US 2126355 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 9, 1938. w, THQMAS 2,126,355
INDICATING DEVICE FOR FUEL FEEDING SYSTEMS Filed May 21, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVEN TOR.
ROSSWELL W. THOMAS A TTORNEYS.
Aug. 9, 1938. R w. THOMAS INDICATING DEVICE FOR FUEL FEEDING SYSTEMS Filed May 21, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 IN V EN TOR. ROSSWELL W. THOMAS ATTORNEYS.
Aug. 9, 1938. R. w. THOMAS INDICATING DEVICE FOR FUEL FEEDING SYSTEMS Filed May 21, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 \IIIIL IN VEN TOR. ROSSWELL. W. THOMAS A TTORNEYS.
Aug. 9, 1938. R. w. THOMAS 2,125,355.
INDICA'I'ING DEVICE FOR FUEL FEEDING SYSTEMS Filed May 21, 1935 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 EIRVE I INVEN TOR. ROSSWELL W. THOMAS BYd Pv A TTORNEYS.
' Patented 9, 1938 INDICATING DEVICE FOR FUEL FEEDING SYSTEMS Rosswell W. Thomas, Detroit, Mich assignor to Phillips Petroleum Company, Bartlesville, kla., a corporation of Delaware Application May 21, 1935, Serial No. 22,637
'1 Claims. (Cl. 116-114) This invention relates to dispensing equipment method and apparatus whereby the consumer of for fluid fuels of the type that are furnished to liquefied petroleum gas or a similar fuel using a the consumer in containers of convenient sizes two-drum system will be immediately apprised and connected for consumption with the conduits when one drum becomes empty'and the reserve 6 leading to the usual appliances, and in particular drum is put into use. relates to an indicating device to warn against Another object of this invention is to provide the depletion of the fuel. an apparatus .and method for use in connection Inhabitants of the rural portion of the country with a two-drum liquefied petroleum gas fuel usually do not have the advantages and convensystem which is operated by and dependent upon 10 iences of metropolitan districts with respect to the exhaustion of fuel in one drum of the system 10 fuels, and of late many of these districts have to give a signal to indicate its exhaustion and come to consume fuel such as liquefied petroleum that the second drum has been connected for gas. These fuels are furnished in containers of consumption.
a size easily handled and are connected to the Still another object of this invention is to profuel conduits or pipes leading to the household vide a signal apparatus and method for use in 15 appliances and in such manner the rural disconnection with a two-drum liquefied petroleum *tricts at relatively low cost are furnished with gas fuel system which is dependent upon the metropolitan fuel conveniences. automatic coupling of 'a full drum of fuel to the Due to the rural location of such fuel consumers consuming conduits and appliances upon the deand their scattered distribution in the territory to pletion of a drum which has become exhausted 20 be served it is not possible nor profitable for the and automatically disconnected from the system. distributor of the fuel to supply the consumers A still further object of this invention is to with fuel each day of each week, but instead provide a signalling apparatus and method for a sufficient fuel must be supplied at each servicing two-drum liquefied petroleum gas fuel system to last for a relatively long period. Due to these which is actuated and initiated by the automatic 25 circumstances it has been found expedient to connection of a full drum of fuel with the system. supply at one time two drums or containers of Other objects and advantages will become apfuel so that upon the depletion of one container parent from a consideration of the following the fuel in the remaining one may be called into specification describing this invention, and from service and so in this manner guard against the the attached drawings forming a part thereof 30 inconvenience of being without fuel: and wherein like reference characters describe In my co-pending patent application Ser. No. like parts throughout the several views. 743,916 filed September 13, 1934, now Patent No. Fig. 1 illustrates a fuel supply apparatus of a 2,047,338 and covering a Dispensing equipment two-drum system and the automatic change-over for liquefiedpetroleum gas there is shown What device therefor, together with a signal means, 35
is known as a two-drum system for supplying Fig. 2 illustrates a modified means of connectfuels cf the type above mentioned and which is ing a signal to the system, particularly adapted to handle liquefied petro- Fig. 3 is'an end view partly in vertical crossleum gas. In the above identified application section of a modified form of signal,
40 there is provided an automatic change-over Fig. 4 is a side view partly in vertical cross- 40 means for shutting off one fuel container from section of the signal illustrated in Fig. 3, the conduits or pipes leading to the household Fig. 5 is an end view partly in vertical crossappliances when it becomes empty and connectsection of a further modified form of signal,
ing the full container to the supply conduits Fig. 6 is a side view partly in vertical crosswithout disrupting the utility and operation of section of the signal illustrated in Fig. 5, 45 the household appliances. This device will eifi- Fig. '7 is a plan view of a still further modified ciently make a change over from a depleted conform of signal, tainer to an unused one at the proper time but Fig. 8 is an interior plan view of the signal does not give any conveniently accessible indicaillustrated in Fig. '7, and;
tion of such change so that one drum .may be Fig. 9 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the 50 entirely emptied and the remaining one being signal illustrated in Figures '7 and 8.
