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Publication numberUS3807912 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateSep 25, 1972
Priority dateSep 25, 1972
Publication numberUS 3807912 A, US 3807912A, US-A-3807912, US3807912 A, US3807912A
InventorsKeller L
Original AssigneeKeller Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fluid flow device having high degree of flexibility
US 3807912 A
Abstract
A fluid flow device useful as a pump having reversible, infinitely variable flow up to full capacity characterized by a rotor assembly; a vane assembly movable to effect a desired direction and degree of eccentricity with respect to the rotor assembly; an outer housing; and control device for effecting the desired direction and degree of eccentricity to control the direction and rate of flow of a fluid such as liquid through the pump. The device can be employed as a fluid flow motor. Also disclosed are specific structural embodiments; such as, control device structure, rotor guide spool structure, relief port structure for preventing liquid "hammer" and serial interconnection of a plurality of pumps to enable employing a single power source while running each pump at its own direction and rate of flow.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Keller FLUID FLOW DEVICE HAVING HIGH DEGREE OF FLEXIBILITY Primary Examiner-C. J. Husar Attorney, Agent, or FirmWofford, Felsman & Fails [75] Inventor: Leonard J. Keller, Sarasota, Fla. [73] Assignee: The Keller Corporation, Sarasota, [57] ABSTRACT Fla. A fluid flow device useful as a pump having reversible, infinitely variable flow up to full capacity character- [22] Flled' Sept' 1972 ized by a rotor assembly; a vane assembly movable to [21] Appl. No.2 291,968 effect a desired direction and degree of eccentricity with respect to the rotor assembly; an outer housing; and control device for effecting the desired direction 5 418/31 41 fig 3 and degree of eccentricity to control the direction and n rate of flow Ofa fluid Such as uid through the pump. 58 Field of Search 418/31 137 138 241 q The device can be employed as a fluid flow motor. Also disclosed are specific structural embodiments; [56] References Clted such as, control device structure, rotor guide spool UNITED STATES PATENTS structure, relief port structure for preventing liquid 1,004,696 10/ 1911 Schoeck 418/241 hammer and serial interconnection of a plurality of 1,009,300 11/ 1911 y 418K141 pumps to enable employing a single power source 113501168 8/1920 Mulmex" 118/137 whilerunning each pump at its own direction and rate 1,365,226 1/1921 Carroll.-. t 418/138 of flow 1,636,799 7/1927 Bernsten 418/241 2,001,011 5/1935 Brown 418/138 A plurality of the devices may befluidly coupled 2,022,207 11/1935 Kratzer.... 4l8/137 together in a pump-motor combination to form an 3,143.07 8/1964 Carner..... 418/31 advantageous, infinitely variable transmission useful 3431,86] 3/1969 Marti" 413/3] for accelerating, sustained movement, or braking. 3,572,985 3/1971 Runge 418/138 7 18 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures 99 I 65a 65 I Q 95 O I as ,1 0 9/ M 5 1; I /05 O I o a9 o 0 #95 FLUID FLOW DEVICE HAVING HIGH DEGREE OF FLEXIBILITY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION:

l. Field of the Invention:

This invention relates to fluid flow devices, such as fluid motors or pumps. More particularly, it relates to a liquid pump of the type commonly referred to as hydraulic pumps.

2. Description of the Prior Art:

A wide variety of fluid flow devices have been known in the prior art, including rotary fluid motors and a wide variety of positive displacement rotary pumps. The sliding vane positive displacement pumps, geared pumps and eccentric rotor, concentric vane positive displacement pumps are known. For example, as early as 1864 and 1868, U.S. Pat. Nos. 43,744 and 83,186 were granted on rotary steam engines having implications of serving as pumps.

In the prior art devices, intermediate attempts, such as described in US. Pat. No. 2,129,431, and recent attempts, such as described in U. S. Pat. No. 3,572,985, employed a semi-cylindrical seal member slideably engaging each side of planar vanes as they slid radially inwardly and outwardly along the vanes. Such structure has the tendency to allow the semi-cylindrical seal members to be pressed together and grip the planar vanes with an excessive force, reducing efficiency and prematurely wearing out the vanes. Other patents, such as U. S. Pat. No. 2,022,207 described employing a seal having a knife-like edge that engaged planar vanes, attempting to form a fluid-tight seal as it moved radially inwardly and outwardly along the vane.

Thus, the prior art devices, either motors or pumps, did not provide a satisfactory seal that would not grip the vanes with too much force and effect premature wear. Moreover, the prior art pumps did not provide a pump in which the rate of flow was infinitely variable from to full capacity of the pump while the pump was turning at a given rotational speed in revolutions per minute (rpm); and, particularly, did not allow full reversibility in combination with the infinitely variable rate of flow.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a fluid flow device that obviates the disadvantages of the prior art structures and provides a satisfactory rotor seal that does not bind the vane.

It is a specific object of this invention to provide a hydraulic pump having full reversibility in the direction of flow and infinitely variable rate of flow from 0 to full capacity of the pump in either direction, even while I turning at a predetermined rotational speed.

These and other specific objects will become apparent from the descriptive matter hereinafter, particularly when taken in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a plurality of ganged, or serially mechanically connected, hydraulic pumps in accordance with one embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view in partial section of one of the pumps of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a partial top plan view of the hydraulic pump of FIG. 2 with the top portion of the outer housing and of the cylinder chamber of the control device removed.

