(19)
(11)EP 3 146 136 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
20.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/47

(21)Application number: 15796002.2

(22)Date of filing:  20.05.2015
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
E21B 7/00(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/031752
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/179504 (26.11.2015 Gazette  2015/47)

(54)

WIRELINE SYSTEM AND METHODS OF USING SAME

DRAHTGEBUNDENES SYSTEM UND VERFAHREN ZUR VERWENDUNG DAVON

SYSTÈME DE CÂBLE MÉTALLIQUE ET SES PROCÉDÉS D'UTILISATION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 20.05.2014 US 201462000725 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
29.03.2017 Bulletin 2017/13

(60)Divisional application:
19191917.4

(73)Proprietor: Longyear TM, Inc.
Salt Lake City, UT 84104 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • UPMEIER, Thorsten
    36110 Schlitz (DE)
  • KRUSE, Christof
    57482 Wenden (DE)
  • WREDE, Stefan
    57399 Kirchhundem (DE)
  • MAENNEL, Rene
    08485 Schönbrunn (DE)

(74)Representative: Walker, Stephen 
Lincoln IP 9 Victoria Street
Aberdeen Aberdeenshire AB10 1XB
Aberdeen Aberdeenshire AB10 1XB (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
GB-A- 2 071 599
US-A- 6 003 598
US-A1- 2008 196 904
US-A1- 2012 305 317
US-B1- 6 634 436
US-A- 4 003 435
US-A1- 2008 196 904
US-A1- 2010 300 757
US-A1- 2014 041 447
US-B2- 7 290 621
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD



    [0001] This invention relates to a wireline system for use during drilling operations.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Conventional drilling systems that utilize wireline cables include wireline assemblies that are positioned either behind the mast of the drilling system or to the side of the mast (for example, when working at variable heights). These systems provide poor visibility of the wireline system and generally do not adequately prevent twisting of the wireline cable during operation. Often, conventional wireline drilling systems are difficult to service in the field and lack desired reliability. An example of a drilling system known in the art, which comprises the features of the preamble of claim 1, is disclosed in US patent number US 6 003 598 A.

    [0003] Thus, there is a need in the pertinent art for wireline drilling systems and methods that provide one or more of improved wireline visibility, improved wireline control, improved serviceability, and improved reliability.

    SUMMARY



    [0004] In one aspect, there is provided a wireline system for use on a drill rig as defined by claim 1. Optional features of the wireline system are defined in claims 2 to 15.

    [0005] In a further aspect, there is provided a drilling system for conducting drilling operations within a drilling formation, as defined by claim 16. An optional feature of the drilling system is defined in claim 17.

    [0006] Advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

    DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



    [0007] These and other features of the preferred embodiments of the invention will become more apparent in the detailed description in which reference is made to the appended drawings wherein:

    Figure 1A shows a perspective view of a drill rig comprising an exemplary drilling system as disclosed herein. Figure 1B shows a left side view of the drill rig of Figure 1A. Figure 1C shows a front view of the drill rig of Figure 1A.

    Figure 2 shows a top view of a drill rig comprising an exemplary drilling system with a mast in a vertical position, as disclosed herein.

    Figure 3 is a perspective view of a safety cage and control panel of an exemplary drilling system, as disclosed herein.

    Figure 4 is a perspective view of an exemplary spooling assembly as disclosed herein.

    Figure 5 is an isolated perspective view of an exemplary safety cage and wireline assembly, showing a secondary door for accessing the wireline assembly.

    Figures 6A-6B provide various perspective views of an exemplary roller assembly as disclosed herein.

    Figure 7A is a cross-sectional perspective view of an exemplary roller assembly as disclosed herein. Figures 7B-7D are various perspective views of portions of the roller assembly of Figure 7A. Figure 7B is an end view of the roller assembly of Figure 7A. Figure 7C is an isolated perspective view of a drilling cable positioned within a groove defined by a sheave of the roller assembly, as disclosed herein. Figure 7D is an isolated cross-sectional view of bearings that surround a connector of the roller assembly, as disclosed herein.

    Figure 8 is a perspective view of an exemplary wireline assembly as disclosed herein.

    Figures 9-10 are cross-sectional views of an exemplary wireline assembly as disclosed herein. Figure 9 depicts the wireline assembly with a motor in place, whereas Figure 10 does not depict the motor.

    Figure 11 is an isolated side view of the drum of an exemplary wireline assembly, as disclosed herein.

    Figure 12 is a perspective view of an exemplary tilting sled as disclosed herein, holding a drill head.

    Figure 13 is a perspective view of an exemplary tilting sled as disclosed herein, holding a drill head at a fully tilted position.

    Figure 14 is an isolated perspective view of an exemplary tilting sled as disclosed herein.

    Figure 15 is a close-up perspective view of a rear portion of an exemplary tilting sled as disclosed herein.

    Figure 16 is an isolated view of an exemplary hydraulic cylinder and an exemplary locking pin of a tilting sled, as disclosed herein.

    Figure 17 is a close-up perspective view depicting exemplary rollers, guiding rails, and chain/cable connections of a tilting sled, as disclosed herein.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0008] The present invention can be understood more readily by reference to the following detailed description, examples, drawings, and claims, and their previous and following description. However, before the present devices, systems, and/or methods are disclosed and described, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the specific devices, systems, and/or methods disclosed unless otherwise specified, as such can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular aspects only and is not intended to be limiting.

    [0009] The following description of the invention is provided as an enabling teaching of the invention in its best, currently known embodiment. To this end, those skilled in the relevant art will recognize and appreciate that many changes can be made to the various aspects of the invention described herein, while still obtaining the beneficial results of the present invention. It will also be apparent that some of the desired benefits of the present invention can be obtained by selecting some of the features of the present invention without utilizing other features. Accordingly, those who work in the art will recognize that many modifications and adaptations to the present invention are possible and can even be desirable in certain circumstances and are a part of the present invention. Thus, the following description is provided as illustrative of the principles of the present invention and not in limitation thereof.

    [0010] As used throughout, the singular forms "a," "an" and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to "a roller" can include two or more such rollers unless the context indicates otherwise.

    [0011] Ranges can be expressed herein as from "about" one particular value, and/or to "about" another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another aspect includes from the one particular value and/or to the other particular value. Similarly, when values are expressed as approximations, by use of the antecedent "about," it will be understood that the particular value forms another aspect. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint, and independently of the other endpoint.

    [0012] As used herein, the terms "optional" or "optionally" mean that the subsequently described event or circumstance may or may not occur, and that the description includes instances where said event or circumstance occurs and instances where it does not.

    [0013] The word "or" as used herein means any one member of a particular list and also includes any combination of members of that list.

    [0014] Described herein with reference to Figures 1A-11 is a wireline system 100 for use on a drill rig 200. The drill rig 200 can comprise a drilling system 205, which can comprise a mast 210, a drill string 220, and a drill head 230 configured to impart rotation to the drill string within a drilling formation. The mast 210 can have a longitudinal axis 212 and opposed first and second ends 214, 216, with the first end of the mast being configured for positioning proximate the drilling formation. The drill head 230 can be optionally be configured for selective movement relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210. The drill rig 200 can have a first transverse axis 202 and a second transverse axis 204 extending perpendicularly relative to first transverse axis. When the mast 210 is positioned in a vertical position, as shown in Figure 2, it is contemplated that the first and second transverse axes 202, 204 can be substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast. The first transverse axis 202 divides the drill rig 200 into a front portion 206 and a back portion 208, and the second transverse axis 204 extends from the front portion of the drill rig to the back portion of the drill rig. In exemplary aspects, the wireline system 100 can comprise a wireline assembly 10 and a roller assembly 20.

    [0015] In operation, the drilling system 205 can rotate and feed the drill string into the drilling formation. The drilling system 205 can further comprise a foot clamp 207 as is conventionally known in the art. Optionally, the foot clamp 207 can be provided in association with a breaker and/or wrench. In exemplary aspects, the drilling system 205 can comprise a control panel 209 positioned in the front portion 206 of the drill rig 200, from which drilling functions are controlled. As further disclosed herein, the rotary drill head 230, the foot clamp 207 and other moving parts of the drilling system 205 can be secured within a safety cage 150 during drilling. It is contemplated that the drilling system 205 can optionally switch into lower power (rpm, rotation, feed) settings during changing of a drill rod, when at least one door 152 of the safety cage 150 is open. During exploratory drilling operations, the wireline system 100 disclosed herein can be configured to selectively lower and lift up a core barrel relative to the drilling formation using a cable 140. As is conventional in the art, the core barrel can collect a core sample of the drilling formation for geological analysis. In exemplary aspects, the roller assembly 20 can be operatively associated with the wireline assembly 10 and, optionally, can be crown block mounted on an upper portion of the mast 210. As further disclosed herein, the wireline system 100 can generally be positioned within the front portion 206 of the drill rig 200, thereby improving the visibility of the wireline system from the perspective of a drill operator positioned proximate the control panel 209. During deep drilling operations, it is contemplated that the wireline system 100 can be configured to run at a high speed and in a precise manner.

    [0016] In one aspect, the wireline assembly 10 of the wireline system 100 can be operatively secured to the mast 210 at a first axial location 12 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast. In this aspect, the first axial location 12 can be proximate the first end 214 of the drill mast 210. In exemplary aspects, the wireline assembly 10 can comprise a drum 14 configured for engagement with the drilling cable 140.

    [0017] In another aspect, the roller assembly 20 of the wireline system 100 can be operatively secured to the mast 210 at a second axial location 22 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210. In this aspect, the second axial location 22 can be positioned between the first axial location 12 and the second end 216 of the mast 210 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast. In operation, the roller assembly 20 can be configured for engagement with the drilling cable 140. In exemplary aspects, the wireline assembly 10 and the roller assembly 20 can be positioned within the front portion 206 of the drill rig 200, and at least a portion of the wireline assembly and at least a portion of the roller assembly can be axially spaced from the mast 210 relative to the second transverse axis 204.

    [0018] In operation, it is contemplated that the drill head 230 can positioned at a top position relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210. It is further contemplated that, when the drill head 230 is positioned at the top position, the roller assembly 20 can be positioned between the wireline assembly 10 and the drill head 230 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210.

    [0019] In exemplary aspects, at least a portion of the wireline assembly 10 and at least a portion of the roller assembly 20 can be axially spaced from the mast 210 and the drill head 230 in either direction relative to the first transverse axis 202, provided at least a portion of the wireline assembly 10 and at least a portion of the roller assembly 20 are positioned within the front portion 206 of the drill rig 200. In these aspects, the wireline assembly 10 and the roller assembly 20 can be substantially axially aligned along an axis 30. Optionally, it is contemplated that the axis 30 can extend at a selected angle 32 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210. In some exemplary aspects, the selected angle 32 can be a selected acute angle, such as, for example and without limitation, an acute angle ranging from about 5 degrees to about 60 degrees. Alternatively, in other optional aspects, the axis 30 can extend substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210. In further exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 1C, it is contemplated that the axis 30 can substantially correspond to the axial pathway of the cable 140 between the wireline assembly 10 and the roller assembly 20.

