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Title:
A VENTILATOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/107221
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space, a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening, and a separator located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the separator adapted to separate the liquid portion from the fluid.

Inventors:
FODIE, Dan (4/27 Godwin Street Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland 4171, 4171, AU)
ALLINGHAM, Joel (4/27 Godwin Street Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland 4171, 4171, AU)
Application Number:
AU2017/051376
Publication Date:
June 21, 2018
Filing Date:
December 13, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MARITIME PROFESSIONAL SOLUTIONS PTY LTD (4/27 Godwin Street Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland 4171, 4171, AU)
International Classes:
B63J2/10; B60H1/24; F16K24/04; F16K24/06; F24F7/02
Foreign References:
KR20160139184A2016-12-07
GB184395A1922-08-17
US3072039A1963-01-08
US1667736A1928-05-01
US5960816A1999-10-05
US5640989A1997-06-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WYNNES PATENT AND TRADE MARK ATTORNEYS, Ewen Wynne (U4 27 Godwin Street Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland 4171, 4171, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

a separator located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the separator adapted to separate the liquid portion from the fluid.

2. A ventilator as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the separator is located between the float and the at least one second opening.

3. A ventilator as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein in use, the fluid enters the at least one first opening, if the liquid portion of the fluid is at or above a predetermined amount, the liquid portion moves the float to the closed position preventing the fluid from moving to the at least one second opening, if the liquid portion of the fluid is below the predetermined amount, the fluid moves through the separator where the liquid portion is separated from the fluid.

4. A ventilator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein any liquid portion separated from the fluid by the separator drains from the separator to the at least one first opening. 5. A ventilator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the separator includes a plurality of vanes to direct the fluid through the separator.

6. A ventilator as claimed in claim 5, wherein the plurality of vanes are arranged radially and include projections which project into a space between adjacent vanes.

7. A ventilator as claimed in claim 5 or claim 6, wherein in use, the liquid portion in the fluid that impacts the plurality of vanes flows along the vanes under the force of gravity to the first space.

8. A ventilator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further including a biasing member to bias the float towards the open position.

9. A ventilator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, further including an actuator to move the float to the closed position.

10. A ventilator as claimed in claim 9, wherein the actuator is movable between a free position where the float can move between the open and closed position and a locked position where the actuator holds the float in the closed position.

11. A ventilator as claimed in claim 9 or claim 10, wherein the housing has a slot along which the actuator can move between the free position and the locked position. 12. A ventilator as claimed in any one of claims 9 to 11 , wherein the actuator is a lever hingedly attached to the housing.

13. A ventilator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one first opening is a plurality of first openings.

14. A ventilator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein the ventilator can vent gases from the second space to the first space and from the first space to the second space through the ventilator when the float is in the open position, depending on the pressure difference between the first space and the second space.

15. A ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float fluidly seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

a biasing member to bias the float towards the open position.

16. A ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float fluidly seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

an actuator to move the float to the closed position.

17. A boat including a ventilator as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 16. 18. A method of venting a fluid from a first space to a second space using a ventilator as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the method including the steps of

introducing the fluid into the ventilator through the at least one first opening; if the liquid portion of the fluid is at or above a predetermined amount, then using the liquid portion to move the float to the closed position preventing the fluid from moving to the at least one second opening; and

if the liquid portion of the fluid is below the predetermined amount, then moving the fluid through the separator to separate the liquid portion from the fluid; and venting the gaseous portion of the fluid out of the at least one second opening.

19. A method of venting a fluid as claimed in claim 18 further including the step of biasing the float towards the open position.

20. A method of venting a fluid as claimed in claim 18 or claim 19, further including the step of draining the liquid portion from the separator to the at least one first opening if the liquid portion of the fluid is below the predetermined amount.

Description:
A VENTILATOR

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a ventilator with particular but not exclusive application for use in marine environments. Reference will be made in the specification to the use of the invention with respect to watercraft and venting of fuel tanks. This use is by way of example only and the invention is not limited to this use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Large boats require ventilation to supply air into and vent gases from internal compartments such as rooms and fuel tanks.

Current ventilators are located high above the waterline to prevent ingress of water from waves. A problem with water entering an interior space of a boat is that the interior space can become water damaged. A problem with water entering a fuel tank is that fuel can become contaminated and engines can be damaged by the contaminated fuel. A problem with these ventilators is that they cannot be mounted on lower decks of a boat near the waterline.

