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Title:
A WATER CONSERVATION SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/162799
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure envisages a water conservation system (100). System (100) comprises a reservoir (106), a valve (102), an actuator (104), a first sensor (202), a second sensor (204) and a control unit (208). Reservoir (106) receives water draining from a predefined space. Valve (102) diverts draining water, in a first mode, towards reservoir (106), and, in a second mode, away from the reservoir (106). Actuator (104) selectively actuates the diverter valve (102) between first and second modes. First sensor (202) generates a first signal on detection of water flow. Second sensor (204) generates a second signal on detection of an activity makes water unclean. Control unit (208) receives first signal and second signal and switches the valve (102) between first and second mode. By automating storage of relatively clean water, that otherwise enters sewer lines from bathroom drains, in the reservoir (106), system (100) reduces water wastage.

Inventors:
DEWAN, Vishesh (A/26/27/59, Dewan-e-Khas Nyati Highlands, Near Corinthians Club, Hadapsar, Pune-, Maharashtra 8, 411028, IN)
Application Number:
IB2019/051105
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 12, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DEWAN, Vishesh (A/26/27/59, Dewan-e-Khas Nyati Highlands, Near Corinthians Club, Hadapsar, Pune-, Maharashtra 8, 411028, IN)
International Classes:
E03C1/12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEWAN, Mohan (R.K.dewan & CO, Podar Chambers S.A.,Brelvi Road, Fort, Mumbai-, Maharashtra 1, 400 001, IN)
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Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A water conservation system (100) comprising:

• a first reservoir (106) configured to receive water draining from a predefined space;

• a diverter valve (102) configured to divert water draining from said space, in a first mode, towards said first reservoir (106) and, in a second mode, away from said reservoir;

• an actuator (104) configured to selectively actuate said diverter valve (102) between said first mode and said second mode;

• a first sensor (202) configured to detect flow of water and generate a first detection signal on detection of said flow;

• a second sensor (204) configured to detect an activity which results in making water unclean and generate a second detection signal on detection of said activity; and

• a control unit (208) configured to receive said first detection signal and said second detection signal and to switch said diverter valve (102) between said first mode and said second mode.

1. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said control unit (208) is further configured to generate a first actuation signal on the detection of said first detection signal, initiate a count as well as generate a second actuation signal on the detection of said second detection signal while said first detection signal is present, count for a predefined period of time and generate a third actuation signal immediately at the end of said period of time while said first detection signal is present; wherein said actuator (104) is configured to switch said diverter valve (102): i. to its first mode on receipt of said first actuation signal, ii. to its second mode on receipt of said second actuation signal, and iii. back to its first mode on receipt of said third actuation signal.

2. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein unclean water is diverted into a sewer in a second mode of said diverter valve (102).

3. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said system (100) comprises a second reservoir (108), wherein unclean water is diverted towards said second reservoir (108) in a second mode of said diverter valve (102).

4. The system (100) as claimed in claim 3, wherein said second reservoir (108) is coupled to a recycling unit (110).

5. The system (100) as claimed in claim 3, wherein said second reservoir (108) is integrated with a recycling unit (110). 6. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first sensor (202) is a pressure sensor.

7. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first sensor (202) is a flow sensor.

8. The system (100) as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein said first sensor (202) is disposed downstream of said drainage hole.

9. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said second sensor (204) is configured to detect one of:

• lifting of a soap bar from a soap case;

• lifting of a cleansing solution dispenser from its base;

• pressure applied on the nozzle of a cleansing solution dispenser;

• decrease in quantity of the cleansing solution; OR

• flow of unclean water downstream of said drainage hole.

10. The system (100) as claimed in claim 9, wherein said second sensor (204) is a force transducer disposed at the base of at least one of a soap case and a cleansing solution dispenser.

11. The system (100) as claimed in claim 9, wherein said second sensor (204) is an alkalinity detector disposed downstream of said drainage hole.

12. The system (100) as claimed in claim 9, wherein said second sensor (204) is a dirty water detector disposed downstream of said drainage hole.

13. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said predefined period of time is defined by the user. 14. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said diverter valve (102) is a three- way valve.

15. The system (100) as claimed in claim 1, wherein said actuator (104) is a solenoid valve.

Description:
A WATER CONSERVATION SYSTEM

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to water conservation systems.

BACKGROUND The background information herein below relates to the present disclosure but is not necessarily prior art.

A substantial amount of water is wasted every day during bathing. A major portion of this waste occurs when members of the household waste litres of clean water by simply running the hot water tap until the hot water starts running through the hot water tap. For example, in order to take a warm shower, the user usually waits for several minutes until the hot water reaches the shower tap. After the hot water has reached the shower tap, the user then begins his bathing process.

