US RE40554 E1
A scroll-type machine is disclosed which is particularly well suited for use as a compressor in refrigeration and air conditioning systems and incorporates a unique arrangement for modulating the capacity thereof. In one group of embodiments the capacity of the scroll-type machine is modulated by relative axial movement between the scroll members so as to form a leakage path across the wrap tips and opposed end plates. In another group of embodiments, modulation is achieved by reducing the orbital radius of one of the scroll members to thereby form a leakage path across the flank surfaces of the wraps. In the second group, a plurality of pin members are moveable from a first and second positions. In a first position the plurality of pin members operably enable the scroll members to orbit and in a second position the pin members restrict the orbiting motion of the first scroll members. Both types of scroll separation may be accomplished in a time pulsed manner to thereby enable a full range of modulation with the duration of the loading and unloading periods being selected to maximize the efficiency of the overall system. A motor control arrangement is also disclosed which may be used with either of the modulation methods mentioned above to increase the efficiency of the motor during periods of reduced load. Additionally, either of the modulation arrangements mentioned above may be combined with a delayed suction form of capacity modulation with or without the motor control feature to thereby achieve better operating efficiency under certain conditions.
1. A scroll-type compressor comprising:
a bearing housing;
a first scroll member movably supported on said bearing housing, said first scroll member including a first end plate and a first spiral wrap provided on one side thereof;
a second scroll member supported on said bearing housing, said second scroll member including a second end plate and a second spiral wrap provided on one side thereof;
a drive member;
a radially compliant coupling drivingly connecting said drive member to said first scroll member whereby said drive member operates to orbit said first scroll member with respect to said second scroll member at a first orbiting radius wherein said first and second spiral wraps are intermeshed and define sealed moving fluid pockets which decrease in size as they move from a radially outer position to a radially inward position;
a pin member movably disposed in said chamber, said pin member being movable from a first position at which said first scroll member orbits at said first orbiting radius and a second position in which said pin member restricts the orbiting radius of said first scroll member to a magnitude less than said first radius whereby leakage paths are formed between said moving fluid pockets; and
a drive system for reciprocating said pin between said first and second positions to thereby modulate the capacity of said compressor.
2. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
3. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
4. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
5. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
6. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
7. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
8. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
9. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
10. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
11. A scroll-type compressor comprising:
a hermetic shell;
a bearing housing supported within said shell;
a first scroll member movably supported on said bearing housing, said first scroll member including a first end plate and a first spiral wrap provided on one side thereof;
a second scroll member supported on said bearing housing, said second scroll member including a second end plate and a second spiral wrap provided on one side thereof;
a drive shaft rotatably supported by said bearing housing, said drive shaft including an eccentric;
a radially compliant coupling for drivingly connecting said drive shaft to said first scroll member whereby rotation of said drive shaft operates to orbit said first scroll member with respect to said second scroll member at a first orbiting radius with said first and second spiral wraps intermeshed and defining sealed moving fluid pockets which decrease in size as they move from a radially outer position to a radially inward position;
a plurality of chambers provided in spaced relationship in said bearing housing;
a plurality of pin members, one of said plurality of pin members being movably disposed in each of said chambers, said pin members being movable from a first position at which said first scroll member orbits at said first orbiting radius and a second position in which said pin members restrict the orbiting radius of said first scroll member to a magnitude less than said first radius whereby leakage paths are formed between said moving fluid pockets; and
a drive system for reciprocating said pins between said first and second positions in a time pulsed manner to thereby modulate the capacity of said compressor.
12. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
13. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
14. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
15. A scroll-type compressor as set forth in
This is a division of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/486,118, filed Jun. 7, 1995 U.S. Pat. No. 5,741,120.
The present invention is related to capacity modulation of compressors and more particularly to capacity modulation of scroll-type compressors.
