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Title:
ASSEMBLY AND METHOD FOR GENERATING WAVES WITHIN A BODY OF WATER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/116180
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A wave generation assembly (212) for generating at least one wave (16) along a water surface (10A) of a body of water (10) includes a drive system (218) and a wave generator (214). The wave generator (214) is coupled to the drive system (218). The drive system (218) is configured to move the wave generator (214) between a first position and a second position. The wave generator (214) includes (i) a generator shaft (226) that is engaged by the drive system (218), and (ii) a generator head (228) that is connected to and extends away from the generator shaft (226). The generator head (228) includes a distal end (228B) having at least one wave creating surface (230). The at least one wave creating surface (230) displaces water at the water surface (10A) when moved from the first position to the second position to generate the at least one wave (16) along the water surface (10A) of the body of water (10).

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Inventors:
GRANTHAM, Peter (34 Hunt Road, Stratford, Taranaki 4391, 4391, NZ)
NEWSON, Thomas (55c Hattaway Avenue, Bucklands Beach, Auckland 2012, 2012, NZ)
Application Number:
IB2017/058169
Publication Date:
June 28, 2018
Filing Date:
December 19, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GRANTHAM, Peter (34 Hunt Road, Stratford, Taranaki 4391, 4391, NZ)
NEWSON, Thomas (55c Hattaway Avenue, Bucklands Beach, Auckland 2012, 2012, NZ)
International Classes:
E04H4/00; A63B69/00; A63G31/00; F04D35/00
Other References:
None
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1 . A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a drive system; and

a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the drive system being configured to move the wave generator between a first position and a second position, the wave generator including (i) a generator shaft that is engaged by the drive system, and (ii) a generator head that is connected to and extends away from the generator shaft, the generator head including a proximal end that is connected to the generator shaft and an opposed distal end, the distal end including at least one wave creating surface; wherein when the wave generator is in the first position, the distal end of the generator head is below the water surface; and wherein when the wave generator is in the second position, the distal end of the generator head is approximately at the water surface; the at least one wave creating surface displacing water at the water surface when moved from the first position to the second position to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

2. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 wherein the drive system is directly coupled to the wave generator.

3. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 wherein the drive system is indirectly coupled to the wave generator.

4. The wave generation assembly of claim 3 further comprising a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm including a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm; wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

5. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 wherein the wave generator is substantially centrally positioned within the body of water.

6. The wave generation assembly of claim 5 wherein the body of water is divided into a plurality of sections that extend away from the wave generator, and wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in each of the plurality of sections.

7. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

8. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

9. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the wave generator between the first position and the second position.

10. The wave generation assembly of claim 1 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

1 1 . A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 1 .

12. A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a drive system; and

a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the drive system being configured to move the wave generator between a first position and a second position, the wave generator including (i) a generator shaft that is engaged by the drive system, and (ii) a generator head that is connected to and extends away from the generator shaft, the generator head including a proximal end that is connected to the generator shaft and an opposed distal end, the distal end including at least one first wave creating surface, and the proximal end including at least one second wave creating surface; wherein when the wave generator is in the first position, the distal end of the generator head is below the water surface; and wherein when the wave generator is in the second position, the proximal end of the generator head is above the water surface; the at least one first wave creating surface displacing water at the water surface when the generator head is moved from the first position to the second position to generate at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water; and the at least one second wave creating surface displacing water at the water surface when the generator head is moved from the second position to the first position to generate at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

13. The wave generation assembly of claim 12 wherein the drive system is directly coupled to the wave generator.

14. The wave generation assembly of claim 12 wherein the drive system is indirectly coupled to the wave generator.

15. The wave generation assembly of claim 14 further comprising a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm including a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm; wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

16. The wave generation assembly of claim 12 wherein the wave generator is substantially centrally positioned within the body of water.

17. The wave generation assembly of claim 16 wherein the body of water is divided into a plurality of sections that extend away from the wave generator, and wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in each of the plurality of sections.

18. The wave generation assembly of claim 12 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

19. The wave generation assembly of claim 12 further comprising a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

20. The wave generation assembly of claim 12 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the wave generator between the first position and the second position.

21 . The wave generation assembly of claim 12 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

22. A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 12.

23. A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a drive system; and

a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the wave generator including a piston, a first cylinder and a second cylinder, the piston being movably positioned within the first cylinder by the drive system between a first position and a second position, the first cylinder being positioned at least partially within the second cylinder, the first cylinder including a first end that is positioned above the water surface and a second end that is positioned below the water surface, and the second cylinder including a top edge that is positioned approximately at the water surface;

wherein when the piston is in the first position, the piston is positioned above the water surface;

wherein when the piston is in the second position, the piston is positioned below the water surface; wherein movement of the piston from the first position to the second position drives water out of the first cylinder and into a lower portion of the second cylinder, the water being redirected by a base of the second cylinder in a generally upward direction toward an outer edge of the second cylinder outside of the first cylinder, the water being driven upward and out of the second cylinder over the top edge of the second cylinder to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

24. The wave generation assembly of claim 23 wherein the drive system is directly coupled to the wave generator.

25. The wave generation assembly of claim 23 wherein the drive system is indirectly coupled to the wave generator.

26. The wave generation assembly of claim 25 further comprising a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm including a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm; wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

27. The wave generation assembly of claim 23 wherein the wave generator is substantially centrally positioned within the body of water.

28. The wave generation assembly of claim 27 wherein the body of water is divided into a plurality of sections that extend away from the wave generator, and wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in each of the plurality of sections.

29. The wave generation assembly of claim 23 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

30. The wave generation assembly of claim 23 further comprising a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

31 . The wave generation assembly of claim 23 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the piston between the first position and the second position.

32. The wave generation assembly of claim 23 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

33. A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 23.

34. A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a drive system; and a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the wave generator including a piston and a cylinder, the piston being movably positioned within the cylinder by the drive system between a first position and a second position, the cylinder being positioned below the water surface, the cylinder including a first end and an opposed second end, with the first end being positioned near the water surface;

wherein when the piston is in the first position, the piston is positioned near the second end of the cylinder;

wherein when the piston is in the second position, the piston is positioned near the first end of the cylinder;

wherein movement of the piston from the first position to the second position drives water out of the first end of the cylinder to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

35. The wave generation assembly of claim 34 wherein the drive system is directly coupled to the wave generator.

36. The wave generation assembly of claim 34 wherein the drive system is indirectly coupled to the wave generator.

37. The wave generation assembly of claim 36 further comprising a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm including a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm; wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

38. The wave generation assembly of claim 34 wherein the wave generator is substantially centrally positioned within the body of water.

39. The wave generation assembly of claim 38 wherein the body of water is divided into a plurality of sections that extend away from the wave generator, and wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in each of the plurality of sections.

40. The wave generation assembly of claim 34 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

41 . The wave generation assembly of claim 34 further comprising a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

42. The wave generation assembly of claim 34 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the piston between the first position and the second position.