During the minute or two that it takes for the cold water to purge from the hot water line, many litres of clean water flow into the sewer lines. Typically, a shower head emits approximately four to six litres of water per minute. Therefore, during the period cold water is running, approximately eight to ten litres of clean water flow into the sewer lines. Moreover, the actual bathing process typically lasts only for a couple of minutes. Additionally, many people enjoy standing under a warm shower before and after the bathing process is completed. During that time, many litres of relatively clean water is also wasted and it directly flows into the sewer lines.

There is, therefore, felt a need of a water conservation system that alleviates the aforementioned drawbacks and reduces water usage by collecting the relatively clean water that typically enters the sewer lines from the bathroom drains.

Hence, there is need of a hydraulic control valve housing which ameliorates the aforementioned issues.

OBJECTS

Some of the objects of the present disclosure, which at least one embodiment satisfies, are as follows: It is an object of the present disclosure to ameliorate one or more problems of the prior art or to at least provide a useful alternative.

An object of the present disclosure is to provide a water conservation system.

Another object of the present disclosure is to provide a water conservation system that reduces water wastage by collecting the relatively clean water that typically enters sewer lines from bathroom drains.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a water conservation system that is reliable.

Other objects and advantages of the present disclosure will be more apparent from the following description, which is not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure envisages a water conservation system. The water conservation system comprises a first reservoir, a diverter valve and an actuator. The water conservation system also comprises a first sensor, a second sensor and a control unit. The first reservoir is configured to receive water draining from a predefined space. The diverter valve is configured to divert water draining from the space, in a first mode, towards the first reservoir, and, in a second mode, away from the reservoir. The actuator is configured to selectively actuate the diverter valve between the first mode and the second mode. The first sensor is configured to detect flow of water and to generate a first detection signal on detection of the flow. The second sensor is configured to detect an activity which results in making water unclean and to generate a second detection signal on detection of the activity. The control unit is configured to receive the first detection signal and the second detection signal and to switch the diverter valve between the first mode and the second mode. In an embodiment, the diverter valve is a three-way valve. In an embodiment, the actuator is a solenoid valve. -In an embodiment, the control unit is configured to generate a first actuation signal on the detection of the first detection signal, initiate a count as well as generate a second actuation signal on the detection of the second detection signal while the first detection signal is present, count for a predefined period of time and generate a third actuation signal immediately at the end of the period of time while the first detection signal is present. In an embodiment, the predefined period of time is defined by the user. The actuator is configured to switch the diverter valve: i. to its first mode on receipt of the first actuation signal, ii. to its second mode on receipt of the second actuation signal, and iii. back to its first mode on receipt of the third actuation signal.

In an embodiment, unclean water is diverted into a sewer in a second mode of the diverter valve. In another embodiment, the system comprises a second reservoir, wherein unclean water is diverted towards the second reservoir in a second mode of the diverter valve. The second reservoir is preferably coupled to a recycling unit. Alternatively, the second reservoir is integrated with a recycling unit.

In an embodiment, the first sensor is a pressure sensor. In another embodiment, the first sensor is a flow sensor. In an embodiment, the first sensor is disposed downstream of the drainage hole.

In an embodiment, the second sensor is configured to detect one of:

• lifting of a soap bar from a soap case;

• lifting of a cleansing solution dispenser from its base;

• pressure applied on the nozzle of a cleansing solution dispenser;

• decrease in quantity of the cleansing solution; OR

• flow of unclean water downstream of the drainage hole.

In an embodiment, the second sensor is a force transducer disposed at the base of at least one of a soap case and a cleansing solution dispenser. In another embodiment, the second sensor is an alkalinity detector disposed downstream of the drainage hole. In still another embodiment, the second sensor is a dirty water detector disposed downstream of the drainage hole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPANYING DRAWING A water conservation system of the present disclosure will now be described with the help of the accompanying drawing, in which:

Figure 1 illustrates a schematic view of the water conservation system, in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure;

Figure 2 illustrates a schematic view of the water conservation system, in accordance with another embodiment of the present disclosure;

Figure 3 illustrates a schematic view of a water conservation system, in accordance with yet another embodiment of the present disclosure;

Figure 4 illustrates a schematic view of the water conservation system, in accordance with still another embodiment of the present disclosure;

Figure 5 illustrates a flow-chart for the water conservation system of the present disclosure; and

