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Publication numberUS3618793 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 9, 1971
Filing dateFeb 7, 1969
Priority dateFeb 7, 1969
Publication numberUS 3618793 A, US 3618793A, US-A-3618793, US3618793 A, US3618793A
InventorsCoursey Ralph W
Original AssigneeCoursey Ralph W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Elevator turntable-type mechanical auto parking system
US 3618793 A
Abstract  available in
Images(12)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Ralph W. Coursey l4l4 E. Wilshire, Oklahoma City. Okla. 73116 Feb. 7, 1969 Nov. 9, 1971 [72] Inventor [2]] Appl. No. [22] Filed [45] Patented [54] ELEVATOR TURNTABLE-TYPE MECHANICAL AUTO PARKING SYSTEM 6 Claims, 39 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S. Cl ..2l4/l6.l CD

[51] Int. Cl E04h 6/06 [50] Field of Search 2l4/l6.1l.

l6.l4 B, 16.]4E, 16.14 F. l6.l8A, 16.14 D; 238/151. 166, I73; l04/48-5l. I31, 36. 38.43.44

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1.775.799 9/l930 Young 2l4/l6.l CD

l.4l8,7l4 6/l922 Humphries 2l4/l6.l (8 A) l.773.l63 8/l930 Becker 214/16] (8 B) l.86l,46l 6/l932 Traube 2l4/l6.l (l) l.966,l65 7/1934 Clyde 2l4/l6.l (l) 2.633.809 4/1953 Robinson.Jr. et al. 2l4/l6.l (6 B) X 2.791.338 5/l957 Saint-Andre 2l4/l6.l (4 F) 3.|48,785 9/1964 Fauconnier 214/16] (4 D) 3.232.454 2/1966 Coursey 2l4/l6.l (4 E) FOREIGN PATENTS 4l6.968 9/l934 Great Britain 2l4/l6.l CD

1.107.720 8/1955 France 2l4/l6.l4 B

Primary Examiner-Albert .I. Makay Allorney- Dunlap. Laney, blessing; Dougherty ABSTRACT: This invention discloses a system. mechanically operated that will park, store and unpark automobiles reversed in direction from their parked direction, and one which is especially adapted for installation in high demand areas where sites are costly and conventional parking systems impractical.

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SHEET l2 UF 12 v R W COURSEY INVENTOR Y y f TORNEY ELEVATOR TURNTABLE-TYPE MECHANICAL AUTO PARKING SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This invention pertains to improved mechanical means for the parking, storing and unparking of automobiles. More specifically the invention relates to a multifloor elevator type of parking system.

2. Description of the Prior Art Many mechanical parking systems have been patented. Few have been commercialized. The earlier ones failed to accomplish the ends that justify mechanization.

The principal justification for the more expensive, sophisticated mechanical system is that it can be sufficiently reduced in size and be of such configuration that it can be installed on the few and expensive land sites available in the heart of the downtown metropolitan areas where the demand for parking is such that operation is at a high load factor at parking rates that net a good return. The ideal location is where the full capacity of the facility would be used by customers within l2 blocks, because that is the maximum distance, determined by the Eno Foundation for Traffic Control" survey that most people want to walk from their parking place. This ofcourse is in the tall building area.

For a parking facility to be practical in these locations it cannot be limited in height, it must have a ground floor reservoir for peak demand periods, it must offer fast operation and it must be comparatively free of mechanical aberrations.

The most successful of the prior systems is the horizontally movable elevator shaft system where automobiles are parked in honeycomb-type cells at each side. In such a prior system, the height of the movable elevator is limited to 13 or 14 floors; the elevator requires an alley through the building completely clear of structural members for transverse movement of the elevator; and the system is limited to a maximum possible ratio of parkable area to total area of 2to 3and this, in reality, has never been obtained.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In its broad aspects, the present invention contemplates a multistory storage system for automobiles wherein the automobiles are raised and lowered between the floors by an elevator which moves only vertically, and automobiles are moved from and to the elevator into and out of storage cells positioned along side the elevator shaft at each floor level. The storage cells are provided in at least two groups at each floor level on different sides of the elevator shaft, and the cells of each group are connected together for simultaneous movement horizontally along side the elevator shaft for selective positioning of the cells into automobile receiving and dispensing positions with respect to theelevator.

In a more limited aspect, four groups of cells are provided at each floor level, and a turntable is mounted on the elevator, whereby an automobile may be returned from the system facing in a direction opposite from the direction in which the automobile entered the system. An automobile is supported on the elevator turntable by means ofa dolly assembly which may be shifted laterally on the turntable to aid in aligning an automobile on the elevator with one of the storage cells.

An object of the invention is to provide a multistory parking system wherein the weight of the system is not limited by structural considerations.

Another object of the invention is to provide a multistory parking system which does not require turn around space for automobiles being parked and unparked and thereby permits the use ofa single building opening to one street.

Another object of this invention is to provide a multistory parking system wherein the maximum area available in a building housing the system is utilized for parking.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a multistory parking system utilizing a vertically moving elevator wherein the turn around of automobiles being parked and unparked, and the shifting of the automobiles into proper alignment with storage cells, is accomplished during the vertical travel of the elevator.

Another object of the invention is to provide a multistory parking system which utilized the maximum of standard hardware; is economical in construction and which will have a long service life.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be evident from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1A is a schematic illustration ofa typical arrangement of storage cells at any floor level of a parking system constructed in accordance with this invention, with the storage cells being illustrated in what is considered their base posittons.

FIG. IB is a series of schematic illustrations of typical parking and unparking operations as may be performed by a system constructed in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 2A is a partial, typical plan view of a floor level schematically illustrating the basic construction of the storage cells.

FIG. 2B is a sectional view taken along lines 28-28 of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3A is a partial, typical plan view of a floor level schematically illustrating the drive system for moving the storage cells.

