting in as many directions as possible and thus maximize digging and mechanical breakup of the seabed 44 when forming a trench or ditch 41 to hold pipe or pipeline 40. As an example, a single one of the pipes or pipe section could have 25-250 or more nozzles 20.

In one embodiment of the present invention, each pipe section 14, 15, 16 and 17 can be preferably about 10-40 feet (3.05 to 12.19 meters) in height and more preferably, about 15-30 feet (14.57 to 9.14 meters) in height. In various embodiments, the pipe sections 14, 15, 16, 17 have different lengths. In various embodiments the pipe sections 14, 15 have different lengths from pipe sections 16, 17. In one embodiment of the present invention, each pipe section 14, 15, 16 and 17 can be preferably about 3-10 inches (7.62 to 25.4 centimeters) in diameter, more preferably about 4-8 inches (10.16 to 20.32 centimeters) in diameter, and most preferably about 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) in diameter.

As the frame 11 or sled moves forward, such as being pulled by a barge or a vessel or a winch on a barge or vessel, the trench or ditch 41 is formed by the cutting jetting nozzles 20. Seabed sediment or seabed material is mechanically broken up and fluidized or slurried, or becomes an emulsification and thereby is removed to prevent its settling back into the trench or ditch 41. Air lifts 18, 19 are provided to remove this mechanically broken up or slurried seabed material and transport it laterally away from the ditch or trench 41 (see FIGS. 1, 13).

In one embodiment of the present invention, air lifts 18, 19 can be made out of steel, stainless steel, aluminum or PVC. In one embodiment of the present invention, each air lift 18, 19 can preferably be about 10-40 feet (3.048 to 12.192 meters) in height and more preferably, about 15-30 feet (4.572 to 9.144 meters) in height. In various embodiments, the air lifts 18 and 19 have different lengths. In various embodiments, the air lifts 18, 19 have lengths that are not equal. In one embodiment of the present invention, each air lift 18, 19 can preferably be about 12-36 inches (30.48-91.44 centimeters) wide, more preferably about 18-30 inches (45.72-76.2 centimeters) wide, and most preferably about 24 inches (60.96 centimeters) wide.

Each vertical or inclined pipe section 14, 15, 16, 17 preferably has multiple internally threaded openings 42 thus providing a place for attachment of the jetting nozzles 20. Each jetting nozzle can have nozzle body 23 with external threads or externally threaded portion 22 (see FIGS. 16-17). Nozzle body 23 can have outer end portion 45 and inner end portion 46. External threads or externally threaded portion 22 preferably extends between inner end portion 46 and channels 30, 31, 32, 33. Each jetting nozzle 20 preferably is installed on or attaches to a vertical or inclined pipe section 14, 15, 16, 17 by engaging external threads 22 of nozzle body 23 with an internally threaded opening 42 on a selected pipe section 14, 15, 16, 17. Hexagonal portion 24 on nozzle body 23 enables a tool (e.g., wrench) to connect with and rotate nozzle body 23 during such installation.

During use, large pumps are used to transmit pressurized water flow to the bore or interior of each vertical or inclined pipe section 14, 15, 16, 17 and to the jetting nozzles 20. In one embodiment of the present invention, one or more large pumps, such as a Union, 4 Stage or 9 Stage, or Patterson, 10×10, can be used. As an example, this pressure can be between about three hundred and three thousand (300-3,000) p.s.i. (2068-20,684 kpa).

As seen in FIGS. 14-20, jetting nozzle 20 can have a nozzle body 23 with a central longitudinal channel 25 having conically shaped or conical sections 26, 27. The conical sections 26, 27 can have a maximum internal diameter that can be greater than the internal diameter 39 of cylindrical section 28 of central longitudinal channel 25. An insert, such as insert 35, can be included for “wear” resistance, and can typically be made out of tungsten or ceramic. Insert 35 can have a cylindrically shaped channel 37 and a conically shaped channel 36 (see FIG. 17). Insert 35 can be held in place with an interference fit, threaded connection, or weld, for example.

Conically shaped channel 36 can have a maximum internal diameter that can be greater than the internal diameter of the cylindrically shaped channel 37. In one embodiment of the present invention, conical sections 26, 27 have an internal diameter of preferably about 0.3-1.2 inches (0.762-3.048 centimeters), more preferably about 0.5-1 inches (1.27-2.54 centimeters), and most preferably about 0.788 inches (2.00 centimeters) in diameter. Central longitudinal channel 25 has a discharge section 29 with a maximum internal diameter 38 that is larger than the internal diameter of cylindrical section 28. Cylindrical section 28 is in between conically shaped sections 26, 27 and discharge section 29. During use, channel 25 receives fluid flow from the bore or interior of a vertical or inclined pipe or pipe section 14, 15, 16 or 17. Fluid in channel 25 discharges via discharge section 29 to the surrounding lake, ocean or sea where pressure is hydrostatic and based upon the water depth. The pressure of the fluid stream in channel 25 cylindrical section 28 is much higher than the outside surrounding hydrostatic pressure.

