Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 132)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on March 19, 2009

U.S. Pat. No. 6,688,105: Iceberg utilization process improvement.

 icebergmover

What is claimed is:

1. An improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs for supplying fresh water to arid geographical areas comprising the steps of selecting an iceberg, insulating the iceberg, moving the iceberg to its destination, and capturing melt water for distribution wherein improvements comprise:
          selecting a tabular iceberg up to 2 kilometers in length,
          growing buoyant and thermally insulating mats of seaweed in a sea bed,
          insulating said tabular iceberg with said mats by towing said mats under said iceberg and allowing the mats to float against the bottom and sides of said iceberg,
          providing a propulsion device fitted with large pusher plates for contacting said iceberg,
          pushing said iceberg with said propulsion device such that the resultant force vector is directed through the center of gravity of the iceberg, and
          providing a channel for receiving said icebergs at a destination site.

2. The improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs of claim 1 wherein said buoyant and thermally insulating mats are made by growing seaweed through a buoyant rope structure in an offshore site.

3. The improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs of claim 1 wherein said seaweed comprises a combination selected from a group comprising kelps and sea grasses.

4. The improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs of claim 1 wherein said channel includes pawls designed to engage said iceberg as it starts to pass and chip off ice creating a drag force that will stop the iceberg’s forward motion within the channel.

5. The improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs of claim 1 wherein said channel is fitted with moveable dams to allow opening for an entering iceberg and closing to hold melt water.

6. The improvement of claim 5 wherein said moveable dams comprise
          a first set of large round discs which when set on edge and rolled together in a first line with circumference edges juxtaposed span said channel,
          a second set of large round discs which when set on edge and rolled together in a second line parallel to said first line with circumference edges juxtaposed and face edges touching face edges of said first set and centered midway between centers of discs in said first set span said channel and make a major part of a dam,
          said large round discs incorporating internal tanks and pipes and pumps and controls, and
          said controls being operable to cause said pumps to force air or water into said tanks through said pipes to cause the center of gravity of the discs to be changed creating a rolling torque for moving the discs.

7. An improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs for supplying fresh water to arid geographical areas comprising the steps of selecting an iceberg, insulating the iceberg, moving the iceberg to its destination, and capturing melt water for distribution wherein improvements comprise:
          selecting a tabular iceberg
          growing buoyant and thermally insulating mats of seaweed in a sea bed,
          insulating said tabular iceberg with said mats by towing said mats under said iceberg and allowing the mats to float against the bottom and sides of said iceberg,
          providing a propulsion device fitted with large pusher plates for contacting said iceberg,
          pushing said iceberg with said propulsion device such that the resultant force vector is directed through the center of gravity of the iceberg, and
          providing a channel at a destination site wherein said channel includes pawls designed to engage said iceberg as it starts to pass and chip office creating a drag force that will stop the iceberg’s forward motion within the channel.

8. The improved method for the process of utilizing icebergs of claim 7 wherein said channel is fitted with moveable dams to allow opening for an entering iceberg and closing to hold melt water.

9. The improvement of claim 8 wherein said moveable dams comprise
          a first set of large round discs which when set on edge and rolled together in a first line with circumference edges juxtaposed span said channel,
          a second set of large round discs which when set on edge and rolled together in a second line parallel to said first line with circumference edges juxtaposed and face edges touching face edges of said first set and centered midway between centers of discs in said first set span said channel and make a major part of a dam,
said large round discs incorporating internal tanks and pipes and pumps and controls, and
          said controls being operable to cause said pumps to force air or water into said tanks through said pipes to cause the center of gravity of the discs to be changed creating a rolling torque for moving the discs.

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