Title:
Fluid operated means
United States Patent 2251323


Abstract:
The invention relates to a fluid operated means for use in pumping liquid from a well. In well pumping practice in which the liquid of the well is elevated to the ground surface and evacuated therefrom by the introduction of gas under pressure to the bottom of the well and under a column of...



Inventors:
Burke, Mark P.
Application Number:
US20345238A
Publication Date:
08/05/1941
Filing Date:
04/21/1938
Assignee:
Burke, Mark P.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
91/274, 91/445, 92/30, 137/155, 137/624.14, 251/53, 251/63.4, 417/115
International Classes:
F04B47/00; F04F1/18
View Patent Images:



Description:

The invention relates to a fluid operated means for use in pumping liquid from a well.

In well pumping practice in which the liquid of the well is elevated to the ground surface and evacuated therefrom by the introduction of gas under pressure to the bottom of the well and under a column of liquid which is forced from the well as a slug, it is desirable to provide timing means which will act automatically at set intervals to deliver the gas to the well. When this type of apparatus is used it is necessary to establish a flow of gas into the well until the slug of liquid is forced entirely out of the well, and then to interrupt the flow of gas from its source of supply and into the well while allowing the pump chamber at the bottom of the well to refill.

It will be appreciated that the time required to flow a well or to force a slug of liquid from a well may not be the same in all cases, and that furthermore the time required for the pump chamber to refill with liquid will be different in different wells, depending upon the production flow from the formation, the depth of the well, and the amount of liquid to be discharged or pumped as a slug in each pumping cycle. Several types of intermitters for this purpose have been used, some being controlled by gas, others by time clocks, and others by electrical controls as shown in my Patent No. 1,803,837 issued to me May 5, 1931.

The present invention contemplates the provision of a timing mechanism in which compressed gas is the motive fluid. The timing structure includes two receiving chambers of relatively large capacity, the opposite ends of which are open and in free communication with the receiving chambers, the diameter of the cylinder being of smaller area than the receiving chamber with which it communicates. A piston reciprocates within the cylinder, the ends of the piston being acted upon by the pressure of the gas in the receiving chambers, while yieldable resistance acts upon the piston to hold it in either of its extreme positions until the pressure of the operating fluid has built up in one of the receiving chambers to a degree whereby the resistance will be overcome and the piston will move to its other extreme position, and will thereby instantly open or close a main flow valve. Interposed in the flow line of the operating fluid to the receiving chambers is a valve mechanism which changes position incident to reciprocation of the piston, whereby the flow of pressure fluid will be delivered alternately to the receiving chambers and will build up in the receiving chamber toward which the piston has reciprocated in the immediately preceding pump cycle, said valve being so arranged as to completely interrupt flow of operating fluid to one cylinder while the other cylinder is filling and regulating means being provided to control the rate of inflowing operating fluid and exhaust.

The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawing in which: Figure 1 is a view in sectional elevation with parts broken away to show a typical installation of the invention in well pumping practice.

Fig. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing the construction of the intermitter with the valves in their closed position, indicated by solid lines, and the parts in their opened position indicated by dotted lines.

Referring more particularly to Fig. 1 of the drawing, 10 indicates a well casing formed at its lower end with a perforated screen or liner 11.

The upper end of the well casing is closed in with suitable means, such as that generally indicated at 12, and extending downwardly through the packing member 12 is a fluid lift pumping mechanism broadly comprising a tubing 13 within which a macaroni tube 14 is positioned. At the lower end of the tubing 13 a foot valve 15 is provided, and at a point in the length of the macaroni tubing 14 and housed within the tubing 13 is a displacement valve structure generally indicated at 16. The details of the displacement valve structure are more clearly shown in my copending divisional application entitled "Fluid lift valve" filed by me March 3, 1939, Serial No. 259,538.

Above the surface of the ground a structure designated as an intermitter is indicated at 11.

The details of this structure and its mode of operation will be more particularly disclosed with reference to Fig. 2 of the drawing.

