Patents Examined by Christopher Jetton
  • Patent number: 9127812
    Abstract: A vessel of a heat storage and release apparatus, the vessel comprises a shell comprising a metallic material, the shell having an elongated shape with a first end region and a second end region remote from the first end region, and an internal surface defining a cavity configured to contain a heat storage and release device and to guide gas-flow; a first opening through the shell for a flow of gas at high temperature and high pressure, the first opening being located in the first end region; a second opening through the shell for a flow of gas at low temperature and high pressure, the second opening being located in the second end region; and a lining of thermally insulating material adjacent to the internal surface and only partially covering the internal surface, the lining being located at least in the first end region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: Nuovo Pignone S.P.A.
    Inventors: Andrea Ronchieri, Michele D'Ercole, Alessandro Szorenyi
  • Patent number: 9127571
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for the use of systems that recover mechanical power from waste heat energy using multiple working expanders with a common working fluid. The system accepts waste heat energy at different temperatures and utilizes a single closed-loop circuit of organic refrigerant flowing through all expanders in the system where the distribution of heat energy to each of the expanders allocated to permit utilization of up to all available heat energy. In some embodiments, the system maximizes the output of the waste heat energy recovery process. The expanders can be operatively coupled to one or more generators that convert the mechanical energy of the expansion process into electrical energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: ElectraTherm, Inc.
    Inventors: Hank Leibowitz, Hans Wain, David Williams
  • Patent number: 9121383
    Abstract: A power plant and method for harnessing power from a source of working fluid. The power plant may include a power shaft that includes a first power gear, a first reciprocating engine situated proximate to the power shaft and connected to the first power gear for delivering a power stroke. The first reciprocating engine may include a first bucket assembly which comprises a first bucket mounting frame, a first bucket, and a first connecting mechanism that connects the first bucket to the first bucket mounting frame to form a first hinge that pivots about a first pivot axis such that the first bucket creates a turning moment about the first pivot axis, and a first locking mechanism for selectively locking the first bucket in the first bucket mounting frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2015
    Inventor: Daniel E Nugent
  • Patent number: 9115603
    Abstract: Apparatus, systems and methods are provided for the use of multiple organic Rankine cycle (ORC) systems that generate mechanical and/or electric power from multiple co-located waste heat flows using a specially configured system of multiple expanders operating at multiple temperatures and/or multiple pressures (“MP”) utilizing a common working fluid. The multiple ORC cycle system accepts waste heat energy at different temperatures and utilizes a single closed-loop cycle of organic refrigerant flowing through all expanders in the system, where the distribution of heat energy to each of the expanders allocated to permit utilization of up to all available heat energy, In some embodiments, the multiple ORC system maximizes the output of the waste energy recovery process. The expanders can be operatively coupled to one or more generators that convert the mechanical energy of the expansion process into electrical energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Assignee: ElectraTherm, Inc.
    Inventors: Hank Leibowitz, Hans Wain, David Williams
  • Patent number: 9118265
    Abstract: Pulsed plasma engine and method in which a noncombustible gas is introduced into an explosion chamber, the gas is ionized to form a plasma within the chamber, an electrical pulse is applied to the plasma to heat the plasma, the pulse is turned off to produce an explosive pressure pulse in the plasma, and the plasma is confined in the chamber by a magnetic field that directs the pressure pulse toward an output member which is driven by the pressure pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 25, 2015
    Inventor: Heinrich Franz Klostermann
  • Patent number: 9109533
    Abstract: This Stirling machine comprises a transfer piston (6, 6a) and a moving part (14) of a generator or of an electric motor, the transfer piston (6, 6a) periodically displacing a working gas between an expansion chamber (VE) and a compression chamber (Vc) which chambers are respectively associated with two working faces of the transfer piston (6, 6a) of which the cross-sectional area ratio ac/aE is >0.35 so that its displacement along an axis X oriented towards the expansion volume (VE) generates an in-phase working gas pressure component Px that opposes the displacement of the piston (6, 6a), so that all of the mechanical energy produced is transmitted to the moving part (14). This machine comprises a resonant second piston (10) coupled to the transfer piston (6, 6a) by a quantity of energy that is proportional to the pressure component Px.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Inventors: Jean-Pierre Budliger, Rolf Schmid
  • Patent number: 9103232
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, and method for generating power including a boiler with a heat exchanger and an optional porous material at the heat exchanger. Further including an optional power-generating means that receives a vapor from the heat exchanger for generating power. Further including a condenser that receives the vapor from the heat exchanger. The condenser having a vapor chamber that receives the vapor, a porous material that receives the vapor, and a liquid chamber that receives a liquid condensed from the vapor. Further including an optional power-generating means that receives the liquid from the liquid chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Inventor: Joseph Hall
  • Patent number: 9103315
    Abstract: A buoyant actuator (19) for coupling wave motion to a device operable in response to wave motion in a body of water. The buoyant actuator (19) comprises a generally spherical body (20) defining an exterior surface and a hollow interior adapted to contain water received from the body of water. The exterior surface comprises a plurality of facets (101) which are tessellated. Typically, there are 36 facets (101), of which 12 comprise generally pentagonal facets (105) and 24 comprise generally hexagonal facets (107). The body (20) comprises a plurality of openings (143) for fluid flow between the hollow interior and the surrounding body of water. A closure configured as a flap (145) is provided for each opening (143) to block or at least inhibit fluid flow therethrough, the closure being adapted to move away from the opening to permit fluid flow therethrough in response to a predetermined fluid pressure differential imposed thereon between the hollow interior and the surrounding body of water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: CETO IP PTY LTD.
