Title:
Inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An inundation prevention for electric power equipment, which has transformers or terminals with a casing and is located on a stand provided on the roadside or underground, using pneumatic pressure, includes an inundation detecting unit for determining whether or not the electric power equipment is inundated and a pressure generating unit for supplying compressed gas to the inside of a limited around the electric power equipment according to a determination result of the inundation detecting unit, so as to raise the pressure in the limited space.



Inventors:
Lee, Jae-yong (Daegu-si, KR)
Kim, Young-hun (Daegu-si, KR)
Application Number:
12/001742
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H9/00
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, DHARTI HARIDAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
C. Bruce Hamburg (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment, which has transformers or terminals covered with a casing and is located on a stand provided on the roadside or underground, using pneumatic pressure, comprising: an inundation detecting unit for determining whether or not the electric power equipment is inundated; and a pressure generating unit for supplying compressed gas to the inside of a limited space provided around the electric power equipment according to a determination result of the inundation detecting unit, so as to raise the pressure in the limited space.

2. The inundation prevention apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the limited space provided around the electric power equipment is a limited space covering the entire electric power equipment.

3. The inundation prevention apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the limited space provided around the electric power equipment is at least one inundation inhibition space prepared along the circumference of the electric power equipment.

4. The inundation prevention apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the pressure generating unit includes a motor, a compressor, and at least one air tank.

5. The inundation prevention apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the pressure generating unit includes a plurality of gas bombs filled with compressed air.

6. The inundation prevention apparatus according to claim 1, wherein a float, which is ascended or descended by the level of the influent water to start and stop the operation of the pressure generating unit, and a switching valve, which is opened and closed by the float, are connected to the pressure generating unit.

7. The inundation prevention apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the inundation detecting unit includes a control circuit operated by a water level sensor, and a solenoid valve driven by the control circuit.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1 Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment, such as power receiving and transforming equipment installed on the roadside or underground, and more particularly to an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure.

2. Description of the Related Art

As well known to those skilled in the art, inundation accidents of a roadside, underground or railroad transformer, or underground power receiving and transforming equipment happen in a habitual inundation area or due to a local downpour. The generation of the inundation accidents causes not only a failure in a supply of electric power and a damage to the equipment but also an electric shock accident, thus causing a loss of precious human lives.

In order to solve the above problem, an underwater pump was conventionally used to draw influent water from electric power equipment.

However, when the electric power equipment is inundated, the underwater pump cannot receive power supply and thus the operation of the underwater pump is impossible. Further, in the case that an emergency storage power source is used, it is expensive and has an extremely short operation maintaining time, thereby being incapable of drawing all amount of influent water from the equipment for a long time and thus being ineffective.

Further, since high-capacity equipment having a pumping ability exceeding the maximum amount of influent water was conventionally required, so as to draw a large amount of the water, an equipment cost is excessively high and a power consumption rate is increased. Moreover, the cost of maintenance and repair of the equipment is excessively high.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention has been made in view of the above problems, and it is an object of the present invention to provide an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure, which applies a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure to a limited space covering the entire equipment or at least one limited inundation prohibition space, so as to prevent the inundation of the electric power equipment installed on the roadside or underground.

In accordance with the present invention, the above and other objects can be accomplished by the provision of an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment, which has transformers or terminals covered with a casing and is located on a stand provided on the roadside or underground, using pneumatic pressure, comprising a pressure generating unit generating a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure to apply the pressure to the inside of at least one limited space provided around the electric power equipment.

The limited space provided around the electric power equipment may be a limited space covering the entire electric power equipment, or at least one inundation inhibition space prepared along the circumference of the electric power equipment.

The pressure generating unit may include a motor, a compressor, and at least one air tank, or include a plurality of gas bombs filled with compressed air.

Further, a float, which is ascended or descended by the level of the influent water to start and stop the operation of the pressure generating unit, and a switching valve, which is opened and closed by the float, may be connected to the pressure generating unit. Otherwise, a water level sensor, a control circuit, and a solenoid valve may be connected to the pressure generating unit.

