Title:
Remote pumping system for cisterns
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A remote pumping system for cisterns or water storage tanks is disclosed, comprising a high volume water pump driven by a hydraulic or electrically powered motor, for rapidly supplying a large volume of water to an extinguishment operation involving a burning object or building, from a local water source such as a pond, pool, portable basin, municipal hydrant, or cistern. The pump is lowered into a cistern by means of a rail system and is powered electrically or hydraulically by a remote or unit mounted power supply. In a further embodiment, a water-tight, above ground containment cabinet houses the discharge hose reels and/or the power supply for the pump motor.



Inventors:
Moynihan, David W. (Ellicott City, MD, US)
Grady Jr., Clarence A. (Larsen, WI, US)
Application Number:
12/221250
Publication Date:
02/12/2009
Filing Date:
07/31/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03B11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COMLEY, ALEXANDER BRYANT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A submersible integrated remote pumping system for an underground water cistern comprising: (a) a water pump disposed within a pump housing, said water pump comprising an impeller; (b) a coupler connected to said pump housing; and (c) a motor assembly connected to said coupler wherein said coupler is adapted to house an impeller shaft operatively connected to an output shaft in said motor assembly; said motor assembly connected to a power supply line and wherein said water pump is adapted to enable delivery of water from said water cistern through a discharge pipe at volumes ranging from about 200 L/min to about 10,000 L/min at operating pressures ranging from about 100 kPa to about 2100 kPa from said water cistern.

2. The remote pumping system of claim 1 further comprising a rail system having a means for moving said remote pumping system into and out of said water cistern.

3. The remote pumping system of claim 1, wherein said pump housing is operably connected to a discharge pipe, wherein said water pump is adapted for moving water from an intake to a discharge pipe.

4. The remote pumping system of claim 1, wherein said water pump comprises a centrifugal pump, a gear pump, a piston pump or a vein pump.

5. The remote pumping system of claim 1, wherein said power supply line comprises a hydraulic fluid supply line or an electric power supply line.

6. The remote pumping system of claim 5, wherein said power supply line comprises a hydraulic fluid supply line.

7. The remote pumping system of claim 1, further comprises a storage cabinet, said storage cabinet is adapted to house a power supply, a supply line, and combinations thereof.

8. A submersible pumping system for an underground water storage vessel comprising: (i) a submersible pump assembly comprising (a) a water pump having an impeller disposed within a housing; (b) a coupler connected to said water pump housing, said coupler comprising a connection plate adapted to connect a pump impeller shaft and a motor output shaft; (c) a motor assembly connected to said coupler; and (d) a power supply adapted to provide power to said motor assembly and a lift; (ii) a rail system configured to slidably move said submersible pump assembly into or out of said storage vessel, said rail system powered by said lift; wherein said water pump is coupled to said motor assembly to enable delivery of water from said water storage vessel through a discharge pipe at volumes ranging from about 200 L/min to about 10,000 L/min at operating pressures ranging from about 100 kPa to about 2100 kPa.

9. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, wherein said pump housing further comprises an intake screen adapted to be removed, said intake screen contains a plurality of apertures for the flow of water into said pump housing and wherein said intake screen is attached to said pump housing by a plurality of fasteners.

10. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, wherein said pump housing further comprises a tangential pump output operably connected to a discharge pipe disposed adjacent to said pump output; said discharge pipe adapted to channel water from said water pump to the surface.

11. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, wherein said drive shaft housing comprises a splined impeller shaft adapted to provide torque to said impeller.

12. The submersible pumping system of claim 11, wherein said impeller shaft is rotatably connected to said motor assembly, and wherein said impeller shaft is disposed within said coupler, said coupler being operably connected to said water pump and said motor assembly.

13. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, wherein said motor assembly comprises an electric motor assembly or a hydraulic motor assembly.

14. The submersible pumping system of claim 13, wherein said hydraulic motor assembly is connected to a hydraulic fluid supply line pressurized with hydraulic fluid.

15. The submersible pumping system of claim 14, wherein said hydraulic motor assembly is operably connected to a hydraulic input, wherein said hydraulic input is adapted to be mated with a hydraulic hose reel for remote operation.

