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Title:
FLUID CONTAINER RETAINING SYSTEM AND METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/170914
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fluid container and a dock configured to receive the fluid container. The dock includes a receptacle configured to receive the fluid container, a fluid port coupling and a retaining lock. The fluid container includes a housing, a fluid port coupling configured for connection with the coupling of the dock, and an insert for insertion into the retaining lock. The retaining lock includes a passage configured to receive a protrusion of the fluid container and a locking ring including an annular body and a flange extending from the annular body. The locking ring is rotatable between a first position in which the passage is unobstructed and a second position in which the passage is obstructed by the flange so as to prevent removal of the protrusion when it is located at the distal end of the passage.

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Inventors:
ARORA, Krishan (Nexcel Office Unit 5-6 Portman Road, Reading RG30 1EA, RG30 1EA, GB)
CHAUNDY, Paul (Nexcel Office Unit 5-6 Portman Road, Reading RG30 1EA, RG30 1EA, GB)
CHILDS, Ian (Nexcel Office Unit 5-6 Portman Road, Reading RG30 1EA, RG30 1EA, GB)
FITZSIMONS, James,Brian (Nexcel Office Unit 5-6 Portman Road, Reading RG30 1EA, RG30 1EA, GB)
Application Number:
EP2019/056034
Publication Date:
September 12, 2019
Filing Date:
March 11, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CASTROL LIMITED (Technology Centre Whitchurch Hill, Pangbourne, Reading RG8 7QR, RG8 7QR, GB)
International Classes:
F01M11/04; B65D55/02; F16H57/04; F16N19/00; F16N37/00
Foreign References:
GB1092931A1967-11-29
US4764275A1988-08-16
US20070074784A12007-04-05
US20150291317A12015-10-15
US4075099A1978-02-21
US3696889A1972-10-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TOWLSON, SAMANTHA JAYNE (Bp International Limited Bp Legal Technology, Chertsey Road, Sunbury on Thames Middlesex TW16 7LN, TW16 7LN, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A dock for a fluid container, the dock comprising:

a receptacle configured to receive a fluid container inserted into the dock;

a first fluid port coupling configured to receive a first fluid port coupling of the fluid container; and

a retaining lock comprising:

a passage configured to receive a protrusion of the fluid container, and a locking ring comprising an annular body and a flange extending from the

annular body, the locking ring being rotatable between a first position in which the passage is unobstructed and a second position in which the passage is at least partially obstructed by the flange, so as to retain the protrusion of the fluid container.

2. The dock of claim 1, wherein the retaining lock comprises a frame that holds the locking ring, wherein the frame comprises a plurality of openings each defining a passage.

3. The dock of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the locking ring of the retaining lock comprises a plurality of flanges disposed around the circumference of the annular body, and wherein each of the flanges obstruct at least a portion of each passage when the locking ring is in the second position.

4. The dock of any one of claims 1-3, further comprising a second fluid port coupling configured to receive a second fluid port coupling of the fluid container.

5. The dock of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the locking ring surrounds the first fluid port coupling.

6. The dock of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the locking ring surrounds the first fluid port coupling and the second fluid port coupling.

7. The dock of any one of claims 1-6, wherein the first fluid port coupling comprises a first fluid port and a second fluid port.

8. A fluid container comprising:

a housing;

an enclosed fluid reservoir disposed in the housing;

a cavity having an opening disposed on a first side of the housing;

a cap attached to the fluid container and covering the opening of the cavity, the cap

forming an insert comprising:

a first fluid port coupling, and

a plurality of protrusions configured to secure the housing in a dock; and a second fluid port coupling disposed on the first side of the housing and providing fluid access to the fluid reservoir.

9. The fluid container of claim 8, wherein a retainer comprising threads configured to secure an oil filter that is disposed in the cavity is positioned within the cap.

10. The fluid container of claim 8 or claim 9, further comprising a support structure extending from the first side of the housing, the support structure comprising a wall surrounding both the cap and the second fluid port coupling.

11. A fluid container comprising:

a housing;

an enclosed fluid reservoir disposed in the housing;

a first fluid port coupling;

a second fluid port coupling; and

a plurality of protrusions configured to secure the housing in a dock.

12. The fluid container of claim 8 or claim 11, wherein the first fluid port coupling comprises two fluid ports.

13. The fluid container of any one of claims 8-12, wherein the fluid reservoir contains a lubricating oil.

14. A fluid transfer system comprising:

a dock according to any of claims 1 to 7; and

a fluid container configured to be received in the dock, the fluid container comprising: a housing,

a second fluid port coupling disposed on a first side of the housing, the second fluid port coupling of the fluid container being configured for connection with the second fluid port coupling of the dock, and

an insert comprising a protrusion configured for insertion to a distal end of the passages of the retaining lock so as to be secured in place by rotation of the locking ring into the second position, whereby removal of the protrusions from the passages is prevented by the flange of the locking ring.

15. The fluid transfer system of claim 14, wherein the fluid container is received in the dock with the second fluid port coupling of the dock connected to the second fluid port coupling of the fluid container, wherein the protrusions are disposed at the distal end of the passages of the retaining lock, and

wherein the locking ring is disposed in the second position with the flanges obstructing the passages so as to prevent withdrawal of the protrusions from the passage.

16. The fluid transfer system of claim 14 or claim 15, wherein the locking ring surrounds the first fluid port coupling of the dock or the first fluid port coupling and the second fluid port coupling of the dock, and

wherein the fluid port coupling of the fluid container is disposed on an end of the insert.

17. The fluid transfer system of any of claims 14-16, wherein the flange is one of a plurality of radially inwardly projecting flanges,

wherein the protrusion of the insert is one of a plurality of radially outwardly extending protrusions, and

wherein each flange is configured to prevent removal of a respective protrusion from the passage when the insert is disposed at the distal end of the passage and the locking ring is disposed in the second position.

18. The fluid transfer system of any one of claims 14-17, wherein the locking ring further comprises an actuator that extends radially outward from the annular body and is configured for rotating the locking ring, wherein the fluid container further comprises a support structure extending from the first side of the housing, the support structure comprising a wall surrounding the insert and the fluid port coupling of the fluid container,

wherein the wall comprises an opening configured to receive the actuator of the locking ring such that the actuator extends out of the housing when the fluid container is disposed in the dock, and

wherein the opening comprises a recess such that movement of the actuator into and out of the recess rotates the locking ring.

19. The fluid transfer system of any one of claims 14-18, wherein the fluid container further comprises a cavity and a filter disposed in the cavity, and

wherein the filter is in fluid communication with the fluid port coupling of the fluid

container.

