Solar Still Patents (Class 203/DIG1)
  • Patent number: 6001222
    Abstract: A solar heating and evaporation plant is described which can be used to either produce distilled potable water from salty water or to heat water for industrial or domestic purposes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Inventor: Samuel H. Klein
  • Patent number: 5672250
    Abstract: A solar seawater desalination system is designed to operate in a self-sustaining manner without the need for any moving parts. Seawater is converted to steam in a solar heat collector panel and the steam is led in a steam pipe through a series of primary cooling chambers where it is condensed by incoming seawater in tanks jacketing the steam tube. The tanks are connected in series between an inlet air-lock regulator and the solar collector panel so that the seawater is caused to flow successively through the tanks from the inlet to the collector panel as make-up water, solely by pressure differentials created in the system by the steam generation. Excessively saline seawater which collects in the collector panel is dumped from the system in a similar manner through an outlet air-lock regulator. Secondary cooling chambers may be provided to condense steam generated from the seawater in the primary cooling chambers by heat received from the steam pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Inventors: Husein Ambadar, Zantar Ambadar, Zeky Ambadar
  • Patent number: 5650050
    Abstract: The sea water to be desalted is fine-sprayed through nozzles (3) against an underside (1b) of a plate-shaped element (1). The element (1) may, for example, be an aluminum plate forming a heat transfer medium and is exposed to solar radiation through glass cover plates (15). The water sprayed on the underside (1b) is distributed over the surface of the element (1) and is evaporated by the heat stored in this element. The water vapor passes through an outlet (27) to a condenser (10) in which it is condensed and finally through an outlet (12) in the form of fresh water which then is available, for example, for irrigating green spaces. The sea water to be desalted is preferably sprayed against the underside of the element (1) for only a few seconds at predetermined intervals. To clean the element (1), sea-water may be sprayed every hour for, for example, 1 to 1.5 minutes against the underside of the element (1) in order thus to rinse away deposited salt and impurities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1997
    Inventor: Willy Kaufmann
  • 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: 5628879
    Abstract: A portable solar still, controlled by a sun actuated mechanical valve, including a thermally insulated evaporation chamber structure within which distillation takes place, is assembled from sidewall panels and floor panels of foam plastic thermal insulation, these panels being strengthened and made into rigid structural units by metal tubes or rods incorporated internally into the foam plastic panels,a transparent cover sealing the sloping top of the evaporation chamber including a transparent, flexible, plastic film which is stretched across, and has its four boundary edges attached to, the four members of a closed rectangular frame of slender metal tubes,wick matting, disposed on the floor of the evaporation chamber including a layered mat of fine, randomly oriented,.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 13, 1997
    Inventor: Seth D. Woodruff
  • Patent number: 5598661
    Abstract: The invention provides a soil irrigation solar still system of the type hng a material transparent to solar radiation, supported in a non-planar, arched or sloped roof configuration above a darkened channel containing an impure liquid in such a manner as to allow radiant energy to heat and vaporize the impure water, to provide purified water for irrigation purposes, as the result of purified water which condenses on the underside of the transparent material due to the evaporation of the impure water in the channel rolling down along the underside of the transparent material, characterized in that the channel is suspended above an excavated area in the soil, the excavated area having side wall rims spaced apart from outer edges of the channel, forming an open chamber therearound, and the roof is provided with outer edges extending beyond and terminating adjacent the respective side wall rims of the open chamber, whereby a portion of the vaporized water circulates through the space between the side wall rims an
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1996
    Date of Patent: February 4, 1997
    Assignee: The Israeli International Company for Investments "Hatchiya Ltd."
    Inventors: Boris Eiderman, Alexander Lukatsky
  • Patent number: 5582690
    Abstract: Desalination of sea water is achieved using a solar pond that includes a halocline interposed between a convective upper wind mixed layer exposed to the ambient atmosphere, and a lower heat storage layer of hot, concentrated brine, Hot brine from the heat storage layer is flashed into steam which is condensed into desalted water using an indirect heat exchanger cooled by saline water. The latent heat of condensation of the steam warms the saline water and effects evaporation of water therefrom in the form of vapor. The last mentioned water vapor is condensed into desalted water using a two-stage condenser, the first stage of which is an indirect heat exchanger cooled by saline feed water which is heated as a result producing warmed saline feed water that constitutes the saline water used for condensing the steam produced by flashing the brine from the heat storage layer of the pond.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 10, 1996
    Assignee: Ormat Turbines (1965) Ltd.
