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Publication numberUS1240890 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 25, 1917
Filing dateSep 30, 1912
Priority dateSep 30, 1912
Publication numberUS 1240890 A, US 1240890A, US-A-1240890, US1240890 A, US1240890A
InventorsFrank Shuman, Charles Vernon Boys
Original AssigneeFrank Shuman, Charles Vernon Boys
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 1240890 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



Patented sept. 25, 1917.


Mm l Shuman,

15%@ wma@ Mm, @h 12.3%@ by SUN BOILER. I APPLICATION FILED SEPT. 30, I9l2.


A t www Patented Sept. 25,191?.



Patented Spn. 25, i917.

4 sHEzTsLsuEET a.

www* I anys.

65mm. @y

alfd i C. V. BOYS. SUN BOLEB. APPLacAloN min SEPT. so. 1912.

@42E-@9 QQ Patented Sept. 25, 1917.


L? www the. path'of the sunsrays and therefore at-A small angle to the horizon, when the sun is i in sans ar' rc.




specificati@ of Letters Patent.

Patented Sept. 25, i917.

Application led September 30, 1912. Serial. No. 723,209.

To, all whom it may concern:

Be it known that we, FRANK SHUMAN, a citizen of the United States of America, residing at Tacony, Philadelphia, State of Pennsylvania, in the United States of America, and CHARLES VERNON Boys, F. R. S., a subject of the King of England, residing at Westminster, London, in England, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in and Relating to Sun-Boilers, of which the following is a specification.

j Many attempts have been made to utilize the radiation from the sun for heating boilers. Large parabolic reflectors have been used to concentrate the radiation upon a small boiler placed at the focus, but the irst cost of the reflectors, the difficulty of connecting a large number of boilers and of following the sun in its apparent motion have prevented these from being used successfully for large powers. Further the ditliculty of eiiicient concentration of the heat rayson 'small boilers orv the large amount of water to be heated bei fore any steam is available if the boilers are large compared with the mirrors have rendered useless.

In other forms of heaters in which the boiler is made` with a flat, or substantially Hat surface of considerable extent to be ex? available area of possible heating surface,

but is also a source ofexpense. Moreover such insulation cannot be wholly etlicient;

vwhether of inorganic or organic material it will suffer a certain quantity of heat to escape, and if of organic material it is liable to destruction by organic change or by the rafvages of white ants and other forms of li e.

y Boilers that are fiat and horizontal, or of which the surface is disposed transversely to high in tropical countries. are liable to a deposit of dust which greatly reduces the eilicie'ncy otherwise available.

many previous attempts practically vfront elevation of a group of boilers united to a steam pipe, anengineand other auxiliary apparatus, the whole forming a complete sun-power plant.

Fig. 3 is a section on line 3-3` (on a larger scale) showing one of the boilers with its reflectors and means of suspension and of movement.

. Fig. 4 illustrates the construction of the boiler in cross section and sheets of transparent ordinary Celluloid or transparent uninlammable Celluloid or other' similar material is used for arresting radiation from the boiler.

Fig. 4a illustrates a piece of corrugated woven wire mesh usedfin the constructionof boiler shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 5 is a section on line 5-5 (also on a larger scale) illustrating a reflector' for the steam pipe and a method of constructing the boiler for the better heating of the water introduced therein.

Fig. -is a section showing a modiication of Fig. 5. l

Fig. 6 illustrates a further modification of the construction of the boiler.

Fig. 7 is a sectional view illustrating a construction of boiler for use where the ground is inclined.

Fig. 8 illustrates au electric control for the feed water of the boiler shown in Fig. 7.

Fig. 9 illustrates au electrical apparatus for moving the boilers and mirrors for heliostatic purposes.

Figs. 10 to 14 illustrate automatic thermostatic devices for use therewith.

Fig. 15 'illustrates a modification of the heliost'atic apparatus.

Our invention principally consists in a construction of boiler and reflectonthe boiler being substantially in the form of a long,

I' thin, flat body as shown a-t 1, having a widened head 2"to serve as a steam pipe,`

andl placed edgewise to th'e sun, the reiector consisting of a number of strips of` mirror 3 on each side of the boiler 1 so that the raysof the sun may be reflected and concentrated on to both faces of the boiler.

