US 2597693 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 20, 5 H. WOLCOTT, JR
CONTINUOUS REGENERATION SYSTEM Filed July 16, 1947 lNVENTOR: hefrberf Wo/cofi, Jr.
llwl Lkl ATTORNEY.
Patented May 20, 1952 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2 Claims.
The present invention relates to the means employed for the regeneration of the materials or compounds used for liquid-conditioning operations, such as, for example, the softening of water in water-softening apparatus or systems, and the primary object in view is to devise a means and method for the continuous regeneration of such materials or compounds, for the purpose of eliminating any set intervals or periods for such regenerating process, and hence avoiding any interruption of the service provided by the liquid-conditioning apparatus.
An important object of the invention, therefore, is to provide a regenerating process in which a fractional portion of the liquid-conditioning material is withdrawn or diverted, by each interval of the servicing operation, for regenerating purposes, and by the same servicing operation a corresponding amount of regenerative material is apportioned and fed to said diverted portion of the conditioning material for the necessary regenerative treatment thereof, and at the conclusion of such treatment a corresponding amount of the regenerated material is returned to the unit containing the principal supply of said liquid conditioning material.
For the accomplishment of said primary purpose of the invention, an auxiliary or accessory washing or rinsing chamber is maintained under a differential pressure responsive to the pressure conditions arising from the liquid flow as produced by the withdrawal of liquid for servicing" operations and for drainage purposes, and in such relation that both liquid conditioning material undergoing regenerative treatment and wash water are by-passed through said chamber during the intervals of such servicing operations in which treated or conditioned liquid is withdrawn from the system.
A further salient feature of the invention consists in the means for intermittently feeding the regenerative material, in response to the action of such servicing operation, to said bypassing flow of water-softening material throughout the period of said servicing operation, at the end of which period a quantity of the regenerated material is automatically transferred back to the main water treating or softening chamber of the apparatus.
It is a further object of the invention to devise a simple and economical method of operation for accomplishing the necessary functions as regards continuous regeneration of the water-softening material, and requiring only commonplace mechanical devices involving no complications of the conventional apparatus employed for watersoftening operations, and yet achieving the end purpose of providing a practically self-regenerating system requiring no periodical attention on the part of the owner of the apparatus.
With the foregoing general objects in view, the invention will now be described by reference to the accompanying drawing illustrating a practical and efiicient embodiment of the proposed system, after which those features and combinations which are believed to be fundamentally new and patentable will be particularly set forth and claimed.
In the drawing- Figure 1 is a general, schematic view illustrating a water-softening unit provided with the necessary connections and operative elements for the carrying out of the purposes and functions of the present invention; and
Figure 2 is a sectional detail view of the diaphragm valve device employed for controlling the drain outlet.
In prevailing types of water-softening systems, for both commercial and domestic operations, the water treating material, such as zeolite mineral or other chemical agent employed for imparting the desired softening characteristics to the water, requires periodic treatment by regenerative salts of known properties for restoring the watersoftening properties of said water treating material.
In the usual practice, the regenerative treatment involves certain phases of operation, for impregnating the zeolite or other treating material of the unit and then flushing said material by means of a flow of wash water to remove the regenerative salts from the unit, before restoring the unit to normal operation. Obviously this requires a definite period of time during which the unit remains idle so far as normal operative ser vice is concerned, so that the normal function of the unit is therefore interrupted for each regenerative period required for maintaining the unit in service.
It is therefore a primary and important object of the present invention to devise a practical and efficient system of operations in which the regenerative action required for any units operations is maintained as a substantially continuous function of the unit, or proportional to the extent of its servicing operations, by providing for a regenerative treatment of a fractional portion of the total supply of softening material of the unit which takes place concurrently or simultaneously with each period of service required of the unit.
end portion of the pipe is provided with lateral orifices I6 adapted to discharge into acbedofw granular material such as gravel l8 for promot" ing eflicient distribution of the fluid. A-similar outlet pipe 20, having interior lateral intake orifices 22, leads out from the upper-portion of the tank for discharge of the treated effluent-+it,being understood, of course;-that the unit may be adaptedand employed, for. either upfioW or down,
new operation asconditions may require.
