Buoyant Or Inflatable Working Member Patents (Class 416/84)
  • Patent number: 10710689
    Abstract: A power generation method and device utilizes fluid currents to generate power by rotating a rotation element which in turn rotates a cable which turns components within a power generator to generate the power. The rotation element is positioned within the fluid and is able to move to different depths as desired. The power generator is positioned inside or outside of the fluid. The rotation element is able to be a helix, helix-propeller, propeller or any other practical design. The rotation element is also able to implement additional components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Inventor: William Dwight Young
  • Patent number: 10543900
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling movement of an aircraft. An aerodynamic function desired for controlling the movement of the aircraft at a particular altitude is identified. The aerodynamic function identified is part of a group of aerodynamic functions used to control the movement of the aircraft at a number of different altitudes. A group of inflatable blades is filled with a fluid to a pressure that corresponds to the aerodynamic function. The group of inflatable blades at the pressure has a shape and a group of dimensions that provide the aerodynamic function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Roger David Bernhardt, Donald V. Drouin, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9033664
    Abstract: A blade for use in water, the blade comprising an outer shell of fiber reinforced plastic defining a cavity. A substantial portion of the cavity is filled with a resin which adheres to the inner wall of the shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: Blade Dynamics, Ltd.
    Inventors: Paul Trevor Hayden, David Anthony Whiley, Derek Ness
  • Publication number: 20150086364
    Abstract: A device, which is autonomous or which can be associated with another structure, for propulsion in a liquid environment is described. The device has a bladder body made of a soft material, developing along and around a central longitudinal axis, defining an internal chamber between a dorsal wall and a ventral wall; in the bladder body, an inlet opening and an outlet opening of a liquid in and out of the chamber, arranged at a longitudinal end of the body; and drive means for driving a contraction of the bladder, arranged on the dorsal wall and having a mechanical connection with the ventral to cyclically attract the ventral wall to the dorsal wall, thereby causing a pulsed ejection of a propeller jet from the chamber through the outlet opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2013
    Publication date: March 26, 2015
    Inventors: Andrea Arienti, Francesco Giorgio Serchi
  • Publication number: 20140377066
    Abstract: A portable airborne wind-energy power conversion system, alone or in a modular array, wherein each portable airborne system comprises tethered airship, hydrogen generation system, hydrogen recovery system, and control system, wherein the tethered airship comprises a self-inflating horizontal-axis wind turbine rotor, an electrical generator, a self-inflating aerodynamic shroud surrounding the wind turbine rotor, and stabilizing fins, wherein the aerodynamic shroud has the geometry of a wind concentrator and diffuser in fluid communication with the wind turbine rotor that is located in the narrowest section of the shroud between the concentrator and diffuser sections of said shroud, wherein the airship is additionally self-deflating and the entire system is collapsible into a volume less than one tenth of its original size, so that the portable airborne system can be easily transported, stored, or relocated, wherein the system can continue to produce usable power, even during the process of self-deflation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventor: Alexander Anatoliy Anderson
  • Publication number: 20140255189
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for operating an airfoil system. A gas may be generated. The gas may be sent into an inflatable airfoil system comprising an inflatable air foil and a section. The inflatable airfoil may have an inner end and an outer end in which the inflatable airfoil may be comprised of a number of materials that substantially pass electromagnetic waves through the inflatable airfoil. The section may have a number of openings in which the inner end of the inflatable airfoil may be associated with the section. The section may be configured to be associated with a fuselage. The number of openings may be configured to provide communications with an interior of the inflatable airfoil. The section with the number of openings may be configured to reduce reflection of the electromagnetic waves encountering the section.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2014