16. The submersible pumping system of claim 13, wherein said hydraulic motor assembly further comprises a motor case drain connected between said motor assembly and a hydraulic fluid output, said motor case drain is configured in a venturi arrangement.

17. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, further comprising a storage cabinet housing configured to house said coupler and motor assembly and wherein said cabinet housing is adapted to be submerged in said underground fluid storage vessel.

18. The submersible pumping system of claim 17, wherein said cabinet housing is water-tight and comprises a water resistant material including aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, and combinations thereof.

19. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, wherein said motor assembly further comprises a means for mounting said motor assembly to a storage cabinet housing and optionally to said rail system, said mounting means comprising a support collar.

20. The submersible pumping system of claim 8, further comprising a discharge hose in fluid communication with a discharge pipe, said discharge pipe connected to said pump housing and wherein said discharge hose is configured for storage on a discharge reel.

21. A remote pumping system for internal operation in a water storage vessel, said remote pumping system comprising: (i) a high-pressure water pump consisting of a water pump assembly comprising a. a pump housing connected to an intake screen configured to receive fluid in said water storage vessel; b. an impeller rotatably supported in said pump housing; and c. a shaft housing flange connected to said pump housing, (ii) a coupler connected to said housing flange configured to house a splined impeller shaft wherein said splined impeller shaft is operably mated with an output shaft and wherein said coupler has a cylindrical housing attaching at a first end with said shaft housing flange and a second end attaching a motor assembly flange; and (iii) a motor assembly connected to said motor assembly flange, said motor assembly adapted to provide torque to said output shaft operably connected to said splined impeller shaft, and wherein said motor assembly is further connected with at least one of a hydraulic input line, and an electric power supply line, said input line and said supply line configured to provide power to said motor assembly, wherein said remote pumping system is adapted to pump water from said water storage vessel through a discharge pipe at volumes ranging at volumes of about 200 L/min to about 10,000 L/min at operating pressures ranging from about 500 kPa to about 2100 kPa from said water storage vessel.

22. The remote pumping system of claim 22, further comprising a rail system connected to said remote pumping system to move said remote pumping system into and out of said water storage vessel.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/953003, filed on Jul. 31, 2007. The entire disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to remote water delivery means and water pumping assemblies. More particularly, this invention relates to a remote water storage with an integrated high volume and pressure water delivery pump for use in fire protection and emergency situations.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In emergency situations, such as when a building, vehicle, or other large object catches fire, a matter of seconds can determine not only whether the object is a total loss, but whether lives could be at risk. It is, therefore, imperative that personnel trained to put out the fire arrive on the scene as quickly as possible. Often, due to expanding population growth in rural areas not supplied with water by public utilities, water storage tanks for fire suppression are being used in increasing numbers. These tanks, which are often times buried in the ground to save space and prevent freezing, require the utilization of a ‘drafting apparatus’ in order to extract the water and deliver it to the emergency or firefighting operations. This means of retrieving the water in an expedient manner and in sufficient volumes necessary to salvage the burning object proves difficult at best. Because the water must be drafted, an effective vacuum must be established on the intake side of the pump. This historically has been fraught with human and mechanical failure with an undesirable frequency. Furthermore, there is a physical limitation as to tank proximity with regard to the drafting apparatus. In addition, the effort and time required to establish water delivery is increased due to the effort associated with ensuring suitable drafting characteristics (i.e., hardware connections, water-tight seals, etc.). The problems previously encountered with poor water delivery from submersible water storage vessels relate primarily with the incompatible design features of submersible pumps with requirements for high volume and high pressure applications. Submersible pumps are typically designed having low head open center designs for industrial watering or outputting solids and wastes from a submersed storage tank or sediment pond where the volumes may be high but the pressure of water delivery is low to protect the pump from the solids. These submersible pumps are not designed to pump large volumes of water with the requisite pressure for fire-fighting applications (for example, sufficient pressure to enable delivery of water through tack lines of 250 feet of 1 and ¾ inch hose for fighting emergency fire situations).