Another problem with current ventilators is that the ventilators need to be closed during rough weather to prevent water or spray from entering the ventilator.

A further problem with current ventilators is that when a boat is sinking, water can enter the boat through the ventilators affecting the floatation of the boat.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to overcome or at least alleviate one or more of the above problems by providing an alternative ventilator and/or provide the consumer with a useful or commercial choice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, the present invention broadly resides in a ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space; a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

a separator located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the separator adapted to separate the liquid portion from the fluid.

Preferably the separator is located between the float and the at least one second opening.

Preferably, in use, the fluid enters the at least one first opening forming an inlet. If the liquid portion of the fluid is at or above a predetermined amount, the liquid portion preferably moves the float to the closed position preventing the fluid from moving to the at least one second opening. The at least one second opening preferably forms an outlet. Preferably the predetermined amount of the liquid portion is an amount of liquid that positions the float in the closed position. If the liquid portion of the fluid is below the predetermined amount, the fluid preferably moves through the separator where the liquid portion is separated from the fluid.

Preferably the housing includes a float guide that retains and guides the float. Preferably the float guide is located between the at least one first opening and the separator. Preferably the float guide is located adjacent the separator.

Preferably a seal is located between the float guide and the separator. Preferably in the closed position, the float abuts the seal to seal the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening. Preferably the seal is a face seal.

Preferably the float substantially abuts against the separator in the closed position blocking passage of the fluid between the at least one first opening and at least one second opening.

Preferably the float is substantially spherical. Preferably the float is lightweight so that it can at least partially float in a liquid. More preferably the float can at least partially float in water.

Preferably the separator is located between the float guide and the at least one second opening. Any liquid portion separated from the fluid by the separator preferably drains to the first space. Any liquid portion separated from the fluid by the separator preferably drains from the separator to the at least one first opening. Any liquid portion separated from the fluid by the separator preferably drains from the separator into the float guide.

Preferably the separator includes a plurality of vanes. The plurality of vanes preferably direct the fluid through the separator. Preferably the plurality of vanes are arranged radially. Preferably the fluid flows through the separator, from the at least one first opening towards the at least one second opening, from an inner portion of the separator to an outer portion of the separator. Preferably the vanes are obstructing vanes that direct the flow of fluid through the separator. Preferably, the plurality of vanes create a convoluted or tortuous path for the fluid to flow through to cause a substantial amount of the liquid portion in the fluid to separate from the gaseous portion. Preferably the liquid portion is in gaseous suspension. Preferably the liquid portion is present in the fluid in fine particulate size. The plurality vanes preferably direct the flow of fluid such that the liquid portion in the fluid impacts the plurality of vanes and is removed from the flow of fluid. The separator preferably separates at least 50% of the liquid portion from the fluid. The separator preferably separates between 80% and 100% of the liquid portion from the fluid.

Preferably each of the plurality of vanes include projections. Preferably the projections project into a space between adjacent vanes. The liquid portion in the fluid that impacts the plurality of vanes preferably flows along the vanes under the force of gravity. The liquid portion preferably flows towards at least one drain which drains the liquid portion from the separator. Preferably the liquid portion is drained to the first space. Preferably each of the at least one drain is adjacent the float guide such that the liquid portion separated from the fluid by the separator drains from the separator into the float guide.

Preferably the separator is removable from the housing. Preferably the separator is removed from the housing for inspection, cleaning, repair and/or replacement.

Preferably the at least one first opening is a plurality of first openings. More preferably the at least one first opening is four first openings.

Preferably the ventilator includes a biasing member to bias the float towards the open position. Preferably the biasing member includes a spring. Preferably the biasing member includes a rod attached to the spring and the float to prevent the float from becoming stuck in the closed position due to a pressure difference between the first space and the second space. Preferably the ventilator includes an actuator to move the float to the closed position. Preferably the actuator is a lever. The lever is preferably hingedly attached to the housing. The actuator is preferably movable between a free position where the float can move between the open and closed position and a locked position where the actuator holds the float in the closed position. Preferably the housing has a slot along which the actuator can move between the free position and the locked position. Preferably the slot has a rebate portion to releasably hold the actuator in the locked position.

Preferably the housing has a flange connector portion. The flange connector portion is preferably adapted to attach the ventilator to an interface between the first space and the second space.

