Patent application title: Self contained underwater rapid freeze system for oil and fuel piping
Dennis Bruce Valade (Rockwall, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AF25B2900FI
Class name: Hydraulic and earth engineering subterranean or submarine pipe or cable laying, retrieving, manipulating, or treating
Publication date: 2012-11-01
Patent application number: 20120275864
A means of containing or stopping flow through a pipe underwater by a
self contained system with a thermal clamshell that will freeze the oil
or fuel piping closed by means of refrigeration and a self propelled
1. A self-contained vehicle for operating underwater as a means to
contain (or stop) flow through a pipe, comprising: an vehicle having a
housing defining an enclosed chamber, a power supply, a motor and a drive
system; a first arm extending outwardly of said housing, said first arm
having an inward portion connected to said housing, and an outward
portion defining a thermal contact section; an ultra-low refrigeration
section having a compressor, a metering device, a temperature controller,
an evaporator section (disposed in said thermal contact section), and a
section for heat rejection (disposed external of said housing) a heating
section disposed proximate said arm and said contact section; a
refrigeration loop passing a working fluid from said compressor, through
said condenser, through said metering valve, into said thermal contact
section, and then returning to said compressor, a heating flow path
passing said working fluid from said compressor, through said heating
section, and then returning to said compressor, wherein said heating
section heats said arm and said contact section to prevent said working
fluid passing through said refrigerant loop from hindering operation of
said arm and said contact section. A. Having a sealed water tight
compartment with access hatch for the protecting the equipment used in
the operation of the freezing process, and B. Having a self contained
underwater freezing system further comprising: wherein all of said walls
of compartment, including the portions of said top, bottom, sides and
rear end walls providing said recess, are provided with heat insulating
and water tight.
2. The self-contained vehicle according to claim 1, wherein said thermal contact section comprises a clamshell. A. Having piping in said arm and thermal section for working fluid, and B. A freezing clamp (Clamshell) with heat for attaching and releasing to said piping, and C. An insulated cover for the freezing arm and clamp (Clamshell). Whereby said underwater self contained vehicle comprising of a thermal contact area that will stop or contain flow in piping.
 The freezing part of this invention is very fast and non destructive. With deep offshore drilling and little if any means of stopping a break in the line. This is a rapid means of stopping the flow of oil to the ocean and destroying the environment.
 The system is totally self-contained and needs very little man power when operated underwater. It is capable of very deep depths and can be flown in helicopter if need be.
 The freezing arm is heated also, for quick disconnect from the piping. The collar (Clamshell) is insulated so as to speed the freezing process.
 Referring to the size of this unit. The system was designed to be small enough to be on the deck of every oil platform. It is easily launched and is unmanned preventing risk to the operator because of extreme depths.
 This invention relates generally to freezing underwater oil and fuel piping closed through a self contained system.
OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The primary object of the invention is Rapid stop of oil and fuel flow.
 Another object of the invention is Self contained.
 Another object is Can be used for service and emergency use.
 A further object of invention is Portable, Designed for very deep depths.
 Yet another object of the invention is Rapid response compared to standard emergency measures now.
 Another object of the invention is Saves the environment through speed of stopping oil and fuel flow.
 Another object of the invention is Non damaging to the piping.
 A further object is the invention Can be operated by one person when it's underwater.
 Yet another object of the invention is No need for a second ROV, since this has cameras and lights.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a side view of the system.
 FIG. 2 is a rear view.
 FIG. 3 is a front view.
 FIG. 4 is a top down view.
 FIG. 5 is a side view internal.
 FIG. 6 is a rear internal view.
 FIG. 7 is a hydraulic support arm.
 FIG. 8 is a side view with alternate fixed support arm.
 FIG. 9 is a freezing arm top view cut away.
 FIG. 10 is a freezing arm top view cut away with insulation.
 FIG. 11 is a side view internal with a fixed support arm.
 FIG. 12 is a side arm view of the freezing arm and support arm.
 FIG. 13 is a cut away section of the insulation for the freezing arm.
 FIG. 14 is a side view of the hydraulic support arm.
 FIG. 15 is a side view variation.
 FIG. 16 is a hook arm view with freezing collar.
 FIG. 17 is a complete freezing arm view cut away.
TABLE-US-00001  REFERANCE NUMERALS 11. 360 Degree Motors 12. Lift Points 13. Cameras 14. Ballast Tanks 14.A Ballast Pressure Valve 15. Base Supports 16. Communication and Power Lines 18. Service Hatch 19. Condenser 20. Lights 21. Freezing Arm 22. Hydraulic Arm 23. Freezing Collar (Clamshell) 24. Main Control and Power Supply 25. Ultra Low Temp Compressor 26. Oil Separator 27. Service Valve and check valve 28. Transducer 29. Temperature Control and Circuit Panel 30. Pressurized Cylinders for Ballast and Vehicle Pressure 31. Pressure Controls 32. Hydraulic Support Arm Clamp 33. Upper Fixed Arm Support 33.A. Lower Fixed Arm Support 40. Hydraulics for Arm 41. Hydraulic Support Bracket 42. High side Refrigeration Circuit 43. Low Side Refrigeration Circuit 44. Heated Circuit for Arm and Defrost 45. Mate Point for Arm Pins 46. Arm Pins 47. Heat for Arm 48. Flexible Refrigeration Piping 49. Pivot Point for Arm 50. Bolts and Mounting Hardware 70. Water Proof Epoxy or Similar 71. Multi Layer Foam Insulation 72. Multi Layer Foam Insulation 73. Multi Layer Foam Insulation 74. Fork Style Support 75. Hook Style Support 82. Oil or Fuel Piping 84. Hydraulic Pump 84.A Hydraulic Cylinder 85. Working Fluid 90. Tongue for Arm Connection 91. Groove for Arm Connection 92. Refrigeration Metering Device 95. Batteries 98. Break Away Fittings
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 S.C.U.R.F.S will be used for short in the following description for the invention self contained underwater rapid freeze system for oil and fuel piping.
