Quick Connect Magnetic Coupling for Subsea and Ship Moorings
Energy efficient moorings using permanent magnets
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 which 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 operating a hydraulic or electric actuator, but no energy is used when connected.
A single operator can quickly operate the magnetic coupling with a button. The magnetic coupling has multiple applications:
- Subsea operators can attach their underwater vehicles to any steel object.
- Pushboats can directly attach to the barge enabling better manoeuvrability.
- Barges can attach to the ship's side.
- Ships can be moored to the berth.
- The 3dof platform arrangement allows roll, pitch, heave, yaw as well as surge, whereas, the gimbal arrangement allows for pitch and yaw. Passive or active compensation is possible. 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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