FIG. 3B is a sectional view as taken along lines 33-38 of FIG. 3A.

FIG. 3C is a sectional view as taken along lines 3C-3C of F IO. 38.

FIG. 4A is a partial end elevational view, with portions in section, of what is called herein a north or south cell block.

FIG. 4B is a view similar to FIG. 4A, but illustrating what is called herein either an east or west cell block.

FIGv 5A is a partial plan view of a ground floor level storage or parking cell.

FIG. 5B is a side elevational view, partly in section, of a ground floor level storage or parking cell in what may be considered an inoperative position.

FIG. 5C is a view similar to FIG. 5B, but illustrating the cell in a position to receive an automobile thereon.

FIG. 6A is a partial plan view of an elevator dolly assembly with the dolly assembly being extended into a storage cell.

FIG. 6B is a side view, with parts broken away, of the structure illustrated in FIG. 6A.

FIG. 6C is a view similar to FIG. 6B, but illustrating the dolly assembly in a different operating position.

FIG. 6D is a partial side view of a dolly assembly with the assembly centered on an elevator.

FIG. 65 is a partial end view of a dolly assembly illustrating the variation in relationship of fingers on the dolly assembly with fingers in a typical storage cell.

FIG. 7A is a side view, partly in section, of one end of the dolly assembly and one end of a storage cell, schematically illustrating operation of the cell fingers and that portion of the dolly assembly utilized for operating the cell fingers.

FIG. 7B is a stepwise illustration of a portion of the mechanism illustrated in FIG. 7A during an uparking operatron.

FIG. 8A is a partial plan view of a track system on the elevator and one end of a typical cell track system.

FIG. 8B is a sectional view as taken along lines 8B8B of FIG. 8A.

FIG. 8C is a partial plan view as taken along lines 8C-8C of FIG. 88.

FIG. 8D is a view similar to FIG. 8C with the mechanism in a different operating position.

FIG. is a sectional view as taken along lines 8E-8E of FIG. 8C.

FIG. SP is a sectional view as taken along lines 8F-8F of .FIG. 8C.

FIG. 9A is a schematic side view of the elevator dolly as- FIG. 9B is an illustration similar to FIG. 9A, but illustrating the dolly assembly being extended into a storage cell.

FIG. 10A is a plan view of the elevator with a major portion of the dolly assembly removed for clarity ofillustration.

FIG. [B is a sectional view as taken along lines 108-108 of FIG. A.

FIG. [0C is a sectional view as taken along lines NBC-10C of FIG. 10A.

FIG. 11A is a schematic plan view of storage or parking cell at ground level illustrating the photoelectric system employed for centering automobile when it is being parked.

FIG. 11B is a schematic end view of the ground floor level parking cell, also schematically illustrating a portion of the photoelectric system.

FIG. HC is a schematic wiring diagram of the photoelectric system FIG 12A is a schematic illustration of the ground floor level of what is considered a standard parking system in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 12B is a schematic plan view of the ground floor level ofa modified system employing four elevators.

FlG. 12C is another schematic plan view of a ground floor level illustrating another modified system where building space is limited.

FIG. 12D is still another schematic plan view of the ground floor level of still another modified system.

DESCRlPTlON OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Operation:

The operation of the system will be described first in a general manner with reference to FIGS. 1A and IE. it will be covered more in detail later as the components are individually described.

FIG. 1A shows in schematic the major components all in their home or base position.

The elevator 2 is shown in the center of building 4. On, and part of, the elevator is a turntable 6. On the turntable is a dolly 8. The dolly can be moved one half position from the center laterally in either direction and can be rotated either 90 or l clockwise or counterclockwise. The dolly 8 must be laterally in the center of the elevator 2 before it can be rotated. in this center position the elevator 2 can travel up or down while the dolly 8 is being rotated. The elevator 2 can also travel while the dolly 8 is being moved to any one of its three lateral positions. right, center or left.

Surrounding the elevator on four sides are parking cells 10. These cells on each side are joined and part of blocks or groups 12 which are movable laterally parallel with that side of the elevator 2. Each cell 10 has been identified by a letter and number on the schematic drawing. The letters N, E, S and W signify north, east, south and west, an arbitrary assumption to simplify the explanations. From the base position the E- block can move one, two or three positions south and back. The S-block can move one, two, or three positions east and back. The W-block can move one, two or three positions south and back only after the S-block has been moved three positions east. The N-block can be moved one-half space east after the E-block has been moved three spaces south or onehalf space west after the S-block and W-blocks have been moved three positions east and south respectively. The movements described apply to any floor including the ground floor.

it is obvious now that the dolly 8 can be aligned with any cell l0 by rotating it to select north-south or east-west cells, and by combining the proper lateral dolly movement with the cell block 12 movements. The movements required to align with all cells 10 are programmed in the following table I.

TABLE I.SCHEDULE OF OPERATIONS North and south (NdtS) cells Component Cell Step I l Step II Elevator. Up Stops..." Ceilblock E1 E-3S Dolly on elev Dolly/cell Cell block E2 E-2S E-2N Dolly on elev W, V N... Dolly/cell Elevator Cell block Dolly on elev.. Dolly/cell Elevator Cell block Dolly on elev. Dolly/cell 90 CW, AN.

Dolly/cell.

Elevator. Cell block Dolly/cell.

Elevator Cell block Dolly on elev Dolly/cell Elevator U Cell block Dolly on elev W3 Dolly/cell Elevator U Dolly/cell Elevator Cell block Dolly on elev Dolly/cell /5s,90 ocw..III E-W Down """"""" i bb c'owl'j .I E-W PEN, 90 CCW W-E East and west (EdzW) cells Step II Cell Step II! b 5 5E, CCW. S-N

W. 3 5E, 180 COW. S-N.

S-ZW. VEE, 180 CCW. S-N

180 CW, 56W.

I Operations are [or parking. Unparking identical except dolly rotates 90 CCW in step 1 and 90 CW in step 2. Operations are for parking. Unparking identical except dolly does not rotate in step 1 and step 2. v For ground floor parking elevator does not move. Example: 13-38, E cell block moves 3 positions south.

