Title:
WELL PRODUCTION ENHANCING DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device insertable into a cased well consisting of an elastic tube, a pipe having an inner bore, the pipe extending through the elastic tube, the elastic tube annularly surrounding an expansion space; tube clamps capable of fixedly attaching the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube to the outer surface of the pipe; and fluid transfer apertures capable of carrying fluids from the inner bore of the pipe to the expansion space, the fluid transfer apertures interconnecting the expansion space and the inner bore of the pipe so that, upon extension of the device into the cased well, and upon introduction of a pressurized water into the inner bore of the pipe, the water may flow from the inner bore of the pipe into the expansion space, causing the outer surface of the elastic tube to expand radially outward into is contact with the well's casing.



Inventors:
Brecheisen, Marion (HOLCOMB, KS, US)
Application Number:
09/060766
Publication Date:
11/08/2001
Filing Date:
04/15/1998
Assignee:
BRECHEISEN MARION
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
166/187, 166/122
International Classes:
E21B33/127; (IPC1-7): E21B33/126
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
KRECK, JANINE MUIR
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KENNETH H JACK (WICHITA, KS, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A device, the device being insertable into a well, the well having a casing, the device comprising: A) an elastic tube, the elastic tube having an upper end, a lower end, an outer surface, and an inner surface; B) a pipe, the pipe having an upper end, a lower end, an outer surface, and an inner surface annularly surrounding a bore, the pipe extending through the elastic tube, the inner surface of the elastic tube annularly surrounding an expansion space, the expansion space extending inwardly from the inner surface of the elastic tube to the outer surface of the pipe; C) tube attaching means capable of fixedly attaching the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube to the outer surface of the pipe, the tube attaching means fixedly attaching the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube to the outer surface of the pipe; and D) fluid transfer means capable of carrying fluids from the bore of the pipe to the expansion space, the fluid transfer means interconnecting the expansion space and the bore of the pipe so that, upon the insertion of the device into the well, and upon introduction of a pressurized fluid into the bore, the pressurized fluid may flow from the bore into the expansion space, expanding the expansion space, and causing the outer surface of the elastic tube to extend radially outward and into contact with the casing.

2. The device of claim 2 wherein the fluid transfer means comprises a first aperture extending from the inner surface of the pipe to its outer surface, the first aperture being positioned so that fluids flowing outwardly therethrough may enter the expansion space.

3. The device of claim 3 wherein the fluid transfer means further comprises a second aperture extending from the inner surface of the pipe to its outer surface, the second aperture being positioned so that fluids flowing outwardly therefrom may enter the expansion space, the second aperture being further positioned below the first aperture.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein the tube attaching means comprises an upper flange, a lower flange, an upper clamp ring, a lower clamp ring, the upper and lower flanges extending radially outward from and being fixedly attached to or homogeneously fused with the outer surface of the pipe, the upper and lower flanges each having an outer facing tube clamping surface, the upper and lower clamp rings each having an inner tube clamping surface, the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube being respectively positioned between the tube clamping surfaces of the upper flange and clamp ring and the lower flange and clamp ring, the upper and lower clamp rings being respectively fixedly attached to the upper and lower flanges so that the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube are respectively pressed between their tube clamping surfaces.

5. The device of claim 3 wherein the tube attaching means comprises an upper flange, a lower flange, an upper clamp ring, a lower clamp ring, the upper and lower flanges extending radially outward from and being fixedly attached to or homogeneously fused with the outer surface of the pipe, the upper and lower flanges each having an outer facing tube clamping surface, the upper and lower clamp rings each having an inner tube clamping surface, the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube being respectively positioned between the tube clamping surfaces of the upper flange and clamp ring and the lower flange and clamp ring, the upper and lower clamp rings being respectively fixedly attached to the upper and lower flanges so that the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube are respectively pressed between their tube clamping surfaces.