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Kevin Reed Lutke, Aaron Jonathan Kutzmann
  • Publication number: 20140248151
    Abstract: Provided is a floating water wave energy collection and conversion system, which comprises at least two buoyant members (101, 102) floating on the surface of the water and connected movably with each other in series, wherein the movable connection can be a hinged connection. A power transmission device and an energy conversion device (103) are provided on the buoyant members and the power transmission device and the energy conversion device (103) of adjacent buoyant members (101, 102) are movably connected with each other, being able to make a relative movement with respect to each other. As water waves fluctuate, two adjacent buoyant members (101, 102) rotate relatively, with an axis of a hinge shaft as the centre line, so as to drive the power transmission device and the energy conversion device (103) on the buoyant members to make a relative movement, thereby achieving energy conversion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Publication date: September 4, 2014
    Applicant: SHENZHEN ROMER ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Wanzhang Dong, Guilin Wang
  • Patent number: 8720153
    Abstract: A method for creating a tapered spiral welded conical structure where the overall shape of the cone is first graphically slit axially and unwrapped, and then a series of construction arcs and lines are created to form the edge lines of a strip that can then be wrapped (rolled) to form a tapered conical structure. The edges of the spirally wound strip can be welded together, and a very large conical structure can thus be achieved. Various construction options are presented from a constant width strip to strip made from straight segments. Equations are given for the formation of the strips to enable those skilled in the art of spiral welded tubing to practice the invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Keystone Tower Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Eric Smith, Alexander Slocum
  • Publication number: 20140105742
    Abstract: This invention provides rapid, on-demand increase in buoyancy of a kayak or canoe paddle. The invention includes any method to increase paddle buoyancy including but not limited to automotive air bag technology (explosive gas), compressed gas or other means. The paddle shafts are hollow and can contain all the devices to provide the inflation. Multiple triggers on the shaft and handle provide for positive operation only when demanded by the paddler.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2012
    Publication date: April 17, 2014
    Inventor: Stewart Nelson Pollin
  • Publication number: 20140072428
    Abstract: A wind turbine assembly comprising an inflatable rotor assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Inventor: Paul A. Chambers
  • Publication number: 20130251527
    Abstract: The Sail Enhanced Wind Turbine System will increase the output of the wind turbine within the system by increasing the amount of force, or wind, being applied to the turbine. A sail generates force in a direction by collecting air and directing it. By mounting a sail such that the force of the sail may be directed onto the turbine, and operating the sail such that the force is directed onto the turbine, the wind turbine becomes more efficient with an increased output.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2012
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Inventor: Troy Edward Schmidt
  • Publication number: 20130224020
    Abstract: A wind turbine platform is configured for floating in a body of water and includes a hull defining a hull cavity therein. The hull is formed from reinforced concrete. A tower is configured to mount a wind turbine and is also connected to the hull. An anchor member is connected to the hull and to the seabed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 4, 2011
    Publication date: August 29, 2013
    Applicant: THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE SYSTEM BOARD OF TRUSTEES
    Inventors: Habib J. Dagher, Anthony M. Viselli, Andrew J. Goupee
  • Patent number: 8393850
    Abstract: A wind turbine has an impeller surrounded by a turbine shroud and/or an ejector shroud, wherein the turbine shroud and/or the ejector shroud include inflatable portions and/or flexible inflatable portions. In some embodiments, the turbine shroud and/or the ejector shroud include internal rib members whose shape or length can be changed to alter the characteristics of the wind turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: FloDesign Wind Turbine Corp.