    [0020] In additional aspects, the wireline assembly 10 can comprise a base portion 17 and opposed first and second support brackets 18a, 18b. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the drum 14 can be positioned between the first and second support brackets 18a, 18b. In further aspects, the drum 14 can have a rotational axis 15 and define an interior chamber 16 extending axially relative to the rotational axis. In still further aspects, the wireline system 100 can further comprise a hydraulic motor 40. Optionally, in these aspects, the hydraulic motor 40 can be positioned at least partially within the interior chamber 16 of the drum 14 and operatively coupled to the drum. Upon activation of the hydraulic motor 40, the drum 14 can be configured to rotate about the rotational axis 15 relative to the first and second support brackets 18a, 18b. In exemplary aspects, the first and second support brackets 18a, 18b can optionally define respective openings 19a, 19b positioned in communication with the interior chamber 16 of the drum 14.

    [0021] In another aspect, and with reference to Figures 4 and 8, the wireline system 100 can further comprise a spooling device 50. In this aspect, the spooling device 50 can be configured to receive the drilling cable 140 from the drum 14 and direct the drilling cable to the roller assembly 20. The spooling device 50 can be further configured to guide the drilling cable 140 to ensure winding and unwinding of the cable. In exemplary aspects, the spooling device 50 can comprise a mounting bracket 52 secured to the first and second support brackets 18a, 18b. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the mounting bracket 52 can optionally define an opening 54 in communication with the interior chamber 16 of the drum 14. It is further contemplated that the wireline assembly 10 can comprise a safety guard 130 that is configured to restrict access to the spooling device 50 and the drilling cable 140 during operation of the drilling system 205. In exemplary aspects, the spooling device and the drum 14 can be supported by the base portion 17 of the wireline assembly 10. In these aspects, the base portion 17 can optionally comprise at least two pairs of opposing legs that are connected together by cross bars as shown in Figure 8.

    [0022] The wireline assembly 10 can be mounted to the first end 214 of the mast using at least one support bracket 11. The at least one support bracket can optionally be configured to support the safety cage 150. The wireline assembly 10 can optionally comprise at least one protective mesh element 13 that circumferentially surrounds at least a portion of the drum 14. Optionally, in some aspects, the safety cage 150 can be positioned to enclose at least a portion of the drum 14, including portions of the drum that are not surrounded by the at least one protective mesh element 13. In exemplary aspects, the safety cage 150 can be provided with at least one door 152 that permits selective access to the wireline system 100. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the at least one door 152 can be selectively opened to permit efficient servicing and maintenance of the wireline system 100. When one or more doors 152 of the safety cage 150 are opened, as shown in Figure 3, free access to the drill string and the core barrel assembly are provided. It is contemplated that each door 152 of the safety cage 150 can be configured to open by about 180°. It is further contemplated that once a drill operator enters the safety cage 150 through the at least one door 152, the drill operator is protected against injury by the protective mesh element 13 and the safety guard 130. In further exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 5, it is contemplated that the safety cage 150 can comprise at least one secondary access door 153 that provides access to the wireline assembly 10 from outside the safety cage.

    [0023] In operation, because the drilling cable 140 is positioned in the front portion 206 of the drill mast 200, it is contemplated that the drilling cable (including portions moving in an upward direction and portions moving in a downward direction) can be freely visible by an operator positioned proximate the control panel 209. In operation, because both the wireline assembly 10 and the roller assembly 20 are mounted to the mast 210, it is further contemplated that an axial distance 34 between the wireline assembly and the roller assembly relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast can remain substantially constant. The consistency of this axial distance 34 can protect against damage to components of the drilling system 100 and avoid the need for additional securing measures when the drilling system is positioned in angled or transport positions. More particularly, in conventional wireline systems, in which the wireline assembly and the roller assembly are not both mounted to the mast, the distance between the wireline assembly and the roller assembly and the operative length of the cable are varied according to a dump function of the mast, the angle of drilling (e.g., 90° to 45°), and the transport position. In contrast, during initial setup of the drill rig 200 disclosed herein, additional checking of the wireline assembly 10, roller assembly 20, and drilling cable 140 is not required. In exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the axial distance 34 between the between the wireline assembly 10 and the roller assembly 20 can be over 4m and thereby creates a soft run within the roller assembly. In these aspects, it is further contemplated that the soft run can be created by positioning the mounting bracket 52 such that the opening 54 of the mounting bracket is angled to receive the drilling cable at the selected angle 32.

    [0024] In operation, the spooling device 50 can be configured for selective rotation relative to the drum 14. In exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 9-10, the wireline assembly 10 can further comprise a connection housing 60 positioned within the drum 14. In these aspects, the connection housing 60 can be operatively coupled to the first support bracket 18a. In additional aspects, the connection housing 60 can be configured to receive at least a portion of the hydraulic motor 40. In these aspects, the connection housing 60 can optionally define a projection 62 that extends circumferentially within the connection housing and is configured to support the hydraulic motor 40 in an operative position. In further exemplary aspects, the drum 14 can comprise a shaft 70, a central hub 72, a first inner wall 74, and a second inner wall 76. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the wireline assembly 10 can further comprise a support flange 80. It is further contemplated that the central hub 72 can be secured to the first inner wall 74, which can be positioned between the first and second support brackets 18a, 18b relative to the rotational axis 15. It is still further contemplated that the projection 62 of the connection housing 60 can be secured to the first inner wall 74 to thereby radially surround the central hub 72. In this position, the central hub 72 can be configured for operative engagement with the hydraulic motor 40. In operation, the second support bracket 18b can be configured to support the support flange 80. In exemplary aspects, the support flange 80 can define a central opening 82 configured to receive the shaft 70 of the drum 14. In these aspects, the shaft 70 of the drum 14 can be secured to the second inner wall 76, and it is contemplated that the support flange 80 can be configured to support the shaft 70 of the drum 14 in substantial axial alignment with the central hub 72 relative to the rotational axis 15. It is contemplated that, upon operative engagement between the central hub 72 of the drum 14 and the hydraulic motor 40, the central hub of the drum can be configured to receive a rotational force from the hydraulic motor and to impart the rotational force to the drum. In further exemplary aspects, the wireline assembly 10 can further comprise a bearing 84 supported by the support flange 80 and surrounding at least a portion of the shaft 70 of the drum 14. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the support flange 80 can be configured to support the bearing 84 when it surrounds and supports the shaft 70 of the drum 14. In exemplary aspects, the support flange 80 can optionally define a viewing window spaced from the central opening 82 that permits viewing of the cable connection to the drum 14, as further described herein. It is contemplated that the shaft 70 of the drum 14 can be screwable into the bearing 84.

    [0025] In exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 8-10, the mounting bracket 52 of the spooling device 50 can optionally be operatively rotationally coupled to the first and second support brackets 18a, 18b using a pitch circle, which permits rotation of the mounting bracket (and the spooling device) in accordance with a hole pattern defined in the pitch circle. In exemplary aspects, each sequential hole of the pitch circle can correspond to a 30° step. In further exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the mounting bracket 52 of the spooling device 50 can be secured to the at least one protective mesh element 13 such that the protective mesh elements rotate with the mounting bracket 52 and spooling device 50. In operation, it is contemplated that the spooling device 50 and the protective mesh elements 13 can be rotated about and between at least three rotational positions, including for example, a centered position, a left position, and a right position. Figure 8 shows an exemplary left rotational position. It is contemplated that the center rotational position can generally correspond to a position in which the spooling device 50 is oriented substantially parallel to axis 212. It is further contemplated that the left and right rotational positions can correspond to positions in which the spooling device is angularly oriented relative to axis 212. In further exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the at least one protective mesh element 13 can comprise lower protective elements that can be selectively removed and positioned on a different portion of the wireline assembly 10 when the spooling device is not in the centered position. It is contemplated that this selective adjustability of the configuration of the protective mesh elements 13 can permit usage of the wireline assembly 10 with other drill rigs and also permit usage of the wireline assembly 10 in angled drilling applications. In particular, due to the variability of the spooling device 50, protective elements 13, and the cable connection in the drum 14 (as further described herein), it is contemplated that the drum can be turned by up to 180° to achieve a better hydraulic connection for different placements and/or angled drilling.

    [0026] In exemplary aspects, and as shown in Figure 10, the central hub 72 and the hydraulic motor 40 can be selectively replaceable. In these aspects, it is contemplated that a first hydraulic motor can be selectively replaced with a second hydraulic motor. It is further contemplated that a first central hub that is compatible with (e.g., sized and shaped for complementary interaction with) the first hydraulic motor can be selectively replaced with a second central hub that is compatible with (e.g., sized and shaped for complementary interaction with) the second hydraulic motor.

    [0027] In other exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 10, the wireline assembly can further comprise a drive belt 85 operatively coupled to the shaft 70 of the drum and to the spooling device 50. In these aspects, the drive belt 85 can be configured to impart rotational movement to the spooling device 50 as the shaft 70 of the drum 14 rotates relative to the rotational axis 15. Optionally, it is contemplated that the drive belt 85 can comprise a plurality of interlinking belt gears 86. In additional aspects, the spooling device 50 can have an adjustable spooling profile. In these aspects, the spooling profile 50 can be selectively adjusted by varying a gear ratio between at least one pair of interlinking belt gears 86. One skilled in the art will appreciate that this can allow or accommodate for a change to different wire diameters.

    [0028] In operation, the shaft 70 of the drum 14 can create movement using the drive belt 85, which can optionally give the rotational impulse by a 1:1 ratio to a rotational sensor 88, such as, for example and without limitation, a CAN Sensor, to determine an RPM count. It is contemplated that tight clearances can be provided between the projection 62 and the first inner wall 74 and/or central hub 72 and between the shaft 70 and the support flange 80.

    [0029] In further aspects, during operation of the wireline system 100, it is contemplated that the cable 140 can be spooled to the drum 14 in either direction. In these aspects, it is contemplated that connection holes 55, 56 for the cable 140 can be configured to receive a cable being spooled in either direction. Optionally, as shown in Figure 11, the connection holes 55, 56 can correspond to angled cut outs formed in the second support bracket 18b.

    [0030] In additional exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 6A-7D, the roller assembly 20 can optionally comprise a support arm 24 and a pivot joint 26 operatively coupled to the support arm and configured for selective pivotal movement relative to the support arm. In these aspects, the support arm 24 can be operatively secured to the mast 210 at the second axial location 22, preferably on a side portion of the mast that extends between front and back sides of the mast (i.e., a left or right side of the mast). In further aspects, the roller assembly 20 can comprise opposed first and second sheaves 90a, 90b and a bracket 96 operatively secured to the pivot joint 26. In these aspects, the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b can each define a respective circumferential groove 92a, 92b and be configured for rotation about a respective rotational axis 94a, 94b. It is contemplated that the circumferential groove 92a, 92b of each sheave 90a, 90b can be configured to receive the wireline cable 140. It is further contemplated that the bracket 96 can be configured to engage the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b such that the rotational axes 94a, 94b of the first and second sheaves are substantially parallel to one another and substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210. In exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 6A-6B, the bracket 96 can comprise first and second lightweight portions, with the first portion defining at least one hole configured to receive a first connector 91 a and the second portion defining at least one hole configured to receive a second connector 91 b. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the first connector 91 a can be configured to couple the first sheave 90a to the first portion of the bracket 96, whereas the second connector 91b can be configured to couple the second sheave 90b to the second portion of the bracket. Optionally, in some aspects, the bracket 96 can be operatively coupled to the pivot joint 26 by a bolt or other fastener as is known in the art. Optionally, in other aspects, the first and second connectors 91a, 91b can be bolts or other fasteners as are known in the art. In further optional aspects, it is contemplated that the bracket 96 can be provided with bearings 126 that circumferentially surround at least a portion of the first and second connectors 91a, 91b.

