BUSHFIRES, WILDFIRES AND FLOODS
Umbrella and Table Union® Compressed Air Managed Household™
by Mirko Riha
The writer's invention utilizes compressed air superiority to power households. He envisages that the future households will use the power of compressed air for their domestic appliances. The potential energy of compressed air, is stored in air tanks, fully utilised: 1. From air tanks, the compressed air powers the domestic appliances. 2. The pressurised exhausted air supports the intensity of some of the domestic application. 3. The low pressure exhaust is mixed with the surrounded air, we breathe. Electricity is man made, generated at power stations, many of them powered by coal, polluting the atmosphere. There are continued rising costs for electricity. In contrary, the compressed air, is produced individually within each household, or group of households. The household air compressor is designed to be powered by renewable energy, such a solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal, wave actions and others. Compressed air domestic applications produce high torque, are easy controlled, are of light weight. The air powered domestic appliances are simple, with fewer moving parts, long lasting and low in maintenance. Cannot burn out by being overloaded. The electric motors for each household's applications differ in size and power. The compressed air powered domestic appliances are versatile, easily controlled, with high torque and therefore less numbers are required.An active household. Great potential of compressed air powered household is the water saving. The writer's 5 litres Riha massaging shower for up to 20 minutes massage/showering. Compared to the 9 litres per minute, using a water saving rose.Ten minutes shower = 90 litres of water. During bushfire and flood emergencies, when solar and other renewable sources may be affected, or not available, the harvested power of natural disasters, either flood flow, or tsunami flow, or wind power, or thermal differentiated strenght, power the spare air compressor, or LP gas, petrol diesel engine. For emergencies and cooking, the bottled LP is an important power source. LP gas emits 30% less pollutants and with the new discoveries and at optimum extraction levels, experts estimate at least 200 years.
On 10.4.2011, Perth Sun Fair, the writer during his presentation of his talk, demonstrated model of his proposed house, withstanding natural catastrophes.
The world is experiencing more and more natural disasters, such as cyclones, earthquakes, bushfires, floods and landslides. The recurrent bushfire and floods are part of natural cycles. In Australia, the changes caused in circulation across the Pacific Ocean and Indonesean archipelago, changes in weather pattern are assigned to El Niño. Weather related disasters became a standard. Although bushfires and flooding are natural phenomenon, over the recent years they are becoming worse in time and attain ultimately calamitous proportions. More people are killed, or injured and require rescue. More properties are destroyed, or damaged, require recovery and rebuilding. There are myriad of costly ways to prevent bushfires and also floods. Most requiring large investments. Many bushfire prevention strategies were adopted and flood prevention. Often fire follows drought and drought is followed by floods. For the Authorities there are hard decisions: to implement either the very expensive prevention technologies, or do nothing and recover and rebuild, after bushfire and floods. The most adopted approaches are the between these two extremes. During the recent 2011 Western Australian, near Perth bushfire, due to early warning, no one was killed, however 59 houses destroyed and 28 damaged. A heard breaking experience for the owners.
The writer's invention and proposition is for household protection during the natural disasters, the bushfire, wildfire and floods.
The 2009 Victorian bushfire resulted in the worst loss of life. 173 people died and many people lost their properties. The 2009 Bushfire Victorian Royal Commission was established to investigate the causes and responses to the bushfires. The public submissions were important for the Royal Commission from individuals and organisations. The writer' submission, www.mirkoriha.com, was thoroughly reviewed by the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission issued the final 67 report recommendation for the future, to prevent loss of life and property, including the monitoring of the proposed implementations.
Methods of flood control have been in practise already during ancient times. Such as terracing hillsides and planting vegetation. In modern times the rivers prone to floods have levees,dikes, culverts,reservoirs, dams and bypass channels. In Europe, the writer was involved in soil investigations next to the Danube river. Periodic floods caused life and properties loss. The proposed high embankment required a soil investigation to avoid ground leakages due to the increased river's water level. The investigations were carried out during the hot summer period. He remembers too well, the sweating, as all of his body was fully covered, hands with gloves and hat with netting, protection against the cloud of blood sucking mosquitos, encircling him and the drillers. At that time the anti-mosquito sprays were not available! Since then, Danube river flow was changed. The river generates hydropower electricity A total of 59 dams have been built at the upper part of Danube, a flood defence. The lengths of Danube river is 80% regulated. In Europe, most large rivers in densely populated areas, hydrological engineering structures change river courses and channels. The meanders and branches are straightened and redirected.
