US 2007778 A
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Patented `uly 9, 1935 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE ELECTRICAL CONNECTION Ernest G. Swanson, Upper Darby, Pa., assgnor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York My invention relates to electrical connections, more particularly to disengageable connections between a source oi.' electrical energy and a casing or retort, and electrical apparatus disposed within said retort and energized from said. source.
In certain chemical processes involving a cata-e lytic action, as the manufacture of ammonia for example, an electric heating element or resistance is disposed within a retort into which is injected chemical agents for completing the process under conditions of high pressure and temperature. The electrical connections extending through the walls of the high pressure retort for energizing the heating element are subjected to high stresses and other influences tending to damage the same due to the fact that the temperature in the retort may approximate 500 C. and the prsure 1500 pounds per square inch. Furthermore, it may be desirable to remove the retort bodily for replacement, repair or other purposes so that ready disengagement of the connections is desirable. Heretofore in this type of apparatus the electrical connections used for energizing the heating element havebeen damaged by expansion and lcontraction and other influences and have failed to function efciently.
The principal object of my invention is the provision of ,improved electrical connections of the character above described which shall be simple, rugged and inexpensive in construction and elcient and durable in service.
My invention will be more fully set forth in the following description referring to the accompanying drawing, and the features of novelty which characterize my invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.
Referring to the drawing, Fig. 1 is a fragmentary view, partly in section, of a unit embodying my invention; Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1, and Fig. 3 is an enlarged detail view of contact structure shown in Figs. 1 and 2.
The unit shown in Fig. 1 comprises a retort I formed as a cylindrical drum removably mounted within the supporting casing 2 and supported as by an annular abutment 3. The unit may be used for the manufacture of ammonia or similar products for example by nitrogen xation processes and includes a heating element or resistance diagrammatically illustrated at 4 energized by connections extending through the lower wall of the retort I in a manner hereinafter described. A description of the chemical process is unnecessary in order to understand the present invention,
it being suiiicient to state that the retort is provided with means including the pipe I for injecting chemical agents necessary to the process, and that the temperature Aand pressure within the retort may approximate 500 C. and i500 lbs. per square inch, respectively. It is, therefore, apparent that the provision of adequately insulated and durable electrical connections for energizing the resistance 4 from a source of electrical energy exteriorly of the retort involves a problem of construction.
My invention solves this problem by providing two separate sets of adequately insulated conducting studs, one set mounted in the lower wall of the retort I and the other set comprising the current supply conductors mounted in the supporting casing 2. The studs mounted in the casing 2 `are connected to a suitable source of electrical energy. The studs extending through the lower Wall of the retort I are connected to the terminals of the resistance l, the energizing circuit being completed by flexible conductors and floating contacts interconnecting corresponding studs in the retort I and casing 2. The contacts coact at the end of the mounting 2 toward which the retort is moved in the connecting operation. To this end the conducting studs 5 and 6, which are connected to the terminals of the resistance l,- extendr through the lower wall of retort I and are rigidly and permanently mounted within and n insulated from said wall by bushings of heat resisting and'mechanically strong insulation. Longitudinal expansion and contraction of the studs 5 and- B may therefore take place' without damage to the insulating mounting. The studs 9 and I0 which are connected to a source of electrical energy (not shown) are likewise permanently and rigidly mounted within the supporting casing 2, each stud comprising aconductor .4I connected as by screw-threaded engagement to a coupling member I2 of conducting material on which is mounted a Contact portion I3. The stud likewise comprises a supporting sleeve member I4 and an insulating collar I5, the conductor II being also provided with an insulating sleeve I6.
Referring also to Figs. 2 and 3, the electrical connection between the conductors 5 and II, for example, comprises a conducting strip I1 secured as by nuts I8 to the lower end of the conductor 5. a floating contact arrangement I9 for engaging the contact portion I3 of the stud I 0, and a flexible braided conductor 20 interconnecting the conducting strip I'I and the floating contact structure I 9.