    Inventors: Joseph Weinberger, Uriyel Fisher, Gad Assaf, Benjamin Doron
  • Patent number: 5468351
    Abstract: An apparatus for recovering fresh water or for concentrating a liquid has a structure formed of a roof member 10 having a gradient and a base member 14 provided with a liquid reservoir member 18. A cellulose-based film 20 has one surface saponified 2 to 50 .mu.m deep and the other surface is attached to the inner surface of the roof member. A liquid recovery member 16 is provided in the roof member or the base member, the liquid recovery member being for recovering water which is condensed on the saponified surface of the cellulose-based film and that flows downward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1995
    Assignees: Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc., Nihon Polytech Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshizumi Hirota, Hitoshi Kobayashi, Yasunobu Nakagoshi, Yukio Amino
  • Patent number: 5421962
    Abstract: The present invention relates to water treatment using solar energy.The desalination plant includes an evaporator-desalter communicating with an intake system for water to be desalinated and a vapour and condensate discharge system. The evaporator is essentially at least a portion of a water pool wherein the density of water is higher than that of the water being desalinated, and mounted above the water pool are atomizers and branch pipes of the vapour and condensate discharge system. The atomizers and the branch pipes are provided with a collapsible roof. The surface of the water pool of the evaporator is covered with a film having floating elements shaped as balls.The invention can be used for water desalination in droughty and waterless coastal areas nearby the seas and oceans.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 6, 1995
    Inventors: Mikhail E. Shvarts, Alexei M. Shvarts
  • 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: 5391262
    Abstract: A solar still of the type having a container for holding a supply of liquid to be evaporated and an inclined solar transmissive cover mounted in an inclined position thereon, is provided with a vibrating device for imparting vibrations to the cover member to facilitate the coalescing and downward flow of condensation droplets formed on the underside of the cover member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: February 21, 1995
    Inventor: William Wilkerson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5348622
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to an improved solar water purification system and process wherein the evaporating, condensing and distillate collecting chambers are located underground to assist in the evaporation and condensation process. The system includes three computer controlled preheaters which are constantly monitored to determine the temperature of the load therein. The cycling and recycling of the load relative to the load tank and the three preheaters is controlled by the computer for optimum system efficiency. One of the three preheaters is located underground, while a second preheater is located externally as a solar preheater and the third preheater is an outside gas, oil or waste heat fired preheater. In addition to producing pure water through the evaporation process, there is disclosed a system and process whereby various contaminants may be captured for further processing, storage and exploitation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: September 20, 1994
    Inventors: David Deutsch, Thomas C. Flores
  • Patent number: 5316626
    Abstract: In a method for producing fresh water using solar energy, the method involving the use of an installation comprising a structure oriented toward the sun and permeable to solar radiation, forming a greenhouse including a preheating and reheating chamber and an evaporation chamber into which water containing impurities is introduced to be evaporated by the indirect influence of the solar radiation in the air trapped under the structure, the air being conveyed to a temperature exchanger such that the vapors carried thereby will be condensed and collected, the improvement comprising evaporation of the water containing impurities on mounds of capillary material scattered and distributed over the entire span of the evaporation chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 31, 1994
    Inventor: Blondel Guy
  • Patent number: 5281310
    Abstract: A solar apparatus such as a solar water heater or cooler comprising a cell which is partially transparent to the sun's rays and has an internal section formed by an assembly of two casing which surround one another and define the variable capacity of the absorber as well as various means for supplying, storing and discharging water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 25, 1994
    Inventors: Myriam Djelouah, Nadia Djelouah
  • 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: 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: 5158650