Australian's rivers are characterized by unusually large fluctuation in levels and of water flows, between the drought and flood seasons. Surface water storage capacity lowers the flood height and excavation and dredging may ensure free passage of water.
The writer is an inventor for at least 50 years. He experienced two dictatorships, with his family on the oppose side, the punished side. Followed his escape to free world. It should be mentioned that all of the man made items around us were actual inventions. Many of inventors were common people. Many of the successful inventions, helping day to day life, their inventor mostly unknown. From the statistics, only 3% inventions succeeded. The odds against the inventor are astronomical. This applies already from the ancient times, for example the office table was invented by a Roman, the inventor unknown. Or the Egyptian pyramids. The pharaohs within the royal tombs. are very well known. However the inventors of such a unique massive structure, with polygonal base and sloping sides meeting at the apex, are unknown. Only the lucky inventors cover the invention's development and patent costs and in addition, make profit. Only the very lucky inventors and their inventions were acknowledged and honoured worldwide. Why only 3% are successful? Some are commercially not valid. Often, the inventors inventions are ahead of time. As the invention is not required immediately, the inventors are often forgotten, or ridiculed. The heartbreaking category of inventors, their inventions ahead of time required work, many hours for their development and personal financial burden. Once their invention is required, the invention is often stolen, or modified. The individual inventor, who spent all of his finances on the product, does not have the finance for a challenge at the high court level.
The writer, during a number of years developed a scientific groundwater investigation system, ahead of time, financed by himself, with his limited budged. His invention was not required for many years, he was often ridiculed. His invention was expensive, costed about $2 000. In that time professionals used for bore water sampling a primitive bailer costing $60! In 1980, the scientists and professionals realised that the primitive bailer method is actually very costly. The expensive laboratory analyses of the aerated mixed groundwater, were giving totally false readings. His invention commenced to be in demand and remained globally in demand. In 1980, he became the Australian ABC TV inventor of the year and received the most prestigious acknowledgement in Europe. His invention was verified at bore side, ABC filmed and shown on ABC TV to millions of people in Australia, program: "The Inventors". The European winning inventions, were shown on European TV program "The 9th International Invention Competition." How many millions viewers, remain unknown. Most inventions have a history. In 1962 a tubular diaphragm pump USA patent 3062153 was developed for dense liquid. Of its large size, there was enough space for the tubular diaphragm to be safely connected to its top and bottom caps. Later, in 1976 a journal described a small diameter tubular diaphragm pump. Because of the pump small size, the tubular diaphragm was attached to its caps by rope. With the portable air compressor producing 700-1000 kPa pressure, for pressurizing the diaphragm and following the depressurizing cycle, the pump worked as an air lift pump. Others tried with clips attaching the tubular diaphragm to the top and bottom caps without any success. The writer's small diameter pump had diaphragm vulcanized to the top and bottom fittings, withstanding the 700-1000 kPa air pressure and the pressurizing-depressurizing cycles. However the system was of limited durability. In 1981, the Riha pumps consisting of the 43mm diameter pump, Festo control unit and the optinal testing equipment for individual electrodes measuring the fast changing biochemistry was under a business name commercially available. In 1981, the production of Riha pump technology commenced and was sold to gold mining companies. With help of the USA Monsanto Santoprene pellets, the writer could extrude the tubular diaphragm. His further invention was to make the Riha pump tubular diaphragm in one piece with the top and bottom fittings, attached to a special self cleaning non-return valves. The Riha PumpsR lasted more than 20 years. The writer had an Australian patent 548335 and in 1980 the Riha Pumps technology was used by Victorian Departman. Australia was of a limited market. In 1983 and 1984, instead of cooperation with Australia, two USA patents 4485060 and 4489779 of December 25,1984, application filled 28. February 1983, fluid Sampling Apparatus, issued, based on the Australian TV demonstrated technology. In five years, the two USA patents, earned more than US$10 million. In 1993, the writer was an unpaid witness for the USA patent court. The court examined the priority of these two USA patents. Both of the USA patents, as above mentioned, were terminated by the USA patent court. For any invention, ahead of its time, it is impossible to predict the right timing, as it depends on many factors. When the time becomes right, the unscrupulous people, looking for big profit, take the advantage. Why to spent large amount of finances on the development, when they can rip off the inventor and take advantage to earn big profits, without any outlay.
