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Title:
AN ENERGY GENERATING APPARATUS AND A METHOD FOR GENERATING ENERGY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/016787
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An energy generating apparatus (1) comprises a tank (3) of pressurised water in which a housing (5) defining a hollow interior region (7) is located. A piston (8) sealably and slideably located in the hollow interior region (7) is carried on a piston rod (15) and is slideable between a first end (11) and a second end (12) of the housing (3). A first valving system (27) comprising first valving elements (34) and (35) and a second valving system (28) comprising a second valving element 45 are operable by a microprocessor (57) in a first mode and a second mode. A pump (25) draws water from the second chamber (10) when the first and second valving systems (27) and (28) are in the first mode for in turn urging the piston from the first end (11) to the second end (12) of the housing (5). In the second mode of operation of the first and second valving systems (27) and (28), the pump (25) draws water from the first chamber (9) for urging the piston (8) from the second end (12) to the first end (11) of the housing (5). The reciprocating movement of the piston (3) as it shuttles between the first and second ends (11) and (12) is converted to useable energy on the piston shaft (15) which extends externally of the container (3).

Inventors:
ANDERSON THOMAS GEORGE (IE)
Application Number:
IE2018/000008
Publication Date:
January 24, 2019
Filing Date:
July 18, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ANDERSON THOMAS GEORGE (IE)
International Classes:
F03B17/00
Foreign References:
FR2983922A12013-06-14
US20100089063A12010-04-15
AU644338B11993-12-02
DE102005058100B32007-08-23
US20080260548A12008-10-23
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
F.F. GORMAN & CO. (15 Clanwilliam Square, Dublin 2, IE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An energy generating apparatus comprising a housing defining a sealed hollow interior region, a partition element located within the hollow interior region dividing the hollow interior region into a first chamber and a second chamber, the partition element being one of moveable within the hollow interior region for inversely varying the volume of the first and second chambers, and stationary within the hollow interior region with the first and second chambers communicating through an impellor, a communicating means configured to communicate the first and second chambers with a source of liquid at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, a circulating means configured to circulate the liquid through the communicating means between the liquid source and the first and second chambers to one of alternately charge the first and second chambers with liquid from the liquid source and discharge the liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the moveable partition element within the hollow interior region, and to urge the liquid from one of the first and second chambers through the impellor to the other one of the first and second chambers for rotating the impellor, and a converting means for converting the one of the shuttling movement of the partition element and the rotational movement of the impellor into useable energy.

2. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 in which the housing comprises first and second inlet ports to the respective first and second chambers. 3. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 or 2 in which the partition element is the moveable partition element.

4. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 2 or 3 in which the circulating means is responsive to the partition element reaching "the end of a stroke in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing for switching charging of the one of the first and second chambers being charged to the other one of the first and second chambers.

5. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 2 to 4 in which the circulating means is configured to draw liquid alternately from the first and second chambers for in turn charging the other one of the first and second chambers.

6. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 2 to 5 in which the circulating means comprises a valving means.

7. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 6 in which the circulating means is located between the valving means and the liquid source..

8. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 6 or 7 in which the valving means is configured for selectively and alternately communicating the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source.

9. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 6 to 8 in which the valving means is configured so that when the one of the first and second inlet ports is communicating with the liquid source, the other one of the first and second inlet ports is isolated from the liquid source. 10. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 6 to 9 in which the valving means comprises a first valving system, the first valving system being configured to selectively and alternately communicate the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source.

'

11. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 10 in which the first valving system comprises a pair of first valves, each first valve being configured for selectively and alternately communicating and isolating the corresponding one of the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source.

12. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 11 in which the first valves are configured so that when one of the first valves is communicating the corresponding one of the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source, the other one of the first valves is isolating the corresponding one of the first and second inlets ports from the liquid source.

13. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 6 to 12 in which the valving means comprises a second valving system configured to alternately communicate the first and second outlet ports with thejiquid source. ,

14. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 13 in which the second valving system is configured for selectively and alternately isolating one of the first and second outlet ports from the liquid source when the other one of the first and second outlet ports is communicating with the liquid source.

15. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 12 to 14 in which the second valving system comprises a two-way valving system comprising a primary port configured for communicating with the liquid source and a pair of secondary ports configured for communicating with the respective first and second inlet ports.

16. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 15 in which the primary port is selectively and alternately communicable with the respective secondary ports through the second valving system.

17. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 12 to 16 in which the circulating means is located between the second valving system and the liquid source.

J

18. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 6 to 17 in which the valving means is responsive to the partition element reaching the end of a stroke in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing for switching charging of the one of the first and second chambers being charged to the other one of the first and second chambers.

19. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 2 to 18 in which a detecting means is provided for detecting the end of the stroke of the partition element in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing.

20. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 18 in which the valving means is responsive to the detecting means.

21. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 6 to 20 in which a control means is provided for controlling the operation of the valving means.

22. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 2 to 21 in which the partition element comprises a piston. 23. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 22 in which the piston is sealably and slideably located within the hollow interior region of the housing.

24. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 22 or 23 in which the piston is of circular shape.

25. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 22 to 24 in which the piston is longitudinally slideable within the hollow interior region.

26. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 2 to 25 in which the converting means comprises an elongated rod extending from the partition element seaiably and slideably through the housing for converting the shuttling of the partition element into reciprocal movement.

27. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 in which the impellor is located in an opening in the partition element.

28. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 1 or 27 in which one of the first and second chambers acts as a high pressure chamber, and the other one of the first and second chambers acts as a low pressure chamber. 29. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 1 , 26 or 27 in which the converting means comprises a rotatably mounted driven shaft extending seaiably from the housing and driven by the impellor.

30. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 29 in which the impellor is mounted fast on the driven shaft for driving thereof.

31. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the circulating means comprises a pump. 32. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the housing defines the hollow interior region as an elongated cylindrical hollow interior region.

33. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the liquid source comprises a tank containing the pressurised liquid therein.

34. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 33 in which the housing is located in the tank.

35. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in Claim 33 or 34 in which the housing is located within the pressurised liquid within the tank.

36. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 33 to 35 in which the first and second inlet ports and the first and second outlet ports communicate with the liquid in the tank.

37. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any of Claims 33 to 36 in which the first and second inlet ports communicate with the liquid in the tank through the first valving means. 38. An energy generating apparatus as claimedin any of Claims 33 to 37 in which the first and second outlet ports communicate with the liquid in the tank through the second valving means.

39. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the liquid source is maintained at a pressure in the range of 1 atmosphere to 15 atmospheres.

40. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the liquid source is maintained at a pressure in the range of 3 atmospheres to 10 atmospheres.

41. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the liquid source is maintained at a pressure in the range of 4 atmospheres to 6 atmospheres.

42. An energy generating apparatus as claimed in any preceding claim in which the liquid source is maintained at a pressure of approximately 5 atmospheres. 43. An energy generating apparatus comprising a housing defining a sealed hollow interior region, a partition element moveable within the hollow interior region and dividing the hollow interior region into first and second variable volume chambers, a communicating means configured to communicate the first and second chambers with a source of liquid at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, a circulating means configured to circulate liquid through the communicating means between the liquid source and the first and second chambers to alternately charge the first and second chambers with liquid from the liquid source and to discharge liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the partition element within the hollow interior region, and a means for converting the shuttling movement of the partition element into useable energy.

44. A method for generating energy, the method comprising locating a partition element in a hollow interior region of a housing to separate the hollow interior region into first and second chambers, configuring the partition element to be one of moveable in the hollow interior region for inversely varying the volume of the first and second chambers, and stationary in the hollow interior region with the first and second chambers communicating through an impellor, communicating the first and second chambers with a source of liquid at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, circulating the liquid through the communicating means between the liquid source and the first and second chambers to one of alternately . charge the first and second chambers with liquid from the liquid source and discharge the liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the moveable partition element within the hollow interior region, and to urge the liquid from one of the first and second chambers through the impellor to the other one of the first and second chambers for rotating the impellor, and converting the one of the shuttling movement of the partition element and the rotational movement of the impellor into useable energy. 45. A method as claimed in Claim 44 in which the partition element is moveable in the hollow interior region.

46. A method as claimed in Claim 45 in which the charging of the one of the first and second chambers is switched to discharging that one of the first and second chambers in response to the partition element reaching the end of a stroke in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing. 47. ... : - A method as claimed in Claim 45 or 46 in which the charging of each one of the first and second chambers is carried out by drawing the liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers. 48. A method as claimed in any of Claims 45 to 47 in which the shuttling movement of the partition element is converted into useable reciprocating energy.

49. A method as claimed in Claim 44 in which the rotational movement of the impellor is converted into useable rotational energy.

50. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 49 in which the pressurised liquid is contained in a tank.

51. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 50 in which the housing is located in the tank.

52. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 51 in which the housing is located within the pressurised liquid within the tank.

53. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 52 in which the pressurised liquid is maintained at a pressure within the range of 1 atmosphere to 15 atmospheres.

54. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 53 in which the pressurised liquid is maintained at a pressure within the range of 3 atmospheres to 10 atmospheres.

55. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 54 in which the pressurised liquid is maintained at a pressure within the range of 4 atmospheres to 6 atmospheres. 56. A method as claimed in any of Claims 44 to 55 in which the pressurised liquid is maintained at a pressure of approximately 5 atmospheres.

57. A method for generating energy, the method comprising locating a partition element in a hollow interior region of a housing to separate the hollow interior region into first and second variable volume chambers, alternately charging the first and second chambers with the liquid from a liquid source at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, and discharging liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the partition element within the hollow interior region, and converting the shuttling movement of the partition element into useable energy.

Description:
"An energy generating apparatus and a method for generating energy"

The present invention relates to an energy generating apparatus, and the invention also relates to a method for generating energy.

With the ever increasing cost of fossil fuels, and indeed the scarcity of fossil fuels, and also, the unpredictability of renewable energies, for example, wind, wave and tidal energies, it is desirable that other sources of energy be provided which do not rely on fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.

The present invention is directed towards providing an energy generating apparatus, and the invention is also directed towards providing a method for generating energy.

According to the invention there is provided an energy generating apparatus comprising a housing defining a sealed hollow interior region, a partition element located within the hollow interior region dividing the hollow interior region into a first chamber and a second chamber, the partition element being one of moveable within the hollow interior region for inversely varying the volume of the first and second chambers, and stationary within the hollow interior region with the first and second chambers communicating through an impellor, a communicating means configured to communicate the first and second chambers with a source of liquid at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, a circulating means configured to circulate the liquid through the communicating means between the liquid source and the first and second chambers to one of alternately charge the first and second chambers with liquid from the liquid source and discharge the liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the moveable partition element within the hollow interior region, and to urge the liquid from one of the first and second chambers through the impellor to the other one of the first and second chambers for rotating the impellor, and a converting means for converting the one of the shuttling movement of the partition element and the rotational movement of the impellor into useable energy.

In one aspect of the invention the partition element is the moveable partition element.

The invention also comprises an energy generating apparatus comprising a housing defining a sealed hollow interior region, a partition element moveable within the hollow interior region and dividing the hollow interior region into first and second variable volume chambers, a communicating means configured to communicate the first and second chambers with a source of liquid at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, a circulating means configured to circulate liquid through the communicating means between the liquid source and the first and second chambers to alternately charge the first and second chambers with liquid from the liquid source and to discharge liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the partition element within the hollow interior 5 region, and a means for converting the shuttling movement of the partition element into useable energy.

Preferably, the housing comprises first and second inlet ports to the respective first and second chambers.

In one aspect of the invention the circulating means is responsive to the partition element reaching the l o end of a stroke in each direction in the hollow interio region of the housing for switching charging of the one of the first and second chambers being charged to the other one of the first and second chambers.

In another aspect of the invention the circulating means is configured to draw liquid alternately from the first and second chambers for in turn charging the other one of the first and second chambers.

15

Preferably, the circulating means comprises a valving means.

Advantageously, the circulating means is located between the valving means and the liquid source. 0 In another aspect of the invention the valving means is configured for selectively and alternately

communicating the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source.

In one aspect of the invention the valving means is configured so that when the one of the first and second inlet ports is communicating with the liquid source, the other one of the first and second inlet ports5 is isolated from the liquid source.

Preferably, the valving means comprises a first valving system, the first valving system being configured to selectively and alternately communicate the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source. 0 Advantageously, the first valving system comprises a pair of first valves, each first valve being configured for selectively and alternately communicating and isolating the corresponding one of the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source. Preferably, the first valves are configured so that when one of the first valves is communicating the corresponding one of the first and second inlet ports with the liquid source, the other one of the first valves is isolating the corresponding one of the first and second inlets ports from the liquid source. In another aspect of the invention the valving means comprises a second valving system configured to alternately communicate the first and second outlet ports wiih-the liquid source.

Preferably, the second valving system is configured for selectively and alternately isolating one of the first and second outlet ports from the liquid source when the other one of the first and second outlet ports is communicating with the liquid source.

Preferably, the second valving system comprises a two-way valving system comprising a primary port configured for communicating with the liquid source and a pair of secondary ports configured for communicating with the respective first and second inlet ports. Advantageously, the primary port is selectively and alternately communicable with the respective secondary ports through the second valving system.

In another aspect of the invention the circulating means is located between the second valving system and the liquid source.

