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Publication numberUS20070036661 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/203,469
Publication dateFeb 15, 2007
Filing dateAug 12, 2005
Priority dateAug 12, 2005
Publication number11203469, 203469, US 2007/0036661 A1, US 2007/036661 A1, US 20070036661 A1, US 20070036661A1, US 2007036661 A1, US 2007036661A1, US-A1-20070036661, US-A1-2007036661, US2007/0036661A1, US2007/036661A1, US20070036661 A1, US20070036661A1, US2007036661 A1, US2007036661A1
InventorsChristopher Stover
Original AssigneeCopeland Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Capacity modulated scroll compressor
US 20070036661 A1
Abstract
A scroll compressor has a biasing chamber which contains a pressurized fluid. The pressurized fluid within the chamber biases the two scroll members together. A rotatable ring is attached to one of the scroll members to open and close a passage leading to this biasing chamber. When the ring opens the passage in one embodiment, this releases the pressurized fluid to remove the load, biasing the two scroll members together. When the biasing load is removed, the two scroll members separate, creating a leakage path between discharge and suction to reduce the capacity of the scroll compressor. When the ring opens the passage in another embodiment, a delayed suction passage is opened to reduce the capacity of the compressor.
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Claims(35)
1. A scroll machine comprising:
a first scroll member having a first spiral wrap projecting outwardly from a first end plate, said first scroll member defining a recess and a fluid passage extending from said recess to an outer surface of said first scroll member;
a second scroll member having a second spiral scroll wrap projecting outwardly from a second end plate, said second spiral wrap being intermeshed with said first spiral wrap, said first scroll member being mounted for limited axial movement with respect to said second scroll member, said first scroll member being biased toward said second scroll member by a pressurized fluid disposed within said recess;
a drive member for causing said scroll members to orbit relating to one another whereby said spiral wraps will create pockets of progressively changing volume between a suction pressure zone at suction pressure and a discharge pressure zone at discharge pressure;
a ring rotatably disposed on said outer surface of said first scroll member for opening and closing said fluid passage, said pressurized fluid being released when said ring opens said fluid passage whereby said first scroll member will move axially with respect to said second scroll member to open a leakage path between said suction pressure zone and said discharge pressure zone; and
a seal disposed between said first scroll member and said ring, said seal sealing said fluid passage when said ring closes said fluid passage.
2. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said pressurized fluid is released to said suction pressure zone of said scroll machine.
3. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said valve assembly is a solenoid valve.
4. The scroll machine according to claim 3, wherein said solenoid valve is operated in a pulsed manner to modulate the capacity of said scroll machine.
5. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said pressurized fluid is at a pressure between said suction pressure and said discharge pressure.
6. The scroll machine according to claim 1, further comprising a linear actuator for rotating said ring.
7. The scroll machine according to claim 1, further comprising a valve member for rotating said ring.
8. The scroll machine according to claim 7, wherein said valve member is a solenoid valve.
9. The scroll machine according to claim 8, wherein said solenoid valve is operated in a pulsed manner to modulate the capacity of the scroll machine.
10. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said seal comprises a first lip seal in engagement with said ring.
11. The scroll machine according to claim 10, wherein said seal comprises a second lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
12. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said seal comprises a lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
13. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said seal engages said first scroll member and said ring when said ring opens said fluid passage.
14. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said seal is disposed within a counterbore defined by said first scroll member.
15. The scroll machine according to claim 14, wherein said seal comprises a first lip seal in engagement with said ring.
16. The scroll machine according to claim 15, wherein said seal comprises a second lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
17. The scroll machine according to claim 14, wherein said seal comprises a lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
18. The scroll machine according to claim 14, wherein said seal engages said first scroll member and said ring when said ring opens said fluid passage.
19. The scroll machine according to claim 14, wherein said seal is a self-actuating seal.
20. The scroll machine according to claim 1, wherein said seal is a self-actuating seal.
21. A scroll machine comprising:
a first scroll member having a first spiral wrap projecting outwardly from a first end plate;
a second scroll member having a second spiral scroll wrap projecting outwardly from a second end plate, said second spiral wrap being intermeshed with said first spiral wrap;
a drive member for causing said scroll members to orbit relating to one another whereby said spiral wraps will create pockets of progressively changing volume between a suction pressure zone at suction pressure and a discharge pressure zone at discharge pressure;
a ring rotatably disposed on an outer surface of said first scroll member for opening and closing a fluid passage, extending from a first fluid pocket to the outer surface of said first scroll member; and
a seal disposed between said first scroll member and said ring, said seal sealing said fluid passage when said ring closes said fluid passage.
22. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said fluid passage communicates with said suction pressure zone of said scroll machine when said ring opens said fluid passage.
23. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said valve assembly is a solenoid valve.
24. The scroll machine according to claim 21, further comprising a linear actuator for rotating said ring.
25. The scroll machine according to claim 21, further comprising a valve member for rotating said ring.
26. The scroll machine according to claim 25, wherein said valve member is a solenoid valve.
27. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said seal comprises a first lip seal in engagement with said ring.
28. The scroll machine according to claim 27, wherein said seal comprises a second lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
29. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said seal comprises a lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
30. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said seal engages said first scroll member and said ring when said ring opens said fluid passage.
31. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said seal is disposed within a counterbore defined by said first scroll member.
32. The scroll machine according to claim 31, wherein said seal comprises a first lip seal in engagement with said ring.
33. The scroll machine according to claim 32, wherein said seal comprises a second lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
34. The scroll machine according to claim 31, wherein said seal comprises a lip seal in engagement with said first scroll member.
35. The scroll machine according to claim 21, wherein said seal is a self-actuating seal.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to capacity modulation of compressors. More particularly, the present invention relates to the capacity modulation of a scroll compressor by controlling the fluid pressure in a chamber where the fluid pressure in the chamber biases the two scrolls together.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Capacity modulation is often a desirable feature to incorporate into the compressors of air conditioning and refrigeration systems in order to better accommodate the wide range of loading to which the systems may be subjected. Many different approaches have been utilized for providing this capacity modulation feature. These approaches have ranged from control of the suction inlet of the compressor to bypassing compressed discharge gas back into the suction pressure zone of the compressor. With a scroll-type compressor, capacity modulation has often been accomplished by using a delayed suction approach which comprises providing ports at various positions extending through one of the base plates which, when opened, allow the initially formed compression chambers between the intermeshing scroll wraps to communicate with the suction zone of the compressor. This delays the point at which the sealed compression chambers are formed and, thus, delays the start of compression of the suction gas. This method of capacity modulation has the effect of actually reducing the compression ratio of the compressor. While these delayed suction systems are effective at reducing the capacity of the compressor, they are only able to provide a predetermined amount of compressor unloading with the amount being determined by the position of the unloading ports along the end plate. While it is possible to provide multiple step unloading by incorporating a plurality of unloading ports at different locations, this approach becomes costly and it requires additional space to accommodate the separate controls for opening and closing each set of ports. Even when using multiple unloading ports, it is typically not possible to control the capacity of the compressor between 0% and 100% using this delayed suction technique.

