US3372905A - Power generating method and apparatus - Google Patents

Power generating method and apparatus Download PDF

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US3372905A
US3372905A US660153A US66015367A US3372905A US 3372905 A US3372905 A US 3372905A US 660153 A US660153 A US 660153A US 66015367 A US66015367 A US 66015367A US 3372905 A US3372905 A US 3372905A
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liquid
vortex
power
water
outlet
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Kenard D Brown
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SWANTON WILLIAM F
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F03MACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS; WIND, SPRING, OR WEIGHT MOTORS; PRODUCING MECHANICAL POWER OR A REACTIVE PROPULSIVE THRUST, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03BMACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS
    • F03B1/00Engines of impulse type, i.e. turbines with jets of high-velocity liquid impinging on blades or like rotors, e.g. Pelton wheels; Parts or details peculiar thereto
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F03MACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS; WIND, SPRING, OR WEIGHT MOTORS; PRODUCING MECHANICAL POWER OR A REACTIVE PROPULSIVE THRUST, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • F03BMACHINES OR ENGINES FOR LIQUIDS
    • F03B17/00Other machines or engines
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E10/00Energy generation through renewable energy sources
    • Y02E10/20Hydro energy

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  • a method for generating power comprises the production of a vortex in liquid, the confining of a portion of the vortex, and the utilization of the vertical forces in the confined zone for rotating a power output device; an apparatus is disclosed in which the method is practiced and which is arranged to provide and maintain a liquid vortex and to employ the rotational forces of the vortex, as distinguished from the Vertical flow produced by the head of liquid, for rota-ting a power transmitting shaft.
  • This invention relates to hydraulic power generating systems and particularly to an improved hydraulic power generating method and a system capable of utilizing a very low hydraulic head.
  • I provide a confined body of liquid in a relatively quiescent state and having a discharge outlet through which vortical flow of the liquid is created.
  • Power is derived from the vortical flow of the liquid by a rotor introduced along the axis of the vortex and by confining the vortex after passage through the entrance of the outlet to a substantial length of cylindrical path of substantially the same diameter as that of the outlet entrance.
  • the rotor comprises a rotatable hollow cylinder with a fiat blade fixedly mounted therein and extending diametrically across the cylinder for substantially the length thereof. The rotor extends into the discharge outlet and constitutes the means for confining the vortex after itspassage through the outlet.
  • FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the system embodying my invention
  • FIG. 2 is a plan view of the system of FIG. 1 partly broken away to show features of the construction
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional elevation view of a bearing assembly
  • FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation view of another embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 5 is a plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 partly broken away to show the construction.
  • the generating system illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises an open-topped tank or enclosure having an inlet 11 formed within a. vertical wall 12 and a circular outlet 13 near the end opposite the wall 12.
  • the tank 10 is arranged in the path of a stream of Water which is directed into the opening 11 by baffles or guides 14 and 15 and, because of the dynamic flow characteristics of the water, tends to maintain a level of liquid in the tank 10 slightly higher than that of the stream as indicated by the level 16 in FIG. 1 and the upstream level 17.
  • the upstream water admitted to the tank at the level .17 is taken from the main stream sufficiently far above the tank .10 to have an appreciable drop to the downstream level indicated at 18.
  • the total drop to the downstream level from the level in the tank is thus slightly greater than the drop from the upstream level 17.
  • the body of liquid within the tank 10 is maintained in a substantially quiescent state, and to facilitate this state the bottom of the tank is maintained level for a sufiicient distance to quiet the flow of the water and to maintain the difference between the water levels 16 and 18.
  • a slanted baflle 20 is mounted in the tank as shown in FIG. 2, which by way of example illustrates the position of the baffle for clockwise rotation of the vortex.
  • a vortex generally indicated at 24 will be formed about a vertical axis in alineme-nt with the central axis of the orifice.
  • a paddle type rotor 25 on a vertical central axis within the orifice and .by confining the vortex for a substantial distance after passage through the orifice, power can be taken continuously from the shaft of the paddle indicated at 26, the vortex maintaining its rotation and driving the rotor with substantial force.
  • the shaft 26 preferably is made so that it can be moved axially in order to adjust the vertical position of the paddle 25.
  • a bearing assembly such as that indicated in FIG. 3 may be employed, this bearing assembly being mounted on straps or other suitable supports indicated at 27 and 28 as extending across the top of the tank.
  • the bearing assembly comprises a main bracket or bushing 30 rigidly bolted to the straps 27 and 28 and a ball bearing of the thrust type: mounted within the bushing 30 and carrying the shaft 26, the shaft being locked to the inner race member of the bearing indicated at 31 by a set screw 32.
