Title:
Energy transformation and storage system for heating and cooling
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention described herein represents a significant improvement in the efficiency of heating and cooling processes for applications such as buildings. Multiple energy input means, energy storage, and energy transformation steps are described and integrated to optimize efficiency in many scenarios. An integrated single axle energy transformation system is provide and a microcontroller system for selecting between twelve modes of operation.



Inventors:
Alden, Ray M. (Raleigh, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/653521
Publication Date:
04/22/2010
Filing Date:
12/15/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/324.1, 62/238.7
International Classes:
F25B29/00; F25B27/00; F25B30/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
DUKE, EMMANUEL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ray M. Alden (808 Lake Brandon Trail, Raleigh, NC, 27610, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A thermal energy transfer system comprising; a refrigerant pump selected from the group consisting of; a refrigerant compression pump and a refrigerant expansion pump, an air compression pump, a compressed air storage vessel, an energy source selected from the group consisting of; electricity, solar electromagnetic radiation, wind, and moving water, and wherein in a first operating mode, said selected energy source drives the selected refrigerant pump to perform a thermal energy transfer process selected from the group consisting of; heating a space, and cooling a space, and wherein in a second operating mode, said selected energy source drives said air compression pump to compress air for storage in said air storage vessel, and wherein in a third operating mode, the stored compressed air is released from said storage vessel providing a kinetic energy which drives said selected refrigerant pump to perform a thermal energy transfer process selected from the group consisting of; heating a space, and cooling a space.

2. The thermal energy transfer system of claim 1 wherein in said third operating mode, said released air passes through and motivates said air compression pump which transfers energy from said stored compressed air to drive said selected refrigerant pump to perform said selected thermal transfer process.

3. The thermal energy transfer system of claim 1 wherein during their respective operating times said air compression pump and said selected refrigerant pump share a common drive axis of rotation.

4. The thermal energy transfer system of claim 3 wherein a rotating axle is provided which shares said common axis of rotation and when transitioning between two of the said operating modes, a controlled transition is selected from the group consisting of said refrigerant pump is selectively controlled to either begin to rotate with said rotating axle or to stop rotating with said rotating axle, said air pump is selectively controlled to either being to rotate with said rotating axle or to stop rotating with said rotating axle, and said energy source is an electric motor having electromagnetic induction means which selectively are controlled to either begin to actively motivate said axle to rotate utilizing induction or to passively rotate with said rotating axle without electromagnetic induction.

5. The thermal energy transfer system of claim 1 wherein electricity is selected as the energy source and an electric motor is provided to utilize electricity, a kinetic energy input means is provided to utilize a second energy source selected from the group consisting of; said solar electromagnetic radiation, said wind, and said moving water, and a means to switch between electricity energy and the second energy source is provided, wherein the selected refrigerant pump can be selectively driven alternately by either electricity or by kinetic energy.

6. The thermal energy transfer system of claim 1 wherein an electric motor is provided, and a kinetic energy input means is provided, and said second operating mode is selected and comprises a means to switch between running on either a first energy source or a second selected energy source to selectively drive said air compression pump, the first selectable energy source being said electricity to drive said motor to drive said air compression pump to compress air for storage in said air storage vessel, the second selected energy source being one selected from the group consisting of; said solar electromagnetic radiation, said wind, and said moving water, and wherein said second selected energy source provides kinetic energy to drive said kinetic energy input means to drive said air compression pump to compress air for storage in said air storage vessel.

7. The thermal energy transfer system of claim 1 wherein a refrigerant storage vessel is provided and in a fourth operating mode said selected refrigerant pump operates to causes a refrigerant to be placed into said refrigerant storage vessel and during a fifth operating mode said refrigerant is to removed from said refrigerant vessel to perform a thermal transfer function comprising one selected from the group consisting of; a space heating process and a space cooling process.

8. A thermal energy transfer system comprising; an axle having an axis of rotation, an electromagnetic induction means sharing said axis of rotation and selected from the group consisting of an electric motor, and an electric generator, a refrigerant pump sharing said axis of rotation and selected from the group consisting of; a refrigerant compression pump, and a refrigerant evaporation pump, and also sharing the axis of rotation one energy transformation means selected from the group consisting of, an air compressor, a compressed air powered motor, and a kinetic energy input gear in communication with a kinetic energy source selected from the group consisting of solar electromagnetic radiation, wind, and moving water.

9. thermal energy transfer means of claim 8 wherein said axle is caused to rotate, and a microcontroller is provided to selectively switch between operating states selected from the group consisting of; said selected refrigerant pump is selectively controlled to either begin to rotate with said rotating axle or to stop rotating with said rotating axle, an air compressor is selected and said air compressor is selectively controlled to either being to rotate with said rotating axle or to stop rotating with said rotating axle, said electric motor having electromagnetic induction means which selectively are controlled to either begin to actively motivate said axle to rotate utilizing induction or to passively rotate with said rotating axle without electromagnetic induction, and said electric generator having electromagnetic induction means which selectively are controlled to either begin to rotate with said axle to produce electricity or to passively rotate with said rotating axle without producing electricity.

10. thermal energy transfer means of claim 8 wherein; an electric motor is selected, and a microcontroller is provided, and wherein said microcontroller selectively switches between said selected refrigerant pump being driven by said electric motor and said selected refrigerant pump being driven by a selected kinetic energy input gear, and wherein in either case said driving of said refrigerant pump is utilized in a thermal transfer process to heat or cool a space.