Further, an outlet of the pressure generating unit is located at one side of the at least one limited space so that the pressure generated from the pressure generating unit is discharged to the at least one limited space provided around the electric power equipment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features and other advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view illustrating the principle of an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a longitudinal-sectional view illustrating the mounting state of one embodiment of a pressure generating unit in the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the operating state of one embodiment of a cover of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view illustrating the operating state of another embodiment of the cover of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view illustrating a process for installing a covering structure of a limited space of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a longitudinal-sectional view illustrating one embodiment of the limited space of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating the embodiment of the limited space of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a schematic view illustrating a compressed air supply unit of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a schematic view illustrating another embodiment of the pressure generating unit of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention; and

FIGS. 10A and 10B are schematic views illustrating embodiments of a water level sensor of the inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

First, FIG. 1 illustrates the principle of an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment in accordance with the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, differing from a conventional pump for pumping water out of electric power equipment so as to prevent the inundation of the electric power equipment, the inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention forms an entire or local limited space 30 around electric power equipment 20, and applies a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure into the limited space 30, thereby preventing the rise of a water level or lowering the water level.

Thus, the inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention more effectively prevents the inundation of the electric power equipment 20, reduces a power consumption rate, and thereby obtains an excellent inundation preventing effect.

Now, the present invention will be described in more detail with reference to the annexed drawings. A base is laid on the roadside or underground, a stand 10 having a flat plane is constructed on the base, and the electric power equipment 20 provided with transformers or terminals covered with a casing 22 is installed on the stand 10. This electric power equipment 20 includes oil cooling type transformers having a waterproof ability, or inundation prevention units 21, such as terminals.

In the case that the electric power equipment 20 includes the inundation prevention units 21 throughout the equipment 20, the entire casing 22 is set to the limited space 30 so as not to prevent the inundation of the entire casing 22. On the other hand, in the case that the electric power equipment 20 includes the inundation prevention units 21 locally, only the area of the casing 22 occupied by the inundation prevention units 21 is set to the limited space 30.

Since the limited space 30 must be isolated from the outside, in the case that the electric power equipment 20 includes the inundation prevention units 21 throughout the equipment 20, a cover 40 for covering the entire electric power equipment 20 is required.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the above cover 40. For convenience of handling, the cover 40 is configured such that the cover 40 is rotated pivotally with hinges 23 installed at the lower end of the casing 22 or the stand 10.

In this embodiment, the cover 40 has a relatively large size such that the cover 40 is not caught on the corners of the casing 22 when the cover is rotated and opened in checking, thus causing a drawback of increasing in volume.

Further, in order to form the limited space 30 by covering the entire casing 22 of the electric power equipment 20, a cover 40′ made of a light-weight material, such as a synthetic resin, is configured also such that the cover 40′ is lifted up in checking. FIG. 4 illustrates this cover 40′.

In this embodiment, the limited space 30 is formed along the entire circumference of the electric power equipment 20. Further, a pressure generating unit 50, which will be described later, applies a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure to the limited space 30.

As shown in FIG. 5, the limited space 30 can be restricted to only an area of the electric power equipment 20, at which the inundation prevention units 21 are located. For example, in the case that the inundation prevention units 21, i.e., terminals, are disposed only on the front surface of the electric power equipment 20, a covering structure 60 with an opened lower surface and closed upper and both side surfaces is provided on the front surface of the electric power equipment 20. FIG. 6 illustrates the above state. In this embodiment, an area of the electric power equipment 20, at which the pressure generating unit 50 is installed, is not inundated also. Thus, this embodiment requires at least two limited spaces 30, i.e., one limited space 30 at the area at which the inundation prevention units 21 are located and another limited space 30 at the area at which the pressure generating unit 50 is located.

FIG. 6 illustrates one embodiment for forming the limited space 30 at the area at which the pressure generating unit 50 is located. As shown in FIG. 6, an inner wall 41 is installed around the pressure generating unit 50 so as to prevent the inundation of the pressure generating unit 50, and a cover 40 provided with an outer wall 42 located at the outside of the inner wall 41 is put onto the inner wall 41, thus forming the limited space 30. Then, the pressure generating unit 50 applies a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure to the limited space 30 so as to prevent the inundation of the electric power equipment 20.

In order to apply a pressure to at least one limited space 30 around the electric power equipment 20, as described above, the pressure generating unit 50 includes a compressor 51, a motor 52 for driving the compressor 51, and at least one air tank 53 for storing air compressed by the compressor 51. FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating this embodiment.

Further, as shown in FIG. 8, a float 54, which is ascended or descended by the level of influent water to start and stop the operation of the pressure generating unit 50, and a switching valve 56, which is opened and closed by the float 54, are connected to the pressure generating unit 50.

