Title:
Windmill with multiple double-acting piston/cylinder compressor system and apparatus and method of mounting multiple windmill blades to enhance performance
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A windmill compressor apparatus has multiple double acting piston/cylinders actuated by the windmill. The windmill additionally has multiple pairs of blades to enhance power output and lift.



Inventors:
Mccabe, Francis J. (Ottville, PA, US)
Application Number:
09/990855
Publication Date:
05/23/2002
Filing Date:
11/21/2001
Assignee:
MCCABE FRANCIS J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F03D1/00; F03D9/00; F04B17/02; (IPC1-7): F04B17/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090301412VARIABLE COOLANT PUMP FOR THE COOLING CIRCUIT OF AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINEDecember, 2009Genster
20090269226Pump drive cartridge assemblyOctober, 2009De Minco et al.
20100086414HYBRID INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE AND AIR MOTOR SYSTEM AND METHODApril, 2010Tai
20090229312CIRCULATION AND DRAIN SYSTEM IN A WASHING MACHINE AND A METHOD THEREOFSeptember, 2009Chung et al.
2006002748924-Volt pump adapterFebruary, 2006Libfeld
20080075608ELECTRICALLY OPERATED HYDRAULIC PUMPMarch, 2008Suzuki et al.
20040191084Double shell structure for air pumpsSeptember, 2004Wang
20050069426Devices for use in medicineMarch, 2005Mason et al.
20070253838Air compressor unloader systemNovember, 2007Leiss
20100061869CRYOGENIC FLUID CIRCULATION PUMPMarch, 2010Kwon et al.
20090317269POWER CONTROLLERDecember, 2009Fronzoni



Primary Examiner:
KOCZO JR, MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BENASUTTI, P.A. (BOCA RATON, FL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A windmill compressor apparatus comprising: windmill means mounted to a windmill shaft to rotate said shaft in response to air flow through said windmill means; multiple double-acting piston/cylinder means each having a piston operating within a cylinder to compress air upon movement of the piston within the cylinder; each of said cylinders having a piston shaft connected to said piston therein; said piston shaft extending from said cylinder; drive means connecting said piston shafts to said windmill shaft to drive said piston shafts in response to rotation of said windmill shaft; and conduit means connected to the piston/cylinder means to permit the flow of air into said cylinders to receive compressed air from said cylinders.

2. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 1 further comprising positioning the multiple double-acting piston/cylinder means such that the cylinders are radially space from one another.

3. A windmill compressor apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said cylinders are of different diameters.

4. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 3 wherein pressure relief valves are disposed in discharge lines exiting said cylinders of different diameters.

5. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 4 wherein the pressure relief valve for the cylinder with the largest diameter is set to be actuated at a pressure which is less than the pressure relief valve for the cylinder with the smaller diameter.

6. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 1 wherein the drive means comprises a crank arm attached to the windmill shaft to rotate therewith; said crank arm having a portion thereof connected to the piston shafts to rotate said piston shafts, thereby withdrawing and inserting the shafts with respect to the cylinders to compress air.

7. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 1 wherein the crank arm has a portion thereof opposite to the end which is connected to the piston shafts, which portion acts as a counterbalance to the pistons.

8. The windmill compressor apparatus as in claim 1 further comprising multiple pairs of windmill blades.

9. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 8 wherein the multiple pairs of blades are attached to multiple hubs on said windmill shaft.

10. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 9 wherein the blades in each pair of windmill blades are interconnected with braces.

11. A windmill compressor apparatus comprising: windmill means mounted to a windmill shaft to rotate said shaft in response to air flow through said windmill means; the windmill further comprising multiple pairs of windmill blades.

12. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 11 wherein the multiple pairs of blades are attached to multiple hubs on said windmill shaft.

13. The windmill compressor apparatus of claim 11 wherein the blades of each pair of windmill blades are interconnected with braces.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a Continuation-in-Part of two of my prior applications, namely WINDMILL WITH TWO PISTON COMPRESSOR SYSTEM, Serial No. 60/252,772, filed Nov. 22,2000; and APPARATUS AND METHOD OF MOUNTING MULTIPLE BLADES TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE, Serial No. 60/252,812, filed Nov. 22,2000; the disclosures of which are incorporated herein by reference as if fully set forth.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Technical Field

[0003] This invention relates to improvements in windmill compressed air systems, and more particularly, to a multiple double acting piston/cylinder system actuated by a windmill, which additionally has multiple airfoils in a stack to enhance power output and lift.

