Title:
Pump system including host and satellite pumps and method of the same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pump system that includes one or more satellite supply pumps to feed a main pump. The pump system enables a large flow volume of water to be delivered over long distances. The system is self contained in a transportable container. The supply pumps enable water may be drawn from a number of sources. The pump system can be provided with or without a main boost pump. The system can include one, two, or more satellite pumps. The pump system can include a first engine to drive the main boost pump and a second engine to drive the satellite pumps.



Inventors:
Shaefer, Henry (Newtown Square, PA, US)
Drake, Bill (Exton, PA, US)
Paldan, Frederick (St. Peters, PA, US)
Price, Ashley Arthur (West Chester, PA, US)
Vo, John (Blue Bell, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/178157
Publication Date:
09/21/2006
Filing Date:
07/07/2005
Assignee:
Kidde Fire Fighting, Inc. (Exton, PA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
137/565.3
International Classes:
B65H75/34; F04B41/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHAUDRY, ATIF H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MERCHANT & GOULD P.C. (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system, comprising: a main pump; a first engine to drive the main pump; a satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a hose, the satellite pump being configured to be deployed into a source of water; and a second engine to drive the satellite pump; wherein the satellite pump delivers water from the source of water to the main pump.

2. The system of claim 1, further comprising a second satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a second house, the second satellite pump being configured to be deployed into the source of water.

3. The system of claim 1, wherein the satellite pump is hydraulically driven by the second engine.

4. The system of claim 1, wherein the second engine drives the satellite pump to prime the main pump.

5. The system of claim 4, further comprising a hydraulic control system configured to sense water inlet pressure at the main pump and to control output of the satellite pump.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the hydraulic control system is configured to control the output of the satellite pump to create a positive water pressure at the main pump.

7. The system of claim 1, further comprising a container sized to house the main pump, the satellite pump, and the first and second engines.

8. The system of claim 1, further comprising an additive injection module configured to insert an additive into water pumped by the system.

9. The system of claim 1, wherein the satellite pump includes a strainer configured to reduce blockage at a water intake of the satellite pump.

10. The system of claim 1, further comprising a powered deployment and retrieval system configured to deploy the satellite pump into the source of water and to retrieve the satellite pump from the source of water.

11. A pump system, comprising: a main pump; a first hydraulic engine to drive the main pump; a first satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a first hose, the first satellite pump being configured to be deployed into a source of water; a second satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a second hose, the second satellite pump being configured to be deployed into the source of water; and a second hydraulic engine to drive the first and second satellite pumps; wherein the first and second satellite pumps are configured to deliver water from the source of water to the main pump; and wherein the second engine drives the first and second satellite pumps to prime the main pump.

12. The system of claim 11, further comprising a hydraulic control system configured to sense water inlet pressure at the main pump and to control output of the first and second satellite pumps.

13. The system of claim 12, wherein the hydraulic control system is configured to control the output of the first and second satellite pumps to create a positive water pressure at the main pump.

14. The system of claim 11, further comprising a container sized to house the main pump, the first and second satellite pumps, and the first and second engines.

15. The system of claim 11, further comprising an additive injection module configured to insert an additive into water pumped by the system.

16. The system of claim 11, wherein the first and second satellite pumps each include a strainer configured to reduce blockage at a water intake of the first and second satellite pumps.

17. The system of claim 11, further comprising a powered deployment and retrieval system configured to deploy the first and second satellite pumps into the source of water and to retrieve the first and second satellite pumps from the source of water.

18. A pump system, comprising: a main pump; a first hydraulic engine to drive the main pump; a first satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a first hose, the first satellite pump being configured to be deployed into a source of water; a second satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a second hose, the second satellite pump being configured to be deployed into the source of water; a second hydraulic engine to drive the first and second satellite pumps; a hydraulic control system configured to sense water inlet pressure at the main pump and to control output of the first and second satellite pumps; and a powered deployment and retrieval system configured to deploy the first and second satellite pumps into the source of water and to retrieve the first and second satellite pumps from the source of water; wherein the first and second satellite pumps are configured to deliver water from the source of water to the main pump; wherein the second engine drives the first and second satellite pumps to prime the main pump; and wherein the hydraulic control system is configured to control the output of the satellite pump to create a positive water pressure at the main pump.

19. The system of claim 18, further comprising a container sized to house the main pump, the first and second satellite pumps, and the first and second engines.

20. The system of claim 18, further comprising an additive injection module configured to insert an additive into water pumped by the system.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Provisional Application Serial No. 60/586,522, filed on Jul. 7, 2004 and entitled “Pump System Including Host and Satellite Pumps and Method of the Same,” the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

Embodiments of the present invention relate to pump systems that enable flow of a large volume of water. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to pump systems using a main host pump that is fed by one or more submersible mobile supply pumps.