In the above embodiment, when water enters the electric power equipment 20 and fills the inside of the casing 22 from the stand 10, the float 54 is ascended, and thus the switching valve 56, which is opened and closed by a lever 55 of the float 54, is opened. Then, the compressor 51 of the pressure generating unit 50 is operated and supplies compressed air, filling the air tank 53, to an air supply unit 57 through the switching valve 56, thereby filling the inside of the limited space 30 with the compressed air. Thus, since the pressure in the limited space 30 becomes higher than the hydraulic pressure of the influent water, the level of the influent water cannot be raised or may be lowered. Here, other spaces except for the limited space 30 may be inundated. In this embodiment, the motor 52 using electricity as power operates the compressor 51 in a stand-by state so that the compressed air at a designated pressure can be provided in the air tank 53.

However, the above pressure generating unit 50 inevitably uses electricity as the power for operating the motor 52 and thus requires a separate wire line, and is continuously operated so as to prepare for an inundation accident, which may occur once in several years.

For this reason, as shown in FIG. 9, another embodiment of the pressure generating unit 50 may have a simplified structure. Here, the pressure generating unit 50 includes a plurality of gas bombs 53′, which are filled with compressed air of a high pressure, and supply the compressed air through the switching valve 56 opened when the float 54 is operated. In accordance with this embodiment, the pressure generating unit 50 does not require a separate electric wire line, the motor 52, the compressor 51, and a series of works for maintaining and repairing these elements, thus being economic.

Further, the operation of the pressure generating unit 50 may be controlled by controlling units having various shapes other than the float 54.

That is, as shown in FIGS. 10A and 10B, a water level sensor, and a control circuit 70, which receives a signal from the water level sensor and determines a point of time to open a solenoid valve 71 and a point of time to close the solenoid valve 71, are applied to the present invention.

As the water level sensor, a probe 72, as shown in FIG. 10A, or an inundation sensor 73 having only two contact points, as shown in FIG. 10B, is used.

The probe 72 or the inundation sensor 73 is connected to the control circuit 70, and thus allows the control circuit 70 to sense the enter of water into the electric power equipment 20 and the solenoid valve 71 to be opened so as to supply gas in the gas bombs 53′ to the air supply unit 57, thereby filling the limited space 30 with the gas and increasing the pressure in the limited space 30 more than the atmospheric pressure. Then, since the pressure in the limited space 30 becomes higher than the hydraulic pressure of the water, the inflow of the water into the limited space 30 is stopped or the level of the influent water is lowered.

The inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention applies a pressure, which is more than the atmospheric pressure, to the limited space 30, when the electric power equipment 20 is inundated, thus stopping the rise of the water level or lowering the water level. However, as a result of an actual test, it was known that the pressure applied to the limited space 30 was maintained constantly, although the state is left as it is, and the water level in an initial state was maintained, and thus an additional pressure-applying operation through the compressor 51 was unnecessary. Thus, even though a storage battery 58 is prepared as an emergency power source for the compressor 51, the storage battery has a small capacity.

As apparent from the above description, the present invention provides an inundation prevention apparatus for electric power equipment using pneumatic pressure, which applies a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure to the surface of water raised from a stand so as to prevent the inundation of the electric power equipment, differing from a conventional draining apparatus, which draws water of having a large amount, flowing momentarily, from the electric power equipment over a long time so as to prevent the inundation of the electric power equipment, thereby minimizing the power consumption rate and the scale of the apparatus and providing an effective inundation preventing plan.

As described above, in the case that water fills the electric power equipment, installed at the roadside or underground, from the bottom of the equipment due to a heavy rain and the water level in the electric power equipment is raised from the stand, the inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention senses the water level and applies a pressure more than the atmospheric pressure to the inside of at least one limited space around the equipment through a pressure generating unit. Thus, since the pressure in the limited space becomes higher than the hydraulic pressure of the water, the water level is maintained to a low value. Since this state allows the water level to be a predetermined level or less, although the surrounding environment of the electric power equipment is inundated, the inundation prevention apparatus allows the electric power equipment to be safely conserved. That is, the inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention prevents a loss of property due to inundation, and prevents accidents caused by an electric shock and a short circuit due to inundation, thus preventing a loss of lives. Further, although the surrounding environment of the electric power equipment is inundated, the inundation prevention apparatus allows the electric power equipment to be normally operated so as not to lose an electric supply function such as power transformation and thus allows the electric power equipment to maintain the quality of electricity, and maintains the supply of power to a compressor, used as the pressure generating unit.

Particularly, the inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention prevents the inundation of the equipment by a pressure applying method using the pressure generating unit, and thus employs a compressor having a small capacity, compared with a water drawing method. Further, the inundation prevention apparatus of the present invention only requires a storage battery having a small size as an emergency power source, thus greatly reducing the cost of the equipment.

Although the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.