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Publication numberUS3862622 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 28, 1975
Filing dateJan 10, 1973
Priority dateJan 10, 1973
Publication numberUS 3862622 A, US 3862622A, US-A-3862622, US3862622 A, US3862622A
InventorsRaymond G Spinnett
Original AssigneeRaymond G Spinnett
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Torque conversion systems
US 3862622 A
Abstract
An automatic torque conversion system is described wherein the combination of a continuous combustion engine of the rotary type and a rotary compressor can be linked with a planetary differential gear with the resultant delivery of output rotation being variable from zero to maximum according to the load on the output, the engine speed being adjusted to the desired amount of ouput torque wanted. When no output rotation is desired on the output shaft, the generated power is delivered internally to the compressor. The system operation is minimally pollution free and provides high efficiency of power conversion when an output rotation is being delivered.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Elite States 1' tet U 1 Spinnett 1 TORQUE CONVERSION SYSTEMS [76] Inventor: Raymond G. Spinnett, 2531 S. Sulta St., Santa Ana, Calif. 92704 [22] Filed: Jan. 10, 1973 [21] App]. No.: 322,452

[52] US. Cl 123/8.l3, 123/8.31, 60/3943, 60/3945, 60/3966, 418/196 [51] Int. Cl. F02b 53/08, F02b 55/06, F02b 55/16 [58] Field of Search..... 123/801, 8.05, 8.43, 119 C, 123/119 CA, 119 CB, 8.25, 8.41, 8.23, 8.13,

PlI/Vllil) lg fl 1 1 Jan. 28, 1975 3,296,791 l/l967 Richard 123/119 CA 3,329,132 7/1967 Castelet 123/1 19 C 3,373,722 3/1968 Zimmermann et al. l23/8.01 X

Primary Examiner-Carlton R. C royle Axsisranr Examiner-Robert E. Garrett Arrorney, Agent, or Firm-Alfred W. Kozak [57] ABSTRACT An automatic torque conversion system is described wherein the combination of a continuous combustion engine of the rotary type and a rotary compressor can be linked with a planetary differential gear with the resultant delivery of output rotation being variable from zero to maximum according to the load on the output, the engine speed being adjusted to the desired amount of ouput torque wanted. When no output rotation is desired on the output shaft, the generated power is delivered internally to the compressor. The system operation is minimally pollution free and provides high efficiency of power conversion when an output rotation is being delivered.

6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEQ JAN 2 8 I975 sum 2 OF a m 4 w. m M M P 67 Ma M Mk V A, Ma 0 WW f 4 w l TORQUE CONVERSION SYSTEMS CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is an outgrowth of my co-pending application U.S. Ser. No. 281,645 filed Aug. 18, 1972 entitled Rotary Converters Having Specialized Interleaving Elements," and reference to the drawings and disclosure of said US. application Ser. No. 281,645 will also be helpful, especially with regard to the em bodiments of: the regenerative compressor of FIGS. IA and 1B; the symmetrical utilizer of FIGS. 2A and 2B; and the continuous combustion engine of FIGS. 3A and 3B. Portions of these Figures'from U.S. application Ser. No. 281,645 have been redrawn in this Application with the corresponding element numbers carrying the same designation or in some cases, carrying the same designation with a prime notation Reference may also be made to my US Pat. No. 3,640,252 entitled Rotary Internal Combustion Engine which patent provides the background for the above mentioned US. application Ser. No. 281,645-

and which is deemed to be included by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the prior art, one of the major methods for torque conversion involved the use-of a hydrodynamic torque converter. With the use of such hydrodynamic converter, the heat generated in the power system was of no use and had to be dissipated as a loss to the system.

In the present system with the use of a continuous combustion engine and auxiliary compressor, heat generated in the system is beneficially used and not wasted sincethe heat, which would normally be wasted, can be advantageously used in the combustion process of the continuous combustion engine.

In the prior art, automatic torque conversion has been provided by driving differential gearing in such a way as to divide the torque path into two interdependent paths, one of which is used for the system output, while the second path is used to couple torque back to the engine shaft by way of an energy converter. One system of the prior art used an electric dynamo for the energy converter to couple torque back to the engine. This system was an effective means for accelerating motor vehicles up to a nominal operating speed but was locked out of operation under cruising conditions to prevent the loss of efficiency incurred by losses in the energy converting dynamo. Other systems of the prior art have been limited to use as starting devices for the same reason. The present invention overcomes this problem because an auxiliary compressor, used as its energy conversion means for coupling torque back into the engine, also participates in the over-all continuous combustion process. Heat that is generated by the auxiliary compressor is utilized and not wasted as in the torque converters of the prior art and therefore is not limited to use-as a starting device only, but can be operated over the entire operating range of the vehicle.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An automatic torque converter of the differential type comprises two basic elements besides the primary power source, which is usually some type of combustion engine. Power from the engine drives the input of a divided path differential gearing device such as a planetary differential or bevel gear differential. The system output is taken off one of the two interdependent outputs of the differential while the other output is used: to feed power back to the engine to enhance its output torque. The second element. that is required to feed the torque back to the engine from the differential, is some type of variable ratio coupling means or an energy converter that is suitable for the application.

The embodiments of the present invention employ the above principles in a more advantageously efficient manner since the energy conversion system used to feed torque back into the engine (power source) is actually at the same time an integral part of the continuous combustion system. This eliminates the problem of energy conversion losses sothat the torque converter can operate continuously instead of being limited in application, as forexample, when used only as a starting device.

Thus, a feedback path is provided through the nu clear gear of a planetary differential, to bring back torque to drive an auxiliary compressor which adds its compression to the output of the (power source) engines owninternal compressor so that a given torque output can be achieved at a lower combustion temperature. This not only provides the needed pressure for the output torque but also provides more air in the combustion chamber for a leaner fuel-air mixture. Under. heavy loading conditions, this extra air supply automatically supercharges the engine. Unde'r light loading, the 'output shaft overdrives the speed of the engine, while the auxiliary compressor is allowed to stop.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a schematic drawing of a preferred embodiment of a torque convertersystern showing in block diagram form the combinationof acontinuous combus- "tion engine (with combustion chamber and rotor cooling functions) with an auxiliary compressor driven through a planetary differential powered by torque from the continuous combustion engine.