20. The fluid transfer system of any one of claims 14-19, wherein the fluid container further comprises a fluid reservoir.

21. A vehicle comprising:

a fluid transfer system of any one of claims 14-20; and

a fluid system of the vehicle in fluid communication with the fluid port coupling.

22. The vehicle of claim 21, wherein the fluid system is a lubricant circulation system that delivers lubricating oil to an engine of the vehicle.

23. An apparatus comprising:

a fluid transfer system of any of claims 14-20; and a fluid system of the apparatus in fluid communication with the fluid port coupling.

24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the fluid system is a lubricant circulation system that delivers lubricating oil to the apparatus.

25. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the fluid system is a heat exchange system that circulates heat exchange fluid through the apparatus.

26. A method of securing a fluid container to a dock of a fluid circulation system, the method comprising:

providing a dock according to any of claims 1 to 7 in fluid communication with a fluid circulation system;

providing a fluid container comprising:

a housing,

a first fluid port coupling disposed on a first side of the housing, and an insert disposed on the first side of the housing and comprising a protrusion; inserting the fluid container into the dock in a first direction such that:

the first fluid port coupling of the fluid container is connected to the first fluid port coupling of the dock and provides fluid communication between the fluid container and the dock, and

the protrusion moves to a distal end of the passage; and

rotating the locking ring while the fluid container remains stationary so as to move the locking ring into the second position and obstruct the passage of the retaining lock in order to prevent removal of the protrusion from the distal end of the passage and thereby lock the fluid container within the dock.

Description:
FLUID CONTAINER RETAINING SYSTEM AND METHOD

BACKGROUND

[0001] Many systems and apparatuses use one or more fluids for their operation. Such fluids are often liquids. For example, internal combustion engines use liquid lubricating oil. Also, electric engines use heat exchange liquids, for example to cool the engine, to heat the engine, or to cool and heat the engine during different operating conditions. Often, these fluids need to be removed from the system or apparatus, either for treating or replacing the fluid.

[0002] Typically, the process for replacing the operating fluid of such a system or apparatus is time consuming and complicated. For example, replacement of engine lubricating oil in a vehicle engine usually involves draining the lubricating oil from the engine sump. The process may also involve removing and replacing the engine oil filter. Such a procedure usually requires access to the engine sump drain insert and oil filter from the underside of the engine, may require the use of hand tools, and usually requires a suitable collection method for the drained lubricating oil.

OVERVIEW

[0003] The present disclosure relates generally to fluid transfer systems, for example, suitable for supplying a fluid to a fluid system of an apparatus or temporarily removing fluid from the fluid system for treatment. The present disclosure relates more particularly to a dock configured to receive a fluid container and the fluid container.

[0004] In one aspect, the present disclosure provides a dock for a fluid container, the dock comprising:

a receptacle configured to receive a fluid container inserted into the dock; a first fluid port coupling configured to receive a first fluid port coupling of the fluid container; and

a retaining lock comprising:

a passage configured to receive a protrusion of the fluid container, and a locking ring comprising an annular body and a flange extending from the

annular body, the locking ring being rotatable between a first position in which the passage is unobstructed and a second position in which the passage is at least partially obstructed by the flange, so as to retain the protrusion of the fluid container.

[0005] In another embodiment, the retaining lock comprises a frame that holds the locking ring, and the frame comprises a plurality of openings each defining a passage.

[0006] In one embodiment, the locking ring of the retaining lock comprises a plurality of flanges disposed around the circumference of the annular body, and each of the flanges obstruct a section of the passage when the locking ring is in the second position.

[0007] In another embodiment, the dock further comprises a second fluid port coupling configured to receive a second fluid port coupling of the fluid container.

[0008] In another embodiment, the locking ring surrounds the fluid port coupling.

[0009] In another embodiment, the locking rings surrounds the first fluid port coupling and the second fluid port coupling.

[0010] In another embodiment, the first fluid port coupling comprises a first fluid port and a second fluid port. [0011] In another aspect, the disclosure provides a fluid container comprising: a housing;

an enclosed fluid reservoir disposed in the housing;

a cavity having an opening disposed on a first side of the housing;

a cap attached to the fluid container and covering the opening of the cavity, the cap

forming an insert comprising:

a first fluid port coupling, and

a plurality of protrusions configured to secure the housing in a dock; and a second fluid port coupling disposed on the first side of the housing and providing fluid access to the fluid reservoir.

[0012] In another embodiment, a retainer comprising threads configured to secure an oil filter that is disposed in the cavity is positioned within the cap.

[0013] In another embodiment, the fluid container further comprises a support structure extending from the first side of the housing, the support structure comprising a wall surrounding both the cap and the second fluid port coupling.

[0014] In another aspect the disclosure provides a fluid container comprising:

A housing; an enclosed fluid reservoir disposed in the housing; a first fluid port coupling; a second fluid port coupling and a plurality of protrusions configured to secure the housing in a dock.

In another embodiment, the first fluid port coupling comprises two fluid ports.

[0015] In another embodiment, the fluid reservoir contains a lubricating oil. [0016] In another aspect, the disclosure provides a fluid transfer system comprising:

a dock according to any of the embodiments described above; and

a fluid container configured to be received in the dock, the fluid container comprising: a housing,

a second fluid port coupling disposed on a first side of the housing, the second fluid port coupling of the fluid container being configured for connection with the second fluid port coupling of the dock, and

an insert comprising a protrusion configured for insertion to a distal end of the passages of the retaining lock so as to be secured in place by rotation of the locking ring into the second position, whereby removal of the protrusions from the passages is prevented by the flange of the locking ring.

[0017] In another embodiment, the fluid container is received in the dock with the second fluid port coupling of the dock connected to the second fluid port coupling of the fluid container, the protrusions are disposed at the distal end of the passages of the retaining lock, and the locking ring is disposed in the second position with the flanges obstructing the passages so as to prevent withdrawal of the protrusions from the passage.

[0018] In another embodiment, the locking ring surrounds the first fluid port coupling of the dock or the first fluid port coupling and the second fluid port coupling of the dock, and the fluid port coupling of the fluid container is disposed on an external surface of the insert.

[0019] In another embodiment, the flange is one of a plurality of radially inwardly projecting flanges, the protrusion of the insert is one of a plurality of radially outwardly extending protrusions, and each flange is configured to prevent removal of a respective protrusion from the passage when the insert is disposed at the distal end of the passage and the locking ring is disposed in the second position.

