US 3410262 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 12, 1968 J. A. QUALLS 3,410,262
SNOW MELTING DEVI CE w Q INVENTOR Jiu/fs a sg By ATTOR NEYS United States Patent O 3,410,262 SNOW MELTING DEVICE James A. Qualls, 308 Allen Ave., Hopewell, Va. 23360 Filed Apr. 7, 1967, Ser. No. 629,168 Claims. (Cl. 126-2712) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE Ice, show and slush removal apparatus having a combustion chamber pivotably mounted on a vehicle and movable to several operative positions. The combination chamber is provided with at least one aperture through which flame and combustion gas are discharged for direct contact with the ice, snow or slush to melt the same. A fuel supply also mounted on the truck is connected to the combustion chamber. An electric heater is used to preheat the fuel. The power for operating the fuel pump, the electric preheater, the ignition system in the combustion chamber and the blower means for delivering air to the combustion chamber and for discharging the combustion gases and flame are taken from the engine of the vehicle.
This invention relates to apparatus for melting snow and ice from roadways and the like and more particularly to apparatus which readily and rapidly removes snow or the like by direct contact of a combustion gas and flame with said snow, ice or slush.
Heretofore, various devices and means have been proposed for the removal of snow from roadways, parking areas, airport runways and the like. Often these devices are characterized by high costs and slowness in operation such as those employing Scrapers and brushes. Others, employing jet engines for a source of heated gas are often prohibitively expensive and thus their widespread commercial acceptance is seriously minimized. Still other devices employ the principle of indirect heat exchange with a body of the ice or snow. These latter devices are generally considered to be inefficient from a standpoint of heat utilization.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide apparatus for rapidly removing snow from roadways or other areas which overcomes the disadvantages of prior art devices. Another object of the invention is the provision of apparatus for removing snow comprising a vehicle adapted to travel over the ground; a combustion chamber adapted to be mounted on said vehicle and provided with at least one aperture through which combustion gases and flame are discharged for direct contact with snow or the like; blower means operatively connected to said combustion chamber to deliver air to said combustion chamber, to provide efficient mixture of air with combustible fuel therein and to impart suficient discharge velocity to the resulting combustion gases and flame issuing from the aperture in said chamber for direct contact with said snow or the like; fuel supply means adapted to be mounted on said vehicle, preferably remote from said combustion chamber, said fuel supplv means including pump means to deliver said fuel to said combustion chamber and preheating means for maintaining said fuel at a predetermined temperature, thereby increasing the combustion efficiency thereof lregardless of the ambient temperature. Another object of the present invention is the provision of means for operatively connecting said combustion chamber to said vehicle whereby said combustion chamber can be moved in a substantially vertical plane to provide more than one operative position thereof and thereby permitting the use of the device to effectively remove snow drifts or -snow piles.
For a better understanding of these and other objects of the invention, reference may be had to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of a vehicle which is provided with the snow removal apparatus in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view of the combustion Chamber mounted on the vehicle shown in FIGURE l;
FIGURE 3 is a top plan view of the forward end of the vehicle of FIGURE 1 showing the combustion chamber and yblowers mounted thereon; and
FIGURE 4 is a top plan view of the rearward end of the vehicle of FIGURE 1 showing the fuel supply means including the fuel delivery means and fuel preheating means associated therewith.
Referring now particularly to the drawings, 10 is a vehicle such as a motor truck or the like upon which the snow removal assembly of this invention is mounted. At the rear of the vehicle 10, there is fxedly mounted by any suitable means, such as by welding or the like, a platform 12, on which is carried fuel supply means 14. Conveniently, the fuel supply means can comprise one or more fuel tanks containing, for instance, No. 4 grade fuel oil. The capacity of the tanks can, of course, be varied, but it has been found convenient to mount at least two gallon tanks thereon. 75 gallon tanks or any other convnient size can also be employed.