' FIG. 2 is a center cutout drawing of an actual embodiment of the present torque converter of FIG. 1 showing the placement of the continuous combustion engine, the auxiliary compressor, and the planetary differential. Spatial separation has been made in this figure for easier differentiation of the three components of the configuration.

FIG. 3 is a schematic drawing of a torque conversion system combining a continuous combustion chamber only, which is fed by a regenerative air compressor wherein the output of the continuous combustion chamber feeds hot gas to drive a Utilizer (converting hot gas to rotary torque) which powers a planetary differential.

FIG. 4A is a drawing of a unique arrangement for the interleaving relationship of the rotors of the continuous combustion engine (and also for the rotors of the auxiliary compressor). FIG. 4B showstherelationship in 60 more detail.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a central cut AA of the auxiliary compressor.

FIG. 6 is a plan view of a central cut BB of the continuous combustion engine.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The schematic drawing of FIG. 1 illustrates a functional representation of the preferred embodiment which comprises a continuous combustion engine CC (shown asa broken line encompassing various func-' tions of the engine); an auxiliary compressor X; and a planetary differential PD. 7

Referring to FIG. 1, the engine CC is shown divided into functional groups as IC for the rotor internal cooling function, element 68 for the engine combustion chamber, and U for the utilizer function wherein the combusting hot gasses are used to drive the engine rotors for mechanical power generation.

The IC function (internal engine cooling) is seen being fed compressed air from auxiliary compressor X, along channels 17,,, 17,, respectively. The output of the IC function is an air feedback channel, 19 and'l9,. which carries air to the engine combustion chamber 68. The utilizer U has a compression function-chamber to provide compressed air for internal cooling and for subsequent conveyance to a combustion chamber. (This compression function-chamber is analogous to element 38 of FIG. 3A of my co-pending U.S. application Ser. No. 281 ,645, and it is an integral internal part of the continuous combustion engine.) The linechannel u, of FIG. 1 herein shows this particular function being channelled to the combustion chamber 68.

The engine combustion chamber 68 (which has also been previously described in FIGS. 3A and 3B of my co-pending application Ser. No. 281,645) and is further referenced in FIG. 2 of this application, provides for continuous combustion of intaken fluids, and conveys them, along channel 68,, of FIG. 1 to drive the rotors into mechanical rotation via utilizer U.

The utilizer U provides a torque output on a shaft 12,, to the planetary differential PD and specifically to the planetary gear 100.

The planetary differential PD splits the torque into two power output channels wherein the nuclear gear 103 provides torque feedback to the auxiliary compressor X through shaft 12 and wherein the ring gear 104 provides an external torque output along shaft 12",,.

As shown on FIG. 1, the auxiliary compressor X is provided with an external air intake, and may also be provided with a throttle control.

The schematic drawing of FIG. 1 is shown in more specific detail in FIG. 2 which illustrates a physical embodiment combining a center cut of a continuous combustion engine, a compressor, and a planetary differential. FIG. 2 is drawn with separating spaces between these three elements for ease of description although in actuality the three elements would abut one upon the other as shown by the dotted lines connecting the interfaces.

In FIG. 2, the continuous combustion engine element will be seen to follow substantially the drawing of my co-pending application Ser. No. 281,685 at FIG. 3B thereof; in FIG. 2, the compressor element will be seen to follow the drawing of the said co-pending application at FIG. 13 thereof, while the planetary differential element is a new element which is added to the combination.

Referring to FIG. 2, and particularly the continuous combustion engine element CC, (and as was described in my co-pending application Ser. No. 281,658), the casing houses a central chamber 38 and the two peripheral chambers 76 and 75. The central chamber holds rotor 2 and the peripheral chambers hold rotors 40 and 24.

The central rotor 2 is internally hollowed out along the line 2L0 while the solid abutments of rotor 2 are shown at 2, and 2, The central rotor 2 has a rotor shaft 12 and a shaft extension 12,, at one end, with another shaft extension 12, at the other end of the rotor 2, which connects to planetary gear which is part of the planetary differential.

The central rotor 2 is supported by upper and lower bearings 5 and 6 and the shaft extension 12,, is surrounded by a seal 4.

The peripheral rotors 40 and 24 likewise have internal hollows traced by the lines 40L and 24L, respectively. The first peripheral rotor 40 is held by bearings 44,, and 49, while the second peripheral rotor 24 is held by bearings 29,, and 33. v

The central rotor 2 is connected through shaft 12 to gear 8 which intermeshes with gear 50 of rotor 40 and with gear 34 of rotor 24.

One of the solid abutments of rotor 40 is shown at 40,, while one of the solid abutments of rotor 24 is shown at 24,,.

In my co-pending Serial No. 281,685,21t FIG. 38, a centrifugal blower was internally attached to shaft 12 of rotor 2 to draw cooling air through the internal hollows of rotors 2, 40, and 24. However, in this embodiment, the need for a centrifugal blower within the continuous combustion engine has been eliminated, as compressed air is now used for cooling.

Referring again to FIG. 2, intake port passages 17,, and I7',, are provided in the upper casing walls of the continuous combustion engine. It is through these ports that compressed air is intaken from the compressor element. The compressed air entering through 17,, I7',, may enter the internal hollow 16,, of rotor 2 through cavities 16,, and 16,, and exit through passages 16,. and 16,,.

Further, the compressed air may enter the interior of rotor 40 through passage 17,., and the interior of rotor 24 through passage 17',. Annular cavities 18,, and 18,, provide wider internal air circulation and allow greater inflow through 17,. and 17', into the rotor internal hollows 17,, and 17',,.

Cavities 19,, and 19,, are collection chambers for taking the circulated compressed-air for feedback to the combustion chamber 68 (which is connected adjacent rotor 24) of the continuous combustion engine.

The injected cooling air within rotor 2 exits through passages 16,, 16,, then through 17,, and 17,, to cavities 19,, and 19,, for feedback to the combustion chamber 68 (via' channel 68, of FIG. 6) through exit ports 19, and I9',..

Referring to FIG. 6 which is an embodiment of the invention used as a basic continuous combustion engine, it will be seen that the principles of a compressor and a utilizer are combined with a continuous combustion chamber to provide a constant pressure type internal combustion engine. Herein, considerable advantages are provided over my U.S. Pat. No. 3,640,252 and other prior art rotating abutment type engines all of which have a pulsating effect in the combustion process, while my present invention provides a smooth continuous combustion power effect.