    Inventors: Michael J. Werle, William Scott Keeley, Thomas J. Kennedy, III, Walter M. Presz, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20130034441
    Abstract: A multiple-layer structure of inflatable device capable of pressure resistance includes a gasbag unit and a reinforcing shape-forming net. The gasbag unit includes a gas inlet, a flexible waterproof inner tube for fluid communication with the gas inlet, and a flexible material of outer tube covering the flexible waterproof inner tube, wherein the gasbag unit and the reinforcing shape-forming net covering the gasbag unit are both in independent structures. When the gasbag unit become expanded over the reinforcing shape-forming net, the reinforcing shape-forming net will resist the applied force from the gasbag unit, so that the gasbag unit can be made of a light weight material and thus the maintenance and renew become easy. The present invention is not only easy in maintenance but also efficiently reducing cost for all kinds of inflatable products and environment protection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Publication date: February 7, 2013
    Inventors: Xiao Ming Jin, Tao Jin, Henry Lam
  • Patent number: 8308422
    Abstract: In a hydroelectric turbine having a rotor disposed within a stator housing, the rotor having an annular outer rim received by a channel in the stator housing, the improvement comprising a buoyant rotor, the rotor preferably having buoyancy chambers disposed within the rotor. The buoyancy chambers may be disposed within the annular outer rim, the blades or an annular inner rim, or combinations thereof. Preferably, the buoyancy chambers are filled with a material having a specific gravity of one or less, and most preferably the filler material is a polymer foam that adds rigidity to the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: OpenHydro Group Limited
    Inventor: Herbert Williams
  • Patent number: 8177480
    Abstract: The invention provides a system for producing electricity from the channel, river, ocean or tidal water currents and wind. Each system module contains a vertical axis fluid driven turbine positioned in a protecting housing. The turbine employs a plurality of rotating paddles with mutually perpendicularly oriented asymmetric blades that are non-rotatably fixed by their leading edges to the poles at both ends. The high efficiency of the turbine comes from creating maximum drug force by vertically oriented blades on the power generating side and practically zero frictional force produced by blades on the resting side of the turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Inventor: Edouard Petrounevitch
  • Patent number: 8102068
    Abstract: A buoyant hydro turbine(31) for capturing and utilizing energy in the currents of flowing water. A driven component(33) produces electricity or other energy is coupled to and supported by a buoyant rotor(64), increasing efficiency and eliminating the need for an independent supporting structure. Tethered in flowing water, the current(71) rotates the rotors(32) and transfers rotatable energy to the central driven component(33) where electricity or other mechanical work is produced. A number of embodiments are adapted for optimizing and maintaining positioning in a stream of moving water. Additional embodiments optimizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the turbine in capturing and utilizing the current's kinetic energy as well as hydrostatic pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2012
    Inventor: Brent Lee Gutekunst
  • Patent number: 8096763
    Abstract: A method for converting kinetic energy in horizontal currents of naturally occurring fluids above ground into mechanical energy. A circulating element is guided in a closed cycle and is arranged substantially in a plane parallel to the ground. The circulating element has two lengthwise adjustable traction ropes/chains fastened in two opposite positions. The ropes/chains have buoyancy elements at their free ends. The buoyancy elements have cross-sections for the current to impact. In an embodiment, a traction rope/chain fixed to a section of the circulating element facing the horizontal current is adjusted to be longer than the traction rope/chain fixed to a section of the circulating element facing away from horizontal current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: NTS Energie- und Transportsysteme GmbH
    Inventor: Uwe Ahrens
  • Patent number: 8002523
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for harvesting fluid energy including a wave turbine consisting of a long shaft having pairs of buckets positioned at intervals along the shaft and rotated 90 degrees from each adjacent pair. Each bucket is connected at an offset angle with respect to a plane that is normal to the shaft. When adapted for harnessing wave energy, the shaft is elevated above water surface and positioned at an oblique angle to the prevailing wave fronts. Each bucket is positively buoyant, so that buckets capture both potential and kinetic wave energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Inventor: Saxon D. Borden
  • Patent number: 7938623
