Power Plant Patents (Class 203/DIG20)
  • Patent number: 5925223
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for improving the thermal efficiency of a steam turbine power generating plant while simultaneously desalinating seawater or brine and purifying water which contains minerals, salts, and other dissolved solids. Exhaust gases from a power plant is heat exchanged against water in a secondary ecomomizer which circulates water at a temperature near, or slightly above the dewpoint of the combustion exhaust of the high-pressure boiler. The heated water is flashed to produce low-pressure steam. The low-pressure steam is condensed against the last effect of a multi-effect desalinization unit. Steam from the first effect of the desalination unit is condensed against steam condensate from the power plant turbine to preheat the condensate and thereby recover heat from the power plant's exhaust gas. Salinous water is fed to the multi-effect desalinization unit to produce fresh water and a concentrated brine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Inventors: Gary D. Simpson, Karl Lin
  • Patent number: 5853549
    Abstract: A large and economical type of multi-stack vertical tube evaporator (MS-VTE) having units of multiple stacks of vertical tube bundles or stages mounted in a single vessel, and having its liquid feed pumped to the uppermost VTE bundle stack or stage and having the feed then cascading downward through the lower bundle stacks in series flow, and wherein all the tube bundles are heated with the same waste steam of no or low $-value, e. g. with turbine reject steam in parallel flow under vacuum into the steam-sides of all tube bundles in the unit through a common steam conduit; and wherein the feed liquid is progressively evaporated from stage to stage or stack to stack and the vapors produced in the tubes of each bundle during the partial evaporation of the feed are separated between the stacks and condensed by parallel flow into one or more condensers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1998
    Inventor: Hugo H. Sephton
  • Patent number: 5743080
    Abstract: A vapor-air steam engine is described which operates at high pressure and utilizes a working fluid consisting of a mixture of compressed uncombusted air components, fuel combustion products and steam.In the new cycle described, working fluid is provided at constant pressure and temperatures. Combustion air is supplied adiabatically by one or more stages of compression. Fuel is injected at pressure as needed. At least about 40% to all of compressed air is burned. Inert liquid is injected at high pressure to produce steam and thus provide an inert high specific heat diluent vapor required for internal cooling of an internal combustion turbine or other type system.The use of extensive liquid injection inhibits the formation of pollutants, increases the efficiency and horsepower of an engine, and reduces specific fuel consumption. The new cycle may also be operated open or closed; in the latter case, the liquid may be recouped via condensation for regenerative reuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Ginter Vast Corporation
    Inventor: J. Lyell Ginter
  • Patent number: 5645693
    Abstract: An apparatus for desalination of sea water by the utilization of solar energy, advantageously accompanied by electric power generation, containing a heat caption unit (1) serving as a heat source, a sea water collecting tank (10), a pre-heating tank (11), a heat receiver (20), and evaporators (2,3,4) connected in line, and distilled water storage tanks (13). The sea water collecting tank (10) and the pre-heating tank (11) that pre-heats the sea water and cools the distilled steam are situated beside each other at different level, and the adjoining walls of the two tanks have an opening for through-flow (11a) or a through-flow tube; the discharge duct (8) of the pre-heating tank (11) is led into the evaporators where the first evaporator (2) is provided with a heater (72) heated by the heating agent, the second and the subsequent evaporators (3) are provided with a heating system consisting of pipe rings (73a) utilizing hot vapor and pipes connecting the pipe rings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 8, 1997
    Inventor: Gabor Gode
  • Patent number: 5622605
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for desalinating seawater or brine and purifying water which contains minerals, salts, and other dissolved solids while simultaneously generating power. The salinous water is heated in a boiler to form steam and a concentrated brine. The concentrated brine is removed from the boiler, the steam produced in the boiler is washed with fresh water to remove trace salts and inorganic materials, and water bearing trace salts and inorganic materials are returned to the boiler. The washed steam is expanded across a turbine to generate electrical or mechanical power which is utilized as a product. The steam exhausted from the turbine is collected and condensed, and one portion of the condensed water is utilized as a fresh water product and another portion of the condensed water is used as the wash water to wash the steam produced in the boiler. Energy efficiency is improved by heat exchanging the hot concentrated brine against the salinous feed water or by flashing the brine to produce steam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: April 22, 1997
