Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3832519 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1974
Filing dateAug 11, 1972
Priority dateAug 11, 1972
Also published asCA980425A, CA980425A1
Publication numberUS 3832519 A, US 3832519A, US-A-3832519, US3832519 A, US3832519A
InventorsAzinger F, Fey M, Wolf C
Original AssigneeWestinghouse Electric Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Arc heater with integral fluid and electrical ducting and quick disconnect facility
US 3832519 A
Abstract
An arc heater having simplified construction allowing the use of electrodes of varying length and field coils of varying number and employing a field coil cooling fluid manifold which is adapted to provide cooling fluid and electrical power to discrete field coil assemblies. The apparatus includes an internal process gas metering orifice between electrode assemblies to allow the flow of process gas from a downstream gas entry port to an upstream gas admission ring and thence to the arc chamber in addition to a central gas admission ring disposed longitudinally between electrodes. The upstream ducting channel for the previously described process gas system includes a metering valve therein for volume control. The arc heater apparatus also includes fluid tight sealing means in a unitary electrode cooling channel. This sealing means is disposed parallel to the gap between the separable electrodes of the arc heater apparatus. When the arc heater is in an operable disposition the sealing means utilize the cooling fluid pressure to enhance sealing. The sealing means also has a special insulating configuration to increase the electrical insulation between electrodes in the electrode cooling path of differing electrical potential.
Images(6)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Wolf et al.

[451 Aug. 27, 1974 ARC HEATER WITH INTEGRAL FLUID [75] Inventors: Charles B. Wolf, Irwin; Maurice G.

Fey; Frederick A. Azinger, Jr., both of Pittsburgh, all of Pa.

[73] Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corporation,

Pittsburgh, Pa.

[22] Filed: Aug. 11, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 279,895

[52] US. Cl. 219/121 P, 219/383, 313/231 [51] Int. Cl B23k 9/00 [58] Field of Search 219/121 P, 74, 75, 383;

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,398,962 4/1946 Randrup 85/32 W 2,405.251 8/1946 Glaze 85/32 W 2,430,677 11/1947 Hobart 85/32 W 3,309,550 3/1967 Wolf et al.... 219/121 P X 3,316,444 4/1967 Mentz 219/121 P X 3,360,682 12/1967 Moore 219/121 P X 3,705,975 12/1972 Wolf et al. 219/383 Primary Examiner--J. V. Truhe Assistant ExaminerG. R. Peterson Attorney, Agent, or FirmM. J. Moran ABSIRACT An arc heater having simplified construction allowing the use of electrodes of varying length and field coils of varying number and employing a field coil cooling fluid manifold which is adapted to provide cooling fluid and electrical power to discrete field coil assemblies. The apparatus includes an internal process gas metering orifice between electrode assemblies to allow the flow of process gas from a downstream gas entry port to an upstream gas admission ring and thence to the arc chamber in addition to a central gas admission ring disposed longitudinally between electrodes. The upstream ducting channel for the previously described process gas system includes a metering valve therein for volume control. The arc heater apparatus also includes fluid tight sealing means in a unitary electrode cooling channel. This sealing means is disposed parallel to the gap between the separable electrodes of the arc heater apparatus. When the arc heater is in an operable disposition the sealing means utilize the cooling fluid pressure to enhance sealing. The sealing means also has a special insulating configuration to increase the electrical insulation between electrodes in the electrode cooling path of differing electrical potential.

4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENIED AUG 2 7 i974 SNEET 305 6 mmm mmm PATENTEB M182 7 1974 I SNEEI 8 BF 6 ARC HEATER WITH INTEGRAL FLUID AND ELECTRICAL DUCTING AND QUICK DISCONNECT FACILITY CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS Certain inventions related to those disclosed in the present application are disclosed and claimed in copending application Ser. No. 279,894, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,760,151, filed concurrently herewith and assigned to the same assignee as the assignee of the present invention.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to arc heaters in general and in particular to are heaters which may be disassembled quickly and conveniently.

2. Description of the Prior Art Prior art are heater apparatus often comprise two generally cylindrically shaped, hollow, axially aligned electrodes having a small annular gap therebetween. An electric arc energized from a convenient external source of electrical power is struck between the cylindrical electrodes in the gap. Because of the heat generated by the arc, cooling channels are often disposed against the outer perimeter of the cylindrical electrodes. In addition, in some prior art are heaters process material or gas is supplied through a convenient ducting means to the annular gap to be introduced radially into the arc chamber. Also, in some apparatus gas and other feed material is provided to the arc chamber at a point upstream of the annular gap so that it may flow downstream past the annular gap internal to the electrode within the arc chamber. Also, in some prior art arc heaters annular or cylindrical electromagnetic field coils are disposed adjacent to the outer surface of the cylindrical electrodes to provide a magnetic field which may be used to rotate the are around the annular gap. These field coils require a cooling system and electrical power. In most of the prior art are heaters the electrodes of the arc heater are separable axially at the annular gap. This place is usually chosen because a voltage difference exists between the electrodes for striking the arc. In addition, should the gap need to be varied in size, spacers may be provided in this region for that purpose. Also, as was mentioned previously the annular gap is the place where gas or fluid is quite often introduced into the arc heater for processing and other purposes. Consequently, a separate annular gas introducing ring is usually provided in this region.

Certain problems, however, arise with the use of prior art arc heater apparatus one of which is caused by the means for channeling cooling fluid and conducting electrical power through fluid channels and electrical conductors, respectively, across the annular gap. The are heater apparatus should be easily disassembled or separated in the region of the annular gap so that the two electrodes can be separated from each other axially for cleaning inspection or replacement of defective parts without necessitating disassembly of relatively permanent piping hardware and electrically connecting fixtures, but this is not usually the case. In some instances attempts have been made to provide for quick disconnect or quick disassembly of the arc heater apparatus by providing separate piping and separate electrical systems for each of the electrodes. In other instances, convenience in separating the electroces is sacrificed for a reduction in the number of hardware fixtures required by providing external innerconnecting piping channels and electrically conducting paths between like parts of the separable arc heater apparatus. Examples of arc heater apparatus employing cooling systems, electrically conducting systems, and fluid admission system of the type previously discussed may be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,400,070 issued to J. T. Naff Sept. 3, 1968 and 3,360,682 issued to R. A. Moore Dec. 26, 1967. In addition, U.S. Pat. No. 3,629,553 by Maurice G. Fey, Charles B. Wolf, Frederick A. Azinger, Jr. and George A. Kemeny issued Dec. 21, 1971, and U.S. Pat. No. 3,663,792 by Maurice G. Fey issued May 16, 1972 which are assigned to the same assignee as the assignee of the present invention are also examples of prior art are heaters.