[0020] In another embodiment, the locking ring further comprises an actuator that extends radially outward from the annular body and is configured for rotating the locking ring, the fluid container further comprises a support structure extending from the first side of the housing, where the support structure comprises a wall surrounding the insert and the fluid port coupling of the fluid container, the wall comprises an opening configured to receive the actuator of the locking ring such that the actuator extends out of the housing when the fluid container is disposed in the dock, and the opening comprises a recess such that movement of the actuator into and out of the recess rotates the locldng ring.

[0021] In another embodiment, the fluid container further comprises a cavity and a filter disposed in the cavity, and the filter is in fluid communication with the fluid port coupling of the fluid container.

[0022] In another embodiment, the fluid container further comprises a fluid reservoir.

[0023] In another aspect, the disclosure provides a vehicle comprising:

a fluid transfer system according to any of the embodiments described above; and a fluid system of the vehicle in fluid communication with the fluid port coupling.

[0024] In one embodiment, the fluid system is a lubricant circulation system that delivers lubricating oil to an engine of the vehicle.

[0025] In another aspect, the disclosure provides an apparatus comprising:

a fluid transfer system according to any of the embodiments described above; and a fluid system of the apparatus in fluid communication with the fluid port coupling. [0026] In one embodiment, the fluid transfer system is a lubricant circulation system that delivers lubricating oil to the apparatus.

[0027] In another aspect, the disclosure provides a method of securing a fluid container to a dock of a fluid circulation system, the method comprising:

providing a dock according to any of the embodiments described above in fluid

communication with a fluid circulation system;

providing a fluid container comprising:

a housing,

a first fluid port coupling disposed on a first side of the housing, and an insert disposed on the first side of the housing and comprising a protrusion; inserting the fluid container into the dock in a first direction such that:

the first fluid port coupling of the fluid container is connected to the first fluid port coupling of the dock and provides fluid communication between the fluid container and the dock, and

the protrusion moves to a distal end of the passage; and

rotating the locking ring while the fluid container remains stationary so as to move the locking ring into the second position and obstruct the passage of the retaining lock in order to prevent removal of the protrusion from the distal end of the passage and thereby lock the fluid container within the dock.

[0028] These as well as other aspects, advantages, and alternatives, will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art by reading the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0029] The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the methods and devices of the disclosure, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, and sizes of various elements may be distorted for clarity. The drawings illustrate one or more embodiments of the disclosure, and together with the description, serve to explain the principles and operation of the disclosure.

[0030] FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective cross-sectional view of a fluid transfer system according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0031] FIG. 2 is an exploded schematic perspective view of a retaining lock and corresponding insert of the fluid transfer system of FIG. 1;

[0032] F1G. 3 is a schematic perspective of the retaining lock of the fluid transfer system of F1G. 1 in a first position;

[0033] FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view of the retaining lock of FIG. 3 in another position;

[0034] F1G. 5 is a schematic perspective cross-sectional view of a fluid transfer system according to another embodiment of the disclosure;

[0035] FIG. 6 is a flow chart of functions to carry out a method in accordance with an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0036] FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective cross-section of a fluid transfer system according to an embodiment of the disclosure;

[0037] F1G. 8 is a schematic perspective view of a dock according to an embodiment of the disclosure; and [0038] FIG. 9 is a schematic perspective view of a fluid container according to an embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0039] Example methods and systems are described herein. It should be understood that the words“example” and“exemplary” are used herein to mean“serving as an example, instance, or illustration.” Any embodiment or feature described herein as being an “example” or “exemplary” is not necessarily to be construed as preferred or advantageous over other embodiments or features. In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying figures, which form a part thereof. In the figures, similar symbols typically identify similar components, unless context dictates otherwise. Other embodiments may be utilized, and other changes may be made, without departing from the scope of the subject matter presented herein.

[0040] The example embodiments described herein are not meant to be limiting. It will be readily understood that the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein, and illustrated in the figures, can be arranged, substituted, combined, separated, and designed in a wide variety of different configurations, all of which are explicitly contemplated herein.

[0041] As used herein, with respect to measurements,“about” means +/- 5 %.

[0042] Unless otherwise indicated, the terms“first,”“second,” etc. are used herein merely as labels, and are not intended to impose ordinal, positional, or hierarchical requirements on the items to which these terms refer. Moreover, reference to, e.g., a“second” item does not require or preclude the existence of, e.g., a“first” or lower-numbered item, and/or, e.g., a“third” or higher-numbered item. [0043] Reference herein to“one embodiment” or“one example” means that one or more feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the example is included in at least one implementation. The phrases“one embodiment” or“one example” in various places in the specification may or may not be referring to the same example.

[0044] As used herein, a system, apparatus, device, structure, article, element, component, or hardware“configured to” perform a specified function is indeed capable of performing the specified function without any alteration, rather than merely having potential to perform the specified function after further modification. In other words, the system, apparatus, structure, article, element, component, or hardware “configured to” perform a specified function is specifically selected, created, implemented, utilized, programmed, and/or designed for the purpose of performing the specified function. As used herein,“configured to” denotes existing characteristics of a system, apparatus, structure, article, element, component, or hardware which enable the system, apparatus, structure, article, element, component, or hardware to perform the specified function without further modification. For purposes of this disclosure, a system, apparatus, structure, article, element, component, or hardware described as being“configured to” perform a particular function may additionally or alternatively be described as being“adapted to” and/or as being“operative to” perform that function.

[0045] In the following description, numerous specific details are set forth to provide a thorough understanding of the disclosed concepts, which may be practiced without some or all of these particulars. In other instances, details of known devices and/or processes have been omitted to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the disclosure. While some concepts will be described in conjunction with specific examples, it will be understood that these examples are not intended to be limiting. [0046] Embodiments of the invention may provide a replaceable fluid container for supplying a plurality of fluids, in particular a plurality of lubricating fluids, to a plurality of fluid circulation systems of an engine.

[0047] The fluid containers described herein may be suitable for supplying a plurality of fluids to an engine having, or having associated with it, a plurality of fluid circulation systems, or an engine have a fluid circulation system comprising a plurality of fluid circulation subsystems. Each of the plurality of fluid circulation systems or subsystems may be configured to circulate fluid around a particular area of the engine or, where the engine is a vehicle engine, an ancillary area of a vehicle.

