US 3786207 A
A liquid filling system comprising a filling connector on a tank and a nozzle connectable to a reservoir where an electrical connection is made between the connector and nozzle to control an electrically operated valve in the line between the reservoir and nozzle.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Houston et al.
[111 3,786,207 [451 Jan. 15,1974
ELECTRICAL SWITCH ASSEMBLY AND VALVE FOR LIQUID FILLING SYSTEM Inventors: Edward F. Houston, Madison;
Robert L. Wallace, Wethersfield; William Rochette, Waterbury; Charles A. Chaponis, Meriden, all of Conn.
Assignee: The Houston Company, Cheshire,
Filed: July 10, 1972 Appl. No.: 270,481
us. Cl. 200/61.86, 200/82 R Int. Cl. ll0lh 9/06 Field of Search 200/51 R, 51.09,
ZOO/51.12, 61.86, 82 R, 83 R, 83 Q;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,835,270 5/l958 York et al 200/6l.86 X 2,681,408 6/l954 Bronk 200/6l.86 X 3,443,044 5/l969 Wintriss 200/6l.86 X 9/1950 Hartley et al. 200/51 R X Primary ExaminerJ. R. Scott AttorneyRobert H. Montgomery et al.
 ABSTRACT A liquid filling system comprising a filling connector on a tank and a nozzle connectable to a reservoir where an electrical connection is made between the connector and nozzle to control an electrically oper- 'ated valve in the line between the reservoir and nozzle.
7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures established.
This invention relates to liquid filling or refilling systems, and more particularly relates to a refueling system.
In liquid filling or refilling systems which are used to refill liquid tanks, there is often wastage of the liquid toward or at the end of a filling operation. For example,
at a refueling station for diesel electric locomotives, a nozzle 'or couplingis attached to a mating coupling on the locomotive. At the expiration of the refueling operation, the nozzle-is closed and the coupling then disconnected. However, fluid pressure exists right up to the nozzle. This requires a nozzle construction with sophisticated' pressure resistant seals which adds to the cost of the nozzle. Additionally, any fuel in the nozzle in front of the shut-off valve will be spilled upon disconnection from the tank. While such spillage may be slight for any given refueling operation, theaccumulation of spillages results in oil soaked platforms and the adjacent ground, and a large loss in fuel oil over a period of time.
Additionally, in some refueling systems, the refueling operator must depend on a sight gauge to determine when the tank is full, and if such gauges are inaccurate the tank may overflow resulting in spillage and waste of thefuel. These problems are further compounded in many cases by the-lack of care of the refueling personnel.
Accordingly, the present invention provided aliquid filling system in which the portable nozzle or coupling is not required to withstand the pressure of the liquid source and whichjtherefore does not require any sophisticated sealing means since there would be no line pressure thereon. i
The filling line includes a normally closed electrically operated valve which is opened only when an electrical contact is made between the fueling nozzle and the filler tube. Therefore, liquid cannot be delivered to the tank untila positive coupling is-achieved and a circuit The invention further provides float control disabling means for disabling the electrically operated valve to halt delivery of liquid to the tank when a predetermined level is sensed in the tank.
Briefly stated, the invention in one form thereof comprises a filler tube on a refillable liquid tank adapted to have connected thereto a coupling or nozzle from a liquid source. In the line leading from the liquid source to the nozzle is a normally closed electrically operated valve. The nozzle and tube both provide a ground, and additionally have internally mounted contacts which make an electrical circuitwhen properly coupled. Upon making of such circuit, the electrically operated valve is energized to permit liquid to be delivered from the source to the tank. The float control switch disposedwithin the tank will then interrupt the established electrical circuit when a predetermined level of liquid has been introduced into the tank, the valve is deenergized and the system is shut down without the coupling nozzle being subjected to the source pressure.
An object of this invention is to provide a new and improved liquid fillingor refilling system.
Another object of this invention is to provide a liquid filling system which is electrically operated to control the initiation of refilling liquid to a tank and the cessation of the filling operation.