Capacity modulation is often a desirable feature to incorporate in air conditioning and refrigeration compressors in order to better accommodate the wide range of loading to which the systems may be subjected. Many different approaches have been utilized for providing this capacity modulation feature ranging from controlling of the suction inlet to bypassing discharge gas back to the suction inlet. With scroll-type compressors, capacity modulation has often been accomplished via a delayed suction approach which comprises providing ports at various positions which, when opened, allow the compression chambers formed between the intermeshing scroll wraps to communicate with the suction gas supply thereby delaying the point at which compression of the suction gas begins. This method of capacity modulation actually reduces the compression ratio of the compressor. While such systems are effective at reducing the capacity of the compressor, they are only able to provide a predetermined amount of compressor unloading, the amount of unloading being dependent upon the positioning of the unloading ports along the wraps. While it is possible to provide multiple step unloading by incorporating a plurality of such ports at different locations, this approach becomes costly and requires additional space to accommodate the separate controls for opening and closing each set of ports.
The present invention, however, overcomes these deficiencies in that it enables virtually a continuous range of unloading from 100 percent or full capacity down to virtually zero capacity utilizing only a single set of controls. Further, the system of the present invention enables the operating efficiency of the compressor and/or refrigeration system to be maximized for any degree of compressor unloading desired.
In the present invention, compressor unloading is accomplished by cyclically effecting axial or radial separation of the two scroll members for predetermined periods of time during the operating cycle of the compressor. More specifically, the present invention provides an arrangement wherein one scroll member is moved axially or radially toward and away from the other scroll member in a pulsed fashion to cyclically provide a leakage path across the tips or flanks of the wraps from higher pressure compression pockets defined by the intermeshing scroll wraps to lower pressure pockets and ultimately back to suction. By controlling the relative time between sealing and unsealing of the scroll wrap tips or flanks, virtually any degree of compressor unloading can be achieved with a single control system. Further, by sensing various conditions within the refrigeration system, the duration of compressor loading and unloading for each cycle can be selected for a given capacity such that overall system efficiency is maximized. For example, if it is desired to operate the compressor at 50 percent capacity, this can be accomplished by operating the compressor alternately in a loaded condition for five seconds and unloaded for five seconds or loaded for seven seconds and unloaded for seven seconds, one or the other of which may provide greater efficiency for the specific operating conditions being encountered.
The various embodiments of the present invention described below provide a wide variety of arrangements by which one scroll member may be axially or radially reciprocated with respect to the other to accommodate a full range of compressor unloading. The ability to provide a full range of capacity modulation with a single control system as well as the ability to select the duration of loaded and unloaded operation cooperate to provide an extremely efficient system at a relatively low cost.
Additionally, in order to even further improve system efficiency in some applications, it may be desirable to combine a delayed suction type of capacity modulation with the pulsed unloading approach mentioned above. For example, when operating conditions are such that system pressures just downstream of the discharge valve are at a level below the full load design level, the compression ratio of the compressor will result in pressure of the compressed fluid as it is discharged from the compression chamber being too high, a condition known as over-compression. The most efficient way to reduce capacity under these conditions is to reduce the compression ratio of the compressor and hence the pressure of the compressed fluid exiting the compression chamber such that it is equal to or only slightly above the system pressure just downstream of the discharge valve thus eliminating the lost work due to over-compression. However, if a further reduction in capacity is indicated by system condition once the over-compression condition has been eliminated, the use of a pulsed type of capacity modulation will be more efficient as it will avoid creation of a condition known as under-compression, that being a situation where the pressure of the compressed fluid as it leaves the compression chamber being below that of the system just downstream of the discharge valve. Thus, the present invention also includes a system in which both pulsed and delayed suction capacity modulation approaches are combined which result in even greater efficiencies for systems likely to encounter such operating conditions than could be achieved by either of the two capacity modulation approaches alone.
Additionally, the present invention may also incorporate a motor control module which will operate to control various operating parameters thereof to enhance its operating efficiency during periods when the motor load is reduced due to unloading of the compressor.
Additional advantages and features of the present invention will become apparent from the subsequent description and the appended claims taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Referring now to the drawings and in particular to
Compressor assembly 24 includes an orbiting scroll member 26 supported on upper bearing housing 20 and drivingly connected to crankshaft 18 via crank pin 28 and drive bushing 30. A second non-orbiting scroll member 32 is positioned in meshing engagement with scroll member 26 and axially movably secured to upper bearing housing 20 by means of a plurality of bolts 34 and associated sleeve members 36. An Oldham coupling 38 is provided which cooperates between scroll members 26 and 32 to prevent relative rotation therebetween.
