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Publication numberUS3523427 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 11, 1970
Filing dateDec 23, 1968
Priority dateDec 23, 1968
Publication numberUS 3523427 A, US 3523427A, US-A-3523427, US3523427 A, US3523427A
InventorsSimpson Anthony Unwin
Original AssigneeGarrett Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gas engine-refrigerator
US 3523427 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 11, 19 70 A. u. SIMPSON GAS ENGINE-REFRIGERATOR Filed Dec. 23, 1968 INVENTOR. ANTHONY U. SIMPSON mmnmwwma VOLUME OF COLD END United States Patent O 3,523,427 GAS ENGINE-REFRIGERATOR Anthony Unwin Simpson, Manhattan Beach, Calif., as-

signor to the Garrett Corporation, Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Dec. 23, 1968, Ser. No. 786,051 Int. Cl. F25b 9/00 U.S. Cl. 62-6 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The apparatus has an enclosure with protruding closedend cylinders arranged in out-of-phase relationship wherein porous blocks functioning as regenerators are connected to a common crank on a crankshaft so that the porous blocks slide in their respective cylinders. The apparatus includes means, in the form of a piston and cylinder assembly disposed substantially opposite one of the closed-end cylinders, for changing the total volume of the enclosure. The piston is subjected to a substantially steady pressure and the piston is also connected to the common crank. A heat source is applied to the other closed-end cylinder so that when the crankshaft is started to rotate in a given direction, a low temperature refrigeration is obtained in the cylinder without the heat source, and, with a predetermined quantity of gas in the enclosure, uninterrupted energy may be coupled from the crankshaft.

This invention relates to machines adapted to use input heat as a power source to induce engine operation, whereby useful work, refrigeration or both may be obtained.

In US. Pat. No. 1,275,507, R. Vuilleumier teaches a process for obtaining refrigeration wherein the'secondary effect of temperature changes due to changes in pressure is used to obtain refrigeration.

An object of this invention is to provide a novel machine that uses substantially the Vuilleumier Refrigeration Process to provide either refrigeration or useful mechanical work which may be used to overcome friction and thus eliminating any need for an external power supply.

Another object is to provide a rigid, reliable machine for the above-mentioned object.

These and other objects and features of advantages will be further understood by reference to the following specification and the drawing wherein:

1 FIG. 1 is a schematic of a typical prior art refrigerator using the Vuilleumier Refrigeration Process.

FIG. 2 is a schematic of the novel gas engine-refrigerator; and

FIG. 3 is a plot of pressure versus the position of the regenerator within the cold well for the prior art refrigerator of FIG. 1 and the novel gas engine-refrigerator of FIG. 2.

SUMMARY OF THE VUILLEUMIER PROCESS Referring to the drawing and to FIG. 1 in particular, the Vuilleumier Refrigeration Process will be explained in conjunction with the machine shown, which includes an enclosure 11 with two appendages communicating therewith. The appendages include a hot cylindrical sleeve 12, and a cold cylindrical sleeve 13, protruding radially from an axis at which is located a shaft 15. Sleeves 12 and '13 have their axes oriented approximately at right angles to each other. Within sleeves 12 and 13 are disposed regenerators 21 and 22, respectively. The regenerators are made of a porous metal to allow gas to freely pass therethrough and, in addition, to store heat so that any gas passing therethrough will either absorb heat from or give up heat to the regenerators. The reice generators 21 and 22 are disposed in sliding relation within their respective sleeves and are connected to the same crank 17 on shaft 15 by connecting rods 23 and 24, respectively. On the end of the hot sleeve 12 is disposed a means 26 which seals the end thereof. The means 26 is at an elevated temperature, as it is heated by any suitable heat source, so that the means 26 supplies energy to the system. On the end of the cold sleeve 13 is disposed another means 27 which seals the end thereof and acts as a heat load, as it is capable of becoming cold when the device is operated. Enclosure 11 has a heat conducting wall 28 which functions as a heat sink and could be exposed to the atmosphere to maintain the gas, bounded by enclosure 11 and both regenerators, at ambient temperature. Means such as a radiator (not shown) may be employed to modify the ambient temperature to some value between the temperature of means 26 and means 27.

