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Title:
A DEVICE FOR STORING AND SELF-SERVICE EXCHANGE OF EMPTY PROPANE-BUTANE BOTTLES FOR FULL PROPANE-BUTANE BOTTLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/238147
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles wherein the device (Z) is composed of the power supply unit and at least two pairs, piled one on top of the other and standing side by side, aligned and tightly interconnected to each other, lockable cabinets (A1, A2) and (B1, B2) for bottles with identical plan views and with at least two different heights, wherein each lockable cabinet (A1, A2, B1, B2) for bottles is equipped with the door (D) with the electronically controlled lock (1) of the door (D) and the internal control element (2) to evaluate size and weight of the bottle, wherein the part of the device (Z) is constituted by the operation control module (C), integrating the payment terminal, electronically coupled, either with wire or wireless connections, to the electronically controlled lock (1) of the door (D) and to the internal control element (2) of each lockable cabinet (Al, A2, B1, B2) for bottles.

Inventors:
PEŠEK DAVID (CZ)
Application Number:
PCT/CZ2019/000002
Publication Date:
December 19, 2019
Filing Date:
January 17, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HUNSGAS S R O (CZ)
International Classes:
G07F7/06; F17C13/08; G07F11/62
Foreign References:
FR3002358A12014-08-22
FR1431026A1966-03-11
US20170140600A12017-05-18
EP0269492A11988-06-01
US20070193318A12007-08-23
EP2787492A12014-10-08
US3179224A1965-04-20
ES1060206U2005-08-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DLABÁČEK, Lukáš (CZ)
Download PDF:
Claims:
P A T E N T C L A I M S

1. The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles characterized in that the device (Z) is composed of the power supply unit and at least two pairs, piled one on top of the other and standing side by side, aligned and tightly interconnected to each other, lockable cabinets (Al, A2) and (Bl, B2) for bottles with identical plan views and with at least two different heights, wherein each lockable cabinet (Al, A2, Bl, B2) for bottles is equipped with the door (D) with the electronically controlled lock (1) of the door (D) and the internal control element (2) to evaluate size and weight of the bottle, wherein the part of the device (Z) is constituted by the operation control module (C), integrating the payment terminal, which is electronically coupled, either with wired or wireless connections, to the electronically controlled lock (1) of the door (D) and to the internal control element (2) of each lockable cabinet (Al, A2, Bl, B2) for bottles.

2. The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles according to the claim 1, characterized in that smaller lockable cabinets (Al, A2) for bottles reach half of the height of the bigger lockable cabinets (Bl, B2) for bottles.

3. The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles according to the claims 1 and 2, characterized in that smaller lockable cabinets (Al, A2) for bottles accommodate small 2 kg bottles, wherein smaller lockable cabinets (Al) for empty bottles are reserved for empty bottles and smaller lockable cabinets (A2) for full bottles are reserved for full bottles, wherein bigger lockable cabinets (Bl, B2) for bottles are reserved for large 10 kg bottles, wherein bigger lockable cabinets (Bl) for empty bottles are reserved for empty bottles and bigger lockable cabinets (B2) for full bottles are reserved for full bottles.

4. The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles according to the claim 1, characterized in that the device (Z) is equipped with the external detector (3) to indicate gas leak, connected to the operation control module (C) and the gas leak light signal alarm system (S).

5. The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles according to the claim 1, characterized in that the solar system is the electric power supply unit of the device (Z).

6. The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles according to any claim, characterized in that the operation control module (C), integrating the payment terminal, is connected to the central control panel of the operator.

Description:
A device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles

Field of the Invention

The invention relates to the device for storing and paid self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles, filled with propane-butane gas.

State of the Art

Selling and/or exchange of empty propane-butane bottles (hereinafter referred to as the“bottles”) mostly takes place in the dispensing sites of companies, supplying industrial gases in such a way that a customer delivers an empty bottle, returns said bottle to the dispensing site attendant in exchange for a full bottle for consideration. Gas stations offer another possibility to swap bottles; bottles are usually stored in lockable wire cages. Gas station attendants exchange or sell full bottles, including manual handling of bottles. This activity is physically demanding job for attendants as the weight of the bottle, containing 10 kg of filling and its shell, may reach up to 25 kg. Nowadays, this practice is inconvenient as attendants, employed in gas stations, are usually women. Payment for disposed bottle is usually made inside the gas station, which means that both the attendant and customer must move from the bottle dispensing site to the gas station cash desk. Not only is it a waste of time, but it also calls for the presence of two attendants at the gas station. At night time hours, said bottle exchange procedure poses a risk with regard to possibility of accident as well as is dangerous as the attendance staff may come under attack. Summary of the Invention

The summary of the invention is that the device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles (hereinafter referred to as the“device”) allows for its operation on the self- service principle. The device is composed of a group of bottle cabinets, piled one on top of the other and standing side by side, aligned and tightly interconnected to each other, with closable and lockable doors. Plan views of bottle cabinets are identical, facilitating their stacking up one above the other. Individual cabinets are firmly attached to one another, for instance by bolted joints, and form a tight assembly unit. Plan views of cabinets are identical, but their heights differ. Considering the fact that two types of bottles are exchanged and used most often, i.e., 2 kg filling and 10 kg filling, two types of cabinets are used for the device. Height of the cabinet, storing smaller bottles, is half of the height of larger bottle cabinet with the same plan view. A sensible combination of the individual cabinets enables to create device with the external shape of the cuboid. An operation control module is assigned and tightly connected to the group of lockable cabinets, integrating a payment terminal, constituting the part of the device, electrically/electronically coupled, either with wired or wireless connections, to the electronically controlled elements - electronically controlled door locks and internal control elements of bottle lockable cabinets.

