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Publication numberUS3408777 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 5, 1968
Filing dateNov 26, 1965
Priority dateNov 26, 1965
Publication numberUS 3408777 A, US 3408777A, US-A-3408777, US3408777 A, US3408777A
InventorsGhirelli Bruno
Original AssigneeEmile M Croci
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Heliotropically rotating building structure
US 3408777 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

B. GHIRELLI Nov. 5, 1968 mw m 1 ND m I a I m u m I E cw R MW r G A m p H :V J 1 0 N w u H D n I B W//// v o m w WW awn Wk F J= J QF M l d N 26 196 ATTORNEY Nov. 5, 1968 B. GHIRELLI 3,408,777

HELIOTRUPICALLY ROTATING BUILDING STRUCTURE Filed Nov. 26, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Nov. 5, 1968 B. GHIRELLI HELIOTROPICALLY ROTATING BUILDING STRUCTURE Z? H H H mm Q0 a QWH NM'NH mavh QNN Filed Nov. 26, 1965 5 Sheets-Shet 4 B. GHIRELLI HELIOTROPICALLY ROTATING BUILDING STRUCTURE Nov. 5, 1968 Filed Nov.

Nov. 5, 1968 B. GHIRELLI 3,408,777

HELIOTROPICALLY ROTATING BUILDING STRUCTURE Filed Nov. 26, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 United States Patent 3,408,777 HELIOTROPICALLY ROTATING BUILDING STRUCTURE Bruno Ghirelli, Noceto Parma, Italy, assignor of onethird to Emile M. Croci, Washington, D.C.

Filed Nov. 26, 1965,.Ser. No. 509,729 Claims. (Cl. 52-1) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A heliotropically rotating structure comprising a rotatably mounted support platform carried by a center vertical support column means. The platform is rotated by manually operated means and by electric motor means. The electric motor means has a manual switch control and a heliotropic control. The heliotropic control comprises a photoelectric device secured to the structure and is responsive to a predetermined low level of sunshine to energize the electric motor means to rotate the platform. As soon as the platform is rotated and the photoelectric device is moved to be exposed to the full light effect of sunshine, rotation is terminated until the suns effect on the photoelectric device again diminishes and the electric motor means is again energized to rotate the structure. Thus, the structure is rotated to follow the sun.

This invention relates to a static structure which can be rotated by a combination of mechanical, electrical and light sensitive control devices.

Heretofore it has been known to rotate a static structure such as a building structure by means of an electric motor or building attachment such as window louvers, awning or door structures by a combined electric motor and light ensitive or timing devices.

Generally the rotatable building structures of the prior art are mounted on a platform rotatably supported by a track and wheel or bearing means subject to adverse environmental conditions such as rust due to the humidity. The wheels, gears and bearings are complex, numerous and employ heavy structural elements which require a large power source to rotate.

It is a general object of this invention to rotate a static structure by means of a combined mechanical, electrical and light sensitive control.

It is a further object to rotate the static structure about a central vertical axis.

It is also an object to rotatably support the static structure on a rotating central axis.

Another object is the design of bearings used so as to facilitate the rotation control by reducing the number, complexity and size of the bearings, gears and motor.

It is a general object of this invention to avoid and overcome the foregoing and other difiiculties of earlier rotatable structures by providing a control arrangement which uses a light-sensing device to operate an electrical system which in turn rotates a building structure.

For a better understanding of the invention reference should be had to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a front elevation view of one embodiment of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a vertical section of one embodiment showing a fixed cylindrical support and rotatable platform;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of the radial rib floor support ice framework and central staircase of the FIGURE 2 embodiment;

FIGURE 4 is an isometric view of another embodiment of the radial rib floor support and its vertical central axis which is rotatably mounted in a fixed cylindrical bearing support;

FIGURE 5 is a vertical section of another embodiment showing the rotating floor support mounted on a hollow cylinder which rotates about the fixed bearing supports;

FIGURE 6 is a vertical section of the rotatablevertical hollow cylinder axis and another embodiment of the bearing structures;

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged view of the bearings adjacent the vertical sides of the FIGURE 6 cylinder;

FIGURES 8, 9, and 10 are enlarged views of the combined lower support bearing structure of FIGURE 6;

FIGURE 11 is an electric circuit diagram of the pushbutton and photoelectric automatic motor control system; and

FIGURE 12 is a view of the incoming electrical and telephone distributor system.

