(19)
(11)EP 2 920 440 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
26.07.2017 Bulletin 2017/30

(21)Application number: 13792046.8

(22)Date of filing:  19.11.2013
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
F01M 11/04(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2013/074206
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/076317 (22.05.2014 Gazette  2014/21)

(54)

REPLACEABLE FLUID CONTAINER

AUSTAUSCHBARER FLÜSSIGKEITSBEHÄLTER

CONTENEUR POUR FLUIDE REMPLAÇABLE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 19.11.2012 EP 12193246
28.02.2013 EP 13157229

(43)Date of publication of application:
23.09.2015 Bulletin 2015/39

(73)Proprietor: Castrol Limited
Reading RG8 7QR (GB)

(72)Inventors:
  • BRETT, Peter Stuart
    Reading Berkshire RG4 7RS (GB)
  • GOODIER, Steven Paul
    Reading Berkshire RG8 7QR (GB)
  • HARDING, Piers Sebastian
    Royston Hertfordshire SG8 6EE (GB)
  • JEPPS, Gary Keith
    Royston Hertfordshire SG8 6EE (GB)
  • McPHERSON, Thomas James
    Royston Hertfordshire SG8 6EE (GB)

(74)Representative: Pedley, Michael Ewan 
BP International Limited Global Patents & Technology Law Chertsey Road
Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex TW16 7LN
Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex TW16 7LN (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A2- 1 240 932
FR-A1- 2 004 064
US-A1- 2002 117 233
WO-A1-2007/101314
US-A- 4 075 099
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] This invention relates to replaceable fluid containers for vehicles and engines. The invention also relates to an apparatus comprising such a container in fluidic communication with a fluid system and to a vehicle comprising such an apparatus.

    [0002] Many vehicle engines use one or more fluids for their operation. Such fluids are often liquids. For example, internal combustion engines use liquid lubricating oil compositions. Also, electric engines use heat exchange liquids for example to cool the engine, to heat the engine or to cool and heat the engine during different operating conditions. Such fluids are generally held in reservoirs associated with the engine and may require periodic replacement.

    [0003] Conventional periodic replacement of engine lubricating oil composition in a vehicle engine usually involves draining the composition from the engine sump. The process may also involve removing and replacing the engine oil filter. Such a procedure usually requires access to the engine sump drain plug and oil filter from the underside of the engine, may require the use of hand tools and usually requires a suitable collection method for the drained lubricating oil composition.

    [0004] Attempts have been made to provide a quick-change oil filter/reservoir system for an internal combustion.

    [0005] US patent US 4151823 relates to a quick-change oil filter/reservoir system for an internal combustion engine having a primary oil pump and oil sump comprising a cartridge containing an oil filter element and supply of oil. In one embodiment shown in Figure 1 of US 4151823, and described at col. 3 lines 22 to 30, the cartridge is said to be retained on the mounting plate by conventional quick release mountings. The breather cap in this embodiment is shown with a pipe connected to the cap.

    [0006] US patent US6348149 relates to a manufacture for filtering oil.

    [0007] US patent US5640936 relates to a removable oil storage and supply tank for a dry sump four cycle internal combustion engine. According to one embodiment illustrated in Figure 3 and described at col. 3 line 27 to col. 4 line 46 a tank 30 is supported at the bottom by the male portion 62 of three quick disconnect connectors 60. All three oil lines 54, 56 and 58 are said therein to be attached to the tank 30 by quick disconnect fluid connectors 60 which penetrate the bottom of the tank 30. According to the document at col. 4 lines 28 to 36, a tube 50 is attached to the top of the female member 64 of the connector 60 connected to the oil scavenger line 56. At col. 4 lines 37 to 41 it is stated that a tube 51 is attached to the top of the female member 64 of the connector 60 connected to the oil vent line 58. It is stated therein that this tube 51 extends the vent line 58 into the air space in the tank 30 above the oil level 52 so as to vent the same to the crankcase. FR 2 004 064 discloses a further example of fluid container for a vehicle. A vent for example in the form of a vent tube may be provided to a fluid reservoir of a container to facilitate removal or fluid out from the reservoir and/or to facilitate the flow of fluid into and out from the reservoir. It is sometimes also desirable to close the reservoir of the container to the eternal environment, for example when the container is to be transported, especially when it contains fluid for example liquid such as lubricating oil composition or heat exchanger fluid. One problem with a vent tube in such a container is that fluid may enter the vent tube even when the tube itself is closed to the eternal environment.

    [0008] There remains a need for a replaceable fluid container for an engine which avoids or at least mitigates at least some of the problems with these containers.

