US 3726619 A
There is disclosed herein rotary apparatus powerably motivatable with a pressurized fluid, such as air, steam, water, etc. Preferred embodiments of the rotary vaned apparatus comprise: a stationary frame member; a pair of vaned counter-rotatable motors, each revolvably associated with respect to the frame member and including an output-shaft extending longitudinally along a central-axis and directly co-revolvable with one of said rotors; means for directing pressurized fluid radially outwardly from the central-axis and across the rotors' vanes, and to the appreciable exclusion of coincidental longitudinal fluid flow, thereby causing counter-rotation of the respective rotors; and planetary gear means operatively extending from the output-shaft to the oppositely rotating rotor to make the mechanical energy of the counter-rotating rotors available for use in a single angular direction about the central-axis. Other noteworthy specific features might include: vane means securely removably attached in concentric annular arrangements on the respective rotors together with a plurality of intra-annulus vane-like blades of regular cross-sectional size and shape, means to prevent or to minimize longitudinal stresses on the counter-rotating rotors; and means for making efficient use of the apparatus parts and the radial motive fluid.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States atent [191 Adams ROTARY FLUID-POWERED APPARATUS  Inventor: Clarence L. Adams, Box 217, Fort Calhoun, Wash. 68023  Filed: Sept. 20, 1971  Appl. No.: 181,742
 US. Cl. ..415/64, 415/60, 415/122  Int. Cl ..F0ld 1/24  Field of Search [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 693,946 2/1902 Boyce ..415/64 749,770 1/1904 Wood... ..415/64 2,318,990 5/1943 Doran 415/64 2,320,391 6/1943 Wakefield 415/64 2,335,445 11/1943 Richard 415/64 2,357,778 9/1944 Beaven..... 415/64 2,615,616 10/1952 Bowen 415/64 3,044,685 7/1962 Lapiken ..415/64 Primary ExaminerC. J. Husar Att0rneyGeorge R Nimmer 51 Apr. 10, 1973 5 7 ABSTRACT There is disclosed herein rotary apparatus powerably motivatable with a pressurized fluid, such as air,
steam, water, etc. Preferred embodiments of the rotary vaned apparatus comprise: a stationary frame member; a pair of vaned counter-rotatable motors, each revolvably associated with respect to the frame member and including an output-shaft extending longitudinally along a central-axis and directly corevolvable with one of said rotors; means for directing pressurized fluid radially outwardly from the centralaxis and across the rotors vanes, and to the appreciable exclusion of coincidental longitudinal fluid flow,
. thereby causing counter-rotation of the respective rotors; and planetary gear means operatively extending from the output-shaft to the oppositely rotating rotor to make the mechanical energy of the counter-rotating rotors available for use in a single angular direction about the central-axis. Other noteworthy specific features might include: vane means securely removably attached in concentric annular arrangements on the respective rotors together with a plurality of intra-annulus vane-like blades of regular cross-sectional size and shape, means to prevent or to minimize longitudinal stresses on the counter-rotating rotors; and means for making efiicient use of the apparatus parts and the radial motive fluid.
1 1 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATEr-HED 3,726,619
sum 1 0F 2 I 'F/G/ a ARE/V65 L. ADAMS INVENTQR.
ATTORNEY PATENTEUAPRIOIW 3,726,619
SHEEI 2 OF 2 CLARENCE L. ADAMS INVENTOR.
ATTORNEY There are in the prior art many rotary fluid-powered apparatus wherein a plurality of vaned rotors each revolvably surround a longitudinally extending centralaxis and wherein a pressurized fluid is utilized to cause the rotors to revolve about the central-axis. Many such prior art rotary apparatus are necessarily awkward and inefficient in that the fluid flow is intermittent, rather than continuous, requiring cumbersome and complicated valves. Other prior art rotary fluid-powered apparatus require the combustion of hydrocarbon gases, thus introducing problems of inefficiency and objectionable combustion residues. Still other rotary apparatus require the motive fluid to be utilized in an annular path that surrounds and is removed from the central-axis, thus commonly necessitating cumbersome vanes and valves. In certain prior art rotary apparatus involving counter-rotating vaned rotors, the motive fluid flow is essentially parallel to the central-axis, thereby necessitating very elaborate and expensive vanes. In the so-called turbine-type rotary apparatus, where a continuous radially flowing motive fluid is employed for vaned rotors moving in the same angular direction about the central-axis, the fabrication, installation, and maintenance of the rotor vanes are exceedingly complicated and expensive. Moreover, the efficiency of such turbine-type apparatus is notoriously low.
