Canadian Patents Database / Patent 3011582 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 3011582
(54) English Title: MODULAR HEAT-STORING AND VENTING MINI GREENHOUSE
(54) French Title: MINI-SERRE A AERATION ET STOCKAGE DE CHALEUR MODULAIRES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • A01G 13/02 (2006.01)
  • A01G 9/14 (2006.01)
  • A01G 9/24 (2006.01)
  • A01G 13/06 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • CHAPLIN, CHRISTIE M. (Canada)
(73) Owners :
  • CHAPLIN, CHRISTIE M. (Not Available)
(71) Applicants :
  • CHAPLIN, CHRISTIE M. (Canada)
(74) Agent:
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2020-01-07
(22) Filed Date: 2018-07-17
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2018-12-27
Examination requested: 2018-07-17
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

English Abstract


A protective plant cover made from translucent or transparent rigid or semi
rigid plastic
material, comprised of double walls fillable with water or another liquid
suitable for heat storage. The
cover involves modular components including side and/or end walls that may be
placed in series.
Contact surfaces between walls may incorporate curvature. The walls may be
supported by a separate
structure. Components may have a curved bottom that collects liquid and may
act as a pivot during
venting. The invention overcomes scale limitations of passive heat storing
plant covers with liquid filled
walls. The invention optimizes heat retention in liquid filled protective
covers and provides flexible
height to width ratios. The invention also allows for passive venting of such
covers via convection.
Benefits are achieved via modular cover sections, including distinctive side
or end walls divided vertically
and including one or more curved contact surfaces.


French Abstract

L'invention concerne une enveloppe protectrice pour végétaux faite d'un matériau plastique rigide ou semi-rigide translucide ou transparent et qui comprend des parois doubles pouvant accueillir de l'eau ou un autre liquide qui convient au stockage thermique. L'enveloppe implique des éléments modulaires, y compris des parois latérales et/ou d'extrémité qui peuvent être disposées en série. Des surfaces de contact entre les parois peuvent comprendre une courbure. Les parois peuvent être soutenues par une structure indépendante. Les éléments peuvent avoir leur partie inférieure courbée qui collecte le liquide et peut servir de pivot pendant l'aération. L'invention résout les limites d'échelle des enveloppes pour végétaux à stockage thermique passif avec ses parois remplies de liquide. L'invention optimise la rétention thermique des enveloppes protectrices remplies de liquide et offre des rapports hauteur-largeur flexibles. L'invention permet également l'aération passive de telles enveloppes grâce à la convection. Les avantages sont obtenus par les sections modulaires de l'enveloppe, y compris des parois latérales ou d'extrémité indépendantes qui sont divisées verticalement et qui comprennent au moins une surface de contact courbée.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

Claims
1. A translucent or transparent rigid or semi rigid protective cover
for plants comprising:
.cndot. double walls capable of being filled with and retaining water or
another suitable
heat retaining liquid;
.cndot. said double walls formed into modular components consisting of a
plurality of
separate side and end walls;
.cndot. said side and end walls that are divided on a vertical plane into
two or more
parts;
.cndot. said side and end wall parts that can be separated from each other;
.cndot. said side and end walls that can function independently as partial
enclosures;
.cndot. said side walls that can be assembled into a tunnel formation;
.cndot. said end walls that can be assembled into a dome formation;
.cndot. said side and end walls that can be assembled to form an enclosure.
2. The protective cover of claim 1 produced from sheets that are formed and
then joined
to create a liquid proof seal.
3. The protective cover of claim 1 with a curved bottom that serves to provide
pivoting
contact surfaces.
4. The protective cover of claim 3 in which the curved bottom is extended in
such a way as
to create a trough that serves to catch and retain or redirect water
5. The protective cover of claim 1 with a curved bottom that functions as a
pivot to
facilitate opening and closing the side or end walls.
6. The protective cover of claim 1 in which the side or end walls are
elliptical in cross
section.
7. The protective cover of claim 1 in which the side or end walls undulate
vertically.
8. The protective cover of claim 1 in which contact surfaces between the side
or end wall
sections incorporate some curvature.

