|Número de publicación||WO2015104562 A1|
|Tipo de publicación||Solicitud|
|Número de solicitud||PCT/GB2015/050049|
|Fecha de publicación||16 Jul 2015|
|Fecha de presentación||12 Ene 2015|
|Fecha de prioridad||13 Ene 2014|
|Número de publicación||PCT/2015/50049, PCT/GB/15/050049, PCT/GB/15/50049, PCT/GB/2015/050049, PCT/GB/2015/50049, PCT/GB15/050049, PCT/GB15/50049, PCT/GB15050049, PCT/GB1550049, PCT/GB2015/050049, PCT/GB2015/50049, PCT/GB2015050049, PCT/GB201550049, WO 2015/104562 A1, WO 2015104562 A1, WO 2015104562A1, WO-A1-2015104562, WO2015/104562A1, WO2015104562 A1, WO2015104562A1|
|Solicitante||Ansell Harman Enterprises Ltd.|
|Exportar cita||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citas de patentes (4), Otras citas (2), Clasificaciones (2), Eventos legales (3)|
|Enlaces externos: Patentscope, Espacenet|
DISASTER RECOVERY ENGINE
This invention relates, inter alia, to a device for provision of the basic necessities to sustain life in the event of a natural disaster or other adverse circumstance resulting in a disruption of normal public services, communications and infrastructure.
People affected by disaster or interruption of services often, in all parts of the world, find themselves without access to a safe water supply, the means to power basic electrical appliances or access to communications.
Without access to the normal mechanisms of national infrastructure and without a supply of one or another of a specific and single fuel type we can rapidly find ourselves in a situation devoid of heat, light, water, electricity and a means of listening to simple broadcasts containing vital information, and communicating outwards, to improve the situation.
It is sometimes difficult or impossible for governments and aid agencies to deliver large or complex pieces of equipment, suitable for the provision of power, to remote or "cut off areas. It is also sometimes equally difficult for untrained traumatised people to build, fuel and use the equipment if and when it does arrive. The present invention addresses these and other problems.
In a first aspect the invention provides a system comprising an external combustion engine disposed within a waterproof sealed and re-sealable outer housing, said engine comprising an inner housing held within the outer housing by a frame, and a storage void being provided between the inner and outer housings, the inner housing providing the cylinder of the external combustion engine.
In one embodiment, therefore, the present invention provides a thermodynamic external combustion engine built into a sealed and re-sealable drum, preferably a metal drum.
The device is mechanically simple, can be run on any combustible fuel and provides the means to boil, filter and pump water (or fuel), generate and store electricity, provides a means of access to public information and communications and is capable of storing numerous and changeable basic supplies within the confines of its sealed and waterproof outer body. The invention solves the above noted problems by being completely self contained, buoyant, easily built, fuelled, maintained, adapted, repaired, and recycled.
The present invention works by utilization of a thermodynamic engine that functions by means of combustion of any material or concentration of any heat energy natural or otherwise. Combustion of the fuel material results in the base of a cylinder becoming hot in relative terms compared with the top of the cylinder which is cold. The power of the engine relates entirely to the magnitude of the temperature difference and rate of heat flux between these "hot" and "cold" spaces.
The present invention is manufactured with a smaller inner housing attached to and held by a frame which fits snugly inside (but is not attached to) the confines of a larger
housing. The smaller inner housing forms the cylinder of the thermodynamic engine. In some embodiments the small inner housing is provided by a metal barrel or drum. In some embodiments the larger outer housing is provided by a metal barrel or drum. In some embodiments the frame is metal. Alternative materials having appropriate heat resistant properties may be used for either or both of the housings and/or frame and will be apparent to the skilled person.
The frame may be a square frame, or any other shape or orientation, and serves to hold the inner housing within the outer housing, and to provide at least one void space for the storage and transport of disaster relief provisions. The invention therefore further provides a disaster recovery engine system comprising an external combustion engine system as described herein.
