US 3452459 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
E. J. CAMPION July 1, 1969 snow DISPOSAL UNIT WITH ELECTRICAL MELTING MEANS Filed Jan. 19, 1966 Sheet I N ve-ra2 Eawmzo .I (Amman Arr-vs July 1, 1969 E/J. CAMPION SNOW DISPOSAL UNIT WITH ELECTRICAL MELTING MEANS Fiied Jan/19. 1966 Sheet INVENTOR EDWARD J. CAMPIaN E. J. CAMPION 3,452,459 SNOW DISPOSAL UNIT WITH ELECTRICAL MELTING MEANS July 1', 1969 Sheet Filed Jan. 19. 1966 United States Patent 3,452,459 SNOW DISPOSAL UNIT WITH ELECTRICAL MELTING MEANS Edward J. Campion, 2907 Scottlynne Drive, Park Ridge, Ill. 60068 Filed Jan. 19, 1966, Ser. No. 521,734 Int. Cl. E01h /10; F24h 1/00 US. CI. 37-12 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to improvements in snow removing apparatuses of the general type employing scoop, conveyer and more specifically blowing means; which devices are of the mobile or self-propelling type.
Where prior art apparatuses have merely scooped, conveyed or blown the snow to an area adjacent to the surface cleaned of snow and some have even employed means whereby the snow is melted and the resulting water stored in a vessel provided for collection of the water, these apparatuses have never really satisfactorily disposed of the snow or the resulting water in that contiguous areas, sewers, drains and other spillways were necessitated for disposing of the snow or melted snow. Now in accordance with this invention the apparatuses disclosed hereinafter and the inventive concept embodied therein, provide not only for the melting of the snow to water, but the total and complete vaporization of the resulting water and the discharge of the vapor into the surrounding atmosphere thereby obviating the necessity of finding some way of disposing of accumulated water and the attendant disadvantages connected therewith.
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a superior snow removing apparatus which is readily portable and adapted to be mounted on prior art apparatuses which heretofore could only blow or move the snow otf of the area to be cleaned to a contiguous area thereto.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a totally self-contained apparatus for not only cleaning snow from a surface but also to melt the snow and dispose of the resulting water.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a self-contained mobile unit which not only is useful for cleaning snow from road and walk surfaces but also capable of totally disposing of the collected snow.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a motorized self-contained snow disposal unit which completely eliminates the need for accumulating water from the melted snow and disposing of it at specific points provided for the depositing of the melted snow, thereby obviating the need to interrupt snow removal operations.
These and other objects will be understood from a reading of the following detailed description of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings where like numerals are used to designate like elements and wherein;
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially in cross-section,
3,452,459 Patented July 1, 1969 FIG. 2 is a side view, partially in section, showing an alternate embodiment for providing the necessary heat to efiect the objectives of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a side view, partially in cross-section, showing still another heat producing embodiment and wherein the vaporization of the water droplets accumulated from the melted snow is facilitated;
FIG. 4 is a simplified side view of a completely mobile apparatus which may be mounted on conventional vehicles;
FIG. 5 is a perspective cross-sectional view showing the detail of the heating chamber pictured in FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 depicts in schematic form a control system used in the apparatus depicted in FIG. 5.
Referring specifically to FIG. 1, a conventional prior art scoop and blower attachment 2, which is adapted to be fitted to various commercial vehicles and which units are manufactured by Western Snow Plow Division, Douglas Motors Corporation, is modified in accordance with the herein disclosed invention in that in lieu of the open discharge conduit the snow is discharged directly into a chamber provided for the melting and vaporization of the snow. Referring specifically to the prior art device, the apparatus 2 comprises a motor 4, scoop 6, scoop raising and lowering mechanism 8, reel 10, and vane fan housing 12, covering the discharge fan, not shown, which collects the snow and delivers same into snow discharge conduit 14. Snow discharge conduit 14 communicates into chamber 16 which is mounted in juxtaposition to motor 4. Motor 4 is provided with a cowling 18 so that heat from the motor 4 can be utilized in chamber 16. In addition exhaust from the motor is also connected to chamber 16 through conduit 20 so as to make the most efiicient use of the entire apparatus. Motor 4 is modified to the extent that a shaft 22 extends therefrom so as to drive fan 24. Cowl cover 18 is provided with apertures 26 so that fan 24 may draw air from the atmosphere into the chamber between motor 4 and chamber 16 formed by cowl cover 18. This air is driven into chamber 16 through openings in the middle chamber wall adjacent chamber 16. So that the incoming snow from snow inlet 14 will not interfere with the operation of fan 24, a suitable baflling arrangement may be utilized, here depicted by bafile 28. Chamber 16 has a plurality of heat producing means 30 disposed throughout the chamber. In this embodiment, high resistance electrically insulated rods such as Calrods are shown connected to power pack 32 wherein energy is supplied to individual wires and to the respective elements 30 via leads 34 and 36 connected to a suitable power source such as a DC generator, battery or other means well known in the art. The end of the chamber 16 furthest from fan 24 and the justaposed power pack 32 is provided with aperture 38 which communicates chamber 16 with the ambient atmosphere.