    Inventors: Gary D. Simpson, Karl Lin
  • Patent number: 5617719
    Abstract: A vapor-air steam engine is described which operates at high pressure and utilizes a working fluid consisting of a mixture of compressed air, fuel combustion products and steam. In the new cycle described working fluid is provided at constant pressure and temperatures. Combustion air is supplied adiabatically by one or more stages of compression. Fuel is injected at pressure as needed. From 40% to all of compressed air is burned. Water is discretely injected at high pressure to produce steam and thus provide an inert high specific heat diluent required for internal cooling of an internal combustion turbine or other type system. The use of extensive water injection inhibits the formation of pollutants, increases the efficiency and horsepower of an engine, and reduces specific fuel consumption. The new cycle may also be operated open or closed; in the latter case, water may be recouped via condensation for regenerative reuse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 8, 1997
    Inventor: J. Lyell Ginter
  • Patent number: 5612007
    Abstract: An apparatus useful for preparing aromatic carboxylic acids by the exothermic liquid-phase oxidation reaction of an aromatic feedstock compound is disclosed, wherein energy is efficiently recovered from the exothermic oxidation reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 18, 1997
    Assignee: Amoco Corporation
    Inventor: Kenneth J. Abrams
  • Patent number: 5582691
    Abstract: An improved ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) system which includes a novel combined evaporator/condenser. The combined evaporator/condenser further includes a plurality of evaporator spouts and a mist eliminator, wherein the pressure is maintained across the plurality of evaporator spouts. The OTEC system also generates fresh water as a primary product and generates only enough electricity, as a secondary product, to operate the OTEC system itself.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Inventors: Robert J. Flynn, George J. Cicchetti, Jonathan d'E. Coony
  • Patent number: 5472622
    Abstract: An improved salt basket for dewatering solids, particularly salts resulting from evaporation of industrial wastewaters. The salt basket system includes a pressurizable vessel having a screen floor situated above a bottom liquid collection head, an inlet for the brine/solids slurry from which solids are to be separated and dried, an inlet for air, an inlet for steam (the latter two inlets may be combined, where convenient), an inlet for solids free feed, and a drain outlet (these two may be combined where convenient into a combination feed/drain connection). Preferably, an automated system for introducing feed brine and for removing the solids product is provided. For safety, a pivotally attached lower door has a hydraulic failsafe closure mechanism and locking safety latches to prevent the door from inadvertently opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 5, 1995
    Assignee: Ionics, Incorporated
    Inventors: Robert L. Solomon, Ferris C. Standiford, Joseph Bostjancic, Dan Peterson, George R. Jones
  • Patent number: 5409578
    Abstract: A method for transferring water upwardly and distilling it and/or of generating electricity by harnessing the heat of sunrays. The method includes placing a panel or a sheet which permits sunrays to pass therethrough near a water surface, evaporating the sea or lake water by heating it with sunrays passing through the panel or sheet, then, letting the steam thus produced rise up to a higher level due to its pressure. The steam is then cooled down to produce distilled water and/or, it is used to generate electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 25, 1995
    Inventor: Toshio Kaneko
  • Patent number: 5405503
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for desalinating seawater or brine and purifying water which contains minerals, salts, and other dissolved solids while simultaneously generating power. The salinous water is heated in a boiler to form steam and a concentrated brine. The concentrated brine is removed from the boiler, the steam produced in the boiler is washed with fresh water to remove trace salts and inorganic materials, and water bearing trace salts and inorganic materials are returned to the boiler. The washed steam is expanded across a turbine to generate electrical or mechanical power which is utilized as a product. The steam exhausted from the turbine is collected and condensed, and one portion of the condensed water is utilized as a fresh water product and another portion of the condensed water is used as the wash water to wash the steam produced in the boiler. Energy efficiency is improved by heat exchanging the hot concentrated brine against the salinous feed water or by flashing the brine to produce steam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 11, 1995
    Inventors: Gary D. Simpson, Karl Lin
  • Patent number: 5346592