6. The device of claim 4 wherein the upper clamp ring has a plurality of upper bolt extension apertures therethrough, wherein the upper flange has a plurality of upper spirally threaded apertures positioned for registered alignment with the upper bolt extension apertures, and further comprising a first plurality of spirally threaded bolts, such bolts extending through the upper bolt extension apertures and such bolts being threadedly mounted within the upper spirally threaded apertures.

7. The device of claim 5 wherein the upper clamp ring has a plurality of upper bolt extension apertures therethrough, wherein the upper flange has a plurality of upper spirally threaded apertures positioned for registered alignment with the upper bolt extension apertures, and further comprising a first plurality of spirally threaded bolts, such bolts extending through the upper bolt extension apertures and such bolts being threadedly mounted within the upper spirally threaded apertures.

8. The device of claim 6 wherein the upper clamp ring has a plurality of upper bolt extension apertures therethrough, wherein the lower flange has a plurality of lower spirally threaded apertures positioned for registered alignment with the lower bolt extension apertures, and further comprising a second plurality of spirally threaded bolts, such bolts extending through the lower bolt extension apertures and such bolts being threadedly mounted within the lower spirally threaded apertures.

9. The device of claim 7 wherein the upper clamp ring has a plurality of lower bolt extension apertures therethrough, wherein the lower flange has a plurality of lower spirally threaded apertures positioned for registered alignment with the lower bolt extension apertures, and further comprising a second plurality of spirally threaded bolts, such bolts extending through the lower bolt extension apertures and such bolts being threadedly mounted within the lower spirally threaded apertures.

10. The device of claim 8 wherein the expansion space has an upper end and a lower end, wherein the first aperture is positioned at the upper end of the expansion space, and wherein the second aperture is positioned at the lower end of the expansion space.

11. The device of claim 9 wherein the expansion space has an upper end and a lower end, wherein the first aperture is positioned at the upper end of the expansion space, and wherein the second aperture is positioned at the lower end of the expansion space.

12. The device of claim 10 wherein the pipe comprises an irrigation well column pipe section.

13. The device of claim 11 wherein the pipe comprises an irrigation well column pipe section.

14. The device of claim 12 wherein the elastic tube comprises a material selected from the group of vulcanized rubber or synthetic rubber.

15. The device of claim 13 wherein the elastic tube comprises a material selected from the group of vulcanized rubber or synthetic rubber.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to mechanisms and apparatus applicable to water wells and water pumps installed therein. In particular, this invention relates such apparatus applicable to cased water wells having installed therein a submersible centrifugal pump or line shaft impeller pumps.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Two common types of pumps utilized within agricultural irrigation wells are line shaft impeller pumps and submersible electric motor driven centrifugal pumps. Such pumps operate through transmission of kinetic energy from their spinning blades to water which comes into contact with the blades. Water which comes into contact with the spinning impeller blades of an impeller pump is accelerated in the direction of the axis of rotation of the blades. Water flowing within channels formed by the spinning vanes of a centrifugal pump is outwardly centrifugally accelerated. In both cases, work performed upon the water by the vanes or blades, as the case may be, lifts the water from a subterranean level through the bore of the well to ground level. Typically, the blades of an impeller pump or the vanes of a centrifugal pump installed within a water irrigation well perform no function other than driving water upwardly through the well.

[0003] The instant inventive device enhances the function of such impeller or centrifugal pumps installed within water wells, allowing such pumps perform at least two functions in addition to the water lifting function; such additional functions including: (1) inflation of an inflatable well packer; (2) creating a pressure differential or vacuum effect at the water inlet ports of the well without drawing down the water level within the well. Through use of the instant inventive device, a pump within an irrigation well becomes capable of simultaneously lifting water, inflating a well packer, and creating a vacuum at the well's water inlet ports, enhancing the water production capacity of the well.