It would be convenient to have an arc heater apparatus which was quickly separable between electrodes at the annular gap in such a manner that a minimum number of disconnections of the external piping joints and electrical conductors need be made. One convenient way to do this would be to provide internal quick disconnect electrical conductors, fluid and gas piping connections.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention an electric arc heater apparatus is disclosed which comprises a pair of cylndrical hollow electrodes separated axially by an annular gap having common quickly disconnectable fluid cooling paths for the electrodes, well insulated and fluid tight electrically conducting paths for the electrodes, magnetic field coils surrounding the electrodes with separate electrically connecting paths and fluid cooling paths and process fluid admission ports spaced between the electrodes and at one end of the upstream electrode. The upstream electrode is disposed upon wheels so that it may be moved away from the downstream electrode when disconnected therefrom. The upstream or movable electrode has disposed therein portions of the previously described cooling paths, gas admission paths and electrically conducting paths which may be quickly disconnected from and reconnected to complementary portions of cooling paths, gas

admission paths and electrically conducting paths in the downstream or relatively fixed electrode respectively. This is accomplished by providing field coil cooling fluid and electrical power to input and exit ports on the downstream electrode assembly only and by also providing a quick disconnect connector between the upstream and downstream electrodes for the field coil manifold assembly, by also providing a process gas admission input port at the downstream electrode assembly only, and by providing a convenient internal electrode cooling channel bridging path between the upstream electrode and the downstream electrode so that one source of cooling fluid may cool both electrodes serially rather than in parallel as with two separate sources of electrode cooling fluid. Process gas from the downstream electrode entrance port is provided to the annular gap and, through a metering port internal to the arc heater apparatus, to a valved channel in the upstream electrode for provision into the upstream end of the arc chamber either concurrently with or exclusive of the provision of gas into the arc chamber through the admission ring in the annular gap. The electrode assembly is of a construction of the type which may be changed conveniently and easily for changing the size of either the upstream or downstream electrode or both and for changing the number of field coils surrounding either or both of these electrodes. To accomplish the latter purpose a manifolding system for providing cooling fluid to the field coils is provided to service the arc heater apparatus at both the upstream and downstream electrode assembly regions. This manifold system is interconnected by quick disconnect fluid bridging means. In addition, the electrical power for the field coils may be provided serially or in parallel to the field coils by the use of various electrical interlinking members between certain portions of the manifolding apparatus, there also being present in the manifolding apparatus quick disconnecting facilities near the gap for the electrical system.

. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be had to the preferred embodiment exemplary of the invention shown in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows an arc heater station in side elevation;

FIG. 2 shows an arc heater station in rear elevation;

FIG. 3 shows an arc heater section partially broken away;

FIG. 4 shows a view of the downstream field coil manifolding apparatus in side elevation partially broken away and partially sectioned;

FIG. 5 shows a top view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 shows a view of a section of upstream manifolding apparatus for arc heater field coils partially broken away and partially sectioned and in side elevation; and

FIG. 7 shows a top view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 6.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings and FIG. 1 in particular an arc heater station 10 is shown. Arc heater station 10 comprises an arc heater apparatus 12 having axially or longitudinally separable main sections 14 and 16 which may be known respectively as the relatively stationary downstream electrode assembly 14 and the relatively movable upstream electrode assembly 16. Movable upstream electrode assembly 16 is disposed upon wheels 18 which move along track 20 of arc heater support assembly 22. The movable upstream electrode assembly 16 may be moved along the track 20 to the position shown at 16A in FIG. 1. The are heater assembly 12 may be quickly disconnected, that is, movable member 16 may be quickly disconnected from and moved away from relatively stationary member 14.

A set of connecting rods 58 are provided which are attached at the upstream or right end thereof as viewed in FIG. 1 to a rocker arm 58D with a nut 58A threaded to the end of each rod 58. The left end 58B of rods 58 extend through aligned axially oriented holes in flanges 70L and 70R and in insulator-spacer 70M to protrude therethrough past the downstream end of flange 80L. Transverse grooves are placed on the top and bottom of the end region 58B of rod 58. The legs of a C-or U- shaped member or clamp 58C may then be transversely fit on the rod end 588 in such a manner as to engage the top and bottom groove, previously described, to lock a clamp 58C to the rod in an axial direction. Consequently, axial motion of the rod toward the upstream end of the arc heater 12 is restrained or prevented by the side portion of the clamp. As it is forced against the downstream end of flange L, the C-clamp 58C may be prevented from moving transverse to the rod outwardly by fastening the clamp 58C to the flange with a screw, bolt or similar fastening means. The rod 58 is constrained from moving axially in the downstream direction by the nut 58A abutting against the upstream side of rocker arm 58D through which it protrudes.