    Abstract: A combined water purification and power generating plant is disclosed having special features designed to maximize the cycle thermal efficiency and salt recovery, with little or no concentrated brine produced therefrom. Using the plant, a volume of salt water is delivered to a plurality of indirect and direct contact feed heaters. Within the direct contact heaters, the salt water is heated and diluted by condensation therein by super-heated steam delivered thereto. Any alkaline salts having reverse solubility characteristics particulate and are filtered therefrom. From the last direct contact feed heater, the diluted salt water is delivered to a plurality of high pressure, high temperature evaporators arranged in a series which are used to further heat, evaporate and filter the salt water in multiple stages thereby improving the plant's efficiency. A steam heater is used to super-heat a steam which delivered to various areas of the plant to heat and evaporate the salt water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 13, 1994
    Inventor: Anas A. Madani
  • Patent number: 5217581
    Abstract: A distillation system where a saline fluid (10) is pumped into a pressure vessel (14), through a counterflow heat exchanger (16) and heated to boiling. A salt free distillate (20) is separated from the saline fluid (10). The concentrate valve (24) and the distillate valve (26) restrict egress flow. The concentrate valve (24), the distillate valve (26) and the heater (18) are controlled by a computer control system (32) to attain and maintain a desired value of the Ewing Number. The Ewing Number is a dimensionless measure of performance defined as the heat of vaporization of the distillate (20) at standard atmospheric conditions times the distillate (20) mass flow divided by the system power input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Inventor: Frank A. Ewing
  • Patent number: 5181991
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to an improved solar water purification apparatus. More specifically, it relates to a solar water purification apparatus that includes a first and second preheater, an evaporation load tank, condenser, and pure distillate collecting tank. The condensing surface is a domed upper structure which includes a corrugated inner surface to increase the condensing surface. The outersurface of the domed upper structure is likewise corrugated and completely enclosed by a first preheater chamber the permit efficient cooling of the domed upper structure and encourage rapid condensation, thus transferring heat from the interior corrugations to the exterior corrugations of the first preheater chamber, further adding to the overall thermal efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1993
    Inventor: David Deutsch
  • Patent number: 5169502
    Abstract: An installation for processing liquids having at least one vaporizer used for the process liquid, a condenser arranged downstream from this vaporizer, and a vacuum pump. Additionally, a gas-ring compressor, positioned in the exhaust pipe between the vaporizer and the condenser, presses the vapors from the process liquid through the condenser. The process liquid is vaporized in the vaporizer under a vacuum and the vapors are carried by an exhaust pipe that is connected to the vaporizer through the condenser to the vacuum pump. Also, the process liquid, which is used as the cooling liquid for the condenser, is heated in the condenser and then recycled to the vaporizer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Kurt-Willy Mugele
  • Patent number: 5168728
    Abstract: A process and installation for producing cooled air and water or energy and water from hot damp air. In the former embodiment, the hot damp air is first compressed. Then, the compressed air is at least partially dehumidified and cooled. The dehumidified, cooled, compressed air is thereafter expanded. In the latter embodiment, the hot damp air is first expanded. The expanded air is thereafter compressed. In addition to the above, the invention also has utility in desalinating salt water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1992
    Assignee: Sorelec
    Inventors: Salah Djelouah, Francis Forrat
  • Patent number: 5096543
    Abstract: The waste heat from a steam turbine is condensed and used to desalinate sea water at the same time. The waste steam from a turbine is fed to a condenser through which cold sea water passes. As the cold sea water condenses the waste steam, it is warmed. It is then introduced into a first chamber which includes a number of spray heads disposed over fill (packing) that acts as an evaporator. Any water not evaporated is collected in a sump at the bottom of the first chamber, and the evaporated vapor is passed upwardly under the influence of a fan and ultimately to a second chamber. The second chamber may either be stacked above the first chamber, or in side-by-side relationship with it. A condenser, such as a number of dimpled metal plates, or plastic membranes defining a closed loop, or another set of spray heads and fill, are provided in the second chamber. Air typically recirculates from the bottom of the second chamber back into the first chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1990
    Date of Patent: March 17, 1992
    Assignee: Kamyr, Inc.