It is accordingly the general object of the present in- 'vention to provide a rotary fluid-powered apparatus that overcomes the several disadvantages and deficiencies of prior art apparatus.
It is a further object to provide a rotary fluidpowered apparatus that is adaptable to efficiently utilize a variety of pressurized motive fluids, including liquids, inert gases, combustible gases, and the unusually efficient utilization of vaporizable liquids, such as steam, Freon," etc.
It is another object to provide a fluid-powered rotary apparatus that is equally adaptable for use with continuous, variable, and intermittent motive fluid flow.
It is a specific object of the present invention to provide a fluid-powered rotary apparatus wherein the blade-like vanes employed in the revolvable rotors are of unusual simplicity for fabrication, for installation into and removal from the rotor, for rotor maintenance, and for exceedingly efficient utilization of the motive fluid.
It is a further object to provide rotary fluid-powered apparatus of the counter-rotating rotors type wherein longitudinal forces on the rotors can be minimized, or even essentially eliminated.
It is another object to provide a rotary fluid-powered apparatus of the generic turbine-type adaptable for use in unusually small, but efficient size, and at relatively high power output, adaptable for multi-staging assemblies and other economical embodiments, and having output power available in selectable angular directions and speed ratios.
With the above and other objects and advantages in view, which will become more apparent as this description proceeds, the rotary fluid-powered apparatus of the present invention generally comprises: a stationary frame member; a tubular inlet-shaft and an outputshaft, each shaft extending longitudinally along a central-axis and the output-shaft being revolvably associated with respect to the stationary frame member; a plurality of vaned counter-rotating rotors that are revolvably associated with respect to the stationary frame member and at least one rotor being directly corevolvable with the output-shaft; means for directing pressurized fluid radially outwardly from the centralaxis toward a fluid exhaust means and while to the substantial exclusion of longitudinal fluid flow; and torqueaddition means operatively extending from the outputshaft to the directionally oppositely revolvable fluid-actuatable rotor whereby the mechanical energy of the corotating fluid-actuatable rotors can be added together in the same angular direction about the central-axis.
In the drawing, wherein like characters refer to like parts in the several views, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the rotary fluid-powered apparatus of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional elevational view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional elevational view taken along lines 3-3 of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 4 is a detail sectional elevational view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a sectional elevational view taken along lines 55 of FIGS. 1 and 2.
Referring briefly initially to FIGS. 1-3, the rotary fluid-powered apparatus embodiment S generally comprises: a stationary frame member 10, seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 to be of Ushaped configuration; a tubular inlet-shaft 20 and an output-shaft 30, shafts 20 and 30 extending longitudinally along central-axis 9 and at least the output-shaft 30 being revolvably associated with respect to the stationary frame member 10; a pair of vaned counter-rotating rotors 40 and 60, one of said rotors e.g.40, being directly co-revolvable with outputshaft 30; means for causing pressurized motive fluid to flow between the counter-rotating rotors and to impinge upon the vanes thereof in radial fluid flow fashion, said means herein including the inlet-tube outlet-opening 23 together with the parallel plate-like fluid-impervious barriers 61 and 62 of rotor 60; and planetary gear means operatively extending from output-shaft 30 to the directionally oppositely revolving rotor 60 whereby the mechanical energy of the counter-rotating rotors 40 and 60 can be added together in the same angular direction about central-axis 9 and thereby collectively available to do singular work, as through pulley 39.
