In order to prevent Leak of oil to the environment and prevent damage to any subsea equipment, in case of Vessel drift off or back ship, you need a weak link on the subsea hose. By placing a weak link in combination with an auto release mechanism, that is re-connectable, you will potentially save a lot of vessel time and the environment for spill. The auto release is so efficient that it will also increase the safety of operating within the 500 m zone of a rig or platform, since pulling the hose can also work as a planned disconnect.
We use a patented new technology that combines Hot Stab and Ball Valve in one product and Receptacle and Bal Valve on the other. We have placed a Ball Valve inside the Hot Stab and we use the stem as hydraulic connection. The receptacle inside the stem is so big that you can fit the Hot Stab and Ball Valve inside. By melting the Connection and valve function together to the same physical location we manage to Connect and Disconnect at full Working Pressure and Zero Leak.
The Auto Release function also uses an off the shelf proven technology from Valve Actuators, Spring Operated Fail Safe Close mechanism. Most of the installed base of Fail Safe ball valves is equipped with an Halifax groove that takes linear movement and transforms that to rotational force. The only difference is that the linear force is taken from the pull of the Hose.
We have designed a 1 inch, 2 inch, and a 3 inch full bore solution. The 1 inch system also has an winch that will lift the system and disconnect 6 m up in the seawater column, to avoid entanglement of the XMT. The 1 inch solution has been out working for Shell on start-up of a well using a vessel as oppose to a Rig. The cost saving from this is substantial.
The system is designed for misalignment of up to 20 degrees in any direction. This makes it possible to offset the vessel and still be able to disconnect.