[0004] 2. Background Art

[0005] In the prior art, it was known to use windmills to compress and store compressed air. Such a system is shown in my prior art U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,181, issued Oct. 17, 2000, which discloses windmill structures and systems. Therein I disclose a number of ways of attaching the rotating shaft of a windmill to various mechanical means and compressors.

[0006] One of the problems that I have noted in my work with windmills is that there may be periods when the wind is either very slow or very fast for a sustained period of time. This can affect the usefulness of the windmill system in compressing and storing compressed air.

[0007] Further, in the prior art, it has been known to mount air foils in stacks, such as the wing 5 arrangement in bi-planes and tri-planes. I have discovered that the performance of such arrangements may be enhanced depending on the mounting and relative positioning of the air foils.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

[0008] Summary of the Invention

[0009] I have invented a windmill compressed air system which utilizes two double acting pistons and cylinders. These are most preferably of different volume, but have the same stroke length. They have pressure control valves to provide for alternative choices depending on wind availability. The larger diameter piston is used to quickly pump up the volume of the storage tank for the compressed air to a desired level. After that, the smaller diameter piston takes over.

[0010] The larger diameter piston cuts off at lower air speeds, so that at least some useful work can be gained from the windmill turning and driving the smaller diameter piston.

[0011] Further, the improved airfoil arrangement comprises airfoils in combination which provide needed structural strength while causing windmill air flow enhancement which is greater than the sum of the individual air flows (under the same air flow conditions).

[0012] I have invented a windmill compressor apparatus comprising:

[0013] windmill means mounted to a windmill shaft to rotate said shaft in response to air flow through said windmill means;

[0014] multiple double-acting piston/cylinder means each having a piston operating within a cylinder to compress air upon movement of the piston within the cylinder;

[0015] each of said cylinders having a piston shaft connected to said piston therein; said piston shaft extending from said cylinder;

[0016] drive means connecting said piston shafts to said windmill shaft to drive said piston shafts in response to rotation of said windmill shaft; and

[0017] conduit means connected to the piston/cylinder means to permit the flow of air into said cylinders to receive compressed air from said cylinders.

[0018] I have further invented a windmill compressor apparatus in which I position the multiple double-acting piston/cylinder means such that the cylinders are radially space from one another.

[0019] Most preferably, the cylinders are of different diameters. Pressure relief valves are disposed in discharge lines exiting said cylinders of different diameters. The pressure relief valve for the cylinder with the largest diameter is set to be actuated at a pressure which is less than the pressure relief valve for the cylinder with the smaller diameter.

[0020] The drive means comprises a crank arm attached to the windmill shaft to rotate therewith; said crank arm having a portion thereof connected to the piston shafts to rotate said piston shafts, thereby withdrawing and inserting the shafts with respect to the cylinders to compress air. The crank arm has a portion thereof opposite to the end which is connected to the piston shafts, which portion acts as a counterbalance to the pistons.

[0021] The windmill compressor apparatus as defined above may further comprise multiple pairs of windmill blades. The multiple pairs of blades are attached to multiple hubs on said windmill shaft.

[0022] The blades in each pair of windmill blades are interconnected with braces.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0023] FIG. 1 is a rear view of a windmill system;

[0024] FIG. 2 is a side view of the windmill system shown in FIG. 1; and

[0025] FIG. 3 is a top view of a portion of the windmill system shown in FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0026] Referring to the Figures, they show a windmill system apparatus which comprises a windmill designated generally 10 having a plurality of blades 12 mounted to a hubs 14 and 15 connected to a shaft 16 which is journaled in bearings 18 mounted on a horizontal beam 20 which is rigidly connected to a vertical tube 22 and a base 24 supporting the entire structure.