    [0031] Optionally, in some exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 7A, the roller assembly 20 can comprise opposed first and second guiding plates 98a, 98b. In these aspects, the first and second guiding plates 98a, 98b can be secured to the bracket 96. It is contemplated that the first guiding plate 98a can be spaced from and operatively positioned relative to the first sheave 90a to prevent the wireline cable 140 from disengaging the circumferential groove 92a of the first sheave. Similarly, it is contemplated that the second guiding plate 98b can be spaced from and operatively positioned relative to the second sheave 90b to prevent the wireline cable 140 from disengaging the circumferential groove 92b of the second sheave. It is contemplated that the separation between the guiding plates 98a, 98b and the sheaves 90a, 90b can be minimized to ensure that the cable is tightly received between the guiding plates and the sheaves. It is further contemplated that the guiding plates 98a, 98b can have corresponding, opposite contours relative to the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b, respectively. In exemplary aspects, the first and second guiding plates 98a, 98b can comprise plastic.

    [0032] In further exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 6A-7A, the first guiding plate 98a can optionally cooperate with the circumferential groove 92a of the first sheave 90a to define an inlet 110 of the roller assembly 20. Similarly, it is contemplated that the second guiding plate 98b can cooperate with the circumferential groove 92b of the second sheave 90b to define an outlet 112 of the roller assembly 20.

    [0033] In additional, optional aspects, the roller assembly 20 can further comprise at least one inlet roller 114 positioned proximate the inlet 110 of the roller assembly and spaced from the circumferential groove 92a of the first sheave 90a. In these aspects, the roller assembly 20 can still further comprise at least one outlet roller 116 positioned proximate the outlet 112 of the roller assembly and spaced from the circumferential groove 92b of the second sheave 90b. In operation, the at least one inlet roller 114 can be configured to guide a wireline cable 140 into the circumferential groove 92a of the first sheave 90a, and the at least one outlet roller 116 can be configured to guide the wireline cable as it exits the outlet 112 of the roller assembly. In exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the at least one inlet roller 114 can have a corresponding, substantially opposite contour relative to the circumferential groove 92a of the first sheave 90a. Similarly, it is contemplated that the at least one outlet roller 116 can have a corresponding, substantially opposite contour relative to the circumferential groove 92b of the second sheave 90b. Thus, it is contemplated that the circumferential grooves 92a, 92b of the sheaves 90a, 90b can extend inwardly (into the sheaves) whereas the contoured surface of the inlet and outlet rollers 114, 116 can extend away from the sheaves. Optionally, in one aspect, the at least one inlet roller 114 and the at least one outlet roller 116 can be configured for rotation about respective rotational axes 115, 117. In this aspect, it is contemplated that the rotational axes 115, 117 of the at least one inlet roller 114 and the at least one outlet roller 116 can be substantially parallel to the rotational axes 94a, 94b of the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b. In further aspects, the at least one inlet roller 114 can optionally be configured to constrain movement of the wireline cable 140 relative to the rotational axis 115 of the at least one inlet roller as the wireline cable enters the inlet 110 of the roller assembly. Similarly, it is contemplated that the at least one outlet roller 116 can optionally be configured to constrain movement of the wireline cable 140 relative to the rotational axis 117 of the at least one outlet roller 116 as the wireline cable exits the outlet 112 of the roller assembly.

    [0034] Optionally, in another exemplary aspect, the roller assembly 20 can further comprise a first guiding roller 118a spaced from the inlet 110 of the roller assembly relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210 and a second guiding roller 118b spaced from the outlet 112 of the roller assembly relative to the longitudinal axis of the mast. In this aspect, the first guiding roller 118a can be configured for rotation about a rotational axis 120a that is substantially perpendicular to the rotational axes 94a. 94b of the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b. It is contemplated that the second guiding roller 118b can be configured for rotation about a rotational axis 120b that is substantially perpendicular to the rotational axes 94a, 94b of the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b. In operation, the first guiding roller 118a can be configured to engage the wireline cable 140 to constrain movement of the wireline cable relative to the rotational axis 120a of the first guiding roller 118a as the wireline cable approaches the inlet 110 of the roller assembly 20. It is further contemplated that the second guiding roller 118b can be configured to engage the wireline cable 140 to constrain movement of the wireline cable relative to the rotational axis 120b of the second guiding roller 118b as the wireline cable exits the outlet 112 of the roller assembly. In exemplary aspects, during "swinging" of the roller assembly, a small difference in an inlet run-angle of the drilling cable 140 can be created. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the first and second guiding rollers 118a, 118b can be configured to absorb the full range of the cable run-angle at the inlet 110 and outlet 112, thereby permitting guidance of the cable in both directions. In further exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 6A-7C, each of the first and second guiding rollers 118a, 118b can comprise a respective bow 124 that cooperates with the corresponding guiding roller to define an opening for receiving the drilling cable 140. In these aspects, the bow 124 can be configured to ensure that the cable 140 remains in operative communication with its associated guiding roller during operation of the drilling system.

    [0035] It is contemplated that the drilling cable 140 can have a cross-sectional diameter, and that the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b can have a diameter. In exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the cross-sectional diameter of the drilling cable 140 can be substantially less than the diameters of the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b. Optionally, it is contemplated that the ratio between the diameters of the first and second sheaves 90a, 90b and the cross-sectional diameter of the drilling cable 140 can be up to about 19:1.

    [0036] In operation, if the drill head 230 is moved to the top end position of the mast 210, then the roller assembly can slew and/or slide in to the drilling line. It is contemplated that this slew and slide function can be initiated by an actuator 122, which, as shown in Figures 6A-6B, can cause the roller assembly to stop in selected positions during the swing in function. Optionally, it is contemplated that the roller assembly and/or the wireline system can be mounted on the left or right side of the mast.

    [0037] In exemplary aspects, the drilling system 205 can further comprise a sled configured to effect movement of the drill head 230. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the slew-in-function and the movement of the drill head can be interlocked to each other. For example, it is contemplated that the drilling system 205 can be configured such that the sled cannot move when the roller assembly is placed into the drilling line. It is further contemplated that the sled can be configured to only feed the drill head in a downward direction when the roller assembly is positioned in an outer position (opposed from the slew-in position). Optionally, it is contemplated that the drilling system 205 can further comprise a switch that monitors whether the roller assembly is positioned in the outer position so that, unless the switch is activated (indicating that the roller assembly is in the outer position), the sled is not permitted to feed the drill head in a downward direction.

    [0038] In operation, it is contemplated that the wireline system 100 as disclosed herein can permit easy identification of wireline placement by a drill operator, such as a drill operator positioned in the vicinity of a control panel as disclosed herein. More particularly, it is contemplated that the wireline system 100 disclosed herein can provide good visibility of the drilling cable (in both upward and downward directions), the spooling device, and the wireline assembly.

    [0039] Moreover, it is contemplated that the wireline system 100 can provide easy access to the components of the system due to low height placement. For example, it is contemplated that the at least one door 152 of the safety cage 150 can allow for easy maintenance of the wireline system components and thereby eliminate the need for working on heights. It is further contemplated that the motor and/or bearing(s) of the wireline assembly 10 can be disassembled without the need for unwinding the drilling cable 140 from the drum 14, which remains supported during such maintenance activities.

    [0040] It is further contemplated that the improved visibility of the disclosed wireline system and the elimination of risks associated with working on heights can significantly improve the safety of the disclosed system.

    [0041] During operation, it is still further contemplated that the wireline system can provide for variability in the use and placement of the wireline and roller assemblies. In particular, it is contemplated that the roller assembly and its associated guiding means can be configured to provide optimized guiding of the drilling cable. It is further contemplated that the wireline system can be configured to permit winding of the drilling cable in either direction (left-handed or right-handed). It is still further contemplated that the wireline assembly can permit rotation of the spooling device and the safety guards of the drum by up to 180 degrees to permit optimized hydraulic connection and/or angled drilling using a variety of different rigs. Additionally, it is contemplated that the rotational movement of the spooling device and the safety guards can ensure that the wireline assembly maintains a substantially compact profile.

    [0042] In further exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the wireline system as disclosed herein can be configured for operative coupling to a drilling control system as is known in the art. For example, in these aspects, it is optionally contemplated that the rotational sensor mounted within the wireline assembly can be operatively coupled to a processor of a computer that is provided as part of a drilling control system.

    [0043] Generally, the steps for retrieving core from a formation comprise: stopping the drilling process; disconnecting the drill head from the drill string in the drill hole above the foot clamp, which holds the drill string in place; activating the feed function of the sled to move the drill head to the top end position of the drill mast; swinging and/or sliding the roller assembly into the drilling axis underneath the drill head, thereby activating the interlock system of the drilling system to prevent movement of the drill head; lowering an overshot and the drilling cable into the drill hole until a portion of the overshot engages an upper end of the core barrel; extracting the overshot and the core barrel from the drill hole; when a lower end of the core barrel reaches the upper end of the drill rod that is held within the foot clamp and has about three inches of clearance above the rod, swinging out the wireline crane back to a parked position (spaced outwardly from the drilling axis), thereby disengaging the interlock system and permitting movement of the drill head; lowering the core barrel to a horizontal position on the ground or other supporting device, for example and without limitation, a core pusher device; when the core barrel is securely stored, disconnecting the overshot from the core barrel and placing the overshot in its parked position until the next core drilling sequence is completed; and repeating the preceding steps as necessary until a complete drill run is performed.

    [0044] With conventional wireline rigs, the wireline winch is typically mounted behind the mast such that a drill operator has no free view of the wireline winch. The wireline winch is operated at a high speed (high drilling cable velocity), with the wireline drum traveling at up to 400 m/min at the top end of the drill hole and up to 150 m/min at the bottom of the drill hole and the average speed being about 275 m/min.

    [0045] If the overshot hits the surface of the water/ mud standing in the hole (the "water table"), the overshot can be slowed down rapidly. In this event, the cable that holds the overshot can lose its tension on the wireline drum, and there is a high risk of tangling of the cable. Such tangling of the cable can lead to cable breaks and/ or damaging of other drilling equipment, such as, for example and without limitation, the spooling device. In contrast to conventional approaches, the disclosed arrangement and position of the wireline system can provide, the drilling operator with a free view of the wireline winch (drum), thereby permitting the drilling operator to react much faster in the event of such issues and reducing the risk of damage to the cable and other elements of the drilling system.

