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Publication numberUS3453981 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 8, 1969
Filing dateApr 24, 1967
Priority dateApr 24, 1967
Publication numberUS 3453981 A, US 3453981A, US-A-3453981, US3453981 A, US3453981A
InventorsGause Joseph A
Original AssigneeGause Joseph A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Water-borne vessel comprising propulsion system incorporating flexible fin propulsion members
US 3453981 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

3,453,981 WATER-BORNE VESSEL COMPRISING PROPULSION SYSTEM Sheet of 4 July 8, 1969 J. A. GAUSE INCORPORATING FLEXIBLE FIN PROPULSION MEMBERS Filed April 24, 1967 PATENT AGE NTS July 8, 1969 J. A. GAUSE 3,453,981

WATER-BORNB VESSEL COMPRISING PROPULSION SYSTEM INCORPORATING FLEXIBLE FIN PROPULSION MEMBERS Filed April 24, 1967 Sheet 2 01' 4 l I I J 12 F166 FIG.7

INVIZY'JUR.

JOSEPH A GAUSE m. l

PATE NT AGENTS July 8, 1969 J. A. GAUSE 3,453,931

WATER-HORNE VESSEL COMPRISING PROPULSION SYSTEM INCORPORATING FLEXIBLE FIN PROPULSION MEMBERS Filed April 24, 1967 Sheet of 4 FIGB PATENT AGENTS y 3, 1969 .1. A. GAUSE 3,453,981

WATER-BORNE VESSEL COMPRISING PROPULSION SYSTEM INCORPORATING FLEXIBLE FIN PROPULSION MEMBERS Filed April 24, 1967 Sheet of 4 BY a PATENT AGE NTS United States Patent 3,453,981 WATER-BORNE VESSEL COMPRISING PROPUL- SION SYSTEM INCORPORATING FLEXIBLE FIN PROPULSION MEMBERS Joseph A. Gause, 1348 Dundas St., Burlington, Ontario, Canada Filed Apr. 24, 1967, Ser. No. 633,253 Int. Cl. B6311 19/02, N32

US. Cl. 1154 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A propulsion member for water-borne vessels and able to extract propulsion energy from the incident waves comprises a flexible fin member with a relatively rigid leading edge and relatively flexible trailing portion, the fin being deflected to produce forward motion by the ambient water pressure.

Field of the invention This invention is concerned with propulsion members for water-borne vessels, and especially but not exclusively, to such members of the kind that can be employed in systems utilising wave energy for moving the vessel.

Description of the prior art Summary of the invention It is an object of the present invention to provide a new propulsion member for use in the propulsion of water-borne vessels.

It is another object to provide a new propulsion system of the kind wherein propulsion energy is obtained from the wave motion of the ambient water.

In accordance with the present invention there is provided a new flexible fin propulsion member for any form of water-borne vessel, which may for example comprise full size vessel, models thereof and toys, comprising at least one generally planar fin member adapted to be mounted on the vessel extending therefrom below the water line thereof, said fin member comprising a relatively rigid leading edge portion extending transverse to the intended direction of movement of the member, and a relatively flexible resilient trailing portion, the flexibility of at least the trailing portion being such that the fin is deformed from a predetermined median attitude by the pressure of the ambient water to an inclined or declined attitude in which relative movement between the flexible fin and the Water will urge the fin for movement in the desired direction, and the resilience of the flexible fin urging it to return by its own resilience to its median attitude.

Also in accordance with the invention there is provided a new propulsion system for any form of waterborne vessel, which may for example comprise full size vessels, models thereof and toys and of the kind using wave energy of the incident waves for propulsion of the vessel, said system comprising at least one fin member as specified in the immediately preceding paragraph, the

said trailing portion of the fin being deformed to the said inclined or declined attitude by the incident waves.

Description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a view in elevation from below of a single hulled vessel to show the propulsion system thereof in a plan view,

FIGURE 2 is a side elevation of the embodiment of FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 3 is a cross section of one of the fins of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 and 2, taken on the line 33 of FIGURE 1,

FIGURE 4 is an end elevation of one of the fins,

FIGURE 5 is an end elevation of another single hulled embodiment showing the manner in which the fins may be mounted and moved between operative and storage positions,

FIGURE 6 is a section through a vessel hull to show a detail,

FIGURE 7 is a view similar to FIGURE 1, of a catamaran type vessel, to show the application of the invention thereto,

FIGURE 8 is another view, similar to FIGURE 1, of another type vessel employing an auxiliary hull,

FIGURE 9 is a side elevation of the embodiment of FIGURE 8,

FIGURE 10 is a rear end view of a further embodiment,

FIGURES l1 and 12 are respectively a plan view from above and a side elevation of the embodiment of FIG- 'URE 10.

