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Número de publicaciónUS20090159271 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 12/005,032
Fecha de publicación25 Jun 2009
Fecha de presentación21 Dic 2007
Fecha de prioridad21 Dic 2007
También publicado comoCA2709506A1, CA2709506C, CN102037206A, CN102037206B, US8839854, US9347265, US20110100622, US20140274549, WO2009081186A2, WO2009081186A3
Número de publicación005032, 12005032, US 2009/0159271 A1, US 2009/159271 A1, US 20090159271 A1, US 20090159271A1, US 2009159271 A1, US 2009159271A1, US-A1-20090159271, US-A1-2009159271, US2009/0159271A1, US2009/159271A1, US20090159271 A1, US20090159271A1, US2009159271 A1, US2009159271A1
InventoresBastiaan De Jong, Arthur William Braman, JR.
Cesionario originalBastiaan De Jong, Braman Jr Arthur William
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Top drive systems for wellbore & drilling operations
US 20090159271 A1
Resumen
A top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system in certain aspects including a main body, a motor (in certain aspects a salient pole motor), a motor apparatus, a motor shaft extending from the motor, a gear system driven by the motor shaft and interconnected with a drive shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the drive shaft, the gear system having a housing and a bearing retainer integral with the housing. This abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract which will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure and is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims, 37 C.F.R. 1.72(b).
Imágenes(11)
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Reclamaciones(20)
1. A top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system comprising
a motor and gearing system including a motor housing,
a motor within the motor housing, and
the motor housing comprising a top and a bottom and a plurality of rods interconnected between the top and bottom to connect the top and the bottom together.
2. A top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system comprising
a main body,
a top drive shaft,
a motor apparatus,
a motor shaft extending from the motor,
a gear system driven by the motor shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the top drive shaft, the gear system including a lower planetary carrier,
the gear system including gear apparatus enclosed within a gear housing,
a single bearing adjacent and in contact with the lower planetary carrier,
a bearing cartridge connected to the gear housing, and
the bearing cartridge abutting the single bearing and in contact with and holding the single bearing in position with respect to the lower planetary carrier.
3. The top drive system of claim 2 further comprising
the bearing cartridge including
an outer part secured to the gear housing, and
an inner part within the outer part, the inner part movable radially with respect to the outer part.
4. The top drive system of claim 3 wherein
the single bearing abuts the inner part and the inner part is movable radially with the single bearing.
5. The top drive system of claim 4 wherein the single bearing maintains the lower planetary carrier in radial position.
6. The top drive system of claim 2 further comprising
a shaft bearing around the top drive shaft, and
a bearing retainer portion on a lower part of the gear housing for retaining the shaft bearing.
7. The top drive system of claim 6 wherein the inner part and the single bearing are movable to inhibit interference in the horizontal plane of the single bearing with the shaft bearing.
8. The top drive system of claim 2 wherein the motor apparatus is a salient pole permanent magnet motor apparatus.
9. The top drive system of claim 3 further comprising
at least one seal on the inner part, the at least one seal projecting from the inner part and abutting the outer part, and
the at least one seal accommodates movement of the inner part with respect to the outer part.
10. The top drive system of claim 9 wherein
there are two spaced-apart seal recesses on the inner part, and
the at least one seal is two seals, one seal in each seal recess.
11. The top drive system of claim 2 wherein the bearing cartridge is releasably secured to a first part of the gear housing.
12. The top drive system of claim 11 wherein the first part is releasably secured to the gear housing.
13. A top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system comprising
a main body,
a top drive shaft,
a motor apparatus,
a motor shaft extending from the motor,
a gear system driven by the motor shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the top drive shaft, the gear system including a lower planetary carrier,
the gear system including gear apparatus enclosed within a gear housing,
a single bearing adjacent and in contact with the lower planetary carrier,
a bearing cartridge connected to the gear housing,
the bearing cartridge abutting the single bearing and in contact with and holding the single bearing in position with respect to the lower planetary carrier,
the bearing cartridge including
an outer part secured to the gear housing,
an inner part within the outer part, the inner part movable radially with respect to the outer part,
the single bearing abuts the inner part and the inner part is movable radially with the single bearing,
wherein the single bearing maintains the lower planetary carrier in radial position,
a shaft bearing around the top drive shaft,
a bearing retainer portion on a lower part of the gear housing for retaining the shaft bearing, and
wherein the inner part and the single bearing are movable to inhibit interference in the horizontal plane of the single bearing with the shaft bearing.
