Quick connect magnetic coupling for offshore use
Pushboats often need to quickly connect to another vessel or steel structure.
Tow-botic Systems BV is developing underwater magnets for offshore use. Each specially designed permanent magnet is placed inside a watertight casing of 200mm diameter. The magnet has a holding capacity of 0.5 ton over a large airgap of 12mm (5mm excluding the casing and fenders) on a plate of 10-14mm thickness. The capability of holding over a large air gap allows the operator to manage hull fouling or plate curvature easily. Fenders take the initial impact when connecting, prevent paint damage, and minimize sliding. The permanent magnet is electrically “switched on/off” with a 24Vdc power supply, but no energy use when connected.
A single operator can quickly operate the magnetic coupling with a button. By directly attaching to the barge, better maneuverability is enabled. The gimbal arrangement allows for a change of trim, as well as turning a barge on a sharp bend by disconnecting one coupling. It can also be used to moor the boat when at the berth. The system can be easily integrated into autonomous operations.
The magnet improves the efficiency of offshore operations by reducing the time taken to connect and disconnect.
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