FIG. 18 illustrates the operations scheduled in table I showing specifically the respective steps necessary to park and unpark in cell N1 of the north block and cell El of the east block.

In table I operations associated with N1 are shown to the right of N1. Assume that N I selected is on an upper floor and the arrangement of cell blocks 12 on that floor is shown in FIG. IA and that of the elevator 2 on the first floor is also that shown in FIG. 1A. The first step in a parking operation is for the elevator 2 to move up, while cell block E is moving three positions south, then the N cell block moves one-half position east. Simultaneously the turntable 6 with dolly 8 rotates l80 clockwise, than dolly 8 moves one-half position W. This completes step I. Elevator 2 has moved up to the proper floor, and the dolly 8 has been aligned with cell NI. Under step II the elevator stops, the dolly 8 moves into the cell N1 and out. The transfer in the cell I0 is not described as another step because, as will be shown later, the in and out motion of the dolly 8 executes the transfer. Step III is essentially a reversal of step I. The elevator 2 goes down, simultaneously the N cell block moves one-half position west, then the E cell block moves 3 positions north, simultaneously the dolly 8 on elevator 2 moves one half position east, then the turntable 6 with dolly 8 rotates 180 counter clockwise. It will be noted that an automobile has been parked in cell N1 in a reversed direction from the direction it entered the building and the cell block arrangement on the parking floor and elevator 2 on ground floor have been returned to base position shown in FIG. IA.

Referring to note (b) on table I, the unparking operation is identical, except that the turntable 6 and dolly 8 do not rotate. Thusly the automobile when unparked remains turned end for end and the system is returned to base position as shown in FIG. 1A.

The parking operation associated with an east or west cell is different from that with a north-south in that the rotation of the turntable is only 90 and occurs both in the parking and unparking cycle, but in reverse order. The two lower rows of FIG. 1B illustrate the parking and unparking associated with east-west cell El. Referring now to table I and cell El. Under step I the elevator 2. starts up; simultaneously the E cell block moves three positions south and the turntable 6 and dolly 8 rotate 90 clockwise, then the dolly 8 moves one-half position north.

Under step II the elevator 2 stops, the dolly 8 moves into cell El and out.

Step III is a complete reversal of step I. The elevator 2 starts down; simultaneously the E cell block moves three positions north the dolly moves one-half position S, then the turntable 6 and dolly 8 turn 90 counterclockwise. At the end of Step III, conditions are in base position as shown in FIG. 1A. The automobile has been turned one-half around. Note (a) of table I states that the operation for unparking is identical to that described for parking, except that the turntable 6 and dolly 8 90 rotation in steps I and II is reversed. Thus in the unparking operation the automobile has been rotated another 90 for a total of 180, completely reversing its direction, but still returning the turntable and dolly to base position.

It is obvious that operations for ground floor reservoir parking are identical except, as noted in note (c) in table I, elevator 2 does not move up or down.

FIG. 12A is a ground floor plan of the system and should now be referred to. It has been mentioned that automobiles are transferred from dolly 8 to cell 10 storage, or vice versa, by raising and lowering supporting fingers of the cell (not shown in FIG. 12A but to be described in detail later). When an automobile is to be driven into a cell 10 from the street or into the street from a cell 10, these cell fingers will always be in the upper position. Furthermore, a hydraulic lift 14 with fingers (to be described) arranged in the same spaced configuration as that of the dolly 8 bed will be raised to mesh with the cell fingers to establish a smooth surface for driving an automobile in or out of a cell 10. When the hydraulic lifts are lowered, the south cell block 12 can be moved east or west over them and the dolly 8 can be moved unobstructed in or out ofa cell l0.

Note that in FIG. 12A an operator's, or cashier's, cab 16 occupies the west cell of the south cell block on the ground floor. By moving with the cell block I2, the west and north cell blocks can be shifted as previously described. The operator can control entrance from the street to the cells by red and green signal lights at the street end of the cells. A sequence of loading could be for the operator to load automobiles in the order of SI, S2, S3 and S4 which would permit easier unloading of each car from its left side prior to the next drive in. By the time S4 cell is loaded, the elevator would have removed automobiles in SI and S2; the cell block 12 would be moved east two positions to elevator load S3 and S4 and the loading sequence repeated. By the time cell SI and cell S2 have been loaded, the elevator will have removed automobiles from cells 53 and S4.

ln driving into a cell it is important that the automobile be centered in the north-south direction, since this will permit shortening of support beds in cells throughout the building. It will also center the load distribution in the elevator, permitting faster rotation of turntable 8. This invention includes a photoelectric centering system, to be described later, which illuminates a stop light to warn the driver when the automobile is in the center so that he can stop. Included also is an alarm alerting the operator when and if an automobile is too long for the system.

Cell Blocks:

FIGS. 2A and 28 should be referred to in the description of the cell blocks. The individual cells 10 are shown joined together in various combinations of upper and lower bars 13 to form cell blocks 12, Assuming the top of the plan to be north it will be noted that on a given floor the east and west cell blocks l2 are suspended from tracks 18 attached to beams 20 above,'whereas the north and south cell blocks 12 run on top of tracks 21 fastened to the top of beams 20 below. The purpose of separating the planes of the two track systems is to eliminate expensive and complicated track crosses in the same plane in the four corners ofeach floor, where either of two cell blocks 12 must be able to enter. The detailed construction of the cells is described below.