    [0009] Thus according to an aspect of the present invention there is provided a replaceable fluid container for a vehicle, the container comprising:

    a housing comprising a fluid reservoir;

    at least one fluid port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system of the vehicle;

    a vent port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the engine for allowing gas to be passed into and out from the reservoir;

    a vent tube connected at a first end, to said vent port and arranged within the reservoir to pass through fluid contained in the reservoir when the container is connected with the fluid reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system, with a second end of the vent tube in a headspace above the fluid in the reservoir, to allow gas communication between the vent port and the headspace,

    in which the vent tube comprises a vent valve at the second end of the vent tube adapted to close to prevent ingress of fluid and gas from the reservoir into the vent tube when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle and to open to allow gas communication between the head space and the engine through the vent tube and vent port when the vent port is in fluid communication with the vehicle.

    [0010] According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided an apparatus comprising a replaceable fluid container in fluidic communication with a fluid system of a vehicle, for example of a vehicle engine through the at least one fluid port and the vent port in which the container comprises:

    a housing comprising a fluid reservoir;

    at least one fluid port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system of the vehicle, for example of an engine on the vehicle;

    a vent port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the vehicle for allowing gas to be passed into and out from the reservoir;

    a vent tube connected at a first end, to said vent port and arranged within the reservoir to pass through fluid contained in the reservoir when the container is connected with the fluid reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system of the vehicle, with a second end of the vent tube in a headspace above the fluid in the reservoir, to allow gas communication between the vent port and the headspace,

    in which the vent tube comprises a vent valve at the second end of the vent tube adapted to close to prevent ingress of fluid and gas from the reservoir into the vent tube when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle and to open to allow gas communication between the head space and the vehicle engine through the vent tube and vent port when the vent port is in fluid communication with the vehicle.

    [0011] According to yet a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a vehicle comprising said apparatus.

    [0012] These and other examples of the disclosure facilitate venting of a headspace in a fluid reservoir of a replaceable fluid container for a vehicle, for example for a vehicle engine when it is connected to a vehicle, and through use of a vent valve, provides a container which can avoid or at least reduce ingress of fluid into the vent tube when the container is disconnected from the vehicle. This may have an advantage that when a replaceable fluid container is fitted to a vehicle, for example to an engine on a vehicle, fluid is less likely to be present, if at all, in the vent tube. For example, if the vehicle comprises an engine which is an internal combustion engine and the reservoir of the replaceable container contains engine lubricating oil composition, inappropriate contamination of the engine with lubricant is reduce or even eliminated when the vent of the reservoir is connected in fluidic communication with the engine, for example with an air inlet port of the engine. The vent tube facilitates removal or fluid out from the reservoir and/or to facilitate the flow of fluid into and out from the reservoir. The vent valve facilitate closing the reservoir to the eternal environment, for example when the container is to be transported, especially when it contains fluid for example liquid such as lubricating oil composition or heat exchanger fluid.

    [0013] In at least some examples the vent port comprises a vent port valve arranged to be closed when the vent port valve is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle, for example with an engine on a vehicle and to be open when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle thereby to allow gas communication between the headspace and engine through the vent tube and vent port. The vent port valve may be a poppet valve.

    [0014] In at least some examples, the vent valve comprises an actuator rod arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle, for example with an engine on the vehicle.

    [0015] In at least some examples, the vent valve comprises an actuator rod arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the engine; the vent port comprises a vent port valve arranged to be open when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle; and the actuator rod connects the vent port valve and the vent valve to allow simultaneous opening and closing of the vent valve and the vent port valve.

    [0016] The actuator rod may be positioned within the vent tube.

    [0017] In at least some examples, the vent valve comprises a poppet valve comprising a stem adapted to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the engine and to open the valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle, for example with an engine on a vehicle.

    [0018] In at least some examples the vent valve comprises a poppet valve comprising a stem adapted to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle for example with an engine on a vehicle and to open the valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle; and the stem of the vent valve is connected to an actuator rod arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle , for example with an engine on a vehicle, and to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle.

    [0019] In at least some examples, the vent valve comprises a poppet valve comprising a stem adapted to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle, for example with an engine on a vehicle and to open the valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle; the stem of the vent valve is connected to an actuator rod arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the engine and to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle, for example with an engine on a vehicle; and the actuator rod connects the vent port valve and the stem of the vent valve to allow simultaneous opening and closing of the vent valve and the vent port valve. The actuator rod may be positioned within the vent tube.

    [0020] The poppet valve may comprises a plug which comprises a head which is arranged to extend beyond the periphery of the second end of the vent tube. These and other examples of the disclosure help reduce the possibility of fluid entering the vent tube when the vent valve is open, for example by the head acting as a partial shroud for the second end of the vent tube in the head space.

    [0021] The second end of the vent tube may be adapted to inhibit ingress of fluid. For example, the second end of the vent tube may be angled or directed in a direction to inhibit ingress of fluid when the reservoir contains fluid, for example by being directed away from any point of in-flow of fluid to the reservoir through a fluid inlet port.

    [0022] In at least some examples the reservoir comprises a perforate deflector adapted to inhibit fluid flow into the vent tube whilst allowing flow of gas into and out from the vent tube.