BACKGROUND

There are many uses for a pump system that delivers a large volume and flow rate of water, including municipal and industrial fire fighting, potable water delivery, emergency response and/or other disaster relief needs. Such instances may require large volumes of water at a large flow rate, such as 5000 gallons per minute (GPM) or greater. Typical water sources include lakes, rivers, and bays. A water source, however, may not be conveniently located or accessible relative to the area that needs the water. For example, it is not uncommon that an area of need is far away (e.g., miles) from the nearest water source. Thus, a pump system designed to extract water from long distances and flow large volumes of water over long distances is desirable.

Many current devices employ typical suction/discharge supply pumps, such as a fire pump apparatus. Such devices, however, exhibit shortcomings of limited suction lift and distances that they can be use from an available water source. Still further, such devices are limited in their vertical lift capability, or the ability to pull water from a source that is lower than the device. Most current design can only draft water into their pumps from water sources that are less than 10-12 feet below their suctions. While such devices might be suitable for their purposes, these shortcomings illustrate there still is a need for an improved pump system that can deliver a large flow of water over a long distance, and that may have improved vertical lift for accessing a lower water source.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the present invention relate to pump systems that enable flow of a large volume of water. More particularly, embodiments of the present invention relate to pump systems using a main host pump that is fed by one or more submersible mobile supply pumps.

In one embodiment, a pump system includes a main pump, submersible satellite supply pumps, a control system, and diesel drivers. Preferably, the pump system incorporates a 5000 GPM or greater diesel driven main pump. The main pump is fed by two mobile hydraulically driven floating/submersible supply pumps. The supply pumps can include driven by a separate engine. The pump system is self-contained within an inter-modal style container.

In one embodiment, the pump system may be configured with a hose reel module that includes large hose deployment and storage equipment.

In one embodiment, pump system may be configured with an additive agent (e.g., foam) or decontamination module, which includes additive agent storage and deployment tanks.

In another embodiment, the pump system may be configured with a booster pump module. Preferably, the pump system includes a 5000 GPM or greater pump without submersible pumps for use when only in-line boosting is necessary.

In another embodiment, the pump system may be provided with a water distribution module. Preferably, the pump system includes fittings and manifolds necessary to set up a large flow system using 12-inch hose.

In one embodiment, embodiments of the present invention provide a transportation system module. Preferably, the pump system may be transported using a deployment vehicle such as a roll-on truck and/or hook-lift style trucks and trailers.

One embodiment can include a water discharge system module. Preferably, the pump system can include large flow water monitors as both fixed and trailer mounted styles.

In one embodiment, the pump system can include a submersible remote pumping supply system with or without a host boost pump. Such a system can supply water to an independent boost pump using one or more submersible remote pumps.

In one embodiment, a system includes a main pump, and a first engine to drive the main pump. The system also includes a satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a hose, the satellite pump being configured to be deployed into a source of water, and a second engine to drive the satellite pump, wherein the satellite pump delivers water from the source of water to the main pump.

In one embodiment, a pump system includes a main pump, and a first hydraulic engine to drive the main pump. The system includes a first satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a first hose, the first satellite pump being configured to be deployed into a source of water, a second satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a second hose, the second satellite pump being configured to be deployed into the source of water, and a second hydraulic engine to drive the first and second satellite pumps. The first and second satellite pumps are configured to deliver water from the source of water to the main pump, and the second engine drives the first and second satellite pumps to prime the main pump.

In one embodiment, a pump system includes a main pump, and a first hydraulic engine to drive the main pump. The system includes a first satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a first hose, the first satellite pump being configured to be deployed into a source of water, a second satellite pump coupled to the main pump by a second hose, the second satellite pump being configured to be deployed into the source of water, a second hydraulic engine to drive the first and second satellite pumps, and a hydraulic control system configured to sense water inlet pressure at the main pump and to control output of the first and second satellite pumps. A powered deployment and retrieval system is configured to deploy the first and second satellite pumps into the source of water and to retrieve the first and second satellite pumps from the source of water, the first and second satellite pumps are configured to deliver water from the source of water to the main pump, and the second engine drives the first and second satellite pumps to prime the main pump. The hydraulic control system is configured to control the output of the satellite pump to create a positive water pressure at the main pump.

Use of the satellite supply pumps to feed the host pump can exhibit one or more of the following benefits. Generally, the pump system allows the flexibility of not having to be close to water sources. An operator can draw water to the main pump up to 200 feet and 15 times farther away than could normally be accomplished with a standard suction hose supply setup. The satellite supply pumps increase the vertical lift capability up to 50 feet and up to 5 times greater than normal draft capabilities of a typical fire apparatus.

Embodiments of the present invention may enable an increase in the number and type of water supply reservoirs or sources that can be tapped at one time to provide water for pumping. The host pump can be placed farther away from the water source and still provide large flow capability without significant degradation in hydraulic efficiency and output.

A plurality of host pumps can be set up in series for increased pumping distances. Embodiments of the present invention can utilize a large diameter fire fighting attack hose that may be suitable for potable water use.

The host pump unit can also incorporate a self-contained hydraulic flow and pressure control system that prevents the system from losing control, damaging itself or losing flow capability. Embodiments of the present invention can include a dual engine system, one engine for the host pump and another engine for the satellite supply pumps. This configuration can help ensure that the host pump does not operate in a dry condition. This configuration also allows for flexibility in the use of the system. Embodiments of the present invention can provide manual and automatic control of a hydrostatic drive system for the submersible supply pumps, allowing for increased system flexibility.