    Inventor: Carl L. Elmore
  • Patent number: 5064505
    Abstract: A low-pressure desalinization in a water chamber having an open end submerged in a water supply such as an ocean. An air exhaust pump draws air out of the water chamber to lower the surface tension of an upper stratum of water, which is thereby converted to vapor and subsequently condensed to nonsalinated water and collected in a U-shaped trap with a pair of sealing, closable valve. Although specifically designed for desalinization purposes, the apparatus may be used for distilling non-potable fresh water to potable fresh water. The system may also be used to de-water sludge in paper producing plants and also in the diary industry and other projects where large amounts of water need to be drawn off. The system would be appropriate in municipal water systems also as an odor controlling entity, in milk concentrate, maple syrup operations or cheese factories. Moreover, a velocity enhancing parabolic channel is disclosed for efficiently utilizing the potential energy of the fresh water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1991
    Inventor: Peter M. Borgren
  • Patent number: 5053110
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to a solar-operated apparatus to purify and/or desalinate water. Several embodiments are disclosed, each of which substantially derives its source of heat from solar energy. The apparatus includes a unique design of the evaporating collector dome which is provided with a smooth interior surface to permit collection of increased amounts of distillate. The apparatus exterior is provided with a black surface to serve as a black body and so absorb increased amounts of the sun's energy. Additionally, that same exterior is coated with a film of infra-red absorbing material (STET) to further increase solar-energy absorption. To further improve the system's efficiency, various external tubing designs are utilized to preheat the load prior to its entry into the evaporating chamber. The distillate-collecting vessel is a downwardly-extending dome. This increases the volume while at the same time reducing re-evaporation by minimizing the exposed surface area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1991
    Inventor: David Deutsch
  • Patent number: 4938868
    Abstract: The vacuum column system distills liquid under partial vacuum conditions. The system rigorously splashes and boils liquid in a boiler chamber so as to form vapor and a rising mist from the splashing liquid. The vapor and mist rise in a circularly converging path through a mist collector. The heavier mist strikes the surfaces of the mist collector and deposits on those surfaces, thereby separating itself from the vapor. The vapor is then drawn to a condensor chamber where droplets of treated liquid are sprayed through it and fall into a shallow pool of treated liquid. The droplets seed condensation of the vapor directly onto the droplets. Also, the droplets assist in encapsulating bubbles of vapor in the pool as the droplets fall into the pool. The bubbles are then entrained with other treated liquid of the pool as the treated liquid is drawn from the pool down an entrainment conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 1988
    Date of Patent: July 3, 1990
    Inventor: Thomas R. Nelson
  • Patent number: 4865723
    Abstract: Air holding spaces are incorporated into a ring attached by arms to a driveshaft supported on sealed bearings in a vessel containing saline water. Air compressed by a blower or air compressor, powered by external power (i.e. prime mover), is injected into the air holding spaces by injectors. The spaces ascend due to their buoyancy, imparting a rotary motion to the driveshaft. Energy developed is transmitted through the driveshaft to an electric generator powering the system control computer, sensors and valves. Energy is also used to rotate a water pump which draws in saline water and pumps it to a saline water tank at the top of the vessel, where it circulates through an array of water holding tubes of thermally conductive material. Heat generated by the compression of the injected air is conducted to the saline water. This heat and the molecular agitation of the water by the ascending air causes the water molecules at the surface to evaporate into the vapor state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 12, 1989
    Inventor: Dennis A. De Shon
  • Patent number: 4801356
    Abstract: Ammonia which is present in fuel cell power plant water in free form, in ionic form, and in forms combined with carbon dioxide, is removed from the power plant water by steam stripping. Water which has been used to cool the fuel reformer effluent, and thus has become contaminated with ammonia, is fed to a first steam stripper wherein a first portion of the ammonia contaminant is removed. The partially stripped water is then fed to a second steam stripper wherein further amounts of ammonia are removed from the water with steam. The ammonia laden steam from the two strippers is combined and vented through a single vent thus conserving the amount of water lost from the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1989
    Assignee: International Fuel Cells Corporation
    Inventor: Albert P. Grasso
  • Patent number: 4595460
    Abstract: A liquid distillation apparatus provides recirculating flow of unevaporated liquid and recovery of energy from the liquid circulation. Liquid columns in communication with each other are provided differing liquid levels to enhance circulation of the liquid, and to provide efficient operation of the apparatus. Aeration is used to raise the level of the liquid in one of the liquid columns as well as to improve vapor generation for use in a condenser. The two liquid columns are separated from one another except for a connection at the tops and bottoms thereof to permit recirculation of the liquid. The aeration system may be operated by energy recovered from the circulating liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1983
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1986
    Inventor: Charles F. Hurt
  • Patent number: 4551979
    Abstract: A working fluid in the gaseous state at some initial temperature and pressure is expanded polytropically to a resulting exhaust fluid having some lower temperature and pressure in order to produce useful work. Large quantities of a motive liquid are then employed as the vehicle for approximating an isenthalpic compression of the working fluid. The preferred method for effecting this recompression is to reduce both fluids to a single liquid phase which is then energized. Thereafter the two fluids can be reconstituted to their initial states to complete the thermodynamic cycle which, depending upon the fluids selected, can be located in a broad range of the temperature spectrum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1985