Helpful reference may be had to my U.S. Pat. No. 3,640,252 wherein the exploded view of FIG. 3 of that patent will help in visualizing the overall configuration and where, in so far as possible, Ihave carried forth herein the same numbered elements as closely as is possible.

In FIG. 6, a casing is provided with a central chamber 38, and first and second peripheral chambers 76 and 75, and wherein there are common chamber areas 62 and 61. A central rotor 2 rotates in the central chamber 38 while peripheral rotors 40 and 24 rotate in chambers 76 and 75 respectively. An intake or inlet port 60 admits fluids while an exhaust or outlet port 72 is used for venting of used fluids. The throat or side faces of inlet port 60 has enlarged walls at 60,, and 60,,.

The central chamber 38 has an upper portion 38, which compresses intaken fluids and a lower portion 38, wherein combusted fluids are expanded and removed to the exhaust port 72.

The central rotor 2 has a central shaft 12 on which is built a hub 2,, from which extend four pistons or lobes marked 2,, 2,, 2,, and 2,,. Each piston has a head area 2,, and side faces, one of which is the leading face 2L and the other is trailing face 2,. These leading and trailing faces form the arcs of a circle whose center point is designated M. The pistons may also be described as piston-abutments or piston lobes. The central rotor 2 has a hollow area within it which are outlined by the line 2L,,.

The periphery of the hub 2 is labelled 2,, and an arrow shown upon the hub designates a clockwise rotation.

The first peripheral rotor or valving rotor40 has three abutments 40,, 40,, and 40, protruding from hub 40,, whose peripheral is marked 40,. The hub and abutments rotate on shaft 47 in the peripheral chamber 76 in the counterclockwise direction shown by the arrow. The line 40L, marked the internal hollow area of rotor 40. The side faces of the abutments follow an arc of a circle having its center at point C,.

The second peripheral rotor 24 operates in peripheral chamber 75 and has three abutments 24,, 24,, and 24, extending from hub 24,, having a hub periphery 24,, the entire rotor being mounted on shaft 28. The

outline of internal hollows of the rotor is marked byline 24L, The side faces of the peripheral rotor abutments form arcs of a circle whose center is designated at point C The second peripheral chamber 75 is made with an internal arcuate barrier wall 75,, which forms an internal channel 68, between the lower and upper portions of chamber 75 in addition to sealing the cavity 75,, between the faces of the abutments of the second peripheral rotor. The lower portion of the chamber 75 serves as an ignition-combustion area 68 and is provided with an ignition means 69 and fuel injector 69, which delivers fuel vapor to the combustion chamber.

The common-chamber areas are shown at 61 and 62, and the casing 20 may be provided with fins 21 for extra cooling purposes.

In FIG. 2 is shown a side or elevation view at CC of FIG. 6 wherein a casing 20 houses the central chamber and the two peripheral chambers holding the rotors 2, 40, and 24.

The central rotor is hollowed out along the line 2L, with the abutments shown hatched solidly at 2,, and 2,. The central rotor shaft 12 has an output shaft portion 12,, and the central rotor 2 is held by a top bearing 5, a lower bearing 6 while the end portion 12,, has a seal 4. Attached to the rotor shaft 12 is a timing gear 8 having a gear pitch line 8,. The top part of shaft 12 has a hole or opening 16,, permitting cooling air to enter the piston interior 16,, where it may exit through hole 16, and 16,, into an open area 19,, and 19,.

The casing 20 may have cooling air intake ports 17,, to bring air circulation into the interior of the engine.

The first peripheral rotor 40 is shown held in place by bearings 44,, and 49 through its shaft 47. The interior hollow of rotor 40 is shown by line 40L,,. Cooling air intaken into area 17,, may enter port 17,. into the rotor interior and pass out through port 17,, into area 19,, where it may go through channel 19,, to port 19', and thence through 19",. to channel 19',, to channel 68,. The hatched area of rotor 40 shows the abutment 40,, while the opposite side of this first peripheral rotor has piston 2,, interleaved between abutments 40,, and 40, (not shown in FIG. 2).

Similarly to rotor 40, there is shown in FIG. 2 the rotor 24 on shaft 28 and having a hollow interior outlined by 24L,,. The hatched area on the right shows abutment 24,, while at the left is seen the piston 2, int'erleaved between abutments 24,, and 24, (not shown in FIG. 2). Bearings 29,, and 33 hold the rotor 24 in place, and (similarly to rotor 40) cooling air may enter the interior of the abutment rotor 24.

The central rotor timing gear 8 intermeshes with gear 50 to rotor 40 and with gear 34 of rotor 24 to provide continuous communication for purposes of timing cooperation and for distribution of power between the three rotors.

Continuous Combustion Engine Operation Since a number of aspects of this embodiment have similarity to my US. Pat. No, 3,640,252, reference to the description of operation in that patent may be helpful toward understanding of this embodiment, and are included herein by reference.

Referring to FIG. 6 of this invention, combustion fluids are taken in through intake port 60 and compressed into central chamber area 38, where rotation of rotor 2 deposits the compressed fluids into peripheral cham ber 75. The turning rotor 24 entraps these fluids in the abutment cavity where further compression occurs as the piston 2,, enters the abutment cavity between abutments 24, and 24, after which the compressed fluids enter the combustion chamber area 68. At this point, an ignition means such as sparkplug 69 ignites the fluids causing an expansion and heat generation which drives piston 2,- further clockwise and to the left. Since the rotors are linked by gears 8, 34, and 50 (of P10. 2), the rotary power also transfers to rotors 24 and 40.

No particular timing is required of the ignition means 69 in combustion chamber 68 since the burning is a continuous burning rather than a pulsating burning. Channel 75,, carries or feeds back combustion fluids around in chamber over to the area where fresh charge of compressed fluids is being brought in by rotor 2 and itspistons. Further, with rotation of rotor 24, combusting gases are recirculated around through channel 75,, for re-entry into the area where rotor 2 is depositing freshly compressed charge where an enturbulence is made causing the mixing of fresh charge with partially combusted charge to bring about a thorough burning which will most substantially reduce and eliminate the undesired and noxious emissions so characteristic of the prior art internal combustion engines.