Further, embodiments of the present invention can provide an electronically controlled management system for the main host pump, which is designed to include an option for automatic foam proportioning. The container structure allows for an inter modal capability and system modularity, such as roll off, hook arm and cable drag capabilities and interconnectability with other connecting modules.

Fluids used in the system, such as foams, can be selected according to their environmental impact. The pump system may also include drip containment devices to prevent module fluids from entering the environment.

These and other various advantages and features are described in the following detailed description. Reference can also be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to accompanying descriptive matter, in which there are illustrated and described specific examples.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the drawings in which like reference numbers represent corresponding parts throughout:

FIG. 1A represents an elevational perspective view of one embodiment of a pump system enclosed in a container while not in use in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 1B represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 1C represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 1A and representing a side opposite the side illustrated in FIG. 1B.

FIG. 1D represents an elevational front view of the pump system of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 1E represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 1F represents an elevational top view of the pump system of FIG. 1A.

FIG. 2A represents an elevational perspective view of the pump system of FIG. 1A with the exterior shell of the container removed to allow view of the pump system interior components.

FIG. 2B represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2C represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 2A and representing a side opposite the side illustrated in FIG. 2B.

FIG. 2D represents an elevational front view of the pump system of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2E represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2F represents an elevational top plan view of the pump system of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3A represents an elevational top plan view of another embodiment of a pump system in accordance with the principles of the present invention and showing the top without a container shell to allow view of interior components.

FIG. 3B represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 3A.

FIG. 3C represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 3A with an open rear end to allow view of rear interior components.

FIG. 3D represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 3A with the rear end being closed with doors.

FIG. 4A represents a perspective view of the pump system of FIG. 1A ready for transport to a site.

FIG. 4B represents a perspective view of the pump system of FIG. 1A being offloaded to a site.

FIG. 5 represents a perspective view of the pump system of FIG. 1A while in use on a surface and with a source of water.

FIG. 6 represents a schematic view of another embodiment of a pump system in use and in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 7A represents an elevational perspective view of another embodiment of a pump system enclosed in a container while not in use in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 7B represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 7C represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 7A and representing a side opposite the side illustrated in FIG. 7B.

FIG. 7D represents an elevational front view of the pump system of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 7E represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 8A represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 7A with the exterior shell of the container removed to allow view of the pump system interior components.

FIG. 8B represents an elevational top plan view of the pump system of FIG. 8A.

FIG. 8C represents an elevational side view of the pump system of FIG. 8A and representing a side opposite the side illustrated in FIG. 8A.

FIG. 8D represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 8A.

FIG. 9A represents a rear perspective isolation view of the satellite pump of FIG. 8A.

FIG. 9B represents a front perspective view of the satellite pump of FIG. 9A.

FIG. 10 represents a schematic view of another embodiment of a pump system in use and in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 11A represents an elevational top plan view of another embodiment of a pump system with the exterior shell of the container removed to allow view of the pump system interior components in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 11B represents an elevational rear view of the pump system of FIG. 11A.

FIG. 12 represents a schematic view of another embodiment of a pump system in use and in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 13 represents a schematic view of another embodiment of a pump system in use and in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following description of the illustrated embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration of the embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized as structural changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate one preferred embodiment of a pump system 10. FIGS. 1A-1F illustrate the pump system 10 enclosed in a container 15 while not in use. The container 15 provides an enclosure and frame for the pump system 10 to allow for support during use, such as on uneven terrain. The pump system 15 may weigh approximately 45,000 lbs. and the container 15 also provides protection during use and nonuse and provides transport capabilities. The container 15 includes top 12 and bottom 14 panels, and includes front 11 and rear end panels 13 with side panels 16, 18 therebetween.

The container 15 includes a length L along the side panels 16, 18 and width W along the front and rear panels (FIG. 1F) and a height H (FIG. 1D). As one non-limiting preferred example, the length L is about 22 feet long and the width W is about 102 inches. Preferably the height H is about 7 feet.

Preferably, the container 15 is structured as a steel boxed or rectangular frame and may be made with steel siding at its side panels 16, 18. Preferably, the container also includes a steel structural base for providing good support of interior pump system components, and to allow operation on a variety of terrains. An interior lighting package may also be incorporated within the container (not shown) when less than suitable light conditions are available, such as at night. The package can be configured to be powered by a 12/24 VDC or 120/220 VAC power supply. Scene lighting may be provided to illuminate a perimeter of the main pump (FIG. 2) for safe operation in low light conditions. Interior lighting may also be provided to illuminate all compartments, pump and engine areas (FIG. 2) for safe operation in low light conditions. Further, an electrical distribution panel (not shown) may be provided for distribution of lighting and powered outlet circuits located in accessible area near main boost pump control panel.

