Live well cooling apparatus for fishing vessels
The invention relates to an apparatus for cooling and maintaining the water temperature in the live wells of fishing vessels. This twelve volt singular device is applied through the live well wall, and through use of thermoelectric technology the ambient water temperature within the live well is decreased. The importance of cooler water is that holds more oxygen and lowers metabolism in fish, which in turn increases the survival rate of captive fish. This invention is targeted for use by sports fisherman for use in tournaments to avoid penalties for dead fish and to promote the conservation of fish for ecological purposes.
The invention relates to increasing the survival rate of fish in live wells by maintaining a healthy water temperature; via an apparatus that decreases water temperatures when applied to a fishing vessel's live well. It is widely known, within the fishing industry, that high water temperatures are the leading cause of fish death in live wells. As water sits in a live well, even if it's circulated, the temperature increases which makes it almost impossible to hold oxygen. There are various options available to assist with live well oxygenation and circulation, but this simple one-piece device decreases the water temperature, which in turn increases the oxygenation.
U.S. Pat. No. 7,134,293 to Rabal discloses a cooling and aerating live well system in the form of a device that pumps water out of the live well into a separate cooling chamber, where a thermoelectric device cools the water, and then pumps it back into the live well. It is evident that this system is poorly designed for use in a boat due to its size, complexity, and energy requirements.BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention is a device that, once installed in the live well of a fishing vessel, functions to slightly decrease and maintain the current water temperature that is held in the live well. The device is comprised of several components which include a cooling probe, which is cooled through thermoelectric technology. The thermoelectric device transfers heat from the probe to the cooling fins which are located on the back of the device. A twelve volt powered water resistant fan is mounted directly to the back of the unit to assist in cooling the device. The advantages of this invention over the prior art include: its' compact size and simple complexity, which allows for easy installment and use; its' one piece construction is highly energy efficient; it cools the water within the live well without actually removing the water for cooling, which eliminates the extra attached equipment such as pumps, hoses, and controlling devices.
It is the object of this invention to lower water temperatures in live wells to decrease mortality rates of fish during fishing tournaments to avoid penalties.
It is another object of this invention to decrease water temperatures in live wells to promote fish conservation for ecological reasons.
As shown in
The thermoelectric device 26 is arranged so that in
An electrically non-conductive, thermally insulating body 36 has a cut-out 38 to allow it to be positioned so that one flat surface contacts the base 24 so that the contact between the base 24 and the thermoelectric device 26 is insulated against external temperature influences. In addition, the insulating body 36 provides a relatively soft surface for contact with the outside surface of the wall 12.
The probe 20 extends through a hole in the wall 12 into the water 16 and is maintained in its position by a nut 40 which screws onto the threaded portion 22 and has a washer 42 pressing against the outside surface of the wall 12. The washer 42 can be made of silicone, PVC or some other suitable material and seals the hole in the wall 12 against leakage.
It is preferable to position the washer 42 on the outside surface of the wall 12 to form a reliable seal against leakage rather than positioning the washer 42 on the inside surface because the threaded portion 22 would not interact with the washer 42 to distort it into a shape forming a satisfactory seal. The washer 42 has a shape in which the surface against the base 24 is substantially flat, while the surface abutting against the wall 12 is slightly curved so that pressure during the tightening of the nut 40 distorts the washer 42 to form a very reliable seal.
The heat sink 32 is a conventional thermally conductive material with fins 44 for dissipating heat. A commercially available water resistant fan 46 is arranged behind the heat sink 32. The wires 48 are for the input of twelve volt electrical power into the water resistant fan 46. The water resistant fan 46 blows air to cool the fins 44 because the cooling of the thermoelectric device 26 is diminished if the hot side is too hot. The heat sink 32 is matched to the water resistant fan 46 to maximize the heat transfer away from the thermoelectric device 26. The water resistant fan 46 and thermoelectric device 26 are connected to a twelve volt power supply 50.
1. An apparatus that, when attached through the wall of a fishing vessels live well, decreases the water temperature through means of a thermoelectric device, said apparatus lowers water temperatures for the purpose of increasing the survival rate of captive fish for use primarily by tournament fisherman to avoid penalties for “weighing in” expired fish and to promote ecological conservation.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, is a singular twelve volt unit that mounts, by the use of a probe, directly through the wall of the live well.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, comprises of the mounting probe that also functions as the cold sink for the thermoelectric device.
4. The apparatus of claim 3, further comprises of a thermoelectric device, that is compressed between the cold sink and heat sink, that cools the water by transferring heat from the probe to the heat sink.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, further comprises of a heat sink that is constructed of an aluminum housing that features cooling fins which assist in drawing heat toward a water resistant fan
6. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprises of a water resistant fan that functions to aid in the cooling of the heat sink to assure reliable performance of the entire unit.
7. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein said entire unit is powered by a twelve volt power source which allows for easy installment and use on a fishing vessel which utilizes a twelve volt system.
Filed: Sep 4, 2008
Publication Date: Mar 19, 2009
Inventor: Travis Totman (Sorrento, FL)
Application Number: 12/231,647
International Classification: F25B 21/02 (20060101); B63B 25/00 (20060101); F25D 19/00 (20060101);