drawn upon for fuel consumption and be all but With reference first to Fig- 1, there is illusempty, yet the consumer will not know of such trated in this view an embodiment of the so condition. called two-drum system which essentially con- 65 The object of this invention is to provide a sists of a pair of fluid fuel containers A and B,
which are particularly adapted to hold a fuel such as liquefied petroleum gas, and wherein one of such containers or drums is at all times connected to the service line or fuel conduit C leading to the fuel consuming household appliances. Between the fuel drums A and B and having connection therewith through the pipes l0 and N there is interposed a change-over device D. This change-over device is described and claimed in my co-pending application Serial Number 743,916 filed September 13, 1934, and will not be explained in full by this application. It should be sufllcient for a complete and comprehensive understanding of this present'invention to state that the change-over mechanism D is such that when arm l2 thereof is in the position shown in Fig. 1 valve I3 is closed and valve i4 is opened, thus allowing drum B to be in circuit with the change-over device and the service line C to supply fuel to the household appliances. Such an arrangement may be accomplished automatically upon the exhaustion of the fuel in drum A or the apparatus D may be manually set in such a position when both drums are full. In the latter instance upon the depletion of the fuel in drum B, which is shown as being drawn upon for consumption in Fig. 1, the automatic changeover device will close valve l4 disconnecting drum B, and open valve l3 and connect the fuel in drum A with service line C for consumption. When such condition as last described exists the arm |2 will point to drum A.
The drums A and B, and the automatic change-over device D, due to their size, and for other reasons, are located exteriorly of the building so that they can be serviced with the least amount of inconvenience to the consumer. If it were feasible to locate the change-over device D where it would be convenient for the consumer to inspect it, the position of lever 12 would readily indicate which of the drums A and B was in use, and by further inspection it would be possible to determine whether one drum was depleted or in reserve. However to determine this it is necessary for the consumer to open up a cabinet, in which the supply drums and change-over device are usually housed, and make an inspection, as their operation is smooth and noiseless, giving no indication of their condition. Therefore without a signal or indicating device of some type as contemplated by this invention no ready indication of the condition of the fuel supply and its mechanism may be bad. This present invention is therefore designed to give a visible or other suitable indication to the consumer so that the condition of the fuel supply can be readily ascertained.
Assuming that one drum, for instance drum A, has just been depleted sufficiently to initiate the action of the change-over device D to disconnect drum A, and connect a full drum of fuel such as drum B with the service line C. The change-over device is fully described in my above referred to co-pending application, and the actual mechanism which effects the disconnection of the depleted full drum from the service line and connects the full or reserve fuel drum thereto includes a diaphragm, one side of which is subjected to atmospheric pressure and the other side to the pressure in the fuel drum in connection with the service line. The change-over device is so constructed and operates in such a manner that upon the depletion of the fuel in the drum connected to the service line with the consequent decrease of pressure in the drum to a predetermined degree, the change-over device will be automatically put into operation to disconnect the empty fuel drum from the service line and connect thereto the full or reserve drum. Therefore when drum A is disconnected and drum B is initially connected with the service line C there is a surge therethrough due to the relatively higher pressure in the unconsumed tank B over that in the depleted tank A and the service line C. This pressure surge is relatively small and only momentary so it in no way affects the operation of the fuel consuming appliances, butis sufiicient to actuate various devices indicative of the conditions of the fuel supply drums and to apprise the consumer when one drum has become exhausted and the reserve drum put into use.
In Fig. 1 the section C, of the service pipe C,
is that portion which extends into the consumer's house and leads to the household appliances such as the stove burners, heaters, lights, etc. Connected into this line and adjacent the fuel consuming appliances where it is readily visible at all times to the consumer is an indicating device generally designated by the reference character E. This indicating device is at all times in connection with the service line C through the coupling 2|! and extension line 2|. The indicating or signal device E is of such a type as will be actuated by the pressure surge occurring in service line C and C upon the connection therewith of a full drum of fuel. Fig. 1 the surge will travel through service line C and C' in the direction of the arrows which are at an angle of substantially to the extension line 2|. Nevertheless the pressure surge through the service line will be sufficient to actuate the signal or indicating device E as the surge takes place in all parts'of the service line including extension 2|.