The device operates by rotating the shaft 15 in the counterclockwise direction as shown by the arrows in FIG. 1. When hot regenerator 21 is near means 26 or crank 17 is at position A, very little or none of the gas within the sleeve 12 is at the hot temperature of means 26, while cold regenerator 22 has travelled approximately half the distance towards means 27. Thepressure within enclosure 11 is inherently at a relatively low value as shown in FIG. 3 by point A on the solid line. The solid line shows the relative pressure within the enclosure with respect to the position of the cold regenerator 22 or the volume of gas at the cold end 27 for the machine FIG. 1. As the crank 17 moves from point A to point B (FIG. 1) the volume of the hot gas within sleeve 12 increases while the volume, of the cold gas within sleeve 13 decreases. This causes the average pressure of the gas to increase as shown by the solid line from point A to point B (FIG. 3). The increase in average pressure tends to increase the temperature of they gas within enclosure 11, but wall 28 being at ambient temperature maintains this gas at ambient temperature by removing heat. When the crank 17 moves from point B to C (FIG. 1) the volumes of both the. hot and cold gases increase together. The temperature of means 26 and 27 could be such that the pressure varies very little, as shown by the curve from points B to C. When the crank moves from position C to D, the volume of the hot gas decreases while the volume of the cold gas increases. The average pressure,

' within the enclosure, drops appreciably and tends to drop between regenerator 22 and the means 27 may only absorb heat from means 27 dropping the temperature thereof. Heat is absorbed from means 27 during each cycle or revolution of the shaft 15. The area bounded by the solid line in FIG. 3 indicates the amount of energy thatis theoretically absorbed from means 27 for each cycle.

THE NOVEL APPARATUS Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown an embodiment of a novel device which can perform useful work by using the process discussed above. Parts, in FIG. 2, having the same reference numbers as parts in FIG. I, perform the same function and are equivalent, except that enclosure 11 has a means for changing the volume thereof. The means is a movable wall, for example, in the form of a piston 31 that moves in a cylinder 14 to change the volume of the enclosure 11. The cylinder 1'4 is substantially aligned with cylinder 13 and disposed on the opposite side of the crank 17. The piston 31 is connected at its crank end to crank 17 by a connecting rod 32. A suitable seal, for example, a piston ring 33 is provided between the piston 31 and the cylinder 14. The head end of cylinder 14 may be open to the atmosphere so that atmospheric pressure acts on the top of thepiston. A ratchet disc 16- is fixed to the rotating shaft 15 and has suitable teeth that engage a pawl 18 in a standard manner that allows disc 16 to rotate only in the counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2 and in the direction of the arrow. Now, as disc 16 rotates in the direction of the arrow the pressure within the enclosure 11 will rise to a value above atmospheric and fall to a value below atmospheric. The piston 31, being connected to a crank 17, moves away from the center of the enclosure when the cold regenerator 22 moves towards the center and the piston moves towards the center when the cold regenerator moves away so that both actions aid in either increasing or decreasing the average pressure within the device when crank 17 is at points B and D (FIG. 2) respectively. Thus, when the crank 17 is at position A, the piston 31 is midway between its ends of travel and the pressure within the enclosure would approximately be the same as in the embodiment in FIG. 1 with the crank 17 in the same position A. This is shown in FIG. 3 by the dash lines crossing the solid line near point A. Then, when the crank 17 of FIG. 2 moves to position B the pressure within the enclosure .would be at a value, for example B (FIG. 3), which is lower than point B. When the crank 17 moves to position C, the pressure within the enclosure would again be approximately the same as in the embodiment of FIG. 1, with the crank 17 in the same position C. When the crank 17 moves to position D, the pressure within the enclosure would be at a value D (FIG. 3) which is higher than point D.

, Therefore, when the crank 17 is at position D, atmospheric pressure causes the piston to move inward so that, after crank 17 passes position A, inertia carries the crank 17 to position B. The internal pressure now acts to move piston 31 outward. The thermodynamic cycle of this embodiment of FIG. 2 is represented by the dash line in FIG. 3. The area enclosed by the dash line is obviously smaller than the area enclosed by the solid line indicating that some refrigeration has been traded olf for work. The engine disclosed may be powered by any available heat supply and operated to concurrently provide a refrigcrating effect at any temperature range below ambient and a mechanical work oupnt. The engine is particularly useful in installations where simplicity in construction and trouble-free service are required. One skilled in the art can substitute a flexible diaphragm for the piston to further improve its reliability. Also, the need for a tight seal 33 can be reduced by closing off the cylinder 14 to form a reservoir having a substantially steady pressure at other than ambient pressure. Thus, gas escaping past seal 33 fications and variations coming within the scope of the claims.