A further object of this invention is to provide new and improved liquid couplings between a liquid tank and a refilling system.
The features of the invention which are believed to be novel are particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification.
However, the invention both as to its operation and organization together with further objects and advantages thereof may best be appreciated by reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein;
FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a system embodying the invention;
FIG. '2 is a view in half section showing a nozzle assembly and filler assembly;
FIG. 3 is a view, partially in section, showing a tank level sensing switch and its relation to the filler assembly; and
FIG. 4 is a view in half section showing the nozzle and filler assemblies of FIG. 2 in a coupled position.
An overall system embodying the invention is schematically exemplified in FIG. 1 and includes a liquid tank 11 having a filler connector 12 with an internal electrical contact 13 and a ground lead, exemplified by line 14. The inner conductor and ground lead are connected to opposite sides ofa normally closed float controlled switch 15 through a connector cable 16. The system further includes a nozzle 17 having an inner conductor 18 adapted to make contact with conductor 13 and a ground lead 19 together with leads 20 and 21 leading to a relay 22. Relay 22 controls a contact 23 adapted to complete a circuit through a solenoid 24 to open or close a valve 25, fuel line 26 and permit flow of fluid from a reservoir and pressure source 27.
In operation, when the liquid level in tank 11 rises to a predetermined level, the float will actuate switch 15. When a circuit is made between conductor 13 and conductor 18, relay 22 will then be actuated and close its contact to energize solenoid 24 and open valve 25. As hereinafter described, when a proper connection has been made between nozzle 17 and filler 12, fuel will then be pumped to tank 11.
When the float rises to a level which opens switch 15, relay 22 is de-energized, dropping out its contact 23. This, in turn, opens the circuit to solenoid 24 and valve 25 closes line 26 shutting off the supply of fuel to nozzle 17. This takes pressure off the valve in the nozzle 17.
As hereinafter described, nozzle 17 further includes valve means so that any fuel in the line between valve 25 and nozzle 17 is held therein with no pressure on the nozzle valve. The filler tube 12, as more clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, comprises a housing member 30 which is connected to the fill pipe of tank 31 which further includes a pipe plug 32 for a flame arrester screen, not shown. A central member 33 is supported substantially coaxially of housing 30 by a plurality'of radially extending arms 34. Housing 30 further includes a bayonnet connecting portion 35 having bayonnet ridges 36. An internal seal 37 is provided for purposes hereinafter made apparent and a valve or sea] seat 38 is provided behind connector portion 35.
A spring 39 biases check seal or valve 40 against seat 38 and the spring reacts on the arms 34. Central portion 33 has a threaded bore 41 extending therethrough and receives therein a matingly threaded insulating member 42 carrying a contact member 43. Bore 41 further receives insulating adaptor member 44 which receives therein a sleeve-like insulator 45 carrying a conductor 46 with contact buttons 47 and 48 at the ends thereof. The buttons 47 and 48 may merely be peened ends of the conductor 46.
An insulated electrical lead 49 extends from conductor 43 through a passage 50 in an arm 34 to a cable connector 51 and, hence, to one of connector prongs 52, FIG. 3. The other of the connector prongs 52 is connected to a ground screw 53.
A spring 54 biases the head of conductor 43 against contact button 47. Seal 40 is adapted to slide rearwardly against the bias of spring 39 on sleeve 45 to open the filler as hereinafter described.
As shown more clearly in FIG. 3, the filler is adapted to cooperate with a liquid level sensor and a switch carried thereby.
The liquid level sensing switch 15 includes a float 55 carrying magnets 56 therein which moves vertically on a sleeve or stem 57 containing a normally closed reed switch 58. Leads 59 and 60 from either side of the switch 58 extend through a conduit 61 and suitable fitting and sealing means generally indicated at 62 to a cable connector 63 havingsubstantially the same construction as connector 51.