    Abstract: An inflatable rotor blade for a wind turbine includes a flexible skin. The flexible skin assumes, when inflated by means of an inflation medium, the shape of an airfoil which has an inner cavity. When the inner cavity is formed, at least one stiffener unit is arranged in the inner cavity of the rotor blade and maintains the airfoil shape of the flexible skin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Ronald Ralph Cairo
  • Publication number: 20110070083
    Abstract: A wind turbine body and a wind turbine are disclosed. The wind turbine body has a curved body and a plurality of blades. The curved body includes a front portion, a rear portion, and a middle portion between the front portion and the rear portion. The curved body is configured such that at least the middle portion rotates about an axis of rotation. A diameter of the curved body gradually increases from the front portion to the middle portion, and gradually decreases from the middle portion to the rear portion. The blades are attached to and around the middle portion about the axis of rotation. The blades are configured to convert an airflow into rotational motion of the middle portion. The wind turbine includes a wind turbine body and a fin at the rear portion. The fin is configured to steer the wind turbine about a steering axis so that the front portion faces the airflow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 17, 2010
    Publication date: March 24, 2011
    Inventor: Salomo Murtonen
  • Publication number: 20110038727
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a novel adaptive aerostructure is presented that relies on certified aerospace materials and can therefore be applied in conventional passenger aircraft. This structure consists of a honeycomb material which cells extend over a significant length perpendicular to the plane of the cells. Each of the cells contains an inelastic pouch (or bladder) that forms a circular tube when the cell forms a perfect hexagon. By changing the cell differential pressure (CDP) the stiffness of the honeycomb can be altered. Using an external force or the elastic force within the honeycomb material, the honeycomb can be deformed such that the cells deviate from their perfect-hexagonal shape. It can be shown that by increasing the CDP, the structure eventually returns to a perfect hexagon. By doing so, a fully embedded pneumatic actuator is created that can perform work and substitute conventional low-bandwidth flight control actuators.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Publication date: February 17, 2011
    Applicant: UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
    Inventors: Roelof Vos, Ronald M. Barrett
  • Publication number: 20100266406
    Abstract: A turbine arrangement for extracting energy from flowing water, the turbine arrangement s including a screw turbine with a suspension means, buoyancy element and bottom mount, and necessary transmission elements for transmitting energy to a power machine, and the turbine arrangement including at least two parallel screw turbines.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 19, 2009
    Publication date: October 21, 2010
    Inventor: Jan Inge Eielsen
  • Patent number: 7775761
    Abstract: According to some embodiments, systems and methods for tethered wind turbines may be provided. In some embodiments, a system may comprise an airborne body extending horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point, wherein the body is at least partially filled with a gas. The system may further comprise, for example, two or more vanes coupled to the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis are operable to cause the body to rotate about the axis to generate a Magnus effect lifting force. According to some embodiments, the system may comprise one or more tethers coupled to anchor the body to a third point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson
  • Publication number: 20100143130
    Abstract: An inflatable rotor blade for a wind turbine includes a flexible skin. The flexible skin assumes, when inflated by means of an inflation medium, the shape of an airfoil which has an inner cavity. When the inner cavity is formed, at least one stiffener unit is arranged in the inner cavity of the rotor blade and maintains the airfoil shape of the flexible skin.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 26, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Inventor: Ronald Ralph Cairo
  • Publication number: 20100111696
    Abstract: A counterbalanced orthogonal hydropower system for generating electricity comprises -an upper and lower turbines made as ring-shaped platforms, each incorporating a rotor, the turbines include hydro-dynamical blades positioned to rotate the turbines in opposite directions, -variously disposed inductors, -a tower mounted on a water reservoir's bottom, -a frame, supported by the tower and peripherally surrounded by a rigid polygon-shaped structure having vertexes, -units for rotatable support of the turbines associated with the frame, and -units for support of the inductors, wherein the latters are attached to the vertexes through spring-loaded hinges. It may also comprise units for support of the circular shape of platforms, for braking rotation of the turbines, for unloading the turbines from lateral forces, and for unloading the turbines from vertical forces. The top turbine may have negative buoyancy, while the bottom turbine and frame may have positive buoyancy. The frame can be made of hollow rods.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2009