[0048] Embodiments of the invention may provide a fluid container arranged to be seated in a dock associated with an engine, such as the engine of a vehicle. The fluid container may include one or more valves for controlling the supply of its fluid to a fluid circulation system to which it is arranged to be fluidly coupled. In one embodiment, the valves may be passive. In another embodiment, a fluid container controller may be provided to control operation of the valves, for example by controlling the degree to which each valve is opened or closed, to control the rate or amount of fluid provided to the fluid circulation system. The fluid container controller may control the valves in accordance with a control regimen. Such a control regimen may be provided by an operational controller such as an engine control system, or it may be preprogrammed into the fluid container controller or supplied to the fluid container controller at a user interface. The control regime may be selected or modified based on a measurement of a property of one or more of the fluids, such as a measure of viscosity, density, temperature, cleanliness or chemical composition. [0049] The fluid container may be configured to store identification data indicating, for example, a serial number, manufacturer details, service history data, service regime data, one or more property of one or more of the fluids, the vehicle with which the replaceable fluid container is designed to be used, container history data, engine history data of an engine with which the fluid container has been used, and so on, and may be configured to communicate the identification data to the engine control device. The fluid container controller may be configured to select, or update, a service interval or control regime based on fluid-quality data provided by one or more sensors located in the engine or the fluid container or on data provided from elsewhere.

[0050] While aspects of the present disclosure have been described in relation to vehicle engines and examples of the invention described the use of engine lubricating oil compositions, it is envisaged that features of the invention could find other applications.

[0051] For example, a fluid container according to an aspect of the present disclosure could be used in relation to a wide range of apparatus or equipment. For example, the fluid container could find application in relation to various static and movable machines, for example industrial machines such as a lathe, or manufacture and assembly equipment, to an engine, or to a vehicle. As another possibility, the fluid container may be configured to supply fluid, during operation, to a fluid circulation system associated with an engine other than a vehicle engine or to a reverse engine or generator or a turbine such as a wind turbine.

[0052] Examples of a fluid container of an aspect of the present disclosure could thus be used to supply lubricant composition to a region of the apparatus or equipment, for example to a region including one or more moving parts, for example a gearbox. In an example of an aspect of the present disclosure there is provided a fluid container for a wind turbine, for example to provide lubricating composition to one or more parts of the wind turbine apparatus.

[0053] The fluid container may supply a lubricant composition to the apparatus, or may supply fluid other than lubricant to the apparatus. For example, the fluid may comprise a fuel composition, for example gasoline or diesel. The fluid reservoir of an aspect of the present disclosure may be for supply of the fluid for example to the fuel supply system of the apparatus. For example, the fluid reservoir may supply fuel to a vehicle, or tool, for example to a car, motorcycle or lawn mower.

[0054] In another example, the fluid container is used to supply a fluid, for example lubricant and/or fuel, to a hand tool, for example a hedge trimmer or leaf blower.

[0055] The fluid may comprise for example an aqueous or other solvent-based composition, for example a cleaning composition. The fluid may for example comprise windscreen wash fluid. A fluid container of an example of an aspect of the present disclosure may be for supplying fluid to the windscreen washer fluid delivery system for example of a vehicle. Other examples are possible as well.

[0056] FIG. 1 shows a fluid transfer system 100 that includes a dock 110 configured to receive a fluid container 150. The dock 110 includes a dock 112 configured to receive the fluid container 150, a first dock fluid port coupling 120 configured to receive a corresponding first container fluid port coupling 180 of the fluid container 150, and a retaining lock 130 that secures the fluid container 150 on the dock 110. The first dock fluid port coupling 120 comprises a first dock fluid port 120a and a second dock fluid port l20b, and the first container fluid port coupling 180 comprises an inlet fluid port l80a and an outlet fluid port coupling 180b. The first container fluid port coupling 180 corresponds to the first dock fluid port coupling 120 in that the fluid port couplings 120, 180 may connect to one another and provide a fluid path therebetween. The fluid container 150 includes a housing 152, and the fluid port coupling 180 is formed on one side 154 of the housing 152, e.g., a lower side 154 of the housing 152. The container 150 may also include a handle 156 for carrying the housing 152 to the receptacle 112. In the embodiment of the fluid container 150 shown in FIG. 1, the handle 156 is located on the opposite side of the housing 152 as the fluid port coupling 180. The handle 156 may be formed by a recess and a bar across the recess, as shown in FIG. 1. However, other handles are also possible. Further, in other embodiments, the fluid port coupling 180 and the handle 156 may be located on other sides of the housing 152, and in some embodiments the fluid container 150 might not include a specific handle. The fluid container 150 is removable from the dock 110.

[0057] In various embodiments, the receptacle of the dock is formed by structural elements that provide a receiving space for at least a portion of the fluid container. In some embodiments, the receptacle may be a female receptacle and include a cavity that is at least partially surrounded by a confining structure. For example, in one embodiment, the receptacle is formed as a sleeve with a cavity therein to receive the fluid container. In other embodiments, the receptacle may be a male receptacle and include a protruding structure that forms a receiving space around the protruding structure. For example, the dock 110 includes a mating plate 114 surrounded by a receiving space that accepts a support structure 166 of the fluid container 150 as the container 150 is attached to the dock 1 10. The support structure 166 is described in more detail below. In some embodiments the receptacle may include both male and female components. In some embodiments the receptacle may be defined by one or more fluid port couplings of the dock, which provide the receiving space for holding the fluid container. [0058] The housing of the fluid container can be manufactured from a variety of different materials. Possible materials include both metal and polymer materials, as well as combinations thereof. In some embodiments the housing is made from a material that can withstand elevated temperatures for long periods of time. For example, the housing may include a reinforced thermoplastic material that can withstand the operating temperatures typical in a vehicle and above. The housing may also be manufactured from layers of different materials that provide different functions. For example, the housing may include a first layer that prevents leaking of any fluid contained therein and a second layer that provides a defined shape to the housing.

[0059] A more detailed view of the retaining lock 130 of the dock 110 and the corresponding structure of the fluid container 150 is shown in FIG. 2. The retaining lock 130 includes a locking ring 140 and a frame 132 having passages 134 formed therein. In FIG. 2, the locking ring 140 is shown separated from the frame 132 in order to illustrate the features of the locking ring 140. In use, the locking ring 140 is attached to the frame 132, as shown in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. The locking ring 140 is held on the frame 132 by a post 131 that passes through a corresponding slot 141 in the locking ring 140. Other configurations for securing the locking ring to the frame are also possible. Likewise, while the locking ring 140 is shown under an overhanging portion of the frame 132, in some embodiments the locking ring may be disposed on top of a support surface of the frame, or in another location.

[0060] The locking ring 140 includes an annular body 142 and a plurality of flanges 144 extending therefrom. In operation, the locking ring 140 rotates between first and second positions. The rotation of the locking ring 140 is depicted in FIGS. 3 and 4, where the first position is shown in FIG. 3 and the locking ring has partially rotated to the second position in FIG. 4. In the first position, the locking ring 140 is positioned such that the flange 144 is outside of the passages 134 and the passages 134 are unobstructed. In contrast, in the second position, the locking ring 140 has rotated to an angle where the flanges 144 are obstructing the passages 134.