As can be seen by reference to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 two sets of nuts or fastening means 58A, rods 58 and clamps 58C (not shown) are provided one on each side of the arc heater. As the nuts are tightened on the rods 58, the upper electrode assembly is compressed against the insulator 70M and downstream electrode assembly 14. The rocker arm 58D may move or pivot about member 60 in an upstream-downstream plane as if member 60 were a fulcrum or pivot. And the nut 58A may be tightened in sequence to provide an excellent seal of the electrodes assembled against insulator 70M. In the preferred embodiment of the invention the arc heater may be loosened and the electrodes separated merely by lossening one of the nuts 58A, because the rocker arm 58D provides freedom of movement so that the clamp 58C associated with the rod to which the other nut 58A is attached may fall loose. This allows for convenient cleaning of, testing of, repairing of, part exchanging in or otherwise performing certain functions on the internal portions of arc heater assembly 12. It will be noted that an electrical connector 24 is interposed between upstream movable arc heater electrical assembly 16 and downstream arc heater electrode assembly 14. This provides electrical continuity between the arc heater field coil electrical power terminals which will be identified and described later. The relatively stable or unmovable arc heater electrode assembly 14 is fixed to track section 20 by adjustable support members 28 and 30 at the downstream end and upstream end respectively of the downstream electrode assembly 14. Adjacent the downstream end of the downstream electrode assembly 14 is an electrical field coil connector or bus bar 32. Adjacent a portion of the upstream electrode assembly 16 is a similar electrical field coil bus bar or connector 34. During operation of the arc heater assembly electrical power may flow between terminals 32 and 34 and through the electrical interlock connection 24 to thereby energize the field coils. Adjacent the upstream end of downstream electrode assembly 14 is a main power connector 36. A similar connector or bus bar 38 may be found on the upstream electrode assembly 16. Cooling fluid for the electrode or electrodes in arc heater assembly 12 is provided through ports 40 and 42 to ducts adjacent the electrodes within the arc heater assembly 12. A suitable internal interconnecting means between complementary duct members (not shown) is provided between the upstream and downstream electrode assemblies 16 and 14 respectively. In one embodiment of the invention, cooling fluid may flow into pipe 40 and out of pipe 42 but that is not necessarily the case in all embodiments. In another embodiment cooling fluid may flow into pipe 42 and out of pipe 40. The cooling fluid may be treated water or some similar cooling substance and may be at a relatively high temperature and may be pressurized super heated water; In some instances it may be a gas such as sulfurhexafluoride. A gas or fluid port piping system 44 is provided to the upstream end of the downstream electrode assembly 14, process gas or fluid may be provided to a gas admission ring in the gap between electrode assemblies 14 and 16 for introduction into the arc chamber and in one embodiment of the invention to the upstream end of upstream electrode 16 for auxiliary processing purposes.

Adjacent the output or exhaust port of downstream electrode assembly 14 may be a quench tube and materials admission assembly 46 such as the type described in copending application Ser. No. 279,894 now US. Pat. No. 3,760,151. This includes a readout and control means 48 connected electrically by way of lines 49 and 50 to the materials admission and quench means tube 51. Electrical lines or leads 49 and 50 may interconnect with a stray arc detector means within the materials admission means 46. Flowing fluid for materials admission and quench means 46 may be provided through pipes or fluid conducting paths 52 and 54, respectively. The fluid may come from a reservoir 56. A materials admission input duct for supplying quench or other material into the quenching chamber 51 may be present but is not shown for convenience of illustration.

Adjacent the upstream or rear portion of upstream electrode assembly 16 is a plug assembly-pivot means 60 which may be removed for cleaning certain upstream portions of the upstream electrode assembly 16 or for providing an alternative path for the introduction of process fluid into the arc chamber of the arc heater apparatus or for providing an opening into which an electrode may be disposed within the arc heater assembly 12. The field coil electrical and fluid cooling manifolding system 62A may have two component parts designated 62L and 62R for the left or downstream manifold portion and right or upstream manifold portion respectively. Manifolds 62L and 62R may be separated electrically at the connector 24 and the internal fluid ducting paths therein may be also separated or disconnected in this region. The integral members of downstream manifolding system 62L may be joined by electrically conducting links 64 which are arranged to conduct electrical power for empowering field coil electromagnets within the arc heater apparatus 12. The downstream end of manifolding system 62L is supported on downstream flange 68 of downstream electrode assembly 14. A suitable support member 14X is provided for this purpose. The upstream end of manifolding system 62L is supported on a flange portion 70L by way of a manifold support member l4Y. An intermediate electrically insulating member 70M is disposed between downstream flange or support member 70L and a heretofore unmentioned upstream flange or support member 70R. The upstream manifolding system 62R is supported upon flange member 70R by a support member 16X. The other end of manifolding system 62 is supported on flange member 88 by a suitable manifold support member 16Y. Manifold system 62L may comprise discrete manifolding sections, such as shown at 14AL and I4BL through 14NL. The upstream field coil manifolding system 62R may comprise discrete manifolding sections l6AR through 16NR.

Referring once again only to FIG. 2 a rear or upstream end view of the arc heater station 10 is shown. Arc assembly 12 is shown disposed upon a support structure or frame 22. The wheels 18 of the upstream or movable electrode assembly 16 are shown disposed upon rails 20 on the frame 22. Supporting or aligning rods 58 for the upstream electrode 16, which rods are also shown in FIG. 1, are shown on either side of the upstream electrode end plug 60. The upstream or rear or right field coil manifolding system 62R for upstream field coils is shown disposed on upstream electrode ap paratus 16, and a bus bar or electrically conducting terminal 34 is shown coconnected to a portion thereof. A portion of the downstream quench tube and materials admission assembly with integral arc detector means 46 is shown in rectangular outline in FIG. 2.