    [0023] In at least some examples, the container comprises at least two fluid ports which include:

    at least one fluid outlet port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system of a vehicle, for example with a fluid system of an engine on a vehicle, for supplying fluid from the reservoir to the engine; and

    at least one fluid inlet port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system of the vehicle for receiving fluid from the vehicle to the reservoir.



    [0024] The fluid ports, for example the fluid inlet port and the fluid outlet port may comprise self-sealing valves.

    [0025] The at least one fluid port and the vent port may be arranged on a coupling mechanism.

    [0026] In at least some examples the coupling mechanism is arranged such that the container is connectable to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the vehicle for example with an engine on the vehicle.

    [0027] Each fluid port may comprise a self-sealing port. In general, self-sealing ports have the characteristic that when corresponding ports are being connected, a seal is made between the connecting ports before valve or valves open to allow fluid to flow. On disconnection, the valve or valves close to seal off each of the ports before the seal between the ports is broken. Suitable valves include spring loaded poppet valves and biased non-return valves.

    [0028] Each self-sealing port of the container may provide a "dry break" in which no fluid flows on connection or disconnection of the ports. Alternatively, each self-sealing port of the system may provide a "damp break" in which there is flow of only a non-essential amount of fluid, for example a few drips of liquid, on disconnection or connection of the port.

    [0029] In some examples, the inlet fluid port and the outlet fluid port may each or both comprise a non-return valve. Suitably, the vent port does not comprise a non-return valve.

    [0030] In at least some examples the reservoir of the container contains a fluid, for example a liquid. The reservoir may be a reservoir for a fluid which is a liquid. The liquid may be lubricating oil composition, for example an engine lubricating oil composition or heat exchange fluid for an electric engine. The liquid may be a liquid for a self-sustaining fluid system for example a lubricating oil composition for example an engine lubricating oil composition, or a heat exchange fluid for example a heat exchange fluid for an electric engine. The liquid may be a liquid for a non-sustaining fluid system, for example de-icer, water and/or detergent.

    [0031] Thus, the container may be provided as a self-contained system containing fresh, refreshed or unused engine lubricating oil composition which may conveniently replace a container on an engine which container comprises a reservoir containing used or spent engine lubricating oil composition. If the container also comprises a filter, this also is replaced together with the spent or used heat exchange fluid.

    [0032] The lubricating oil composition may have heat exchange properties.

    [0033] The lubricating oil composition may comprise at least one base stock and at least one lubricating oil additive. Suitable base stocks include bio-derived base stocks, mineral oil derived base stocks, synthetic base stocks and semi synthetic base stocks. Suitable lubricating oil additives, for example engine lubricating oil additives are known in the art. Examples of additives include organic and/or inorganic compounds. Typically, according to at least some examples, the engine lubricating oil composition comprises about 60 to 90 % by weight in total of base stocks and about 40 to 10 % by weight additives. Suitable engine lubricating oil compositions include lubricating oil compositions for internal combustion engines.

    [0034] The lubricating oil composition may be a mono-viscosity grade or a multi-viscosity grade engine lubricating oil composition. Examples of suitable engine lubricating oil compositions include single purpose lubricating oil compositions and multi-purpose lubricating oil compositions.

    [0035] According to at least some examples, the lubricating oil composition is a lubricating oil composition for example and engine lubricating oil composition for example for an internal combustion engine, for example a spark ignition internal combustion engine and/or a compression internal combustion engine.

    [0036] The liquid may be a heat exchange fluid for an electric engine. Thus, the container may be provided as a self-contained system containing fresh, refreshed or unused heat exchange fluid for an electric engine which may conveniently replace a container on an engine which container comprises a reservoir containing used or spent heat exchange fluid. If the container also comprises a filter, this also is replaced together with the spent or used heat exchange fluid.

    [0037] Suitable heat exchange fluids for electric engines include aqueous and nonaqueous fluids. Suitable heat exchange fluids for electric engines include those which comprise organic and/or non-organic performance boosting additives. Suitable heat exchange fluids include be man-made or bio-derived fluids, for example Betaine. According to at least some embodiments, the heat exchange fluids have fire retarding characteristics and/or hydraulic characteristics. Suitable heat exchange fluids include phase change fluids. Suitable heat exchange fluids include molten metals and salts. Suitable heat exchange fluids include nanofluids. Nanofluids comprise nanoparticles suspended in a base fluid, which may be solid, liquid or gas. Suitable heat exchange fluids include gases and liquids. Suitable heat exchange fluids include liquefied gases.

    [0038] Whilst vehicle fluid systems for example vehicle engine fluid systems have been described herein, the present invention also relates to fluid systems for engines in general whether or not associated with a vehicle.