Each lockable bottle cabinet features the door, fitted with the electronically controlled lock, connected to the operation control module, which is also the payment terminal operated in harmony with the applicable accounting law. Each lockable bottle cabinet accommodates a checking device, which is able to indicate occupancy of each cabinet and recognize whether the bottle has both correct shape and weight and whether is full or empty as well as whether the cabinet door has not remained open after the charging or collection of the bottle, whereas these data are displayed on the panel of the operation control module and/or the control panel of the operator. The entire installation is equipped with an external gas leak detector, connected to a light signal alarm system, operation control module, and control panel of the operator. A solar system may also be used as the electric energy power supply unit. Described device significantly decreases personal involvement of the attendant as to the physical handling with bottles. Every couple of hours, empty bottles must be removed from the device and full bottles completed. When the customer himself/herself replaces the bottle, involvement of the attendant will be limited to the control of the correct function of the individual parts of the device.

Description of the Drawings

Other advantages and effects of the present invention see attached drawing, where:

Fig. 1 scheme (front view) of the device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles,

Fig. 2 plan view of the device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles.

Example of the Invention Embodiment

The device for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles, hereinafter referred to as the“device (Z)“, as shown in Fig. 1 and 2, is composed of the power supply unit and at least two pairs, piled one on top of the other and standing side by side, aligned and tightly interconnected to each other by doors D of lockable cabinets Al, A2, Bl, B2 for bottles with identical plan views and with at least two different heights, where lockable cabinets Al, A2 for bottles reach half of the height of lockable cabinets Bl, B2 for bottles. Each lockable cabinet Al, A2, Bl, B2 for bottles is equipped with an electronically controlled lock 1 of the door D and an internal control element 2 to evaluate size and weight of the bottle. An operation control module C, integrating a payment terminal, constituting the part of the device Z and electronically coupled, either with wired or wireless connections, to the electronically controlled lock 1 of the door D and to the internal control element 2 of each lockable cabinet Al , A2, Bl, B2 for bottles is assigned and tightly connected to the lockable cabinets Al, A2, Bl, B2 for bottles. The external shape and dimensions of the operation control module C are identical to the shape and dimensions of the lockable cabinets Bl, B2 for bottles. Lockable cabinets Al, A2 for bottles accommodate small 2 kg bottles, wherein lockable cabinets Al for empty bottles are reserved for empty bottles and lockable cabinets A2 for full bottles are reserved for full bottles, wherein lockable cabinets Bl, B2 for bottles are reserved for large 10 kg bottles, wherein lockable cabinets Bl for empty bottles are reserved for empty bottles and lockable cabinets B2 for full bottles are reserved for full bottles. Described configuration as seen in Fig 1 illustrates the device Z assembled from three lockable cabinets Al for empty bottles, three lockable cabinets A2 for full bottles, five lockable cabinets Bl for empty bottles and five lockable cabinets B2 for full bottles and one operation control module C. Lockable cabinets B2 for full bottles, reserved for large full bottles, constitutes the lower row of lockable cabinets, from the left side completed with two lockable cabinets Al for small empty bottles and two lockable cabinets A2 for small full bottles.

The top row, assembled from five lockable cabinets Bl for large empty bottles, is seated on the lower row of lockable cabinets B2 for full bottles. Two lockable cabinets Al, A2 for small bottles are attached to them from the left, one on top of the other. From the left, the top row is closed by the operation control module C, connected to the central control panel of the device operator. Shape of such assembled device resembles a rectangular square (cuboid). On the outside, the device is equipped with a gas leak detector 3 to indicate gas leak, connected to the operation control module C, and a gas leak light signal alarm system S. The solar system is an alternative electric energy power supply unit of the device.

The function of the device is as follows: the initial situation can be characterized in that all lockable cabinets Al and B1 for empty bottles are empty and ready for empty bottle delivery. All lockable cabinets A2 and B2 for full bottles accommodate full bottles. Doors D of all lockable cabinets Al, A2, Bl, B2 for bottles are closed. A customer, delivering his/her empty bottle to replace it with the full one, will select an action on the panel of the operation control module C such as replacement of large empty bottle with large full bottle. An instruction to pay for the replacement will follow. The customer will pay either by credit card or in cash through the payment terminal. Afterwards, the door of one lockable cabinet Bl for empty bottles will open, the customer will put his/her empty bottle inside and will close the door of the lockable cabinet Bl for empty bottles. If the internal control element 2 evaluates said returned bottle as the correct one, the door of one lockable cabinet B2 for full bottles will open and the customer will collect full bottle. As soon as the customer closes the door of already empty cabinet B2, the payment terminal integrated into the operation control module C will print a receipt (tax document) for the customer. The attendant may complete empty lockable cabinets B2 for full bottles or lockable cabinets A2 for full bottles at his/her discretion and as necessary. The same applies to disposal of empty bottles from lockable cabinets Al and Bl for empty bottles. Any failures, including gas leak alarm, will be displayed on the panel of the operation control module C and the central control panel of the device operator. Industrial Applicability

The device can be used for storing and self-service exchange of empty propane-butane bottles for full propane-butane bottles for payment.