FIG. 4 is a side elevationalview of a guide spool intermediate the end discs and slidably and sealingly engaging a vane in accordance with one embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 5 is a top view of the guide spool of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a partial cross sectional view taken along the line VI-VI of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view in partial section of a fluid expander motor in accordance with another embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 8 is an isometric view, partly schematic, showing a pump and motor fluidly connected together in a power transmission apparatus.

FIG. 9 illustrates a vehicular application for a power transmission similar to that illustrated in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a partial cross sectional view taken along the line X-X of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:

Referring to FIG. 1, a plurality of hydraulic pumps 11, 13 and 15 are serially mechanically connected together by power shafts 17 and 19. A primary input shaft 21 is afforded for connection with a power source, such as a prime mover or electric motor. Each of the hydraulic pumps, such as pump 11, has the capability of full reversal of flow and is infinitely variable in the flow rate therethrough from 0 to full capacity, independently of the other pumps and of the rate of rotation at which the shafts and the pumps are being turned.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, also, each hydraulic pump comprises the main elements or subassemblies of rotor assembly 23; vane assembly 25; control device 27; and outer housing 29.

The rotor assembly includes two circular end discs 31 and 33; and body and interdigitating means 35.

The two circular end discs 31 and 33 are larger in radial extent than the remainder of the rotor assembly 23.

The end discs 31 and 33 are rotatably supported by bearing means, such as bearings 37 and 39 disposed peripherally thereof. Also, thrust bearings 41 and 43 are provided intermediate the end discs 31 and, 33 and the main housing 29. Each of the'end discs 31 and 33 have means for being connected with suitable power shafts so as to rotate in unison therewith and transmit torque therebetween. As illustrated, the end discs 31 and 33 have centrally disposed splined apertures 45 encompassing their centrally disposed power shafts 17 and 21, that are aligned to define a central axis. The central axis is also the central axis for the rotor assembly, where it is concentric,'as illustrated. The power shafts, such as input shaft 21 and output shaft 17, are similarly splined on their ends so as to conformingly engage the splined apertures 45 of the end discs 31 and 33. Each of the end discs 31 and 33 also has a portion of a means for being connected with the body and the interdigitating means so the entire rotor assembly rotates in unison, as will be described in more detail with respect to the assembly of the guide spools 49, and rotor body elements 51, hereinafter.

The body and the interdigitating means 35 comprise guide spools 49 and rotor body elements 51. As can be seen in FIG. 2, there are a plurality of guide spools 49, one for each of the vanes. The plurality of guide spools 49 are disposed between and connect the central portions of the end discs 31 and 33 such that the rotor assembly including the end discs rotates together in uni son about the central axis. The guide spools 49, FIGS.

4-6, have a longitudinally extending slotted aperture 53 for sealingly receiving a vane 63. Each longitudinally extending slotted aperture 53 is formed in an integral body making up the respective guide spool 49 such that the respective vane 63 can slide freely therewithin as the guide spool 49 interdigitates the vane 63 during rotation of the rotor assembly 23. As illustrated, the guide spools 49 are journalled in the respective end discs 31 and 33. The respective ends 57 of the guide spools 49 may be journalled in the suitable bearing means, such as inserts or roller bearings (not shown) to accommodate the relatively small oscillatory pivotal motion required for interdigitating the vanes as the rotor assembly 23 rotates.

The motor body elements 51 are sealingly interposed between the end discs 31 and 33 at their ends and the guide spools 49 at their sides to define the rotor body. lnherently, when the rotor body elements are assembled, their central longitudinal axis is substantially perpendicular to the plane of the end discs 31 and 33. The rotor body elements 51 are fastened to the end discs 31 and 33 by way of suitable machine screws in apertures 52 with dowell pins 54 on either side to prevent rocking of the rotor body element 51.

The vane assembly 25 comprises a vane shaft 61 and a plurality of angularly related radial vanes 63. The vane shaft 61 is actually a floating axle pin that is substantially co-axial with the internal wall'65 of the control device 27. The vane shaft 61 extends between the end discs 31 and 33. A plurality of vanes 63 extend radially outwardly from the vane shaft 61 and are individually pivotal thereon. Each vane is provided with a curved end face 67 of substantially the same radius of curvature as the internal walls 65 of the control device 27 which defines the internal surface of the vane assembly cavity 69. The curved end face 67 of each vane 63, whether in the form of a seal, per se, or the bare end, is in substantial sliding engagement with the wall 65 such that it forms a satisfactory sea] for confining the fluid in the respective subchamber on either side of the vane.

Any appropriate number of vanes may be employed. Generally, there are employed as many as can be mechanically achieved without sacrificing too much cross sectional area of the rotor body or making the diameter of the guide spools too small to allow them to function properly. Ordinarily, 6-1 1 vanes will be employed, depending upon the size, use or application, capacity of the machine, operating pressure desired and speed the machine will run, as well as other variables well known to the engineer. As illustrated, 8 vanes are employed in FIG. 2. The vanes are pin-connected to the common vane shaft 61 at the center of the assembly. The specific structure for interconnection of the vanes and the respective shaft, or axle pin, are specifically illustrated in my co-pending application Ser. No. 227,384 and reference may be had thereto for details. As described therein, the shaft 61 fits through collars on the radially interior vane ends. The collars are symmetrical about a plane through the center of the vane and are perpendicular to both the respective vane 63 and the vane shaft 61. One vane has a single center collar twice the width of the twin collars on the remaining vanes so that all are symmetrical about the plane above-mentioned. Consequently, both pressure forces and accelerationdeceleration forces on the collars are evenly distributed.