With specific reference to the form illustrated in the drawings the invention comprises in general a static structure 1 which is demonstrated in FIGURE 1 as a single floor prefabricated house but not in any way limited thereto which is rotatably supported on a rotatable metal platform 14. The platform 14, which supports the house flooring 12 is shown supported above the ground by means of a vertical metal central structure 16 which the various following embodiments show as being either solid or hollow, fixed or rotatable. If the vertical structure 16 is a fixed hollow cylinder it may have a door 18 leading to an internal stairway. In addition to or in lieu of the internal stairway as in the case of rotating hollow vertical cylinder, an external stairway 24 is provided. The stairway 24 can be fixedly attached to the house as represented here by a porch 10 or it may have hinges 26 or other pivotal means about which the stairway can be raised or lowered either mechanically or automatically by standard gears or motor control means not shown. The lower part of the stairway 24 is preferably supported on a pair of wheels 22 which roll on a cement floor base 20 located under the house. The space beneath the house can be conveniently used for many desirable purposes an example of which is storage space for an automobile. The outside stairway 24 leads to an upper level entrance door 8. Also shown in FIGURE 1 is the location of one of a plurality of light sensitive devices, an example of which may be a photocell 2, which in combination with the overhang roof structure 4 or other adjacent shade producing structure not shown, will cause that side of the house to automatically follow the sun if so desired, the operation of which will be more fully explained later.

FIGURE 2 is illustrative of one of the embodiments wherein a hollow metal vertical cylinder 16 is fixedly supported in a cement base 38 located beneath the ground. The metal cylinder 16 which may be of steel rises above the ground to an approximate height of seven feet. The upper outer periphery of the cylinder 16 rotatably supports the floor 12 on the prefabricated horizontal support metal ribs 14 by means of sealed bearings 45. This embodiment permits the use of a spiral staircase 42 within the cylinder 16. Entrance would be through the doorway 18 shown in FIGURE 1. The stairway 42 is supported by a hollow metal cylinder 44 which -is..also fixedly supportedin thecementtbase 38. The stair.-

way rises vertically to a trap door 52 which is on the same horizontal plane with the floor 12. A hand rail 56 which is supported by the stairway 42 is used to facilitate the entrance onto the rotating floor 12. Clear water is fed through pipe 40 which is also fixed in the cement base 38. Pipe 40 rises vertically internally of pipe 44 as indicated at 64 up to the discharge level 70 located under the upper roof 4. Clear water is discharged from 70\ into a rotating water tank reservoir 68 which is also supported just under the roof 4 in attic space 66. Water being fed from discharge 70 is automatically controlled by means of a'valve 65'whichis operated by any means responsive to the rising water in the tank 68, for example a float control 67. Water stored in the rotating tank 68 can be fed by pipes, not shown, to the various plumbing facilities, not shown. Water is returned to the sewer from the various plumbing facilities by way of discharge tube 28 mounted in the rotating. floor 12. Sewer water is discharged from the end der 16. A vertical sewer pipe 36, which can be located either outside of the cylinder 16 or as in this case inside the cylinder 16, receives the sewer water at 35 and discharges it at 37 to appropriate sewer disposal means,