A partition plate 40 is provided adjacent the upper end of shell 12 and serves to define a discharge chamber 42 at the upper end thereof.
In operation, as orbiting scroll member 26 orbits with respect to scroll member 32, suction gas is drawn into shell 12 via suction inlet 44 and thence into compressor 24 through inlet 46 provided in non-orbiting scroll member 32. The intermeshing wraps provided on scroll members 26 and 32 define moving fluid pockets which progressively decrease in size and move radially inwardly as a result of the orbiting motion of scroll member 26 thus compressing the suction gas entering via inlet 46. The compressed gas is then discharged into discharge chamber 42 via discharge port 48 provided in scroll member 32 and passage 50. A suitable pressure responsive discharge valve 51 is preferably provided seated within discharge port 48.
Scroll member 32 is also provided with an annular cylindrical recess 52 formed in the upper surface thereof. One end of a generally irregularly shaped cylindrical member 54 within which passage 50 is provided projects into cylinder 52 and divides same into upper and lower chambers 56 and 58. The other end of cylindrical member 54 is sealingly secured to partition plate 40. An annular ring 60 is secured to the upper end of scroll member 32 and includes an axially extending flange 62 slidingly engageable with cylinder member 54 to thereby seal off the open upper end of chamber 56.
Cylindrical member 54 includes a passage 64 having one end which opens into upper chamber 56. A fluid line 66 is connected to the other end of passage 64 and extends outwardly through shell 12 to a solenoid operated valve 68. A second fluid line 70 extends from valve 68 to suction line 72 connected to suction inlet 44 and a third fluid line 74 extends from valve 68 to a discharge line 76 extending outwardly from discharge chamber 42.
In order to bias scroll member 32 into sealing engagement with scroll member 26 for normal fully loaded operation, a bleed hole 78 is provided in scroll member 32 communicating between chamber 58 and a compression pocket at an intermediate pressure between suction and discharge pressure. Thus, chamber 58 will be at an intermediate pressure which together with the discharge pressure acting on the upper surface of scroll member 32 in the area of discharge port 48 will exert a biasing force on scroll member urging it axially into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 26. At the same time, solenoid valve 68 will be in a position so as to place upper chamber 56 in fluid communication with suction line 72 via fluid lines 66 and 70.
In order to unload compressor 24, solenoid valve 68 will be actuated in response to a signal from control module 80 to interrupt fluid communication between lines 66 and 70 and to place fluid line 66 in communication with discharge line 76 thus increasing the pressure within chamber 56 to that of the discharge gas. The biasing force resulting from this discharge pressure will overcome the sealing biasing force thereby causing scroll member 32 to move axially upwardly away from orbiting scroll member 26. This axial movement will result in the creation of a leakage path between the respective wrap tips and end plates of scroll members 26 and 32 thereby substantially eliminating continued compression of the suction gas. When unloading occurs, discharge valve 51 will move to a closed position thereby preventing the back flow of high pressure fluid from discharge chamber 42 or the downstream system. When compression of the suction gas is to be resumed, solenoid valve 68 will be actuated to a position in which fluid communication between upper chamber 56 and discharge line 76 via lines 66 and 74 is interrupted and upper chamber 56 is placed in communication with suction line 72 via fluid lines 66 and 70 thereby relieving the axially directed separating force. This then allows the cooperative action of the intermediate pressure in chamber 58 and discharge pressure acting in passage 50 to again move scroll member 32 into sealing engagement with scroll member 26.