[0061] As shown in detail in FIG. 2, the fluid container 150 has a plurality of protrusions 164 that cooperate with the retaining lock 130 to hold the container 150 in place on the dock 110. Specifically, as the fluid container 150 is attached to the dock 110, the protrusions 164 are inserted into the passages 134. With the locking ring 140 in the first position, the passages 134 are unobstructed and the protrusions 164 are able to pass the flanges 144 along the direction of insertion. After the protrusions 164 have passed the flanges 144 of the locking ring 140 and are disposed at a distal end of the passages 134, the locking ring 140 is rotated to the second position. With the locking ring 140 in the second position, the flanges 144 block the passages 134, such that the passages 134 are obstructed and the protrusions 164 are prevented from being removed from the passages 134. As a result, removal of the fluid container 150 from the dock 110 is prevented and the fluid container 150 is locked in place.

[0062] The amount of rotation that the locking ring undergoes may be less than a full rotation. For example, the angle between the first position and the second position may be less than 90 degrees. In some embodiments, the locking rotates less than 45 degrees between the first and second positions. In some embodiments, the locking ring may rotate in a range from 10 to 35 degrees between the first and second positions.

[0063] The retaining lock 130 may include an actuator 146 for facilitating rotation of the locking ring 140 once the fluid container 150 has been inserted into the dock 110. The actuator 146 of the locking ring 140 is formed as an actuator handle that may be pushed by a user upon insertion of the fluid container 150 onto the dock 110. In FIGS. 1-4, the actuator handle 146 is rigidly attached to the annular body 142 and provides direct rotation of the locking ring 140. However, other actuators may be used in other embodiments. For example, in some embodiments, the actuator may interact with the locking ring through a linkage and thus may include a crank or other user input to move the locking ring. Further, some embodiments may include an electrically driven actuator that rotates the locking ring using a motor. Other actuators are also possible.

[0064] In the fluid container 150, illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the protrusions 164 are disposed on an insert 160 that is inserted into a central aperture 135 in the frame 132. Specifically, the protrusions 164 extend outward from the insert 160, and the frame 132 includes a central aperture 135 with lateral openings 136 radially outward from the central aperture 135. The lateral openings 136 form the passages 134. As the insert 160 is inserted into the central aperture 135, the protrusions 164 are introduced into the passages 134. With the protrusions 164 at the distal end of the passages 134, the locking ring 140 can be rotated into place to secure the fluid container 150 in the dock 110.

[0065] The passages 134 in the retaining lock 130 are formed by a plurality of lateral openings 136 in the frame 132 that surround the central aperture 135. Likewise, a number of protrusions 164 extend outward from the insert 160 to fit into the passages 134. Further, the locking ring 140 includes a number of flanges 144 that extend radially inward from the annular body 142 to interact with the protrusions 164. The plurality of flanges 144, the plurality of passages 134, and the plurality of protrusions 164 form a connection that prevents separation of the fluid container 150 and the dock 110 when the locking ring 140 is in the second and locked position. However, in other embodiments, a smaller number of flanges and protrusions may be used. For example, the fluid container may include a single protrusion that is inserted into a passage of the dock which is then obstructed by a single flange. Moreover, in certain embodiments the protrusion is provided without the use of an insert. For example, the protrusion may extend from a wall of the housing of the container or a support structure of the fluid container. In various embodiments, the flanges 144 of the locking ring 140 may extend outward or inward from the annular body 142.

[0066] The fluid container 150 includes a support structure 166 extending outward from the housing 152 on the same side as the fluid coupling port 180 and the protrusion 164, as shown in FIG. 1. The support structure 166 is in the form of an annular wall 166 that surrounds the fluid port coupling 180, the insert 160, and the protrusion 164. The support wall 166 provides support for the housing 152 over the dock 110 so that the weight of the fluid container 150 and any fluid contained therein is not borne directly by the fluid port coupling 180. The support wall 166 also serves to provide a either a glancing fit (where the support wall 166 is only just in contact with the dock 1 10) of the fluid container 150 on the dock 110 or an adjacent fit (where the support wall 166 is adjacent to the dock 150) as it is inserted. Specifically, the annular support wall 166 interacts with the receptacle 112 that is provided by the mating plate 114 when the fluid container 150 is lowered onto the dock 1 10. This acts to prevent excessive angular rotation of the fluid container with respect to the dock 110.

[0067] The annular support wall 166 includes an opening 167 to receive the actuator 146 upon connection of the fluid container 150 with the dock 110. When the locking ring 140 is in the first position, the actuator handle 146 is inserted into the opening 167 as the fluid container 150 is lowered onto the dock 110 so that the actuator 167 does not obstruct the connection between the container 150 and the dock 110. The support wall 166 further includes a slot 168 extending laterally from the opening 167 so that the actuator handle 146 can move with the rotation of the locking ring 140 without obstruction by the support wall 166.

[0068] In some embodiments, the locking ring 140 surrounds the fluid port coupling 120 of the dock 110. Likewise, the fluid port coupling 180 of the fluid container 150 is formed on an external surface at the end of the insert 160. Accordingly, the locking engagement of the retaining lock 130 together with the protrusions 164 of the container 150 surrounds the fluid port couplings 120, 180 of the two components. In other embodiments, however, the fluid port couplings and the locking elements can be separate. For example, the frame and locking ring may be disposed in one area of the dock, while the fluid port coupling is disposed in another area. Likewise, the protrusions may be on one end of the fluid container and the coupling may be at the other end.

[0069] FIG. 6 is a simplified flow chart illustrating a method 600 of securing a fluid container to a dock of a fluid circulation system. Although the blocks in FIG. 6 are illustrated in a sequential order, these blocks may also be performed in parallel, and/or in a different order than those described herein. Also, the various blocks may be combined into fewer blocks, divided into additional blocks, and/or removed based upon the desired implementation.

[0070] At block 602, the method 600 comprises providing a dock as described in any of the above embodiments in fluid communication with a fluid circulation system. The method also comprises, at block 604 providing a fluid container and at block 606 inserting the fluid container into the dock in a first direction. The fluid container may include a housing, a fluid port coupling disposed on a first side of the housing, and an insert disposed on the first side of the housing and comprising a protrusion. Inserting the fluid container into the dock results in the fluid port coupling of the fluid container to be connected to the fluid port coupling of the dock so as to provide fluid communication between the fluid container and the dock, and the protrusion to move to a distal end of the passage. The method further comprises, at block 606, rotating the locking ring while the fluid container remains stationary so as to move the locking ring into the second position and obstruct the passage of the retaining lock in order to prevent removal of the protrusion from the distal end of the passage and thereby lock the fluid container within the dock.