Cell Block Drive System:

The system of properly moving the cell blocks 12 as described is shown in FIGS. 3A-C and 4A-D. As shown in FIG. 3A, a continuous steel cable 22 can be driven in either direction around the periphery of the elevator shaft 30 from drum 24, which in turn is driven by vertical drive shaft 26. The steel cable 22 drives drums 28 in each bay adjacent to the elevator shaft 30. These drums 28 are connected to driven shafts 32 through electric operated clutch-brakes 34. At the end of each north and south cell block drive shaft 32 is a drum 36 driving steel cable 38 connected to opposite ends of north and south cell blocks 12. At the end of each east and west cell block drive shaft 32 is a drum 36 driving steel cable 40 connected to opposite ends of east and west cell blocks 12. Note in FIG. 4A that steel cable 38 connects to the bottom of north and south cell blocks 12 on the floor above, and steel cable 40 (FIG. 48) connects to the top of east and west cell blocks 12 on the floor below. This puts the cable pull approximately in the plane of the cell block track wheels 62 and 64.

Another electric clutch 42 (FIG. 3B) selects the floor that cell blocks 12 are to be moved and connects that floor drive drum 24 to the vertical drive shaft 26. The motor drive assembly '44 is shown in plan on FIG. 3C and in elevation on FIG. 3B. A reversible motor 46 drives gear reducer 48. A crank 50 is on the output shaft of reducer 48 at the end of which roller 52 follows inside of an inverted U-member 54. It will be noted that one revolution of the crank will rotate sprockets 56 and 58 one-quarter turn (assuming sprockets 56 and 58 to be of equal size) and furthermore because of the cam action will accelerate and decelerate with motor 46 running at constant speed. At the end of the cycle, accurate indexing of sprocket 56 and cell blocks is obtained even with some overrun or underrun of crank 50. An electric gear shift 60 is in the vertical drive shaft 26. In the gear shift 60 lowest ratio, the drive system will move a connected cell block 12 one-half position (north cell block). In its second lowest ratio. it will move one position; third, two positions and fourth, three positions. Now with the proper floor connected by clutch 42. the proper cell connected by clutch 34, and the reversible motor 46 being run in the proper direction, any cell block l2 can be moved one-half one, two or three positions by shifting to the proper ratio with gear shift 60. In any length travel of a cell block 12, it will always properly accelerate and decelerate because of cam action ofinverted U-member 54. This will permit maximum speed of operation because of minimized inertia effects.

Parking Cell:

FIG. 4A shows in elevation a north or south cell block 12 with the drive cable 38 connected to the bottom of the cell block and with track rollers 62 on the bottom tracks 2l. The cell 10 in this figure is shown with fingers 66 lifted. FIG. 4B shows in elevation an east or west cell block I2 with drive cable 40 connected to the top of cell block 12 and with track roller 64 mounted on top of the cell block on tracks 18. The cell 10 in this figure is shown with fingers 66 in the lowered position.

FIGS. A and SB show in plan and elevation, respectively, a ground floor cell which differs from the upper floor cell only in that a hydraulic lift 14, and an auxiliary operator 68 have been added. A shock absorber 70 is required on the ground floor cell and may be desirable on the upper floors.

It has been mentioned that the hydraulic lift 14 serves to close the spaces between fingers 66 of the cell support in order that an automobile may be driven across them. When during an unparking operation the dolly 8 transfers an automobile from the elevator 2 to a ground floor cell 10 and the automobile is driven off, the fingers 66 must be lowered by auxiliary means to permit the loaded dolly to enter from the elevator to unpark another automobile. The auxiliary operator 68 does this by moving against one or other side of crank 69. No condition exists that will call for the auxiliary operator 68 to raise or lower the fingers 66 when loaded with an automobile. In FIG. 5A the fingers 66 attached to lift bar 72 are shown in plan.

Referring to FIG. 4B, lift bar 72 with affixed fingers 66 can be lifted vertically by exerting an approximately horizontal force on cross bar 74 by a mechanism to be described below. As cross bar 74 moves to the left, lower toggle member 76 moves in a radius about fixed pin 78 until pin 80 and lift member 82 have moved just beyond their high point, at which position member 82 is stopped by a crossmember 90 engaging a vertical guide 81. Member 82 is free to move horizontally or vertically. Upper lift member 72 is free to move only vertically, being guided by the vertical guide 8]. Upper toggle member 84 is pinned to lower lift member 82 with pins 86 and at upper lift member 72 with pins 88. Upper toggle member 84 is the same length and angle with horizontal as lower toggle member 76. Therefore, it is obvious that finger lift member 72 moves double the vertical distance that lift member 82 travels. Pins 80 and 86 could be the same pin pinning together upper toggle member 84 and lower member 76, but the same toggle action is obtained with them separated and dimension d" (FIG. 4D) is halved. Since this saving occurs double at each cell, 4feet is saved in the overall building width and length. FIG. 4D is an end view of the toggle members 76 and 84. FIG. 4C shows an end view of the connection of two cells 10.

Since the horizontal force on crossbar 74 is considerable in the parking operation tracks 89 are provided, mounted on members 91 which in turn are fastened to the building structure 95. Rollers 93 affixed to movable cell 12 are movably mated to the track 89.