In some embodiments of the disaster recovery engine system of the invention, a standard 10 gallon clip top metal (e.g. steel) oil drum provides the inner housing. The inner housing (engine cylinder) may be held within a standard clip top 45 gallon metal (e.g.
steel) oil drum. The use of standard oil drums (sometimes referred to herein as barrels) enables simple storage, transport and delivery taking advantage of established and ubiquitous logistics and infrastructure common the world over. The use of such drums also makes the device scalable to a large range of different sizes due to their ease of manufacture. The use of a withdrawable metal frame inside the outer barrel provides (in any scale of the invention) a void space within the waterproof outer housing. In some embodiments, four "D" shaped spaces around the outside of the inner housing (engine cylinder) are provided for the storage of provisions such as deemed necessary by the factors of the area to which the disaster recovery engine is being supplied.
The present invention utilises the smaller inner housing as the cylinder for the thermodynamic engine and a loose fitting hollow vessel as a displacer to move hot air from the hot space to the cold space. In some embodiments the displacer may be provided by a component that is easy to source and therefore replace as necessary in a disaster zone, or which might have further utility in a disaster zone. For example in some embodiments the displacer may be provided by a cooking pot, for example a thin stainless steel cooking pot (with lid). This may also, of course, be utilised as a cooking pot should one be required and can also be used for the storage of supplies in transit.
Other components that could provide a displacer, and may have a secondary function in the supply, delivery or use of the invention in a disaster zone will be apparent to the skilled person. In the present invention, the lower portion of the inner housing may be fitted with a ceramic insulator to keep the externally generated heat confined to a preferred hot space. The upper portion of the inner housing may be fitted with cooling coils allowing removal of the heat from a preferred cold space to further enhance the efficiency of the engine. Accordingly, in some embodiments, systems of the invention further comprise an engine cylinder having one end distal to a heat source in use and one end proximal to the heat source in use, and wherein a portion of the distal end is cooled by a water cooling system. In some embodiments the water cooling system is driven by a pump which takes its power from the engine output. In some embodiments the systems of the invention provide water filtration, purification and sterilisation functionality. Preferably a water cooling system as described herein is provided, which system further includes a collection vessel for the collection of sterilised water that has been boiled in the cooling system. In some embodiments the system may further comprise means for the distillation of a liquid, for example sea water, said means comprising a means of heating the water to be distilled using the power output of the engine, and a retort for condensation of distilled water. Preferably, the means for the heating of the water to be distilled is a cooling system as described herein, wherein the
water in the cooling system is boiled. In some embodiments a water filtration system may
be provided, transported and stored within the storage voids of the system, and may be
integrated with other water purification means as described herein.
In some embodiments the present invention further includes a mechanism of removing
power to run external devices, a Power Take Off or PTO. Any conventional PTO means
may be provided. In a preferred embodiment the PTO may comprise a mechanically
simple crankshaft connected via connecting rods to a diaphragm piston attached to the
engine cylinder, and one or more pulley systems to transmit kinetic energy from the
crank shaft to one or more external devices. Optionally, the PTO further comprises a
flywheel and dual pulley incorporated into a single component, optionally sitting on
roller bearings attached to the outer housing or frame.