The lower end of the macaroni tubing 14 terminates short of the length of the well tubing 13 within which it is housed. This permits the free flow of fluid from the pump tubing 13 into the macaroni tubing 14 when the foot valve 15 is closed and insures that when the foot valve 15 is opened fluid may flow freely through the perforated casing 11, thence through the foot valve 15 and into the well tubing 13 and the macaroni tubing 14. As shown in the drawing, the macaroni tubing 14 is of materially less diameter than the internal diameter of the well tubing 13, thus, an annular fluid space 18 occurs between the tubings 13 and 14 and circumscribes the tubing .14. The intermitter 17 is designed to be used with various types of apparatus in which it is necessary to deliver fluid under pressure from a source of supply into a conduit and to permit fluid under pressure to be exhausted from the conduit, the periods of delivery and exhaust being alternately created for desired duration. Such apparatus is the pump structure shown in Fig. 1 of the present drawing, and which is preferably used in connection with the fluid flow device disclosed and described in my co-pending divisional application, as above mentioned. This particular device is automatic in its action and is controlled by a fluid delivered under constant pressure.

The structure includes a balanced valve 53; this valve includes a housing 54 formed with dual valve seats 55. The valve seats 55 receive separate movable valve elements 56, one being provided for each seat. The two valve elements 56 are mounted upon a valve stem 57 which extends upwardly through a stuffing gland 58. A spring coupling 59 connects the upper end of the valve stem 57 with a valve operating rod 60. This rod is in longitudinal alignment with the stem 57 and extends through a housing 61, which housing is divided into parallel regulating chambers 62 and 63. The regulating chambers are separated by an intermediate partition wall 64. This wall carries a cylinder 65, which is open at its opposite ends and would form a direct passageway between the two chambers 62 and 63 if it were not for the provision of a piston G6, which is secured upon the valve operating rod 60 and reciprocates within the cylinder 65. Attention is directed to the fact that the cylinder 65 is of uniform diameter throughout and that it is open at its opposite ends. It will also be seen that the cylinder is of smaller diameter than the receiving chamber with which it communicates, this diameter being calculated in a manner to insure that a predetermined pressure of operating fluid will build up in the receiving chambers 62 and 63 before sufficient pressure will be exerted upon the relatively small area of the piston ends to snap the piston from one of its positions to the other.

Suitable packing means 67 is carried at or adjacent the opposite ends of the piston to form a fluid seal between the piston and the cylinder.

The opposite walls of the housing 61 through which the valve operating rod 60 passes are formed with stuffing glands 68. The upper stuffing gland is mounted upon a removable plug 69, which permits the piston to be introduced into the housing 6 and into position through the cylinder 65. The piston is adjustably mounted upon the valve operating rod 60 by nuts 70. The piston itself is formed with a pair of circumferentially extending ball grooves 71 and 72. A lock ball 73 is mounted within a bore 74 formed in the partition wall 64. This ball is fitted with a seat 75 within the bore 74 and yieldably urged outwardly by spring 76. An adjusting screw 77 is provided to establish a desired compression upon the spring 76. The lock ball 73 will temporarily hold the piston in one of its extreme positions until a sufficient pressure has built up against an end of the piston to force the lock ball 73 out of the groove 71 or 72 in which it is seated and to permit the piston to move to its other extreme position.

A cross head 78 is carried by the upper end of the valve operating rod 60 and is fitted with a valve rod 79, upon which a slide valve 80 is mounted. This valve is enclosed within a valve housing 81 and slides with relation to a valve base plate 82. The base plate is formed with ports 83, 84 and 85. The ports 83 and 85 are working ports and the intermediate port 84 is an exhaust port. The slide valve element alternately establishes communication with one of the working ports and the exhaust, as will be hereinafter explained. The working port 83 is fitted with a conduit 86, which leads to an adjustable needle valve 87. Fluid flow is regulated through the needle valve to the chamber 62 within the i 0 housing 61. The conduit 86 is also provided with a connection 88 leading from the conduit into the chamber 62 separately from the needle valve and within which a check valve 89 is disposed.

This check valve permits exhaust of fluid from the chamber 62 but does not permit it to enter.

