US 3615074 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
o. ccoK y 3,515,074
APPARATUS FOR MOISTURIZING GASES 6 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Jue A6, 1968 IOSSN 98 -b N 5 a INVENT OR DANIEL COOK ATTORNEYS Oct. 26, 1971 F'led June 6. 1968 D. COOK APPARATUS FOR MOISTURIZING GASES 6 Sheets-Shee`tl 2 INVENTOR DANIEL COOK ATTORNEYS Oct. 26, 1971 o. cooK A v3,615,074
APPARATUS FCR MOISTURIZING GASES Filed June 6, 1968 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR DANIEL COOK ATTORNEYS Oct. 26, 1971 Filed June 6, 1968 D. COOK APPARATUS FOR MOISTURIZING GASES 6 Sheets-Sheet L INVENTOR DANIEL COOK BY SMWW ATTORNEYS D. COOK APPARATUS FOR MOISTURIZING GASES Oct. 26, 1971 6 vSheets-Sheet 5 Filed June 6. 1968 QN .gk
ATTORNEYS Oct. 26, 1971 o. cooK 3,615,074
APPARATUS FOR MOISTURIZING GASES Filed June s, 1968 e sheets-sheet e R o LH T l @J @loom v K @MLM nim-ml IwNMNM m .q y c m5 mmm mm L :m m w Nvm D @Nm mmm Y Qn Nm mmm mmm @mm B m www mm .lullllu .il .l im M -m *mmf Mm (.Il v mm ma m NNN C: sv om 9m www; 0mm com Q wom Ovm) mom w N m mmm l tz: @z NE: P; o m mm .5.0: m1 Q. m --1 www om mom I l! l n om cmm @om mm l l T|11|||| www fnl: www www ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,615,074 APPARATUS FOR MOISTURIZING GASES Daniel Cook, 2909 40th Ave., Gulfport, Miss. 39501 Filed .lune 6, 1968, Ser. No. 735,067 Int. Cl. F02d 9/04, 19/00; F02m 17/34 U.S. Cl. 261-18 8 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus is provided for reducing fuel and lubricating oil consumption and increasing power in internal combustion engines which includes an improved moisturizing unit for addition of moisture to gases being fed to the air intake manifold. The apparatus operates at peak eliiciency at low or high speeds, and it may be used in warm or cold climates. The moisturizing unit includes first and second vessels and conduits introducing gases and rwater into the vessels. An atomizer is mounted in the first vessel. A conduit including an aspirator is connected to the second vessel for withdrawing Water by aspiration and introducing the water into the first vessel. A conduit for equalizing pressures in the vessels is provided. An improved variable valve is also provided.
This invention broadly relates to improved apparatus for decreasing fuel and lubricating oil consumption and increasing power in internal combustion engines by addition of moisture to gases being fed to the air intake manifold. The invention further relates to improved apparatus for arresting smog-forming constituents issuing from internal combustion engines, purifying the exhaust gases therefrom, and producing an auxiliary stream of purified exhaust gases. The invention also provides a novel variable valve which is especially useful in the environment of the invention.
A number of proposals have been made in the past for reducing the fuel combustion of internal combustion engines by addition of moisture to the gases entering the intake manifold. However, disadvantages have been present in each of the prior art systems. For instance, the prior art apparatus was not capable of functioning at peak efiiciency at both low and high speeds, and operating without difficulty in both warm and cold climates. The prior art apparatus also did not include satisfactory means for arresting smog-containing components issuing from the crankcase, or means for purifying the exhaust gases. Additionally, the apparatus of the prior art did not provide purified warm exhaust gases for auxiliary uses such as defrosting.
In order for the apparatus of the present invention to function at peak efficiency at low and high speeds, it is desirable that a novel type of variable valve be used which is capable of withdrawing metered amounts of gases from two or more sources and feeding the same to the moisturizing unit of the present invention, While a variety of variable valves were available heretofore, they were not entirely satisfactory. The prior art mosturizing units were also dependent Iupon a source of liquid water which was atomized and supplied to the gases entering the air intake manifold of the internal combustion engine. Such prior art moisturizing units are not satisfactory for use in cold climates due to the water freezing and rendering them inoperative. Thus, there has long been a great need for improved apparatus which overcomes this problem.
It is an object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus for adding moisture to gases being passed to the air intake of an internal combustion engine whereby fuel and oil consumption may be decreased and power increased.
It is a further object to provide improved apparatus for controlling smog-producing fumes issuing from the crankcase of an internal combustion engine.
It is still a further object to provide improved apparatus for purifying exhaust gases from internal combustion engines prior to discharge to the atmosphere.
It is still a further object to provide a warm stream of puriiied exhaust gases which is available for a variety of auxiliary purposes, such as defrosting the windshield of vehicles during winter months in cold climates.
It is still a further object to provide an improved variable valve which is especially useful in the environment of the invention.
It is still a further object to provide improved apparatus for obtaining moisture from the exhaust gases of an internal combustion engine for addition to the gases entering the air intake manifold.
It is still a further object to provide improved apparatus for adding moisture to the gases being passed to an air intake manifold in amounts whereby the internal combustion engine runs cooler and the component parts thereof remain clean and free of carbon and other deposits, thereby increasing the life as well as increasing operating efciency.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference t0 the following detailed description and the drawings, wherein:
FIG. l is a diagrammatic view, partially in cross section, illustrating one arrangement of the apparatus of the invention for supplying moisture to an internal combustion engine and/or removing smog components from the exhaust gases, including the moisturizing unit of the invention with the cooperating elements thereof being shown in their respective positions for normal vacuum operation;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional View taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken `along the line 3-3 of FIG. l;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. l;
FIG. 5 is a view, partially in cross section, of the moisturizing unit of the invention illustrated in FIG. l, but showing the relative positions of the cooperating elements for the return of excess water from the upper to the lower container during vacuum operation;
FIG. 6 is a view, partially in cross section, of the moisturizing unit of FIG. l, but showing the relative positions of the component elements during pressure operation;
FIG. 7 is a schematic plan View illustrating the arrangement of the accelerator pedal, the throttle arm on the internal combustion engine, the operating arm on the variable valve of the invention, and the mechanical linkages therebetween;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of a section of the tail pipe illustrated in FIG. l, partially in cross section, further illustrating the construction of one of the damper valves;
FIG. 9 is a further view of the damper valve of FIG. 8, partially in cross section, taken along the line 9--9 of FIG. l;
FIG. l0 is an enlarged view, partially in cross section, of the tail pipe and a second damper valve illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG, 11 is an enlarged View, partially in cross section, showing details of the needle valves for the moisturizing unit illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 12 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 12-12 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary view, partially in cross section, taken along the line 13-13 of FIG. 6;
FIG. 14 is a side view, partially in cross section, of the variable valve of the invention;
FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 15-15 of FIG. 14;
FIG. 16 is an enlarged view, partially in cross section, taken along the line 16-16 of FIG. 14;
FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 17-17 of FIG. 14;
FIG. 18 is a side view in cross section, of the internally arranged tubular member of the variable valve illustrated in FIG.` 14;
FIGS. 19 through 25 are schematic illustrations of the surface area of the tubular member of FIG. 18 showing the spacing of the plurality of openings and the manner in which such openings are brought into communication with uid supply conduits, thereby allowing the quantity of uid owing through the valve to be controlled;
FIG. 26 is a modied form of the apparatus of the invention for supplying moisture to an internal combustion engine; and
FIG. 27 is a plan view, partially in cross section, taken along the line 27-27 of FIG. 26.
Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 through 13, the overall apparatus generally designated as 30 includes a prior art internal combustion engine 31, a conduit 32 which supplies conduit 33 leading into the air intake manifold, an exhaust conduit 34 leading from exhaust manifold 3S, and a fume conduit 36 leading from the crankcase in the general vicinity of point 37. The internal combustion engine 31 is also provided with the usual throttle arm 38 for controlling the speed. The upper end of throttle arm 38 is connected to the accelerator pedal 39 through mechanical linkage 40, and the lower end is connected to the outer end of operating arm 41 of variable valve 42 through mechanical linkage 43.
Exhaust gases withdrawn via conduit 34 are passed to the exhaust purifier and muler 50 via conduit S1 in a volume controlled by damper valve 52 in tail pipe 53. As is best seen in FIGS. 8 and 9, the damper valve 52 includes a disk like member 54 which is rigidly mounted on the horizontally disposed portion 55 of rod 56, which extends through openings 57 in tail pipe 53, whereby the member 54 is rotatably mounted for limited movement. The rod 56 also has a downwardly extending portion 58 which is threaded on its lower end and provided with a threaded weight 59. As is best seen in FIG. 8, the rod portion 58 is vertically disposed when the internal combustion engine 31 is not running or the pressure in exhaust line 34 is not greater than a predetermined value. The member S4 is normally angularly mounted therein on rod portion S at a point above the center line thereof, i.e., eccentrically mounted, whereby the gas pressure exerts a greater force on the lower portion 60 than on the upper portion 61, thereby causing or tending to cause rotation t0 the open or phantom line position of FIG.8 and allowing exhaust gases to escape through tail pipe 53. The threaded weight 59 may be moved up or down the threaded rod portion 62 by rotation in the desired direction, whereby the pressure differential in conduits 34 and 53 that is required to cause rotation of member 54 is varied and the pressure existing within conduit 34 is controlled. At low speeds, such as in city driving, substantially all of the exhaust gases may be passed through conduit 51 and puried in purifier 50, whereas at the higher speeds normally encountered under driving conditions outside of cities, a larger volume of exhaust gases is produced and a portion thereof is passed around damper valve 52 and directly to the outside atmosphere via tail pipe 53.
The pressure which exists in tail pipe 53 is controlled by a second damper valve 66 which is of similar construction and operation to damper valve 52. For instance, as is =best seen in FIG. 10, the damper valve 66 also includes a disk-shaped member 67 which is eccentrically and rigidly mounted on a horizontal portion 68 of rod 69, The rod portion 68 is rotatably mounted in openings 72 in tail pipe 53, and the downwardly depending rod portion 70 is threaded on its lower end and provided with a threaded weight 71 which may be moved up or down, thereby varying the amount of force required for rotation of member 67 to an open position. By varying the distance of the weight 71 from the horizontal portion 68, the amount of force required to rotate member 67, and thus the pressure level within tail pipe 53 required to eifect rotation of member 67, may be varied. Inasmuch as damper valve 52 operates on the pressure dilerential existing between exhaust line 34 and tail pipe 53, it is apparent that the pressure level existing in the system may be controlled to some extent by damper valve 66.
The exhaust purifier and mul-lier 50 includes a series of opened top vessels 75, 76 and 77 which are mounted in frame 78 with the open tops thereof being urged upward and sealed olf by the lower surface of rectangular cover 79. The frame 78 has a generally U-shaped configuration and the legs 80 and 81 extend upward through openings 82 and 83 in the ends of cover 79 a substantial distance which is determined by stops 84 and 85, to thereby form threaded end portions 86 and 87 which are provided with nuts 88 and 89, respectively. Springs 90 and 91 are mounted on end portions 86 and 87, with the lower ends thereof resting on the upper surface of cover 79 and the upper ends thereof on the under surface of nuts 88 and 89, respectively, whereby the legs 80 and 81 are urged upward until the stops 84 and 85 contact the under surface of cover 79. This arrangement assures resilient mounting for the vessels 75, 76 and 77 which is especially important in instances where there is a sudden increase in pressure therein. For instance, during backre the vessels 75, 76 and 77 may move downward a suicient distance so that the upper ends are no longer sealed by cover 79, and the backfire gases are discharged from the temporarily uncovered vessels and allowed to escape directly to the atmosphere.
When in the normal operating position, the vessels 75, 76 and 77 are urged upward into the positions illustrated in FIG. 1 and are retained by means of quick release catches 92, 93 and 94 which are mounted on the bottom portion `95 of lU-shaped frame 78 for rotary movement on pins 96, 97 and 98, respectively. The quick release members 92, 93 and 94 maintain the vessels 75, 76 and 77 in the positions illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings when in the locked positions. The vessels may be quickly removed for service by pushing downward on levers 99, 100 and 101 and rotating the members 92, 93 and 94 approximately 90, thereby allowing the vessels 75, 76 and 77, respectively, to drop downward a Short distance which is suliicient to allow easy removal, but insuicient to allow the vessels to fall to the ground.
The vessels 75, 76 and 77 contain a liquid which is designed to remove carbon, oil, incompletely incombusted fuel, and other undesirable substances from the exhaust gases upon contact therewith. Examples of liquid substances which are satisfactory for this purpose are water, petroleum oils, and products such as lubricating oil additives sold under the trademark Motor Honey. Preferably, the liquid is a mixture of water and Motor Honey, with the Motor Honey normally iloating on top thereof. The liquid 105 may be drained from vessels 75, 76 and 77 by opening valves 106, 107 and 108 in conduits 109, and 111, respectively when this is desirable, such as in cold weather when the liquid contains water, as otherwise if may freeze and cause damage.
