Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2593960 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2593960
(54) English Title: A COVERING SYSTEM
(54) French Title: SYSTEME DE COUVERTURE
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • E06B 9/58 (2006.01)
  • A01G 9/22 (2006.01)
  • B61B 12/02 (2006.01)
  • E04F 10/02 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • CUTLER, DANIEL (Switzerland)
(73) Owners :
  • CUTLER, DANIEL (Not Available)
(71) Applicants :
  • CUTLER, DANIEL (Switzerland)
(74) Agent: AVENTUM IP LAW LLP
(74) Associate agent:
(45) Issued: 2013-10-08
(86) PCT Filing Date: 2005-12-21
(87) Open to Public Inspection: 2006-06-29
Examination requested: 2010-12-07
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
0427994.9 United Kingdom 2004-12-21
0519596.1 United Kingdom 2005-09-26

English Abstract




The present application relates to a covering apparatus for covering an
outdoor area comprising a screen (1) that can be operated between a retracted
and an extended configuration, the screen having a leading portion (2) and a
trailing portion (4), the trailing portion (4) being connected to a first
support (5, 6), the apparatus further comprising a plurality of longitudinal
flexible elements (11, 12) extending from the first support (5, 6) to
respective second supports (9, 10), and the leading portion (2) of the screen
(1) being supported by the longitudinal flexible elements (11, 12) as the
screen (1) is operated from the retracted to the extended configuration,
wherein the leading portion (2) of the screen (1) is moveably mounted to the
longitudinal flexible elements (11, 12) such that the leading portion (2)
moves with respect to the longitudinal flexible elements (11, 12) during
operation between retracted and extended positions, and wherein at least one
clamping system is provided on the leading portion (2) of the screen (1) for
releasably clamping the leading portion (2) to at least one of the
longitudinal flexible elements (11, 12).


French Abstract

L'invention concerne un dispositif de couverture servant à recouvrir une zone extérieure et comprenant un écran (1) pouvant être placé en position ouverte ou fermée et présentant une partie avant (2) et une partie arrière (4), cette dernière étant accouplée à un premier support (5, 6). Ce dispositif comprend également une pluralité d'éléments souples allongés (11, 12) s'étendant depuis le premier support (5, 6) vers des deuxièmes supports respectifs (9, 10) et la partie avant (2) de l'écran (1) est supportée par les éléments souples allongés (11, 12) simultanément au déplacement de l'écran (1) de la position fermée à la position ouverte. La partie avant (2) de l'écran (1) est montée mobile sur les éléments souples allongés (11, 12), de façon à se déplacer par rapport à ceux-ci pendant le passage de la position ouverte à la position fermée, cette partie avant (2) comportant un système de serrage permettant de fixer ladite partie avant (2) de manière détachable à au moins un desdits éléments souples allongés (11, 12).


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


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Claims

1. A covering apparatus for covering an outdoor area comprising a screen
operable
between a retracted and an extended configuration, the screen having a leading
portion and
a trailing portion, the trailing portion connected to a first support, the
apparatus further
comprising a plurality of longitudinal flexible elements extending from the
first support to
respective second supports, and the leading portion of the screen being
supported by the
longitudinal flexible elements as the screen is operated from the retracted to
the extended
configuration, wherein the leading portion of the screen is moveably mounted
to the
longitudinal flexible elements such that the leading portion moves with
respect to the
longitudinal flexible elements during operation between retracted and extended
positions,
and wherein at least one clamping system is provided on the leading portion of
the screen
for releasably clamping the leading portion to at least one of the
longitudinal flexible
elements.
2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the leading portion is
supported by the
longitudinal elements when the screen is deployed in at least a partially
extended
configuration.
3. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 and 2, further comprising
a
transverse element fixed to the leading portion of the screen.
4. An apparatus according to claim 3, further comprising a roller casing
disposed on
each longitudinal flexible element, each roller casing comprising at least two
rollers which
allow the roller casing to slide along the respective longitudinal flexible
element.
5. An apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the leading portion of the
screen is
attached to the roller casings via the transverse element, to moveably mount
the leading
portion of the screen to the longitudinal flexible elements.



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6. An apparatus according to any one of claims 4 and 5, wherein said roller
casing
further comprises said clamping system to clamp the roller casing to the
respective
longitudinal flexible element for maintaining same in a set position.
7. An apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said clamping system
comprises a plate
that is pushed into a clamping position by a spring.
8. An apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said clamping system
comprises a
clamping roller which is biased into a clamping position by a spring, a screw,
a camming
device, a pneumatic arrangement or a hydraulic arrangement.
9. An apparatus according to claim 6, wherein said clamping system
comprises two
side rollers arranged on opposite sides of the longitudinal flexible element,
the side rollers
biased into a clamping position when the screen is pulled in the retracting
direction and into
a non-clamping position when the screen is pulled in the extension direction.
10. An apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the side rollers are
rotatably mounted
on side roller axles which are slidably mounted in slots, wherein said slots
are closer
together at the end nearest the leading edge of the screen than they are at
the end furthest
from the leading edge of the screen.
11. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the
longitudinal
flexible elements are wires under tension.
12. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein said first
support
comprises poles or a wall or a roof.
13. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein said
second supports
are poles or a wall or a roof.



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14. An apparatus according to any one of claims 3 to 13, wherein said
transverse
element is a rod.
15. An apparatus according to any one of claims 3 to 14, wherein said
transverse
element is a wire thread covered by a series of solid tubes clamped at both
ends of the wire
by clamps and under tension.
16. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 15, further comprising
at least one
curtain attached laterally on the longitudinal flexible elements.
17. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 16, comprising at
least one
curtain attached between the second supports.
18. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 17, comprising at
least one
curtain attached between the first supports.
19. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein the
trailing edge is
attached to the first support via a screen case from which the screen is
unrolled when being
deployed or into which the screen is rolled when being retracted.
20. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 19, further comprising
an
automatic retraction system.
21. An apparatus according to claim 20, wherein the automatic retraction
system
comprises a tension sensor that senses the tension in the screen and causes
the automatic
retraction system to retract the screen when a threshold tension is exceeded.
22. An apparatus according to claim 20, wherein the automatic retraction
system
comprises a tension sensor which senses the tension in at least one of the
longitudinal
flexible elements and causes the automatic retraction system to retract the
screen when a
threshold tension is exceeded.




