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Saudi Aramco: Invention Creates Sand Barriers

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 6/4/2005, Location: Middle East

DHAHRAN, June 02, 2005 -- The Intellectual Assets Management team has reported the seventh patent of 2005 granted for Saudi Aramco, for an invention by Dr. Abdulmalik Al-Ghamdi: the Dynamic Sand Drift Barrier. Shifting sands add up to big problems for companies such as Saudi Aramco by drifting over roads and facilities. "Keeping the sand away costs a significant amount of money," said Mohammed Alansari, administrator of the Intellectual Assets Management Team.

But Al-Ghamdi's Dynamic Sand Drift Barrier answers the problems. This system actually stops and gathers sand, converting it to serve as a solid dune fence. Using the wind, the barrier can adjust and maintain the sand dune fence at an optimal position.

The heart of the system is a horizontal Savonius windmill that uses the wind to direct the fence-building. The wind, carrying blown sand particles, hits the windmill and produces a rotating motion, which, in turn, translates into axial force-displacement energy using the system's four slider crank arm mechanisms.

The captured sand is then deposited underneath the fence by the Savonius windmill while the wind-blown energy drives the four legs of the barrier up. That allows the Dynamic Sand Drift Barrier to readjust its height and stay on top of the sand dune.

Saudi Aramco has been experimenting with developing sand drift barriers since the 1930s. However, since all efforts have been passive, the barriers are eventually overrun and submerged. Since the Dynamic Sand Drift Barrier is powered by the wind energy of the drift, it is self-operated.

"I thought of this fence after seeing the active sand drift areas in and around Saudi Aramco facilities," Al-Ghamdi said.

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