The pulleys on the combined crank, flywheel, PTO arrangement allow power to be
directly taken off the engine to run external devices such as pumps for pumping water or
fuel or another fluid, a generator or any other power requiring device. Preferably, such
external devices may be directly attached to the exterior of the outer housing. In some
embodiments the invention therefore further comprises an electrical generator driven by
one of the said pulley systems, capable of converting kinetic energy from the power take
off means to electrical energy. In some embodiments the generator comprises a simple dynamo or alternator connected
to the PTO. A dynamo may provide adequate electrical energy to charge, for example, one, more or all of a standard commercially available automotive power pack fitted with
a small car battery, a power inverter to AC, two USB chargers, an AM/FM radio and a set
of jump leads to start a vehicle. In some embodiments therefore the invention further
comprises one or more electrical power outputs, whereby electrical energy generated by
the generator may be provided to one or more electrical devices. Preferably, the electrical
power output includes means for providing power to a mobile telephone and/or a
computer e.g. a laptop or tablet computer, and/or a radio. In some embodiments the
power outputs include a USB output configured as a component of a Common External
Power Supply In the present invention the versatile nature of the power take off arrangement allows the disaster recovery engine to be configured in any of several configurations by means of simply swapping belts between pulleys. The disaster recovery engine can be configured to pump water and generate electricity or to divert all of the engines power to electricity generation or water pumping in a dedicated fashion.
In some embodiments, particularly where the invention is scaled down for portability, e.g. as a camping accessory, electrical power may be generated using a thermoelectric plate to generate electric energy directly from the heat of the engine.
The present invention may further provide pumping means for larger volumes of water (or, for example, fuel from damaged vehicles) by inclusion of a standard oil drum hand crank pump bolted to the metal frame. This pump may be adapted with a pulley so that it may be hand cranked or run from the engine itself.
The invention further provides a process for the provision of disaster relief comprising packaging provisions for the sustenance of life into the storage void of a system of the invention, and providing said packaged system to a disaster relief area for the generation of power. The invention further provides, therefore, a disaster recovery engine system of the invention further comprising one or more provisions for the sustenance of life such as an initial supply of fuel and fire-lighting materials, tools for the maintenance or repair of the system, food, clothing, bedding and/or a tent or other makeshift housing material, stored within the storage void.
The invention further provides a method for providing fresh water comprising generating power from a system of the invention comprising means for the distillation of water, by allowing water, e.g. sea water or brackish water in the cooling system to boil and condensing the boiled water in the retort, thereby distilling the water to obtain fresh water.
The invention further provides a method of providing power to an electrical device comprising generating power from a system of the invention, connected via a power output thereof to said electrical device. The invention further provides a method of pumping water comprising generating power from a system of the invention connected to a pump which takes power therefrom.
The invention further provides a method of condensing water from air comprising running a system of the invention backwards, driven by an external power supply, allowing water from the air to condense on the outer surface of the engine cylinder, and collecting the said water. Preferably the external power supply is provided by a second system of the invention. The invention will now be described 1 1 1 more detail with reference to the following Examples and figures, in which:
Figure 1 shows the inner and outer housings and frame. Figure 2 shows "D" spaces around the inner housing (engine cylinder). Figure 3 shows the inner housing (engine cylinder) and displacer. Figure 4 shows the inner housing insulator and cooling coils.
Figure 5 shows a water system of the invention Figure 6 shows a combined crankshaft, flywheel PTO component. Figure 7 shows a diaphragm plate arrangement of the invention.
Figure 8 shows a water pump, pumps and power generation arrangement of the invention. Figure 9 shows the use of the invention for water condensation.
Figure 10 shows the invention's distillation configuration.
The invention is not limited by the figures or specific Examples, and the skilled person will recognise the wide range of applications to which the invention may be put, and alternatives for each component and use. The invention is limited only by the scope of the claims.
Disaster recovery engine and water purification system
Figure 1 shows a basic configuration of the disaster recover engine of the invention. A waterproof and sealed outer metal barrel or drum provides the outer housing (1). The outer metal barrel is a standard clip top 45 gallon steel oil drum. An internal metal frame (2) is provided inside of the outer housing (1) and is secured therein with removal bolts. The inner frame holds within the outer housing an inner housing (3) which provides the engine cylinder and is made from a standard clip top 10 gallon steel oil drum.