The container 15 may also include integral structured transport elements on its frame. Such elements may be a plurality of pockets 36 access by a lift. The pockets 36 may be through holes so as to be accessible lift truck, such as a forklift truck or crane. FIG. 5 illustrates two pockets 36, however, it will be appreciated that more pockets may be incorporated as needed. A tow point or forward hook loop 38 may be included at the front end 11 for pulling the container 15 onto a truck or platform for transport. Additionally, guide rails 34 may provide roll on/roll off capability onto a platform. The structural integrity of the container framework allows for movement by crane, helicopter, cable drag truck, hook lift truck, forklift truck. Preferably, the container 15 may be structurally sound for both lifting from the top comers as well as lifting from the base. In addition, the container 15 preferably has structural integrity such that lift points and fork pockets are located about the center of gravity in order to ensure balance and stability during lifting. It will be appreciated that the number, configuration and type of structured transport elements on the container 15 may vary as necessary.

Side doors 20, 22, 24 are positioned along side panels 16, 18 as shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C. Preferably, one side door is provided for access to each of a control panel, suction connection, and a discharge connection. More preferably, side door 20 provides access to an operator panel, side door 22 provides access to suction connection, and side door 24 provides access to discharge connection. Further, a rear door 26 is disposed at the rear end 13. Preferably, the rear door 26 provides access to any satellite supply pumps and any hose reel deploying elements of the satellite supply pumps (discussed in detail below). Preferably, the rear door 26 is a swing out or fold down rear door with ramps so as to provide access to the satellite supply pumps and facilitate deployment. It will be appreciated the door configuration of FIG. 1 may be modified as necessary and provides only one non-limiting preferred example.

FIG. 2 represents the pump system 10 with the exterior shell of the container 15 removed to allow view of the pump system 10 interior components housed within. A hydraulic oil tank 28 may be located in a compartment of the base structure of the container 15. The oil tank 28 is for use in the hydraulic pumps 66 in operation of the satellite supply pumps 60 (discussed below). A fuel tank 28a may also be located in a compartment of the base structure of the container 15. Preferably, the fuel tank 28a is a diesel fuel tank having about an 8 hour running time capacity. Inside the container 15, the pump system 10 includes a main pump 50 driven by a first engine 40 and at least two satellite supply pumps 60 that supply water to the main pump 50. The two satellite supply pumps 60 may be driven by a second engine 68 to drive at least one hydraulic pump 66. The hydraulic pumps 66 are driven to create a pressure at each satellite pump 60 so as to create a desired water flow from a water source at the satellite pumps 60 back to the host pump 50.

The main pump 50 preferably is constructed as a centrifugal horizontal split case pump. The main pump may include a cast iron body, stainless steel shaft, bronze impeller, flanged discharge and suction. More preferably, the main pump is a Peerless Model 10AE20 or equivalent. The main pump 50 is located in the container 15 and the satellite pumps are deployed from the rear of the container and include wheels.

The first engine 40 preferably is a C16 in-line 6 cylinder diesel engine or equivalent. The first engine 40 may include an electronic control interface, with a 12 or 24 VDC electrical system, a 12 or 24 VDC starting system battery pack, and a 12 or 24 VDC charging system 110/220 VAC landline operated complete with meter to indicate level of charge. Preferably, the first engine includes a block heater with landline connection, residential spark arresting muffler and exhaust blankets on the manifold, turbo, flex and muffler (110-115 dB). The first engine 40 may be fueled by fuel tank 28a.

The main pump 50 is connected with at least one suction connection 56 accessible through the side door 22. Preferably, the main pump 50 is connected with at least two suction connections 56 so as to accommodate suction from the two satellite supply pumps 60 shown. The main pump 50 also is connected with at least one discharge connection 52 accessible through side door 24. The main pump 50 may be connected with two discharge connections 52 as shown in FIG. 2B. It will be appreciated that the number of suction and discharge connections, however, may be modified as necessary to accommodate the number of satellite supply pumps and desired end destinations.

Preferably, the main pump 50 includes a 5000 GPM at 150-psi or greater capability that is driven by the engine 40 being a 600 horsepower or greater diesel engine. Preferably, the discharge connections are 12-inch discharge connections including victaulic couplings and remote controlled operator discharge valves (not shown). The suction connections 56 preferably are 8-inch suction connections including victaulic couplings and remote operator controlled discharge valves. Connections can be modified as desired for alternative configurations.

An additive inject connection 58 located proximate the suction connections 56 may be employed for connection with an optional additive injection system (e.g., foam). The additive inject connection may be a 3 inch connection so as to allow such injection system to connect to the pump system. Preferably, the inject connection 58 may include remote operated supply valve and flow meter (not shown). Proximate the discharge connections 52, another smaller discharge connection 54 may be employed. Preferably, the discharge connection is a 5-inch discharge connection included with Storz couplings and remote operator controlled discharge valves (not shown).