-26-

23. An apparatus according to claim 22, wherein the tension sensor is
calibrated each
time the screen is deployed or retracted.
24. An apparatus according to any one of claims 22 and 23, wherein the
tension sensor
is located in the roller case.
25. An apparatus according to claim 24, wherein the tension sensor forms an
integral
part of the clamping system.
26. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 25, wherein the
apparatus
comprises a plurality of storage rollers around which the screen is wrapped
when retracted.
27. An apparatus according to claim 26, wherein the trailing edge of the
screen is
passed around the plurality of rollers and attached back to the screen so as
to form a loop
around the plurality of rollers and in frictional engagement therewith, the
friction between
the screen and the plurality of rollers being such that when at least one of
the rollers is
driven so as to retract the screen, the screen is wound around the plurality
of rollers.
28. An apparatus according to claim 26, wherein the screen is attached to a
frictional
base member provided around the plurality of rollers in frictional engagement
therewith,
and the friction between the base member and the plurality of rollers such
that when at least
one of the rollers is driven so as to retract the screen, the screen is wound
around the
plurality of rollers.
29. An apparatus according to any one of claims 25 and 26, wherein the
apparatus
comprises two storage rollers, and wherein the frictional engagement is
provided by a
spring biaings the two storage rollers apart.



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30. An apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 29, wherein the
apparatus
comprises at least one power transferring cable for transferring power
diagonally along the
screen from the trailing portion of the screen to the leading portion of the
screen.
31. An apparatus according to claim 3, further comprising a roller casing
disposed on
each longitudinal flexible element, each roller casing comprising at least one
roller for
allowing the roller casing to slide along the respective longitudinal flexible
element.

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


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A covering system

The present invention concerns a covering system. More specifically, the
present invention relates to a system such as a canopy or an awning for
providing
sun protection, rain protection or the like.
There is a general need to provide covering over open areas to provide
protection from the rain and/or shade from the sun, so that people can enjoy
the open
air without being inconvenienced by the weather. It is commonplace to use
retractable covers, for example, to cover small seating areas outside
restaurants,
private gardens and patios. However, covering larger areas of these examples
and
others such as children's play areas or campgrounds, outdoor swimming pools,
amphitheatres and stadiums, with a retractable cover requires an entirely
different
system to those in existence. It is particularly desirable that such a
covering system
can be easily and quickly erected and dismantled to suit the particular
weather
conditions, thus causing minimum disruption to the users. It is also desirable
for a
single covering system to be able to cover a large area, so that it is not
necessary to
use a number of smaller systems in combination (which may not only be less
visually attractive but also less effective and more inconvenient to
assemble).
Another situation that requires the use of large covered areas is agriculture.
Some plantations, fields or vineyards are covered by nets, plastic sheeting
etc. to
provide protection and preferential cultivation conditions for the crops.
A number of covering systems are known in the art. Some systems are free-
standing and others require attachment to a building or a vehicle. US 5441068
discloses a sunshade having a column that can be anchored to the ground. A
number
of arms spaced around the column support a sunshade membrane in the open
position, and can be folded down adjacent the column to remove the shade as
desired. US 5960806 also discloses a free-standing sunshade. However, a
disadvantage with umbrella-like sunshades is that these systems need a strong
and
thus often bulky and unattractive base, that usually has to feature at or near
the
centre of the covered area. Furthermore, these shades tend to be relatively
small and
thus many may be required to cover a large area.


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Another type of covering system utilises a rolled cover that may be extended
over the desired area.
US 5924465 is an example of such an awning system for a vehicle. It
comprises an awning rolled on a tube, arms extending from the side of the
vehicle to
support each side of the awning, a bracket connected between a side arm and
the
base of the vehicle to support the side arm, and a post resting on the ground
to
support a side arm. The awning can be unrolled and the various support members
put in place, and then retracted and dismantled as necessary.
US 6494246 also describes a retractable awning, that may be attached to a
vehicle or building. The awning is unrolled from a roller tube. One end is
fixed to a
structure (vehicle or building) and the far end connected to the roller tube
is
supported by brackets extending at an angle between the roller tube and a
lower
point on the structure. A number of further retractable supports are provided
underneath the awning to support the awning and are attached at one end to the
structure.
US 6557612 discloses a particular kind of articulated arm for supporting an
awning, that can be extended and folded as the awning is extended and
retracted.
Such systems that use a variety of arms, brackets and posts to support a
cover have a number of disadvantages. Firstly, they can be bulky and heavy so
that
they can only be of a limited size and cover a relatively small area. This
also means
that they can be difficult and time consuming to erect and remove, which is
obviously undesirable as a change in weather condition needs to be
accommodated
quickly. The supporting arms and brackets can be unattractive, but are
required in
known systems to support the cover and prevent it sagging, being particularly
important with large covers.

Another system is known from French publication FR 2 559 527. The
disclosed mechanism is designed for rolling up, unrolling and stretching an
awning
canopy over a horizontal or slightly sloping plane. The mechanism combines the
rolling up, unrolling, traction and tension of a multi-purpose awning canopy.
The
rotation of a rolling-up tube unrolls the canopy and simultaneously rolls up
(but in
the opposite direction) a set of cables which, guided by two lateral pulleys
and two
return pulleys, pull a loading bar in which one or more traction springs are


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incorporated. These springs deliver a constant and progressive tension to the
cables
and to the canopy which is thus always stretched. At the end of the tube, a
set of
"ring pulleys" having a variable diameter, compensate for the various
thicknesses of
the rolled-up tube.
It can be seen that this system does not use large and heavy arms and
brackets to support the cover, instead holding it taut and horizontal using
two cables
and providing tension with a spring. The cables must be thin enough to wrap
round
the small diameter of the ring pulleys. This system is not suitable for the
heavy load
of a large cover, not least because it relies on holding the cover in tension
by the thin
cables. Tension in the cover is also limited by the extent the spring can be
stretched.
Furthermore, the apparatus is limited by the tensile strength of the cover.
Thus this
system is clearly suitable only for small and light-weight covers with
adequate
tensile strength and is far from ideal for supporting large covers that
require strong
support and means to prevent sagging.
WO 2004/011760 describes a rolling blind in which two fabrics are wound
conjointly on a keyway tube which travels along guide rails or wires, winding
or
unwinding both fabrics at once. The system provides tension in the fabrics by
means of springs. This is one reason why it is not suitable for larger
applications.
An aim of the present invention is to provide a system that is able to cover
large areas while remaining simple, using relatively few visible coinponents.
According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a covering
apparatus for covering an outdoor area comprising a screen that can be
operated
between a retracted and an extended configuration, the screen having a leading
portion and a trailing portion, the trailing portion being connected to a
first support,
the apparatus further comprising a plurality of longitudinal flexible elements
extending from the first support to respective second supports, and the
leading
portion of the screen being supported by the longitudinal flexible elements as
the
screen is operated from the retracted to the extended configuration, wherein
the
leading portion of the screen is moveably mounted to the longitudinal flexible
elements such that the leading portion moves with respect to the longitudinal
flexible elements during operation between retracted and extended positions,
and
wherein at least one clamping system is provided on the leading portion of the