    [0039] Thus, according to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a replaceable fluid container for an engine, the container comprising:

    a housing comprising a fluid reservoir;

    at least one fluid port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system of the engine;

    a vent port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the engine for allowing gas to be passed into and out from the reservoir;

    a vent tube connected at a first end, to said vent port and arranged within the reservoir to pass through fluid contained in the reservoir when the container is connected with the fluid reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system of the engine, with a second end of the vent tube in a headspace above the fluid in the reservoir, to allow gas communication between the vent port and the headspace,

    in which the vent tube comprises a vent valve at the second end of the vent tube adapted to close to prevent ingress of fluid and gas from the reservoir into the vent tube when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the engine and to open to allow gas communication between the head space and the engine through the vent tube and vent port when the vent port is in fluid communication with the engine.

    [0040] According to another aspect there is provided an apparatus comprising a container as hereindescribed in fluidic communication with the fluid system of a vehicle, for example with the fluid system of a vehicle engine through the inlet port and the outlet port, and with the vent port in fluidic communication with the vehicle, for example with an engine on the vehicle e.g. with the fluid system of a vehicle engine and/or with the an air inlet manifold of a vehicle engine when the engine is an internal combustion engine.

    [0041] According to another aspect there is provided an apparatus comprising a container as hereindescribed in fluidic communication with the fluid system of an engine through the inlet port and the outlet port, and with the vent port in fluidic communication with the engine for example with the fluid system of the engine and/or with the an air inlet manifold of the engine when the engine is an internal combustion engine.

    [0042] According to another aspect there is provided a vehicle comprising an apparatus as hereindescribed.

    [0043] The engine may be an internal combustion engine. Suitable internal combustion engines include spark ignition internal combustion engines and compression ignition internal combustion engines. The engine may be an electric engine.

    [0044] Suitable vehicles include motorcycles, earthmoving vehicles, mining vehicles, heavy duty vehicles and passenger cars.

    [0045] The invention extends to methods and/or apparatus substantially as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

    [0046] Any feature in one aspect of the invention may be applied to other aspects of the invention, in any appropriate combination. In particular, features of method aspects may be applied to apparatus aspects, and vice versa.

    [0047] The invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the following drawings in which:

    Figure 1 is a side cross-sectional view of a container according to the present invention with a vent valve shown therein in a closed position; and

    Figure 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the container of Figure 1 with the vent valve in an open position.



    [0048] In the drawings like reference numerals are used to indicate like elements.

    [0049] Referring to Figures 1 and 2, container 1 comprises a reservoir 2 and a coupling mechanism 3. The coupling mechanism 3 is arranged to connect, in use, to an engine 16, for example an internal combustion engine. In use the reservoir 2 contains fluid 4 which can be supplied to the engine fluid system 17 via an outlet fluid port 5 and used fluid is returned to the reservoir 2 via fluid inlet port 6. So that the fluid 4 can be gravity fed through the outlet port 5 it is necessary to allow a gas, usually air, into the reservoir 2. This is done by providing a vent port 7 connected to a first end 14 of vent tube 9. The vent tube 9 passes through fluid 4 contained in the reservoir 2 with a second end 15 of the vent tube 9 in a headspace 18 above the fluid 4 in the reservoir 2, to allow gas communication between the vent port 7 and the headspace 8. The vent tube 9 comprises a vent valve 10 at the second end 15 of the vent tube 9 adapted to close to prevent ingress of fluid and gas from the reservoir 1 into the vent tube 9 when the vent port 7 is not in fluidic communication with the engine and to open to allow gas communication between the head space 8 and the engine through the vent tube 9 and vent port 7 when the vent port 7 is in fluid communication with the engine.

    [0050] The venting tube 9 that passes through the fluid 4 when the container 1 is in an upright position and allows gas to pass unhindered through the fluid 4 in the reservoir 2 and to the headspace 8. The vent valve 10 comprises an actuator rod 11 arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve 10 when the vent port 7 is in fluidic communication with the engine 16 for example the air inlet manifold of an internal combustion engine. The actuator rod is positioned within the vent tube 9.

    [0051] As shown in Figure 1, when the vent port 7 is not in fluidic communication with the engine 16 the vent valve 10 is closed and prevents ingress of fluid 4 and gas from the headspace 8 from the reservoir 2 into the vent tube 9.

    [0052] The fluid inlet port 6 and the fluid outlet port 5 may comprise self-sealing valves (not shown). So, for transportation purposes, the reservoir 2 is sealed from the external environment and no fluid 4 can escape. A biasing mechanism (not shown), such as a spring, may be provided to ensure that the vent valve 10 remains closed when the container is being transported.

    [0053] Figure 2 shows the corresponding container 1 of Figure 1 when in position on an engine 16 with the fluid ports 5, 6 in fluidic communication with the fluid system 17 of the engine and the vent port 7 in fluid communication with the engine 16 , for example the air intake manifold of an internal combustion engine.

    [0054] Engagement of the connecting mechanism 3 with the engine 17 brings the vent port 7 into fluidic communication with the engine 16 (for example with an air inlet manifold of the engine when the engine is an internal combustion engine) and the fluid ports 5, 6 into fluidic communication with the engine fluid system 17 and causes the activator rod 11 to act upon and open the vent valve 10.