The boiler 1 is constructed out ofA thin sheet metal, sheet iron coated with lead bing preferably used. Within the yboiler is a s eet of woven wire mesh or suitably perforated sheet metal 78 which` is corrugated either vertically or-horizontally. The outer sheet metal is preferably fiat but may if desired be corrugated, the 'corrugations of sheet metal Aand of theinner Wire mesh then crossing one another. The two Outerfaces are secured to one another at intervals by driving a nail 79 preferably lead coated,

through the two plates and through the intervening corrugated wire mesh, and turn-fA ing over the p roJecting point of the nail. A f

covering of lead or other solder 8O is 'placed about the head and point of each nail. The plates are rolled outward at the upper end to form the enlarged head 2 and are suitably connected together as at 81. 4

-82, 83, indicate suitable .spiders which carry rods 84, v85, 86, a sheet or sheets of ordina-ry or of 4uniniamrnabletransparent celluloid 87 -being wrapped about the wholel and secured as at 88. g i

- In order to reduce the loss of-heat from the solar'boiler by conduction and convection, the boiler is preferably coated with a transparent varnish or enamel. It is re erable irst to coat the boiler with a dul black aint before applying the varnish or enamel.

ut if the boiler is made of leaded irons or of other metal which can be turned black by a chemical treatment such as for instancethe treatmentof lead with sulfureted hydrogen then we prefer to do this, and the coating with a dull black paint is not needed.

The invention further consists in mount-- ingsuch a boiler and its mirrors so that they are movable together as a whole to follow the position of the sun.

The interconnection of the boiler 1` and mirror system 3 may be carriedv out` by the use of light crescent-shaped lattice or other y frames l'arranged at intervals and parallel to one another, of such form as to support the mirrors 3 correctly. and with suspension wires 5 to carry the boiler 1 in ixed relation to the mirrors 3 so that when the series of frames 4, which -are supported on rollers '6' on a series of fixed standards 7, are tilted by means of rack and pinion gear 8, 9, or other inexpensive gear, so as to bring the boiler 1 edgewise tothe sun, the mirrors 3 may at the same time moye with the boiler io as to maintain the vradiation upon its aces. Y

We prefer to leave narrow spaces as at 10ibetween the adjacent edges of the mir` the outer`- -space to space ywater has reached the rors 3 so that studs attached to the frames I and carrying holding down buttons may pass between them and so that dust resting on the mirrors 3 may fall through under vvthe action of the wind or when dusted.

A partition 12 runs from the center line of the mirrors to the bottom of the boiler to prevent wind from blowin through underneath the boiler and to co e the air under the boiler while in a tiltedv position by which means much loss of heat is avoided.

In constructing a long boiler, it is iml portant that the top and bott-oml should not be unequally heated. If the 'comparatively cool water from the condenser, for instance is'merely allowed to run into the bottom of.

through pipe 17, and enters the space 18 which is cutoff. from the rest ofthe boiler everywhere except at the extreme bottom of partition 13 V-where the water can pasa through as shown'by the arrow, into space 19. The water then rises, due to absorption of heat,- and passes over the top of partition 14, into the space 20 whence it passes under 16, into themain body of the boiler.

In Fig. 6 is shown a modification of this idea. The cool water comes in through'the pipe 1-7, drops, due to its greater density,

the bottom4 ofV the partition 15 intothev f space 21, then over the top of the partition toward the bottom of the first space 22, then I I Aas it .receives heat from the sun, it aga-in rises and vtrops into the 'second space 23 where again it goes near lto the bottom due density, 'and' this recurs from 24, 25 until Iby the time the space 26 1t is up to to its greater the boiling point.

In the modification of the boiler shown sections 68 are used connected along their upper edge by their together heads 2 which form a plpe Colnenlarged in Fig. 46, a suitable number of separate vlengths or laov vmon to them all. The ends of the enlarged v heads may be provided with'anges 69 for connection of veach to the next. Such boller may be used as in' Figs. 5 and 6 or placed horizontally in which case Uv shaped connecting pipes 76 may also be used for passage of water from each tothe next.

A number of these combinedboiler and A mirror structures :may be connected ina series orA 'range of any desired length. The

maybe inattesa steam passes from one to another er such series of boilers by the aid of connecting pipes. There may be as many of these ranges as are needed, seven being shown for example in Fig. 1.

- Y The steam outlet from each range'of boilers runs into the main steam pipe 28.

29 is the connection from the main steam the condensed steam that has passed through the engine 34.

35 is the exhaust pipe from engine to cons denser 36.

37 is the water feed pipe from the condenser 36 to the wet vacuum pump 32.

38 is an irrigationv pump, the suction pipe 39 of which iruns either to a river or to wells, or to-other sources of water, and the discharge pipe 40 runs to one end of the condenser.

The whole quantity of water discharged by the irrigation pump 38 iiows through the condenser 36 and from the other side of the condenser flows on to the land which is to be irrigated, or to the reservoir through a pipe 4l. This large quantity of water is only heated a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit in condensing the steam, and is not spoiled for irrigation or other purposes.

