WO2013130127A1 - System and method for cooling and/or industrial processes - Google Patents

System and method for cooling and/or industrial processes Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013130127A1
WO2013130127A1 PCT/US2012/052379 US2012052379W WO2013130127A1 WO 2013130127 A1 WO2013130127 A1 WO 2013130127A1 US 2012052379 W US2012052379 W US 2012052379W WO 2013130127 A1 WO2013130127 A1 WO 2013130127A1
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WO
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Prior art keywords
disk
pack
water
module
disks
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2012/052379
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French (fr)
Inventor
Sr. Whitaker Ben Irvin
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Qwtip Llc
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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING, AIR-HUMIDIFICATION, VENTILATION, USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F5/00Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater
    • F24F5/0007Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater cooling apparatus specially adapted for use in air-conditioning
    • F24F5/0035Air-conditioning systems or apparatus not covered by F24F1/00 or F24F3/00, e.g. using solar heat or combined with household units such as an oven or water heater cooling apparatus specially adapted for use in air-conditioning using evaporation
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING, AIR-HUMIDIFICATION, VENTILATION, USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F6/00Air-humidification, e.g. cooling by humidification
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING, AIR-HUMIDIFICATION, VENTILATION, USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F6/00Air-humidification, e.g. cooling by humidification
    • F24F2006/006Air-humidification, e.g. cooling by humidification with water treatment
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F24HEATING; RANGES; VENTILATING
    • F24FAIR-CONDITIONING, AIR-HUMIDIFICATION, VENTILATION, USE OF AIR CURRENTS FOR SCREENING
    • F24F6/00Air-humidification, e.g. cooling by humidification
    • F24F2006/008Air-humidifier with water reservoir

Abstract

A system and method is provided for increasing efficiency in evaporative coolers by use of a water treatment system 85 as part of the evaporative cooler system. More specifically, in at least one embodiment, the water is processed in line from the water source 80 to the water storage tank 86. In at least one other embodiment or in combination with the prior embodiment, the water is processed in the water storage tank 86 prior to moistening of the transfer material 90 through which air passes during the cooling process. The water treatment system 85 in at least one embodiment passes the water through a vortex chamber 130 leading into a disk-pack turbine 250 having an expansion chamber 252 and outlets into a discharge chamber 230 that leads to at least one discharge port 232. In a further embodiment, the system includes an intake module 400, a vortex module 100, a disk-pack turbine module 200, and a motor 310 for driving the disk-pack turbine 250. In a further embodiment, the system and method is used as part of the operation of an industrial process system that includes a water treatment system 85.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR COOLING AND/OR INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional Application Serial No. 61/604,981, filed February 29, 2012 entitled "System and Method for Evaporative Cooling and/or Liquid Cooling" and U.S. provisional Application Serial No. 61/636,241, filed April 20, 2012 entitled "System and Method for Evaporative Cooling and/or Liquid Cooling", which are hereby incorporated by reference.

I. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a system and method for processing water as part of an evaporative and/or liquid cooling system and process. More specifically, in at least one embodiment, the water is processed in line from the water source to the water storage tank. While in at least one other embodiment or in combination with the prior embodiment, the water is processed in the water storage tank (or pan or reservoir) prior to moistening of the transfer material (or structure) through which air passes during the cooling process. In other embodiments, the water from the water storage tank is used in an industrial process system.

II. Background of the Invention

[0003] An evaporative cooler is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water. The cooler provides for moistening a transfer material with water and passing dry air through the transfer material to have heat present in the air evaporate water present in the transfer material to in turn cool the air that is then delivered to the building to cool the internal temperature. The transfer material is moistened to replace the evaporated water.

[0004] Using evaporative cooling increases the humidity of the air being supplied to the building. When the water is high in mineral content, mineral deposits will build up in or on the cooler components and in the transfer material such as pads. Thus, the evaporative coolers need to be routinely cleaned of the mineral deposits to allow for continued operation of the evaporative cooler. As mineral deposits build up, the efficiency of the transfer material decreases because the water passes over the material and is not absorbed into the material to saturate the material.

III. Summary of the Invention

[0005] In at least one embodiment, the invention includes an evaporative cooler including a water storage tank or a buffer tank, a pump in fluid communication with the tank, a transfer material in fluid communication with the pump, means for moving air through the transfer material such as a fan, ducting in fluid communication with the transfer material such that air that passes through the transfer material substantially enters the ducting (in at least one embodiment the ducting is omitted), and a water treatment system in a water supply path to the water storage tank or inside the tank, the system including a motor; a driveshaft engaging the motor; a vortex module having a housing, at least one opening through the housing or a plurality of inlets spaced around the periphery of the housing near a top of the housing, and a vortex chamber formed in the housing and in fluid communication with the opening or the plurality of inlets; and a disk-pack module having a housing having a discharge chamber formed in the disk-pack housing, and the discharge chamber having a plurality of discharge ports providing a fluid pathway from the discharge chamber to outside of the disk-pack housing, and a disk-pack having an expansion chamber formed in an axial center and in fluid communication with the vortex chamber, the disk-pack having a plurality of spaced apart disks providing passageways between the expansion chamber and the discharge chamber, the disk-pack engaging the driveshaft.

[0006] The invention provides in a first embodiment a cooling or industrial process system including a water storage tank or a buffer tank, a pump in fluid communication with the tank, and a water treatment system where the cooling process system in at least one embodiment further includes a transfer material in fluid communication with the pump, means for moving air through the transfer material, ducting in fluid communication with the transfer material such that air that passes through, around and/or by the transfer material substantially enters the ducting. The invention in a second embodiment provides for the water treatment system to be in a water supply path to the water storage tank or inside the tank with the system including a motor; a driveshaft engaging the motor; a vortex module having a housing, at least one opening through the housing or a plurality of inlets spaced around the periphery of the housing near a top of the housing, and a vortex chamber formed in the housing and in fluid communication with the opening or the plurality of inlets; and a disk-pack module having a housing having a discharge chamber formed in the disk-pack housing, and the discharge chamber having at least one discharge port providing a fluid pathway from the discharge chamber to outside of the disk-pack housing, and a disk-pack having an expansion chamber formed in an axial center and in fluid communication with the vortex chamber, the disk-pack having a plurality of spaced apart disks providing passageways between the expansion chamber and the discharge chamber, the disk-pack engaging the driveshaft. The invention in an alternative to the second embodiment provides for the water treatment system to be in a water supply path to the water storage tank or inside the tank with the system including a vortex module; and a disk-pack module having a housing having a discharge chamber formed in the disk-pack housing, and the discharge chamber having at least one discharge port providing a fluid pathway from the discharge chamber to outside of the disk-pack housing, and a disk-pack having an expansion chamber formed in an axial center and in fluid communication with the vortex chamber, the disk-pack having a plurality of spaced apart disks providing passageways between the expansion chamber and the discharge chamber, the disk-pack engaging the driveshaft. The invention in a third embodiment to any of the previous embodiments provides for the water treatment system further having an intake module including an intake housing with at least one intake opening passing through it into an intake chamber formed in the intake housing, and a plurality of ports in fluid communication with the intake chamber, each of the plurality of ports is in fluid communication with one inlet of the vortex module. The invention in a fourth embodiment to any of the previous embodiments provides for the water treatment system further having a plurality of wing shims connected to the plurality of disks, the wing shims maintain the spacing between the disks and the alignment of the disks to each other. The invention in a fifth embodiment to any of the second through fourth embodiments provides for the disk-pack turbine to be electrically isolated and grounded separate from the housing of the disk-pack module. The invention in a sixth embodiment to any of the previous embodiments provides for the transfer material includes at least one of a cooling pad and means for removing excess water. The invention in a sixth embodiment to any of the previous embodiments includes a return conduit from the transfer material or the industrial process to the water storage tank. The invention in a seventh embodiment to any of the previous embodiments further includes a second water treatment device, and a return conduit in fluid communication with the industrial process system and the second water treatment device. The invention in a eighth embodiment to any of the previous industrial process system embodiments provides for the industrial process system includes a cooling system using a medium selected from a group consisting of liquid and air.

