Patent application title: HIGH OUTPUT, RADIAL ENGINE-POWERED, ROAD-TRANSPORTABLE APPARATUS USED IN ON-SITE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS
Mark Andreychuk (Calgary, CA)
IPC8 Class: AE21B4100FI
Class name: Wells processes
Publication date: 2014-02-20
Patent application number: 20140048253
A transportable process platform is provided for maximizing process
operations therefrom without exceeding transport weight requirement. Each
platform supports a power unit comprising a driven component coupled to a
lightweight radial engine. The radial engine is configurable with one or
more supplemental cylinder rows to increase the power output to match the
power demand of the driven equipment. The lightweight engine maximizes
the power demand of the driven component until the weight of the power
unit approaches the maximum payload weight of the platform. Operations
requiring greater capacity that that provided by one platform only
benefit from a minimum number of platforms, each having maximized power
1. A transportable power platform for oil and gas wellsite usage
comprising: a transportable platform; one or more driven components of
oil and gas equipment supported by the platform and having a power
demand; and a radial engine supported by the platform, the radial engine
having normally air-cooled cylinders, and a power output matched to about
the power demand of the one or more driven components and being coupled
2. The transportable power platform of claim 1 comprising: wherein the radial engine has one or more supplemental cylinder rows, the total number of rows configured to provide a power output to match the power demand of one or more driven components.
3. The transportable power platform of claim 1 further wherein: the transportable platform has a maximum payload weight; the one or more driven components have an equipment weight and the radial engine has an engine weight including a base engine weight and supplemental cylinder row weight, the coupled, driven components and radial engine forming a power unit having a combined weight; the one or more driven components being selected with a process power demand, the radial engine has a base power output for a single base row, and the number of rows, including the base row, is equal to a process ratio of the process power demand to base power output; and combined weight being less than or equal to the maximum payload weight.
4. The transportable power platform of claim 1 wherein: the transportable trailer has a maximum payload weight; and a combined weight of the auxiliary support equipment, one or more driven components and the radial engine is at about the maximum payload weight.
5. The transportable power platform of claim 4 wherein: the radial engine is a multi-row radial engine having a base row and one or more supplemental cylinder rows, the total number of rows configured to provide a power output to match the power demand of the one or more driven components.
6. The transportable power platform of claims 1 wherein: the auxiliary support equipment further comprises supplementary liquid cooling for the radial engine.
7. The transportable power platform of claims 1 wherein the transportable platform is a trailer for supporting a skid, the skid supporting the power unit.
8. The transportable power platform of claim 1 wherein the transportable platform is a trailer for supporting the power unit.
9. A system for minimizing a number of transportable power platforms for providing process fluid to an oil and gas wellsite, comprising: a plurality of transportable power units, each having a maximum payload weight, supporting a fluid pump having a power demand and a power plant for providing a power output about that of the power demand; wherein each fluid pump comprises one or more driven fluid pumps; each power plant comprises a multi-row radial engine having a row multiplier to provide a power output to match the process power demand; and a combined weight of auxiliary support equipment, one or more driven components and the multi-row engine is at about the maximum payload weight.
10. The system of claim 9 wherein: the process power demand is about 4500 HP; and the multi-row radial engine is a three-row radial engine, each row having a nominal power output of 1500 HP.
11. The system of claim 9 wherein: the process power demand is about 5,000 HP; and the multi-row radial engine is a three-row radial engine, each row having a nominal power output of 1500 HP for a total power output of about 4,500 HP.
12. The system of claim 11 wherein the one or more pumps is two pumps, further comprising: a mechanical splitter for splitting the power output of the multi-row radial engine between the two pumps.
13. A process for maximizing the delivery of process fluid to an oil and gas wellsite using a minimum number of transportable platforms supporting the fluid pumps thereon, comprising: providing a plurality of transportable platforms, each having a maximum payload weight and supporting power unit thereon, each power unit comprising a fluid pump having a power demand and a radial engine having at least one cylinder row for providing a power output about that of the power demand; and configuring each radial engine by providing a base row of the at least one cylinder row and one or more supplemental rows according to a row multiplier established as a ratio of the power demand and the power output, so that when the row multiplier has a value of two or more, the radial engine has the base row and one or more supplemental rows respectively so as to match the power output to the power demand; coupling each fluid pump with a radial engine. maximizing the power demand of the fluid pump and power output of the radial engine until a weight of the power unit is up to about the maximum payload weight.