The exhaust gases are fed into vessel 75 via conduit 51, which extends through opening 112 in cover 79, downward into the vapor space 130 above the level of liquid 105. The gases are directed downward and into contact with liquid 105 before being deected upward into conduit 113 for passage into vessel 76. The conduit 113 is provided 'with a flared end 114 to allow the gases in vessel 75 to escape therethrough readily, and it extends upward through opening 115 in cover 79, horizontally until it is above vessel 76, and then downward through opening 116 in cover 79 and into the vapor space 117 in vessel 76 above the level of liquid 105. The partially purified exhaust gases withdrawn via conduit 113 are directed downward onto the surface of liquid 105 in vessel 76 where additional contaminants are removed, and then are deflected upward and passed out through conduit 118 which is identical in construction with conduit 113. The conduit 118 is also provided with a ared end 119, and it passes upward through opening 120 in cover 79, horizontally to a point above vessel 77, and then downward through opening 121 in top 79 into space 122 within vessel 77. The purification of the partially purified exhaust gases withdrawn from vessel 76 is completed in vessel 77 by contacting the same with the liquid 105, and then the gases are deflected upward into space 122 and withdrawn through one or more of the three conduits leading therefrom. For instance, purified exhaust gases may be withdrawn via conduit 123 which extends downward into space 122, through opening 124 in the top 79, and passed to variable valve 42 as will be described more fully hereinafter. The gases also may be withdrawn as a warm, purified auxiliary exhaust gas stream upon opening valve 127 in conduit 125, which extends downward through opening '126 in top 79 into communication with space 122, and used in a desired manner, such as by injecting the same onto the windshield of a vehicle during cold weather to defrost the same (not shown in the drawings). The purified exhaust gases which are not withdrawn via conduits 123 and 125 are withdrawn via conduit 128, which extends downward through opening 129 in cover 79 into space 122, and are passed into tail pipe `53 and discharged to the outside atmosphere in a substantially smog-free condition.
While three vessels 75, 76 and 77 are illustrated in the drawings, it is understood that a smaller or larger number of such vessels may be employed as necessary to effect the removal of the smog-forming constituents prior to withdrawing the exhaust gases from the last vessel in the series. The capacity of the vessels 75, 76 and 77 should be at least sufficient to allow removal of smogforming constituents from the exhaust gases produced at low speeds in city traffic. At higher speeds such as when driving on open highways, the larger volume of exhaust gases that is produced may be discharged in whole or in part without treatment through tail pipe 53. This is not undesirable as the resulting concentration of the smogforming constituents in the countryside is very low.
The relative volumes of gases passing through conduit 51 for purification in purifier 50 and directly to the atmosphere via tail pipe 53 may be controlled by adjusting the weight 59 on damper valve 52. It is possible to pass a large proportion of the exhaust gases produced at high speeds directly to the atmosphere via tail pipe 53, or any desired ratio thereof, up to the capacity of the purifier 50, may be purified and withdrawn from conduits 123, 125 and/or 128. The damper valve 66 in the end of tail pipe 53 causes a back pressure to be maintained at all times, thereby allowing purified exhaust gases to be forced through conduits 123 and 125. The purifier 50 serves as both a muffler and a purifier in instances where the liquid 105 is present. If desired, the liquid 105 may be omitted and the purifier 50 then serves largely as a muffler, although some tarry residues and other heavy contaminants are often deposited in the bottom of vessels 75, 76 and 77.
Varying amounts of crankcase fumes, depending upon the position of operating arm 41 as will be discussed more fully hereinafter, are passed to variable valve 42 via conduits 36, 140, 141 and 142, and purified exhaust gases are passed thereto via conduits 123, 143, 144 and 145. Upon closing valve 146 in conduit 147 and opening valve 148 in conduit 149, the gases are then passed via conduit 150 into the moisturizing unit 151 of the invention.
The moisturizing unit 151 includes a supporting plate 152 on which is mounted a lower container 153 and an upper container 154. The variable valve 42 is also mounted on plate 152 by means of bracket 155, which is attached thereto by means of screws 156 and 157. As is best seen in FIGS. 1, 5 and 6, the containers 153 and 154 have opened ends provided with lip portions 158 and 159 which are used in mounting the same on plate 152 by means of mounting screws 160 and 161, respectively. The containers 153 and 154 are mounted on plate 152 in an offset arrangement, whereby a right portion 162 thereof is provided which is not covered by container 153. The portion 162 is provided with opening 163 for receiving incoming conduit 150, and opening 164 for receiving outcoming conduit 165 which feeds moisturized gases into the air intake manifold conduit 33 via conduit 32 upon opening valve 1.67. The portion 162 is also provided with a threaded opening 169 for receiving the threaded stem of water spray adjustment needle 171.
The left portion of plate 152 is not covered by container 154 due to the offset arrangement, and openings are provided4 therein from the outside atmosphere. For instance, opening 176 is provided therein for a conduit 177 which ymay be used for adding water to container 153 and/or admitting air thereto, and threaded openings 178 and 179 for receiving the threaded stems 173 and 174 of needle valves 180 and 181, respectively. It is understood that the threaded stem portions 170, 173 and 174 for needle valves 171, 180 and 181 are each constructed as illustrated in FIG. 13, with the threaded openings therefor through plate 152 being similarly constructed, and that illustrations other than FIG. 13 are not provided in the interest of simplifying the drawings.
The plate 152 also includes an intermediate portion 185, on the opposite sides of which are mounted the containers 153 and 154. The plate portion 185 has openings 186 and 187 therein for receiving conduits 188 and 189, respectively, which provide for communication between the lower container 153 and the upper container 154. The portion is also provided with openings 190 and 191 for water conduits 192 and 193, respectively.
With reference to the lower container 153, the conduit 177 extends a short distance beneath the plate 152, and a trap door 194 is disposed under the lower end thereof and hingedly mounted by means of pin 195 on dependent member 196 which is attached at its upper end to the lower surface of plate 152. A hook bracket 197 also is attached to the lower surface of plate 152 and depends therefrom, and is positioned on the opposite side of conduit 177 from member 196 for the purpose of engaging and holding the outer end of trap door 194, thereby preventing it from falling past a predetermined position. This assures that the trap door 194 can be readily ymoved from the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 to that shown in FIG. 6, as will be described more fully hereinafter. The conduit 188 extends into the vapor space 183 a short distance beneath plate 152, and upward a sufficient distance into the container 154 so that the upper end thereof is always above the surface of the water 198. The lower end of conduit 188 is also always above the surface of the water 199 in container 153.