Referring now to FIG. 3 a view of the internal portion of an arc heater assembly 12 is shown. Downstream electrode assembly 14 is shown on the left and upstream electrode assembly 16 is shown on the right. It will be noted that a portion of the annular gap 71 is shown disposed between downstream electode 64 and upstream electrode 69. Downstream electrode 64 may comprise a generally cylindrical hollow tubular electrically conducting shell comprised of electrically conducting materials, such as hard drawn copper or alloys of copper or similar materials. A downstream support flange member 68 is provided at the downstream end of downstream electrode assembly 14 and an upstream support flange 70L is provided at the upstream end of downstream electrode assembly 14. Electrode 64 abuts or touches the downstream flange 68 at joint 65 and electrode 64 abuts or touches upstream flange member 70L at joint 72. A cooling water duct flange member 74 which may also be cylindrical in shape is disposed around or at least partially encloses but does not necessarily touch the outer periphery of the electrode 64. Flange member 74 abuts downstream flange 68 at joint 76 and it abuts upstream flange 70L at joint 78. A spacer, shoulder or abutting portion 80 is shown separating upstream flange member 70L from a field coil assembly. A similar shoulder exists on flange member 70R. An outer shell or protective shell 82 for downstream electrode 64 is disposed longitudinally between flange 68 and flange 70L. A long bolt 84 having its threaded end protruding into a corresponding tapped and threaded hole in flange member 70L abuts against a lip or ridge in flange member 68 and extends to secure the previously described members into a unitary downstream electrode assembly 14. As can be seen, the lengths of members 74, 64, 82 and the length of bolt 84 may be changed to accommodate more or less field coils and/or to provide longer or shorter electrodes if that is desired. Upstream electrode 69 abuts the flange assembly 70R at joint 86. An upstream electrode flange assembly 88 is provided at the right end of electrode assembly 16. Flange assembly 88 aubts electrode 69 at joint 90. A cylindrical tubular member 92 which is similar to member 74 may similarly surround or enclose electrode member 69. Member 92 abuts upstream flange assembly 70R at joint 94 and upstream flange assembly 88 at joint 96. A shielding or protective covering 98 similar to protective covering 82 is interposed and supported between upstream flange member 88 and downstream flange member 70R. A bolt 100 similar to bolt 84 is disposed between upstream flange member 88 and downstream of flange member 70R for securing purposes. As with downstream electrode as sembly 14, upstream electrode assembly 16 may have the size of its various components varied to a predetermined length. A second upstream flange assembly 102 is secured to the flange assembly 88 for purposes which will become apparent. Previously described fluid cooling input system or pipe 40 is connected to a passageway such as duct, channel, or opening 104 in downstream flange assembly 68. Duct 104 communicates with a manifold or fluid passageway 106 which in turn communicates with the opening or cooling passage 108 between the outer surface of electrode 64 and the inner surface of the cylindrical member 74. Duct or channel 108 communicates with an upstream electrode cooling manifold or passageway 110 in flange member 70L. Manifold 110 then communicates with duct members 112 in flange assembly 70L and with a similar duct portion and sealing means 114 which is also in flange member 70L. An interposed electrically insulating member 70M has a communicating opening 115 therein between sealing member 114 and sealing means or member 116 in flange member 70R. The duct provided by the inner portion of seal 116 communicates with a duct portion 118 also in flange member 70R. Duct 118 communicates with manifold 120 which in turn communicate with a fluid cooling path 122 between upstream electrode 68 and upstream cylindrical member 92. Path 122 then communicates with manifold member 124 in flange assembly 88. A ducting channel 128 also in flange assembly 88, communicates through sealing fluid bridging means 129A in flange assembly 102 with a duct or channel 130 in flange assembly 102. Duct 120 communicates with a manifold assembly passageway 132 which in turn communicates with a duct 134 in flange assembly 102 which communicates with output fluid or gas port pipe 42. Consequently, electrode cooling fluid is conducted through duct 104 to manifold 106 from where it is conducted along the outer surface of electrode 64 through cooling channel 108 for the purpose of removing heat from the electrode. And from there it is provided to manifold assembly 110 where it traverses or flows through ducting members 112, 114, 115, 116 and 118 between the lower or downstream electrode assembly 14 and the upper or upstream electrode assembly 16. From there the fluid will travel through manifold 120 to cooling channel 122 to cool electrode 69 in the upstream electrode assembly 16 and from there the cooling fluid will then flow through manifold 124, through the ducts 128, 129A, and 130 to the manifold assembly duct 132 where it cools the internal surface of the end plug assembly 60, and from there to duct 134 and to the output piping assembly 42. Output piping assemblies 42a and 42 contain sealing insulators 40A and 42A for providing electrical isolation between the electrodes and the piping system which may be grounded electrically. It will be noted that a single unitary cooling path exists among both electrodes 64 and 69 and that the sealing means or bushing 114 and 116 provide compressive sealing pressure against insulating member 70M because the force on the larger rings 114a or 1160 is proportional to the area of the fluid flow path they enclose and is larger than the force on the smaller 0 rings 114b or 1160 causing a net force toward insulating member 70M from both sides while concurrently sealing all sides of sealing means 114 and 116 respectively. Sealing means are also provided between flanges 88 and 102 by way of seals 129A. These bushings also provide a larger region of electrical insulation between the separate duct members 70R and 70L. Consequently, the upstream electrode assembly 16 can be quickly disconnected from the downstream electrode assembly 14 without the necessity of disconnecting any external hoses or external piping connector assemblies for electrode cooling channels or ducts. It should be noted that plug assembly 60 communicates with are chamber 135 by way of opening 136 in flange 102 so that process material may be introduced into arc chamber 135 through plug member 60 if desirable. Downstream electrode assembly 14 has, near the gap portion 71 a process fluid port 44 which is suitable for supplying process gas or fluid into the arc chamber region 135. Piping system 44 communicates with a duct 138 in flange assembly. 70L which in turn communicates with a duct 140 which leads to a gas or fluid admission chamber 141 behind an annular gas admission ring 142L so that the gas fluid may flow into arc chamber 135 through openings or slots in the gas admission ring 142L. In addition, spacer or electrically insulating member M has therein an orifice or a metering opening 144 so that gas or fluid from header or duct 141 may communicate with a duet 143 in the upstream electrode assembly flange 70R. Heater member 143 communicates with an upstream materials admission ring 142R and with an upstream duct 146. Gas from opening 144 may then flow through slotted openings or orifices in upstream material admission rings 142R into the arc chamber or may flow through duct 146 to a valve 148 in upstream electrode. Valve member 148 communicates with another duct member 150 which communicates with a duct member 152 in upper electrode manifold or pressure header 154. A material admission ring 156 is provided near manifold 154 so that gas or similar fluid material may flow through slots or openings in it into a narrow gap 160 and thence into the cylindrical arc chamber 135. This flow takes place from th upstream end of the upstream electrode assembly 16 toward the downstream exhaust port. Consequently, it can be seen that gas or a similar fluid for processing purposes need be provided to the arc heater apparatus 112 at a single entry port 44 in the lower or downstream electrode assembly 14 but which nevertheless may be channeled or conducted to the upstream end of the upstream electrode assembly 16 for the purpose of being provided to the upstream end of the arc chamber 135. This, of course, may be concurrent with, additional to or exclusive from the provision or forcing of gas through material admission rings 1421.. and 142R into the annular gap 71 near the center of the arc chamber 135. The valve portion 148 provides a convenient means for controlling the amount of fluid or process gas flowing to the upstream materials admission gap 160. In some instances the valve 148 may be adjusted to allow no gas to flow into this region. Also provided adjacent the outer portion of flange members 74 and 92 in the downstream electrode assembly 14 and upstream electrode assembly 16 respectively are annular electromagnetic field coil assemblies 162 which may be stacked longitudinally or axially in any predetermined or convenient disposition. As can be seen, discrete field coil assemblies 162 are electrically insulated from each other but nevertheless may be interconnected electrically, externally, through the manifolding means which will be described henceforth in more detail. It can be seen that each discrete field coil assembly 162 has includes therein insulated electrical windings or conductors 170 and cooling tubes or duct 172 both of which communicate with a combination electrical lead and fluid duct 164 or 168. One of these ducts is available for providing cooling fluid to the assembly 162 and the other is available to conduct cooling fluid away from it. The cooling fluid flows through hollow openings in the tubular electrical conductors 164 and 168 and the electrical current for energizing the field coil windings 162 flows through the outer or solid electrically conducting portions of the tubular conductors 164 and 168. Assembly 162 is insulated with thermal insulating material 162A.