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screen for releasably clamping the leading portion to at least one of the
longitudinal
flexible elements.
The first support will often be the side of a building or vehicle, but it may
be
free-standing and may comprise a plurality of elements such as poles. It may
also be
the roof of a building or a stadium.
Preferably, the longitudinal flexible elements are held in tension. The
longitudinal flexible elements may be made from strong tensile elements such
as a
wire or metal (e.g. steel) rope. It can be seen that these elements can
directly
support the leading portion of the screen, whereas in FR2559527 thin cables
merely
hold it in tension without providing any direct vertical support. Thus, the
present
apparatus is not limited by the tensile strength of the screen itself, as in
the prior art.
Therefore, the screen of the present invention can be made much larger than is
possible in the prior art for a given strength of screen material, or
alternatively a
lower strength screen material can be employed for a given size of screen.
Furthermore, the support provided by the present invention prevents sagging of
even
a large screen, which could not be achieved by the tensile method of
FR2559527.
In the preferred embodiments, the length of screen which is not deployed is
stored at one end of the apparatus. More preferably it is stored, e.g. rolled
up, in a
housing which is separate from the longitudinal flexible elements so that the
longitudinal flexible elements do not carry any more weight than is necessary.
An advantage of this invention, as described above, is that there is no need
for any supporting framework around the screen. The only support structures
required are the first support and the second supports. For example, in an
arrangement for a rectangular screen, this could be just four anchor points,
one for
each corner of the screen, i.e. one first support and one second support at
opposite
ends of two longitudinal flexible elements.
According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a covering
apparatus for covering an outdoor area comprising a screen that can be
operated
between a retracted and an extended configuration, the screen having a leading
portion and a trailing portion, the trailing portion being connected to a
first support,
the apparatus further comprising a plurality of longitudinal elements
extending from
the first support to respective second supports, wherein the leading portion
of the


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screen is supported by the longitudinal elements as the screen is operated
from the
retracted to the extended configuration, wherein the leading portion of the
screen is
moveably mounted to the longitudinal elements such that the leading portion
moves
with respect to and is supported by the longitudinal elements during operation
between retracted and extended positions, and wherein the longitudinal
elements
each comprise a wire under tension.
When it is desired to cover a large area and the covering system needs to
have a long span, the tension in the wires will need to be increased in order
to
prevent them from sagging too much. Tension in the wires is only required when
the screen is deployed and therefore when the screen is retracted, the tension
in the
wires may be lessened in order to prolong their life. Therefore, preferably
the
tension in the longitudinal elements can be varied.
In order to avoid sag of the longitudinal elements over a wide span, it is
possible to construct each longitudinal element from a wire threaded through a
series
of tubes, stretched to provide tension and clamped at both ends. The tubes in
such a
longitudinal element provide extra rigidity and allow the longitudinal element
to
span a greater distance with reduced sag. A further advantage of such
longitudinal
elements is that the tension in the wire is provided by creating compression
in the
tubes. Therefore tension need not be provided by the first or second supports
and
there may not be any need for additional guy ropes. Such a system is also not
limited to the tension which can be supported by existing structures such as
the wall
or roof of a building.
Preferably the wire is spaced from the inside of the tubes so that the wire
cannot move around laterally within the tubes. Alternatively, the tubes may
have an
internal diameter just large enough to accommodate the wire. The external
diameter
of the tubes can be chosen according to the required strength of the
longitudinal
elements. Preferably the tension in the wire can be adjusted as needed. For
example
the tension in the wire can be increased when the covering system is to be
deployed
and reduced once the system is retracted.
A further advantage of longitudinal elements created from a wire through a
series of tubes is that the tubes can be provided with a rough surface for
providing
friction. For example the tubes can be coated with rubber. Alternatively the
tubes


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can be provided with teeth and the screen can be mounted on toothed rollers
which
engage with the teeth and drive the screen along the longitudinal elements. In
this
way the screen can also be extended at an angle upwards from the horizontal.
Second supports can be provided in a plurality of directions and a
corresponding plurality of screens can be provided to create a
multidirectional
covering. In one preferred arrangement, two screens may be provided back to
back
on either side of a free standing first support and extending in opposite
directions
therefrom.
In one form of the invention the leading portion is arranged to slide relative
to the tensile elements. Thus, viewed from another aspect, the present
invention
provides a covering apparatus comprising a screen that can be operated between
a
retracted and an extended configuration, the screen having a leading portion
and a
trailing portion, the trailing portion being connected to a first support,
wherein the
apparatus further comprises a plurality of longitudinal flexible elements
extending
from the first support to respective second supports, and wherein the leading
portion
of the screen is moveably mounted to the longitudinal flexible elements such
that the
leading portion moves with respect to and is supported by the longitudinal
flexible
elements during operation between retracted and extended positions, and the
leading
portion is supported by the longitudinal flexible elements when the screen is
deployed in at least a partially extended position.
According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a covering
apparatus comprising a screen that can be operated between a retracted and an
extended configuration, the screen having a leading portion and a trailing
portion,
the trailing portion being connected to a first support, the apparatus further
comprising a plurality of longitudinal elements extending from the first
support to
respective second supports, wherein the leading portion of the screen is
supported by
the longitudinal elements as the screen is operated from the retracted to the
extended
configuration.
Preferably, the apparatus further comprises a rigid transverse element fixed
to the leading portion of the screen. This prevents the leading edge from
sagging
and reduces lateral forces on the longitudinal flexible elements.