A trap door 200 is provided for the lower terminal end of conduit 188 which is similar in construction and operation to trap door 194. The trap door 200 is hingedly mounted at one end by means of a pin 201 carried by the lower end of downwardly depending member 202, which is attached at its upper end to the lower surface of plate 152. A hook bracket 203 is also attached on its upper end to the lower surface of plate 152 and depends downward therefrom and is positioned to catch the outer end of trap door 200 when it has moved a predetermined distance from the end of conduit 181, as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 5. The conduit 189 is generally I-shaped in configuration and the upper end thereof terminates slightly above the upper surface of plate 512, whereas the lower end terminates within the Vapor space 183. The lower terminus is cut at approximately a 45 angle and a trap door 204 is provided therefor hingedly mounted at one end above the lower terminus on pin 205 and positioned to cover the same. The pin 205 is carried by bracket 206 which is mounted on conduit 189 at a point intermediate its upper and lower ends.
The lower portions of water conduits 192 and 193 are immersed in Water 192, and the ends are inserted in pieces 212 and 213, respectively of a porous filtering material to prevent solid matter from entering. The conduits 192 and 193 are also provided with openings 214 and 215, respectively in communication with the vapor space 183 which are, as is best seen in FIG. 1l, of a size and shape to receive the needle point 216 of needle valves 180 or 181. The needle valves 180 and 181 are provided with thumb knobs 217 and 218, respectively for making adjustments by screwing inward or outward thereon, thereby advancing or retracting needle points 216 and either opening or closing the openings 214 and 215. This controls the volume of air that enters conduits 192 and 193 through openings 214 and 215 respectively and, in turn, the quantity of water that is flowing therein which is in inverse ratio to the volume of the entering air. The needle valve 180 and 181 also have springs 219 and 220 mounted thereon between thumb knobs 217 and 218, respectively, and the upper surface of plate 152, whereby once a proper adjustment has been made, it is not lost due to vibration during operation of the internal combustion engine 31. The conduit 192 passes through the opening 221 in conduit 150, and the upper end thereof is in communication with the interior of conduit 150 whereby water or a mixture of water and air, depending upon the setting of needle valve 180, is fed thereto. The conduit 193 terminates on its upper end in a gooseneck 225 which discharges water or a mixture of water and air, depending upon the setting of needle valve 181, onto the inner end of water spray adjustment 171. The water spray adjustment 171 terminates on its outer end in a thumb knob 226 by which the distance of the inner end thereof to the discharge of gooseneck 225 may be adjusted. Also, a spring 227 is mounted thereon between the lower surface of plate 152 and the thumb knob 226, thereby assuring that a proper adjustment is not lost due to Vibration of the internal comfbustion engine 31.
As is best seen in FIG. l2, the inner end of spray adjustment 171 has a centrally located cone-shaped portion 228 with an annular outwardly flared lip portion 229 surrounding the base thereof, whereby it is capable of performing at least two functions. For instance, when the water spray adjustment 171 is in the position illustrated in FIG. l2, then the cone 228, annular depression 230 and lip 229 are highly effective in atomizing the water, or the mixture of water and air, which is discharged thereon from gooseneck 225 with great force. This forms a mist within space 184 and the gases are moisturized, and the excess water ows to the bottom of vessel 154 and collects as the body of water 198. Upon turning thumb knob 226 whereby the cone 228 moves inwardly, it is possible to either partially or completely close off the discharge of gooseneck 225 since the cone 228 is inserted therein. Thus, it is possible to adjust the amount of water owing in conduit 193 by two methods, i.e., by the needle valve 180 and the spray adjustment 171.
The lower container 153 is provided with conduit 231 whereby the water 199 contained therein may be withdrawn by opening valve 232. The rod 235 has a float 236 rigidly attached thereto at a height substantially above the lower end thereof. The upper portion of rod 235 passes through horizontally extending slot-like opening 237 in the outer end of arm 238, and the arm 238 is positioned between upper stop 239 and lower stop 240. The arm 238 is pivotally mounted on pin 241 carried by bracket 242 which is mounted on conduit 165. The point of mounting on pin 241 is suiciently removed from the ends of arm 238 to provide an end portion 243 which, when the oat 236 and arm 238 are raised to their maximum heights, results in portion 243 covering the upper end of conduit 16-5 thereby preventing gases from passing therein. The rise of the water level in upper container 154 from the level illustrated in FIG. 1 to the level illustrated in FIG. 5, will result in float 236 raising rod 235 sufficiently for the lower stop 240 to move arm 238 to the maximum elevation, thereby causing end portion 243 to close off the upper end of conduit 165, whereby gases are no longer Withdrawn therehrough.
As is best seen by comparing FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings, the lower end of rod 235 is mounted within conduit 189. The relative lengths thereof are such that the lower end of rod 235 extends slightly into conduit 189 ,at its maximum upward movement illustrated in FIG. 5, and rests on the bottom of conduit 189 at the point of lowest movement which is illustrated in FIG. 6 of the drawings. This arrangment provides a convenient means for mounting the lower end of stopper rod 235.
FIG. 1 illustrates operation of the moisturizing unit 151 during the first portion of a vacuum cycle. Trap doors 200 and 204 seal olf the lower ends of conduits 188 and 189, respectiveliy, and at this time the only communication between vessel 153 and vessel 154 is via conduits 192 and 193. Inasmuch as moisturized gases are withdrawn rapidly from vessel 154 due to the vacuum maintained on conduit 165, the pressure in vapor space 184 is reduced substantially below that existing in vessel 153 and water, or a mixture of water and air, is sucked up through the lower end of conduit 193, and is passed into vessel 154 and atomized as previously discussed. The moisturized gases withdrawn via conduit are passed via conduit 32 to air intake manifold conduit 33.
The level of water 198 in vessel 154 gradually rises due to the excess water supplied via conduit 193, and oat 236 pushes rod 235 upward. When rod 235 approaches its point of maximum upward movement which is shown in FIG. 5, the lower stop 240 pushes upward on arm 238 until end portion 243 closes olf the top of conduit 165, thereby preventing gases from being sucked from space 184. Thereupon the pressure rises in vapor space 184 due to gases fed thereto via conduit 150, and also air via conduits 192 and 193 when needle valves 180 and 181, respectively, are open. When the vacuum in space 184 is no longer sufficient to hold the trap door 200 by suction against the lower end of conduit 188, it falls to the position illustrated in FIG. 5, thereby allowing air to rush from vapor space 183 to 184 and equalize the pressure. The trap door 204 then opens to the position illustrated in FIG. 5, the water 198 pours from conduit 189 into vessel 153, and the water level recedes. The cork 236 follows the water level downward until upper stop 239 pulls downward on arm 238 and causes end portion 243 to be raised from the end of conduit 165, thereby allowing gases to be removed from space 184 again and the pressure to decrease. The trap doors 200 and 204 close once again to the positions illustrated in FIG. 1 due to the suction and the vacuum moisturizing cycle is repeated.
