The paper presents the conception of nodules feeder to vertical transport pipeline with main transport pumps located on the mining ship board. The introduction contains the calculation of the main parameters of hydraulic transport using the feeder including determination of the total efficiency and energy consumption of the nodules transport. The next part then describes the principle of the feeder for nodules transport and pump station on the ship including description of the main technology elements.


The nodules at the ocean bottom contain a number of metals, therefore, the exploitation and subsequent processing thereof will become actual in the near future. For this reason, it is required to deal with the method of their exploitation from the ocean bottom in more details. The nodules exploitation comprises two main parts, in particular, collection thereof from the ocean bottom and transport thereof to the level. The most suitable method of the nodules transport to the level seems to be the hydraulic transport utilizing a feeder with main transport pumps installed on a logging ship. This method is the best due to high efficiency, as well as due to installation of minimum quantity of complex equipment undersea. The performance efficiency of the feeder itself is almost 100%, and therefore, the performance efficiency of the entire hydraulic nodules transport is given only by the efficiency of the high-pressure transport pumps, which can either be centrifugal (efficiency as much as 80%) or plunger (efficiency over 90%). All high-output pumps and engines are installed on the mining ship board, thus easily accessible for the case of maintenance or eventual repairs. Disadvantages of this solution include the need for installation to two pipeline routes to the very bottom of the ocean and installation of the feeder at the ocean bottom.

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