[0071] Other specific embodiments of a method of securing the fluid container to the dock of a fluid circulation system can include various other steps and details. For example, in one embodiment of a method according to the disclosure, the fluid container 150 is positioned to mate with the receptacle 112. Specifically, the support wall 166 is positioned over the dock 110 in alignment with the mating plate 114. The fluid container 150 is then pushed downward using the handle 156, so that the support wall 166 surrounds and is either adjacent to or just touching the plate 114. Simultaneously, the actuator handle 146 moves through the opening 167 in the support wall 166. The insertion of the fluid container 150 onto the dock 110 also forms a connection between the fluid port coupling 120 of the dock 110 and the fluid port coupling 180 of the fluid container 150. Specifically, the lowering of the container 150 moves the insert 160 into the central aperture 135 of the frame 132, such that the fluid port coupling 180 at the end of the insert 160 connects to the fluid port coupling 120 disposed within the frame 132.

[0072] As the insert 160 moves into the frame 132, the protrusions 164 likewise move into the passages 134 formed by the openings 136. This insertion continues until the port couplings 120, 180 are connected, the protrusions 164 have passed the locking ring 140, and the protrusions 164 are located at the distal end of the passages 134. With the fluid container 150 and the dock 110 already in fluid communication due to the connection of the fluid port couplings 120, 180, the locking ring 140 can be rotated while the fluid container 150 remains stationary. To rotate the locking ring 140, a user can slide the actuator handle 146 through the slot 168. As explained above, the rotation of the locking ring 140 moves the flanges 144 into the passages 134 in order to obstruct the path of the protrusions 164. With the protrusions 164 prevented from retreating out of the passages 134, the fluid container 150 is locked onto the dock 110.

[0073] This and other embodiments of the disclosure allow operating fluids of a vehicle or other apparatus to be replaced or treated using the fluid container and dock, without the requirement of working under the vehicle or collecting exposed fluids. Moreover, the fluid container can be held onto the dock and the fluid connections maintained using a reduced number of parts in comparison to other systems.

[0074] The fluid container may include a fluid reservoir for storing a fluid or a fluid treatment apparatus for treating the fluid of a fluid system. For example, the fluid container may include a filter for treating removing particulates or other contaminants from the fluid. In another example, fluid container may be a fluid reservoir for a liquid. Suitable liquids include engine lubricating oil, heat exchange fluid for an electric engine, de-icer, water, screen-wash and detergent.

[0075] In some embodiments, the fluid container includes a reservoir for holding lubricating oil, for example, engine lubricating oil. Thus, the fluid container may comprise a reservoir that includes engine lubricating oil disposed therein. Accordingly, the fluid container in such embodiments can provide fresh, refreshed or unused lubricating oil which may conveniently replace a fluid container holding used or spent lubricating oil. [0076] In some embodiments, the lubricating oil comprises at least one base stock and at least one lubricating oil additive. Suitable base stocks include bio-derived base stocks, mineral oil derived base stocks, synthetic base stocks, and semi synthetic base stocks. Suitable lubricating oil additives, for example engine lubricating oil additives, may be organic and/or inorganic compounds, as will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art. In some embodiments, the lubricating oil includes a range of 60% to 90% by weight base stock and 40% to 10% by weight additives. The lubricating oils may be mono-viscosity grade or multi-viscosity grade engine lubricating oil. Examples of suitable lubricating oil include single purpose lubricating oil and multipurpose lubricating oil.

[0077] The fluid transfer system may be used in or with a wide variety of different systems and apparatuses that utilize an operating fluid. For example, the fluid container can be used with a vehicle for holding or processing an engine oil, a transmission fluid, or a fuel. Such a vehicle can be a car, a boat, a motorcycle, a train or an airplane, for example. The system may be similarly used with other apparatuses that also include an engine, such as a lawnmower, a generator, a compressor or a hand tool, such as a chainsaw, hedge trimmer or leaf blower.

[0078] The system may also be used in or with apparatuses that utilize a heat exchange fluid. For example, the system may be used with the heat exchange fluid for an electric motor, a wind turbine, or a computer server, ln other embodiments, the system may be used with other working fluids for other apparatuses.

[0079] The fluid port couplings provide a fluid connection between the fluid container and the dock when the corresponding couplings are attached. In some embodiments, the fluid port coupling connection is configured to allow fluid flow in a single direction. For example, the connected corresponding fluid port couplings may provide a fluid connection for a single conduit and one or both of the couplings may include a check valve. In other embodiments, the fluid port coupling connection may provide fluid flow in two directions. For example, the fluid port coupling connection may form a single conduit with unrestricted flow in both directions. Alternatively, in some embodiments, the fluid port coupling connection may form more than one conduit, such that liquid may flow in one direction through one conduit of the connection and in the opposite direction through a second conduit of the fluid port coupling connection. In this case, both conduits may include check valves without restricting flow in either direction.

[0080] The embodiment of the system shown in FIG. 1 includes a single fluid port coupling. However, other embodiments may include more than one fluid port coupling, as described in more detail below. For instance, the fluid container and dock may include inlet and outlet fluid port couplings. Accordingly, one coupling connection may be used to allow fluid to flow from the dock to the container and one may be used to allow fluid to flow from the container to the dock. Further still, the fluid container may include different sections that each utilize one or more fluid port coupling. These sections may be connected or isolated from one another.

[0081] In some embodiments, the fluid port couplings may form a connection through a push- on connection between the two couplings. For example, the fluid port couplings may include corresponding components of a quick-connect fitting. In some embodiments, the fluid port couplings may include self-sealing ports ln general, self-sealing ports are configured to form a seal when two corresponding ports are connected to one another before a valve or the valves open to allow fluid to flow. On disconnection, the valve or valves close to seal off the ports before the seal between the ports is broken. Suitable valves include spring-loaded poppet valves and biased non-return valves. [0082] FIG. 5 illustrates a fluid delivery system in accordance with a particular embodiment of the disclosure for use with an engine 590 of a vehicle 502. The fluid delivery system 500 includes a dock 510 and a fluid container 550. The fluid container 550 includes a housing 552 that encloses a fluid reservoir 570 holding lubricating oil therein. The inside of the housing 552 also includes a cavity 572 that is isolated from the fluid reservoir 570. An oil filter 574 is contained within the cavity 572 for treating oil that is delivered to the oil filter 574 from the dock 510. The lower side 554 of the housing 552 includes a first fluid port coupling 580 providing fluid access to the cavity 572 and the oil filter 574 disposed therein through fluid port 580a and out of the cavity 572 and the oil filter 574 through fluid port 580b. The lower side 554 of the housing 552 also includes a second fluid port coupling 582 that provides fluid access to the fluid reservoir 570. The housing 552 also includes a third port in the form of a gas vent 576. The gas vent 576 may include a rollover feature to prevent leakage of liquid if the fluid container 550 is inverted. While the housing 552 includes no more than the above-described three ports, other embodiments may include more or fewer ports. The gas vent 576 may vent directly to atmosphere or vent into the headspace of the engine, and appropriate pipework may be provided to enable this.

