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Title:
ENERGY STORAGE AND RELEASE DEVICE USING ELASTIC RESERVOIRS, AND METHODS AND TIMEPIECES RELATED THERETO
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/028870
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
An energy storage and release system and/or time piece device includes two elastic bellows in fluid communication with one another and filled with a single fluid or different fluids (whether liquids alone or in combination with a gas) thus allowing mechanical power transmission. The energy which loads the system comes from an external winding system (which can be performed either manually or automatically). The winding or loading force is transmitted by a mechanism attached to one or the other fluid reservoirs. As the system is loaded, the fluid contained therein expands and contracts the fluid reservoirs. The fluid reservoirs are elastic and so, once a reservoir is filled or contracted, then when the energy input from the mentioned manual or automatic winding is removed, the system will elastically seek to return to an unstressed or relaxed state, and thus release energy that is stored. This results in the linear movement of one or other of the reservoirs which can be used as a linear motion mechanism of significant utility adaptable for a variety of fields, from medical to time keeping. In one embodiment, at least two immiscible fluids defining a meniscus juxtaposed to an indicia may be used, which then allows the system to indicate its energy state. The device may be used as an alternative stored energy source for a wristwatch, replacing the traditional main spring.

Inventors:
ROHNER, Johann (Ave Haldimand 95D, Yverdon-les-Bains, CH-1400, CH)
Application Number:
IB2014/001624
Publication Date:
May 19, 2016
Filing Date:
August 26, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PRECIFLEX SA (Jakob Stämpfli Strasse 10, Biel/Bienne, CH-2502, CH)
International Classes:
G04B1/26; F15B7/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOETTELI, John (Da Vinci Partners LLC, Rathausgasse 1, Arbon, CH-9320, CH)
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Claims:
1

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 25 February 2016 (25.02.2016)

What is claimed is:

1. A system (10) comprising: at least two reservoirs (12, 14) in essentially a closed loop, in which the system uses a respective elasticity associated with at least one of the said reservoirs together with a fluid capacitance of the reservoirs, to store and release energy, the at least two of the reservoirs being in fluid communication with each other, the two reservoirs being filled with at least one fluid.

2. The system of claim 1 , wherein the fluids are essentially incompressible,

3. The system of claim 1 , in which the reservoirs are accordion style reservoirs.

4. A system (10) comprising: at least two reservoirs (12, 14) in essentially a closed loop, in which the system uses a respective elasticity associated with at least one of the said reservoirs together with a fluid capacitance of the reservoirs, to store and release energy, the at least two of the reservoirs being in fluid communication with each other, the two reservoirs being filled with at least two immiscible fluids.

5. The system of claim 1 , wherein the two reservoirs have differing fluid capacitances.

6. The system of claim 1, further comprising a channel connected the at least two reservoirs, and in which a portion of the channel connecting the two reservoirs is transparent and visible to a user.

7. The system of claim 4, further comprising a meniscus, and in which the system uses the meniscus disposed between the two fluids to indicate an energy state of the system.

8. The system of claim 4, further comprising at least three fluids and two menisci, and wherein the at least two menisci are disposed between the at least three fluids to indicate the energy state of the system. 2

9. The system of claim 6, further comprising a meniscus which is visible in the channel, and wherein at a point of the meniscus, a solid indicator is disposed, the solid indicator being optionally of a bright color to enhance visibility.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the solid indicator is a sphere.

1 1. The system of claim 1, wherein the associated elasticity of the reservoir is imparted by a spring.

12. The system of claim 1, wherein the associated elasticity is a characteristic of the reservoir itself.

13. The system of claim 1, which is actuated by a watchmaker winding system to replace or augment the mainspring.

14. The system of claim 1, the system further comprising elements which actuate a watch movement.

15. The system of claim 1, the system further comprising elements which actuate a fluid indicator.

16. The system of claim 1, in which the two reservoirs are of a different diameter one from the other, and wherein the use of the two reservoirs of different diameters provides a multiplication or levering of force.

17. A time keeping device comprising: at least two reservoirs in essentially a closed loop, in which the system uses a respective elasticity associated with at least one of the said reservoirs together with a fluid capacitance of the reservoirs, to store and release energy, the at least two of the reservoirs being in fluid communication with each other, the two reservoirs being filled with at least one essentially incompressible fluid. 3

18. The time keeping device of claim 17, in which the reservoirs are accordion style reservoirs.

19. The time keeping device of claim 17, filled with at least two immiscible liquids.

20. The time keeping device of claim 17, wherein the two reservoirs have differing fluid capacitances.

21. The time keeping device of claim 17, further comprising a channel connected the at least two reservoirs, and in which a portion of the channel connecting the two reservoirs is transparent and visible to a user.

22. The time keeping device of claim 19, further comprising a meniscus, and in which the time keeping device uses the meniscus disposed between the two fluids to indicate an energy state of the time keeping device.

23. The time keeping device of claim 19, further comprising at least three fluids and two menisci, and wherein the at least two menisci are disposed between the at least three fluids to indicate the energy state of the time keeping device.

24. The time keeping device of claim 21, further comprising a meniscus which is visible in the channel, and wherein at a point of the meniscus, a solid indicator is disposed, the solid indicator being optionally of a bright color to enhance visibility.

25. The time keeping device of claim 24, wherein the solid indicator is a sphere.

26. The time keeping device of claim 17, wherein the associated elasticity of the reservoir is imparted by a spring.

27. The time keeping device of claim 17, wherein the associated elasticity is a characteristic of the reservoir itself.

4

28. The time keeping device of claim 17, which is actuated by a watchmaker winding system to replace or augment the mainspring.

29. The time keeping device of claim 17, the time keeping device further comprising elements which actuate a watch movement.

30. The time keeping device of claim 17, the time keeping device further comprising elements which actuate a fluid indicator.

31. The time keeping device of claim 17, in which the two reservoirs are of a different diameter one from the other, and wherein the use of the two reservoirs of different diameters provides a multiplication or levering of force.

32. A method of energizing a portion of a time keeping device, the method comprising: placing two reservoirs in fluid communication with each other via a connecting channel, the reservoirs being filled with at least one substantially incompressible fluid; and, using an elasticity associated with at least one reservoir to activate the at least one fluid to actuate elements of the time keeping device so as to store and release energy.