Switch 58 is normally closed but will be opened when float 55 rises a sufficient distance so that the magnets 56 exert an influence on reed switch 58 to open it. Float 55, which is preferably of styrene, is retained on stem 57 as by means of a snap ring or washer 64. A length of flexible connector cable indicated by the broken lines 65 connects leads 59 and 60 through prongs 52 to ground and lead 49 and subsequently contact member 43.
The nozzle assembly 17, as more clearly shown in FIG. 2 comprises a housing member supporting a nozzle portion 71 therein. A connector assembly 72 including bayonnet lugs 73 is adapted to fit through the spacing of bayonnet rings 36. Also carried by housing member 70 is an annular handle 74. Housing member 70 supports substantially coaxially thereof, a support member 75 with a central opening therethrough which carries a hollow tubular member 76. Attached to the end of member 76 is a poppet valve 77 acting to normally seal the end 78 of nozzle 71. An actuator mechanism 79 comprising a lever 80 is carried by a rear housing member 81. Lever 80 is mounted on a rotatable pin 82, and further includes a crank pin 83 adapted to act on surface 84 in member 85 threadably attached to the rear end of tubular member 76. Member 85 has a guide 86 extending rearwardly therefrom received in a guideway 87 on rear housing 81. The poppet valve has an extending portion 89 threadably received within the end of tubular member 76 and providing a shoulder 90 to limit forward movement of a contact carrier member 91 which carries therein a contact 92 within insulating sleeve 93. Insulator 93 is formed of a hydroscopic material such as polytetrafluoroethylene, commonly identified by the registered trademark Teflon. The contact carrier member 91 is moved backwardly in insulating sleeve 93 against the bias of a spring 95 acting on the head 96 of a conductive plunger 97. Plunger 97 may slide through an opening in the rear portion of insulator 94. Connected to plunger 97 is an insulated lead 98 corresponding to conductor 18 of FIG. 1, which leads to one prong of a cable connector 99, mounted on rear housing member 79.
The other prong of cable connector 99 is connected to an insulated lead 100 which is, in turn, connected to a ground screw 101 on member 75. Housing 70 further includes a connector portion 102 which threadably receives a hose coupling 103 to which a hose 104 is connected. The lines 100 and 98 are connected through connector 99 to conductors 20 and 21, FIG. 1, which run along the length of hose 104 to relay 22. Preferably the connection of leads 20 and 21 to connector 99 comprises lines which may be wrapped about hose 104 and then further covered with a protective wrapping.
The relationship of filler 12 and nozzle 17 in a joint position to fill tank 11 is set forth in FIG. 4. To make a connection, the nozzle 17 is fitted so that the bayonnet lugs 73 will fit between rings 36, then the handle 74 is turned to effect a coupling. At this time, the end of poppet valve 77 will contact check seal 40 and force it backwardly. However, poppet valve 77 will not yet be opened. When the mechanical connection is effected, lever 80 is pivoted to the position shown in broken line in FIG. 2 which will advance tubular member 76 and open poppet valve 77. At this point, insulating sleeve member 45 is received within the central opening 105 of the poppet valve and will contact conductor 92 in contact carrier 91. Conductor 92 in contact carrier 91 will move slightly rearwardly against the bias of spring 95. At this time, an electrical connection has been made between contacts 47 and 92 and, hence, through lines 49 and 98. Additionally, a common ground connection is made through the coupling of the members. The normally closed reed switch is connected between line 98 and ground. This will close the circuit for relay 22 which will pick up its controlled contact 23 and, hence, solenoid 24 will be energized to open valve 25. Then liquid from the reservoir under pressure will flow through line 26, nozzle 17 and filler 12 into tank 11. As the level of fluid in tank 11 rises, float 55 will rise, reed switch 58 will open, relay 22 will be de-energized dropping out its contact 23 and solenoid 24 will then be deenergized and valve 25 closed. The supply of fuel through line 26 will then be terminated.
