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Патент USA US3076488

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Feb. 5,‘ ‘1963
R. E. WINDERS
3,076,478
AUTOMATIC TANK SELECTOR
Original Filed Jan. 31, 1956
2 Sheets-Shut 1.
Feb. 5, 1963
3,076,478
R. E. WINDERS
mwoumc TANK SELECTOR
Original Filed Jan. 31. 1956
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
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United States Patent 0 p" ice
1.
a
3,076,478
Patented Feb. {5, 1963
valve which supplies ?uid under pressure (usually gas)
to actuate‘ inletv'alv‘es which in turn control the oil ?ow
‘.
AUTOMATIC ‘TANK SELECTOR
to their respective tanks.
R'aymond‘E. ‘Winders, Houma,j naay'assignur to ‘Texaco
Inc., New York, N.Y.,'a ‘corporation of Delaware
Continuation of application Ser. No. 562,429, Jan. 31,
1956. This application Jan 12,1960, Ser. No. 3,228
_ ,
_
4 Claims. ‘__(Cl. 137-62511)
drawings inwhich ‘FIG. 1 is a 'fr'ont'view of the‘tank se
lector mechanisr‘njFIG. 2‘is ‘a'side‘view; FIG. 3_ is'an' en‘
M
larged partial sectional side view; and FIG. 4 is ‘an eles
vational view‘of ‘some'elements of the switch assembly.‘
'This invention relates to anrimpr‘oved ‘automatic ‘tank
selector. _More particularly, "this invention relates to a
motor ‘ driven 'multi-p‘or't distributor‘ valve 'inc‘o'rp'o‘r'atin‘g
'
‘In further' explanation of'th'é present invention, the
‘following description is presented with accompanying
10 _
With reference to FIG. 1 of the drawing, the tank ‘se
l'e'ctor,'bro‘adly designated as‘ 2,’ comprises base 4 on
which the‘ assembly ‘is mounted, and face plate 6 which
automatic means for ‘selecting a port ‘for ?uid flow to one
has a ‘plurality of radially‘ situated ‘?uid outlet _‘ports 8
disposed ‘in its face to‘ which outlet ‘conduits 10 are con
tion Serial N6. 562,429 ?led January 31, 1956, now aban 15 nected and an inlet ‘port'12 at the center thereof to which
Ofa number of oil'tank‘s or‘the ‘like. ’ _
“
This application is a continuation of copending applica
doned.
'
‘
internally threaded inlet connecting conduit 14 is secured.
In ‘FIG. 2'the valve assembly cylindrical housing 16
"
Thisinvention'is an improvement ‘over prior automatic
tank selectors in that it 'is "les's'bulky, requires less space,
‘is ‘secured between the face plate 6 and back plate 7. The
back ‘of the tank'sel'ect'or holds an air motor 70 and switch
20 assemblies 64 (only one ‘shown on FIG. 2') correspond
type of device.‘
‘
_ ‘'
” ‘
"
ing to the number of outlet ports. The switch ‘assemblies
‘In addition, his inventionprovides ‘for a 's‘elector‘valve
willbe more ‘fully described hereinafter. "
’
7
structure’ that is superior in its ‘simplicity and long wear‘
FIG‘. 3 ‘is a sectional view particularly showing the
ing qualities; The valve aceordlng to-the invention has
'va'lve'a'ssembly. Front ‘and back plates 6 and 7 are‘ se
structure which facilitates ‘repair and replacement of parts,
cured ‘to housing 16‘ by nuts and bolts or the like through
infad'ditio‘n' to providing for compensation for wear
holes 18. Within housing 16, a cylindrical rotary dis
throughout the life ofthe valve structure. ‘
'
trib‘uting‘ element‘20 is‘ rotatably mounted at inlet port 12
s The present invention may be described as an auto
and eliminates several parts ‘formerly ‘necessary in this
matic“ tank selector comprising a multi-por‘t, distributor
valve having a rotarydistributing element or ?uid conduit
which will‘coriduct '?uid from the .inlet port to any of
the outlet ports of the valve, a plurality of radially
mounted protractile members, a rotary stop element which
may take ‘a variety of romnsuch as either an arm mem
bet or a‘ disk member having a projecting stop member
‘extending radially therefrom which ‘is sequentially en
30
"by means of ‘integral conduit or distributing cylinder ‘inlet
port‘ 22.‘ The-rotary distributingelement may take vari
‘ousfo‘rms, 'such'a's the hollow cylinder having an inlet
“port 22 aligned with the inlet port 12 for ?uid" passage
and'a‘n outlet valve assembly, broadly designated as 31
as shown'in the ‘drawings, a solid cylinder with ya ?uid
conduit bored‘therein with ‘inlet and outlet ports or a
35 ‘tubular ‘member pivotally connected to the inlet‘ port 12
,gageable with said‘protractile members, and a common
driving’ means for the rotary distribuing element of said
distributor valve and the stop element whereby the rota
tion of said distributing element will cease when said‘s‘top
element engages one of said protractil'e members. The 40
and adapted to'dcliver‘?uid to‘ anyone of the outlet ports
‘individually. However, the preferred form of rotary
distributing element is as'shown in the drawings since the
performance of this type of distributor has proven to be
excellent.