Therefore, it is advantageous to utilize a submersible, mechanically driven means of pumping water out of these sources which can be quickly implemented in an emergency situation and provide the firefighters or other emergency personnel with a supply of water having high enough pressure and volume to quickly attend to the fire.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a submersible water pump of sufficient volume and pressure handling capabilities which can be placed into a remote cistern for extracting a supply of water stored there within.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a submersible pump as described above which can be either hydraulically or electrically powered, suitable for situations such as firefighting or industrial watering.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a removable cistern pump which may be utilized in conjunction with prior art ‘drafting’ to significantly increase discharge volume.

Still, a further object of the present invention is to provide a hydraulically powered submersible pump for use with in-ground cisterns which provides a rapid, simplistic, and efficient water delivery technique.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a hydraulically powered submersible pump for use with in-ground cisterns which is highly reliable and predictable in performance.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a hydraulically powered submersible pump for use with in-ground cisterns which allows for increased flexibility of the physical location of the cistern with regard to the power supply, or discharge outputs due to the elimination of the need to be in proximity of the drafting apparatus.

Finally, it is an object of the present invention to be able to retrofit the pump system onto existing cistern/storage tanks with minimal effort or equipment.

These and other objects will be understood wherein the present invention discloses a remote pumping system for cisterns, comprising a high volume and pressure water pump driven by a hydraulic or electrically powered motor, for rapidly supplying a large volume of water to an extinguishment operation involving a burning object or building. The pump is lowered into a cistern by means of a rail system and is powered electrically or hydraulically by a remote power supply. In a further embodiment, a water-tight, above ground containment cabinet houses the discharge and hydraulic hose reels, and optionally the power supply.

Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a partial side schematic of the cistern, with the implemented remote pumping system, depicting the primary embodiment;

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the preferred embodiment comprising the water pump, coupler, and hydraulic motor assembly;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates a side, phantom view of the water pump assembly within a pump housing body;

FIG. 5 is a partial side view of a containment cabinet, housing the discharge hose reel and pump power supply.

FIG. 6A is a cross-section side view of water pump assembly when the motor assembly is engaged with the coupler and water pump in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 6B is a cross-section side view of water pump assembly when the motor assembly is disengaged from the coupler and water pump in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 6C is a side view of the water pump in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

Referring now to the figures, in particular FIG. 1 the overview schematic of the remote pumping system for use in conjunction with a cistern 14 or water storage vessel is shown. In some embodiments, the water storage vessel or cistern 14 can include any water storage vessel that can be built for storage of water for various purposes commonly encountered, for example, in rural or urban locations. One such purpose is for the storage of water for fire fighting applications, for storage of potable water and the like. In general, the cistern 14 or water storage vessel can be any water containment device and can include a pond, a pool, a portable basin, a municipal hydrant, or a cistern capable of holding from about 10,000 L to about 100,000 L. In some embodiments, the cistern 14, commonly found buried below the ground level 8 in many urban and rural locations, is utilized for storing a supply of water for various uses. As stated above, prior to the present invention, water was extracted from the cistern 14 through an existing ‘drafting’ pipe 15, as surface air entered the cistern 14 via surface vent 13, through pipe 11. In some embodiments, the remote water pump assembly 10 described herein is capable of discharging water at volumes ranging from about 10,000 L/per minute (L/min) to about 200 (L/min), from about 5,000 (L/min) to about 200 (L/min), from about 2000 (L/min) to about 200 (L/min), from about 1000 (L/min) to about 200 (L/min) or from about 500 (L/min) to about 200 (L/min), or from about 10,000 L/per minute (L/min) to about 500 (L/min), from about 10,000 (L/min) to about 1000 (L/min), from about 10,000 (L/min) to about 2000 (L/min), from about 10,000 (L/min) to about 5,000 (L/min) or from about 10,000 (L/min) to about 7,500 (L/min) In some embodiments, the volume of water discharged can be at least 10,000 (L/min), or at least 7,500 (L/min), or at least 5,000 (L/min), or at least 1,000 (L/min), or at least 500 (L/min), or at least 200 (L/min).