It will be noted that metering orifice 144 provides a convenient way for providing gas between the downstream and upstream electrode assemblies without ne cessitating external coupling of gas piping means. The internal coupling of the gas supply means provides another method for quick disconnect of the upstream electrode assembly 16 from the downstream electrode assembly 14 without necessitating excessive mechanical adjustment or operation.

Referring now to FIG. 4, an enlarged view of the previously described manifold assembly 62L for the downstream electrode assembly 14 is shown. Manifold assembly 62L comprises a plurality of disrete unitary manifolding blocks 200, one for each field coil, aligned axially along the length of the electrode assembly. At the left most end of the manifold assembly 62L is a support member 14X which is shown disposed upon flange assembly 68. Support assembly 14X has an input piping assembly 204 disposed adjacent to it and communicating therewith and attached thereto with securing means or screws 206. Pipe assembly 204 includes a piping member 208 which extends horizontally outwardly from t3e manifold assembly 62L to be connected to a suitable source of cooling fluid for the field coils. Support assembly 14X is fastened or secured to flange assembly 68 by way of securing means or screws 212. Communicating with pipe 208 and internal to support member 14X is a duct member 216 which communicates with similar duct members in the discrete manifold sections 200 as will be described later. Electrical field bus 32 is secured adjacent to the top portion of support member 14X and is secured thereto through suitable screws or fastening means 217. Combination electrical conductors and fluid passage means 218 for the field coils are shown in the discrete manifolding blocks 200. The bottom portion of a combination conductor and fluid providing means 218 communicates with the previously described electrically conducting fluid ducting member 164 or 168. Adjacent the right portion of downstream manifold assembly 62L is a manifold support assembly 14Y comprising a primarily horizontal portion 222 and a primarily vertical portion 224, where vertical section 224 communicates with a fastening base 226 through a thermal insulating layer 228, Vertical members 224 and 226 are secured together through suitable securing means such as screws or bolts 130. Member 14Y rests upon and is secured to flange assembly 70L. Support assembly 14Y has a duct portion 232 of smaller diameter than a similar coaxially aligned adjacent duct portion 234 both of which are useful for communicating with a fluid passage duct and bridging means in a complementary manifolding assembly 62R not shown. Disposed between each discrete electrically insulating primarily plastic manifold section or block 200 is an electrically insulating primarily plastic fluid conducting bridging or joint member 240 which may be cylindrical and hollow and which may snugly fit in a complementary cylindrical opening or groove 238 in the left portion of one discrete section 200 and groove 244 in the right portion of the next adjacent discrete manifold assembly block 200. This forms a fluid conducting bridge between blocks 200. The fluid conducting bridge 240 is made fluid leak proof by providing primarily resilient 0 rings 242 and 248 between member 240 and surfaces 238 and 244 respectively. Discrete manifold section 200 comprises a pair of upper openings 250 and lower openings 252, one of each of which can be seen in end block 14Y. (similar to those existing in manifold block 200). A combination electrically conducting and fluid providing tube 218 is disposed vertically in each of these holes from the upper portion of a block 200 or support 14Y to the lower portion of block 200 or support 14Y. The upper portion of assembly 218 comprises a threaded stud 254 which in one case feeds through an opening or hole 256 in an electrically conducting left jaw assembly 24L. Stud member 218 comprises a portion 262 residing in a hole 250. A circular annular opening 264 is provided in portion 262 where a resilient O ring 266 resides which seals opening 250. In a similar manner stud portion 218 is widened to form a portion 268 in the vicinity of hole or opening 252. Portion 268 has therein an annular ridge or opening 272 in which a relatively resilient sealing O ring 274 is provided to seal hole 252. Consequently, the upper and lower portions of block 200 are rendered fluid tight so that fluid or water flowing in block 200 may not escape therethrough. An enlarged member 275 is provided on the bottom of stud member 218. Stud member 218 is brazed to the tubes 164 and 168 (not shown). Disposed between the relatively wide sealing members 262 and 268 is a central portion 276, having a horizontal opening therethrough 278 communicating with a vertical opening 280 therein which extends downwardly into a similar opening 282 in th previously described duct 164 so that fluid or water contained in a central horizontal duct 284 in discrete manifold section 200 may flow through conduits 280 and 282 to or from the internal portion of the electric field coil as previously described. At the same time electrical power or energy provided at the top portion of stud 218 may flow into the windings of a field coil. The opening 284 or channel 284 in manifold assembly 200 communicates with the hollow cylindrical bridging member 240 and with central openings or orifices 232 and 234 to form a unitary fluid conducting path 286 which extends from the far right portion of support assembly 14Y to an end portion not shown in support assembly 14X. Fluid duct 286 communicates with the horizontal and vertical openings 280 and 282 respectively of the stud means 218. There may be two stud means per block of plastic electrically insulating material 200. Stud member 218 is equipped with a fastening nut or similar fastening means 289 where required. Disposed adjacent stud members 218 and adjacent discrete manifold blocks 200 are electrically connecting,