More recently, compressor unloading and, thus, capacity modulation has been accomplished by cyclically effecting axial or radial separation of the two scroll members for predetermined periods of time during the operating cycle of the compressor. In order to facilitate the axial unloading or axial separation of the two scroll members, a biasing chamber is formed in or adjacent one of the two scroll members; and this biasing chamber is placed in communication with a source of compressed fluid in a pressure chamber or the discharge chamber of the compressor. The fluid in the biasing chamber is cyclically released to the suction area of the compressor to facilitate the unloading of the compressor.

The continued development of capacity modulated scroll compressors has been directed towards the simplification of the capacity modulation devices in order to lower the costs of the capacity modulated systems, as well as simplifying the overall manufacture, design and development of these capacity modulated systems without sacrificing performance and more preferably increasing the performance and/or reliability of the capacity modulation system.

The present invention provides the art with a capacity modulated compressor which vents an existing intermediate pressurized chamber cyclically to suction to modulate the capacity of the compressor. The existing intermediate pressurized chamber is utilized in the compressor to bias the two scrolls together as well as to bias a floating seal into contact with a partition or the shell to seal a leakage passage between discharge pressure and the suction pressure zone of the compressor. A sealing system is incorporated into the scroll member defining the intermediate pressurized chamber. The sealing system incorporates a lip seal which improves both the performance and the reliability of the capacity modulation system.

Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings which illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention:

FIG. 1 is a vertical section view of a scroll-type compressor incorporating a capacity modulation system in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view of the compressor of FIG. 1 showing the capacity modulation system shown in FIG. 1:

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the compressor shown in FIG. 1 with the top portion of the outer shell removed;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view showing a portion of a modified valving ring;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the valving ring incorporated in the compressor of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section view showing the scroll assembly forming a part of the compressor of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged detailed view of the actuating assembly incorporated in the compressor of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the compressor of FIG. 1 with portions of the outer shell broken away;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary section view of the compressor of FIG. 1 showing the pressurized fluid supply passages provided in the non-orbiting scroll;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged section view of the solenoid valve assembly incorporated in the compressor of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is an enlarged view of the sealing system shown in FIG. 1 with the by-pass port closed;

FIG. 12 is an enlarged view of the sealing system shown in FIG. 1 with the by-pass port open;

FIG. 13 is a fragmentary view of a compressor incorporating a capacity modulation system in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary section view showing the scroll assembly forming a part of the compressor of FIG. 13.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

While the present invention is suitable for incorporation in many different types of scroll machines, including hermetic machines, open drive machines and non-hermetic machines, for exemplary purposes it will be described herein incorporated in a hermetic scroll refrigerant motor-compressor 10 of the “low side” type (i.e., where the motor and compressor are cooled by suction gas in the hermetical shell, as illustrated in the vertical section shown in FIG. 1). Generally speaking, compressor 10 comprises a cylindrical hermetic shell 12 which includes at the upper end thereof an end cap 14. End cap 14 is provided with a refrigerant discharge fitting 16 optionally having the usual discharge valve therein. Other elements affixed to the shell include a transversely extending partition 18 which is welded about its periphery at the same point that end cap 14 is welded to shell 12, a two-piece main bearing housing 20 which is affixed to shell 12 at a plurality of points in any desirable manner, and a suction gas inlet fitting 22 disposed in communication with the suction pressure zone of compressor 10 inside shell 12.

A motor stator 24 is press fit into a frame 26 which is in turn press fit into shell 12. A crankshaft 28 having an eccentric crank pin 30 at the upper end thereof is rotatably journaled in a bearing 32 in main bearing housing 20 and a second bearing 34 in frame 26. Crankshaft 28 has at the lower end the usual relatively large diameter oil-pumping concentric bore 36 which communicates with a radially outwardly inclined smaller diameter bore 38 extending upwardly therefrom to the top of crankshaft 28. The lower portion of the interior shell 12 is filled with lubricating oil in the usual manner and concentric bore 36 at the bottom of crankshaft 28 is the primary pump acting in conjunction with bore 38, which acts as a secondary pump, to pump lubricating fluid to all the various portions of compressor 10 which require lubrication.

Crankshaft 28 is rotatively driven by an electric motor including stator 24 having windings 40 passing therethrough, and a rotor 42 press fit on crankshaft 28 and having one or more counterweights 44. A motor protector 46, of the usual type, is provided in close proximity to motor windings 40 so that if the motor exceeds its normal temperature range motor protector 46 will de-energize the motor.

The upper surface of main bearing housing 20 is provided with an annular flat thrust bearing surface 48 on which is disposed an orbiting scroll member 50 comprising an end plate 52 having the usual spiral vane or wrap 54 on the upper surface thereof, an annular flat thrust surface 56 on the lower surface, and projecting downwardly therefrom a cylindrical hub 58 having a journal bearing 60 therein and in which is rotatively disposed a drive bushing 62 having an inner bore in which crank pin 30 is drivingly disposed. Crank pin 30 has a flat on one surface (not shown) which drivingly engages a flat surface in a portion of the inner bore of drive bushing 62 to provide a radially compliant driving arrangement, such as shown in assignee's U.S. Pat. No. 4,877,382, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated by reference.

Wrap 54 meshes with a non-orbiting spiral wrap 64 forming a part of a non-orbiting scroll member 66 which is mounted to main bearing housing 20 in any desired manner which will provide limited axial movement of non-orbiting scroll member 66. The specific manner of such mounting is not relevant to the present inventions. For a more detailed description of the non-orbiting scroll suspension system, see assignee's U.S. Pat. No. 5,055,010, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