When the internal combustion engine 31 is accelerated to a point where the degree of vacuum in conduits 32 and 165 is insuflicient for proper vacuum operation, then the moisturizing unit 151 is operated by the pressurized exhaust gases. During the pressure cycle, the elements are in the positions illustrated in FIG. 6. The trap doors 200 and 204 no longer cover the ends of conduits 188 and 189, and all of the water is within the lower vessel 153. The trap door 194 closes off the lower end of conduit 177 due to exhaust gases under pressure being passed into vapor space 184 via conduits 149 and 150, and then into vapor space 183 via conduits 188 and 189. The conduit 192 enters conduit 150 at an acute angle with respect to the direction of gas ilow therein and, due to the fast linear flow rate of the pressurized exhaust gases, there is an aspirator-like effect and a suction is taken on conduit 192. The water 199, or a mixture of water and air, passes up conduit 192 due to the aspirator-like effect and into conduit 150 where it is vigorously admixed with the incoming gas stream. The moisturized gases are then passed via conduits 1165 and 32 to the air intake manifold conduit 33.
Additional water may be added to the moisturizing unit 151 via conduit 177 while it is operating on the vacuum cycle, or while the engine 31 is stopped. During cold weather, if desired the water 199 may be withdrawn from moisturizing unit 151 via conduit 231 upon opening valve 232. It is possible to bypass moisturizing unit 151 by closing valves 148 and 167, and opening valve 146. The crankcase fumes flowing in conduit 36 and/or cooled exhaust gases flowing in conduit 123 and passed to variable valve 42 contain moisture, in the form of vapor or entrained droplets, and the gases are recycled back to internal combustion engine 31 directly without formation of a liquid water phase, via conduits 149, 147, 32 and 33. This variant is especially useful in cold climates where a liquid water phase is not permissible due to freezing. When operating in this manner, the purifier 50 has only sufcient containers 75, 76 and 77 to remove tars and other heavy condensables and cool the exhaust gases without reducing the water content thereof appreciably.
The variable valve 42 of the invention is especially useful in the apparatus described herein as it has unique features which aid in optimizing the amount of moisture to be added to gases introduced into the air intake manifold at varying rates of speed. Referring now to FIGS. 14 through 18 of the drawings, the variable -valve 42 includes a cylindrical casing 250 which is closed olf at its ends by means of plates 251 and 252. A tubular member 253 having an external diameter such that the external surface closely conforms with the internal surface of cylindrical casing 250 is arranged therein between the plates 251 and 252. The end of tubular member 253 adjacent plate 251 is closed off by plate 254, and stem 255 extends outward therefrom and through opening 256 in plate 251 a distance suicient to mount the valve stem operating arm 41 thereon by means of jam nuts 257. The plate 252 is provided with an exit conduit 258 which is in communication with the open end of tubular member 253, whereby a controlled amount of fluid may be withdrawn from valve 42.
The valve 42 is capable of controlling two different uids which may be gases under different pressures. In the environment of the present invention, crankcase fumes under little or no pressure such as one-half pound p.s.i.g. or less are fed from internal combustion engine 31 via conduit 36 to metering conduits 140, 141 and 142 which extend through the wall of the cylindrical casing 250. The conduit 140 is provided with a threaded needle valve 259', whereby the volume of crankcase fumes owing in conduit 140 is controlled by turning thumb knob 260 and advancing or withdrawing the needle point 261 therein. A spring 262 is mounted on needle valve 259 to prevent loss of the setting due to vibration. Similarly, exhaust gases are fed to the opposite end of Valve 42 via conduit 123 and metering conduits 143, 144 and 145, which extend through the Wall of the cylindrical casing 250'.
A plurality of carefully spaced openings 263-268 and a circumferentially extending groove 269 are provided on the right one-half of tubular member 253 for communication with conduits 140, 141 and 142, whereby metered amounts of crankcase fumes may be fed into the interior of tubular member 253 upon proper rotation thereof. Similarly, a plurality of spaced openings 2170-275 and a circumferentially extending groove 276 are provided on the left one-half of tubular member 253- which are in communication with metering conduits 143, 144 and 145, whereby purified exhaust gases may be fed into the interior of tubular member 253 upon proper rotation thereof. As is best seen in FIGS. 14 and 18, the longitudinal spacing of the openings 263-268 and 270-275 and grooves 269 and 276 are such as to be in communication with the conduits -145 upon clockwise rotation of tubular member 253. For instance, opening 268 and groove 269 are capable of being aligned with conduit 140, openings 265 and 2-67 with conduit .141, openings 263, 264 and 266 with conduit 142, openings 270, 271 and 273 with conduit 143, openings 272 and 274 with conduit 144, and opening 275 and groove 276 with conduit 145.
FIGS. 19 through 25 are schematic illustrations of the exterior surface of the tubular member 253 for the purpose of more clearly showing the relative positions of the openings 263-268 and 270-275, grooves 269 and 276, and the enlarged terminal ends 277-282 of conduits 140- 145, respectively, as the operating arm 41 of valve 42 is moved clockwise thereby rotating stem 255 and tubular member 253 clockwise, with the degree of rotation being dependent upon the speed of the internal combustion engine 31 due to the mechanical linkages 40 and 43 between accelerator pedal 39 and throttle arm 38, respectively, and operating arm 41. FIG. 19 illustrates the relative positions at idling speed, and it may be noted there is a small ow of crankcase fumes into the interior of tubular member 253y due to the communication between enlarged portion 277, groove 269 and opening 268, and likewise a small flow of exhaust gases therein due to the communication between enlarged portion 282, groove 276 and opening 275. These small feeds of crankcase fumes and exhaust gases are suicient to result in enough moisture, upon proper moisturizing in moisturizing unit 151, for idling speeds.
FIG. 20 schematically illustrates the position of the component elements as shown in FIGS. 14-17 of the drawings, i.e., in an instance where there has been slight acceleration, but the internal combustion engine 31 is still operating at low speed. More crankcase fumes are passed into the interior of tubular member 253 due to the full communication between enlarged portion 279 and opening 263, and enlarged portion 277 and groove 279, and some additional exhaust gases are supplied due to the full communication between enlarged portion 282 and groove 276. FIG. 21 illustrates the next stage of increased acceleration in which the enlarged portions 277, 278 and 279 are in full communication with groove 269, opening 265 and opening 264, respectively, thereby supplying still more crankcase fumes to the interior of tubular member 253. No additional exhaust gases are supplied as enlarged portion 282 remains in communication with only groove 276. FIG. 22 illustrates an additional increase in acceleration and clockwise rotation of tubular member 253. The enlarged portions 277, 278 and 27 9 are now in full communication with openings 268, 267 and 266, respectively, and a maximum amount of crankcase fumes are passed into the interior of tubular member 253. No additional exhaust fumes are being passed as only enlarged member 282 remains in communication with groove 276.