  • the maximum power position of the rotor is determined by adjusting the axial position of the rotor until maximum torque is generated, whereupon the set screw 32 is tightened so that the motor is maintained in operating position at maximum effectiveness. This position will be fixed for any given level of liquid in the tank 10.
  • conduit 33 which has a cylindrical portion 34 extending for a substantial distance away from the orifice adjacent the tank and within which the rotor is rotated in the confined portion of the vortex.
  • the water removed through the conduit 2:3 may then be returned to the stream below the level of its surface. The flow of water through this outlet and into the stream does not depend upon velocity effects due to stream movement but merely on the difference in elevation of the levels of the stream and the water in the enclosure 10.
  • my invention makes it possible to employ a water flow system wherein the depth of the water is substantially less than the diameter of the outlet orifice.
  • the continued flow of water from the level 16 and the action of the orifice make it possible to produce power continuously as long as the slight difference in head between level 15 and 16 is maintained.
  • the higher level of the water in the reservoir 10 as indicated at 16 with respect to the level 17 of the inflow stream is not essential and these levels may be the same or different depending upon the particular arrangements of the inlet and reservoir which are employed. It is significant that the vortex may be maintained and power derived therefrom with only a slight difference in head between the level in the tank and the downstream level 18.
  • the velocities within the vortex are much greater than the downward velocity of the liquid through the outlet, and this flow with the high velocities in the vortex may be maintained continuously while power is being derived therefrom. It will be understood that although not indicated clearly on the drawing, the vortex is maintained within the cylindrical portion 13 of the outlet 34, the adjustment of the vertical position of the paddle being provided so that the paddle may be adjusted to its most effective position for deriving power from the vortical flow of Water.
  • FIGS. 4 and 5 Another embodiment of my invention as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 comprises two power units and 41 arranged in series or tandem in the path of water flow. Each ofthese units is of the same construction and operates in a manner essentially similar to that of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2.
  • the units 40 and 41 are constructed in an elongated tank having end walls 42 and 43 and side walls 44 and 45 and a bottom wall 46.
  • the unit 40 is constructed to provide a substantially closed lower chamber 47 formed by an upstream wall 48, a top wall 50 and a downstream wall 51.
  • the water level in the unit 40 is maintained at a level 52 above the wall 50; thus the wall 50 is the bottom wall of an open upper chamber or reservoir 49.
  • a vertical inlet controlling gate CII or valve 53 is mounted on a cross support 54 and its position may be adjusted by turning a screw handle 53a to change the size of the inlet at the bottom between the wall 53 and the wall 50.
  • a circular orifice or passage 55 is provided in the wall 50 near the right end thereof.
  • a rotor assembly 56 is mounted concentrically with the passage 55, it being suspended on a shaft 57 mounted in a bearing assembly 58 supported on cross beams 60 and 61 both attached to and resting on the side walls 44 and 45.
  • the direction of rotation of the vortex is determined by a slanted vertical baffle 59 which acts in the same manner as the bafile 20 of FIG. 2.
  • the rotor 56 comprises a sheet metal cylinder or shell 62 suspended from an annular supporting flange 63.
  • the flange is carried by the shaft 57 by an arched spider having arms 64 fixed to the lower end of the shaft and welded or otherwise suitably attached to the flange.
  • the bearing assembly 58 is of the same construction as the bearing assembly of FIGS. 1 and affords vertical adjustment of the shaft 57.
  • a blade or panel 65 is fixed within the cylinder along the central axis and extends diametrically across the cylinder, it being attached at its sides to the inner wall of the cylinder in any suitable manner.
  • the blade 65 extends for substantially the full length of the cylinder 62.
  • a metal channel or cross piece 66 is provided at the bottom of the blade 65 and carries a shaft 67 which is slidably engaged in a sleeve bearing 68 secured to the bottom wall 46 of the tank.
  • the ends of the cross piece 66 are welded or otherwise suitably secured to the cylinder 62.
  • the shaft 67 facilitates stabilization of the rotor 56.
  • the vertical position of the rotor assembly is adjusted so that there is a small space between the face of the wall 50 and the flat lower face of the flange 63. This space is filled with a suitable waterproof lubricant which provides a seal to prevent the passage of water through the passage 55 outside the cylinder 62. It will thus be seen that the rotor 56 is freely suspended for rotation in the passage 55.
  • the passage within the cylinder 62 corre* sponds to the cylindrical portion 34 of the conduit 33 in FIG. 1.
  • the rotor assembly of this embodiment facilitates the effective derivation of power from the vertical flow of the water moving between the upper and lower chambers of the unit.
  • the water in the upper chamber as it approaches the rotor assembly is maintained in a quiescent state in the same manner as in the embodiment of FIG. 1, and the flow of water is maintained in a manner to be described later.
