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Improving Calm Buoy Valve Actuation Systems – In Partnership with SIT

Sometimes, your winning solution can be made better. In one instance, a client working at various locations worldwide to deploy CALM buoys as low-maintenance mooring solutions for fuel transfer needed help.

The problem the client was facing was that the valve control systems for the buoys were too costly, too large, and required multiple suppliers to deploy which created design inefficiencies. For instance, one vendor was building the control systems, while another was completing the automation for the valves and another designing the HPU which was leading to inefficiencies and a mismatched final product. It was clear that a complete, holistic system would be a huge improvement.

The company sorely needed integration, which they eventually found through SIT. Eventually, SIT leveraged its entire suite of skills and knowledge regarding actuator, control systems, HPU design, and more. With all those skill sets under a single roof, SIT was able to drive down costs and deliver a custom solution that expanded the client’s capabilities.

Through a standardized modular system, now, not only does the client have a much better product, but it also requires less for future system engineering.

  • HPU:
    • Accumulator Modules
    • Pump/Valve Control Modules
    • Reservoir Modules
    • Topside Pneumatic/Hydraulic Control Panel
  • Emerson Shafer Subsea Actuators
  • Large Subsea Ball Valves (24in and 48in)
  • Subsea Control Umbilical
  • Telemetry System
  • Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring Buoy (CALM) – used for on loading and offloading product offshore when a port is not feasible
  • Buoy connects to subsea PLEM which connects to subsea pipeline running to production plant onshore.
  • On-load and Off-load sequence is performed wirelessly between vessel and buoy through SIT provided telemetry system.
Key Project Features:
  • Modular System fits through 18in.x24in. manhole for ease of installation, removal and expansion.
  • Previous systems were 100% hard plumed
  • SIT eliminated 80% of tubing by utilizing SIT designed manifold system consolidating 3 skids into one.
    • Reduces;
      • Potential Leak Points
      • Increases System Efficiency/Responsiveness by Lowering Pressure Drops
      • Increases Serviceability
        • 90% of the system can be serviced with a crescent wrench and two Allen keys
      • Reduces Overall System Footprint
      • Reduces Installation Costs
  • Additionally, maximized system efficiency and size by incorporating actuator and valve performance into the overall design optimizing actuator torque capabilities to an ideal pressure ratio.
    • Allowed for down sizing of the actuator and system required fluid volume
    • Further decreased system required modules
    • Reduced PLEM weight
    • Reduced Cost
  • Through turn-key integration, SIT increased efficiency and reduced the overall system size by approx. 40% saving the client upwards of 35%.
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