such as a septic tank or municipal sewer lines. Electric power and telephone lines enter through a conduit 46 which is embedded in the concrete base 38. The conduit 46 rises vertically within central pipe 44 and connects with a fixed'slip ring structure 69 mounted on the outer periphery of the upper end of central pipe 44 in the attic area 66. Brushes 77, shown better in FIGURE 12, are held by brush holder 75 which in turn is supported by element 71 mounted on the rotating house structure. Telephone and current carrying wires 73 lead from the rotating brushes 77 to the various required outlets not shown. Three means of rotating the platform 14 are functionally combined to form a mechanical, electrical and light sensitive control. The mechanical means consists of a wheel 62 mounted on a wall and is turned by hand to rotate a large lead, reversible worm gear drive 66 within casing 58, which worm gear drive is connected to shaft 54 to rotate the same. Such reversible worm gear drives are well known gear elements, and may be of the type illustrated by gear elements and f in Patent No. 871,227. Gear 50 is fixedly attached to the rotatableshaft 54 and meshes :with the internal teeth of ring gear 49 which is fixedly attached to the upper fixed cylinder structure 16 at 47. The gears 49 and 50 may be located below the floor 12 if so desired. Therefore, it can be readily seen that upon rotation of the shaft 54, the platform 14 to which it is attached will also rotate due to the gear 50 rotating around the ring gear 49. The second and dominating control means is the electrical pushbutton control of the reversible motor 48. The motor 48 is mounted on the inside top wall of the cylinder 16 so that the gear 32 attached to the motor shaft will mesh with the internal teeth of ring gear mounted on the rotatable platform 14. A more detailed explanation of the pushbutton electrical control will be given in connection with the wiring diagram shown in FIGURE 11; however, it can be readily understood that when the clockwise rotation pushbutton is activated and the motor 48 is so activated, then the gear 32 attached to the motor shaft will drive the ring gear 30 which is attached to the rotatable platform 14, thereby to rotate the platform 14 clockwise; the platform 14 is reversibly driven when the counterclockwise button is energized so as to activate the .motor 48 and thereby cause the house mounted photocell 2 to rotate searching for the sunlight. When the platform 14 is repositioned so that the sunlight falls upon the photocell 2, the motor control circuit will be deenergized and rotation stopped. Light responsive devices such as photocells or heat sensitive devices may be placed on each of the exterior walls with circuit control means to permit any one side of the house to follow the sun or if the reverse is desired then to be in the shade. This invention is not limited to a light sensitive device cooperating with the roof overhang but may. include standard shading elements not shown constructed adjacent the photocell so as to cooperate therewith to. give the desired result.

The radial rib supports 14 are better shown in the plan view of FIGURE 3 which is a view taken along lines 33 of FIGURE 2. The radial ribs 14 extend inward from the outer frame struts 80 and are attached to the rotatable bearing ring 45. The bearing ring 45 rotates about the fixed bearing ring 41 by means of .sealed bearing 43. The additional rib structure 78 extends between the radial ribs 14 so as to provide additional strength to the ribs 14. Although the plan view shown in this FIGURE 3 takes the form of a square, it is no limitation because a rectangular or other configuration can equally as well be constructed. It should also be noted that all of the parts can be prefabricated and easily assembled to form the desired structure which makes a more practical and economical structure.

FIGURE 4 is an isometric view of another embodiment of the radial rib floor support and its vertical central axis. The radial ribs 92 extend inward from the outer frame struts and terminate on the central solid cylinder 88. Struts 94 are strengthening supports between the radial ribs 92. The vertical solid cylinder 88 is rotatably supported on the internal bearing surface of the fixed cylinder 86 which is mounted on the platform 82 and strengthened thereon by radial ribs 84. The fixed cylindrical bearing support comprising elements 82, 84 and 86 may be moulded into one piece if so desired. The fixed cylindrical bearing structure is of course to be located beneath the ground and if necessary can be supported in a cement base as is shown in FIGURE 2. The structure shown in FIGURE 5 is another embodiment wherein the vertical hollow cylinder is rotated instead of being fixed as in FIGURE 2.