Each of said fuel supply tanks is equipped with an electric fuel preheating mechanism 16. The electric power for operating the fuel preheater can be provided from the vehicles generator 18 through suitable conductor means 20. Conveniently a D.C. generator with a transformer, rated at 110 volts with 4 to l ratio from the vehicle engine to the generator pully is employed. The preheater 16 can include conventional thermostat controls so that the ternperature of the fuel supply can be preselected depending, for instance, on the ambient temperature and the grade of fuel oil employed. Obviously, the preheat temperature chosen will be such that the fuel has desirable flow characteristics at the ambient temperature as well as efficient combustion characteristics when delivered to the combustion zone at the forward end of the vehicle 10. It has been found that when using a No. 4 grade fuel oil, the temperature thereof is maintained at about F. Addition of a vapor indicator can also be used in conjunction with the thermostat as an additional safety feature.
The fuel supply tanks 14 -are connected to a fuel supply delivery means comprising conduit means 22 leading from each tank to a common fuel line 24 which in turn is in operative engagement with the inlet side 26 of supply pump 28. The fuel conduits 22 and 24- are controlled by valves 30, which can be, for instance, 3 inch gate valves, although any other conventionally employed valve mechanisms can be used. Conveniently, the conduits 22 and 24 are quarter-inch in diameter. Prior to delivery of the fuel from the tanks 14 to the pump 28, the fuel can, advantageously, be passed through a lter or straining mechanism 32 to remove any deleterious residue therein which would interfere with efficient combustion. Leading from the discharge side 34 of the fuel pump 28 is one end of flexible conduit means 36 which can be, for instance, onequarter inch flexible tubing. The other end of flexible conduit means 36 is in fluid communication with the combustion zone located at the forward end of the vehicle 10. Any conventional type fuel pump can -be employed and preferably, it has been found advantageous to employ a pump capable of delivering about 0.3 to 0.6 gallon of fuel per minute. However, it will be recognized that the rate of fuel delivery to the combustion zone can be varied over a wide range. The pump 28 is operatively connected to the engine of the vehicle so as to be driven thereby.
The combustion zone at the forward end of the vehicle 10 is defined by a combustion chamber 38, which is conveniently an elongated closed-end tubular member, provided with at least one discharge aperture 40 through which the combustion gas and llame produced therein are dischar-ged for direct contact with the snow and ice. Typically, the combustion chamber can be a 72 inch long chamber, 24 inches in diameter and provided on the interior surface thereof with a one-half inch refractory lining. Preferably, a plurality of circular discharge aper* tures, for instance, three, each of which can be about six inches in diameter as shown in FIGURE 2 are provided. The combustion chamber 38 is mounted on the forward end of the truck by means of a pair of spaced arms 42, the free end, 44, of each being rigidly secured to corresponding end 46 of the combustion chamber by bearing member 48. The other end of each spaced arm 42 is pivotally connected to a corresponding one of a pair of spaced support arms 50 at one end thereof by, for instance, pin means 52. The other end of each of the spaced support arms f) is rigidly attached to a post member 54 fixed, for instance, to the vehicle by connecting means 56. Suitable hydraulic means, not shown, driven by the vehicle engine and controlled by levers 58 in the cab of the vehicle are operatively connected to the pivot arms 42 by suitable and conventional attachment to cause pivot arms 42 to move in a vertical plane. This advantageous feature permits the raising and lowering of the combustion chamber to a plurality of operative positions thereby enabling the use of the apparatus for the removal of snow in the form of drifts or piles.
Arranged for communication with the interior of the combustion chamber 38 at a point remote from the discharge aperture 40 and adjacent the upper peripheral surface thereof is fuel burner mechanism 60 which can include, for instance, a burner pipe fitted with low pressure fuel atomizing nozzle 62, having for instance, a 1.59 inch nozzle opening, and having associated therewith ignition means 64. The pipe is connected to the flexible conduit 36 for delivery of fuel oil to the combustion chamber. Preferably, a plurality of burner mechanisms 60 are employed. Thus, as is shown, when three such burner mechanisms are employed they have a combined output capacity of 25 g.p.h. and a BTU rating of 62,500 B.t.u.s/hr. Usually, one burner mechanism 60 is provided for each aperture 40 employed. The burner mechanism 60 can be connected to the flexible conduit 36 through a manifold 68 fixedly attached to a brace 70, each end of which is secured to one of the pivot arms 42. The brace '70 can be an inverted U-shaped member to house the flexible conduits leading to the combustion chamber in the channel portion thereof.