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Some known covering systems provide numerous thin wires along which a
lightweight screen can be pulled. These systems typically have the screen
suspended from the wires by passing the wires through reinforced holes in the
screen fabric or by suspending it from simple loops or hooks. These methods
are
adequate for small and light weight systems where each wire does not need to
carry
much weight and is relatively thin. However for larger, heavier screens,
supported
by fewer wires, a much thicker heavy duty wire or cable is required to support
the
weight of the screen. With the thicker cable and heavier screen, reinforced
holes,
hooks or loops provide too much friction and hinder the deployment or
retraction of
the screen.
Therefore, preferably, the apparatus further comprises a roller unit, which
may be in the form of a roller casing, disposed on each longitudinal flexible
element,
the roller unit (or casing) comprising at least one and more preferably two or
more
rollers which allow the roller casing to roll along the longitudinal flexible
element.
The roller casings may be individually mounted and independently moveable
along their respective longitudinal flexible elements. However, preferably the
roller
casings are attached to the leading portion of the screen via the transverse
element,
to moveably mount the leading portion of the screen to the longitudinal
flexible
elements. The roller casings at either end of the transverse element then move
along
their respective longitudinal flexible elements together.
Providing rollers instead of holes, hooks or loops reduces the friction
between the screen and the longitudinal flexible elements. This is important
when
stronger, larger diameter cables are needed to support larger screens.
Further, if the
rollers are motorised, the screen can be drawn out along the longitudinal
flexible
elements. As discussed in more detail below, the roller casings are preferably
provided with rollers which sandwich the longitudinal felxible elements
between
them and are biased so as to grip the longitudinal flexible elements. This
further
increases the friction between the rollers and the longitudinal flexible
elements and
allows a longer, heavier screen to be deployed.
The clamping mechanism of the invention may be independent of the rollers.
However, in the preferred embodiments the roller casing further comprises said
clamping system to clamp the roller casing to the longitudinal flexible
element when


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it is placed in a desired position. Once the clamp is set, retracting the
screen to take
up the slack provides the tension to keep the screen taut and level. By
clamping the
leading portion of the screen to the longitudinal flexible elements, a much
greater
tension can be applied to the screen. The tension is only limited by the power
of the
retraction mechanism, the strength of the clamp, and the strength of the
screen
material. Prior art systems have only provided tension via springs, where
recoil
strength, and hence tension, varies depending on the extent to which the
spring is
pulled. Since pull on the spring varies depending upon the extent to which the
cover
is deployed, constant tension cannot be provided at all times and at all
deployment
lengths. Furthermore, the recoil strength of a spring becomes reduced over
time.
If the screen is not provided with sufficient tension when deployed, it will
sag and will also be more affected by any winds present. Preferably, the
tension
provided in the screen can be varied according to requirements. The clamping
system may comprise a plate which is pushed into a clamping position by a
spring.
In an alternative clamping system, the roller casing has two upper rollers
which support the roller casing on the longitudinal flexible element and a
lower
roller located beneath the longitudinal flexible element. The lower roller may
be
moved between a non-clamping position in which it allows the roller casing to
roll
smoothly along the longitudinal flexible element, and a clamping position in
which
the lower roller is biased or urged so that it provdies pressure towards the
two upper
rollers so as to clamp the longitudinal flexible element between the upper and
lower
rollers. A means for biasing or urging the lower roller may be for example a
spring,
a screw, a camming device, a pneumatic or a hydraulic arrangement.
In another alternative clamping system, the roller casing has two upper
rollers which support the roller casing on the longitudinal flexible elernent
and two
oppositely arranged side rollers for clamping the longitudinal flexible
element. The
side rollers may be biased or urged from a non-clamping position into a
clamping
position by springs, screws, camming devices, pneumatic or hydraulic
arrangements.
In a particularly preferred embodiment however, the side rollers are arranged
so as
to run freely when the roller case is pulled in the direction of extending the
screen,
but clamp the longitudinal flexible element when the roller case is pulled in
the
direction of retracting the screen. A release mechanism is preferably also
provided


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which releases the side rollers from their clamped position so that the screen
may be
retracted.
Such a clamping arrangement may comprise two oppositely arranged side
rollers each rotatable around a substantially vertical axle. These axles are
each
slidably mounted in slots, the slots being closer together at the end nearest
the
leading edge than they are at the end furthest from the leading edge. In this
way,
when the screen is extended, the axles of the side rollers move further apart
and the
rollers run freely, but when the screen is retracted, the axles of the side
rollers move
closer together thus clamping the longitudinal flexible element between the
side
rollers.
These clamping systems are believed to be independently inventive and
therefore, according to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a
clamping
arrangement for a roller system comprising at least two first rollers on one
side of a
longitudinal element and at least one second roller on the other side of a
longitudinal
element, wherein the second roller may be biased or urged towards the first
rollers
so as to clamp the longitudinal element between the first and second rollers.
Viewed from an alternative aspect, there is provided a clamping system for a
roller casing, comprising two upper rollers which support the roller casing on
the
longitudinal element and a lower roller located beneath the longitudinal
element, the
lower roller being movable between a non-clamping position in which it allows
the
roller casing to roll smoothly along the longitudinal element, and a clamping
position in which the lower roller is biased or urged towards the two upper
rollers so
as to clamp the longitudinal element between the upper and lower rollers. A
means
for biasing or urging the lower roller may be for example a spring, a screw, a
camming device, a pneumatic or a hydraulic arrangeinent.
According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a clamping
system for a roller casing, comprising two upper rollers which support the
roller
casing on the longitudinal element and two oppositely arranged side rollers
which
can be biased or urged from a non-clamping position into a clamping position
in
which they clamp the longitudinal element. The side rollers may be biased or
urged
from the non-clamping position into the clamping position by springs, screws,
camming devices, pneumatic or hydraulic arrangements. In a particularly
preferred


