US 3443519 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 13, 1969 J. M. WHITE v FUEL PUMP WITH COLLECTOR CHAMBER Filed nec. 11, 1967 Il Il Il United States Patent O 3,443,519 FUEL PUMP WITH COLLECTOR CHAMBER Jack M. White, Florissant, Mo., assignor to ACF Industries, Incorporated, New York, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 689,597 Int. Cl. F04b 23/04; F04d 13/14 U.S. Cl. 103-5 13 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Background of the invention Fuel pumps of the type presently contemplated are designed primarily to be submerged within a fuel containing tank. In the instance of automotive practice, the tank in conforming to the structure of a vehicle and to space requirements, is usually rather expansive but flat. When such a tank holds a reasonable amount of fuel, the submerged pump is at least partially immersed in liquid and consequently operates satisfactorily.
As the amount of fuel in the tank decreases, movement of the liquid in response to movement of the vehicle will become more pronounced. For example, with the tank only partially lled, any sustained turning motion of the vehicle at a high or even normal speed will tend to urge the entire mass of fuel to one side of the tank. It is easily perceivable then how the fuel pump suction might become separated from the fuel source and within a matter of seconds the engine will `be starved to the point of stalling.
The stalling condition is aggravated and prompted in highway driving wherein the usual sweeping type cloverleaf complex provides the only access to the highway. It is not difficult to imagine a situation as above noted when, with up to as much as a quarter of a tankful of gas, the vehicle could stall while attempting to merge from a cloverleaf turn into a fast moving traffic ow.
Until now the problem has been approached, and to a degree successfully overcome, by providing baffles and walls within a fuel tank to minimize liquid movement. This, however, requires that fuel tanks be specially constructed and braced, both of which factors add to the weight as well as to the cost of the unit. Further, fuel tank baffling by itself is not considered to be the most effective fuel sloshing deterent although it does minimize such undesired movement.
Among the objects of the disclosed arrangement is to provide an apparatus for maintaining a constant fuel feed to an engine under adverse operating conditions and with a partially full gas tank. A further object is to provide` a liquid cooled immersible pump which might be maintained with its suction under a substantially constant head of liquid.
Summary The inventive concept presently disclosed, embodies an immersible fuel pump in which at least two centrifugal pumps are mounted in tandem and driven by a common electric motor. The motor and pumps are mutually enice closed within an elongated cylindrical housing which forms with the motor, an annular fuel holding reservoir. The suction and discharge openings of the respective pumps are so connected that the reservoir will be maintained at a maximum flow level regardless of the fuel level in the surrounding tank. Further, one of the pumps discharges fuel to the engine carburetor and will operate at a suction head at least equal to the height of the fuel reservoir. In that the driving motor will at all times be completely immersed so long as there is any fuel in the tank, the motor will be substantially cooled under all operating conditions.
Brief description of the drawing FIGURE l shows a fuel tank having the fuel pump of the invention installed therein,
FIGURE 2 is an elevation, partly in section, of the fuel pump and collector chamber,
FIGURE 3 is a plan view, partly in section, of the fuel pump and collector chamber,
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sectional view of the pumping section, and
FIGURE 5 is a partially sectioned view showing the circulation of uid through the pump and collector chamber.
Description of the invention The present arrangement comprises basically an electric drive motor adapted for connection to a source of electric current. At least two centrifugal type pumps preferably arranged in tandem, are drivingly connected to the motor, and an elongated housing encloses all of the units. A preferred overall construction of the unit is that the housing be relatively long and narrow to facilitate inserting through a limited access port of an automobile fuel tank. Further, the present description discloses the motor and pumps as being in a substantially upright position with relation to the enclosing fuel tank. This of course is a desirable, although not necessary condition in that the unit may be suitably disposed horizontally with respect to the fuel tank and still achieve to some extent the objectives toward which the device is directed.
It has been determined in the present arrangement that the connection of the respective centrifugal pumps to one end of the drive motor is a preferred arrangement. It should be appreciated, however, that such an arrangement can be modified by connecting the pumps to opposed ends of the drive motor and thereby achieve the objectives of the invention.
FIGURE 1 illustrates the fuel pump unit 10 supported within a fuel tank 11 by a suitable bracketing arrangement. The pump suction is disposed close to the oor of the tank and preferably rests against the latter thereby serving as a tank rigidizing member. A discharge conduit 12 passes through the tank wall for carrying a stream of fuel to the engine carburetor or other fuel distribution facility.