    [0055] This allows gas communication between the headspace 8 and the engine 16, for example the air inlet manifold of an internal combustion engine through the vent tube 9 and vent port 7.

    [0056] As can be seen from both of Figures 1 and 2 a deflector plate 13 may be provided. This deflector plate 13 is perforate and is arranged to inhibit fluid 4 from splashing up and into the second end 15 of the vent tube 9 , for example due to sudden movements of the engine for example if the engine is an engine of an vehicle which undergoes braking or other motion. Also, the vent valve 10 is a poppet valve comprising a plug 18 which comprises a head 19 which is arranged to extend beyond the periphery 20 of the second end 15 of the vent tube 9. These and other examples of the disclosure have an advantage that that even when the vent valve is open any fluid 4 inadvertently landing on the head 19 of the vent valve 10 will fall back and around the vent tube 9, rather than entering the vent tube 9.

    [0057] With the present invention it is possible to provide a container for removal attachment to an engine which can supply fluid thereto and which can be vented during use yet sealed for transportation.

    [0058] While aspects of the invention have been described in relation to vehicle engines and examples of the invention described the use of engine lubricating oil compositions, it is envisaged that features of the invention could find other applications.

    [0059] For example, a fluid container according to an aspect of the invention could be used in relation to a wide range of apparatus or equipment. For example, the fluid container could find application in relation to various static and movable machines, for example industrial machines such as a lathe, or manufacture and assembly equipment, to an engine, or to a vehicle.

    [0060] Examples of a fluid container of an aspect of the invention could thus be used to supply lubricant composition to a region of the apparatus or equipment, for example to a region including one or more moving parts, for example a gearbox. In an example of an aspect of the invention there is provided a fluid container for a wind turbine, for example to provide lubricating composition to one or more parts of the wind turbine apparatus.

    [0061] The container may supply a lubricant composition to the apparatus, or may supply fluid other than lubricant to the apparatus. For example, the fluid may comprise a fuel composition, for example gasoline or diesel The reservoir of an aspect of the invention may be for supply of the fluid for example to the fuel supply system of the apparatus. For example, the reservoir may supply fuel to a vehicle, or tool, for example to a car, motorcycle or lawn mower.

    [0062] In another example, the container is used to supply a fluid, for example lubricant and/or fuel, to a hand tool, for example a hedge trimmer or leaf blower.

    [0063] The fluid may comprise for example an aqueous or other solvent-based composition, for example a cleaning composition. The fluid may for example comprise windscreen wash fluid. A container of an example of an aspect of the invention may be for supplying fluid to the windscreen washer fluid delivery system for example of a vehicle.

    [0064] Thus in some examples of aspects of the invention the fluid system may or may not comprise a fluid circulation system.

    [0065] A further aspect of the invention provides a replaceable fluid container for an apparatus, the container comprising:

    a housing comprising a fluid reservoir;

    at least one fluid port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system of the apparatus;

    a vent port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the apparatus for allowing gas to be passed into and out from the reservoir;

    a vent tube connected at a first end, to said vent port and arranged within the reservoir to pass through fluid contained in the reservoir when the container is connected with the fluid reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system, with a second end of the vent tube in a headspace above the fluid in the reservoir, to allow gas communication between the vent port and the headspace,

    in which the vent tube comprises a vent valve at the second end of the vent tube adapted to close to prevent ingress of fluid and gas from the reservoir into the vent tube when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the apparatus and to open to allow gas communication between the head space and the apparatus through the vent tube and vent port when the vent port is in fluid communication with the apparatus.

    [0066] It will be understood that the present invention has been described above purely by way of example, and modification of detail can be made within the scope of the invention.

    [0067] Each feature disclosed in the description, and (where appropriate) the claims and drawings may be provided independently or in any appropriate combination.


    Claims

    1. A replaceable fluid container (1) for a vehicle or equipment, the container comprising:

    a housing comprising a fluid reservoir (2);

    at least one fluid port (5,6) arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system (17) of the vehicle or the equipment;

    a vent port (7) arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the engine for allowing gas to be passed into and out from the reservoir;

    a vent tube (9) connected at a first end, to said vent port and arranged within the reservoir to pass through fluid contained in the reservoir when the container is connected with the fluid reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system, with a second end (15) of the vent tube in a headspace (18) above the fluid in the reservoir, to allow gas communication between the vent port and the headspace,

    in which the vent tube comprises a vent valve (10) at the second end of the vent tube adapted to close to prevent ingress of fluid and gas from the reservoir into the vent tube when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and to open to allow gas communication between the head space and the engine through the vent tube and vent port when the vent port is in fluid communication with the vehicle or the equipment.


     
    2. A container as claimed in claim 1 in which the vent port comprises a vent port valve arranged to be closed when the vent port valve is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and to be open when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment thereby to allow gas communication between the headspace and the vehicle or the equipment through the vent tube and vent port.
     