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embodiment however, the side rollers are arranged so as to run freely when the
roller case is pulled in the direction of extending the screen, but clamp the
longitudinal flexible element when the roller case is pulled in the direction
of
retracting the screen. A release mechanism is preferably also provided which
releases the side rollers from their clamped position so that the screen may
be
retracted.
According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a covering
apparatus comprising a screen that can be operated between a retracted and an
extended configuration, the screen having a leading portion and a trailing
portion,
the trailing portion being connected to a first support, the apparatus further
comprising a plurality of longitudinal flexible elements extending from the
first
support to respective second supports, wherein the leading portion of the
screen is
supported by the longitudinal flexible elements as the screen is operated from
the
retracted to the extended configuration and wherein the apparatus further
comprises
a roller unit disposed on each longitudinal flexible element, each roller unit
comprising at least two rollers which allow the roller unit to move along the
respective longitudinal flexible element and a clamping system to clamp the
roller
unit to the respective longitudinal flexible element in a desired position.
As is known in the art, cover systems can be activated electrically as well as
manually. The system of the invention can also be motorised so that the screen
can
be extended and retracted electrically. The screen roll as well as the wheels
and
clamps in the roller cases can all be motorised.
In the system of the present invention, if the roller casings are to be
motorised, electricity must somehow be supplied to the roller casings. This
can be
done by running a power cable down the side of the screen to one of the roller
casings. Power can then be supplied to the other roller casing by running a
cable
along the leading portion of the screen. However with this method, if the
screen is
rolled up, the cable causes the rolled up screen to be significantly thicker
at the side
where the cable is mounted. Therefore, preferably the cable is run diagonally
through the screen from one side at the trailing portion of the screen to the
opposite
side at the leading portion of the screen. Thus, when the screen is rolled up,
the
cable is evenly spread throughout the length of the roll and the thickness of
the roll


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is uniform. This makes for a more efficient storage of the rolled up screen by
minimising the maximum diameter of the screen roll. An alternative way of
achieving an even diameter of rolled up screen is to run a power cable from
each
corner by the trailing portion of the screen diagonally towards the centre of
the
screen and then diagonally from the centre of the screen to the corners by the
leading portion of the screen where the roller cases are mounted. The wires
may
cross over in the centre, each carrying power from a corner of the screen at
the
trailing portion to the diagonally opposite corner on the leading portion of
the screen
or they may change direction in the centre, each carrying power from a corner
of the
screen at the trailing portion to the corner on the same side of the screen at
the
leading portion. In the latter arrangement, the two power carrying wires are
preferably held together to help maintain the X-shape which reduces the
overall
diameter of the rolled up screen.
At the trailing portion of the screen the wires are connected to an external
power supply.

The above method of transferring power through the screen is believed to be
independently inventive. Therefore, according to a further aspect of the
invention,
there is provided a method of transferring electrical power along a screen of
a
covering apparatus, wherein at least one power transferring cable transfers
the power
diagonally along the screen from a trailing portion of the screen to a leading
portion
of the screen.
According to another aspect, the invention provides a method of reinforcing
a screen of a covering apparatus by attaching reinforcing members to the
screen
which run diagonally across the screen from a trailing portion of the screen
to a
leading portion of the screen.
The reinforcing members may be wires or cables or straps.
Sometimes, when the tension in the screen becomes too high, e.g. in high
winds, it becomes necessary to retract the screen so as to prevent it from
being
damaged. Therefore, in a preferred embodiment, the apparatus may be further
provided with an automatic retraction system.
Automatic retraction systems which use wind sensors to determine when to
retract the screen are known. However, wind is not the only factor in
increasing


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tension in the screen. Accumulation of water or snow also increases the
tension in
the screen and would go undetected by a wind sensor.
Therefore, a particularly preferred embodiment of the invention further
comprises an automatic retraction system comprising a tension sensor which
senses
the tension in the screen and retracts the screen when a threshold tension is
exceeded. In one embodiment the tension sensor senses the tension in the
screen
directly. In an alternative embodiment, the tension sensor senses the tension
in at
least one of the longitudinal flexible elements. The tension sensor may be
located in
the roller casing or it may be located on one of the supports. If it is
located in the
roller casing it may be combined with the clamping arrangement by sensing the
pressure on the clamping element of the clamping arrangement.
The automatic retraction system described above is believed to be
independently inventive and therefore, according to a further aspect of the
invention,
there is provided an automatic retraction system for a covering apparatus,
wherein a
tension sensor senses the tension in a screen of the covering apparatus and
causes
retraction of the screen if the sensed tension exceeds a predetermined
threshold
value.
As described above, the tension sensor may directly sense the tension in the
screen or it may determine the tension in the screen by sensing the tension in
a
support of the screen. In this latter arrangement, the tension sensor is
preferably
calibrated each time the screen is deployed or retracted.
A further problem of large covering systems where the screen is rolled up
when retracted is that for a long screen, the diameter of the cylinder of
retracted
screen can be quite large. This has not previously been a problem with
covering

systerns because known covering systems have not been capable of extending as
far
as the system described above.
However, in order to avoid such a large diameter of retracted screen a
preferred embodiment of the covering system of the invention provides a
plurality of
rollers around which the screen is wrapped when retracted. In one embodiment,
two
storage rollers are provided which are driven synchronously so as to wind the
screen
around them in such a way as to provide a generally oval cross-section.


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The rollers may be driven by a third driving roller, smaller in diameter than
the storage rollers and located between them in driving contact with both
rollers.
Alternatively the storage rollers may be synchronously driven by a drive belt
or
chain.

In another alternative embodiment, three rollers are provided in a triangular
arrangement and are driven synchronously so as to retract the screen around
the
three rollers in such a way as to provide a generally triangular cross-
section.
By using a plurality of smaller storage rollers instead of a single storage
roller, the covering system may be made more space efficient.
Such a storage system is also believed to be independently inventive.
Therefore, according to another further aspect of the invention, there is
provided a
storage system for a covering apparatus comprising a plurality of rollers
around
which the sheet is stored and which are arranged so as to determine a cross-
sectional
shape of the stored sheet.
In this way, rollers can be arranged so as to make the best use of available
space and the sheet can be stored with high spatial efficiency.
A flexible base member may be provided around the storage rollers and
driven by the storage rollers. The sheet is attached to the flexible base
member.
Alternatively the sheet may be wound around the storage rollers and attached
to
itself so as to form a closed loop around the rollers at the trailing end
thereof.
The flexible base member or the loop of fabric formed at the trailing end of
the sheet have sufficient frictional engagement with the storage rollers that
when at
least one of the storage rollers is driven, the sheet or the base member is
also driven
and the sheet is retracted around the storage rollers.
In a preferred embodiment, the friction between the storage rollers and the
sheet or base member is increased by providing a spring or springs which bias
the
storage rollers apart. Friction can also be increased by giving the rollers a
rough or
sticky surface, e.g. by providing rubber strips on the rollers.
Preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described by
way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 shows a first embodiment of the covering system according to the
invention.


