US 2360038 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 10, 1944.
H. H. BURTON I 2,360,038
PUMPING APPARATUS Filed July 6, 1942 FIG E 4. 3 m/YRY'H. BURTON QMW Patented Oct. 10, 1944 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE PUMPING APPARATUS Harry H. Burton, Worcester, Mass. Application July 6, 1942, Serial No. 449,85!)
The present invention relates to pumping apparatus of the air-lift type, by means of which it is possible to raise and discharge water, in an efiicient manner, from the bottom of shafts or wells of considerable depth, say from two or three hundred feet below ground level.
The objects of my invention are to improve and simplify the construction and operation of pumping apparatus of this class, and to provide a mechanism for the accurate cyclical opening and closing of the valves which control the supply and discharge of the compressed air or other pressure fluid employed as the lifting medium. Other and further objects and advantages of the invention will be made apparent in the following detailed description, reference being had in this connection to the accompanying drawing, in which- Fig. 1 is a side elevational view, with the shaft in section, showing the pumping apparatus of my invention.
Fig. 2 is a sectional view of the compressed air valves, on an enlarged scale.
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary large scale sectional view on the line 3-3 of Fig. 1
Like reference characters refer to like parts in the difierent figures.
In Fig. l is represented a shaft or drilling I of considerable depth, say two or three hundred feet below the ground level 2, the bottom of the shaft I containing water to a depth of several feet which it is the function of my improved apparatus to discharge at ground level. My improved pumping apparatus includes a hollow box or receptacle 3, adapted to be submerged as shown in the water at the bottom of shaft I the interior of said box 3 providing a chamber which, in the operation of the apparatus, receives periodic fillings of water, each of which is thereupon discharged from said chamber by way of a lift pipe 4, whose intake end, as shown at 5, is slightly above the bottom of the chamber, and whose outlet end, as shown at 6, is at or above the ground level 2.
The admission of water to the interior of the submerged box or receptacle 3 is by way of a port or ports, shown at I, in one side of the box, the port openings being preferably provided by short lengths of pipe 8, 8 carried by a plate 9 which forms part of the box side, and which, as shown in Fig. 3, has secured along one of its inner edges a flapper I of rubber, leather, or like material, for cooperation, in check-valve fashion, with the inner edges of the pipe sections 8, 8. That is to say, this flapper I0 permits the free inflow to the interior of box 30f the water in which said box is submerged, but it effectually prevents any outflow of water from said box, by its inherent tendency to seep against and to seal with the inwardly projecting edges of the pipe sections 8, 8, as indicated by the full and dotted arrows.
Near the mouth of shaft I is provided a suitable source of compressed air supply, here shown as a compressed storage tank II, in which the air is maintained at a suitable pressure, say fifty pounds per square inch, by an air compressor, not shown. Tank II has an outlet pipe I2 which communicates-.Mlith the interior of a valve casing I3; the latter communicatesin turn with an elongated pipe I4 extending the entire length of shaft I and opening, as shown at I5, into the box or receptacle 3 at the upper portion thereof. The flow of the compressed air from pipe I2 to pipe I4 is controlled by a valve member I6 in the casing I3, said valve member I6, as shown in Fig. 2, being held to its seat IT, to interrupt said flow, by means of a spring I8, and said valve member having a stem l9 projecting through the casing I3 and adapted when depressed to open the said valve, thereby causing a flow of compressed air through pipe I4 into box 3 for the displacement of the contained water which is forced upwardly and outwardly through lift pipe 4. A branch pipe 20 from pipe I4 communicates with the interior of a valve casing l3, similar in construction to the valve casing I3 and having an outlet 2| to the atmosphere; within said valve casing I3 is arranged a valve member I6, held to its seat IT by a spring I8 and having a stem I9 projecting upwardly adjacent to the stem I9 of valve I6. Thus the two valve stems I9 and I9, being in juxtaposition, are susceptible of being depressed in timed relation to each other, by a common actuator.