Figure 2 shows a cross section of the embodiment of Figure 1. The internal metal frame (2) can be seen to provide a square structure supporting the inner housing barrel, and further provides four "D" shaped storage voids (40, 41, 42 and 43) within the outer housing. The storage voids may be used for the storage, transport and supply of provisions suitable for disaster relief. The inner housing barrel is shown in greater detail in Figure 3, in which the outer housing barrel and inner framework are not shown. Within the inner barrel (3) there is a displacer (5) provided by a thin metal cooking pot with a lid. The displacer is loosely fitting within the inner housing barrel, and serves to move hot air from the hot base of the engine cylinder to the cooler top of the cylinder. A displacer cable (6) is attached to the displacer for transmitting movement between the displacer and the power take off means described in more detail below.
The disaster recovery engine includes an insulation system to maintain a temperature difference between the hot base of the engine cylinder and the cold space at the other end of the cylinder, as depicted in Figure 4. A hot space (7) is created at the base of the inner barrel (3) by combustion of material providing a heat source at (8). Displacer (5) is situated between hot space (7) and a cold space (9) at the other end of the engine cylinder (inner barrel (3», and shuttles heated air from the hot space to the cold space. A ceramic insulating material (10) is located to line the inside of the inner barrel (3) along at least part of the length of the barrel, and extending from the hot space (7) to the cold space (9). Tiles or clay, to a thickness of about, for example 6 mm may be used to provide insulation in an inner barrel having a diameter of approximately 35 cm. The ceramic insulation material may itself be lined with a stainless steel wall of about, for example, 0.5 mm thickness. Wire wool (11) is packed around the displacer (5) and provides a regenerator function for the engine.
Cooling tubes (12) provide a cooling coil surrounding the inner barrel (3) at least part of the cool space (9). The cooling coil assists with maintaining the cold space (9) at a sufficiently lower temperature than hot space (7). The cooling tubes are manufactured from Y4 inch copper tubes. Water enters the cooling coil at one end of the coil (13) and exits at another end of the coil (14).
Circulation of water through the cooling coils, may be effected, whilst the engine is running, by means of a small pump (15) attachable to the metal frame and drawing its power from the engine (Figure 5). Circulation causes the water to heat up in the coil and boil, allowing for sterilisation to provide drinking water. Boiled (sterilised) water may be collected in a water container, e.g. a metal water container (16) attachable to the outer housing. Water may be circulated from the container, through the cooling coil and back to the container.
Additional water filtration and purification can be provided by means of a filtration column packed into the storage voids of the outer housing. A further container
(detachable from the metal frame) may be provided to receive filtered water. The present invention therefore provides the means for a continuous process of water filtration, purification and sterilisation.
Power Take Off means Figure 6 shows a power take off (PTO) means of the invention. Displacer cable (6) is connected via rose joint (17) to crank shaft (18). Two connecting rods (19) are also connected to crank shaft (18) via rose joints (20), and connect the crank shaft to a power transferring diaphragm (24) depicted in Figure 7. The PTO further comprises a fly wheel (21) and a plurality of V pulley systems (22) for powering external devices or generators. The crank shaft is connected to the outer housing via roller bearings (23). Friction is reduced to a minimum by utilisation of the rose joints (17) connected by two metal connection rods (19) to the moving portion of the engine and one metal cable (6) connected directly to the displacer (5) within the engine. In the present invention a complex and difficult to manufacture "piston and rings" arrangement is dispensed with and replaced with a simple diaphragm placed over the top of the inner barrel and held securely in pace with a wire and the barrel's original clip top clamp.
The connecting rods (19) connect to the diaphragm (24) via a metal plate (26) arrangement with three holes (one central hole and two equidistant from the centre), as shown in Figure 7. Metal plate (26) is a two part drilled aluminium plate with a silicone rubber sheet (25) sandwiched there between. The silicone rubber sheet is suitably 4 mm thick. The two outer holes hold the diaphragm plate (26) to the diaphragm sheet (25) and allow for direct connection to the connection rods (19). The centre hole contains a bolt (27) with a small hole drilled longitudinally through its centre. By means of this hole the displacer cable (6) can be connected directly from the centre of the crank to the displacer. The hole in the centre of the middle bolt of the diaphragm plate prevents pressure build up in the engine by induction and expulsion of a small amount of air during each and every cycle (revolution) of the engine.