Dolly:

FIGS. 6A-E show the dolly 8. FIG. 6B is an end view and shows in broken lines the cell fingers 66 in lowered and in raised positions. FIG. 6A shows in plan the dolly 8 extended into a cell I0. FIG. 6B shows the dolly 8 extended into a cell 10. FIG. 6B shows the dolly 8 in the same position in elevation. There are two main components of the dolly. One is the chassis 92 which is movably attached to cell tracks 94 or elevator tracks 96 with rollers 95. At each end of the chassis 92 is shown the cell lift actuating assembly consisting of pusher blocks 98 and hook latch I00. The other component is the automobile support bed 102 with fingers I03 spaced to interlace with cell fingers 66. and which is movably attached to tracks 105 on the chassis 92. FIG. 6D shows the dolly bed 102 centered on the dolly chassis 92 which is the base position when the dolly 8 is on the elevator 2 and not extended. FIGS. 6A and 6B show the dolly chassis 92 extended with the righthand end in the elevator 6 (not shown) and the left-hand end in the cell 10 (not shown). The cell lift pusher blocks 98 have just come in contact with cell lift crossbar 74 and with the cell fingers 66 in the lowered position as shown in FIG. 6E. The dolly bed 102 has been pulled to the left (as viewed in the drawing) on chassis 92 by steel cable 104 attached to a spring assembly I06 at sliding block 108, and is at the end of its travel blocked by stop 109. As the dolly chassis 92 continues to move (method of drive will be covered later) bed I02 is held in fixed position by spring assembly 106, and pusher blocks 98 act on cell lift cross bar 74 to lift the cell fingers 66 to the raised position shown in FIGS. 6E and 4A.

Cell Lift Actuator:

The actuating mechanism can best be explained by referring to FIGS. 7A and 7B. This mechanism has been so designed that if the cell fingers 66 are in raised position (auto parked in cell) the movement of the dolly 8 into and out of the cell 10 will automatically mechanically lower the cell fingers 66 to transfer the automobile to the dolly 8. lfthe cell fingers 66 are in the lowered position (cell I0 empty) the movement of the dolly 8 in and out of the cell 10 will automatically raise the cell fingers 66 transferring an automobile from the dolly 8 to the cell I0.

Referring first to FIG. 7A covering the parking operation, pusher block 98 has just contacted cell lift crossbar 74 which is in the lowered position. The curvature of the face of the pusher block 98 is such that a radius drawn from block 98 contact to center of crossbar 74 will at all times be perpendicular to the axis of lower toggle member 76. This will insure that minimum work will be required to lift the cell fingers since the movement arm will be maximum (length of lower toggle member 76). As the pusher blocks 98 move forward, crossbar 74 follows the are made by pin about pin 78. Latching action of hook latch I00 is blocked out by interference member 110 which as it is lifted by crossbar 74, in turn lifts latch I00 at pillow block 112. The members 72 and 82 are lifted to the position shown in broken lines where they remain by gravity after the dolly 8 is retracted because of being over center. Note that weight 114 returns the latch and member to original position by gravity.

In FIG. 7B, the unparking operation is illustrated. In this case the cell fingers 66 are in the raised position, as is crossbar 74. Therefore, as the dolly chassis 92 moves forward the inclined part 101 of hook latch 100 contacts crossbar 74 and commences to lift latch 100. Member 110 remains unmoved because of gravity; and with further movement of dolly chassis 92, latch I00 hooks over crossbar 74. Now as the dolly 8 is retracted, crossbar 74 is pulled over center and against pusher blocks 98 as cell lift fingers 66 are lowered. As crossbar 74 continues downward, hook latch 100 remains in position blocked by puller block 116, and member 110 is pushed downward (not shown) and dolly chassis 92 pulls clear and is retracted.

Dolly Track System:

The dolly track system consists of two parts, that in the elevator 2 and that in any one of the cells 10. The elevator track system is shown in FIGS. 8A-F. The elevator tracks 96 constitute a movable assembly and can move longitudinally in either direction on rollers 118 movably connected to fixed tracks 120 on the elevator. These movable tracks 96 can be extended in either direction from the elevator 2 to align with and latch to the cell tracks 94. Alignment is accomplished by cone-shaped aligner 122 which enter an alignment roller box 124 shown in FIGS. 8C, 8D, 85 and 8F. The cell tracks 94 are free at the elevator end to move several inches in any direction and are floated on springs 126 supported in a channel 128 part of the cell structure. Another inverted channel 130 tries together the cell tracks and connects to the top of the springs 126. Since there is never any load on the spring floated cell tracks except after aligner 122 are fully seated in alignment boxes 124, the aligning operation has only to move the weight of the floating cell tracks 94. The cell track system 94 is also shown in FIGS. 4A and B. When the cell tracks 94 and elevator tracks 96 are in alignment, they are latched together as shown in FIGS. 8C and D. The latching operation is performed by engagement of crank roller 132 and latch slot 134. Latch crank upper roller 135 is pushed by a bar 136 which is attached to and extends the full length of the dolly chassis 92 as shown in FIGS. 64-D. Crank 138 is restrained from turning until tracks are in position for latching by slotted member 140 which blocks roller 132. The slotted member 140 is held forward by spring 142. When the slotted member 140 comes against the slot plate 143 as shown in FIG. 8C, the slotted member 140 is pushed back permitting the crank 138 to turn. Lower roller 132 follows the contour of slot 134, upper roller 135 slides off of the dolly chassis bar 136 and along side of it, maintaining the track locked as long as the dolly chassis 92 is extended. Note that alignment has been executed before the roller 132 enters slot 134, so that improper latching cannot occur from misalignment.