[0007] The invention provides in a further embodiment to the previous embodiments a disk-pack turbine including a top disk plate having an opening passing through an axial center of the top disk plate; a plurality of disks with each disk having an opening passing through an axial center of the disk; a bottom plate having a depression located at an axial center of the disk, and a driveshaft mount; and a plurality of wing shims connecting and aligning the top disk plate, the plurality of disks and the bottom plate to form an area defined by the plurality of openings and the depression of the bottom plate, the plurality of wing shims space apart the plurality of disks such that disk chambers exist between adjacent disks. The invention in a further embodiment to the previous embodiments provides for the disk thickness and/or disk chamber heights in the variety of dimensions discussed in this disclosure. The invention in a still further embodiment to the previous embodiments provides for the various materials used to make the disk-pack turbine components as discussed in this disclosure.

[0008] The invention in a further embodiment includes the modes of operation of the above- described embodiments.

[0009] The invention in at least one embodiment includes a method of operation of an evaporative cooler using a system having a vortex module and a disk-pack module including processing water used by the evaporative cooler by rotating a disk-pack turbine in the disk-pack module; spinning a fluid to create a vortex where the fluid that enters the vortex is located outside of the vortex module prior to entry; discharging the fluid from the vortex module into an expansion chamber formed in the disk-pack turbine of the disk-pack module; channeling the fluid between spaces that exist between disks of the disk-pack turbine to travel from the expansion chamber to a discharge chamber surrounding the disk-pack turbine; and accumulating fluid in the discharge chamber before discharging the fluid through at least one discharge port into a water supply for a transfer material, a water storage tank in the evaporative cooler or into the water storage tank, dispersing water into the transfer material of the evaporative cooler, passing outside air through the transfer material to cool the air into a ducting of the evaporative cooler, and distributing the cooled air to at least one location in a building.

[0010] The invention in at least one embodiment includes a method for providing cooling using a system having a vortex module and a disk-pack module including processing liquid used by the industrial system by rotating a disk-pack turbine in the disk-pack module; spinning a fluid to create a vortex where the fluid that enters the vortex is located outside of the vortex module prior to entry; discharging the fluid from the vortex module into an expansion chamber formed in the disk-pack turbine of the disk-pack module; channeling the fluid between spaces that exist between disks of the disk-pack turbine to travel from the expansion chamber to a discharge chamber surrounding the disk-pack turbine; and accumulating fluid in the discharge chamber before discharging the fluid through at least one discharge port into a liquid supply for a transfer material, a liquid storage tank, dispersing liquid into the transfer material, passing outside air through the transfer material to dissipate heat, and returning the liquid after it passes through, around and/or by the transfer material to the liquid storage tank.

IV. Brief Description of the Drawings

[0011] The present invention is described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. The use of cross- hatching and shading within the drawings is not intended as limiting the type of materials that may be used to manufacture the invention.

[0012] FIGs. 1 A- ID illustrate block diagrams of embodiments according to the invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of a water treatment system for use in at least one embodiment according to the invention.

[0014] FIG. 3 illustrates a water treatment system embodiment for use in the invention.

[0015] FIGs. 4A and 4B illustrate cross-sections of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 taken at the respective lines in FIG. 3.

[0016] FIG. 5 illustrates an exploded view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 according to the invention.

[0017] FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective and exploded view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 according to the invention.

[0018] FIG. 7 illustrates an intake module and partial disk-pack module of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 according to the invention.

[0019] FIG. 8 illustrates a water treatment system embodiment for use in the invention.

[0020] FIG. 9 illustrates a top view of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8.

[0021] FIG. 1 OA- IOC illustrate side views of an intake module of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8. FIG. 10D illustrates a top view of an outer screen of the intake module.

[0022] FIGs. 1 1A-1 1B illustrate side views of a vortex module of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8.

[0023] FIG. 12A illustrates a side view of a disk-pack turbine module of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8. FIG. 12B illustrates an internal view of a housing part of the disk-pack module. FIG. 12C illustrates a cross-section view of the housing part illustrated in FIG. 12B.

[0024] FIG. 13 A illustrates a top view of the disk-pack turbine according to an embodiment of the invention. FIG. 13B illustrates a side view of the disk-pack turbine illustrated in FIG. 13A. FIG. 13C illustrates a cross-section of the disk-pack turbine illustrated in FIG. 13 A.

[0025] FIGs. 14A-14D illustrate a disk-pack turbine example for use in a water treatment system that could be used in at least one embodiment according to the invention.

[0026] FIGs. 15A-15C illustrate another disk-pack turbine example for use in a water treatment system that could be used in at least one embodiment according to the invention. [0027] FIGs. 16A-16C illustrate another disk-pack turbine example for use in a water treatment system that could be used in at least one embodiment according to the invention.

[0028] FIG. 17A illustrates an alternative wing shim embodiment installed in a partial disk-pack turbine example for use in a water treatment system that could be used in at least one embodiment according to the invention. FIG. 17B illustrates a side view of a support member of the wing shim illustrated in FIG. 17A. FIG. 17C illustrates a top view of a support member of the wing shim illustrated in FIG. 17A.

[0029] FIG. 18 illustrates another disk-pack turbine example for use in a water treatment system that could be used in at least one embodiment according to the invention.

[0030] FIGs. 19A- 19C illustrate another disk-pack turbine embodiment for use in a water treatment system that could be used in the invention.

[0031] FIGs. 20A and 20B illustrate a waveform disk pack turbine example for use in at least one embodiment according to the invention.

[0032] FIGs. 21A-21E illustrate a waveform disk pack turbine example for use in at least one embodiment according to the invention.

V. Detailed Description of the Invention

[0033] FIGs. 1A-1D illustrate overviews of example embodiments according to the invention. FIG. 1A illustrates the use of a water treatment system 84 located in-line between the water supply (or source) 80 and a water storage tank 86 that feeds water to a transfer material 90 through which air is passed on its way from the outside to inside of the building to lower the internal building temperature. FIG. IB illustrates the use of a water treatment system 84 located in the water storage tank. FIG. 1C illustrates the embodiment from FIG. IB with the addition of a return conduit 96 from the transfer material 90 to the water storage tank 86. FIG. ID illustrates an example of an industrial process system application.

[0034] Based on this disclosure, it should be understood that these embodiments could be combined together in a variety of ways. FIGs. 2-20E illustrate different water treatment systems and disk-pack turbines for use in the different water treatment systems that can be used in the illustrated systems of FIGs. 1A-1D. Based on this disclosure, it should be appreciated that the water treatment system could be used as part of closed circuit (or indirect evaporative cooling) systems and two-stage evaporative cooling (indirect-direct evaporative cooling) systems using evaporative cooling technology.

[0035] FIGs. 1A-1C illustrate a cooling system having a water supply 80, a water storage tank 86, a water pump 88, a transfer material 90 (that in at least one embodiment includes a sump or other system 95 to remove any water that drains out of the transfer material 90), an optional fan(s) (or blower) 92 and ducting 94. In at least one embodiment, piping is used to connect the water supply 80 with the water storage tank 86, and likewise additional piping and/or other conduit is used to move water from the water storage tank 86 to the transfer material 88 as is known in, for example, the field of evaporative coolers. In FIG. 1A, the addition of an intermediary tank (or conduit) 82 connected to a water treatment system 84 (for example, a small tank measuring approximately one cubic yard to hold the water treatment system 84 and in at least one embodiment to provide a buffer point to the water flow) is illustrated as being in-line between the water supply 80 and the water storage tank 86. Although one of ordinary skill in the art based on this disclosure would understand that the intermediary tank 82 can be of a variety of sizes while providing a buffer. In an alternative embodiment, the water storage tank 86 is omitted from the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1A. In contrast, FIG. IB illustrates the water treatment system 84 being present in the water storage tank 86. FIG. 1C illustrates a closed loop system that uses a return conduit (or line) 95 to the water storage tank 86, which in this embodiment the water storage tank 86 has its level replenished as needed by the water supply 80, for example, by using a sensor 87 to determine when the water level has dropped below a predetermined threshold (or level). FIG. ID illustrates a water supply 80 that is used to replenish the water storage tank 86 as needed, a water treatment system 84 in the water storage tank 86, a water pump 88, an industrial process system 90A in fluid communication with the water pump 88, and a return conduit 95 from the industrial process system 90A to the water storage tank 86. Examples of industrial process systems include manufacturing processes such as electroplating, metal finishing, rinsing and washing, and fabrication; automotive and machinery manufacturing; semiconductor fabrication and production; electronics assembly; energy production such as electrical power generation; oil and/or gas production; pulp and paper manufacturing; etc. and other processes that turn raw materials and/or components into components and/or finished goods. In a further embodiment to that illustrated in FIG. ID, the return conduit 95 is omitted and in a still further embodiment the water is treated by another system, which in at least one embodiment is a water treatment system such as those discussed in this disclosure.