The working port 85 is provided with a conduit 90 leading to needle valve 91. This needle valve regulates the flow of fluid into the chamber 63.

A connection 92 establishes communication between the conduit 90 and the chamber 63 and is fitted with a check valve 93, which allows exit of fluid from the chamber 63 but does not permit it to enter. The slide valve 80 moves from one position to another by reciprocation of the valve rod 79, which passes through a stuffing gland 94 in the valve housing 81.

Fig. 2 of the drawing shows the interval between operations of the piston 66 as effected by the fluid in either chamber 62 or 63 is directly S3 and accurately controlled by adjustment of the needle valves 87 and 91. It is to be understood, however, that this regulation might be determined by varying the capacities of the chambers with relation to each other and in fact by embodying the structure in a cylinder similar to cylinder 65 but with different dimensions and capacities than here shown.

In operation of the present invention it is to be understood that the casing 10 has been set in a well together with a perforated casing section 11, so that fluid from the geological formation may enter the well and will, due to its pressure, open the foot valve 15 and flow into the pump tubing 13 and the macaroni tubing 14. If the pressure is sufficiently great the fluid will then fill the space 18 between the two tubings until it has reached the valve head 21, where it will be stopped. It is possible that the quantity of liquid in the well will not reach such a high level. The liquid within the macaroni tubing will also reach a level as determined by the pressure of the fluid within the well and the quantity which will accumulate in a predetermined idle period of the lift.

It will thus be evident that the quantity of fluid standing in the macaroni tube 14 and the quantity standing within the space 18 surrounding the macaroni tube in a given period will be the quantity to be elevated from the well at one pumping impulse.

When the well is filling with liquid, as previously described, a fluid will be introduced into the slide valve housing 81 through a pipe 95.

This pipe connects with a suitable source of fluid under regulated pressure, here generally indico cated at 96. The regulated fluid will then pass into the housing 81, thence through the port 83 into the conduit 86, it will then flow through the needle valve 87 into the chamber 62 of the intermitter housing 61. The needle valve has been adjusted to regulate the inflow of pressure fluid from the conduit 86. This fluid will continue to accumulate within the chamber 62 until it has overcome the frictional action exerted by the lock ball 73, which for the time being has been seated within the groove 71 of the piston 66.

The degree of pressure required is set by the adjusting screw 77. The valve operating rod 60 will move upwardly when the piston is thus released and will move the valve stem 57 to lift the balanced valves 56 from their seats 55. At this time gas under predetermined pressure will pass from a gas supply pipe 97 and will flow through the valve housing 54 to the pump tubing 13. It will then flow downwardly in the space 18', which occurs within the pipe 13 and around the macaroni tube 14.

The fluid which flows down the space 18 will actuate the valve structure generally indicated at 16 in the drawing. Incident to the operation of this valve structure it is necessary to interrupt the flow of pressure fluid and to permit an exhaust of the same.

Attention is directed to the fact that the sectional area of the chamber 18 and the macaroni tube is so proportioned with relation to the volume of gas entering the chamber 18 and the velocity with which it enters as to insure that the gas will act against the accumulated body of liquid to produce a ram action. In this way the accumulated body of liquid will be moved as one liquid mass without aeration and will travel upwardly through the macaroni tube 14 as a slug of liquid. Thus, by this arrangement a succession of slugs of liquid with an interposed volume of gas will travel upwardly through the macaroni tube 14 to the well outlet.