Referring to FIGURE 5, a frustrum pyramid shaped cement base 98 is located below the ground. A cylindrical hollow area 129 is centrally provided in the cement base 98 to rotatably support approximately the lower one half of the hollow vertical cylinder 104. The cylinder 104 is horizontally supported and positioned by two bearing rings 124 and 126. The bearing ring 124 is mounted about the internal periphery in the upper part of the hollow cement base area 129 and the bearing ring 126 in the lower part of the same hollow area 129. The lower end of the hollow cylinder 104 is closed by an inverted conical shaped metal bearing plate 130 which has a central aperture 141.' The bearing plate 130 is rotatably supported vertically on a metal bearing plate 132 fixed in the cement base 98 at the lower part of the hollow area 129. The fixed bearing plate 132 is shaped to conform to the shape of the rotatable bearing plate 130 which it rotatably supports vertically by means of a thrust or sliding means 133 which may be a lubricant. The central aperture 141 of the end bearing plate 130 receives a fixed cylindrical part 127 which part is integrally formed with the bearing plate 132. The cylinder 127 extends upward through the bearing plate aperture 141 inside of the cylinder 104. Either mounted on top of or formed integral with the upper part 127 is a fixed gear 134 about which the drive gears 136 and 140 rotate when activated by any one of a combined mechanical, electrical or light sensitive control means. The drive gears 136 and 140 obviously are mounted so as to rotate with the cylinder structure 104 as will now be discussed further. The mechanical power is supplied by rotating a wheel 110 by hand. The wheel 110 is preferably in the form of a ships steering wheel and is mounted on one of the internal walls 113 of the rotating supported structure. Upon rotation of the wheel 110 the horizontal shaft 111 to which it is attached rotates and thereby rotates the large lead, reversible worm gear drive 112 connecting shafts 111 and 102. Worm gear drive 112 is similar to drive 66 described above. Thus, rotation of wheel 110 rotates the vertical shaft 102 which extends down inside the cylinder 104 until it reaches the level of fixed gear 134. A gear 136 is mounted on the end of the shaft 102 so as to mesh with fixed gear 134 about which the drive gear 136 will rotate when the wheel 110 is rotated. A second power source 138 which is a small reversible electric motor is mounted, either directly or by means of a bracket support 142, to the inside of cylinder 104 in such a position to enable the drive gear 140 mounted on the end of the motor shaft 143 to mesh with fixed gear 134 about which drive gear 140 rotates. It is obvious that the cylinder 104, on which the motor 138 is mounted, will rotate upon energization of the motor 138 by either the clockwise or counterclockwise push button control mounted on the wall preferably adjacent the wheel 110 or the light sensitive control which may be in the form of one or more photocells strategically located on the outside of the supported structure which may be a house. These electric controls will be described in more detail in connection with the wiring circuit diagram shown in FIGURE 11. If one of the plurality of photocells are activated then the side of the supported structure on which it is mounted will follow the light source which in this case is the sun. The light sensitive control device is not limited to photocells but may include other well known light sensitive devices. The necessary water pipes and other cables are all fed to the rotating structure through a single conduit 114 and enter the horizontal section at 125. The horizontal section of the conduit 114 is supported in the cement base 98 and at the point directly below the aperture 123 in the fixed bearing plate 132, the conduit 114 makes a 90 degree bend and extends vertically up through the aperture 123 and through the cylinder 104 to the rotatable cooperative receptacle for each, similar to those already described in connection with FIGURE 2. The sewerage is disposed of through pipe 118 which is vertically attached to the inside wall of rotatable cylinder 104. The pipe 118 terminates at the spout 120 which extends through the cylinder 104 which is positioned just below the ground level. The sewerage is discharged from the spout 120 into cylindrical closed fixed receptacle 100 which encircles the cylinder 104 and is supported in a recess 131 provided in the cement base 98. Standard seals would be provided between the rotatable spout 120 and the fixed receptacle 100. A discharge sewer pipe 122 leads from the receptacle 100 to the appropriate sewer disposal facility available. Inside the upper metal cylinder 104 and extending for about one fourth of its length is a metal cylinder support 116 which is welded and bolted to the cylinder 104 inner top wall. The metal cylinder 116 gives additional support for the radial metal girder ribs 108 which are welded and bolted to the outside top surface of the cylinder 104. The radial ribs 108 are additionally reinforced by a metal ring 106 welded to the outside of the cylinder 104 at a joint just below and adjacent to the radial rib 108. The size of the metal ring 106 would vary in accordance with the size of the static structure being rotatably supported. The radial ribs 108 which will support the floor of the static structure may assume a design framework such as that shown in FIG- URE 3. The radial ribs 108 being of the girder and support strut design shown in FIGURE 5 are especially conducive to preforming which prefabricated rib part 108 can be easily welded and bolted at the building location which is time saving and economical.