Preferably the ventilator can vent gases between the second space and the first space when the float is in the open position. Preferably the gases can vent from the second space to the first space and from the first space to the second space through the ventilator when the float is in the open position, depending on the pressure difference between the first space and the second space.

In another aspect, the present invention broadly resides in a ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float fluidly seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

a biasing member to bias the float towards the open position.

Preferably the ventilator includes a separator located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the separator adapted to separate the liquid portion from the fluid.

Preferably the ventilator includes an actuator to move the float to the closed position. Preferably the biasing member includes a spring. Preferably the biasing member includes a rod attached to the spring and the float to prevent the float from becoming stuck in the closed position due to a pressure difference between the first space and the second space.

In another aspect, the present invention broadly resides in a ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float fluidly seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

an actuator to move the float to the closed position.

Preferably the ventilator includes a biasing member to bias the float towards the open position.

Preferably the actuator is a lever. The lever is preferably hingedly attached to the housing. The actuator is preferably movable between a free position where the float can move between the open and closed position and a locked position where the actuator holds the float in the closed position. Preferably the housing has a slot along which the actuator can move between the free position and the locked position. Preferably the slot has a rebate portion to releasably hold the actuator in the locked position.

In a further aspect, the present invention broadly resides in a ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening;

a separator located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the separator adapted to separate the liquid portion from the fluid; a biasing member to bias the float towards the open position; and

an actuator to move the float to the closed position.

In another aspect, the present invention broadly resides in a boat including a ventilator for venting a fluid from a first space to a second space, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the ventilator including

a housing, said housing having at least one first opening in fluid communication with the first space, and at least one second opening in fluid communication with the second space;

a float located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the float movable between an open position where the at least one first opening is in fluid communication with the at least one second opening and a closed position where the float fluidly seals the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening; and

a separator located between the at least one first opening and the at least one second opening, the separator adapted to separate the liquid portion from the fluid.

In a further aspect, the present invention broadly resides in a boat including a ventilator with different combinations of features as described in this specification.

In another aspect, the present invention resides in a method of venting a fluid from a first space to a second space using a ventilator as described in this specification, said fluid can include a liquid portion and a gaseous portion, the method including the steps of

introducing the fluid into the ventilator through the at least one first opening; if the liquid portion of the fluid is at or above a predetermined amount, then using the liquid portion to move the float to the closed position preventing the fluid from moving to the at least one second opening; and if the liquid portion of the fluid is below the predetermined amount, then

moving the fluid through the separator to separate the liquid portion from the fluid; and

venting the gaseous portion of the fluid out of the at least one second opening. Preferably the method further includes the step of biasing the float towards the open position.

Preferably the method further includes the step of draining the liquid portion from the separator to the at least one first opening.

The features described with respect to one aspect also apply where applicable to all other aspects of the invention. Furthermore, different combinations of described features are herein described and claimed even when not expressly stated. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the present invention can be more readily understood reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention and wherein:

Figure 1A is a perspective view of a ventilator according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 1 B is a top view of the ventilator of Figure 1 A;

Figure 1C is a side view of the ventilator of Figure 1 A;

Figure 1 D is a bottom view of the ventilator of Figure 1 A;

Figure 2A is a section view of the ventilator of Figure 1 C along line C-C;

Figure 2B is a section view of the ventilator of Figure 2A along line D-D;

Figure 2C is a detail view of detail B in Figure 2B;

Figure 2D is a detail view of detail F in Figure 2A;

Figure 3A is a lower perspective view of the ventilator of Figure 1 A;

Figure 3B is a perspective view of the ventilator of Figure 1A with part of the housing removed for clarity;

Figure 4A is a Figure 2A is a section view of the ventilator of Figure 1C along line C-C with the lever in the locked position;

Figure 4B is a perspective view of the ventilator of Figure 1A with the lever in the locked position; and

Figure 4C is a detail view of detail I in Figure 4A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to Figures 1A to 4C, there is shown a ventilator 10. The ventilator 10 has a housing 12. The housing 12 has at least one first opening in the form of inlets 14. The housing 12 also has at least one second opening in the form of outlet 16.

The ventilator 10 has a float 18. The float 18 is located in a float guide 20 of the housing 12. The float 18 is movable in the float guide 20 between an open position (as seen in Figure 2A) and a closed position (as seen in Figure 4A).