[0036] Further examples of the water supply 80 include containers such as tanker trucks, tanks, ponds, canals, streams, rivers, domestic water wells, irrigation ditches, irrigation reservoirs, rainwater collection systems, and industrial process water systems. Based on this disclosure, it should be understood that water could be replaced by other liquids, which would change the water supply 80 to a replenishment tank for the liquid being used in the system.

[0037] In at least one embodiment, the transfer material 90 is enclosed in a space (or enclosure or room) that receives external air and outputs the cooled air into the ducting 94 through operation of the fan 92 moving the air into and through the system. A water pump 88 draws water from the water storage tank 88 to maintain a level of moisture in the transfer material 90, which in at least one embodiment is accomplished using at least one sensor present in the transfer material to control operation of the water pump 88. Examples of the transfer material 90 include cooling pads made from, for example, aspen fiber, horse (or other animal) hair, glass wool, corrugated paper, high density polyethylene, cellulose including corrugated cellulose, aluminum, glass fiber, and/or plastic fibers with any of these materials being impregnated with wetting agents, insoluble salts, stiffening saturants, or other material (or coating) useful in preventing the growth of bacteria or other biological life like algae. In an alternative embodiment, the transfer material 90 includes structural components and/or surfaces over which the water passes and/or conduit through which the water passes in addition to or instead of the previously listed examples. In a further embodiment, when the transfer material 90 includes conduit, the system may further include a spray (or misting) system to deliver liquid onto the conduit to assist with the cooling of the water passing through the conduit. In a further embodiment, when the transfer material includes structural components, examples of these components include plates and/or frames that are part of a cooling tower structure. In a further embodiment to the embodiments in this paragraph, the transfer material 90 is present in and/or part of a cooling tower.

[0038] As is common in existing evaporative coolers and some cooling towers, the fan (or other air movement component(s)) 92 are used to draw outside air into the system to be passed through and/or over the transfer material 90 (for example, pushing the air through or pulling the air through depending upon the location of the fan 92 relative to the transfer material 90). In at least one embodiment, the fan is located proximate to the exit point of the air leaving the location being cooled. The various approaches to moving air through the evaporative cooler are examples of means for moving air through the transfer material. In at least one further embodiment to those discussed previously, the fan 92 is omitted from the system. Ducting 94 runs from the output side of the transfer material 90 and runs to predetermined location(s) in the building to deliver the cooled air to the location(s). In at least one embodiment, the transfer material is incorporated into a wall of the building being cooled, for example, in a greenhouse or livestock application.

[0039] FIG. 2 illustrates an overview of a suitable water treatment system 85 for use as part of the systems illustrated in FIGs. 1A-1D. The illustrated system includes a vortex module 100, a disk-pack module 200 and a drive system 300. Although not illustrated in FIG. 2 the water treatment system 85 may further include an optional intake module, which may further be combined with the drive system 300 as one module. The disk-pack module 200 includes a disk-pack turbine that is rotated by the drive system 300.

[0040] In many of the embodiments illustrated in FIGs. 3-13C, the water enters into a vortex chamber that includes a plurality of inlets that are spaced apart, and in at least one embodiment the inlets are evenly spaced around and near the top of the vortex chamber. The vortex chamber further increases the rotational speed of the water as the water passes through the vortex chamber into an expansion and distribution chamber (or expansion chamber). In at least one embodiment, the rotational velocity of the water is pre-accelerated to match the rotational velocity of the expansion chamber and disk-pack turbine adding substantially to energy exchange dynamics. The water in at least one embodiment is drawn into the expansion chamber at least in part by a disk-pack turbine spinning within the expansion chamber. The water is drawn into and through the space (or disk chambers) between the disks of the disk-pack turbine into an accumulation, energy exchange and discharge chamber (or accumulation chamber) surrounding the disk-pack turbine. The discharge chamber in at least one embodiment includes a torus/paraboloid shape that assists with the conditioning of the water prior to its discharge through at least one discharge port. In most of the embodiments, the embodiment includes a plurality of discharge ports, and in at least one embodiment the discharge ports are evenly spaced around the periphery of the discharge chamber. The disk-pack turbine is rotated by a driveshaft driven by a motor, which in at least one embodiment is present in a motor module while in at least another embodiment resides in the disk- pack module. In an alternative embodiment, the motor may indirectly drive the driveshaft with, for example, a belt or other linkage.

[0041] In other embodiments, the device includes an intake module that further drives the fluid into the vortex chamber. In at least one embodiment, there is one outlet and connecting conduit for each vortex chamber inlet.

[0042] In other embodiments, the fluid intake is through a filter section that feeds a conduit(s) running to the vortex chamber inlets. The connecting conduit can take a variety of forms including, for example, piping, tubing, enclosed channels and a combination of any two or more of these examples.

[0043] FIGs. 3-7 illustrate a water treatment system capable of use in an embodiment of the invention. An example of material that can be used to manufacture the housings for these modules includes a broad range of plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate, acryronitrile butadiene styrene, acetal, acrylic, and polyethynols; carbon fiber; Teflon; and metals such as stainless steel and brass.

[0044] The combination motor and intake module 400A as illustrated in FIGs. 3-4B includes a housing 420A that includes a cylindrical screen 426A (or other filtering structure, see, e.g. , FIG. 8) with a cylindrical base 428A with an enclosed bottom. The housing 420A surrounds a motor 31 OA that is mounted under the disk-pack module 200A for driving the disk-pack 250A with its single shaft 314A (as a double shaft is not needed for this embodiment with the omission of an impeller). In an alternative water treatment system, the motor is located in a protective housing isolating it from the disk-pack module and further protects the motor from the fluid beyond the protection offered by the motor housing. The screen 426A provides a barrier for extraneous material that may be present in the water (or other fluid) such as algae, rocks, sticks, animals, animal larvae, and other debris. Once the water passes through the screen 426A, it will then be drawn into the plurality of conduits (not shown) connecting the intake module 400A with the vortex module 100A. The disk-pack turbine 250A is relied on to draw in the fluid in this example. FIG. 4A illustrates an example of minimal footings 424A being used on the bottom of the system.

[0045] The combination motor and intake module 400A and the vortex module 100A are connected together with conduit (not shown). Each module includes an equal number of connectors (outlets 422A/inlets 132A, respectively). For illustration purposes, an example of a connector 132A, 422A that can be used is the illustrated barbed connector that allows for flexible piping to be placed over the connector 132A, 422A to form the connection, allowing for easy replacement of the conduit if needed as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 3. The connectors 132A, 422A may be integrally formed with their respective module's housing or as illustrated, for example, in FIGs. 5 and 6 have a threaded (or other mechanical coupling) connection between the housing 120A, 420A and the connector 132A, 422A. Other examples of mechanical coupling include, for example, ring channels on the inside of the connector and protrusions or O-rings on the outside of the conduit to substantially seal and connect the pieces, clamps around the outside of tubing that connects over the connectors, and barbs or other protrusions on the connectors to more firmly engage connected tubing. The illustrated arrangement of the connectors 132A, 422A facilitates the flow of water through the connectors 132A, 422A, particularly for the vortex chamber 13 OA with the water flowing in a counterclockwise direction to support the formation of a vortex. The angle of the connector 132A relative to the housing 120A in the illustrated embodiment is an acute angle between the flows of water. In at least one embodiment, the angle of the connector 132A relative to the vortex chamber 130A allows for the tangential addition of water into the vortex chamber 130A. In an alternative embodiment, the system is arranged with the inlets 132A into the vortex chamber 130A angled for reverse motion and the motor 31 OA built for turning the disk-pack turbine 250A in the reverse direction for creation of a clockwise rotation of the fluids, which would be useful in the Earth's Southern Hemisphere.

[0046] The structure of the vortex module 100A remains the same in terms of its operation; however, the illustrated external housing 120A is small and fitted about the vortex chamber 13 OA with the addition of structural support members 126A extending up from a bottom plate 128 A that connects to the disk- pack module 200A to a point part way up the vortex module 100A to a support ring 125 A. The support ring 125 A in the illustrated embodiment is located at about the height of where the vortex chamber walls approach an angle in excess of 75 degrees, although other heights are possible. The support members 126A, as illustrated, are walls that extend radially out from the outside of the vortex chamber 13 OA to a distance approximating the radius of the support ring 125 A where the walls 126A each have a support column 127A, which may be omitted. In addition to the support walls 126A, FIG. 5 illustrates the presence of additional support walls 123 A extending above the support ring 125 A and abutting the bottom of the housing 120A around an upper section of the vortex chamber 13 OA. In a further embodiment, the support structure is omitted or configured in a different way.