The vanes 63 penetrate through the slotted apertures 53 in the guide spools 49, as previously described with respect to FIGS 4-6. The slotted apertures 53 sealingly engage and slide radially inwardly and outwardly along the vanes 63 as the vanes are differentially interdigitated by rotation of the rotor assembly 23.

The vane assembly 25 is held in its desired position by the cylindrical inner wall 65 of the control device 27 defining the vane assembly cavity 69 inside which the vanes rotate as they are differentially interdigitated by the rotor assembly 23. The interdigitating of the vanes, coupled with simultaneous rotation of the vane assembly 25 within the vane assembly cavity 69 thereby effects simultaneous increases; and, alternatively, simultaneous decreases; in two of the three subchamber dimensions uponrotation when eccentrically positioned with respect to the center of the rotor assembly 23. When the control device 27 moves the vane assembly 25 such that its center is the same as the center of the rotor assembly 23, however, there is no differential interdigitating. Therefore, there is no subchamber dimension changes even though there is rotation. Consequently, no pumping takes place even though the machine rotor assembly and the vane assembly may be rotating at the usual speed.

The outer housing 29 contains the fluids and directs their flow in response to pressure differential induced by the rotating vane assembly 25. The outer housing 29 defines a main chamber therewithin and retains the respective components in their proper relationship. As illustrated in FIG. 10, the outer housing 29 slidably and sealingly engages the end discs 31 and 33 to contain the fluid therewithin. The outer housing 29 has inlet and outlet ports 73 and 75, FIG. 2; at' least one power shaft aperture 77 and seal means 79; and opposed guide plate receiving means 81 and 83. The inlet and outlet port 73 and have respective manifold means 85 for connection with suitable conduit in a flow system, as by flanges and stud bolts. Appropriate side covers 113, FIGS. 1, 3 and 10, may be affixed to a central member by any conventional means such as machine screws (not shown) to effect the outer housing 29. From the descriptive matter, it can be seen that the respective inlet and outlet ports 73 and 75 may be reversed depending upon the direction of the vane shaft 61 with respect to the central axis of the rotor assembly 23. As illustrated, the housing 29 has a pair of oppositely disposed operating shaft apertures for interconnecting respective shafts l7 and 21 intermediate the end discs 31 and 33. The seal means 79 may comprise any suitable seal for sealing intermediate the respective shafts l7 and 21 and the encompassing housing 29. Suitable shaft bearings 87, such as roller bearings, may be employed about the shaft interiorly of the seal 79, if desired.

The opposed guide plate receiving means 81 and 83 comprise slots having rectangular cross section for sealingly and slidably receiving the guide plates 89 and 91 of the control device 27.

The control device 27 includes a cylindrical chamber serving as the vane assembly cavity 69 and defined by the generally cylindrical member 93; guide plates 89 and 91 referred to hereinbefore; and positioning means 95. The cylindrical chamber is a right circular cylinder defined by the cylindrical member 93 inside and sealingly engaging the two opposed and parallel end discs 31 and 33. Expressed otherwise, the cylindrical member 93 is in essentially sliding sealing contact with the end discs 31 and 33. The central axis of the cylindrical chamber is normal to the plane of the respective end discs 31 and 33. The cylindrical member 93 has a plurality of inlet and outlet ports 97 and 99 in diametrically opposite sides intermediate the guide plates 89 and 91. Expressed otherwise, the inlet and outlet ports comprise a plurality of apertures arranged to divide the two sides of the pump into an inlet side and an outlet side; although the sides may be interchanged one for the other by moving the control device across to position the vane shaft 61 on the other side of the central axis of the rotor assembly 23.

The guide plates 89 and 91 are sealingly connected with the cylindrical chamber via the cylindrical member 93 and extend outwardly to define separate, noncommunicating, and reversible inlet and outlet chambers 101 and 103 within the main chamber of the outer housing 29. The inlet and outlet chambers 101 and 103 are disposed about the exterior of the cylindrical chamber, or vane assembly cavity 69, and are reversible, as indicated hereinbefore. Similarly, as indicated hereinbefore, the guide plates 89 and 91 are sealingly and slidably disposed in the respective guide plate receiving means 81 and 83 of the outer housing 29.

The positioning means 95 may comprise any means able to deliver the force required to position and retain in position the control device 27. As illustrated, the positioning means comprises rack 105, and a pinion 107 mounted on a power driven shaft 109. The power driven shaft 109 may be powered manually as by a lockable crank, but preferably will be driven by a suitable motor and brake. A reinforcing roller 111 is employed to prevent slippage between the gear teeth on the rack and pinionl05 and 107,and ensure delivery of the requisite force to move the control-device 17. As implied hereinbefore, the positioning means 95 is employed for moving the cylindrical member 93 with its internal cylindrical chamber, or vane assembly cavity 69, to the desired degree of eccentricity in the desired direction with respect to the'central axis of the end plates, or the rotor assembly 23, for effecting the desired direction and rate of flow of fluid through the pump.