Said actuator, as shown, takes the form of a rotary arm 22, extending radially from a suitably journalled shaft 23, which is driven constantly at an appropriate relatively slow speed, say nine or ten revolutions per minute, in any suitable way, as by reduction gearing from a small electric motor, not shown. Pivoted at any suitable point, as at 24, on the valve casing I3 is an elongated arcuate member 25, adapted to be engaged on its inner surface by the end of rotary arm 22 and resting by its outer surface against the upper end of the stem' I9 of valve I6. A similar elongated arcuate operating member 25', pivoted at 24 to the valve casing I3, is provided, in the path of arm 22, for the operation of valve I6, in timed relation to the operation of valve I6. With the arm 22 in the position shown by Fig. 1, both valves I6 and I6 remain closed, being held against their seats by the springs I8 and I8, respectively. As the arm 22 move clockwise from the position shown in Fig. 1, its engagement with member 25 will open the valve I6, and hold it open for the duration of said arms contact with said member 25; then, as arm 22 moves off the lower end of member 25, the valve I6 closes, and after a brief period, the arm 22 engages the member 25' to open the valve I6, with th lat ter remaining open for the duration of said arms travel along the member 25'. The operation ofmy improved pumping apparatus in elevating and discharging the water from the bottom of shaft I is as follows:
With the box 3 filled with water that has flowed in through ports 1 to displace the air released by opening of valve I 6', and with both valves I6 and I6 in closed position by virtue of arm 22 being then in the position shown by Fig. 1, the further clockwise rotation of arm 22 will, by engagement with member 25, open the valve I6, permitting an inrush of compressed air to the top portion of box 3 and putting the water in said box under a pressure which immediately closes the flapper I O'against any outflow of water through ports- I. As the compressed air continues to flow through pipe I4 into box 3, it gradually displaces substantially all the water in said box, said water being forced upwardly into lift pipe 4 past a gravity-seating check-valve 26 arranged in said lift pipe 4, preferably just above the box 3; this check-valve prevents any return tobox 3 of the column of water accumulated above said valve in the lift pipe 4. By the time the arm 22 has travelled along the full length of member 25, the box 3 will have been exhausted of practically all of the water therein, said box at that time being filled with air under pressure which will drive out all the water in the box to a point above the check-valve 26. Thereupon. the valve I6 closes and the further rotation of arm 22 opens the valve I6 torelieve the air pressure in box 3, and topermit the contained air to be displaced by water entering through the ports 1 as soon as this relief of the pressure takes place. In order to hasten this action and to obtain rapid filling of the box with water, during the travel of arm 22 along the member 25, the apparatus may be equipped with another air exhaust pipe 21, communicating at its lower end with the interior of box 3 and having at its upper end a suitable normally-closed relief valve 28, said valve 28 adapted to open automatically for the discharge of air from the box, when the pressure of said airin pipe 21 exceeds a certain predetermined value. In any event, the
filling up of box 3 with water proceeds rapidly during the upward passage of arm 22 along the member and while the valve I6 is open for the discharge of the air that is displaced by said Water, and the closing of valve I6 is delayed until the arm 22 moves past the member 25', thus giving opportunity for a full charge of water to enter the box, at each revolution of arm 22, and preventing any air from being trapped in the box by premature closing of valve I6. The above-described pumping operation, which a1- ternately discharges the boxs liquid contents into the lift pipe 4 and then refills the box with liquid, occurs during each revolution of the arm 22 and any water column in the lift pipe 4 is prevented from getting back into the box not only by the check-valve 26, but also by another check valve 29 provided in said pipe near its discharge end 6 at ground levelthis check-valve 29 being likewise a gravity-closing valve which opens for the discharge of water, but closes automatically, so as to prevent any reverse flow of the water in said lift pipe 4.
1. In air-lift pumping apparatus of the type having a receptacle submerged in the water to be lifted and equipped with check-valv means permitting entry of such water thereto but preventing exit therefrom, and having also a lift pipe and a compressed air supply pipe communicating with said receptacle, the last-named pipe having an outlet branch, a valve arrangement for obtaining alternately said compressed air's admission to said receptacle to force the latters contained Water into said lift pipe, and then said airs discharge from said receptacle to allow the latters re-filling through said check-valve means, said valve arrangement comprising a springclosed poppet valve in said supply pipe, an adjacent spring-closed poppet valve in said outlet branch, and means for opening said valves in sequence, each after a predetermined lapse of time from the closure of the other, said means comprising a pivoted member connected to each valve, and a rotary'actuator between and common to said two pivoted members, each of the latter within the circularpath described by the end of said actuator presenting an elongated concave surface contacted by said actuator for the opening of the associated valve, and said surfaces at both ends being in spaced-apart relation from each other.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1, in which said lift pipe is provided with a check-valve, to prevent return of the displaced water to said receptacle in the period between the closing of one valve and the opening of the other valve.
HARRY H. BURTON.