In the operation of the apparatus of FIG. 1, the snow is gathered by scoop 6 and is driven by reel 10 acting as an auger or conveyer screw, towards the discharge fan from whence it is blown and otherwise conveyed through snow discharge or chamber inlet conduit 14 into the chamber 16. In chamber 16 the temperature therein is at sufliciently high temperature to provide about 500,000 5,000,000 B.t.u.s to almost instantaneously melt the snow into water. By way of example, a swath of snow 10 inches deep and 5 feet wide, with the vehicle running at a rate of 2 miles per hour would require about 1,500,000 B.t.u.s to vaporize the snow instantly. As the temperature of the water increases the operation of fan 24 bringing in ambient air and air warmed by the operation of motor 4 through apertures 26 of cowl 18 proceeds through chamber 16 towards exhaust 38. During the period of travel of the air, the air is heated to a sufiiciently high temperature to entrain and vaporize the water droplets within chamber 16 and thence carries same but through exhaust 38 to the ambient atmosphere. Fan 24 is of a sufficient magnitude to provide high volume, high velocity passage of air through chamber 16 so as to facilitate as quickly and as effectively as possible the vaporization of the water from the melted snow. Suitable baffiing arrangements may also be desirable to provide for effective passage of the air through chamber 16. It is also apparent that the exhaust conduit 20 from motor 4 conveys additional heat into chamber 16 to help in the melting and vaporization processes. It is, of course, readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the main heating effect is obtained via heat producing elements 30. It is also readily apparent that the interior surface of chamber 16 should 'be of high reflective, low heat transmitting characteristics so as to build up as high a temperature as possible within chamber 16. This can be accomplished by the provision of such materials as aluminum foil, aluminum, steel and other similar type metals and refractory type materials. The means whereby chamber 16 is adequately insulated from the surrounding atmosphere as 'by means of cork, asbestos, Styrofoam, polyurethane, etc. in addition to air space, is well known and will not be delved into herein.
Referring to FIG. 2 wherein an alternate embodiment of heat producing means is shown, chamber :16 is provided with snow inlet 40 and exhaust outlet 42. In this instance the heat necessary to effect liquefication and vaporization of the snow is derived through a fuel burner apparatus 44 comprising fuel supply tank 46, control valve 48, fuel supply conduit 50 and fuel burner 52. Fuel burner unit 52 may be gas fired or liquid fuel fired but it is perferred that it utilize a high heat value, low cost fuel such as liquefied petroleum gas, commonly referred to as LPG. The air necessary for combustion is obtained obtained through cowl openings 26 and suitable baffiing arrangement is utilized in order to prevent blow-out of the frame in fuel burner 52. The chamber 16 is likewise lined with a material, not shown, that will maintain the highest maximum temperature within the chamber to effect melting and vaporization.
Referring specifically to FIG. 3 a further specific embodiment of the invention is illustrated which may be utilized in any of the chambers 16 described heretofore and hereinafter following. In order to obtain maximum contact of the melted snow with the heat within the chamber 16 and the large amounts of air being directed into the chamber 16 to entrain droplets of water so as to be able to carry them out into the atmosphere, a centrifugal paddle type of impeller is fastened to the shaft 22 coming out of motor 4 by means of extension shaft 54. Impeller 56 is preferably placed within exhaust conduit 42 although it does not necessarily have to be disposed therein in that it is only necessary that as much of the water surface be exposed to the high velocity air being driven into chamber 16 by fan 24 as is possible. For the sake of clarity, heat producing unit 58 is shown schematically. It is at once apparent that in some embodiments the impeller 56 should be parallel to the axis of shaft 22, rather than perpendicular or normal thereto. This is simply accomplished by suitable gear train mechanisms. The operation of this embodiment is identical to that similarly described with the exception that the melted snow or liquid water is dispersed in finely divided form whereby it is readily vaporized and entrained in the air passing through chamber 16.
Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, a complete mobile snow removal unit is depicted wherein a self-powered vehicle 60, as a flat bed truck, has a snow blowing unit 2 comprising the scoop and reel, etc. mounted on the front with a snow discharge conduit 62 communicating through the top of chamber 16 mounted on the rear, bed section of the vehicle rather than through the sides or bottom as shown in previous figures. In this instance chamber 16 may be as heretofore described and element 64 could either be a portable generator utilized to energize the heat producing means described in FIG. 1 or could be a separate furnace furnishing high temperature air into chamber 16. In the embodiment depicted, however, wherein more detail as to the construction of chamber 16 is described in FIG. 5, element 64 could be a gas or fuel supply tank and attendant equipment. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4 a separate exhaust fan necessary to provide the large volumes of high velocity air passing through chamber 16 could be separately mounted at the forward section of chamber 16. Here fan 24 is driven by electric motor 66 which is powered either by a generator separately mounted on the mobile unit, or in the Calrod embodiment, by element 64 which is a generator to provide necessary energy to energize the high resistance elements such as disclosed in FIG. 1. The operation is essentially the same as heretofore described.