Fig. 7 shows a general view of one bank of heat absorbers for use on inclined ground, the view being broken in the `middle,. loeing much longer in reality. The thin portion `of the boiler is divided at intervals of say- 3 ft. with the partitions 42, or is made in sections as described with reference to Fig. 6a. The water enters at the higher end, through the valve 43, into the first compartment until it has become `illed to the. overflow point,

when the water cascades into the second compartment, and so on down the line until it comes to the water seal shown at 44.

This water seal /44 drops down into the Water, so as to prevent the already formed steam in the-boiler from getting into the first partitions to the right, where it would immediately condense and lose greatly in volume.'

In order to prevent further the contact of V` the steam with the cool incoming water, it

will" be seen that the steam pipe 45 is separated from the thin part of' the heater 46,

in other words, the steam pipe from the water seal 44 upward becomesseparate from the boiler.

In the manner shown, the steam pipe is kept Jfree of water throughout its entire length, and steam can easily escape throughf out the entire length of the boiler. Y v

Ifthe water in the lower compartment is kept always at the proper level the water 4in all of the other compartments must also be,

at the proper level. f

There is, therefore, in communication with.

the lower left hand space, a {ioat box47, containing a float 48 which regulateszthe level of the water in this lowest compartment as follows The water from the lowest partition euters the float boi; 47 through a pipe 49, the.

pipe 50 is connected'witli the steam pipe so as to equalize the pressure on the two sides. As the float ball rises or falls the `lever of the valve 43 which controls the inlet of the water is opened or shut, either turning on more water in case the level falls too low, or shutting off more water in case the level rises too high. By this means the water is automatically retained at the proper level in each particular bank of heat absorbers; consequently it only becomes necessary for the wet vacuum pump to pump the water to the highest point, and thereafter the mechanism will automatically regulate the depth in each absorbers.

The mechanical communication of the movement of the float 48, to the valve 43 can be done in various Ways. In Fig. 8 is shown 'an electrical device for accomplishing this purpose, the float lever comes in Contact with either one of the Contact plates marked 52 which establishes a circuit controlling small electro-magnets 53, which will pull the lever of the valve 43, either way, thus either shutting off the water or turning it on.

To cause the heat absorber to face the sun by means of the action of the sun itself, there is placed in the center of the parabola of the mirrors, the thermo-pile 54 (Figs. 9 and 10). As long as this thermo-pile 54 remains in the shadow of the boiler, the motor 55 does not turn; but as soon as the raysA of the sun (due to the rotation of the earth) .impinge upon the thermo-pile a small electric current is generated, which by means of the'electro-magnet 56 at once closes the cir cuit 57, by the aid of a relay if necessary and particular bank of heat:

to the sun. When the motor is not quite able to dp this, vthe thermo-pile W11l come into action, and cause the Amotor to speed up for a few seconds t o ysucha point that it will celeratedy until it hasL caught up andl over-v vte takenr the sun.

Instead of a thermo-pile, a thermostat 51 as in Fig. 11 may be used. In this case the result is similar. v

In Fig. 12 is shown a direct method for controlling the movement of the sun abof the thermo-pile, vas shown the valve controlling the sorber. This shows a box '58. or plate made of wood, or of such a material as invarl, which neither expands nor contracts with the heat. In this box is put the rod 59 composed of a metal having a high coeicient of expansion and contraction such as zinc or aluminium. This rod may run the entire length of the heat absorber.

This would mean that when thisfrod, which is painted black, is exposed to the rays of the sun, due to the rotation of the earth, it would expand suciently to turn any kind of a valve of any desired motor. Instead of the lrod there could be used a ilat band of metal. In either case, the results would be the same. The moment the rod goes into shadow, it contracts, and closes the valve partly, when it is exposed to the sun it expands and opens the valve.

Fig. 13V is a section and Fig. 14 a plan of another method. 73 is a l`shaped bar of iron by which a strip of steel 7 4 is supported at intervals by wire fingers 75. One end of the strip 74 is adjustably secured to a bracket 76 and the other end is attached to operate the valve or other device intended to be set in action when the suns rays shine on the strip 74, the lT-bar being kept in shadow. 77 is a spring to maintain the strip 7 4 taut.

The strip 74 may be painted black.

rlhis feature of our invention contemplates the use of a device which expands yand contracts in conformity with variations in the shade temperature and thus neutralizes the eect of changes of temperature between morning and noon or summer and Winter in the shade.

Fig. 15 illustrates another means of controlling the movement-,of the heat absorber.

l8 is the rack on the heater frame, which is moved by the pinion 9, worml gear 60 and worm 61, the latter mounted on a shaft with thefriction wheel 62. The small friction Wheel 63 ismounted on the end of the shaft anotan be moved into contact with 62. v67 is an elecv tro-magnet or solenoid arranged to cause contact' between the friction wheels 62 and 63 at which time the heat. absorber 'willfbef .moved in proportion to the speed 'ofthe motor, which exceeds the speed 'equivalent to that of rotation ot the earth. A spring 1s provided for adjusting the action .of the magnet orsolenoid, which may also be ad-V justed by varying the location lof the 'magnet or the amount of current passed through the same, or both of these and the spring.