43. The wave generation assembly of claim 34 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

44. A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 34.

45. A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a drive system; and a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the wave generator including a piston, a first cylinder and a second cylinder, the piston being movably positioned within the first cylinder by the drive system between a first position and a second position, the first cylinder being positioned at least partially within the second cylinder, the first cylinder including a first end that is positioned above the water surface and a second end that is positioned below the water surface, and the second cylinder including a top edge that is positioned above the water surface, a base that is positioned below the water surface, and an aperture that is positioned approximately at the water surface;

wherein when the piston is in the first position, the piston is positioned above the water surface;

wherein when the piston is in the second position, the piston is positioned below the water surface;

wherein movement of the piston from the first position to the second position drives water out of the first cylinder and into a lower portion of the second cylinder, the water being redirected by the base of the second cylinder in a generally upward direction toward an outer edge of the second cylinder outside of the first cylinder, the water being driven upward and out of the second cylinder through the aperture of the second cylinder to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

46. The wave generation assembly of claim 45 wherein the drive system is directly coupled to the wave generator.

47. The wave generation assembly of claim 45 wherein the drive system is indirectly coupled to the wave generator.

48. The wave generation assembly of claim 47 further comprising a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm including a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm; wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

49. The wave generation assembly of claim 45 wherein the wave generator is substantially centrally positioned within the body of water.

50. The wave generation assembly of claim 49 wherein the body of water is divided into a plurality of sections that extend away from the wave generator, and wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in each of the plurality of sections.

51 . The wave generation assembly of claim 45 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

52. The wave generation assembly of claim 45 further comprising a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

53. The wave generation assembly of claim 45 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the piston between the first position and the second position.

54. The wave generation assembly of claim 45 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

55. A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 45.

56. A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a wave generator that moves between a first position and a second position to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water; a drive system that is coupled to the wave generator, the drive system moving the wave generator between the first position and the second position; and a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm having a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm;

wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

57. The wave generation assembly of claim 56 wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in the second direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in the first direction to move the wave generator from the second position to the first position.

58. The wave generation assembly of claim 56 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

59. The wave generation assembly of claim 56 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the wave generator between the first position and the second position.

60. The wave generation assembly of claim 56 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

61 . A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 56.

62. A wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly comprising:

a wave generator that moves between a first position and a second position to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water; a drive system that is coupled to the wave generator, the drive system moving the wave generator between the first position and the second position; and a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

63. The wave generation assembly of claim 62 wherein the wave generator is positively buoyant.

64. The wave generation assembly of claim 62 further comprising a control system including a processor, the control system being configured to control the drive system to move the wave generator between the first position and the second position.

65. The wave generation assembly of claim 62 wherein the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

66. A method for generating waves that utilizes the wave generation assembly of claim 62.

Description:
ASSEMBLY AND METHOD FOR GENERATING WAVES

WITHIN A BODY OF WATER

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority on United States Provisional Application Serial No. 62/438,663 filed on December 23, 2016 and entitled "ASSEMBLY AND METHOD FOR GENERATING WAVES WITHIN A BODY OF WATER". As far as permitted, the contents of United States Provisional Application Serial No. 62/438,663 are incorporated in their entirety herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

Millions of people worldwide participate in the sport of surfing, whether it be more traditional surfing, boogie boarding, stand-up paddle boarding, body surfing, or another style of surfing. It is believed that many more would participate in the sport of surfing if they had a better opportunity to do so. Unfortunately, opportunities for many are limited based on where they live (surfing is predominantly available only in coastal areas, and in some lakes), and the weather conditions that they experience (e.g., cold and windy conditions make surfing much less palatable for most surfers and potential surfers, and certain weather conditions can effectively inhibit the creation of surfable waves). Although wave pools have become more common in recent years as a means to bring waves to a broader audience, existing wave pools and wave pool technology typically do not present many real opportunities for surfing. Thus, it is desired to create an assembly and method for consistently generating waves that may be surfable, and that may be located in any possible destinations. SUMMARY

The present invention is directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water. In various embodiments, the wave generation assembly includes a drive system and a wave generator. The wave generator is coupled to the drive system. The drive system is configured to move the wave generator between a first position and a second position. The wave generator includes (i) a generator shaft that is engaged by the drive system, and (ii) a generator head that is connected to and extends away from the generator shaft. The generator head includes a proximal end that is connected to the generator shaft and an opposed distal end. The distal end includes at least one wave creating surface. When the wave generator is in the first position, the distal end of the generator head is below the water surface. Additionally, when the wave generator is in the second position, the distal end of the generator head is approximately at the water surface. The at least one wave creating surface displaces water at the water surface when moved from the first position to the second position to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water. In certain embodiments, the wave generator is configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in multiple directions.

In some embodiments, the drive system is directly coupled to the wave generator. Alternatively, in other embodiments, the drive system is indirectly coupled to the wave generator. In some such alternative embodiments, the wave generation assembly can further include a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point. The pivot arm includes a first end and an opposed second end, with the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm. When the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

Additionally, in certain embodiments, the wave generator is substantially centrally positioned within the body of water. In such embodiments, the body of water can be divided into a plurality of sections that extend away from the wave generator, and the wave generator can be configured to generate a plurality of waves along the water surface of the body of water that propagate radially away from the wave generator in each of the plurality of sections.

Further, in some embodiments, the wave generator is positively buoyant.

Still further, in some embodiments, the wave generation assembly further includes a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator. The plurality of movable barriers are movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

Additionally, in certain embodiments, the wave generation assembly further includes a control system including a processor. In such embodiments, the control system is configured to control the drive system to move the wave generator between the first position and the second position.

The present invention is further directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly including (A) a drive system; and (B) a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the drive system being configured to move the wave generator between a first position and a second position, the wave generator including (i) a generator shaft that is engaged by the drive system, and (ii) a generator head that is connected to and extends away from the generator shaft, the generator head including a proximal end that is connected to the generator shaft and an opposed distal end, the distal end including at least one first wave creating surface, and the proximal end including at least one second wave creating surface; wherein when the wave generator is in the first position, the distal end of the generator head is below the water surface; and wherein when the wave generator is in the second position, the proximal end of the generator head is above the water surface; the at least one first wave creating surface displacing water at the water surface when the generator head is moved from the first position to the second position to generate at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water; and the at least one second wave creating surface displacing water at the water surface when the generator head is moved from the second position to the first position to generate at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water. Additionally, the present invention is also directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly including (A) a drive system; and (B) a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the wave generator including a piston, a first cylinder and a second cylinder, the piston being movably positioned within the first cylinder by the drive system between a first position and a second position, the first cylinder being positioned at least partially within the second cylinder, the first cylinder including a first end that is positioned above the water surface and a second end that is positioned below the water surface, and the second cylinder including a top edge that is positioned approximately at the water surface; wherein when the piston is in the first position, the piston is positioned above the water surface; wherein when the piston is in the second position, the piston is positioned below the water surface; and wherein movement of the piston from the first position to the second position drives water out of the first cylinder and into a lower portion of the second cylinder, the water being redirected by a base of the second cylinder in a generally upward direction toward an outer edge of the second cylinder outside of the first cylinder, the water being driven upward and out of the second cylinder over the top edge of the second cylinder to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