Stationary frame member 10 herein is of generally U- shaped configuration and comprises three sturdy rectangular panels rigidly connected together (as by welding, etc.) including a horizontal base-panel l1 and a pair of opposed parallel side-panels l2 and 13 extending rigidly upwardly from base-panel 11. The longitudinally separated side-panels l2 and 13 each transversely perpendicularly intersect the longitudinally extending central-axis 9; first-side panel 12 has an opening therethrough at central-axis 9 for passage of inlettube 20, and second side-panel 13 at central-axis 9 has an opening 13A permitting passage therethrough of revolvable output-shaft 30. In the preferred situation wherein tubular inlet-shaft 20 is revolvable about central-axis 9, and in the opposite angular direction of output-shaft 30 and its co-revolvable rotor (eg 40), first side-panel 12 carries a bearing 19 to journal the revolvable inlet-tube 20. Herein, inlet-shaft 20 has an inlet-end 21 and an outlet-end 22. The pressurized fluid utilized for revolvably motivating the rotors can be supthe respective vanes of counter-rotatable rotors 40 and 60 actually causing them to revolve in opposite directions about central-axis 9. In this vein, the vane means portion of the respective revolvable rotors are of appropriate configuration to cause the rotors counterrotation about central-axis 9. For example, identical type curved blades, e.g. 80, might be employed as the fluid-responsive vane means for each rotor. As seen in FIG. 3, the said blades 80 have reverse curvatures on the respective rotors to cause uniplanar radial fluid flow to rotate the rotorsin opposite angular directions. The multi-blades vane means of the two rotors extend toward each other and parallel to central-axis 9, and preferably longitudinally overlap (i.e. intersect a common reference-plane, such as 6-6) whereby substantially all the radially flowing fluid simultaneously motivates the respective rotors. After the radially flowing motive fluid has acted upon the radially incrementally spaced vane means of the respective rotors, the lower pressure motive fluid is exhausted from the rotors, herein radially outwardly of annulus 60C of rotor 60. As will be pointed out later in greater detail, there are means (such as fluid-impervious barriers 61 and 62) to ensure that the pressurized fluid will travel directionally radially outwardly from central-axis 9 past the rotors vane means, and coincidentally to the substantial exclusion of fluid flow parallel to central-axis 9.
The vane means of the respective rotors is preferably arranged in annulli, each circularly concentric about central-axis 9. The radial distance of each vane means annulus on one rotor with respect to central-axis 9 differs from the annulli radial distances on the other rotor thereby ensuring that vane means annulli from both rotors will longitudinally overlap, e.g. intersect a common reference-plane such as 6-6 that is perpendicular to central-axis 9. For example, the vane means of rotor-40 are arranged in concentric circular annulli 40A, 40B, and 40C, the radial distance between said annulli on rotor 40 being sufficient to accommodate therebetween the concentric circular annulli 60A, 60B, and 60C of rotor 60. Each of said annulli 40A, 40B, 40C, 60A, 60B, and 60C, comprises a plurality of similar curved blades 80, as an integrally connected portion of the rotor. The several curved blades 80 are of regular cross-sectional shape (FIG. 3) along the longitudinally extending length 81-82 thereof, making possible economic fabrication of and maintenance for the bladed rotors. Moreover, a plurality of intra-annulus blades 80 are of regular cross-sectional dimensional size along the longitudinally extending length 81-82;
however, the blades dimensional size for inward annulli (such as 40A and 60A) are preferably smaller than for the outer annulli (40C, 60C, etc.) so as to permit more efficient utilization of the radially flowing pressurized fluid.