More preferably, the discharge connections are designed as a discharge manifold being constructed of material 304 SS powder coated steel and having an inlet size 10″ flange. The discharge connections 52 preferably are constructed as 12 inch valved 12/24 VDC hydraulic butterfly valve and terminating in 12″ grooved connections. The discharge connection 54 preferably is a 5-inch valved 12/24 VDC hydraulic butterfly and terminating in a 5 inch Storz coupling. More preferably, the suction connections are designed as a suction manifold being constructed of material 304 SS powder coated steel and having a discharge size 12-inch flange. The suctions connections 56 preferably are constructed as 8-inch minimum grooved inlets. The additive inject inlet 58 preferably is an additive concentrate inlet constructed as a 3 inch valved Storz inlet.

A radiator 42 may be provided for cooling use with the main pump 50 and first engine. Preferably as in FIGS. 2A and 2D, the radiator 42 is disposed proximate the first end 11 and vents through the same. A flow meter 55 may optionally be mounted to proximate a discharge side of the pump system 10. Preferably, the flow meter if used is a 12-inch water flow meter.

The satellite supply pumps 60 may be driven by a second engine 68. Preferably, the second engine 68 drives hydraulic pumps 66 that create pressure to operate the satellite supply pumps 60. The second engine may be constructed as a 300 horsepower or greater diesel drive system. The hydraulic pumps 66 operate hydraulic hoses from hose reels 62, where the hoses are connectable to the satellite supply pumps 60. The hose reels may be mounted at the top panel 12, proximate the rear end 13 and over a position where satellite supply pumps 60 reside within the container 15. Preferably, the hose reels operate to deliver hydraulic power through the hoses to the supply pumps 60, and operate as a powered retrieval system of the supply pumps 60. Preferably, the satellite supply pumps 60 are constructed as 2500 GPM or greater hydraulically driven submersible satellite pumps. The satellite supply pumps 60 each may be supported and housed in a strainer carriage 61 used for deployment. Preferably, the strainer carriages are designed as deployment rolling carriages, and include wheels 64 to facilitate mobility toward a water source. These carriages may also serve as inlet strainers.

The satellite pumps may each have an integral strainer chassis that significantly increase the amount of open area available for suction. Thus, the chassis may allow the strainer to be about 50% obstructed and still provide more water flow to the pump than other known systems. Preferably, the chassis may be a tubular integral chassis that includes a strainer, deployment wheels, buoyancy floats and deployment/retrieval connection points. The satellite pumps are mounted in a deployment chassis. Preferably, the satellite pumps never need to be removed from its chassis when in use.

Preferably, the satellite supply pumps 60 resemble deployable floating “fish-like” pumps. More preferably, two satellite pumps 60 are operable for supplying water to the main pump. The satellite pumps may be constructed of hot rolled steel, stainless steel or non-ferrous metal casing with 304 SS or bronze impeller construction. The satellite pumps 60 may include a 2500 GPM or greater capacity at 100 feet head total at a low RPM (e.g., 1250-1300 rpm). The strainer carriage 61 maybe an integral deployment carriage mounted with a suction inlet strainer. Preferably, the supply pumps 60 are operated by a hydraulic system (closed loop). The supply pumps 60 may include hydraulic motors driven off the main pump 50, and can be suitable to drive the supply pumps 60 to capacity utilizing a hydraulic oil flow.

The hydraulic motors can be designed to operate using environmentally friendly vegetable-based oil. In some embodiments, the hydraulic motor may be enclosed with a stainless steel enclosure that houses hydraulic motors and hose connections (not shown). Such an enclosure may be used to collect any hydraulic oil leaks and prevent spillage of oil into surrounding water.

Further, the supply pumps may include removable flotation pontoons connected thereto. Preferably, the satellite pumps are deployable through the carriages 61 having wheels 64 with pneumatic tires built into the support frame of the carriages. In alternative embodiments, the tires may be retractable to pontoon level via pull pin release system (not shown). It also will be appreciate that the tires may become part of the flotation function. The hose reels 62 and hydraulic hoses are part of a pump retrieval system including an electrically driven winch that provides power to deploy and retrieve the submersible pumps up to about a 150-foot distance. The hydraulic hose retrieval system includes two hydraulically driven hose reels, one for each pump 60 and has a capacity of approximately 150 ft of triple hydraulic hose umbilical line per reel.

The pump retrieval system may include a retrieval system control panel (not shown). The retrieval system control panel may be a 304 SS construction located at the on the left and proximate the rear panel 13. The control panel may be located inside the container 15, protected from the elements and may be lighted for low light conditions. This control panel provides electronic control the satellite pumps retrieval system including hydraulic hose retrieval control.

