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1. (WO2019004841) APPARATUS AND MEANS FOR SUPPLY OF WATER TO A CULTIVATION CAGE, A NEW PUMP CONSTRUCTION AND A METHOD OF OPERATION OF THE PUMP
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APPARATUS AND MEANS FOR SUPPLY OF WATER TO A CULTIVATION CAGE, A NEW PUMP CONSTRUCTION AND A METHOD OF OPERATION OF THE PUMP.

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a device for an inlet pipe for supply of water into a net cage in a fish farming installation, where the pipe is fitted to extend down into the water and comprises a pump for supply of water from the body of water to the net cage through the inlet pipe. One consider a fish farming installation where marine organisms are held and fed, such as fish for consumption.

The invention also relates to an installation for supply of water to a net cage in a fish farming installation and also a new construction of a pump with an inlet and outlet and also a drive body for rotation of a number of tilted propeller blades to lead a fluid from the inlet to the outlet.

Furthermore, the invention relates to a method for the operation of a propeller construction comprising a propeller case and a number of connected propeller blades.

Background to the invention/Prior art

To supply water from great depths of water to a closed net cage that floats in the sea for the farming of fish and other marine organisms is known. A closed net cage is comprised of watertight wall elements, and it is shielded against the body of water outside the net cage. The supply of water to such net cages is normally carried out by pumping up water through a pipe or a hose from the body of water around or below the net cage. The water is then led into the net cage at different places in the net cage, from or at the surface of, or in the middle of, the body of the net cage.

The pumping element for bringing the water up is normally associated with an installation at the surface or in a closed unit in the middle of the net cage or at its bottom section.

The publication WO 2017/030442 A1 describes a device for supply of water to a net cage where an inlet pipe for water, formed by a cloth material extended by rings, which extends underneath the net cage, pumps up water via a pump which is placed at the bottom of the net cage.

In the present invention, the pump is on the other hand placed in the inlet area of the inlet pipe, as can be seen in the following, which is preferably placed deep down in the sea and possibly below the net cage. When the pump starts, the blades will push water up through the cloth material hose, which will be extended outwards by the over pressure and water will flow into the net cage from the depth. The weight of the pump with the fastening element will keep the inlet pipe extended downwards.

The publications WO 2014/000102 A1 and US 4051810 A describe the prior art.

The objects of the present invention

It is an object of the invention to provide a new construction to lead water from a deep layer of water up to a net cage.

It is a further object to provide a new construction of an inlet pipe for such delivery of water.

Furthermore, it is an object to provide a new pump construction, in particular for fitting to said inlet pipe. The invention also relates to an installation that comprises at least one of the said constructions for delivery of water from a body of water and into a closed net cage.

Summary of the invention

The device according to the invention is characterised in that the inlet pipe is comprised of a flexible cloth-formed material, which is suitable to be held suspended in a tube-form and where the pump is placed in the lower part of the tube-form.

According to a preferred embodiment, the pump is secured to the inside of the tube-formed cloth at its lower part. The pump is preferably fitted to a ring-formed frame section that is secured to the tube-formed cloth.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the pump comprises a number of rotary, titled wings/propeller blades, which by rotating around a support can drive water from the body of water and into and up through the tube-form. The pump is principally driven by electricity or fluid.

Preferably, the pump is fluid driven and each propeller wing comprises a

longitudinally - radially running fluid channel that runs out into one or more tangentially directed outlet nozzles along the propeller wing. The pump is connected to a pressure fluid source at the surface via a pipe. The pump is preferably driven by pressurised water.

According to a preferred embodiment, the device is manufactured from a flexible cloth material, particularly reinforced plastic, canvas, tarpaulin or the like.

According to a particularly preferred embodiment, comprises the cloth a number of inserted rings arranged at different heights in the tube-form. These rings, and also the rigid ring band to which the pump element is fitted, contribute to hold the pipe extended. The weight of the pump itself also contributes to hold the tube-form extended downwards.

The construction of the tube-form is particularly suited to be pulled up to the surface for inspection and maintenance in a simple operation in that it is folded into a space-saving shape.

The installation according to the invention is formed in that it comprises at least two inlet pipes as described, as the pipes are arranged to extend downwards into water mutually parallel.

The pump construction is characterised in that it is fluid-driven, and each propeller blade comprises a fluid channel that runs out into one or more tangentially directed outlet nozzles associated with each propeller blade.

According to a preferred embodiment, the propeller blades are connected to a hollow propeller casing with an inlet for a pressurised fluid, and the propeller casing is comprised of openings that form fluid connections to each channel. The propeller casing is preferably connected to a propeller housing via vertical and horizontal bearings. Furthermore, the pump is connected to a source for a pressurised fluid via a pipe suited to supply fluid from a fluid source via a drive pump.

The method of operation of a propeller construction, comprises a propeller casing and a number of connected propeller blades, which is characterised in that the propeller casing is supplied with a fluid that when put under pressure is brought to flow out through each propeller blade, to then be directed tangentially with respect to the axis of rotation, such that the propeller and thereby the shaft rotate. According to a preferred embodiment, water is used as the pressurised fluid and a propeller construction as described in the device claims is used.

Description of the figures

Preferred embodiments of the invention shall be described in the following in more detail with reference to the enclosed figures, wherein:

Figure 1 shows in perspective an ocean farming installation with a closed net cage tank for marine organisms, fish, and a service installation and also a construction to lift water up from the depth of water below the net cage.

Figure 2 shows a perspective of tube pipe-forms that extend downwards in the sea for the collection of water from the deep.

Figure 3 shows a partially cut off perspective of the one tube-form, with an inserted pump body in the form of a propeller with propeller wings 68 to drive water from the deep (shown by 31 ), up through the tube-form 20 and to the net cage 12.