11. thermal energy transfer means of claim 8 wherein; an electric motor is selected, and an air pump is selected, a kinetic energy input ear is provided, and a microcontroller is provided and wherein said microcontroller selectively switches between said air pump being driven by said electric motor and said air pump being driven by said kinetic energy input gear, and wherein in either case said driving of said air pump produces a stored energy in the form of compressed air.

12. thermal energy transfer means of claim 11 wherein; said compressed air is released and energy there from drives said selected refrigerant pump to perform a thermal transfer process to heat or cool a space.

13. A thermal energy transfer means comprising, an air pump, a refrigerant pump, an air storage vessel, a pressure transfer piston, a refrigerant, a liquid refrigerant storage vessel, a gas refrigerant storage vessel, and wherein said air pump operates to cause a pressure change within said air storage vessel, said pressure change being transferred by said pressure transfer piston from said air storage vessel to said gas refrigerant vessel to draw refrigerant from said liquid refrigerant storage vessel into said gas refrigerant storage vessel, said drawing of said refrigerant causing a liquid to gas phase change that absorbs thermal energy.

14. thermal energy transfer means of claim 13 wherein, said pressure change within said air storage is caused to reverse such that air flows in the opposite direction and energy from said reverse air flow powers said refrigerant pump to draw refrigerant from said gas refrigerant storage vessel into said liquid refrigerant storage vessel, said drawing of said refrigerant causing a gas to liquid phase change that emits thermal energy.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This invention is a Continuation In Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/217,575 filed on Jul. 7, 2008 and of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/586,784 filed on Sep. 26, 2009.

BACKGROUND FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to heat pumps used in heating and cooling a wide range of applications such as in buildings, refrigeration, or industrial processes for example. More specifically, this invention relates to methods to store energy in the form of compressed air, or a phase changed gas, or a phase changed liquid. Also this invention describes energy transformation process steps and apparatuses to minimize energy loss as applied to heating and cooling buildings.

BACKGROUND-DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR INVENTION

Heat pumps are well known and have been used for heating and cooling applications for more than 100 years. As practiced today, heat pumps use a full refrigeration cycle that comprises both a compression component and an expansion component. The present invention describes integrated heating, cooling, energy transformation and energy storage elements.

BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention integrates an air, ground, or water sourced heat sink together with a pumping system to perform working fluid phase changes for either gas to liquid or liquid to gas. The system integrates multiple energy inputs including electrical energy and kinetic energy and also integrated energy storage in the form of compressed air.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several objects and advantages of the present invention are apparent. It is an object of the present invention to provide an energy efficient heating processes. It is an object of the present invention to provide an energy efficient cooling process. It is an object of the present invention to store energy in a phase changed state for subsequent use later in passive heating or cooling. It is an object of the present invention to integrate multiple energy inputs, multiple energy outputs, and energy storage into a single thermal transfer system.

Further objects and advantages will become apparent from the enclosed figures and specifications.

DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1a depicts electricity storage and recovery processes of the prior art.

FIG. 1b depicts energy transformation steps in prior art electricity storage and recovery processes.

FIG. 2a depicts energy transformation steps in energy storage and recovery processes of the present invention.

FIG. 2b depicts energy transformation steps of the present invention energy storage and recovery processes.

FIG. 3 depicts application of in energy storage and recovery processes to heating and cooling applications.

FIG. 4 depicts wind energy storage and recovery processes for heating and cooling applications.

FIG. 5 depicts solar energy storage and recovery processes for heating and cooling applications.

FIG. 6 depicts a method for selecting a working fluid for use in storing a capacity to heat as a phase changed gas.

FIG. 7a depicts a method for performing a cooling function and storing a capacity to heat as a phase transformed fluid.

FIG. 7b depicts a method for performing a heating function by releasing a stored capacity to heat.

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of a single axle, multiple energy input, transformation, pumping system.

FIG. 9a is an assembled view of the single axle, multiple energy input, transformation, pumping system of FIG. 8.

FIG. 9b is a view of the motor/generator of FIG. 8 witched into motor/generator mode.

FIG. 9c is a view of the motor/generator of FIG. 9b switched into passive mode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1a depicts electricity storage and recovery processes of the prior art. An off peak electricity 23 is available in many geographies at discounted rates because capacity in electricity production and wheeling infrastructure is fully utilized during peak operating hours but excess electricity exists in off peak operating hours. Prior art has endeavored to store off peak electricity from a variety of electric production sources. Compressed air storage as a means to store electricity during off peak electricity 23, electricity produced by wind energy 33, electricity produced from water energy 37, and energy from a sun 39 are known in the prior art. The sun 39 can be converted to electricity through photovoltaic cells or it can be collected as thermal energy and transferred as a solar pressure 41 such as steam pressure potential energy that drives kinetic energy processes such as rotary turbines. In the prior art the sun 39 energy, wind energy 33, and electricity produced from water energy 37 are converted to electricity by a kinetic generator 35 that converts motion into electricity. In the prior art, when using air pressure as a store of energy, each of the preceding sources of energy are used to drive an electric air pump 25 for the purpose of filling an air pressure storage 27 vessel such as a fabricated tank or an underground salt cavern. Then, at a subsequent point in time, the air from air pressure storage 27 is used to drive an air to electric generator 29 before being released to the environment. The electricity then becomes available for any electric application through an electricity distribution grid. One application for this energy is that of powering a refrigerant pump 31 for use in heating and/or cooling buildings. Thus, in the prior art, and as outlined in FIG. 1b, energy from a variety of sources are put through a series of transformations for the purpose of heating and cooling buildings.