    [0046] In operation, it is contemplated that the configuration of the wireline system disclosed herein can permit placement of the wireline crane underneath the drill head, thereby reducing or eliminating the quantity of mud that typically flows out of the drill hole and covers the drill rig when a drilling cable is pulled out of the drill hole. Additionally, as further disclosed herein, it is contemplated that the disclosed placement of the wireline assembly can provide a drill operator with an improved view of drilling operations. It is further contemplated that the placement of the wireline assembly in front of the mast in a lower position can increase the serviceability and maintenance of the drum. No working on height is necessary, which, in combination with the improved visibility offered by the placement of the drum, can increase the safety of the drilling system.

    [0047] As further disclosed herein, it is contemplated that the hydraulic motor and/or the bearing of the drum can be remounted and/ or exchanged without unwinding the complete cable from the drum. It is further contemplated that the connection housing, the support flange, and the bearing can be minimally spaced from the inner diameter of the drum, thereby permitting substantially centered placement of the drum by remount of the motor and/or bearing.

    [0048] In exemplary aspects, and as further disclosed herein, it is contemplated that the wireline assembly can be equipped with a rotation counter that monitors or tracks the rotation of the wireline assembly to help the operator control the operation of the drum during high-speed pulling. It is contemplated that the rotation counter can permit the operator to approximate the timing of the core exiting the drill hole.

    [0049] In exemplary aspects, the drill head of the drilling system can be mounted on a sled (or carriage), which can be guided on or into the mast. It is contemplated that the wireline system of the present invention can be coupled to and/or used with any conventional sled design. In operation, the sled can be configured to create the feed movement (upward or downward) of the drill head. The drill head, in turn, can create the rotation and torque to drill drilling rods into the drilling formation. The drilling rods can be supplied for connection to the drill head by screwing, unscrewing or by chuck. This rod handling function can happen by different processes as are known in the art.

    [0050] The drill head can be mounted on a fixed sled, tilting sled or sled with lateral movement (right or left direction). The rod supply can occur manually (by hand) or with the support of a lifting device, such as, for example and without limitation, a winch, a manipulator arm, a rod presenter, and the like, when the sled is positioned in the drilling line. One skilled in the art will appreciate that, for each different type of sled mount, the rod supply can be different. It is further contemplated that the drill rod supply can comprise supplying the rods from the front of the drill rig in an angle ranging from 90° (horizontal) to about 45° relative to the drill head or similar to a fixed sled in drilling line 0°. In this process, upon reaching an angle between about 45° to 90°, the drill head must be tilted out of the drilling line. The benefit of the horizontal to acute angle rod supply has the benefit of providing relatively easy rod handling. However, a low working height (tilt out angle of the drill head) is preferred, particularly with manual, horizontal drill rod supply processes.

    [0051] In one exemplary aspect, the drill head can be equipped with a chuck, top drive spindle or/and an additional rod clamp on the head, to fix the rod during the tilting function into and out of the drilling line on the drill head. A flushing medium can be provided using a flushing head (swivel), which is connected to the rotary head in the drill string. The flushing head can be mounted in front of or on the rear side of the drill head. The rotary head can be equipped with a plurality of hoses for hydraulic functions and for distributing the flushing medium. The drill head can be configured to move and rotate, especially during diamond core exploration drilling, which is typically very stiff without vibrations and slip stick. Due to the long distance of front-to-rear drill guiding systems, it is contemplated that the guiding of the sled must be highly stable and substantially exactly in alignment with the drilling line. The feed system can work without slip stick and is configured to provide the necessary feed forces (pull-/push force) to the drill string.

    [0052] Disclosed herein, in various exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 12-17, is an exemplary sled 400 for selectively adjusting the angular orientation of a drill head 230 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of a mast 210. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the drill head 230 can be a fixed head, a tilting head, or a head configured for lateral movement. It is further contemplated that the sled 400 can optionally be used with a wireline system as disclosed herein.

    [0053] In one aspect, and with reference to Figures 12-15, the sled 400 can comprise a base 410 configured for mounting to the mast 210. In this aspect, the base 410 can have opposed first and second end portions 412, 414. It is contemplated that the first end portion 412 can be spaced from the second end portion 414 relative to the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210.

    [0054] In another aspect, and with reference to Figures 12-15, the sled 400 can comprise first and second linkage assemblies 420a, 420b. In this aspect, it is contemplated that each linkage assembly 420a, 420b can comprise a first linkage 422 pivotally secured to the first end portion 412 of the base 410 at a first pivoting location 424, a second linkage 430 pivotally secured to the second end portion 414 of the base at a second pivoting location 432, and a cradle 440 secured to the base and having a longitudinal axis 442. In an additional aspect, the first linkage 422 can extend from the first end portion 412 of the base 410 to the second end portion 414 of the base. In a further aspect, the second linkage 430 can extend from the second end portion 414 of the base 410 to the first end portion 412 of the base. In this aspect, the first linkage 422 can be selectively pivotally secured to the second linkage 430 at a third pivoting location 450. Optionally, the linkage assemblies 420a, 420b can comprise a third linkage 445 that is pivotally coupled to the first and second linkages at the third pivoting location 450 and to the base at the second pivoting location. It is contemplated that the third linkage 445 can be positioned radially inwardly from the first and second linkages 422, 430 and can be configured to support portions of the cradle and/or additional elements of the sled, including, for example, at least a portion of the locking assembly 470. Optionally, in further exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the second end portion 414 of the base 410 can comprise a structure that projects upwardly from other portions of the base and defines the second pivoting location 432. In still further exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 12-15, it is contemplated that the third pivoting location can optionally be positioned slightly above the second pivoting location, with both the second and third pivoting locations being spaced significantly farther from the base than the first pivoting location.

    [0055] In still another aspect, the cradle 440 can be positioned between the first and second linkage assemblies 422, 430. In this aspect, the cradle 440 can be configured to receive the drill head 230 in an operative position. In the operative position, the drill head 230 can be configured for drilling operations as disclosed herein. In operation, the first linkage 422 of each linkage assembly 420a, 420b can be configured for selective pivoting relative to the first and third pivoting locations 424, 450 of the linkage assembly, and the second linkage 430 of each linkage assembly can be configured for selective pivoting relative to the second and third pivoting locations 432, 450 of the linkage assembly to permit movement of the cradle 440 about and between a straight position in which the longitudinal axis442 of the cradle is aligned with the longitudinal axis 212 of the mast 210 (corresponding to full extension of the first end portion 412 of the base 410 relative to the second end portion 414 of the base) and an angled position in which the longitudinal axis of the cradle is positioned at a selected angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the mast (corresponding to a position at which the first end portion of the base is at least partially retracted toward the second end portion of the base). Optionally, it is contemplated that the selected angle can range from about 0 degrees to about 90 degrees. In other optional aspects, the selected angle can range from about 30 degrees to about 60 degrees.

    [0056] Optionally, in exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 15, when the cradle 440 is in the straight position, the third pivoting location 450 of each linkage assembly 420a, 420b can be positioned between the first and second pivoting locations 424, 432 of each linkage assembly relative to the longitudinal axis 442 of the cradle. In exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that the third pivoting location 450 (where the first linkage is pivotally connected to the second linkage) can be spaced from the second pivoting location 432 (where the second linkage is pivotally connected to the second end portion of the base) to thereby create a momentum arm during the tilting of the cradle that results from the retraction and extension of the hydraulic cylinders as further disclosed herein.

    [0057] In further exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figures 12-15, the sled 400 can comprise at least one actuator 460 operatively secured to the second end portion 414 of the base 410. In these aspects, the at least one actuator 460 can be operatively coupled to the first end portion 412 of the base 410. As further disclosed herein, the at least one actuator 460 can be configured to selectively linearly translate the first end portion 412 of the base 410 toward and away from the second end portion 414 of the base, thereby effecting selective movement of the cradle about and between the straight position and the angled position. When the first end portion 412 of the base 410 is fully extended (away from the second end portion 414 of the base), the cradle 440 will be positioned in the straight position. In contrast, as the first end portion 412 of the base 410 is retracted toward the second end portion 414 of the base, the linkage assemblies 420a, 420b disclosed herein can be configured to move the cradle 440 toward the angled position. Optionally, in one aspect, the at least one actuator 460 can comprise at least one hydraulic cylinder. However, it is contemplated that any conventional linear actuator can be used. In additional optional aspects, the sled 400 can further comprise a locking assembly 470 configured to selectively lock the cradle 440 to the first end portion 412 of the base 410 to thereby prevent movement of the base relative to the cradle.

    [0058] In use, it is contemplated that the sled can support the rotary head during drilling, rod-handling, pulling of drill string, core / geothermal loop handling, and flushing operations. It is still further contemplated that the sled can be configured to move (up and down) relative to the longitudinal axis of the mast. It is contemplated that the sled can be guided to the mast by different styles of equipment, such as, for example and without limitation, rollers and/or guiding rails. It is further contemplated that the sled can create required feeding forces by various known systems, such as, for example and without limitation, a hydraulic cylinder, a chain/cable pulley, direct feed cylinder pulling, or feed gear pulling by chain/cable.

    [0059] The sled disclosed herein can be configured for use with horizontal (light angle) manual loading or with a rod loader that supplies drill rods from the front of the drill rig. In operation, and as further disclosed herein, the sled disclosed herein can be configured to tilt the drill head as required to permit loading of drill rods using these techniques.

    [0060] As shown in Figures 12-13, the sled is generally designed in two guiding sections, namely, a front section secured to and including the first end portion 412 of the base 410 and a rear section secured to and including the second end portion 414 of the base. The rear guiding section generally corresponds to the basic sled. As shown in Figure 17, a feed chain 550 can be mounted on the rear portion of the sled (e.g., on the second end portion of the base).

    [0061] As shown in Figure 15, each hydraulic cylinder 460 (or other actuator) can be provided with an integral safety valve (load holding valve) 510. It is contemplated that the cylinders 460 can be mounted to the base 410 or other housing portion of the sled with a pivoting connection. During extension and retraction of the hydraulic cylinders 460, guiding of the front portion of the sled to the mast can be achieved by the use of guiding rails 520 or rollers 540, such as those shown in Figures 14-15 and 17. With reference to Figures 15 and 17, it is contemplated that two additional guiding bars 530 can be provided between the front and rear sections (e.g., between the first and second end portions of the base) of the sled to protect against a slip stick of the front section (e.g., first end portion) of the sled, which can occur due to a short guiding length or short roller distance. It is further contemplated that the guiding bars 530 can create substantially parallel movement of the two hydraulic cylinders 460. Optionally, the guiding bars 530 can be surrounded by bushings 535.

    [0062] In exemplary aspects, when the hydraulic cylinders (or other actuators) 460 are extended, the sled 400 can be positioned in a drilling position (straight orientation). If the hydraulic cylinders (or other actuators) 460 are retracted (such as, for example, with a 500 mm stroke), then the sled 400 can be positioned in a tilting position. In this position, and with reference to Figure 13, it is contemplated that the front sled portion (e.g., the first end portion 412 of the base 410) can be positioned proximate the rear section of the sled (e.g., the second end portion 414 of the base) to thereby create additional space underneath the sled and make the sled more compact, which, in turn, can reduce the working height of the drilling system.