[0047] The disk-pack module 200A has some similarities to the previously described disk-pack module 200A as illustrated in FIGs. 4A-5. The disk-pack turbine 250A includes a top plate 264A, a plurality of disks 260A, and a bottom plate 268A that includes a motor coupling (or hub). The top plate 264A and the bottom plate 268A mounted in the housing 220A in at least one water treatment system with a bearing element 280A serving as the connection point at the top and bottom to allow for rotation of the disk-pack turbine 250A, as illustrated in FIG. 5. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the disk-pack turbine 250A includes at least two bolts 254A connecting plates 264A, 268A and the disks 260A together in addition to a plurality of wing shims 270A. The wing shims 270A in this illustrated system are spaced in from the disk periphery as illustrated in FIG. 7. The illustrated discharge chamber 252A has a toroid/paraboloid shape, as illustrated in FIGs. 4A and 4B. The disk-pack turbine 250A includes an oval expansion chamber in which to receive the incoming water flow from the vortex chamber 13 OA. The disk-pack turbine 250A as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 6 is a large disk-pack in terms of the number of stacked disks 260A and based on this disclosure, one of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate based on this disclosure that the disk chamber heights and/or the number of disks can vary.

[0048] The discharge chamber 23 OA includes a pair of laterally concave sections connected by a convex section along the ceiling and the floor. The discharge chamber 230A is taller in the inner concave section than in the outer concave section. The outer concave section is connected with a second convex section that merges into an arcuate side wall. Two discharge ports 232A are illustrated as exiting from the discharge chamber 23 OA; however, based on this disclosure, one of ordinary skill in the art would understand the number of discharge ports can be adjusted.

[0049] In other implementations of the illustrated system, the system is wrapped with filter material to act as a first stage filter to prevent large particles from entering the intake module 400A. The remaining water treatment systems discussed in this disclosure may also be modified with a similar filter material.

[0050] FIGs. 8-13C illustrate a further example water treatment system for use in at least one embodiment according to the invention. The illustrated water treatment system is similar to the previously water treatment system. The illustrated water treatment system is approximately 18 inches tall with a base (excluding the outlets 422B) having a diameter of approximately 11 inches and the distance between the opening of the discharge ports 232B having a distance of approximately 11.7 inches. The illustrated water treatment system includes a vortex module 100B, a disk-pack module 200B, and a combined motor/intake module 400B.

[0051] As illustrated, for example, in FIGs. 10A-10D, motor/intake module 400B includes a pair of screens 426B, 427B that together with a base 420B provide the housing for the module 400B. The inner screen 426B attaches to the base 420B and the bottom of the disk-pack module 200B and over it is placed the outer screen 427B that is able to rotate at partially around and over the inner screen 426B. The outer screen 427B includes a lever (or handle) 4272B, which may be omitted, that assists in rotation of the outer screen 427B relative to the inner screen 426B. The pair of screens, 426B, 427B each includes a plurality of slots 4262B, 4276B, respectively, spaced around their periphery. The relative position of the two screens 426B, 427B to each other define whether there are any openings through which the water may pass along with the size of the resulting openings. In at least one water treatment system, the screens 426B, 427B together are a filter. In use, the openings will be set such that they will be small enough to block a vast majority of debris and other material present in the water being processed. In an alternative embodiment, the slots 4262B, 4276B are slanted relative to a vertical line passing over the screen.

[0052] The outer screen 427B illustrated in FIG. 10D includes an axially centered opening 4274B that provides an area through which the base of the disk-pack module 200B can be attached to the inner screen 426B. FIG. 10D also illustrates an example of how the outer screen 427B in at least one embodiment engages the inner screen 426B, around the periphery of the opening 4274B there are a plurality of serrations (or recesses) 4278B that engage reciprocal structures on the inner screen 426B to allow for incremental rotation of the outer screen 427B relative to the inner screen 426B, which includes a plurality of nodes for engaging the serrations. In at least one water treatment system, the number of nodes is less than the number of serrations. Based on this disclosure, it should be understood that a variety of other approaches may be used in place of the serrations 4278B.

[0053] FIGs. 8 and 10B, for example, illustrate an example of a power supply hole 4202B for the power supply and/or control wire(s) (not illustrated) to pass through the housing of the motor/intake module 400B. Although illustrated in connection with this example, the power supply hole 4202B may be incorporated into the other water treatment systems discussed in this disclosure.

[0054] FIGs. 1 1A and 1 IB illustrate a vortex module 100B with a cap 122B and a main body 124B. The main body 124B has a top opening having a diameter of approximately 4.6 inches before narrowing down to an outlet 138B having a diameter of approximately 0.8 inches over a distance of approximately 6.2 inches. The upper section 134B over at least a portion has a radius of approximately 0.34 inches. The main body 124B includes corresponding attachment holes 1244B to allow the cap 122B to be secured to the main body 124B as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 22. Based on this disclosure, it should be appreciated that there are a variety of ways to attach the cap 122B and the main body 124B together.

[0055] The water treatment system illustrated in FIGs. 8 and 1 IB include structure support members 126B that each include a support column 127B extending down from the top of the main body 124B to abut against a support column 123B extending up from a support plate 128B. The support plate 128B includes an axially centered opening having a diameter of approximately 1.3 inches through which the main body 124B. The main body 124B includes an outlet of the vortex chamber 130B extending below the housing to engage the disk-pack turbine 250B in the disk-pack module 200B.

[0056] FIGS. 12A- 12C illustrate a disk-pack module 200B that receives the fluid from the vortex chamber 130B. The disk-pack module 200B includes two housing pieces 2202B, 2204B that are identical to each other thus expediting assembly of the device. Each housing piece also includes an axially centered opening having a diameter to allow for the vortex chamber or the motor shaft to pass through depending upon orientation of the housing piece in the assembled device. In the illustrated water treatment system in FIG. 9, the housing pieces 2202B, 2204B include attachment holes 2206B for receiving a bolt or the like (not shown). Based on this disclosure, it should be appreciated that there are a variety of ways to attach the two housing pieces 2202B, 2204B together. FIG. 12C illustrates a cross- section of one of the housing pieces 220B and the discharge chamber 230B into which the disk-pack turbine 250B resides.

[0057] FIGs. 13A-13C illustrate an example of a disk-pack turbine 250B that can be used in the described water treatment system. The disk-pack turbine 250B has a height of approximately 4.3 inches with a diameter of approximately 5.5 inches and an expansion chamber 252D with a diameter of approximately 1.1 inches to fit within the vortex chamber discharge 230D along with a bearing member. The top rotor 264B includes a cylindrical intake and openings for connecting to wing shims 270B spaced from the axial center of the rotor. The bottom rotor 268B has a similar structure to the top rotor 264B, but instead of an opening passing through its axial center there is a motor mount and a concave feature 2522B axially centered on the plate to form the bottom of the expansion chamber 252B. The illustrated disk- pack turbine 250B includes 16 disks 260B having a height of approximately 0.05 inches spaced apart approximately 0.05 inches with approximately 1.7 inches between the top rotor 264B and the bottom rotor 268B. Based on this disclosure, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the number of disks can be changed from the illustrated sixteen (16) disks. [0058] FIG. 13C also illustrates an alternative wing shim 270B that includes spacers similar to those discussed in connection to FIGs. 16A-18. One difference is that the opening in the spacer and the opening in the disk are sized to fit around a standoff member 273B. The standoff member 273B in at least one embodiment is attached to the top rotor 264B and the bottom rotor 268B with bolts 276B.

[0059] The various embodiments discussed above can use a water treatment system without the vortex chamber or other input modules allowing the disk pack to draw the fluid directly from the water source into the expansion chamber. In a further embodiment, the housing around the disk pack is removed and the disk pack discharges the water directly from the periphery of the disk-pack directly into the container that it is running in. These examples may be combined together in a further water treatment system. One impact of running the system in an open configuration is that the vortex created leads to the creation of extremely powerful whirlpools that are believed will be beneficial for mixing of the water present in the vessel containing the water being treated. Experimental systems have been capable of establishing a very concentrated "eye of the whirlpool" which draws in surface air at disk-pack submerged depths of more than two feet.