The operating volumes delivered by the water pump assembly 10 of the present disclosure can operate at specific pressures designated by the user and in some embodiments meet and/or exceed fire service performance. In some embodiments, the operating pressures used to deliver the volumes of water described above can range from about 100 kPa (14.5 psi) to about 2100 kPa (305 psi), or from about 200 kPa (29 psi) to about 2100 kPa (305 psi), or from about 500 kPa (73 psi) to about 2100 kPa (305 psi), or from about 750 kPa (109 psi) to about 2100 kPa (305 psi), or from about 1000 kPa (145 psi) to about 2100 kPa (305 psi), or from about 1500 kPa (218 psi) to about 2100 kPa (305 psi).

The primary embodiment of this invention comprises a high volume, high pressure water pump assembly 10 which is lowered into the cistern by means of a rail system 16 extending above ground. The rail system 16 can comprise any type of controlled guiding means available, so long as it is highly durable and can stand up to the conditions of implementation subterraneously. In some embodiments, the rail guiding means can comprise a powered lift device 19 which can be powered electrically and/or hydraulically to raise and lower rail system 16. In some embodiments, the high water pressure water pump 20 can include, for example, any rotary non-positive displacement pump. In some embodiments, the pump can be a centrifugal pump, a boundary layer pump, a disc pump and turbine pumps. In some preferred embodiments, the water pump 20 is a centrifugal pump.

The water pump assembly 10, when lowered into the cistern to withdraw a supply of water, remains interconnected to the surface by both the discharge pipe 63 and the power supply lines 37, which depending upon the desired pump utilized in a given application may consist of either electrical or hydraulic lines. An optional above ground, water-tight storage cabinet 12 may be utilized to store the pump's power supply or additional equipment. In some embodiments, power supply 82 can be mounted on site and contained within storage cabinet 12. In some embodiments, power supply 82 is mounted to a mobile vehicle, for example a fire truck, municipal and military vehicles capable of providing the power necessary to operate the high pressure water pump assembly 10 via motor assembly 30 (as shown in FIGS. 2-4). In some embodiments the power supply 82 can be mated to the power supply lines 37 through a remote hydraulic hose reel (not shown) mounted in the storage cabinet 12 or mounted on a vehicle for remote power operation.

Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, a preferred embodiment of the water pump assembly 10 utilized in the remote pumping system for cisterns is shown. The main components of water pump assembly 10 comprise a water pump 20, hydraulic or electric motor assembly 30, and coupler 50 disposed there between. Water pump 20 comprises a pump housing 21, containing the high volume impeller rotatably supported therein. An intake screen 22 is attached to the bottom side of the housing by a plurality of fasteners 25 bolted through evenly spaced apertures in the intake flange 23 surrounding intake screen 22. The screen prevents large foreign materials from being drawn into the pump impeller during operation which could possibly cause damage to water pump assembly 10. In some embodiments, the intake screen can range from 2 cm to about 200 cm in diameter depending on the water delivery capabilities of the water pump assembly 10.

Pump housing 21 further comprises a tangential pump output 27, which terminates in a flange plate 24 journally attached to a discharge elbow 61 having a complementary flange plate 66, by means of fasteners 26 positioned through the two plates 24, 66.

In some embodiments, the water pump assembly 10 can include a single or two stage series and/or parallel pump coupled to a mounted motor. In some embodiments, the water pump assembly 10 can comprise a piston motor driven centrifugal pump, for example a HE 500 motor driven centrifugal pump commercially available from Darley, Melrose Park, Ill. USA.

Opposite intake screen 22 on water pump 20, pump housing 21 attaches to the drive shaft housing 57, by means of the shaft housing flange 28 and mounting hardware 51. Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 4, shaft housing 57 surrounds and supports the splined impeller shaft 54 and attaches to coupler 50 opposite the water pump by flange 52. Coupler 50 has a throughbore 59 which contains and supports the union of splined impeller shaft 54 with the output shaft 95 of hydraulic or electric motor assembly 30, (shown in FIG. 6B). As mentioned, coupler 50 comprises a cylindrical housing, attaching at a lower end 55 to water pump shaft housing 57 and at an upper end 58 to the hydraulic motor assembly flange 35 through mounting apertures 53 in coupler 50 threadably receiving mounting hardware 47. Coupler 50 comprises a connection plate and/or an adaptation plate 92. The connection and/or adaptation plate 92 allows for the pump impeller shaft 54 to connect to the motor output shaft 95. The connection and/or adaptation plate 92 is shown attached to the water pump 20 and motor assembly 30 in FIGS. 6A, 6C and detached in FIG. 6B respectively. In various embodiments, the connection and/or adaptation plate can be a large round cylindrical concentric attachment plate having a pilot bore concentric to the motor assembly output shaft 95. In some embodiments, the hydraulic motor assembly 30 can include a bent axis piston motor as illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, a radial piston motor, and a caning gear hydraulic motor.