In one embodiment of the present invention, jetting nozzle 20 can have a nozzle body 23 with a diameter of preferably about 0.750-3.00 inches (1.905 to 7.62 centimeters), more preferably about 1.00-2.50 inches (2.54 to 6.35 centimeters), and most preferably about 1.315 inches (3.340 centimeters). In one embodiment of the present invention, internal diameter 39 of cylindrical section 28 is preferably about 0.0625-0.500 inches (0.1589-1.27 centimeters), more preferably about 0.125-0.375 inches (0.318-0.9523 centimeters), and most preferably about 0.250 inches (0.635 centimeters). Jet nozzle 20 can have a body length of preferably 1.00-5.00 inches (2.54-12.7 centimeters). More preferably about 1.50-4.00 inches (3.81-10.16 centimeters), and most preferably 2.905 inches (7.379 centimeters).

Downstream of cylindrical section 28, water flows via a plurality of lateral channels 30, 31, 32, 33 from the outer surface of nozzle body 23 to discharge section 29 because of venturi effect (see FIGS. 14-15). The result is a higher volume but lower pressure discharge from nozzle 20 discharge section 29. Nozzle 20 thus performs some cutting, but high volume of water flow helps fluidize cut material and remove it from its original location. Angle 34 is the angle formed by a said lateral channel 30, 31, 32, 33 and the central longitudinal axis 43 of central longitudinal channel 25. Thus, angle 34 can be between about ten and eighty degrees, more preferably about twenty and seventy degrees, even more preferably between about forty and sixty degrees.

The following is a list of parts and materials suitable for use in the present invention:


PARTS LIST:
PART NUMBER
DESCRIPTION
10
pipe burying apparatus
11
frame/sled
12
pontoon/skid
13
pontoon/skid
14
front vertical or inclined pipe
15
front vertical or inclined pipe
16
rear vertical or inclined pipe
17
rear vertical or inclined pipe
18
port airlift
19
starboard airlift
20
jetting nozzle/nozzle
21
arrow
22
external threads/externally threaded portion
23
nozzle body
24
hexagonal portion
25
central longitudinal channel
26
conically shaped section
27
conically shaped section
28
cylindrical section
29
discharge section
30
lateral channel
31
lateral channel
32
lateral channel
33
lateral channel
34
angle
35
insert
36
conically shaped channel
37
cylindrically shaped channel
38
internal diameter
39
internal diameter
40
pipeline
41
ditch/trench
42
internally threaded opening
43
central longitudinal axis
44
sea bed
45
outer end portion
46
inner end portion

All measurements disclosed herein are at standard temperature and pressure, at sea level on Earth, unless indicated otherwise. All materials used or intended to be used in a human being are biocompatible, unless indicated otherwise.

The foregoing embodiments are presented by way of example only; the scope of the present invention is to be limited only by the following claims.

Read more
PatSnap Solutions

Great research starts with great data.

Use the most comprehensive innovation intelligence platform to maximise ROI on research.

Learn More

Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Marine pipeline installation system PIPELINES, INCORPORATED, A CORP. OF LA. 11 April 1977 30 May 1978
Machine for forming trenches for pipelines or the like in the sea bed BIBERG; ODD BJORN 20 August 1975 30 August 1977
Burying a conduit in the bottom of a body of water SHELL OIL COMPANY 13 June 1977 19 September 1978
Underwater trenching apparatus ANTILL PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. 07 November 2009 27 May 2010
Sea sled for entrenching pipe SANTA FE INTERNATIONAL CORP. 28 February 1977 12 September 1978
See full citation <>

More Patents & Intellectual Property

PatSnap Solutions

PatSnap solutions are used by R&D teams, legal and IP professionals, those in business intelligence and strategic planning roles and by research staff at academic institutions globally.

PatSnap Solutions
Search & Analyze
The widest range of IP search tools makes getting the right answers and asking the right questions easier than ever. One click analysis extracts meaningful information on competitors and technology trends from IP data.
Business Intelligence
Gain powerful insights into future technology changes, market shifts and competitor strategies.
Workflow
Manage IP-related processes across multiple teams and departments with integrated collaboration and workflow tools.
Contact Sales
Clsoe
US10151079 Underwater pipeline burying 1 US10151079 Underwater pipeline burying 2 US10151079 Underwater pipeline burying 3