links 290 each having holes 291 at either end thereof through which portions of the stud members 218 may pass and upon which the nut 289 of stud member 218 may be tightented. The stud members 218 may be linked electrically on the bias such as shown in FIG. 1

to form electrical series Connections among all the field coils in the manifold means 62L or may be interconnected axially by relatively shorter electrically conducting linking members 292 such as shown in the left portion of FIG. 4 and in FIG. 5. Should the shorter portions 292 be used in conjunction with the input electrical bus 32, the linking member 292 would be raised above the upper surface of block 200 and an electrically conducting spacer portion or member 260 is provided to support it. The field coil means may be linked on a left right bias or a right left bias or vertical or in any combination thereof to provide the energy requirements for the field coils.

Referring now to FIG. 5 the top view of manifold section 62L is shown. Left supporting portion 14X is shown having an internal duct 216 which bends at a right angle therein to provide fluid to the axially aligned members 200. Pipe member 208 is shown on the left secured by securing or fastening members 206 to a flange member 204 which in turn communicates with seal means 300. Seal means 300 has a central opening therein which communicates with duct 216. Seal member 300 has disposed or cut therein a groove 302 in which a relatively resilient seal or O ring 304 is disposed for providing a fluid type seal between duct 216 and the outer portion of assembly 62L. The bolts 214 are shown for securing bus conductor 32 to a portion of support member 14X. In addition stud support bolt 254 is shown supporting a longitudinally aligned linking section 292 on the upper portion of assembly 62L and a similar linking portion 292 is shown disposed horizontally on the lower portion thereof. In other circumstances an electrically conducting primarily copper linking member 290 shown in phantom lines may be interconnected between corresponding stud members 218A and 2188 if that is desirable. Other electrically conducting linking members 290 are shown disposed between adjacent discrete manifold sections 200 and interconnecting stud members 218 in a bias arrange ment. In this arrangement the field coils are electrically connected in series circuit relationship. Spacing members 240 are shown between adjacent discrete manifold members 200 and between manifold 200 and horizontal end portion 222 of right support member 14Y. Right support member 14Y is secured to flange member 70L with or by way of a securing means or screws 306. Support member 14X is secured onto the corresponding flange member through or with the screws or fasteners 212. The output port or pipe 208A is shown communicating with the ducts or openings 312 and 314 in support member 14Y and the duct 216 in support member 14X and the rearmost duct portions in the manifold members 200 to form a common path 320 for fluid flow. The means of communication between ducts or channels 286 and 320 are through the tubes in the aligned pair of stud members 218 in each manifold block 200 and internal fluid paths of the field coils connected thereto. As can be seen the electrical connector 24L, which is secured by way of bolt or securing means 297 to end support 14Y and which is electrically connected to a stud member 218, has a central opening 299 therein which may grasp a complementary stud or electrically conducting protrusion on the right manifold assembly 62R shown as in FIG. 6.

Referring now to FIG. 6 a right manifold assembly 62R is shown as formed by combining a plurality of discrete manifold blocks 200 to form a single or unitary manifold member. Manifold 62R is supported on the right side by support means 16Y and on the left by a support means 16X which may be electrically insulating. Support member 16X has a vertical portion 354 therein and a horizontal portion 352 therein. A support flange 356 interconnects with vertical section 354 through a thermal insulating layer or means 358 and is secured thereto by securing means or screws 370. Support member 16X is supported on flange member R and support member 16Y is supported by flange member 88. The previously described fluid conducting path 286 includes a mating connector 382 having an internal central opening 402 communicating with an opening 372 in the horizontal section 352 of support member 16X. Member 382 has in the right outside portion thereof a groove or opening 384 in which a resilient seam means 386 is disposed and in the left portion a groove or opening 390 in which a resilient seal such as the O ring 392 is disposed. Member 382 is forced or held against member 16X to form a fluid tight junction, by the action of a bracket means 400 having a bolt therethrough (not shown) threadably insertable into support means 16X. Means 382 is adapted to fit into opening 234 in support means 14X shown in FIG. 4 of manifold means 62L to complete a junction therebetween so that the continuity of fluid path 286 is completed between manifold block 62L and manifold block 62R. This also provides a quick disconnect facility between the two blocks for fluid channels because the blocks may be interconnected and disconnected without necessitating any excessive connecting functions. Resilient ring 392 resides against the inner surface of opening 234 in support block 14Y of manifold 62L as shown in FIG. 4 and provides a fluid tight seal there. As can be seen blocks 200 and the combination fluid supply means and electrically conducting means or stud 218 may be constructed and assembled in the same manner in all manifold blocks 200. In assembly 62R bridging members 240, manifold blocks 200, linking members 290, and adjacent studs or terminals 218 are similar to those corresponding to the element described with respect to manifold assembly 62L. In a like manner, the combination fluid conducting tubes and electrically conducting members 164 extend downwardly into the region of the sealed coils in electrode assembly 16. The right most field bus 34 is shown disposed upon a top portion of support assembly 16Y and secured thereto by a bolt or bolts 406. The bottom portion of one end of the last discrete manifold block 200 on the right resides on or abuts the lip 204 in the support assembly 16Y. Support assembly 16Y is secured by way of a flange member 410 through which bolts or securing members 412 extends into the flange 88. A seal means 411 is provided on the right to terminate or end channel 286 as shown in FIG. 6 and a similar seal means is provided to terminate channel 320 shown in FIG. 5. Electrical connector 24R having an extending member 380 may be inserted into a complementary grasping member 299 previously described in connecting member 24L for a quick electrical connection and disconnection betweem manifold assembly 62L and 62R of the electrical circuits used therein. Electrical conductor 24R is secured to support means 16X by way of bolt or bolts 378 through a hole 376 in member 24R and is sealed therein and threaded in or secured to support member 16X.

