Rough Water Crude Oil Containment System
This patent application acknowledges the circa 1907 Patent of Mr. Phillip Brasher entitled "Protecting Objects From Wave Action" applied for November 22, 1904 and granted February 12, 1907 (Drawing Enclosed).
The application of many devices similar to this are created to be used at sea--aboard small pontoon vessels that are tied to buoys anchored by dead weights surrounding the area where oil is breaking to the surface.
It takes three circles of those devices to properly capture the oil, and a fourth circle can be used or a fleet of these devices aboard ocean-going vessels operating in concert to further assist in wave action disruption so as to maximize the performance of the stationary containment system.
Each pontoon vessel is made to be aerodynamically capable of being attached to its anchor by a cable or stretch-rope so that it always is pointed toward the oncoming wind and its anchored buoy. A tail fin on the boat is used.
The pontoon boat will have fuel tanks either located on it or on a trailer type vessel attached to the aft end of the pontoon. Again if a trailer vessel is used it also needs a tail fin and a means of protecting itself and the other units from damage. At least one, if not all these floating devices will have a light and or coordinated strobe lights.
These units by definition of their purpose are expected to protect themselves in normal winds of up to 50 MPH (We think---not yet tested.) They can only do that when they are functioning properly. Running out of fuel could have a catastrophic effect, not only on the one, but also on the others in the system.
This system is designed with the diameters of the aeration boundaries coinciding with the 1/4-mile distance it was said the emergency wells at Deepwater Horizon are located away from "ground zero." A slightly larger inner-circle might work well also, but the number of wave stoppers will need to increase.
The units each are made up of a pontoon boat, air compressor, fuel tank, buoy, anchor cables etc. The air compressor is powered by either an electric motor with a generator to provide the electric power, or by direct connection to an engine, be it diesel, natural gas etc. Either way, enough fuel should be aboard to never be in danger of running out. Maintaining a full-time service crew is advised.
Information about the air diffusers is proprietary and protected at this writing.
The air compressor is commonly known in the industry as a "15-Bar" unit. Fifteen-Bar units operate at 217 PSI and therefore are capable of pushing air below surface up to approximately 482 feet in salt water. That is how far apart the diffusers are from one another in their circle. In a circle with a 1/4-mile radius there needs to be 17.2 units...round that to 17. The second circle having a 1/2 Mile radius needs 34.4...rounded to 34. And the third circle with a 3/4-mile radius needs 51. Note we have rounded all these down to the integer. It will work even better to round it up if the buyer prefers. The lower number can be justified somewhat because the straight line distance rather than using the length of the arc in that segment of the circle.
Massive amounts of water are drawn upward with the action of the bubbles wanting to float to the surface. The compressed bubbles continually get bigger as they rise.
As the plume of water reaches the surface, gravity keeps it from propelling above the surface. Therefore it must flow horizontally in all directions away from the center. Not only does it fill the valleys of waves, but now it pushes on any floating liquids.
If oil is inside the circle it is captured within that circle. If it is outside one circle but inside a larger circle of wave stoppers, then it is captured between the two. If it is outside the largest circle, then it is lost and out of control unless it is otherwise caught or destroyed.
The wind plays an important role in the movement of the oil. It will tend to move the floating crude to the leeward quadrant of all the circles. That is what makes it so handy to capture.
Another way it makes it easy to capture is because the crude is constantly being pushed on by the ever-moving surface water and it tends to form a tight band between the circles where the fishing boats can simply drive around in circles to fill their tanks and go back to shore with their load--all the while knowing that the oil is continually being organized for the next boat or will be in the same place when they return.
Almost nothing will escape these three circles when all operators are properly trained on seamanship and the systems are properly maintained. On the other side of the coin, the circles do not pose a navigation hazard for the free movement of ships and small craft entering and leaving the area.
GooneyWater Oil Spill Containment System
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