The. top ,of, the-tank ll communicates through 7 an outlet 35 h ithithelo'wer. endor, bottom of an auxiliary or accessory tank providing-washing or, rinsing chamber. Zl'iJ-thnnhcr portion of which islprovided with; a shyness. pipe connection, 28
leading.. from lthelowereportion of. the tank l0, Inside .the' bottomnportionpi thechamber. 26; is.
arranged an inclined partition or' false, bottom Sit-provided withian outlet. opening 32 which is.
controlled, Joy., a .gravityucheck' valve 34' designed to allow regenerated material to be returned to the tank It by Way of the said outletpassage 35 the, tank andchamber 28 being also provided with'a pressureequaliz'ing connection 36 commua nicating with said chamber, at a point above the partition member 3!),i'and serving also asa bypass for washer rinse water fiowinginto the chamber 25, simultaneously ,withthei drainage flow therefrom, as hereinafterexplainedfl The drain line fordisposing of the waste water used for washing the regenerative material out of theceolite' mineral comprises'a pipe 38having its inlet end provided witha .plurality'of intake orific'cs 40' disposed .icentrally'; within: the. chamber 23 above thepartition or false bottom'38 therein. The drain pipe line .38 is provided 'witha diaphragnrtype of-rcontrol valve indicated generally by the reference numeral' lz and illustrated more specifically'in'Figure This'valve device come prises a valve seat 44 for a plunger. valve element it for controlling the flow through-the pipe 33, which plnn'geris'adapted-to be automatically actuated by ;a diaphragm element 48 which in turnsubjectio pressure-control as transmitted through a fluid pressureline' 50leading ,to'a convolitional Venturr'device Fi -located in the aforesaid servicepipelineZU-cOnnectedWith the upper" portion cf the tank-l 0. Thepattern or design of the valve unit lt and its connectionfil? are such as to causethe same to-function with a relatively slow valve closing-*action; as--compared to its 4 point of the bypass feed line 28 connecting the bottom of the tank I 0 with the chamber 26.
In the arrangement of the tank I 0 and its supply and servicing connections, together with the accessory regenerating unit, and the control means therefor, as above set forth, it will be evident that a differential pressure condition is set up with reference to any flow taking place upwardthroughjthe. tank; due to the various re sistance' factors interposedto any such upward flow (such as the opposing Water head in the tank and the bed of material therein), the lower pressure ofv courseprevailing in the top region of the tank, and the tendency being to produce an up- ,wardmovement or flow and thereby resulting in the transfer of. some portion of the zeolite mineral throughthebypass tube 28 into the rinsing or: washing chamber 26. Moreover, under operating conditions, this differential pressure is further. increased by, the drainage flow from said rinsing. chamber, which isjaccompanied by a flow ofwash or rinse Water up through the bypass/connection 36;du'ring which operation the automatic check or gravity valv'ei l will be maintained in closed position.
In the operation of the described system, re-
sulting from the openin pf the service pipe line Zil'for withdrawalof-the treated efiluent, the Venturi device 52.automaticallycauses'the diaphragm valve 42 to open the drain outlet, and the resultant drop in pressure throughpthe system (the,
lower pressure "beingat the .top ,of the unit as above indicated) induces an upward flow through the bypass or transfer-pipe 2B,Whereby zeolite materialis:transferredirom' the tank l8 to the chamberififand as long as theidrain'outlet' is open, wash water isalso'. drawn into the chamber 26' through the, bypassconnection 36. During the eriod that'suchwactual flow takes" place; upward through-the transfer'or-bypasspipeQS, as a result of 'thilwitlldliiwal of "treated efiiuent, the motor ill operates to' feed regenerative material, such ias 'brine-,rto' said-transferi-pipe 28, which feeding "action is ofqcourse .in proportion to t -e quantity ofzelolitematerialbeing transferred, or in an amount' required forregenerative purposes. During-"the passage ofsaid transferre'd 'zeolite material, along withthe'bypassingwash water flowing in from the ,bypass connection 36, through the chamber Zfilsuch zeolite-material is of course thoroughly washedtandis-forthe most part free of the regenerativemateriarby the time the drain flow is drawn:ofithroughthe orifices M} into the drain line 38 th-e'regenerated'zeolite mineral settling and 'beingretained in "the chamber 26.