Dolly Drive System:

A steel cable and drum drive system (FIGS. 9A and B) is employed to move the dolly support bed 102 into cells and to furnish the force to lift the cell fingers 66 to execute the park and unpark operation. This cable system is used in lieu of conventional gears, sprockets and chains because of lower cost, easier adjustments, and replacement and much less maintenance. The entire dolly drive system is shown in expanded view in FIGS. 9A and B. It consists of four major moving parts, three of which have already been described, the dolly support bed 192, the dolly chassis 92, elevator dolly tracks 96 and pusher assembly 144 which has not been described. Mounted in the center of pusher assembly 144 is a chain driven drum 146 which will later be described in connection with the elevator 2. FIG. 9A shows the system centered in base position and FIG. 9B shows it fully extended into a parking cell 10. In FIG. 9A, pusher assembly 144 is shown with driver drum 146 and end pulleys 148 and 150 over which steel cable 152 runs and which is fastened, as shown, to the ends of dolly chassis 92. As the drum 146 is driven counterclockwise pusher member 144 is permitted to move a few inches to the right before it comes to rest against the building structure at 154. This removes the strain on the elevator guides 156 to be described below. Dolly chassis 92 is pulled to the left as viewed in FIGS. 9A and 9B. As the dolly chassis 92 moves it pushes the elevator track system 96 along with it as previously described until the elevator track system 96 is latched to the cell track system 94 as shown in FIG. 9B. A large drum 158 and a small drum 160 are flanged together and one such assembly mounted on each end of the dolly chassis 92. These are shown clearly in FIG. 6A. Steel cable 162, starting at a connection at one end of the track assembly 96, takes several turns around the larger drum 158 at the opposite end, then several turns around the larger drum 158 at the nearer end, and returns to a connection at the opposite end of track assembly 96. Steel cable 164 spring connects to the dolly support bed 102 at !108, takes several turns around each smaller drum 160, and returns to the dolly bed connection 108.

Now as long as the elevator track 96 moves along with the dolly chassis 92, large drums 158 and smaller drums 160 do not turn and the dolly bed 102 moves along with dolly chassis 92, but does not move relative to it. When the tracks 96 are stopped and latched and the chassis 92 continues to be pulled by cable 152. large drums 158 begin to rotate, being pulled by steel cable 162 turning the smaller drums and moving the bed 102 relative to chassis 92. The distance the center of bed 102 moves beyond the center of the chassis 92 is determined by the ratio ofdiameters oflarge drum 158 to small drum I60. This distance is such that when bed 102 touches stop 109 (FIG. 6B) pusher blocks 98 are just touching crossbar 74 in its lowered position. Continued movement of dolly chassis 92 does not further move dolly bed 102 but only compresses one ofsprings 106.

Elevator:

Details of the elevator assembly are shown in FIGS. 10A-C. The pusher member 144 with drum 146 and pulleys 148 and 150 as described above is shown as the uppermost component. This member 144 is free to move longitudinally under load between guides 166. When load is removed this member is returned to center by spring 168. The main drive drum 146 is driven by reversible motor through a clutch-brake coupler 172, gear reducer 174 and chain and sprockets 176. The motor drive assembly is mounted on and the pusher member 144 rests on a rectangular laterally movable assembly 178. The two long sides of lateral assembly 178 serve as tracks 120 for the movable dolly track assembly 96 shown in FIG. 8B. The lateral moving assembly 178 is movable attached to tracks 182 on turntable 6 with track rollers 184. Motor 170 also drives the lateral moving assembly through slip coupling 186 to protect gear reducer 190 from the horsepower of the large motor, through clutch-brake coupler 188 and helical gear reducers 190, chain and sprockets 192, drive shaft 194, cable drums 196 and steel cable 198. Turntable 6 is supported on wheels 200 rolling on circular track 202. At the center is axle 204 serving to assure centrifugal balance.

The turntable 6 is driven by motor 206. It is braked with electrical brake 208, and drives the turntable through gear reducer 210 and crank 212. A roller 214 at the end of crank 212 travels inside of an inverted channel track 216 in the configuration of a Y. The crank 212 traveling at constant speed and in one revolution accelerated the turntable 6 to maximum speed and decelerates it to 0 speed in a 90 turn utilizing onehalf of the cam 216. A turn requires two revolutions of the crank 212 and full utilization of can 216. Accurate indexing of the turntable 6 is obtained without accurate stopping of the motor with this type ofoperation.

Photocontrol Centering:

The system that enables the driver of the automobile to stop the car in the exact center of the parking cell is schematically shown in FIGS. llA-C. FIG. 11A is a schematic plan ofa typical parking cell 10 showing the arrangement of the electrical components, and FIG. 11B is an end view showing the hydraulic lift 14 and the electrical components. The hydraulic lift 14 is shown in the raised position as solid lines and in the lowered position as broken lines. FIG. 11C is a wiring schematic. PCl, PC2 and PC3 are photoelectric controllers and L1, L2, LX, R1, R2, etc., are light sources that operate the hotocontrollers PC], PC2 and PC3. PS is a momentary plate switch operated by the weight of an automobile passing over it. HL is a double throw limit switch that is operated by the raising and lowering of the hydraulic lift 14. SL is a warning stop light to indicate when the automobile is centered. A is a warning bell or horn to indicate that the automobile is too long to operate in the system.

In the wiring schematic FIG. 11C, SR is a stepping relay with six positions. The relay steps every time the step circuit is remade after an interruption. A separate reset circuit is provided as shown. AU] and AU2 are auxiliary relays. AUl has one NC and two NO contacts and AU2 has one NC contact. Referring to the wiring schematic, FIG. 11C, the system operates as follows:

A. Unparking Operation.

1. SR was reset to No. 0 position by IIL(NC) when the hydraulic lift 14 was lowered. Auto has been transferred from elevator 2 to center ofcell l0.

2. Hydraulic lift 14 raises, HS(NC) opens, HL(NO) closes,

SR reset circuit opens.

PS has not been operated therefore AUl(NO) holds photocontroller light sources (except LX step, and SL circuits open.

PC2 not energized because auto blocks LX.

AU2 energized from PC2(NCO) and AUl(NC) contacts.

AU2(NC) holds light source, step and SL circuits open.

. Auto driven toward street.

Unobstructs LX energizing PC2 and opening PC2(NC) deenergizing AU2. This closes AU2(NC) in light source circuit but AUl(NO) remains open in this circult.

4. Auto continues forward until PS is closed.

Energizing and sealing in AUI, closing the lamp circuit with AUl(NO). LI and RI light up but auto obstructs Ll keeping PC] from being energized.

