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Publication numberUS3418500 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1968
Filing dateMay 18, 1965
Priority dateMay 18, 1965
Publication numberUS 3418500 A, US 3418500A, US-A-3418500, US3418500 A, US3418500A
InventorsDavis William R
Original AssigneeBahnson Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Rotating field electrostatic apparatus
US 3418500 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 24,- 1968 w. R. DAVIS ROTATING FIELD ELECTROSTATIC APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 18, 1965 1N VENTOR HIGH V44 746 e Pa wee JUPPl r asou manna.

ATTORNEYS Dec. 24, 1968 w. R. DAVIS ROTATING FIELD ELECTROSTATIC APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 18, 1965 Ilg- e K O I 4 C- Poms-v6 Jun 5 WILLIAM Rbmns ATTORNEYS United States Patent Oflice 3,418,500 ROTATING FIELD ELECTROSTATIC APPARATUS William R. Davis, Raleigh, N.C., assignor to The Bahnson Company, Winston-Salem, N.C., a corporation of North Carolina Filed May 18, 1965, Ser. No. 456,690 3 Claims. (Cl. 310-) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE inducing flow of the ions along curved paths about the axis to produce through ion collision with the fluid medium substantially tangential to the mean circular path of the ions.

The present invention relates to apparatus for utilizing electrical energy or potentials to produce forces, hereinafter frequently termed thrust or relative thrust, for causing relative motion between the apparatus and a surrounding gaseous medium, and more particularly to apparatus for producing a rotating electric field which results in a vortical flow of ions in a gaseous medium such that the interactions of the ions with this medium produces a relative flow in the gaseous medium generally tangential to the mean circular path of the ions.

Heretofore, devices have been disclosed for producing relative motion along a rectilinear axis between a device and a surrounding gaseous medium by applying high DC. voltage of opposite polarity to arrays of wire electrodes and plates spaced from each other along a desired path of movement, by which free electrons are liberated and ions are produced at the wire electrode array and migrate to the plate to produce the relative movement. Examples of such devices are found in US. Patents Nos. 2,949,550 and 3,018,394, granted to T. T. Brown. The present invention is concerned with an arrangement of spaced electrodes (together with an ion source) for producing vortical flow of ions, emanating from the ion source, in the gaseous medium between the electrodes which through collision processes (which will be predominantly elastic and charge exchange type collisions) between the ions and the molecules of the gaseous medium produce a flow in the gaseous medium tangential to the mean circular paths of the ions. Such a device is useful either as a means for producing a deisred thrust or torque on the apparatus by which the electrodes are supported to effect movement of the apparatus in the gaseous medium, or to produce such vortex flow of the gaseous medium relative to stationary apparatus supporting the electrodes as to provide an electrical centrifugal blower with no moving mechanical parts, or to provide centrifugal precipitation of airborne contaminants in industrial smoke stacks, to name a few examples.

An object of the present invention, therefore, is the provision of novel apparatus for producing a relative vortical flow between an apparatus and its surrounding gaseous medium by establishing rotating electrical field conditions acting upon ions present in the gaseous medium in which this field has been established.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of novel apparatus having a plurality of electrodes supplied with two phase electrical potentials, arranged 3,418,500 Patented Dec. 24, 1968 concentrically about an axis along which an ion source is disposed to effect a spiral or circular flow of the ions and through collision processes with molecules of the gaseous medium impart substantially tangential propulsion forces to the gaseous medium.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of apparatus of the type described in either of the preceding paragraphs arranged to effect centrifugal flow of gaseous medium in a manner to provide a centrifugal blower having no movable mechanical parts.

Other objects, advantages, and capabilities of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the acompanying drawing illustrating preferred embodiments of the invention.

In the drawing:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammetric view of one form of apparatus embodying the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view in somewhat diagrammatic form illustrating another embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is a section view of a centrifugal blower device embodying the present invention; and

FIGURES 4 and 5 are diagrammatic perspective views of further modification of the present invention.