A fuel injection 69, is used to introduce fuel vapor into the charge moving through the channel 68,.

The expanding gases or fluid from the combustion chamber 68 further drive the pistons of rotor 2 and are also carried through channel 38,. by the side faces of the piston abutments over to the exhaust port 72 where, due to rotation of rotor 40 (which carries fluids such as fresh air) the exhaust gases or fluids are mixed with fresh air for final burning and cooling as they are being discharged through exhaust port 72.

Similarly to my US. Pat. No. 3,640,252, the sealing of the function-chambers 38, and 38,. is accomplished by the juxtaposition of the long head areas such as 2,,

in proximity to the casing walls of the chamber 38.

Likewise, the same is true for the rotor abutment heads juxtaposed to their respective casing chamber walls.

Further inthis embodiment, the interleaving between the pistons and abutment cavities follows the form de scribed hereinbefore in the previous embodiments, and also later described in conjunction with FIGS. 4A and 4B.

The overall combustion process of this embodiment of the invention permits a constant pressure expansion of the intaken air or fluids coming through the intake port whereby the combustion chamber by-products are applied together with their generated heat to the intaken charge. The combusting by-products from the combustion chamber expand into the expansion chamber area (68; and the upper area of 75) which is all times common with the continuous combustion chamber 68, and the expansion pervades into the cavities between the second rotor abutment at a relatively constant rate.

Neither the combustion chamber area 68 or the abutment rotor cavities of rotor 24 are exposed to the exhaust port 72 at any time so that the only means by which the products of combustion can escape is through channel portion 38,. at the end of the expansion phase of the piston rotor and after the next succeeding piston has blocked off the expansion channel 38,, from communication with the combustion chamber 68, as also was previously explained in my US. Pat. No. 3,640,252.

As each piston arrives in about the middle of the expansion channel 38,, some of the combustion products are trapped in the cavity between the adjacent rotor abutments and are carried around the abutment channel 75,, to be combined with fresh fluids or fresh air charge from the compressor function-channel 38c at the same operating pressure as the combustion chamber 68 pressure. This constitutes a most important improvement factor since it provides the means for conserving large amounts of heat and conserves the working media without the expenditure of any extra work during the process.

The valving abutment rotor 24 performs a function similar to that of the displacer piston in the Sterling Hot-Air Engine. The recycling of hot combustion products back into the fresh air stream from the piston compressor of the main rotor 2, therefore, constitutes a closed cycle heat-regenerating process within the overall combustion process. Further, this closed cycle provides for the conservation of large portions of the combustion products that are useful as working media for further expansion, and also as damping media to control the maximum temperature of the combustion process for the reduction of nitrous oxide emissions.

The recycled heat not only provides energy for expansion but also preheats the incoming charge for improved vaporization within the combustion chamber 68.

The output of the compressor portion of the rotor piston 2 at the upper end of chamber pro'vides a pulsating pressure since the compression is essentially an adiabatic process, but the channel 68,which communicates between the combustion chamber 68 and the piston compressor output at the top area of chamber 75, is relatively long and considerably larger in. volume than the charge carried in a single impulse of compressed air from the compressor function of the rotor 2; therefore the working pressureat the inlet to the combustion chamber 68 remains relatively constant.

The building up of working pressure in the channel 68, and in the combustion chamber 68 is entirely the result of the combustion process, since the volume of the channel 38, (utilizer) is the same as the volume of the channel 38,. of the piston compressor.

Referring again to FIG. 6, a common connecting channel 19,, connects ports 19, and 19', whereby high pressure cooling air may be conduited via channel 19' (FIG. 2) to channel 68, for delivery to combustion chamber 68. i

At cranking speeds, in starting, and before combustion has begun, there is no buildup of working pressure. The pressure is only built up after, and by virtue of, the commencement of the combustion process since the working medium is thereby expanded and can only escape through each successive passing of the piston past the exhaust port after the combustion chamber 68 has been blocked off from communication with the channel area 38,.

Engines of the prior art, such as the Breele Patent US. Pat. No. 2,927,560, allow the combustion chamher and the abutment cavity or well to be scavenged and thereby make it impossible to build up a high working pressure or toallow the entrapped heat combustion products to be utilized for regenerative and damping purposes. This very unique feature of my invention is especially and significantly useful in improving the purity of the exhaust emissions, besides improving efficiency.

A further improvement, also provided in my US. Pat. No. 3,640,252, is the means for e'ntrapping fresh air between the abutment cavities of the first peripheral rotor 40 (exhaust abutment rotor) whereby fresh air is carried around the inner channel of chamber 76 and into the exhaust port 72. The present invention and embodiment is further improved in that the intake port 60 is now common to both the abutment rotor 40 and piston rotor 2, and no auxiliary intake port is needed for displacing air into the exhaust port 72.

It is also of significance to point out that while the standard reciprocating piston-cylinder type engine requires a bidirectional set of two opposite motions, the above described embodiment is unidirectional in the sense that the piston rotor goes continuously in only one direction, thus allowing for a smooth continuous flow of power without excessive vibration or need for balancing. It should also be pointed out that the embodiment of HG. 6 minimizes the problem of sealing since the cooperation of the casing walls with the rotor abutments and the pistons together with the unique configuration of the interleaving elements, lays to rest once and for all, the prior art problem of sealing of cavities and function-chambers which move in rapid fashion.

The use of a durable heat-insulating material, such as a ceramic, for construction of the rotors and engine casing with its continuous combustion chamber can provide further advantages in conservation of heat by eliminating the loss of heat in the cooling of engine parts and by allowing the inner surface of the combustion chamber and the channel 38,. to operate at a higher temperature for more efficient combustion of fuel.

No throttling of the air intake is necessary or desirable since a maximum flow of air is advantageous. Any excess air in the combustion chamber 68 serves as a directly heated working medium and allows the fuel/air mixture to remain very lean under normal to light loading. The maximum richness of fuel/air mixture under heavy loading is conveniently limited by limiting the relative fuel flow as such by use, for example, of a positive displacement fuel injection pump which is driven from the engine shaft. Throttling of the engine is preferably done by means of a variable relief system for controlling the fuel injection pressure.