FIGS. 19 through 22 described above illustrate the relative positions with increasing acceleration of the component elements of valve 42 during vacuum operation of the moisturizing unit 151 of the invention. During this time it is possible to pull fumes from the crankcase va conduit 36, thereby eliminating the smog problem at the relatively low speeds normally encountered in city driving. -As acceleration increases, the degree of vacuum in conduit 32 is gradually lost. Eventually it is no longer possible to operate the moisturizing unit 151 on the vacuum cycle, and it is necessary to use pressure operation. The changeover from vacuum to pressure operation is illustrated in BIG. 23, wherein fumes from the crankcase are no longer passed into tubular member 253, and only exhaust gases are supplied thereto. Inasmuch as the exhaust gases are under pressure, the relative rate of ow into tubular member 253 for a given opening is much greater than with the crankcase fumes. IIt is therefore possible to use much smaller surface areas in the Various openings to achieve the same rate of gas ow.
FIG. 23 illustrates still further acceleration and additional clockwise rotation of tubular member 253 over FIG. 22, and an acceleration level where vacuum is largely lost in conduit 32. It is now necessary to operate the moisturizing unit 151 on pressure. The enlarged portions 277, 278 and 279 are no longer in communication with openings 263-268 or groove 269, and thus no crankcase fumes can flow into tubular member 253. Enlarged portion 280 is now in full communication with opening 270, and enlarged portion 282 is in full communication with groove 276, thereby supplying exhaust gases to the interior of tubular member 253. FIG. 24 illustrates still further acceleration and clockwise rotation of tubular member 253 over FIG. 23. The enlarged portions 277, 278 and 279 are still out of communication with openings 263- 268 and groove 269. However, enlarged portions 280 and 281 are now in full communication with openings 271 and 272, respectively, and enlarged portion 282 is in full communication with groove 276. Thus, a larger quantity of exhaust gases are being passed into the interior of tubular member 253 than in the positions illustrated in FIG. 23.
FIG. 25 illustrates the relative positions of the components during maximum acceleration. No crankcase fumes are supplied as enlarged portions 277, 278 and 279 still are not in communication with openings 263-268 and groove 269. However, enlarged portions 280, 281 and 282 are in full communication with openings 273, 274 and 275, respectively, thereby assuring that a maximum quantity of exhaust gases are supplied for moisturizing.
From the above discussion of FIGS. 14 through 25, it may be seen that the various openings 263-268 and 270- 275 fall into six transverse or circumferential rows with the openings in a ygiven transverse row, where more than one is present, being circumferentially spaced from each other the same circumferential distance that is covered by the internal length of enlarged terminal ends 277-282 of conduits 140-145, respectively. The circumferential spacing between opening 266 and opening 270 is likewise the same, i.e., the internal length of the enlarged terminal ends 277-282. With continued clockwise rotation of tubular member 253, the enlarged terminal ends 277-282 are passed successively into communication with one, then two, and finally three of the openings 263-268 for feeding crankcase fumes, and with one of the openings being in communciation with groove 269 throughout this period of rotation, followed by the enlarged portions 280, 281 and 282 being passed in successive communication with one, then two, and finally three of the openings 270-275 for supplying exhaust gases. Thus, the volume of gases supplied to moisturizing unit f1 is continuously increased with increasing speed of the internal combustion engine, since the degree of clockwise rotation of tubular member 253 is'directly dependent upon the degree of acceleration.
FIGS. 26 and 27 of the drawings illustrate a modiiied form of the apparatus of the invention whereby moisture is obtained from the exhaust gases from the internal combustion engine, thereby eliminating the need for a separate water supply. The prior art internal combustion engine 290 is provided with the usual accelerator pedal 291 which is connected to the upper end of throttle arm 292 through mechanical linkage 293, while the lower end of throttle arm 292 is connected to the outer end of operating arm 294 of variable valve 296 through mechanical linkage 295. A conduit 297 is in communication with the crankcase of internal combustion engine 290 in the vicinity of point 298, and feeds fumes therefrom to variable valve 296 via metering tubes 299. Exhaust gases are fed to variable valve 296 via conduit 300 and metering tubes 301. The variable valve 296 meters desired quantities of the gases fed thereto and discharges the same through conduit 302 upon opening valve 303 and closing valve 304 in conduit 305, and then the gases are passed to conduit 150 of the moisturizing unit 151 described in connection with FIGS. 1, 5 and 6 of the drawings. A stream of moisturized gas is withdrawn from conduit 165 of moisturizing apparatus 151 and, upon opening valve 307, is passed via conduit 306 to conduit 308 which leads to the air intake manifold of internal combustion engine 290. It is understood that in general the foregoing apparatus may be constructed and operated in the same manner as that discussed hereinbefore in connection with FIGS. 1 through 13 unless specifically stated to the contrary.
A stream of exhaust gases is withdrawn from exhaust manifold 310 and passed via conduit 311 at a rate controlled by valve 312 to conduit 313. The conduit 313 passes upward through opening 314 in the bottom of the upper vessel 315 of unit 316 and into the vapor space 317 thereof. The unit 316 includes a lower vessel 318 and the vessels 315 and 318 are mounted in a staggered relationship, and a flared conduit 319 extends through opening 320 in the common wall therebetween into the vapor space 321. Any oils, tarry liquids or solids, or other materials condensed out of the incoming exhaust gases collects in the form of a thin layer 322 in vessel 315, and then overows through conduit 319 into the lower vessel 318. The liquid layer 323 may be withdrawn periodically, if desired, upon opening valve 324 in conduit 325.
The exhaust gases entering unit 316 are expanded and cooled somewhat as they pass through vessels 315 and 318, but they are not cooled suiiciently to condense a substantial amount of liquid water. The partially cooled exhaust gases are withdrawn from vessel 318 via flared conduit 326, and are passed 'via conduits 327 and 328 to unit 330 which is similar in construction and operation to unit 316. The gases passed into vapor space 331 of the upper vessel 332 are further cooled, and are then passed downward through flared conduit 333 into vapor space 334 of vessel 337 where additional cooling takes place. Oily or tarry substances collect in layer 335, which then overflows conduit 333 into layer 336 in the bottom vessel 337. The liquid 336 may be withdrawn via conduit 338 upon opening valve 339.
The cooled exhaust gases Iwithdrawn Via flared conduit 300 and passed to variable valve 296 contain substantially the entire water content of the original exhaust gases in the form of rVapor or entrained mist. The exhaust gases may be under pressure when they are passed from variable valve 296 via conduit 302 to moisturizing unit 151. In any event, there is a reduction in pressure which aids in condensation of the water content, thereby replenishing the water in moisturizing unit 151. It is not necessary to add water to moisturizing unit 151 as sufiicient water is obtained from the exhaust -gas feed.