14. A method for facilitating rotation of a lower planetary carrier of a gear system of a top drive system, the top drive system comprising a motor and gearing system including a motor housing, a motor within the motor housing, and the motor housing comprising a top and a bottom and a plurality of rods interconnected between the top and bottom to connect the top and the bottom together, the method comprising
rotating the lower planetary carrier with respect to the single bearing, and
holding the single bearing in position with the bearing cartridge.
15. The top drive method of claim 14 wherein the top drive system includes the bearing cartridge with an outer part secured to the gear housing, and an inner part within the outer part, the inner part movable radially with respect to the outer part, wherein the single bearing abuts the inner part and the inner part is movable radially with the single bearing, the method further comprising
allowing the single bearing to move radially to an extent of possible radial movement of the inner part.
16. The method of claim 14 wherein the single bearing maintains the lower planetary carrier in radial position, the method further comprising
maintaining the lower planetary carrier in position with the single bearing.
17. The method of claim 14 wherein the top drive system includes a shaft bearing around the top drive shaft, and a bearing retainer portion on a lower part of the gear housing for retaining the shaft bearing, the method further comprising
retaining the shaft bearing in position with the bearing retainer portion.
18. The method of claim 14 wherein the inner part and the single bearing are movable to inhibit interference in the horizontal plane of the single bearing with the shaft bearing, the method further comprising
inhibiting interference in the horizontal plane between the single bearing and the shaft bearing.
19. The method of claim 15 wherein the top drive system includes at least one seal on the inner part, the at least one seal projecting from the inner part and abutting the outer part, the at least one seal accommodates movement of the inner part with respect to the outer part, the method further comprising
with the at least one seal accommodating movement of the inner part with respect to the outer part.
20. A method for inhibiting interference in the horizontal plane between a single bearing in a gear housing adjacent a lower planetary carrier of a gear system of a top drive system and a shaft bearing around a top drive shaft of the top drive system, the top drive system comprising a main body, a top drive shaft, a motor apparatus, a motor shaft extending from the motor, a gear system driven by the motor shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the top drive shaft, the gear system including a lower planetary carrier, the gear system including gear apparatus enclosed within a gear housing, a single bearing adjacent and in contact with the lower planetary carrier, a bearing cartridge connected to the gear housing, and the bearing cartridge abutting the single bearing and in contact with and holding the single bearing in position with respect to the lower planetary carrier, the method comprising
allowing the single bearing to move radially with respect to the gear housing in a controlled manner.
Descripción
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    This invention is directed to top drive systems; parts thereof; and methods of their use.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of Related Art
  • [0004]
    The prior art discloses a variety of top drive systems; for example, and not by way of limitation, the following U.S. patent application and U.S. patents present exemplary top drive systems and components thereof: U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,458,768; 4,589,503; 4,753,300; 4,800,968; 4,807,890; 4,813,493; 4,872,577; 4,878,546; 4,984,641; 5,433,279; 6,007,105; 6,276,450; 6,536,520; 6,679,333; 6,705,405; 6,913,096; 6,923,254; 7,186,686; and 7,270,189—these patents all incorporated fully herein for all purposes.
  • [0005]
    Certain typical prior art top drive drilling systems have a derrick supporting a top drive which rotates tubulars, e.g., drill pipe. The top drive is supported from a traveling block beneath a crown block. A drawworks on a rig floor raises and lowers the top drive. The top drive moves on a guide track.
  • [0006]
    Certain prior art systems include a top drive with a gear system with a lower or second stage planetary carrier which rotates with respect to multiple (e.g. two) vertically spaced-apart bearings which are secured in place and which do not float radially (or axially).
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    The present invention, in certain aspects, provides a top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system including: a main body; a motor apparatus (e.g. one motor, two or more spaced-apart motors; a plurality of motors, two, three, four or more stacked one on the other and providing power in series; or a plurality of motors providing power in parallel; and, e.g., to drive a single gear of a top drive gear system); a drive shaft; a gear system interconnected with the motor for driving the drive shaft; the gear system having a housing which in one aspect has an integral bearing retainer for retaining in position bearings below the gear system.