The period during which the pumping fluid may flow through the control valve 53 is determined by the adjustment of the needle valve 91 forming a part of the intermitter structure. This is brought about in the following manner: when the piston 86 moved to its uppermost position under influence of the accumulated pressure of fluid within the chamber 62 the valve operating rod C0 moved upwardly and through the cross head 53, lifting the valve rod 79. This changed the position of the slide valve 60 from that shown in solid lines in Fig. 2 to its dotted line position. While the slide valve was in its solid line position fluid might exhaust from the chamber 63, through the check valve 93 and then along conduit 90 to the working port 85, thence through the slide valve 80 and out through the exhaust port 84. When the slide valve 80 moved to its dotted line position the exhaust port 84 was placed in communication with the working port 83, and the working port 85 was uncovered. The gas from pipe 86 could then flow into the housing 81, after which it would pass through the port 85, along the conduit 90 to the needle valve 91 5E and into the valve chamber 63. During the time this valve chamber is receiving sufficient pressure fluid to create a force of enough magnitude to overcome the friction of the lock ball 73 the valve 53 is open. When this pressure reaches 6g a predetermined magnitude the piston 66 will move downwardly and force the balanced valve members 56 on to their seats 55. Here, they will be held yieldably by the spring coupling 59. It will thus be seen that the mechanism here dis- g6 closed provides simple and effective means whereby flow of fluid may be controlled intermittently and automatically for desired periods of time, and that these periods may be set optionally to establish a period of flow and inter- 7( mediate periods of interrupted flow of any desired duration.

While I have shown the preferred form of my invention as now known to me, it will be understood that various changes may be made in the 7. combination, construction and arrangement of parts by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention as shown.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is: 1. A fluid motivated device comprising a valve structure to which a fluid under predetermined pressure is delivered acting to simultaneously and alternately direct said pressure fluid to one of a pair of conduits, while permitting exhaust of fluid from the other of said pair of conduits, a cylinder within which a piston reciprocates, said cylinder having an opening at each of its ends to deliver fluid under pressure thereto, a pair of chambers, one in communication with each of said cylinder openings and each chamber connected with one of the pair of conduits, each of said chambers being of predetermined volume, means in each of said conduits regulating the rate of flow of pressure fluid into said chambers, means offering predetermined resistance to the movement of the piston within the cylinder, and means operatively connecting the valve structure with the piston for actuating the fluid valve to alternately direct the pressure fluid into one chamber while permitting the exhaust of pressure fluid from the other chamber.

2. A fluid motivated device comprising a valve structure to which a fluid under predetermined pressure is delivered acting to simultaneously and alternately direct said pressure fluid to one of a pair of conduits, while permitting exhaust of fluid from the other of said pair of conduits, a cylinder within which a piston in each of said conduits, said cylinder having an opening at each of its ends to deliver fluid under pressure thereto, a pair of chambers, one in communication with each of said cylinder openings and each chamber connected with one of the pair of conduits, each of said chambers being of predetermined volume, means separately regulating the rate of flow of pressure fluid into said chambers, means offering predetermined resistance to the movement of the piston within the cylinder, said resistance means acting to hold the piston temporarily in each of its extreme positions, and means operatively connecting the valve structure with the piston for actuating the fluid valve to alternately direct the pressure fluid into said chambers while permitting the exhaust of pressure fluid from the other chamber.

3. A fluid motivated device comprising a pair of separate pressure accumulating chambers, a pressure cylinder between said chambers, one Send being in free communication with one of said chambers and the other end being in free communcation with the other of said chambers, a piston reciprocable in said cylinder as moved by difference in pressure in the two accumulating chambers, a pair of conduits for leading a pressure fluid separately to said accumulating chambers, a conduit communicating with a source of operating fluid under pressure, a valve mechanism acting to alternately establish a flow of Soperating fluid from said supply conduit to one of the pair of conduits leading to the accumulating chambers, and permitting exhaust of fluid from the other of said accumulating chambers, whereby fluid pressure will be built up in the acScumulating chamber to which the fluid is delivered acting to reciprocate the piston within the cylinder toward the other chamber, means holding said piston against movement until a predetermined pressure has been exerted against Seither of its ends, and means connecting the piston with the alternately moving valve whereby said valve and piston will move simultaneously.