What is claimed is: 1. An apparatus adapted to deliver mechanical work output and refrigeration, said apparatus comprising:

an enclosure containing an amount of gas, a cold well and a hot well communicating with said enclosure and extending radially from an axis, a heat source disposed on the end of said hot well, a regenerator disposed within each of said Wells and in sliding relation therewith, means for moving said regenerators in a predetermined sequence so that the gas pressure within said enclosure varies and in turn refrigeration is obtained within said cold well, and means responsive to the position of the regenerator within said cold well to vary the effective volume of said enclosure to cause further pressure variations so that power may be extracted from the apparatus. 2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein: said means includes: a piston and a cylinder wherein said piston slides axially of said cylinder, said piston having a head end and a crank end; rod means connecting said crank end of the piston to said crankshaft so that said piston moves inwardly as said regenerator in said cold well moves outwardly, and means for applying a pressure to the head end of said i piston. 3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein: said cylinder is disposed substantially on the opposite side of said crankshaft from saidcold well, and said regenerators and said piston are connected to a common crank on said shaft so that said piston and said regenerator in said cold well move in the same direction. 4. The apparatus'of claim 3 wherein: said Wells and cylinder are disposed at an angle of substantially 90 to each other with said hot well disposed between said cold well and said cylinder, and means are provided for causing the crankshaft to rotate in one direction so that the crank rotates through an angle of substantially 90 from its position closest to said hot well to its position closest to said cold well.

' References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,169,308 1/ 1916 Villa -24 1,675,829 5/1928 Smith 60-24 2,664,698 1/1954 Van De Poll 60-24 WILLIAM J. WYE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 60-24; 62-86

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1169308 *Jan 6, 1909Jan 25, 1916Trajan VuiaHot-air engine with closed circuit.
US1675829 *Apr 2, 1923Jul 3, 1928Gas Res CoHeat engine
US2664698 *Aug 30, 1950Jan 5, 1954Hartford Nat Bank & Trust CoHot-gas reciprocating engine with means for augmenting the pressure medium and supplying combustion air
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3845624 *May 21, 1970Nov 5, 1974Roos WSterling process engines
US3862546 *Jun 19, 1972Jan 28, 1975Philips CorpVuillemier refrigerator
US3892102 *Mar 7, 1974Jul 1, 1975Hughes Aircraft CoVuilleumier refrigerator hot cylinder burner head
US3921400 *Dec 4, 1972Nov 25, 1975Philips CorpCryo-electric engine-refrigerator combination
US4118943 *Mar 17, 1976Oct 10, 1978Cryogenic Technology, Inc.Refrigeration system with magnetic linkage
US4158293 *Dec 12, 1977Jun 19, 1979Cryogenic Technology, Inc.Refrigeration system with magnetic linkage
US4253859 *Nov 30, 1979Mar 3, 1981Aisin Seiki Kabushiki KaishaGas refrigerator
US4385499 *Mar 16, 1982May 31, 1983Kryovacs Scientific CorporationMiniature cryogenic cooling system with split-phase dual compressor and phase-shifting device
US4479358 *May 27, 1983Oct 30, 1984Kryovacs Scientific Corp.Miniature cryogenic cooling system with split-phase dual compressor and phase-shifting device
US4526008 *Mar 21, 1983Jul 2, 1985Texas Instruments IncorporatedPneumatically controlled split cycle cooler
US5406801 *Oct 29, 1993Apr 18, 1995Aisin Newhard Co., Ltd.Thermally operated refrigerator
DE3044427A1 *Nov 26, 1980Jun 24, 1982Leybold Heraeus Gmbh & Co KgVerdraenger fuer refrigeratoren
DE102004059928B4 *Dec 13, 2004Dec 13, 2007Robert WelleStirlingsternmotor
WO1983003296A1 *Mar 11, 1983Sep 29, 1983Kryovacs Scient CorpMiniature cryogenic cooling system with split-phase dual compressor and phase-shifting device
WO1983003297A1 *Mar 11, 1983Sep 29, 1983Kryovacs Scient CorpMicro-cryogenic system with pseudo two stage cold finger, stationary regenerative material and pre-cooling of the working fluid
U.S. Classification62/6, 60/526, 62/86
International ClassificationF02G1/044, F02G1/00
Cooperative ClassificationF02G1/0445
European ClassificationF02G1/044V