Preferably, the valving means is responsive to the partition element reaching the end of a stroke in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing for switching charging of the one of the first and second chambers being charged to the other one of the first and second chambers. In a further aspect of the invention a detecting means is provided for detecting the end of the stroke of the partition element in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing, and advantageously, the valving means is responsive to the detecting means. '

In another aspect of the invention a control means is provided for controlling the operation of the valving means.

Preferably, the partition element comprises a piston, and advantageously, the piston is sealably and slideably located within the hollow interior region of the housing. Preferably, the piston is of circular shape and is longitudinally slideable within the hollow interior region.

In another aspect of the invention the converting means comprises an elongated rod extending from the partition element sealably and slideably through the housing for converting the shuttling of the partition element into reciprocal movement.

Advantageously, the housing defines the hollow interior region as an elongated cylindrical hollow interior region.

In one aspect of the invention the liquid source comprises a tank containing the pressurised liquid therein.

In another aspect of the invention the housing is located in a tank configured as the liquid source.

Advantageously, the first and second inlet ports and the first and second outlet ports communicate with the liquid in the tank, and advantageously, the first and second inlet ports communicate with the liquid in the tank through the first valving means, and the first and second outlet ports communicate with the liquid in the tank through the second valving means.

In another aspect of the invention the impellor is located in an opening in the partition element.

Preferably, one of the first and second chambers acts as a high pressure chamber, and the other one of the first and second chambers acts as a low pressure chamber.

Advantageously, the converting means comprises a rotatably mounted driven shaft extending sealably from the housing and driven by the impellor.

Preferably, the impellor is mounted fast on the driven shaft for driving thereof. Advantageously, the circulating means comprises a pump.

In one aspect of the invention the housing defines the hollow interior region as an elongated cylindrical hollow interior region.

In one aspect of the invention the liquid source comprises a tank containing the pressurised liquid therein. In another aspect of the invention the liquid source is maintained at a pressure in the range of 1 atmosphere to 15 atmospheres.

Preferably, the liquid source is maintained at a pressure in the range of 3 atmospheres to 10 atmospheres.

Advantageously, the liquid source is maintained at a pressure in the range of 4 atmospheres to 6 atmospheres. Ideally, the liquid source is maintained at a pressure of approximately 5 atmospheres.

Additionally, the invention provides a method for generating energy, the method comprising locating a partition element in a hollow interior region of a housing to separate the hollow interior region into first and second chambers, configuring the partition element to be one of moveable in the hollow interior region for inversely varying the volume of the first and second chambers, and stationary in the hollow interior region with the first and second chambers communicating through an impellor, communicating the first and second chambers with a source of liquid at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, circulating the liquid through the communicating means between the liquid source and the first and second chambers to one of alternately charge the first and second chambers with liquid from the liquid source and discharge the liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the moveable partition element within the hollow interior region, and to urge the liquid from one of the first and second chambers through the impellor to the other one of the first and second chambers for rotating the impellor, and converting the one of the shuttling movement of the partition element and the rotational movement of the impellor into useable energy.

In one aspect of the invention the partition element is moveable in the hollow interior region.

- Further, the method provides a method for generating energy, the method comprising locating a partition element in a hollow interior region of a housing to separate the hollow interior region into first and second variable volume chambers, alternately charging the first and second chambers with the liquid from a liquid source at a pressure greater than atmospheric pressure, and discharging liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers to the liquid source for shuttling the partition element within the hollow interior region, and converting the shuttling movement of the partition element into useable energy. In one aspect of the invention the charging of the one of the first and second chambers is switched to discharging that one of the first and second chambers in response to the partition element reaching the end of a stroke in each direction in the hollow interior region of the housing. In another aspect of the invention the charging of each one of the first and second chambers is carried out by drawing the liquid from the other one of the first and second chambers.

Preferably, the shuttling movement of the partition element is converted into useable reciprocating energy. In another aspect of the invention the rotational movement of the impellor is converted into useable rotational energy.

Preferably, the pressurised liquid is contained in a tank. In another aspect of the invention the housing is located in the tank.

In a further aspect of the invention the housing is located within the pressurised liquid within the tank.

The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description of some preferred embodiments thereof, which are given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 which illustrates an energy generating apparatus according to the invention for generating useable energy, and

Fig. 2 illustrates an energy generating apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention for generating useable energy.