FIG. 1b depicts energy transformation steps in prior art electricity storage and recovery processes. When the energy source is the wind energy 33, the water energy 37, or a solar energy 39a, it comprises a first kinetic energy 33a which is used to power the kinetic generator 35 to produce a first electric energy 35a. The first electric energy 35a is used to power the electric air pump 25 which converts electricity to a second kinetic energy 25a which compresses air from 1 to atm pressure to a higher pressure such as 1000 psi, the pressurized air being a potential energy 27a within the air pressure storage 27. When the energy is withdrawn from storage it is converted from the potential energy 27a to a third kinetic energy 29a which drives the electric generator 29 to produce a second electric energy 29b which is then used to drive the refrigerant pump 31 which uses a fourth kinetic energy 31a to do work on a working fluid and thereby is transformed into a thermal energy 31b. Thus the prior art includes a kinetic energy very early on in the energy cycle and multiple transformations before the ultimate work of transforming kinetic energy to thermal transfer energy for heating and cooling can be performed. Each energy transformation occurs below 100% efficiency such that during every energy transformation step, energy is lost from the system to the surrounding environment. Therefore a system that eliminates energy transformation steps to perform the heating and cooling functions as described in FIGS. 2a, 2b and elsewhere in this application is highly desirable.

FIG. 2a depicts energy transformation steps in energy storage and recovery processes of the present invention for the purpose of thermal energy transfer in optimally heating and cooling a space such as a building. In the present invention the kinetic energy from the wind energy 33, the water energy 37, or the solar energy 39a, directly drives a mechanical air pump 43 which puts air within the air pressure storage 27 which subsequently is used to directly drive the heat pump. Similarly, the off peak electricity is used to power the electric air pump 25 which puts air within the air pressure storage 27 which subsequently is used to directly drive the refrigerant pump 31. Thus, as further described in FIG. 2b, the number of energy transformation steps of the present invention are significantly less than in the prior art. Also as described in FIGS. 8 and 9 the mechanical air pump 43, the electric air pump 25, and the refrigerant pump 31 can be integrated into single assembly to optimize efficiencies in function, in form, and cost.

FIG. 2b depicts energy transformation steps of the present invention energy storage and recovery processes. When the energy source is the wind energy 33, the water energy 37, or a solar energy 39a, it comprises a dedicated kinetic energy 43a which is directed to drive the mechanical air pump 43 which puts air within the air pressure storage 27 vessel as the potential energy 27a which is then used to drive the refrigerant pump 31 which uses the fourth kinetic energy 31a to do work on a refrigerant and which the refrigerant pump 31 transforms into a thermal energy 31b by actively compressing or expanding the refrigerant as in FIG. 3. FIG. 1b, the prior art energy storage system, includes eight energy transformation steps to get from an energy input to a thermal transfer heating and cooling output including; kinetic energy, electric energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, kinetic energy, electric energy, kinetic energy, and thermal energy. By contrast, in FIG. 2b, the present invention energy storage system includes four energy transformation steps to get from an energy input to a thermal transfer heating or cooling output including; kinetic energy, potential energy, kinetic energy, and thermal energy. In air energy storage and recovery, eliminating fifty percent of the energy transformation steps of the prior art makes the current invention dramatically more energy efficient than the prior art. Moreover, as described in FIG. 8 the means to perform energy transformations including the dedicated kinetic energy 43a, the fourth kinetic energy 31a, and the thermal energy 31b can be integrated into a single assembly to optimize efficiencies in function, in form, and in cost as well as providing additional functionalities. Also the steps of FIG. 2b assume that energy is to be stored to later perform a heating and cooling function, the art herein can eliminate additional steps when input kinetic energy is used to directly drive the heat pump, as is later described and also described in the related applications referenced herein. In a total of twelve operating modes, the art of FIG. 8, the present invention can perform many energy transformation steps with significantly fewer energy transformation steps compared to the prior art.

FIG. 3 depicts use of energy transformation, storage, and recovery processes for heating and cooling applications. The elements of FIGS. 2a and 2b are shown integrated with the related invention of patent application Ser. No. 12/586,784 referenced herein. A microcontroller 51 calculates when to run processes described herein that store energy according to input energy availability, anticipated heating or cooling loads, and energy pricing schedules. The microcontroller 51 also determines when to engage specific mechanisms according to FIGS. 8, 9a, 9b, and 9c. In addition to storing energy, as described in the related patent application Ser. No. 12/586,784, kinetic energy from the wind, water, or solar sources are alternately used to directly drive the refrigerant pump 31 during times when a cooling or heating function is needed concurrently with the availability of the energy source. During times when no heating or cooling function is needed concurrently with the availability of the energy source, during an air storage time 65, the kinetic energy from the wind, water, or solar source is used to drive mechanical air pump 43 which puts air within the air pressure storage 27 as the potential energy 27a which is subsequently used to drive the refrigerant pump 31 at an air release time 61 whereby thermal energy is transferred in the phase change compression process. Note that technically, the air pressure storage 27 can be a negative pressure below 1 ATM or a positive pressure above 1 ATM. The operation of the refrigerant pump 31 includes an active gas to liquid change 53 step, where kinetic energy actively drives the heat pump to compress a working fluid gas to become a working fluid liquid, then a passive evaporator 55 step where pressure causes the compressed liquid to controllably undergo a passive liquid to gas change 57 step without application of external energy except that thermal energy is absorbed. As discussed in the related patent applications referenced herein, the preceding process steps can be done concurrently or not concurrently, and in the later case, a stored capacity to cool 59 step comprises storage of compressed phase changed liquid at a time to store cool capacity 61a. Subsequently a stored gas working fluid 63 is decompressed to passively cool 65a a space such as a building. This arrangement can be used to perform heating or cooling functions; the compressed phase changed liquid working fluid being an excellent method of storing energy in the form of a stored capacity to cool.