At least one relief port 1 17 is provided to prevent liquid hammer, caused by inadvertently attempting to compress sealed-in liquid intermediate the rotor assembly 23, respective vanes and the inner wall 65 of the cylindrical member 93. The relief port communicates with at least one of the inlet and outlet chambers, such as inlet chamber 101, and the interior of the cylindrical chamber defining the vane assembly cavity 69. The internal communication, or end of the relief port 117 is located intermediate the respective sets of inlet and outlet ports 97 and 99 during flow for preventing the liquid hammer. As illustrated, a plurality of relief ports 117 and 119 are provided. At least one of the relief ports communicates with the inlet chamber 101 and at least one of the relief ports communicates with the outlet chamber 103. To prevent communication between the respective inlet and outlet chambers 101 and 103 which should never be in communication, it is imperative .that the relief ports be blocked from simultaneously communicating with both the respective inlet and outlet chambers and the same subchamber defined by the respective vanes interiorly of the vane assembly cavity 69. Expressed otherwise, the vane 63a, FIG. 2,

must block off the inlet to the relief port 119 before the vane 63b opens the inlet to relief port 117. Otherwise, there would be flow from the high pressure, or outlet,

' chamber 103 to the inlet chamber 101. As can be seen by considering the relief ports on the left hand side of FIG. 2, the relief ports may communicate with each other interiorly of the vane assembly cavity while the respective vanes are spread apart without adverse consequences, since the other end of the respective relief ports are sealed by the guide plate receiving means 83 and prevents communication with the inlet and outlet chambers 101 and 103.

In operation, one or more hydraulic pumps 11, are connected together, as by power shafts l7 and 19. The respective elements of the pump will have been assembled as indicated hereinbefore. The positioning means is operatedto obtain the desired degree of eccentricity of the vane assembly 25in the cylindrical member 93, with respect to the central axis of the rotor assembly 23. Rotation is effected by means of interconnection of the one or more power shafts with a power source, such as an electric motor or prime mover. If the rate of flow effected at the achieved rpm is too low or too high, it can be adjusted by moving the positioning means to move the control device 27 and bring the vane axis 61 nearer to or farther away from the central axis of the rotor assembly 23; thereby, respectively, decreasing or increasing the flow through the hydraulic pump 11. Ascan be seen, the rotor assembly 23 rotates and effects rotation of the vanes 63 of the vane assembly 25, simultaneously interdigitating the vanes 63 and effecting pumping of the fluid through the pump. Expressed otherwise, the fluid will be picked up through inlet ports 97 and conveyed to the outlet ports 99. The fluid will be discharged through the outlet ports 99, since the volume of the respective subchambcrs defined by the vanes decreases upon further rotation in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 2.

If it is desired to cease pumping fluid, the control device 27 is moved to position the vane shaft 61.at the central axis of the rotor assembly. The pump may con tinue to rotate freely but will effect no pumping action since the subchambers defined intermediate the vanes 63 and the end discs 31 and 33 do not change size with such concentric arrangement. The pump 11 displaces a quantity of fluid per revolution that is proportional to the distance of the vane shaft 61 from the central axis of the rotor device. Flow is therefore infinitely variable b a se 0 and sma irnum p c y f thq'p m at maximum capacity of the pump. This flexibility has been long sought, but not achievable, heretofore, with positive displacement pumps; except for the axial piston type wobble plate units, which are plagued with various problems and are limited in capacity.

Suitable splined sub shafts may be employed to serially connect any number and size of pumps as desired so that multiple units may be stacked one on the other and driven by'one input shaft. The succeeding interconnecting shafts allow any accumulation of pumps for a given multi-component system, yet direction and rate of flow from the respective pumps can be controlled by positioning the control device 27, with a great degree of independence from the speed at which the pump may be rotating.

MOTOR APPLlCATlONS:

The previously described device can be employed, also, as a fixed displacement and a variable displacement expander motor.

As illustrated in FIG. 7, the expander motor 123 comprises the same elements of: the motor assembly 23, the vane assembly 25, the control device 27 and the outer housing 29. The rotor assembly 23 and the vane assembly 25 are constructed similarly as described hereinbefore.

The outer housing 29 is also constructed similarly as described hereinbefore, although the respective inlet and outlet ports 73 and 75 may be located more closely adjacent each other for greatest efficiency. The control device 27 has'its usual guides 89 and 91 but includes a control ring 125. The positioning means 95 comprises a cam means 133 having a camming surface 135 for moving the cylindrical member 93 within the main chamber of the outer housing 29 for controlling the rate of flow, as described hereinbefore. Any suitable means may be employed for keeping the shaft 137 contiguous the camming surface 135. As illustrated, a strong spring 139 is employed, the spring pushing against washer member 141 that is connected with the shaft 137.

In operation, the fluid under elevated pressure flows through inlet port 73 and through the inlet apertures 143 of the control ring 125 into the respective subchambers defined by the vanes of the vane assembly 23. As the fluid expands, work is done, similarly as described in my previously filed and copending application Ser. No. 227,393, entitled Rotor Vane Motor Device, filed Feb. 18, 1972. The amount of work done in expansion of the fluid may be controlled by the control device 27. In the illustrated position, the motor 123 will have its greatest expansion ratio and efficiency. Movement of the control ring 125 to the right, as viewed in FIG. 7, will give a greater mass rate of flow at the expenseof lowering the expansion ratio and the efficiency of the motor 123.