    Abstract: A solar still assembly has a thermally-insulated pan which supports an open frame of elongated members. The pan has side walls which support the frame members, with one side wall being higher than the other side wall. One end of each frame member is attached to the top edge of the higher side wall while the additional support for each frame member is provided by the lower side wall. The frame members incline downwardly toward the lower side wall. There are several embodiments which teach alternative frame members for providing the additional support by the lower side wall as well as the manner in which a trough is formed from the frame members or is attached to the pan. In all embodiments, a thin-film, flexible, solar-energy transmissive sheet overlies the frame, permitting solar energy to enter the still and evaporate liquid in the pan. Condensate forms on the inner surface of the solar sheet and flows down the inclined surface into the trough.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 27, 1992
    Inventor: William M. Wilkerson
  • Patent number: 5112446
    Abstract: A device for the production of fresh water from sea or brackish water is provided. The device contains one or more evaporation pans covered with a translucent material, one or more ascending chimney-gallaries the upper ends of which are open to the air and the lower ends of which are tightly connected to the evaporation pans and a fresh water collecting chamber. The communication between the evaporation pans and the chimney-gallaries is regulated such that it can be opened and closed so as to maximize efficiency. The communication between the bottom section of the chimney-gallery and the open air is likewise regulated. The device is especially suited for carrying out batchwise fresh water production by evaporation of sea or brackish water. The batchwise method can involve sequences according to circadian alternations, of an evaporation-condensation step followed by a step of cooling for the restoration of the initial conditions for a further step of evaporation-condensation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 12, 1992
    Inventor: Roger Vallon
  • 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: 4966655
    Abstract: An open wire frame formed of wire ladder stock having intersecting right angle wires includes at least one upwardly inclined open frame section overlying an underlying open pan and terminating at a lower edge in a downward directed projection of U-shape and being fixedly mounted relative to the underlying pan. A flexible thin film solar energy transmissive sheet overlies the open wire frame and is stretched tightly about the frame to form a downwardly facing condensation surface and an upwardly facing U-shaped collection trough along the lower edge thereof for condensate collection. The open wire frame may have vertical free ends for penetration into the ground or into the sides of the upwardly open pan. Strips of wood, metal, etc., fastened by screws, etc., may sandwich the lower sides of the flexible thin film sheet against the side walls of the upwardly open pan to maintain the sheets stretched about the open wire frame and complete an enclosure about the pan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 1988
    Date of Patent: October 30, 1990
    Inventor: William M. Wilkerson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4959127
    Abstract: A system for desalinating saltwater. The system includes a platform container and a plastic dome covering through which solar ray heat passes to distall the saltwater fed therein and thereby separate therefrom distilled fresh water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1987
    Date of Patent: September 25, 1990
    Inventor: Claus G. Michna
  • Patent number: 4921580
    Abstract: A solar water distiller is set forth utilizing a spherical boiler formed with an underlying concave reflective lens arranged for tracking of the position of the sun to effect boiling of water provided within the solar boiler. Water vapor is forcibly removed from the uppermost portion of the spherical boiler by a solar powered pump directing the cooling water into a condensate tank that is provided with a pressure relief valve. The spherical boiler is provided with a float level and a pressure gauge to control the actuation of a valve limiting water provided to the spherical boiler to maintain the spherical boiler with a half volume of fluid for maintaining efficiency of the boiler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1988
    Date of Patent: May 1, 1990
    Inventors: Providencio Martes, Miguel A. Villalobos
  • Patent number: 4882071
    Abstract: A method for the in situ decontamination of underground water containing -volatile contaminants comprising continuously contacting in situ underground water containing non-volatile contaminants with a liquid-absorbent material possessing high capillary activity, allowing the non-volatile contaminants to deposit in the material while the water moves upwardly through the material by capillary action, allowing substantially decontaminated water to be volatilized by impinging solar radiation, and then allowing the volatilized water to escape from the material into the atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 21, 1989
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by The Department of Energy
    Inventors: Thomas R. Bench, Larry D. McCann
  • Patent number: 4863567