PRIOR ART PATENTS

[0004] The following U.S. Patents disclose or relate to well packers or well packing methods:

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 3,039,533 issued Jun. 19, 1962, to Lacy discloses an artisan well control device.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 672,475 issued Apr. 23, 1901 to Cavallaro discloses an expandable packing attachment for artisan wells.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,392,853 issued Feb. 28, 1995, to Toon discloses a plugging system for bore holes utilizing expansible packers.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,226,485 issued Jul. 13, 1993, to Dobscha discloses a process for utilizing packers for isolating zones in multiple zone wells.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 4,484,626 issued Nov. 27, 1984, to Kerfoot discloses a pneumatic packer.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 3,493,045 issued Feb. 3, 1970, to Bassani discloses a fluid pressurized packer.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 3,392,785 issued Jul. 16, 1968, to King discloses a retractable mechanical packer.

[0012] None of the above disclosed U.S. Patents discloses or teaches the novel, inventive and useful attributes and aspects of the present inventive well production enhancing device.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] A preferred embodiment of the instant inventive well production enhancing device comprises a section of irrigation well column pipe, such section serving as the major structural support of the device. A pair of circular apertures are cut or drilled through the side wall of the column pipe, so that the apertures extend from the column pipe's outer radial surface to its interior bore. Preferably, the apertures are spaced apart along the length of the column pipe so that one aperture may serve as an upper air bleeding aperture, and the other aperture may serve as a lower water inlet aperture.

[0014] Preferably, an upper flange ring is slidably mounted over and welded upon the outer surface of the column pipe at an elevation immediately above the upper aperture. The upper flange ring preferably has an annular inwardly facing surface which is closely fitted for mounting over the outside diameter of the column pipe. Also, preferably, the upper flange ring is welded to the column pipe to form an occlusive seal at the annular joint.

[0015] Preferably, the upper flange ring has at least three annular surfaces in addition to its inwardly facing surface; such surfaces being an upwardly facing surface, an outwardly facing surface, and a downwardly facing surface. Preferably, the upwardly facing surface of the upper flange ring has eight upwardly opening spirally threaded apertures which are evenly spaced therearound; preferably, the outwardly facing surface extends conically outward and downward from the level of the upwardly facing surface to form an outwardly facing tube clamping surface; and preferably, the entire flange ring is positioned upon the column pipe so that its downwardly facing surface ring lies immediately above the column pipe section's air bleeding aperture.

[0016] A lower flange ring is similarly fixedly attached to the column pipe immediately below the lower water inlet aperture, the lower flange ring preferably being a mirror image of the upper flange ring.

[0017] The section of column pipe having such upper and lower flange rings occlusively welded thereto is preferably extended through an elastic tube, the elastic tube preferably being fitted so that its inside diameter approximately equals the outside diameters of the upper and lower flange rings and so that the elastic tube spans between the upwardly facing surface of the upper flange ring and the downwardly facing surface of the lower flange ring. Preferably, the elastic tube is composed of either vulcanized or synthetic rubber and is capable of elastically stretching and contracting.

[0018] Upon such positioning of the elastic tube over the flange rings, an upper clamp ring is preferably bolted in place over the upper flange ring, the upper clamp ring functioning to press the upper end of the elastic tube against the outwardly facing tube clamping surface of the upper flange ring, forming an upper annular occlusive seal. Preferably, the upper clamp ring has at least three surfaces, they being an upwardly facing surface, a downwardly facing surface, and an inwardly facing tube clamping surface. Also, preferably, the upper clamp ring has a series of eight bolt receiving apertures therethrough, each extending from the ring's upwardly facing surface to its downwardly facing surface, such apertures being positioned so that they may be aligned to register with the threaded bolt receiving apertures of the upper flange ring. Also, preferably, the inwardly facing tube clamping surface of the upper clamp ring extends conically outward and downward at an angle matching the outwardly facing tube clamping surface of the upper flange ring, allowing the upper end of the elastic tube to be evenly pressed between the two tube clamping surfaces to form an occlusive seal.