On the other hand, the motor 123 may be operated as a motor by flowing an incompressible fluid therethrough. The motor 123 is operated as incompressible fluid motor by supplying the incompressible fluid, such as hydraulic fluid or oil, at some pressure at the inlet port; flowing the fluid through the motor 123; and discharging the fluid at a lower pressure at the outlet port. Either of the ports 73 and 75 may be employed as the inlet port, with the other opening serving as the outlet port. Where an incompressible fluid is employed and there is a full reversibility option, it will ordinarily be desirable to employ a plurality of the apertures 143, similarly as illustrated with respect to apertures 145. For convenience, the motor 123 is referred to as a hydraulic motor when operated on'an incompressible fluid. If desired when the motor 123 is operated on an incompressible fluid, relief ports, such as the relief ports 117 and 119, FIG. 2, may be employed if the ap ertures 143 and 145 are so spaced that there is a likelihood of having liquid hammer. The sameprecautions with respect to location and venting of the relief ports in pump 11 described hereinbefore are applicable to the hydraulic motor 123.

As described hereinbefore, the hydraulic motor 123 may cease to develop torque as the control device 27 is moved such that the center of the vane shaft 61 is aligned with the center of the rotor assembly 23. As the control device 27 is moved into an eccentric position, however, the hydraulic motor 123 rotates in one direction or the other, depending upon which direction in which the control device is moved and the flow of fluids through the hydraulic motor 123. The shaft rotation is, consequently, reversible without changing direction of fluid flow into and out of the main housing by way of the respective ports 73 and 75. The hydraulic motor 123 will have an output torque on its output shaft, such as shaft 153, FIGS. 7, 8 and 9, that is proportional to the amount of eccentricity and to the difference between the inlet pressure and the outlet pressure. Thus, the output torque is completely variable from 0 to a maximum for any set of inlet and outlet pressure conditions and the flow of fluid therethrough.

The shaft rotating speed at a given rate of flow of fluid through the hydraulic motor 123 is inversely proportional to the displacement per revolution of the motor 123. The displacement per revolution of the motor 123 is variable and is controlled by the amount of eccentricity. The shaft speed of rotation in actual operation will depend upon the output torque of the motor 123 and the resistance of the load to that torque. Under low levels of torque resistance, or load, the shaft speed attainable becomes very high as the volume capacity per revolution approaches 0. This allows high speed operation at low load. On the other hand, at a fully eccentric position, the volume capacity per revolution approaches its maximum, the greatest torque is developed, and the shaft speed is at its lowest. The hydraulic motor 123 has a flow capacity and power delivery capability that is from 10 to 20 times as great as the power and capacity of the best conventionally available fluid motors, such as the axial piston type motors, now

in common use.

The high shaft speed capability of the hydraulic motor 123 gives it a broad range of speed variability and allows a high degree of flexibility in design applications. For example, the hydraulic motor 123 could be used to accelerate the wheels of an aircraft to runway speed prior to touchdown when landing for greater safety and reduced tire wear. The hydraulic motor. 123 could also provide wheel driving capability independent of the propulsion motors of the aircraft, having high moving torque at low taxi speeds and relatively constant horsepower with diminishing torque as speed increases up to take-off speed. On the other hand, the hydraulic motor 123 could be employed as a pump against which loading is applied, as by a pump-motor combination, to assist in braking aircraft wheels during landing and deceleration.

PUMP-MOTOR COMBINATION,

The hydraulic pump 11 and the hydraulic motor 123 can be combined into a power transmission package that allows full reversibility of pump and motor functions to afford unprecedented flexibility, yet provide unique advantages over conventional and similar units.

FIG. 8 illustrates a typical such interconnection in which the pump 11 is serially coupled with the motor 123 to provide a complete variable-speed ratio power transmission. The hydraulic pump, or pump unit, 11 is coupled to a prime mover, or power source, by way of its shaft 21. The hydraulic pump 11 is fluidly connected with the motor 123 by way of high pressure conduit 149 and low pressure, or return, conduit 151 to form a closed cycle system. Specifically, the outlet port on the pump 11 is connected to the fluid inlet port of the motor 123. The motor unit 123 has an output shaft 153 that is connected with the respective end discs such as 31 and 33, FIGS. 2 and 3. The output shaft 153, FIGS 7-9, is then coupled to the load; such as the wheel 155 in FIG. 9. The output port of the motor 123 is fluidly coupled with the inlet port of the pump 11 via the low pressure conduit 151 for a return of the incompressible fluid, such as hydraulic fluid. The fluidly coupled pump 11 and motor 123 provides an infinitely variable ratio, within broad limits, between the input shaftspeed and the output shaft speed, allows full reversibility of functions for either supplying power for acceleration or braking for deceleration, at the choice of the operator. For instance, an automobile could run down grade at a high rate of speed, but with its engine idling and have the hydraulic pump 11 still connected directly to the drive wheels. Yet, the same vehicle could climb a steep grade with its engine running at a maximum speed and the vehicle creeping along at a few miles per hour. All ratios between these limits would be available, as well as the ability to come to a complte stop without the need for disengaging a clutch; all simply by properly positioning the center of the vane assembly 25 with respect to the center of rotation of the rotor assembly 23. Moreover, the illustrated combination of pump 11 and motor 123 provides the ability to reverse without shifting gears in the transmission and provides almost unlimited ability to brake the vehicle with good control, using the power transmission to do so.