    3. A container as claimed in claim 1 in which the vent valve comprises an actuator rod arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment.
     
    4. A container as claimed in claim 3 in which the vent port comprises a vent port valve arranged to be open when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and in which the actuator rod connects the vent port valve and the vent valve to allow simultaneous opening and closing of the vent valve and the vent port valve.
     
    5. A container as claimed in claim 1 in which the vent valve comprises a poppet valve comprising a stem adapted to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and to open the valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment.
     
    6. A container as claimed in claim 5 in which the vent poppet valve comprises a plug which comprises a head which is arranged to extend beyond the periphery of the second end of the vent tube.
     
    7. A container as claimed in claim 5 or claim 6 in which the stem of the vent valve is connected to an actuator rod arranged to be acted upon to open the vent valve when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and to close the valve when the vent port is not in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment.
     
    8. A container as claimed in claim 7 in which the vent port comprises a vent port valve arranged to be open when the vent port is in fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and to be closed when the vent port is not into fluidic communication with the vehicle or the equipment and in which the actuator rod connects the vent port valve and the stem of the vent valve to allow simultaneous opening and closing of the vent valve and the vent port valve.
     
    9. A container as claimed in claim 3 or claim 4 or claim 8 in which the actuator rod is positioned within the vent tube.
     
    10. A container as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 9 in which the vent port valve is a poppet valve.
     
    11. A container as claimed in any one of the preceding claims in which the second end of the vent tube is adapted to inhibit ingress of fluid.
     
    12. A container as claimed in any one of the preceding claims in which the container comprises at least two fluid ports which include:

    at least one fluid outlet port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with a fluid system of the vehicle or the equipment for supplying fluid from the reservoir to the vehicle or the equipment; and

    at least one fluid inlet port arranged on the housing to couple the reservoir in fluidic communication with the fluid system of the vehicle or the equipment for receiving fluid from the vehicle or the equipment to the reservoir.


     
    13. A container as claimed in any one of the preceding claims in which the reservoir comprises a perforate deflector adapted to inhibit fluid flow into the vent tube whilst allowing flow of gas into and out from the vent tube.
     
    14. A container as claimed in any one of the preceding claims in which the reservoir contains a fluid.
     
    15. A container as claimed in claim 14 in which the fluid is an engine lubricating oil composition or a heat exchange fluid for an electric engine.
     
    16. An apparatus comprising a container as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15 in fluidic communication with a fluid system of a vehicle engine or equipment through the at least one fluid port and with the vent port in fluidic communication with the vehicle engine or the equipment.
     
    17. A vehicle comprising an apparatus as claimed in claim 16.
     
    18. Equipment comprising an apparatus as claimed in claim 16.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Austauschbarer Fluidbehälter (1) für ein Fahrzeug oder eine Vorrichtung, wobei der Behälter umfasst:

    ein Gehäuse umfassend einen Fluidspeicher (2);

    mindestens eine Fluidöffnung (5, 6), die an dem Gehäuse angeordnet ist, um den Speicher in Fluidverbindung mit einem Fluidsystem (17) des Fahrzeugs oder der Vorrichtung zu kuppeln;

    eine Entlüftungsöffnung (7), die an dem Gehäuse angeordnet ist, um den Speicher mit dem Motor in Fluidverbindung zu kuppeln, um es zu gestatten, Gas in den Speicher hinein und aus dem Speicher heraus zu leiten;

    ein Entlüftungsrohr (9), das an einem ersten Ende mit der Entlüftungsöffnung verbunden und innerhalb des Speichers angeordnet ist, um im Speicher enthaltenes Fluid hindurch zu leiten, wenn der Behälter mit dem Fluidspeicher in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fluidsystem verbunden ist, wobei ein zweites Ende (15) des Entlüftungsrohrs in einem Kopfraum (18) oberhalb von dem Fluid im Speicher steht, um eine Gasverbindung zwischen der Entlüftungsöffnung und dem Kopfraum zu gestatten,

    wobei das Entlüftungsrohr am zweiten Ende des Entlüftungsrohrs ein Entlüftungsventil (10) umfasst, das angepasst ist, um sich zu schließen, um ein Eindringen von Fluid und Gas aus dem Speicher in das Entlüftungsrohr zu verhindern, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung nicht in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und sich zu öffnen, um eine Gasverbindung zwischen dem Kopfraum und dem Motor durch das Entlüftungsrohr und die Entlüftungsöffnung zu gestatten, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht.


     
    2. Behälter nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Entlüftungsöffnung ein Entlüftungsöffnungsventil aufweist, das so angeordnet ist, dass es geschlossen ist, wenn das Entlüftungsöffnungsventil nicht in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und dass es offen ist, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, um dadurch eine Gasverbindung zwischen dem Kopfraum und dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung durch das Entlüftungsrohr und die Entlüftungsöffnung zu gestatten.
     