When the pressure which occurs upon the change-over is slight or it is desired to obtain a more direct utilization of its force to actuate the indicating device the signal may be arranged as shown in Fig. 2. Here the coupling 20 fitting with the extension pipe 2| and signal E is connected to the service line C' at a point where it makes a bend at substantially a right angle. With such an arrangement the full force of the pressure surge traveling in the direction of the arrows is utilized to actuate the signal.
This invention comprises several modified forms of signals, all of which are designed to take advantage of and be actuated by the pressure surge in the service line and which may be connected thereto in either of the manners shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.
In Figures 3 and 4 there is illustrated one embodiment of this invention which comprises the signal or indicating device 30 and includes a pipe 2| and coupling 20 connecting with the service line C as shown in Fig. 4. The signal device includes a pair of complementary recessed plates 3| and 32 which are securely fastened together to form the chambers 33 and 13. The lower plate 3| has formed on the under side thereof an internally screw threaded fitting 34 which makes connection with the pipe 2|. The upper end of this fitting terminates internally of the chamber 33 in a stop 35 formed with a plurality of ports 35 connecting the interior of pipe 2| with the chamber 33'. By virtue of this construction pressure in pipe 2|, as will be later described is directed against the entire area of the lower As shown in side of diaphragm 36. Interposed between the 75 complementary recessed plates is a flexible diaphragm 36 normally separating chambers 33 and 33', and which is adapted to contact with and rest upon the stop 35 to limit the movement of diaphragm 36 when it is forced downwardly by the spring 38. Resting upon the upper side of the diaphragm 36 and opposite the stop 35 is a disc 31 which includes a seat for the coil spring 38. The upper end of spring 38 is accommodated by the seat 39 formed on the under side of the upper plate 32. Secured to the plate 31 is a stem 40 which extends through an aperture 4i formed in plate 32 and which extends upwardly into asignal containing housing 42 hingedly connected as at 43 to the plate 32. A pin or shaft 44 extends transversely of the housing 42 and is rotatably journaled in the side walls thereof as shown at 45 and 46. Supported longitudinally of and within the housing 42 is a legend bearing plate 41 containing any suitable wording such as that shown at 48 and which under certain conditions as will be later explained is visible through the window 49 formed in a wall of the housing. Mounted upon shaft 44 and keyed thereto so as to be movable therewith is a shutter Ell disposed behind the window 49 and adapted to shut from view the plate 41 and the legend 48 appearing thereon, and which has a depending ear 5i engageable with the top end of pin 40. The shutter 50 is cocentrically mounted on the.shaft 44 and is held in place to close the window 49 as shown in Fig. 3, by the pin 40 upon which rests the ear 5|.
Normally the spring 38 will hold the disc 31 and diaphragm 36 down against the stop 35. The spring 38 will be designed or adjusted so as to barely counter balance the normal pressure in the supply line C, C, and the pipe 2!. Inasmuch as the normal pressure upon the lower side of diaphragm 3G is almost equal to the force exerted by the spring 38, it is apparent that any slight increase of pressure in pipe 2|, such as the pressure surge therethrough, and acting on the lower side of the diaphragm 36 will move the same upwardly to operate the signal. Assuming that the several parts of the signal are in the position shown in Fig. 3 and the shutter 5ll is masking from view the plate 41 and its legend 48, the consumer will then know that one drum of fuel is being drawn upon for consumption and there remains another full drum of unused fuel in reserve. When the first drum becomes depleted and the apparatus D referred to in Fig. 1 effects a change-over shutting off the empty drum from the service line and connecting the full drum thereto, a pressure surge as described will take place throughout the length of the service line C and C and the force thereof will be imparted through coupling 20, pipe 2|, and ports 35 to the lower side of diaphragm 36 and move the same together with disc 31 and p n 4i) upwardly against the action of the spring 38. Upon such movement the upper end of pin 40 will push upwardly on the ear 5|, unbalancing the shutter 50 and turning the shaft 44 so that the shaft and shutter move to take the position shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 4, thus leaving the window 50 uncovered and the legend 48 in view to inform the consumer that the reserve drum of fuel is then in use.