Similarly, in an alternate embodiment, as described in the referenced application and in FIGS. 6, 7a, and 7b, kinetic energy from the wind, water, or solar sources are alternately used to directly drive a vacuum heat pump 31c during times when a cooling or heating function is needed concurrently with the availability of the energy source. During times when no heating or cooling function is needed concurrently with the availability of the energy source, during the air storage time 65, the kinetic energy from the wind, water, or solar sources is used to drive the mechanical air pump 43 which puts air within the air pressure storage 27 vessel as the potential energy 27a to which is subsequently used to drive the vacuum heat pump 31c at the air release time 61 whereby thermal energy is absorbed in the phase change evaporation process. Note that technically, the air pressure storage 27 can be a negative pressure below 1 ATM or a positive pressure above 1 ATM. As in FIG. 7a, the operation of the vacuum heat pump 31c includes an active liquid to gas change 57a step, where kinetic energy actively drives the vacuum heat pump 31c to evaporate a working fluid liquid to be a working fluid gas, then a passive compressor 55a step where, as in FIG. 7b, pressure causes the evaporated liquid to under go a passive gas to liquid change 53a step without adding external energy except that thermal energy is released. As discussed in the related patent applications referenced herein, the preceding process steps can be done concurrently or not concurrently; in the later case, a stored capacity to heat 63a step comprises storage of evaporated phase changed gas at a time to store heat capacity 61b then subsequently a stored liquid working fluid 59a step, and a subsequent time to passively heat 65b wherein a space is heated by the transformation of the stored evaporated fluid's transformation to become a liquid and heat is released in the process. This arrangement can be used to perform heating or cooling functions; the negative pressure evaporated phase changed gas working fluid being an excellent method of storing energy in the form of a stored capacity to heat.

As depicted in FIG. 3 and described in FIG. 8, off peak electricity or electricity generated from wind, water, or solar, or kinetic energy from these sources can be substituted above to drive the mechanical air pump 43, the refrigerant pump 31, or the vacuum heat pump 31c.

FIG. 4 depicts wind energy storage and recovery processes for heating and cooling applications. As in related patent application Ser. No. 12/586,784, the wind energy 33 is captured by wind blades 71 which causes the blades to rotate a power transmission 73 assembly that is housed within a wind tower 75. Kinetic energy from the wind is transferred to a first gear 81, then second gear 83, and a third gear 85 which drives a mechanical air pump 43. A rudder 77 keeps the wind blades facing in an optimal direction for wind capture. The mechanical air pump 43 pulls air from an atmosphere 89 at 1 ATM and compresses it to a predetermined pressure such as 500 psi, the air then being transferred through an air pipe 87 to the air pressure storage 27 vessel a back check valve (not shown) in the air pipe prevents the pressurized air from flowing backwards from the air pressure storage through the air pipe. A forward throttle valve (not shown) resides between the air pressure storage vessel and an air pressure mechanical pump 93. When potential stored energy from the air pressure storage vessel is to be released to drive the air pressure mechanical pump 93, the forward throttle valve opens such that air pressure is released to drive the air pressure mechanical pump 93 which exerts kinetic energy on a working fluid compression chain 91 which powers the refrigerant pump 31 and the other components within a full heat pump circuit 92 which comprises standard system heat pump components including a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator.

When the wind is not blowing, the off peak electricity 23 can be utilized to power the second kinetic energy 25a motor which drives an air compression chain 86 to power the mechanical air pump 43 to convert off peak electricity to compressed air. Also, using the same architecture, wind power can be converted to electricity through operating the second kinetic energy 25a as the kinetic generator 35 to convert kinetic energy from the wind to electricity.

As described in the related application Ser. No. 12/586,784 and in FIGS. 3, and 8, the dedicated kinetic energy 43a can selectively power the mechanical air pump 43, the refrigerant pump 31, or the vacuum heat pump 31c. When viewed in light of the related applications referenced herein, the art of FIG. 4 comprising a wind energy capture system that can be switched between directly driving a heat pump or driving an energy storage system or driving an electricity generating system.

As described in FIG. 8, the air pressure mechanical pump 93, the refrigerant pump 31, the second kinetic energy 25a motor and the mechanical air pump 43 can be combined into a single apparatus that eliminates redundant elements, and operates efficiently in form, functions, and cost.

With little modification, such as placing the wind blades 71 into a flowing water stream, water flow can be substituted for air flow as the energy source.