    Publication date: May 6, 2010
    Inventor: Victor Lyatkher
  • Patent number: 7682126
    Abstract: A device is described for the conversion of energy from free flowing water into electric, hydraulic, or pneumatic power using a submersible system of turbine propellers mounted on horizontal shafts supported by chambers, each containing switchgear and/or generators and air or water ballast. The device is tethered to the seabed by a cable. Free of a rigid vertical support, the device can yaw so that water flow in any direction can be used for power generation, as in a tidal basin. In response to sensing the water velocity of the water channel, the device actively seeks a nominal water velocity, ascending or descending as necessary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2010
    Inventor: David Joseph Parker
  • Publication number: 20090285681
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for converting the kinetic energy contained in horizontal currents of naturally occurring fluids that float above ground to useful mechanical energy. At least one circulating element (1) is guided in a closed cycle and is arranged substantially in a plane parallel to the ground. On said element, at least two lengthwise adjustable traction ropes (6, 7) and or traction chains are fastened in at least two substantially opposite positions. Said ropes or chains have buoyancy elements (8) at their free ends, said buoyancy elements having respective cross-sections for the current to impact.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2007
    Publication date: November 19, 2009
    Inventor: Uwe Ahrens
  • Patent number: 7465147
    Abstract: Portable power generating devices are provided for converting potential energy from flowing water, water current, blowing air or air current to mechanical and/or electrical energy. The potential energy is converted to a rotational movement, and the rotational energy is communicated to power conversion units for conversion, wherein the rotational movement is converted to mechanical, electrical or some other useable or useful energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2008
    Assignee: Natural Forces, LLC
    Inventors: Michael D. Platt, Eric E. Platt
  • Patent number: 7335000
    Abstract: According to some embodiments, systems and methods for tethered wind turbines may be provided. In some embodiments, a system may comprise an airborne body extending horizontally along an axis between a first point and a second point, wherein the body is at least partially filled with a gas. The system may further comprise, for example, two or more vanes coupled to the body such that the vanes, when acted upon by a wind force perpendicular to the axis are operable to cause the body to rotate about the axis to generate a Magnus effect lifting force. According to some embodiments, the system may comprise one or more tethers coupled to anchor the body to a third point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2008
    Assignee: Magenn Power, Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson
  • Patent number: 7204674
    Abstract: A rotor for a wind power installation having at least one rotor blade. The smaller the surface area on which the wind acts, that is to say in particular the rotor blade area, the correspondingly lower is the load level for which installation has to be designed and the correspondingly more easily can the rotor blade be transported. On the other hand the size of the wind power installation entails minimum dimensions which are unavoidable for operation and below which the installation dimensions may not fall. In order to provide a rotor blade which on the one hand has the aerodynamically required surface area but which on the other hand is so designed that the surface area of the rotor blade and therewith the depth thereof can be reduced in predetermined situations a part of the surface of the rotor blade is deformmable or movable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2007
    Inventor: Aloys Wobben
  • Patent number: 7011501
    Abstract: A system (1) designed to generate energy with the aid of, primarily, sea currents, comprising a rotation body (4) having a front inlet side (2) and a rear outlet side (3), and at least one transfer member (6) connected between the inlet side (2) and a generator (5). The rotation body has a conical and/or bulb shaped, tapering section (8, 9) extending from a substantially cylindrical waist section (7) in direction towards the inlet side, and a conical and/or concave or flat portion extending in the opposite direction from the outlet side, said waist section being along its circumference provided with close to each other mounted blades (10) for the purpose of maintaining a rotation of the rotation body, the free, front end of which is at the same time secured to the transfer member (6) in order to transfer a rotational movement to the generator (5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2006
    Assignee: Water Crossing, Inc.