Figure 6 illustrates an embodiment showing a mechanical linkage between the actuator and the diverter valve of the water conservation system of the present disclosure.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

100 Water conservation system

102 Diverter

104 Actuator

106 First reservoir

108 Second reservoir

110 Recycling unit

202 First sensor

204 Second sensor

206 Clock 208 Control unit

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Embodiments, of the present disclosure, will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawing. Embodiments are provided so as to thoroughly and fully convey the scope of the present disclosure to the person skilled in the art. Numerous details are set forth, relating to specific components, and methods, to provide a complete understanding of embodiments of the present disclosure. It will be apparent to the person skilled in the art that the details provided in the embodiments should not be construed to limit the scope of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, well-known processes, well-known apparatus structures, and well-known techniques are not described in detail.

The terminology used, in the present disclosure, is only for the purpose of explaining a particular embodiment and such terminology shall not be considered to limit the scope of the present disclosure. As used in the present disclosure, the forms“a”,“an” and“the” may be intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly suggests otherwise. The terms“comprises”,“comprising”,“including” and“having” are open-ended transitional phrases and therefore specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, modules, units and/or components, but do not forbid the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. The particular order of steps disclosed in the method and process of the present disclosure is not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance as described or illustrated. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.

When an element is referred to as being“mounted on”,“engaged to”,“connected to” or ‘coupled to” another element, it may be directly on, engaged, connected or coupled to the other element. As used herein, the term“and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed elements.

The terms first, second, third, etc., should not be construed to limit the scope of the present disclosure as the aforementioned terms may be only used to distinguish one element, component, region, layer or section from another component, region, layer or section. Terms such as first, second, third etc., when used herein do not imply a specific sequence or order unless clearly suggested by the present disclosure.

Terms such as“inner”,“outer”,“beneath”,“below”,“lower ”,“above”,“upper” and the like, may be used in the present disclosure to describe relationships between different elements as depicted from the figures.

The present disclosure envisages a water conservation system that reduces water wastage by collecting the relatively clean water that typically enters sewer lines from bathroom drains.

Figure 1-4 illustrate schematic views of a water conservation system 100 and Figure 5 illustrates a flow-chart thereof. The water conservation system 100 of the present disclosure comprises a diverter valve 102, an actuator 104, and at least a first reservoir 106. The diverter valve 102 is configured to receive water flowing from a drainage hole of a predefined space. The diverter valve 102 is installed downstream of the drainage hole and upstream of the first reservoir 106 and is configured to operate in at least two modes - a first mode in which the diverter valve 102 diverts water flowing from the drainage hole towards the first reservoir 106 and a second mode in which the diverter valve 102 diverts water flowing from the drainage hole away from the first reservoir 106. The actuator 104 is coupled to the diverter valve 102 and is configured to selectively actuate the diverter valve 102 from the first mode to the second mode and vice versa. The diverter valve 102 is operated in the first mode when relatively clean water flows downstream of the drainage hole and in the second mode when relatively unclean water flows downstream of the drainage hole. As a result, the relatively clean water is saved from flowing down the drain and hence can be conserved for reuse.

The predefined space is a bathroom typically equipped with a head shower unit, under which a user can take bath. The water flowing on the bathroom floor flows towards a drainage hole due to the slope provided for the same. Nevertheless, the water conservation system is equally applicable to other typical scenarios of usage of water, such as car washing, utensil cleaning and the like, which involve a wetting stage, cleansing stage and post-cleansing stage of water usage.