Non-orbiting scroll member 66 has a centrally disposed discharge passageway communicating with an upwardly open recess 72 which is in fluid communication via an opening 74 in partition 18 with a discharge muffler chamber 76 defined by end cap 14 and partition 18. A pressure relief valve is disposed between the discharge muffler chamber 76 and the interior of shell 12. The pressure relief valve will open at a specified differential pressure between the discharge and suction pressures to vent pressurized gas from the discharge muffler chamber 76. Non-orbiting scroll member 66 has in the upper surface thereof an annular recess 80 having parallel coaxial side walls in which is sealingly disposed for relative axial movement an annular floating seal 82 which serves to isolate the bottom of recess 80 from the presence of gas under suction and discharge pressure so that it can be placed in fluid communication with a source of intermediate fluid pressure by means of one or more passageways 84. Non-orbiting scroll member 66 is thus axially biased against orbiting scroll member 50 by the forces created by discharge pressure acting on the central portion of non-orbiting scroll member 66 and those created by intermediate fluid pressure acting on the bottom of recess 80. This axial pressure biasing, as well as various techniques for supporting non-orbiting scroll member 66 for limited axial movement, are disclosed in much greater detail in assignee's aforesaid U.S. Pat. No. 4,877,328.

Relative rotation of the scroll members is prevented by the usual Oldham coupling comprising a ring 86 having a first pair of keys 88 (one of which is shown) slidably disposed in diametrically opposed slots 90 (one of which is shown) in non-orbiting scroll member 66 and a second pair of keys (not shown) slidably disposed in diametrically opposed slots in orbiting scroll member 50.

Referring now to FIG. 2. Although the details of construction of floating seal 82 are not part of the present invention, for exemplary purposes floating seal 82 is of a coaxial sandwiched construction and comprises an annular base plate 100 having a plurality of equally spaced upstanding integral projections 102. Disposed on plate 100 is an annular gasket 106 having a plurality of equally spaced holes which receive projections 102. On top of gasket 106 is disposed an upper seal plate 110 having a plurality of equally spaced holes which receive projections 102. Seal plate 110 has disposed about the inner periphery thereof an upwardly projecting planar sealing lip 116. The assembly is secured together by swaging the ends of each of the projections 102, as indicated at 118.

The overall seal assembly therefore provides three distinct seals; namely, an inside diameter seal at 124, an outside diameter seal at 128 and a top seal at 130. Seal 124 is between the inner periphery of gasket 106 and the inside wall of recess 80. Seal 124 isolates fluid under intermediate pressure in the bottom of recess 80 from fluid under discharge pressure in open recess 72. Seal 128 is between the outer periphery of gasket 106 and the outer wall of recess 80, and isolates fluid under intermediate pressure in the bottom of recess 80 from fluid at suction pressure within shell 12. Seal 130 is between sealing lip 116 and an annular wear ring surrounding opening 74 in partition 18, and isolates fluid at suction pressure from fluid at discharge pressure across the top of the seal assembly. The details of the construction of floating seal 82 is similar to that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,156,539, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

The compressor is preferably the “low side” type in which suction gas entering gas inlet fitting 22 is allowed, in part, to escape into shell 12 and assist in cooling the motor. So long as there is an adequate flow of returning suction gas the motor will remain within desired temperature limits. When this flow drops significantly, however, the loss of cooling will eventually cause motor protector 46 to trip and shut the machine down.

As thus far described, scroll compressor 10 is typical of such scroll-type refrigeration compressors. In operation, suction gas directed to the lower chamber via suction gas inlet fitting 22 is drawn into the moving fluid pockets as orbiting scroll member 50 orbits with respect to non-orbiting scroll member 66. As the moving fluid pockets move inwardly, this suction gas is compressed and subsequently discharged into discharge muffler chamber 76 via upwardly open recess 72 in non-orbiting scroll member 66 and discharge opening 74 in partition 18. Compressed refrigerant is then supplied to the refrigeration system via discharge fitting 16.

In selecting a refrigeration compressor for a particular application, one would normally choose a compressor having sufficient capacity to provide adequate refrigerant flow for the most adverse operating conditions to be anticipated for that application and may select a slightly larger capacity to provide an extra margin of safety. However, such “worst case” adverse conditions are rarely encountered during actual operation and thus this excess capacity of the compressor results in operation of the compressor under lightly loaded conditions for a high percentage of its operating time. Such operation results in reducing overall operating efficiency of the system. Accordingly, in order to improve the overall operating efficiency under generally encountered operating conditions while still enabling the refrigeration compressor to accommodate the “worse case” operating conditions, compressor 10 is provided with a capacity modulation system. The capacity modulation system allows the compressor to operate at the capacity required to meet the requirements of the system.