FIGURE 6 is another structural modification of a vertical rotatable cylinder and its support bearings. Referring to the structural details of FIGURE 6, a vertical rotatable cylinder 150, similar to that of the cylinder 104 shown in FIGURE 5, is horizontally positioned and supported by two similar bearing assemblies 152 and 154. The bearing assembly 152 is detailed in FIGURE 7 wherein a cup like bearing is mounted on a solid cylindrical support rod 172 which is slidably assembled within the aperture 177 of stationary disc 176 which in turn is mounted within the rear end of hollow cylinder 182. The hollow cylinder 182 is mounted on a bracket support 178 which in-turn can be supported by any suitable structure 180. A coiled spring 174 is assembled within the cylinder 182 around the rod 172. One end of the spring 174 rests against the stationary disc 176 and the opposite end against the inner shoulder of the slidable bearing cup 170. The bearing cup 170 can therefore provide a resilient support for the cylinder 150. The entire bearing assembly 152 can be protected by a housing 153 if it is located below ground. The sewer discharge basin 156 is another structural modification of previous sewer discharge basins already described. The rotatable cylinder 150 is attached to a metal frame support 158 which is shown in better detail in FIG- URE 8. Fixedly secured to the lower part of the frame 186 is a cup shaped metal member 184 which has an external flange piece 185 integrally formed and surrounding it to give the cup member 184 additional support. The inner surface of the cup member 184 acts as a bearing surface when assembled with the segmental bearings 196, best seen in FIGURE 10 and the lower supporting fixed bearing surface best seen in FIGURE 9. The lowermost stationary support 162 is best shown in the plan view of FIGURE 10. The radial metal support members 198 are integrally joined at the hub center cup 190. Two or more of these radial members 198 may have metal support rods 164 extending downwardly from the bottom of the members 198 and fixedly embedded in a cement base 166. A gear ring 194 with internal teeth is attached to a support arm 197 as best seen in FIGURE 9 and the support arm 197 is fixedly secured to the stationary support 162 at its outer periphery 192. The gear ring 194 thereby provides a means about which the power gears can rotate together with the cylinder 150 on which they are supported as was similarly shown in connection with FIGURE 5.

The electrical wiring system for the combined electrical rotation controls is shown in FIGURE 11. In order to activate the reversible motor 228 so as to rotate the static structure clockwise, pushbutton switch 210 is closed drawing current from the AC. power source 200 through the inductor coil 232 of the stack relay 234, thereby closing relay contacts 233 energizing the motor in a clockwise direction. To reverse the direction of rotation of the motor 228, pushbutton switch 208 is closed thereby drawing the line current from the AC. power source 200 through the inductor coil 230 of the stack relay 234 thereby closing contacts 235 and energizing the motor in a counterclockwise direction. It should be stated here that the pushbutton switch control dominates all other of the combined controls both mechanical and light sensitive. If the push button switch control is not to be used but the automatic photocell circuit has been activated then the photocell control is dominant over the mechanical control means. Before the photocells, which normally send out too weak a signal, can function properly, two standard amplifier stages, consisting of transistor 216 in the first stage and transistor 214 in the second, are used to amplify the signal to energize the relay 212 which is set to trip at a set level and thereby draw current from the AC. power source 200 through the inductor coil 232 which will close contacts 233 of the stack relay 234 to energize the motor 228 in a clockwise direction. The photocell control can only control the rotation of the motor 228 in a clockwise direction. Before the tran- 'sistors 214 and 216 can function a bias must be placed on each and this is done by closing the line switch 201 to draw current from the AC. power source 200 to the transformer 204 and then to the rectifier bridge 236. DC. current is taken off the rectifier bridge to provide the necessary bias voltage for the transistors 214 and '216. In order to better understand the operation of the photocell control it should be remembered that any number of photocells can be used, such as one on each side of the rotating structure. However, only two photocells are shown in FIGURE 11 at 222 and 224. When the switch 226 is closed to activate either of these two photocells and the sun rays across the cell is shaded by th: roof of the house or other shade structure, a small signal is transmitted to the first stage transistor 216 and fixed resistor 218 and adjustable resistor 220. The purpose of the adjustable resistor is to set the light level trip release in connection with the trip level of the relay 212. In effect the two resistors 218 and 220 act as a voltage divider regulating the input to the second stage transistor 214. The output from the second stage amplifier signals the relay 212 to trip when the relay trip level voltage is reached. During the daylight hours the timer switch 201 is in closed position to provide a DC. bias to the transistors; however, at night the timer switch 201 is set to be opened by the electric clock 202, at a set time, thereby completely cutting off all power to the amplifier circuit thus shutting off the motor.