  • [0008]
    In one aspect, the present invention discloses a top drive system with a motor having a housing that includes top and bottom parts connected together by tie rods.
  • [0009]
    Accordingly, the present invention includes features and advantages which are believed to enable it to advance top drive and top drive motor and gear apparatus technology. Characteristics and advantages of the present invention described above and additional features and benefits will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments and referring to the accompanying drawings.
  • [0010]
    Certain embodiments of this invention are not limited to any particular individual feature disclosed here, but include combinations of them distinguished from the prior art in their structures, functions, and/or results achieved. Features of the invention have been broadly described so that the detailed descriptions that follow may be better understood, and in order that the contributions of this invention to the arts may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional aspects of the invention described below and which may be included in the subject matter of the claims to this invention. Those skilled in the art who have the benefit of this invention, its teachings, and suggestions will appreciate that the conceptions of this disclosure may be used as a creative basis for designing other structures, methods and systems for carrying out and practicing the present invention. The claims of this invention are to be read to include any legally equivalent devices or methods which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
  • [0011]
    What follows are some of, but not all, the objects of this invention. In addition to the specific objects stated below for at least certain preferred embodiments of the invention, there are other objects and purposes which will be readily apparent to one of skill in this art who has the benefit of this invention's teachings and disclosures. It is, therefore, an object of at least certain preferred embodiments of the present invention to provide:
  • [0012]
    New, useful, unique, efficient, non-obvious top drive systems, components and parts thereof, and methods of their use; and
  • [0013]
    Such systems with a gear system with a removable bearing cartridge;
  • [0014]
    Such systems with a movable bearing holder permitting radial movement of a bearing adjacent a planetary carrier, and, in one aspect, such systems with a single bearing adjacent a planetary carrier;
  • [0015]
    Such systems with a movable gear system bearing movable radially which does not interfere in a horizontal plane with a system shaft bearing; and
  • [0016]
    Such a system with a lower part of a gear housing for retaining a system shaft bearing.
  • [0017]
    The present invention recognizes and addresses the problems and needs in this area and provides a solution to those problems and a satisfactory meeting of those needs in its various possible embodiments and equivalents thereof. To one of skill in this art who has the benefits of this invention's realizations, teachings, disclosures, and suggestions, various purposes and advantages will be appreciated from the following description of preferred embodiments, given for the purpose of disclosure, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The detail in these descriptions is not intended to thwart this patent's object to claim this invention no matter how others may later attempt to disguise it by variations in form or additions of further improvements.
  • [0018]
    The Abstract that is part hereof is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and scientists, engineers, researchers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent terms or legal terms of phraseology to determine quickly from a cursory inspection or review the nature and general area of the disclosure of this invention. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention, which is done by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting of the scope of the invention in any way.
  • [0019]
    It will be understood that the various embodiments of the present invention may include one, some, or all of the disclosed, described, and/or enumerated improvements and/or technical advantages and/or elements in claims to this invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0020]
    A more particular description of embodiments of the invention briefly summarized above may be had by references to the embodiments which are shown in the drawings which form a part of this specification. These drawings illustrate certain preferred embodiments and are not to be used to improperly limit the scope of the invention which may have other equally effective or equivalent embodiments.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 1A is a back view of a top drive system according to the present invention.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 1B is a side view of the top drive system of FIG. 1A.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 1C is a front view of the top drive system of FIG. 1A.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 1D is a cross-section view along line 1D-1D of FIG. 1C.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a top drive system according to the present invention with a motor/gear apparatus according to the present invention.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 2B is a partially exploded view of the top drive system and motor/gear apparatus shown in FIG. 2A.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 2C is a cross-section view of the system of FIG. 2A.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 2D is a side view of the system of FIG. 2A.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 2E is a front view of the system of FIG. 2A.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 3 is a rear view of a top drive system of according to the present invention.
  • [0031]
    FIG. 4A is a perspective view of a gear apparatus for a top drive system according to the present invention.
  • [0032]
    FIG. 4B is a side view partially in cross-section of the apparatus of FIG. 4A (along line 4B-4B of FIG. 4C).