    Abstract: The invention is a fluid distillation apparatus (10) which, in its preferred embodiment, includes a cylindrical portion (12) which mates with an end wall (14) and a bell portion (16) to form an enclosed volume (18) within which evaporization and condensation of a selected fluid may take place. A heat exchange rotor assembly (20) is formed of head conductive material and includes intertwined evaporization and condensation channels (52, 54) in spiral array. A central tunnel (58) provides access for vapor from an evaporization volume (24) to a condensation volume (26) with a pressure gradient provided by an impeller (100) urging such passage. A drum motor (68) rotates the drum (40) to facilitate liquid flow in the heat exchange rotor (20). An impure fluid input port (32) and output ports are provided for purified fluid (34), concentrated brine (36) and degassing purposes (38).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1988
    Date of Patent: September 5, 1989
    Inventor: Jay F. Raley
  • Patent number: 4853088
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for separating volatile components from a volatile-containing liquid by a stripping gas flowing countercurrent to the liquid. Separation of the volatile components is enhanced by heating the liquid with radiant solar energy and agitating the liquid as it flows.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1989
    Assignee: Marathon Oil Company
    Inventor: David D. Conway
  • Patent number: 4834840
    Abstract: Processes for managing toxic and hazardous waste materials containing distillable solvents or chemicals in which the waste materials are collected and introduced into solar dryers wherein the more volatile solvent or chemical components thereof are distilled and recaptured as pure byproducts which may be recycled for future use and wherein the residue is retained within the solar dryers until such time as the residue is substantially free of all of the contaminant solvents or chemicals and after which such residue may be removed as a non-toxic and non-hazardous byproduct which may be prepared for future use or disposed of in a conventional manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 1987
    Date of Patent: May 30, 1989
    Assignee: Matrix Recovery Systems
    Inventor: Joseph A. Capella
  • Patent number: 4756802
    Abstract: A distillation device for distilling liquids, using concentrated solar energy to evaporate the undistilled liquid. A lens focuses solar rays into a concentrated area on the outer surface of an opaque heat target, the inner surface of which is in contact with the undistilled liquid in a container. The heat target evaporates the liquid, and the steam is condensed within a dome over the container, the dome having a plurality of cooling fins. The dome is cooled by compressed air, which circulates through an air conduit which spirals around the dome from top to bottom. The distilled liquid is conducted through a pipeline through the undistilled liquid in the container, and then out of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 1986
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1988
    Inventor: David S. Finney
  • Patent number: 4754058
    Abstract: Polymer formation is inhibited during the distillation of ethyl acrylate and acrylic acid produced from the reaction of ethylene and acrylic acid with sulfuric acid. In the presence of sulfur dioxide formed during the reaction, nitrogen oxide (NO) is highly effective for inhibition of polymerization fouling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1988
    Assignee: Hoechst Celanese Corporation
    Inventor: Leon B. Levy
  • Patent number: 4749447
    Abstract: This invention discloses a solar still comprising a plurality of twin conduits routed through a plurality of solar collectors wherein the liquid is evaporated in the evaporation conduit constituting the first of the twin conduits and the vapor is condensed in the condensation conduit constituting the second conduit of the twin conduits. The evaporation conduit and the condensation conduit are separated from one another by a heat conducting element. A plurality of vapor conduits branching off from the evaporation conduits are connected to the condensation conduits via at least one pump or blower. The liquid fed to the evaporation conduit evaporates to vapor under an evacuated state provided by the pump or blower after being heated by the solar energy collected and supplied by the solar collector and/or by the latent heat released in and supplied by the condensation conduit wherein the vapor is condensed to liquid under a pressurized state provided by the pump or blower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1986
    Date of Patent: June 7, 1988
    Inventor: Hyok S. Lew
  • Patent number: 4698135
    Abstract: A system is provided for use adjacent a plant supporting material to be irrigated, for converting salt water into fresh water and dispensing the fresh water dripwise to the plant supporting material. The system comprises an evaporator member made of microporous hydrophobic material and having first and second surfaces, the microporous hydrophobic material permitting water vapor to diffuse through the member between the first and second surfaces thereof while preventing liquid water from passing therethrough, and a condenser including a condensing surface is spaced from the second surface of the evaporator member to define a gap therebetween. The condensing surface is in liquid flow communication with the plant supporting material to be irrigated. A conduit is provided for conducting a flow of salt water along the first surface of the evaporator members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1985
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1987