Further, the present invention is also directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly including (A) a drive system; and (B) a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the wave generator including a piston and a cylinder, the piston being movably positioned within the cylinder by the drive system between a first position and a second position, the cylinder being positioned below the water surface, the cylinder including a first end and an opposed second end, with the first end being positioned near the water surface; wherein when the piston is in the first position, the piston is positioned near the second end of the cylinder; wherein when the piston is in the second position, the piston is positioned near the first end of the cylinder; and wherein movement of the piston from the first position to the second position drives water out of the first end of the cylinder to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water. Additionally, the present invention is further directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly including (A) a drive system; and (B) a wave generator that is coupled to the drive system, the wave generator including a piston, a first cylinder and a second cylinder, the piston being movably positioned within the first cylinder by the drive system between a first position and a second position, the first cylinder being positioned at least partially within the second cylinder, the first cylinder including a first end that is positioned above the water surface and a second end that is positioned below the water surface, and the second cylinder including a top edge that is positioned above the water surface, a base that is positioned below the water surface, and an aperture that is positioned approximately at the water surface; wherein when the piston is in the first position, the piston is positioned above the water surface; wherein when the piston is in the second position, the piston is positioned below the water surface; and wherein movement of the piston from the first position to the second position drives water out of the first cylinder and into a lower portion of the second cylinder, the water being redirected by the base of the second cylinder in a generally upward direction toward an outer edge of the second cylinder outside of the first cylinder, the water being driven upward and out of the second cylinder through the aperture of the second cylinder to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water.

Further, the present invention is directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly including (i) a wave generator that moves between a first position and a second position to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water; (ii) a drive system that is coupled to the wave generator, the drive system moving the wave generator between the first position and the second position; and (iii) a pivot arm that is supported by a pivot support at a pivot point, the pivot arm having a first end and an opposed second end, the drive system being coupled to the first end of the pivot arm and the wave generator being coupled to the second end of the pivot arm; wherein when the drive system moves the first end of the pivot arm in a first direction, the second end of the pivot arm and the wave generator move in a second direction that is substantially opposite to the first direction to move the wave generator from the first position to the second position.

Still further, the present invention is directed toward a wave generation assembly for generating at least one wave along a water surface of a body of water, the wave generation assembly including (i) a wave generator that moves between a first position and a second position to generate the at least one wave along the water surface of the body of water; (ii) a drive system that is coupled to the wave generator, the drive system moving the wave generator between the first position and the second position; and (iii) a plurality of movable barriers that are selectively positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator, the plurality of movable barriers being movable relative to the wave generator to regulate the wave energy generated by the wave generator.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

Figure 1 is a simplified perspective view illustration of a body of water and a wave generation assembly having features of the present invention;

Figure 2A is a perspective view illustration of a portion of an embodiment of the wave generation assembly, including a wave generator and a drive system;

Figure 2B is a simplified schematic illustration of the portion of the wave generation assembly illustrated in Figure 2A;

Figure 3 is a simplified schematic illustration of another embodiment of the wave generator;

Figure 4 is a simplified schematic illustration of still another embodiment of the wave generator;

Figure 5 is a simplified schematic illustration of yet another embodiment of the wave generator;

Figure 6 is a simplified schematic illustration of but another embodiment of the wave generator;

Figure 7 is a simplified schematic illustration of a portion of another embodiment of the wave generation assembly including an alternative embodiment of the drive system;

Figure 8A is a simplified schematic side view illustration of a plurality of movable barriers that can be included as part of the wave generation assembly;

Figure 8B is a simplified schematic top view illustration of the plurality of movable barriers illustrated in Figure 8A;

Figure 9A is a simplified schematic illustration of a portion of still another embodiment of the wave generation assembly, the wave generation assembly including a wave generator and a drive system; and

Figure 9B is a simplified schematic illustration of a portion of the wave generator illustrated in Figure 9A.

DESCRIPTION

Embodiments of the present invention are described herein in the context of an assembly and method for generating waves within a body of water. More specifically, the present invention encompasses various embodiments of a wave generation assembly and method that includes a wave generator that is driven, e.g., directly or indirectly, by a drive system relative to a water surface of a body of water for purposes of generating one or more waves along the water surface.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will realize that the following detailed description of the present invention is illustrative only and is not intended to be in any way limiting. Other embodiments of the present invention will readily suggest themselves to such skilled persons having the benefit of this disclosure. Reference will now be made in detail to implementations of the present invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The same or similar nomenclature and/or reference indicators will be used throughout the drawings and the following detailed description to refer to the same or like parts.

In the interest of clarity, not all of the routine features of the implementations described herein are shown and described. It will, of course, be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementations, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made in order to achieve the developer's specific goals, such as compliance with application-related and business-related constraints, and that these specific goals will vary from one implementation to another and from one developer to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of engineering for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.

Figure 1 is a simplified perspective view illustration of a body of water 10 and a wave generation assembly 12 having features of the present invention. It is appreciated that the wave generation assembly 12 can be used within any suitable type of body of water 10 that can be natural or manmade. For example, the wave generation assembly 12 can be used within a body of water 10 that is a natural lake, a manmade lake, a pool, a pond, a lagoon, a waterway, or any other suitable body of water. It should further be appreciated that the wave generation assembly 12 will typically be used within a body of water 10 that has little or no natural flow, so as to not potentially adversely impact the desired generation of waves. However, the wave generation assembly 12 can also be usable within a body of water 10 that does have a natural flow, and the wave generation assembly 12 can be configured to generate waves in conjunction with whatever natural flow exists in the body of water 10. Thus, the description of the wave generation assembly 12 as being typically used with a body of water 10 with little or no natural flow is not intended to be limiting in any manner.

The design of the wave generation assembly 12 can be varied. As an overview, in various embodiments, the wave generation assembly 12 includes a wave generator 214 (illustrated, for example, in Figure 2A) and a drive system 218 (illustrated as a box, for example, in Figure 2A). The wave generator 214 generates at least one wave 16 along a water surface 10A of the body of water 10, and preferably a plurality of waves 16, by selectively moving water within the body of water 10 relative to the water surface 10A. The drive system 218 drives the operation and/or movement of the wave generator 214. Additionally, in various embodiments, the operation of the wave generator 214 and/or the drive system 218 can be controlled, i.e. with a control system 220 (illustrated as a box in Figure 2A), such that the wave generation assembly 12 generates waves of any desired size and frequency. Stated in another manner, in such embodiments, the control system 220 can be configured to control the operation of the wave generator 214 and/or the drive system 218 so that waves are generated in a desired time series. Moreover, the time series, or frequency, of the wave generation with the wave generation assembly 12 can be adjustable in any suitable manner.

In certain embodiments, the wave generation assembly 12 can be somewhat centrally positioned within the body of water 10, and can be configured to generate a plurality of waves 16 that propagate radially outwardly away from the wave generator 214 in multiple directions, e.g., toward a perimeter of the body of water 10. It is appreciated that the size and frequency of the waves 16, as well as the specific directions in which the waves 16 travel can be varied depending on the specific requirements of the wave generation assembly 12 and the specific design and features present within the body of water 10. Additionally, the wave generation assembly 12 can include the control system 220, including a processor and/or circuits, that controls the operation and movement of the wave generator 214 and the drive system 218. Stated in another manner, in some embodiments, as provided herein, the control system 220 controls the drive system 218 to move the wave generator 214 along a desired path and in a desired time series.