    [0063] In exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 16, when the sled 400 is in the drilling position, the sled can be locked by a locking pin 472 that is selectively actuated by and operatively coupled to a hydraulic cylinder (or other actuator) 462. In these aspects, it is contemplated that the locking pin 472 can be configured to absorb kinematic gaps to thereby maintain the stability of drilling operations.

    [0064] With reference to Figure 16, it is contemplated that the first and second linkages 422, 430 can each have respective sleeves 426, 434 that are substantially aligned or centered together when the sled 400 is in the drilling (straight) position. When the sled 400 is positioned in the drilling position, the locking pin 472 can be permitted to extend through both sleeves 426, 434 to a locked position. Conversely, the sled 400 is only allowed to tilt when the locking pin 472 is positioned in an unlocked (retracted) position in which the locking pin is not received within either sleeve 426, 434 and the first and second linkages 422, 430 are able to move freely relative to each another. Although two hydraulic cylinders are disclosed as the means for effecting extension and retraction of the locking pins, it is contemplated that other conventional means for effecting linear extension and retraction can be employed within the sled and drilling system as disclosed herein.

    [0065] Generally, it is contemplated that all disclosed sleeves and pivoting joints of the sled can be provided with wear sleeves and/or bushings as are known in the art. Generally, it is further contemplated that the sled can be weight-optimized to provide a stable design.

    [0066] As shown in Figures 12-15, the rotary drill head 230 can be mounted to the second linkage 430 in front of the second pivoting location 432. It is contemplated that, in the tilting position, this configuration, with the second pivoting location 432 behind the head connection, can provide additional space for a flushing head (swivel) and/or hoses (e.g., hydraulic hoses) on a rear side of the rotary head.

    [0067] As described above, and with reference to Figures 14-15 and 17, the sled 400 can be guided with at least two guiding rails 520 and/or rollers 540. In exemplary aspects, six guiding rails can be used, with two on the front section of the sled (e.g., on the first end portion of the base) and four guiding rails on the rear section of the sled (e.g., on the second end portion of the base). It is contemplated that eccentric rollers can be used to adjust guiding of the sides of the sled, with at least one roller (optionally, two rollers) positioned at each corner of the sled. In exemplary aspects, wipers can be provided for cleaning the mast rails during movement of the sled.

    [0068] In exemplary aspects, and with reference to Figure 17, the sled can be connected with a cylinder chain/cable pulley system 550. The chain and/or cable can be connected on the upper and/or lower end of the rear sled section (e.g., the second end portion 414 of the base 410). For each placement of the sled 400, one chain/cable connection can be operatively coupled (e.g., screwed in) to the sled, and the other chain/cable connection can be adjustable by a thread and counter nut or other conventional adjustable fasteners. It is contemplated that this adjustment can permit a correct tensioning of both chain/cable connections for each side of the pulley system. If a direct feeding cylinder is used, then the direct feeding cylinder can be operatively connected to a top portion of the sled.

    [0069] To provide a desired degree of stability during feeding, the sled can be configured to have an elongate dimension, e.g., the distance between the front and the rear guiding rails/rollers can have sufficient length to create a stable feeding and improved side adjustment. It is contemplated that the elongated length of the sled can help to reduce slip stick issues during feeding.

    [0070] In operation, the lower section (e.g., first end portion of the base) of the sled must be retracted for the tilting function to occur; upon retraction, a compact configuration of the sled is provided, with the guiding rails and rollers positioned in close proximity to one another. This retraction significantly shortens the complete sled length, for example, by about 500 mm. The feeding system can lower the sled by this additional free space underneath the sled. This, in turn, can create a lower working height, for example by up to about 500 mm in the vertical position. As can be appreciated, the height reduction in angled drilling varies in accordance with the drilling angle.

    [0071] In operation, it is contemplated that the sled disclosed herein can have a compact and lightweight design compared to conventional tilting sleds. It is further contemplated that, compared to conventional tilting sleds, the sled disclosed herein can be configured to create additional space under the drill head when the head is positioned in a tilting position. This, in turn, can result in a reduction of working height and retract a front section of the sled proximate a rear section of the sled. In exemplary aspects, it is contemplated that, when the sled is positioned in the drilling position, the locking system of the sled can maintain its stability while absorbing kinematic clearance. In still further aspects, it is contemplated that the disclosed configuration of the sled can create additional space to accommodate a flushing head and hoses when the sled is positioned in the tilting position. In additional aspects, it is further contemplated that the feed chain holder of the rear section of the sled can be configured to permit movement of the front section of the sled above a lower mast roller and to provide a lower working height. In these aspects, it is further contemplated that the feed chain lengths can be selectively adjustable.

    [0072] In operation, the retraction of the front section of the sled relative to the rear section of the thread can simultaneously create a compact sled and provide the tilting function to the drill head. In the tilting position, it is contemplated that the disclosed sled can provide a lower working height than is possible with conventional tilting sleds. It is further contemplated that this result can be achieved regardless of the type of retraction mechanism employed (for example, and without limitation, cylinder, rack and pinion, and the like).


    Claims

    1. A wireline system (100) for use on a drill rig (200) comprising a mast (210), a drill string (220), and a drill head (230) configured to impart rotation to the drill string (220) within a drilling formation, the mast (210) having a longitudinal axis (212) and opposed first and second ends (214, 216), the first end (214) of the mast (210) being configured for positioning proximate the drilling formation, the drill rig (200) having a first transverse axis (202) and a second transverse axis (204) extending perpendicularly relative to the first transverse axis (202), wherein when the mast (210) is positioned in a vertical position, the first and second transverse axes (202, 204) are substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), wherein the first transverse axis (202) divides the drill rig (200) into a front portion (206) and a back portion (208), wherein the second transverse axis (204) extends from the front portion (206) of the drill rig (200) to the back portion (208) of the drill rig (200),
    characterised in that the wireline system (100) comprises:

    a wireline assembly (10) operatively secured to the mast (210) at a first axial location (12) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), the first axial location (12) being proximate the first end (214) of the drill mast (210), wherein the wireline assembly (10) comprises a drum (14) configured for engagement with a drilling cable (140); and

    a roller assembly (20) operatively secured to the mast (210) at a second axial location (22) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), the second axial location (22) being positioned between the first axial location (12) and the second end (216) of the mast (210) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), wherein the roller assembly (20) is configured for engagement with the drilling cable (140),

    wherein the wireline assembly (10) and the roller assembly (20) are positioned within the front portion (206) of the drill rig (200), and wherein at least a portion of the wireline assembly (10) and at least a portion of the roller assembly (20) are axially spaced from the mast (210) relative to the second transverse axis (204).


     
    2. The wireline system (100) of claim 1, wherein, when the drill head (230) is positioned at a top position relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), the roller assembly (20) is positioned between the wireline assembly (10) and the drill head (230) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210).
     
    3. The wireline system (100) of claim 2, wherein the wireline assembly (10) and the roller assembly (20) are substantially axially aligned along an axis (30), wherein the axis (30) extends at a selected acute angle (32) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210) or is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210).
     
    4. The wireline system (100) of claim 1, wherein, during operation of the drill rig (200), an axial distance (34) between the wireline assembly (10) and the roller assembly (20) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210) remains substantially constant.
     
    5. The wireline system (100) of claim 1, wherein the wireline assembly (10) comprises a base portion (17) and opposed first and second support brackets (18a, 18b), wherein the drum (14) is positioned between the first and second support brackets (18a, 18b), wherein the drum (14) has a rotational axis (15) and defines an interior chamber (16) extending axially relative to the rotational axis (15), wherein the wireline system (100) further comprises a hydraulic motor (40) positioned at least partially within the interior chamber (16) of the drum (14) and operatively coupled to the drum (14), and wherein upon activation of the hydraulic motor (40), the drum (14) is configured to rotate about the rotational axis (15) relative to the first and second support brackets (18a, 18b).
     
    6. The wireline system (100) of claim 5, further comprising a spooling device (50) configured to receive the drilling cable (140) from the drum (14) and direct the drilling cable (140) to the roller assembly (20).
     
    7. The wireline system (100) of claim 6, wherein the spooling device (50) comprises a mounting bracket (52) secured to the first and second support brackets (18a, 18b), and wherein the mounting bracket (52) and the first and second support brackets (18a, 18b) define respective openings (54) in communication with the interior chamber (16) of the drum (14), and wherein the spooling device (50) and the first and second support brackets (18a, 18b) are configured for selective rotation relative to the drum (14).
     
    8. The wireline system (100) of claim 7, wherein the wireline assembly (10) further comprises a connection housing (60) positioned within the drum (14), and wherein the connection housing (60) is operatively coupled to the first support bracket (18a), the connection housing (60) defining a projection (62) that extends circumferentially within the connection housing (60) and is configured to support the hydraulic motor (40) in an operative position.
     
    9. The wireline system (100) of claim 8, wherein the drum (14) comprises a shaft (70) and a central hub (72), wherein the wireline assembly (10) further comprises a support flange (80), the central hub (72) being positioned between the first and second support brackets (18a, 18b) relative to the rotational axis (15), the central hub (72) being operatively coupled to the projection (62) of the connection housing (60) and configured for operative engagement with the hydraulic motor (40), wherein the second support bracket (18b) is configured to support the support flange (80), the support flange (80) defining a central opening (82) configured to receive the shaft (70) of the drum (14), the support flange (80) configured to support the shaft (70) of the drum (14) in substantial axial alignment with the central hub (72) relative to the rotational axis (15), wherein upon operative engagement between the central hub (72) of the drum (14) and the hydraulic motor (40), the central hub (72) of the drum (14) is configured to receive a rotational force from the hydraulic motor (40) and to impart the rotational force to the drum (14), and wherein the central hub (72) and the hydraulic motor (40) are selectively replaceable.
     
    10. The wireline system (100) of claim 9, wherein the wireline assembly (10) further comprises a bearing (84) supported by the support flange (80), wherein the wireline assembly (80) further comprises a drive belt (85) operatively coupled to the shaft (70) of the drum (14) and to the spooling device (50), wherein the drive belt (85) is configured to impart rotational movement to the spool (50) as the shaft (70) of the drum (14) rotates relative to the rotational axis (15), wherein the drive belt (85) comprises a plurality of interlinking belt gears (86), wherein the spooling device (50) has an adjustable spooling profile, and wherein the spooling profile is selectively adjustable by varying a gear ratio between at least one pair of interlinking belt gears (86).
     
    11. The wireline system (100) of claim 1, wherein the roller assembly (20) comprises a support arm (24) and a pivot joint (26) operatively coupled to the support arm (24) and configured for selective pivotal movement relative to the support arm (24), and wherein the support arm (24) is operatively secured to the mast (210) at the second axial location (22).
     