The ignition means 69, such as a spark plug, in the combustion chamber 68 is mainly used for starting, but is also preferably fired either continuously or at an arbitrary rate to insure that the combustion process is not interrupted by temporary loss of fuel injection pressure as would occur during deceleration.

Piston and Abutment-Geometry The following discussion is done in gradual portions so that it is necessary to read the entire section before a complete understanding of the principles involved is fully comprehended.

In regard to the interleaving and cooperative ar-. rangement of the peripheral rotor abutments (and peripheral rotor cavities) with the piston-abutments (and piston-rotor cavities), I have discovered a unique and critical configuration which provides an optimum geometrical relationship.

As previously described, the side faces of the pistons form arcs having or following a circle whose center has been designated as M. Similarly, the concave side faces of the peripheral valving rotor abutments are arcs which follow a curve of a circle having a center designated C (C, and C This configuration isa substantial improvement over any of the prior art forms of interleaving rotating abutment type energy converters, including that of my US. Pat. No. 3,640,252.

In the present invention, both of the convexly arcuate side faces of the pistons are formed by opposite sides of a single circle. Subsequently thus, the arcuate faces of the peripheral abutments are very simply derived from the passage of the piston circle between the cavity formed by the side faces of the two adjacent abutments of each peripheral rotor.

By using the peripheral abutment rotor (as described above) as a stationary reference frame, I have found that the motion of the center point M of the piston circle describes a prolate epicycloidal path relative to the abutment rotor whereby and in which the central rotor timing gear (element 8 of FIG. 2) pitch lines are the rolling circles involved in the generation of the prolate epicycloidal curve shown as M, M and M" in FIG. 4A.

An epicycloidal curve is that curve described by a point (P) on the circumference of a rolling circle (of radius a) which rolls along the outside circumference of a fixed circle (of radius b). When the generating point (P) is beyond radius (a), then the curve of point P is called a prolate" epicycloidal curve.

In the present invention, the epicycloidal curve is deemed prolate because the center of the piston circle" M (or the generating point), is beyond the pitch circle (8p) of the gear 8. This pitch circle of the gears (which can be called the rolling circle) may be larger or smaller in radius than the fixed circle.

It should be noted from FIG. 2 that the timing gears 50, 8, are of unequal pitch diameter. However. since the center point M of the piston circle" is slightly beyond the pitch circle this factor makes the generating point beyond the rolling circle bringing about the "prolate" characteristic wherein the generating point is beyond the rolling circle a, shown in FIG. 4A.

The ideal shape of the abutment side faces is therefore essentially epicycloidal since the entire piston circle operates as an enlarged generating point. As will be seen in FIG. 4A with reference to the peripheral rotor abutments, the sharp junction of the abutment head line (40,,) with the abument side face line (40L and 40,) is rounded off so as to provide extra clearance for the piston side faces as they follow their epicycloidal line into the cavity ofthe peripheral rotor. Thus the outside corners of the peripheral abutments are removed to eliminate any interferance problem and allow greater machining tolerance to the pistonabutments.

Since a liberal clearance isallowed between the piston faces and the peripheral rotor abutment faces and corners, it is-not necessary to form the abutment faces of the peripheral rotor precisely according to the ideal epicycloidal curves. However, since these curves are very nearly circular, it will be adequate to make a circular approximation of the involved sections of the prolate epicycloidal curves.

Thus, the main curveof the abutment side faces are established with a circular curve that is of approximate radius to and so juxtapositioned to the ideal curve so as to have all of the ideal curve within the circular approximation, as will be laterseen in FIG. 4A.

Likewise, the cut-off outside corners of the peripheral rotor abutments constitute a circular approximation and are of appropriate radius and juxtaposition so that the corner circular approximation is entirely within the adeal curve.

In order to provide a uniform clearance between the piston faces and the peripheral rotor abutment faces, the actual piston circle radius is made slightly smaller (in the amount of approximately 2 to 5 percent) than the ideal piston circle used to generate the ideal prolate epicycloidal curves of the abutment faces and corners.

The above-described means for interleaving of piston and abutments is extremely versatile such that variations of the major and minor piston radii and major and minor peripheral rotor abutment radii are exceptionally useful in adapting these rotors to embodiments of both lobe-type rotors and carrier-disc type rotors where one or both ends of each piston or abutment is supported by a rotary disc having pistons or abutments protruding form one of or both faces thereof.

The above mentioned versatility of my invention including this rotating abutment means also allows for variability in dimensional relationships for optimization of any given rotary energy converter design without altering the basic discovery and formula by which the abutment curves are derived from the piston circle.

Thus the needed freedom of design is provided for the many and varied applications of the invention.

, Referring to FIG. 4A, there will be seen an enlarged andpartial view of a peripheral rotor abutment and cavity shown for example, as abutments 40,, and 40,

with the peripheral rotor cavity therebetween the side faces 40L and 40,. The center ofthe peripheral rotor shaft is shown as 47,. The hub of the peripheral rotor is shown at 40,, which is part of the hub circle designated as 40,

it should be noted that the side faces 2L and 2,, which are centered on the point M. may be centered on a By side reference to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the rotor 40 has a timing gear 50 having a gear pitch-line circle labelled 50,. Now referring to FIG. 4A, the pitch line circle 50,, is shown as a reference circle or fixed circle for geometrical purposes whereby it will be used as a reference about which a rolling circle 8,, will be rolled about the fixed circle, 50,,, as will be explained hereinafter. v a

The circle 8,, or rolling circle represents the gear pitch line 8,, of gear 8 (also shown in FIG. 2). The prethe piston circles) will, during rotation of the piston rotor form a 'circle shown as M,. The point M is the center of the piston circle marked C, with projected motions labelled CM CH2, C CM4, CM5, CM5, CM7, and C The center point M is shown describing the curve M-'M'-M"'of a prolate epicycloid. The point C is used as the actual center of a circle whose circumference traces the abutment side faces.

Now, for analytical and geometrical purposes, by taking the peripheral abutment rotor 40 and its pitch line circle 50,, as a stationary unmoving reference and then taking the piston circle C with its center point M and with its timing gear pitch-line 8,, as a rolling circle which is rolled around the fixed circle 50,, it will be seen that the center point M of the piston circle traces a curve designated MM-M" forming a prolate epicylarger-circle than the standard piston circle so that the side faces of the piston may be made to follow the curves 2L, and 2L, as shown in FIG. 4B. In this event, it is not even necessary to round off the abutment rotor corners as was described in the discussions of FIG. 4A.

viously described point M of FIG. 6 (as the center of cloidal form. Since the center point M traces this form,

then also the circumference (of the piston circle) C will also trace the path of a prolate epicycloid as seen in the series of circle labelled C through C which optimumly juxtapose into the cavitybetween the peripheral rotor abutment side faces L and 40,.