FIG. 5 depicts solar energy storage and recovery processes for heating and cooling applications. The storage elements and steps of FIG. 5 operate similarly to those of FIG. 4. The energy capture and energy recovery elements and processes are different. As in related patent application Ser. No. 12/586,784 the sun 39 produces electromagnetic radiation that is incident upon a reflector 803 to focus energy upon a solar pressure tank 801 so as to heat a water supply 807 to the point of creating a high pressure fluid which flows from the solar pressure tank via a steam pipe 809 to drive a steam motor 811. Kinetic energy from the steam motor drives air storage elements and processes as discussed in FIG. 4 and alternately may be used to generate electricity as discussed in FIG. 4 or directly drive a heat pump as described in the related patent application. The air pressure transformation to thermal energy in FIG. 5 differs from that of FIG. 4. Whereas in FIG. 4 a chain drives the heat pump compressor pump, in FIG. 5, an air motor compressor 93a physically has integrated therein a front half for capturing energy from air pressure and using it to do work on a working fluid such as compression or expansion. The air motor compressor 93a can replace the refrigerant pump 31 or be on a circuit that isolates the air motor compressor 93a from the refrigerant pump 31 by valves 94 such that in operation, when air pressure is used to power the full heat pump circuit 92 the valves are in a first setting configuration whereby the air motor compressor 93a is in the circuit and the refrigerant pump 31 is not in circuit. When electricity is used to power the full heat pump circuit 92 the valves are in a second setting configuration whereby the refrigerant pump 31 is in the circuit and the air motor compressor 93a is not in the circuit.

As described in FIG. 8, the steam motor 811, the air motor compressor 93a, the refrigerant pump 31, the second kinetic energy 25a motor, and the mechanical air pump 43 can be combined into a single apparatus that eliminates redundant elements, and operates efficiently in form, functions, and cost.

FIG. 6 depicts a method for selecting a working fluid for use in storing a capacity to heat as a phase changed gas. As described in FIGS. 3, 7a, and 7b, when using the refrigeration cycle, the work input can be one on either the compression side of the refrigeration loop (such as putting work into the refrigerant pump 31) alternately, the work can be input into the expansion side of the refrigeration loop such as putting work into the vacuum heat pump 31c. As in the top portion of FIG. 3, in a refrigeration loop, when work is first actively done to compress a working fluid, then the expansion of the working fluid can be done passively since pressure will passively flow from high pressure to low pressure. The pressurized fluid represents a stored capacity to passively cool. As in the lower portion of FIG. 3, in a refrigeration loop, creating a stored capacity to passively heat is described in FIGS. 7a, and 7b, whereby work is first done to expand a working fluid from a liquid to a gas, the secondly the recompression of the working fluid is done passively using the art of FIGS. 7a, and 7b. FIG. 6 describes a methodology for evaluation refrigerants for use in the art of FIGS. 7a, and 7b. A working fluid 101 is evaluated at a predetermined cooling temperature 107 that is above freezing temperature of water, such that when the working fluid is being evaporated, so that efficiency won't be diminished by water freezing on the outside of the system. The cooling temperature 107 is used to calculate a cooling pressure column 103 for each prospective working fluid. A heating temperature 109 is selected for the compression side and is used to calculate a heating pressure column 105 for each prospective working fluid. When plugging many hundreds of working fluids into this model together with their respective global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, toxicity, flammability, and cost, a suitable working fluid for use in the art of FIGS. 7a, and 7b is selected. A normal boiling point 111 significantly lower than water but above freezing has an efficiency advantage when actively storing and passively releasing the capacity to heat as an evaporated working fluid as described in FIGS. 7a and 7b. In hot climates, storing energy in the form of the capacity to cool enables the use of renewable energy and off peak electricity inputs that can be passively released subsequently when the cooling capacity is needed. In cold climates, storing energy in the form of the capacity to heat enables the use of renewable energy and off peak electricity inputs that can be passively released subsequently when the heating capacity is needed such as is described in FIGS. 7a and 7b.

FIG. 7a depicts a method for performing a cooling function and storing a capacity to heat as a phase transformed fluid. The working fluid 101 begins as a liquid at 1 ATM and room temperature, work is performed by the mechanical air pump 43 to take air from the atmosphere 89 and pump it into an air cylinder 201 creating a pressure therein which causes a dual piston rod assembly 203 to move to the right thereby exerting a negative pressure in a gas cylinder 205 which draws in the working fluid 101 via a throttle valve 207 which controls the flow of working fluid 101 through a cooling pressure column 103 so as to phase change the liquid to become a gas to absorb heat in a cooling thermal energy transfer process and thereby achieve the cooling temperature 107. If propanal of FIG. 6 is the selected refrigerant and three degrees Celsius is the cooling temperature than the working fluid 101 can begin at 1 ATM and be stored at 0.2 ATM as a stored energy potential to passively heat a space such as a building. A hydrophobic membrane (not shown) allows air to back fill the void created as the working fluid 101 is drawn to the gas cylinder 205 and in FIG. 7b the hydrophobic membrane allows air to flow out when the working fluid 101 flows back into its container. The cylinders and assemblies of FIGS. 7a and 7b being described in the related application Ser. No. 12/586,784, the art of FIGS. 7a and 7b showing air as an energy transfer and storage means to actively drive a cooling process in FIG. 7a and to drive a storage of a capacity to heat, and to passively drive a low pressure to high pressure phase change passive heating process in 7b.