Referring to the drawing, wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures, and particularly FIGURE 1, there is depicted a thrust producing device 10 comprising four electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14 formed for example of metallic electrically conductive plates of any desired geometrical configuration, for example, rectangular or square, arranged in quadrature relation in a circular path concentric with a selected axis. The electrodes 11, 12, 13, and 14 are supported in insulated relation at fixed positions relative to each other, as by spacing them from each other by a suitable electrically insulative distance or mounting them on appropriate dialectric structural members such as an insulating ring 15 as illustrated diagrammatically in FIGURE 1, providing a substantially unobstructed volume in the imaginary zone bounded by the electrodes. In the embodiment of FIGURE 1, an ion source diagram matically illustrated at 16 of any suitable type which has been or will be eminently developed, for example, an isotropic emitter of ions which responds to a high DC. potential to emit ions substantially uniformly in all directions, is located at the geometric center of the electrode configuration in the plane of the electrodes.

The electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14 are supplied with two phase AC. power, from a suitable two phase or plural phase A.C. source 17 connected to respective pairs of oppositely disposed electrodes such that the potential differences on the pairs are, for example, out of phase with respect to each other in the case of two pairs of electrodes. For example, the electrodes 11 and 13 may be supplied with AC. voltage through leads 18, 19 according to the function V sin wt, while the electrodes 12 and 14 are supplied with AC. voltage through leads 20, 21 according to the function V cos wt. As an illustrative example, the voltage supplied to the electrodes may have a maximum amplitude in excess of about 50 kv., in the case of operation under ordinary atmospheric conditions. The effect of the two pairs of electrodes in quadrature relation or at right angles to each other, together with the two phase AC. voltage applied thereto is to produce a rotating electric field that will cause the ions emitted by the source 16 to rotate with the field and spiral outwardly as they gain energy. The elastic collisions and charge exchange collisions that these ions undergo with the molecules of the gaseous medium will induce a flow of the medium that will generally be tangential to the circular or vortical paths of the ions. The electrodes being spaced apart and themselves constructed of such materials (e.g., high percentage open area materials such as wire mesh) to efficiently permit a high percentage of the neutral flow (i.e., the flow of the gaseous medium) to pass between and through them, the energy gained by the ions in this rotating field is transferred to the neutral flow which is ejected tangentially from the electrode system. If the electrode system is free to rotate, it will therefore experience a torque that will produce angular motion of th electrode system about the axis of the system of electrodes.

While the ion source located at the center of the electrode system configuration gives the best results in some applications, it is also possible to dispense with the separate ion source and produce ions at the surface of the electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14 by field emission, because of the large potential gradients used in the apparatus, as by providing a suitable i-on emissive coating on the electrodes or constructing the electrodes of a material which readily emits ions under such potential gradients. The detail configuration of the electrodes may also be designed to facilitate release of ions from the appropriate portions of their surfaces responsive to such potential gradients. For example, the surfaces in appropriate regions can have a rough sharp geometry.

An alternate arrangement is illustrated in FIGURE 2, wherein similar electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14 and supply leads 18, 19, 20 and 21 corresponding to those of the FIGURE 1 embodiment are used. However, the ion source 16 is spaced from the plane passing through the electrodes and is located along the axis perpendicular to this plane passing through the geometrical center of the electrode configuration as selected distance from the plane. An extraction electrode 22 arranged perpendicular to this same axis is appropriately spaced from the plane of the electrodes, and a high voltage DC. power supply 23 is connected to the ion source 16 and extractor electrode 22 to attract the ions from the source 16 into the field of the electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14.

FIGURE 3 illustrates an electrode system of the type shown in FIGURE 1 incorporated in a scroll housing to provide a centrifugal air blower without a moving mechanical air impeller or rotor. To this end, the quadrature related electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14 are mounted within a scroll housing 25 having a suitable air inlet opening or openings 26 in one or both sides of the housing, one side being indicated at 27. The curved peripheral wall 28 of the blower connecting the sides assumes a spiral path progressing at a slow rate from a radius only slightly larger than the radial spacing of the electrodes from their geometrical center to a sufiiciently large radius to provide a suitable substantially tangential outlet duct 29. The electrodes 11, 12 13 and 14 may be mounted on the sides 27 of the housing by electrically insulative mounts (not shown) fixed to the ends of the electrodes or in any other desired fashion and an ion source 16 may be supported at the geometrical center in a similar manner or may be axially spaced from the plane passing through the electrode system as in FIGURE 2 with the ions attracted into the rotating field established by the electrodes by a suitable extractor electrode. With this arrangement, air within the space between the electrodes is caused to flow in an outwardly spiral pattern and is discharged through the outlet duct 29 by the collision induced flow generated by the vortical ion travel, creating suction conditions to draw additional air through the inlet opening 26 into collision exchange relation with the ions. This produces the air flow characteristic of a centrifugal air blower with no moving mechanical parts. Alternatively, the electrodes 11, 12, 13 and 14 may be supported on a ring or similar support so as to be free to rotate as a system, and may be equipped with blades so that the rotation of the electrode system induced will propel the air through the housing and provide an electromechanical fan without a conventional electric motor.