As the piston rotor 2 is (analytically and geometrically) moved about the stationary reference of the periperal rotor 40, the circle designated LC12 is generated (as shown on FIG. 4A) by the center point of the piston rotor shaft 12.

Piston circles C and C show theoretically how the piston circles juxtapose into the abutment cavity (from C through C but since the hub circle 40 intrudes into the abutment cavity, the actual piston 2,, is made truncated at the line circle C This can also be observed in FIG. 6. where the piston has a truncated head area 2,,. The dotted line 2, shows how the piston circle eventually juxtaposes between the side faces of the abutments 40,, and 40,. while at the same time the truncated head 2,, of the piston avoids actual physical contact with the hub circle 40 The head 40, of the peripheral abutment rotor 40,, is made to have rounded off edges where the head line greater tolerance in the machining of the pistons and the peripheral rotor abutments.

Referring to FIG. 4B, there is shown further how versatile the interleaving arrangements may be accomplished. A diagrammatic sketch is shown of the piston Referring again to FIG. 2, the central unit element placed between the continuous combustion. engine element CC and a planetary differential element will be seen as the auxiliary compressor element X. (This unit was originally introduced and described in my copending U.S. application Ser. No; 281,685 as FIG. 18 thereof.) Only a few minor adaptations are required to make it inter-relate with the continuous combustion engine and the planetary differential.

In order to differentiate'parts of FIG. 2 from those appearing in FIG. 1B of US. application Ser. No. 28l,685, a similar element number is used with the addition of a (prime), for differentiative purposes.

In FIG. 2, the casing 20 of the compressor provides space for a central chamber 38 and first and second peripheral chambers 76' and 75.

The central chamber 38 houses a stationary annular core 3',, while chamber 76 houses a stationary cylindrical core 42' and chamber 75"houses a stationary cylindrical core 26'.

Revolving around central'core 3,, is a rotor 2'; and

likewise rotor 40' revolves about core 42 and rotor 24 revolves about core 26. These rotors are connected respectively to shafts l2',,, 47' and 28" which are fixedly attached respectively to gears 8, 50' and 34.

Each of the rotors 2', 40', and 24' will be seen to be provided with a carrier disc at the top and bottom of the rotor which juxtaposes around each of the individual stationary cores in each chamber. Specifically, the

' central rotor 2' has a lower carrier disc 2,, and an I 40,, meets the side faces 40L and 40, in order to allow upper carrier disc 2",, the first peripheral rotor 40 has a lower carrier disc 40' and an upper carrier disc 40' the second peripheral rotor 24' has a lower carrier disc 24' and an upper carrier disc 24' Passing through the stationary annular core 3' of the central chamber 38, is a shaft 12, which is fixedly connected to rotor 2 of the continuous combustion engine. This shaft 12,, also passes through the central timing gear 8 and also through the nuclear gear 103-, without connection to 8. and 103. Thus shaft 12' is independent of thecompressor element except as it feeds power to nuclear gear 103 through planetary gears 100, 101 and 102.

The compressor rotor 2' is supported by bearings 5' and 6'. The rotor 40' is supported by bearings 44' and 49'. The rotor 24' is supported by bearings 29, and 33'.

As seen in FIG. 2, two output channels 60,, and 60', are provided for output of compressed air into the continuous combustion (C.C) engine via 17a and 17a for' The nuclear gear 103 is fixedly connected to a hollow shaft 12,, which is also fixedly connected to gear 8 which is a part of the top end of rotor 2. Thus, any torque applied to nuclear gear 103 will also turn gear 8' and rotor 2'.

As will be seen in FIG. an embodiment of the dual regenerative compressor is shown with an enclosing casing Within the casing are three circular and annular chambers which may be designated as a central chamber 38, a first peripheral chamber 76', and a second peripheral chamber 75'. The central chamber 38' is seen having commonchamber areas 62 and 61' with the first peripheral chamber 76 and the second peripheral chamber 75' respectively. Within the three chambers are provided three abutment rotors, the central rotor 2', the first peripheral valving rotor 40', and the second peripheral valving rotor 24'.

Fluids are taken in through intake ports 60', and

The central rotor 2' is mounted on a shaft 12' by means of two carrier discs 2' and 2' shown in FIG. 2 to which are attached three piston-abutments shown as 2',,, 2',,, and 2,.. Referring (FIG. 5) to pistonabutment 2',., it will be seen that the piston-abutment has a convex leading face 2L, a convex trailing face 2',, and a head surface (periphery) marked as 2',,. The arcs of 2L and 2, follow the sides of a circle whose center is shown at point M.

The stationary core or hub 3,, has two cutouts shown on opposite sides which have a concave face and are designated 3L and 3,.

The central chamber 38' has an upper section 38, and a lower section 38',. wherein fluids are trapped between the two piston abutments (function-channels) as they rotate past the casing 20'.

The first peripheral valving rotor 40' is seen having three abutments or protrusions 40',,, 40,,, and 4(),. which rotate around a stationary core or hub 42 which is mounted above shaft 47'. Referring to valving abutments 40' and 40,,, it will be seen that the abutment side faces are concave and have a leading edge or face 40L and a trailing face 40,. The head or peripheral arc of the abutment is convex and designated as the head 40',,. The concave arcs of the side faces of the abutments follow an arc of a circle whose center is shown at C,.

Likewise the second peripheral valving rotor 24 has three abutments 24' 24',,, and 24, having leading edges or faces 24L, trailing faces 24, and head area 24,,. The rotor 24' has a stationary core or hub 26 above shaft 28. A cutout 24', is provided on core 26 for clearing of the rotating head face area 2' which interleaves with the peripheral rotor abutments during rotation. The side faces of the abutments are concave and follow the arc of a circle whose center is shown at point C The intake ports 60, and 60", are provided with an expanding throat shown at 60',, and 60,, where the easing is rounded off to provide the throat area.

