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Patent Issued for Gasket for wind turbine (USPTO 11319930)


Engineering Business Daily  

 

    2022 MAY 24 (NewsRx) -- By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Engineering Business Daily -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx journalists, a patent by the inventor Petersen, Claus Nissen (Kolding, DK), filed on April 18, 2017, was published online on May 3, 2022.

    The assignee for this patent, patent number 11319930, is Pur Wind ApS (Kolding, Denmark).

    Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: “BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

    “Large scale structures, such as wind turbines and offshore wind turbines, are typically mounted on an assembly of a monopile and a transition piece. One end of the monopile is fixed into the ground or seabed, and at the other (upper) end of the monopile, the transition piece is mounted. Thus the assembly provides a level platform for mounting the turbine itself. Hence the bottom part of the transition piece is mounted on the upper part of the monopile.

    “The assembly of transition piece and monopile carries the load of the wind turbine. It is therefore essential that the assembly is stable, and that the transition piece does not move relative to the monopile.

    “Conventionally the transition piece is fixed or stabilized relative to the monopile by grouting or by bolting the two together-or a combination hereof. The monopile and the transition piece are cylindrical bodies that are concentrically arranged with a space in between, and the two bodies are then mounted and fixed together by a grout seal formed in the annular space between the monopile and transition piece, and/or by bolting the transition piece and the monopile together, for example by bolting corresponding flanges of the two elements.

    “After installation, the assembly will be subject to significant stresses as vibrations from operation as well as movements from waves, wind and tide, may induce movement of the monopile relative to the transition piece. The conventional grout suffers from cracking and failure after installation, which leads to instability of the assembly, and the transition piece will typically gradually move downwards relative to the monopile over time.

    “To reduce the risk of cracks in the grout, and to minimize the risk of failure of the seal, the grout may comprise elastically compressible components, such as foamed polyurethane, as disclosed in EP 2672016.

    “Alternatively, or additionally to the grout, any movements between the transition piece and monopile, may be reduced by use of multiple discrete bearing parts mounted between the transition piece and monopile. The discrete bearing parts may comprise elastomeric components such as polyurethane, as described in EP 2518306 or rubber as described in EP 2604757.

    “The elastomeric components may have additional advantages. DE 10 2013 019 288 discloses an offshore pile covered at least partly by a vibration-reducing coating, which may be a viscoelastic polymer, rubber, silicone rubber, polyurethane, elastomer, thermoplastic elastomer, or bitumen. The coating is disclosed to reduce the noise during installation of the offshore pile into the seabed.

    “To further strengthen the wind turbines and offshore wind turbines, the large scale structures may be mounted on pile structures other than monopiles. Other pile structures include any type of jacket foundation, such as a tripod or tetrapod foundation. The wind turbines may further comprise multiple tower sections to increase the height of the wind turbine and/or to improve the stress tolerances of the mounted structure.

    “Despite the advances on the grout and/or discrete bearing parts, as well as the structural advances of the pile structures, there is a need for a more long-term durable and efficient stabilization of the transition piece relative to the pile structure, as well as the stabilization of the elements constituting the transition piece, such as the tower sections. There is furthermore a need for a simpler and more cost-efficient method for assembling and mounting the transition piece(s) and/or for assembling and mounting the transition piece(s) to the pile structure, such as to the monopile.”

    In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, NewsRx editors also obtained the inventor’s summary information for this patent: “The present disclosure relates to a gasket for mounting and fixing a transition piece to a pile structure, such as a monopile, which is particularly suitable for offshore monopiles. The present disclosure further relates to a gasket for mounting and fixing multiple transition pieces, such as multiple tower sections. The presently disclosed gasket provides a more stable and long-term durable assembly of two members, as well as a simpler method for assembling two members, such as the monopile and transition piece, thus improving the cost efficiency of the installation of a wind turbine. Thus, the presently disclosed gasket is configured to be load bearing and load absorbing, e.g. it is configured to carry the load of a large-scale structure such as a transition piece. The load bearing configuration further facilitates that two members that do not match perfectly in geometry can be mounted and fixed together. For example a pile structure and a transition piece that is not fully concentric and/or where one of the members are cylindrical and the other member is more oval cylindrical. The presently disclosed gasket further provides a joint between two large-scale members such that the use of mortar, grout, sand, gravel, cement, and/or concrete can be avoided. Thus, the gasket provides improved flexibility and simplicity to the manufacturing and assembling of the gasket to the pile structure and transition piece. For example the gasket may be manufactured and solidified independently of the pile structure and transition piece, such as manufactured as an independent part that is subsequently mounted to the pile structure and/or transition piece.

    “A first aspect of the present disclosure relates to a gasket for formfitting the bottom part of a transition piece of a wind turbine, the gasket primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material and shaped as a hollow elongated body for surrounding at least a part of the pile structure, such as a pile for a monopile, a tripod, or a tetrapod, when mounted between the transition piece and the pile structure, such that the gasket stabilizes the position of the transition piece relative to the pile structure. I.e. the gasket typically surrounds the top outer surface of the pile structure and abuts the bottom inner surface of the transition piece.

    “The present disclosure is further suitable for assembling sections of the transition piece. A further aspect of the invention relates to a gasket for formfitting the bottom part of a first transition piece section, such as the bottom part of a first tower section, the gasket primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material and shaped as a hollow elongated body for surrounding at least a part of a second transition piece section, such as the upper part of a second tower section, when mounted between the first transition piece section and the second transition piece section, such that the gasket stabilizes the position of the first transition piece section relative to the second transition piece section.