    12. The wireline system (100) of claim 11, wherein the roller assembly (20) comprises opposed first and second sheaves (90a, 90b) and a bracket (96) operatively secured to the pivot joint (26), the first and second sheaves (90a, 90b) each defining a respective circumferential groove (92a, 92b) and being configured for rotation about a respective rotational axis (94a, 94b), wherein the circumferential groove (92a, 92b) of each sheave (90a, 90b) is configured to receive the wireline cable (140), wherein the bracket (96) is configured to engage the first and second sheaves (90a, 90b) such that the rotational axes (94a, 94b) of the first and second sheaves (90a, 90b) are substantially parallel and substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), wherein the roller assembly (20) comprises opposed first and second guiding plates (98a, 98b), the first and second guiding plates (98a, 98b) being secured to the bracket (96), wherein the first guiding plate (98a) is spaced from and operatively positioned relative to the first sheave (90a) to prevent the wireline cable (140) from disengaging the circumferential groove (92a) of the first sheave (90a), wherein the second guiding plate (98b) is spaced from and operatively positioned relative to the second sheave (90b) to prevent the wireline cable (140) from disengaging the circumferential groove (92b) of the second sheave (90b), wherein the first guiding plate (98a) cooperates with the circumferential groove (92a) of the first sheave (90a) to define an inlet (110) of the roller assembly (20), and wherein the second guiding plate (98b) cooperates with the circumferential groove (92b) of the second sheave (90b) to define an outlet (112) of the roller assembly (20).
     
    13. The wireline system (100) of claim 12, wherein the roller assembly (20) further comprises:

    at least one inlet roller (114) positioned proximate the inlet (110) of the roller assembly (20) and spaced from the circumferential groove (92a) of the first sheave (90a); and

    at least one outlet roller (116) positioned proximate the outlet (112) of the roller assembly (20) and spaced from the circumferential groove (92b) of the second sheave (90b),

    wherein the at least one inlet roller (114) is configured to guide a wireline cable (140) into the circumferential groove (92a) of the first sheave (90a), and

    wherein the at least one outlet roller (116) is configured to guide the wireline cable (140) as it exits the outlet (112) of the roller assembly (20).


     
    14. The wireline system (100) of claim 13, wherein the at least one inlet roller (114) and the at least one outlet roller (116) are configured for rotation about respective rotational axes (115, 117), wherein the rotational axes (115, 117) of the at least one inlet roller (114) and the at least one outlet roller (116) are substantially parallel to the rotational axes (94a, 94b) of the first and second sheaves (90a, 90b), wherein the at least one inlet roller (114) is configured to constrain movement of the wireline cable (140) relative to the rotational axis (115) of the at least one inlet roller (114) as the wireline cable (140) enters the inlet (110) of the roller assembly (20), and wherein the at least one outlet roller (116) is configured to constrain movement of the wireline cable (140) relative to the rotational axis (117) of the at least one outlet roller (116) as the wireline cable (140) exits the outlet (112) of the roller assembly (20).
     
    15. The wireline system of claim 13, wherein the roller assembly (20) further comprises:

    a first guiding roller (118a) spaced from the inlet (110) of the roller assembly (20) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), the first guiding roller (118a) configured for rotation about a rotational axis (120a) that is substantially perpendicular to the rotational axes (94a, 94b) of the first and second sheaves (90a, 90b); and

    a second guiding roller (118b) spaced from the outlet (112) of the roller assembly (20) relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), the second guiding roller (118b) configured for rotation about a rotational axis (120b) that is substantially perpendicular to the rotational axes (94a, 94b) of the first and second sheaves (90a, 90b),

    wherein the first guiding roller (118a) is configured to engage the wireline cable (140) to constrain movement of the wireline cable (140) relative to the rotational axis (120a) of the first guiding roller (118a) as the wireline cable (140) approaches the inlet (110) of the roller assembly (20), and

    wherein the second guiding roller (118b) is configured to engage the wireline cable (140) to constrain movement of the wireline cable (140) relative to the rotational axis (120b) of the second guiding roller (118b) as the wireline cable (140) exits the outlet (112) of the roller assembly (20).


     
    16. A drilling system (205) for conducting drilling operations within a drilling formation, the drilling system (205) being positioned on a drill rig (200) and comprising:

    a mast (210) having a longitudinal axis (212) and opposed first and second ends (214, 216), the first end (214) of the mast (210) being configured for positioning proximate the drilling formation, wherein the drilling system (205) has a first transverse axis (202) and a second transverse axis (204) extending perpendicularly relative to the first transverse axis (202), wherein when the mast (210) is positioned in a vertical position, the first and second transverse axes (202, 204) are substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210), wherein the first transverse axis (202) divides the drill rig (200) into a front portion (206) and a back portion (208), and wherein the second transverse axis (204) extends from the front portion (206) of the drill rig (200) to the back portion (208) of the drill rig (200);

    a drill string;

    a drill head (230) configured to impart rotation to the drill string, the drill head (230) being configured for selective movement relative to the longitudinal axis (212) of the mast (210); and

    a wireline system (100) of any one of the preceding claims.


     
    17. The drilling system (205) of claim 16, further comprising a safety cage (150), the safety cage (150) having a door (152), wherein the wireline assembly (10) is positioned within the safety cage (150), and wherein the door (152) of the safety cage (150) is configured to permit selective access to the wireline assembly (10) and the drill string.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Ein Drahtseilsystem (100) zur Verwendung an einer Bohranlage (200), das einen Mast (210), einen Bohrstrang (220) und einen Bohrkopf (230) umfasst, der so konfiguriert ist, dass er dem Bohrstrang (220) innerhalb einer Bohrformation eine Drehung verleiht, wobei der Mast (210) eine Längsachse (212) und gegenüberliegende erste und zweite Enden (214, 216) aufweist, wobei das erste Ende (214) des Mastes (210) zur Positionierung in der Nähe der Bohrformation konfiguriert ist, das Bohranlage (200) über eine erste Querachse (202) und eine zweite Querachse (204), die sich senkrecht zur ersten Querachse (202) erstreckt, verfügt, wobei, wenn sich der Mast (210) in einer vertikalen Position befindet, die erste und die zweite Querachse (202, 204) im Wesentlichen senkrecht zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) verlaufen, wobei die erste Querachse (202) die Bohranlage (200) in einen vorderen Abschnitt (206) und einen hinteren Abschnitt (208) aufteilt, wobei sich die zweite Querachse (204) vom vorderen Abschnitt (206) der Bohranlage (200) zum hinteren Abschnitt (208) der Bohranlage erstreckt (200),
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das Drahtseilsystem (100) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Drahtseilanordnung (10), die an einer ersten axialen Stelle (12) relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) wirkend am Mast (210) befestigt ist, wobei sich die erste axiale Stelle (12) in der Nähe des ersten Endes (214) des Bohrmastes (210) befindet, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) eine Trommel (14) umfasst, die zur Kupplung mit einem Bohrkabel (140) konfiguriert ist, und

    eine Rollenanordnung (20), die an einer zweiten axialen Stelle (22) relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) wirkend am Mast (210) befestigt ist, wobei die zweite axiale Stelle (22) zwischen der ersten axialen Stelle (12) und dem zweiten Ende (216) des Mastes (210) relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) angeordnet ist, wobei die Rollenanordnung (20) zur Kopplung mit dem Bohrkabel (140) konfiguriert ist,

    wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) und die Rollenanordnung (20) innerhalb des vorderen Abschnitts (206) der Bohranlage (200) positioniert sind und wobei mindestens ein Abschnitt der Drahtseilanordnung (10) und mindestens ein Abschnitt der Rollenanordnung (20) in Bezug auf die zweite Querachse (204) axial vom Mast (210) beabstandet sind.


     
    2. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei, wenn der Bohrkopf (230) in einer oberen Position relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) positioniert ist, die Rollenanordnung (20) zwischen der Drahtseilanordnung (10) und dem Bohrkopf (230) relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) positioniert ist.
     
    3. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) und die Rollenanordnung (20) im Wesentlichen axial entlang einer Achse (30) ausgerichtet sind, wobei sich die Achse (30) in einem ausgewählten spitzen Winkel (32) relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) erstreckt oder im Wesentlichen parallel zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) ist.
     
    4. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei während des Betriebs der Bohranlage (200) ein axialer Abstand (34) zwischen der Drahtseilanordnung (10) und der Rollenanordnung (20) relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) im Wesentlichen konstant bleibt.
     
    5. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) einen Basisabschnitt (17) und gegenüberliegende erste und zweite Stützklammern (18a, 18b) aufweist, wobei die Trommel (14) zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Stützklammer (18a, 18b) positioniert ist, wobei die Trommel (14) eine Rotationsachse (15) hat und eine Innenkammer (16) definiert, die sich axial relativ zur Rotationsachse (15) erstreckt, wobei das Drahtseilsystem (100) zudem einen Hydraulikmotor (40) umfasst, der zumindest teilweise innerhalb der Innenkammer (16) der Trommel (14) positioniert ist und wirkend mit der Trommel (14) gekoppelt ist, und wobei bei Aktivierung des Hydraulikmotors (40) die Trommel (14) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie sich um die Drehachse (15) relativ zur ersten und zweiten Stützklammer (18a, 18b) dreht.
     
    6. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 5, das zudem eine Spulvorrichtung (50) umfasst, die so konfiguriert ist, dass sie das Bohrkabel (140) von der Trommel (14) aufnimmt und das Bohrkabel (140) zur Rollenanordnung (20) leitet.
     
    7. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 6, wobei die Spulvorrichtung (50) eine an der ersten und der zweiten Stützklammer (18a, 18b) befestigte Befestigungsklammer (52) umfasst und wobei die Befestigungsklammer (52) sowie die erste und die zweite Stützklammer (18a, 18b) jeweilige Öffnungen (54) in Verbindung mit der Innenkammer (16) der Trommel (14) definieren und wobei die Spulvorrichtung (50) sowie die erste und die zweite Stützklammer (18a, 18b) für eine selektive Drehung relativ zur Trommel (14) konfiguriert sind.
     
    8. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 7, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) zudem ein Verbindungsgehäuse (60) umfasst, das in der Trommel (14) positioniert ist, und wobei das Verbindungsgehäuse (60) wirkend mit der ersten Stützklammer (18a) gekoppelt ist, wobei das Verbindungsgehäuse (60) einen Vorsprung (62) definiert, der sich umlaufend innerhalb des Verbindungsgehäuses (60) erstreckt und so konfiguriert ist, dass er den Hydraulikmotor (40) in einer Betriebsposition stützt.
     
    9. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Trommel (14) eine Welle (70) und eine zentrale Nabe (72) umfasst, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) zudem einen Stützflansch (80) umfasst, wobei die zentrale Nabe (72) zwischen der ersten und der zweiten Stützklammer (18a, 18b) in Bezug auf die Drehachse (15) positioniert ist, wobei die zentrale Nabe (72) wirkend mit dem Vorsprung (62) des Verbindungsgehäuses (60) gekoppelt und für die wirkende Kopplung mit dem Hydraulikmotor (40) konfiguriert ist, wobei die zweite Stützklammer (18b) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie den Stützflansch (80) stützt, wobei der Stützflansch (80) eine zentrale Öffnung (82) definiert, die so konfiguriert ist, dass sie die Welle (70) der Trommel (14) aufnimmt, wobei der Stützflansch (80) so konfiguriert ist, dass er die Welle (70) der Trommel (14) in im Wesentlichen axialer Ausrichtung mit der zentralen Nabe (72) relativ zur Rotationsachse (15) stützt, wobei bei wirkender Kopplung zwischen der mittigen Nabe (72) der Trommel (14) und dem Hydraulikmotor (40) die zentrale Nabe (72) der Trommel (14) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie eine Drehkraft vom Hydraulikmotor (40) aufnimmt und die Drehkraft auf die Trommel (14) überträgt, und wobei die zentrale Nabe (72) und der Hydraulikmotor (40) selektiv austauschbar sind.
     