[0060] In a further embodiment, at least one water treatment system includes a controller that controls the operation of the system. The above-described motor modules may be provided with a variety of operation, control, and process monitoring features. Examples include a switch (binary and variable), computer controlled, or built-in controller resident in the motor module. Examples of a built-in controller include an application specific integrated circuit, an analog circuit, a processor or a combination of these. The controller in at least one embodiment provides control of the motor via a signal or direct control of the power provided to the motor. The controller in at least one embodiment is programmed to control the RPM of the motor over a predetermined time based on time of day/week/month/year or length of time since process start, and in other embodiments the controller responds to the one or more characteristics to determine the speed at which the motor is operated. In a further embodiment, the controller runs for a predetermined length of time after water has been added to the storage tank.

[0061] In at least one embodiment, the controller monitors at least one of the voltage, amperage, watts, hours of run time (current operation period and/or total run time) and speed (rotations per minute (RPM)) of the motor to determine the appropriate level of power to provide to the motor for operation and/or adjust the speed of the motor. Other examples of input parameters include chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), pH, ORP, dissolved oxygen (DO), bound oxygen and other concentrations of elements and/or lack thereof and have the controller respond accordingly by automatically adjusting operational speeds and run times.

[0062] FIGs. 14A- 19C illustrate different examples of placement of the wing shims and configurations of the wing shims themselves. As have been illustrated in the Figures connected to the various above-described water treatment systems, the number and location of wing shims can also vary between devices built according to the invention.

[0063] As illustrated, for example, in FIGs. 14A-19C, the wing shims can take a variety of forms and locations as will be developed more fully below. In at least one implementation, the wing shims enhance the flow dynamics of the fluid being processed by minimizing undesirable turbulence, detrimental internal flow characteristics and avoiding (or, at least, minimizing) cavitations of the fluid as it passes around the wing shims.

[0064] FIGs. 14A- 14D illustrate a wing shim that includes a plurality of spacers 272C and a wing 274C. Each wing 274C includes a leading edge 2742C and a trailing edge 2744C with a middle section 2746C between the two edges as illustrated in FIG. 14C, which illustrates the left side as the leading edge and the right side as the trailing edge. The two edges 2742K, 2744C extend from the middle section 2746C and taper down to an edge for their free ends. The middle section 2746C includes a pair of protrusions 2747K, 2748C and a groove 2479C running the length of the wing 274C. Each disk 260C in the disk-pack turbine 250C includes a cut-out 2602C along its edge to match the protrusions 2747K, 2748C and groove 2749C of the wing shim 270C as illustrated in FIG. 14D. The wing 274C is slid into and through the cutouts 2602C with the spacers 272C slid into position on the wing 274C such that at least one spacer 272C (see, e.g., FIG. 14B) is present between adjacent disks 260C to hold the wing 274C in place relative to the disks 260C and to maintain disk separation (i.e., form disk chambers). The spacers 272C include a cutout 2722C that matches the structure of the wing 274C for mechanical/geometric orientation and engagement (including frictional engagement) between the pieces without the use of bolts or other components as illustrated in FIGs. 14B and 14C. The pieces are physically connected, for example, interlock, coupled, or mounted to each other in addition to the disks 260C thus avoiding the need for adhesives that may lose effectiveness over time during use. In an alternative embodiment, a spacer is placed on the outside of the top and bottom disks.

[0065] FIGs. 15A-15C illustrate a different wing shim that includes a plurality of spacers 272D and a wing 274D. The wing 274D includes an engagement section 2746D and a wing section 2742D as illustrated in FIG. 15A. As illustrated, the engagement section 2746D is substantially a cylindrical portion with the wing section 2742D extending away from it and having a triangular horizontal cross- section. The wing 274D includes a pair of channels 2749D running its length on either side of the wing 274D where the engagement and wing sections 2746D, 2742D meet that provide a place for the ends 2722D of the spacers 272D to slide and attach to the wing 274D as illustrated in FIG. 15B. The spacers 272D each have a tapered section 2724D with two engagement arms 2722D extending from it with a circular area 2726D formed between the arms 2722D for engaging the engagement section 2746D of the wing 274D. The illustrated disks 260D include an opening 2602D passing through each of the disks 260D that is spaced from the periphery for passing the wing 274D through to secure the disks 260D in relative position to each other with at least one spacer 272D being located between adjacent disks 260D as illustrated in FIG. 15C. The wing 274D with a spacer 272D forms a surface area to cut through the water present between the disks 260D.

[0066] FIGs. 16A- 16C illustrate a wing shim 270E having a plurality of spacers 272E and a threaded bolt 276E connecting them. Each spacer 272E, when viewed from its top, has a cross-section akin to a wing with an opening 2726E passing through its tallest (or thickest) portion as illustrated in FIG. 16A. The illustrated wing shim 270E is designed to be rotated in a counterclockwise direction with the disk- pack turbine 250E, thus providing a leading edge that is short and more abrupt compared to the trailing edge for moving through the fluid in the disk chambers. As illustrated in FIG. 16A, at least one spacer 272E is placed between adjacent disks 260E in the disk-pack 250E to control the height of the disk chambers. The threaded bolt 276E is placed through the stack of disks 260E and spacers 272E to connect them together and hold them in place as illustrated in FIG. 16B. Unlike the previous wing shim embodiments, the top and bottom rotors as illustrated in FIG. 16C include a plurality of openings passing through the rotor for engaging the plurality of threaded bolts to maintain the relative placement of the discs to each other and to insure that the disk-pack turbine moves as one when rotated. The openings in the disk-pack turbine, when aligned, form a channel through which the bolts pass. In an alternative version, the bottom rotor includes a plurality of recesses in place of openings such that the bottom surface of the bottom rotor is smooth.

[0067] FIGs. 17A-17C provide an illustration of a wing shim for use in the previously described embodiments or for use in water treatment systems. The illustrated wing shim includes a plurality of spacers 272F and a hexagonal support member 276F connecting them and providing alignment of the spacers 272F relative to the support member 276F and the disk 260F. The spacers 272F include a hexagonal opening passing through it to allow it to slide over the support member 276F. The disks 260F include a plurality of hexagonal openings 2602F. The support members 276F extend between the top and lower rotors and in at least one embodiment are attached to the rotors using screws or bolts. Based on this disclosure, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the cross-section of the support members may take different forms while still providing for alignment of the spacers 272F relative to the disks 260F based on the interplay of the openings and the cross-section of the support member.

[0068] FIG. 18 Illustrates the wing shim 270G being integrally formed with the disk-pack turbine 250G as one piece that is manufactured by a rapid prototyping method utilizing a polycarbonate and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic blend. Another approach for manufacturing this one piece design is to use injection molding around a water soluble core.

[0069] In at least one embodiment, the threaded bolt, standoff member, the locking pins and the like are examples of connection members.

[0070] In at least one embodiment, the illustrated wing shims are located at different spots around the disks including be spaced about the axial opening including proximate and spaced from the axial opening and/or spaced from the periphery edge of the disks.

[0071] The various wing shims are illustrated for use in counterclockwise systems. Most of these wing shim embodiments can also be easily used in clockwise systems by reorientating the pieces to reverse their respective orientation, for example by rotating or turning them around.

[0072] Examples of material that can be used to construct the wing shims include brass, stainless steel, plastic such as polycarbonate and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, etc., or any combination of these. Based on this disclosure, it should be understood that a variety of materials or stacked and perhaps bonded combinations of varying materials could be used to make the wing shims. [0073] FIGs. 19A-19C illustrate another example of a disk-pack turbine. FIG. 19A illustrates a 13 disk configuration with stainless steel disks 260H. Illustrated in FIG. 19B is the upper rotor 264H including a bearing element such as a stainless steel race and nylon or Vesconite bushing lining the inside of the opening to decrease the level of friction between the disk-pack 250H and the outlet of the vortex chamber that would extend into the upper rotor opening. FIGs. 19B and 19C also illustrate that this particular embodiment includes ten wing shims 270H. Illustrated in FIG. 19C is the lower rotor 268H including a recess 269H for engaging the driveshaft. The illustrated upper and lower rotors 264H, 268H include a plastic substantially flat disk integrally formed with a metal hub that engages another component in the system.