The capacity modulation system includes an annular valving ring 150 movably mounted on non-orbiting scroll member 66, an actuating assembly 152 supported within shell 12 and a control system 154 for controlling operation of the actuating assembly.

As best seen with reference to FIGS. 2 and 5, valving ring 150 comprises a generally circular shaped main body 156 having a pair of holes 158 and 160 extending therethrough. A pair of T-shaped slots 162 are formed into the inside diameter of main body 156. T-shaped slots 162 include an axial portion 164 and a circumferential portion 166. T-shaped slots 162 each accept a pin (not shown) extending from an outer surface 168 of non-orbiting scroll member 66. Axial portion 164 allows for the assembly of valving ring 150 over the pins and onto non-orbiting scroll member 66. Circumferential portion 166 restrict the rotational movement of valving ring 150 with respect to non-orbiting scroll member 66. A flange 170 extend radially outward from main body 156 to support a pin 172 which is utilized to rotate valving ring 150 with respect to non-orbiting scroll member 66 as detailed below.

Non-orbiting scroll member 66 also includes a pair of diametrically opposed radial passages 192 and 194 opening to the outer surface 168 of non-orbiting scroll member 66. Passages 192 and 194 extend radially inwardly through the end plate of non-orbiting scroll member 66. One axially extending passage 84 places the inner end of passage 192 in fluid communication with annular recess 80 while another axially extending passage 84 places the inner end of passage 194 in fluid communication with annular recess 80.

As best seen with reference to FIG. 7, actuating assembly 152 includes a piston and cylinder assembly 200 and a return spring assembly 202. Piston and cylinder assembly 200 includes a housing 204 having a bore defining a cylinder 206 extending inwardly from one end thereof and within which a piston 208 is movably disposed. An outer end 210 of piston 208 projects axially outwardly from one end of housing 204 and includes an elongated or oval-shaped opening 212 therein adapted to receive pin 172 forming a part of valving ring 150. Elongated or oval opening 212 is designed to accommodate the arcuate movement of pin 172 relative to the linear movement of piston end 210 during operation. A depending portion 214 of housing 204 has secured thereto a suitably sized mounting flange 216 which is adapted to enable housing 204 to be secured to a suitable flange member 218 by bolts 220. Flange 218 is in turn suitably supported within outer shell 12 such as by main bearing housing 20.

A passage 222 is provided in depending portion 214 extending upwardly from the lower end thereof and opening into a laterally extending passage 224 which in turn opens into the inner end of cylinder 206. A second laterally extending passage 226 provided in depending portion 214 opens outwardly through the sidewall thereof and communicates at its inner end with passage 222. A second relatively small laterally extending passage 228 extends from fluid passage 222 in the opposite direction of fluid passage 224 and opens outwardly through an end wall 230 of housing 204.

A pin member 232 is provided upstanding from housing 204 to which is connected one end of a return spring 234 the other end of which is connected to an extended portion of pin 172. Return spring 234 will be of such a length and strength as to urge valving ring 150 and piston 208 into the position shown in FIG. 7 when cylinder 206 is fully vented via passage 228.

As best seen with reference to FIGS. 1, 8 and 10, control system 154 includes a valve body 236 having a radially outwardly extending flange 238 including a conical surface 240 on one side thereof. Valve body 236 is inserted into an opening 242 in outer shell 12 and positioned with conical surface 240 abutting the peripheral edge of opening 242 and then welded to shell 12 with a cylindrical portion 244 projecting outwardly therefrom. Cylindrical portion 244 of valve body 236 includes an enlarged diameter threaded bore 246 extending axially inwardly and opening into a recessed area 248.

Valve body 236 includes a housing 250 having a first passage 252 extending downwardly from a substantially flat upper surface 254 and intersecting a second laterally extending passage 256 which opens outwardly into the area of opening 242 in shell 12. A third passage 258 also extends downwardly from surface 254 and intersects a fourth laterally extending passage 260 which also opens outwardly into recessed area 248 provided in the end portion of valve body 236.

A manifold 262 is sealingly secured to surface 254 by means of suitable fasteners and includes fittings for connection of one end of each of fluid lines 264 and 266 so as to place them in sealed fluid communication with respective passages 258 and 252.