[0019] Upon placement of the upper clamp ring over the upper end of the elastic tube and over the upper flange ring, the bolt receiving apertures of the upper clamp ring are aligned with the threaded bolt receiving apertures of the upper flange ring. Threaded bolts are then extended through said bolt receiving apertures, and the bolts are threadedly mounted within the threaded bolt receiving apertures. Upon installation of eight bolts within their respective apertures, such bolts are tightened, causing the upper clamp ring to move downwardly toward the upper flange ring, and causing the tube clamping surfaces of the upper clamp ring and the upper flange ring to annularly press against the inner and outer surfaces of the end of the elastic tube; such pressure forming an upper occlusive seal.

[0020] A lower clamp ring, preferably a mirror image of the upper clamp ring, is similarly attached over the lower end of the elastic tube and over the lower flange ring, forming a lower occlusive seal. The annular space between the column pipe and the elastic tube serves as an expansion space for hydraulic outward stretching the elastic tube.

[0021] The column pipe section of the instant inventive device preferably comprises a single joint within a column pipe string which is extended downwardly through the casing of a water irrigation well. Preferably, the device is selectively placed within the column pipe string so that the elastic tube becomes completely submerged below the water table level of the well. Upon immersion of the apparatus, air within the annular expansion space between the outer surface of the column pipe and the inner surface of the elastic tube will bleed inwardly into the bore of the column pipe through the upper air bleeding aperture. As the air within the expansion space flows into the column pipe, water flows into the expansion space through the lower water inlet aperture. The air and water exchange continues until the expansion space is completely filled with water. Upon filling of the expansion space with water, the device is ready for use.

[0022] In operation of the present inventive device, a line shaft impeller pump or electrical submersible centrifugal pump installed upon the lower end of the column pipe is activated, causing pressurized water to be driven upwardly through the column pipe. A portion of the pressurized water emits laterally through the upper and lower apertures, flowing into the annular expansion space between the outer surface of the column pipe and the inner surface of the elastic tube. The flow of water into the expansion space causes the elastic tube to expand outwardly causing its outer surface to come into pressurized contact with the inwardly facing surface of the well's casing. Such pressurized contact forms an occlusive seal between those surfaces.

[0023] In the absence of such occlusive seal between the column pipe and casing of an irrigation well, water flow within the column pipe which exceeds the flow of water into the foot of the well from the water table undesirably draws down the water level within the well. The occlusive seal between the outer surface of the elastic tube of the instant inventive device and the casing of a well in which it is installed prevents such draw down effect from occurring, creating a vacuum or pressure differential at the water inlets of the well. Thus, the instant inventive device allows an impeller pump or a centrifugal pump to simultaneously drive water upward within the column pipe, to create an occlusive seal between the column pipe and the well's casing, and to cause la vacuum effect at the well's water inlet ports. The three effects, in combination, enhance the performance of the irrigation well.

[0024] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a device for enhancing the performance of a water well which simultaneously allows the well's impeller pump or centrifugal pump to lift water within the water well, to create an occlusive seal between the well's column pipe and its casing, and to create a vacuum effect for drawing an additional volume of water into the well from the water table.

[0025] It is further object of the present invention to provide such a device which is simply an economically constructed through utilization of an elastic tube spanning between and interconnecting upper and lower flange rings and upper and lower clamp rings.

[0026] Other and further objects, benefits and advantages of the present inventive device for enhancing the performance of a water well will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the Detailed Description which follows and upon review of the appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the present inventive well production enhancing device, the view showing the device, uninflated, and installed within the casing of water irrigation well.

[0028] FIG. 2 is identical to the view of FIG. 1, with the exception that the well production enhancing device is shown in its inflated configuration.

[0029] FIG. 3 is a side sectional view of the device depicted in FIG. 1.

[0030] FIG. 4 is a magnified detail of the upper end of the device depicted in FIG. 3.

[0031] FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the device installed within a well within the ground.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0032] Referring now to the drawings, and in particular to Drawing FIG. 1, the present inventive well production enhancing device is referred to generally as Drawing Element 1. The device 1 is depicted installed within the steel casing 2 of a water irrigation well. The major structural support element of the device 1 is a section of water irrigation well column pipe 4, the column pipe section 4 extending the full length of the device 1. As depicted in FIG. 1, an impeller shaft 6 extends through the bore 28 of the column pipe 4. The device 1 is equally utilizable within water irrigation wells which have installed therein a submersible centrifugal pump instead of a shaft driven impeller pump.