  • [0033]
    FIG. 4C is a top of the apparatus of FIG. 4A.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 4D is a bottom view of the apparatus of FIG. 4A with part in cross-section (along line 4D-4D of FIG. 4B).
  • [0035]
    FIG. 4E is an enlargement of part of the apparatus of FIG. 4B.
  • [0036]
    Presently preferred embodiments of the invention are shown in the above-identified figures and described in detail below. Various aspects and embodiments of the invention are described below are some are set out in the dependent claims. Any combination of aspects and/or features described below or shown in the dependent claims can be used except where such aspects and/or features are mutually exclusive. It should be understood that the appended drawings and description herein are of preferred embodiments and are not intended to limit the invention or the appended claims. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. In showing and describing the preferred embodiments, like or identical reference numerals are used to identify common or similar elements. The figures are not necessarily to scale and certain features and certain views of the figures may be shown exaggerated in scale or in schematic in the interest of clarity and conciseness.
  • [0037]
    As used herein and throughout all the various portions (and headings) of this patent, the terms “invention”, “present invention” and variations thereof mean one or more embodiment, and are not intended to mean the claimed invention of any particular appended claim(s) or all of the appended claims. Accordingly, the subject or topic of each such reference is not automatically or necessarily part of, or required by, any particular claim(s) merely because of such reference.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0038]
    FIGS. 1A-1D illustrate a top drive system 10 according to the present invention which has a plurality of components including: a gooseneck 11, a bonnet 12, brakes 13, a motor 14, a gear system 15, a drive shaft 16, a bearing system 17, a swivel body 18, a pipe handler lock assembly 19, a link support 22, a swivel ring 23 and a load (or landing) collar 29. The components can be collectively suspended in a typical derrick from a typical traveling block for up and down movement in the derrick.
  • [0039]
    During certain operations, the motor 14 within a housing 14 a rotates the drive shaft which, in turn, rotates a drillstring and a drill bit to produce an earth bore. Fluid pumped into the top drive system through the gooseneck 11 passes through the drive shaft 16, a drillstring, and a drill bit and enters the bottom of an earth bore.
  • [0040]
    In certain aspects, the motor housing 14 a (e.g. made of sheet metal or aluminum) includes a series of tie rods 14 b which are secured to a top member 14 c and a bottom member 14 d to strengthen the housing 14 a. In certain particular aspects the housing 14 a is made of metal such as aluminum or steel. In one particular aspect the motor 14 is a motor as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,188,686. In another particular aspect the motor 14 (as may be any motor herein) is a salient pole permanent magnet motor.
  • [0041]
    The gear system 15 is located above a bearing retainer 21 which serves to maintain the drive shaft 16 in place (radially and axially) e.g. during drilling, and houses an upper race of a thrust bearing system 16 b. As shown in FIG. 1D, the bearing retainer is a separate item secured to and below the housing of the gear system 15. As discussed in detail below, in one embodiment of the present invention, a bearing retainer is made integral with the gear system housing. A load flange 16 a of the drive shaft 16 moves on bearings 16 c.
  • [0042]
    An encoder/resolver 24 (see FIG. 1D) measures the position and speed of the motor 14 and provides a signal indicative of the position of the drive shaft 16. With certain salient pole motors, the encoder/resolver 24 can be deleted since motor controls for salient pole permanent magnet motors indicate the position of the rotor of the motor and, therefore, the position of the drive shaft 16 (e.g., the position of the drive shaft during tubular connection make-up and break-out and during drilling). Certain typical salient pole motors (with embedded tangential or radial rotor magnets) have relatively higher inductance than non-salient motors and provide smoother starting from a standstill.
  • [0043]
    The top drive system 10 has a motor control system 20 (shown schematically, FIG. 1A) which, in certain aspects, includes an output reactor 20 a (also called an “inductor”) which insures efficient operation by increasing the inductance applied to the motor. This inductor is used with certain low inductance motors. In other aspects, by using a relatively high inductance motor, e.g. a relatively high inductance salient pole motor, the inductor 20 a is eliminated since the high inductance motor applies a sufficient amount of inductance.
