Robotic Device to Seal a Pressurized Pipe

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Machinery & Equipment
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A practical solution to sealing the Gulf’s Deepwater Horizon’s Leak and the Tool that needs to be in the future toolbox of oil and other companies.

Described is a practical, fully robotic solution for the Gulf’s Deepwater Horizon’s well leak. This solution could be configured to the existing well leak and could be built within days with the right resources available. The solution relies on a mechanical seal and a fluid bypass that can operate and be deployed at the required pressures 5000 ft below the sea.

The President of BP, Mr. Tony Hayward said that they did not have the right tools in their box for this type of an incident. The Apparatus described is a new tool that can be adapted to any pipe shape and or diameter and should be part of the Tool box of the future. There are numerous applications including civil, mechanical, aero-space and general engineering fields where this tool could be deployed to either seal or create a bypass for either gases, fluids or other materials.

Mechanical Apparatus to (Robotically) plug , occlude or seal the inner diameter of a pressurized open port or orifice. The Apparatus includes means (mechanically assisted stints) to anchor itself on the inner diameter of a cylindrical pipe without creating substantial back pressure during the anchoring process.

After the apparatus is positioned and securely anchored, a second controllable feature will close off and decrease the inner diameter of the leaking cylindrical pipe. As the diameter of the leaking pipe is closed off back pressure will increase although, the apparatus includes a fluid bypass through its center, which offsets the oil pressure build up and creates an alternative passage way (from escaping around the apparatus) thus, instead the oil would be forced through the bypass and eventually pumped into a vessel.

As the outer diameter of the leaking pipe is closed off or decreased, the inner fluid bypass pressure will increase. The relative pressures are balanced, controlled and maintained until the leaking pipes inner diameter is completely occluded and 100% of the flow is either diverted through or pumped through the apparatus's bypass to a waiting vessel or sealed completely off.
The current attempt to cap the leaking port requires much more accuracy and will not create a mechanical seal. It requires additional capabilities to deal with the inherent complications of trying to collect the oil outside of the pressurized pipe, i.e. the gas, oil, water, hydrates, pressures and temperature mix after it leaves the pressurized pipe versus, controlling the flow within the main pipe casing and utilizing the existing technology that was used prior to the incident thus, pumping the oil out of the well through the casing.

Simply put, this Alternative approach Invention repairs the existing pipe connection robotically where as the attempt to collect the oil and gas after it leaves the pressurized pipe ,has to deal with the formation of hydrates and numerous other very complicated technical issues. Thank You -Respectfully
Kenneth Alley

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  • ABOUT THE ENTRANT

  • Name:
    Kenneth Alley
  • Type of entry:
    individual
  • Hardware used for this entry:
    HP Quadcore Media center
    Software used for this entry:
    Autodesk Inventor and Solidworks
  • Patent status:
    none