    Assignees: Soma Kurtis, Jack C. Sloan
    Inventor: Joseph Wilensky
  • Patent number: 4525242
    Abstract: A heat-transfer medium is heated by a solar heat collector and then adiabatically compressed. The heat-transfer medium thus compressed exchanges heat with the seawater to heat it, and is then adiabatically expanded with the heated seawater being evaporated and the steam thus produced, upon heat exchange with the seawater, changed into fresh water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1982
    Date of Patent: June 25, 1985
    Inventor: Tomimaru Iida
  • Patent number: 4512851
    Abstract: This process separates less volatile contaminates from thermal power recovery systems utilizing a volatile working fluid in a cyclic closed system; such a system may comprise a reservoir, a pump, a heater, a separator, a throttle device, a turbine and a condenser. The purification can be accomplished during start-up, shut-down or periods of low power generation. The contaminant is separated from the working fluid in the separator in which the temperature and pressure correspond to a dew-point substantially above that of a sample of uncontaminated working fluid. To achieve this condition, the normal flow of liquid from the reservoir to the heater is reduced and the heater and throttle device are correspondingly adjusted. The condensed contaminant is removed from the separator while substantially all of the working fluid which has been vaporized is passed on through the throttle device to the turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 1983
    Date of Patent: April 23, 1985
    Inventor: Judson S. Swearingen
  • Patent number: 4504362
    Abstract: A solar desalination system in which fresh water is derived from sea water by focussing solar ray energy from a collecting reflector onto an evaporator tube located at substantially the focal apex of the reflector. The reflector/evaporator tube assembly is mounted on a horizontal open grid platform which may support a plurality of parallel reflector/evaporator tube assemblies. The reflectors may serve as pontoons to support the desalination system unit on a body of sea water. The solar heat generated vapor is condensed in condenser tubes immersed in the sea water. Intermittently sea water concentrate is withdrawn from the evaporator tubes. Velocity of the vapor passing from the evaporator tubes to the condensers may be utilized for generating power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 1982
    Date of Patent: March 12, 1985
    Inventor: Clifford L. Kruse
  • Patent number: 4471619
    Abstract: A process is disclosed in which the overhead vapor stream of a fractionation column is utilized as the working fluid which is depressurized to drive a turbine. The turbine may be used to generate electricity which is then used within the fractionation process or in another process, with a preferred use of the electricity being to supply heat to the bottom of the fractionation zone. The turbine is integrated into the overhead system of the column and the turbine effluent enters the overhead condenser to form liquid which may be used as reflux to the column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1982
    Date of Patent: September 18, 1984
    Assignee: UOP Inc.
    Inventor: John P. Nolley, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4445325
    Abstract: Installation for generating superheated steam from raw water containing salt using preheaters for heating the raw water. The last preheater, as seen in the flow direction of the raw water, is followed via a control valve by a decompression cylinder. Part of the raw water evaporates and the vapor is withdrawn from the dome of the decomposition cylinder by a compressor which compresses and heats it and discharges it as superheated steam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1983
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1984
    Assignee: Kraftwerk Union Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Herbert Tratz, Hermann Finckh, Konrad Kunstle
  • Patent number: 4440601
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for high volume distillation of impure liquid, particularly of binary mixtures of relatively low boiling organic substances and water, comprises fractionally distilling the impure liquid to form a vapor of a low boiling organic substance; compressing the vapor; passing at least a portion of the compressed vapor through a vapor composition adjustment zone wherein the organic substance may catalytically or otherwise react or merely stabilize following compression; compressing the vapor exiting the adjustment zone to form a recompressed vapor; cooling the recompressed vapor in heat transfer relation with the impure liquid whereby the vapor at least partially condenses, transferring sufficient heat to the impure liquid for evaporating the liquid and to form the aforementioned low boiling organic vapor; and collecting the condensed low boiling organic vapor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 1981
    Date of Patent: April 3, 1984
    Inventors: Jerome Katz, Sidney J. Fogel
  • Patent number: 4438730
    Abstract: The inventive combination provides for a profitable and efficient utilization of low-pressure waste heat in conjunction with medium-pressure steam. The combination of mechanical and thermodynamic compression for the generation of superheated low-pressure steam is a method that has better results regarding energy and cost than any other known configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1982
    Date of Patent: March 27, 1984
    Assignee: Uhde GmbH
    Inventors: Gerhard Link, Siegfried Jung, Reinhold Zapp, Helmut Bar, Herbert Mader
  • Patent number: 4428203
    Abstract: A process is disclosed for generating steam or electrical power from surplus heat transferred to the total bottoms liquid of a fractionation column. Preferably the reboiler of the column is supplied with more fuel than required in the operation of the column. A portion of the total bottoms liquid stream in excess of the net bottoms stream is diverted from the bottoms liquid destined for the reboiler. This diverted stream is used to vaporize a working fluid and this vapor is removed as a product or passed into the turbine of an electrical generator. The excess bottoms liquid is then split off and passed into the reboiler. The remainder of the bottoms liquid is the net bottoms stream and is used to preheat the working fluid. The process has the advantage of an exceptionally high thermal efficiency in terms of converting the surplus heat released in the reboiler into electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: UOP Inc.