Preferably, one of the respective counter-rotating rotors includes vane means extending in both longitudinal directions toward the other rotor, thereby minimizing the possibility that the radially flowing fluid will produce severe thrust on one or more rotors in the longitudinal direction, i.e.'parallel to central-axis 9. In this vein, as seen in FIG. 2, one rotor (60) might take a drum-like form having two longitudinally-separated fluid-impervious walls 61 and 62, with the other rotor (40) being as an inner-rotor located within the drumlike outer-rotor (60). Thus, two distinct longitudinallyseparated annular fluid expansion chambers 71 and 72 exist between the inner-rotor 40 and the respective transverse walls 61 and 62 of the drum-like outer-rotor 60. In such structure, the outlet-opening 23 of inletshaft 20 communicates with both chambers 71 and 72 so that pressurized fluid can flow radially through both expansion chambers simultaneously. Herein, solid output-shaft 30 is loosely surrounded by outer-rotor wall 62, said output-shaft being tightly surrounded by a rigidly attached mounting-disc 31; mounting-disc 31 is rigidly attached to the free-ends 82 of the respective vane blades of annular row 40AR, whereby outputsh'aft 30 is directly co-revolvable with inner-rotor 40. It can be seen that the longitudinal length 81-82 of the several blades are substantially equal, except for the shorter blade lengths in annular row 40AR and the double lengths" in annular row 60C. Assuming that the rotors pair 40 and 60 is substantially symmetrical (dimensionally and gravimetrically) about member 41 (two substantially identical halves 75 and 76), and that the rates of fluid flow into the expansionchambers 71 and 72 are substantially equal, then the radially moving fluid would develop no appreciable lateral thrust upon the respective rotors. However, for ensurance purposes, output-shaft 30 herein carries a longitudinally stationed and co-revolvable thrust bearing adjacent outer-rotor wall 62. Thus, it is readily apparent that while one-half alone (e.g. 76) of the dual-rotors structure 40 and 60 might provide an otherwise efticaceous apparatus, the use of both halves 75 and76 together greatly reduces longitudinal thrust problems and a balanced apparatus S.
It has now become readily apparent that there need be means to ensure that the pressurized fluid flows radially outwardly of central-axis 9, and to the substantial exclusion of fluid flow parallel to central-axis 9, at least until the fluid is exhausted from the rotors, e.g. at
multi-blades row 60C. In this vein, fluid-impervious barriers are employed; for example the transverse walls 61 and 62 of outer-rotor 60 might be of metallic platelike configuration. It but a single halve (e.g. 76) of the dual-rotors structure be employed, then the transverse wall 41 of rotor 40 would need to be fluid-impervious. Herein, for purposes of greater simplicity andreliability, inlet-tube 20 passes through an opening 61A in wall 61 and'is rigidly attached to wall 61 whereby inlet-tube 20 is directly co-revolvable with rotor 60. Frame firstside-panel 12 carries a stationary annular bearing 19 which journals revolvable inlet-rube 20.
As had already been alluded to, the several intraannulus curved blades 80 are of regular cross-sectional shape and size along the longitudinal length 81-82, which unusually facilitates fabrication and maintenance of the rotors. Moreover, such regularly crosssectioned blades 80 are exceedingly easy to securely (though removably) attach onto the rotor, thereby also facilitating replacement and repair of faulty blades.
Herein, as indicated in FIG. 4, each of the rotor platelike transverse walls (41, 61, and 62) is provided with longitudinally extending depressions of a cross-sectional size and shape like that for the blades 80, whereby the blades 80 actually intersect the rotors transverse walls. For example, in inner-rotor 40, each blade 80 within annuli 40A, 40B, and 40C securely (though removably slidably) passes through a geometrically similar opening of wall 41. Thus, within the respective common-radius annulli 40AL and 40AR, 40BL and 40 BR, and 40CL and 40CR, the same structurally continuous blades 80 pass through and extend on both sides of plate-like wall 41. Within annulus 60C on outer-rotor 60, several such double-length blades 80 pass securely (though longitudinally slidably) through the walls 61 and 62, the spaces between intraannulus 60C blades providing a type fluid exhaust means. Also, the removably connected blades of annulus 60C provide a means for dis.-assembly(longitudinally) of outer-rotor 60. However, the singlelength" blades (which span at least 90 percent the longitudinal distance to inner-rotor wall 41 from the walls 61 and 62) are employed within annulli 60AL, 60BL, 60AR, and 608R.