    Inventors: Alan Robert Burns, Petru Tinc, Matt Keys
  • Patent number: 9097143
    Abstract: A method, and associated apparatus, for generating power from medium temperature heat sources in the range of 200° to 700° C. with improved efficiency compared to systems operating on a Rankine cycle in which the working fluid is condensed at the same temperature. Water is heated in a boiler (11) with heat from the heat source A, (22) which may be a stream of exhaust gases (22), in order to generate wet steam having a dryness fraction in the range of 0.10 to 0.90 (10% to 90% dry). The wet steam is expanded to generate power in a positive displacement steam expander (21) such as a twin screw expander. The expanded steam is condensed at a temperature in the range of 70° C. to 120° C., and the condensed steam is returned to the boiler. The expanded steam may be condensed in the boiler of an Organic Rankine Cycle (22) to provide additional power, or by heat exchange with a heater of a heating system to provide a Combined Heat and cycle, thereby further improving the cycle efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: CITY UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Ian Kenneth Smith, Nikola Rudi Stosic
  • Patent number: 9097205
    Abstract: Various embodiments of a converter for use in a combustion engine having a discharge conduit for discharging exhaust combustion gases are disclosed. In one exemplary embodiment, the converter may include a heating chamber being in thermal contact with the discharge conduit and defining a hydraulic channel through which a fluid passes. The converter may also include an inlet port disposed in the heating chamber for receiving the fluid into the heating chamber, and an outlet port disposed in the heating chamber for discharging the fluid from the heating chamber. The heat energy from the exhaust combustion gases is transferred to the fluid while the fluid passes through the hydraulic channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Inventor: Claudio Filippone
  • Patent number: 9091183
    Abstract: Systems and methods are disclosed herein that generally involve a double pinch criterion for optimization of regenerative Rankine cycles. In some embodiments, operating variables such as bleed extraction pressure and bleed flow rate are selected such that a double pinch is obtained in a feedwater heater, thereby improving the efficiency of the Rankine cycle. In particular, a first pinch point is obtained at the onset of condensation of the bleed and a second pinch point is obtained at the exit of the bleed from the feedwater heater. The minimal approach temperature at the first pinch point can be approximately equal to the minimal approach temperature at the second pinch point. Systems that employ regenerative Rankine cycles, methods of operating such systems, and methods of optimizing the operation of such systems are disclosed herein in connection with the double pinch criterion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Hussam Zebian, Alexander Mitsos
  • Patent number: 9091269
    Abstract: The invention provides a device for generating high pressure air. The device comprises a block having an external surface and an internal surface, said internal surface defining an internal cavity in said block. A rotor located inside said cavity is capable of rotating about under the influence of wind energy. The block is capable of moving relative to the rotor in a direction orthogonal to the axis of rotation of the rotor so as to vary the position of the rotor within the cavity. A plurality of vanes extend from the rotor, and are coupled to the rotor in such a manner that, in every position that the block is capable of adopting relative to the rotor, the rotor is capable of rotating within the cavity while maintaining a seal between each vane and the internal surface of the block. There is a gas inlet channel and a gas outlet channel on an opposite side of the block to the gas inlet channel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Windfuel Mills Pty Ltd
    Inventor: Robert Lloyd
  • Patent number: 9086032
    Abstract: A Stirling engine includes a base member that connects a housing portion with a heater that heats a working fluid using exhaust heat of a main engine, and a support member that supports the Stirling engine at the base member is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Manabu Tateno, Masaaki Katayama, Satosi Komori
  • Patent number: 9080773
    Abstract: A pitot tube assembly is provided for a radiant tube heater having a blower for providing combustion air to a burner. The assembly includes a mounting plate for attaching the assembly to a wall of a housing of the blower. First and second, substantially L-shaped pitot tubes extend through the mounting plate and are connected thereto and have respective inner leg sections which are arranged within an outlet section of the blower during use of the radiant tube heater. These leg sections extend in opposite directions to their respective pressure sensing ends. The first pitot tube measures impact pressure created by the blower and the second pitot tube measures static pressure. These tubes are connectible to a differential pressure switch arrangement for controlling operation of the burner. As part of a burner assembly, there is a mixing cup unit mountable within the burner tube of the heater and capable of mixing primary air and combustible gas. A gas valve unit regulates flow of the gas to the cup assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Schwank Ltd.