A solenoid coil assembly 268 is designed to be sealingly secured to valve body 236 and includes an elongated tubular member 270 having a threaded fitting 272 sealingly secured to the open end thereof. Threaded fitting 272 is adapted to be threadedly received within bore 246 and sealed thereto by means of an O-ring 274. A plunger 276 is movably disposed within tubular member 270 and is biased outwardly therefrom by a spring 278 which bears against a closed end of tubular member 270. A valve member 280 is provided on the outer end of plunger 276 and cooperates with a valve seat 282 to selectively close off passage 256. A solenoid coil 284 is positioned on tubular member 270 and secured thereto by means of a nut threaded on the outer end of tubular member 270.

In order to supply pressurized fluid to actuating assembly 152, an axially extending passage 286 extends downwardly from open recess 72 and connects to a generally radially extending passage 288 in non-orbiting scroll member 66. Passage 288 extends radially and opens outwardly through the circumferential sidewall of non-orbiting scroll member 66 as best seen with reference to FIG. 11. The other end of fluid line 264 is sealingly connected to third passage 258 whereby a supply of compressed fluid at discharge pressure may be supplied from open recess 72 to valve body 236. A circumferentially elongated slot 290 is provided in valving ring 150 suitably positioned so as to enable fluid line 264 to pass therethrough while accommodating the rotational movement of valving ring 150 with respect to non-orbiting scroll member 66.

In order to supply pressurized fluid from valve body 236 to actuating piston and cylinder assembly 200, fluid line 266 extends from valve body 236 and is connected to passage 226 provided in depending portion 214 of housing 204 (FIG. 7).

Valving ring 150 may be easily assembled to non-orbiting scroll member 66 by merely aligning axial portions 164 of T-shaped slots 162 with the respective pins extending from outer surface 168 of non-orbiting scroll member 66. Thereafter valving ring 150 is rotated into the desired position with circumferential portions 166 of T-shaped slots 162 cooperating with the respective pins extending from outer surface 168 to control the rotation of valving ring 150 with respect to non-orbiting scroll member 66. Thereafter, cylinder assembly 200 of actuating assembly 152 may be positioned on mounting flange 218 with piston end 210 receiving pin 172. One end of spring 234 may then be connected to pin member 232. Thereafter, the other end of spring 234 may be connected to pin 172 thus completing the assembly process.

While non-orbiting scroll member 66 is typically secured to main bearing housing 20 by suitable bolts 292 prior to assembly of valving ring 150, it may in some cases be preferable to assemble this continuous capacity modulation component to non-orbiting scroll member 66 prior to assembly of non-orbiting scroll member 66 to main bearing housing 20. This may be easily accomplished by merely providing a plurality of suitably positioned arcuate cutouts 294 along the periphery of valving ring 150 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. These cutouts will afford access to securing bolts 292 with valving ring 150 assembled to non-orbiting scroll member 66.

In operation, when system operating conditions as sensed by one or more sensors 296 indicate that full capacity of compressor 10 is required, control module 298 will operate in response to a signal from sensors 296 to energize solenoid coil 284 of solenoid coil assembly 268 thereby causing plunger 276 to be moved out of engagement with valve seat 282 thereby placing passages 256 and 260 in fluid communication. Pressurized fluid at substantially discharge pressure will then be allowed to flow from open recess 72 to cylinder 206 via passages 286, 288 fluid line 264, passages 258, 260, 256, 252 fluid line 266 and passages 226, 222 and 224. This fluid pressure will then cause piston 208 to move outwardly with respect to cylinder 206 thereby rotating valving ring 150 so as to move main body 156 into sealing overlying relationship to passages 192 and 194 as illustrated in FIG. 11. This will then prevent intermediate pressurized gas disposed within recess 80 from being exhausted or vented through passages 192 and 194. Compressor 10 will then operate at its full capacity.

When the load conditions change to the point that the full capacity of compressor 10 is not required, sensors 296 will provide a signal indicate thereof to controller 298 which in turn will deenergize solenoid coil 284 of solenoid coil assembly 268. Plunger 276 will then move outwardly from tubular member 270 under the biasing action of spring 278 thereby moving valve member 280 into sealing engagement with seat 282 thus closing off passage 256 and the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough. It is noted that recessed area 248 will be in continuous fluid communication with open recess 72 and hence continuously subject to discharge pressure. This discharge pressure will aid in biasing valve member 280 into fluid tight sealing engagement with valve seat 282 as well as retaining same in such relationship.