There are torque-addition means operatively extending from output-shaft 30 to the directionally oppositely revolvable rotor (60) whereby the mechanical energy of the counter-rotating rotors 40 and 60 can be added together in the same angular direction about centralaxis 9. Thus, the total kinetic energy of counter-rotating rotors 40 and 60 can be transmitted to a single external work load, as through pulley 39 co-revolvable with output-shaft 30. Preferred herein for the torqueaddition means is a planetary gear train 100 comprising a pinion gear 101 positioned between the outer-rotor wall 62 and frame second side-panel 13, said pinion gear 101 being attached to and directly co-revolvable with output-shaft 30. There is an annular spur gear 102 rigidly attached (as by welding,etc.) to outer-rotor wall 62 whereby spur gear 102 is directly co-revolvable with outer-rotor 60. The annular gear surface 103 of spur gear 102 is located in transverse alignment with pinion gear 101. A plurality (herein three) idler-gears 104 extend radially from pinion gear 101 to gear surface 103, each idler-gear 104 being revolvable about a longitudinally extending idler-shaft 105. The idler-gears 104 are revolvably associated with respect to the respective idler-support plates 106 and 107, plate 107 being integrally connected to second side-panel 13 whereby elements 104-107 are stationary i.e. are non-rotatable about central-axis 9. However, output-shaft 30 is revolvably secured by the stationary plates 106-107. Co-revolvably attached to output-shaft 30 herein is sealer-gasket 32. Thrust-bearing 110 is integrally corevolvably attached to wall 62 between said wall 62 and mounting-disc 31, whereby elements 31 and 110 rotate in opposite angular directions. It is also possible to take the torque power from the revolvable inlet-tube 20 by placing a pulley (not shown) thereon, analagous to pulley 39. In this way, the inlet-tube 20 travels. at an angular velocity of less than one-half (and herein about onefourth that of output-shaft 30) thereby giving a selection of two disparate velocities for the harnessable output of apparatus S.
In an alternate form of the rotary fluid-powered apparatus, the dual-rotors structure (40 and 60) is isolated from the planetary gears train by an intervening-plate located between spur gear 102 and outerrotor wall 62 and parallel to said wall 62 and side-panel 13. A tubular-sleeve revolvably surrounding the output-shaft 30 passes unrestrictably through a said intervening-plate, the respective two ends of such tubularsleeve being co-revolvably attached to outer-rotor wall 62 and to annular spur gear 102. A sealer-gasket, analagous to 32, can be employed at the revolvable juncture opening of said intervening-plate and the tubular-sleeve. Such alternate apparatus structure has several apparent advantages, including the provision for independent lubrication systems.
From the foregoing, the construction and operation of the rotary fluid-powered apparatus will be readily understood and further explanation is believed to be unnecessary. However, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the appended claims.
I claim: 7
1. A rotary fluid-powered apparatus comprising a plurality of rotors each of which is revolvable about a longitudinally extending central-axis and is powerably revolvable by a pressurized fluid flowing radially outwardly from the central-axis, said rotary fluid-powred apparatus comprising:
A. A relatively stationary frame member;
B. An outer-rotor revolvably associated with said frame and revolvably surrounding said centralaxis, said outer-rotor including a longitudinallyseparated pair of fluid-impervious barriers attached in co-revolvable relationship and including vane means to cause the fluid actuatable outerrotor to revolve in a first-angular direction about said central-axis in response to a said radially flowing pressurized fluid;
C. An inner-rotor located between the fluid-impervious barriers of said outer-rotor and associated with the said frame so as to revolvably surround the central-axis, said inner-rotor including vane means extending in both longitudinal directions toward the respective fluid-impervious barriers of the outer-rotor to provide two distinct longitudinallyseparated fluid expansion chambers between the inner-rotor and the outer-rotor and whereby the inner-rotor is caused to revolve in a second-angular direction about the said central-axis in response to said radially flowing pressurized fluid;
D. A tubular inlet-shaft extending along the said central-axis through a fluid-impervious barrier of said outer rotor, said tubular inlet-shaft being provided with outlet-opening means situated between the outer-rotor fluid-impervious barriers to permit pressurized fluid from the inlet-shaft to flow at substantially like rates simultaneously into both fluid expansion chambers whereby longitudinally extending forces by the radially flowing pressurized fluid upon the two rotors is minimized;
E. An output-shaft rigidly attached to and directly co-revolvable with one of said fluid-actuatable revolvable rotors, said output-shaft extending along the said central-axis; and t F. Torque-addition means operatively extending from the said output-shaft to the directionally opthereon.
positely revolvable fluid-actuatable rotor whereby mechanical energy of the two oppositely revolvable rotors can be added together in the same angular direction about the said central-axis.