Preferably, control module 80 will have one or more appropriate sensors 82 connected thereto to provide the required information for control module 80 to determine the degree of unloading required for the particular conditions existing at that time. Based upon this information, control module 80 will send appropriately timed sequential signals to solenoid valve 68 to cause it to alternately place fluid line 66 in communication with discharge line 76 and suction line 72. For example, if conditions indicate that it is desirable to operate compressor 24 at 50 percent of full capacity, control module 80 may actuate solenoid valve to a position to place fluid line 66 in communication with suction line 72 for a period of say 10 seconds whereupon it is switched to place fluid line 66 in fluid communication with discharge line 76 for a like period of 10 seconds. Continued switching of solenoid valve 68 in this manner will result in compression occurring during only 50 percent of the operating time thus reducing the output of compressor 24 to 50 percent of its full load capacity. As the sensed conditions change, control module will vary the relative time periods at which compressor 24 is operated in a loaded and unloaded condition such that the capacity of compressor 24 may be varied between fully loaded or 100 percent capacity and completely unloaded or 0 percent capacity in response to varying system demands.
A valve member 104 is axially movably disposed within bore 100. Valve member 104 includes a reduced diameter portion 106 operative to place radially extending passages 108 and 110 provided in member 96 in fluid communication when in a first position so as to vent upper chamber 56 to suction and to place radial fluid passage 110 in fluid communication with radial fluid passage 112 when in a second position so as to admit discharge gas from discharge flow-path 50 to upper chamber 56. A vent passage 113 is also provided with communicates between the bottom of bore 100 and passage 50 to vent gas from the area below valve 104 during operation thereof. A spring 114 is also provided which serves to aid in biasing valve 104 into its second position whereas pressurized discharge fluid entering bore 100 via passage 112 and passage 113 serves to bias valve member 104 into its first position.
As shown, valve member 104 and solenoid valve 68 are both in a position for fully loaded operation wherein solenoid valve 68 is in position to place fluid conduit 102 in communication with the suction line 72 and valve member 104 is in a position to vent upper chamber 56 to the interior of shell 12 which is at suction pressure. When it is desired to unload the compressor, solenoid valve 68 will be actuated to a position to place fluid line 102 in communication with fluid line 74 thereby enabling pressurized discharge fluid to act on the upper end of valve member 104. This pressurized fluid together with spring 114 will cause valve member 104 to move downwardly thereby closing off communication of radial passage 110 with radial passage 108 and opening communication between radial passage 110 and radial passage 112. Discharge pressure fluid will then flow into upper chamber 56 thus overcoming the intermediate pressure biasing force resulting from the communication of chamber 58 with a compression chamber at intermediate pressure via passage 78 and causing scroll member 32 to move axially upwardly away from orbiting scroll member 26. It should be noted that the relatively short flowpath for supplying discharge pressure fluid to upper chamber 56 ensures rapid unloading of the compressor.
While the previously described embodiments have been directed to unloading arrangements wherein the non-orbiting scroll has been moved axially away from the orbiting scroll, it is also possible to apply these same principles to the orbiting scroll.
Referring now to
In operation, chamber 148 will be supplied with fluid at intermediate pressure to thereby biasing orbiting scroll 146 into sealing engagement with non-orbiting scroll 142. At this time, solenoid valve 162 will be in a position to prevent fluid communication between lines 160 and 164. In order to unload compressor 140, solenoid valve 162 is actuated to a position to place line 160 in fluid communication with fluid line 164 thereby venting the intermediate pressure in chamber 148 to suction. The pressure within the compression pockets will then cause orbiting scroll member 146 to move axially downwardly as shown compressing resilient seals 152 and thereby forming a leakage path across the respective wrap tips and associated end plates of the orbiting and non-orbiting scroll members 146, 142. While passage 156 may continue to provide fluid at a pressure somewhat higher than suction pressure to chamber 148, the relative sizing of passage 158, fluid lines 160 and 164 and passage 158 will be such that there will be insufficient pressure in chamber 148 to bias orbiting scroll member 146 into sealing engagement with non-orbiting scroll member 142 so long as solenoid valve 162 is in a position to maintain fluid communication between suction line 149 and chamber 148. Solenoid valve 162 will be cycled between open and closed positions so as to cyclically load and unload compressor 140 in substantially the same manner as described above.