It is immaterial in the illustrated serial fluid connection between the pump 11 and the motor 123 whether the pump and motor are physically joined together or even in a common housing; or removed from each other, aside from the hydraulic horsepower lost in flowing the fluid through the respective high pressure and low pressure conduits 149 and 151. FIG. 9 illustrates a specific application in which the pump 11 pumps the hydraulic fluid through a hydraulic motor 123 that is directly connected with a wheel 151, affording a fluid drive on a vehicle, either on highway vehicles, such as a car or truck, or off highway vehicles, such as earth movers. The pump 11 and motor 123 are connected by suitable high pressure conduit 149 and low pressure conduit 151 that may be piping and flexible tubing means that are conventionally employed in high pressure fluid flow. The working fluid is recirculated, as with a conventional pump-motor combination.

The pump 11 and the motor 123 power transmission offers further versatility and advantages as follows. A mobile vehicle could be operated through the full range of vehicle speeds and power requirements while operating the engine at either a constant, or relatively constant rotational speed. The engine could be programmed to operate at the optimum efficiency at all times, or it could be programmed to operate at the minimum pollution level at all times, yet effect the desired power transmission. A small hydraulic motor can be employed on each wheel and a relatively low-emission automobile can be provided at a cost competitive with conventional equipment and with virtually complete design flexibility. For example, a Rankine cycle, turbine-driv'en automobile becomestheoretically feasible with such a transmission available. Moreover, a diesel engine with low pollution emission accoutrements can meet the 1975 emission standards required when the illustrated power transmission is employed. Also, even the low efficiency gas turbine engines can be operated at high rpm and become theoretically feasible when the combination pump 11 and motor 123 are employedas the transmission.

One significant aspect of the transmission comprising pump 11 and motor 123 is that an energy storing flywheel can store sufficient energy at relatively high rpm to maintain engine speed during power demand surges so that overfueling as a means of providing acceleration can be avoided to further reduce pollution emission levels from the engine GENERAL:

Although splined shafts and apertures have been disclosed as the means of interconnecting the operating shafts 17and 21 with the end discs 31 and 33, any other satisfactory means of connecting the power shaft with the end discs can be employed.

The guide spools 49 may be connected with the end discs 31 and 33 by being fixed between shoulders of the end discs by cap screws penetrating through apertures in the end discs 31 and 33, similarly as described with regard to shaft 73 affixed to circular rotating plates in my co-pending patent application Ser. No. 227,384, entitled Rotary Vane Device, filed Feb. 18, 1972. Allowance must be made, however, for oscillatory pivotal motion for interdigitating the vanes. Moreover, any other interconnection means may be employed if it effects the results described hereinbefore.

Any satisfactory positioning means may be employed if it will effect the positioning of the control device 27 against the forces involved. For example, hydraulic rams may be employed toeffect the requisite positioning. In the hydraulic pump application wherein high pressure hydraulic fluid is delivered through the discharge aperture; thecamming means, as described with respect to the motor 123, may be preferable. When such a camming means is employed, it may be desirable that the shaft 137, or its equivalent, in the hydraulic pump employ positive engaging means to engage a camming recess such that it is forced in both directions to enable full reversibility and full pressure in either direction of flow; instead of employing a strong spring 139 to keep the shaft 137 in engagement with the camming surface 135.

From the foregoing, it can be seen that this invention provides a structure that can be employed either as an expansion motor for flow of an expansible fluid therethrough to deliver power, or as a fully reversible, infinitely variable hydraulic pump. It is particularly in the latter application that this invention has usefulness because of its exceptionally high degree of flexibility. The hydraulic horsepower that is capable of being delivered by a given size unit is amazingly higher than any apparatus of the prior art. For example, we have found a unit employing a 2 inch rotor assembly capable of delivering 46 hydraulic horsepower at a discharge pressure of 3,200 pounds per square inch (psi) and a flow rate of 24 gallons per minute at a speed of only 300 rpm as contrasted with conventional units turning 1,800 rpm. The hydraulic pump of this invention can be employed in a space requirement of only 220 cubic inches compared with a space requirement of 1,650 cubic inches with the best conventional hydraulic pump currently available and delivering the same hydraulic horsepower and flow capability. The advantages of the motor and the combination pump-motor transmission have been specifically delineated hereinbefore.

Thus, this invention provides the objects delineated hereinbefore.

Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that numerous changes in the details of construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and the scope of this invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A fluid flow device comprising:

a. a rotor assembly including:

i. two circular end discs having a common central axis;

a plurality of guide spools disposed between and connecting the central portion of said end discs such that said rotor assembly including the end discs rotates together in unison about said central axis; each said guide spool having a longitudinally extending slotted aperture for sealingly receiving a vane; said longitudinally extending slottedaperture being formed in an integral body such that said vane can slide freely therewithin as said guide spools interdigitate said vanes during rotation of said rotor assembly; and

iii. rotor body elements sealingly interposed between said end discs at their ends and said guide spools at their sides to define said rotor body;

b. a vane assembly including:

i. a vane shaft defining a vane axis;

ii. a plurality of angularly related radial vanes that are connected with said vane shaft and are independently pivotal and rotatable within a cylindrical chamber of a control device; said vanes occupying substantially the total radial distance from said vane shaft to the internal wall of said cylindrical chamber; respective said vanes being slidably and sealingly disposed within said longitudinally extending slotted aperture of said guide spools of said rotor assembly for being interdigitated when said rotor assembly rotates and said vane assembly is eccentric with respect thereto; said vane shaft and said vanes sealingly engaging said end discs of said rotor assembly and slidable therewithin for being moved to a desired degree of eccentricity;

c. an outer housing having:

i. inlet and outlet ports;

ii. at least one operating shaft aperture and seal means for receiving a power shaft; and

iii. opposed guide plate receiving means for sealingly and slidably receiving guide plates of a control device; said outer housing defining a main chamber therewithin;

d. a control device including:

i. a cylindrical chamber sealingly encompassing said vane assembly and the outer radial tips of said vanes; said cylindrical chamber being disposed 'within said main chamber; said cylindrical chamber having its end sealingly and slidably engaging said end discs; said cylindrical chamber having a plurality of inlet and outlet ports on diametrically opposed sides intermediate guide plates; guide plates sealingly connected with walls of said cylindrical chamber and extending outwardly to define separate, non-communicating inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing and about the exterior of said cylindrical chamber; said guide plates being sealingly and slidably disposed in said respective guide plate receiving means of said outer housing; and iii. positioning means for positioning said cylindrical chamber at the desired degree of eccentricity with respect to said central axis of said end plates for effecting the desired rate of flow of fluid therethrough; and e. at least one power shaft connected with said rotor assembly. 2. The device of claim 1 wherein said plurality of 3. The device of claim 1 wherein the fluid flow device is a reversible, infinitely variable pump; said vane shaft and said vanes are slidable within said end discs in at least two directions with respect to the central axis thereof for reversibility and infinitely variable flow adjustmem nlhs. rapeestfirgmllto. heme lm.

capacity of the pump in either direction of flow; wherein said inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing are reversible; and said positioning means positions and cylindrical chamber at both the desired direction and degree of eccentricity with respect to the central axis of said end plates for effecting the desired direction and rate of pumping of a fluid therethrough.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein siid pump is a liquid pump; and at-least one relief port is provided; said relief port communicating with at least one of said inlet and outlet chambers and the interior of said cylindrical chamber intermediate the respective sets of inlet and outlet ports on the high pressure side during flow for preventing knock by attempting to compress sealed-in liquid.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein a plurality of relief ports are provided; at least one respective relief port communicating with said inlet chamber and at least one respective relief port communicating with said outlet chamber.

6. The device of claim 5 wherein respective said relief ports are blocked from simultaneously communicating with both said respective inlet and outlet chambers during any portion of a cycle where said relief ports communicate with each other interiorly of said cylindrical chamber such that said inlet and outlet chambers are never in communication.

7. The device of claim 3 wherein a plurality of said devices are connected together by a plurality of intermediate stub shafts and driven by one power source; each pump being operable with its own respective direction of flow and its own rate of flow up to the rate possible at the rate of rotation of the respective shafts and pumps, and independently of any other pump.

8. The device of claim 1 wherein a plurality of power shafts are provided, one each being connected in a power delivery relationship with each end plate so that said shafts and said end plates rotate in unison.

9. The device of claim 1 wherein the fluid flow device is a reversible, infinitely variable fluid motor; said motor being operable to deliver power on its power shaft in response to passage of a fluid therethrough from a high pressure to a lower pressure; said vane shaft and said vanes are slidable within said end discs in at least two directions with respect to the central axis thereof for reversibility and infinitely variable rotational speed of its output shaft in coordination with the load being driven by said output shaft and equivalent to the power available with respect to the predetermined rate of flow and pressure differential across the motor within the range up to the maximum capacity at the given operating condition, wherein said inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing are reversible; and said positioning means positions said cylindrical chamber in both the desired direction and degree of eccentricity with respect to the central axis of said end plates for effecting the desired direction of flow of fluid and the rate of rotation of said shaft connected with said rotor assembly.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein said fluid motor is an expander motor and the fluid flowing therethrough is'an expansible and compressible fluid.

11. The device of claim 9 wherein said motor is a liquid motor and said fluid is an incompressible liquid.

12. A combination of devices in accordance with claim 1 wherein a first device of claim 1 is a reversible, infinitely variable pump and a second of said devices of claim 1 is a reversible, infinitely variable fluid motor; the respective outlet ports of said pump and said motor are serially connected with the input ports of said motor and said pump, respectively, by way of fluidimpermeable conduits capable of containing the pressure of a fluid therein; a working fluid contained in said pump, said motor, and said fluid-impermeable conduits so as to deliver power in response to pumping by said pump and effect rotation of said motor; wherein said power shaft on said pump is adapted for being connected with a source of power and said power shaft on said motor is adapted for being connected with a load; said vane shafts and said vanes of said pump and said motor being slidable within respective said end discs in at least two directions with respect to the central axis thereof for reversibility and infinitely variable adjustments, respectively, within the range of from to the maximum capacity of the pump at a particular rotational speed in either direction of flow, and from 0 to the desired rotational speed of the output of said motor up to the power available with respect to the predetermined rate of flow and pressure differential across the motor as being supplied by said pump; wherein each device has its said inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing reversible; and said positioning means positions said cylindrical chamber in each said device at both the desired degree of eccentricity with respect to the central axis of its said end plates for effecting the desired direction and, respectively, rate of pumping of a fluid therethrough, and torque and rotational speed of said motor output shaft.