14. The process of claim 13 wherein when the row multiplier exceeds a threshold ratio, further comprising providing two or more power units on the transportable platform, the combined weight of the two or more power units being less than about the maximum payload weight.
15. The process of claim 13 further comprising: one or more gensets comprising a generator and a radial engine; and wherein the radial engines of the power units and gensets are fueled from the same fuel source.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent application Ser. No. 61/683,426, filed Aug. 15, 2012, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.
FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE
 Embodiments disclosed herein are related to maximizing power generation for apparatus which is transportable by road under transport weight restrictions for use at a site, and more particularly, for apparatus which is transported to a wellsite for use in oil and gas operations.
 It is well known to transport a wide variety of apparatus, including but not limited to drilling equipment and service equipment, from wellsite to wellsite. Wellsite operations are characterized by equipment requiring significant power including in the thousands to tens of thousands of horsepower.
 Engines used to power such apparatus are required to meet strict emission requirements. In many cases therefore, the conventional engines are high capacity so as to meet both the power demands and elevated temperature operational requirements to reduce emissions to meet the acceptable emission standards. As allowable emission levels become more restrictive, the engines are far hotter and the size of the engines and duty required typically increases resulting in an increase in the size of the cooling systems. Large cooling equipment, such as are on more radiators, is used to cool the engines. Diesel fueled engines, such as for driving generators require significant cooling.
 Thus, as shown in FIG. 1 and mounted on a prior art pumper for hydraulic fracture operations, the conventional power units and required radiators are associated with a significant weight which, if attempted at any increased the power demand level as may be desired, may exceed allowable road limits for transport as a single unit, particularly as power requirements increase. Attempts to increase the volumetric capacity to meet the larger process demands has typically resulted in a plurality of units or results in in heavy transportable units which exceed most weight restrictions on roads imposed by organizations such as state, provincial and federal Departments of Transportation (DOT), or which otherwise require special permitting. Such regulations vary depending upon the type of roadways normally available to access wellsite locations and whether said roadways are under the jurisdiction of municipal, provincial, state or federal governments. In Alberta, Canada the requirements are set forth in the Traffic Safety Act, Commercial Vehicle Dimension And Weight Regulation, Alberta Regulation 315/2002.
 As a result, transport of the power units themselves may require the addition of one or more platforms or trailers over and above those used for the apparatus which utilize the unit's power. For large power requirements, power supply units and associated drive equipment are divided up into a plurality of parallel units. Thus, there is typically significant assembly required onsite once the various components have been transported.
 There is a need in the industry for capable power plants which have a smaller footprint, lower weight and to facilitate road-transport within respective regulatory, such as DOT guidelines. Such units would be part of a system that requires a minimum number of personnel to operate and must be in compliance with transportation regulations in the greatest number of wellsites. More particularly, there is a need for apparatus which can be transported without excessive transport permitting.
 In one particular context, the development of hydraulic fracturing in the oil and gas stimulation industry, over last 40 years, has resulted in ever increasing hydraulic horsepower (HP) requirements for hydraulic fracturing jobs. The power increase has been more than 100 times, increasing from 75 HP to over 10,000 HP. Similar oil and gas equipment requiring significant pumping horsepower includes cement pumps, nitrogen pumps, blenders, pressure trucks Carbon Dioxide pumps and propane pumps.
 Often due to road transport limitations of the weight of roadable platforms, a plurality of units are provided that, in total, provide the necessary volumes of stimulation fluids and power required. Multiple units are associated with a variety of costs including repeated capital cost associated with each unit and personnel hired to deliver these plurality of units to a site.
 As stated above, the current internal combustion power choices for coupling to fluid pumps are limited, either by their cost, such as in the case of expensive gas turbines, or by their overall equipment weight including the need for the large, heavy cooling equipment.
 Herein, one or more design elements are combined to significantly increase the power plant capacity and minimize the number of platforms required for a given site process requirement. Generally, in embodiment disclosed herein, a power plant is provided for each unit that requires minimum or no supplemental cooling and is relieved of the usual excess weight associated therewith. Each power plant is readily sized for the process requirements and power demand without significant variation in neither space nor weight requirements.