Description of the preferred. embodiments Similar parts are given the same reference in all the figures of the drawings.

Referring especially to FIGURES 1 to 4, there is illustrated therein a boat 10 of conventional single hull form with a longitudinally-extending central keel 11 and steering rudder 12, the boat floating in water which is indicated generally by the reference 13'. The boat is to be propelled entirely by wave energy and the propulsion system for this particular embodiment comprises six generally planar fin members 14, disposed in three pairs spaced along the keel and so mounted that they are well below the water line of the boat. The fins of each pair extend in opposite directions from the keel with their planes generally horizontal and coplanar.

A propulsion system can be provided using one or more fins, and their number, shape, size and arrangement may vary from 'vessel to vessel. I will therefore first describe what I believe at the present time to be essential features of my new fins, and of the manner in which they can be employed in a wave-energy utilising propulsion system. Thereafter, a description will be given of several possible variations in construction, both for the fins themselves and the systems in which they are incorporated.

Each fin comprises a root portion 15, a relatively rigid leading edge portion 16 integral with the root portion and extending therefrom transverse to the intended direction of movement of the vessel, and a relatively flexible resilient trailing portion 17. A junction between these two portions is indicated by broken line 18, but it will be understood that preferably the tWo portions merge smoothly into one another without any abrupt change of characteristic.

In this particular preferred embodiment each two adjacent fins have a common unitary root portion which is fixed to the keel. The fins extend from any part of the vessel hull below the water line and in directions which generally have a component that is horizontal and perpendicular to the direction of movement; more particularly in this embodiment they extend horizontally and perpendicular to the keel. Each leading edge is swept back at a general angle A relative to a line perpendicular to the length of the keel, and preferably does not extend in a straight line; for example in the fin illustrated the edge is convex forwardly nearer to the root portion, and becomes concave forwardly toward the tip. It will be noted further that preferably the trailing edge 19 also is not straight, but is smoothly curved concave rearwardly from the smoothly rounded tip to the root portion. The width and thickness of the leading edge portion decrease progressively and smoothly from the root to the tip. A suitable cross-section for the leading edge portion is shown in FIGURE 3, and it will be seen that the front edge is rounded while the edge portion itself is of hydrodynamic cross-section such that the fin passes through the water with the minimum turbulence.

The trailing portion 17 is relatively flexible, as compared with the root and leading edge portions, and is made sufliciently resilient that it is returned by its own resilience to a flat median attitude shown in FIGURES 2 to 4 in solid lines. The flexibility and the resilience are interrelated; the degree of flexibility of each fin is predetermined by its construction and it should be properly selected, since fins that are not sufliciently flexible, or that are too flexible, will not be as efficient as fins of correct flexibility. The approximate extend of the flexibility in the longitudinal direction parallel to the keel is indicated by the angle B illustrated in FIGURE 3, while the approximate extent of its flexibility in the transverse direction perpendicular to the keel is indicated by the angle C illustrated in FIGURE 4, and experiments show that eifective propulsion was achieved with angles of between approximately 2 to approximately 30, depending on factors such as water pressure and general wave conditions.

Referring especially to FIGURE 2, the operation of a propulsion system in accordance with the invention is at present believed to be as follows: as is well known, the water in a wave moves almost completely with a vertically up-and-down motion, as indicated by the arrows 20, with little or no motion in the direction of the propagation of the wave. Consider first the pair of fins at the bow of the boat; as a wave approaches the bow it moves upward with the water and the fin trailing portion is deformed from the said median attitude to a downwardly curved attitude shown in broken lines, and at this moment water pressure on the upper side of the fin bends the fin downwards to an upwardly inclined attitude, and presses the fin forward, thereby urging the boat forward using energy extracted from the wave. As the direction of movement of the water and the bow is reversed the fins are deflected to an opposite attitude (shown in FIG- URE l for the fins at the stern of the boat), and as the ambient water moves downward past the fin the latter is moved forward, thereby moving the boat forward with energy extracted from the wave. It will be seen that a forward propulsion force is obtained with each fin as a wave is propagated past it, and all of the fins will therefore contribute in producing the total forward motion of the boat.

Each fin will also deflect or distort transversely, as illustrated by the angle C, upward and downward under the effect of the water movement, but for clarity of illustration such deflection is not shown in FIGURE 2. In other embodiments it may be preferred for the fin to have different angles to the horizonal in their median attitude, either upward or downward. It will be seen that the effect of both the longitudinal and transverse deflections is to incline or decline the general plane of the fin to what is referred to herein as an inclined or declined attitude.