[0083] In conjunction with the fluid port couplings 580 and 582, the dock 510 includes a first fluid port coupling 520 configured to connect with the first fluid port coupling 580 of the fluid container 550 and a second fluid port coupling 522 configured to connect to the second fluid port coupling 582 of the fluid container 550. The second fluid port coupling 522 of the dock 510 is in fluid communication with an engine sump 598 in order to feed new lubricating oil from the fluid reservoir 570 to the engine sump 598. The first fluid port coupling 522, on the other hand, is in fluid communication with an oil lubrication system 592 including an oil pump 596 and the engine sump 598. Accordingly, the oil pump 596 can circulate oil to the oil filter 574 via the first fluid port 580 before it is directed to the engine 590 and returns to the engine sump 598.

[0084] Each of the first fluid port coupling 520 of the dock 510 and the first fluid port coupling 580 of the fluid container 550 include respective conduits for the flow of oil in two directions. Specifically, the first fluid port coupling 580 of the fluid container 550 includes a plurality of inlet conduits that surround a central outlet conduit. The inlet and outlet conduits allow the oil to circulate into and out of oil the oil filter 574 through a single fluid port coupling 580. On the other hand, each of the second fluid port couplings 522, 582 includes a single conduit for the flow of oil in both directions.

[0085] The dock 510 also includes a retaining lock 530 that surrounds the first fluid port coupling 520. Similar to the embodiments described above, the retaining lock 530 includes a frame 532 that defines a passage 534 and a locking ring 540. When the fluid container 550 is attached to the dock 510, the locking ring 540 is rotated in order to obstruct the passage 534 with a flange 544 and prevent removal of the protrusion 564 therefrom.

[0086] The protrusion 564 is one of a plurality of protrusions 564 of the fluid container 550 that extends outward from an insert 560. In addition to carrying the protrusions 564, the insert 560 also includes the first fluid port coupling 580 disposed on an external surface thereof. Furthermore, the insert 560 is formed as a cap that provides access to the cavity 572. fn particular, an upper portion of the insert 560 may include an engagement mechanism, such as threads, in order to be secured to the cavity 572 and seal an opening of the cavity. Such a configuration allows the oil filter 574 to be removed and replaced with a new filter so that the container 510 can be recycled. To cooperate with the oil filter 574, the insert 560 may further include a retainer onto which the oil filter is screwed to provide a sealed fluid connection with the oil filter 574 (a so-called spin-on filter). A suitable spin-on filter is one comprising non return valves. An alternative to this would be a cartridge filter, also containing non-return valves.

[0087] The fluid container 550 also includes a support wall 566 in the form of a skirt that cooperates with a mating plate 514 of the dock 510. The mating plate 514 provides a receiving space around the dock 510 that the support wall 566 sits upon. Connection of the mating plate 514 and the support wall 566 limits movement of the fluid container 550 when it is installed on the dock 510. The support wall 566 further includes an opening to receive the actuator 546 and a corresponding slot that allows actuator 546 to move and provide rotation of the locking ring.

[0088] The fluid container 550 can be used to replace the engine oil of the engine 590 and to simultaneously replace the oil filter 574. To connect a new fluid container 550 to the dock 510, the fluid container 550 is positioned to mate with the receptacle formed by the mating plate 514. Specifically, the support wall 566 is positioned in alignment with the mating plate 514, and the fluid container 550 is then pushed downward using the handle 556. The downward motion of the fluid container 550 causes the support wall 566 to surround and mate with the mating plate 514. Simultaneously, the actuator handle 546 moves through the opening in the wall 566. In another embodiment, the mating plate 514 may be provided with guides to guide the fluid container 550 into position on the mating plate 514, so as to avoid damage to the fluid connections and other components of both the fluid container 550 and the mating plate 514 during the positioning of the fluid container 550.

[0089] The insertion of the fluid container 550 onto the dock 510 also forms a connection between the first fluid port coupling 520 of the dock 510 and the first fluid port coupling 580 of the fluid container 550, as well as the second fluid port coupling 522 of the dock 510 and the second fluid port coupling 582 of the fluid container 550. Further, with respect to the connection of the first fluid port couplings 520, 580, the lowering of the fluid container 550 moves the insert 560 into the frame 532, such that the first fluid port coupling 580 at the end of the insert 560 connects to the first fluid port coupling 520 disposed within the frame 532. This connection provides fluid communication between the oil filter 574 and the dock 510. Likewise, the connection of the second fluid port couplings 522, 582 provides fluid communication between the fluid reservoir 570 and the dock 510.

[0090] As the insert 560 moves into the frame 532, the protrusions 564 likewise move into the passages 534. This insertion continues until the port couplings are fully connected, the protrusions 564 have passed the locking ring 540, and the protrusions 564 are located at the distal end of the passages 534. With both the fluid reservoir 570 and the oil filter 574 already in fluid communication with the dock, the locking ring 540 can be rotated while the fluid container 550 remains stationary. To rotate the locking ring 540, a user can slide the actuator handle 546 through the slot in the support wall 566. The rotation of the locking ring 540 thus moves the flanges 544 into the passages 534 in order to obstruct the path of the protrusions 564. With the protrusions 564 prevented from retreating out of the passages 534, the fluid container 550 is locked onto the dock 510.

[0091] Once the fluid container 550 is in place on the dock 510 and locked to the dock 510, the lubricating oil in the fluid reservoir 570 can be drained to the engine sump 598 of the engine 590 via the second fluid port couplings 522, 582. Alternatively, the lubricating oil in the fluid reservoir 570 can be pumped to the engine sump 598 by a transfer pump 599 located between the dock 510 and the engine 590. The engine oil pump 596 may then circulate the oil through the filter 574 via the dock 510 until the oil needs to be replaced once again. At that point, the oil may be pumped back into the fluid reservoir 570, and then the entire fluid container 550, including the oil filter 574, may be removed from the dock 510.