    Assignee: Sirdan Research Limited
    Inventor: Simon Raab
  • Patent number: 4680090
    Abstract: This invention relates to a distillation device that employs a plurality of twin tubings of coaxial arrangement or of side-by-side arrangement wherein the vaporization takes place at an evacuated state in one tubing and the condensation takes place in the other tubing of the twin tubings. A blower or pump moves the vapor from the vaporization tubing to the condensation tubing and, consequently, creates an evacuated state in the vaporization tubing and a pressurized state in the condensation tubing. As the condensation takes place at a higher pressure in the condensation tubing compared with the vaporization in the vaporization tubing, the temperature of the condensation tubing is higher than the temperature of the vaporization tubing, and consequently, a very high percentage of the latent heat released by the condensing vapor is recycled from the condensation tubing to the vaporization tubing by conduction through the metallic wall dividing the condensation tubing from the vaporization tubing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1985
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1987
    Inventor: Hyok S. Lew
  • Patent number: 4660544
    Abstract: A rectangular frame contains a plurality of upwardly opening trays each having a heat absorber element with a plurality of upstanding vanes. A lens associated with each tray concentrates incident solar radiation on the vanes to preferentially heat a portion of the liquid filling the tray to a relatively high temperature at which vaporization is more efficiently accomplished than in prior solar stills. The evaporated liquid is condensed on an overlying surface and is collected for later use. The system may be used in distilling water and in solar refrigeration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 1985
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1987
    Inventor: Frank D. Husson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4639293
    Abstract: This invention relates to a solar still wherein the evaporation takes place in partially evacuated tubings which are heated by sunlight. The water to be distilled is supplied from a reservoir vessel which is sealed off after batch loading. The reservoir vessel is elevated above the solar collector. The water is fed into the heater tubings routed through the solar collector by gravity, through an orifice and a heat exchanger-condenser. The steam tubing branches off from the heater tubing in the solar collector vertically, and is routed through the heat exchanger-condenser. At this end, it is connected to a vertical tubing of a sizable length that empties into the distilled water reservoir. The exit end of the heater tubing routed through the solar collector is connected to another vertical tubing of a sizable length that empties into an overflow tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 1983
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1987
    Inventor: Hyok S. Lew
  • Patent number: 4613409
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for purifying raw feedwater. The raw feedwater is directed into an evaporator module submerged in a solar pond or other body of heated liquid. The evaporator module includes a rotating housing through which a plurality of spaced apart substantially horizontal open ended heat transfer tubes extend. A heating liquid is directed through the heat transfer tubes. The raw feedwater is distributed within the evaporator module so as to cause the feedwater to descend into heat transferring contact with the heat transfer tubes and thereby vaporize a portion of the feedwater. The vapor formed in the evaporator module is withdrawn from the evaporator module and directed to a suitable condensor.A preferred embodiment of the evaporator module is disclosed which includes cavitation fins or urging the heated liquid through the evaporator module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 1985
    Date of Patent: September 23, 1986
    Inventor: Craig S. Volland
  • Patent number: 4606794
    Abstract: An automated solar still is disclosed which incorporates a system of valves and other controls that halts production when the level of solar insolation is not adequate to support evaporation, admits water for treatment only when the still requires resupply, operates at nominal pressure by gravity flow and flushes out suspended and dissolved contaminants automatically. Production is halted under conditions of inadequate solar insulation by means of a temperature sensitive valve which is exposed to the received sunlight. In one embodiment, heating and evaporation occur directly in a central chamber. In another embodiment heating occurs in external panels and evaporation occurs from trays in an evaporation chamber. With changes in dimensions and proportions the system of controls may be used in solar stills for desalinating sewater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1985
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1986
    Inventor: Robert L. Wyckoff
  • Patent number: 4595459
    Abstract: A desalinization apparatus includes a section for heating up input saline water using the heat released in subsequent water vapor condensation. A solar heater may be used to raise the saline water to a proper evaporation temperature, and a carrier gas is used as a vehicle for transporting water vapor from evaporation to condensation sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1982
