Patents by Inventor Bill L. Pierce

Bill L. Pierce has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 4631239
    Abstract: A plate for a fuel cell has an arrangement of ribs defining an improved configuration of process gas channels and slots on a surface of the plate which provide a modified serpentine gas flow pattern across the plate surface. The channels are generally linear and arranged parallel to one another while the spaced slots allow cross channel flow of process gas in a staggered fashion which creates a plurality of generally mini-serpentine flow paths extending transverse to the longitudinal gas flow along the channels. Adjacent pairs of the channels are interconnected to one another in flow communication. Also, a bipolar plate has the aforementioned process gas channel configuration on one surface and another configuration on the opposite surface. In the other configuration, there are not slots and the gas flow channels have a generally serpentine configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1985
    Date of Patent: December 23, 1986
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Francis R. Spurrier, Bill L. Pierce, Maynard K. Wright
  • Patent number: 4257846
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for generating power from a high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor utilizing two Brayton-type thermal cycle circuits exchanging heat through a common heat exchanger. The reactor gas coolant is circulated through a primary circuit including the reactor, and a working fluid is circulated through a secondary circuit in heat exchange relation with the reactor gas coolant. Work is extracted from the primary circuit turbine to drive both the primary circuit and secondary circuit compressors. Further, the entire primary circuit and the secondary circuit compressor are preferably disposed within a singular containment structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1981
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Bill L. Pierce
  • Patent number: 4192144
    Abstract: A direct contact thermal storage heat exchanger which utilizes the liquid-vapor phase change of a working fluid within the heat exchanger, and energy generation systems incorporating the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is particularly useful in combination with a solar energy receiver. The heat exchanger includes an insulated pressure vessel packed with pebbles or spheres. Working fluid in the vapor phase from a solar heat source enters the unit and condenses, transferring thermal energy to the pebbles. The liquid level of working fluid about the pebbles is decreased during this mode of operation. When it is desirable to release this stored energy the liquid level is increased, and the energy is transferred to the working fluid which forms a vapor, and can be used to drive a turbine or other prime movers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1978
    Date of Patent: March 11, 1980
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Bill L. Pierce
  • Patent number: 4120172
    Abstract: A heat transport system of small size which can be operated in any orientation consists of a coolant loop containing a vaporizable liquid as working fluid and includes in series a vaporizer, a condenser and two one-way valves and a pressurizer connected to the loop between the two valves. The pressurizer may be divided into two chambers by a flexible diaphragm, an inert gas in one chamber acting as a pneumatic spring for the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1977
    Date of Patent: October 17, 1978
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Bill L. Pierce
  • Patent number: 4057465
    Abstract: An auxiliary heat removal system to remove residual heat from gas-cooled nuclear reactors. The reactor coolant is expanded through a turbine, cooled in a heat exchanger,and compressed by a compressor before reentering the reactor coolant. The turbine powers both the compressor and the pump which pumps a second fluid through the heat exchanger to cool the reactor coolant. A pneumatic starter is utilized to start the turbine, thereby making the auxiliary heat removal system independent of external power sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1975
    Date of Patent: November 8, 1977
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Robert E. Thompson, Bill L. Pierce