The apparatus of FIGS. 26 and 27 may be operated in -cold climates where the water in moisturizing unit 151 freezes by closing valves 303 and 307, opening valve 304, and recycling the cooled exhaust gases from variable valve 296 via conduits 302, 305, 306 and 308 to the air intake manifold. The exhaust gases being recycled may contain the water in a cooled vapor or semi-vapor state, or in the form of entrained droplets or mist. When in this form, the moisture content is highly effective.
It is understood that additional units such as 316 and 330 may be employed in series to thereby arrive at a desired temperature and pressure for the exhaust gases. However, it is understood that very little moisture, if any, is condensed out of the initial exhaust gases in the form of a separate water phase as the water content is retained and used for moisturizing the gases fed to the air intake manifold. Exhaust gases which are not withdrawn via conduit 311 are passed via exhaust conduit 340 to mui-lier 341, and then are discharged to the atmosphere via tail pipe 342.
The foregoing and the following discussion assumes that the internal combustion engine 31 is mounted in an automobile, truck or similar vehicle. When the internal combustion engine 31 is at rest, the relative positions of the component parts of moisturizing apparatus 151 are as shown in lFIG. 6 of the drawings, with the exception that trap door 194 is in the open position illus- 13 trated in FIG. 5. Water is added to the vessel 153 through conduit 177 to provide a body of liquid water 199 therein which has an upper level that is below the opening 215 in conduit 193.
Upon starting the internal combustion engine 31 and allowing it to idle, the component elements of moisturizing unit 151 move to the position illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings, with the exception that initially there is no water 198 in vessel 154. At this time, the moisturizing unit 151 is operating on the vacuum cycle and a subat- -mospheric pressure exists within the vapor space of vessel 154 which is effective to close trap doors 200 and 204. Water is withdrawn by suction via conduit 193 from the body of water 199 and forcefully projected against the cone-shaped portion 228 of needle 171, where it is atomized and admixed with the incoming gases supplied via conduit 150. The amount of water that is supplied by conduit 1193 is adjusted by means of water spray adjustment needle 171 and/or needle valve 181; however, an excess of water over that required to moisturize the incoming gases is always supplied and thus the level of the body of water 198 rises gradually.
At this time, the engine is idling and the degree of vacuum existing in conduit 32 may be approximately 19-21 inches of water (vacuum). Upon accelerating, the degree of Vacuum may be reduced to approximately inches of water (vacuum), and it is usually around 12 to l5 inches of water (Vacuum) when cruising. This vacuum level is suicient to moisturize the relatively low volume of gases supplied via variable valve 42 during in-town driving. The gases that are fed to valve 42 for metering include crankcase fumes withdrawn via conduit 36 and some exhaust gases which are purified in unit 50 and supplied via conduit 123. 'Ihe quantity of gases gradually increases with the speed of the internal combustion engine as previously described, but at all times there is suliicient suction via conduit 32 to maintain a subatmospheric pressure within vessel 154. During this period of relatively low speed operation, the entire output of exhaust gases from internal combustion engine 31 is passed via conduit 51 to purifier 50, purified, and with the exception of the small quantity of gases passed via conduit 123, the purified exhaust gases are discharged to the atmosphere in a substantially smogfree condition via conduits 128 and 53.
With continued operation on the vacuum cycle, the water level eventually rises to the position illustrated in FIG. 5 of the drawings and iioat 236 pushes rod 235 upward until stop 240 causes arm 238 to move end portion 243 onto the top of conduit 165, thereby preventing moisturized gases from being withdrawn from the vapor space 184. The incoming gases supplied via conduit 150 cause the pressure to increase in space 184 until trap door 200 opens, thereby causing equalization of the pressure in vessels 153 and 154, whereupon trap door 204 opens and the body of water 198 is withdrawn rapidly through conduit 189 and returned to vessel 153. As the water level recedes to the level noted in FIG. 6, the oat follows until the lower end of rod 235 rests upon the bottom of conduit 189. As the rod 235 travels downward, the upper stop 239 pulls downward on the arm 238, thereby causing the portion 243 to be removed from the top of conduit 165. When this occurs, gases are once again withdrawn from the vapor space 184, whereupon a subatmospheric pressure is produced, the trap doors 200 and 204 close, and the vacuum cycle as previously described is repeated so long as the internal combustion engine is operated at a relatively low speed such as up to approximately 45 to 50 miles per hour.
In instances where the internal combustion engine is operated at high speeds such as are often encountered when driving a vehicle on the open road, then it is necessary to operate the moisturizing unit 151 at a subatmospheric pressure due to loss of vacuum. Crankcase fumes are no longer withdrawn via conduit 36, and only exhaust gases under superatmospheric pressure are passed to variable valve 42 via conduit 123. The gases owing from variable valve 42 via conduits 149 and 150 are at a superatmospheric pressure, and are moving at a relatively fast linear speed and in a much larger volume than previously. The volume of moisturized gases withdrawn from space 184 via conduits 32 and 165 is no longer sulhcient to maintain a subatmospheric pressure, and a superatmospheric pressure is produced in spaces 183 and 184. The superatmospheric pressure in spaces 183 and 184 causes the components of the moisturizing unit 151 to move to the positions noted in FIG. 6 of the drawings. The incoming gases iiowing in conduit move at a suiiciently fast linear speed to cause the conduit 192 to act as an aspirator, thereby aspirating water from the body of water 199 into the conduit 150 where it is immediately admixed with the incoming gases to thereby moisturize the same. The amount of water flowing in conduit 192 may be controlled =by adjusting needle valve 180.
The moisturized gases are withdrawn via conduits and 32 and passed to the air intake manifold of the internal combustion engine 31. The volume of exhaust gases to be recycled `will vary depending upon the speed of the engine and other factors, but usually it is one sixteenth to one quarter of the volume produced by the internal combustion engine.
The amount of replacement water that must be supplied to the moisturizing unit 151 may be reduced markedly by employing apparatus such as illustrated in FIGS. 26 and 27 of the drawings, or by correlating the size and/or number of the vessels 75, 76 and 77 in the apparatus illustrated in FIG. l, whereby the exhaust gases fed via conduit 123 or conduit 300 contain substantially all of the initial moisture content. The water content of the cooled exhaust gases is condensed to some extent in the moisturizing unit 151 due to the reduced pressure and temperature, and less water is required.