This interesting story demonstrates that individual inventor in the modern world, is powerless without a major, national support. Another story follows:
In 1990 the post communistic Czechoslovakia asked the foreign countries for help with the groundwater pollution of areas previously occupied by the Red Soviet army. The writer was always helpful and with Austrade assistance, Austrade, a 10 years contract was signed between the Czech State Institute and his Australian company, for manufacturing the environment protection appliances in Europe, including Russia. His company air lifted the instrumentation, tools, material and gave the State institute the know-how. He taught the management his new technology and usage in field. The 50 units were produced in record time and some, immediately served at localities, where drinking quality groundwater was in danger of being polluted. After two years cooperation, without the knowledge of the writer, or Austrade, the management of the Czech State Institute sold the Australian technology to a foreign company and the State Institute was liquidated. The management people of the State Institute apparently could afford cottages and had financed to establish their own businesses. Typical post commustic action. For these few unscrupulous people, the Czech Republic paid a high price. Great loss of the $multimillion European market, employment and prestige related to environment protection technology. In addition, many rivers, dams and reservoirs of the Czech Republic are polluted in summer by the toxic algal bloom. Big international and national tourisms financial loss for many industries. The remedy already costed Czech Republic millions of Czech currency and is only partly successful.
Both stories demonstrate that an inventor and his invention, without a major, national support, is misused by unscrupulous people, with the cost eventually payed by the whole nation. It should not be forgotten that in the past, the individual inventors and their inventions changed the world! Learning from the history, less and less individual inventors are risking their precious time and their money. Development of new ideas became industrialised, carried out by global companies.
The writer is from the old generation and hard to be re-educated. He was always helpful. His invention in the future should safe lives of household residents during the bushfire, wildfire and floods and protect people properties. Implementation of his ahead of time invention require finances. The writer's invention, patent pending, using compressed air to manage households, is described at www.mirkoriha.com.
Bushfire uncontrolled and of extensive size, speed and uncreditable ability to jump gaps. Few years back, the writer's duty was the investigation of groundwater supply, for the township of Merino, Victoria. His Government vehicle was a Toyota 4wheel drive vehicle, which heavy steel bullbar,saved his life. He was encircled by intensive bushfire. The fire jumped from top of one gum tree to another. Enclosed by fire inferno, the only escape route was the very steep slope with dense bush, towards the river. With the vehicle in low gear, assisted by the vehicle mass, the small and medium trees were either pushed aside, or driven over. Fortunately, no big trees was encountered. It was an unforgettable rough drive, a life saving drive.
BUSHFIRE, WILDFIRE His invention concentrates on saving people's life and their houses in bushfire, wildfire. In April 2010 CSIRO scientists flame tested a house, constructed almost entirely from steel and featuring a non-flammable roof cavity. The house survived, however the doors and windows failed. Unfortunately, such a house covered by fireproof textiles, was not tested.
Houses, in bushfire, wildfire prone locations should be preferable prefabricated. Tested in the factory and under bushfire, wildfire conditions. Development of a unified safe house, in which the occupants would survive bushfire, wildfire. The writer's Umbrella-Table UnionR house is protected by fireproof textiles. There are a number of companies, producing fireproof textiles. Some of the textiles withstanding temperatures, for a short time of 1650 degrees Celsius, 900 degree for a prolonged time.
The fireproof textile is stored, coiled within boxes, surrounding the base of a house. Prior to bushfire, wildfire, the fireproof textiles are rolled out from the boxes means cables and winches. The winches are located on a house's table. The winches vertical cables, through the roof opening are attached to the fireproof textiles,within the boxes. Activated winches are taking the fireproof textile from boxes, following the contour of the house, over the top of the house, to the roof opening. The textiles as being pulled out from the boxes, are interlocked, means Hi Temp Velcro, or other fasteners, at all sites of the house. Once all sides of the house are covered by the interlocked fireproof textiles, the roof opening is protected by the fireproof umbrella. A house, totally enclosed by fireproof interlocked textiles, should withstand strong wind with embers and the following bushfire. The compressed air managed house is cooled, releasing cold compressed air, from air tanks. Cool air is available for house applications and people breathing. The increase of the atmospheric pressure by compressed air, is preventing the toxic fire gases and smoke into the house.
