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1. WO2007099371 - APPAREIL DE STOCKAGE MODULAIRE POUR FLUIDE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

MODULAR FLUID STORAGE APPARATUS

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to apparatus for storing water, and in particular to such apparatus for storing run-off water during periods of high rainfall, and other applications where the storage of significant volumes of water is required.

Background of the Invention

During periods of high rainfall drainage systems serving expansive areas of impermeable materials such as concrete and asphalt are often overwhelmed. The flow of water to the drainage system is so great that the inlets thereto choke and any flow of water in excess of the maximum inlet capacity of the drainage system inlet flows in an uncontrolled manner into the environment.
Typically large expanses of impermeable materials form factories, car parks, aircraft runways, etc. In such environments chemicals, fuels and oils are often spilled or otherwise deposited on the impermeable surface. The uncontrolled flow of water into the environment from such surfaces can result in pollution due to the water carrying off deposited chemicals, fuels and or oils.

Presently, in the United Kingdom legislation demands that when certain construction works are carried out a system of storm water attenuation must be provided, that is a system to capture all water falling on the constructed surface.

A number of devices are available to provide for storm water attenuation. One such device comprises a large box made up of multiple sections. To install this device a hole must be excavated and the box constructed in the hole. With the box assembled the uppermost surface of the box is typically covered with a plant growing medium. Effectively and under -ground reservoir is constructed, but this is not sufficiently strong to carry objects such as vehicles, and therefore may occupy space that could be put to more productive uses.

Another device comprises as a plurality of pipes, which may be steel or concrete. In this system pipes are laid in an excavated hole again forming an underground reservoir. With this arrangement, the pipes may be covered with concrete or asphalt to provide a surface over which vehicles may drive. However, constructing water storage systems using these components is extremely time consuming.

Other than for the purposes of storm water attenuation, there are other areas where it might be desirable to store large volumes of water. For example for fire protection systems in high rise buildings it might be desirable to store large volumes of water for immediate use in the case of fire. Similarly, where rainwater is being collected from the roofs of buildings for later use, or where grey water is being recycled, there is a requirement to store large volumes of fluid.

It would therefore be desirable to provide an improved apparatus for storing fluids.

Summary of the Invention

According to the invention there is provided a modular fluid storage apparatus as specified in Claim 1.

Preferred features of the invention are described in the claims dependent on Claim 1, the description and the drawings.

The apparatus of the invention may be used as a water attenuation system, as a water store, for example for grey water or collected rain water. It may further be used as a temporary reservoir.

The apparatus of the invention is strong and is simple to assemble. When installed underground the area above the store may be use, for example as a car park, provided that the construction of the chambers has been suitably specified. The apparatus of the invention has many applications, such as in disaster relief where clean water provision may have been cut off, for storing grey water for recycling, for storing water where mains systems are out of service.

Brief Description of the Drawings

In the drawings, which illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention, and are by way of example.

Figure 1 is a plan view of a modular fluid storage apparatus according to the invention,

Figure 2 is schematic illustration of a chamber of an inlet part of the apparatus to a chamber of another part of the apparatus showing detail of the connection between the two chambers,

Figure 3 is a schematic illustration of adjacent chambers of the same part of the apparatus showing detail of the connection between the two chambers,

Figure 4 is a schematic illustration of a male / female connection between two chambers,

Figure 5 is a schematic illustration of connected chambers of the apparatus,

Figure 6 is a schematic illustration is cross-section of another embodiment of the invention,

Figure 7 is a schematic illustration in cross-section of the fluid connection of one chamber to another in the apparatus illustrated in Figure 6,

Figure 8 is a schematic illustration in cross-section of a breather connection of one chamber to another in the apparatus illustrated in Figure 6, and

Figure 9 is a schematic illustration in cross-section of a connection means for connecting one chamber to another.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments

Referring now to Figure 1 , there is shown a modular fluid storage apparatus 1 comprising a first set 2 of chambers 6, a second set 3 of chambers 6', a third set 4 of chambers 6 and an outlet flow control 5. The first and third sets 2, 3 of chambers are comprised of individual interconnected chambers 6. The second set 3 of chambers is comprised of individual interconnected chambers 6'. One chamber of the first set of chambers is connected to an inlet pipe, and one chamber 6 of the third set is connected to the outlet flow control 5. Each of the chambers 6 of the first set 2 is connected to a chamber 6' of the second set 3, and similarly each chamber 6 of the third set 4 is connected to a chamber 6' of the second set 3. Each of the chambers 6' of the second set 3 is connected to another chamber 6' of the second set 3. In the embodiment illustrated in Figure 1, the apparatus 1 is set into an excavated hole in the ground 8. Following installation the hole may be backfilled and covered, with concrete or asphalt for example. The inlet pipe 7 is attached to an aperture in one side of the chamber 6. Whilst this aperture could be provided in moulding of the chamber 6, it is in fact simpler to cut the hole on site at a position corresponding to the levels of the site.

Whereas in Figure 1 the apparatus 1 is disposed in a hole excavated in the ground, the apparatus may be located above ground.

Each of the chambers 6, 6' inter-connects to adjacent chambers 6, 6' by means of connectors. Each connector 6, 6' is provided with a male element of a male / female connector at one end and a female element of a male / female connector at its other end. In the case of the first and second sets of chambers 6, 6' adjacent chambers are connected together by the male / female connectors. Similarly, the chambers 6 of the first set 2 are connected to the chambers 6' of the second set by male / female connectors, each of the chambers 6 is provided with an additional female connector element. With regard to the connection between the chambers 6 of the third set 4 and the chambers 6' of the second set, this is achieved by means of a pipe 20. The pipes 20 fit into opposing female connector elements of adjacent chambers 6, 6'.

Figure 2 illustrates the connection of a chamber 6 of the first set 2 to a chamber 6' of the second set 3. The chamber 6 of the said first set includes a female part 13 of a male / female connector, which comprises a recess in the side of the chamber 6, the recess including a large bore aperture to allow passage of fluid from one chamber to another during storm conditions. The chamber 6' of the second set 3 includes male part 10 of a male / female connector, which comprises a collar extending from one end of the said chamber 6'. The collar includes a recess 11 in which is located a seal 12 so that when the male part of the connector is pushed into the female part 13 a fluid tight seal is made. The collar forms a large bore aperture to allow passage of fluid from one chamber to another during storm conditions. The male / female connection is shown in greater detail in Figure 4.

At each end of each chamber 6, 6' there is formed an opening 15 into which a pipe 16 is inserted. A seal 14 lies between each opening 15 and the pipe 16 to form a fluid tight passage way from one chamber to another. The pipes 16 are dimensioned to allow the passage of the volumes of water that are expected in normal weather conditions, i.e. conditions other than storm condition and are matched to the flow rate of the flow control chamber 5.

The chamber 6 of the first set includes an opening 15 located in the side of the chamber 6 which is linked to an opening 15 located in an end of a chamber 6', the openings being linked in fluid tight manner by a pipe 16.

Referring to Figure 3, the chambers 6 are substantially similar to the chamber 6', the difference being that a female connector element is not provided in the side of the chamber 6'. Otherwise, the chambers 6 and 6' attach to an adjacent chamber 6 or 6' in the same way.

Each chamber 6, 6' includes a flat bottom 19.

The provision of a flat bottom and the inter-connections by pipes 15 serve to clean the chambers 6, 6' of silt. With reference to flat bottom chambers, such as chamber is less likely to silt up than a chamber the base of which is of curved configuration. The provision of inter-connecting pipes 15 provides a steady flow of fluid across the flat bottom once storm conditions have ceased.

Each of the chambers is provided with an inspection man way 17.

One of the principal advantages of the present invention lies in the ability to build large scale storm attenuation fluid storage systems using only two designs of chamber. In fact only one design of chamber may be used in which case the female connector element in the side of the chambers 6 would be blanked off when used as a chamber 6 in the second set 3 of chambers. Similarly, where the opening 15 and the female connector element 10 are not required, for example in the end most chamber 6 of both the first and third sets of chambers 2 and 4, they are blanked off.

Referring now to Figures 6 and 8, there is illustrated an alternative embodiment of a modular fluid storage apparatus according to the invention. End walls 21 of chambers 20 are attached one to another by meshing corrugations 22, 23 and a locking pin 26. The corrugations 22, 23 include bores 24, 25 through which the locking pin 26 is passed to lock one chamber 20 to another.