FIG. 5 shows in greater detail an alternate embodiment contemplated to be utilized in any of the chambers 16. Specifically chamber 16 is provided with a plurality of rows of parallelly spaced tubes 68 connected to a common header 70 which is in turn connected to a gas or fuel supply pipe 71 in which is disposed an igniter device 72 energized by lead wire 73. The tubes 68 are approximately coextensive with the chamber 16 but have terminal ends just short of the rear wall of chamber 16 so that the movement of air through chamber 16 and out the exhaust pipe 74 provides suflicient draft. Th tubes 68 may have spaced apertures throughout their length to allow dissipation of heat and gases into the chamber 16. It is of course, obvious that it is desirable to have the snow inlet pipe 76 communicating to the top of chamber 16 so that the snow and resultant water will filter to the bottom of the chamber and eventually increase in temperature to the point where vaporization occurs. The fan is not shown in this embodiment but it is to be understood that it is disposed in front of supply conduits 78. The combustible mixture fed into supply pipe 71 is ignited by igniter 72 and being under positive pressure enters common header 70 and branch lines 78 and thence into conduits 68 and is eventually withdrawn through exhaust pipe 74 along with vaporized water. The means whereby ignition is effected could be a multiplicity of any of those commonly known in the art. For instance, a separate spark producing device which is battery powered may be utilized inasmuch as it is only necessary to ignite the combustible fuel mixture once and thereafter combustion will continue unless the system is shut off or a supply of combustible fuel is drawn into heater 70 as such a rapid pace that blow-out of the flame occurs. One such means of controlling not only the combustible fuel mixture but also the ignition of same is described in FIG. 6.
In FIG. 6 a typical 6 or 12 volt system commonly employed with a self-propelled motor vehicle, such as illustrated in FIG. 4, has a battery 80 with a lead wire 82 coming from the battery with master switch 84, manual igniter switch 86 and a spring relay 88 connected therewith. Wire 92 connects to gas solenoid 94 which controls and regulates the gas entering the fuel'supply pipe 71. The fuel supply passing through 71 then passes through an automatic gas mixer and thence into common header 70, and is then supplied to the plurality of conduits 78. In this instance an alternative embodiment is depicted wherein elements such as 78A have orifices located coextensive with their length so as to permit the dissipation of combustion gases therethrough to maintain the temperature within the confines of chamber 16 at a sufficiently high temperature to effect liquefication and vaporization of the snow. It is readily apparent that the vibrator 95 converts the direct current to an alternating one and acting in conjunction with rheostat 96 and condenser 97 provide means whereby ignition coil 90 is energized through wire 98. Once the potential is of sufiicient magnitude, ignition coil 90 through lead wire 100 energizes electrode 102 to cause ignition of the combustible gas mixture entering header 70.
The embodiments in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A mobile snow collecting, melting and vaporization apparatus comprising a motor-driven wheeled truck body and cab; a motor-driven reel, a conveyor and snow blower means mounted forward of said cab; a heated vaporization and dispersion chamber mounted on said truck body having a plurality of inlets and one outlet; one of said inlets communicating to said snow blower means, and another of said inlets communicating with the ambient atmosphere through a second chamber mounted in juxta' position to said vaporization and dispersion chamber, and a conduit connection from the exhaust of the motor of the aforesaid motor-driven blower means to said vaporization and dispersion chamber, said outlet communicating to the ambient atmosphere remotely from said inlet, said chamber having a plurality of spaced electrical heating elements mounted therein which in conjunction with the construction of said chamber are adapted to cause and permit the formation of high temperature water vapor in said chamber, an impeller mounted in said chamber to disperse liquid therein into the ambient air and other fluids flowing therethrough through said outlet; fan means to cause said ambient aid and other fluids to flow towards said impeller and outlet; said fan means and said impeller being mounted coaxially, and electrical energy means mounted on said truck body to energize said electrical heating elements.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,364,315 12/1944 Powell 37l2 X 2,605,760 8/1952 Cayas 12 6343.5 2,705,844 4/1955 Pepi 37-12 2,922,015 1/1960 CanZano 2l919 3,106,792 10/1963 Park 37-12 3,304,632 2/1967 Kotlar et al. 37-12 3,333,354 8/1967 Kirshenblat 37-12 ROBERT E. PULFREY, Primary Examiner. EUGENE H. EICKHOLT, Assistant Examiner.
U.S. Cl. X.R. 126343.5