A small aperture 52 is formed in the upper side of the plate 32 for the escape of air from chamber 33 upon the upward movement of diaphragm 36.
The pressure surge is of but momentary duration and immediately after the shutter is tripped in the manner described the diaphragm is again forced down upon the stop 35-by the spring 38. When a new drum of fuel is .substituted for the exhausted one the signal may then be reset by means of a key 53 which has a fitting with the end of shaft 44, and which is provided to prevent the unauthorized resetting of the signal until a drum of reserve fuel is provided.
It is to be understood that the signalling or ind cating device may be connected to the supply line C either inside the house and adjacent the fuel consuming appliances, for instance in the kitchen or out of doors. After a change as above described has occurred and a reserve drum of fuel supplied the consumer may then reset the signal. If the signal is exterior of the house it should preferably be placed so as to be accessible to the serviceman who supplies the reserve drum of fuel so as to be reset by him at that time, and also if convenient it should be so placed as to be visible from the inside of the house. These signals are therefore built so as to be substantially weather proof.
Figures 5 and 6 illustrate another embodiment of this invent on and also disclose a signal for a fuel system of the type above described wherein the signal is actuated by and is dependent upon a pressure surge inherently present when a full drum of reserve fuel is initially connected to the system. In this instance the pressure surge is directed against a piston which translates the force to the signal.
In F gures 5 and 6 there is provided the usual pipe 2i and coupling 2llconnected to the service line C, as shown in Fig. 6.
An indicating device or signal of substantially the same type as that described in Figures 3 and 4 is utilized in this embodiment, and the same includes the housing 42. having a window 49. the plate 41 and legend 48 carried thereby, and the shutter 50 including the ear 5| and mounted upon the shaft 44, and held in position as shown in Fig. 5 by the pin 40. The housing 42 is mounted upon a base which has formed in the lower side thereof the cylinder 6! having reciprocally mounted therein the piston 62 integral with which is a piston or pin 40. An aperture 63 in the plate Bll allows the pin 4|] to pass therethrough to confact the ear 5! of the shutter 50 and support the same as described. Pipe 2! is connected to the cylinder Bl by means of a fitting E4. and interposed therebetween is a composition packing disc F5 to prevent leakage. A coil spring 66 engages at one end the top surface of the cylinder chamber and at the other end forces against the piston to normally hold it in position against the packing 65. In this embodiment the housing 42 is secured in place upon the base '60 by any suitable means such as the brackets shown at 61.
When the pressure surge takes place it occurs in all parts of the service line C, including the portion C, and this surge will act on the piston 62 and force it upwardly against the action of the spring 66 and cause thepin 40 to function in the manner described in connection with Figures 3 and 4 to trip the shutter 50, causing it to rotate upon the shaft 44 and to take the position shown by the dotted lines in Fig. 6 with the plate 41 and any suitable legend such as 48 visible, thus apprising the consumer of the condition -of the fuel supply. 1
As previously described, the pressure surge is but momentary, and the piston 62 will be instantly reseated upon the disc II by the spring II, and the shutter can be manually reset by any suitable means such as the key II when a reserve drum of fuel has been supplied.
Figures 7, 8 and 9 illustrate a still further embodiment of this invention, and as in the other embodiments heretofore described, the pressure surge in the service pipe line is utilized to actuate the signal in order to warn the consumer of the condition of the fuel supply. This embodiment comprises a housing 10 including a plate H mounted therein and a transparent glass cover I2 held in place by the rim 13. The plate H is provided with a legend of any-suitable type which is normally masked from view by a disc or shutter H eccentrically keyed to a rotatable shaft ll supported by the plate H. In Fig. 7 the legend upon the plate H is shown in dotted lines as it is masked by the disc I4.
Passing through a side wall of the housing 10 is a screw threaded coupling 16 adapted to be coupled with a fuel feeding service line, such as the one C and C previously described. Interior of the housing the coupling terminates in a head 11 to which is fastened a pressure responsive flexible tubing 18. The tube 18 may be of metal or any other suitable material which upon the increase of pressure therein will have a tendency to straighten out and cause the end 18 thereof to move in the direction indicated by the arrow as shown in Fig. 8. Keyed to the shaft 15 and movable therewith is an arm 19 carrying a pin 80 having an enlarged head ll. An arm 82 pivoted to the end I! of tube II is provided at one end with a slot 83 through which pin 80 passes and is prevented from being withdrawn by the head 8i.