The pressurized gas contained in cylinder 206 will bleed back into the suction zone of compressor 10 via vent passage 228 thereby enabling spring 234 to rotate valving ring 150 back to a position in which passages 192 and 194 are aligned with holes 158 and 160 of valving ring 150 as illustrated in FIG. 12. Spring 234 will also move piston 208 inwardly with respect to cylinder 206. In this position, the intermediate pressure within annular recess 80 will be exhausted or vented through passages 192 and 194 and holes 158 and 160. The venting of the intermediate pressurized fluid removes the biasing force urging non-orbiting scroll member 66 into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 50 to create a leak between the discharge pressure zone and the suction pressure zone. This leak causes the capacity of compressor 10 to move to zero capacity. A spring urges floating seal 82 upwards and maintains the sealing relationship at top seal 130. Thus, by controlling solenoid coil assembly 268 in a pulsed width modulation mode, the capacity of compressor 10 can be set anywhere between zero capacity and full capacity.

It should be noted that the speed with which valving ring 150 may be moved between the modulated position and the unmodulated position will be directly related to the relative size of vent passage 228 and the supply lines. In other words, because passage 228 is continuously open to the suction pressure zone of compressor 10, when solenoid coil 284 of solenoid coil assembly 268 is energized a portion of the pressurized fluid flowing from open recess 72 will be continuously vented to suction pressure. The volume of this fluid will be controlled by the relative sizing of passage 228. However, as passage 228 is reduced in size, the time required to vent cylinder 206 will increase thus increasing the time required to switch from reduced capacity to full capacity.

While actuating assembly 152 has been illustrated including piston and cylinder assembly 200 and return spring assembly 202, it is within the scope of the present invention to utilize a solenoid valve assembly attached directly to pin 172 as actuating assembly 152 and controlling the solenoid valve assembly using PWM (pulse width modulation) or by using direct control to effect the rotation of valving ring 150 if desired.

Efficient operation of the capacity modulation system of the present invention requires the proper sealing between main body 156 of valving ring 150 and passages 192 and 194 extending into non-orbiting scroll member 66.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, non-orbiting scroll member 66 defines a counterbore 300 located at the outer end of passages 192 and 194. Disposed within each counterbore 300 is an annular lip seal 302. When valving ring 150 is rotated such that main body 156 closes passages 192 and 194 as illustrated in FIG. 11, lip seal 302 has a cylindrical portion 304 having a first lip seal that seals against counterbore 300 and annular portion 306 that has a second lip seal that seals against main body 156 of valving ring 150. Lip seal 302 is a self-actuating seal. Intermediate pressurized fluid within passages 192 and 194 will urge cylindrical portion 304 of lip seal 302 into sealing engagement with counterbore 300. Also, the intermediate pressurized fluid within passages 192 and 194 will urge annular portion 306 into sealing engagement with main body 156 of valving ring 150.

As illustrated in FIG. 12, when valving ring 150 is rotated to a position where holes 158 and 160 are aligned with passages 192 and 194, respectively, intermediate pressurized fluid in passages 192 and 194 and annular recess 80 will be vented to the suction pressure zone of compressor 10. The diameter of holes 158 and 160 are sized to be the same as the internal diameter formed by annular portion 306 of lip seal 302. Thus, annular portion 306 never completely loses contact with main body 156 of valving ring 150. Main body 156 of valving ring 150 retains lip seal 302 within counterbore 300 due to this continued contact.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 and 14, a capacity modulation system in accordance with the present invention is illustrated. The capacity modulation system described above has the capability to modulate the capacity of compressor 10 between zero capacity and full capacity. The capacity control system illustrated in FIGS. 13 and 14 has the ability to modulate the capacity of compressor 10 between full capacity and a selected reduced capacity.

FIGS. 13 and 14 illustrate non-orbiting scroll member 66′ which is the same as non-orbiting scroll member 66 except that the one or more passageways 84 which extend from a source of intermediate fluid pressure to recess 80 are no longer in communication with radial passages 192 and 194. Thus, recess 80 is continuously supplied with intermediate pressurized fluid from passageway 84.

Non-orbiting scroll member 66′ defines a first axially extending passage 196 and a second axially extending passageway 198. Axially extending passage 196 extends between an intermediate pressurized moving pocket defined by scroll wraps 54 and 64 and radial passage 192. Axial extending passage 198 extends between an intermediate pressurized moving pocket defined by scroll wraps 54 and 64 and radial passage 194. Preferably passages 196 and 198 will be oval in shape so as to maximize the size of the opening thereof without having a width greater than the width of wrap 54 of orbiting scroll member 50.