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Figure 2 shows a variant of the first embodiment of figure 1.
Figure 3 shows another variant of the first embodiment of figure 1.
Figure 4 shows an example of a roller casing for use with the embodiments
of Figures 1 and 2.
Figure 5 shows the roller casing of figure 4 in a clamped state.
Figure 6 shows an embodiment of a transversal element.
Figures 7A and 7B show another embodiment of the covering system
according to the invention.
Figure 8 shows a further embodiment of the covering system.
Figures 9A to 9H show four alternative roller casings in the unclamped state
and in the clamped sate.

Figures l0A to l OC show an end view, a side view and a top view of another
alternative roller casing in the unclamped state.
Figures 1 lA to I 1 C show the roller casing of figures l0A to l OC in the
clamped state.

Figure 12 shows an embodiment of a tension sensor according to the
invention when the screen is in a state of low tension.
Figure 13 shows the tension sensor of figure 12 when the screen is in a state
of high tension.

Figure 14 shows an embodiment of a covering system of the invention
including a tension sensor as shown in figures 12 and 13.
Figure 15 is an enlarged view of figure 14.
Figure 16 shows another embodiment of a tension sensor according to the
invention when the cable is in a state of low tension.
Figure 17 shows the tension sensor of figure 16 when the cable is in a state
of high tension.

Figure 18 shows an embodiment of a covering system of the invention with a
tension sensor as shown in figures 16 and 17.
Figure 19 shows an enlarged view of figure 18.
Figure 20 shows an altemative covering system employing a tension sensor
according to the invention.


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Figure 21 shows an embodiment of a storage system according to the
invention.

Figures 22 and 23 show alternative ways of operating the storage system of
figure 21.

Figures 24 and 25 show alternative power cable arrangements for
transferring electric power along the screen of a covering system according to
the
invention.
In figure 1, a first embodiment of the covering system is represented. The
system comprises a sun or rain screen 1 with a leading edge 2 which is
displaced
when deploying or retracting the screen 1, a trailing edge 4 which is inside a
screen
housing case 3 fixed for example on a cylindrical tube that can be rotated
when
deploying and retracting the screen, in a manner known in the art of covering
systems.
The system further comprises two support poles 5, 6 to which the case 3 is
fixed, two poles 9, 10 in the direction of which the screen 1 is deployed and
two
longitudinal flexible elements in the shape of wires 11, 12 attached at both
ends to
the poles 5, 6, 9 and 10, along which the screen I is deployed. In the
embodiment of
figure 1, the screen 1 is deployed over the wires 11, 12. At its leading edge
2, the
screen 1 is attached to a transverse element in the shape of a rod 8 which is
linked to

the wires 11, 12 by roller cases 13, 14. The roller cases 13, 14 rest on the
wires 11,
12 and ride back and forth when moving the screen 1 for deployment/retraction.
The roller cases 13, 14 can be clamped to wires 11, 12 at any point and then,
once clamped, drawing back the screen 1 creates tension in the screen 1.
In figure 2, a variant of the embodiment of figure 1 is represented. In this
variant, identical elements are referenced with the same numbers as in the
first
embodiment and reference is made to the above description. The difference
between
the embodiment of figure 1 and the variant of figure 2 resides in the
replacement of
the support poles 5, 6 by a wall 7. Accordingly, it is possible to mount the
system of
the invention on an existing structure, for example the wall of a house. It is
also
possible to mount the system of the invention to the roof of a house or to
bridge a
gap such as the open top of a stadium.


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In this variant, the case 3 is attached to the wall 7 as are the wires 11, 12
and
the screen 1 is deployed from the wall 7 in the direction of the poles 9, 10
by
moving the roller cases 13, 14. Similarly, it can also be envisaged to replace
the
poles 9, 10 by an equivalent structure, for example a wall.
In the further variant represented in figure 3, the screen I is not deployed
over the wires 11, 12 but is suspended underneath said wires 11, 12 as shown.
All
elements remain similar to the first embodiment, hence identical references,
only the
roller cases 15, 16 are different. Again, they are able to be clamped to the
wires 11,
12 to allow the creation of tension in the screen 1 by drawing the screen 1
backwards once the roller cases are clamped.
An embodiment of a roller casing is represented in figures 4 and 5, in figure
4 in a
non-clamped state and in figure 5 in a clamped state, the following
description being
with reference to both figures 4 and 5. The roller casing 14 (or 13 since they
are
identical) is attached to the screen I through rod 8, said rod being linked to
the
screen for example by folding over and stitching the end of the screen and
running
the rod through the pocket that is created. It comprises two rollers 17, 17'
mounted
on respective axes 18, 18' to allow their rotation when being moved back and
forth
on the wires 11, 12. Underneath the wire 12, 11, there is a clamping
mechanism, for
example made of a fixed clamping non-rotating wheel 19 mounted on and
displaced
by an axis 20, and pressed by a spring 21. By displacement of the axis 20 away
from
the wire, the non-rotating wheel 19 is displaced away from the wire 12, 11 and
the
roller case 14, 13 can be moved along the wire 12, 11. Once the screen is in
position, the axis 20 is freed and the spring 21 pushes the non-rotating wheel
19
against the wire for clamping, as shown in figure 5. Preferably, a blocking
system
for the axis 20 is provided in order to maintain the system in an unclamped
state
which facilitates the movement of the roller casings along the wire 11, 12.
Figures 9A, 9C, 9E and 9G show four alternative roller cases 13, 14 in the
unclamped state. Figures 9B, 9D, 9F and 9H show the clamped state of the
respective roller cases 13, 14. Each of these roller cases 13, 14 has two
upper rollers
17, 17' and a single lower roller 19', all being rotatable. If the roller
cases 13, 14 are
motorised, the lower roller 19' provides enough pressure from below that the
wire
11, 12 is gripped between the upper and lower rollers 17, 17', 19' and when
the


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rollers rotate, the roller cases 13, 14 and the screen l attached to the
roller cases are
pulled along the wire 11, 12. Once the screen 1 is deployed to the desired
position
and the roller cases 13, 14 are to be locked, the pressure from the lower
roller 19' is
increased to an extent whereby the upper and lower rollers 17, 17', 19' cannot
move
over the wire 11, 12, thereby clamping the screen 1 in position.
Figures 9A and 9B show an embodiment in which the lower roller 19' is
actuated pneumatically or hydraulically. Figures 9C and 9D show an embodiment
in which the lower roller 19' is actuated by a spring. Figures 9E and 9F show
an
embodiment in which the lower roller 19' is actuated by a camming device.
Figures
9G and 9H show an embodiment in which the lower roller is actuated by a screw.
Figures 10A, lOB and lOC respectively show an end view, a side view and a
top view of another alternative roller case 22 in the unclamped state. Figures
11A,
11B and 11C show the corresponding clamped state.