 Referring now more particularly to the drawings, the illustrated views FIG. 1 to 17 of the system is what is being discussed. This machine is for rapid deployment and rapid freezing of oil and fuel piping underwater with no lasting effects or damage to the piping.
 This vehicle will be self contained and have an on board ultra low temperature refrigeration system for rapid freezing and heating of the reinforced clam shell (23). There will be a service hatch (18) for service and maintenance of the machine. This system will have temperature controls (29) and pressure controls (31) to monitor conditions and send this information back through the control panel (29) to the surface via power and communication cables (16). This power and communication will connect into a central power and control area (24). Power will route into the batteries (95) and charger (24) and out to the main fuse box (94). The batteries (95) are used as back up for propulsion and communication if there is a loss of surface supplied power and communication (16). The fuse box will power the main control panel (29) which operates all controls and machinery in the S.C.U.R.F.S. unit.
 The control panel (29) will operate the hydraulic pump (84) and the hydraulic arm and clamps (32) (21) (23) and (22). The hydraulic pressure will be increased by the pump (84) and the tank (84.a) with a pressure regulator attached
 Stability and buoyancy underwater will be controlled by ballasts (14) At least one on each side of the S.C.U.R.F.S controlled by pressure controls (14.b) and regulators (14.a). The pressure will be standard air at 20.8% stored in cylinders (30) mounted to the roof of the unit by support hangers (30.a).
 Propulsion will be achieved by 360 degree motors (11) that will guide the unit in any direction. These motors will be very deep depth rated and have guards around the prop type blades for maneuverability.
 Communication and power will be from the attached cables (16) that have break away fittings (98) to the surface, whether it be ship or oil platform. The S.C.U.R.F.S will also have lighting (20) and cameras (13) for operation of the system. This will also have record ability for documentation. The stated will be able to be lifted on the surface or out of the water by lift points (12).
 The reinforced freezing clam shell (23) will be controlled by an ultra low refrigeration system capable of extreme temperatures in excess of -350 degrees. The compressor (25) with a working fluid (85) to be controlled by the temperature control (29) which will vary the temperatures during the stages of the procedure. The refrigeration cycle with leave the compressor and go through an oil separator (26). The discharge side of the system will run through a condenser (19) that is exposed to outside sea water. This will be accomplished by the condenser (19) being made out of aluminum or similar and being coated with an epoxy or comparable so as not to corrode in the sea water.
 After it leaves the condenser it may run through a transducer (28) and down the freezing arm (21) to the freezing clam shell (23). The change of state will happen in the arm through a metering device (92). The collar may have hot gas assist for ease of releasing the collar (23) from the piping. The collar (23) will also have electric heat (47) in the arm, so as not to transfer the extreme cold back to the S.C.U.R.F.S unit. This will isolate the cold to the collar only. All the refrigeration piping (43)(42) and (44) will be encased in the arm material for protection and heat transfer. The return refrigeration loop will pass through a check valve and service valve (27) on the way back to the compressor.
 The freezing arm will have a secure means of closing during the cycle. This can be done with a tongue (90) and grove (91) built in to the collar. Additional means of securing a tight seal can be done by a tapered pin (46) on one arm and a female connection (45) to mate with on the opposite arm. This entire reinforced arm assembly (23) will pivot on flexible joints (49). The clamping section of the arm with close with the addition of hydraulics (40) connected to the brackets (41) on the arm.
 The refrigeration and electrical (48) on the arm that flexes will have flexible vibration piping and sealed connections.
 The entire freezing collar (23) assembly will be covered in multiple layer insulating foam (71)(72)(73) and epoxy layers (70). The epoxy (70) is used as a means to seal the insulation foam from the sea water and elements.
 All exposed bolts (50) and steel will be non corrosive and stainless steel or similar.
 Stability of the entire S.C.U.R.F.S system to the piping (82) will be accomplished by the reinforced arm (21) and may be assisted either by a hydraulic clamp (32) and hydraulic arm (22) or a fixed style arm (33) and (33.a). Either arm can have a Hook style (72) connection or hydraulic clamp (32) there also may be a second stability point (73) below the freezing clamp (23). A fork design (73) to go around the piping will aid in a positive secure hold of the piping. Either design will not damage the piping during use.
 The design of the arms are convertible (33) and (33.a) for easy assembly and disassembly and for different size piping. Also the support arms (33) and (73) may have a section that comes apart to make parts interchangeable and for storage and transportation. The stability clamp section of the arm will close with the addition of hydraulics (40) connected to brackets (41) on the arm.
 The stated will have a stable base (15) to support all its weight.
Patent applications in class SUBTERRANEAN OR SUBMARINE PIPE OR CABLE LAYING, RETRIEVING, MANIPULATING, OR TREATING
Patent applications in all subclasses SUBTERRANEAN OR SUBMARINE PIPE OR CABLE LAYING, RETRIEVING, MANIPULATING, OR TREATING