The electrical distributor system shown in FIGURE 12 has already been briefly describe-d in connection with FIGURE 2. Referring to FIGURE 12, a fixed support 69 is attached to the fixed structural element in any of the various modifications. A cylindrical rod 244, attached to the fixed support 69, has a plurality of slip rings 242 mounted thereon. The rod 71 is mounted on the rotating upper structure adjacent to the slip rings 242. A plurality of brush holders 75 are mounted on the rod 71 and each holds a brush contact 77 which slidingly contacts the cooperating slip rings 242 to thereby bring the electric line current, to various appliances 73 as well as bringing in the telephone service.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

l. A static structure mounted on a platform, support means to mount said platform in a cantilever fashion for full rotation relative to a ground supported bearing means, manually operated means to rotate said platform, electric motor means to rotate said platform, manual control means for controlling the operation of said electric motor means, sunshine responsive control means to control said electric motor means to heliotropically rotate said platform, said support means comprising a ground supported bearing plate, a rotary hollow cylinder having a bottom bearing member supported on the plate and forming therewith a thrust bearing, said bearing plate having a projection extending through an aperture in the bearing member and extending within the hollow cylinder, means securing said platform to said hollow cylinder, said manually operated means comprising a gear train between a manually operated member and the projection, and said electric motor means interconnecting the hollow cylinder and projection to cause relative rotative motion therebetween.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein ring bearing means is secured to the ground and embraces the outside ,surface of said hollow cylinder at a point intermediate the platform and the thrust bearing means.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the ring bearing means comprise a plurality of devices circumferentially spaced around the hollow cylinder, each device comprising a fixed housing, a bearing plunger slidable' in said housing, and a spring acting on said plunger to bias it against the cylinder surface, and a casing encompassing said devices.

4. A static structure mounted on a platform, support means to mount said platform in a cantilever fashion for full rotation relative to a ground supported bearing means, manually operated means to rotate said platform, electric motor means to rotate said platform, manual control means for controlling the operation of said electric motor means, sunshine responsive control means to control said electric motor means to heliotropically rotate said platform, said sunshine control means comprising hotoelectric means secured for positive movement with the rotating structure, a circuit connected between the photoelectric means and the electric motor means effective to cause actuation of the electric motor means in response to a predetermined low level effect of the sunshine and thereby cause rotation of the structure by the electric motor means, said circuit terminating actuation of the electric motor means upon movement of the photoelectric means and exposure thereof to the full effect of sunshine, said support means comprising a ground supported bearing plate, a rotary hollow cylinder having a bottom bearingmember supported on the plate and forming therewith a thrust bearing, said bearing plate having a projection extending through an aperture in the bearing member and extending within the hollow cylinder, means securing said platform to said hollow cylinder, said manually operated means comprising a gear train between a manually operated member and the projection, and said electric motor means interconnecting the hollow cylinder and projection to cause relative rotative motion therebetween.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein ring bearing means is secured to the ground and embraces the outside surface of said hollow cylinder at a point intermediate the platform and the thrust bearing means.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the ring bearing means comprises a plurality of devices circumferentially spaced around the hollow cylinder, each device comprising a fixed housing, a bearing plunger slidable in said housing, and a spring acting on said plunger to bias it against the cylinder surface, and a casing encompassing said devices.

