UV Power Supply
To ensure trouble-free operation, the UV is equipped with three independent and one standby power unit for the emergency ascent purposes.
Each power unit operation is absolutely independent from other power units. Each power unit has its own ballast system circuit and is connected to the UV only with a disconnect valve joining the pump-in and pump-out pipelines together. Each power unit is fit with the complete navigation equipment set and the control system. Aboard the base vessel, where they carry out the maintenance and repairs of the power units, there are standby power units – assuming one standby unit per a vehicle.
UV Power Supply System Overview
The power unit is a specially designed structure containing engines, fuel tanks, high pressure pumps, and a control system. Each set is placed within a separate hermetically sealed body and capable of regulating its own operation depending on the necessity.
In the course of designing the power unit, the engineers created special conditions for the engine to operate in a sealed space, and arranged the engines operation system. The mechanical power is transferred to the pumps that either pump out or inject the water to the multitiered ballast system. The operation of each of such power units is absolutely autonomous. Each unit has its own ballast systems loop and connection with the UV by a hydraulic fuse connecting only the pump-out and pump-in pipelines.
The ballast water is pumped into the power unit for transferring the water into the ballast tanks (in the course of immersion), and then in the course of pumping out (in the course of operation and ascending while maneuvering) the water under pressure returns to the power unit and from that point it is transferred with the help of pumps through the pipelines to the points where the mechanical power is needed, and through the turbine that converts the water stream under pressure into the mechanical power and drives, in its turn, the chain ladles for nodules collection and other equipment. The generators convert the required amount of energy to electric power for the control and illumination systems. The advantage of such power unit consists in the fact that all necessary equipment operating under the atmospheric pressure is placed in the protective housing, and only the ballast water is transferred through the valves under pressure, thus transmitting the energy for mechanical operations. After surfacing, the power units are replaced and repaired within a short time.
General view of the power unit in the assembled condition and in the course of repairs and preventive maintenance operations
The power unit structure and technical parameters
UV Operating Motion Devices
In the course of mining operations at a pressure of 60 МPa, one of the most complicated tasks is to transmit the mechanical power from the atmospheric pressure zone, where the engines and control and operation systems work, to the increased pressure zone. Our team has solved this task with the help of a turbine that converts the energy of the ballast water stream into the mechanical power. In order to lay the pipelines to the point of mechanical operations, we determine the appropriate turbine capacity on the basis of the required amount of mechanical power. We deliver the necessary amount of mechanical energy to a certain point of drive, suffering minimal losses.
The turbine for conversion of the water stream energy to the mechanical power.
UV Pneumatic and Hydraulic Systems
In order to pump in the ballast waters, the Vehicle uses its pneumatic exhaustion system, and to pump out the water – the pressurization system for creation of optimal operating conditions.
UV Emergency Ascent System
The emergency ascent power unit is installed in the UV forebody and comprised of an accumulator system and a high pressure pump that, in case of a failure of three main power units, will allow bringing the UV into zero buoyancy and carry out the Vehicle surfacing.
In case of any failure of the UV programmed control system, any connection disruptions or mechanical troubles, the UV receives an instruction to start surfacing: all the pumps of the power units operate the UV ascent process. Even in case of a failure of one of the independent power units, the other units will operate the ascent. If any malfunction is detected, the UV discharges a portion of its load through the portholes and performs fast surfacing.
The emergency power unit technical parameters: