Patents Examined by Robert Lloyd Hoover
  • Patent number: 5476293
    Abstract: An electric energy storage and distribution system for a fluid-driven propeller, the propeller being connected to drive an AC generator, includes a planetary gear system by means of which rotation of the propeller is transferred to the AC generator motor, via a ring gear and a sun gear attached to a DC generator/motor, the DC generator/motor being connected to a battery. When the speed of the propeller is insufficient to drive the AC generator at a desired frequency and voltage, the DC motor is driven by the battery to either assist rotation of the propeller or the propeller can be braked such that the DC motor alone drives the AC generator. When an excess propeller speed is obtained, the propeller drives both the AC generator and the DC generator, the DC generator charging the battery. Conversely, when excess power is available through the power grid, the AC generator can be used as a motor to drive the DC generator via the ring gear, planetary gear, and sun gear to charge the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 19, 1995
    Inventor: Tai-Her Yang
  • Patent number: 5471098
    Abstract: A device is located in a body of flowing water and includes a bridge supporting an electrical generator and anchors for holding the bridge stationary with respect to water flowing past that bridge. The device includes a water wheel submerged in the water beneath the bridge and which includes a plurality of arms radiating outwardly from a central arm. A hydrowing is movably attached to each radial arm and includes two flow impact sections of different surface areas. The hydrowings move with respect to the radial arms to maintain a flow area facing upstream on one side of the central arm that is larger than the flow area facing upstream on the diametrically opposite side of the central arm. This unbalanced flow area creates a force on the central arm tending to rotate that central arm. The central arm is connected to a rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 28, 1995
    Inventor: Bill Asay
  • Patent number: 5463257
    Abstract: A wind power machine that generates power or performs work by using the force of the wind. The wind power machine is more efficient in its rotational operation and can used in power generation, water pumping as well as any other application in creating wind power. It comprises an outer tower and a rotatable inner tower in which the outer tower is fixed and provided with flow guiding plates. The air flow is efficiently guided in and out of the tower through the flow guiding plates. The inner tower is movably mounted inside the outer tower, it is rotated by the air flow drawn in from the outside so that its supporting shaft can generate a twisting momentum for power generation. When a motor is used to rotate the inner tower, then the inner tower works as a circulating fan. This is characterized in that the angles of the flow guiding plates can be adjusted synchronously, moreover, V notches are provided on the flow guiding plates as well as the fan blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 31, 1995
    Inventor: Ton A. Yea
  • Patent number: 5457346
    Abstract: An accelerator for a windmill structure as described which is a frustro-conical funnel-like device intended to direct a stream of wind therethrough onto the impeller of a windmill. As the wind passes through the device, it is constricted whereby the velocity increases and exits a throat-like outlet as a diverging jet impacting the impeller blades to thereby increase the kinetic energy available to be converted to mechanical or electrical energy by said windmill. The device of this invention can include a vane for maintaining the accelerator facing into the wind with the windmill, a mounting platform for either the accelerator or both accelerator and the windmill, and an internal configuration to said accelerator to impart a swirling spiral motion to the wind passing therethrough as it is constricted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 10, 1995
    Inventors: Stanley Blumberg, Anthony R. Wells
  • Patent number: 5446319
    Abstract: An energy storage apparatus is disclosed in which a plurality of permanent magnets are used to store kinetic energy. The apparatus includes first and second fixed magnets which are positioned a guide rod. A third moveable magnet is mounted on a guide rod which allows movement of the third magnet between a charged position in which the magnet's like pole is proximal the one fixed magnet and an uncharged position in which the opposite pole is adjacent the other fixed magnet. A locking mechanism is provided for locking the third magnet in the charged position and allowing selective release. A power transmission mechanism is provided for receiving the energy to be stored and to move the third magnet from the uncharged position to the charged position. To increase the storage capability of the apparatus, a plurality of power-enhancing magnets are positioned on the axis between the movable magnet and the fixed magnet having an opposite pole facing the movable magnet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Inventor: Mark Pawlowski
  • Patent number: 5440175
    Abstract: An electric generator assembly driven by a waterwheel wherein the axial length of the waterwheel is substantially greater than the diameter thereof and contains a speed-increasing device for driving a high speed generator. The assembly is supported from a bridge spanning the full axial length of the waterwheel and the width of the stream and said bridge also supports an adjustable chute extending from the dam crest to the waterwheel. The waterwheel has longitudinal buckets designed to develop maximum energy over a wide range of flow of water and also discharge debris. The buckets are vented as necessary to improve filling and discharge and also minimize vibration. The complete bridge assembly is supported adjacent opposite ends by hydraulic cylinder units connected to and adapted to raise the unitary bridge, chute and waterwheel assembly above increased tailwater levels to reduce drag and rotating friction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 8, 1995
    Inventors: Howard A. Mayo, Jr., Kenneth R. Broome
  • Patent number: 5440176
    Abstract: An hydroelectric power plant is disclosed which comprises several combination turbine/generators which are suspended into an ocean current from a submerged tension leg type platform. Each of the turbine/generators are independently positionable horizontally, vertically and azimuthally to take the best advantage of the ocean current at any given time for generating electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: August 8, 1995
    Inventor: Michael L. Haining
  • Patent number: 5436507
    Abstract: A control system for synchronous condensing operation of a hydroelectric turbine-generator wherein the draft tube water level for the turbine is controlled through the use of that generator's power or current consumption. Either parameter may be used in the process. Water impacting the turbine will increase both of these parameters above an optimum minimum value. Either a generator power or current device provides a signal to a control circuit. When the signal from either device exceeds a preset value, the control circuit injects compressed air into the turbine cavity until the signal returns to its optimum value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 25, 1995
    Inventors: Joseph G. Brown, Richard E. Boisclaire
  • Patent number: 5434454
    Abstract: Proximity switches and circumferentially movable stator windings allow a motor-generator to simultaneously sense and switch from a synchronous motor position to a synchronous generator position. This mechanism replaces the conventional separate sensing and switching of motor-generator functions. Automatic rotational repositioning of the stator maintains constant voltage and prevents the generation of transient voltages or harmonics. The stator flux leads the rotor magnetic flux slightly in an import power or motor position, creating a torque on the rotor and a counter torque on the stator reacted by the fixed casing of the apparatus. As the stator field weakens due to a failure of the normal power supply, the counter torque also weakens and the stator windings are biased to begin to turn with the rotor until the rotor and stator fields are in step, i.e., when virtually no current is generated or consumed or until a full export power or generator position is reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1995
    Inventor: Otto Farkas
  • Patent number: 5432384
    Abstract: In an overhang type starter motor, an inner periphery of a front portion of a pinion 5 is engaged with a spline serration 2a formed at a front part of a pinion shaft 2; a spring 8 is disposed at a shoulder portion of an intermediate portion of the pinion 5 so as to urge the pinion 5 toward a pinion stopper 6; and the inner periphery of the rear part 5a of the pinion 5 is in slide contact with an outer diameter portion 2b of the pinion shaft so that the pinion does not incline when it comes to engagement with a ring gear of an engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 11, 1995
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shuzo Isozumi, Kyohei Yamamoto, Hayato Yamauchi
  • Patent number: 5432383
    Abstract: An electric generator system for a gas turbine converts the mechanical output power of the shaft of a gas turbine into electric energy with a plurality of electric generators (4, 5) mounted coaxially on the turbine shaft. When the electric energy is supplied to a motor vehicle drive unit (7), the electric output power of only one of the generators is converted and supplied to the drive unit (7) if both load on the motor vehicle is small, or the electric output powers of the generators are converted and supplied to the drive unit (7) if the load is large. Therefore, the effective efficiency of the generators (4, 5) is maintained at a high level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 11, 1995
    Assignee: Isuzu Ceramics Research Institute Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hideo Kawamura
  • Patent number: 5432382
    Abstract: An energy storage apparatus is disclosed in which a plurality of permanent magnets are used to store kinetic energy. The apparatus includes first and second fixed magnets which are positioned a distance apart along a longitudinal axis with both magnets having a like magnetic pole facing the distance between the magnets. A third moveable magnet is mounted on a guide rod which allows movement of the third magnet between a charged position in which the magnet's like pole is proximal the one fixed magnet and an uncharged position in which the opposite pole is adjacent the other fixed magnet. In the charged position, the magnetic fields of the adjacent like poles of the moveable magnet and the fixed magnet create a strong repelling force which urges the third magnet towards the uncharged position and the attraction forces created by the opposite poles of a moveable magnet and the other fixed magnet also draws the moveable magnet towards the uncharged position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 11, 1995
    Inventor: Mark Pawlowski
  • Patent number: 5430333
    Abstract: A plurality of inflation devices are linked to one another to form a loop that is movably restrained so that a segment of the loop is disposed at a lower reference location at the given depth in a first body of water, another segment of the loop is disposed at an upper reference location situated above the lower reference location, another segment of the loop extends along a first path that extends generally upward from the lower reference location to the upper reference location, and another segment of the loop extends along a second path that extends generally parallel to the first path and upward from the lower reference location to the upper reference location. At least a majority of the inflation devices occupying the first path are inflated with gas and at least a majority of the inflation devices occupying the second path are deflated so that inflation devices in the first path move upward and inflation devices in the second path move downward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Inventors: Mark S. Binford, Thomas A. Binford
  • Patent number: 5430332
    Abstract: A movable and adjustable dam including a waterwheel for generating power in rivers, creeks, streams and other flowing bodies of water in which the use of a permanent dam would be impractical or undesirable. The preferred dam includes floatable wall members that can be anchored in position in a body of water to form a water channel there between. The wall members can be unanchored when it is desirable to move the dam. The dam also includes a water wheel mounted between the wall members. The water wheel generates power as it is rotated by water flowing through the channel. Further, the preferred dam includes an adjustable floor comprising a combination of interconnected plates mounted between the wall members. The combination of interconnected plates may be raised or lowered to control the level and flow of water in the water channel and to allow the water wheel to generate power in a mode that is most efficient in response to available water quantity and flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 4, 1995
    Inventor: E. D. Dunn, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5426332
    Abstract: An electric power generator apparatus that generates electrical power from the tidal movements of a body of water by employing multiple energy producing systems. Those energy producing systems include: (1) a moveable tank system associated with hydraulic cylinders in which the upward and downward movements of the tank relative to the tide are used to generate electrical power; (2) an enclosure system in which the controlled inflow and outflow of water between the enclosure and the surrounding body of water is used to generate electrical power; (3) a bellows system in which the effects of the tidal movements are used to force water from the bellows tank through a generator thereby producing electrical power; and (4) a buoyant mass-actuated piston system in which the movement of floating objects (such as docked ships) relative to the tide is used to generate electrical power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 20, 1995
    Assignee: Tidal Electric, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter W. Ullman, Daniel P. Lathrop
  • Patent number: 5424582
    Abstract: A wave power generator is substantially continuously driven by a pair of floats connected to a common drive shaft and positioned side by side along a line perpendicular to the direction of wave motion, one float being specifically designed to efficiently drive the shaft during the rising portion of a wave, the other to efficiently drive the shaft during the falling portion of a wave. The generator's flywheel is maintained at a constant speed by an automatic load control throughout a range of wave patterns sufficient to encompass over 70% of the statistically expected wave patterns at the generator location. An inclined-bottom float is used for the rising wave drive, and a bottom-weighted float is disclosed for the falling wave drive. The floats may be disposed one above the other and may have mating conical surfaces for cushioning occasional contact between the floats.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 13, 1995
    Assignee: Elektra Power Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: John A. Trepl, II, Farhad Bashardoust
  • Patent number: 5420463
    Abstract: An elongated channel has an entrance leg and a parallel exit leg and a loop therebetween at one end and a sump at the other end into which the exit leg empties. A power supply operates a fluid in the sump to deliver fluid into the entrance leg. A plurality of spaced paddle wheels are mounted for rotation on supports above the channel with each paddle wheel having a plurality of spaced substantially radially directed paddles conforming in shape to the space within the channel and being slightly spaced therefrom to inhibit any contact therewith. A plurality of generators are driven by the plurality of paddle wheels, and the generators are coupled to utilization or storage devices for using or storing the energy harnessed by the generators. Additional intermediate legs of the channel and other loops can form a sineous path from the location of delivery of fluid by the pump to the location of emptying of the exit leg into the sump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1995
    Inventor: Michael Agostino
  • Patent number: 5418399
    Abstract: An engine/generator set, especially for use in driving a hybrid motor vehicle, in which an internal combustion engine is equipped with free flying pistons. The internal combustion engine operates in a two-stroke cycle with asymmetrical electrically controlled gas exchange with an exhaust gas turbine driving a turbocompressor. The power excess is fed back via a synchronous alternating current machine to the generator so that the vehicle is driven with high efficiency with an apparatus of reduced volume and weight per unit output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 23, 1995
    Inventor: Hermann Klaue
  • Patent number: 5418400
    Abstract: A combination generator and starter motor includes a rotor with an internal ring gear, a plurality of dual pinion gears which mesh with the rotor and two sun gears which mesh with the dual pinion gears. A large torque multiplication from the rotor to one of the sun gears is provided when the combination generator and starter motor operates as a starter motor. A one-to-one ratio of rotation between that sun gear and the rotor is provided when the combination generator and starter motor operates as a generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 23, 1995
    Assignee: Ford Motor Company
    Inventor: Thomas R. Stockton
  • Patent number: 5412252
    Abstract: Method and system for controlling the acceleration of a turbine-generator or limiting the load of the turbine-generator if a cooling regulator which regulates the cooling of the turbine-generator or auxiliary components is determined to be off-line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 2, 1995
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Ali Moradian, Maurice A. Jenkins, Robert L. Frater