    Inventor: Don B. Carson
  • Patent number: 4428201
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for recovering useful energy from the overhead stream of a fractionation column. A high efficiency for the overall process is achieved by first removing heat from the overhead stream by vaporizing an expansion turbine working fluid stream and by then removing an additional amount of heat in a working fluid preheater. The amount of working fluid flowing through the preheater is more than is vaporized by exchange against the overhead stream. The remaining liquid-phase portion of the working fluid is separately passed into a second vaporizer having a different heat source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: UOP Inc.
    Inventor: Don B. Carson
  • Patent number: 4428202
    Abstract: A process is disclosed for driving a turbine, which preferably is connected to an electrical generator, using energy supplied by the reboiler system of a fractionation column. The portion of the bottoms liquid of the column which is to be recycled through the reboiler is pressurized by a pump, and the high pressure liquid is heated and vaporized or brought to a supercritical state in the reboiler. The resultant high temperature stream is then depressurized through the turbine down to the desired pressure and temperature of the vapor stream used to reboil the column. The process is an extremely efficient method of generating electrical energy in a petroleum refinery or petrochemical installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1982
    Date of Patent: January 31, 1984
    Assignee: UOP Inc.
    Inventor: Don B. Carson
  • Patent number: 4420373
    Abstract: A mechanical energy conversion method and system for the restoration of dissipated heat energy, contained in natural or artificial water bodies at or near ambient temperatures, to industrial process heat, mainly in the form of steam up to 200.degree.-400.degree. C. The sensible heat contained in a water body is concentrated as latent heat in low pressure water vapor which is thermo-compressed by steam ejection to an intermediate pressure level, wherefrom mechanical compression takes over, generating highly superheated output steam. The ejecting steam is not generated in a boiler, but is continuously regenerated by the compressor and routed back for repeated ejection. The compressor is driven by a heat engine whose reject heat is collected and upgraded as well. The output of heat energy is essentially equal to the sun of the heating value of the fuel consumed and the intake of latent heat and amounts thus to substantially more than the heating value of the fuel alone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1981
    Date of Patent: December 13, 1983
    Inventor: Dan Egosi
  • Patent number: 4375387
    Abstract: Process and apparatus for extracting an organic liquid from an organic liquid solute/solvent mixture. The mixture is contacted with a fluid extractant which is at a temperature and pressure to render the extractant a solvent for the solute but not for the solvent. The resulting fluid extract of the solute is then depressurized to give a still feed which is distilled to form still overhead vapors and liquid still bottoms. The enthalpy required to effect this distillation is provided by compressing the still overhead vapors to heat them and indirectly to heat the still feed. The process is particularly suitable for separating mixtures which form azeotropes, e.g., oxygenated hydrocarbon/water mixtures. The energy required in this process is much less than that required to separate such mixtures by conventional distillation techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 1981
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1983
    Assignee: Critical Fluid Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard P. deFilippi, J. Edward Vivian
  • Patent number: 4347704
    Abstract: The requirements and treatment costs of water used in a fossil fuel fired power station are reduced by a process which employs multiple reverse osmosis stages. This process also employs station waste heat to concentrate solid waste material to facilitate disposal thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1980
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1982
    Assignee: Hager and Elsasser GmbH
    Inventors: Kurt Marquardt, Heinz Ludwig
  • Patent number: 4335576
    Abstract: A device for producing fresh water from salt sea water by utilizing the hydrodynamic energy of waves, comprising a buoyant platform; means for mooring the platform; a pump connected to the mooring means; a reservoir for pressurized sea water; a desalination system for extracting fresh water from the sea water; hydraulic flow control means for causing the pump to pump sea water into the sea water reservoir, as motion of the buoyant platform is produced due to the passing of waves beneath it; measuring means for measuring parameters of the sea adjacent the buoyant platform; and a control device connected to control the pressure in the sea water reservoir and the flow of sea water from the reservoir through the desalination system in response to the parameters of the sea.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 1980
    Date of Patent: June 22, 1982
    Inventor: Harold H. Hopfe
  • Patent number: 4327552
    Abstract: A solar energy device comprising a body having a plurality of spaced focusing lenses to concentrate direct and reflected rays from the sun. A heat receiving member is inside of the body. One of the body and the member is expansible and contractible so that there is a relative movement between the surface of member and the focal points of the lenses, the member surface thereby being alternately in and out of coincidence with the lens focal points. The member is supported within the body and fed fluid to be heated. The heated fluid is then removed from the member. The heat receiving member or body that is expansible and contractible may be used as a prime mover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1982