Preferably, the second engine 68 is a hydraulic pump driver and is constructed as a Cat C9 in-line 6 cylinder diesel engine or equivalent. The second engine 68 may be operated with a J1939 control interface and at 300 BHP at 1900 RPM. In alternative embodiments, the second engine may include a SAE 1 Flywheel Housing with a 14 inch flywheel, manual throttle control, electronic governor controls modifiably set at 2100 RPM and SAE “E” Flywheel adapter. The second engine also may include a 12.5-inch bolt circle diameter, a 6.5-inch pilot. The second engine 68 preferably is radiator cooled. The second engine 68 preferably includes a 12/24 VDC electrical system, a 12/24 VDC starting system, and battery pack (also common with the first engine). The second engine 68 is provided with a shore powered (e.g., 110/220 VAC) block heater with landline connection, 12/24 VDC charging system with a shore powered (e.g., 110/220 VAC) landline operated complete with a meter to indicate level of charge. Further components of the second engine include a residential spark arresting muffler, exhaust blankets on the manifold, turbo, flex and muffler, and a fuel tank with an 8 hour supply capacity (common with main pump), and hydraulic pump couplings sized to be suitable for the speed and torque of desired hydraulic pumps.

The hydraulic pumps 66 preferably are mounted in parallel driven and driven by the second engine 68. The hydraulic pumps 66 may include a water over oil heat exchanger along with air-cooled exchanger on a radiator. Preferably, a hydraulic reservoir having a sufficient capacity (e.g., 150 gallons) may be included for use with the hydraulic pumps 66. The hydraulic pumps 66 may use a servo hydrostatic control system, which utilizes pressure sensing of inlet water pressure and/or biased air pressure to control the hydraulic power output to the submersible satellite supply pumps 60.

The second engine 68 may be provided with a hydraulic pump driver control panel (not shown). The hydraulic pump driver control panel may be configured of a 304 SS construction, with alarms and shutdowns and located on the left side of the pump system 10. Preferably, this control panel is located inside main enclosure protected from the elements and shall be lighted for low light conditions. Preferably, the hydraulic pump driver control panel may provide controls and warning indicators (e.g., audible and/or visual) for the following: (1) Automatic speed control of engine (e.g., using pulse width signal), (2) Manual engine speed control, (3) Automatic pressure management system for input and output pressures, (4) Overpressure controls, (5) Engine over-temperature alarm (Visible/Audible), (6) Engine low oil pressure alarm (Visible/Audible), (7) Battery voltage alarm (Visible/Audible), (8) Engine temperature, (9) Engine RPM, (10) Engine oil pressure, (11) Pump discharge pressure, (12) Pump vacuum pressure, and (13) Battery Voltage.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of a pump system without a container shell to allow view of interior components. Similar components are depicted with similar reference numbers. The pump system depicted in FIGS. 3A-3D, for instance also provides a main pump 50a driven by a first engine 40a, discharge connections 52a and suction connections 56a. Preferably, the main pump 50 is constructed as a 5000 GPM or greater centrifugal pump and the first engine 40a is a caterpillar C16 diesel engine or equivalent. Preferably, the discharge connections 52a and suction connections 56a respectively are 12 inch and 8 inch connections. Such connections can be modified as desired for alternative configurations.

A radiator 68a is shown with the second engine and hydraulic pumps 66a. Preferably, the second engine is a C9 diesel driver that is radiator cooled with the radiator 68a. Differently from FIG. 2, a hydraulic tank 65a may be built into a structural base or otherwise mounted at the top panel of the container. FIGS. 3C and 3D illustrate an alternative configuration for a rear end 13a. Rear doors 24a may be roll up doors for access to the supply pumps 60a and use of the hose reels 62a and hydraulic hoses. Preferably, a pair of roll up doors 24a may be employed so as to accommodate access to each of the two satellite supply pumps 60a.

FIG. 4A illustrates the pump system 10 ready for transport to a site. FIG. 4B illustrates the pump system 10 being offloaded to a site. The pump system 10 may be transported and offloaded using a transport vehicle 90. As one non-limiting example illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the transport vehicle 90 may be a lift truck. The transport vehicle, however, may be any suitable vehicle, such as a forklift, other lift truck, transport, platform, crane, helicopter, rail care, ship, barge, etc.

FIGS. 5 and 6 shows the pump system in use. FIG. 5 illustrates the pump system 10 while in use on a surface 80 and with a source of water 82. The pump system 10 is shown operated on an incline surface 80 where the water source 82 is lower than a position where the pump system 10 is disposed. A control panel 70 accessible through side door 20 enables control of the pump system 10. Supply hoses 72 are connected to the satellite supply pumps 60 at one end, and connected to the suction connections 56 accessible through the side door 22 at the opposite end. Preferably, the supply hoses 72 deliver water to a suction side of the container 15 back to the main pump 50. Hydraulic hoses 74 supply hydraulic pressure to the satellite supply pumps 60. The hoses 74 may be deployed by the hose reels 62, which may also be used as a powered retrieval system of the hydraulic hoses and satellite pumps 60.