Referring now to FIG. 7 a top view of the manifold block assembly 62R shown in FIG. 6 is also depicted. Particular reference is made to the possible bias arrangement of electrical linking members 290 as well as the presence of a second ducting means 420 (not shown in FIG. 6) which is adaptable to connect that portion of duct or channel 320 in manifold 62R with the complementary portion of duct 320 in manifold section 62L. Bolt or fastening means 422 which is used to secure bracket 400 is also shown. Bolt or screw members 416 for securing support means 16X to the flange are also shown as is the electrically conducting bus member 34 and its three fastening means 406. Bolt member or fastening member or screw 412 is shown in flange member 410 for securing support member 16Y to an appropriate base or flange. Terminating member 411A and terminating member 41] are shown in a position to terminate the previously described fluid conducting paths 320 and 286 respectively.

By viewing FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 together, it can be seen that electric power may be provided through bus 32 and thence to each set of electrically conducting studs 218 through linking means, such as conductors 292 and 290 which may be arranged in biased fashion from one plastic block 200 to the other so that the field coils connected therewith are connected in a electrical series circuit relationship. It can be seen that by interconnecting portion 24L with connector portion 24R that electrical continuity may be maintained between the'field coils in the left electrode assembly 14 and the field coils in the right electrode assembly 16. The connecting links or strips 290 are shown interconnected with the stud members 218. In the right-most portion of the manifold assembly 62R the electrical circuit is completed through electrical field bus or conductor 34. As was described previously the direction of the bias of the links 290 may be reversed or the electrical connections may be made parallel by providing longitudinally aligned straps or links, such as 292 shown on the left portion of FIG. 5. This may be done for any convenient purpose such as improved field shaping. Also any combination of the two connecting arrangements may be used. By closely examining FIGS. and 7 it can be seen that input fluid may be provided to intput pipe or port 208 and from there into duct 216, through the various discrete blocks 200 to the end portion 314 whereupon the continuity between the left most manifold block section 62R and the right most manifold block section 62R may be completed through connector 420. A simi lar act duct is provided in the right or upstream manifold block 62R which is terminated in terminating seal means 411A. This channel is known as channel 320. Channel 286 is formed in a similar fashion between manifold sections 62L and 62R, and channel 286 is terminated at its right-most extension by terminating seal means 411. Fluid which flows through duct 320 feeds into the openings 278 of the studs 218 and then down through vertical openings 280 therein to the field coil cooling ducts. The fluid comes up or returns through similar ducts 280 in corresponding stud members 218 which communicate with channel 286 from where the fluid is removed through output port 208A. Of course it is realized that the direction could be reversed and fluid could be supplied through port 208A and exit through port 208 as shown in FIG. 5.

It is to be understood that the various features described with respect to this arc heater apparatus may be used in combination with each other or singly. It is also to be understood that the various fluid, gas and electrical paths may be reversed. It is also to be understood that all of the connections and ports referred to with respect to the downstream electrode may be alternately placed in the upstream electrodes. It is also to be understood that the plastic blocks 200 may be any similar electrically insulating material. It is also to be understood that the electrical connectors 24R and 24L may be reversed. It is also to be understood that the link means 290 and 292 may be any electrically conducting material, such as hard drawn copper, brass, or the like.

The apparatus embodying the teachings of this invention has many advantages. One advantage is the characteristic of allowing electric arc heater apparatus to be quickly disconnected without the need for an excessive member of external electrode gap bridging electrical conductors, gas feed lines, and fluid feed lines. Another advantage lies in the fact that the size of the electrodes and the field coils associated therewith may be varied from time to time without necessitating the replacements of the arc heater apparatus. Another advantage lies in the fact that the sealing means provided for the electrode cooling path includes a relatively high voltage insulation between the two electrodes while nevertheless allowing a common cooling path to exist therebetween.

What we claim as our invention is:

1. Arc heater apparatus, which comprises:

a plurality of spaced electrodes at least two of which are capable of being electrically connected to terminals of opposite polarity of a source of electrical power so that an electric arc may be struck from one electrode to another;

a plurality of electrically conducting cooling ducts with central openings therein for the flow of cooling material therethrough, wherein each of said at least two electrodes has at least one of said cooling ducts adjacent thereto for cooling said electrodes, a first of said cooling ducts communicating with a second of said cooling ducts to provide a common cooling channel for said at least two electrodes;

electrically insulating spacer means disposed between said first and said second cooling ducts to space and electrically insulate said first cooling duct from said second cooling duct, said spacer means having an opening therein communicating with said central opening in each of said first and said second cooling ducts to provide said communication therebetween to form a portion of said common cooling channel;

electrically insulating bushing means disposed adjacent said first cooling duct and said spacer means, said bushing means having a central opening therein which communicates with said central opening in said first duct and said central opening in said spacer means to form part of said common cooling channel, said bushing means providing an increased increment of electrical insulation between said cooling ducts over that amount of electrical insulation provided by said spacer means alone;

first resilient sealing means which encloses a predetermined area and which is disposed adjacent said bushing means and said spacer means for providing a coolant seal therebetween;

second resilient sealing means which encloses a larger predetermined area than said first resilient sealing means encloses and which is disposed adjacent said bushing means and said first cooling duct for providing a coolant seal therebetween, said first and second resilient sealing means reacting to the pressure of coolant material in said cooling channel to provide an increment of sealing force between said ducts and said spacer due predominatly to fluid pressure caused by the presence of said coolant adjacent said bushing means and said spacer in said cooling channel which force is related to the difference in areas enclosed by said first and second resilient sealing means.