Figure 4 shows in perspective from below the construction of the pump body in the form of the propeller.

Figure 5 shows an enlarged section in perspective to show the detail of a propeller blade 68 and its associated, tangentially adjusted spraying nozzle 72.

Figure 6 shows a partially cut perspective of the pump housing.

Figure 7 shows a side perspective of the pump housing, partially cut off.

Description of preferred embodiments of the invention.

Initially, reference is made to figure 1 that shows a complete ocean farming installation 10, with a closed net cage 12 for fish 13, a raft 15 with a different fitting for servicing the installation, and tube-forms 20a,20b that extend down in the sea to pump up water (shown by arrow 31 ) to the net cage 12.

The tube-forms 20a,20b extend down into the body of water 14 underneath the net cage 12. The outlet for used water from the net cage can be arranged in many ways, and details of this shall not be described here as it of no consequence for the present invention.

Of particular relevance for the present invention is the shape of the tube-form 20a, and also the pump body 30 inserted in the tube-form with a lifting propeller with a number of propeller blades 68 as indicated in the figures 2 and 3. The pump body 30 is fitted at the bottom of the tube-form 20a at the inlet 33 of the tube-form 20a. When the pump drives the propeller, water 14 is driven up inside the tube 20a and further, primarily horizontally, out into the body of water in the net cage 12. Figure 2 shows the preferred embodiment with two separate tube-forms 20a and 20b that are set in

parallel next to each other and extend from the installation at the surface and down into the body of water 14.

Uppermost at the housing part 16 is the outlet from each tube-form 20 and it runs into an outlet or pipe bend (not shown) that leads the water up to and into the net cage 12.

Form of the pump element - figures 4-7

The tube-forms are preferably formed from a flexible cloth material, in particular of reinforced plastic, canvas, tarpaulin or the like. To help to keep the tube 20a extended, a number of ring-forms (rings or pipes of plastic or metal) are inserted at different heights in the tube. Figure 2 shows two such rings 50,52.

At the bottom of the tube 20a is a seat for fitting a pump element (pump housing) 60, as shown in figure 4. The element is comprised of a rigid ring-formed band 62 (like a fitting sleeve) from plastic or metal which carries a central pump body 64 via a number (three pieces are shown) of radially running rigid struts 66 that fasten the pump body to the band 62. A rotary propeller 67 with a number of tilted propeller wings 68 is fitted under the struts 66. The propeller is set up to function (rotate) within the rigid band (sleeve) 62 fastened to the cloth. The whole pump element 60 is thereby stabilised to function at the bottom of the tube 20a. When the propeller is operating, water is driven up through the tube 20a shown by 31 .

The propeller 67 can be driven in many ways. According to one embodiment it is electrically driven, where electricity is supplied via an electric cable from the surface.

According to another and particularly preferred embodiment, the propeller is water driven in that pressurised water is supplied from a fluid source at the surface through a tube 69. The fluid (the water) is pumped at a given pressure through the tube 69 up to the propeller housing 64 and the propeller, by a fluid pump at the surface. From the pump housing 60, the pressurised water is divided out through radially running inner channels 70 in each propeller blade 32/68. Some distance towards the end of

the propeller blade 68, each channel 79 is deflected to a tangentially directed mouthpiece 72. Each propeller blade 32 comprises such a channel system 70/72 and when the water is supplied under pressure it is ejected through all the

mouthpieces 72, and the propeller is made to turn and rotate about the shaft. Thus, the water is ejected in the opposite direction to the direction of rotation. The water is thereby driven upwards in the tube-form 20 by the tilted propeller blade 66 by using the "jet effect" from each blade in the water-driven pump and which thereby expands the tube-form 20 as a consequence of the water overpressure that the propeller operation generates inside the tube-form. The ring-formed fitting sleeve 62 of the pump housing 60, fitted to the inside of the cloth, also contributes to hold the whole tube extended. Furthermore, the weight of the pump also contributes to hold the entire tube-form extended downwards in the sea. According to a preferred

embodiment, the tube-form tapers gradually from the top and downwards, as can be clearly seen in the figures.

As can be seen in figure 7, the channel 70 for leading water to the nozzles is a tube that lies inside a propeller blade 66. The blade 68 is composed of two plates that are mutually angled into a triangular cross section as shown, and where the tube 70 jointly forms the third plate in the triangle. The tube 70 is closed at its outer end but carries water to the crosswise nozzles 72 via a deflected tube-stub from the tube 70. In this way, the water is turned 90 degrees in through the nozzle tube 72.

Figure 6 shows a cross section through the propeller construction. The water is fed down through the tube 69 to a hollow propeller casing 76 to which the propeller wings/blades 68 are fastened. There are openings 78 through the sidewalls of the propeller casing which allow the water to flow radially out from the casing and into the channel 70 in each propeller wing 68. The propeller casing 76 is mounted in the housing 64 via vertical and horizontal bearings 80 and 82, respectively.

According to the invention, two tube-forms 20a and 20b are set up next to each other and down into the sea. This is as a precaution if one of the tube-forms must be taken out of operation, for example, for maintenance of for other reasons.

It is preferred that the water inlet 33 lies deep in the water, preferably at a depth of 20-40 metres and preferably so that the water inlet lies in a layer free of lice. The water inlet 33 can also lie in a water layer that is deeper than this. The placing of the water inlet can also be nearer the surface of the water than the preferred area, but this will not be particularly advantageous.

It may be possible that such a pump can be used in other areas where you need to pump fluids in a tube system, such as a water treatment plant or in other processing industries where you need to pump fluids/liquids through tubes such as, oil or in sewers.

Advantages of the invention

An important advantage with the tube-forms being manufactured from a cloth is that the whole assembly of cloth and propeller housing can easily be lifted up to the surface for maintenance.