These are, in the preferred embodiment, intended to carry the load of the winch assemblies 201, and therefore any loads imparted by them to the platform structure by means of their interaction with mooring lines (with ocean currents acting upon the platform as a whole in view). In such a case (that is, if and when acoustic transpondence for signal communication is preferred as the primary means of communication for a particular application), signal cable 305 might be eliminated, along with signal transmission along cable buoy tether 112. Instead, the cable buoy 113 and platform 101 could both be equipped with acoustically transponding devices, and thus be in constant wireless (though through-water) communication (see FIGS.
Alternatively or additionally, certain specialized off-board equipment may be likewise in such need, the power and signal conveyance for which being accomplished by cables 1605 and 1606. Note that the signal splitters SP, as with the preferred embodiment of FIGS. This is due to the preferred application being situated for a condition of unidirectional current flow, and the fact that the platform in its entirety can be remotely commanded to a horizontal position (should weather-driven events or severe currents require), thus bringing all turbines out of an optimal orientation in regards to the ocean current. For example, one entire row of tanks in each pontoon may well be decided to be permanently non-floodable. In the event of primary power loss for the compressors (whose purpose it is to eject water from certain variably-buoyant cells, thus allowing the platform to return to the ocean surface), standby pressurized air is available (for example) in the fore and aft pontoon cells described above.
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The differences in this exemplary application begin with the absence of power cable connectivity to a shore facility 1601, due to a purpose of supplying generated power to localized undersea activities. Alternatively, the tubular buoyant volumes 601/602 themselves may have internal pressure boundaries (e.g., integral end heads), rendering the connective members 603 as performing a strictly a structurally connective purpose. However, the relief of any remaining twist in said line (e.g., twist already present when the lines are first installed and their upper ends are first terminated at the buoy’s yoke) may be achieved via optionally installed swivels, located at positions 205, 206, and/or 207. Such swivels are standard devices employed to relieve twist in a submarine mooring line. Depending primarily on application-specific depths involved and mode of deployment, the terminations of cable 107 are optionally equipped with mechanical swivels and/or strain-reliefs, suitable in design for submarine operation.
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While the discrete energy-conversion payload device contains electrical and electronic components necessary for its local operation and monitoring, the processing of their signals (e.g., in diagnostic and command functionality) is handled by the platform’s on-board system controller(s), located within housings 1206. Unlike most other electrically oriented devices aboard the platform, these housings are not oil-filled. The winches may be of a “take-up” design (e.g., a drum reeling a cable thereon); the preferred embodiment, however, employs (in the region of operational descent) chains that are readily engaged for tractive purposes, thereby obviating the need for take-up drums or other on-board holding facilities, and precluding any added mass onboard the platform assembly. FIG. 4B portrays platform 101 in a surface position, either in preparation for submersion to an operational state (in the subsequent releasing of the platform, e.g., for transport to shore for maintenance purposes, the process is the reverse of that described).
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The purposes of the yoke and fin combination are substantially the same as for the cable management buoy, and have been discussed under FIGS. A power cable 107 has been mechanically disconnected from the cable management buoy 113, and mechanically and electrically connected to termination 301 mounted on the platform. Como sentarse para evitar dolor lumbar . Regardless, the connection 301 is optionally equipped with a remotely actuatable means of mechanical disconnection from the platform 101, e.g., for instances of emergency surfacing of the platform assembly proper. Regardless of which volumes are designated as “high pressure,” the hulls of such are of course of a much more pressure-retentive nature (e.g., thicker hulls, more internal stiffeners, or involving carbon-fiber composition or reinforcement) than the floodable volumes. The yoke and fin arrangement is therefore designed to preclude such a phenomenon.
In contrast with the above inventions, the focus of the present invention is therefore not on a new form of discrete device explicitly designed to convert the flow of water into electrical energy, but rather how to practically deliver such devices-in the evolving state of that art which the numerous citations demonstrate-into the submarine ocean current, in a way that is mechanically and electrically practical, sustainable and maintainable, economically produced, non-invasive to surface-based industry or aesthetics, environmentally-sensitive, and on a scale large enough to make a difference in the energy market.