Further, impact vanes (thrust deflectors) or utilization of the conda eflect (i.e., the phenomena which accompany the deflection of a fluid jet) may be resorted to for obtaining linear flow of the gaseous medium or alternatively linear unidirectional thrust on movable apparatus.

FIGURE 4 illustrates another configuration of a device incorporating the principle of the previously described embodiments, but wherein the electrodes are formed of four hollow spheres 31, 32, 33 and 34 constructed of some previous material such as screen wire and secured by any suitable supporting means in spaced substantially quadrature relation to each other in the same plane. Each of these spheres 31-34 are provided with pointed emitters 35 on one side of each sphere in a region adjacent the next sphere and with smooth and rounded collectors 36 on the opposite side of the same sphere. The spheres 31-34 are supplied with two phase A.C. power from a suitable source 17 as in the previous embodiments to establish an electron flow from the pointed emitters 35 to the next adjacent collectors 36 to establish a consequent flow of ions in the region and transfer this energy to molecules of the medium to produce the desired neutral flow generally tangential to the circular or vortical path of the ions.

FIGURE 5 illustrates still another configuration of a device similar to that shown in FIGURE 4, wherein electrodes 41, 42, 43, and 44 are formed of four hollow sectors of a cyclindrical annulus constructed of porous material such as screen wire so that an electrically charged surface is presented but neutral particles can flow directly through the electrically charged wall. The electrodes 4144 each have pointed emitters on one side or radial wall 45 thereof for establishing an electron flow to the flat screen side or radial wall 46 of the next adjacent electrode serving as the collector. The electrodes 41-44 are supplied with two phase A.C. power from a source 17 as previously described. In both the FIGURE 4 and FIGURE 5 embodiments, a separate ion source can be provided at the geometrical center or an ion emissive coating can be provided on the electrodes or the pointed emitters may be constructed of an ion emissive material.

It will be understood that more than the four electrodes of the described embodiments may be used space less than ninety degrees apart, with suitable modification of the phase relationship of the A.C. voltages supplied to the paired sets of electrodes such that a rotating electric field is produced, so long as suitable circumferential spacing is maintained between electrodes to permit ejection of the gaseous medium from the zone circumscribed -by the electrodes.

While several modifications of the present invention have been particularly shown and described, it will be apparent that various modifications may be made within the spirit and scope of the invention, and it is desired, therefore, that only such limitations be placed on the invention as are imposed by the prior art-and set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for producing relative angular motion about a reference axis between the apparatus and a surrounding ambient atmospheric fluid medium in open communication with the ambient environment in which the apparatus is located, comprising a housing having a .central cylindrical zone concentric with a reference axis and a substantially spiral shaped zone communicating with the periphery of said central zone terminating in an air discharge opening for flow of air in a substantially spiral path from said central zone, said housing having an air intake opening adjacent said axis, a plurality of spaced electrodes disposed in said housing spaced circumferentially about the periphery of said central zone, said electrodes including at least two pairs of diametrically oppositely disposed electrodes relative to said reference axis with the electrodes of one pair intercepting a first diametric axis and the electrodes of another of said pairs intercepting a second diametric axis located substantially perpendicular to said first diametric axis, supporting means for maintaining the spatial relationship between said electrodes, means for providing electrically charged ions in the region of said electrodes, and means applying two-phase alternating electrical potential to said electrodes for producing a rotating electrical field inducing flow of the ions along curved paths about said reference axis for producing through ion collision with air in said central zone a flow of the air substantially tangential to the mean circular path of the ions to propel the air in outwardly spiraling paths through spaces between said electrodes and into said spiral shaped zone for discharge through said air discharge opening.

