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Publication numberUS3484045 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 16, 1969
Filing dateApr 1, 1968
Priority dateApr 1, 1968
Publication numberUS 3484045 A, US 3484045A, US-A-3484045, US3484045 A, US3484045A
InventorsWaters William M
Original AssigneeWaters William M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Amusement device for simulating a natural geyser
US 3484045 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 16, 1969 w. M. WATERS 3,484,045

AMUSEMENT DEVICE FOR SIMULATING A NATURAL GEYSER Filed April 1, 1968 /N VENTOR WILL/AM M WA TEES A TTOE/VE Y 3,484,045 AMUSEMENT DEVICE FOR SIMULATING A NATURAL GEYSlER William M. Waters, 19005 E. La Fetra Drive, Glendora, Calif. 91748 Filed Apr. 1, 1958, Ser. No. 717,559 Int. Cl. B0512 17/08 U.S. Ci. 23922 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Apparatus for simulating a natural geyser. Water or other liquid is heated to its boiling temperature within a combined heating condensing chamber communicating through a mixing chamber to a basin mounting a nozzle in such a way that the liquid is expelled by vapor pressure from the chambers through the nozzle to simulate a natural geyser The vapor is then condensed by contact with the unheated wall of the heating-condensing chamber to produce within the heating-condensing chamber a subatmospheric pressure level for inducing return flow of the liquid from the basin to the heaing-condensing chamber to condition the apparatus for the next cycle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates generally to amusement devices and more particular y to a novel apparatus for simulating a natural geyser.

Prior art Amusement devices of the general class to which this invention pertains are well known in the art. Examples of such devices, for example, are found in U.S. Patents Nos. 1,280,784; 1,066,565 and 2,619,377. These existing geyser simulating devices, however, are characterized by certain inherent deficiencies which this invention seeks to overcome Among these deficiencies are complexities, high cost of manufacture, and dependence upon mechanical devices such as check valves, etc., to control the flow of fluids in such a way to achieve a repetition of events, dependence upon varying or interrupting the quantity of heat input to achieve a repetition of events, or dependence on gravity to induce return flow of the working liquid from the geyster basin to the heating chamber. This gravity induced return flow of the liquid is undesirable for the reason that it dictates certain relative positions of the various components of the geyser devices which may be difiicult to achieve, particularly by children, and comp icate the use of the device. Moreover, the required relative positioning of the various components may undesirably increase the overall size of the device.

' SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an improved apparatus for simulating a natural geyser which avoids the above noted and other disadvantages of the existing amusement devices of this kind. A particular advantage of the present amusement device, for example, resides in its lack of dependence on gravity to induce return of the working liquid from the geyser basin to the heating chamber. As will appear from the ensuing description, however, the present apparatus may be arranged in such a way that gravity aids the return fiow.

In addition, that feature of the apparatus which makes it independent of gravity also provides a sequence of events which ends with the fluid sysem in the same condition as it was the beginning of the sequence. This returning of the sysiem to its initial condition allows the senite States Patent O 3,484,045 Patented Dec. 16, 1969 "ice quence of events to be repeated Without the use of mechanical or electrical devices and without the interruption or variation of the heat source.

To this end, the present gyser simulating apparatus has a heating-condensing chamber communicating through a mixingchamber to a geyser basin mounting a nozzle. A working liquid, such as water, is heated within the heating-condensing chamber to generate a vapor or steam which initially expels the liquid from the heating-condensing chamber through the mixing chamber to the nozzle to provide a simulated geyser display. In the course of being expelled from the heating-condensing chamber, a small quantity of liquid is retained in the heated chamber at or near the point of heat input where it continues to vaporize. The vapors given off by the boiling of the retained liquid continue to expel the remaining liquid from the condensing portion of the heating-condensing chamber. The hot liquid from the heated portion of the heating-condensing chamber in passing through the condensing portion raises the temperature of the walls. After expelling the liquid from the condensing portion, the vapor is in contact with the walls of the condensing portion whose temperature has been raised by the passage of the hot liquid as described above. Under these conditions, the rate of condensation of the vapor on the walfs of the condensing portion is low. As the cooling effect of the environment reduces the temperature of the walls in the condensing portion, the rate of vapor condensation will increase. When the rate of condensation on the aforementioned walls exceeds the rate of vaporization from the boiling of the liquid retained in the heating portion, the pressure within the combined heating-condensing chamber will be lowered to produce a subatmospheric pressure level. This subatmospheric pressure level induces return flow of the working liquid from the basin to the chambers. Any vapor remaining in the heatingcondensing chamber is condensed by the returning liquid to further reduce the chamber pressures and thereby aid the liquid return. Eventually, the heating-condensing chamber is refilled with the liquid to condition the pparatus for the next cycle. This cyclic operation continues as long as there is sufiicient liquid in the apparatus and heat is applied. If desired, the various components of the apparatus may be separately constructed for assembly by the user and arranged so that gravity aids atmospheric pressure induced return flow of the working liquid to the heating-condensing chamber.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a top plan view of a geyser simulating apparatus according to the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged section taken on line 22 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlargement of the area encircled by the arrow 3-3 in FIGURE 2; and