    Inventor: Björn Lindberg
  • Patent number: 6840740
    Abstract: A turbine bucket dovetail secures buckets in a turbine rotor. The turbine bucket dovetail includes a plurality of hooks engageable with a wheel post of the turbine rotor, which hooks extend in an axial direction relative to the turbine rotor. A pocket is machined in a tangential face of the dovetail, resulting in reduced peak stress in the wheel post dovetail edge at the gate opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Gary Edward Yehle, Wayne Alan Lillibridge, Noel Jacob Bylina
  • Patent number: 6806586
    Abstract: A marine current power installation that takes energy from marine currents. The marine current power installation takes kinetic energy of flow from the marine current and converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy. The marine current water power installation is used below the water level, for example, more than 50 m below the water level. The power installation can make a relatively large amount of power available even when the flow speed of the marine current is relatively low, for example, in the region of 1.5 m/sec or less. The water power installation has a water wheel or a rotor (turbine or propeller) which is of a diameter of, for example, 10 m or more, preferably between 30 m and 120 m.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Inventor: Aloys Wobben
  • Patent number: 6764275
    Abstract: A fluid displacement rotational assembly includes a frame, a support structure supporting the frame for rotating an axle connected to the frame, chamber members coupled to the frame and each chamber member being arranged diametrically opposed by an associated one of the plurality of chamber members to form a plurality of diametrically opposed chamber member pairs, a plurality of conduits coupled to extend between the chamber members of the diametrically opposed chamber member pairs such that the chamber members of each diametrically opposed chamber member pair are in environmental communication with each other, a plurality of pistons slidably mounted in the chamber members such that the pistons in each diametrically opposed chamber member pair form a fluid chamber between each piston of the diametrically opposed chamber member pair and extending through the conduit of the diametrically opposed chamber member pair, and a fluid positioned in each fluid chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Inventor: Dennis L. Carr
  • Patent number: 6616403
    Abstract: A device for obtaining electric power from moving water, made up of a floating cylindrical body having a first end extending to a second end along a cylindrical surface having at least two blades. Each end of the floating cylindrical body is fixedly connected to a waterwheel sprocket, and rotatably connected to an arm pivotally connected to an anchor. The waterwheel sprockets are connected to a generator sprocket by a drive means. When the new device is placed and held in a body of moving water, the moving water impacts against the blades and causes the floating cylindrical body to rotate. The rotation of the floating cylindrical body causes the first and second waterwheel sprockets to rotate and move the drive means which are connected to a generator and in turn create electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Inventors: Matt H. Smith, Spencer A. Smith
  • Patent number: 6217284
    Abstract: An oscillating fluid flow motor and a fluid flow power system that converts the energy in the flowing fluid to mechanical energy through a vane that automatically sweeps back and forth across the flow. In one embodiment of the oscillating fluid flow motor, the motor includes (1) a support structure, (2) an elongated swing arm pivotably and rotatably mounted to the support structure, (3) a vane having a concave face, (4) an elastic link operatively coupled in tension between the swing arm and a support, and (5) a direction control mechanism operatively coupled to the swing arm. The vane is connected to the swing arm so that, upon rotation of the swing arm about its longitudinal axis, the orientation of the concave face of the vane changes relative to the flow of a fluid confronting the face. The direction control mechanism is operative to selectively re-orient the face of the vane at each of two points that define the ends of the bidirectional stroke of the swing arm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Inventor: Brant E. Lawrence
  • Patent number: 5946909
    Abstract: A series of floating turbine rotors each have a tubular hub with outwardly projecting blades, and the rotors are connected in general axial alignment by a flexible driven shaft. The shaft includes tubular floating connector shafts and flexible couplings, and each rotor is connected to drive the shaft through a one-way ratchet clutch. One or more lines of the connected floating rotors are anchored within moving water of a river or in the waves flowing into a seashore, and the rotors drive each flexible shaft which, in turn, drives an electric generator through a fly-wheel and a power converter or drives an air compressor for producing compressed air which is stored in underground tanks and later used to drive an electric generator through an air turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Swort International, Inc.