2. Arc heater apparatus of the type including electrode structures spaced to form a gap across which an electric arc may be struck and shaped to form an arc chamber in which said arc may reside comprising, means for providing process fluid to one of said electrode structures to be provided to said gap for entry into said are chamber, an electrically insulating spacer member disposed between said electrode structures for electrically insulating said electrode structures from each other, ducting means in another of said electrode structures for providing said fluid to another portion of said are heater, said spacer member having an opening therein communicating with said ducting means in said another of said electrode structures and said means for providing fluid to said one electrode structure for thereby providing a fluid path from said means for providing fluid to said one said electrode structure to said ducting means in said another of said electrode structures and thence to said another portion of said arc heater.

3. The combination as claimed in claim 2 wherein said ducting means in said another of said electrode structures includes a valve for controlling the amount of said fluid provided to said another portion of said are heater.

4. Arc heater apparatus comprising, spaced annular electrode assemblies cooperating to form an arc chamber, a plurality of magnetic field coil assemblies, said latter assemblies having electrically conductive tubular electrical connector leads for providing cooling fluid to said field coil assembly and energizing electrical power to said field coil assembly, a manifold assembly for each field coil assembly having fluid ducts therein communicating with said tubular connector leads and electrical terminals disposed in electrical contact with said tubular connector leads, the manifold assembly for each of said field coil assemblies being disposed adjacent to other manifold assemblies with said ducts of each communicating to form a fluid path between adjacent manifold assemblies and with said terminals being electrically interconnected to provide electrical continuity between predetermined leads of said field coil assembly.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2398962 *Mar 21, 1944Apr 23, 1946Randrup Benjamin FAdjustable clamp
US2405251 *Apr 10, 1944Aug 6, 1946Paul HenryClamping device
US2430677 *Apr 17, 1945Nov 11, 1947Hobart Leo GClamp
US3309550 *Mar 6, 1964Mar 14, 1967Westinghouse Electric CorpMultiple annular electrode gas arc heater with a magnetic arc spinner
US3316444 *Jun 11, 1964Apr 25, 1967Westinghouse Electric CorpArc heater for use with three-phase alternating current source and chamber and electrode structure for use therein
US3360682 *Oct 15, 1965Dec 26, 1967Giannini Scient CorpApparatus and method for generating high-enthalpy plasma under high-pressure conditions
US3400700 *Dec 13, 1966Sep 10, 1968Phillips Mfg Company IncPropane heater for internal combustion engine
US3629553 *Jan 10, 1969Dec 21, 1971Westinghouse Electric CorpRecurrent arc heating process
US3663792 *Mar 2, 1970May 16, 1972Westinghouse Electric CorpApparatus and method of increasing arc voltage and gas enthalpy in a self-stabilizing arc heater
US3705975 *Mar 2, 1970Dec 12, 1972Westinghouse Electric CorpSelf-stabilizing arc heater apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3953705 *Sep 3, 1974Apr 27, 1976Mcdonnell Douglas CorporationControlled arc gas heater
US4144444 *Mar 20, 1975Mar 13, 1979Dementiev Valentin VMethod of heating gas and electric arc plasmochemical reactor realizing same
US4219726 *Mar 29, 1979Aug 26, 1980Westinghouse Electric Corp.Arc heater construction with total alternating current usage
US4543470 *Dec 8, 1983Sep 24, 1985Skf Steel Engineering AbMeans for electrically heating gases
US4644877 *May 17, 1984Feb 24, 1987Pyroplasma International N.V.Plasma pyrolysis waste destruction
US4896614 *Sep 15, 1988Jan 30, 1990Prabhakar KulkarniMethod and apparatus for treatment of hazardous waste in absence of oxygen
US5065680 *Jun 4, 1990Nov 19, 1991Phoenix Environmental, Ltd.Method and apparatus for making solid waste material environmentally safe using heat
US5127347 *Apr 9, 1990Jul 7, 1992Phoenix Environmental, Ltd.Method and apparatus for the reduction of solid waste material using coherent radiation
US5132511 *Nov 7, 1990Jul 21, 1992Societe Anonyme Dite: Aerospatiale Societe Nationale IndustriellePlasma torch provided with an electromagnetic coil for rotating arc feet
US5199363 *Nov 13, 1991Apr 6, 1993Phoenix Environmental, Ltd.Method and apparatus for making solid waste material environmentally safe using heat
US5230292 *Jul 2, 1992Jul 27, 1993Phoenix Environmental, Ltd.Apparatus for making solid waste material environmentally safe using heat
US5370066 *Nov 3, 1993Dec 6, 1994Phoenix Environmental, Ltd.Method for making solid waste material environmentally safe using heat
US5719371 *Jun 19, 1996Feb 17, 1998Aerospatiale Societe Nationale Industrielle, Societe AnonymePlasma torch with integrated independent electromagnetic coil for moving the arc foot
US5976488 *Aug 14, 1996Nov 2, 1999Phoenix Environmental, Ltd.Process of making a compound having a spinel structure
US20130292363 *May 6, 2013Nov 7, 2013Gs Platech Co., Ltd.Non-transferred and hollow type plasma torch
DE3424710A1 *Jul 5, 1984Aug 1, 1985Pyrolysis Systems IncVerfahren und vorrichtung zur plasmapyrolyse von muell
EP0427590A1 *Oct 29, 1990May 15, 1991AEROSPATIALE Société Nationale IndustriellePlasma torch with electromagnetic coil for rotating the arc
EP0750451A1 *Jun 19, 1996Dec 27, 1996AEROSPATIALE SOCIETE NATIONALE INDUSTRIELLE, Société Anonyme dite:Plasma torch with electromagnetic coil for independent and integral arc base displacement
EP2663168A3 *Apr 30, 2013May 6, 2015GS Platech Co., Ltd.Plasma torch of non-transferred and hollow type
WO1989011775A1 *May 17, 1989Nov 30, 1989Commw Scient Ind Res OrgElectric arc reactor
Classifications
U.S. Classification219/121.36, 313/231.1, 219/383
International ClassificationH05H1/34, H05B7/00, H05B7/18, H05H1/26, H05H1/40
Cooperative ClassificationH05B7/185, H05H1/40, H05H2001/3431
European ClassificationH05B7/18A, H05H1/40