The embodiment 140c of
In the embodiment of
Under normal fully loaded operating conditions, orbiting scroll member 146 will be axially biased into sealing engagement with non-orbiting scroll member 182 by intermediate fluid pressure in chamber 206 admitted thereto via bleed passage 208. At this time, the area of recess 184 disposed above annular piston member 186 will be vented to suction via solenoid valve 196 and conduits 194 and 198. When conditions indicate partial unloading of the compressor is desirable, solenoid valve 196 will be actuated to place fluid conduit 194 in fluid communication with discharge line 204 via conduit 202. The area above annular piston 186 will then be pressurized by fluid at discharge pressure thereby causing orbiting scroll member 146 to be biased axially downwardly as shown. As noted above, cyclical switching of solenoid valve 196 will result in repetitive loading and unloading of the compressor with the degree of unloading being determined by associated sensors and control module (not shown). It should be noted that in this embodiment, the compressor is shown as a high side machine and thus suction inlet 200 is directly connected to the suction inlet of non-orbiting scroll 182.
The embodiment 208 of
In like manner, the embodiment 210 of
Referring now to
A two way solenoid valve 270 is provided being connected to discharge conduit 272 via fluid line 274 and to upper separating chamber 260 via fluid line 276 and passage 278 in tubular member 252. A vent passage 280 is provided between non-orbiting scroll 258 and plate 269 and extends between separating chamber 260 and the lower interior 250 of shell 12 which is at suction pressure. Vent passage 280 serves to continuously vent separating chamber 260 to suction pressure. When solenoid valve 270 is in a closed position, compressor 244 will be fully loaded as shown. However, when solenoid valve 270 is actuated to an open position by the control module (not shown) in response to selected sensed conditions, separating chamber 260 will become pressurized to substantially discharge pressure thereby overcoming the combined force of discharge pressure and suction pressure acting to bias non-orbiting scroll member 258 toward orbiting scroll member 268. Thus, non-orbiting scroll member 258 will move axially upwardly as shown thereby unloading compressor 244. It should be noted that in this embodiment, the size of lines 274 and 276 and passage 278 must be selected relative to the size of vent passage 280 to enable build up of sufficient pressure in separating chamber 260 to effect unloading. Additionally, the relative size of these passages will affect the speed at which compressor 244 may be cycled between loaded and unloaded conditions as well as the volume of discharge gas required to accomplish and maintain unloading.
The embodiment of
Referring now to
A solenoid valve 320 is also provided being connected in fluid communication with chamber 314 via passage 322 in main bearing housing 312 and fluid line 324. Fluid lines 326 and 328 serve to interconnect solenoid valve 320 with discharge line 330 and suction line 332 respectively.
Similarly to that described above, when compressor 284 is operating under a normal fully loaded condition as shown, solenoid valve 320 will be in a position to place chamber 314 in fluid communication with suction line 332 via passageway 322 and fluid lines 324 and 328. Under these conditions, the biasing force resulting from discharge pressure fluid in chamber 290 acting on the upper surface of non-orbiting scroll 296 within flow path 298 will operate to urge non-orbiting scroll 296 into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 334. When it is desired to unload compressor 284, solenoid valve 320 will operate to place chamber 314 in fluid communication with discharge pressure fluid via fluid lines 326, 324 and passageway 322. The resulting pressure in chamber 314 will then operate to overcome the biasing force being exerted on non-orbiting scroll 296 thus causing it to move axially upwardly as shown and out of sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 334 thus unloading compressor 284. To reload compressor 296, solenoid valve 320 will operate to vent the discharge pressure fluid in chamber 314 to suction line 332 via passage 322 and fluid lines 324, 328 thereby allowing the biasing force acting on non-orbiting scroll 296 to move it axially downwardly back into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 334. In like manner, as noted above, operation of solenoid valve 320 will be controlled by a suitable control module (not shown) in response to system conditions sensed by one or more sensors to cyclically load and unload compressor 284 as needed.