    Inventor: Joseph Dukess
  • Patent number: 4319964
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for high volume distillation of impure liquid comprises evaporating the impure liquid in an evaporator to form a vapor at a temperature above the freezing point and below the boiling point of said liquid at atmospheric pressure and at a pressure not exceeding a pressure corresponding to the evaporation temperature under saturated conditions; compressing the vapor; passing a portion of the compressed vapor through an expansion engine to do work upon and motivate the engine and to produce shaft energy, whereby the vapor expands and cools; bypassing the expansion engine with the remainder of the compressed vapor and admixing the remainder directly with the expanded vapor from the expansion engine in a mixing chamber; adding work to the expansion engine to supplement the work done by the vapor expanding therethrough to make up for work lost when the remainder of the compressed vapor bypassed the expansion engine and for other work lost; cooling the admixed vapor in heat transfer relation wi
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1979
    Date of Patent: March 16, 1982
    Inventors: Jerome Katz, Sidney J. Fogel
  • Patent number: 4313305
    Abstract: A heat pumping process for the generation of industrially useful heat energy achieves an improved fuel effectiveness by feeding back to the process part of its otherwise output heat energy as an input to assist in compressing the process evaporized performing fluid. An equivalent amount of extraneous fuel otherwise required to carry out the mechanical work now done by the fed back energy is thus replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1979
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1982
    Inventor: Dan Egosi
  • Patent number: 4302297
    Abstract: An apparatus for desalinating ocean waters by distillation and furnishing electrical power, utilizes an evaporator, barometric leg conduits, a closed condenser, ocean water circulating circuits for circulating warm surface water to the evaporator and cool ocean water to the condenser and using the mass flow of vapors evolved from the evaporator to drive a prime mover which in turn drives an electrical generator. A portion of the electrical power so-generated is used to control the operation of respective pumps and valves in the apparatus. The liquid level of the condensate water is controlled in a barometric leg condensate outlet conduit. The system is also provided with a vacuum pump at least for initiating a reduced pressure and particle separator channel means is provided to prevent liquid entrainment in the condenser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1980
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1981
    Inventor: Gerald F. Humiston
  • Patent number: 4302682
    Abstract: A power generation system and method of operation for generating electricity by utilizing temperature differences inherently present in the ocean between water near the surface and water from the ocean's depths. A pump provides relatively warm, surface ocean water to a flash evaporator where a portion of the water is flashed into steam. The steam is expanded through a subatmospheric pressure range turbine which exhausts into a condensing enclosure. The steam exhausting into the enclosure is condensed by relatively cold ocean water pumped thereinto. The turbine drives a generator and thus produces the electricity. The turbine speed and generator output are controlled by selectively introducing atmospheric air and relatively warm water into the exhausted motive steam flow. Such selective introduction into the exhausted steam flow of air and/or relatively warm water increases the absolute pressure at the turbine's exhaust end and thus reduces steam flow through the turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1979
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1981
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Bernard L. LaCoste
  • Patent number: 4282067
    Abstract: A method and closed system for high volume distillation of impure liquids comprises evaporating the impure liquid in an evaporator to form a vapor at a temperature above the freezing point and below the critical point, preferably the boiling point, of the liquid at ambient pressure and at a pressure not exceeding a pressure corresponding to the evaporation temperature under saturated conditions; compressing the vapor in compression means which preferably has a compression ratio variable in the range 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1979
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1981
    Inventors: Jerome Katz, Sidney J. Fogel
  • Patent number: 4272960
    Abstract: In the recovery of energy from geothermal brines and other water containing or hot water sources, such brine or hot water under pressure is introduced into direct heat exchange contact with a working fluid such as isobutane, the resulting hot isobutane is expanded in a turbine to produce work, the turbine discharge is condensed and returned to the heat exchanger and the cooled brine is withdrawn from the column. The present invention is directed to recovery of working fluid dissolved and/or entrained in the spent geothermal brine or water withdrawn from the direct contact heat exchanger, including the steps of settling the brine in a settling tank to recover some of the isobutane, flashing the remaining brine to flash off additional isobutane and steam stripping the spent brine to drive off further isobutane, the recovered isobutane in each of the steps being recycled to the direct contact heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 1978