The outputs ports for compressed air discharge are seen at 17,, and 17,, These ports connect via channels 40, and 24', to chambers 76 and 75' of the compressor.

In FIG. 2, the output ports are shown on the CC engine side as 17,, and 17,, and these correspond to ports 60,., and 60',., on the compressor side, as shown in FIG. 2.

As was previously described in regard to the compressor element and the continuous combustion engine element, a shaft 12',, (which is provided torque by the engine rotor 2) provides torque to the planetary differential through planetary gear 100 (having turning gears 101 and102 fixedly attached thereto). Gears 101 and 102 interlink with nuclear gear 103 which is also fixedly attached to gear 8 and compressor rotor 2.

The outer peripheral areas of the planetary gears 101 and 102 also interlink with ring gear 104 which has a shaft 12",, as the torque output shaft for the delivery of work to an outside or external load. Shaft 12",, is further held by bearing 105, in casing 20,,.

An alternative embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 3 wherein a planetary differential PD is interconnected with a Drive Unit DU.

The Drive Unit DU is composed of four functional units shown as a combustion chamber F, the Utilizer function U, wherein hot gas from the combustion chamber F is used to turn rotors within the Utilizer, the Utilizer function U where compressed air is circulated through the internal hollows of the rotors mentioned as part of U and a regenerative compressor which feeds compressed air to U; for internal rotor cooling after which the air is conveyed to the combustion chamber The output torque shaft 12,, of the Utilizer U is connected to drive the planetary gear 100 of the planetary differential. This power from the Utilizer is then split into two torque paths; the first path being ring gear 104 which drives the external load output shaft 12",,, and the second path from nuclear gear 103 which drives a shaft 12,, for empowering the regenerative compressor RC.

Referring to FIG. 2, there was previous reference to chambers 19,, and 19,, of the CC engine being connected to the combustion zone or chamber 68 of the CC engine. By cross reference now to FIG. 6,'it will now be seen that chambers 19,, are connected to ports 19,. and 19,., and these ports are both connected to common channel 19,,. This channel thus permits the cooling air from the compressor (after internal passage through the rotors of the CC engine) to be conduited via passage 19,.,. (FIG. 2) to the combustion chamber 68 through the passage 68,.

OPERATION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT With reference to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 2 and its schematic drawing shown in FIG. 1, the injection of fuel and the activationof ignition in the combustion chamber 68 will provide hot combusting gases to drive the rotor 2 (and rotors 40 and 24) into rotational action. The output torque shaft 12,, attached to the central rotor 2 will then turn the planetary gear 100 so that planet gears 101 and 102 will transmit power to nuclear gear 103.

Since nuclear gear 103 is fixedly attached through hollow shaft 12,, to the central rotor 2 of the compressor, the compressor including all its rotors 2, 24' and 40. will rotate to take in air from its external air intake and compress it within the co-connecting chambers 38, 76 and pass it through passages 60c, and 60c, into the rotary combustion engine.

The incoming compressed air, from auxiliary compressor it, enters the internal hollows of rotor 2 through passages 16,, and I6',,; it enters the internal hollows of rotors 40 and 24 through passages 17,. and I7',.. After 1 5 providing a cooling effect to the rotors, the compressed air exits from the rotors through passages 16,, 16,,, 17,, and 17',; to chambers 19, and 19,,. Thence it exits through passages 19, and I9',. to the combustion chamber 68 by means of passages l9 (FIG. 2) and 68, (FIGS. 2 and 6);

The planetary differential PD will also be seen to have a ring gear 104 interconnected to the planet gears 101 and 102 so that output torque shaft l2,,- can be used to deliver power. to an external load, which, as in the case ofa motor vehicle, is a load that is variable according to conditions of use.

Thus the arrangement is such that the normal air compressing action of the rotary engine is added in cascade to the compressive action of the compressor in such a manner that a given torque output can be achieved at a much lower than usual combustion temperature. This not only provides the required pressure for the output torque but also provides more air in the combustion chamber for a leaner fuel-air mixture.

When conditions are such that the external load is very heavy, this extra air supply automatically charges the engine, since under heavy loading, there is also considerably more power fed back to the compressor X for greater charging of air. On the other hand, when the external load is light, the output shaft 12",, overdrives the speed of the engine while the compressor X is allowed to stop.

As a result of this combination and configuration of elements, a most advantageous system has been provided wherein a power source is used to drive an external load under varying loading conditions and yet in which automatic torque conversion occurs so that depending on the load, the engine will be charged with air as required for heavy loading, or the charging function of the auxiliary compressor can idle or stop for conditions of light loading. Thus there is automatic increase of total power capability in the system as required by .the load and concomitantly there is a decrease in power generation when not required, all accomplished on an automatic basis.

Additional advantageous features of this system include the fact that a leaner air-fuel mixture is feasible while at the same time, the system can be run at a much lower operating temperature and the normally wasted heat used to cool the engine is advantageously used to warm up the rotor cooling air which is then used for combustion purposes.

What is claimed is:

l. A system for the continuous conversion of fuel combustion in a power source to a torque for driving an output load comprising:

a. a power source for providing a torque which includes a positive displacement rotary engine having ambient air/inlet means; combustion fluid exhaust means; a plurality of rotors with interleaving abutments; internal hollows formed in said rotors; said rotors. cooperating to define an air compression function chamber in communication with said inlet means, a continuous combustion chamber in com- I munication with said air compression functionchamber and a combustion-expansion functionchamber in communication with said continuous combustion chamber and said exhaust means; re-

circulation means in communication with the inlet to said combustion-expansion function-chamber and the outlet from said air compression functionchamber for mixing a portion of the combustion gases from said continuous combustion chamber with air discharged from said compression function-chamber; mixing means in communication with said exhaust means and said inlet means for conducting a portion of the air from said .inlet means to said exhaust means;

b. a positive displacement rotary compressor empowered by said rotary engine;

c. means for conveying compressed air from said compressor through the said internal rotor hollows of said engine to the said continuous combustion chamber of said power source; and

d. a planetary differential driven by said power source and providing torque to an externally loaded output shaft while also providing torque to drive said rotary compressor.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said compressor includes a plurality of chambers housing a plurality of ro- 20 tors used for compressing intaken air.