FIG. 7b depicts a method for performing a heating function by releasing a stored capacity to heat. When a heating function is needed, a valve (not shown) opens to controllably allow air from the air cylinder 201 to flow through the dedicated kinetic energy 43a pump which causes the dual piston rod assembly 203 to move to the left thereby exerting a positive pressure in the gas cylinder 205. Also the dedicated kinetic energy 43a pump drives the fourth kinetic energy 31a refrigerant pump which pulls in the working fluid from the 0.2 ATM side and deposits it on the 1 ATM side where the working fluid transforms from a gas to a liquid releasing a thermal energy and creating a heating temperature 109 thereby passively heating a space such as a building with no external energy input. If propanal of FIG. 6 is the selected refrigerant and fifty degrees Celsius is the heating temperature than the working fluid 101 can flow back into its original container at 1 ATM.

As described in FIGS. 8, 9a, 9b, and 9c, the mechanical air pump 43, the kinetic energy 43a air pump, and the fourth kinetic energy 31a refrigerant pump can be integrated into a single apparatus to improve efficiency, eliminate redundant elements, and lower cost.

FIG. 8 is an exploded view of a single axis of rotation, multiple energy input, energy transformation, energy storage, fluid pumping, thermal energy transfer system. Previous drawings incorporate multiple energy inputs including kinetic energy such as from wind, water, or solar, electricity, and potential energy in the form of stored compressed air. Previous drawings also incorporate pumps as a medium to perform energy transformations for thermal energy transfer in heating or cooling a space including; vacuum pumping to perform active evaporation of a working fluid, a working fluid compression pump, an air compression pump, and an air driven motor. Previous drawings also illustrate use of an electric motor to transform electricity into kinetic energy and a generator to transform kinetic energy to electricity. The main focus of these energy transformations being directed to efficient and cheap thermal energy transfer for heating and cooling spaces such as buildings. The art of FIG. 8 describes all of these functions incorporated into a single product assembly. The elements of FIG. 8 share a common axis of rotation which may include an axle to facilitate energy transfer but can also be engineered to integrate without an axle.

A motor/generator 301 can operate in a first mode as an electric motor wherein electricity is supplied to the motor by an electrical wire 303 which creates electromagnetic induction to drive the motor which causes an Axle 305 to rotate to supply rotational kinetic energy as later discussed. In a second operating mode, the motor/generator can operate as an electric generator wherein as later discussed rotational kinetic energy received from the axle 305 which creates electromagnetic induction and powers the generator which sends an electric current from the generator through the electric wire 303. A third motor/generator 301 mode is described in FIG. 9c wherein elements of the motor turn passively without electromagnetic induction and therefore no electricity input or output. When the motor/generator 301 is operating as a motor, it can selectively power according to the microcontroller 51, a working fluid compressor 327 when a heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 is actuated by the microcontroller such that a heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch surface 325 physically engages a surface (not show) on the rear side of a working fluid compressor 327 which causes the compressor to rotate and therein takes a gas working fluid 329, compresses it, causing a liquid working fluid 331 phase transformed and thermal energy transfer for space heating or cooling output. Contacts (not shown) that enable switching electric signals to pass from circuitry within the generator 301 and its corresponding microcontroller 51 to control when to switch the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 to engage and drive or not to engage and not drive the working fluid compressor 327. As in FIG. 3 work input can be done through either an active refrigerant compression process or an active refrigerant evaporation process and the evaporation pump and compression pump are interchangeable in the art of FIG. 8. A driving gear 307 is affixed to the axle 305, the driving gear being an interface with kinetic energy inputs such as from wind, water and solar. Integrated through the driving gear 307 is a second electrical contact 309 and other contacts that enable switching electric signals to pass from circuitry within the generator 301 and its corresponding microcontroller 51 to control a compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 which receives control signals via contacts including a first electrical contact 313 such that in a first mode, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 does not engage a compressor/motor clutch surface 315 such that compressor/motor 317 does not rotate. In a second mode, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to engage a compressor/motor clutch surface 315 such that compressor/motor 317 does rotate to do work in taking air from the atmosphere 89 and compress it to be compressed air 321 which is then stored for later use in a storage vessel as previously discussed. The pumps throughout this application can be standard off the shelf pumps for compressing refrigerant, evaporating refrigerant, compressing air, and functioning as a compressed air powered motor. It is advantageous if the compressor/motor 317 operates in the same rotational direction both during the compression operation and during the compressed air powered operation. An example of a pump that enables same rotational direction during air compression and during operation as a compressed air powered motor being the so called “Quasiturbine” which is produced in Quebec, Canada and is configured with valves to control back flow (not shown) to operate as a clockwise compressor to compress air and then operate as a clockwise motor driven by compressed air. Other similar functionality has been demonstrated with air compressors used for energy storage and recovery on automobiles for example. For similar reasons, it can be advantageous to use a single direction working fluid compressor 327 that both compresses and decompresses working fluid in the same rotational direction.

The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323, and the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 are similar to pulley clutch mechanisms utilized in automobile air conditioner compressors in that they are electronically controlled to selectively switch to engage to pass kinetic rotational energy from a power source to an automobile air conditioning compressor or to disengage so as not to transfer kinetic energy to the compressor. The solenoid of FIGS. 9b and 9c are similar to those that engage an automobile starter in that they provide a linear thrust to engage or disengage as needed. Many suitable solenoid suppliers and solenoid valve suppliers are known. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323, and the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 each having a center hole to accept the axle 305 and being affixed thereto so as to rotate therewith and be able to transfer rotational kinetic energy both to the axle and from the axle depending upon the modes of operation described below.