 In a broad aspect a transportable power platform for oil and gas wellsite usage comprises a transportable platform and one or more driven components of oil and gas equipment supported by the platform, each driven component has a power demand. In the oil and gas wellsite environment, the one or more driven components requires at least a base power demand of about 1500 HP or greater. To drive the components, a radial engine is also supported by the platform, the radial engine having normally air-cooled cylinders, and a power output matched to about the power demand of the one or more driven components. The radial engine is coupled thereto. Auxiliary support equipment is provided to service the one or more driven components and radial engine.
 In another aspect, a system is provided for minimizing a number of transportable power platforms for providing process fluid to an oil and gas wellsite, comprising a plurality of transportable power units, each having a maximum payload weight, supporting a fluid pump having a power demand and having a power plant for providing a power output about that of the power demand. Each fluid pump comprises one or more driven fluid pumps and each power plant comprises a multi-row radial engine having a row multiplier to provide a power output to match the process power demand. A combined weight of auxiliary support equipment, one or more driven components and the multi-row engine is at about the maximum payload weight.
 In another aspect, a process for maximizing the delivery of process fluid to an oil and gas wellsite, using a minimum number of transportable platforms supporting the fluid pumps thereon, comprises providing a plurality of transportable platforms, each having a maximum payload weight and supporting power unit thereon. Each power unit comprises a fluid pump having a power demand and a radial engine having at least one cylinder row for providing a power output about that of the power demand. The engine is configurable by configuring each radial engine for providing a base row of the at least one cylinder row and one or more supplemental rows according to a row multiplier established as a ratio of the power demand and the power output. When the row multiplier has a value of two or more, the radial engine is configured to have the base row and one or more supplemental rows respectively so as to match the power output to the power demand. One maximizes the power demand of the fluid pump and power output of the radial engine until a weight of the power unit is up to about the maximum payload weight.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a side view of a prior art transportable platform for an oil and gas wellsite pumping unit having a diesel power plant coupled to a pump and having a radiator arrangement across the top of the power plant and pump;
 FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a hydraulic fracturing pump, a gear box and a diagrammatic representation of a single row radial engine;
 FIG. 2B is a perspective view of a hydraulic fracturing pump, a gear box and a diagrammatic representation of a three row radial engine and a supplementary radiator, each cylinder row being rotationally offset, the cylinders being illustrated in schematic form only;
 FIGS. 2C1, 2C2 and 2C3 are side schematic illustrations of various transportable platforms for supporting the power and drive equipment units, namely self-propelled, trailer and trailered-skids respectively;
 FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a multi-row engine, the engine utilizing three rows of 1500 HP engines for a total of 4500 HP;
 FIG. 4 is a side view of a hydraulic fracturing pump, a gear box and a representation of a four row radial engine and a supplementary radiator;
 FIG. 5 is a perspective view of two pumps coupled through a splitter to a multi row engine; and
 FIG. 6 is a plan view of a website for a large hydraulic fracturing operation, a plurality of 10 units arranged in parallel for producing twice the conventional horsepower heretofore available without doubling the number of units.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 FIG. 1 illustrated a self-powered platform 10 having an engine 12, a radiator 14 and one or more driven components 16 such as equipment such as a 2500 HP hydraulic fracturing pump or frac pump. Applicant has noted that, historically, there is a form of internal combustion engine having their cylinders and reciprocating pistons arranged radially about a central crankshaft. Such radial engines were typically used in the propeller-driven aircraft industry, namely because of their high power to weight ratio. Such radial engines are also often and normally air-cooled, particularly the cylinders being air-cooled, absent the liquid cooling and radiators of the more conventional power plants. Typically such aircraft engines are not appropriately sized to meet the power requirements of conventional oil and gas operations. Typically numbering in hundreds or several thousands of HP, larger capacity engines are rare and the largest radial engine to date appears to have been the 4-row Lycoming R-7755 engine, being the largest piston-driven aircraft engine ever produced; with 36 cylinders (4 rows×9 cylinders per row) totaling about 7,750 in3 (127 L) of displacement and a power output of 5,000 horsepower (3,700 kW).
 Large radial engines were eventually supplanted by jet engines, also lightweight, but at a much higher capital cost. An early patent illustration of a multi-row radial engine is as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 2,787,994 to Brill (General Motors) in 1957. Historical records are populated with versions of multi-row engines.