Two fluid connections are provided between adjacent chambers 20. At the top of each chamber 20 a breather 27 is provided to allow air to move between chambers as water is introduced into or removed from the chambers. The breather 27 is formed with a pipe 31 inter-connecting apertures 29 located in the end walls 21 of adjacent chambers 20. Seals 30 are inserted into the apertures 29 prior to the pipe 31 being passed through the said seals to connect the two chambers 20 together.

Referring now to Figure 7, at the base of each wall 21 is an opening 32 defined by a wall 33. The upper half of the wall 33 is in the form of a return which is formed during moulding of the chamber 20. A fluid connection between adjacent chambers 20 is provided by the insertion of a pipe 34 into the opening 32. A seal in the form of a deformable band is located between the pipe 34 and the wall 33 of the opening 32 and engages with the said pipe 34 and wall 33 to seal the opening. The shape in cross-section of the band 37 corresponds to the shape resulting from the twin wall pipe 34.

In the Figures 6 to 8 the locking pin 26 is shown resting on the pipe 34. Alternatively, the upper end of the pin 26 may be provided with a return which engages with surface 38 to limit downward movement of pin 26.

Whereas the bottom surfaces of the chambers illustrated in Figures 1 to 5 are substantially planar, the bottom surface of the chambers illustrated in Figure 6 to 8 are curved in cross-section, the whole chamber being substantially circular in cross-section. The chambers illustrated in Figures 6 to 8 could of course be provided with planar bottom surfaces. However, a self-cleansing channel may be provided in the curved bottom of a chamber of the type illustrated in Figure 6 to 8.

In the chambers illustrated in Figures 6 to 8, there is only one connection through which water may pass, rather than the two illustrated in Figures 1 to 5. The chambers illustrated in Figures 6 to 8 could be modified to include additional openings, such openings being of the same or substantially similar configuration to the opening 32. Such additional openings would be located in the end walls 21 to one or both sides of the locking pin 26.

The provision of inter-meshing corrugations 22, 23 and the locking pin 26 strengthen an modular fluid storage apparatus comprising a plurality of chambers 20. Such strengthening may be required to resist forces arising from soil movement or repeated crossings by traffic when the apparatus is located underground.

The chambers 20 illustrated in Figures 6 to 8 may be provided with connectors to allow two chambers 20 placed side by side to be joined together. Such connectors may be similar to the connection illustrated in Figure 6 and 7, or may be of the type described with reference to Figures 1 to 5. As with the embodiment of the invention illustrated in Figures 1 to 5, where the chamber is provided with an opening and that opening is not required, the opening may be blanked off with a suitable blanking plate, such plates being known in the art.

As will be apparent to one skilled in the art, features of the apparatus described with reference to Figures 1 to 5 may be employed in the apparatus described with reference to Figures 6 to 8 and vice versa.

The chamber illustrated in Figures 6 to 8 provides a simple and strong construction which may be assembled rapidly.

Referring now to Figure 9, there is illustrated a part of a connection means to connect together two chambers of the type illustrated in Figures 5 to 8. The parts illustrated are similar or the same as those parts of the connection means of the apparatus illustrated in Figures 5 to 8 and like numerals are used to indicate like parts. Similarly, this connection means could be used to attach together chambers of the apparatus illustrated in Figures 1 to 5.

The opening 32 is axially aligned with the inner surface of the pipe 36 which is inserted into a collar formed by a wall 33. A seal 37 fits between corrugations in the outer surface of the pipe 36 to seal the connection. The end 42 of the pipe 36 is pushed against a flange 41 so that a continuous surface is extends from the chamber, through the pipe 36 and into another chamber attached to the other end of the pipe 36. In fact the base 39 of the chamber forms a self-cleansing channel and the pipe 36 is a continuation of this to the next channel in the apparatus. The construction of the wall 33 ensures that the inner surface of the pipe 36 is aligned with the inner surface of the base 39. By constructing the wall 33 so that the end of the pipe 42 is in abutment with the flange 41 a smooth transition from the inner surface of the base 39 to the inner surface of the pipe 36 is ensured.