The above description is concerned with operation of the apparatus in warm climates or during summer months when the freezing of liquid water is not a problem. When operating in cold climates or at freezing temperatures, the liquid water is withdrawn from the vessels 75, 76, 77, 153 and 154 by opening Valves 106, 107, 108` and 232 in conduits 109, 110, 111 and 231, respectively. The valve 146 in conduit 147 is opened and the valves 148 and 167 are closed, and the exhaust gases are recycled to the internal combustion engine 31 after metering in variable valve 42 as previously described. A liquid water phase is not present, and freezing is no longer a problem. The moisturized gases flowing in conduits 32 and 33 to the air intake manifold contain sutiicient water in the form of entrained vapor or cooled vapor to effect the purposes of the invention.
The apparatus described in FIGS. 26 and 27 of the drawings may be operated in cold climates by withdrawing any liquid water in vessels 318 and 337 by opening valves 324 and 339 in conduits 325 and 338 respectively, and then passing the cooled exhaust gases via conduit 300 to variable valve 296 where they are metered. The valves 303 and 307 are closed and the valve 304 is opened, and the metered exhaust gases are passed Via conduits 302, 305, 306 and 308 to the air intake manifold of internal combustion engine 290. In instances where the apparatus of FIGS. 26 and 27 is used to replenish the water in the moisturizing unit 151, then valve 304 is closed and valves 303 and 307 are opened. The gases flowing in conduit 302 are passed to the moisturizing unit 151 Where at least a portion of the water content is condensed. The excess exhaust gases which are not required for recycle are withdrawn via conduit 340, passed through mutiier 341, and are discharged to the atmosphere via talpipe 342.
The foregoing detailed description and the drawings are for purposes of illustration only, and are not intended as being limiting to the spirit or the scope of the appended claims.
1. Apparatus for moisturizing gases comprising means defining first and second vessels, conduit means for introducing gases to be moisturized into the first vessel, conduit means for withdrawing moistured gases from the first vessel, means for introducing water into the second vessel whereby a body of water is provided in the second vessel during operation of the apparatus, first means including first conduit means responsive to subatmospheric pressure in the first vessel for withdrawing water by suction from said body of water in the second vessel and introducing the withdrawn water into the first vessel, means in the first vessel for atomizing at least a portion of the water introduced therein via the first conduit means and admixing it with the incoming gases to be moisturized, second means including second conduit means for withdrawing water by aspiration from the said body of water in the second vessel and introducingthe withdrawn water into the said conduit means for introducing gases into the first vessel, gas supply means including means for metering and passing a stream of gases to be moisturized in variable volume and under variable pressure to the said conduit means for introducing gases whereby during operation of the apparatus a stream of gases liows therethrough into the first vessel at a variable linear speed, the gas supply means including means for selectively metering and passing to said conduit means for introducing gases a gas stream flowing under a relatively low pressure at a rate to provide up to a predetermined relatively small volume of gas and alternatively a gas stream owing under a relatively high superatrnospheric pressure at a rate to provide a relatively large volume of gas, conduit means normally in communication with the interiors of the first and second vessels for equalizing the pressures therein, normally open closure means for said last named conduit means actuated by subatmospheric pressure in the rst vessel, the closure means sealing ofi the last named conduit means in response to subatmospheric pressure in the first vessel and being returned to the open position when the pressure in the first vessel is increased to at least atmospheric pressure, vacuum means for applying suction to the said conduit means for withdrawing gases whereby moisturized gases are removed from the first vessel, the vacuum means having a capacity to withdraw gases from the first vessel at a rate to reduce the pressure therein to a sufficiently low subatmospheric pressure to actuate the said first means for withdrawing water and the said closure means when the said gas supply means is metering and passing up to the said predetermined relatively small volume of gases to said conduit means for introducing gases, the vacuum means having insufficient capacity to maintain a subatmospheric pressure in the rst vessel when the said gas supply means is metering and passing gases thereto at said relatively high volume whereby a superatmospheric pressure exists in the said first vessel and the linear speed of gases fiowing in said conduit means for introducing gases is sufficiently high to actuate said second means for withdrawing water and to cause said closure means to be in the normally open position thereby equalizing the pressure in the first and second vessels, and the second conduit means for withdrawing water entering the conduit means for introducing gases at an angle which forms an aspirator therewith and the aspirator thus formed being rendered operative by the relatively high linear speed of the incoming stream of gases t be moisturized when the said gas supply means is metering and supplying gases in the said relatively large volume whereby water is withdrawn from said body of water in the second vessel by aspiration and at least a portion of the withdrawn water is admixed with the gases to be moisturized.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second vessel is provided with conduit means extending between the vapor space above the said body of water and the outside atmosphere, closure means for the last named conduit means actuated in response to superatmospheric pressure in the said vapor space, the last named closure means being normally in the open position when the pressure within the said vapor space is not substantially greater than atmospheric whereby gas is free to pass via the last named conduit means into and from the said Vapor space, and the last named closure means being moved to the closed position when the pressure within the said vapor space is substantially greater than atmospheric whereby gas is no longer free to pass via the last named conduit means.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein at least one of the said first and second conduit means for withdrawing water from the said body of water in the second vessel is provided with means for controlling the rateof flow of water therein.
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the said means for controlling the rate of flow of water in the first and second conduit means includes at least one needle valve.
5. The apparatus of clairn 1 wherein the said rst and second conduit means introduce water into the first vessel in excess of that quantity required to moisturize the incoming gases and a body of the excess water collects in the bottom of the first vessel when the gas supply means meters and supplies gases to be moisturized in said relatively small volume, conduit means extending `.between the bottom of the first vessel and the interior of the second vessel is provided for withdrawing water from the first vessel and returning it to the second vessel, closure means for the last named conduit means actuated in response to subatmospheric pressure in the first vessel, the last named closure means being normally in the open position when the pressure in the first and second vessels is substantially the same whereby water is free to pass -via the last named conduit means from the first vessel to the second vessel, and the last named closure means being moved to the closed position when the pressure within the first vessel is reduced to a subatmospheric pressure whereby water is no longer free to pass via the last named conduit means.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein means responsive to the water level in the first vessel is provided'for controlling the pressure in the first Vessel whereby the pressure in the first and second vessels is equalized when the water in the first vessel reaches a predetermined level thereby allowing the excess collected water to fiow back into the second vessel.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the vacuum means includes the air intake manifold of an internal combustion engine and the conduit means for withdrawing gases includes means for feeding the moisturized gases withdrawn from the first vessel to the air intake manifold of the internal combustion engine.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the gas supply means includes a variable valve for metering gases, conduit means for passing exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine to the variable valve, and conduit means for passing the metered gases to the said conduit means for introducing gases.
References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS Johnson 123-25 RONALD R. WEAVER, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.