[0074] In a further embodiment to at least one of the previously described embodiments or for use in water treatment systems, the disk-pack turbine includes a plurality of disks having waveforms present on them as illustrated in FIGs. 20A-21E. Although the illustrated waveforms are either concentric circles (FIGs. 20A and 20B) or biaxial (FIGs. 21A-21E), it should be understood that the waveforms could also be sinusoidal, biaxial sinocircular, a series of interconnected scallop shapes, a series of interconnected arcuate forms, hyperbolic, and/or multi-axial including combinations of these that when rotated provide progressive, disk channels with the waveforms being substantially centered about an expansion chamber. The shape of the individual disks defines the waveform, and one approach to creating these waveforms is to stamp the metal used to manufacture the disks to provide the desired shapes. Other examples of manufacture include machining, casting (cold or hot), injection molding, molded and centered, and/or electroplating of plastic disks of the individual disks. The illustrated waveform disks include a flange 2608, which may be omitted depending on the presence and/or the location of the wing shims, around their perimeter to provide a point of connection for wing shims 270 used to construct the particular disk- pack turbine. In a further embodiment, the wing shims 270 are located around and proximate to the expansion chamber in the disk turbine. In a further embodiment, the wing shims are omitted and replaced by, for example, stamped (or manufactured, molded or casted) features that provide a profile axially and/or peripherally for attachment to a neighboring disk or rotor.

[0075] In a variety of embodiments the disks have a thickness less than five millimeters, less than four millimeters, less than three millimeters, less than and/or equal to two millimeters, and less than and/or equal to one millimeter with the height of the disk chambers depending on the embodiment having approximately 1.3 mm, between 1.3 mm to 2.5 mm, of less than or at least 1.7 mm, between 1.0 mm and 1.8 mm, between 2.0 mm and 2.7 mm, approximately 2.3 mm, above 2.5 mm, and above at least 2.7 mm. Based on this disclosure it should be understood that a variety of other disk thickness and/or disk chamber heights are possible while still allowing for assembly of a disk-pack turbine for use in the illustrated systems and disk-pack turbines. In at least one embodiment, the height of the disk chambers is not uniform between two neighboring nested waveform disks. In a still further embodiment, the disk chamber height is variable during operation when the wing shims are located proximate to the center openings resulting, for example, from vibration in at least one embodiment. [0076] FIGs. 20A-21E illustrate respective disk-pack turbines 250X, 250Y that include an upper rotor 264X and a lower rotor 268X that have a substantially flat engagement surface (other than the expansion chamber elements) facing the area where the disks 260X, 260Y are present. In an alternative embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2 IE, the disk-pack turbine includes an upper rotor 264Y and a lower rotor 268Y with open areas between their periphery and the expansion chamber features to allow the waveforms to flow into the rotor cavity and thus allow for more disks to be stacked resulting in a higher density of waveform disks for the disk-pack turbine height with the omission of substantially flat disks 260Y' that are illustrated as being covers over the open areas of the rotors 264Y, 268Y. FIG. 2 IE also illustrates an alternative embodiment where there is a mixture of substantially flat disks 260Y' and nested waveform disks 260Y. FIGs. 20A-21E illustrate how the waveforms include descending thickness waves in each lower disk. In at least one embodiment, the waveforms are shallow enough to allow substantially the same sized waveforms on neighboring disks.

[0077] FIG. 20A illustrates a side view of an example of the circular waveform disk-pack turbine 250X. FIG. 20B illustrates a cross-section taken along a diameter of the disk-pack turbine 250X and shows a view of the disks 260X. Each circle waveform is centered about the expansion chamber 252X. The illustrated circle waveforms include two ridges 2603X and three valleys 2604X. Based on this disclosure, it should be appreciated that the number of ridges and valleys could be reversed along with be any number greater than one limited by their radial depth and the distance between the expansion chamber 250X and the flange 2608.

[0078] FIG. 21 A illustrates a top view of a disk-pack turbine 250Y without the top rotor 264X to illustrate the biaxial waveform 2602Y, while FIGs. 21B-21E provide additional views of the disk-pack turbine 250Y. FIGs. 21A-21E provide an example of the waveforms rising above the disk while not dropping below the surface (or vice versa in an alternative embodiment). The illustrated biaxial waveform 2602Y that is illustrated as including two ridges 2603Y and one valley 2604Y centered about the expansion chamber 252Y. Based on this disclosure, it should be appreciated that the number of ridges and valleys could be reversed along with be any number greater than one limited by their radial depth and the distance between the expansion chamber 252Y and the flange 2608. FIG. 2 IB illustrates a side view of three waveform disks 260Y stacked together without the presence of wing shims 270 or the rotors 264X, 268X. FIG. 21C illustrates a partial cross-section of the disk-pack turbine 250Y. FIG. 21D illustrates a side view of the assembled disk-pack turbine 250Y. FIG. 21E illustrates a cross-section taken along a diameter of the disk-pack turbine 250X and shows a view of the disks 260Y.

[0079] Based on this disclosure, it should be appreciated that there is a tremendous amount of flexibility in the water treatment systems. In at least one implementation, the disk-pack module can be disassembled to allow for exchange of the disk-pack turbine being used in the device. In addition, the disk-pack turbine used in any one implementation can also be made according to a variety of specifications with the following offered for that purpose. [0080] The density and number of disks present within any disk-pack turbine can vary depending upon intended application of the device. The disk separation gap between disks will impact the properties of the water being treated.

[0081] The expansion chamber in a particular disk-pack turbine may take a variety of shapes based on the size and shape of the opening through the disks that make up a particular disk-pack turbine. In at least one embodiment, the center holes through the disk are not consistent size in the disks that make-up a disk-pack turbine. For example, the center holes are different diameters and/or different shapes. In a further embodiment, the disks include a waveform or geometric pattern along at least one side of the disk.

[0082] The materials used to manufacture the disks can range from a variety of metals to plastics including using different materials for the disks within one disk-pack turbine with examples as follows. A disk-pack turbine assembled with polycarbonate housings, brass wing-shims and stainless steel disks renders product water with, among other attributes, oxidation/rust inhibiting characteristics. A disk-pack turbine assembled with polycarbonate housings, brass wing-shims and alternating brass and stainless steel disks renders product water which, among other attributes, acts as an aggressive oxidizer that decimates mosquito larvae and other undesirable microbiological organisms, because of the copper ions that are released from the rotation of the disk-pack turbine. A disk-pack turbine constructed with disks and wing shims establishing bi-metal relationships such as stainless steel and brass with disk gap tolerances of less than 1.7 mm has been found to generate significant levels of hydroelectrolytic (or galvanic) processes, which tend to dissolve solids into hydrocolloidal and/or hydroelectrolytic colloidal suspensions. A disk- pack turbine made of all-plastic materials with a disk gap tolerance of 1.7 mm rapidly precipitates suspended solids, chills and densities water and also produces high levels of dissolved oxygen. The concept of densifying water includes reducing the volume occupied by water after it has been processed by the system. Disk-pack turbines constructed with disk gap tolerances above 2.5 mm tend to precipitate virtually all solids out of suspension, including dissolved solids over time, resulting in very low dissolved solids instrument readings, i.e., 32 ppm.

[0083] Water processed using systems in at least one implementation have been found to be either rust/oxidation inhibiting or aggressive/oxidizing in nature, depending on applied material's relationships within the system and system configuration. For example, a system configured with a stainless steel disk- pack turbine assembled with a gap/tolerance between the disks of 1.3 mm and a mixture of brass and stainless steel wing shims, in water with a baseline pH of 7.7 and an ORP (Oxidation-Reduction Potential) of 185, is capable of instantaneously shifting pH levels into the 2 and 3 range which is not due to actual acidity, but extremely high levels of dissociative effervescent effects and extremely high levels of Hydrogen ion activity. Within two minutes of turning off the system, the Hydrogen dissipates and pH values will return to the mid-7s, low 8s. For example, the ORP, at the time pH measurements are low, fluctuates substantially between readings of -700 to -800 (negative) to +200 to +1600 (positive). In another example, the same system using a disk-pack turbine with a 2.3 mm gap/tolerance between the disks and using the same source water, will produce more typical water with varying, over time, pH measurements in the 7 to 8.5 range and ORP readings fluctuate between negative and positive values, depending on time and speed of operation. These two examples above are of water produced in electrically isolated disk-pack turbines as well as vessels, with no reference to earth ground.