4. A fluid motivated device comprising a cylinder of uniform diameter open at its opposite ends, a pair of accumulating chambers, one at each end of the cylinder and of greater sectional area than the open cylinder ends, a piston reciprocating within said cylinder as influenced by difference in pressure of an operating fluid in the two accumulating chambers, a piston rod carried 1I by the piston, a two-way valve structure operatively connected with an end of the rod and adapted to be alternately moved to two flow positions as the piston moves from one extreme end of its stroke to the other, a conduit leading operating fluid under pressure from a source to the two-way valve structure, a pair of conduits leading from the two-way valve structure, one conduit leading to one accumulating chamber and the other conduit leading to the other accumu- 2( lating chamber, whereby fluid may be separately and alternately delivered to the two accumulating chambers, separate alternately opening exhaUst conduits, one for each accumulating chamber controlled by said two-way valve structure, and retarding means acting upon the piston to hold it in one of its extreme positions until pressure has built up in an accumulating chamber upon that end of the cylinder to move it to the opposite end of the cylinder. 5. A fluid operated device including a cylinder and a piston, means for separately and alternately introducing a fluid under pressure into opposite ends of the cylinder and against opposite ends of the piston and for simultaneously alternately exhausting fluid from opposite ends of said cylinder, means for yieldingly holding the piston in its alternate extreme positions, a pair of pressure chambers respectively in direct communication with the opposite ends of the cylinder, said first means including means regulating the rate of flow of fluid into the opposite pressure chambers whereby the period required to build up a sufficient pressure to overcome the yieldable holding action exerted upon the piston will be determined, and means whereby the flow of fluid to the pressure chambers will be alternately established and interrupted as said piston moves to its alternate extreme positions.

6. A fluid motivated device comprising a pair of separate pressure accumulating chambers, a pressure cylinder between said chambers, one end being in free communication with one of said chambers and the other end being in free communication with the other of said chambers, a piston reciprocable in said cylinder as moved by difference in pressure in the two accumulating chambers, a pair of conduits for leading a pressure fluid separately to said accumulating chambers, a conduit communicating with a source of operating fluid under pressure, a valve mechanism acting to alternately establish a flow of operating fluid from said supply conduit to one of the pair of conduits leading to the accumulating chambers, and permitting exhaust of fluid from the other of said accumulating chambers, whereby fluid pressure will be built up in the accumulating chamber to which the fluid is delivered acting to reciprocate the piston within the cylinder toward the other chamber, individual valve means for each of said conduits for separately adjusting the rate of flow of operating fluid to said accumulating chambers, means holding said piston against movement until a predetermined pressure has been exerted against either of its ends, and means connecting the piston with the alternately moving valve whereby said valve and piston will move simultaneously.

7. A fluid motivated device comprising a pair of separate pressure accumulating chambers, a pressure cylinder between said chambers, one end being in free communication with one of said chambers and the other end being in free communication with the other of said chambers, a 3 piston reciprocable in said cylinder as moved by difference in pressure in the two accumulating chambers, a pair of conduits for leading a pressure fluid separately to said accumulating chambers, a conduit communicating with a source of Soperating fluid under pressure, a valve mechanism acting to alternately establish a flow of operating fluid from said supply conduit to one of the pair of conduits leading to the accumulating chambers, and permitting exhaust of fluid 0 from the other of said accumulating chambers, whereby fluid pressure will be built up in the accumulating chamber to which the fluid is delivered acting to reciprocate the piston within the cylinder toward the other chamber, means Sadjustably holding said piston against movement until a predetermined pressure has been exerted against either of its ends, and means connecting the piston with the alternately moving valve whereby said valve and piston will move simultaneously.

8. A fluid motivated device comprising a cylinder, a piston reciprocating therein, a pair of fluid accumulating chambers, one in free communication with each outer end of the cylinder, means for holding the piston in its positions of extreme movement and for delaying movement of the piston until fluid pressure of a predetermined magnitude has accumulated in one of the accumulating chambers and at one end of the cylinder, a Ssupply line for delivering fluid under pressure to the device, a valve structure receiving said fluid, a pair of supply conduits, one leading to each of said accumulating chambers, a pair of exhaust conduits each leading to one of said accumulatSing chambers, the opposite ends of said conduits communicating with the valve structure, said valve structure being constructed and arranged to alternately establish a flow of fluid under pressure to one of the accumulating chambers Sand a flow of exhaust fluid from the other one of said accumulating chambers, and an operating connection between the piston and the valve structure for moving the valve to its alternate positions as the piston moves to its alternate positions.