[0092] F1GS. 7, 8 and 9 illustrate a further exemplary embodiment. FIG. 7 is a schematic perspective cross-sectional view of a fluid transfer system according to an embodiment of the disclosure. This embodiment differs from that shown in FIG. 5 in that there is no cavity 572 within the housing 500, and the position of the second fluid coupling 582 is moved with respect to the filter 574. The fluid delivery system 700 includes a dock 710 and a fluid container 750. The fluid container 750 includes a housing 752 that encloses a fluid reservoir 770 holding lubricating oil therein. An oil filter 774 is contained within the fluid reservoir 770, housed within a filter container 772 for treating oil that is delivered to the oil filter 774 from the dock 710. The lower side 754 of the housing 750 includes a first fluid port coupling 780, comprising a first fluid port 780a through which fluid flows into the oil filter 774 and a second fluid port 780b through which fluid flows out of the oil filter 774. The lower side 754 of the housing 750 also includes a second fluid port coupling 782 through which fluid flows into the fluid reservoir 770. A gas vent 776 may also be provided. The gas vent 776 may include a rollover feature to prevent leakage of liquid if the fluid container 750 is inverted. The gas vent 776 may vent directly to atmosphere or vent into the headspace of the engine, and appropriate pipework may be provided to enable this.

[0093] ln conjunction with the fluid port couplings 780 and 782, the dock 710 includes a first fluid port coupling 720 configured to connect with the first fluid port coupling 780 of the fluid container 750 and a second fluid port coupling 722 configured to connect to the second fluid port coupling 782 of the fluid container 750. The second fluid port coupling 722 of the dock 710 is in fluid communication with an engine sump in order to feed new lubricating oil from the fluid reservoir 770 to the engine sump. The first fluid port coupling 722, on the other hand, is in fluid communication with an oil lubrication system 792 including an oil pump and the engine sump. Accordingly, the oil pump can circulate oil to the oil filter 774 via the first fluid port 780 before it is directed to the engine and returns to the engine sump.

[0094] Each of the first fluid port coupling 720 of the dock 710 and the first fluid port coupling 780 of the fluid container 750 include respective conduits for the flow of oil, with the dock 710 being provided with a first fluid port 720a and a second fluid port 720b that engage with the fluid ports 780a, 780b provided on the housing 750.

[0095] The dock 710 also includes a retaining lock 730 that surrounds the first fluid port coupling 720 and the second fluid port coupling 722. This is illustrated in FIG. 8, which is a schematic perspective view of a dock according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In this embodiment the first fluid port coupling 720 is co-located with the second fluid port coupling 722. Similar to the embodiments described above, the retaining lock 730 includes a frame 732 that defines a passage 734 and a locking ring (not shown). When the fluid container 750 is attached to the dock 710, the locking ring (not shown) is rotated in order to obstruct the passage 734 with a flange 744 and prevent removal of the protrusion 764 therefrom. The protrusion 764 is one of a plurality of protrusions 764 of the fluid container 750 that extends outward from an insert 760.

[0096] The fluid container 750 also includes a support wall 766 in the form of a skirt that cooperates with a mating plate 714 of the dock 710. The mating plate 714 provides a receiving space around the dock 710 that the support wall 766 sits upon. Connection of the mating plate 714 and the support wall 766 limits movement of the fluid container 750 when it is installed on the dock 710. The support wall 766 further includes an opening 790 to receive the actuator 746 and a corresponding recess 791 that allows actuator 746 to move and provide rotation of the locking ring. This is illustrated in greater detail in FIG. 9, which shows a schematic perspective view of a fluid container 750 according to this embodiment of the disclosure. Rather than a slot as illustrated in FIG. 5, a recess 791 is provided, the recess 791 having three sections: two horizontal recesses 79la, 79lb separated by a lipped portion 79lc. The purpose of the lipped portion 79lc is to provide a threshold that prevents the actuator 746 from moving along the recess 791 unless a force is applied. This prevents accidental unlocking of the fluid container 750 from the dock 710 during use of the fluid transfer system 700.

[0097] The fluid container 750 can be used to replace the engine oil of the engine and to simultaneously replace the oil filter 774. To connect a new fluid container 750 to the dock 710, the fluid container 750 is positioned to mate with the receptacle formed by the mating plate 714. Specifically, the support wall 766 is positioned in alignment with the mating plate 714, and the fluid container 750 is then pushed downward using the handle 756. The downward motion of the fluid container 750 causes the support wall 766 to surround and mate with the mating plate 714. Simultaneously, the actuator handle 746 moves through the opening in the wall 766. In another embodiment, the mating plate 714 may be provided with guides to guide the fluid container 750 into position on the mating plate 714, so as to avoid damage to the fluid connections and other components of both the fluid container 750 and the mating plate 714 during the positioning of the fluid container 750.

[0098] The insertion of the fluid container 750 onto the dock 710 also forms a connection between the first fluid port coupling 720 of the dock 710 and the first fluid port coupling 780 of the fluid container 750 and their respective ports 720a, 720b, 750a, 780b, as well as the second fluid port coupling 722 of the dock 710 and the second fluid port coupling 782 of the fluid container 750.

[0099] This insertion continues until the port couplings are fully connected, the protrusions 764 have passed the locking ring 740, and the protrusions 764 are located at the distal end of the passages 734. With both the fluid reservoir 770 and the oil filter 774 already in fluid communication with the dock, the locking ring 740 can be rotated while the fluid container 750 remains stationary. To rotate the locking ring 740, a user can slide the actuator handle 746 through the recess 791 in the support wall 766. The rotation of the locking ring 740 thus moves the flanges 744 into the passages 734 in order to obstruct the path of the protrusions 764. With the protrusions 764 prevented from retreating out of the passages 734, the fluid container 750 is locked onto the dock 710.

[0100] Once the fluid container 750 is in place on the dock 710 and locked to the dock 710, the lubricating oil in the fluid reservoir 770 can be drained to the engine sump of the engine via the first fluid port couplings 720 780. Alternatively, the lubricating oil in the fluid reservoir 770 can be pumped to the engine sump by a transfer pump located between the dock 710 and the engine. The engine oil pump may then circulate the oil through the filter 774 via the dock 710 until the oil needs to be replaced once again. At that point, the oil may be pumped back into the fluid reservoir 770, and then the entire fluid container 750, including the oil filter 774, may be removed from the dock 710.

[0101] ft will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the processes and devices described here without departing from the scope of the disclosure. Thus, it is intended that the present disclosure cover such modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.