In certain embodiments, as illustrated in Figure 1 for example, the wave generation assembly 12 can include and/or can be used in conjunction with a platform 22 that is mounted over various features of the wave generation assembly 12, e.g., the wave generator 214 and the drive system 218. The platform 22 can be used to provide access to the components of the wave generation assembly 12 as well as to provide a housing over and/or around the wave generation assembly 12 to protect the components of the wave generation assembly 12. The platform 22 can have any suitable design, and can include any of various features to make the platform more functional, safe and comfortable for individuals using the platform 22.

Additionally, as shown, the platform 22 can be made accessible by one or more pathways 24, e.g., bridges, walkways, etc., that extend over or through a portion of the body of water 10 from a shoreline (not specifically illustrated in Figure 1 ), or other perimeter of the body of water 10, to the platform 22.

Further, in various embodiments, the wave generation assembly 12 can utilize one or more walls, barriers, reef-creating mechanisms or other features (not shown) positioned within the body of water 10 that can impact and control the size, shape, angle and direction of the waves 16 that are generated by the wave generator 214 as the waves 16 propagate outwardly away from the wave generator 214 through the body of water 10. For example, the wave generation assembly 12 can utilize such features to generate different types and sizes of waves in different directions that are more suitable for different audiences. More particularly, in some embodiments, the wave generation assembly 12 can incorporate the use of a plurality of walls 15, or other types of barriers that are usable to divide the body of water 10 into multiple sections of equal or differing sizes. For example, in certain embodiments, the walls 15 or other barriers can divide the body of water into eight different sections that are each of a comparable size. Alternatively, the walls 15 or other barriers can be used can divide the body of water 10 into greater than eight sections or fewer than eight sections, and the sections can be of similar or differing sizes.

As shown in Figure 1 , in some such embodiments, the wave generation assembly 12 can use such features (and/or have a general design) to generate waves 16 that are most appropriate for advanced surfers (i.e. in the "Advanced Bay"), intermediate surfers (i.e. in the "Intermediate Bay"), beginning surfers or non-surfers (i.e. in the "Family Beginner" area), and boogie boarders (i.e. in the "Boogie Board" area). Additionally, each different area or section or bay within the body of water 10 can extend any desired distance away from the wave generation assembly 12. For example, in certain nonexclusive embodiments, each area or section or bay within the body of water 10 can be configured to extend between approximately one hundred meters and three hundred meters away from the wave generation assembly 12. Alternatively, each area or section or bay within the body of water 10 can extend greater than three hundred meters or less than one hundred meters away from the wave generation assembly 12.

It is understood that the wave generation assembly 12 need not be configured, however, to generate different types and sizes of waves. Thus, the illustration of different areas within the body of water 10 for different types of waves/surfers is not intended to be limiting in any manner.

Figure 2A is a perspective view illustration of a portion of an embodiment of the wave generation assembly 212 illustrated in Figure 1 that is configured to generate one or more waves 216 (illustrated in Figure 2B) along a water surface 21 OA (illustrated in Figure 2B) of a body of water 10 (illustrated in Figure 1 ). As provided herein, and as noted above, the design of the wave generation assembly 212 can be varied. As shown in Figure 2A, the wave generation assembly 212 can include the wave generator 214, the drive system 218 and the control system 220. The design of each of these components of the wave generation assembly 212 can be varied to suit the particular design requirements of the wave generation assembly 212 and the individuals who are most likely to use the wave generation assembly 212. Additionally, the wave generation assembly 212 can be designed to include more components or fewer components than those specifically illustrated in Figure 2A. For example, in some embodiments, the wave generation assembly 212 can include one or more movable barriers (see e.g., movable barriers 850 illustrated in Figure 8A) that can regulate the wave energy from the wave generator 214 to the surf bays.

The design of the wave generator 214 can be varied. For example, in certain alternative embodiments, the wave generator 214 can be a plunger-type wave generator, a piston-type wave generator, a piston-type buoy wave generator, a pressurized air-type wave generator, a pumped water-type wave generator, or another suitable type of wave generator. In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 2, the wave generator 214 is a plunger- type wave generator that includes a generator shaft 226 and a generator head 228.

In certain embodiments, the generator shaft 226 is configured and positioned to be engaged, e.g., pushed or pulled, by the drive system 218 during operation of the wave generation assembly 212. Alternatively, in other embodiments, the generator shaft 226 can be rotated or moved in another manner during operation of the wave generation assembly 212.

Additionally, the generator shaft 226 can have any suitable size and shape. For example, in certain embodiments, the generator shaft 226 can have a cross-sectional shape that is substantially circular, rectangular, square, triangular, or another suitable shape.

The size, shape and design of the generator head 228 can be varied depending on the types and sizes of waves 216 to be generated, as well as where the generator head 228 is to be positioned relative to the water surface 21 OA during operation of the wave generation assembly 212. The generator head 228 is connected to (and/or integrally formed with) and extends away from the generator shaft 226. As illustrated, the generator head 228 includes a proximal end 228A that is connected to the generator shaft 226, and an opposed distal end 228B. Additionally, in this embodiment, the generator head 228 includes at least one wave creating surface 230 at, adjacent to, or near the distal end 228B of the generator head 228. For example, in certain non-exclusive embodiments, the at least one wave creating surface 230 can include a flat, an angled or rounded face, i.e. relative to a body 228C of the generator head 228, that is configured to displace water at or near the water surface 21 OA.

Further, as noted, the generator head 228 can have any suitable shape. For example, in certain embodiments, the generator head 228 can have a cross-sectional shape that is substantially circular, oval, rectangular, square, trapezoidal, triangular, or another suitable shape.

The generator head 228 and/or the wave generator 214 can be formed from any suitable materials. Additionally, in some embodiments, the generator head 228 and/or the wave generator 214 can be formed so as to have a certain buoyancy (i.e. positively buoyant) within the body of water 10. For example, in some such embodiments, the generator head 228 and/or the wave generator 214 can be formed as a hollow structure to provide the desired buoyancy. Stated in another manner, the wave generator 214 can have a density that is less than the density of the water in which the wave generator 214 is being used. For example, in certain non-exclusive embodiments, the wave generator 214 can have a density that is between approximately zero percent and forty percent less than the density of the water in which the wave generator 214 is being used. Alternatively, the wave generator 214 can have a density that is greater than forty percent less than the density of the water in which the wave generator 214 is being used. As such, the range of difference in density between the wave generator 214 and the water is not intended to be limiting in any manner.

With this design, i.e. with a positively buoyant generator head 228 and/or wave generator 214, when the wave generator 214 is at a depth relative to the water surface 21 OA below a certain equilibrium point, the buoyancy will tend to drive the wave generator 214 toward the water surface 21 OA. In some embodiments, this can decrease the energy that may be required by the drive system 218, thus potentially lowering the overall power requirements for the wave generation assembly 212. In one non-exclusive alternative embodiment, the wave generator 214 can be configured to have negative buoyancy, i.e. have a density that is greater than the density of the water in which the wave generator 214 is being used, such that the wave generator 214 would naturally sink within the body of water 10 if no external forces are applied to the wave generator 214.