Pump unit 10 comprises an electric motor 13 supportably mounted within a relatively elongated enclosing housing 14. One end of motor 13 is provided with a protruding shaft 15 which drivingly engages the first of two centrifugal pumps 16. Separated from the rst pump 16 is a second pump 17 which is drivingly connected to pump 16 or to the motor shaft 15 so that both pumps may be driven at substantially the same shaft speed.
Motor 13 is supported in casing 21 and adapted to operate with a normal automotive ignition voltage such as a 6 or 12 volt direct current. Electric current is carried to the motor through one or more insulated leads to resist deterioration by exposure to fuel.
The structure of drive motor 13 will not be explored here in detail except to note that said motor is lodged 3 within housing 14 which extends the length of the motor and encloses pump 16 adjacent thereto. Housing 14 is vented through a tube 18 to carry accumulated vapors into the fuel reservoir 19 ydefined between housing 14 and casing 21.
Centrifugal pumps 16 and 17 are substantially identical in mechanical structure with the essential significant differences being in the volume which might be pumped at a particular motor speed, and the positioning of the suction and discharge openings. For example, pump 17 includes an impeller 22 having a plurality of peripheral blades, which impeller fits within a recess in casing 21 defining the pumping chamber or mating member to said impeller 22. The impeller also includes a hub 23 slideably registered in opening 25 in panel 24 to be coupled to the impeller of pump 16.
The lower side of impeller 22 is shaped to provide a formed bearing surface 26 which may be suitably contoured to be received on a bearing surface 27 for journalling the impeller. Lower wall 28 of casing 21 is normally `disposed adjacent to the fioor of fuel tank 11. A plurality of apertures 29 in said wall form the suction for admitting fuel into the lower impeller chamber. Said chamber is further provided with a discharge port 31 carrying a pressurized stream of pumped liquid.
A cap 33 forms the lower end of casing 21, having an inlet port 34 to which a filter 36 is fitted. Said cap defines with the lower wall of casing 21, a primary chamber 37 which communicates by way of opening 29 with the pumping chamber of pump 17.
A support member 38 `depending from cap 33 normally rests on the tank fioor to at least partially support the pumping unit. Panel 24 forms not only a closure and end wall to pump 17, but also provides support for housing 14. Said panel 24 includes a plurality of circularly arranged and separated spacers 39 upon which said housing 14 rests. Peripherally spaced openings in said spacer 39 permit a fiow of fuel into the suction of pump 16.
Housing 14 surrounding the pump and motor unit 10, is spaced outwardly from pump casing 21 by a plurality of radial ribs 41 extending longitudinally of the casing defining the substantially annual reservoir 19. A pair of parallel ribs 43 and 44 also extending longitudinally of casing 21 define channel 46 and terminate at the lower end thereof adjacent to housing 14. Said channel 46 communicates with discharge opening 31 of pump 17 whereby fuel is urged upwardly from the discharge of pump 17 through elongated channel 46 and permitted to overow across weir 43a into reservoir 19.
Fuel fed from reservoir 19 to pump 16, passes through a plurality of peripheral aperatures in spacer 39 to enter suction opening 35 and enter impeller chamber 51 of pump 16. Thereafter the fuel is discharged from pump 16 into an elongated conduit 45 or directly into motor 13 for cooling the latter, from which it is passed from the fuel tank by Way of fitting 49 and discharge conduit 12.
The upper end of casing 21 is provided with a cover 48 in which an overow port 47 is formed. Said cover further positions discharge conduit 12 and electric leads 52 which pass through reservoir 19.
Operationally, fuel will tend to accumulate in reservoir 19 until overflowing by way of port 47 into tank 11. Under ordinary operating conditions the liquid fuel level in reservoir 19 will be maintained to the overfiow point by both the action of pump 16 and by the level of fuel in tank 11. However, as the tank becomes more depleted and the fuel level ydrops below the top edge of casing 21, reservoir 19 will be maintained in a full condition only by pump 17. Under the latter circumstances, should movement of the vehicle cause fuel to be sloshed away from filter 36, fuel fed to pump 17, and consequently to reservoir 19 will stop immediately. However, the fuel in reservoir 19 will maintain a pressure head of at least several inches on the suction of pump 16 such that the latter will continue to function. The interval of time through which 4 pump 16 will remain operative is of course dependent on the capacity of reservoir 19 and the severity of the fuel shortage at filter 36.
For a relatively short period as would ordinarily be encountered, fuel will return to filter 36 prior to the level in reservoir 19 descending lto the inlet of pump 16. It will be appreciated, of course, that should pump 17 remain starved of fuel for an extended period, eventually all ow will stop from pump 16 as well.