Thus the same ocean current, acting upon the surfaces of said angularly-oriented fins, causes the buoy to move transversely away from the longitudinal centerline of the installation as a whole, promoting transverse line separation as described under FIG. Note that when the term “longitudinal” is used below, such generally refers to arrangements or actions that are parallel to the submarine ocean current and the centerline of both platform and anchorage equipment. The pivoting yoke 1005, to which the buoy’s tether 112 is attached, acts in concert with these fins, ensuring (in view of consistent current forces) that the buoy does not spin. If tether twisting is deemed of particular concern for a specific application, an axial swivel may augment its attachment point 1006 on the yoke, though such should generally be unnecessary. Regardless, a similar exit fairlead device could be installed for the idler wheel (i.e., the outbound, down-current exit of mooring line from the winch assembly); but in view of its larger flanges, and the general geometry of mooring line trajectories as applied to a particular site, such may not be necessary.
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Said down-stop assembly 202 is indicated as an individual device affixed to each cable. The free end of each mooring line assembly is preferably retained at the surface by specialized buoys, while the anchored end may be at a great depth. The anchoring technologies relied upon are essentially those typically employed for offshore oil platforms.
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Alternatively, the platform may be self-powered for surface transit, though such is not the case in the preferred embodiment (wherein sensitive mechanisms are intended to be kept to a minimum). Thus though the more direct form of energy conversion via axially configured turbines is indeed highlighted in the preferred application of the present invention, it should be readily understood that the essential characteristics of the invention are amenable to a broad range of alternate payload devices both present and future. Though alternate designs of submarine energy-conversion devices might require otherwise, the preferred embodiment illustrates the operational platform to be vertical (or nearly so), and positioned substantially normal to the current flow, thus causing impellers 1201 to rotate. Said current further serves to fix the platform in operating position, by virtue of its forces being reacted by the platform’s mooring lines.
FIG. 13C is a table of abbreviations employed in the schematic.
The attachment yokes on the mooring line buoys facilitate prevention of twisting in mooring lines, by virtue of the inherent arrangement maintained by the forces of ocean current. While other details of the generic platform will become apparent in subsequent discussion, the above addresses the major elements of its structure. Numerous other submarine systems and inventions (that do not focus on undersea power generation) might be cited, in that one element or another might be seen to be analogous in a particular aspect of the present invention. FIG. 9 shows the aft portion of the submersible platform, with discussion now turning to major electrical components (other than those pertaining to discrete energy-conversion payload assemblies) of the platform. FIG. Dolor abdominal y lumbar . 13C is a table of abbreviations employed in the schematic. Regardless of submarine mooring to the point of maximum depth excursion of the platform assembly, its mooring lines-up to the point of winch engagement-is under tension, and, by a variety of means, made dimensionally stable and preclusive of line entanglement.
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Once all is secured, and upon remote command, certain ballast tanks are (in controlled fashion) flooded so as to produce the appropriately reduced displacement, as the winch assemblies begin pulling the platform down to its preferred operating depth. From that maximum depth position (see FIG. Fitted with analogous fins and a termination yoke (see FIG. 4A with FIG. 4B, such difference necessitating the platform-end swivel described above (see also FIG. The invention, however, is comprised of a discrete turbine device: statically installed, inherently near-shore, with no provision for its maintenance being readily apparent. Note finally that though the preferred embodiment illustrates a tensile anchorage approach, a structural one (pedestal, tower, etc.) may be more appropriate for a particular site condition. Yet the present invention does not focus on explicit energy-conversion inventions (or pairs of such), but on a practical means of presenting an array of such devices to subsurface ocean currents in the water column, and retrieving the same for maintenance.
Within the context of this figure, it is worth describing the basic means of how the site is prepared. Note that no loss of communications connectivity is lost, in either primary or backup means. Note also that while only one cable is shown proceeding from the platform in FIG. 4A representing an operational configuration; FIG.