FLOODS Umbrella-Table UnionR house is powered by compressed air. No electricity is required. During the flood, if the renewable source of energy for the air compressor, is inadequate, or not available, a spare air compressor powers the household means either, bottled LP gas, or petrol, or diesel engine. Bottled LP gas for cooking. The occupants of the compressed air managed household, with food and water storage, can survive for a long period of time. The increase of atmospheric pressure, due to the compressed air, may prevent flood water leakages. An upside down umbrella, having a collection pipe at the low centre, to collect rain water to a table, within house. Providing the occupant with drinking water and other uses. With the flood water levels rising, the compressed air pressure is inadequate to stop leakages.
The writer observed many floods and houses destroyed, during floods. World floods were graphically demonstrated, throughout the world, including the recent 2010/2011 Queensland flood. Some farm houses, built over flat land were poignant gradually inundated by the rising level of flood waters, up to their roofs and over. The torrent of flood water in some locations was very strong. Some houses were torn from their foundation and hurtled along in the deadly current. With the houses strong foundation to the ground, the flood's mass of water pushed through the house wall. As a consequence, the wall collapsed and so the whole house was destroyed. Many houses collapsed and were destroyed, during floods, due to the mass of water and torrent. Against the water mass and variations in flow velocity and floating debris, a house construction design, is difficult. Many houses sustain major damage and must be rebuilt. Interior of the house destroyed and exterior, as well. Often, battered, surviving houses are without electricity, for a prolonged period of time. In addition, submerged electric cables are dangerous due to conductivity of water. The traditional houses, built at the river banks and over flat land are during floods destroyed, or damaged The rebuilt require great finances and if insurance inadequate, often national donations.
Brisbane's high-rise buildings, during the 2010/2011 flood, close to the river, were neither immune. Their high-rise, their weight, strongly built concrete steel reinforced box, flood was not strong enough to destroy them. However, other problems were encountered. The residents of high-rise apartments could not return to their apartments. There was damage to electrical cables, the flooding of the car parks and ground floor units and lift shaft. All unit owners of the apartment buildings were devastated. On 19 January 2011,The Australian reported that 600 apartments were affected by the floods. The foundation of the high-rise buildings was not designed to be submergence in water from prolonged period. If under the high-rise foundation is clay, or lenses of clay, an uneven settlement of foundation may take place with cracks and building instability.
The older timber houses, with their foundation on studs, many were timber built of light weight, The flood water torrent pushed these houses away from their studs, the houses floated over a distance, until they tipped over and were destroyed.
Once floods are forgotten, again, the houses close to river, the attraction of river view will return to normal. The most beautiful, uninterrupted river view, classical and timeless, will always beat the danger of floods. Destroyed by the flood and rebuilt, means great finances and if insurance inadequate, often national donationsThe Queensland Authorities will have a serious review for houses and high-rise building along the river banks and over flat land.
There are two major solutions, either (1) the family house is designed of being submerged, totally sealed, strongly built, with a solid foundation, permitting settlement, (2) or the family house of light weigh with buoyancy will float.
The writer is presenting a design of a flood safe floating house. The writer's design is for a light in weight house construction. A preferable prefabricated house with a buoyancy foundation, factory tested and under the flood conditions. Anticorrosive rod(s), or tube(s), with one end deep anchored into ground and with the other end, extended throughout the house, to the roof. The movable outer slide, is mounted attached to the foundation and the house, making the house very solid. The house with the mounted outer slide permits the vertical upward and downward slide movement sliding over the deep anchored rod(s), or tube(s). If such a house construction would survive the rapidly rising, or falling tide and big valves of tsunami is to be tested. Theoretically it is possible that such a house construction may ride out the valves. It is obvious the writer's design is not a houseboats design. Houseboats are , purposely built narrow and long to navigate water reservoirs, propelled by outboards, or marine engine. Neither of permanent floating house on rivers, harbours and sheltered bays.
The writer's proposed design is for a purposely built simple family house, withstanding the torrent floods. A house which will float with the rising flood water level and withstanding stream of flood water of great rapidity and violence. The anchored rod(s), or tube(s), will make the house strong and will keep the house over its original location. The compressed air managed house do not require electricity. With stored food, water and beverages, the occupants will have an exciting flood water upwards float and in comfort spent the duration of the flood. Once the river level subsidies, the house settles onto its usual location, the end of the exiting downward float.
© 1988-2015 Mirko Riha