The Oil & Gas industry is one of the most demanding environments in which Morello industrial heavy-duty motorized carts are used, in particular on offshore platforms.
In these applications, the sea air and saline environment, which is both volatile and dangerous, create difficult conditions for all equipment and work procedures. Below is the story of a challenging project on an offshore oil and gas platform located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Africa.
CLIENT & LOCATION
The end client of this flagship offshore project is Total Energies Egina. The Egina oil field is located about 130 kilometers (80 miles) off the coast of Nigeria, at a depth of more than 1,500 meters. It is an ultra-deep-water offshore project.
Morello’s direct client for this project was Samsung Heavy Industries, and in this case we collaborated with the project engineer for the development of a topside structure. Morello ATEX carts are used on a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that extracts and stores millions of barrels of crude oil.
|Object||The rotor of a large generator weighing 28 tons needed to be periodically extracted for maintenance operations on an FPSO vessel. The client calls the Morello cart a “rotor extractor”|
|Handling||The rotor must be extracted to a height of 4 m, lowered to 3 m to avoid contact with other equipment and then transferred to a different position on the FPSO vessel|
|Work area||Dangerous offshore area exposed to the risk of explosion, requiring ATEX/IECEx certification|
|Space||On an FPSO, a floating platform in the middle of the ocean, with very little available space and very tight maneuvering angles|
|Weather conditions||The Morello cart will be used outdoors all year round and in all weather conditions. It will be exposed to the effects of salt in the open sea and must be able to handle the rolling and pitching of the vessel|
|Air quality||Sea air, saline environment with aggressive weather conditions|
|Floor conditions||The surface of the FPSO vessel is not designed to support very heavy loads, therefore, taking into account the roll and pitch, the weight must be distributed in a stable and dynamically balanced manner. The floor will often be wet, making it necessary to control the risk of slipping during rolling and pitching|
|Position and assistance||Given the location in the middle of the ocean, the Morello cart must be among the most reliable heavy-duty motorized carts in existence. Breakdowns will be difficult to repair since Morello technicians cannot be available 24/7 on-board the platform|
|Means||OMNI heavy-duty cart with electric motors. Only IP-certified electric components were used, made primarily of stainless steel and with C5-M certified coating|
|Steering||To ensure efficient navigation in tight spaces, an OMNI cart with multidirectional steering was chosen, ensuring front and rear steering, 90° and diagonal steering, rotation on its own axis, etc.|
|Atex certification||The most difficult challenge! All the electric and mechanical parts, as well as the technical design, had to guarantee and be certified for a zero explosion risk. This required a complete revision of the machine’s specifications and components. Even the battery charger needed to be certified for use in explosive atmospheres|
|Mobility||To manage the effect of ground pressure and avoid overloading in each single point, dynamic acceleration calculations were made to ensure even distribution in all possible sea conditions on a transoceanic vessel. This Morello cart has 3 shaftings for a total of 12 individually motorized wheels! To ensure optimal grip and adherence to the surface, all 12 wheels were individually motorized and the hydraulic suspensions ensure that all 12 wheels constantly adhere to the ground. Specific calculations were made to measure the level of friction between the vessel floor materials and the cart wheels in both dry and wet conditions|
|Loading platform||Cart equipped with a loading platform combined with a scissor lift to support a load of 28 tons that can be lifted to a height of more than 1 meter. The loading platform has rails on which the rotor is positioned by means of a winch. To ensure the stability of the platform during the loading procedure, the cart is fitted with 4 hydraulic stabilizers on the 4 corners|
|Motors||Brushless AC motors, no maintenance, no pollution|
|Operational control||The vehicle is driven using a radio-controlled unit with potentiometer. The operating software is proprietary-owned by Morello, used worldwide and developed and perfected over the years|
|Technical support||Where possible, maintenance-free components were used|
Potential failure risks were identified and reduced to a minimum
Emergency response procedures were identified in case of need
Spare parts were provided to ensure 100% efficiency. Vehicle diagnostics are available via the high-tech human-machine interface
Active remote assistance with on-board monitoring software
|Project Management||Morello project teams have many years of experience in the supply of technical solutions for the most demanding industries, for example the Oil & Gas, nuclear and chemical sectors, which require a high level of technical project management, accurate technical documentation and reliable support|