Referring to the drawings and initially to Fig. 1 there is illustrated an energy generated apparatus according to the invention indicated generally by the reference numeral 1. The apparatus 1 comprises a large pressurised tank 3 of liquid, in this embodiment of the invention water which is pressurised in the tank 3 to a pressure in the range of 3 bar to 10 bar, and in this case pressurised to a pressure of approximately 10 bar. The capacity of the tank although not critical to the invention in this embodiment of the invention is approximately 90 litres. A housing 5 is located within the tank and defines a sealed hollow interior region 7 within which a partition element, in this embodiment of the invention a piston 8 divides the hollow interior region 7 of the housing 5 into first and second variable volume chambers 9 and 10, respectively. The housing 5 defines the hollow interior region 7 as an elongated cylindrical hollow interior region 7 extending between a first end 11 and a second end 12. The piston 8 is circular, and sealably and slideably engages the housing 5, and is slideable in the hollow interior region 7 the housing 5 longitudinally in the direction of the arrows A and B between first and second ends 11 and 12 of the hollow interior region 7. The piston 8 is concentrically carried on a piston rod 15 which sealably extends through the respective opposite first and second ends 11 and 12 of the housing 5, and also extends sealably through opposite ends 17 and 18 of the tank 3. First and second inlet ports 20 and 21 in the housing 5 towards the first and second ends 11 and 12 thereof communicate with the first and second chambers 9 and 10, respectively. First and second outlet ports 23 and 24 in the housing 5 towards the first and second ends 11 and 12 thereof communicate with the first and second chambers 9 and 10, respectively. A communicating means comprising an elongated inlet pipe 30 and an elongated outlet pipe 40 communicate the first and second inlet ports 20 and 21 and the first and second outlet ports 23 and 24 with the pressurised water in the tank 3 as will be described below.

A means configured to circulate the pressurised water between the tank 3 and the first and second chambers 9 and 10 to alternately charge the first and second chambers 9 and 10 with the pressurised water from the tank 3, and to discharge the water from the other one of the first and second chambers 9 and 10 to the tank 3 for shuttling the piston 8 within the hollow interior region 7, in this embodiment of the invention comprises a pump 25 and a valving means, which in this embodiment of the invention is provided by a first valving means, namely, a first valving system 27 and a second valving means, namely, a second valving system 28. The first valving system 27 is located in the inlet pipe 30 which extends between respective opposite open ends 31 and 32 which communicate directly with the tank 3. The inlet pipe 30 communicates with the first and second chambers 9 and 10 through the first and second inlet ports 20 and 21, respectively. A pair of first valves, namely, first valving elements 34 and 35 are slideably and sealably located in the inlet pipe 30, and are connected by an elongated rigid connecting rod 37. The first valving elements 34 and 35 are slideable in the directions of the arrows C and D for selectively and alternately communicating the first and second chambers 9 and 10 with the tank 3, and for isolating the first and second inlet ports 20 and 21 from each other. The first valving element 34 is illustrated in Fig. 1 in full lines in a first mode of operation communicating the first chamber 9 through the first inlet port 20 and in turn through the open end 31 of the inlet pipe 30 with the tank 3, and also isolating the first and second inlet ports 20 and 21 from each other. The first valving element 35 is illustrated in Fig. 1 in full lines in a first mode of operation isolating the second inlet port 21 from the tank 3. By sliding the first valving elements 34 and 35 in the direction of the arrow C to take up the positions illustrated in broken lines in Fig. 1 , the first valving elements 34 and 35 are operated in a second mode of operation. In the second mode of operation the first valving element 35 communicates the second inlet port 21 with the water in the tank 3 through the open end 32 of the inlet pipe 30 and also isolates the first and second inlet ports 21 and 22 from each other, while the first valving element 34 isolates the first inlet port 20 from the open end 31 of the inlet pipe 30.

The second valving system 28 comprises a two way valve comprising an outlet pipe 40 which terminates at its respective opposite ends in first and second secondary ports 42 and 43, respectively. A primary port 41 is provided to the outlet pipe 40 intermediate the first and second secondary ports 42 and 43. The primary port 41 communicates with the pump 25, and the first and second secondary ports 42 and 43 communicate respectively with the first and second outlet ports 23 and 24. A second valving element 45 sealably and slideably located in the outlet pipe 40 adjacent the primary port 41 is slideable in the directions of the arrows E and F for selectively and alternately communicating the primary port 41 with the respective first and second secondary ports 42 and 43, for in turn selectively and alternately

communicating the pump 25 with the first and second outlet ports 23 and 24. In Fig. 1 the second valvingelement 45 is illustrated in full lines in a first mode of operation isolating the first outlet port 23 from the - - primary port 41, and communicating the second outlet port 24 with the primary port 41, so that with the first valving elements 34 and 35 in the first mode of operation, the pump 25 draws water from the second chamber 10 through the second outlet port 24 and in turn through the primary port 41 which is discharged through an outlet port 46 from the pump 25 back into the water in the container 3. Additionally, with the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second valving element 45 in the first mode of operation, as the pump is drawing water from the second chamber 10 and delivering it to the tank 3, the piston 8 is moved in the direction of the arrow B towards the end 12 of the housing 5 thereby resulting in water being drawn through the open end 31 of the inlet pipe 30 and in turn through the first inlet port 20 to the first chamber When the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second valving element 45 are urged into the second mode of operation, the pump 25 draws water from the first chamber 9 thereby resulting in water being drawn from the container 3 into the second chamber 10, and the piston 8 moving in the direction of the arrow A towards the end 11 of the housing 5.