    3. Behälter nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Entlüftungsventil eine Aktuatorstange umfasst, die so angeordnet ist, dass auf sie eingewirkt werden kann, um das Entlüftungsventil zu öffnen, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht.
     
    4. Behälter nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Entlüftungsöffnung ein Entlüftungsöffnungsventil umfasst, das so angeordnet ist, dass es offen ist, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und wobei die Aktuatorstange das Entlüftungsöffnungsventil und das Entlüftungsventil verbindet, um ein gleichzeitiges Öffnen und Schließen des Entlüftungsventils und des Entlüftungsöffnungsventils zu gestatten.
     
    5. Behälter nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Entlüftungsventil ein Tellerventil umfasst, das einen Schaft umfasst, der angepasst ist, um das Ventil zu schließen, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung nicht in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und um das Ventil zu öffnen, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht.
     
    6. Behälter nach Anspruch 5, wobei das Entlüftungstellerventil einen Stopfen umfasst, der einen Kopf umfasst, der so angeordnet ist, dass er sich über den Umfang des zweiten Endes des Entlüftungsrohrs hinaus erstreckt.
     
    7. Behälter nach Anspruch 5 oder Anspruch 6, wobei der Schaft des Entlüftungsventils mit einer Aktuatorstange verbunden ist, die so angeordnet ist, dass auf sie eingewirkt werden kann, um das Entlüftungsventil zu öffnen, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und um das Ventil zu schließen, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung nicht in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht.
     
    8. Behälter nach Anspruch 7, wobei die Entlüftungsöffnung ein Entlüftungsöffnungsventil umfasst, das so angeordnet ist, dass es offen ist, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und geschlossen ist, wenn die Entlüftungsöffnung nicht in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung steht, und wobei die Aktuatorstange das Entlüftungsöffnungsventil und den Schaft des Entlüftungsventils verbindet, um ein gleichzeitiges Öffnen und Schließen des Entlüftungsventils und des Entlüftungsöffnungsventils zu gestatten.
     
    9. Behälter nach Anspruch 3 oder Anspruch 4 oder Anspruch 8, wobei die Aktuatorstange innerhalb des Entlüftungsrohrs angeordnet ist.
     
    10. Behälter nach einem der Ansprüche 2 bis 9, wobei das Entlüftungsöffnungsventil ein Tellerventil ist.
     
    11. Behälter nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei das zweite Ende des Entlüftungsrohrs angepasst ist, um ein Eindringen von Fluid zu verhindern.
     
    12. Behälter nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Behälter mindestens zwei Fluidöffnungen umfasst, die einschließen:

    mindestens eine Fluidauslassöffnung, die an dem Gehäuse angeordnet ist, um den Speicher in Fluidverbindung mit einem Fluidsystem des Fahrzeugs oder der Vorrichtung zu kuppeln, um Fluid aus dem Speicher zu dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung zuzuführen; und

    mindestens eine Fluideinlassöffnung, die an dem Gehäuse angeordnet ist, um den Speicher in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fluidsystem des Fahrzeugs oder der Vorrichtung zu kuppeln, um Fluid aus dem Fahrzeug oder der Vorrichtung zum Speicher zu empfangen.


     
    13. Behälter nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Speicher einen perforierten Deflektor umfasst, der angepasst ist, um einen Fluidstrom in das Entlüftungsrohr zu verhindern, während er einen Gasstrom in das und aus dem Entlüftungsrohr gestattet.
     
    14. Behälter nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Speicher ein Fluid enthält.
     
    15. Behälter nach Anspruch 14, wobei das Fluid eine Motorschmierölzusammensetzung oder ein Wärmetauschfluid für einen Elektromotor ist.
     
    16. Vorrichtung umfassend einen Behälter nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 15 in Fluidverbindung mit einem Fluidsystem eines Fahrzeugmotors oder Geräts durch die mindestens eine Fluidöffnung und mit der Entlüftungsöffnung in Fluidverbindung mit dem Fahrzeugmotor oder dem Gerät.
     
    17. Fahrzeug, umfassend eine Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 16.
     
    18. Gerät, umfassend eine Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 16.
     


    Revendications

    1. Conteneur pour fluide remplaçable (1) pour un véhicule ou un équipement, le conteneur comprenant :

    un boîtier comprenant un réservoir de fluide (2) ;

    au moins un orifice de fluide (5, 6) agencé sur le boîtier pour coupler le réservoir, en communication fluidique, avec un système de fluide (17) du véhicule ou de l'équipement ;

    un orifice d'évent (7) agencé sur le boîtier pour coupler le réservoir, en communication fluidique, avec le moteur pour permettre au gaz d'entrer et de sortir du réservoir ;