2. The rotary fluid-powered apparatus of claim 1 wherein the torque-addition means is a planetary gears assembly.
3. The rotary apparatus of claim 2 wherein the'vane means of the respective rotors is of the multi-blades type, multi-blades vane means of the respective rotors actually intersecting a common reference-plane that is substantially perpendicular to the central-axis to ensure plural rotors utilization of pressurized fluid flowing radially substantially along said reference-plane.
4. The rotary apparatus of claim 3 wherein the vane means of two such respective rotors is arranged in concentric circular annulli, each annulus circularly surrounding the central-axis and comprising a plurality of blades, the radial distance of each multi-blades annulus of the first-rotor from the central-axis differing from the radial distance of each multi-blades annulus of the second-rotor to ensure that multi-blades annulli from both rotors will overlap and actually intersect a said reference-plane.
5. The rotary apparatus of claim 1 wherein the vane means of two such respective rotors are of the multiblades type and arranged in concentric circular annulli, each annulus circularly surrounding the central-axis and comprising a plurality of said blades, intra-annulus blades being of regular cross-sectional size and shape I along a longitudinally extending length thereof.
6. The rotary apparatus of claim S wherein there are fluid exhaust means located radially outwardly from a plurality of said multi-blades annulli, said fluid-impervious barriers extending radially to the fluid exhaust means whereby the radially moving fluid during its blades, respective blades of said rotor having a free-end located longitudinally remote of the plate-like mounting means and having a root-end located immediately adjacent thereto, respective blades actually intersecting and passing into the said plate-like mounting means to provide efflcient and secure mounting of the blades 8. The rotary apparatus of claim 1 wherein the vane means of the two respective rotors are arranged in concentric circular annulli, each annulus comprising a plurality of blades that extend from the respective rotors to the respective expansion chambers, annulli from each rotor and within the same expansion chamber longitudinally overlapping to intersect a common reference-plane of perpendicularity with the centralaxis.
9. The rotary apparatus of claim 8 wherein intra-annulus blades are of regular cross-sectional size and shape along a longitudinally extending length thereof; wherein the tubular inlet-shaft is rigidly attached to the first-plate barrier means of the outer-rotor and directly co-revolvable with said outer-rotor; wherein the output-shaft passes through an opening of the outer-rotor second-plate barrier means and is rigidly attached to a radially-first multi-blades annulus of the inner-rotor and directly co-revolvable with the inner-rotor; wherein the respective blades of the outer-rotors radially outward annular vane means extend from one plate-like barrier to the other to provide a removable connection between said barriers and also fluid exhaust means; and wherein the torque-addition means is a planetary gears assembly operatively extending from said output-shaft to the outer-rotor second-plate barrier means, said gearing being appropriate to cause the output-shaft to travel at an angular velocity at least twice that for the tubular inlet-shaft, the said planetary gearing including a plurality of idler-gears that are rigidly attached with respect to the frame and thus non-- rotatable about said central-axis.
10. The rotary apparatus of claim 4 wherein there are fluid exhaust means located radially outwardly from a plurality of said multi-balades annulli; wherein the output-shaft is rigidly attached to and directly corevolvable with the inner-rotor; and wherein the planetary gears assembly torque-addition means actuatably extends from a fluid-impervious barrier of the outerrotor to said output-shaft.
11. The rotary apparatus of claim 10 wherein the tubular inlet-shaft is rigidly attached to and directly corevolvable with the outer-rotor; and wherein the planetary gears assembly torque-addition means includes an annular spur gear attached to a said fluid-impervious barrier of the outer-rotor and surrounding the said output-shaft whereby the output-shaft and the co-revolvable inner-rotor travel at an angular velocity at least twice that for the outer-rotor.