    Inventors: Bernd Schwank, Samer Hassan, Fariborz Farshad
  • Patent number: 9080466
    Abstract: A method and a system for limiting steam flow entering a steam turbine are provided. The method and system may intentionally unbalance the steam flow apportioned between sections of the steam turbine. The steam turbine comprises at least: a first section, a second section, and a rotor disposed within each section. The method may receive a speed/load command, or the like, which provides reference strokes for a first valve, associated with the first section; and a second valve, associated with the second section. The method may also determine an operational parameter that may limit the reference strokes relative to the speed/load command. The operational parameter may determine the allowable steam flow for each section of steam turbine, independent of the speed/load command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Steven Craig Kluge, Dean Alexander Baker, Dileep Sathyanarayana, Steven Di Palma
  • Patent number: 9083215
    Abstract: A power generation apparatus according to the present invention includes: an inlet which is provided at a location on an opposite side of an expander rotor with respect to a power generator stator in a power generator housing and which is capable of leading a working medium into the power generator housing, a cooling flow passage which supplies the inlet from a circulation pump with the working medium without interposition of an evaporator, a communication opening which is capable of leading the working medium out of the power generator housing so as to lead the working medium to a condenser, and a throttle valve which depressurizes the working medium led via the cooling flow passage from the circulation pump into the power generator housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Kobe Steel, Ltd.
    Inventor: Noboru Tsuboi
  • Patent number: 9074585
    Abstract: A system to convert the heat collected by solar thermal collectors into electricity using a Rankine cycle generator with multiple working fluids and multiple temperature-level heat sources is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: TAS Energy, Inc.
    Inventor: Herman Leibowitz
  • Patent number: 9068560
    Abstract: An electrical energy generating system in which high pressure slurry is used to expel water, alternately from two bladders, which is used to power a turbine which drives a generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: ERLS Mining (Pty) Ltd
    Inventor: Richard Roy Wood
  • Patent number: 9052122
    Abstract: A thermal energy storage apparatus adapted to receive heat source input for the development and substantially continuous supply of thermal energy to a Stirling engine for the transfer of said thermal energy to electrical and/or mechanical energy, even during periods when heat source input is intermittent or unavailable for a period of time. The apparatus includes a series of elongate canisters containing silicon metalloid and made of refractory material. The canisters are interlaced with a thermal energy absorbing material in communication with a wicking material to which the Stirling engine is in communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Latent Heat Storage Pty Ltd
    Inventors: Patrick Glynn, Neil Parkinson
  • Patent number: 9051852
    Abstract: A system for utilizing waste heat of an internal combustion engine via the Clausius-Rankine cycle process is provided that includes a circuit with lines containing a working medium, an evaporator heat exchanger which serves for evaporating the liquid working medium using waste heat of the internal combustion engine and which has an inlet opening for conducting the working medium into a flow duct and an outlet opening for conducting the working medium out of the flow duct, and the flow duct is divided into a plurality of flow duct parts connected hydraulically in parallel, an expansion machine, a condenser for liquefying the vaporous working medium, a collecting and compensating vessel for the liquid working medium, it is sought to be able to change the working medium substantially completely from a liquid state of aggregation to a gaseous state of aggregation at an evaporator heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Behr GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Peter Geskes, Klaus Irmler, Michael Schmidt, Arthur Strehlau