FIGURE 4 illustrates the condition of the heatingcondensing chamber near the conclusion of the liquid expulsion portion of the geyser cycle of the apparatus.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The invention provides a geyser simulating apparatus represented in the drawings by the apparatus 10, which is characterized generally by a combined heating-condensing chamber 12, adapted to be filled with a working liquid 16, such as water. It will be observed that the chamber opens downwardly and is shaped to provide a shallow catch basin B (FIGURE 4) at the upper end of the chamber. The apparatus also has a geyser basin 18 with a normally upwardly opening cavity 20 for containing the liquid 16 to the normal level L indicated. Mounted over the basin cavity 20, adjacent the liquid level L, is a nozzle 22. Between the heating-condensing chamber 12 and the geyser basin 18 is a mixing chamber 14 which opens to the lower end of the chamber 12. A first conduit 24 communicates the mixing chamber 14 and geyser basin 18 adjacent the bottom of the chamber and basin cavity, as shown. The passage in the conduit opens to the basin cavity through a flow restricting orifice 26. A second conduit 28 communicates the mixing chamber 14 and basin nozzle 22.

Briefly, during operation of the apparatus, the liquid 16 within the chamber 12 is heated to its boiling temperature by a heater 30, which may be an electrical heater, gas burner, or the like. The liquid vapor or steam which is then generated expels the liquid from the chamber into the mixing chamber 14 and then from the mixing chamber to the basin 18 through both conduits 24, 28. As the liquid level falls in the chamber 12, a small quantity of liquid is retained in the upper chamber basin B, as shown in FIGURE 4, where it is boiled by heater 30. The vaporization of the liquid at B continues to expel the remaining liquid from the chamber 32. The height control orifice 26 restricts flow through the conduit 24, whereby the rest of the liquid displaced from the mixing chamber passes through the conduit 28 and the nozzle 22 to produce a simulated geyser display. Eventually, most if not all of the liquid is expelled from the heating and condensing chamber 12, so that condensation of the vapor can occur on the relatively cooler walls at the lower end of this chamber. When the rate of vapor condensation or the Walls of chamber 12 exceeds the rate of vapor generation from the liquid boiling at B, the pressure within the chamber 12 will be below the ambient pressure. This creates a subatmospheric pressure condition or level within the heating-condensing chamber which tends to induce return flow of the working liquid 16 from the basin 18 to the chambers 12, 14. Any remaining vapor within the chambers is condensed by contact with the cool returning liquid, thereby further reducing the chamber pressure and aiding the liquid return flow. Eventually, the chambers 12, 14 will refill completely to condition the apparatus for the next cycle. This cyclic operation continues to repeat automatically so long as the apparatus contains suflicient liquid and heat is applied to the heating chamber.

Referring now in greater detail to the embodiment of the invention which has been selected for illustration, the heating-condensing chamber 12, mixing chamber 14, basin 18, and conduits 24, 28 comprise separately formed parts which are releasably joined by resilient stoppers on certain of the parts fitting within openings in other parts, as shown. Thus, the chamber 12 is a simple flask having a neck 32 containing a double tapered stopper 34 with a central passage. This stopper fits in the mouth of the flask and in an opening 36 in one side wall 38 of the mixing chamber 14. Chamber wall 38 is inclined, as shown, to permit the flask 12 to incline upwardly from the mixing chamber with its bottom disposed in an elevated position and supported on a heater 30. Basin 18 has a bottom wall 40 from which rises an integral tubular formation 42. The upper end of this formation is tapered to define the nozzle 22.

Extending through the tubular basin formation 42 is a central passage 44 which opens through the underside of the basin. The orifice 26 opens through the basin wall 40. Integrally formed on the underside of this wall is a neck-like flange 46. The conduits 24, 28 comprise plastic or rubber hoses, in the ends of which are fixed tubes 48. These tubes are press fitted in stoppers 50 which, in turn, are press fitted in the lower ends of the nozzle passage 44, in the lower basin neck flange 46, and in openings 51 and 52 in the side wall 38 and top wall 54 of the mixing chamber 14.

It is now evident that when the liquid 16 within the flask or heating chamber 12 is heated to the boiling temperature by the heater 30, the liquid is expelled, by the generated vapor or steam, from the flask through its neck 32 into the mixing chamber 14, and then from this chamber to the basin 18 and nozzle 22 through the conduits 24, 28. The orifices 26, 22 are sized to regulate the height of the eruption. This expulsion of the liquid from the chambers through the nozzle creates a simulated geyser display. Eventually, most if not all of the liquid is expelled from the chamber 12. The mixing chamber reduces the temperature of the liquid before it flows out the nozzle for reasons of safety and provides a supply of relatively cool liquid at the heating-condensing chamber entrance to promote rapid condensation during the refilling portion of the cycle.