'
'
'
,
'
'
_'
common driving means referred to above can be, for iri
' ' The rotary distributing cylinder 20 is ‘supported at its
“stance, a drive shaft which rotates the‘ distributing‘elernent
‘axis or‘ center to drive shaft 24 which extends through
back'plate 7. The'conduit 22 and shaft 24 are supported
in the’ face and back plates 6 and 7 by ball bearing as,
“and stop element simultaneously, the drive shaft being
driven by a pneumatic m'otor‘or the ilke.
Briefly, the invention'may be described as an automatic
tank selector. Such tank selector comprises a’compact
distributor valve assemblyincluding a plurality of radially
semblies 26 and 28, respectively. Conduit 22 has several
‘resilient O-rings 30 mounted about its outer periphery
to effect a leak proof inlet connection.
'
of the said ‘outlet ports terminate in a common plane, and
The’ distributing cylinder outlet valve assembly of the
preferred form of the invention, broadly designated as
‘assembly also comprises means for rotating said rotor
bolt means utilized to ‘secure outer housing 32 to the
disposed outlet ports around a vcentral inlet port. All
the said plane is substantially perpendicular. to the axis of 50 31, ‘comprises the outer housing 32 which is‘ secured'to
‘the rotary distributing cylinder 20 by bolt means or the
said inlet. port. The tank selector also comprises a ?uid
like at 34 and sealed with gasket 36, valve proper‘38
distributing rotor including therein means for connecting
which hasv several O-rings 40 about its outer'perip'hery
said inlet port to a predetermined'one ‘only of said outlet
ports. The connecting means has ahollow piston that ‘is 55 and an O-ring 42 situated on its seating surface to ‘e?ect
"a'se'aled connection ‘at this point, and inner housing 44
adapted for registration with each of said outlet ports,
which is secured at 46' over the valve 38 by the‘ same
and it has‘ a cylinder containing said piston. The valve
rotary‘ distributing cylinder 20. The inner housing 44
has a plurality of ports 48 situated about'its periphery
outlet‘ ports, including’a' plurality of protractile members 60 to permit relatively undisturbed ?uid ?ow. The‘ valve
member 38 is kept in leak-proof engagement with the
disposed radially around ‘said inlet port. One of said
‘inner surface of face plate 6‘ by springs 49 on rods 50
p‘rotractile members corresponds'with. each outlet port.
inserted at‘ 51.‘ A'number of similar‘ spring members
In addition, the assembly comprises a rotary ‘stop ele
‘ment connected to said distributing rotor and sequentially 65 may be arranged in'equidistant positions around the edge
of valve 38, such as those at 51 to keep it more ?rmly
erigafgeable with said protractile member when in pro
'in place ‘and create a more even distribution of force.
tracted position, whereby the rotation of said rotor ‘is
The face plate 6‘ advantageously has secured to its inner
‘caused 'to stop when said stop‘ element engages ‘one'of said
surface" a sheet of “Te?on” 43, ‘a tetra?uoroethyleneinert
protractile‘ members. Finally, vthe ‘assembly ‘also com
resin, to a?ord a‘smooth'surface over which 0' ring 42
prises'a motor for driving said rotor andv rotary‘stop
70 may slide. The springs 49 will automatically adjust the
‘in order to connect any of said" outlet ports with said
inlet port. It also has‘ means for selecting one of said
element.