A first linear motor, in this embodiment of the invention a first solenoid 47 located on the end 18 of the tank 3 is connected by a rigid connecting rod 49 to the first valving elements 34 and 35 for in turn operating the first valving elements 34 and 35 in the direction of the arrows C and D between the first and second modes of operation for alternately communicating the first and second inlet ports 20 and 21 with the tank 3.

A second linear motor, in this embodiment of the invention a second solenoid 50 mounted on the end 18 of the tank 3 is connected to the second valving element 45 by a rigid connecting rod 51 for operating the second valving element 45 in the directions of the arrows E and F between the first and second modes of operation for alternately communicating the pump 25 with the first and second outlet ports 23 and 24.

A detecting means, in this embodiment of the invention first and second proximity sensors 54 and 55 are located on the respective opposite ends 11 and 12 of the housing 5 for detecting when the piston 8 is at the end of each stroke in the hollow interior region 7.

A control means controls the operation of the apparatus 1, and may comprise a control circuit, which typically would comprise a programmable logic controller. The control circuit is illustrated in block representation in Fig. 1 and is indicated by the reference numeral 57. The control circuit 57 is configured to read signals from the first and second proximity sensors 54 and 55. When the signals read from the first and second proximity sensors 54 and 55 are indicative of the piston 8 having reached the end of each of its respective strokes in the hollow interior region 7, the control circuit 57 operates the first and second solenoids 47 and 50 to in turn operate the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second'valving element 45 from one of their operating modes to the other operation mode. In Fig. 1 the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second valving elements 45 are in the first mode of operation whereby the pump 25 continues to draw water from the second chamber 10 which is delivered through the port 46 into the container 3 until the proximity sensor 55 detects the piston 8 adjacent the second end 12 of the housing 5. On the microprocessor 57 detecting a signal from the second proximity sensor 55 indicative of the piston 8 being adjacent the second end 12 of the housing 5, the microprocessor 57 operates the solenoids 47 and 50 for in turn operating the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second valving element 45 from the first mode of operation to the second mode of operation. With the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second valving element 45 in the second mode of operation, the pump 25 draws water from the first chamber 9 thus drawing the piston 8 in the direction of the arrow A from the second end 12 of the housing 5 to the first end 11 of the housing 5, thereby drawing water into the second chamber 10 through the second inlet port 21. The pump 25 continues to draw water from the first chamber 9, until the signals read by the microprocessor 57 from the first proximity sensor 54 are indicative of the piston 8 being substantially adjacent the first end wall 11 of the housing 5. At which stage the microprocessor 57 operates the first and second solenoids 47 and 50 for in turn urging the first valving elements 34 and 35 and the second valving element 45 from the second mode of operation to the first mode of operation for shuttling the piston 8 in the direction of the arrow B from the first end 11 of the housing 5 to the second end 12 of the housing 5, and so operation of the apparatus 1 continues.

The piston rod 15 extends from the tank 3 through the ends 17 and 18 so that the piston rod 15 acts as a converting means to convert the shuttling movement of the piston 8 within the hollow interior region 7 of the housing 5 between the first and second ends 11 and 12 of the housing 5 into reciprocating movement externally of the tank 3. The reciprocating movement of the piston rod 8 may be converted into useable energy, for example, for driving a crank shaft in an engine block for producing rotational energy on an output shaft, or by any other suitable means.

In use, the tank 3 is filled with water and the water in the tank 3 is pressurised to a pressure of approximately 10 bar. With the first and second valving systems 27 and 28 in the first operating mode, the pump 25 is operated to draw water from the second chamber 10 and to discharge the water into the tank 3, which in turn results in the piston 8 being urged towards the second end 12 of the housing 5, and the first chamber 9 being charged with water from the tank 3 through the first inlet port 20. On the control circuit 57 detecting the signal from the second proximity sensor 55 being indicative of the piston being adjacent the second end 12 of the housing 5, the control circuit 57 operates the first and second solenoids 47 and 50 for in turn urging the first and second valving elements 34 and 35 and 45 from the first mode of · operation to the second mode of operation. The pump 25 continues to operate, and thus draws water from the first chamber 9 through the first outlet port 23, which in turn results in the piston 8 being urged in the direction of the arrow A from the second end 12 of the housing 5 to the first end 11 thereof, which in turn results in the second chamber 10 being charged with water from the tank 3 through the second inlet port 21.