5. Auto continues forward and when L1 is unobstructed PCI is energized which energizes stepper circuit of SR moving it to position No. 1.

L1 is not further obstructed during this unparking operation and the following conditions obtain.

1. Stepper is on No. 1 position.

2. AUI is sealed closed.

3. AU2 is sealed open.

4. Lamp circuit is sealed closed.

5. Stop light (SL) circuit is open since PC] and PC3 both are energized from L1 and R1 and PC1(NC) and PC3( NC) contacts are held open.

. Parking Operation Following Unparking (A) Note conditions (A5).

. Auto moves toward cell operating PS, with no effect since AUI is already sealed in.

Auto obstructs LI deenergizing PCI with no effect.

Auto may or may not cross LX prior to unobstructing LI,

depending upon car length. No effect since AU2 is held deenergized by AUl(NC).

. Auto continues and if abnormally long car R1 can be obstructed before L1 is unobstructed. With both PCI and PCS deenergized PC1(NC) AND PC3(NC) both close and alarm A is energized by the No. l lamp circuit indicating auto is too long for the parking system.

. If Ll unobstructed before R1 is obstructed PCI is energized stepping the SR relay to No. 2 position deenergizing L1 and RI circuit and energizing L2 and R2 circuit.

7. Auto continues, stepping one position at a time until auto obstructs complementary L and R light sources, PCI(NC) and PC3(NC) close illuminating SL and warning driver that car is centered and to stop.

. Hydraulic lift 14 is lowered out of the way for the parking operation and HL(NC) resets SR relay to No. 0 position HL(NO) opens control circuit.

C. Parking Operation Following Parking Operation (B).

I. Hydraulic lift 14 raises operating HL switch, HL(NC) opens the SR relay circuit (remaining on the No. 0 position) HL(NO) contacts close energizing control circuit. PS has not been operated therefore AUl(NO) contacts hold lamp circuit and stepper circuit open. AU2 not energized because LX not being obstructed PC2 holds PC2(NC) open. AU2(NC) closed but AUl(NO) remains open in lamp circuit.

2. Auto is driven farther toward cell 10 operating PS switch energizing and scaling in AUl. AUl(NO) contacts close lamp circuit Ll-RI and these lamps light energizing PCI and stepping SR to No. 1 position.

3. Steps B3 through B8 are then repeated.

System Arrangements and Modifications:

The standard system described is a unit that parks l8automobiles per floor and is shown in FIG. 12A, but various combinations of these units with ground floor arrangement different than standard can be grouped into a single parking facility of very efficient design. It is also possible to modify to advantage the standard unit to fit special conditions. Some of these possibilities are shown in FIGS. 12B-D.

FIG. 12B combines four such standard units but arranges the ground floor different from standard as shown. The upper es w floors are standard. The direction arrow show the traffic flow during an unparking rush period. The parking rush directions would be reversed. Hydraulic lifts 14 are provided at loading positions. Assuming the top of the drawing to be north, then two cell blocks 12 of two cells each are associated with the two north elevators 2, a cell block 12 for each elevator. They transfer autos to the elevator from the north side. The east and west cell blocks I2 have lOcells I0 each. The north live cells of each east and west block serve the north elevators 2 and the south five blocks 12 serve the south two elevators 2. The north. east and west blocks l2 are movable three positions in either direction. Each south elevator 2 is served from two immovable cells 2I8. The operators office I6 is shown in the front center.

An ideal modified version for a small width site is that shown in FIG. 12C. This parking facility would fit on a 25-foot wide site. Assuming the rule of thumb policy of assigning l00automobiles per elevator this facility could be 25 stories high. As previously mentioned this system is not limited in height by structural considerations as are other systems. Essentially this system has two fixed loading cells 10 with hydraulic lifts 14 and two fixed storage cells 10 on the ground floor. lt parks four automobiles per floor. The elevator 2 is standard as previously described. Space is available as shown for operator's ofiice 16.

The facility shown in FIG. 12D is an expanded version of the one shown in FIG. [2C except the cell blocks 12 are movable one-half position in either direction which permits six automobiles per elevator rather than the four shown in FIG. I2C. The operator's cab 16 is shown movable as part of the cell block I2. This version could be up to 17 stories high on the basis of 18 automobiles per floor and I00 automobiles serviced per elevator.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the present invention provides a multistory parking system wherein the height of the system is unlimited by structural considerations, and wherein the system employs the maximum area available in a building. The system does not require turn around space and permits the use of a building having a single opening to one street. It will also be apparent that the present invention utilized the maximum of standard hardware, will be economical in construction and will have a long service life.

Changes may be made in the combination and arrangement of parts or elements as heretofore fore set forth in the specification and shown in the drawing without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

I claim:

I. In a multistory storage system for automobiles or the like, wherein the automobiles are raised and lowered between the floors by an elevator and moved from and to the elevator into and out of storage cells positioned along side the elevator shaft at each floor level. the improvement comprising:

a circular track on the elevator;

a turntable;

rollers supporting the turntable on the circular track for rotary movement of the turntable;

an automobile supporting dolly assembly on the turntable;

means for moving the dolly assembly between the turntable and any one of the storage cells for moving automobiles into and out of the storage cells; and

means for turning the turntable on the circular track,

whereby an automobile may be returned from the system facing in a direction opposite from the direction in which the automobile entered the system;

wherein said means for turning the turntable comprises:

a drive motor;

a crank connected to the motor to be turned about one end thereof;

a roller journaled on the opposite end of the crank; and

a guide on the turntable receiving the crank roller and curved to turn and accelerate and then decelerate the turntable as the turntable is being turned.