  • [0044]
    FIG. 2A-2D shows a top drive system 30 according to the present invention which, in some aspects, is like the system 10, FIG. 1A (and like numerals indicate like parts). A motor 14 m (like any of the motors 14) is above a gear system 25 (instead of the gear system 15) has a housing 14 h.
  • [0045]
    Parts of the housing 14 h including sides 14 s, top 14 t, and bottom 14 v following assembly are not connected together by tie rods (as are housing parts in the top drive of FIG. 1A). In one aspect the housing 14 h is made of steel and is sufficiently strong so that a portion of it is threaded to threadedly connect the bonnet 12 thereto. A steel housing motor can be relatively larger than a motor with a weaker (e.g. aluminum) housing. This novel elimination of tie rods allows a motor of a greater diameter (larger size) to be used in a similar space. This relatively larger diameter means that the motor provides relatively greater horsepower with greater efficiency.
  • [0046]
    A lower portion 48 of a gear housing 46 serves as a bearing retainer to retain bearing 44. FIGS. 2A-2D are exploded views or views that show parts not assembled together. When assembled, the bearing 44 is within a bearing retainer 48. The bearing retainer, a lower portion 48 of the housing 46 is releasably secured to the housing 46, e.g. with bolts.
  • [0047]
    FIG. 3 shows a top drive system 50 (partially exploded view) according to the present invention. A motor 60 has a brake system 54 and an output shaft 56. The output shaft 56 is connected to a gear system 100. The gear system 100 driven by the motor 60, drives a main drive shaft 70. Bearings 58 (thrust bearings) are retained in place by a bearing retainer 80 which is bolted to or integral with the gear system 100. An attachment frame 90 (a “swivel body”) provides for the connection of a torque track for conducting torque from the system to the torque track. The swivel body 90 is, typically, suspended from a block in the derrick by bails.
  • [0048]
    FIGS. 4A-4D show the gear system 100 of the top drive system 50. A housing 102 has a motor mounting surface 104 on which the motor is positioned. A part 107 is releasably secured to the housing with bolts 107 b. Gear reducer system 110 within the housing 102 includes a gear reducer 111 and a bearing 116. The gear reducer system 110 includes a first stage carrier 112; a second stage sun pinion 113; a second stage carrier 114; and a bearing cartridge 115. The cartridge 115 with the bearing 117 is held in place by bolts 115 b. Removing the bolts 107 b and the bolts 115 b permits removal of the cartridge 115 for bearing replacement, in one aspect, with a single bearing 117.
  • [0049]
    There are three first stage planetary gears (not shown). The gear box has a bottom surface 130 (see FIG. 4D). A temperature gauge 134 can be inserted in a tapped thread portion 132. A tip of the gauge sits in the oil flow path and dynamically measures the temperature of the oil flow.
  • [0050]
    A lower portion 120 part 107 of the of the housing 102 serves as a bearing retainer to retain in place the bearing 44. An inline flow meter 121 which measures oil flow to the housing has an oil inlet port 122. Magnetic plugs 123 are positioned in holes 124 to attract and hold metal shavings and debris. An air breather 125 is in communication with the interior of the housing 120.
  • [0051]
    As shown in FIGS. 4B and 4E, the cartridge 115 has a part 115 b which is adjacent a part 115 a. The part 115 a includes an upper part 115 g and a side 115 f. The part 115 b is encompassed within structure of the part 115 b (upper part 115 g and side 115 f) and a top surface 107 a of the part 107. The part 115 a rests on a top surface 107 b of the part 107 and against a side 107 c of the part 107. In one aspect, the top surface 107 a is lower than top surface 107 b.
  • [0052]
    Due to the tolerances between the part 115 b and the part 115 a some slight movement is possible of the part 115 b with respect to the part 115 a. An interface between the parts 115 b and 115 a is sealed by one or more seals—two o-ring seals 115 c are shown in corresponding recesses 115 d in the part 115 b. These seals are sized, configured, and positioned to accommodate the movement of the part 115 b with respect to the part 115 a.