On the control circuit 57 detecting from the signal read from the first proximity sensor 54 that the piston 8 has reached the end of its stroke adjacent the first end 11 of the hollow interior region 7, the control circuit 57 operates the first and second solenoids 47 and 50 to urge the first and second valving elements 34, 35 and 45 from the second mode of operation to the first mode of operation, and the pump 25 continues to operate and so operation of the energy generating apparatus 1 continues thereby producing energy on the piston rod 15 which can be suitably converted into useable energy as desired.

It has been found that by pressurising the water in the tank 3 to a pressure of approximately 10 bar, by providing the pump 25 to be powered by a 1.1 Kwatts electric motor and providing the pump with a capacity of 71 litres per minute, the piston rod 15 is capable of urging a loaded van with a gross weight of two tonnes and with the handbrake applied to the brakes along a horizontal surface over a distance of 1 metre in a time of 15 seconds. Accordingly, the energy output of the apparatus is approximately 295 Kwatts for an input energy of approximately 1.1 Kwatts.

Referring now to Fig. 2, there is illustrated an energy generating apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention indicated generally by the reference numeral 60. The apparatus 60 comprises a container 63 which is substantially similar to the container 3, and comprises a liquid, in this embodiment of the invention water, which is pressurised to a pressure of approximately 10 atmospheres, although, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the container 3 may be pressurised to any suitable pressure above atmospheric pressure, and typically, may be pressurised to a pressure from one atmosphere upwards, although, in general, it is unlikely that the water in the container 3 would be pressurised to a pressure greater than 15 atmospheres.

In this embodiment of the invention a housing 65 is located within the pressurised water in the chamber 3 and defines a hollow interior region 67. However, in this embodiment of the invention the hollow interior region 67 is divided by a partition 68, which in this embodiment of the invention is a stationary partition which is fixed in position in the hollow interior region 67, and divides the hollow interior region 67 into a first fixed volume chamber 69 and a second fixed volume chamber 70. An impellor 71 is located between the first and second chambers 69 and 70, and in this embodiment of the invention is located in an opening 72 extending through the partition 68. The impellor 71 is mounted fast on a shaft 75 which is rotatably mounted in bearings (not shown) and sealably rotatable in end walls 78 and 79 of the housing 65 and is also sealably rotatable in first and second end walls 80 and 81 of the container 3.

An inlet port 82 is provided to the first chamber 69, and an outlet port 83 is provided from the second chamber 70 which communicates directly with the pressurised liquid in the container 63. An electrically powered pump 85 located in the container 63 and comprises an inlet port 86 which communicates with the pressurised water in the container 63 and an outlet port 87 which is connected to the inlet port 82 to the first chamber 69. The pump 85 pumps water from the pressurised liquid in the container 63 into the first chamber 69 for in turn urging the water from the first chamber 69 to the second chamber 70 through the impellor 71 for in turn rotating the impellor 71 and in turn the shaft 65. The water passing through the impellor 71 passes into the second chamber 70, and is returned through the outlet port 83 to the pressurised liquid in the container 63.

In use, the electrically powered pump 85 draws water from the pressurised water in the container 63 through the inlet port 86 thereof, and delivers the water through the outlet port 87 and through the inlet port 82 of the first chamber 69. The water is in turn delivered from the first chamber 69 through the impellor 71 to the second chamber 70, from which the water is then discharged through the outlet port 83 back to the pressurised water in the container 63. The power on the shaft 85 produced by the impellor 71 is useable energy and may be used for any purpose which requires a power source.

In this embodiment of the invention it has been found that with the water in the container 63 pressurised to 10 bar, and with the pump 85 been powered by an electric motor of 2.5 Kwatts and delivering water to the first chamber 69 at the rate of 1 ,000 litres per minute, the output power on the shaft 75 is approximately 17 Kwatts.