The ventilator 10 has a separator 22 located adjacent to the float guide 20. The separator 22 has a plurality of vanes 24. Each vane 24 is shaped to create a tortuous path for fluid flowing through the separator 22. Creating a tortuous path causes liquid in the fluid flowing through the separator 22 to impact the vanes 24. Each vane 24 also has projections 26 (best seen in Figure 2C). The projections 26 are hook shaped to catch liquid in the fluid flowing through the separator 22.

The separator 22 has a lower catchment portion 28. Any liquid in the fluid that is caught by the vanes 24 flows down the vanes 24 under the force of gravity. The catchment portion 28 has drains 30 (best seen in Figure 2D) so that the liquid caught by the vanes 24 can drain into the float guide 20 and subsequently out the inlets 14.

The ventilator 10 has a flange connector portion 32. The flange connector portion 32 connects the ventilator 10 to an interface such as a floor or deck (not shown. The outlet 16 lines up with an aperture in the interface (not shown).

The ventilator 10 has a lever 34. The lever 34 is attached to the housing 12 by a pivot point 36.

The housing 12 has a slot 38 along which the lever 34 can move between a free position (as seen in Figure 2A) and a locked position (as seen in Figure 4A) where a lower portion (not shown due to section C-C) of the lever 34 abuts the float 18 and holds the float 18 against a seal 42 on the catchment portion 28 of the separator 22 to fluidly seal the separator 22 from the float guide 20. The slot has a rebate portion 40 to releasably hold the lever 34 in the locked position (as seen in Figure 4A).

The ventilator 10 has a biasing member in the form of a spring 44 and a rod 46 (best seen in figures 2A, 4A, 4C). The spring 44 and the rod 46 bias the float 18 towards the open position.

In use, the ventilator 10 is attached to a deck of a boat (not shown) by the flange connector portion 32. The outlet 16 of the ventilator aligned with an aperture (not shown) in the deck of the boat. With reference to Figures 1A to 3B, the ventilator 10 vents fluid between a first space (open air) outside the boat adjacent to inlets 14 and a second space inside the boat adjacent to outlet 16.

Fluid flows from the first space through inlets 14 into the float guide 20 and past the float 18, through the separator 22 and to the outlet 16. Arrows 50 show the flow of fluid from the separator 22 to the outlet 16.

If there is a large amount of liquid in the fluid (for example when a wave washes over the deck or when the deck is submerged), the liquid in the fluid forces the float 18 upwardly against the seal 42 to seal the separator 22 from the float guide 20 (position of float 18 as seen in Figure 4A), inhibiting liquid from passing through the ventilator 10.

If there is a smaller amount of liquid present in the fluid (for example spray), as the fluid flows through the separator 22, the liquid portion of the fluid impacts the vanes 24 and the projections 26 and flows downwardly under the force of gravity to the catchment portion 28 and drains through drains 30 into the float guide 20 and out of the ventilator 10 through the inlets 14.

The spring 44 and the rod 46 bias the float 18 towards the open position (as seen in Figure 2A) to inhibit the float from becoming stuck against the seal 42 if there is a lower pressure in the second space compared to the first space.

With reference to Figures 4A to 4C, the float 18 can be moved into the closed position (as seen in Figure 4A) by moving the lever 34 into the locked position. In this manner, the ventilator 10 can be manually closed when ventilation is not desired (for example during rough weather, or when the boat is in storage).

It will be appreciated that when the float 18 is in the open position (as seen in Figure 2A) gases can vent from the second space to the first space (i.e. from inside the boat to outside the boat).

ADVANTAGES

An advantage of the preferred embodiment of the ventilator includes inhibiting liquid from passing through the ventilator. Another advantage of the preferred embodiment of the ventilator includes separating liquid from the fluid passing through the ventilator. A further advantage of the preferred embodiment of the ventilator includes inhibiting the float from becoming stuck in the closed position due to a pressure difference between the first and the second space. Another advantage of the preferred embodiment of the ventilator includes the ability to manually seal the at least one first opening from the at least one second opening.

VARIATIONS

While the foregoing has been given by way of illustrative example of this invention, all such and other modifications and variations thereto as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of this invention as is herein set forth.

Throughout the description and claims of this specification the word "comprise" and variations of that word such as "comprises" and "comprising", are not intended to exclude other additives, components, integers or steps.