  • the unit 41 includes a closed lower chamber 75 formed by a forward or upstream wall 76, a top wall 77 and a downstream wall 78 all cooperating with the side walls 44 and 45 to form the chamber 75 and an open upper chamber or reservoir 80 provided with a flow control gate 79 of the same construction as the gate 53 of the unit 50.
  • the wall 77 is provided with an outlet opening or passage 81 corresponding to the passage 55 of the unit 40 and a rotor assembly 82 of identical construction is mounted concentrically therein in the same manner as the rotor 56 of the unit 40.
  • the rotor 82 has its blade or panel indicated at 83 illustrated in a position at right angles to that of the blade 65 of the unit 40.
  • the reservoir 80 is maintained filled to a level 84 which may be slightly lower than the level 52 of the unit 40 due to the flow of water maintained through the units.
  • Water leaving the unit 44 passes out through a bottom opening 85 in the wall 78 and flows upwardly through a riser 86 formed between the walls 78 and 43.
  • the flow of water through the system is maintained by a centrifugal pump 87 driven by an electric motor 88 which pumps water from the riser 86 through a conduit 90 back to the inlet of the unit 40 at the left hand end of the upper reservoir 49.
  • the continuous flow of water maintains the system in operation, each of the vortices being maintained in operation as long as the flow continues.
  • Power is taken from the unit 41 through a pulley 91 at belt 92 and substantial amounts of power may be derived from both units the rotors turning continuously while the flow is maintained.
  • the method for generating power which comprises providing a body of liquid and discharging liquid therefrom, producing and maintaining a hollow vortex between the surface of the body of liquid and the zone of discharge, confining the discharged liquid adjacent said zone to a cylindrical path of substantially the same area as the zone of discharge for a substantial distance therebeyond, and positioning a rotatable member for rotation about the axis of the vortex and in engagement with the liquid of the vortex within said cylindrical path for utilizing the rotational force of the liquid of the vortex in said path for rotating said member.
  • the method for generating power as set forth in claim 1 including the step of adjusting the position of the member axially of the cylindrical path to a position of maximum power.
  • the method of generating power which comprises maintaining a body of liquid at a predetermined level, providing a round orifice for the discharge of liquid from said body, confining the liquid discharged through the orifice to a cylindrical path for a substantial distance after its passage through the orifice, producing and maintaining a hollow liquid vortex between the surface of the liquid and the orifice, providing a rotatable member and holding it within the vortex for rotation on the axis thereof with a substantial portion of the member in engagement with the rotating liquid of the vortex withinthe confined cylindrical path thereof for rotating the member, and utilizing the rotation of the member as a source of power.
  • the method of generating power as set forth in claim 3 including the step of adjusting the position of the rotating member longitudinally along the axis of the vortex to effect maximum power output.
  • a power generating system comprising means for confining a body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state, said means having an outlet for the discharge of liquid therefrom and for affording the formation of a liquid vortex extending between the surface of the body of liquid and the outlet, means for maintaining the liquid in said liquid body confining means at a substantially constant level, means for restricting the liquid discharged from said outlet to a cylindrical path of substantially the same cross section as the outlet, and a.
  • rotatable member mounted for rotation on an axis in alinement with said outlet, said member being mounted with a substantial portion within said cylindrical means for engagement with the liquid of the vortex therein whereby when a vortex is formed in the liquid passing through said outlet said rotor is driven by the rotational forces of the liquid lying within said cylindrical path.
  • a power generating system as set forth in claim 6 including means for shifting the position of said rotatable member axially thereof for adjusting the transfer of power from the liquid in the vortex to said member.
  • a power generating system comprising means for confining a body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state, said means having an outlet for the discharge of liquid therefrom and for affording the formation of a liquid vortex extending between the surface of the body of liquid and the outlet, means for maintaining the liquid in said liquid body confining means at a substantially constant level, a hollow cylindrical shell extending through said outlet and mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis, means for preventing the bypassing of liquid through said outlet outside said shell whereby the entrance to said shell constitutes the outlet from said confining means, a panel arranged in said shell and secured thereto and extending diametrically thereof for a substantial distance, said panel thereby being arranged for engagement with the liquid of the vortex whereby when the vortex is formed said panel and said shell are rotated as a unit, and means for connecting said panel to drive a power output means.
  • a power generating system as set forth in claim 12 including means for adjusting axially the position of said panel whereby its position with respect to the vortex may be adjusted longitudinally to effect maximum power output.