2. Apparatus for producing relative angular motion about a reference axis between the apparatus and a surrounding ambient atmospheric fiuid medium in open communication with the ambient environment in which the apparatus is located, comp-rising a plurality of spaced electrodes disposed about said axis bounding a zone therebetween and exposed to the surrounding ambient atmosphere, including at least two pairs of electrodes disposed diametrically oppositely relative to said axis with the electrodes of one pair intercepting a first diametric axis and the electrodes of another of said pairs intercepting a second diametric axis located substantially perpendicular to said first diametric axis, supporting means for maintaining the spatial relationship between said electrodes, each of said electrodes being formed of a hollow sphere of pervious material with the spheres having pointed emitters .on the region thereof adjacent and facing one of the next adjacent spheres and having smooth and rounded collector formations on the diametrically opposite region of the sphere, means for providing electrically charged ions in the zone of said electrodes, and means applying two-phase alternating electrical potential to said electrodes for producing a rotating electrical field in said zone inducing flow of the ions along curved paths about said axis to produce through ion collision with the fluid medium a flow of the fluid medium substantially tangenital to the mean circular path of the ions.

3. Apparatus for producing relative angular motion about a reference axis between the apparatus and a surrounding ambient atmospheric fluid medium in open communication with the ambient environment in which the apparatus is located, comprising a plurality of spaced electrodes disposed about said axis bounding a zone therebetween and exposed to the surrounding ambient atmosphere, including at least two pairs of electrodes disposed diametrically oppositely relative to said axis with the electrodes of one pair intercepting a first diametric axis and the electrodes of another of said pairs intercepting a second diametric axis located substantially perpendicular to said first diametric axis, supporting means for maintaining the spatial relationship between said electrodes, said four electrodes being formed of porous material in the shape of four hollow sectors of a cylindrical annulus, each defining first and second substantially flat walls lying in a pair of outwardly divergent plans extending along radii of said reference axis, said first flat walls each having pointed emitters thereon for establishing an electron flow to the second of said flat walls of the next adjacent electrode and the second of said flat walls serving as collectors, means for providing electrically charged ions in the zone of said electrodes, and means applying twophase alternating electrical potential to said electrodes for producing a rotating electrical field in said' zone inducing flow of the ions along curved paths about said axis to produce through ion collision with the fluid medium a flow of the fluid medium substantially tangential to the mean circular path of the ions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,216,254 10/1940 Schweitzer 310-5 XR 2,305,500 12/ 1942 Slayter 230-69 2,460,175 1/ 1949 Hergenrother 230-69 2,818,507 12/1957 Britten 313-63 XR 2,836,759 5/1958 Colgate 313-63 XR 2,910,941 11/1959 Richter 103-1 3,279,175 10/1966 Hendel et a1 230-69 XR 3,071,154 l/1963 Cargill et al. 137-608 3,071,705 1/ 1963 Coleman et al 313-63 MILTON O. HIRSCHFIELD, Primary Examiner. D. F. DUGGAN, Assistant Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 318-116; 230-69; 103-1

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3535941 *Feb 19, 1969Oct 27, 1970Us Air ForceElectrostatic motor and nutation damper for cryogenic gyro rotor
US4014168 *May 30, 1974Mar 29, 1977Carpenter Donald GElectrical technique
US4626506 *Jun 28, 1984Dec 2, 1986Kernforschungsanlage JulichProcess and device for the determination of cells secreting cellular contents
US4634669 *Jul 18, 1984Jan 6, 1987Kernforschungsanlage JulichProcess and device for the differentiation of particles in a medium
US4801543 *Jul 18, 1984Jan 31, 1989Kerforschungsanlage JulichProcess and device for the differentiation of particles in a medium
US6824363 *Dec 23, 2002Nov 30, 2004Tokyo Electron LimitedLinear inductive plasma pump for process reactors
US20030123992 *Dec 23, 2002Jul 3, 2003Mitrovic Andrej S.Linear inductive plasma pump for process reactors
US20060054227 *Jun 16, 2005Mar 16, 2006Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Fluid rotating apparatus using EHD technology
DE4012268A1 *Apr 17, 1990Oct 24, 1991Joerg FrickePump for electro-viscous fluid - has three or more serial field zones producing travelling field variation in fluid
EP2119507A2 *May 8, 2009Nov 18, 2009General Electric CompanySystems and methods for inducing swirl in particles
EP2119507A3 *May 8, 2009Sep 3, 2014General Electric CompanySystems and methods for inducing swirl in particles
Classifications
U.S. Classification310/308, 417/48, 415/121.3, 415/232, 418/48, 318/116
International ClassificationH02N11/00
Cooperative ClassificationH02N11/006
European ClassificationH02N11/00C