[0084] Selectively and electrically isolating and grounding system components can significantly influence a process. For example, when the components are isolated, electrical values, ORP, etc., swing wildly to extremes and electrolytic processes are much more profound. It is under these conditions that brass is plated out on stainless parts. This also appears to be more effective in reducing solids into a colloidal state. Also using a grounded system is much better if the objective is to precipitate solids as opposed to reducing them.

[0085] The invention lends itself to a great degree of variability relative to scale and functional characteristics and will be produced for general use to highly specialized versions that build upon the previously described embodiments.

[0086] As has been mentioned, the number of discharge ports and their orientation can be adjusted to further refine or impact the generation of motion in the surrounding water based on the discharge of water from the above described water treatment system. The geometry of the cross-section of the discharge port may take a variety of forms from the illustrated circular cross-section with a long radii path from the discharge chamber to the outlet compared to the toroid cross-section shape with spiral path between the discharge chamber to the outlet.

[0087] For applications such as industrial process water, it is beneficial to have outlet geometries that cause a circulation in tanks, sumps, cisterns, etc. This results in precipitated solids accumulating in low flow zones, which can be collected and removed in at least one embodiment through a trap and/or drain configuration. It has been found that adding long radius elbows to the straight discharge ports is very effective in accomplishing the precipitation of solids. Examples of material for the long radius elbows include PVC and brass. In at least one embodiment with the long radius elbows, the geometries should not restrict or compress the discharging water. The disk separation also will impact whether solids precipitate or dissolve into the water.

[0088] Although the above discussion referred to particular numbers for the discharge port and the vortex chamber inlet, these elements may be present in other numbers. For example, the discharge port could be one up to any number that would allow for them to be adequately spaced around the disk-pack module (i.e., dependent in part on the size of the main housing). The number of vortex chamber inlets could also be different, once again dependent in part on the size of the vortex chamber.

VI. Testing and Experiments

[0089] In testing to date, it has been reliably determined that processed water imbued with aggressive oxidizing characteristics and fluctuating values is produced by mixing stainless steel disks within the disk-pack turbine with brass disks and systemic components in variable combinations. The aggressive oxidizing characteristics are further intensified as disk gap tolerance is reduced. Although, at present, all variations of disks and wing shims used in devices built have been configured utilizing combinations of plastics, stainless steel, and brass components. a. Oxidation Experiments

[0090] Within process water systems built according to at least one embodiment of the invention, residential to industrial, rust and oxidation has been inhibited or eliminated; mineral concentrations, etc., are precipitated out of solution, limiting and/or eliminating fouling of filters, screens, valves, etc. Odors and organics and their propagation are controlled or eliminated.

[0091] The effects of processed water on systems such as evaporative coolers, industrial process water systems, cooling towers; pumping, piping, storage and water transmission systems; swimming pools, spas, and fountains has been to reverse systemic deterioration resulting from rust and oxidation.

[0092] After a period ranging from days to months, systems benefiting from the continuous presence of a unit's processed product water will, when inspected, demonstrate the phenomenon of accumulated rust sloughing off when gently brushed to reveal fresh, bright, clean metal underneath. Even heavily rust- pocked drive-shafts, valves, pumps, sheet metal, structural elements, bolts, flanges, pipes, couplings, etc. are left bright and clean, down to the deepest recesses in pocks/pits.

[0093] Oxidation is completely arrested and no subsequent oxidation occurs unless a unit is turned off or removed from the process, which over time results in the return of the natural oxidation processes.

[0094] All components within mechanical and electromechanical systems that share electric continuity and/or contact with processed water utilized within integrated systems benefit from associative chain reactions and interactions. This results in entire integrated mechanical and electromechanical systems being insulated and protected from rust/oxidation and deterioration; even components not in direct contact with processed water.

[0095] The reduction and/or elimination of rust and/or mineral deposits results in a reduction of maintenance costs from, for example, the increase in time between disassembly of systems for inspection and/or maintenance and also reduction in build up on filters (and/or screens) after the initial start-up time. b. Portable Cooling Equipment Experiment

[0096] A prototype built to the principles outlined above was used to process water for approximately 20 hours with the resulting water having a raised pH and DO levels. The water was placed in a portable evaporative cooling system. The resulting temperature of the discharged air from the evaporative cooling system dropped from the 68.5 Fahrenheit realized through normal use of tap water to 56 degrees Fahrenheit utilizing processed water.

c. Evaporative Cooler Experiment

[0097] A prototype built according to FIGs. 3-7 was placed in-line to the water intake for 12 industrial sized evaporative coolers, which received the water from a public water supply. The disk-pack turbine used in the prototype had an approximate 2 mm height for the disk chambers. The water treatment system consequently processed the water for a brief time as it passed through the reservoir where the system was installed. This arrangement resulted in the water having momentary contact with the water treatment system in the reservoir, which was approximately on the order of one cubic meter. Despite the short contact time with the water, the temperature of the air coming from the ducts was 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than when untreated water was used in the evaporative air cooling systems and compared to another six (6) similar air cooling systems running at the facility, which had been left out of the loop as a control. The evaporative coolers fed by the water treatment system were in effect walk-in rooms having a width of 15-20 feet and were approximately 7 feet tall feeding 4-5 feet diameter ducts pushing approximately 64,000 cubic feet of air per minute. The water treatment system ran for over three months.

[0098] During the experiment run in northern Mexico, there was found to be no build-up in rust in the system during the experiment. An interesting phenomenon was noted in that the water temperature was approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit for the processed water compared to the water temperature being between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit for untreated water being used in the six (6) control industrial sized evaporative coolers. The resulting temperature differential between the areas cooled by air passing through the treated water and the other cooled areas was about 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the treated water areas. When the outdoor temperature climbed to between 95 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit, a thermal imaging camera showed the water storage tank with treated water was steady at approximately 59 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the water storage tank with untreated water was at approximately 64.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

[0099] After the water treatment system being installed for over five weeks, there was no mineral accumulation in the evaporative coolers using the treated water. The 10 degree Fahrenheit temperature difference was being maintained. Initially there were complaints from the floor employees about being too chilled by the air distributed from the evaporative coolers using the treated water, but after decreasing the run time and reducing the amount of water provided to the system there were no new complaints regarding the temperature.

d. Temperature Change in Treated Water Examples

[0100] Water, which has been treated using prototypes built according to at least one of the water treatment system examples, has been used in boiling and cooling down experiments. The water has exhibited an increase in the vapor pressure boiling temperature, which means that it does not boil at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and can draw in extra heat while remaining a liquid. After one trail where the water was superheated in excess of 212 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature reading was approximately 340 degrees Fahrenheit, it cooled by approximately 130 degrees in about 3 minutes. This trail of superheating the water in a coffee/tea pot was done two more times to confirm that the observation was repeatable. This rapid cooling potential of the water would provide an excellent medium to transfer heat from industrial systems to the environment using potentially less water while maintaining desired temperature ranges for the industrial equipment.

[0101] It should be noted that the present invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments and prototype examples set forth herein; rather, the embodiments set forth herein are provided so that the disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. The accompanying drawings illustrate embodiment and prototype examples of the invention. [0102] As used above "substantially," "generally," and other words of degree are relative modifiers intended to indicate permissible variation from the characteristic so modified. It is not intended to be limited to the absolute value or characteristic which it modifies but rather possessing more of the physical or functional characteristic than its opposite, and preferably, approaching or approximating such a physical or functional characteristic. "Substantially" also is used to reflect the existence of manufacturing tolerances that exist for manufacturing components.

[0103] The foregoing description describes different components of embodiments being "in fluid communication" to other components. "In fluid communication" includes the ability for fluid to travel from one component/chamber to another component/chamber.

[0104] Based on this disclosure, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the use of "same", "identical" and other similar words are inclusive of differences that would arise during manufacturing to reflect typical tolerances for goods of this type.

[0105] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various adaptations and modifications of the exemplary and alternative embodiments described above can be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, it is to be understood that, within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced other than as specifically described herein.