During a filling operation, if for any reason the electric circuit should be broken or ground should be lost, relay 22 will be de-energized in the manner previously described. Valve 25 will close shutting down fuel line 26 and taking pressure off the nozzle. Any liquid remaining between the nozzle and valve 24 will not exert pressure on the poppet valve 77. I To disconnect, the coupling lever 80 is moved to the position shown in full line in FIG. 2 retracting tubular member 76 and poppet valve 77 to close the end of the nozzle. At this time, spring 39 closes check valve or seal 38, and the nozzle may be disconnected from the filler without loss of liquid.
It may thus be seen that the objects of the invention set forth as well as those made apparent from the foregoing description are efficiently attained. While preferred embodiments of the invention have been set forth for purposes of disclosure, modification to the disclosed embodiments of the invention as well as other embodiments thereof may occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to cover all embodiments of the invention and modifications to the disclosed embodiments which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is: I 1. For use with a liquid filling system which includes a reservoir of liquid, a tank adapted to be refilled, a line from said reservoir adapted to be connected to a filler tube on said tank and a nozzle on said line adapted to be connected to and disconnected from the filler tube, the improvement comprising, a valve having electrical operating means in said line adapted to provide communication between the reservoir and the nozzle, a first electrical contact in said filler tube, a second electrical contact in said nozzle, a switch operable in response to liquid in said tank reaching a predetermined level, an electrical circuit including said contacts and said switch, means in said circuit responsive to making of said contacts when the nozzle is connected to the tube .for opening said electrically operated valve when the liquid in said tank is below said predetermined level and for closing said valve when the level of liquid in the tank causes said switch to operate in response to the liquid in said tank reaching a predetermined level.
2. The invention of claim 1 further including means insulating said electricalcontacts from any liquid passing through the nozzle and the filler tube.
3. The invention of claim 1 further including a float in said tank, said switch is normally closed, and is opened by said float when a predetermined liquid level is reached in said tank.
4. The invention of claim 1 wherein said means responsive to said making of said contacts senses completion of said circuit and opens said valve, and said means responsive senses opening of said switch when said predetermined level is reached and causes said valve to close.
5. The invention of claim 1 wherein said filler tube includes a check seal, said first electrical contact being disposed coaxially of said seal, resilient biasing means normally holding said check seal closed, said seal being movable against said resilient biasing means with respect to said contact to open said tube, said nozzle including a normally closed valve at the end thereof, a sleeve carrying said normally closed valve, said second contact being disposed in said sleeve, means for axially moving said sleeve to open said normally closed valve,
means for coupling said nozzle to said filler tube, said sleeve member upon axial movement thereof being effective to open said normally closed valve and said check seal and receive said first electrical contact therein in electrical engagement with said second contact. 1
6. A liquid connection comprising a first coupling defining a liquid passage adapted to be mounted to a liquid tank and a second liquid delivery coupling adapted to be connected to said first coupling, said first coupling including a check seal adapted to be opened by said second coupling upon connection thereto, resilient biasing means normally holding said check seal closed, a first electrical contact, said first coupling supporting said contact coaxially of said check seal whereby said seal may move against said biasing means relative to said contact, said second coupling including a liquid passage, a poppet valve closing said liquid passage, an open-ended sleeve-like member disposed longitudinally of said passage, said poppet valve being connected to said sleeve-like member, means for moving said sleeve-like member longitudinally of said passage so that said sleeve-like member opens said valves, and receives said first electrical contact therein, and a second electrical contact carried within said sleeve-like member adapted to make contact with said firstelectrical contact when said valve and seal are opened.
7. In a liquid filling system which includes a liquid storage tank, a filler tube on the exterior of said tank having a first coupling member and communicating with the interior of said tank, a liquid level sensing device within said tank, a filler line including a second coupling member adapted to be connected to and disconnected from said first coupling member, the improvement comprising a switch operable by said level sensing device when the liquid in said tank reaches a predetermined level, a normally closed electrically operated valve in said filler line before said second coupling member, insulated electrical contacts within said first and second coupling members adapted to be made when coupling members are connected, circuit means responsive to making of said contacts to open said valve, and said circuit means includes switching means responsive to said sensing means detecting a predetermined level of liquid in said tank for opening said circuit and causing said valve to close.