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1. US20110221197 - Apparatus for transforming energy of liquid flowing in a liquid flow path

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Claims

1. An apparatus for positioning thereof in a liquid flow path, for transforming energy of liquid passing therethrough into electrical energy, comprising:
at least one housing configured to be received in said flow path and having a liquid inlet and a liquid outlet defining a flow direction therebetween;
at least one current generator including a shaft supported by said housing and having a rotor mounted thereon and having a plurality of vanes, said shaft extending in the housing along said flow direction allowing rotation of the rotor with said vanes by liquid passing through the generator, and a stator associated with said rotor for producing electrical signals corresponding to the rotation of said rotor; and,
electrical wiring for electrically connecting the at least one current generator to a power receiver for transferring said electrical signals thereto;
at least one of the liquid inlet and the liquid outlet being configured for taking an undeployed state and a deployed state.
2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said housing is configured for being received within a pipeline.
3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2, wherein said apparatus is configured to be inserted into said pipeline through a sealable opening when at least said one of the liquid inlet and the liquid outlet is in said undeployed state, and to take said deployed state when said apparatus is positioned within said pipeline.
4. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, further including said power receiver, said power receiver being a power storage means.
5. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the rotor comprises at least one magnetic element, the stator comprises at least one coil, the magnetic element of the rotor is configured to rotate with respect to windings of the at least one coil, so as to produce the electrical signals as a result of a magnetic association between the rotor and the stator.
6. An apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein the at least one coil is disposed within the rotor.
7. An apparatus as defined in claim 5, wherein the rotor comprises a vane unit including a hollow rotor body having an external surface and an internal surface, said vanes extending outwardly from the external surface; and a magnet unit fixed to the internal surface of the rotor body and defining a rotor interior space, said coil being disposed within said interior space.
8. An apparatus as defined in claim 1, configured for measuring the amount of liquid passing through the housing, and further comprising:
a controller for receiving the electrical signals for processing and producing output signals indicative of said amount of liquid; and
wherein the power receiver includes a power storage and supply unit configured to charge the apparatus and to supply power to said controller required for its operation.
9. An apparatus for positioning thereof in a liquid flow path, for transforming energy of liquid passing therethrough into electrical energy, comprising:
at least one housing configured to be received in said flow path and having a liquid inlet and a liquid outlet defining a flow direction therebetween;
at least one current generator supported by said housing and including:
a shaft with a rotor mounted thereon and having a plurality of vanes, the shaft extending in the housing along said flow direction allowing rotation of the rotor with said vanes by liquid passing through the generator; and
a stator at least partially disposed within the rotor and associated therewith for producing electrical signals corresponding to the rotation of the of the rotor with respect to the stator; and
electrical wiring for electrically connecting the at least one current generator to a power receiver for transferring said electrical signals thereto.
10. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, wherein the stator is fully disposed within the rotor.
11. An apparatus as defined in any of claims 9, wherein the rotor comprises at least one magnetic element, the stator comprises at least one coil, the magnetic element of the rotor is configured to rotate with respect to windings of the at least one coil, so as to produce the electrical signals as a result of a magnetic association between the rotor and the stator.
12. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, wherein the rotor comprises a vane unit including a hollow rotor body having an external surface and an internal surface, said vanes extending outwardly from the external surface; and a magnet unit fixed to the internal surface of the rotor body and defining a rotor interior space, said coil being disposed within said interior space.
13. An apparatus as defined in claim 12, wherein said magnet unit having a magnet housing and said at least one magnetic element disposed therein, wherein the magnet housing is made of a material which is configured to allow passage of a magnetic field therethrough.
14. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, wherein at least said one of the liquid inlet and the liquid outlet is configured for taking an undeployed state and a deployed state.
15. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, wherein said housing is configured for being received within a pipeline.
16. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, wherein said housing is configured to be inserted into a pipeline through a sealable opening when at least said one of the liquid inlet and the liquid outlet is in said undeployed state, and to take said deployed state when said apparatus is positioned within said pipeline.
17. An apparatus as defined in claim 9, further including said power receiver, said power receiver being a power storage means.
18. A method for transforming energy of liquid passing in a liquid flow path into electrical energy, the method comprising:
providing an apparatus comprising: at least one housing configured to be received in said flow path and having a liquid inlet and a liquid outlet defining a flow direction therebetween; at least one current generator including a shaft supported by said housing, a rotor with a plurality of vanes attached thereto, said shaft extending in the housing along said flow direction allowing rotation of the rotor with said vanes by liquid passing through the generator, and a stator associated with said rotor for producing electrical signals corresponding to the rotation of said rotor; and electrical wiring for electrically connecting the at least one current generator to a power receiver for transferring said electrical signals thereto;
inserting the housing with at least said one of the liquid inlet and the liquid outlet in said undeployed state into said liquid flow path so that said flow direction is substantially parallel to the direction of the flow of said liquid;
having at least said one of the liquid inlet and the liquid outlet take said deployed state;
allowing rotation of the rotor by liquid passing through the housing, and correspondingly producing electrical signals by the stator; and
transferring said electrical signals through the electrical wiring from the at least current generator to said power receiver.
19. An method as defined in claim 18, wherein said step of inserting said housing into said liquid flow path can be performed by inserting said housing into a pipeline.
20. An method as defined in claim 18, further comprising measuring the amount of liquid passing through the current generator.