UK: Allspeeds Looks Towards New Standard of Safety in Subsea Industry
Allspeeds Ltd, designers and manufacturers of the Webtool™ range of products, have nominated the Webtool™ HP690 intensifier panel for the Subsea UK Innovation for Safety Award.
Safety concerns were being expressed from those working offshore in deep water with regards to the use of high pressure hydraulics and traditional ROV hydraulic intensifier panels.
Allspeeds identified that the main safety issue was that standard pressure intensifiers contain a check valve. This check valve requires a deliberate reversal of pressure in order to relieve the high pressure circuit after the intensifier has completed its task. Failure to reverse this pressure manually or in the event of an HPU or ROV breakdown causing the inability to reverse the pressure, will result in a high pressure circuit at approximately 700Bar (10,000psi) this will remain energised whilst the ROV resurfaces.
Keith Elliot, Engineering Director at Allspeeds Ltd stated: “Allspeeds set about designing their own Webtool™ version of an ROV hydraulic intensifier panel with the intention of making it safer and more reliable than the existing products in the market place. Our challenge was to come up with an intensifier panel that did not allow high pressure fluid to be locked in, regardless of oversight or ROV failure”.
Having taken major steps in design and innovation to manufacture an intensifier panel that addresses the main safety issues, Allspeeds designed HP690 which safeguards the user with automatic protection from the possibility of locked in high pressure hydraulic fluid. There is no longer any need for the user to manually reverse the pressure to make the hydraulic system safe, this will happen automatically. In addition to this, the input pressure will be automatically compensated for depth via the ROV’s own HPU, so as the ROV surfaces, the high pressure side of the circuit also compensates. These features also allow any pressure build up due to temperature variation to be vented back to the ROV’s pressure tank.
As a final safeguard the panel was designed with a cross-drilled manifold style body, this means there are less hydraulic fittings (and potential leak paths), safety screens have also been included on the pressure intensifier ports to prevent contamination seizing the intensifier. This makes the unit more reliable and the solid manifold design protects the components from accidental damage.
Allspeeds did not set out to make a similar product following industry standards, the intention was to differentiate from competitors by offering a product with significant safety benefits. The HP690 is designed and manufactured to be a better, more reliable and safer product motivated by worrying industry concerns.
Press Release, January 10, 2014; Image: Allspeeds