The roller case of figures 10 and l 1 has two upper rollers 17, 17' and two
side rollers 23, 23', the side rollers 23, 23' being capable of clamping the
wire 11, 12.
As can be seen in the top views of figures l OC and 11 C, the side rollers 23,
23'
rotate around substantially vertical axles 24, 24'. These axles 24, 24' are
each
slidably mounted in slots 25, 25' so that the axles 24, 24' can slide back and
forth
within the roller case 22. The slots 25, 25' are arranged on opposite sides of
the wire
11, 12 so that they are closer together at the end nearest the leading edge 2
of the
screen I than they are at the end furthest from the leading edge 2 of the
screen 1.
With this arrangement, when the roller case 22 and screen I are pulled out in
a direction of extending the screen 1, the axles 24, 24' of the side rollers
23, 23' are
dragged back in the direction of the trailing edge 4 of the screen 1.
Therefore the
side rollers 23, 23' move further apart and do not clamp the wire 11, 12.
However, if
the roller case 22 and screen I are pulled in the direction of retracting the
screen 1,
the axles 24, 24' of the side rollers 23, 23' are dragged forward in the
direction of the
leading edge 2 of the screen 1. Therefore the side rollers 23, 23' move closer
together and clamp the wire 11, 12, preventing further retraction.
A release mechanism (not shown) can be provided for holding the side
rollers 23, 23' apart so that the screen I can be retracted easily.


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Of course other equivalent systems may be used for clamping the roller case
to the wires and this is only given as a non-limiting example.
In order to avoid sag of the rod 8, over a wide span, it is possible to use a
wire thread through a series of tubes clamped at both ends and stretched. An
example of such system is shown in figure 6. A wire 201 is provided over which
a
number of solid tubes 202 are placed to cover the necessary span of the
covering
system. At each end of the wire 201, there is a first clamp 203 attached to
end tubes
204 and a second clamp 205 attached to the wire 201. Between clamps 205 and
203,
there is a centre piece 206 used to increase tension in the wire 201 by
pushing
clamps 205, 206 away from each other. The centre piece 206 has a screw head at
both ends. Accordingly, turning the centre piece in one direction allows the
clamps
to be pushed apart hence building tension in the wire, whereas turning the
piece 206
in the opposite direction will decrease the tension by moving the clamps
closer to
each other. Another means of providing tension in this case could be by
ratchet. In
this embodiment, the screen can be attached to the tubes 202 by folding over
and
stitching the end of the screen and running the wired tubes through the pocket
that is
created.
In figures 7A and 7B, a further embodiment of the covering system is shown.
This embodiment, which has the same working principle as the other embodiments
described above, has a screen 301 attached to a casing 303 mounted on a wall
307.
The screen 301 is deployed over wires 311, 312 through roller casings 313,
314. The
wires are fixed to wall 307 and poles 309, 310, as described above in relation
to the
other embodiments. By drawing curtains 316, 3 17 along the wires on both sides
and
drawing another curtain 315 between the two supporting poles 309, 310, fixed
by
conventional means, the system can also be converted into a closed "tent like"
fixture (see figure 7B).
In figure 8, a further embodiment of the invention is schematically shown to
represent the principle of this embodiment. In this embodiment, which uses the
principle of the invention, instead of a screen housing case from which the
screen
401 is unrolled or in which the screen is rolled, one uses a screen 401 that
is folded
in segments and each segment is unfolded when deploying the screen 401. One
end
(the trailing edge 404) of the screen 401 is fixed to an initial structure,
for example a


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wall 407, and the leading edge 402 can be pulled along the wires 411, 412
until the
desired position is attained, each segment 405 being deployed on separate
rollers
406. The leading edge is fixed to a transversal element and to roller casings
that can
be clamped with respect to the wires as described above in relation to
previous
5, embodiments and not specifically represented in figure 8. To allow tension
in the
screen, the rollers are held back by appropriate holding means against the
initial
structure 407 and released one by one.
The drawings illustrate schematic views of the poles and of how they would
remain erect. In practice, it can be envisaged to use additional means of
support,
such as a steel wire stretched from the top of each pole and anchored
diagonally to
the ground.
The system of the invention can be used for many applications, for example
for covering a part of a garden large or small, a swimming pool or a tennis
court.
The system has many advantages, such as simplicity, lightness, and being able
to
span large areas. Furthermore, if steel wires are used as the longitudinal
flexible
elements they can withstand a heavy weight (thousands of kg) and the cover can
be
quickly and easily drawn and retracted.
The entire apparatus can be easily assembled, dismantled and stored away
when not in use, in contrast with prior art metal frames that remain erect
when not in
use due to the time and work involved in dismantling them.
As is known in the art of such protection and cover systems and the art of
electric motorization, the screen rolls and curtains can be activated
electrically as
well as manually and, as is known in the art of electric motorisation, the
rollers and
clamps and wheels can also be activated electrically as well as manually.

Figures 24 and 25 show an embodiment of the invention in which the screen
I can be extended or retracted electrically. The rollers 17, 17' in the roller
cases 13,
14 are electrically powered so as to extend or retract the screen 1. The
clamping
mechanism can also be electrically actuated.
In order to operate the motors in the roller cases 13, 14, electrical power
must be transferred from an external power supply. In figure 24 an electrical
wire
37 runs diagonally from one corner at the trailing edge 4 of the screen I to
the
diagonally opposite corner at the leading edge 2 of the screen 1. When the
screen 1


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is rolled up, the wire 37 is distributed evenly across the width of the screen
roll and
the diameter of the roll is uniform and minimised. In this way, power can be
transmitted from an external power supply, through the wire 37 to the roller
case 13.
Power can then be transferred to the other roller case 14 by running another
wire
(not shown) along the transverse rod 8 at the leading portion 2 of the screen
1.
In figure 25, two electrical wires 38, 38' run diagonally to the centre of the
screen 1, one from each corner at the trailing edge 4 of the screen 1. Each
wire 38,
38' changes direction at the centre of the screen I and they run diagonally to
the
corners at the leading edge of the screen 1. The wires 38, 38' are held
together at the
centre so as to maintain the X-shape formed by the wires 38, 38'.