 No longer applied exclusively for aircraft, Applicant is also aware that a small, relatively lightweight, 1500 HP radially-configured, air cooled, reciprocating engine, used to power a one megawatt (1 MW) generator or genset, is available from CLEAR ENERGY® Systems Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., USA. One such engine to Clear Energy is as illustrated in published US patent application US 2010/0072757 (A1) to Kelly et al, published Mar. 25, 2010. The Clear Energy radial engine is about one third the size and coupled with a generator is about one fifth the weight of a comparable diesel genset.
 To date however, no radial engines have been employed as drivers for the oil and gas industry. Through the application of lightweight aircraft power plants to oil field and wellsite duties, Applicant has found that high power-requirement operations can now be accomplished by maximizing the usefulness and capability of mobile, transportable units while remaining within road transport weight regulations. The number of transportable units is minimized by maximizing each unit for maximum power output and cooling equipment if any, is minimized so to be contained on one roadable, transportable unit within weight allowances.
 Applicant also understands radial engines to have a higher tolerance for impurities than a conventional diesel-fueled engine and are more flexible with respect to the type of fuel utilized. Thus, the radial engine can have a fuel source selected from natural gas (NG), which may be produced and compressed (CNG) on-site, and butane or propane, all of which are commonly available on-site at an oil or gas wellsite.
 Further, unlike diesel engines, which require fuel to be recirculated from the engine to a recirculation tank, a radial engine fueled using CNG, propane or butane does not require any recirculation of fuel.
 Accordingly, as shown in an embodiment of FIG. 2A, a power unit 18 includes a 1500 HP radial engine 20 coupled for driving relatively small driven components 22 such as fluid pumps such as small frac pumps. Frac pumps are used for pumping fluids downhole during a formation treatment or fracturing operation. Typically the engine 20 is the mechanically-coupled to the driven components 22. Such a power unit 18 includes engines 20 coupled with other driven components 22 such as larger frac pumps, other stimulation equipment, nitrogen pumps and vaporizers, cement pumps, blenders and the like. The radial engine can be air-cooled such as passively or by a forced air fan 24, absent a liquid radiator and weight associated therewith. Air cooled engines can be aided with forced air cooling or supplemental liquid cooling with a radiator 29.
 Conveniently, one or more gensets, fit with radial engines, can also be fueled from the same fuel source as the radial engines 20 of the power units 18.
 Turning to FIG. 2B, in some embodiments, despite rotational offsetting of the cylinders 26 in each row 28, the generally close coupling of the rows 28 can impair air cooling. Thus, a relatively small liquid cooling system or radiator 29 can be provided to supplement air cooling 24, without adding significantly to the weight. With reference to FIGS. 2C1, 2C2 and 2C3, the lightweight power plant can be configured to be mountable on the bed of a self-propelled truck unit 10 (the platform of prior art FIG. 1), a trailer 30 or on a skid 32 which can be transported on a trailer 30. All of which are subject and compliant with DOT weight allowances.
 A 1500 HP engine however does not generally provide sufficient output to drive larger on-site wellsite equipment such as large frac pumps, cement pumps, drilling equipment and the like. Typically, a large frac pump, requires an engine having an output of at least about 2500 HP. A frac pump of 2500 HP and corresponding prior art power plants, such as a diesel engine, happen to weigh about the maximum that can be transported on roadways under DOT requirements.
 As shown in FIG. 3, where each cylinder row of a radial engine can produce about 1500 HP (about 1.1 MW), additional cylinder rows 28x multiply the power output, three coupled cylinder rows 28b,28x,28x producing 4500 HP, providing more than enough output for powering a single common 3500 HP frac pump or for powering two, 2500 HP pumps at a derated performance, all of which of which being mountable on a single transportable platform such as a trailer bed. Thus, such an enhanced radial engine comprises multiple 1500 HP radial engines in a three-row, multi-row arrangement which are operatively connected, such as through a common driveshaft and transmission 40, for a nominal 4500 HP power output to drive the equipment.