7. A static structure mounted on a platform, support means to mount said platform in a cantilever fashion for full rotation relative to a ground supported bearing means, manually operated means to rotate said platform, electric motor means to rotate said platform, manual control means for controlling the operation of said electric motor means, sunshine responsive control means to control said electric motor means to heliotropically rotate said platform, said sunshine responsive control means comprising photoelectric means secured for positive movement with the rotating structure, a circuit connected be tween the photoelectric means and the electric motor means effective to cause actuation of the electric motor means in response to a predetermined low level effect of the sunshine and thereby cause rotation of the structure by the electric motor means, said circuit terminating actuation of the electric motor means upon movement of the photoelectric means and exposure thereof to the full effect of sunshine, said photoelectric means comprising a plurality of photoelectric devices, each located at different points of the structure, and switch means for selectively connecting one of said devices to said control circuit.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the support mean comprise a fixed vertical structure, bearing means between said platform and said vertical structure, said manually operated means comprise gearing interconnecting gear means secured to said vertical structure and a manually operated member secured on the platform, and said electrical motor means comprise a gear means secured to said platform in operative engagement with the electric motor.

9. A static structure mounted on a platform, support means to mount said platform in a cantilever fashion for full rotation relative to a ground supported bearing means, electric motor means to rotate said platform, manual control means for controlling the operation of said electric motor means, sunshine responsive control means to control said electric motor means to heliotropically rotate said platform, said support means comprising a fixed hollow vertical structure, means to rotatably mount said platform upon said vertical structure at an elevated point above the ground, comprising an opening in the platform to receive the vertical structure and a shoulder means to support said platform, a gear secured to and below said platform adjacent the vertical structure, an electric motor secured within the vertical structure and geared to said gear, a second gear secured to said vertical structure, and a manually operated gear means secured to and housed within the static structures and geared to said second gear.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein said sunshine responsive control means comprising photoelectric means secured for positive movement with the rotating structure, a circuit connected between the photoelectric means and the electric motor means effective to cause actuation of the electric motor means in response to a predetermined low level effect of the sunshine and thereby cause rotation of the structure by the electric motor means, said circuit terminating actuation of the electric motor means upon movement of the photoelectric means and exposure thereof to the full effect of sunshine.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1889 Rowe 52-65 8/1908 Gaynor 272-2 9/1915 Downey 52-65 6/1920 Sevczov 52-65 6/1921 King 52-31 8/1951 Kirkman 52-65 12/1957 Schneider 52-31 8/1958 Morgan 52-65 11/1960 Borenstein -5 6/ 1963 Ranney 52-65 1/1962 Taylor 350-26 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 1960 Canada. 1960 France. 1954 Great Britain. 1953 Italy. 1957 Italy. 1959 Italy.

OTHER REFERENCES Washington Star Magazine, May 14, 1961, p. 4. Mechanix Illustrated, May 1964, p. 74.

FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.

PRICE C. FAW, Assistant Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3599378 *Nov 14, 1969Aug 17, 1971Joseph K KachnicSelf-contained combination central support member and utilities-entrance module for a rotatable building structure
US3633325 *Jun 1, 1970Jan 11, 1972Guy A BartoliBuilding structure cantilevered from vertical central support
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US20120036795 *Jun 21, 2011Feb 16, 2012Miguel CorreaPolyhedra Building System with Composite walls
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DE10044004C2 *Sep 5, 2000Nov 28, 2002Werner BrazdrumSelbstdrehender Verkaufstand
EP0091626A1 *Apr 2, 1983Oct 19, 1983Heinrich W. RinnBuilding with modified energy utilisation
EP0125804A1 *Apr 16, 1984Nov 21, 1984Peter Prosser RobertsA support for a rotatable building
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/1, D25/22, 52/73, 52/65
International ClassificationE04B1/346
Cooperative ClassificationE04B1/3465
European ClassificationE04B1/346B