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

Title of the Invention:
Modular Heat-Storing and Venting Mini Greenhouse
Technical Field:
This invention relates to an improved cover for plants that protects from
damage caused by
temperature fluctuations (particularly during cool periods), high winds, heavy
precipitation, fertilizer run
off and dehydration, and thereby extends the growing season, expands the range
of viable plantings and
enhances productivity.
Background Art
Greenhouses and plant covers have been used to improve growing conditions for
hundreds of
years, principally in temperate climates. Although preventing dehydration,
nutrient loss, damage from
wind and heavy precipitation are valuable benefits, heat retention is
typically the primary objective.
Solar versions are the most common and are made from translucent or
transparent materials
(typically glass or sheet plastic). They function by capturing radiant energy
that has been transformed to
heat. One of the drawbacks of translucent or transparent materials is that
they typically have little
insulation value, so these enclosures cool quickly at night.
Storage of energy inside greenhouses has been improved by using water as a
heat sink.
Approaches include placing containers of water inside the protected space,
nearby tanks of water with
circulation systems, and incorporating water storage inside the protective
walls.
Although scalable, containers of water inside the growing area consume
valuable growing
space, and the stored heat may not be well distributed throughout the growing
area. Tanks with
circulating systems are also scalable, but much costlier than passive systems.
Designs that incorporate water in the protective walls have another advantage
over sheet
plastic covers because the additional weight makes them unlikely to be
displaced by wind. However soft
plastic versions developed to date do not close reliably at the top, and as a
result heat escapes
unnecessarily. These soft covers are known to fall on plants; both the plant
and the soft cover are prone
to damage.
To date, the soft covers as well as rigid or semi rigid designs that
incorporate liquid in the
protective walls have been produced for single mid sized plants or
equivalently small planting areas.
The rigid and semi rigid solutions designed to date are problematic to
passively vent when
temperatures rise excessively.
Summary of Invention
The present invention overcomes scale limitations of passive solar heat
storing plant covers that
feature water filled walls. The invention also allows for adequate passive
venting in such covered areas
via convection. The invention overcomes these limitations via modular cover
sections, including
distinctive side and end walls that are separated on vertical planes. The
invention optimizes heat
retention and enables flexible width to height ratios in water filled
protective covers by incorporating
curved contact surfaces at wall edges.
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CA 3011582 2019-09-16

Technical Problem
Designs that incorporate liquid in the protective walls of plant covers for
heat storage are
limited in scale and either inefficient at retaining heat or prone to over
heating due to inadequate
closing or provision for venting.
Solution to Problem
A modular protective cover system consisting of vertically separated rigid or
semi rigid side and
end sections that are double walled and can be filled with and retain liquid.
Advantageous Effects of Invention
The rigid or semi rigid modules can be closed to optimize heat retention or
opened sufficiently
for venting via convection (a maximum opening of approximately 25% of the
covered surface area is
considered sufficient for passive venting).
The modular design makes it possible to protect larger areas of planting
effectively.
Description of the Drawings
Figure 1: "Side walls assembled" illustrates a plurality of separate side
walls assembled into a tunnel
formation
Figure 2: "End walls assembled" illustrates a plurality of separate end walls
assembled into a dome
formation
Figure 3: "Side and end walls assembled" illustrates a plurality of separate
side and end walls assembled
to form an enclosure
Figure 4: "Side wall, end view" illustrates double walls that may be filled
with heat retaining liquid, that
side walls may have an elliptical cross section, a curved bottom that can
catch, retain or redirect water
and a curved bottom that can serve as a pivoting contact surface.
Figure 5: "Side wall, elevation" illustrates that the side walls may undulate
vertically
Figure 6: "Side wall, plan view"
Figure 7: "Side wall isometric view" illustrates side walls that may be
produced from rigid or semi-rigid
translucent or transparent sheets of plastic material that are formed and then
joined to create a liquid
proof seal
Figure 8: "End wall elevation, end view" illustrates that end walls may be
elliptical in cross section,
undulate vertically and function as a partial enclosure
Figure 9: "End walls elevation" illustrates that end walls can be assembled
into a dome formation and
may undulate vertically
Figure 10: "End wall, plan view"
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CA 3011582 2019-09-16