The vapor pressure within the chamber 12 now drops rapidly due to the vapor condensing action which occurs when the vapor contacts the relativley cool lower wall of the flask neck 32. This condensation of the vapor creates within the chambers a subatmospheric pressure level which tends to induce return flow of the liquid 16 from the basin 18, through the orifice 26 and conduit 24, to the chambers. Any vapor remaining within the chambers is cooled and condensed by the returning liquid, whereby the chamber pressure is further reduced. Eventually, the returning liquid refills the chamber to condition the apparatus for the next cycle.

The subatmospheric pressure level existing during the refilling of flask 12 also induces a flow of air through the nozzle 22 into the cavity 44 which lowers the liquid level in cavity 44 below the level in basin 18. After the filling of flask 12 and the subatmospheric pressure level no longer exists, the liquid levels in cavity 44 and basin 18 will equalize because of the fluid path through conduits 24, 28 and mixing chamber 14.

If desired, the basin 18 may be mounted on legs 55 to mount the basin in an elevated position relative to the heating and condensing chambers 12, 32 and thereby enable gravity to aid return liquid flow from the geyser basin to the chambers. Also, the heater 30 and the upper end of the heating chamber or flask 12 may be enclosed in a housing 56 to attain more eflicient heating of the liquid within the flask.

Since the various elements or components of the present geyser simulating apparatus are connected by stoppers. these components may be separated for convenience of storage when not in use. Moreover, the equipment is very easy to set up, even by children, and is very inexpensive to manufacture.

What is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:

1. Apparatus for simulating a natural geyser comprismg:

means defining heating and condensing chamber means adapted to be fed with a working liquid such as water,

a basin having a normally upwardly opening cavity for containing said working liquid to a normal level,

a normally upwardly opening nozzle mounted over said basin adjacent said liquid level,

Ia, first conduit communicating said chamber means to said basin cavity below said normal liquid level,

a second conduit communicating said chamber means to said nozzle, and

means for heating said liquid in said chamber means to cause said apparatus to proceed through an automatically reoccurring operating cycle involving initial expulsion of said liquid from said chamber means through said nozzle by the vapor pressure of said liquid, and final condensation of the vapor within said chamber means to effect return flow of said liquid from said basin to said chamber means.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:

condensation of the vapor in said chamber means 1n1t1 ally produces a subatmospheric condition within said chamber means for inducing return flow of said liquid from said basin to said chamber means.

3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein:

said chamber means are located below the level of said basin whereby said liquid return flow is aided by gravity.

4. Apparatus according to claim 1 including:

a mixing chamber opening to said chamber means adjacent the bottom of said chamber means, said first conduit opening to said mixing chamber adjacent the bottom of said mixing chamber, and said second conduit opening to said mixing chamber adjacent the top of said mixing chamber.

5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein:

said basin, chamber means, mixing chamber, and conduits comprise separately formed parts, and

at least some of said parts are releasably joined by resilient stoppers on certain parts fitting within openings in the other parts.

6. Apparatus according to claim 5 wherein:

said mixing chamber has a pair of first openings in its sides and a second opening in its top,

said first conduit has a resilient stopper which fits within one of said first chamber openings,

said heating chamber has a neck containing a resilient stopper which fits within the other first chamber opening and is formed with a central passage communicating said chambers, and

said second conduit has a resilient stopper which fits within said second chamber opening.

7. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:

said nozzle is formed inwardly with the wall of said basin.

8. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:

the bottom Wall of said basin has a central upstanding tubular formation defining said nozzle.

9. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:

the liquid passage communicating said basin and chamber means through said first conduit contains a fiow restricting orifice.

10. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:

said basin includes a bottom wall having openings communicating said basin cavity and nozzle, respectively,

OTHER REFERENCES The Encyclopedia Americana, International Edition, pp. 631 and 632.

EVERETT W. KIRBY, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1066565 *Jan 4, 1912Jul 8, 1913Noel Parker WoodwardFountain for decorative purposes.
US1280784 *Apr 29, 1916Oct 8, 1918Gen ElectricFountain.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4852801 *Mar 11, 1988Aug 1, 1989Wet Enterprises, Inc.Airpowered water displays
US5161740 *Oct 4, 1990Nov 10, 1992Kuykendal Robert LPop jet fountain
US5904295 *Jun 16, 1997May 18, 1999Kuykendal; Robert L.Pop jet fountain
US6042342 *Oct 2, 1996Mar 28, 2000T.D.I. --Thermo Dynamics Israel Ltd.Fluid displacement system
US7597559 *Dec 29, 2006Oct 6, 2009Alexander ShkolnikMethod of imitating a natural geyser and a device for carrying out the method
US20090011398 *Dec 29, 2006Jan 8, 2009Alexander ShkolnikMethod of imitating a natural geyser and a device for carrying out the method
DE102008051238B4 *Oct 10, 2008Feb 7, 2013Uwe Waletzkovulkanartige Vorrichtung
EP0929744A2 *Sep 3, 1997Jul 21, 1999T.D.I. Thermo Dynamics Israel Ltd.Fluid displacement system
WO1998016739A2Sep 3, 1997Apr 23, 1998T.D.I.Fluid displacement system
Classifications
U.S. Classification239/22, 239/23
International ClassificationA63H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63H33/00
European ClassificationA63H33/00