As provided herein, the drive system 218 is configured to engage the wave generator 214 and to move the wave generator 214 along a desired path so the wave generator 214 can generate the desired waves 216. The design of the drive system 218 can be varied. In the embodiment shown in Figure 2A, the drive system 218 is a direct- drive system that substantially directly engages, e.g., pushes and/or pulls, the wave generator 214, i.e. the generator shaft 226 in this embodiment, to create the desired movement of the wave generator 214. Additionally, in certain non-exclusive embodiments, the drive system 218 can include a hydraulically-driven motor, a pneumatically-driven motor, a linear synchronous motor drive system, or another suitable type of actuator. Alternatively, the drive system 218 can have a different design. For example, in one non-exclusive alternative embodiment, the drive system 218 can be a pivot-type drive system that indirectly engages the wave generator 214. Still alternatively, the drive system 218 can have another suitable design.

Figure 2B is a simplified schematic illustration of the portion of the wave generation assembly 212 illustrated in Figure 2A. More particularly, Figure 2B illustrates the general operation of the wave generation assembly 212 for purposes of generating the one or more waves 216 along the water surface 21 OA.

As shown, during operation of the wave generation assembly 212, the drive system 218 (illustrated as a box) drives the wave generator 214, e.g., pushes or pulls the generator shaft 226, so that the wave generator 214 moves substantially linearly (and vertically) between a first position (outlined in solid lines) and a second position (outlined in dashed lines). Alternatively, it is recognized that the movement of the wave generator 214 between the first position and the second position can be other than substantially vertical, e.g., movement can be at an angle relative to vertical.

In particular, as the wave generator 214 is moved from the first position to the second position, the at least one wave creating surface 230 pushes and/or displaces the water at or near the water surface 21 OA so as to generate at least one wave 216 that propagates in a generally outward direction radially away from the wave generator 214. Subsequently, the drive system 218 can be utilized to return the wave generator 214 back to the first position, e.g., by pulling or pushing on the generator shaft 226. The operation can then be repeated as many times as desired, and with a desired frequency, such that each movement from the first position to the second position generates at least one wave 216 that propagates in a generally outward direction radially away from the wave generator 214 along the water surface 21 OA of the body of water 10.

As illustrated in this embodiment, in the first position, the generator head 228, i.e. the distal end 228B of the generator head 228, is positioned at a distance (ranging from a few centimeters to a couple meters) below the water surface 21 OA. For example, in some non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the distal end 228B of the generator head 228 can be positioned between approximately five meters and ten meters below the water surface 21 OA when the wave generator 214 is in the first position. Additionally, in the second position, the generator head 228, i.e. the distal end 228B of the generator head 228, is positioned substantially in line with (approximately at) or just below the water surface 21 OA, e.g., within between approximately one and ten centimeters of the water surface 21 OA. Alternatively, the generator head 228 can be positioned in a different manner relative to the water surface 21 OA in either the first position or the second position. For example, in some non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the generator head 228 can be positioned above the water surface 21 OA in either the first position or the second position. It is merely required that the at least one wave creating surface 230 is positioned to engage, e.g., push and displace, the water at some time during the movement between the first position and the second position in order to generate the desired waves 216.

It is appreciated that in an embodiment where the distal end 228B of the generator head 228 is positioned between approximately five meters and ten meters below the water surface 21 OA when the wave generator 214 is in the first position, and where the distal end 228B of the generator head 228 is positioned approximately at the water surface 21 OA when the wave generator 214 is in the second position, the wave generator 214 can have a movement stroke of between approximately five meters and ten meters along the desired path. Alternatively, the movement stroke of the wave generator 214 between the first position and the second position can be greater than ten meters or less than five meters.

In summary, as noted herein, the drive system 218 is configured to engage the wave generator 214 and to move the wave generator 214 along the desired path, i.e. from the first position to the second position, so the wave generator 214 can generate the desired waves 216.

Additionally, as noted above, the control system 220 can include one or more processors and/or circuits to control the operation and movement of the drive system 218 and the wave generator 214. For example, in certain embodiments, the control system 220 is configured to control the drive system 218 to move the wave generator 214 between the first position and the second position in a desired time series, such that waves 216 are created in desired directions and in a desired frequency.

Figure 3 is a simplified schematic illustration of another embodiment of the wave generator 314. As illustrated in this embodiment, the wave generator 314 is somewhat similar in design and function as the wave generator 214 illustrated in Figure 2. For example, the wave generator 314 is again a plunger-type wave generator including a generator shaft 326 and a generator head 328, and the wave generator 314 again is moved by a drive system, e.g., directly by the drive system 218 (illustrated in Figure 2), indirectly by a drive system 718 such as illustrated in Figure 7, or indirectly by a drive system 918 such as illustrated in Figure 9A, linearly (and vertically) between a first position (illustrated with solid lines) and a second position (illustrated with dashed lines). However, in this embodiment, the generator head 328 has a somewhat different design, and the first position and the second position for the wave generator 314 are somewhat different than in the previous embodiment.

The generator head 328 again is connected to (and/or integrally formed with) and extends away from the generator shaft 326. Additionally, in this embodiment, as shown in Figure 3, the generator head 328 again includes a proximal end 328A that is connected to the generator shaft 326, and an opposed distal end 328B. Further, as illustrated, the generator head 328 includes at least one first wave creating surface 330A, e.g., an angled, flat or rounded face relative to a body 328C of the generator head 328, at, adjacent to, or near the distal end 328B of the generator head 328, and at least one second wave creating surface 330B, e.g., an angled, flat or rounded face relative to the body 328C of the generator head 328, at, adjacent to, or near the proximal end 328A of the generator head 328.

With this design, somewhat similar to in the previous embodiment, the drive system 218, 718, 918 drives the wave generator 314, e.g., pushes or pulls the generator shaft 326, so that the wave generator 314 moves substantially linearly between the first position and the second position. In particular, as the wave generator 314 is moved from the first position to the second position, the at least one first wave creating surface 330A pushes and/or displaces the water at or near the water surface 31 OA so as to generate at least one wave 316 that propagates in a generally outward direction radially away from the wave generator 314. Subsequently, after pausing, e.g., for approximately five to fifteen seconds or another suitable amount of time, the drive system 218 can be utilized to move the wave generator 314 from the second position back to the first position, e.g., by pulling or pushing on the generator shaft 326. As the wave generator 314 is moved from the second position back to the first position, the at least one second wave creating surface 330B pushes and/or displaces the water at or near the water surface 31 OA so as to generate at least one wave 316 that propagates in a generally outward direction radially away from the wave generator 314. The operation can then be repeated as many times as desired, and with a desired frequency, such that each movement from the first position to the second position generates at least one wave 316, and each movement from the second position back to the first position generates at least one wave 316. Thus, during movement in either direction, the wave generator 314 generates at least one wave 316 that propagates in a generally outward direction radially away from the wave generator 314 along the water surface 31 OA of the body of water 10 (illustrated in Figure 1 ).

As illustrated in this embodiment, in the first position, the generator head 328, i.e. the distal end 328B of the generator head 328, can be positioned at a distance (ranging from a few centimeters to a couple meters) below the water surface 31 OA. Additionally, in the second position, the generator head 328, i.e. the proximal end 328A of the generator head 328, (and at least a portion of the generator shaft 326) can be positioned above the water surface 31 OA. For example, in certain non-exclusive embodiments, the generator head 328 can be positioned from a few centimeters to a couple meters above the water surface 31 OA when the wave generator 314 is in the second position. Alternatively, the generator head 328 can be positioned in a different manner relative to the water surface 31 OA in either the first position or the second position. For example, in some non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the generator head 328 need not specifically break the water surface 31 OA during movement between the first position and the second position. It is merely required that the at least one first wave creating surface 330A is positioned to engage, e.g., push and displace, the water at or near the water surface 31 OA at some time during the movement from the first position and the second position, and that the at least one second wave creating surface 330B is positioned to engage, e.g., push and displace, the water at or near the water surface 31 OA at some time during the movement from the second position and the first position, in order to generate the desired waves 316.