"'
"
"
‘ The valve of the present invention‘ can 'beiused either
i‘tosdirect the ‘full oil ?ow to tankage' or' as ‘a-pilot selector
contact position of the ‘valve 38 so'that a leak-proof con
nection will be maintained even ‘if ‘O-ring 42 ‘wears un
3,07 6,47 8
3
evenly. Opening 52 in rotary distributing cylinder 20
4
needed for the job to be done. Other types of motors
is provided for the insertion of the valve assembly 31.
This opening 52 is sealed by gasket 54 and cover plate
may also be used as a driving force, such as hydraulic,
56 with bolt means or the like at 58.
in the latter cases some modi?cation in the driving con
nection would be made, such as a a slip clutch or the
~
electric, mechanical, and combustion engines. Of course,
A side view of the preferred form of the selector switch 5
assembly is shown in FIG. 2, and a front view is shown
like. The pneumatic motor is preferred, however, since
in FIG. 4. Rotary stop element, broadly designated as
the power source can be obtained without any ?re hazards
60, is secured for rotation to drive shaft 24 by means
and there is relatively little danger of power failure or
of setscrew 61. The stop element 60 is positioned on
shortage.
shaft 24 so that when it is engaged with one of the pro 10
Referring particularly to FIG. 3, it will be observed
tractile members, the outlet port 31 of the distributing
that the valve for contacting each of the outlet ports is
cylinder 20 is properly aligned for leak-proof ?uid ?ow
in effect comprised of a hollow piston that slides within
with one of the outlet ports 8. The rotary stop element
a cylinder. Furthermore, this hollow piston is urged
60 as shown consists of a disk 62 and a projecting ele
against the face plate 43 where all of the outlet ports
ment 63 extending outwardly therefrom. This rotary stop 15 terminate. This hollow piston is the valve element 38,
and the cylinder is the cylindrical inner opening within
member extending from shaft 24. A plurality of pro
housing element 32.
tractile members, broadly designated as 64 each com
It will be observed that the hollow piston element 38
prising a piston housing 65, a ?uid pressure actuated spring
is urged into contact with the plane surface or face of
67 biased piston 66 which has its arm connected to a 20 the plate 43 by a ?uid pressure effect, in addition to the
pivoted latch or locking arm 68 are radially mounted
urging caused by the springs 49. Such ?uid pressure
element may also be constructed in the form of an arm
about the shaft 24 on plate 7. One of these protactile
effect is caused by the area of the piston 38 that is ex
members is provided for each outlet port on the dis
posed to the pressure of the ?owing ?uid passing through
tributor valve as shown in FIG. 1.
the hollow thereof. This area is somewhat greater than
The present arrangement of the selector switch assem 25 the area at the outlet end of the hollow cylinder 38,
bly provides a less bulky tank selector and eliminates the
where the O-ring 42 is located.
use of a long cylinder or the like having a series of lugs
In this regard it is pointed out that, particularly where
which sequentially engage a number of retractable ele
the valve according to this invention is to be employed
ments positioned in a row.
as a pneumatic distributor element only, the hollow open
In FIGS. 1 and 2 the driving motor 70 is shown at 80 ing through the cylinder element may be of a smaller
tached to the tank selector 2. Motor 70 drives the tank
diameter and thus the area of the hollow piston that is
selector by means of worm gear 72 on shaft 71. Worm
exposed to the pressure of the ?uid ?owing therethrough
gear 72 meshes with drive gear 74 which is axially secured
would be greater. Under such circumstances, the springs
to drive shaft 24. The motor shown and used in the
49 and the structure associated therewith might be en
preferred embodiment of the invention is a four cylinder 35 tirely eliminated.
air motor supplied by any constant gas source.
Where a valve according to the present invention is
Operation of the tank selector is as follows:
employed to direct the full oil ?ow to tankage, there is
As stated, a constant supply of gas or air is furnished
a substantial saving in cost by the elimination of at least
the air motor 70 at a given pressure in order to provide
one remote control type valve at each tank.