  • a power generating system comprising a plurality of power generating units, each of said units including a tank for holding a body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state and having an outlet in the bottom wall thereof, said outlet affording a discharge of liquid from said tank and the formation of a liquid votex extending between the surface of the liquid and the outlet, means for connecting said tanks in tandem and for affording a flow of liquid through the tanks in series and for maintaining substantially the same level of liquid in all said tanks, means for restricting the liquid discharged from each of said tanks to a cylindrical path of substantially the same cross section as the outlet, and a rotor member for each of said units mounted for rotation about the axis of the cylindrical path, said member being mounted with a substantial portion within the cylindrical path for engagement with the liquid of the vortex therein whereby when a vortex is formed in the liquid passing through said outlet said rotor member is driven by the rotational forces of the liquid lying within said cylindrical path whereby power may be derived simultaneously from all of said units.
  • each of said rotor members comprises a cylindrical shell mounted in alinement with the respective outlet and having a flat panel mounted therein along the diameter thereof and extending longitudinally of the shell whereby said shell provides said cylindrical path and the entrance to said shell constitutes the outlet from the respective one of said tanks.

Description

March 12, 1968 K, D. BROWN 9 POWER GENERATING METHOD AND APPARATUS Filed July 20, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. KENARD D. BROWN K. D. BROWN POWER GENERATING METHOD AND APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. KENARD D. BROWN %/%fif ATTORNEYS March 12, 1968 Filed July 20, 1967 United States Patent Ofiice 3,372,905 Patented Mar. 12, 1968 3,372,905 POWER GENERATING METHQD AND APPARATUS Kenard D. Brown, 1227 S. Willow St., Casper, Wyo. 82601 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 578,870,
Sept. 12, 1966. This application July 20, 1967, Ser.
'15 Claims. (Cl. 253-46) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method for generating power comprises the production of a vortex in liquid, the confining of a portion of the vortex, and the utilization of the vertical forces in the confined zone for rotating a power output device; an apparatus is disclosed in which the method is practiced and which is arranged to provide and maintain a liquid vortex and to employ the rotational forces of the vortex, as distinguished from the Vertical flow produced by the head of liquid, for rota-ting a power transmitting shaft.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 578,870, filed Sept. 12, 1966 now abandoned.
This invention relates to hydraulic power generating systems and particularly to an improved hydraulic power generating method and a system capable of utilizing a very low hydraulic head.
Many types of water driven power generating systems have been provided heretofore. In general these systems have required very high or relatively high heads of water for their operation. The range of pressure heads required for operation of these systems has varied from those used for simple overshot or gravity water wheels to the very high heads required for high pressure Pelton wheels and the like. It is desirable to utilize the available hydraulic head in as effective a manner as possible and accordingly it is an object of this invention to provide an improved method for utilizing the power available in the natural flow of liquids.
It is another object of this invention to provide a new and improved hydraulic power system.
It is another object of this invention to provide an improved method for utilizing the vortical flow of liquids for generating power.
Briefly, in carrying out the objects of this invention in one application thereof, I provide a confined body of liquid in a relatively quiescent state and having a discharge outlet through which vortical flow of the liquid is created. Power is derived from the vortical flow of the liquid by a rotor introduced along the axis of the vortex and by confining the vortex after passage through the entrance of the outlet to a substantial length of cylindrical path of substantially the same diameter as that of the outlet entrance. I have found that, by confining the vortex in this manner and by utilizing the high speed rotary movement of the liquid in the vortex in the confined path, substantial power may be derived from the rotor and continuous operation of a generating system may be obtained in this manner without interrupting the rotary flow of the vortex, this type of operation being contrary to general experience with vortexes and the insertion of obstacles therein. In another embodiment the rotor comprises a rotatable hollow cylinder with a fiat blade fixedly mounted therein and extending diametrically across the cylinder for substantially the length thereof. The rotor extends into the discharge outlet and constitutes the means for confining the vortex after itspassage through the outlet.
The features of novelty which characterize my invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. My invention itself, however, both as to the method thereof and apparatus embodying the invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the system embodying my invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the system of FIG. 1 partly broken away to show features of the construction;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional elevation view of a bearing assembly;
FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation view of another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 4 partly broken away to show the construction.
Referring now to the drawings, the generating system illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises an open-topped tank or enclosure having an inlet 11 formed within a. vertical wall 12 and a circular outlet 13 near the end opposite the wall 12. The tank 10 is arranged in the path of a stream of Water which is directed into the opening 11 by baffles or guides 14 and 15 and, because of the dynamic flow characteristics of the water, tends to maintain a level of liquid in the tank 10 slightly higher than that of the stream as indicated by the level 16 in FIG. 1 and the upstream level 17. The upstream water admitted to the tank at the level .17 is taken from the main stream sufficiently far above the tank .10 to have an appreciable drop to the downstream level indicated at 18. The total drop to the downstream level from the level in the tank is thus slightly greater than the drop from the upstream level 17. The body of liquid within the tank 10 is maintained in a substantially quiescent state, and to facilitate this state the bottom of the tank is maintained level for a sufiicient distance to quiet the flow of the water and to maintain the difference between the water levels 16 and 18. In order to determine the direction of rotation of the vortex a slanted baflle 20 is mounted in the tank as shown in FIG. 2, which by way of example illustrates the position of the baffle for clockwise rotation of the vortex.