As illustrated in the schematic views in Figure 1 and Figure 2, the operation of the water conservation system 100 of the present disclosure, particularly operation of the actuator 104 to actuate the diverter valve 102, is automated. According to this embodiment, the system 100 comprises a first sensor 202, a second sensor 204 and a control unit 208. The first sensor 202 is configured to detect flow of water and generate a first detection signal on detection of the flow. In an embodiment, the first sensor 202 is installed downstream of the drainage hole. However, an embodiment in which the first sensor 202 is installed in a shower head or a faucet in the bathroom is also envisaged. Moreover, the second sensor 204 is configured to detect an activity which results in making water unclean and generate a second detection signal on detection of the activity. The event to be detected is selected from a group consisting of lifting of a soap bar from a soap case, lifting of a cleansing solution dispenser from its base, pressure applied on the nozzle of a cleansing solution dispenser, decrease in quantity of the cleansing solution, OR flow of unclean water downstream of the drainage hole. Based on the choice of an activity to be detected, the type of the second sensor 204 and its position for installation is selected. For detecting lifting of a soap bar or a bottle of a cleansing solution, or for detecting pressure applied on the nozzle of a cleansing solution dispenser, or for detecting decrease in weight of the cleansing solution, at least one force transducer is used as the second sensor 204, and is installed at the base of the soap case or of the soap solution dispenser. In an embodiment, the force transducer is selected from the group consisting of a strain gauge, a piezoelectric transducer, a load cell. For detecting flow of unclean (particularly alkaline water) downstream of the drainage hole in the bathroom, an alkalinity detector used as the second sensor 204 is installed downstream of the drainage hole. The control unit 208 is communicatively coupled to the first sensor 202, the second sensor 204 and the actuator 104. The control unit 208, on the detection of a first detection signal generated by the first sensor 202, generates a first actuation signal. Further, the control unit 208 initiates a count as well as generates a second actuation signal on the detection of a second detection signal generated by the second sensor 204 while the first detection signal is present. The control unit 208 counts for a predefined period of time and generates a third actuation signal immediately at the end of the period of time while the first detection signal is present. The actuator 104 switches the diverter valve 102: i. to its first mode on receipt of the first actuation signal, ii. to its second mode on receipt of the second actuation signal, and iii. back to its first mode on receipt of the third actuation signal. Thus, while the user is using water from the shower or the tap in the bathroom for wetting his/her body, the diverter valve 102 is set in its first mode by the control unit 208 through the actuator 104. Thus, relatively clean water flowing downstream of the drainage hole flows into the first reservoir 106 and is thus conserved. While the user is using a soap bar or a cleansing solution with the water supply kept ON, the unclean water thus generated and flowing downstream of the drainage hole is made to flow either into sewer lines or into the second reservoir 108. The control unit 208 counts pulses of an inherent clock 206 of the control unit 208. In another embodiment, a separate clock 206 is provided in the system 100. The number of pulses counted is defined by the user, based on his/her usage patterns. The user takes an estimate of the time period for which his/her cleansing act lasts, for the same. In an embodiment, wherein an alkalinity detector or a dirty water detector is used as the second sensor 204, feeding in the time period to the control unit 208 is not required, because, at the moment the pH returns to a neutral value (or at the moment absence of impurity/dirt etc. is detected), the third actuation signal is configured to be generated. As soon as the third actuation signal is generated according to any of the embodiments described above, the actuator 104 shifts the diverter valve 102 back to its first mode. Hence, the relatively clean water that does not contain soap suds, dirt and the like, but has only been used after the cleansing stage for soaking, rinsing, and so on, is also stored in the first reservoir 106.

In an embodiment, the power supply unit comprises at least one battery configured to supply power to the flow detector 202, the first sensor 204, the control unit 208 and the diverter valve 102.

Alternatively, as illustrated in the schematic views in Figure 3 and Figure 4, the operation of the water conservation system 100 of the present disclosure, particularly operation of the actuator 104 to actuate the diverter valve 102, is done manually by the user. According to this embodiment, the user is provided with the actuator 104 in the form of a hand-operated or a foot-operated means. The hand-operated or foot-operated means is selected from the group consisting of a mechanical switch, a lever, a rotating knob, and a push button. While the user is using the water from the shower or the tap in the bathroom for wetting his/her body, the diverter valve 102 has been set in its first mode by default. Thus, relatively clean water flowing downstream of the drainage hole flows into the first reservoir 106. Just before the user initiates use of a cleansing means such as a soap, a shampoo, a detergent or the like, which leads to dirtying of water due to extraction of dirt, dead skin, etc. from the user’s body or the clothes, the user operates the actuator 104, thereby bringing the diverter valve 102 in its second mode. Therefore, while the user is using a soap bar or a cleansing solution with the water supply kept ON, the resultant unclean water flowing downstream of the drainage hole is made to flow either into sewer lines or into the second reservoir 108. Once the user finishes the cleansing stage, a post-cleansing stage of use of water usually follows, in which the user stands under the shower for a few minutes or performs rinsing of the clothes or utensils with clean water for a few times after using soap/detergent. In this post-cleansing stage, the user operates the actuator 104 again to set the diverter valve 102 back into its first mode. Thus, the relatively clean water flowing downstream of the drainage hole in this stage is also diverted to flow into the first reservoir 106.

In an embodiment, the diverter valve 102 is a three-way valve 102. In its first mode, the three-way valve 102 diverts water towards the first reservoir 106, in its second mode, the three-way valve 102 diverts water away from the first reservoir 106 (either into a sewer line or into a second reservoir 108) and in its third mode, the three-way valve 102 blocks water from flowing further into either the first reservoir 106 or away from the first reservoir 106. The actuator 104 is configured to bring the three-way valve 102 in its third state while at least one of the first reservoir 106 and the associated underground plumbing is being serviced by service personnel.