Hydraulic or electric motor assembly 30, known in the art, receives a pressurized supply of hydraulic fluid or electrical power by means of power supply lines 37 depicted in FIG. 1, which, in the event hydraulic power is utilized, enters the pump through attached input 32 and discharges through fluid output 34 to the power supply 82 located above ground level 8. These power supply lines 37 can optionally be stored on a reel mechanism for simplified disbursement and retraction while water pump assembly 10 is being utilized. If hydraulic power is utilized, a hydraulic motor case drain 31 is connected between motor assembly 30 and the hydraulic fluid output 34 in a venturi arrangement preventing a buildup of excess case pressures. Attached to the body of hydraulic motor assembly 30 is a mounting element 40, secured by means of a support collar 46 and threaded U-bolt 44. Mounting element 40 has a plurality of housing attachment apertures 42 therein for attaching water pump assembly 10 within the pump assembly housing 70 and optionally to a rail system 16 for lowering and raising the water pump assembly 10 in and out of the cistern. In some embodiments, motor assembly 30 can be a bent-axis motor. In some embodiments, the bent-axis motor can include a VOAC F11 Series 19 bent-axis motor rated as having a displacement of 19 cm3/rev and a maximum continuous speed of about 8100 rpm and 3500 rpm selfpriming speed at the oil providing approximately 50 horsepower. The VOAC/Parker F11 Series 19 bent-axis motor is commercially available from Parker Hannifin, Trolhättan, SE.

The optional pump assembly housing 70, manufactured from aluminum, stainless steel, or other suitable material, comprises a rectangular container which protects water pump assembly 10 from damage during operation and further provides protection of water pump assembly 10 from large foreign matter entering the pump impeller and causing damage while in use. This is accomplished by providing pump assembly housing 70 with a series of apertures 72 through which the water must flow into prior to being drawn into intake screen 22 of water pump 20 located therein. Apertures 72 are numerous enough not to impede the pump's performance and supply delivery and are positioned low enough on pump assembly housing 70 so as to allow the pump assembly to operate in as little as two inches of water as shown by numeral 74. One or more access apertures 78 may be positioned higher up on the housing for accessing the hydraulic pump or lines for maintenance or replacement.

As previously disclosed herein, pump housing 21 attaches to discharge elbow 61, which in turn attaches journally to a discharge pipe 60 running vertically up and out of the housing, parallel to water pump assembly 10. Discharge pipe 60 terminates at an upper end 62 through the top side 79 of pump assembly housing 70 and connects to discharge pipe 63 depicted in FIG. 1. Discharge pipe 60 and 63 can range from about 2 cm to about 20 cm in diameter (about 1.6 inches to about 7.9 inches) in diameter. In one preferred embodiment, the discharge pipe 60 and 63 are about 10.2 cm (4 inches) in diameter. In some embodiments, the discharge hose 85 can be from about 7.6 cm to about 10.2 cm in diameter (3 inches to about 4 inches in diameter) when threadably attached to discharge pipe 63.

In a further embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the cistern pump system disclosed herein may be utilized in conjunction with a water-tight storage cabinet 12 for storing various components associated with the pump. These components may include, but are not limited to, the power supply 82 which, depending on the application, supplies either electrical or hydraulic power to the water pump assembly 10 and a discharge hose storage reel 84, which stores the discharge hose 85 when not in use. The discharge hose 85 may extend outside the storage cabinet 12 for quick access in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, a hydraulic hose reel may be implemented for attaching to a remote power supply such as a responding fire apparatus. Additionally, the rail system 16 may be housed within the storage cabinet 12, allowing for protected above ground access to the water pump assembly 10 when raised above ground for maintenance and/or storage.

The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.