    Date of Patent: June 17, 1986
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hideaki Kusakawa, Junjiro Kai
  • 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: 4564367
    Abstract: A solar crystallizer and a process for producing solar salt adaptable for use in climates heretofore believed unfavorable for solar salt production. The invention employs a solar crystallizer defining a shallow pond of salt solution the level of which is carefully monitored and controlled by withdrawing unsaturated solution from the upper stratum of the pond such as produced from rainfall and introducing substantially saturated brine into the pond at a lower stratum overlying the salt crop on the bottom thereof providing a continuous protective saturated brine layer and enhancing the efficiency of water evaporation by a comparatively shallow depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 14, 1986
    Assignee: Diamond Crystal Salt Company
    Inventors: John F. Heiss, Melvin E. Leverenz
  • Patent number: 4563248
    Abstract: Individually useable wave-powered pumping means, solar distillation means, and cyclonic wind generating means, together with a system which employs each of them for harnessing natural energy sources are disclosed. Wave and solar energy, together with Coriolis acceleration are employed in the system which includes a basin for water situated near an ocean, or other such body of water, having a surface subject to wave action. A solar energy trasmitting cover is provided over the basin for solar heating, and evaporation of water contained therein. Vapor condensing means are located adjacent the bottom of the basin, and an upwardly extending inlet conduit, or passageway, connects the condenser to a source of water vapor above the water surface of the covered basin. Cooled air, and distilled water, are discharged from the condenser to a location outside the covered basin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 7, 1986
    Inventor: Max F. Anderson
  • Patent number: 4539091
    Abstract: An electrodialysis desalination process for seawater comprising the steps of collecting seawater and heating same by solar heat; subjecting seawater thus heated to electrodialysis; and separating same into two portions of a diluted solution and a concentrated brine, is provided, as well as the same system comprising a preheater utilizing solar heat for preheating seawater, an electrodialyser for separating seawater thus preheated by said preheater into said two portions, and means for supplying seawater to the preheater and then from the preheater to the electrodialyser. Various modifications of the above process and system are disclosed. According to the present inventions, electric power consumption in the electrodialysis is saved and solar heat is utilized effectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 1983
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1985
    Assignee: Babcock-Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Kaneda, Kenji Shibata, Mitugu Nomura, Fumihiko Sano
  • 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: 4521276
    Abstract: An apparatus for concentrating a dilute solution comprising a heat receiving thin plate which has a good thermal conductivity and is provided on its rear surface not facing a heat source with a liquid absorbing layer for absorbing a solution supplied thereto for concentration, and at least one condensation thin plate which has a good thermal conductivity and is provided with a liquid absorbing layer on at least one surface thereof, the heat receiving plate and the condensation plate or plates being arranged in parallel spaced relationship with each other and each of them being partly formed with at least one groove for supplying the solution to be concentrated to the liquid absorbing layers. A dilute solution supplied to and impregnated in the liquid absorbing layers through the grooves is concentrated by the heat supplied to the heat receiving plate or the latent heat of condensation released to the condensation plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1982
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1985
    Assignee: Oriental Metal Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenji Tsumura, Masayuki Yamashita
  • Patent number: 4507175
    Abstract: A novel fractional distillation process and applications thereof to the production of thermal or mechanical energy from two low level heat sources wherein a mixture of two highly non-ideal reactive solutions such, for example, as of the water/ammonia type, is separated into its water and ammonia components in an apparatus comprising a cascade of condensers and evaporators operating respectively at the temperature of the cold source and at the temperature of the hot source and at staggered pressures. The residue and distillate formed are remixed in a mixing apparatus when it is desired to recover the thermal energy of dilution of the solutions.The invention is applicable, in particular, to the heating of buildings from low level thermal energy and from the thermal energy of "cold wind".
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1983
    Date of Patent: March 26, 1985
    Assignee: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique C.N.R.S.