In an embodiment, the actuator 104 is coupled to the diverter valve 102 by means of a mechanical linkage as illustrated in Figure 6. The mechanical linkage comprises at least one pair of gears and at least one shaft. In an embodiment, the gears are a pair of bevel gears. In another embodiment, the actuator 104 is coupled to the diverter valve 102 by means of an electromechanical linkage (not illustrated in drawing). The electromechanical linkage comprises an electrical circuit comprising a switch operated by the actuator 104, an electrical motor driving the diverter valve 102 and a battery driving the electrical motor. In this embodiment, the actuator 104 is a solenoid valve.

The water stored in the first reservoir 106 is directly used for secondary purposes. The secondary purposes include irrigation, floor cleaning, vehicle cleaning, gardening, and the like. In an embodiment as illustrated in the schematic views in Figure 1 and Figure 3, in its second mode, the diverter valve 102 of the system 100 is configured to divert water flowing from the drainage hole into sewer lines (not shown).

In another embodiment as illustrated in the schematic views in Figure 2 and Figure 4, the system 100 includes a second reservoir 108 and a recycling unit 110. The second reservoir 108 is coupled to the recycling unit 110. The drained water from the second reservoir 108 is fed to the recycling unit 110 for recycling to make the drained water fit for secondary purposes. The secondary purposes include irrigation, floor cleaning, vehicle cleaning, gardening, and the like. The recycling unit 110 purifies the unclean water collected in the second reservoir 108, by dosing the unclean water with a purity agent. In an embodiment, the purity agent is selected from the group consisting of sodium chloride (NaCl), magnesium sulphate (MgS0 4 ), alum, borax, baking soda, vinegar, ammonia, and the like.

In an embodiment, the first storage tank 106 and the second storage tank 108 are placed underground to aid the flow of drained water towards the first storage tank 106 and the second storage tank 108 via gravity.

In an embodiment of the present disclosure, a mini hydro generator (not shown in figures) is mounted on a water supply pipe of the bathroom. Specifically, the mini hydro generator is mounted upstream of a faucet and/or a shower head. The mini hydro generator is configured to generate power based on the flow of water from the water supply pipe. The generated power is fed to the power supply unit for charging the battery.

The foregoing description of the embodiments has been provided for purposes of illustration and not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure. Individual components of a particular embodiment are generally not limited to that particular embodiment, but, are interchangeable. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the present disclosure, and all such modifications are considered to be within the scope of the present disclosure.

TECHNICAL ADVANCEMENTS

The present disclosure described herein above has several technical advantages including, but not limited to, the realization of a water conservation system, which: • reduces water wastage by collecting the relatively clean water that typically enters sewer lines from bathroom drains.

The foregoing disclosure has been described with reference to the accompanying embodiments which do not limit the scope and ambit of the disclosure. The description provided is purely by way of example and illustration.

The embodiments herein and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained with reference to the non-limiting embodiments in the following description. Descriptions of well-known components and processing techniques are omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the embodiments herein. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the embodiments herein may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the embodiments herein. Accordingly, the examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiments herein.

The foregoing description of the specific embodiments so fully reveal the general nature of the embodiments herein that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. Therefore, while the embodiments herein have been described in terms of preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments herein can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the embodiments as described herein.

The use of the expression“at least” or“at least one” suggests the use of one or more elements or ingredients or quantities, as the use may be in the embodiment of the disclosure to achieve one or more of the desired objects or results.

Any discussion of documents, acts, materials, devices, articles or the like that has been included in this specification is solely for the purpose of providing a context for the disclosure. It is not to be taken as an admission that any or all of these matters form a part of the prior art base or were common general knowledge in the field relevant to the disclosure as it existed anywhere before the priority date of this application.

The numerical values mentioned for the various physical parameters, dimensions or quantities are only approximations and it is envisaged that the values higher/lower than the numerical values assigned to the parameters, dimensions or quantities fall within the scope of the disclosure, unless there is a statement in the specification specific to the contrary.

While considerable emphasis has been placed herein on the components and component parts of the preferred embodiments, it will be appreciated that many embodiments can be made and that many changes can be made in the preferred embodiments without departing from the principles of the disclosure. These and other changes in the preferred embodiment as well as other embodiments of the disclosure will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure herein, whereby it is to be distinctly understood that the foregoing descriptive matter is to be interpreted merely as illustrative of the disclosure and not as a limitation.