SEAFORCE HYPERBARIC – HYPERBARIC RECEPTION FACILITY (HRF)
Case Study – OCTOBER 2014
Hyperbaric Reception Facilities (HRF) are used to provide a permanent onshore
environment for the safe decompression of saturation divers who need to be evacuated from a saturation diving vessel. Previously the use of HRFs by the commercial diving industry has been considered an optional item to have as long as an actual Hyperbaric Evacuation System (HES) is provided. For example a Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat (SPHL) used in conjunction with a Life Support Package (LSP). However with the recent Guidance on Hyperbaric Reception Facility which was published by IMCA in relation to (IMCA D 053), HRFs are now considered to be a fundamental requirement to form part of an effective HES given the length of time required to safely decompress saturation divers.
The completed Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility
Seaforce approached SMP to provide a full turnkey solution which encompassed a 3D design proposal, full HRF system manufacture, export logistics, onsite installation, testing and certification. As this project was a large undertaking for both parties, the key to the success of this project was to clearly define and agree with the client the design brief and scope of work to be undertaken. SMP was able to use its considerable experience in designing and developing of commercial diving equipment to provide an innovative solution that would put us at the forefront in the marketplace for our technical design and engineering capability for hyperbaric reception facility.
A number of design considerations needed to be accounted for in the design proposal. Firstly despite the physical size of the equipment, this needed to be transportable for ease of mobility including the rapid mobilization and assembly at the shore side facility.
As the HRF needs to accommodate saturation divers who can potentially be working at depths of up to 300 metres, so the maximum working pressure of the system needed to be rated for use at 30 Bar which is the equivalent pressure for a depth of 300 metres.
Another key element of the design which needed to be carefully considered was the SPHL mating trunk which allows the docking of the lifeboat (SPHL) or alternate HRV to the transfer under pressure (TUP) chamber. The divers can then transfer via the TUP chamber into one of the two HRF chambers which needed to accommodate up to 18 divers.
Environmental control of the HRF environment is also an important consideration for the well being and comfort of the divers housed inside the HRF. The monitoring and control of the environmental control would need to be integrated into the life support control panel.
In order to control the system a fully enclosed safe working environment also needed to be created to house the life support technicians who would be operating the system. This integrated life support panel would need to be able to control all 3 locks on the system i.e. DDC1, DDC2 & TUP.
Fire safety in the form of a fire suppression and activation system also needed to be incorporated into the design with the fire deluge system nozzles being external to the chamber.
Finally gas distribution, electrical switchgear, medical monitoring area were also requirements for the system.
Read a report of the Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility Mated with Technip Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat .
View a Youtube Video of the Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility Mated with Technip Self Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat.
Read the technical specification of the Sea-Force Hyperbaric Reception Facility.