    un tube d'évent (9) raccordé, au niveau d'une première extrémité, audit orifice d'évent et agencé à l'intérieur du réservoir pour faire passer le fluide contenu dans le réservoir lorsque le conteneur est raccordé avec le réservoir de fluide, de manière fluidique, avec le système de fluide, avec une seconde extrémité (15) du tube d'évent dans une partie vide (18) au-dessus du fluide dans le réservoir, pour permettre la communication de gaz entre l'orifice d'évent et la partie vide,

    dans lequel le tube d'évent comprend une soupape d'évent (10) au niveau de la seconde extrémité du tube d'évent, adaptée pour se fermer afin d'empêcher l'entrée du fluide et des gaz du réservoir dans le tube d'évent lorsque l'orifice d'évent n'est pas en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement et pour s'ouvrir pour permettre la communication de gaz entre la partie vide et le moteur par le biais du tube d'évent et de l'orifice d'évent, lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication de fluide avec le véhicule ou l'équipement.


     
    2. Conteneur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'orifice d'évent comprend une soupape d'orifice d'évent agencée pour être fermée lorsque la soupape d'orifice d'évent n'est pas en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement et pour s'ouvrir lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement, pour permettre ainsi la communication de gaz entre la partie vide et le véhicule ou l'équipement par le biais du tube d'évent et de l'orifice d'évent.
     
    3. Conteneur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la soupape d'évent comprend une tige d'actionneur agencée pour être actionnée afin d'ouvrir la soupape d'évent lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement.
     
    4. Conteneur selon la revendication 3, dans lequel l'orifice d'évent comprend une soupape d'orifice d'évent agencée pour être ouverte lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement et dans lequel la tige d'actionneur raccorde la soupape d'orifice d'évent et la soupape d'évent pour permettre l'ouverture et la fermeture simultanées des soupapes d'évent et de la soupape d'orifice d'évent.
     
    5. Conteneur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la soupape d'évent comprend une soupape champignon comprenant une tige adaptée pour fermer la soupape lorsque l'orifice d'évent n'est pas en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement et pour ouvrir la soupape lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement.
     
    6. Conteneur selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la soupape champignon d'évent comprend un bouchon qui comprend une tête qui est agencée pour s'étendre au-delà de la périphérie de la seconde extrémité du tube d'évent.
     
    7. Conteneur selon la revendication 5 ou la revendication 6, dans lequel la tige de la soupape d'évent est raccordée à une tige d'actionneur agencée pour être actionnée pour ouvrir la soupape d'évent lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement et pour fermer la soupape lorsque l'orifice d'évent n'est pas en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement.
     
    8. Conteneur selon la revendication 7, dans lequel l'orifice d'évent comprend une soupape d'orifice d'évent agencée pour être ouverte lorsque l'orifice d'évent est en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement, et pour être fermée lorsque l'orifice n'est pas en communication fluidique avec le véhicule ou l'équipement et dans lequel la tige d'actionneur raccorde la soupape d'orifice d'évent et la tige de la soupape d'évent pour permettre l'ouverture et la fermeture simultanées de la soupape d'évent de la soupape d'orifice d'évent.
     
    9. Conteneur selon la revendication 3 ou la revendication 4 ou la revendication 8, dans lequel la tige d'actionneur est positionnée à l'intérieur du tube d'évent.
     
    10. Conteneur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 2 à 9, dans lequel la soupape d'orifice d'évent est une soupape champignon.
     
    11. Conteneur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la seconde extrémité du tube d'évent est adaptée pour empêcher l'entrée de fluide.
     
    12. Conteneur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le conteneur comprend au moins deux orifices de fluide qui comprennent :

    au moins un orifice de sortie de fluide agencé sur le boîtier pour coupler le réservoir, en communication fluidique, avec un système de fluide du véhicule ou de l'équipement pour amener le fluide du réservoir au véhicule ou à l'équipement ; et

    au moins un orifice d'entrée de fluide agencé sur le boîtier pour coupler le réservoir, en communication fluidique, avec le système de fluide du véhicule ou de l'équipement pour recevoir le fluide du véhicule ou de l'équipement au réservoir.


     
    13. Conteneur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le réservoir comprend un déflecteur préformé adapté pour empêcher l'écoulement de fluide dans le tube d'évent tout en permettant l'écoulement de gaz à l'intérieur et l'extérieur du tube d'évent.
     
    14. Conteneur selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le réservoir contient un fluide.
     
    15. Conteneur selon la revendication 14, dans lequel le fluide est une composition d'huile de lubrification de moteur ou un fluide d'échange thermique pour un moteur électrique.
     
    16. Appareil comprenant un conteneur selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 15, en communication fluidique avec un système de fluide d'un moteur ou d'un équipement de véhicule par le biais du au moins un orifice de fluide et avec l'orifice d'évent en communication fluidique avec le moteur ou l'équipement de véhicule.
     
    17. Véhicule comprenant un appareil selon la revendication 16.
     
    18. Equipement comprenant un appareil selon la revendication 16.
     




    Drawing








    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description