 As shown in FIG. 4, a four-row engine 20, having a base row 28b, and 3 three additional rows 28x,28x,28x, is coupled to a pump 22 by a gear box 40. The overall power unit 18 of engine and pump is shown with a fanciful coupling of an engine as set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 2,787,994. While liquid cooling was not originally contemplated, note that the individual cylinders of each row are not offset and a supplemental liquid radiator can be provided. Accordingly, as shown in FIGS. 2B through 5, Applicant provides at least one radial engine 20 having one or more rows 28 of cylinders having a base row 28b and additional rows 28x,28x . . . as necessary, stacked in a multi-row arrangement and operatively connected therebetween, for generating sufficient power for a variety of oil and gas apparatus. In particular, large power demands arise particularly in powering a various fluid pumps on-site, wellsite, stimulation equipment or operating drilling equipment. The larger output, radial, multi-row engine 20 has a greater power to weight ratio, and meets or exceeds the emissions requirements. As set forth in literature by Clear Energy Systems (of Tempe, Ariz.) their modern version of a single row, nine cylinder, 30 liter radial engine has specifications including a weight of 1500 lbs, 1550 hp in a package that is 62 inches in diameter, 31 inches in length. For comparison, a conventional engine such as the Cat G3516B (by Caterpillar, Inc. USA), at 1380 HP has a specification weight of 18,520 lbs--or over 10 times weight of the radial engine. Coupled with a comparable 1 MW generator adds about 3,500 pounds and associated other weight components and structure to a total of about 26,000 pounds. Adding the same generator or comparable equipment such as a fluid pump to the Clear Energy engine combined to a total power unit 18 having a weight of about 5,000 pounds or about 20% of the prior art. In the prior art, a conventional power plant, such as a 2 MW (about a nominal 2500 HP), using a similar same engine as the Cat G3518 above, has an even heaver package weight of over 30,000 lbs. As the maximum weight allowed on municipal roads for a tridem axle trailer is about 17,000 kg, or 38,000 lbs, one can see that there is no further room to increase equipment capacity under the prior art paradigm.
 In other words, a comparable prior art power plant and driven components are about 1/5 the weight of conventional systems and enables larger power plants and driven components to be supported on conventional platforms in compliance with DOT weight requirements.
 In particular, and as shown in Table 1, for a variety of common pump sizes, one or more rows 28 are configured to match the equipment power demand requirements. An engine has at least a base row 28b, and additional rows 28,28x,28x as necessary. Thus each engine has a base power output. Further, there is a row multiplier for determining the power output of a multi-row engine. The number of rows is configured where the power demand divided by the base power output yields the row multiplier. The row multiplier is an integer. One design approach is to round down the demand to output ratio so as to operate the driven components at a derated capacity for longer equipment life.
 In determining the optimal unit 18, one starts with the transportable platform having a maximum payload weight. The one or more driven components have an equipment weight and the radial engine has an engine weight including a base engine weight, having at least the base row 28b, and a supplemental cylinder row weight for each additional row 28x,28x . . . and incremental or additional power associated therewith. The coupled, driven component and radial engine form a power unit 18 having a combined weight. The driven component 22 is selected for a process power demand, such as that necessary for the wellsite process, where multiple units are required to meet the process requirements, a fractional process power demand. The radial engine has a base power output for a single base row. Generally, each row adds a power increment about the same as that of the base power output. The number of rows for meeting the process power demand, including the base row, is equal to an integer value of the process ratio of the process power demand to base power output. Whether the integer value is rounded up or down is matter of operational preference. A rounding down of the multiplier derates the driven components and a rounding up ensues there is more power output available than power demand. The combined weight of all of the driven components 22, engine coupling components are less than or equal to the maximum payload weight.
 In other words, one maximizes the power demand up to about the maximum payload weight and minimizes the transportable platforms. Each of a plurality of transportable platforms has a maximum payload weight and supports a power unit 18 thereon. Each power unit 18 comprises a driven component such as a fluid pump having a power demand. Each power unit 18 further comprises a radial engine having at least one cylinder row for providing a power output about that of the power demand. One configures each radial engine by providing a base row of the at least one cylinder row and one or more supplemental rows according to the row multiplier, the multiplier being established as a ratio of the power demand to the power output. The multiplier will have a practical maximum threshold ratio, such as where cooling or maintenance is adversely affected, thereafter additional units of engines and drive component being required. When the row multiplier has a value of two or more, the radial engine has the base row and is further fit with one or more supplemental rows respectively so as to match the power output to the power demand. The power demand of the fluid pump and power output of the radial engine are maximized until a weight of the power unit up to the maximum payload weight.