I have found that by opening the outlet of the tank and allowing water to flow through the outlet orifice 13, a vortex generally indicated at 24 will be formed about a vertical axis in alineme-nt with the central axis of the orifice. I have found that by positioning a paddle type rotor 25 on a vertical central axis within the orifice and .by confining the vortex for a substantial distance after passage through the orifice, power can be taken continuously from the shaft of the paddle indicated at 26, the vortex maintaining its rotation and driving the rotor with substantial force.
The shaft 26 preferably is made so that it can be moved axially in order to adjust the vertical position of the paddle 25. For this purpose a bearing assembly such as that indicated in FIG. 3 may be employed, this bearing assembly being mounted on straps or other suitable supports indicated at 27 and 28 as extending across the top of the tank. The bearing assembly comprises a main bracket or bushing 30 rigidly bolted to the straps 27 and 28 and a ball bearing of the thrust type: mounted within the bushing 30 and carrying the shaft 26, the shaft being locked to the inner race member of the bearing indicated at 31 by a set screw 32. The maximum power position of the rotor is determined by adjusting the axial position of the rotor until maximum torque is generated, whereupon the set screw 32 is tightened so that the motor is maintained in operating position at maximum effectiveness. This position will be fixed for any given level of liquid in the tank 10.
After the liquid has passed out of the tank through the orifice 13 it is conducted away by a conduit 33 which has a cylindrical portion 34 extending for a substantial distance away from the orifice adjacent the tank and within which the rotor is rotated in the confined portion of the vortex. The water removed through the conduit 2:3 may then be returned to the stream below the level of its surface. The flow of water through this outlet and into the stream does not depend upon velocity effects due to stream movement but merely on the difference in elevation of the levels of the stream and the water in the enclosure 10.
I have operated an apparatus constructed as indicated in the drawings and comprising an enclosure indicated at in the drawings wherein the level of the water was maintained at about three and one-fourth inches and with the stream flowing at a level about one and one-fourth inches below that of the container and at sufiicient velocity to maintain the level in the container. The container was provided with an outlet entrance six and onefourth inches in diameter and provided with a rotor blade having a width of five and one-half inches. I found that in the operation of this system the rotor did work of the order of fourteen foot pounds and thus substantial power could be derived with an effective head or differential of the order of one and one-fourth inches as indicated, this being the level between the stream indicated at 17 in FIG. 1 and the tank level 16. Power from a system operated in this manner can be taken off through any suitable coupling such as the pulley 36 and belt 36 illustrated in FIG. 1.
As illustrated by the example just described, my invention makes it possible to employ a water flow system wherein the depth of the water is substantially less than the diameter of the outlet orifice. The continued flow of water from the level 16 and the action of the orifice make it possible to produce power continuously as long as the slight difference in head between level 15 and 16 is maintained. The higher level of the water in the reservoir 10 as indicated at 16 with respect to the level 17 of the inflow stream is not essential and these levels may be the same or different depending upon the particular arrangements of the inlet and reservoir which are employed. It is significant that the vortex may be maintained and power derived therefrom with only a slight difference in head between the level in the tank and the downstream level 18. The velocities within the vortex are much greater than the downward velocity of the liquid through the outlet, and this flow with the high velocities in the vortex may be maintained continuously while power is being derived therefrom. It will be understood that although not indicated clearly on the drawing, the vortex is maintained within the cylindrical portion 13 of the outlet 34, the adjustment of the vertical position of the paddle being provided so that the paddle may be adjusted to its most effective position for deriving power from the vortical flow of Water.
Another embodiment of my invention as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 comprises two power units and 41 arranged in series or tandem in the path of water flow. Each ofthese units is of the same construction and operates in a manner essentially similar to that of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2. The units 40 and 41 are constructed in an elongated tank having end walls 42 and 43 and side walls 44 and 45 and a bottom wall 46.
The unit 40 is constructed to provide a substantially closed lower chamber 47 formed by an upstream wall 48, a top wall 50 and a downstream wall 51. The water level in the unit 40 is maintained at a level 52 above the wall 50; thus the wall 50 is the bottom wall of an open upper chamber or reservoir 49. A vertical inlet controlling gate CII or valve 53 is mounted on a cross support 54 and its position may be adjusted by turning a screw handle 53a to change the size of the inlet at the bottom between the wall 53 and the wall 50. In order that water may flow from the body of Water above the wall 50 to that in the chamber 47 below a circular orifice or passage 55 is provided in the wall 50 near the right end thereof.