Referring more particularly to Fig. 3, the floating contact structure I9 comprises a contact portion 2| resiliently mounted for reciprocal movement so as normally to be in floating engagement with the contact portion I3 notwithstanding variations in the positions of the aforesaid two sets of studs. To this end a conducting member 22, carrying the contact portion 2l, is suitably connected as at 23 to the eXible conductor`20 and is secured to an insulating block 24 whicliis in turn secured to the mounting strip 25. The
mounting strip 25 is guided at its opposite ends for reciprocal movement as by bolts 25 secured to the lower wall of the retort l. As shown in Fig. 3, the mounting strip 25 is normally biased away from the retort by springs 2l so as to bias the contact portion 2l into engagement with the corresponding portion I3. It will be noted that Athe abutment 3 which is fixed witlrrespect to the mounting 2 limits the movement of the retort into the mounting shortly after engagement of the floating contacts. It is, therefore, apparent that the aforesaid contact portions are normally biased into conducting engagement notwithstanding variations in the relative positions of the mounting 2 and the connecting studs.
For the purpose of obtaining more efcient contact engagement, the contact portions I3 and 2| may be provided with a silver coating or deposit and the contact face of the portion 2 I may beconvex so as to increase the pressure per unit of contact area, thereby increasing the current carrying capacity without heating. The connections between the conductor 6 and the stud 9 are similar to those above described, as illustrated in Fig. 2. f
e retort may be removed from and reinserted in the supporting casing 2 without unfasteningor adjusting any of the electrical connections.` Furthermore, the connections are not subject to damage by shocks transmitted from the retort to the supporting casing or vice versa.
It should be understood that my invention is not limited to specific details of construction and arrangement thereof herein illustrated, and that changes and modifications may occur to one skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of my invention.
What I claim as new and desireA to secure by Letters Patent of the United States, is:
l. In combination with a retort or the like, electrical apparatus disposed within the same, and a mounting for receiving said retort, of electrical connections between said mounting and said electrical apparatus permitting freewithdrawal of said retort from said mounting comprising a pair of rigidly mounted conductor studs having contact portions and a pair of resiliently mounted contact portions arranged toengage the rst-named portions respectively at the end of said mounting toward which said retort is moved in the connecting operation, and means fixed with respect to said mounting for limiting movement of said retort into said mounting shortly after said contact portions are in resilient engagement.
2. In combination with current supply conductors and a retort or the like and electrical apparatus disposed within the same, electrical connections for energizing said electrical apparatus from said supply conductors and for permitting free Withdrawal of said retort from said conductors comprising a pair of conducting studs each rigidly mounted in and insulated with respect to an end wall of said retort, a pair of floating contact portions each resiliently mounted on said end wall and arranged to engage and abut a corresponding supply conductor when said retort lis moved to connected position, and iiexible conductors interconnecting a contact portion and the corresponding conductor stud.`
3. In combination with a retort or the like containing electrical apparatus, and a mounting for receiving said retort, of Yelectrical connections between said mounting and said electrical apparatus for energizing said apparatus comprising two pairs ofcoacting contacts, a contact of each pair being resiliently mounted for floating butt Contact with the coacting contact for permitting free withdrawal of said retort from said mounting, said contacts coacting at the end of said mounting toward which said retort is moved in the connection operation, and means xed with respect to said mounting for limiting movement of .said retort into said mounting shortly after said contacts are in floating resilient engagement.
4. In combination with current supply conductors and a retort and electrical apparatus disposed within the same, electrical connections for energizing said apparatus from said supply conductors and for permitting free withdrawal of said retort from said conductors comprisingV a pair of conducting studs, each rigidly mounted in and insulated with respect to the wall of said retort, a contact portion connected to each of said supply conductors, and floating contact structure electrically connected to each of said conducting studs and arranged to engage each of said contact portions comprising a supporting strip,means secured to said retort guiding the ends of said strip for reciprocal movement, springs biasing said strip `away from said retort, a conducting member including a contact portion carried by and insulated with respect to said strip, and a flexible conductor interconnecting said conducting member and the corresponding conducting stud. i
ERNEST G. SWANSON;