Figure 11: "End wall isometric view" illustrates end walls that may function
independently as partial
enclosures
Figure 12: "Side wall, separated assembly, end view" illustrates side walls
that are divided on a vertical
plane into two or more parts, that said side walls may be separated from each
other and that said walls
may include contact surfaces that incorporate some curvature
Detailed Description
A two or more-part semi rigid or rigid protective cover for plants that is
translucent or
transparent and multiple walled. Side and/or end walls can separate vertically
and may include a curved
bottom gutter that gathers water and improves stability. This gutter may also
function as a pivot point
when cover parts are separated for venting excess heat from the interior
space. Modular walls may be
placed in series, thereby overcoming scale limitations for water filled
protective covers. The cover parts
can be supported by a hoop such as those used to create mini hoop growing
houses, or by another
appropriate support.
Each wall constitutes a hollow reservoir which allows for filling the cavity
between the two
innermost walls with water or other appropriate liquid. The purpose of the
liquid is to store or release
energy in the form of radiant heat, as conditions vary in the micro climate
occupied by the protected
plant(s). An additional benefit of the liquid layer is light diffusion, which
helps to ensure fuller growth.
Contact surfaces between wall sections may incorporate some curvature. This
will improve heat
retention by ensuring surface contact when parts are placed at various angles
to each other thereby
allowing for adaptable height to width ratios.
Module walls may be elliptical in cross section. The advantage of the
elliptical profile is that a
portion of the cover's surface will always be perpendicular to the angle of
the sun; best for light
penetration. A third and exterior wall may be included for insulating purposes
and the walls may
undulate vertically. This undulation enhances light penetration and improves
wall strength, making the
use of thinner material possible.
Venting may be passive and automated using a wax piston combined with a lever
system. By
separating the side and end walls vertically, convection can prevent over
heating inside the covers and
mechanical venting is not required. This open position can be fixed allowing
for growth above the cover
height when appropriate.
Description of Embodiments
In some embodiments the covers may be used to lengthen the growing season by
modulating
temperatures within the enclosure
In some embodiments the covers may be used to expand the range of viable
plants by
modulating temperatures within the enclosure
In some embodiments the covers may be used to protect plants from damage
caused by high
winds
In some embodiments the covers may be used to protect plants from heavy
precipitation
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CA 3011582 2019-09-16

In some embodiments the covers may be used to protect plants from dehydration
In some embodiments the protective covers may be formed by joining two molded
sheets of
plastic material
In some embodiments the protective covers may be formed by simultaneously
shaping two
sheets of plastic material in a mold
In some embodiments the protective covers may be formed by blowing a plastic
material into a
mold
In some embodiments the protective covers may be formed by injecting a plastic
material into a
mold
In some embodiments the protective covers may be formed by rotary molding a
plastic material
Industrial Applicability
This innovation is useful in improving the cultivation of several various food
or ornamental
plants.
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CA 3011582 2019-09-16

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2020-01-07
(22) Filed 2018-07-17
Examination Requested 2018-07-17
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2018-12-27
(45) Issued 2020-01-07

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Next Payment if small entity fee 2020-07-17 $50.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2020-07-17 $100.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
  • the additional fee for late payment set out in Items 31 and 32 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Request for Examination $400.00 2018-07-17
Filing $200.00 2018-07-17
Final Fee 2020-03-27 $150.00 2019-11-04
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
CHAPLIN, CHRISTIE M.
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Document
Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Abstract 2018-07-17 1 24
Description 2018-07-17 3 126
Claims 2018-07-17 1 21
Drawings 2018-07-17 2 127
Amendment / Special Order 2018-09-14 2 52
Early Lay-Open Request 2018-09-14 2 53
Office Letter 2018-10-30 1 47
Representative Drawing 2018-11-21 1 35
Cover Page 2018-11-21 2 74
Special Order - Green Granted 2019-01-02 1 52
Examiner Requisition 2019-02-04 5 286
Interview Record with Cover Letter Registered 2019-05-03 1 17
Amendment 2019-05-01 15 759
Abstract 2019-05-01 1 18
Description 2019-05-01 4 167
Claims 2019-05-01 1 29
Drawings 2019-05-01 7 457
Examiner Requisition 2019-06-17 3 193
Amendment 2019-09-16 14 615
Description 2019-09-16 4 161
Claims 2019-09-16 1 29
Drawings 2019-09-16 6 355
Final Fee 2019-11-04 1 101
Cover Page 2019-12-06 1 52