In order to utilize the forces of a vortex formed in the upper chamber 49 a rotor assembly 56 is mounted concentrically with the passage 55, it being suspended on a shaft 57 mounted in a bearing assembly 58 supported on cross beams 60 and 61 both attached to and resting on the side walls 44 and 45. The direction of rotation of the vortex is determined by a slanted vertical baffle 59 which acts in the same manner as the bafile 20 of FIG. 2.
The rotor 56 comprises a sheet metal cylinder or shell 62 suspended from an annular supporting flange 63. The flange is carried by the shaft 57 by an arched spider having arms 64 fixed to the lower end of the shaft and welded or otherwise suitably attached to the flange. The bearing assembly 58 is of the same construction as the bearing assembly of FIGS. 1 and affords vertical adjustment of the shaft 57. In order to utilize the vortical forces of the water a blade or panel 65 is fixed within the cylinder along the central axis and extends diametrically across the cylinder, it being attached at its sides to the inner wall of the cylinder in any suitable manner. The blade 65 extends for substantially the full length of the cylinder 62. A metal channel or cross piece 66 is provided at the bottom of the blade 65 and carries a shaft 67 which is slidably engaged in a sleeve bearing 68 secured to the bottom wall 46 of the tank. The ends of the cross piece 66 are welded or otherwise suitably secured to the cylinder 62. The shaft 67 facilitates stabilization of the rotor 56.
The vertical position of the rotor assembly is adjusted so that there is a small space between the face of the wall 50 and the flat lower face of the flange 63. This space is filled with a suitable waterproof lubricant which provides a seal to prevent the passage of water through the passage 55 outside the cylinder 62. It will thus be seen that the rotor 56 is freely suspended for rotation in the passage 55. The passage within the cylinder 62 corre* sponds to the cylindrical portion 34 of the conduit 33 in FIG. 1.
Water flowing into the chamber 47 is discharged there= from through an outlet opening 70 at the bottom end of the vertical wall 51 and flows upwardly through a passage or riser 71 into the unit 41.
When water is flowing from the chamber 49 through the cylinder 62 to the chamber 47 and a vortex is formed in the water above the cylinder, the cylinder rotates with the vortex the force of the vortex being exerted against the blade 65. The vortex continues to exert force against the blade as it moved downwardly through the cylinder 62 and is not interrupted or stopped by its passage through the cylinder. Thus it exerts a driving force on the cylinder although it is confined therein and rotates therewith. Power may be taken from the rotor througha pulley 72 and belt 73 in the same manner as in the embodiment of FIG. 1. The amount of power varies with the length of the cylinder 62 and increases with increased lengths of the cylinder. I have found that the rotor assembly of this embodiment facilitates the effective derivation of power from the vertical flow of the water moving between the upper and lower chambers of the unit. The water in the upper chamber as it approaches the rotor assembly is maintained in a quiescent state in the same manner as in the embodiment of FIG. 1, and the flow of water is maintained in a manner to be described later.
The unit 41 includes a closed lower chamber 75 formed by a forward or upstream wall 76, a top wall 77 and a downstream wall 78 all cooperating with the side walls 44 and 45 to form the chamber 75 and an open upper chamber or reservoir 80 provided with a flow control gate 79 of the same construction as the gate 53 of the unit 50. The wall 77 is provided with an outlet opening or passage 81 corresponding to the passage 55 of the unit 40 and a rotor assembly 82 of identical construction is mounted concentrically therein in the same manner as the rotor 56 of the unit 40. The rotor 82 has its blade or panel indicated at 83 illustrated in a position at right angles to that of the blade 65 of the unit 40. The reservoir 80 is maintained filled to a level 84 which may be slightly lower than the level 52 of the unit 40 due to the flow of water maintained through the units.
Water leaving the unit 44) passes out through a bottom opening 85 in the wall 78 and flows upwardly through a riser 86 formed between the walls 78 and 43. The flow of water through the system is maintained by a centrifugal pump 87 driven by an electric motor 88 which pumps water from the riser 86 through a conduit 90 back to the inlet of the unit 40 at the left hand end of the upper reservoir 49. The continuous flow of water maintains the system in operation, each of the vortices being maintained in operation as long as the flow continues. Power is taken from the unit 41 through a pulley 91 at belt 92 and substantial amounts of power may be derived from both units the rotors turning continuously while the flow is maintained.
It will now be apparent that by arranging a plurality of units in series or tandem in the manner of the units 40 and 41 substantial amounts of power may be derived from each unit while maintaining the same fiow of water by the circulating pump to maintain substantially the same level in both units, no additional flow of water being required to operate the additional unit. Each unit operates on the same flow of water but derives its power from a separate vortex.
