Inventing the Home Fueling Appliance
Mr. John S. Green has conceived many inventions during his lifetime. In 1987, he ran across a problem that intrigued him, which led him to begin doing engineering research. The result was his invention of a compressor that accomplished the compression of gasses through hydraulic means rather than through piston driven compression that is, and has been, common in the marketplace for many years. Mr. Green submitted his idea to the patent office, asking for a “Method Patent” rather than a “Design Patent”. The “Method Patent” is much harder to obtain, because it gives blanket coverage and protection against infringement because of a simple change in the design. Mr. Green has been awarded Method Patent #5,863,186 (application date 15 October 1996, issued 26 January 1999). Mr. Green has licensed the Company to exploit home compressor applications of this patent, which are defined to be those producing more than 50 but less than 400 scfm. He has retained the right to license higher volume compressors for industrial applications.
The license granted to this company is limited to the Home Fueling Appliance technology and also limited to the North American market. Eco-Fueler will have access to all intellectual property already developed by the inventor pertaining to hydraulic compression technology. The intellectual property includes engineering designs, drawings, prototypes, test data, analyses, proprietary developments, proprietary software, etc.
Developing the Technology
The hydraulic compression of gasses as used in the Home Fueling Appliance has now been demonstrated to be a unique type of compressor that has significant advantages over the current state-of-the-art methods of compression, in a wide and significant variety of industrial and alternative transportation fuel applications.
Mr. Green has worked full time since 1996 and he and the other founders have spent over one million dollars ($1,000,000) in research and development of the hydraulic compressor technology and its associated production technologies. In addition to the time and effort spent on the technology, a great deal of engineering expertise has been brought to bear to move from patent to application. This engineering work has resulted in the completed design of a whole family of compressor products ranging from household applications for the compression of natural gas for use in a family vehicle, to complex industrial designs that will withstand the most stringent requirements including the compression of hydrogen gas for possible future widespread use in alternative fuel vehicles.
How it Works
Hydraulic compression makes use of a floating piston, which transcends the barriers imposed by the traditional fixed mechanical linkages and replaces them with an incompressible fluid. This approach introduces tremendous advantages in system performance, efficiency, reliability, and compression ratio improvements. These systems can deliver extremely high output pressures, as high as 25,000 psi or more, which is difficult to achieve with any degree of reliability in conventional compressors. Hydraulic compressors also bring a high degree of operational flexibility through software adjustable compression ratios.
This concept became the primary innovation behind hydraulic compression technology. The radical technique utilizing a floating piston assembly was introduced as the interface between the compressible gas and the compressing fluid. The piston merely rides on the liquid head without the presence of any mechanical linkages. This approach, albeit simple, carries tremendous advantages for significant improvements in the efficiency, longevity, and functionality in gaseous compression.
The elimination of the mechanical linkages has eliminated a great deal of the wear problems inherent in the mechanical compressors. This has led to a 20 to 30 fold increase in the time between significant maintenance, making our compressor last years, where compressors based on old technology last for months before required maintenance. Further, elimination of the linkages has also eliminated much of the noise that has always been inherent in mechanical compressors. Finally, the incorporation of hydraulic valves has eliminated the requirement of electrical switching, which eliminates the potential danger of the unit creating a spark that might lead to an unintended ignition of the compressed gas.