  • [0053]
    The bearing 117 is held in place by a holder 114 c bolted to the second stage carrier 114 and rests partially on a ledge 115 e of the part 115 b and under a shoulder 114 d of the carrier 114. The bearing 117 can move radially (and/or axially) the extent that the part 115 b can move radially (and/or axially), thus permitting the bearing 117 when it is movable radially to “float” horizontally. This inhibits interference in the horizontal plane between the bearing 117 and the bearing 44 (which can cause excessive bearing wear and premature failure). The bearing 117 does not float so much that the second state carrier moves too far axially, i.e., so far that splines 114 s on the second stage carrier 114 would not properly mesh with corresponding splines on the main shaft of the motor.
  • [0054]
    The present invention, therefore, provides in some, but not in necessarily all, embodiments a top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system including: a main body; a motor apparatus; a main shaft extending from the main body, the main shaft having a top end and a bottom end, the main shaft having a main shaft flow bore therethrough from top to bottom through which drilling fluid is flowable; a quill connected to and around the main shaft; and, in one aspect, the quill is part of a gearbox of a gear system; a gear system interconnected with the quill, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the quill and thereby drives the main shaft, the main shaft passing through the gear system; upper components connected to the main body above the top end of the main shaft.
  • [0055]
    The present invention, therefore, provides in some, but not in necessarily all, embodiments a top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system including a motor and gearing system including a motor housing, a motor within the motor housing, and the motor housing comprising a top and a bottom and a plurality of rods interconnected between the top and bottom to connect the top and the bottom together.
  • [0056]
    The present invention, therefore, provides in some, but not in necessarily all, embodiments a top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system including: a main body; a top drive shaft; a motor apparatus; a motor shaft extending from the motor; a gear system driven by the motor shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the top drive shaft, the gear system including a lower planetary carrier; the gear system including gear apparatus enclosed within a gear housing; a single bearing adjacent and in contact with the lower planetary carrier; a bearing cartridge connected to the gear housing; and the bearing cartridge abutting the single bearing and in contact with and holding the single bearing in position with respect to the lower planetary carrier. Such a system may have one or some, in any possible combination, of the following: the bearing cartridge including an outer part secured to the gear housing, and an inner part within the outer part, the inner part movable radially with respect to the outer part; the single bearing abuts the inner part and the inner part is movable radially with the single bearing; the single bearing maintains the lower planetary carrier in radial position; a shaft bearing around the top drive shaft, and a bearing retainer portion on a lower part of the gear housing for retaining the shaft bearing; wherein the inner part and the single bearing are movable to inhibit interference in the horizontal plane of the single bearing with the shaft bearing; wherein the motor apparatus is a salient pole permanent magnet motor apparatus; at least one seal on the inner part, the at least one seal projecting from the inner part and abutting the outer part, and the at least one seal accommodates movement of the inner part with respect to the outer part; there are two spaced-apart seal recesses on the inner part, and the at least one seal is two seals, one seal in each seal recess; wherein the bearing cartridge is releasably secured to a first part of the gear housing; and/or wherein the first part is releasably secured to the gear housing.
  • [0057]
    The present invention, therefore, provides in some, but not in necessarily all, embodiments a top drive system for wellbore operations, the top drive system including: a main body; a top drive shaft; a motor apparatus; a motor shaft extending from the motor; a gear system driven by the motor shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the top drive shaft, the gear system including a lower planetary carrier; the gear system including gear apparatus enclosed within a gear housing; a single bearing adjacent and in contact with the lower planetary carrier; a bearing cartridge connected to the gear housing; the bearing cartridge abutting the single bearing and in contact with and holding the single bearing in position with respect to the lower planetary carrier; the bearing cartridge including an outer part secured to the gear housing; an inner part within the outer part, the inner part movable radially with respect to the outer part; the single bearing abuts the inner part and the inner part is movable radially with the single bearing; wherein the single bearing maintains the lower planetary carrier in radial position; a shaft bearing around the top drive shaft; a bearing retainer portion on a lower part of the gear housing for retaining the shaft bearing; and wherein the inner part and the single bearing are movable to inhibit interference in the horizontal plane of the single bearing with the shaft bearing.