In operation, when system operating conditions as sensed by one or more sensors 296 indicate that full capacity of compressor 10 is required, control module 298 will operate in response to a signal from sensors 296 to energize solenoid coil 284 of solenoid coil assembly 268 thereby causing plunger 276 to be moved out of engagement with valve seat 282 thereby placing passages 256 and 260 in fluid communication. Pressurized fluid at substantially discharge pressure will then be allowed to flow from open recess 72 to cylinder 206 via passages 286, 288 fluid line 264, passages 258, 260, 256, 252 fluid line 266 and passages 226, 222 and 224. This fluid pressure will then cause piston 208 to move outwardly with respect to cylinder 206 thereby rotating valving ring 150 so as to move main body 156 into sealing overlying relationship to passages 192 and 194 as illustrated in FIG. 11. This will then prevent intermediate pressurized gas disposed within the moving pockets defined by scroll wraps 54 and 64 from being exhausted or vented through passages 192, 194, 196 and 198. Compressor 10 will then operate at its full capacity.

When the load conditions change to the point that the full capacity of compressor 10 is not required, sensors 296 will provide a signal indicate thereof to controller 298 which in turn will deenergize solenoid coil 284 of solenoid coil assembly 268. Plunger 276 will then move outwardly from tubular member 270 under the biasing action of spring 278 thereby moving valve member 280 into sealing engagement with seat 282 thus closing off passage 256 and the flow of pressurized fluid therethrough. It is noted that recessed area 248 will be in continuous fluid communication with open recess 72 and hence continuously subject to discharge pressure. This discharge pressure will aid in biasing valve member 280 into fluid tight sealing engagement with valve seat 282 as well as retaining same in such relationship.

The pressurized gas contained in cylinder 206 will bleed back into the suction zone of compressor 10 via vent passage 228 thereby enabling spring 234 to rotate valving ring 150 back to a position in which passages 192 and 194 are aligned with holes 158 and 160 of valving ring 150 as illustrated in FIG. 12. Spring 234 will also move piston 208 inwardly with respect to cylinder 206. In this position, the moving pockets defined by scroll wraps 54 and 64 will be exhausted or vented through passages 192, 194, 196 and 198 and holes 158 and 160. The venting of the moving pockets reduces the capacity of compressor 10 by delaying the point at which compression begins by delaying the point at which the sealed chambers are formed. This has the effect of reducing the compression ratio of the compressor by a predetermined amount. The predetermined amount of the reduction of the compression ratio of the compressor can be controlled by the location of axial passages 196 and 198.

Passages 196 and 198 may be located so that they are in communication with the respective suction pockets at any point up to 360° inwardly from the point at which the trailing flank surfaces move into sealing engagement. If they are located further inwardly than this, compression of the fluid in the pockets will have begun and hence venting thereof will result in lost work and a reduction in efficiency.

The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7988433 *Apr 6, 2010Aug 2, 2011Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc.Compressor having capacity modulation assembly
US7988434 *May 29, 2009Aug 2, 2011Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc.Compressor having capacity modulation system
US8517703Feb 22, 2011Aug 27, 2013Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc.Compressor including valve assembly
US8585382Jul 12, 2011Nov 19, 2013Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc.Compressor having capacity modulation assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification417/310
International ClassificationF04B49/00
Cooperative ClassificationF04C18/0215, F04C28/265, F04C23/008, F04C27/005
European ClassificationF04C18/02B2, F04C28/26B, F04C23/00D, F04C27/00C
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 26, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: EMERSON CLIMATE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., OHIO
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Effective date: 20060927
Owner name: EMERSON CLIMATE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.,OHIO
Free format text: CERTIFICATE OF CONVERSION, ARTICLES OF FORMATION AND ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:COPELAND CORPORATION;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100203;REEL/FRAME:19215/273
Free format text: CERTIFICATE OF CONVERSION, ARTICLES OF FORMATION AND ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:COPELAND CORPORATION;US-ASSIGNMENT DATABASE UPDATED:20100511;REEL/FRAME:19215/273
Free format text: CERTIFICATE OF CONVERSION, ARTICLES OF FORMATION AND ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:COPELAND CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:19215/273
Aug 12, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: COPELAND CORPORATION, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:STOVER, CHRISTOPHER;REEL/FRAME:016894/0789
Effective date: 20050812