The control panel 70 may include total system control of the pump system 10. Preferably, the control panel is provided with 304 SS powder coated steel construction, alarms and shutdowns located on the left side of pump system 10, accessible through the side door 20. The control panel 70 may be located inside the container 15 protected from the elements and may be lighted for low light conditions. System control through the control panel 70 may include: (1) Manual/automatic speed control of the first engine from pressure transducer signal to pulse width to ensure 10-psi inlet pressure at all times from the submersible satellite supply pumps 60, as well as manual control of each satellite pump, (2) Manual engine speed control, Automatic pressure management system for input and output pressures, (3) Overpressure controls, (4) Engine over-temperature alarm (Visible/Audible), (5) Engine low oil pressure alarm (Visible/Audible), (6) Battery low voltage alarm (Visible/Audible), (7) Engine temperature, (8) Engine RPM, (9) Engine oil pressure, (10) Pump discharge pressure, (11) Pump vacuum pressure, (12) Battery Voltage, (13) Engine hour meter, (14) Fuel level, (15) Lighting controls, (16) Exterior scene lighting on/off control, (17) Interior lighting controls, (18) Compartment lighting—automatic control via door switch, (19) Main engine shut down, and (20) Low Fuel Level alarm (Audible/Visible).

FIG. 6 schematically illustrates a pump system 10b in use. Similar components as FIG. 5 are denoted with the same numbers and including the suffix “b.” The pump system 10b also includes supply hoses 72b and hydraulic hoses 74b connected in a similar configuration with satellite supply pumps 60b. Similar to pump system 10, the supply pumps 60b are carried in strainer carriages 61b. The supply pumps 60b are deployed in a water source 82b. FIG. 6 illustrates a preferred operating distance D between the water source 82 and the pump system 10b. Preferably, the operating distance D is at about 150 feet. The configuration in FIG. 6 shows an elevational distance E allowing the pump system 10b to operate from a level on a surface of the water source 82 to a level that the pump system 10b is disposed. Preferably, the elevational operating distance is about 50 feet, providing a vertical lift of about and up to 50 feet. Thus, the pump system 10b and main pump may be located on a hill, cliff or high dock, while the satellite pumps may deliver water flow to the main pump.

FIG. 6 shows discharge hoses 76b that may be used for delivering water flow from the main pump supplied from the satellite supply pumps 60b and supply hoses 72b. The discharge hoses 76b may supply to any desired end destination 85 and/or to a fire fighting nozzle 100, such as a large flow firefighting nozzle. An end destination may be any area needing water, such as for potable water use, municipal and industrial firefighting, or a disaster relief area.

In another preferred embodiment, a plurality of host pump modules may be incorporated. As shown in the schematic of FIG. 6, embodiments of the present invention may incorporate additional pump systems 10′ operating solely as boost pumps. The additional pump systems 10′ may be configured in series as a plurality of boost pumps. Preferably, the series of boost pumps are spaced X distance apart, where X denotes a number of miles between each pump system 10′.

Embodiments of the present invention may also provide a flow rate based direct injection proportioning system (not shown). A proportioning system may be flow measurement based. The pump system may be operated using a pumped additive supply (e.g., foam), such as by incorporating a tanker having transfer pump. A bulk supply of additive may be pumped from a bulk container into the suction side of the pump system. Flow meters may display flow rates of the solution exiting the pump as well as the flow rate of the additive entering the suction manifold of the pump system. These flow rates may then be compared to determine the percent injection that is being achieved. The percent injection may be increased or decreased by adjusting the rpm of the transfer pump that is supplying additive to the pump system. Adjustments may be made based on readings shown on flow meter outputs.

Illustrated as an example only in FIGS. 5 and 6, embodiments of the present invention can provide the following operational sequence. The pump system may be deployed by rolling off a delivery truck using a cable drag deployment system. Doors are opened at the rear of the container where two submersible pumps are stored. Doors, when used, on each side of the container are opened up to offer access to suction and discharge connections. The two submersible satellite supply pumps are rolled out of the end bays down ramps that may be pulled out from the floor of the container. A quick connect retrieval cable can be attached to each submersible pump. Each pump is rolled to the waters edge where an 8 inch water supply hose is then connected to the discharge connection of each submersible satellite pump. The 8 inch supply hoses are then deployed from the satellite pumps and connected to the main pump suction manifold connections. The floating submersible satellite pumps are then rolled into the water. A pontoon system may then be used to float the pumps into position in the water. The main pump 12 inch discharge hose may be deployed from the discharge connections of the pump system to the next device in line (in line use of FIG. 6). This device could be a large flow firefighting nozzle or another pumping system operating as a boost pump or end destination.

After completion of system set-up pumping may proceed. The sequence of operation is as follows. (1) Start submersible hydraulic pump driver and set rpm to about 1900 rpm. This will drive a Servo hydraulic pump system that can sense a main pump inlet pressure and speed up or slow down the submersible satellite pumps as necessary to maintain adequate (e.g., 5 to 15 psi) water pressure at the main pump inlet. The hydraulic pump can develop adequate (e.g., 50 GPM at 5000 psi) hydraulic power at each submersible satellite pump. This hydraulic flow and pressure shall drive the submersible satellite pumps to create a 2500 GPM or greater water flow up to the main pump. The hydraulic hose lines may be sized accordingly to allow for about a 150 foot linear deployment. (2) Switch hydraulic pump manual control to “ON” position. This can engage the hydraulic pumps thus pressurizing the hydraulic motors fixed to the floating submersible satellite pumps. The floating pumps can begin developing pressure and pumping water through the 8 inch feed hoses up to the main pump. (3) Read pressure gauge at pump panel to confirm positive water pressure at the main pump inlet of 10-psi minimum. (4) Switch Hydraulic Pump Manual Control to “AUTOMATIC” Position. This can initiate the hydraulic control system that will track main pump inlet pressure and automatically increase or decrease submersible pump speed as needed to continuously feed the main pump through its range. (5) Start main pump and begin pumping to discharge device at desired pressure. (6) Set electronic engine control to automatic mode. This can initiate the electronic engine control system that may track main pump discharge pressure and automatically increase or decrease engine speed as needed to continuously maintain discharge.