    Inventor: Roman Szpur
  • Patent number: 5324988
    Abstract: A system for generating electric power using undersea waves against a bag structure, mounted movably on a tower. The bag structure is made of large nylon bag, filled with compressed sea water and extending for 50 meters or more down, surrounding the support tower. Arranged around a central hole in the bag structure are located numerous generator pods which contain generator/rectifier/chopper sets. These generator pods have gears which mesh with racks mounted vertically around the tower periphery, and also with racks mounted horizontally around the bag structure central hole circumference. Movement of the undersea waves causes the bag to rotate and move vertically up and down the tower, turning the generator pod gears which turn AC alternators, producing electric power. A system as described in the invention, standing in 300 meters depth or more could produce over 50 megawatts electric power, cleanly and at an economic cost per kilowatt-hour.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 28, 1994
    Inventor: Edwin Newman
  • Patent number: 5297925
    Abstract: This new invention, the water column floating pump, is a fluid pump which uses a rotationally symmetric container to pump fluid from an inlet reservoir to the outlet end of the rotationally symmetric container. The rotationally symmetric container is adapted to float with its axis of rotation vertical in a pump flotation chamber. The rotationally symmetric container floats and rotates in the fluid being pumped and uses the buoyancy of the fluid to carry its weight. A plurality of helically spiralling conduits proximate the periphery of the symmetric container forms a system of vacuum suction tubes designed to suck water from the inlet reservoir, proximate the bottom of the fluid pump, to the outlet end proximate the top of the container. The rotationally symmetric container operates at low rotational speed and requires a small horsepower motor to overcome water friction and water pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 29, 1994
    Inventors: Sek-Wah Lee, John C. Lee
  • Patent number: 4849647
    Abstract: A floating water turbine for taking the kinetic energy from linear current flow and converting it into mechanical energy and subsequently into electrical energy. The turbine is constructed of a buoyant material to support itself on top of the water, thereby eliminating any drag from the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1987
    Date of Patent: July 18, 1989
    Inventor: T. Curtis McKenzie
  • Patent number: 4789303
    Abstract: A marine emergency spare propeller kit includes a plastic floating spare propeller (4) mounted on a carry handle (20) having an axial shaft (22) extending through the propeller hub (10) and retained thereon by a plastic floating nut (8) which is threaded identically to the propeller drive shaft (6) of the marine drive (2). Carry handle 20 also conveniently transports the damaged propeller after replacement by the spare.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1988
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Michael E. Frazzell, Roger E. Koepsel, William J. Gius
  • Patent number: 4722665
    Abstract: A water turbine has a series of spaced blades attached to and extending around the periphery of a body portion, preferably of conical or similar shape; each of the blades has a leading end mounted at a mid region of the body e.g. halfway along it and each blade generally increases in radial dimension in the downstream direction towards the base of the body and each blade generally decreases in pitch of the blade surface in the downstream direction. A channel is defined between adjacent blades, the channel diverging in the downstream direction and the base of the body extends transversely to the axis of the body and co-operates with the blade structure to provide a zone of relative low pressure near the axial region of the body whereby an efficient water turbine is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1988
    Inventor: Warren N. Tyson
  • Patent number: 4692100
    Abstract: The interior of a hollow propeller blade is placed under vacuum for enhancing rigidity of the blade and reducing noise production during its rotation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1985
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1987
    Assignee: F.B.M. Hudon Italiana S.p.A.