    Inventor: Pierre Y. J. Le Goff
  • 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: 4492039
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method and apparatus for drying and handling sludge. Sludge is conveyed or transferred into a rotary drying chamber that may be housed within a structure such as a solar drying structure. The rotary drying chamber is provided with a perforated side wall structure. As the rotary drying chamber is rotated, the action of the sludge within the drying chamber results in the sludge being transferred from the drying chamber through the side wall structure thereof. In particular, as the sludge is dried, the movement of the sludge within the drying chamber and particularly the impact of the sludge against the internal side wall structure of the drying chamber causes the sludge to be forced outwardly through the perforated side wall structure of the drying chamber in a spaghetti-like fashion. That is, the dried sludge is emitted through the side wall portion of the drying chamber in the form of relatively small spaghetti-like portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1983
    Date of Patent: January 8, 1985
    Inventors: Allen C. Chao, Barney K. Huang, James S. J. Wang
  • Patent number: 4488935
    Abstract: An apparatus for the distillation of a fluid containing at least two constituent components is disclosed. The apparatus includes a microwave energy source and a solar energy collector, both of which may be used to heat a subject fluid to a greater temperature for the purpose of distillation of same. Further, the disclosed invention combines a vacuum within the apparatus to facilitate operation and enhance the overall energy efficiency of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 18, 1984
    Inventor: Rodney C. Ruhe
  • Patent number: 4487659
    Abstract: Solar distillation apparatus is disclosed in which the released heat of condensation of the condensing liquid is recovered in a transparent conduit disposed over the liquid to be distilled. Solar energy passes through the transparent conduit and is received on an undulated plate system over which the liquid to be distilled is conducted. A cooling fluid is circulated through the conduit to absorb heat released by the condensing liquid. In one embodiment, the conduit does not concentrate the solar energy. The conduit is preferably disposed at an angle of up to about with the horizontal so that the system is subjected to minimal pressure. In another embodiment the conduit defines a fluid lens system which concentrates the solar energy on the plate system. Provision is also made to recover heat from the condensate and a concentrate of the liquid to be distilled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1980
    Date of Patent: December 11, 1984
    Assignee: North American Utility Construction Corp.
    Inventor: Virgil Stark
  • Patent number: 4478685
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided for converting sea or other undrinkable waters to drinkable water without the use of driven or moving parts. Reliance upon gradient effects is made to effect the vaporization of, for example, sea water, followed by the condensation of the vapor to form distilled water. Gradient effects are achieved through the provision of differentials in the thermal conductivity, capillary activity, adsorptive, absorptive and/or pressure characteristics of particulate materials, or combinations of such physicals. For example, a column is packed with material graded as to its conductivity, the least thermally conductive material being nearest the cold or ambient water that is to be purified. In packing the column each successive layer of material has a greater thermal conductivity than the layer beneath it with the most conductive being at the top near the outlet arm of the column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 23, 1984
    Inventor: C. Walter Mortenson
  • Patent number: 4459970
    Abstract: Applicant's invention comprises a system for the generation and distribution of steam by solar energy comprising apparatus for the solar energy generation of steam. The system is comprised of an enclosed structure to be erected over the surface of a body of source water with the structure containing a plurality of transparent lenses which are adapted to receive incident solar rays and which force these rays at or just below the surface of the source water within a limited area. This causes surface boiling of the source water which generates steam within the enclosed structure.The system also comprises distribution conduits from the enclosed structure to places remote from the structure and booster stations which communicate with the apparatus through the conduits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1981
    Date of Patent: July 17, 1984
    Inventor: Douglas Clee
  • Patent number: 4459177
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus is disclosed in which solar heated air is drawn down a hole in the earth by a draft from a solar heated convection column located above the surface of the earth, the hot air being initially drawn downwards to a depth at which damp, moist earth is encountered with the hot air thereby evaporating water from the damp earth and producing water vapor and increasing the moisture content of the heated air and as this damp air is subsequently drawn back to the surface by the draft from the same solar heated convection column, it is allowed to contact cooled plates near the surface, the water vapor thereby condensing on the plates from which it is collected for irrigation or other purposes. In various embodiments either vertical or horizontal porous tubes in the ground contact the moist earth to bring the moisture of the earth into contact with the heated air flowing through the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 1981
    Date of Patent: July 10, 1984
    Inventor: Louis R. O'Hare