More preferably, example embodiments are designed so that the satellite pumps pump water into the main pump before the main pump is started. For example, the second engine can be used to drive the satellite pumps independently of the first engine and main pump. The satellite pumps can deliver water to the main pump to prime the main pump. This minimizes the possibility of the main pump “running dry” (i.e., running without sufficient water). Running dry is a condition that is advised against by pump manufacturers, as it may result in damage to the main pump.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-9, an example embodiment of a pump system 200 is shown. As shown in FIGS. 7A-7F, system 200 includes a container 15′ that is similar to system 10 described above. System 200 differs, however, in that system 200 does not include a main pump or first engine to drive the main pump. Instead, as shown in FIGS. 8A-8D and 9A-9B, system 200 includes only a satellite pump 60′ and engine 68′ to drive satellite pump 60′.

As shown in FIG. 10, satellite pump 60′ of system 200 can be deployed in a water source 82c to supply water to a separate boost pump 250. A separate additive injection module 260 can also be coupled to boost pump 250 to inject an additive into the water supply.

Referring now to FIGS. 11A-1B, another example pump system 300 is shown. Pump system 300 is similar to system 200, except that system 300 includes two satellite pumps 60′. As shown in FIG. 12, satellite pumps 60′ can each supply water from a water source 82d to a separate boost pumps 350. Boost pumps 350 can, in turn, supply water to a mobile fire fighting delivery device 370 through a manifold 360. Additional details regarding example embodiments of manifold 360 and mobile fire fighting delivery device 370 can be found in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/926,736, filed on Aug. 26, 2004 and entitled “High Flow Mobile Fire Fighting System,” the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

Referring now to FIG. 13, satellite pumps 60′ of system 300 are shown connected to a water pump 450, as described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/926,736. Water pump 450 is, in turn, coupled to mobile fire fighting delivery device 370 using manifold 360.

Systems 200 and 300 are advantageous in that the satellite pump(s) can be used to provide water to one or more separate main pumps in a variety of configurations. System 10 can be utilized in a similar manner through use of second engine 68 and satellite pumps 60 (without the use of main pump 50 and first engine 40) to deliver water to a separate main pump.

Embodiments of the present invention provide many advantages over existing pump systems. Use of the satellite supply pumps to feed the main pump has the following benefits. An operator can draw water to the main pump up to 200 feet and 15 times farther away than could normally be accomplished with a standard suction hose supply setup. The satellite supply pumps increase the vertical lift capability up to 50 feet and up to 5 times greater than normal draft capabilities of a typical fire apparatus.

The design may enable an increase in the number and type of water supply reservoirs or sources that can be tapped at one time to provide water for pumping. The host pump can be placed much further away from the water source and still provide large flow capability without significant degradation in hydraulic efficiency and output.

A plurality of host pumps can be set up in series for unlimited pumping distances. Embodiments of the present invention can utilize a large diameter fire fighting attack hose that may be suitable for potable water use.

The host pump unit also incorporates a self-contained hydraulic flow and pressure control system that prevents the system from losing control, damaging itself or losing flow capability. Embodiments of the present invention include a dual engine system, one engine for the host pump and another engine for the satellite supply pumps. This configuration can help ensure that the host pump does not operate in a dry condition. This configuration also allows for flexibility in the use of the system. Further, a separate hydraulic pump driver, in this fashion, can operate all other parasitic devices that may be used as well as carry its primary function of priming and supplying water to the main pump. This feature allows the pump system to supply water to either the main pump or an alternate main pump. It also allows the pump system to simply operate as a boost pump in series with a plurality of pump systems. Thus, the water and/or additive solution may be pumped over long distances. When in this boost pump operation, the pump system does not require the use of the submersible satellite supply pumps. Thus the satellite supply pumps can be stowed while not in use.

Embodiments of the present invention provide manual and automatic control of a hydrostatic drive system for the submersible supply pumps allowing for unlimited set up variations.

Further, embodiments of the present invention provide an electronically controlled management system for the main host pump, which is designed to include an option for automatic additive proportioning. The container structure allows for an inter modal capability and system modularity, such as roll off, hook arm and cable drag capabilities and interconnectability with other connecting modules.

Fluids used in the system, such as additives, hydraulic and coolant fluids are considered and selected according to their environmental impact. The pump system may also include drip containment devices to prevent module fluids from entering the environment.

Having described example embodiments of the present invention, modifications and equivalents may occur to one skilled in the art. It is intended that such modifications and equivalents shall be included with the scope of the invention.