On completion of the servicing operation, the treated efiluent' 'line- 20 is closed and the motor 60 is automatically stopped and the action of the Venturi device. 52 likewise" stops simultaneously, therebyg automatioally closing -the diaphragm valve 42"and 'the outlet through the drain pipe 38. As a consequence of-stoppage ofthe servicing operation; the pressure is equalized through the systemand the; check valve 34 is free to drop by gravity; opening the outlet SZ-jso that the re generated material is thereby automatically discharged back intothe top of the tank l0.
Any subsequentoperation'is of course simply a repetition of the steps just outlined;
It will thusybeseen'that the operation of a system'orunitembodying the invention, as above described; is rendered entirely automatic, with the regenerating 'operatiomtakin place only as required-"or as a result of eachv servicing operation ofthe unitj 'and, what is just as important,
each regenerating phase is proportioned to the extent of the service operation, so that the interval of time as well as the amount of material supplied for each regenerating operation are made to accurately match the requirements of the unit, according to the extent of its operation, Whether the same be light or heavy.
It is moreover apparent that the details of construction necessary for the embodiment of the proposed novel features and functions are ex- 3 tremely simple, with no complications of any sort as to the mechanical operation thereof, all the functions being entirely automatic, and having no critical operative elements likely to get out of order in any way. While I have illustrated and described what I now regard as the preferred form of construction and mode of operation of the proposed new system, it will be understood that the same is susceptible of various changes or modifications without materially departing from the spirit or scope or principle of operation of the invention; as for example, the same is adapted for either upflow or downfiow operation and for any equivalent type of regenerating operation, using appropriate materials. I therefore desire to be understood as expressly reserving the ri ht to make all such changes or variations as may fairly fall Within the scope of my invention as defined by the appended claims,
Having described my invention, what I claim 1. Continuous regeneration apparatus for water-softening systems comprising, in combination with a water treating tank containing water treating and softening material and having water supply and servicing connections, an auxiliary washing or rinsing chamber mounted above said tank and communicating therewith and also having a drain outlet provided with an automatic control valve in fluid pressure control relation to said water servicing connection, a bypass connection affording passage for water treating material from the tank to said chamber, means actuated by the discharge flow of water through said servicing connection for feeding regenerative material to said bypass connection, a second bypass connection for supplying rinse water from the top of said tank to the bottom portion of said chamber, and a gravity check valve operative between servicing operations to permit regenerated material to gravitate back from said chamber into the top of said tank.
2. Continuous regeneration apparatus for water-softening systems comprising, in combination with a water treating tank containing water treating and softening material and having water supply and servicing connections, an auxiliary washing or rinsing chamber mounted above said tank and communicating therewith and also having a drain outlet provided with an automatic control valve in fluid pressure control relation to said water servicing connection, a bypass connection affording passage for water treating material from the bottom portion of said tank to the top of said auxiliary chamber, means actuated by the discharge flow of Water through said servicing connection for feeding regenerative material to said bypass connection at approximately midway between the ends thereof, a second bypass connection for feeding rinse Water from the top of said tank into the bottom portion of said auxiliary chamber, and a normally open gravity valve operative between servicing operations to permit regenerated material to gravitate from said chamber back into the top of said tank.
HERBERT WOLCOTT, JR.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,644,469 Green Oct. 4, 1927 1,708,704 Neumann Apr. 9, 1929 1,722,938 Nordell July 30, 1929 1,740,199 Nordell Dec. 17, 1929 1,763,784 Hodkinson June 17, 1930 1,770,580 Neumann July 15, 1930 2,003,757 Pick June 4, 1935