1. A liquid handling pump for delivering a stream of liquid from a source thereof to a point of use and including;
(a) rotary electric drive means,
(b) a first rotary pump drivngly connected to said drive means and including suction and discharge ports, the suction of said first pump being normally communicated with said source of liquid, and subject to being out of communication therewith for limited periods of time,
(c) means forming a reservoir for holding a quantity of said pumped liquid and being communicated with the `discharge of said first pump,
(d) a second rotary pump drivngly connected to said drive means and having a suction communicated with said means yforming a reservoir to receive liquid from the latter,
(1) said second pump having a discharge communicated with said point of use for delivering a stream of liquid to the latter during said limited period of time when said first pump suction is out of communication with said source of liquid.
2. In a liquid handling pump as defined in claim 1 wherein said means forming a reservoir is disposed in heat exchange relation with said drive means for cooling the latter by heat exchange with said pumped liquid.
3. In a liquid handling pump as defined in claim 1 wherein said drive means includes at least one electric powered motor having a casing, said reservoir is formed by a container having walls spaced outwardly of said casing and defining a liquid holding chamber therebetween whereby said liquid is in cooling contact with said casing.
4. In a liquid holding pump as defined in claim 1 wherein said drive means includes an electric powered motor having a drive shaft, said first pump having an impeller coupled to said drive shaft and said second pump having an impeller coupled to said first impeller.
5. In a liquid handling pump as defined in claim 1 having a conduit communicated with the discharge of said first pump, said reservoir inclu-ding a container having walls spaced from said motor and defining a liquid holding compartment, said conduit opening into said reservoir for passing pumped liquid thereto.
A6. In a liquid handling pump as defined in claim 3 wherein said casing includes a cover at the uppermost end thereof, and vent means carried in said cover for directing vapors from said casing.
7. In a liquid handling device as defined in claim 6 wherein, said vent means opens into said means forming a reservoir for directing liquid vapor thereto.
8. In a liquid handling device as defined in claim 3 wherein said casing includes a cover having a port therethrough, at least one passage means extending longitudinally through said casing and communicating said second pump discharge with said port.
9. In a liquid handling device as defined in claim 8 including a plurality of passages extending longitudinally through said casing.
10. A submergible pump for a fuel tank unit including;
(a) a housing having an end wall, and a cover disposed at opposed ends thereof defining a subsubstantially closed chamber,
(b) a panel having au opening therein, and being spaced in said housing from said end wall thereby forming a first pump chamber therebetween having suction and discharge openings,
(c) an impeller journalled for rotation in said pump chamber and including a hub,
(d) a closed casing supportably positioned in said housing and having side walls spaced from walls of said housing to deline an annular chamber therebetween,
(e) said casing including a second pump at one end thereof having an impeller,
(f) a drive motor coupled to said second impeller,
(g) means coupling said second pump impeller to said -rst pump impeller for driving both of said pumps,
(h) said rst pump chamber being communicated with said fuel tank land said annular chamber respectively to pass a stream of fuel to the latter, and said second pump having a suction communicated with said annular chamber and having a discharge for passing a stream of fuel from said pump.
11. 'In a submergible pump as defined in claim 10 wherein said housing includes a cover forming a substantial closure and disposed in opposite relation to said panel, and an overow port in said cover to pass fuel from said annular chamber to said fuel tank.
12. In a submergible pump as defined in claim including passage means communicating with said pump chamber discharge, said passage means extending substantially the length of said annular chamber and opening into the latter at a point opposite to said tank.
13. In a submergible pump as defined in claim 10 including passage means extending longitudinally of said casing, said second pump discharge communicating with said passage means to carry a stream of liquid therethrough lfor cooling contact with said motor.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,120,914 6/1938v Vogel. 2,547,246 4/ 1951 Aspelin. 2,807,395 9/ 1957 Korte 103-218 X 2,865,539 12/ 195 8 Edwards. 2,953,156 9/ 1960 Bryant 103-5 X 2,961,130 11/1960 Adams 222-333 2,985,108 5/1961 Stoner et al 103-5 X 2,994,275 8/ 1961 Stepnica. 3,090,318 5/1963 Jeep et al. 103-87 3,371,613 3/ 1968 Dahlgren el al.
FOREIGN PATENTS 345,973 9/ 1929 Great Britain.
ROBERT M. WALKER, Primary Examiner.
WARREN J. KRAUSS, Assistant Examiner.
U.S'. Cl. X.R.