From the foregoing it is apparent that effective power may be derived from the flow of liquids at very low heads by employing the method of my invention and utilizing the high velocity rotational movement of vortical flow to drive a rotor, the rotor being positioned with respect to a confined portion of the vortex to effect maximum utilization of the power available in the liquid in vortical movement.
While I have described my invention in connection with a specific apparatus and its details of construction, various other modifications of the apparatus and uses of the method will occur to those skilled in the art. Therefore, -I do not desire that the invention be limited to the details of the disclosed apparatus and method and I intend by the appended claims to cover all modifications which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.
I claim:
1. The method for generating power which comprises providing a body of liquid and discharging liquid therefrom, producing and maintaining a hollow vortex between the surface of the body of liquid and the zone of discharge, confining the discharged liquid adjacent said zone to a cylindrical path of substantially the same area as the zone of discharge for a substantial distance therebeyond, and positioning a rotatable member for rotation about the axis of the vortex and in engagement with the liquid of the vortex within said cylindrical path for utilizing the rotational force of the liquid of the vortex in said path for rotating said member.
2. The method for generating power as set forth in claim 1 including the step of adjusting the position of the member axially of the cylindrical path to a position of maximum power.
3. The method of generating power which comprises maintaining a body of liquid at a predetermined level, providing a round orifice for the discharge of liquid from said body, confining the liquid discharged through the orifice to a cylindrical path for a substantial distance after its passage through the orifice, producing and maintaining a hollow liquid vortex between the surface of the liquid and the orifice, providing a rotatable member and holding it within the vortex for rotation on the axis thereof with a substantial portion of the member in engagement with the rotating liquid of the vortex withinthe confined cylindrical path thereof for rotating the member, and utilizing the rotation of the member as a source of power.
4. The method of generating power as set forth in claim 3 including the step of maintaining the body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state.
5. The method of generating power as set forth in claim 3 including the step of adjusting the position of the rotating member longitudinally along the axis of the vortex to effect maximum power output.
6. A power generating system comprising means for confining a body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state, said means having an outlet for the discharge of liquid therefrom and for affording the formation of a liquid vortex extending between the surface of the body of liquid and the outlet, means for maintaining the liquid in said liquid body confining means at a substantially constant level, means for restricting the liquid discharged from said outlet to a cylindrical path of substantially the same cross section as the outlet, and a. rotatable member mounted for rotation on an axis in alinement with said outlet, said member being mounted with a substantial portion within said cylindrical means for engagement with the liquid of the vortex therein whereby when a vortex is formed in the liquid passing through said outlet said rotor is driven by the rotational forces of the liquid lying within said cylindrical path.
7. A power generating system as set forth in claim 6 including means for shifting the position of said rotatable member axially thereof for adjusting the transfer of power from the liquid in the vortex to said member.
8. A power generating system as set forth in claim 7 wherein said outlet is located in the bottom of said confining means and said axis is vertical.
9. A power generating system as set forth in claim 8 wherein said rotating member is provided with a shaft and said shifting means comprises a bearing assembly for said shaft rigidly mounted on said confining means and wherein said shaft is axially movable in said bearing assembly and includes means for locking said bearing assembly to said shaft to prevent relative axial movement therebetween.
10. The method of claim 1 wherein the orifice and the confining of the liquid to a cylindrical path are effected by utilizing an elongated vertical hollow cylinder surrounding and attached to the rotatable member for rotation therewith.
11. The method of claim 3 wherein the orifice and the confining of the liquid to a cylindrical path are effected by utilizing an elongated vertical hollow cylinder surrounding and attached to the rotatable member for rotation therewith.
12. A power generating system comprising means for confining a body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state, said means having an outlet for the discharge of liquid therefrom and for affording the formation of a liquid vortex extending between the surface of the body of liquid and the outlet, means for maintaining the liquid in said liquid body confining means at a substantially constant level, a hollow cylindrical shell extending through said outlet and mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis, means for preventing the bypassing of liquid through said outlet outside said shell whereby the entrance to said shell constitutes the outlet from said confining means, a panel arranged in said shell and secured thereto and extending diametrically thereof for a substantial distance, said panel thereby being arranged for engagement with the liquid of the vortex whereby when the vortex is formed said panel and said shell are rotated as a unit, and means for connecting said panel to drive a power output means.
13. A power generating system as set forth in claim 12 including means for adjusting axially the position of said panel whereby its position with respect to the vortex may be adjusted longitudinally to effect maximum power output.