While the housings 5 and 65 have been described as being located in the tank, while this is convenient, it is not essential. It is envisaged that the housings 5 and 65 may be located externally of the tank, and would be connected to the pressurised water supply in the tank in the case of the housing 5 through the first and second valving systems 27 and 28 and the pump 25 in a similar manner to that described with reference to Fig. 1 , and in the case of the housing 65 through suitable pipes connecting one of the inlet and outlet ports of the first and second chambers to the pressurised water in the tank through the pump 85, and the other one of the inlet and outlet ports of the first and second chambers to the pressurised water in the tank. Indeed, it will be appreciated that the pumps 25 and 85 of the apparatus 1 and 60 may also be located externally of the tank 3, provided that in the case of the pump 25 of the apparatus 1 , the outlet port 46 would communicate with the pressurised water in the tank 3, and in the case of the apparatus 60, the inlet port 86 of the pump 85 would communicate with the pressurised water in the tank 3.

It will also be appreciated that while the partition element for dividing the hollow interior region 7 of the housing 5 into the first and second variable volume chambers 9 and 10 has been described as comprising a piston, any other suitable moveable partition element may be used. For example, the piston may be replaced by a diaphragm. The diaphragm could be sealably connected to the housing 5 within the hollow interior region thereof midway between the ends 11 and 12 of the hollow interior region 7 by a suitable bellows which would facilitate movement of the diaphragm between the ends 11 and 12 of the hollow interior region 7 of the housing 5.

It will also be appreciated that any other suitable valving means besides the first and second valving systems 27 and 28 may be provided.

It will also be appreciated that instead of the pump 25 alternately drawing and discharging water from the first and second chambers 9 and 10 to the tank 3, the pump may be configured to be located between the first valving system 27 and the tank 3 whereby the pump would act to alternately charge the first and second chambers 9 and 10. It will also be appreciated that the pump 85 of the apparatus 60, could connect the outlet port 83 from the second chamber 70 to the pressurised water in the tank 3 for drawing water from the second chamber 70, for in turn drawing water through the impe!lor 71 from the first chamber 69. In which case, the inlet port 86 of the pump 85 would be connected to the outlet port 83 from the second chamber 70, and the outlet port 87 from the pump 85 would deliver the water pumped from the second chamber 70 to the pressurised water in the container 3. In this case, the inlet port 82 would be connected directly to the pressurised water in the container 3.

It is also envisaged that in the configuration of the apparatus 60 of Fig. 2, the first chamber 69 effectively acts as a high pressure chamber, while the second chamber 70 effectively acts as a low pressure chamber, it is envisaged that in other embodiments of the invention the second chamber 70 could act as the high pressure chamber 70 and the first chamber 69 would act as the low pressure chamber, in which case, the pump 85 would be configured to pump the water so that it flowed from the second chamber 70 to the first chamber 69 through the impellor 71. It will also be appreciated that while the tank has been described as being pressurised with water to a pressure in the range of 3 bar to 10 bar, the tank may be pressurised to any desired pressure. Needless to say, the liquid in the tank may be any suitable liquid besides water. It will also be appreciated that any other suitable control means for operating the first and second valving systems of the apparatus 1 may be provided besides a control circuit and first and second solenoids. Indeed, instead of the first and second solenoids, electrically powered rotary motors may be used for operating the first and second valving systems. It will also be appreciated that any other suitable detecting means besides proximity sensors may be provided for detecting when the piston has reached the end of its respective strokes.

It will also be appreciated that a mechanical linkage coupled between the piston rod and the first and second valving systems may be provided to operate the first and second valving systems in response to the piston reaching the ends of its strokes.

It will also be appreciated that any other means for converting the shuttling movement of the piston within the hollow interior region of the housing into useable energy of the apparatus 1 may be used instead of providing the energy as the reciprocating motion of the piston rod. For example, it is envisaged that the piston rod could comprise a permanent or an electro-magnet, the magnetic field of which would induce a current in one or more electrical conductors located externally of the housing as the piston shuttled within the hollow interior region of the housing. The electrical conductors, could be linear conductors extending longitudinally along the housing, or could be provided in the form of one or more coils wound around the housing. Needless to say, any other suitable means for converting the shuttling movement of the piston, or indeed the partition element located in the hollow interior region of the housing may be provided.

It is also envisaged that while the impellor has been described as being located in an opening in the partition of the apparatus 60, it is envisaged that the impellor may be located in any suitable location between the first and second chambers 69 and 70. Indeed, it is envisaged that the impellor may be located in a duct extending between the first and second chambers 69 and 70 which would not pass through the partition. Needless to say any other type of rotary motor may be provided instead of that described, and in which case the motor could be of any suitable construction besides the construction described, for example, the high pressure and low pressure chambers of the motor instead of being provided by chambers similar to the first and second chambers, could be of any shape or construction, and the impellor would be selected to suit the motor.