 The weight Wu of a unit 18, being maximized to about maximum payload weight Wm is equal to the weight of the driven component We plus the weight of the engine We and the weight of each supplemental row Wr, if any, and the weight of the auxiliary equipment Waux including the gear box. The number supplemental rows depending on the number of rows Nrows determined suitable to meet the power demand, namely:
 The number of rows Nrows, including the base rows 28b and any supplemental rows 28x, is established from the ratio of the power demand of the driven component Pc divided by the power output of the engine with just the base row Peb. Therefore:
 Maximizing the power unit 18 involves increasing the power demand Pc and adding supplemental rows according to Nrows until Wu is about the maximum payload weight. If the number of rows Nrows exceeds the threshold ratio, then additional units 18 are required, each unit having unit weight Wu that is only a portion of maximum payload weight, the combined weight of the units no exceeding the maximum payload weight.
TABLE-US-00001 TABLE 1 Equipment Power Total Demand to Demand Number Power Output ratio Engine (per pc) of Demand (Base Peb = Engine Rows Power (Common) Pieces Pc 1500) Nrow Output 1500 HP 1 1500 1 1 1500 1800 1 1800 1 1 1500 3000 1 3000 2 2 3000 3500 1 3500 2.3 2 3000 2500 2 5000 3.3 3 (FIGS. 2B, 3) 4500 3000 2 6000 4 4 (FIG. 4) 6000
 Applicant believes that all of the above can be placed on a transportable platform and remain within DOT weight limits. In wellsite operations that involve very large capacities, such as hydraulic fracturing, one can immediately reduce the number of required transportable platforms to one half, with the associated reduction in capital cost and personnel. With the ability to place large capacity equipment on trailers or skids, one can also move from integrated, self-powered platforms to trailered platforms. A shift to trailered platforms further reduces personnel cost as one can reduce the need for prior art staffing of one driver per platform to a small pool of drivers for shuttling multiple trailered platforms from wellsite to wellsite.
 Simply, a transportable platform will have a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) that must comply with DOT requirements. The net payload comprises the combined weight of process equipment or driven components, the engine and auxiliary equipment for cooperative operation therebetween, and interfaces to the wellsite. A prior art payload of upwards of 30,000 pounds (for 2500 HP) can now be reduced to a payload more in the order of less than about 10,000 pounds yet providing a like power demand. One can see that the possible configurations for increased power demand and corresponding engines improves significantly. Indeed, the Clear Energy one-row, radial engine, fit to a 1 MW (nominal 1500 HP) generator is packaged in a trailer unit that is towable by a one ton pickup truck and weighs in the order of about 15,000 lbs, including the trailer.
 Thus, for a given transportable platform, having a GVW, one can determine the maximum payload and maximize the driven component accordingly.
 The weight of driven components is associated with certain auxiliary components such as piping for pumps, and a drive line between the engine and the driven components. The driveline may be as simple as a driveshaft and coupling or often includes gear boxes and structure to support same. The engine has little auxiliary equipment, and in the case of a radial engine having one or a few cylinder rows, the engine is air cooled, however as the cooling air flow through becomes impeded with additional cylinder rows, one can include supplemental liquid cooling or radiators.
 Applicant has determined that for a given payload, such as an integrated transportable platform as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2C1, one can at least double the power output and corresponding driven components. Thus, conventional equipment at a power demand of 2,500 HP, driven with a, low emission, yet heavy, diesel engine, can be replaced with 5,000 HP driven component and a light, three-row, 4500 HP radial engine. The driven components, rated for 5,000 HP, can be driven at a derated 4,500 HP for extended life of the driven components. While the rated power demand can be matched closely with a corresponding engine, the increased power to weight ratio for the radial engine configurations enables one to over-design the driven components, which could otherwise be too heavy in the prior art scenarios. Operation of the driven components at derated power demand result in lower maintenance and longer operation between failures.
 An example of a multi-row radial engine includes a Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major that was a large 28-cylinder air-cooled, four-row by 7 cylinders per row, radial piston aircraft engine designed and built during World War II and having variations producing between about 2500 HP to nearly about 4000 HP.
 As mentioned above, cooling of multi-row engines may not be as efficient using the air cooled system alone, as it is in the case for a single-row 1500 HP engine. Accordingly, each row 28 of multi-row radial engines, such as the R-4360 Wasp, are slightly rotationally offset or staggered each row aid in air-cooling of aft-rows aided by forced air in this case by propeller wash. Thus, one can supplement cooling with a relatively small, lightweight liquid circulation cooling system or radiator. Optionally, one need not stagger the rows and merely incorporate liquid cooling. As the engines can be both air and liquid cooled, any liquid cooling is a fraction of that used in comparable diesel power plants.
