US 2549409 A
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April 17, 1951 P. s. ATKINSON AUTOMATIC CHANGEOVER VALVE Filed March 23, 1948 Vent I L/q v/d Fuel Szorage TANK LR; and Fuel Man/f0 Za Chamber Patented Apr. 17, 1951 AUTOMATIC CHANGE-OVER VALVE Phillip S. Atkinson, Noroton, Conn., assignor to Standard Oil Development Company, a corporation of Delaware Application March 23, 1948, Serial No. 16,481
The present invention relates toa means for manifolding two or more sources of liquid supply by which upon exhaustion of the supply from one source, another source is automatically opened into the system. More specifically, it is an object of the invention to provide means whereby apparatus such as a liquid fuel burner,
' quent refilling, and because of the comparatively small delivery made on each occasion, delivery costs are unnecessarily high. To overcome this condition, larger tanks may be installed, but in many. instances such replacement is not practicable on a cost basis or otherwise. Duplication of existing storage would often be feasible except for the fact that the uncontrolled interconnection of separate storage tanks with a common feed line ordinarily is not accepted as good practice. Where special valve connections are used normally to isolate one supply source from another, difliculties are experienced due either to the need for manual operation, or to the expense and complication of automatic valve operating equipment. It is an object of the present invention to provide relatively simple means to manifold a series of supply sources by which upon depletion of one source the next is automatically drawn upon in succession, and to the exclusion of the others.
The invention and its objects may be more readily understood from the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
Referring specifically to the drawing, in which the apparatus is shown in generally diagrammatic fashion, the numeral l designates one of two storage tanks for liquid fuel, and numeral 2, the other. A manifold chamber 3 is connected to tanks l and 2 by means of inlet lines or conduits 4 and 5 respectively, and to a fuel burner, or other means for utilization of the liquid stored in the tanks, by means of discharge line or conduit 6. A vent line 1 opens from the manifold 3 to the atmosphere at a point above the level of the tanks l and 2.
The line 4 is provided with a check valve 8, preventing backflow from the manifold chamber,
. manifold chamber 3.
and line 5 is provided with a control valve 9, preferably located within the manifold chamber. A float mechanism, including float member I0 and valve operating arm or lever H is mounted within the manifold chamber, as by a pivot I2, with the arm ll pivotally connected to the valve stem 9a. Float controlled valve means other than that which is illustrated may be substituted as desired.
In operation liquid from tank I flows into the The float I0 is raised thereby to depress the opposite end of arm ll and valve stem 9a, and close-valve 9. Normally the float I!) will be submerged by liquid. from the tank I until the supply therefrom is substantially exhausted. When the supply of liquid from tank I is exhausted, the level of liquid in the manifold chamber will be gradually reduced by continued supply to the point of use, through line 6, thus lowering float H]. The float, having sufiicient weight and the arm ll sufficient leverage, the valve 9 is opened thereby and liquid permitted to enter the manifold chamber from tank 2, through line 5. The check valve 8 in line 4 will prevent back-flow of liquid from tank 2 into tank I by way of the manifold chamber 3.
The flow from tank 2 may be intermittent due to the float controlled operation of the valve 9 as the level of liquid in the manifold chamber rises or falls, or it may adjust itself to a substantially constant rate which is equivalent to the rate of discharge through line B when use is continuous. This will not afiect the supply to the point of use, however, as the quantity of liquid in the chamber at all times will be adequate to maintain such supply constant. When refilling the two tanks, liquid from tank I will immediately flood the chamber 3 and effectively seal off tank 2, by means of the float operated valve 9, which may be so adjusted as to operate even against the gravimetric pressure of the full contents of tank 2.
The location'of the float l0, and its operative connection through the lever arm ll may be in any fashion suitable to provide full manipulation or control of the valve 9, the only requirements being that the upper and lower limits of float travel are adequate respectively to fully close or fully open the valve 9, and the lower limit above the bottom of the chamber 3. Where more than two tanks are connected tothe manifold 3, the float means to open and close the respective valve should be arranged at successive levels upward of the manifold chamber, and so that the upper limits of float travel of each float will at least par-.
tially overlap the lowermost limit of the float next above in succession. In such event, the upper limit of the uppermost float must be below the top of the manifold chamber. Also, where more than two sources of supply are utilized, check valves are preferably provided in each of the inlet conduits opening into the chamber 3.
Although the invention has been described and illustrated more or less specifically for the purpose of illustration, it is contemplated that various modifications may be made in the structural elements, and its application or use may be other than as described without departing from the inventive concept. It is not intended, therefore, that the invention be limited by such illustration and description, but only by the appended claims.
1. Means for distributing and controlling liquid flow from at least twoseparate supply sources, comprising a vented manifold chamber, a discharge conduit opening from said chamber, a primary inlet conduit opening into said chamber from one supply source, said conduit having a check valve against back-flow from the chamber, a secondary inlet conduit opening into said chamber from another supply source, a valve in said conduit, float means in said chamber, an operating lever connected to said valve and to the float means, moveable with said means to open the valve when the liquid in said chamber from any source is below a predetermined level.
2. Means for distributing and controlling liquid flow from tWo separate supply sources, comprising a vented manifold chamber, a primary and a secondary supply source, each disposed above the level of said chamber for gravity feed thereto, a discharge conduit opening from said chamber, an inlet conduit to said chamber from the primary supply source, said conduit having a check valve against back pressure from the chamber, an inlet conduit opening into said chamber from said secondary supply source, a valve in said conduit, float means in the chamber, and an operating lever connected to said valve and to the float means to open the valve when the liquid in said chamber from the primary source has been substantially exhausted.
PHILLIP S. ATKINSON.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,258,938 Pape Mar. 12, 1918 1,787,130 Turner nee. 30, 1930 1,952,000 'Skuttle 1 Mar. '20, 1934 1,962,991 Lani; June 12, 1934 2,138,988 Thomas Dec. '6, 1938 2,170,136 Gavin Aug. '22, 1939 2,263,252 'Tallinan; Nov. 18, 1941 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 148,201 Great Britain -July 9, -1920