14. A power generating system comprising a plurality of power generating units, each of said units including a tank for holding a body of liquid in a substantially quiescent state and having an outlet in the bottom wall thereof, said outlet affording a discharge of liquid from said tank and the formation of a liquid votex extending between the surface of the liquid and the outlet, means for connecting said tanks in tandem and for affording a flow of liquid through the tanks in series and for maintaining substantially the same level of liquid in all said tanks, means for restricting the liquid discharged from each of said tanks to a cylindrical path of substantially the same cross section as the outlet, and a rotor member for each of said units mounted for rotation about the axis of the cylindrical path, said member being mounted with a substantial portion within the cylindrical path for engagement with the liquid of the vortex therein whereby when a vortex is formed in the liquid passing through said outlet said rotor member is driven by the rotational forces of the liquid lying within said cylindrical path whereby power may be derived simultaneously from all of said units.
15. A power system as set forth in claim 14 wherein each of said rotor members comprises a cylindrical shell mounted in alinement with the respective outlet and having a flat panel mounted therein along the diameter thereof and extending longitudinally of the shell whereby said shell provides said cylindrical path and the entrance to said shell constitutes the outlet from the respective one of said tanks.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 22,282 12/1858 Fairchild 253-31 195,215 9/ 1877 Horton 253-31 914,399 3/1909 Fancher 253-31 1,350,187 8/1920 Streibich et al. 25'3-31 3,010,247 11/1961 Shapiro 253-22 X FOREIGN PATENTS 190,461 7/1957 Austria.
EVERETTE A. POWELL, In, Primary Examiner.
US660153A 1967-07-20 1967-07-20 Power generating method and apparatus Expired - Lifetime US3372905A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4382746A (en) * 1981-05-20 1983-05-10 Philip Retz Vortex turbine apparatus
WO2004061295A2 (en) * 2003-01-03 2004-07-22 Zotloeterer Franz Hydroelectric power plant
AT413579B (en) * 2003-11-18 2006-04-15 Franz Dipl Ing Zotloeterer Hydroelectric power plant using coaxial turbine rotating within stable gravitational vortex for driving electrical generator
WO2010121355A1 (en) * 2009-04-21 2010-10-28 Gary Genest Hydromechanical alternator
EP2584300A1 (en) * 2011-10-18 2013-04-24 RWE Technology GmbH Cooling device for a steam turbine power plant
US10941747B1 (en) 2019-10-21 2021-03-09 Rondid D. Bingaman Gravitational vortex variable water flow energy generating system including adjustable height turbine and diffuser assemblies
US11028816B2 (en) * 2015-12-08 2021-06-08 Turbulent Bvba Gravitational vortex water turbine assembly
DE102020131271A1 (en) 2020-11-25 2022-05-25 Daniela Neldner hydroelectric turbine

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US22282A (en) * 1858-12-14 Improvement in water-wheels
US195215A (en) * 1877-09-18 Improvement in water-wheels
US914399A (en) * 1908-07-17 1909-03-09 Salathiel C Fancher Water-power system.
US1350187A (en) * 1918-09-02 1920-08-17 John C Streibich Submersible water-power device
AT190461B (en) * 1956-01-30 1957-07-10 Johannes Manfred Reiffenstein Turbo engine
US3010247A (en) * 1959-10-14 1961-11-28 Nelson H Shapiro Bathtub toy

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US22282A (en) * 1858-12-14 Improvement in water-wheels
US195215A (en) * 1877-09-18 Improvement in water-wheels
US914399A (en) * 1908-07-17 1909-03-09 Salathiel C Fancher Water-power system.
US1350187A (en) * 1918-09-02 1920-08-17 John C Streibich Submersible water-power device
AT190461B (en) * 1956-01-30 1957-07-10 Johannes Manfred Reiffenstein Turbo engine
US3010247A (en) * 1959-10-14 1961-11-28 Nelson H Shapiro Bathtub toy

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4382746A (en) * 1981-05-20 1983-05-10 Philip Retz Vortex turbine apparatus
WO2004061295A2 (en) * 2003-01-03 2004-07-22 Zotloeterer Franz Hydroelectric power plant
WO2004061295A3 (en) * 2003-01-03 2004-09-10 Franz Zotloeterer Hydroelectric power plant
AT413579B (en) * 2003-11-18 2006-04-15 Franz Dipl Ing Zotloeterer Hydroelectric power plant using coaxial turbine rotating within stable gravitational vortex for driving electrical generator
WO2010121355A1 (en) * 2009-04-21 2010-10-28 Gary Genest Hydromechanical alternator
EP2584300A1 (en) * 2011-10-18 2013-04-24 RWE Technology GmbH Cooling device for a steam turbine power plant
US11028816B2 (en) * 2015-12-08 2021-06-08 Turbulent Bvba Gravitational vortex water turbine assembly
US10941747B1 (en) 2019-10-21 2021-03-09 Rondid D. Bingaman Gravitational vortex variable water flow energy generating system including adjustable height turbine and diffuser assemblies
DE102020131271A1 (en) 2020-11-25 2022-05-25 Daniela Neldner hydroelectric turbine

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