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1981
    Assignee: Occidental Petroleum Corporation
    Inventor: Edward F. Wahl, III
  • Patent number: 4269664
    Abstract: Liquid treating apparatus especially useful for water purification, including an output section and an input section interconnected at their tops by a closed condensation chamber. The input section includes raw liquid supply and return columns, opening at their bottoms into a raw liquid supply open to the atmosphere, and the output section includes treated liquid supply and return columns open at their bottoms into a treated liquid container also open to the atmosphere.Treated liquid is cooled and circulated in the output section to produce and maintain negative pressure at one end of the condensation chamber, and raw water in mixed liquid and vapor form is supplied by aspiration in the input section, the vapor phase passing through the condensation chamber, and the liquid phase being used to drive the pump which causes the circulation in the output section. Several embodiments of the invention are shown.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1978
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1981
    Inventor: Philip G. Younger
  • Patent number: 4239603
    Abstract: A fuel-efficient method and apparatus for the generation, actually re-generation, of ejecting steam used in a steam ejection system to evacuate process vapor from an enclosed space. In the method, all of the ejecting steam is not generated continuously in a boiler, but a predetermined quantity of steam is reused by continuous mechanical recompression, without intervening condensation, in a returning cycle while alternating between a pressure low after ejection (i.e. expansion) and a pressure high after recompression, whereas the evacuated vapor is branched off from the ejecting steam cycle after ejection and condensed. Parts of the condensate are reconverted to additional steam by heat exchange with all or part of the superheat and friction heat contained in the recompressed ejecting steam and/or by heat exchange with the exhaust and cooling system of a heat engine serving as a prime mover for the compressor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1978
    Date of Patent: December 16, 1980
    Inventor: Dan Egosi
  • Patent number: 4230531
    Abstract: Apparatus comprising a solar still and a wind powered generator. Sea water is preheated in a condenser and is supplied to the still where it is heated further either by solar radiation, or by a heated pipe containing brine, or both. The still supplies warm humid air and vapor to the condenser to provide a distilled water condensate, which condensate is supplemented by water collected from the sloping parts of the still roof. The brine in the heated pipe in the still is supplied from a brine pit which is heated by electrodes connected to the wind powered generator. The generator also charges batteries and supplies electrical power to brine pumps and to a ventilator in the still.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1978
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1980
    Inventor: Placidus D. Fernandopulle
  • Patent number: 4194949
    Abstract: According to one aspect of the invention, a system is disclosed for substantially continuous distillation of water which comprises a plurality of parallel distillation units each comprising series of fluid and preferably also Fresnel-type lenses. Water to be distilled is preheated by circulating it through the fluid lenses on which evaporated water vapor is condensed to produce distilled water. The quantity of water circulated in the lenses is many more times the quantity of water evaporated by the solar energy concentrated by the lenses and condensed per unit of time to allow the circulated water to carry off heat recuperated within the lenses and the system. The preheated water circulated through the lenses is discharged into a central container in which the foci of the fluid and Fresnel-type lenses are located. Secondary containers are provided to receive overflow from the central container since preheated water may be discharged into the central container faster than it is being evaporated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1980
    Inventor: Virgil Stark
  • Patent number: 4188291
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for processing industrial waste waters and, in particular, blow down water from thermal electric plants. The water is processed to concentrate the salts contained therein and to obtain a concentrated brine which can then be passed to a thermal evaporator and/or solar evaporation ponds. The water is processed by the addition of magnesium hydroxide and carbon dioxide in amounts sufficient to precipitate the calcium as calcium carbonate, thereby obtaining a water reduced in calcium content and increased in magnesium content from the industrial waste water. The treated water is processed to recover a purified water from a brine, preferably by reverse osmosis. Calcium hydroxide is added to the brine generated by the reverse osmosis process in an amount sufficient to precipitate magnesium hydroxide therefrom which can be recycled to supply the magnesium hydroxide used in pre-treatment of the water prior to the reverse osmosis process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1978
    Date of Patent: February 12, 1980
    Inventor: Donald R. Anderson