    10. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 9, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) zudem ein Lager (84) umfasst, das vom Stützflansch (80) gestützt wird, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (80) zudem einen Antriebsriemen (85) umfasst, der wirkend mit der Welle (70) der Trommel (14) und der Spulvorrichtung (50) gekoppelt ist, wobei der Antriebsriemen (85) so konfiguriert ist, dass er der Spule (50) eine Drehbewegung verleiht, wenn die Welle (70) der Trommel (14) relativ zur Rotationsachse (15) rotiert, wobei der Antriebsriemen (85) mehrere miteinander verbundene Riemenräder (86) umfasst, wobei die Spulvorrichtung (50) ein einstellbares Spulprofil hat und wobei das Spulprofil durch Variieren eines Übersetzungsverhältnisses zwischen mindestens einem Paar von miteinander verbundenen Riemenrädern (86) selektiv einstellbar ist.
     
    11. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Rollenanordnung (20) einen Stützarm (24) und ein Schwenkgelenk (26) umfasst, das wirkend mit dem Stützarm (24) gekoppelt und für eine selektive Schwenkbewegung relativ zum Stützarm (24) konfiguriert ist, und wobei der Stützarm (24) an der zweiten axialen Stelle (22) wirkend am Mast (210) befestigt ist.
     
    12. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Rollenanordnung (20) gegenüberliegende erste und zweite Seilscheiben (90a, 90b) sowie eine Klammer (96) umfasst, die wirkend am Drehgelenk (26) befestigt ist, wobei die erste und die zweite Seilscheibe (90a, 90b) jeweils eine jeweilige Umfangsnut (92a, 92b) definieren und zur Drehung um eine jeweilige Drehachse (94a, 94b) konfiguriert sind, wobei die Umfangsnut (92a, 92b) jeder Seilscheibe (90a, 90b) zur Aufnahme des Drahtseils (140) konfiguriert ist, wobei die Klammer (96) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie mit der ersten und der zweiten Seilscheibe (90a, 90b) derart in Eingriff steht, dass die Drehachsen (94a, 94b) der ersten und der zweiten Seilscheibe (90a, 90b) im Wesentlichen parallel und im Wesentlichen senkrecht zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) sind, wobei die Rollenanordnung (20) gegenüberliegende erste und zweite Führungsplatten (98a, 98b) umfasst, wobei die erste und die zweite Führungsplatte (98a, 98b) an der Klammer (96) befestigt sind, wobei die erste Führungsplatte (98a) von der ersten Seilscheibe (90a) beabstandet und wirkend relativ zu dieser positioniert ist, um zu verhindern, dass sich das Drahtseil (140) von der Umfangsnut (92a) der ersten Seilscheibe (90a) löst, wobei die zweite Führungsplatte (98b) von der zweiten Seilscheibe (90b) beabstandet und wirkend relativ zu dieser positioniert ist, um zu verhindern, dass sich das Drahtseil (140) von der Umfangsnut (92b) der zweiten Seilscheibe (90b) löst, wobei die erste Führungsplatte (98a) mit der Umfangsnut (92a) der ersten Seilscheibe (90a) zusammenwirkt und einen Einlass (110) der Rollenanordnung (20) definiert und wobei die zweite Führungsplatte (98b) mit der Umfangsnut (92b) der zweiten Seilscheibe (90b) zusammenwirkt und einen Auslass (112) der Rollenanordnung (20) definiert.
     
    13. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 12, wobei die Rollenanordnung (20) zudem Folgendes umfasst:

    mindestens eine Einlassrolle (114), die in der Nähe des Einlasses (110) der Rollenanordnung (20) angeordnet und von der Umfangsnut (92a) der ersten Seilscheibe (90a) beabstandet ist, und

    mindestens eine Auslassrolle (116), die in der Nähe des Auslasses (112) der Rollenanordnung (20) angeordnet und von der Umfangsnut (92b) der zweiten Seilscheibe (90b) beabstandet ist,

    wobei die mindestens eine Einlaufrolle (114) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie ein Drahtseil (140) in die Umfangsnut (92a) der ersten Seilscheibe (90a) führt, und

    wobei die mindestens eine Auslassrolle (116) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie das Drahtseil (140) führt, wenn es den Auslass (112) der Rollenanordnung (20) verlässt.


     
    14. Das Drahtseilsystem (100) nach Anspruch 13, wobei die mindestens eine Einlassrolle (114) und die mindestens eine Auslassrolle (116) zur Drehung um jeweilige Drehachsen (115, 117) konfiguriert sind, wobei die Drehachsen (115, 117) der mindestens einen Einlaufrolle (114) und der mindestens einen Auslaufrolle (116) im Wesentlichen parallel zu den Drehachsen (94a, 94b) der ersten und der zweiten Seilscheibe (90a, 90b) verlaufen, wobei die mindestens eine Einlaufrolle (114) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie die Bewegung des Drahtseils (140) relativ zur Drehachse (115) der mindestens einen Einlaufrolle (114) einschränkt, wenn das Drahtseil (140) in den Einlauf (110) der Rollenanordnung (20) eintritt, und wobei die mindestens eine Auslassrolle (116) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie die Bewegung des Drahtseils (140) relativ zur Drehachse (117) der mindestens einen Auslassrolle (116) beschränkt, wenn das Drahtseil (140) den Auslass (112) der Rollenanordnung (20) verlässt.
     
    15. Das Drahtseilsystem nach Anspruch 13, wobei die Rollenanordnung (20) zudem Folgendes umfasst:

    eine erste Führungsrolle (118a), die vom Einlass (110) der Rollenanordnung (20) in Bezug auf die Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) beabstandet ist, wobei die erste Führungsrolle (118a) zur Drehung um eine Drehachse (120a) konfiguriert ist, die im Wesentlichen senkrecht zu den Drehachsen (94a, 94b) der ersten und zweiten Seilscheibe (90a, 90b) ist, und

    eine zweite Führungsrolle (118b), die vom Auslass (112) der Rollenanordnung (20) in Bezug auf die Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) beabstandet ist, wobei die zweite Führungsrolle (118b) zur Drehung um eine Drehachse konfiguriert ist (120b) die im Wesentlichen senkrecht zu den Drehachsen (94a, 94b) der ersten und der zweiten Rolle (90a, 90b) ist,

    wobei die erste Führungsrolle (118a) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie das Drahtseil (140) greift und die Bewegung des Drahtseils (140) relativ zur Drehachse (120a) der ersten Führungsrolle (118a) einschränkt, wenn das Drahtseil (140) sich dem Einlass (110) der Rollenanordnung (20) nähert, und

    wobei die zweite Führungsrolle (118b) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie das Drahtseil (140) greift und die Bewegung des Drahtseils (140) relativ zur Drehachse (120b) der zweiten Führungsrolle (118b) einschränkt, wenn das Drahtseil (140) den Auslass (112) der Rollenanordnung (20) verlässt.


     
    16. Ein Bohrsystem (205) zur Durchführung von Bohrvorgängen innerhalb einer Bohrformation, wobei das Bohrsystem (205) auf einer Bohranlage (200) positioniert ist und Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Mast (210), der eine Längsachse (212) und gegenüberliegende erste und zweite Enden (214, 216) aufweist, wobei das erste Ende (214) des Mastes (210) zur Positionierung in der Nähe der Bohrformation konfiguriert ist, wobei das Bohrsystem (205) über eine erste Querachse (202) und eine zweite Querachse (204), die sich senkrecht zur ersten Querachse (202) erstreckt, verfügt, wobei, wenn sich der Mast (210) in einer vertikalen Position befindet, die erste und die zweite Querachse (202, 204) im Wesentlichen senkrecht zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) verlaufen, wobei die erste Querachse (202) die Bohranlage (200) in einen vorderen Abschnitt (206) und einen hinteren Abschnitt (208) aufteilt und wobei sich die zweite Querachse (204) vom vorderen Abschnitt (206) der Bohranlage (200) zum hinteren Abschnitt (208) der Bohranlage erstreckt (200);

    einen Bohrstrang;

    einen Bohrkopf (230), der so konfiguriert ist, dass er dem Bohrstrang eine Drehung verleiht, wobei der Bohrkopf (230) für eine selektive Bewegung relativ zur Längsachse (212) des Mastes (210) konfiguriert ist, und

    ein Drahtseilsystem (100) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche.


     
    17. Das Bohrsystem (205) nach Anspruch 16, das zudem einen Sicherheitskäfig (150) umfasst, wobei der Sicherheitskäfig (150) eine Tür (152) aufweist, wobei die Drahtseilanordnung (10) innerhalb des Sicherheitskäfigs (150) positioniert ist und wobei die Tür (152) des Sicherheitskäfigs (150) so konfiguriert ist, dass sie einen selektiven Zugang zur Drahtseilanordnung (10) und dem Bohrstrang ermöglicht.
     


    Revendications

    1. Un système pour câble métallique (100) pour utilisation sur un appareil de forage (200), comprenant un mât (210), un train de tiges de forage (220) et une tête de forage (230), configurés pour faire tourner le train de tiges de forage (220) dans une formation, le mât (210) ayant un axe longitudinal (212) et une première et une seconde extrémités opposées (214, 216), la première extrémité (214) du mât (210) étant configurée pour se positionner près de la formation à forer, l'appareil de forage (200) ayant un premier axe transversal (202) et un second axe transversal (204) perpendiculaires par rapport au premier axe transversal (202), dans lequel, lorsque le mât (210) est positionné en position verticale, le premier et le second axes transversaux (202, 204) sont sensiblement perpendiculaires à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), dans lequel le premier axe transversal (202) divise l'appareil de forage (200) en une partie avant (206) et une partie arrière (208), dans lequel le second axe transversal (204) s'étend de la partie avant (206) de l'appareil de forage (200) jusqu'à la partie arrière (208) de l'appareil de forage (200),
    caractérisé par le fait que le système de câble métallique (100) comprend :

    un dispositif pour câble métallique (10) fixé sur le mât (210) à la première position axiale (12) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), le premier emplacement axial (12) étant proche de la première extrémité (214) du mât de forage (210), dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) comprend un tambour (14) configuré pour enrouler et dérouler un câble de forage (140) ; et

    un ensemble de rouleaux (20) fixé sur le mât (210) à un second emplacement axial (22) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), le second emplacement axial (22) étant placé entre le premier emplacement axial (12) et la seconde extrémité (216) du mât (210) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), dans lequel l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) est configuré pour dérouler et enrouler le câble de forage (140),

    dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) et l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) sont placés dans la partie avant (206) de l'appareil de forage (200), et dans lequel au moins une partie du dispositif pour câble métallique (10) et au moins une partie de l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) sont espacées axialement depuis le mât (210) par rapport au second axe transversal (204).