2. In a multistory storage system for automobiles or the like wherein the automobiles are raised and lowered between the floors by an elevator and moved from and to the elevator into and out ofstorage cells positioned along side the elevator shaft at each floor level. the improvement comprising;

a pair of interconnected parallel tracks supported on the elevator;

a pair of interconnected parallel tracks in each cell sized to mate with the tracks on the elevator;

springs supporting the ends of the cell tracks in the respective cells adjacent the elevator shaft;

a female aligning member secured to the tracks in each cell adjacent the elevator shaft;

a male aligning member on one end of the elevator tracks adapted to mate with the female aligning member in any one of the cells;

means for moving the elevator tracks toward any one of the cells to engage said aligning members and align the respective cell and elevator tracks;

means for latching the aligned tracks in their aligned positions; and

an automobile supporting carriage adapted to move on said aligned tracks for transferring an automobile between the elevator and the respective cell.

3. In a multistory storage system for automobiles or the like, wherein the automobiles are raised and lowered between the floors by an elevator and moved from and to the elevator into and out ofstorage cells positioned along side the elevator shaft at each floor level, the improvement comprising:

a set of tracks in each cell;

a set of mating tracks on the elevator;

means for aligning the elevator tracks with the tracks in any of the cells;

a rectangular frame ofa size to move into and out of any of the cells;

rollers supporting the frame for movement along said aligned tracks;

a dolly slidingly supported on the frames;

automobile supporting fingers on the dolly;

mating automobile supporting fingers in each cell;

means for moving the frame and dolly into and out of a cell having its tracks aligned with the elevator tracks; and

means for raising and lowering the cell fingers when the dolly is in the respective cell to transfer an automobile between the cell and the dolly;

wherein the fingers in each cell are mounted on a top frame movable vertically in the respective cell, and characterized further to include: an intermediate frame in each cell;

a first set of toggle links supporting the intermediate frame in each cell for vertical and lengthwise movement of the intermediate frame toward and away from the elevator shaft; 1

a second set of toggle links supporting the first frame on the intermediate frame for raising and lowering the first frame upon movement of the intermediate frame; and

means on said rectangular frame for moving the intermediate frame upon movement of the rectangular frame into and out of the respective cell.

4. A system as defined in claim 3, wherein the intermediate frame includes a cross rod extending transversely with respect to the movement of the rectangular frame and said means on said rectangular frame comprises a pusher positioned to engage the cross rod when the cell fingers are lowered and the rectangular frame is moved into the respective cell; and

a latch positioned to engage the cross rod upon retraction of the rectangular frame from the respective cell and lower the cell fingers in the event the cell fingers were raised before the rectangular frame was moved into the cell, and positioned to be blocked from engagement with the cross rod when the cell fingers are in a lowered position when the rectangular frame enters the respective cell.

5. A system as defined in claim 3 characterized further to include at least one of said cells on ground level adjacent the elevator shaft:

a first hydraulic system connected to one of said first set of toggle links of the ground level cell for lowering the respective cell fingers independent of operation of said rectangular frame;

a second hydraulic system for lifting fingers into spaces between supporting fingers of ground floor level cell to provide smooth drive surface for automobiles; and

a photoelectric system to indicate a centered position of an automobile regardless of its length in the ground fioor level cell preparatory to a parking operation.

6. In a multistory storage system for automobiles or the like, wherein the automobiles are raised and lowered between the floors by an elevator and moved from and to the elevator into and out of storage cells positioned along side the elevator shaft at each floor level, the improvement comprising:

a set of tracks in each cell;

a set of mating tracks on the elevator;

means for aligning the elevator tracks with the tracks in any of the cells;

a rectangular frame of a size to move into and out of any of the cells;

rollers supporting the frame for movement along said aligned tracks;

a dolly slidingly supported on the frame;

automobile-supporting fingers on the dolly;

mating automobile-supporting fingers in each cell;

means for moving the frame and dolly into and out of a cell having its tracks aligned with the elevator tracks and means for raising and lowering the cell fingers when the dolly is in the respective cell to transfer an automobile between the cell and the dolly;

characterized further to include:

a track frame on the elevator supporting the set of tracks on the elevator;

rollers supporting said track frame on the elevator for movement against either of opposite sides of the elevator shaft; and wherein said means for moving said rectangular frame and dolly comprises a cable system connected to the dolly, rectangular frame and track frame to move the track frame against a side of the elevator shaft in a direction opposite to the direction of movement of the dolly and rectangular frame to minimize the imposition of transverse forces on the elevator.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4664580 *Aug 16, 1985May 12, 1987Matex Gear And PumpMultistory parking garage
US4950117 *May 29, 1987Aug 21, 1990Junichi GoThree dimensional housing apparatus and control method thereof
US4976580 *Aug 22, 1987Dec 11, 1990Edward KnakrickStorage means, especially parking means
US5116182 *Oct 17, 1990May 26, 1992Lin Bao NAutomatic car parking system
US5314284 *Apr 23, 1993May 24, 1994Tsai Chi ChungParking tower with a carrier handling device on a elevator
US6325586Dec 8, 1999Dec 4, 2001Protosight, Inc.Automated storage and retrieval system
US8897913 *Aug 14, 2013Nov 25, 2014Chunsong LuoAutomatic stacked storage system for parking or storage
US20140114466 *Aug 14, 2013Apr 24, 2014Chunsong LuoAutomatic stacked storage system for parking or storage
CN103774883A *Oct 12, 2013May 7, 2014罗春松Automatic stacked storage system for parking or storage
CN103774883B *Oct 12, 2013Jan 13, 2016罗春松用于停车或存储的自动叠置存储系统
EP1255002A1 *May 2, 2001Nov 6, 2002Westfalia-WST-Systemtechnik GmbH & Co. KGCar park
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Classifications
U.S. Classification414/233, 414/254, 414/228
International ClassificationE04H6/00, E04H6/28, E04H6/42
Cooperative ClassificationE04H6/422, E04H6/287
European ClassificationE04H6/42A, E04H6/28A2