[0027] Referring to FIG. 2, this shows a side view of a plurality of air foils or blades 12 positioned with respect to one another. The blades are shown as being predominantly flat, of uniform crosssection and having a lip at the down wind edge (as shown in my prior U.S. patents for air foils and windmill structures such as U.S. Pat. No. 6,132,181, issued Oct. 17, 2000). The blades are positioned with respect to one another such that the center of the central portion of one blade is spaced approximately 50% of the blade cord length from the center to the center of the central portion of the other blade.

[0028] I discovered that this arrangement provides for more air flow deflected in a downward direction.

[0029] FIG. 2 shows the mounting at the ends of the blades to the hub plates 14 and 15. In this arrangement, additional braces 17 and 19 may be provided for the purposes of stiffening.

[0030] A plurality of such blade arrangements are provided spaced radially from one another.

[0031] The outboard end of the shaft 16 is connected for rotation to a crank arm 28. One end 29 of the crank arm 28 is “T” shaped and is used to counterbalance the stroke of the pistons in the piston/cylinders 42,44. The other end 30 of the crank arm has a shaft 32 extending therefrom which supports bearings 34 and 36. Mounting means disposed about these bearings support and are connected respectively to the piston shafts 38 and 40 of the dual acting piston/cylinders 42 and 44, respectively. The other ends of the air cylinders are mounted to be pivoted on bases 46 and 48, respectively.

[0032] In operation, as the windmill rotates, it turns the shaft 16 which, in turn, rotates the crank arm 28. Since the shafts 38 and 40 of the pistons are journaled to the shaft 32, as the crank arm rotates, it drives the pistons in and out of their respective cylinders. One of these cylinders of the piston/cylinder 44 is of a greater diameter than the other, 42. Both of the cylinders are double acting and both have the same stroke length on rotation of the crank arm. However, they are spaced radially so as to sequence top and bottom dead center points (by approximately 30 degrees), thereby distributing the loading over a longer duration of rotation and reducing the maximum force needed for a given pounds per square inch/cubic feet per minute rate.

[0033] Referring to the Figures, they show the air exchange system using these two piston/cylinders.

[0034] Since there are check valves at each end of the cylinders, each cylinder is double acting in that on the withdrawal stroke of the piston shafts 38, 40, compressed air is forced out of the upper end of the cylinders of the piston/cylinders 42, 44 in FIG. 3; and on the down stroke, compressed air is forced out of the lower end of the cylinders. There are check valves 50, 52, FIG. 2, at both ends to keep the air from flowing back in once it has been exhausted from the cylinder. There are also check valves 54, 56, FIG. 2, at the air intake to keep the air from flowing out once it has been drawn into the cylinder. Down stream of the exhaust check valves, such as 50 and 52, there are adjustment relief valves 57, 59 which will be discussed more fully hereinafter. Also, downstream of the check valves are check valves 58; to keep air from flowing back into the system. Downstream from that valve 58, there is a hose or piping 60 to the compressed air reservoir tank 62. The same piping system is provided for both cylinders.

[0035] System Operation

[0036] In operation, the pressure relief valves 57, 59 are set at predetermined pressures. For example, for the bigger diameter cylinder 44; relief valve 57 might be set at 55 or 60 pounds per square inch. For the smaller diameter cylinder, pressure relief valve 59 might be set at approximately 86 pounds per square inch pressure. Thus, after the pressure reaches 55 psi, the valve 57 simply exhausts its compressed air. Therefore, the windmill does not have to push against the combined forces of the bigger and smaller piston/cylinders. Once that pressure is reached, the smaller piston/cylinder nevertheless keeps working and keeps compressing air up to its limit of approximately 86 pounds.

[0037] The smaller cylinder is designed to work with winds of approximately 6 to 10 mph. Once the volume is reached in the tank 62 and the lower pressure limit is reached, the bigger diameter cylinder drops out of the production of compressed air, so that at least something is gained from the windmill system. Otherwise, the windmill would stall because it cannot drive both pistons at low speeds. Thus, this arrangement extends the range of useful work that the windmill can perform.

[0038] Note that when no pressure is in the tank 62 and the windmill first starts up, both cylinders pump compressed air into the storage tank as pressure in the tank climbs to the preset pressure of the larger cylinder.