Claims

IN THE CLAIMS: We claim:
1. A cooling system comprising:
a water storage tank or a buffer tank,
a pump in fluid communication with said tank,
a transfer material in fluid communication with said pump,
means for moving air through said transfer material,
ducting in fluid communication with said transfer material such that air that passes through, around and/or by said transfer material substantially enters said ducting, and
a water treatment system in a water supply path to said water storage tank or inside said tank, said system including
a motor;
a driveshaft engaging said motor;
a vortex module having
a housing,
at least one opening through said housing or a plurality of inlets spaced around the periphery of the housing near a top of said housing, and
a vortex chamber formed in said housing and in fluid communication with said opening or said plurality of inlets; and
a disk-pack module having
a housing having a discharge chamber formed in said disk-pack housing, and said discharge chamber having at least one discharge port providing a fluid pathway from said discharge chamber to outside of said disk-pack housing, and
a disk-pack having an expansion chamber formed in an axial center and in fluid communication with said vortex chamber, said disk-pack having a plurality of spaced apart disks providing passageways between said expansion chamber and said discharge chamber, said disk-pack engaging said driveshaft.
2. The cooling system according to claim 1, wherein said water treatment system further including an intake module including
an intake housing with at least one intake opening passing through it into an intake chamber formed in said intake housing, and
a plurality of ports in fluid communication with said intake chamber, each of said plurality of ports is in fluid communication with one inlet of said vortex module.
3. The cooling system according to claim 2, wherein said number of ports in said intake housing equals the number of inlets of said vortex module.
4. The cooling system according to claim 3, wherein said water treatment system further including at least one of the following:
at least one tube connecting each port to said respective inlet; and at least one passageway connecting each port to said respective inlet, wherein said passageway passes through the disk-pack module.
5. The cooling system according to claim 1, wherein said water treatment system further including a plurality of wing shims connected to said plurality of disks, said wing shims maintain the spacing between the disks and the alignment of the disks to each other.
6. The cooling system according to claim 5, wherein said wing shims include brass, said plurality of disks includes at least two disks made of stainless steel, and said housing of said vortex module and said housing of said disk-pack module includes polycarbonate.
7. The cooling system according to claim 5, wherein said wing shims include brass, said plurality of disks includes alternating disks made of stainless steel and brass, and said housing of said vortex module and said housing of said disk-pack module includes polycarbonate.
8. The cooling system according to claim 7, wherein said plurality of disks and said plurality of wing shims are electrically isolated from each other.
9. The cooling system according to claim 1, wherein said disk-pack turbine is electrically isolated and grounded separate from said housing of said disk-pack module.
10. The cooling system according to any one of claims 1-9, wherein said transfer material includes at least one of a cooling pad and means for removing excess water.
1 1. The cooling system according to any one of claims 1 -9, further comprising a return conduit from said transfer material to said water storage tank.
12. A method for providing cooling using a system having a vortex module and a disk-pack module comprising:
processing liquid used by a cooling system by
rotating a disk-pack turbine in the disk-pack module;
spinning a fluid to create a vortex where the fluid that enters the vortex is located outside of the vortex module prior to entry;
discharging the fluid from the vortex module into an expansion chamber formed in the disk-pack turbine of the disk-pack module;
channeling the fluid between spaces that exist between disks of the disk-pack turbine to travel from the expansion chamber to a discharge chamber surrounding the disk-pack turbine; and
accumulating fluid in the discharge chamber before discharging the fluid through at least one discharge port into a liquid supply for a transfer material, a liquid storage tank,
dispersing liquid into the transfer material of the cooling system,
passing outside air through, around and/or by the transfer material to cool the air into a ducting of the cooling system, and
distributing the cooled air to at least one location in a building.
13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the system substantially performs all of the steps when the disk-pack turbine is rotating.
14. The method according to claim 12 or 13, wherein said liquid is water.
15. A method for providing water for an industrial process using a system having a vortex module and a disk-pack module comprising:
processing liquid used by the industrial system by
rotating a disk-pack turbine in the disk-pack module;
spinning a fluid to create a vortex where the fluid that enters the vortex is located outside of the vortex module prior to entry;
discharging the fluid from the vortex module into an expansion chamber formed in the disk-pack turbine of the disk-pack module;
channeling the fluid between spaces that exist between disks of the disk-pack turbine to travel from the expansion chamber to a discharge chamber surrounding the disk-pack turbine; and
accumulating fluid in the discharge chamber before discharging the fluid through at least one discharge port into a liquid supply for the industrial process, a liquid storage tank, and
returning the liquid after it passes through the industrial process to the liquid storage tank or to a separate system for processing prior to recirculating and/or return to nature.
16. The method according to claim 15, wherein the system substantially performs all of the steps when the disk-pack turbine is rotating.
17. The method according to claim 15 or 16, wherein said liquid is water.
18. A disk-pack turbine for use in the cooling and/or industrial process system, the disk-pack turbine comprising:
a top disk plate having an opening passing through an axial center of said top disk plate;
a plurality of disks with each disk having an opening passing through an axial center of said disk; a bottom plate having
a depression located at an axial center of said disk, and
a driveshaft mount; and
a plurality of wing shims connecting and aligning said top disk plate, said plurality of disks and said bottom plate to form an area defined by the plurality of openings and the depression of said bottom plate, said plurality of wing shims space apart said plurality of disks such that disk chambers exist between adjacent disks.
19. The disk-pack turbine according to claim 18, wherein at least three of the disk chambers have a height of between 1.3 mm and 2.5 mm.
20. The disk-pack according to claim 18, wherein at least three of the disk chambers have a height of at least 1.7 mm,
said disks include stainless steel, and
said wing shims include at least one of brass and stainless steel.
21. The disk-pack according to claim 18, wherein the disk chambers have a height of approximately 2 mm.
22. The disk-pack according to claim 18, wherein at least one of the disk chambers has a height of approximately 2 mm.
23. The disk-pack turbine according to any one of claims 18-22, wherein at least two of said plurality of disks are made of at least one of stainless steel, brass, and polycarbonate.
24. The disk-pack turbine according to any one of claims 18-22, wherein said wing shims include at least one of brass and stainless steel.
25. The disk-pack turbine according to any one of claims 18-22, wherein said disk-pack turbine includes non-flat disks having substantially even thickness throughout.
26. A system for working in conjunction with an industrial process system comprising: a water storage tank or a buffer tank,
a pump in fluid communication with said tank,
conduit in fluid communication with said pump, and
a water treatment device in a water supply path to said water storage tank or inside said tank, said water treatment device including
a vortex module; and
a disk-pack module having
a housing having a discharge chamber formed in said disk-pack housing, and said discharge chamber having at least one discharge port providing a fluid pathway from said discharge chamber to outside of said disk-pack housing, and
a disk-pack having an expansion chamber formed in an axial center and in fluid communication with said vortex chamber, said disk-pack having a plurality of spaced apart disks providing passageways between said expansion chamber and said discharge chamber, said disk-pack engaging said driveshaft.
27. The system according to claim 26, further comprising a return conduit in fluid communication with the industrial process system and said water storage tank.
28. The system according to claim 26, further comprising
a second water treatment device, and
a return conduit in fluid communication with the industrial process system and said second water treatment device.
29. The system according to any one of claims 26-28, wherein the industrial process system includes a cooling system using a medium selected from a group consisting of liquid and air.
PCT/US2012/052379 2012-02-29 2012-08-24 System and method for cooling and/or industrial processes WO2013130127A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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US61/604,981 2012-02-29
US201261636241 true 2012-04-20 2012-04-20
US61/636,241 2012-04-20

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Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4361490A (en) * 1979-10-31 1982-11-30 Pierre Saget Process for centrifugal separation and apparatus for carrying it out, applicable to a mixture of phases of any states
US5778696A (en) * 1997-09-05 1998-07-14 Conner; Leo B. Method and apparatus for cooling air and water
US20070144956A1 (en) * 2004-03-11 2007-06-28 Gi-Teak Park Rotor for generating vortex water flow, and filtering apparatus employing the same
US20100107647A1 (en) * 2008-10-30 2010-05-06 Power Generation Technologies, Llc Toroidal boundary layer gas turbine

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4361490A (en) * 1979-10-31 1982-11-30 Pierre Saget Process for centrifugal separation and apparatus for carrying it out, applicable to a mixture of phases of any states
US5778696A (en) * 1997-09-05 1998-07-14 Conner; Leo B. Method and apparatus for cooling air and water
US20070144956A1 (en) * 2004-03-11 2007-06-28 Gi-Teak Park Rotor for generating vortex water flow, and filtering apparatus employing the same
US20100107647A1 (en) * 2008-10-30 2010-05-06 Power Generation Technologies, Llc Toroidal boundary layer gas turbine

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