Hereto
a positive rotation to the rotary distributing cylinder 20 40 fore, available types of selector valves have had rela
and the rotary stop element 60.
tively short life on account of wear; and repair of such
The protractile members 64 may, for example, be ac
types involved major overhaul of the valve structure.
tuated by a gas or air supply controlled by a three-way
Obviously, many modi?cations and variations of the
pilot valve actuated by a ?oat level indicator in an oil
invention, as hereinbefore set forth, may be made with
tank (not shown) so that when the tank is full, the ?oat 45 out departing from the spirit and scope thereof, and,
will causse the pilot valve to close preventing further gas
therefore, only such limitations should be imposed as are
flow and allowing the gas to be bled from piston housing
indicated in the appended claims.
'
65. Spring 67 will then retract piston 66 pulling pivoted
What is claimed as the invention is:
latch 68 out of engagement with projecting element 63.
1. An automatic tank selector comprising a compact
Disk 60, shaft 24, and rotary distributing element 20 will 50 distributor valve assembly including a cylindrical housing
then all rotate simultaneously until the projecting element
having a plurality of radially disposed outlet ports around
63 engages another latch which is in the protracted posi
a central inlet port, a face plate for containing said outlet
tion because a tank is either empty or does not have suf
ports with the termination of all thereof in a common
?cient oil therein to raise the ?oat to activate the pilot
plane, said plane lying substantially perpendicular to the
valve.
55 axis of said inlet port, said outlet ports being disposed
When the stop element 60 is engaged with the protrac
on the same side of said housing as said inlet port, a ?uid
tile member 64, the valve 38, in distributing cylinder out
distributing rotor element having a cylindrical con?gura
let port 31 mounted in the rotary distributing element 20,
tion and having an inlet and an outlet therein and being
is seated over one of the outlet ports 8 so that a ?uid
adapted for rotation within the housing, said housing inlet
(oil when the valve is used to distribute oil directly, and 60 port and said inlet of said distributing element being
a gas when the valve is used as a distributing pilot valve
aligned for ?uid passage therethrough, said outlet of said
to send gas to a diaphragm actuated oil flow valve) will
distributing element being adapted to be sequentially
flow through conduit 10 to either a tank or a diaphragm
aligned with each of said outlet ports, wear compensating
actuated oil ?ow inlet valve on a tank. The tank in either
structure at the outlet of said ?uid distributing element
case will be the one containing the ?oat which will cause 65 including a hollow piston longitudinally slidable within
the protractile member 64 now in engagement with the
a cylinder carried by said distributing element, means for
stop element 60 to retract when the tank is ?lled allow
urging said piston into contact with said face plate, a
ing the tank selector to rotate to the next stop.
drive shaft integrally attached along the axis of said dis
The number of tanks which may be serviced by this
tributing element and extending outwards from the other
tank selector is for all practical purposes unlimited and 70 side of said housing relative to said inlet and outlet ports,
depends only on the size of the tank selector as to its
a plurality of protractile members radially mounted
ability to accommodate any number of outlet ports and
around said drive shaft, a rotary stop element secured
protractile members.
.
to said drive shaft and sequentially engageable with said
The size of the motor 70 and the radio of the gears
protactile members when in the protracted position where
72 and 74 which'can be used depends on the power 75 by the rotationyof said distributing element is caused to
3,076,478
5
6
stop when said stop element engages one of said protractile
members, and a motor for driving said drive shaft.