The microcontroller 51 calculates when to switch solenoids including the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311, and the solenoid of FIGS. 9b and 9c according to environmental conditions and for optimal efficiency. The microcontroller also controls valves (not sown) as needed. For example if the wind is blowing above a certain threshold and a cooling function is needed, the microcontroller switches as follows. The motor/generator 301 is switched to a passive mode as in FIG. 9c, the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 is switched to engage the working fluid compressor 327, and the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched so as not to engage the compressor/motor 317. Thus as the wind blows according to FIG. 4, the kinetic energy is received by the driving gear 307 which drives the working fluid compressor 327 which drives the cooling function. In another example, if the wind is blowing above a certain threshold and a cooling function is not needed, the motor/generator 301 is switched to a passive mode as in FIG. 9c, the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 is switched to not engage the working fluid compressor 327, and the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to engage the compressor/motor 317. Thus as the wind blows according to FIG. 4, the kinetic energy is received by the driving gear 307 which drives the compressor/motor 317 to compress air and store it as potential energy for later use. And in a third example, if the wind is blowing above a certain threshold and a cooling function is not needed and the compressed air storage vessel is filled to capacity, the motor/generator 301 is switched to an active mode as in FIG. 9b, the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 is switched so as not to engage the working fluid compressor 327, and the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched so as not to engage the compressor/motor 317. Thus as the wind blows according to FIG. 4, the kinetic energy is received by the driving gear 307 which drives the motor/generator 301 to produce electricity for distribution on the electric grid. The microcontroller can also control solenoid valves (not shown) to achieve objectives for example, when compressed air is to be recovered from storage to drive either electricity generation or refrigerant compression or refrigerant evaporation, an air throttle valve (not shown) is opened to cause compressed air to controllably drive the compressor/motor 317 when not opened, his same valve prevents compressed air from backing out through the compressor/motor 317. A similar solenoid value (not shown) is provided to control back flow of working fluid refrigerant flow back through the working fluid compressor 327. Reed valves can be utilized herein as needed to enable fluid flow in one direction but not in the opposite direction.

The driving gear 307 may have a free wheeling mechanism so as to engage the axle in one rotational direction and to rotate freely during spin in the opposite direction. Additionally, the kinetic energy input means (the gears that communicate wind, water, and solar kinetic energy into the driving gear 307) may have free wheeling mechanisms such that they can be switched to freewheel so as not to impose rotational resistance on the axle in certain modes of operation.

The discussion under FIG. 8 thus far describes two energy transformation scenarios, following are a discussion of the range of energy transformations controllably performed by the art to of FIGS. 8, 9a, 9b, and 9c. Note that in each transformation example, unless specified to be engaged, the two solenoids clutches of FIG. 8 and the one solenoid of FIG. 9b are not switched to be engaged.

In a first energy transformation process, electrical energy is received via the electric wire 303 to drive the motor/generator 301, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to engage to drive the compressor/motor 317 and the axle 305 such that electrical energy is converted to kinetic energy which is converted to potential energy in the form of stored compressed air. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in an active setting according to FIG. 9b.

In a second energy transformation process, kinetic energy is received via the driving gear 307 to drive the axle 305, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to engage to drive the compressor/motor 317 such that kinetic energy is converted to potential energy in the form of stored compressed air. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a passive setting according to FIG. 9c.

In a third energy transformation process, electrical energy is received via the electric wire 303 to drive the motor/generator 301 and the axle 305, the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 is switched to engage to drive the working fluid compressor 327 such that electrical energy is converted to kinetic energy which is converted to thermal energy in the form of a phase transformed working fluid. The compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in an active setting according to FIG. 9b.

In a forth energy transformation process, kinetic energy is received via the driving gear 307 to drive the axle 305, the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 is switched to engage and drive the working fluid compressor 327 such that kinetic energy is converted to thermal energy in the form of a phase transformed working fluid. The compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a passive setting according to FIG. 9c.

In a fifth energy transformation process, kinetic energy is received via the driving gear 307 to drive the axle 305, which (as described in FIGS. 9b, and 9c), causes the inner components of the motor/generator 301 to rotate relative to its stationary elements such that an electric current is induced an exits via the electric wire 303. Thus kinetic energy is converted to electrical energy for distribution on an electric grid. The compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in an active setting according to FIG. 9b.

In a sixth energy transformation process, electrical energy is received via the electric wire 303 to drive the motor/generator 301 and the axle 305, the driving gear 307 drives a mechanical process (not shown) thus electrical energy is converted to kinetic energy to drive any process that can utilize rotational kinetic energy. The compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in an active setting according to FIG. 9b.

In a seventh energy transformation process, potential energy is released from stored compressed air to drive the compressor/motor 317, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to be engaged which causes the axle to rotate together with the driving gear 307 which drives a mechanical process (not shown) thus potential energy is converted to kinetic energy to drive any process that can utilize rotational kinetic energy. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a passive setting according to FIG. 9c.

In an eighth energy transformation process, potential energy is released from stored compressed air to drive compressor/motor 317, the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to be engaged which causes the axle 305 to rotate, which (as described in FIGS. 9b, and 9c), causes the inner components of the motor/generator 301 to rotate relative to its stationary elements such that an electric current is induced and exits via the electric wire 303. Thus potential energy is converted to kinetic energy which is then converted to electrical energy. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle but is not switched to be engaged. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in an active setting according to FIG. 9b.