Ignition means 64, which can be in the form of an electrical igniter such as a spark plug, is also provided adjacent each burner nozzle 62 in the combustion chamber 38. When the ignition means is in the form of an electrical igniter, electrical power can be taken from the D.C. generator 18 of the vehicle through suitable flexible electrical conductor means 66.
Also arranged for communication with the interior of the combustion chamber 38 is the outlet end 72 of flexible air duct 74 through aperture 76 about which the duct is sealingly secured. The aperture 76 can provide an opening about 1.04 square inches. Preferably, the burner mechanism 60 is axially aligned within aperture '76. The inlet end 78 of air duct 74 is in fluid communication with the discharge end of a forced draft blower 80 driven by a variable speed motor 82. Electrical power for operating the draft blower motor can be taken from the D.C. generator 18 of the vehicle by means of suitable electrical conductors 84. Conveniently, a plurality of draft blowers can be utilized. Generally one blower for each burner mechanism `60 is employed. It has been found advantageons to employ a six inch diameter, three inch wide blower provided with a thirty-two curve blade fan. The blower motor, for instance, can be a volt, 3600 rpm. rated motor. The forced draft blower housing is also provided at the top thereof with screened air inlet 86. Additionally, the forced draft `blower and the motor to drive the same are conveniently mounted on support means 88 e extending between and fixedly attached to the pivot arms 42.
Also mounted on the vehicle 10 is a Supply of acetylene gas 9() which can be, for instance, a pressure cylinder provided at its discharge end with a flexible conduit 92. The outlet end of conduit 92 is arranged to deliver acetylene gas in the combustion chamber 38 closely adjacent the atomizing nozzle 62.
Apparatus of the above described type is extremely effective in snow and ice removal. For example, each burner mechanism can be operated to melt 24 square inches of ice, l foot thick, when the ambient temperature is 32 F. and when the vehicle is travelling at a rate of 5 m.p.h.
It is thus apparent that an eflicient and effective snow melting apparatus has been provided which utilizes directly combustion products, including gas and flame produced in the vertically movable combustion chamber, to remove snow and ice of varying heights from a surface covered thereby.
While various changes may be made in the structure as disclosed, it shall be understood that such changes shall be within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Apparatus for melting snow and ice comprising a vehicle adapted to travel over the ground, a combustion chamber, mounting means for pivotally securing said combustion chamber to said Vehicle whereby said combustion chamber can be moved in a substantially vertical plane from a first operative position to another operative position, said combustion chamber comprising a closedend elongated substantially tubular housing provided with at least one aperture for discharge of combustion gas and flame therethrough for direct contact with said snow and ice, at least one ignition means provided within said combustion chamber, said ignition means being spacedly removed and disposed substantially opposite said discharge aperture, said combustion chamber provided with at least one other aperture which is substantially aligned opposite said discharge aperture, a fuel nozzle substantially axially aligned within said second aperture, blower `means to deliver air to said combustion chamber to provide ethcient mixture of air with combustible -fuel delivered thereto through said fuel nozzle and to impart sufficient discharge velocity to the combustion gas and flame produced in said combustion chamber and issuing therefrom through said discharge aperture for direct Contact with said snow and ice, fuel supply means mounted on said vehicle, said supply means including pump means to deliver fuel to said fuel nozzle in said combustion chamber and preheating means for maintaining said fuel at a predetermined temperature.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 including a plurality of discharge apertures which are spacedly removed from each other, a plurality of other apertures, each of which is in substantial alignment opposite a corresponding one of said discharge apertures, a plurality of ignition means each of which is disposed substantially opposite a corresponding one of said discharge apertures and a plurality of fuel nozzles, each of which is axially aligned within a corresponding one of said other apertures.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said combustion chamber is mounted at one end of said vehicle 4and the fuel supply means are mounted at the other end of said vehicle.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said fuel pump is operatively connected to the engine of said vehicle.
S. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the ignition means 5 6 is an electrical igniter connected to the generatol` of said 1,925,164 9/ 1933 Woolery. vehicle. 3,108,586 10/ 1963 Wilson.
References Cited 3,227,203 1/ 1966 Dibert. UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,291,118 12/1966 Wilson 126-2712 5 1,581,405 4/1926 Stebbms- CHARLES J. MYHRE, Primm-y Examiner.
1,616,611 2/1927 Denker.