  • [0058]
    The present invention, therefore, provides in some, but not in necessarily all, embodiments a method for facilitating rotation of a lower planetary carrier of a gear system of a top drive system, the top drive system having a motor and gearing system including a motor housing, a motor within the motor housing, and the motor housing being a top and a bottom and a plurality of rods interconnected between the top and bottom to connect the top and the bottom together, the method including: rotating the lower planetary carrier with respect to the single bearing, and holding the single bearing in position with the bearing cartridge. Such a method may have one or some, in any possible combination, of the following: the bearing cartridge including an outer part secured to the gear housing, and an inner part within the outer part, the inner part movable radially with respect to the outer part, wherein the single bearing abuts the inner part and the inner part is movable radially with the single bearing, the method further including allowing the single bearing to move radially to an extent of possible radial movement of the inner part; wherein the single bearing maintains the lower planetary carrier in radial position, the method further including maintaining the lower planetary carrier in position with the single bearing; the top drive system having a shaft bearing around the top drive shaft, and a bearing retainer portion on a lower part of the gear housing for retaining the shaft bearing, the method further including retaining the shaft bearing in position with the bearing retainer portion; wherein the inner part and the single bearing are movable to inhibit interference in the horizontal plane of the single bearing with the shaft bearing, the method further including inhibiting interference in the horizontal plane between the single bearing and the shaft bearing; and/or the top drive system having at least one seal on the inner part, the at least one seal projecting from the inner part and abutting the outer part, the at least one seal accommodates movement of the inner part with respect to the outer part, the method further including with the at least one seal accommodating movement of the inner part with respect to the outer part.
  • [0059]
    The present invention, therefore, provides in some, but not in necessarily all, embodiments a method for inhibiting interference in the horizontal plane between a single bearing in a gear housing adjacent a lower planetary carrier of a gear system of a top drive system and a shaft bearing around a top drive shaft of the top drive system, the top drive system having a main body, a top drive shaft, a motor apparatus, a motor shaft extending from the motor, a gear system driven by the motor shaft, the gear system driven by the motor apparatus so that driving the gear system drives the top drive shaft, the gear system including a lower planetary carrier, the gear system including gear apparatus enclosed within a gear housing, a single bearing adjacent and in contact with the lower planetary carrier, a bearing cartridge connected to the gear housing, and the bearing cartridge abutting the single bearing and in contact with and holding the single bearing in position with respect to the lower planetary carrier, the method including allowing the single bearing to move radially with respect to the gear housing in a controlled manner.
  • [0060]
    In conclusion, therefore, it is seen that the present invention and the embodiments disclosed herein and those covered by the appended claims are well adapted to carry out the objectives and obtain the ends set forth. Certain changes can be made in the subject matter without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention. It is realized that changes are possible within the scope of this invention and it is further intended that each element or step recited in any of the following claims is to be understood as referring to the step literally and/or to all equivalent elements or steps. The following claims are intended to cover the invention as broadly as legally possible in whatever form it may be utilized. The invention claimed herein is new and novel in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 102 and satisfies the conditions for patentability in § 102. The invention claimed herein is not obvious in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 103 and satisfies the conditions for patentability in § 103. This specification is in accordance with the requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112. The inventors may rely on the Doctrine of Equivalents to determine and assess the scope of their invention and of the claims that follow as they may pertain to apparatus not materially departing from, but outside of, the literal scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims. All patents and applications identified herein are incorporated fully herein for all purposes. What follows are some of the claims for some of the embodiments and aspects of the present invention, but these claims are not necessarily meant to be a complete listing of nor exhaustive of every possible aspect and embodiment of the invention. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and not only structural equivalents, but also equivalent structures. Thus, although a nail and a screw may not be structural equivalents in that a nail employs a cylindrical surface to secure wooden parts together, whereas a screw employs a helical surface, in the environment of fastening wooden parts, a nail and a screw may be equivalent structures. It is the express intention of the applicant not to invoke 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 6 for any limitations of any of the claims herein, except for those in which the claim expressly uses the words ‘means for’ together with an associated function.
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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.166/244.1, 166/77.1
Clasificación internacionalE21B19/22
Clasificación cooperativaF16H1/28, E21B3/02
Clasificación europeaE21B3/02
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
21 Dic 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: NATIONAL OILWELL VARCO L.P.,TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DE JONG, BASTIAAN;BRAMAN, ARTHUR WILLIAM, JR.;REEL/FRAME:020342/0635
Effective date: 20071220