At the end of the day, orbefore the next, the boilers and mirrors are brought back to their initial position by hand or motive power. v l

All steam pipes, where flooded byl light from the mirrors, are painted black, and have a transparent coating of varnish or are covered with celluloid or both, and Where they are not under the effect of the mirrors, they are insulated. y'

What we claim as our invention and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is 1. In apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, the combination of a longitudinally extending and transversely curved reflector, with a heat absorberso disposed'in respect to said reiector as to receive the rays of the sun reflected thereby, said absorber presenting parallel longitudinal sides disposed at a short distance apart and expanded at their upper ends to form a longitudinally extending steam chest. v

2. In apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, the combination of a longitudinally extending and transversely curved refiece tor, with a. heat absorber soldisposed in respect to said redactor as to receive the rays of the sun refiected thereby, said absorber presenting a narrow longitudinall column surmounted by an enlarged longitudinally extending bulbous head.

ne s

3. In apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, the combination of a longitudinally extending and transversely curved reflector with a heat absorber so disposed in respect to said reflector as to receive the rays of the jsun redected thereby, said absorber presenting a` narrow longitudinal column extending parallel with ,the reflector and surmounted by an enlarged longitudinally extending bulbous' head.

4. In apparatus for utilizing the heat of inameeo being so disposed in respect to said reflector as to receive the reflected rays on both sides of said narrow column.

5. The combination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of a curved reflector,

spect to said reflector as to receive the rays of the sun reflectedv` thereby, said reflector sorber.

, tom and top of the absorber during its .tu reflector to longitudinal `ovv through the same.

7. The combination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of a curved reflector, a heat absorber so disposed in respect to said reflector as to receive the rays of the sun reflected thereby, and means for causing substantiallyv uniform heating of the casing of the absorber both at bottom and top at any given point throughout the length of the same.

8. The combination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of aheat absorber, means for supplying Water thereto, a pipe for receiving steam generated in said absorber, means for reflecting the rays of the sun upon said absorber, and other 'means for reflecting the rays of the sun upon said Plpe 9. The com ination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of a curved reflector, a heat absorber so disposed in respect thereto as to receive the. rays of the sun reflected thereby, means for moving the reflector so as to cause it to follow the ap-` parent movements of the sun, a thermal'controlling device for said moving means, and a shadin device so dis osed in respect to said therma controller tiiat the latter willA be alternately shaded from and exposed to the 10. The combination, in a paratus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of) a .curved reflector, a heat absorber so disposed in respect theretoas to receive the rays-of the sun reflected thereby, means for moving said follow the apparent ymovements a heat absorber so disposed in reof the sun, and a thermal controlling device for said moving means so disposed in respect to the absorber as to be alternately Within and beyondthe shadow of the same cast. by the sun.

11. The combination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of a curved reflector, a heat absorber so disposed in respect thereto as lfo'receive the rays of the sun reflected thereby, means for moving said Ireflector so that it will constantly maintain its most favorable position iii respect to tlie sun, a thermal controller for said means, means for shading said controller from the rays of the sun, and means whereby the movement of the reflector is caused to carry said thermal device into oiout of the shaded position.

12. The combination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of a curved reflector, a heat absorber so disposed in respect thereto as to receive the rays of the sun reflected thereby` means for turning the reflecter to maintain it in its most favorable position in respect to the sun, an accelerator for uickenino said movement. and a thermal device for actuating said accelerator.

13. In apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, the combination of a longitudinally extending and transversely curved reflector, a longitudinal heat absorber extending parallel with and suspended in the focal plane of said reflector, and a system of Wire supports for said absorber which permit longitudinal expansion and. contraction to take place Without strain upon the absorber.

14. The combination, in apparatus for utilizing the heat of the sun, of` a reflector, and a heat absorber so disposed in respect thereto as to receive the rays of the sun reflected thereby, said absorber being pro# vided with a coating which increases its heat absorbing properties, and a transparent covering applied directly to said coating.

15. In apparatus for utilizing the heat of -the sun, the combination of a longitudinally extending and .transversely curved reflector,

.a longitudinal heat absorber extending parallel with and disposed in the focal plane of said reflector, a supporting framework for said reflector, and mechanical supports for the absorber Whichpermit longitudinal eX- pansion and contraction without strain upon the absorber or framework. In witness-whereof we have 'signed this specification. 1 Y A rea san. cans viennon ners.

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U.S. Classification126/581, 126/692, 165/904
Cooperative ClassificationY10S165/904, F24J2/38