In some embodiments also it may be preferred to mount the fins so that they can be turned in their own plane about a vertical pivot axis, as indicated by the reference 21; when turned in this manner to an angle less than they produce a turning effect on the boat and can be used for steering without the need for a steering rudder 12, which can therefore be omitted. Another advantage of so mounting the fins for turning is to permit them to be rotated through when required to reverse the direction of the boat.

The preferred minimum number of fins is two pairs, one pair at the bow and the other at the stern. As the size of the boat is increased the effective size of the fins should also be increased, and if more fins are then provided they can be of smaller size. It is not essential for the fins to be disposed in pairs, and instead they can be staggered at intervals along the side or the bottom of the boat. In this particular embodiment described, having three pairs of fins, it is preferred that each fin is not longer, in the transverse direction, than about /6 of the overall length of the boat.

With the size and the weight of the boat known, and with the number, size and shape of the fins decided, the thickness and material for the construction of the fins can be determined. For smaller vessels fibre glass and wood are very suitable materials, while for larger vessels stainless steel may be preferred. There are many other materials of suitable flexible and resilient characteristic that can ,be used for construction of the fins.

Since the fins extend a substantial distance transversely from the boat, in some embodiments it may be preferred to arrange that they can be folded at will (e.g. when in harbour) and an arrangement for this purpose is illustrated in FIGURE 5. Each fins is connected by a hinge 22 to a corresponding transverse extension 11a of the keel. A strut 23 is pivoted at 24 to the fin and passes through a sleeve 25 fixed to the side of the boat. The fin is held in operative position (as illustrated in the left half of the FIGURE 5) by a retainer pin 26 passing through holes in the sleeve 25 and a corresponding hole 27 in the strut 23; the fin is held in a stored position by engagement of the pin 26 in a corresponding hole 28 in the strut (as illustrated in the right half of FIGURE 5). With larger vessels more elaborate arrangements may be required and motor driven operators such as hydraulic pistons may be needed to move the fins between the two positions.

FIGURE 6 illustrates a simple method of mounting each fin or pair of fins for turning in its own plane about the said axis 21, the fins being mounted on a shaft 29 passing through a water tight bearing 30 in the boat hull, the shaft being locked in the desired position by a screwthreaded pin 31. All of the shafts can ,be coupled together by means, for example, of sprockets 32 and connecting chains (not shown), so that they can be turned simultaneously by operation of a hand wheel 33. Other ways of mounting the fins for such turning can of course be employed.

FIGURE 7 illustrates the application of the inventron to a twin-hulled catamaran-type vessel. The hulls are shaped at their facing sides to provide a venturi-type passage between them, and preferably a single large fin is mounted in this passage below the water line with its lead ng edge portion 16 at the point between the hulls of InlIlllTlllIIl width (and consequently maximum velocity and water pressure).

FIGURES 8 and 9 illustrate the application of the invention to a vessel comprising a main hull 10 and a subsidiary float hull 29. The two hulls are connected together by a pair of parallel arms 30 which are freely pivoted at 31 and 32 respectively to the two hulls. One pair of fins 14 are mounted at the bow of the main hull, while a second pair are mounted on the arms 30 between the two hulls but closer to the main hull, by means of vertically extending struts 33. As the float 29 rises and falls with the waves it moves the rear fins, and the force available for fin movement is equal to the force moving the float, multiplied by the mechanical advantage of the lever formed by the arms 30. The resulting increase in the vertical moving force gives a corresponding increase in the pressure on the fins and thereby increases the forward propulsion force. It will be seen also that the structure comprising the arms 30, the float 29, and the fins 14 can readily be added to an existing main hull without substantial modification thereof. If desired additional fins can be provided, for example at the stern of the main hull.

In the embodiments so far described, the fin roots are fixed rigidly to the hull by any suitable means. It is also contemplated that fins in accordance with this invention could with advantage be employed in a propulsion system using pivoted fins. In such an arrangement the fins would be mounted for pivoting movement, but the relation between the root portion, the leading edge portion, and the flexible portion is still relatively fixed, so that the fins in accordance with the invention are defined herein as of fixed-root type, even though the roots are not fixed relative to the boat hull, such as in the embodiments described in the next paragraph.

