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Buoyancy Enhanced Offshore Structures

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245280D
Publication Date: 2016-Feb-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 73K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Construction of offshore structures requires significant mass to ensure that they can withstand loads produced by wind and waves. Offshore structures in the Arctic require additional mass to resist loads produced by ice flows. The amount of metal and / or concrete required for offshore structures to resist wind / wave / ice loads adds significant cost and construction time for offshore projects.

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Buoyancy enhanced offshore structures

Construction of offshore structures requires significant mass to ensure that they can withstand loads produced by wind and waves.  Offshore structures in the Arctic require additional mass to resist loads produced by ice flows.  The amount of metal and / or concrete required for offshore structures to resist wind / wave / ice loads adds significant cost and construction time for offshore projects.

Concept Description

Water buoyancy is used to add weight to offshore structures.  This is done by placing buoyancy cans / balloons under water and connecting them to lever arms.  The lever arms are then connected to the offshore structure – see Figure 1 below (Figure 2 shows an alternative that uses underwater thrusters to produce a lever-arm enhanced force in the desired direction).

The concept can provide additional downward force (weight) for any type of offshore structure.  This could be an important enabler for ice-prone structures but it could also have value for open water applications by minimizing the size of the fabricated structure.

Figure 1.  Conceptual drawing of a lever arm that utilizes a buoyancy sphere to produce downward force on an offshore structure.

Figure 2.  Conceptual drawing of a lever arm that utilizes a thruster to produce downward force on an offshore structure.

Preliminary Calculations

Buoyancy = weight of water displaced.  Assume a gravity based structure is 100 m x 100 m x 10 m.

Weight of GBS = (100 m)(1...