[0033] Referring to FIG. 3, a fitted upper flange ring 8 and a fitted lower flange ring 10 are slidably positioned over the column pipe 4, and are welded thereto, the welds forming occlusive seals at the junctures between the column pipe 4 and the inwardly facing surfaces of the flange rings 8 and 10. Referring simultaneously to Drawing FIGS. 1 and 3, an upper clamp ring 12 and a lower clamp ring 14 are respectively bolted to the upper flange ring 8 and the lower flange ring 10 by threaded bolts 16, the threaded bolts 16 extending through apertures extending vertically through the upper and lower clamp rings 12 and 14, the bolts 16 being threadedly mounted within threaded apertures within the upper and lower flange rings 8 and 10.

[0034] Further referring simultaneously to Drawing FIGS. 1 and 3, an elastic tube 18, preferably composed of either synthetic rubber or vulcanized natural rubber, is mounted over the column pipe 4, the elastic tube 18 being positioned so that its upper and lower ends extend between, referring to FIG. 4, tube clamping surfaces 20, of the upper and lower flange rings 8 and 10, and of the upper and lower clamp rings 12 and 14.

[0035] Referring to FIG. 3, the threaded bolts 16 are tightened, causing the upper clamp ring 12 to move downwardly and causing the lower clamp ring 14 to move upwardly, pressing the upper and lower ends of the elastic tube 18 against the upper and lower flange rings 8 and 10, forming upper and lower occlusive seals.

[0036] Referring further to FIG. 3, the bore of the elastic tube 18 is bounded radially inward by the column pipe 4, and is bounded in the upward and downward directions by the upper and lower flange rings 8 and 10 to form an annular expansion space 22 which surrounds the column pipe 4. An upper air bleeding aperture 24 and a lower water inlet aperture 26 allow free passage of air from the annular expansion space 22 into the interior bore 28 of the column pipe 4. The lower water inlet aperture 26 allows water to flow from the interior bore 28 of the column pipe 4 into the expansion space 22 while air bleeds out of the upper air bleeding aperture 24.

[0037] In operation of the well production enhancing device 1, referring to FIG. 5, such device is installed as a part of a threadedly linked column pipe string 30, such string being extended downwardly through the casing 2 of a water irrigation well. Preferably, the device 1 is positioned within the column pipe string 30 so that it is completely submerged below the upper level 32 of the water table 34. Water from the water table 34 flows through water inlet ports 36 at the lower end of the casing 2 to pass upwardly through the impeller pump 38, and flows further upwardly through the column pipe 4 until the water level reaches the upper level 32 of the water table 34. Referring simultaneously to FIGS. 3 and 5, the water also flows from the bore 28 of the column pipe 4 through the water inlet port 26, driving any trapped air within the expansion space 22 upward through the upper air bleeding aperture 24 and into the bore 28 of the column pipe 4. When the expansion space 22 is completely filled with water, the device 1 is ready for use.

[0038] Referring to FIG. 5, upon activation of the irrigation well's motor 40, pressurized water is driven upwardly through the column pipe string 30 by the bladder of the impeller pump 38. Referring simultaneously to FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, the pressurized water also flows into and expands the expansion space 22 causing the outer surface of the elastic tube 18 to expand outwardly and press against the inner surface of the casing 2; such pressure forming an occlusive seal between the elastic tube 18 and the casing 3. The establishment of an occlusive seal between the elastic tube 18 and the inner surface of the casing 2 prevents the water level within the well from being drawn down, allowing a greater volume of water to be vacuumed by the pump 38 from the water table 34.

[0039] While the principles of the invention have been made clear in the above illustrative embodiment, those skilled in the art may make modifications in the structure, arrangement, portions and components of the invention without departing from those principles. Accordingly, it is intended that the description and drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in the limiting sense, and that the invention be given a scope commensurate with the appended claims.