Normally the tube 18 and the arms 19 and 82 are in the position shown by the full lines in Fig. 8 with which arrangement the shutter or disc 14 keyed to the shaft 15 will be in the position shown in Figures 7 and 8 and mask the legend occurring upon the plate H. When the change-over from an empty fuel drum to a full drum occurs the resultant pressure surge will take place through the service line and enter the fitting 16 coupled thereto with the result that the pressure surge upon entering the flexible tube 18 will cause the end 18 to move in the direction of the arrow shown in Fig. 8 and snap the arms 82 and 19 into the position shown by the dotted lines in the same figure. This movement of the arms imparts a partial rotary motion to the shaft 15 with the consequence that the shutter H is moved to the position shown by the dotted lines in Fig. '7, thus uncovering the legend upon plate H and so indicate to the consumer that the reserve drum of fuel is then connected to the service line and is ready for consumption. A key 53 has connection with an end of shaft 15 to turn the same and through it the arms 82 and 19 may be snapped back to the position shown by the full lines in Fig. 8, and the disc ll rnoved to mask or cover the legend upon plateglj thus resetting the signal after a reserve drumof fuel has been supplied.
What I claim and desire to secure by letters Patent is:
1. In a fuel feeding system of the type described having a plurality of fuel containing drums, a fuel feeding supply line, a change-overv device for said drums operatively interposed in said system, an indicating device to show the condition of the fuel supply in said drums comprising a signal, a shutter to normally mask said signal from view, and means to unmask said signal up on changes of the fuel supply.
2. In a fuel feeding system of the type described having a plurality of fuel containing drum, a fuel feeding supply line, a change-over device between said drums and said supply line, an indicating device to show the condition of the fuel supply in said drums comprising a signal, a shutter to normally mask said signal from view, and means to unmask said signal upon changes of the fuel supply condition actuated by a pres sure surge in said supply line upon operation of said change-over device.
3. In a fuel feeding system of the type described having a plurality of fuel containing drums, a fuel feeding supply line, a change-over device for connecting said supply line to one of said drums, a signal to indicate the condition of the fuel supp y in said drums comprising a housing having a window therein, a legend bearing plate mounted in said housing with the legend visible through said window, a pivoted shutter mounted in said housing and normally closing said window to mask said legend from view, and a pin actuated by a pressure surge within said supply line upon the operation of said changeover device to operate said shutter and unmask the legend.
4. In a fuel feeding system of the type described having a plurality of fuel containing drums, a fuel feeding supply line, a change-over device for connecting said supply line to one of said drums, and an indicating device to show the condition of the fuel supply in said drums comprising a signal, a shutter to normally mask said signal from view, and a flexible tube having connection with said shutter and expansible upon the operation of said change-over device to move said shutter and unmask said signal.
5. In a fuel supply system, a plurality of fuel containing drums, a fuel feeding supply line, a change-over device connected with each of said drums and with said supply line adapted automatically to disconnect a depleted drum from said supply line and to connect a full drum therewith, operation of said change-over device causing a pressure surge in said supply line, a signal interposed in said supply line at a point removed from said change-over device, said signal comprising indicating means having only two indicating positions and being normally in one position, and means associated with said indicatng means and operable in response to said pressure surge to move said indicating means to the second indicating position, whereby there is always an indication of which said drum is connected to said supply line.
6. In a fuel supply system, a plurality of fuel containing drunks, a fuel feeding supply line, a change-over device connected with each of said drums and with said supply line adapted automatically to disconnect a depleted drum from said supply line and to connect a full drum therewith, operation of said change-over device causing a pressure surge in said supply line, a signal interposed in said supply line at a point removed from said change-over device, said signal comprising indicating means having only two indicating positions and being normally in one position, means associated with said indicating means and operable in response to said pressure surge to move said indicating means to the second indicating position to indicate that said change-over device has operated and manually operable means cooperating with said indicating means to reset the same in its initial position.
7. In a fuel supply system, a plurality of fuel containing drums, a fuel feeding supply line, a. change-over device connected with each of said drums and with said supply line adapted automatically to disconnect a depleted drum from said supply line and to connect a full drum therewith, operation of said change-over device causing a pressure surge in said supply line, a signal interposed in said supply line, said signal comprising an indicating element having only two indicating positions and being normally in one position, means actuated solely by said pressure surge to move said indicating element to the second position, whereby there is always an indication of which said drum is connected to said supply line.
ROSSWELL W. THOMAS.