 Where additional power is required, such as for apparatus exceeding about 5,000 HP and stacking of cylindrical rows beyond three (FIG. 3) or four (FIG. 4) becomes unwieldy, one can provide additional multi-row engines arranged in parallel, driving multiple items of driven components to provide the required power.
 As shown in FIG. 5, in an embodiment for use in powering two, 2500 HP frac pumps 22,22 mountable on a trailer bed 30, the radial engine 20 can comprise a comparably matched three or four rows 28 radially stacked 1500 HP engines in a multi-row arrangement having an output shaft which is operatively connected to the frac pumps, such as shown in gear boxes of transmissions 40, 40 of each of the two pumps 22, 22. In an embodiment, the multi-row engines 20 may be operatively connected to the pumps' transmissions 40, 40 using a splitter transfer box 42.
 The number of engines 20 and cylinder rows 28 are configured so as to have an output matched to meet power demand for equipment 22. Where one radial engine 20 is insufficient for the process demand, engines having two or more cylinder rows 28b, 28x . . . can be provided and when multi-row engines reach a design limit, such as cooling or maintenance consideration, multiple engines 20, 20 can be provided such as in some parallel arrangement. One design scenario, as described earlier, is to provide an engine 20 at a power output less than that of the coupled driven components 22 for operating the equipment at a derated capacity for longer expected equipment life.
 In wellsite operations that involve very large capacities, such as hydraulic fracturing, one can immediately reduce the number of required transportable platforms to at least one half, with the associated reduction in capital cost and personnel. With the ability to place large capacity equipment on trailers, one can also move from integrated, self-powered platforms to trailered platforms. A shift to trailered platforms further reduces personnel cost as one can reduce the need for prior art staffing of one driver per platform to a small pool of drivers for shuttling multiple trailered platforms from wellsite to wellsite.
 In the context of the frac industry currently has an infrastructure comprising a plurality of trucks with pumps, such as quintuplex pumps and diesel engines mounted thereon as self-propelled frac units or a plurality of trailer units to which the pumps and diesel engines are mounted for transport using a fleet of trucks. On-site, the pumper trucks are parked adjacent the well or wells for positioning the pump for performing a fracturing operation. Using light-weight embodiments disclosed herein, the frac industry no longer has need for their own crew of drivers and transport infrastructure. Frac pumps having lightweight radial engines, as disclosed herein, are sufficiently light-weight that the units can be mounted on skids or on trailer units, which can be picked up and spotted at the wellsite, such as by a commercial transport company, as required.
 In embodiments, as shown in FIG. 6, radial engine-driven frac pump power units 18 are each mounted on a plurality of skids or trailers 30 which are transported to a wellsite for use in a frac operation. As a result of the concepts disclosed herein, each of the trailer units or skid-mounted units loaded on trailers for transport, meets the height and weight restrictions for road transport, including the additional weight of skid embodiments. The trailers 30 and supported power units 18 are arranged about a well 50. In addition to the power units 18, additional on-site equipment can include a nitrogen unit 52 and vaporizer 54, and a proppent blender 56 as part of a another power unit 18.
 Further individual, one or more radial engine gensets 58, such as the 1 MW GENESIS 1000®, can be used to generate power for operating auxiliary apparatus on-site. Thus, a single fuel source is possible for all engines and power generation required at the site.
 Embodiments disclosed herein provide a number of advantages:
 increased power generation with decreased emissions and decreased weight;
 readily configurable power plants to meet power demands of driven components;
 power to weight ratio increased resulting in
 more power per unit yet still within transport weight limits;
 fewer units required for wellsite operations; and
 a package which can be trailer or skid mounted for commercial transport which is more cost effective and flexible such that the frac industry no longer has to maintain their own fleet of self-propelled units and tractors and support the cost of the transport; and
 flexible fuel requirements permit use of fuels available on-site, such as natural gas, butane and propane;
 a single fuel source for all power units, power output and electrical generation on-site;
 simplified fuel source and supply;
 use of multiple platforms for transport: on self-propelled units, on trailer units or on skids; and
 meets or exceeds current emission requirements with potential to meet or exceed future emission requirements.
Patent applications by Mark Andreychuk, Calgary CA
Patent applications in class PROCESSES
Patent applications in all subclasses PROCESSES