2. An automatic tank selector comprising a compact
distributor valve assembly including a cylindrical hous
ing having a plurality of radially disposed outlet ports
around a central inlet port, a face plate for containing
said outlet ports with the termination of all thereof in
a common plane, said plane lying substantially perpen
dicular to the axis of said inlet port, said outlet ports
element from said outlet ports, a drive shaft integrally
attached along the axis of said distributing element and
extending outwards from the other side of said housing
relative to said inlet and outlet ports, a plurality of pro
tractile members radially mounted around said drive
shaft, a rotary stop element secured to said drive shaft
and sequentially engageable with said protractile mem
bers when in the protracted position whereby the rotation
of said distributing element is caused to stop when said
being disposed on the same side of said housing as said 10 stop element engages one of said protractile members,
inlet port, a hollow cylindrical distributing element hav
and a motor for driving said drive shaft.
ing an axial inlet coaxially aligned with said inlet port,
4. An automatic tank selector comprising a compact
distributor valve assembly including a cylindrical housing
said distributing element being adapted for rotation with
having a plurality of radially disposed outlet ports around
in the housing, an outlet for said distributing element be
ing adapted to be sequentially aligned with each of said 15 a central inlet port, a face plate for containing said out
outlet ports, a wear compensating structure at said outlet
let ports with the termination of all thereof in a common
of the fluid distributing element, said wear compensating
structure including a hollow piston longitudinally slidable
within a cylinder carried by said distributing element,
means for urging said piston into contact with said face 20
plane, said plane lying substantially perpendicular to the
axis of said inlet port, said outlet ports being disposed
on the same side of said housing as said inlet port, a hol—
low relatively shallow cylindrical distributing element
having an axial inlet coaxially aligned in a ?uid sealing
manner with said inlet port, said distributing element be
structure for replacement thereof, a drive shaft integrally
ing adapted for rotation within the housing, an outlet
attached along the axis of said distributing element and
carried by said distributing element for connecting the
extending outwards from the other side of said housing
relative to said inlet and outlet ports, a plurality of 25 hollow interior thereof with each of said outlet ports se
protractile members radially mounted around said drive
quentially, wear compensating structure at said outlet,
said wear compensating structure comprising a hollow
shaft, a rotary stop element secured to said drive shaft
piston longitudinally slidable within a cylinder carried
and sequentially engageable with said protactile members
when in the protracted position whereby the rotation of
by said distributing element, a plurality of springs for
said distributing element is caused to stop when said stop
urging said piston into contact with said face plate, perfo
rate cover structure supporting said springs adjacent to
element engages one of said protractile members, and
a motor for driving said drive shaft.
said outlet, an access opening on the other side of said
3. An automatic tank selector comprising a compact
distributing element from said outlet, a cover plate for
distributor valve assembly including a cylindrical housing
closing said access opening during operation of the tank
having a plurality of radially disposed outlet ports around
selector, a drive shaft integrally attached along the axis
of said distributing element and extending outward from
a central inlet port, a face plate for containing said outlet
ports with the termination of all thereof in a common
the other side of said housing relative to said inlet and
plane, said plane lying substantially perpendicular to the
outlet ports, a plurality of protractile members radially
‘axis of said inlet port, said outlet ports being disposed on
mounted around said drive shaft, a rotary disc stop ele
the same side of said housing as said inlet port, a hollow 40 ment secured to said drive shaft and having a stop lug
thereon sequentially engageable with said protractile mem
cylindrical distributing element having an axial inlet c0~
plate, means for gaining access to said wear compensating
axially aligned with said inlet port, said distributing ele
bers when in the protracted position whereby the rotation
ment being adapted for rotaion within said housing, an
of said distributing element is caused to stop when said
outlet for said distributing element being adapted to be
lug stop engages one of said protractile members, and a
sequentially aligned with each of said outlet ports, a wear 45 motor for driving said drive shaft.
compensating structure at said outlet of the ?uid dis
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
tributing element, said wear compensating structure com
UNITED STATES PATENTS
prising a hollow piston longitudinally slidable within a
cylinder carried by said distributing element, spring means
for urging said piston into contact with said face plate,
ing structure for replacement thereof, said access gaining
664,455
1,606,245
2,186,657
2,533,931
2,593,733
2,700,280
Baker _______________ __ Dec. 25,
Lang _________________ __ Nov. 9,
Saussure _______________ __ J an. 9,
Hartley ______________ __ Dec. 12,
Davies ______________ __ Apr. 22,
Heuser ______________ __ Jan. 25,
means being located on the other side of said distributing
2,742,918
Irving _______________ __ Apr. 24, 1956
perforate means for supporting said spring means on the
side of said distributing element adjacent to said outlet
ports, means for gaining access to said wear compensat
1900
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1955
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