As utilized herein, the terms "first wave creating surface" and "second wave creating surface" are merely for convenience and ease of illustration, and either wave creating surface 330A, 330B can be referred to as a "first wave creating surface" or a "second wave creating surface".

Figure 4 is a simplified schematic illustration of still another embodiment of the wave generator 414. In this embodiment, the wave generator 414 is a piston-type wave generator that includes a piston 432, a first (inner) cylinder 434, and a second (outer) cylinder 436 for purposes of generating or creating at least one wave 416 along the water surface 41 OA.

As shown in this embodiment, the piston 432 moves and/or is driven by a drive system, e.g., the drive system 218 (illustrated in Figure 2), the drive system 718 (illustrated in Figure 7), or the drive system 918 (illustrated in Figure 9A), substantially linearly (and vertically) between a first position (outlined in solid lines) and a second position (outlined in dashed lines) within the first (inner) cylinder 434. Alternatively, it is understood that the movement of the piston 432 between the first position and the second position can be other than substantially vertical, e.g., movement can be at an angle relative to vertical.

As illustrated, the first cylinder 434 is positioned with a first (upper) end 434A above the water surface 41 OA and a second (lower) end 434B below the water surface 41 OA. Additionally, the first cylinder 434 is positioned at least partially within the second cylinder 436. Further, the second cylinder 436 is positioned substantially fully within the water, i.e. with a top edge 436A that is approximately in line with (e.g., within a few centimeters of) the water surface 41 OA.

In the first position, the piston 432 is positioned above the water surface 41 OA, and near the first end 434A of the first cylinder 434. Subsequently, in the second position, the piston 432 is positioned at or preferably below the water surface 41 OA and near the second end 434B of the first cylinder 434. During operation, the drive system 218, 718, 918 moves or drives the piston 432 down into the first cylinder 434 from the first position to the second position. Such movement of the piston 432 drives water out of the first cylinder 434 and into a lower portion 436B (near a base 436C) of the second cylinder 436. As the water is forced into the lower portion 436B of the second cylinder 436, the base 436C of the second cylinder 436 redirects the water and forces (i.e. drives) the water in a generally upward direction toward the outer edge 436D of the second cylinder 436 outside of the first cylinder 434. In particular, the water is forced into the lower portion 436B of the second cylinder 436 and is subsequently redirected by the base 436C in a generally upward direction toward the outer edge 436D of the second cylinder 436 outside of the first cylinder 434. The water is driven such that it moves upward toward the outer edge 436D of the second cylinder 436 and out of the second cylinder over the top edge 436A of the second cylinder 436 and away from the wave generator 414, i.e. away from the cylinders 434, 436. This movement of the water generates or creates at least one wave 416 that propagates radially away from the wave generator 414 along the water surface 41 OA.

After the at least one wave 416 has been created, the drive system 218, 718, 918 then moves or drives the piston 432 from the second position back to the first position, which allows water to reenter the second cylinder 436 and the first cylinder 434. The process can then be repeated with the desired frequency to continually generate or create additional waves 416 along the water surface 41 OA.

As utilized herein, the terms "first cylinder" and "second cylinder" are merely for convenience and ease of illustration, and either cylinder 434, 436 can be referred to as a "first cylinder" or a "second cylinder". Additionally, the terms "first end" and "second end" are also used merely for convenience and ease of illustration, and either end 434A, 434B can be referred to as a "first end" or a "second end" of the first cylinder 434.

Figure 5 is a simplified schematic illustration of yet another embodiment of the wave generator 514. In this embodiment, the wave generator 514 is again a piston-type wave generator. As shown in Figure 5, the wave generator 514 includes a piston 532 and a cylinder 534 for purposes of generating or creating at least one wave 516 along the water surface 51 OA.

As shown in this embodiment, the piston 532 moves and/or is driven by a drive system, e.g., the drive system 218 (illustrated in Figure 2), the drive system 718 (illustrated in Figure 7), or the drive system 918 (illustrated in Figure 9A), substantially linearly (and vertically) between a first position (outlined in solid lines) and a second position (outlined in dashed lines) within the cylinder 534. Additionally, the cylinder 534 is positioned with a first (upper) end 534A at, adjacent to, near or just below (e.g., within between approximately one and ten centimeters of) the water surface 51 OA, and a second (lower) end 534B that is below (e.g., ranging from a few centimeters to a few meters below, depending on the length of the cylinder 534) the water surface 51 OA. For example, in some non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the second (lower) end 534B of the cylinder 534 can be positioned between approximately five meters and fifteen meters below the water surface 51 OA. In such embodiments, the cylinder 534 can have a length of between approximately five meters and fifteen meters. Alternatively, the second (lower) end 534B of the cylinder 534 can be positioned in a different manner relative to the water surface 51 OA and/or the cylinder 534 can have a different length than what is described above.

In the first position, the piston 532 is positioned near the second end 534B of the cylinder 534. Stated in another manner, in some embodiments, the piston 532 can be positioned between approximately five meters and fifteen meters below the water surface 51 OA when the piston 532 is in the first position. Subsequently, in the second position, the piston 532 is positioned near the first end 534A of the cylinder 534. Stated in another manner, in certain embodiments, the piston 532 can be positioned at, adjacent to, near or just below (e.g., within between approximately one and ten centimeters of) the water surface 51 OA when the piston 532 is in the second position.

During operation, the drive system 218, 718, 918 moves or drives the piston 532 up within the cylinder 534 from the first position to the second position. Such movement of the piston 532 drives water out of the cylinder 534, with water being expelled out of the first end 534A of the cylinder 534, and away from the wave generator 514, i.e. away from the cylinder 534. Such movement of the water thus generates or creates the at least one wave 516 that propagates radially away from the wave generator 514 along the water surface 51 OA.

After the at least one wave 516 has been created, the drive system 218, 718, 918 then moves or drives the piston 532 from the second position back to the first position, which allows water to reenter the cylinder 534. The process can then be repeated with the desired frequency to continually generate or create additional waves 516 along the water surface 51 OA.

Figure 6 is a simplified schematic illustration of still yet another embodiment of the wave generator 614. The wave generator 614 in this embodiment again is a piston-type wave generator. As illustrated, the wave generator 614 is somewhat similar to the wave generator 414 illustrated and described in relation to Figure 4. For example, the wave generator 614 again includes a piston 632, a first (inner) cylinder 634, and a second (outer) cylinder 636 for purposes of generating or creating at least one wave 616 along the water surface 61 OA. However, in this embodiment, the wave generator 614 further includes at least one aperture 638 that is formed in the second (outer) cylinder 636.