9. A device of the character described comprising a four way valve structure connected with a source of compressible fluid under pressure, a pair of accumulating chambers, a pair of conduits connecting the four way valve structure with the accumulating chambers, one each of said conduits leading to one of said chambers, said valve structure including a movable valve element within a housing having ports and operating alternately to permit induction of compressible fluid to one accumulating chamber and eduction from the other through said conduits, the accumulating chambers being of a predetermined capacity, valve means regulating the rate of induction of compressible fluid to the two accumulating chambers whereby the fluid flow is controlled to permit a predetermined pressure to be built up in an accumulating chamber during a predetermined period of time, a cylinder, one end of which is in communication with one of said accumulating chambers and the opposite end of which is in communication with the opposite accumulating chamber, a piston mounted within the cylinder and adapted to reciprocate therein under influence of the compressible fluid admitted at opposite ends thereof, yieldable means restraining movement of the piston until a predetermined fluid pressure has been created in one of the chambers and a corresponding end of the cylinder, and adjustable means acting upon said yieldable restraining means to determine the pressure at which the piston will be released, and means connecting the piston with the movable valve element to seat the valve in its alternate positions.

10. A device of the character described comprising a four-way valve structure connected with a source of compressible fluid under pressure, a pair of accumulating chambers, a pair of conduits connecting the four-way valve structure with the accumulating chambers, one each of said conduits leading to one of said chambers, said valve structure including a movable valve element within a housing having ports and operating alternately to permit induction of compressible fluid to one accumulating chamber and eduction from the other through said conduits, the accumulating chambers being of a predetermined capacity, valve means regulating the rate of induction of compressible fluid to the two accumulating chambers whereby the fluid flow is controlled to permit a predetermined pressure to be built up in an accumulating chamber during a predetermined period of time, a cylinder, one end of which is in communication with one of said accumulating chambers and the opposite end of which is in communication with the opposite accumulating chamber, a piston mounted within the cylinder and adapted to reciprocate therein under influence of the compressible fluid admitted at opposite ends thereof, yieldable means restraining movement of the piston until a predetermined fluid pressure has been created in one of the chambers and a corresponding end of the cylinder, adjustable means acting upon said yieldable restraining means to determine the pressure at which the piston will be released, and means to increase or decrease the pressure of the pressure fluid, and means connecting the piston with the movable valve element to seat the valve in its alternate positions.

11. In a device of the character described, fluid responsive means acting to move alternately when subjected successively to fluid pressure on its opposite sides, accumulating chambers into which a compressible pressure fluid is delivered and which fluid acts upon the pressure responsive means to move it, said fluid chambers being 0 of predetermined capacity whereby the pressure fluid may accumulate to a desired pressure in a predetermined period of time, means retarding the pressure responsive member until said pressure fluid has accumulated to the predetermined |5 pressure within either of said chambers, valve means for alternately controlling the delivery of and the exhaust of the pressure fluid from said chambers, operating means between the pressure responsive means and the valve means for movo0 ing the valve, and pressure fluid regulating means whereby the control of pressure fluid to and from the accumulating chambers may be regulated to determine timed periods of operation of the pressure responsive means.

S 12. A fluid motivated device, which device comprises a pair of pressure chambers, each of predetermined volumetric capacity, a cylinder, one end connected with one chamber, and the other end connected with the other chamber, a go piston operating in said cylinder and reciprocated by the pressure of a fluid delivered alternately to the ends of the cylinder from the two chambers, means for delivering a pressure fluid to the chambers, valve means interposed between 3,, the source of the pressure fluid and the chambers for separately and alternately directing said pressure fluid into the outer end of one or the other of said chambers and for simultaneously and separably alternately exhausting the outer 4~ end of one or the other of said chambers, means connecting said valve means with the piston, whereby alternate movement of the piston will alternately move the valve, means for regulating the rate of flow of the pressure fluid being Sdelivered into said chambers, and means resisting movement of the piston until a predetermined pressure value has been created in one of said chambers.

MARK P. BURKE.