A further embodiment of the present invention is shown in
Yet another embodiment is illustrated in
Under normal fully loaded operation, non-orbiting scroll 258″ will be biased into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 268″ by the combined force resulting from discharge pressure acting on the upper surface of non-orbiting scroll 258″ within passage 254″ and intermediate pressure fluid within chamber 262″ conducted thereto via passage 266″. Under these conditions solenoid valve 386 will be in a closed position thereby preventing fluid communication between chamber 262″ and suction line 388. When sensed system conditions indicate it is desired to unload compressor 384, solenoid valve 386 will open to thereby vent chamber 262″ to suction line 388 via passage 396, and fluid lines 394, 392 and 390 thereby relieving the intermediate biasing force on non-orbiting scroll 258″. As this biasing force is relieved, the combined force from the fluid under compression between the scroll members and the force exerted by springs 398 will operate to move non-orbiting scroll 258″ axially away from and out of sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 268″ thereby unloading compressor 384. Of course, passageway 396, fluid lines 394, 392 and 390, and solenoid valve 386 must all be sized relative to the size of passage 266″ to ensure adequate venting of chamber 262″. Cyclical unloading and loading of compressor 384 will be accomplished in substantially the same manner in response to system conditions as described above.
The present invention is also well suited for application to dual rotating scroll-type compressors. Such embodiments are illustrated in
Referring first to
A second passage 432 is also provided in upper scroll member 404 extending from separating chamber 428 to an annular recess 434 formed in the outer periphery of an upper cylindrical hub portion 436 of upper scroll 404. Annular recess 434 is in fluid communication with a passage 438 provided in bearing 410 and extending radially outwardly through plate 415.
A solenoid valve 440 is also provided the operation of which is designed to be controlled by a control module (not shown) in response to system conditions sensed by appropriate sensors (also not shown). Solenoid valve 440 includes a first fluid conduit 442 connected to passage 438, a second fluid line 444 connected to discharge line 448 and a third fluid line 450 connected to suction line 452.
When compressor 402 is operating under fully loaded conditions, solenoid valve 440 will be in a position to place separating chamber 428 in fluid communication with suction line 452 via passage 432, recess 434, passage 438 and fluid lines 442 and 450. In order to unload compressor 402, solenoid valve will operate to connect chamber 428 to discharge line 448 thereby pressurizing same to discharge pressure. The force resulting from discharge pressure fluid in chamber 428 will operate to move scroll member 404 axially away from and out of sealing engagement will scroll member 402 thereby unloading the compressor. Cyclic operation of solenoid valve will result in cyclic unloading of compressor 402 in substantially the same manner as discussed above.
A further embodiment of a dual rotating scroll-type compressor 456 is shown in FIG. 25. Compressor 456 is substantially identical to compressors 402 and 454 with the exception that in place of the intermediate pressure biasing chamber provided in compressor 402, compressor 456 employs a plurality of springs 458 extending between a radially inwardly extending portion 460 of upper housing 424″ and an upper surface of upper scroll member 404″. Accordingly, portions corresponding to like portions of compressor 402 are indicated by the same reference numbers double primed. Springs 458 serve to cooperate with the discharge pressure in passage 418″ to bias upper scroll member 404″ axially into sealing engagement with lower scroll member 402″. In all other respects the operation of compressor 456 is substantially identical to that described above.
Compressor 462 as shown is mounted in the bottom portion of a hermetic shell 464 and in an inverted position as compared to compressors 402, 454 and 456. A discharge port 466 is provided in scroll member 406′″ and serves to discharge compressed fluid to a chamber 468 via check valve 470 from which it is directed to the motor compartment 472 disposed in the upper portion of shell 464 via a passage 474 extending through drive shaft 476. A driving motor is provided in motor compartment 472 and includes a stator 478 and rotor 480 secured to crankshaft 476. Axially movable scroll member 404′″ is rotatably supported in a cylindrical bearing housing 482 formed in the lower end portion 483 of housing 464 and cooperates therewith to define a discharge pressure biasing chamber 484. In order to supply discharge pressure fluid to chamber 484, a passage 486 is provided in main bearing housing 488 which is connected to a second passage 490 in lower housing portion 483. Passage 490 opens into chamber 484 and thus conducts high pressure discharge fluid from motor compartment 472 to chamber 484 to bias scroll member 404′″ into sealing engagement with scroll member 406′″ during normal full load operation. A second passage 432 extends through lower housing portion 483 from recess 434″ to fluid conduit 442′″. It should be noted that chamber 484 could alternatively be pressurized with intermediate pressure fluid by providing a passage through the end plate of scroll 404′″ from a compression pocket at a pressure between suction and discharge to chamber 484 thus eliminating the need for passages 486 and 490. Alternatively, discharge pressure fluid could be provided to chamber 484 by means of a passage through the end plate of scroll 404″ extending thereto from the control pocket into which port 466 opens.