13. A fluid flow device comprising: a. a rotor assembly including:

i. two circular end discs having a common central axis; and ii. body and interdigitating means connecting said end discs such that said rotor assembly including the end discs rotate together in unison about said 7 central axis; said body and interdigitating means having means for sealingly and slidably engaging vanes of a vane assembly; a vane assembly comprising a plurality of centrally pinned together vanes that extend radially outwardly through and in sliding and sealing engagement with said body and interdigitating means; said vanes being independently pivotal and rotatable within a cylinder chamber of a control device and forming respective, separate, variable volume subchambers therewithin; said vanes sealingly engaging said end discs of' said rotor assembly and slidable therewithin for being moved to a desired degree of eccentricity; c. an outer housing having:

i. inlet and outlet ports;

ii. at least one operating shaft aperture and seal means for receiving a power shaft; and

iii. opposed guide plate receiving means for sealingly and slidably receiving guide plates of a control device; said outer housing defining a main chamber therewithin;

d. a control device including:

i. a cylindrical chamber sealingly encompassing said vane assembly and the outer radial tips of said vanes; said cylindrical chamber being disposed within said main chamber; said cylindrical chamber having its ends sealingly and slidably engaging said end discs; said cylindrical chamber having a plurality of inlet and outlet ports on diametrically opposed sides intermediate guide plates;

guide plates sealingly connected with said cylindrical chamber and extending outwardly to define separate, non-communicating inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing and about the exterior of said cylindrical chamber; said guide plates being sealingly and slidably disposed in said respective guide plate receiving means of said outer housing; and iii. positioning means for positioning said cylindrical chamber at the desired degree of eccentricity with respect to said central axis of said end plates for effecting the desired rate of flow of fluid therethrough; and

e. at least one power shaft connected with said rotor assembly.

14. The device of claim 13 wherein the fluid flow device is a reversible, infinitely variable pump; said vane shaft and said vanes are slidable within said end discs in at least two directions with respect to the central axis thereof for reversibility and infinitely variable flow adjustment within the range of from O to the maximum capacity of the pump in either direction of flow; wherein said inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing are reversible; and said positioning means positions said cylindrical chamber at both the desired direction anddegree of eccentricity with respect to the central axis of said end plates for effecting the desired direction and rate of pumping of a fluid therethrough.

15. The device of claim 13 wherein the fluid flow device is a reversible, infinitely variable fluid motor; said motor being operable to deliver power on its power shaft in response to passage of a fluid therethrough from a high pressure to a lower pressure; said vanes are slidable within said end discs in at least two directions with respect to the central axis thereof for reversibility and infinitely variable rotational speed of its output shaft in coordination with the load being driven by said output shaft and equivalent to the power available with respect to the predetermined rate of flow and pressure differential across the motor within the range up to the maximum capacity at the given operating condition; wherein said inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing are reversible; and said positioning means positions said cylindrical member in both the desired direction and degree of eccentricity with respect to the central axis of said end plates for effecting the desired direction of flow of fluid and the rate of rotation of said shaft connected with said rotor assembly.

16. The device of claim 15 wherein said fluid motor is an expander motor and the fluid flowing therethrough is an expansible and compressible fluidv 17. The device of claim 15 wherein said motor is a liquid motor and said fluid is an incompressible liquid.

18. A combination of devices in accordance with claim 13 wherein a first device of claim 13 is a reversible, infinitely variable pump and a second of said devices of claim 13 is a reversible, infinitely variable fluid 16 motor; the respective outlet ports of said pump and said motor are serially connected with the input ports of said motor and said pump, respectively, by way of fluidimpermeable conduits capable of containing the pressure of a fluid therein; a working fluid contained in said pump, said motor, and said fluid-impermeable conduits so as to deliver power in response to pumping by said pump and effect rotation of said motor; wherein said power shaft on said pump is adapted for being connected with a source of power and said power shaft on said motor is adapted for being connected with a load; said vanes of said pump and said motor being slidable within respective said end discs in at least two directions with respect to the central axis thereof for reversibility and infinitely variable adjustments, respectively, withig-ghg yfir t lil 29 maximum Capacity 9 the pump at a particular rotational speed in either dis i nv Qtflow, an r 0 IQfil 5 S relating! speed of the output of said motor up to the power available with respect to the predetermined rate of flow and pressure differential across the motor as being supplied by said pump; wherein each device has its said inlet and outlet chambers within said main chamber of said outer housing reversible; and said positioning means positions said cylindrical chamber in each said device at both the desired degree of eccentricity with respect to the central axis of its said end plates for effecting the desired direction and, respectively, rate of pumping of a fluid therethrough, and torque and rotational speed of said motor output shaft.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification418/31, 418/137, 418/241
International ClassificationF01C1/352, F04C14/22, F04C14/00, F01C1/00
Cooperative ClassificationF04C14/223, F01C1/352
European ClassificationF01C1/352, F04C14/22B