    “A second aspect of the present disclosure relates to a gasket, preferably adapted for matching and/or formfitting the bottom part of a transition piece of a wind turbine. The gasket may therefore be shaped as a hollow elongated body. In the preferred embodiment the gasket is primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material, such as PUR. The gasket is preferably a self-supporting structure. The gasket can thereby surround at least a part of the monopile when mounted between the transition piece and the monopile, i.e. in a sandwich structure between the transition piece and the monopile, such that the gasket stabilizes the position of the transition piece relative to the monopile during and after assembly of the two elements.

    “In a preferred embodiment of the first aspect of the invention, the gasket is assembled from multiple parts. In a further preferred embodiment, the gasket is assembled from multiple parts, where each part is configured to match the abutting parts. Optionally the multiple parts are matching each other in a similar manner as a puzzle, where abutting edges of abutting parts can be fitted in only predetermined ways. In a preferred embodiment the abutting parts are cylindrical or cone-shaped, where the parts can be placed on top of each other, or in extension of each other, thereby forming a cylinder or cone with a height that is the cumulative height of the assembled parts. In a further preferred embodiment, the abutting parts are cylindrical or cone-shaped and at least one of the edges along the top and bottom perimeters form an acute angle, such that abutting parts can be matched or assembled in a wedge manner.”

    The claims supplied by the inventors are:

    “1. A gasket for formfitting a bottom part of a transition piece of a wind turbine, the gasket primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material and shaped as a hollow elongated body for surrounding at least a part of a pile structure when mounted between the transition piece and the pile structure, such that the gasket stabilizes the position of the transition piece relative to the pile structure.

    “2. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the gasket is configured to stabilize a position of the transition piece relative to the pile structure by absorbing compression, tension, and/or shear stresses occurring due to movements of the transition piece and/or the pile structure.

    “3. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the gasket is configured to tolerate compression forces above 10 N/mm2.

    “4. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the elastomeric material is selected from the group consisting of: polyurethane (PUR), rubber, nylon, polyoxymethylene (POM), polyethylene (PE), and any combination thereof.

    “5. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the gasket is manufactured by a casting process or a spraying process.

    “6. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the elastomeric material has a shore A hardness according to ASTM D2240 of at least 70.

    “7. The gasket according to claim 1, the gasket comprising at least 95% elastomeric material.

    “8. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein a shape of the hollow elongated body is selected from the group consisting of: hollow cylinder, hollow truncated cone, and any combinations thereof.

    “9. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the hollow elongated body has a wall thickness of at least 20 mm.

    “10. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the hollow elongated body has a height of at least 3 m.

    “11. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the hollow elongated body further comprises an upper flange extending in a radial direction of the hollow elongated body.

    “12. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the hollow elongated body is closed in one end.

    “13. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the hollow elongated body has a surface comprising one or more apertures.

    “14. The gasket according to claim 13, wherein an area of the one or more apertures constitutes at least 25% of the surface area of the hollow elongated body.

    “15. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the hollow elongated body is a self-supporting structure.

    “16. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the gasket is assembled from multiple parts.

    “17. The gasket according to claim 16, wherein the gasket is assembled from at least three parts.

    “18. The gasket according to claim 16, wherein the gasket is assembled from at least four parts.

    “19. The gasket according to claim 16, wherein each of the multiple part has a shape of a hollow truncated cone.

    “20. The gasket according to claim 19, wherein each of the multiple parts comprises a diameter, the diameter of each of the multiple parts is configured such that the assembled parts form a continuous hollow truncated cone.

    “21. The gasket according to claim 16, wherein the multiple parts are configured to be abutting in a wedge like manner.

    “22. A method for mounting a transition piece of a wind turbine to a monopile, the method comprising the steps of: mounting a gasket in a bottom part of the transition piece, the gasket is for formfitting the bottom part of the transition piece of the wind turbine, the gasket is primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material and shaped as a hollow elongated body for surrounding at least a part of the monopile, when mounted between the transition piece and the monopile, such that the gasket stabilizes the position of the transition piece relative to the monopile; and assembling the transition piece on to the monopile at a location where the monopile has been fixed in ground, such as at an off-shore location, such that the gasket is sandwiched between the transition piece and the monopile.

    “23. A method for mounting multiple tower sections for a wind turbine, the method being carried out optionally onshore or offshore, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing a first tower section; b) mounting a gasket to a first end of the first tower section, the gasket configured for formfitting the first end of the first tower section, the gasket being primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material and shaped as a hollow elongated body for surrounding at least a part of the first end; c) assembling a second tower section to the first end of the first tower section, such that the gasket is sandwiched between the two tower sections, wherein the gasket stabilizes the position of the first tower section relative to the second tower section; and d) repeating step a-c for further tower sections.

    “24. A method for mounting a pile foundation of a wind turbine, the method comprising the steps of: providing one or more legs for the pile foundation, wherein each leg comprises a lower part for contact with a sea bed and one or more upper parts for contact to a transition piece; mounting a gasket to the lower part legs, the gasket configured for formfitting the lower part legs of the pile foundation, the gasket being primarily manufactured in an elastomeric material and shaped as a hollow elongated body for surrounding at least a part of the lower part legs; and assembling the lower part legs to the upper part legs, such that the gasket is sandwiched between the lower part legs and the upper part legs, wherein the gasket stabilizes the position of the lower part legs relative to the upper part legs.

    “25. The method according to claim 24, wherein the pile foundation is a jacket foundation.

    “26. The gasket according to claim 1, wherein the elastomeric material has a shore D hardness of at least 50.”

    For more information, see this patent: Petersen, Claus Nissen. Gasket for wind turbine. U.S. Patent Number 11319930, filed April 18, 2017, and published online on May 3, 2022. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11319930.PN.&OS=PN/11319930RS=PN/11319930

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