Prevents Gas Pump Fires
Inventors seek manufacturing
and distribution assistance for patented device.
From: NACS ONLINE
August 31, 2009
CHARLESTON, WV – “Necessity,”
as they say, “is the mother of invention.”
After attending a seminar several years ago addressing oil
company liability issues related to static fires (a consumer
filling up his vehicle touches the metal fuel pump nozzle,
whereby a spark of static electricity ignites and an explosion
ensues), two Charleston, West Virginia, brothers and their
retired oil industry friend have received a patent on a
device that prevents such incidents from occurring, the
Charleston Daily Mail reports.
Kent and Keith George and Duane Gilliam are now looking
for ways to produce and market their invention that mounts
beside a gas pump.
The unit is the size of a small overnight bag and includes
a motion sensor that emits oppositely charged particles
when a person pulls alongside it and exits his vehicle.
The person is thus “showered” with static-clearing particles
that prevent sparks when touching the fuel pump.
Static charges have become increasingly likely with lower-octane
fuels and their lower “lubricities,” according to Gilliam.
Gilliam estimates that the cost to produce each unit would
be roughly $4,000 to $7,000, and possibly higher if other
extras were included, such as a digital camera that would
allow station employees to monitor the pumps.
The inventors claim that the
investment justifies the legal risk, no matter how uncommon
static fires might be.
Comment from the ESD Journal:
"I guess the patent
department has never heard of Static Ionizers:
Control Blowers from Simco