As shown, the piston 632 moves and/or is driven by a drive system, e.g., the drive system 218 (illustrated in Figure 2), the drive system 718 (illustrated in Figure 7), or the drive system 918 (illustrated in Figure 9A), substantially linearly (and vertically) between a first position (outlined in solid lines) and a second position (outlined in dashed lines) within the first (inner) cylinder 634. In this embodiment, the first cylinder 634 is positioned with a first (upper) end 634A above the water surface 61 OA and a second (lower) end 634B below the water surface 61 OA. Additionally, the first cylinder 634 is positioned at least partially within the second cylinder 636. Further, the second cylinder 636 is positioned partially within the water, i.e. with a lower portion 636B positioned within the water and a top edge 636A that extends above the water surface 41 OA. Still further, as shown, the at least one aperture 638 is formed in the outer edge 636D of the second cylinder 636 such that the at least one aperture 638 is positioned approximately at or substantially adjacent to the water surface 61 OA.

In the first position, the piston 632 is positioned above the water surface 61 OA, and near the first end 634A of the first cylinder 634. Subsequently, in the second position, the piston 632 is positioned at or preferably below the water surface 61 OA and near the second end 634B of the first cylinder 634. During operation, the drive system 218, 718, 918 moves or drives the piston 632 down into the first cylinder 634 from the first position to the second position. This movement of the piston 632 drives water out of the first cylinder 634 and into the lower portion 636B (near a base 636C) of the second cylinder 636. As the water is forced into the lower portion 636B of the second cylinder 636, the base 636C of the second cylinder 636 redirects the water and forces (i.e. drives) the water in a generally upward direction toward the outer edge 636D of the second cylinder 636 outside of the first cylinder 634. In particular, the water is forced into the lower portion 636B of the second cylinder 636 and is subsequently redirected by the base 636C in a generally upward direction toward the outer edge 636D of the second cylinder 636 outside of the first cylinder 634. The water is driven such that it moves upward toward the outer edge 636D of the second cylinder 636 and out of the second cylinder through the at least one aperture 638 and away from the wave generator 614, i.e. away from the cylinders 634, 636. This movement of the water generates or creates at least one wave 616 that propagates radially away from the wave generator 614 along the water surface 61 OA.

After the at least one wave 616 has been created, the drive system 218 then moves or drives the piston 632 from the second position back to the first position, which allows water to reenter the second cylinder 636 and the first cylinder 634. The process can then be repeated with the desired frequency to continually generate or create additional waves 616 along the water surface 61 OA.

Figure 7 is a simplified schematic illustration of a portion of another embodiment of the wave generation assembly 712 including an alternative embodiment of the drive system 718. As illustrated, the drive system 718 is again configured to engage the wave generator 714 (illustrated as a box in Figure 7) and to move the wave generator 714 along a desired path, e.g., in a substantially vertical direction between a first position (outlined in solid lines) and a second position (outlined in dashed lines) relative to a water surface 71 OA of a body of water 10 (illustrated in Figure 1 ). However, in this embodiment, as shown, the drive system 718 is configured to indirectly move or drive the movement of the wave generator 714. In particular, the drive system 718 is coupled to the wave generator 714 by way of a pivot arm 740 that is supported by a pivot support 742.

In certain embodiments, the pivot arm 740 can be substantially rectangular bar- shaped, and the pivot arm 740 can be movably, e.g., pivotally, coupled to the pivot support 742 at a pivot point 744. As illustrated, the pivot point 744 can be substantially centrally located along the length of the pivot arm 740. Alternatively, the pivot point 744 can be other than substantially centrally located along the length of the pivot arm 740. Still alternatively, the pivot arm 740 can have another suitable design or another suitable shape.

Additionally, as shown, the drive system 718 is coupled to the pivot arm 740 at or near a first end 740A of the pivot arm 740, and the wave generator 714 is coupled to the pivot arm 740 at or near a second end 740B of the pivot arm 740. With this design, as the drive system 718 moves, pushes or pulls the first end 740A of the pivot arm 740 in a generally upward direction, the pivot arm 740 pivots about the pivot point 744 so the second end 740B pivots down and thus moves or drives the wave generator 714 in a generally downward (vertical) direction, i.e. from the first position to the second position. Conversely, as the drive system 718 moves, pulls or pushes the first end 740A of the pivot arm 740 in a generally downward direction, the pivot arm 740 pivots about the pivot point 744 so the second end 740B pivots up and thus moves or drives the wave generator 714 in a generally upward (vertical) direction, i.e. from the second position back to the first position. As illustrated with the embodiments discussed in detail above, the up and down movement of the wave generator 714 generates or creates at least one wave 716 along the water surface 71 OA.

As utilized herein, the terms "first end" and "second end" are merely for convenience and ease of illustration, and either end 740A, 740B can be referred to as a "first end" or a "second end" of the pivot arm 740.

Figure 8A is a simplified schematic side view illustration of a plurality of movable barriers 850 that can be included as part of the wave generation assembly, e.g., the wave generation assembly 212 illustrated in Figure 2A or the wave generation assembly 712 illustrated in Figure 7. Additionally, Figure 8B is a simplified schematic top view illustration of the plurality of movable barriers 850 illustrated in Figure 8A, with the plurality of movable barriers 850 being positioned to substantially encircle the wave generator 814 (illustrated as a circle in Figure 8B). It is appreciated that the movable barriers 850 can be used in conjunction with any design of the wave generator 814 as described in detail herein above.

As provided herein, the plurality of movable barriers 850 can be used to regulate the wave energy, and thus the size of the waves, from the wave generator 814 to the surf bays, e.g., the "Advanced Bay", "Intermediate Bay", "Family Beginner", "Boogie Board" as shown in the body of water 10 in Figure 1 . During operation, the movable barriers 850 can be selectively and individually moved relative to the water surface 81 OA (shown in Figure 8A) in a substantially vertical direction to so regulate the wave energy from the wave generator 814. Generally speaking, movement of the movable barriers 850 away from the water surface 81 OA, e.g., so that a center of the movable barrier 850 is further from the water surface 81 OA, will allow more wave energy, and thus larger waves, to propagate along the water surface 81 OA away from the wave generator 814. Conversely, movement of the movable barriers 850 toward the water surface 81 OA, e.g., so that the center of the movable barrier 850 is closer to the water surface 81 OA, will allow less wave energy, and thus smaller waves, to propagate along the water surface 81 OA away from the wave generator 814.

It is appreciated that the movable barriers 850 can be positioned to block all or part or none of the wave energy from the wave generator 814 that is propagating away from the wave generator 814 in any direction. For example, if the movable barriers 850 are positioned to block all of the wave energy from the wave generator 814 in any given direction, waves will be inhibited from propagating along the water surface 81 OA in that direction.

Additionally, in some embodiments, the movable barriers 850 can also be used to isolate (and seal) the wave generator 814 from the body of water 10 to allow the removal of water from immediately adjacent to the wave generator 814 for dry access to the wave generator 814, e.g., for maintenance purposes.

The design of movable barriers 850 can be varied. For example, in certain nonexclusive embodiments, the movable barriers 850 can include wheeled or slide gates whose movement can be guided, e.g., substantially vertically, away from or toward the water surface 81 OA to selectively allow or inhibit wave energy from the wave generator 814 to move into the surf bays. Alternatively, the movable barriers 850 can have a different design and/or can be guided to move in a different manner.