     
    2. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 1, dans lequel, lorsque la tête de forage (230) est placée sur une position supérieure par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) est placé entre le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) et la tête de forage (230) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210).
     
    3. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 2, dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) et l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) sont sensiblement alignés le long d'un axe (30), dans lequel l'axe (30) se déploie suivant un angle aigu sélectionné (32) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), ou est sensiblement parallèle à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210).
     
    4. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 1, dans lequel, pendant le fonctionnement de l'appareil de forage (200), la distance axiale (34) entre le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) et l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210) reste sensiblement constante.
     
    5. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 1, dans lequel dispositif pour câble métallique (10) comprend une partie de base (17) et un premier et un second supports opposés (18A, 18b), dans lequel le tambour (14) est positionné entre le premier et le second supports (18A, 18b), dans lequel le tambour (14) a un axe de rotation (15) et définit une chambre intérieure (16) s'étendant axialement par rapport à l'axe de rotation (15), dans lequel le système pour câble métallique (100) comprend en outre un moteur hydraulique (40) placé au moins partiellement dans la chambre intérieure (16) du tambour (14) et est accouplé au tambour (14), et dans lequel au moment de la mise en route du moteur hydraulique (40), le tambour (14) est configuré pour tourner autour de l'axe de rotation (15) par rapport au premier et au second supports (18A, 18b).
     
    6. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 5, comprenant en outre un enrouleur (50) configuré pour recevoir le câble de forage (140) à partir du tambour (14) et pour diriger le câble de forage (140) sur l'ensemble de rouleaux (20).
     
    7. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 6, dans lequel l'enrouleur (50) comprend un support (52) fixé sur le premier et le second supports (18A, 18b), et dans lequel le support (52) et le premier et le second supports (18A, 18b) comportent des orifices (54) en communication avec la chambre intérieure (16) du tambour (14), et dans lequel l'enrouleur (50) et le premier et le second supports (18A, 18b) sont configurés pour tourner par rapport au tambour (14).
     
    8. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 7, dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) comprend en outre un boîtier de raccordement (60) placé dans le tambour (14), et dans lequel la chambre de raccordement (60) est couplée au premier support (18a), la chambre de raccordement (60) comportant une saillie (62) sur la circonférence du boîtier de raccordement (60) et est configurée pour maintenir le moteur hydraulique (40) en position de marche.
     
    9. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 8, dans lequel le tambour (14) comprend un arbre (70) et un moyeu central (72), dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) comprend en outre une bride (80), le moyeu central (72) étant placé entre le premier et le second supports (18A, 18b) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (15), le moyeu central (72) étant couplé à la saillie (62) du boîtier (60) et configuré pour être entraîné par le moteur hydraulique (40), dans lequel le second support (18b) est configuré pour soutenir la bride (80), cette bride (80) comportant un orifice central (82) configuré pour recevoir l'arbre (70) du tambour (14), la bride (80) étant configurée pour soutenir l'arbre (70) du tambour (14) avec un alignement sensiblement axial avec le moyeu central (72) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (15), dans lequel, lorsque le moyeu central (72) du tambour (14) et le moteur hydraulique (40) sont accouplés, le moyeu central (72) du tambour (14) est configuré pour recevoir la force de rotation exercée par le moteur hydraulique (40) et pour transférer cette force de rotation au tambour (14), et dans lequel le moyeu central (72) et le moteur hydraulique (40) peuvent être remplacés de manière indépendante.
     
    10. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 9, dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) comprend en outre un roulement (84) soutenu par la bride (80), dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (80) comprend en outre une courroie d'entraînement (85) couplée à l'arbre (70) du tambour (14) et à l'enrouleur (50), dans lequel la courroie d'entraînement (85) est configurée pour faire tourner l'enrouleur (50) lorsque l'arbre (70) du tambour (14) tourne par rapport à l'axe de rotation (15), dans lequel la courroie d'entraînement (85) comprend plusieurs roues dentées (86), dans lequel l'enrouleur (50) comporte un profil réglable, et dans lequel le profil réglable de l'enrouleur peut être modifié en faisant varier le rapport entre au moins une paire de roues dentées de la courroie (86).
     
    11. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 1, dans lequel l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) comprend un bras de soutien (24) et un axe de rotation (26) couplé au bras de soutien (24) et configuré pour faire pivoter de manière sélective par rapport au bras de soutien (24), et dans lequel le bras de soutien (24) peut être fixé sur le mât (210) à la seconde position axiale (22).
     
    12. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 11, dans lequel l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) comprend une première et une seconde poulies opposées (90A, 90b) et un support (96) fixés sur l'axe de rotation (26), la première et la seconde poulies (90A, 90b) définissant chacune une gorge circonférentielle (92A, 92b) et étant configurées pour tourner par rapport à un axe de rotation (94A, 94b), dans lequel la gorge circonférentielle (92A, 92b) de chaque poulie (90A, 90b) est configurée pour recevoir le câble métallique (140), dans lequel le support (96) est configuré pour engager la première et la seconde poulies (90A, 90b) afin que les axes de rotation (94A, 94b) de la première et de la seconde poulies (90A, 90b) soient sensiblement parallèles et perpendiculaires à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), dans lequel l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) comprend une première et une seconde plaques de guidage opposées (98A, 98b), la première et la seconde plaques de guidage (98A, 98b) étant fixées au support (96), dans lequel la première plaque de guidage (98a) est en position opératoire et est éloignée de la première poulie (90a) pour que le câble métallique (140) ne sorte pas de la gorge circonférentielle (92a) de la première poulie (90a), dans lequel la seconde plaque de guidage (98b) est en position opératoire et éloignée de la seconde poulie (90b) pour que le câble métallique (140) ne sorte pas de la gorge circonférentielle (92b) de la seconde poulie (90b), dans lequel la première plaque de guidage (98a) coopère avec la gorge circonférentielle (92a) de la première poulie (90a) pour définir une entrée (110) dans l'ensemble de rouleaux (20), et dans lequel la seconde plaque de guidage (98b) coopère avec la gorge circonférentielle (92b) de la seconde poulie (90b) pour définir une sortie (112) dans l'ensemble de rouleaux (20).
     
    13. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 12, dans lequel l'ensemble des rouleaux (20) comprend en outre :

    au moins un rouleau d'entrée (114) placé à proximité de l'entrée (110) de l'ensemble de rouleaux (20) et éloigné de la gorge circonférentielle (92a) de la première poulie (90a) ; et

    au moins un rouleau de sortie (116) placé près de la sortie (112) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20) et éloigné de la gorge circonférentielle (92b) de la seconde poulie (90b),

    dans lequel au moins un rouleau d'entrée (114) est configuré pour guider un câble métallique (140) dans la gorge circonférentielle (92a) de la première poulie (90a), et

    dans lequel au moins un rouleau de sortie (116) est configuré pour guider le câble métallique (140) lorsqu'il quitte la sortie (112) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20).


     
    14. Le système pour câble métallique (100) de la revendication 13, dans lequel au moins un rouleau d'entrée (114) et au moins un rouleau de sortie (116) sont configurés pour tourner par rapport aux axes de rotation respectifs (115, 117), dans lequel les axes de rotation (115, 117) d'au moins un rouleau d'entrée (114) et d'au moins un rouleau de sortie (116) sont sensiblement parallèles aux axes de rotation (94A, 94b) de la première et de la seconde poulies (90A, 90b), dans lequel au moins un rouleau d'entrée (114) est configuré pour limiter le mouvement du câble métallique (140) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (115) d'au moins un rouleau d'entrée (114) lorsque le câble métallique (140) pénètre dans l'entrée (110) de l'ensemble de rouleaux (20), et dans lequel au moins un rouleau de sortie (116) est configuré pour limiter le mouvement du câble métallique (140) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (117) d'au moins un rouleau de sortie (116) lorsque le câble métallique (140) sort de la sortie (112) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20).
     
    15. Le dispositif pour câble métallique de la revendication 13, dans lequel l'ensemble des rouleaux (20) comprend en outre :

    un premier rouleau de guidage (118a) éloigné de l'entrée (110) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), le premier rouleau de guidage (118a) étant configuré pour tourner par rapport à un axe de rotation (120a) qui est sensiblement perpendiculaire aux axes de rotation (94A, 94b) de la première et de la seconde poulies (90A, 90b) ; et

    un second rouleau de guidage (118b) éloigné de la sortie (112) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20) par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), le second rouleau de guidage (118b) étant configuré pour tourner par rapport à un axe de rotation (120b) qui est sensiblement perpendiculaire aux axes de rotation (94A, 94b) de la première et de la seconde poulies (90A, 90b),

    dans lequel le premier rouleau de guidage (118a) est configuré pour recevoir le câble métallique (140) afin de limiter le mouvement du câble métallique (140) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (120a) du premier rouleau de guidage (118a) lorsque le câble métallique (140) s'approche de l'entrée (110) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20), et

    dans lequel le second rouleau de guidage (118b) est configuré pour recevoir le câble métallique (140) afin de limiter le mouvement du câble métallique (140) par rapport à l'axe de rotation (120b) du second rouleau de guidage (118b) lorsque le câble métallique (140) quitte la sortie (112) de l'ensemble des rouleaux (20).


     
    16. Un système de forage (205) pour exécuter des opérations de forage dans une formation géologique, le système de forage (205) étant placé sur un appareil de forage (200) et comprenant :

    un mât (210) ayant un axe longitudinal (212) et une première et une seconde extrémités opposées (214, 216), la première extrémité (214) du mât (210) étant configurée pour se positionner à proximité de la formation à forer, dans lequel le système de forage (205) a un premier axe transversal (202) et un second axe transversal (204) s'étendant perpendiculairement par rapport au premier axe transversal (202), dans lequel, lorsque le mât (210) est placé en position verticale, le premier et le second axes transversaux (202, 204) sont sensiblement perpendiculaires à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210), dans lequel le premier axe transversal (202) divise l'appareil de forage (200) en une partie avant (206) et une partie arrière (208), et où le second axe transversal (204) s'étend depuis la partie avant (206) de l'appareil de forage (200) jusqu'à la partie arrière (208) de l'appareil de forage (200) ;

    un train tiges de forage ;

    une tête de forage (230) configurée pour faire tourner le train de tiges, la tête de forage (230) étant configurée pour tourner de manière sélective par rapport à l'axe longitudinal (212) du mât (210) ; et

    un système pour câble métallique (100) conforme à l'une des revendications précédentes.


     
    17. Le système de forage (205) de la revendication 16, comportant en outre une cage de sécurité (150), cette cage de sécurité (150) ayant une porte (152), dans lequel le dispositif pour câble métallique (10) est positionné à l'intérieur de la cage de sécurité (150), et dans lequel la porte (152) de la cage de sécurité (150) est configurée pour permettre un accès sélectif au dispositif pour câble métallique (10) et au train des tiges de forage.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description