In some embodiments, and in some circumstances such as calm weather or manoeuvring in harbour, insufficient propulsion force is available from wave energy alone and it is convenient to have an auxiliary propulsion means available, such as a small engine. An arrangement whereby an engine can be used for propelling movement of the fins is illustrated in FIGURES to 12. At least one pair of the fins is mounted on a shaft 34 for oscillating movement about a horizontal axis 35. A vertically-extending lever 36 is connected by an arm 37 to the wheel 38 mounted on a vertical axle 39. The wheel is rotated by a motor 40 by means of a pulley 41 and a connecting belt or chain 42. As the wheel 38 rotates the arm 36 moves longitudinally of the hull 10, oscillating the fins in the desired manner and propelling the boat forward. Guides 43 are provided for the arm 36 and a mechanical stop of any suitable form and position is provided to hold the arm 36 fixed in its median position when the motor is not in operation. It will also be seen that such an arrangement permits manual propulsion of the boat by an operator grasping the arm 36 and rocking it back and forth.

One or more flexible fins in accordance with the invention can also be fixed to the boat hull'with its general plane vertical, and can act in this attitude to extract forward propulsion energy from any sideways rocking motion of the boat. Alternatively, or in addition, if suitably mounted such a vertical fin will function as a highly efficient rudder. If coupled to an engine, in a manner corresponding to that described for the embodiment of FIG- UIRES 10 to 12, for side to side oscillating movement about a vertical axis, such a fin can also function as an auxiliary propulsion member.

What I claim is:

1. A water-borne vessel comprising a propulsion system of the kind utilising wave energy of the incident waves for propulsion of the vessel, the said propulsion system comprising at least one generally planar flexible fin member of the fixed root type as hereinbefore defined mounted on the vessel extending therefrom below the water line thereof, said fin member comprising a fixed root portion connected to the vessel, a relatively rigid leading edge portion extending from said root portion transverse to the intended direction of movement of the vessel and of progressively decreasing rigidity in said transverse direction, and a relatively flexible resilient trailing portion, the fiexbility of at least the traling portion being such that the fin is deformed from a predetermined median attitude by the pressure of the ambient water to an inclined or declined attitude in which relative movement between the flexible fin and the water will urge the fin for movement in the desired direction, and the resilience of the flexible fin urging it to return by its own resilience to its median attitude, the said flexibility and resilience of the fin mem ber being such that the deformed fin member effects the transfer of operative urging force from the ambient moving water to the said root portion and thereby to the vessel.

2. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, and comprising a plurality of said fin members each carried by the vessel to extend therefrom below the water line generally horizontally when in its said median attitude.

3. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one fin member is mounted for turning about a generally horizontal or vertical axis to provide steering motion for the vessel.

4. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, wherein all of the fin members are mounted for turning about respective vertical axes to reverse the direction of propulsion thereof.

5. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, wherein at least one fin member ismounted for oscillating rotation about an axis, and there are provided mechanical means operatively connected to the said fin member for oscillating it about the said axis to provide propulsion of the vessel by the said mechanical means.

6. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, and c0mprising three pairs of fin members mounted thereon to extend therefrom generally horizontally when in their median attitudes, a first pair being mounted adjacent the vessel stern, a second pair being mounted adjacent the vessel stern, and the third pair being mounted approximately amidship.

7. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, and comprising a main hull, a subsidiary float hull, a lever system pivotally connected to the two bulls and connecting them together and at least one fin member mounted on said lever system to extend therefrom below the water lines of the two hulls generally horizontally when in its said median attitude.

8. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 10, and of the catamaran type comprising two spaced parallel con nected main hulls, wherein a flexible fin propulsion member is connected to both hulls and is disposed to extend between the two hulls below the water lines thereof generally horizontally when in its said median attitude.

9. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 1, wherein the leading edge of each fin is swept back a substantial angle relative to the vessel keel, the said edge being smoothly curved convex forwardly nearer to the said root portion and concave forwardly nearer to the tip thereof.

10. A water-borne vessel as claimed in claim 9, wherein the said leading edge portion is of generally hydrodynamic cross-section generally parallel to the intended direction of motion of the fin member and the fin member is of progressively decreasing cross-section from the leading edge portion to the trailing edge of the trailing portion.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 22,097 11/1858 Vrooman --4 1,033,476 7/1912 Schulze 1154 1,050,090 1/1913 Antoni 115--28 3,110,283 11/1963' Warner 11529 FOREIGN PATENTS 26,884 1907 Great Britain.

OTHER REFERENCES Popular Science, p. 224, February 1950.

ANDREW H. FARRELL, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 11528

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Referenced by
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US3565032 *Feb 7, 1969Feb 23, 1971Hertel HeinrichPropulsion arrangement for watercraft
US3640240 *Oct 23, 1969Feb 8, 1972Stein ErichFin-propelled watercraft
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Classifications
U.S. Classification440/9, 440/15
International ClassificationB63H1/36, B63H1/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63H1/36
European ClassificationB63H1/36