Additionally, the number of movable barriers 850 can also be varied. For example, as shown in Figure 8B, the wave generation assembly 212, 712 can include eight movable barriers 850 that are arranged in an octagonal pattern about the wave generator 814. Alternatively, the wave generation assembly 212 can include a different number of movable barriers 850, e.g., four, five, six, seven, nine or ten movable barriers 850 that are arranged in a different pattern about the wave generator 814.

Figure 9A is a simplified schematic illustration of a portion of still another embodiment of the wave generation assembly 912. As illustrated, the wave generation assembly 912 is somewhat similar to the wave generation assembly 712 illustrated and described above in relation to Figure 7. More specifically, the wave generation assembly 912 again includes a drive system 918 that is configured to indirectly engage the wave generator 914 so as to indirectly move or drive the movement of the wave generator 914 along a desired path, e.g., in a substantially vertical direction between a first position (outlined in solid lines) and a second position (outlined in dashed lines) relative to the water surface 91 OA.

As shown in Figure 9A, the drive system 918 is again coupled to the wave generator 914 by way of a pivot arm 940 that is movably supported by a pivot support 942. In particular, the pivot arm 940 is movably, e.g., pivotally, coupled to the pivot support 942 at a pivot point 944. The pivot point 944 can be provided at any suitable location along a length of the pivot arm 940 between a first end 940A and an opposed second end 940B. For example, in the embodiment shown in Figure 9A, the pivot point 944 is positioned somewhat closer to the first end 940A than to the second end 940B. Alternatively, the pivot point 944 can be substantially centrally located along the length of the pivot arm 940, or the pivot point 944 can be positioned somewhat closer to the second end 940B than to the first end 940A.

Additionally, as illustrated, the drive system 918 is coupled to the pivot arm 940 at or near the first end 940A, and the wave generator 914 is coupled to the pivot arm 940 at or near the second end 940B. With this design, similar to the embodiment shown in Figure 7, as the drive system 918 moves, pushes or pulls the first end 940A of the pivot arm 940 in a generally upward direction, the pivot arm 940 pivots about the pivot point 944 so the second end 940B pivots down and thus moves or drives the wave generator 914 in a generally downward (vertical) direction, i.e. from the first position to the second position. Conversely, as the drive system 918 moves, pulls or pushes the first end 940A of the pivot arm 940 in a generally downward direction, the pivot arm 940 pivots about the pivot point 944 so the second end 940B pivots up and thus moves or drives the wave generator 914 in a generally upward (vertical) direction, i.e. from the second position back to the first position. As illustrated with the embodiments discussed in detail above, the up and down movement of the wave generator 914 generates or creates at least one wave 916 along the water surface 91 OA.

Figure 9A also illustrates certain features of this particular embodiment of the drive system 918. More specifically, in this embodiment, the drive system 918 is a piston-type drive system that includes an extension arm 960, a cylinder 962, and a piston 964 that is coupled to the extension arm 960 and moves within the cylinder 962. Alternatively, the drive system 918 can have another suitable design.

During use of the wave generation assembly 912, the piston 964 of the drive system 918 is driven substantially linearly (and vertically) within the cylinder 962. In particular, movement of the piston 964 in a generally upward direction within the cylinder 962 pushes or pulls the extension arm 960 in a similar upward direction such that the pivot arm 940 will pivot about the pivot point 944, e.g., in a counterclockwise direction in this example. This pivoting of the pivot arm 940, as noted, moves and/or drives the wave generator 914 in a generally downward direction so that the wave generator 914 engages and displaces water relative to the water surface 91 OA as the wave generator 914 moves from the first position to the second position. Thus, the wave generator 914 generates or creates the at least one wave 916 along the water surface 91 OA. Conversely, movement of the piston 964 in a generally downward direction within the cylinder 962 pulls or pushes the extension arm 960 in a similar downward direction such that the pivot arm 940 will pivot about the pivot point 944, e.g., in a clockwise direction in this example. This pivoting of the pivot arm 940, as noted, moves and/or drives the wave generator 914 in a generally upward direction so that the wave generator 914 moves from the second position back to the first position.

As illustrated in this embodiment, in the first position, the generator head 928, i.e. the distal end 928B of the generator head 928, is positioned at a distance (ranging from a few centimeters to a few meters) below the water surface 91 OA. For example, in some non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the distal end 928B of the generator head 928 can be positioned between approximately five meters and ten meters below the water surface 91 OA when the wave generator 914 is in the first position. Additionally, in the second position, the generator head 928 is positioned substantially in line with (approximately at) or just below the water surface 91 OA, e.g., within between approximately one and ten centimeters of the water surface 91 OA. Further, in certain embodiments, the generator head 928 can be positioned and moved such that the generator head 928 does not break the water surface 91 OA during movement between the first position and the second position. Alternatively, the generator head 928 can be positioned in a different manner relative to the water surface 91 OA in either the first position or the second position. For example, in some non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the generator head 928 can be positioned above the water surface 91 OA in either the first position or the second position. It is merely required that the generator head 928 is positioned to engage, e.g., push and displace, water relative to the water surface 91 OA during the movement between the first position and the second position in order to generate the desired waves 916.

Additionally, as shown, in certain embodiments, the generator head 928 can be guided in its movement between the first position and the second position. For example, in one embodiment, the generator head 928 can be positioned to move within a chamber 966 that is defined by a guide frame 968 that is positioned within the water. With such design, the generator head 928 of the wave generator 914 is better able to move in the desired generally vertical direction relative to the water surface 91 OA between the first position and the second position.

Figure 9B is a simplified schematic illustration of a portion of the wave generator 914 illustrated in Figure 9A. In particular, Figure 9B is a simplified schematic illustration of the generator head 928. In certain embodiments, as noted above, the wave generator 914 can be configured as a buoy that has a positive buoyancy, i.e. with a density that is less than the density of the water, that tends to force the wave generator 914 toward the water surface 91 OA when the wave generator 914 is below the water surface 91 OA (or below a certain equilibrium point relative to the water surface 91 OA). Alternatively, the wave generator 914 can have another suitable design.

Additionally, as shown in Figure 9B, the wave generator 914, i.e. the generator head 928, can have a cross-sectional shape that is substantially trapezoidal-shaped. Further, the distal end 928B of the generator head 928 can include a plurality of wave creating surfaces 930, e.g., six, that are angled relative to a body 928C of the generator head 928. Still further, the proximal end 928A of the generator head 928 can include a substantially flat surface that can also be utilized for generating one or more waves 916 (illustrated in Figure 9A) along the water surface 91 OA (illustrated in Figure 9A). Alternatively, the generator head 928 can have another suitable shape. For example, in certain non-exclusive alternative embodiments, the generator head 928 can have a cross- sectional shape that is substantially circular, oval, rectangular, square, triangular, or another suitable shape.

It is understood that although a number of different embodiments of the wave generation assembly 12 have been illustrated and described herein, one or more features of any one embodiment can be combined with one or more features of one or more of the other embodiments, provided that such combination satisfies the intent of the present invention.

While a number of exemplary aspects and embodiments of the wave generation assembly 12 have been shown and disclosed herein above, those of skill in the art will recognize certain modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations thereof. It is therefore intended that the wave generation assembly shall be interpreted to include all such modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations as are within their true spirit and scope, and no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown.