Subsea 7 has been granted a patent for a modular subsea fluid storage unit with a variable-volume inner tank and enhanced thermal insulation. The design features a flexible peripheral wall, floodable gap, and upper housing part to trap any leaked fluids. The innovative system aims to improve subsea fluid storage efficiency. GlobalData’s report on Subsea 7 gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Subsea 7, Ship loading/unloading cableways was a key innovation area identified from patents. Subsea 7's grant share as of February 2024 was 57%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Modular subsea fluid storage unit with variable-volume inner tank

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Subsea 7 SA

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11891241B2) discloses a subsea fluid storage unit designed with a variable-volume inner tank that features a rigid top panel and a peripheral wall that can extend and retract vertically. The unit includes an upper housing part that encloses the inner tank and a floodable gap between the peripheral wall and a surrounding side wall. The design allows for seawater inlet/outlet communication with the floodable gap, while a skirt of the upper housing part extends parallel to the side wall, with the rigid top panel sandwiched between the upper housing part and the side wall.

Furthermore, the patent claims detail additional features such as a leakage sensor for detecting leaked fluid, a drainage system for managing leaked fluid, and a thermal insulation system for the side wall and base of the unit. The design also incorporates subsea-releasable fastenings for tension between the inner tank and side wall, as well as the option for coupling multiple units together for fluid communication. Overall, the patent outlines a comprehensive and innovative subsea fluid storage unit with various functionalities and structural elements aimed at enhancing efficiency and safety in subsea operations.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.