Water pump, and power generation
Figure 8 shows in more detail an arrangement of V pulley systems driving a water pump and a generator for the provision of electricity. In the embodiment shown, two pulley sy stems (22) are provided connecting the crank shaft (18) to a water pump (29) and an electrical generator (30) respectively. Power output from the engine can be shared between the two pulley systems in order to run the water pump and the generator at the same time, or may be diverted to one or other pulley systems by removal or one or other drive belts (28).
Water condensation In another mode, the disaster recovery engine of the present invention may be used to provide water from the air. Thus, the use of the thermodynamic engine design also allows the invention to be configured as a heat pump run externally via the crank pulleys. By means of running the engine backwards in this fashion the present invention can be usedo condense water from the air should sufficient humidity be available. In this configuration the central housing (engine cylinder) (3) can be "pumped down" to low temperatures. The frame can be removed and placed within a large plastic bag (which may be supplied in one of the storage voids). Water condensed from the air may then be collected in this bag and used for drinking, as it has, in effect, been distilled.
Figure 9 shows an embodiment of the invention running i l l this heat pump mode to provide condensed water. The crank shaft (18) is connected to a power source (31) (for example a further disaster recovery engine of the invention) in order to run the engine in reverse. An inner liner (32), such as a polythene bag, is provided between the outer housing (1) and the inner barrel (3) in order to collect water that has condensed and frozen on the outer surface of the inner barrel (3). Or the engine, running in reverse, could be used to more efficiently condense steam from another embodiment of the invention providing motive power. Example 5
In the present invention sea water heated in the water system can be distilled to provide fresh water by placing a simple condenser (retort) over the top of the hot water container. The condenser may be supplied, transported and stored in one of the storage void "D" spaces.
An embodiment of the invention in distillation configuration is shown in Figure 10. An extended frame (33) is provided which extends above the inner and outer barrels of the invention and supports a water pump (34). Water pump (34) circulates water through the cooling coil (12) to and from a water can (35). Heated water in water can (35) boils and evaporates into still head retort tube (37) where it condenses, resulting in the collection of distilled water in a collector (38). The system may be used to provide fresh water from salt water or other contaminated water, for example sea water or brackish water, by filling water can (35) with the water to be distilled. The invention has been described above with reference to its primary use as a disaster recovery system in which an engine for the generation of power from any combustible material is provided. The engine is provided with convenient storage voids that allow for easy storage and shipping of disaster relief provisions of any required nature. The disaster recovery system can be used in disaster zones following natural, man-made or
technological disasters such as volcano eruption, adverse weather e.g. hurricanes and
typhoons or other tropical storms, flooding, earthquakes, war and other civil unrest,
general failures in IT systems, terrorist attacks, or in any situation where the normal
supply of power is lost.
In addition to its use as a disaster recovery system, the invention may also be used as a
means of power generation in any other situation. For example, the system may be scaled to be portable for camping or other leisure activities where power requirements might be lower. For example, the invention may be scaled to e.g. about one tenth of the size
exemplified above (in which the use of standard drums may result in a system measuring about 85 cm by 60 cm), to provide a portable device having dimensions e.g. of
approximately 8.5 cm by 6 cm (the dimensions relating to the outer housing and
excluding any other component attached to the housing). Such a scaled down version of the invention is particularly suited to providing a portable power supply in a leisure
environment such as camping, and may be fuelled easily using, for example, twigs of
other like material commonly available in such circumstances. In some embodiments of the scaled down device a thermoelectric plate may be provided for the generation of
electrical energy directly form the heat of the engine.
The invention may also be used as an off-grid power system in remote areas, in refugee camps, or as a source of emergency power in a domestic setting.
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