In an ninth energy transformation process, potential energy is released from stored compressed air to drive compressor/motor 317 the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 is switched to be engaged which causes the axle 305 to rotate, which (as described in FIGS. 9c) rotates the inner components of the motor/generator 301 and the stationary elements such that no electric current is induced and the motor is in a rotational state but is electrically passive such that n electromagnetic induction occurs. The heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 rotates with the axle and is switched to be engaged and drive the working fluid compressor 327 such that potential energy from stored air is converted to kinetic energy which is converted to thermal energy in the form of a phase transformed working fluid. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a passive setting according to FIG. 9c.

In a tenth energy transformation process, compressed working fluid can be backed into electrical energy by engaging the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 to drive the motor/generator 301. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a active setting according to FIG. 9b. Also thermal energy is absorbed as the working fluid is transformed from a liquid to a gas.

In an eleventh energy transformation process, compressed working fluid can be backed into kinetic energy by engaging the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 to drive the driving gear 307 and a process not show engaging therewith. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a passive setting according to FIG. 9c. Also thermal energy is absorbed as the working fluid is transformed from a liquid to a gas.

In an twelfth energy transformation process, compressed working fluid can be backed into potential energy by engaging the heat pump compressor bistable solenoid clutch 323 and the compressor/motor bistable solenoid clutch 311 to drive the compressor/generator 317. In this transformation, the motor/generator 301 is switched in a passive setting according to FIG. 9c. Also thermal energy is absorbed as the working fluid is transformed from a liquid to a gas.

FIG. 9a is an assembled view of the single axle, multiple energy input, transformation, pumping system of FIG. 8. An energy transformation system 300 comprises the elements and operations of FIG. 8. It should be noted that systems that are dedicated to perform a subset of the described twelve energy transformations may comprise a subset of the elements of FIGS. 8 and 9a.

FIG. 9b is a view of the motor/generator of FIG. 8 switched into electrically active motor/generator mode. A magnet 353 is affixed to a stator 351 by a stator engaged solenoid 357 which physically connects the magnet 353 to the stator 351 such that as a windings/brushes assembly 355 rotates with the axle 305, the magnet 353, stator 351, and stator engaged solenoid 357 remain stationary. As discussed in FIG. 8, all energy transformations to or from electricity (when the motor/generator 301 operates actively as either a motor or a generator using electromagnetic induction) are performed with the stator engaged solenoid 357 switched into this configuration such that induction occurs.

FIG. 9c is a view of the motor/generator of FIG. 9b switched into an electrically passive mode. An assembly engaged solenoid 357a is switched to disengage with the stator 351 and to instead engage with the windings/brushes assembly 355. This configuration comprises a locked motor/compressor 301a wherein when the windings/brushes assembly 355 rotates with the axle 305, the magnet 353, and stator engaged solenoid 357 rotate with them too while the stator 351 remains stationary. As discussed in FIG. 8, all energy transformations where the axle transfers kinetic energy from one side of the motor/generator to the other side of the motor/generator (and no electromagnetic induction to or from electricity is desired) are performed with the assembly engaged solenoid 357a switched into this configuration. Switching the motor into the locked motor/compressor 301a configuration ensures that no kinetic energy is wasted generating undesired electricity. The motor/generator is passive with kinetic energy passing there through via the axle while no resistance is caused by electromagnetic induction.

Whereas as FIG. 9b shows some elements within the motor/generator turning with the axle and FIG. 9c shows additional elements within the motor/generator turning with the axle for the purposes of eliminating the induction interaction between elements within the motor/generator so as not to waste energy, an alternate embodiment is to change the art of FIG. 9c so that fewer elements within the motor/generator rotate with the axle such that when the axle rotates no motor/generator induction occurs. In either case, the elements within the motor/generator moving relative to one another are reduced to minimize induction as a resistance to passive kinetic energy transformation from one end of the motor/generator, through the axle to the other end of the motor/generator such that kinetic energy efficiency is transferred within minimal loss to the resistance of electrical induction.

To configure elements of an electric motor to selectively switch between not rotating and rotating, additional electrical contacts and bearings (not shown) can be added to the switchable elements to ensure they rotate efficiently when needed and also maintain electrical connectivity both when rotating and not rotating.

OPERATION OF THE INVENTION

Operation of the invention has been discussed under the above heading and is not repeated here to avoid redundancy.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

Thus the reader will see that the apparatus and processes of this invention provides an efficient, energy saving, greenhouse gas reducing, thermal pollution reducing, novel, unanticipated, highly functional and reliable means for heating and cooling buildings.

As utilized in this application, the terms “refrigerant” and “working fluid” have the same meaning.

An axle as utilized herein is a connective means to transfer rotational energy along a common rotational axis from on element to another element such as between the expanded elements in FIG. 8. It is understood that one element can be affixed to another in a manner where no central axle is necessary but where rotational energy is transferred along a shared rotational axis. As used herein this is synonymous with an axle. An example of connecting elements with no central axle are the solenoid clutch interfaces described herein that transfer rotational energy from one element to another on a shared rotational axis wherein the axle a central hub type axle does not need to physically connect to both elements. All elements described in FIG. 8 can be similarly connected with no recognizable central hub axle but they do share a common axis of rotation and the ability to transfer rotational energy herein to meet the definition of axle intended herein.

For specific applications, elements of the energy transformation apparatus of FIG. 8 may be eliminated to reduce cost. Also novel and unobvious elements in the energy transformation apparatus of FIG. 8 can be used for applications beyond heating and cooling spaces.

While the above description describes many specifications, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of a preferred embodiment thereof. Many other variations are possible.