    Inventor: Massimiliano Nardella
  • Patent number: 4552538
    Abstract: A multidirectional amphibious safety vehicle comprises an outer cylindrical shell having two opposite ends and a longitudinal axis therethrough; a stationary central pipe having two opposite ends and extending along the longitudinal axis of the outer cylindrical shell; elements, secured around the central pipe, for rotating the outer cylindrical shell about the central pipe whereby the safety vehicle moves forward and backward over land, water, and other terrain; and a motor, mounted on at least one of the two opposite ends of the central pipe, for driving the safety vehicle sideways on water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1985
    Inventors: Vincent Galluzzo, Angela Galluzzo, Victor T. Galluzzo
  • Patent number: 4547124
    Abstract: An impeller for a windmotor consists of a rigid hub attached to a rotatingly mounted shaft, an outer rim concentric with the hub and a number of radial vanes of a flexible material, such as fabric, stretched between the hub and the rim, whereby their angle of inclination decreases from their inner to their outer ends. The rim is likewise made of a flexible, non-permeable fabric or other material in the shape of a hollow torus, which is filled with a gas at a pressure sufficient to maintain the shape of the torus under the stresses of wind and other forces. The torus may be filled with hydrogen or helium, whereby the entire impeller becomes lighter than air, thus eliminating the weight factor with regard to impellers with very large diameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1985
    Inventors: Vladimir Kliatzkin, Joseph Krimerman, Eliezer Mayraz
  • Patent number: 4511808
    Abstract: An installation for exploiting the energy of flowing water in a river stream comprising a plurality of anchored pontoons supporting a plurality of waterwheels; the pontoons being arranged in a plurality of rows, the pontoons in each row being in tandem such that they form a multiplicity of longitudinal channels to channel water flow from the front to the rear of the installation and a plurality of transverse channels to channel water flow from the side of the installation to its center; the waterwheels having crankshafts that drive double acting piston pumps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 1982
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1985
    Inventor: Bernhard Jost
  • Patent number: 4450364
    Abstract: A lighter-than-air (LTA) wind energy conversion system (WECS) wherein the LTA envelope carries a main rotor and electrical generator to take advantage of high wind speeds available at high altitudes. The LTA envelope is adapted to rotate with the main rotor and is tethered to a ground based mooring system designed to provide self-orientation for the LTA envelope. In a preferred embodiment, a hollow bladed main rotor is provided at the midpoint of the rotating envelope. The rotor drives an induction turbine positioned within a substantially linear duct which is, in turn, preferably located along the longitudinal axis of the rotating LTA envelope. The output of the induction turbine is coupled to an electrical generator. In another embodiment, small wind-driven generators are positioned on the tips of the blades of the main rotor. The outputs of both embodiments are transmitted to the ground via the tethering system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 22, 1984
    Inventor: William R. Benoit
  • Patent number: 4379701
    Abstract: A buoyant apparatus propelled by a human operator has a pair of side by side annular floats and a pontoon rotatably mounted at the corners of a triangular frame. A pair of platforms are each mounted on the upperside of one of the annular floats. A plurality of paddles are mounted on the undersides of the floats at circumferentially spaced locations. The rotational axes of the floats converge upwardly, and the buoyancy of the floats is such that a person can be buoyantly supported in the water by the apparatus with the outboard portions of the floats raised out of the water sufficiently to result in forward propulsion when the person rotates the adjacent inboard portions of the floats rearwardly. This rotation may be done by the person engaging and rearwardly pushing the inboard portions of the platforms with his or her feet while sitting or standing. Alternatively, the floats may be rotated through a pedal drive operated by the person in a sitting position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1981
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1983
    Inventor: Constant V. David
  • Patent number: 4366936
    Abstract: An airship is provided utilizing a spherical balloon filled with buoyant gas such as helium at a pressure substantially greater than atmospheric so that its dimensions are substantially unaffected by changes in atmospheric pressure or temperature. The spherical balloon is rotatably mounted on a normally horizontal axle having end portions projecting from opposite sides of the balloon, and includes a rigid load supporting yoke including two arms extending upwardly from a central load supporting structure and each with an upper end suspended from the axle. The yoke arms carry engines which propel the airship in a forward direction transverse to the axle, and means are provided for rotating the balloon about the axle so that the balloon front surface moves upward relative to the centre of the balloon and provides lift due to the Magnus effect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1981
    Date of Patent: January 4, 1983
    Inventor: Frederick D. Ferguson