At the trailing edge 4 of the screen 1 the wires 37, 38, 38' are connected to
an
external power supply (not shown).
The wires 37, 38, 38', whether carrying electricity or not, also serve to
reinforce the material of larger screens. For the purpose of reinforcement,
straps
may be used instead of wires.
Figures 12 and 13 show a tension sensor 26 for an automatic retraction
system according to the invention. Figure 12 shows the tension sensor 26 when
the
screen 1 is in a state of low tension and figure 13 shows the tension sensor
26 when
the screen 1 is in a state of high tension. The tension sensor 26 shown in
figures 12
and 13 has two upper rollers 27, 27' located above the screen I and a single
lower
roller 28 located below the screen 1. The lower roller 28 is mounted on a
pressure
sensor 29 so that when the screen I is under no tension or under low tension,
the
lower roller 28 biases the screen I upwardly between the two upper rollers 27,
27'.
When tension in the screen 1 increases, the lower roller 28 is biased
downwardly
and pressure sensor 29 senses a greater pressure. If the pressure sensor 29
senses a
pressure greater than a predetermined threshold value, a warning may be
generated,
or if the screen is motorised, the screen may be automatically retracted.

Figure 14 shows the tension sensor 26 of figures 12 and 13 mounted on a
wall 7 which forms the first support of a covering apparatus according to the
invention. Figure 15 is an enlarged view of figure 14.
Figures 16 and 17 show another embodiment of a tension sensor 26
according to the invention. In this embodiment, the tension sensor 26 senses
the


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tension in a wire 11, 12 of the covering system rather than sensing the
tension in the
screen 1. (as in figures 12 and 13). The tension in the screen I is directly
transmitted to the wires 11, 12. Each time the screen 1 is deployed or
retracted, the
pressure sensor 29 is calibrated. If the pressure sensor 29 senses a pressure
greater
than a predetermined threshold, it issues a waming or, if the screen 1 is
motorised,
causes the screen 1 to be retracted. In this embodiment, the tension sensor 26
can
easily be combined with the roller case 13, 14, 15, 16, 22 and clamping
arrangement
of the covering system described above.
Figure 18 shows the tension sensor 26 of figures 16 and 17 mounted on a
wall 7 which forms the first support of a covering apparatus according to the
invention. Figure 19 is an enlarged view of figure 18.

It will be appreciated that figures 12 to 19 show the bend in the wire 11, 12
or screen I slightly exaggerated. A digital pressure sensor would be used that
does
not require such a bend in the wire 11, 12.
The tension sensors 26 shown in figures 12 to 19 are enclosed within a
housing 30 and therefore are protected from the weather. These systems are
therefore more reliable than those involving wind sensors which must
necessarily be
exposed to the elements.

Figure 20 shows an altemative covering system employing a tension sensor
26 according to the invention. The alternative covering system shown in figure
20 is
of the type which uses a folding arm 31 with a cable 32 running through it.
The
tension sensor 26 is located inside the arm 3 1 and detects the tension in the
cable 32
which is directly related to the tension in the covering sheet 1.
Figure 21 shows a storage system for a flexible sheet 1. The storage system
has two rollers 33, 34 which are synchronously driven so that the sheet I is
stored
around the rollers 33, 34 with a cross-sectional shape determined by the
arrangement
of the rollers 33, 34 (i.e. substantially oval in this embodiment). By storing
the
flexible sheet 1 around more than one roller, space can be used more
efficiently. For
example in figure 21, the sheet 1 is kept more flat against the wall 7 than
would be
possible if it was all stored on a single roller.
Figures 22 and 23 show two ways in which the storage system of figure 21 can
be
driven. In figure 22 the two storage rollers 33, 34 are driven by a third
drive roller


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35 of smaller diameter than the storage rollers 33, 34 and located between the
storage rollers 33, 34 in driving contact therewith. In this way, both storage
rollers
33, 34, which have the same diameter, are driven in the same direction at the
same
speed. In figure 23 the two storage rollers 33, 34 are connected by a chain 36
so that
when one roller 33, 34 is driven, the other roller 34, 33 is also driven
synchronously.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2013-10-08
(86) PCT Filing Date 2005-12-21
(87) PCT Publication Date 2006-06-29
(85) National Entry 2007-06-21
Examination Requested 2010-12-07
(45) Issued 2013-10-08
Lapsed 2014-12-22

Abandonment History

Abandonment Date Reason Reinstatement Date
2008-12-22 FAILURE TO PAY APPLICATION MAINTENANCE FEE 2009-02-19

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Application Fee $400.00 2007-06-21
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2007-12-21 $100.00 2007-11-21
Reinstatement: Failure to Pay Application Maintenance Fees $200.00 2009-02-19
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2008-12-22 $100.00 2009-02-19
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2009-12-21 $100.00 2009-12-18
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2010-12-21 $200.00 2010-12-02
Request for Examination $800.00 2010-12-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 6 2011-12-21 $200.00 2011-11-23
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 7 2012-12-21 $200.00 2012-12-12
Final Fee $300.00 2013-07-23
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
CUTLER, DANIEL
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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Description
Date
(yyyy-mm-dd)
Number of pages Size of Image (KB)
Description 2007-06-21 22 1,084
Drawings 2007-06-21 14 320
Claims 2007-06-21 5 173
Abstract 2007-06-21 1 69
Representative Drawing 2007-09-12 1 8
Cover Page 2007-09-13 2 51
Claims 2012-08-08 5 156
Claims 2012-12-14 5 155
Cover Page 2013-09-09 2 52
Assignment 2007-06-21 4 96
PCT 2007-06-21 5 159
Fees 2007-11-21 1 24
Fees 2009-02-19 1 33
Fees 2010-12-02 1 200
Prosecution-Amendment 2010-12-07 1 26
Fees 2011-11-23 1 163
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-02-10 2 58
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-08-08 8 228
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-12-06 1 35
Prosecution-Amendment 2012-12-14 7 198
Fees 2012-12-12 1 163
Correspondence 2013-07-23 1 32