' 3. ln a continuous torque conversion system, the combination of:

a positive displacement rotary continuous combustion engine having ambient air inlet means a plurality of rotors with internal hollows, said rotors cooperating to define a compression function-chamber in communication with said air inlet means, a continuous combustion chamber in communication with :said compression function-chamber, and a combustion-expansion function-chamber in communication with said continuous combustion chamber for delivery of torque to a planetary differential gear;

a positive displacement rotary compressor for delivery of compressed air through said internal hollows to said continuouscombustion chamber;

a planetary differential gear driven from said rotary engine and providing a first and second torque output, said first torque output available to deliver an external torque output to a load, and said second torque output providing a feedback power path to drive the said compressor.

4. A torque conversion system comprising in combination: 2

a. a rotary continuous combustion engine having an output power shaft for delivery of torque to a planetary differential; ambient air inlet means, air compression means in communication with said air inlet means, a continuous combustion chamber in communication with said air compression means, and expansion means in communication with said continuous combustion chamber for delivery of torque to saidoutput power shaft;

. a planetary differential including a nuclear gear, a planetary gear, and a ring gear, said ring gear fixedly attached to an external output shaft for driving a load, said planetary gear fixedly attached to said output power shaft of said rotary engine, and said nuclear gear fixedly attached to a rotary compressor to drive the rotors thereof",

. a rotary compressor for delivering compressed air to the continuous combustion chamber of said rotary engine, said compressor being driven by power delivered to said nuclear gear of said planetary differential from said planetary gear, said nuclear gear being fixedly attached to the central rotor of said compressor, said compressor comprising:

and second peripheral chambers, said central chamber having first and second common-chamber areas respectively with said first and second ment-lobes operating in cooperative interleaving relationship with and non-contiguous to said piston-lobes of said central rotor;

b-e. and wherein said abutment-lobes of said first peripheral chambers; and second peripheral valving rotors cooperate c-b. a central rotor in said central chamber, said in r tar motion with said piston abutment-lobes central rotor revolving around a stationary hub to form sealed function chambers during rotary having arcuate cutouts on opposite sides thereof phases of the central rotor cycle; and piston-abutments protruding radially from b f, means for intake of a charge; said central rotor for rotation in said central bme for exhaust of combusted gases; Chamber; b-h. a combustion chamber located within said secc-c. first and second peripheral rotors for rotation d i h l h b in Said and Second Chambers respectivelyb-i. means for ignition ofcharge in said combustion each of said rotors having protruding abutments chamber; d which interleave with the piston-abutments of i5 i abutment piston l b comprise two Oppo. central Toto"; v site convex faces formed along the arc of a single c-d. intake means communicating with said first circle; and the SpaCe -gap between dj andsecond Penpheml f ef ripheral valving abutment-lobes comprises two exhaust l commumcamg 531d first opposite concave faces formed along the arc of and second peripheral chambers; a Single circle;

first secmldi and thud shafts resPectw-ely b-k. said central rotorand said first and second peected 9 first a Second penpheral rotors ripheral rotors are each fixed to respective cenand to Sam central tral and peripheral timing gears, and wherein the first f and thud gears resPecnvely l" center of the piston-circle of each of the abutnected to said first, second, and third shafts, said ment pistomlobes traces the path of a prolate gears bemg commuous efngagemem; epicycloid with reference to the pitch diameter c-h. and wherein the protruding abutments of said of agperipheral rotor timing gear when Said first and 9 Peripheral rotors FY concave), ing gear is used as stationary reference about arcuate side faces which form cavities along the which Said central rotor is revolved arc of a circle whose center is radially within the I I i I d c. a positive displacement rotary compressor driven pltch lmes rqspecuvely of first and by said second output torque drive and providing gears and.smd abutmlem plsmn lobes cmgpr'lse an output channel for conveying compressed air to two opposlte. convex faces fqrmed along t e are said combustion chamber of said rotary engine of a single circle, and wherein the center of the 6 An automatic tor que conversion system, compris piston-circle of each of the abutment piston lobes mg in combination: traces the path of a prolate epicycloid with refer- I I, t (Hf tn] h t t ence to the pitch diameter of each peripheral my l m avmg an olque rotor timing gear when said timing gear is used as dnve and first and Second Output torque drives a stationary reference about which said central torquet y g of dehvermg rotor is revolved. 40 Orque 0 an ex emd pa b. a positive displacement rotary compressor for compressing intaken air, said compressor being driven by the said second output torque drive of said planetary differential;

c. a rotary combustion engine including:

a plurality of chambers housing a plurality of rotors wherein said rotors have a plurality of abutments which interleave one with the other; ambient air inlet means; said rotors cooperating to define a compression function-chamber in communication with saidair inlet means, a single-continuous combustion chamber in communication with said compression function-chamber, and an expansion function-chamber means in communication with said continuous combustion chamber for supplying torque to said input torque drive; recirculation means in communication with the inlet to said expansion function-chamber and the outlet of said compression function-chamber for mixing a portion of the combustion gases from said continuous combustion chamber with air discharged from the compression function-chamber; and passage means for conduiting air from said compressor to said single combustion chamber.

5. An automatic torque conversion system comprising, in combination:

a. a planetary differential having an input torque drive and first and second output torque drives, said first output torque drive of said planetary differential connected to provide torque to an external load;

b. A rotary engine comprising:

b-a. a casing defining a central chamber and a plurality of peripheral chambers, each of said peripheral chambers having areas in common with said central chamber;

b-b. a central rotor mounted for rotation in said central chamber and having a plurality of abutment piston-lobes extending radially to form pistons for rotary movement in said central chamber;

b-c. a first peripheral valving rotor mounted for rotation in said first one of said peripheral chambers and having a plurality of abutment-lobes extending radially therefrom and operating in interleaving non-contiguous relationship with said abutment piston-lobes of said central rotor;

b-d. a second peripheral valving rotor including a central hub mounted for rotation in said second (,5 peripheral chamber and having a plurality of abutment-lobes extending radially, said abut

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Classifications
U.S. Classification123/204, 123/200, 418/196, 60/39.45, 60/39.43
International ClassificationF02B53/02, F01C1/20, F02B55/06
Cooperative ClassificationY02T10/17, F01C1/20, F02B55/06, F02B53/02
European ClassificationF02B53/02, F01C1/20, F02B55/06