Operation of compressor 462 will be substantially identical to that of compressor 454 including the cyclical loading and unloading thereof in response to actuation of solenoid valve 440′″ as controlled by a control module and associated sensors (not shown).
Lower scroll member 500 is rotatably supported via lower bearing 542 and includes an internally splined center hub portion 544 adapted to axially movably receive a complementarily splined drive shaft 546. An intermediate pressure bleed passage 548 is formed in the end plate of lower scroll member 500 and serves to conduct biasing pressure fluid from an intermediate pressure compression pocket to a biasing chamber 550 therebelow. A plate member 552 is secured to upper scroll 498 and includes an annular recess 554 in which an annular seal 556 is disposed. Seal 556 engages the lower surface of lower scroll 500 so as to seal chamber 550 from the suction pressure chamber 506.
Under fully loaded operation, lower scroll 500 will be biased axially upwardly into sealing engagement with upper scroll 498 due to the force from intermediate pressure fluid in chamber 550. Under these conditions, solenoid valve will be in a position to place chamber 522 in fluid communication with suction line 540. When system conditions indicate a lower capacity output is desired, solenoid valve will be actuated to a position to place chamber 522 in fluid communication with discharge line 536 thereby pressurizing chamber 522 and effecting an axial downward movement of piston 520. Piston 520 in turn will move lower scroll 500 axially downwardly out of sealing engagement with upper scroll 498. When solenoid valve is cycled back to a position to vent chamber 522 to suction line 540, the biasing force resulting from intermediate pressure in chamber 550 will return lower scroll member 500 to sealing engagement with upper scroll member 498. The cyclic operation between loaded and unloaded operation will then be controlled in like manner similar to that described above by a control module and associated sensors.
Another compressor 562 incorporating a further embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 29. Compressor 562 is similar to compressor 352 shown in
Under fully loaded operating conditions, the biasing force resulting from intermediate fluid pressure in chamber 586″″ will bias axially movable non-orbiting scroll 354″″ downwardly into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 590″″ in the same manner as discussed above and will overcome the separating force resulting from springs 600. When conditions indicate unloading is desired, solenoid valve 594 will switch from a closed condition (which prevented venting of chamber 586″″ to suction during fully loaded operation) to an open position thereby venting chamber 586″″ to suction line 380″″ and relieving the biasing force exerted on scroll 354″″. As this biasing force is relieved, the force from springs 600 together with the pressure of the fluid under compression will operate to move axially movable scroll member 354″″ upwardly out of sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 590″″. As before, solenoid valve 594 will be operated in a cyclic manner by control means in response to associated sensors to cyclically load and unload compressor 592 so as to achieve the desired degree of capacity modulation.
While the previous embodiments have been primarily directed to hermetic motor compressors, the present invention is also well suited for use with compressors employing an external drive such as for example automotive air conditioning system compressors. The use of the present invention in such an environment can eliminate the need for the expensive clutch systems commonly utilized in today's systems.
Compressor 602 incorporates a three way solenoid valve 604 as opposed to the two way solenoid valve of compressor 244 and hence includes fluid lines 606 connected to discharge line 272′″ and a second fluid line 608 connected to suction line 610. It should be noted that a two way solenoid valve could be used in the same arrangement if desired. Because solenoid valve 604 is designed to directly vent upper chamber 260′″ to suction line 610 during unloading, continuously open vent passage 280 provided in compressor 244 is omitted. Drive shaft 612 of compressor 602 extends outwardly of housing 614 through suitable bearing means 616 and sealing means 618 and is adapted to be connected to a suitable external power source such as an automobile engine via a conventional pulley and V-belt arrangement or the like.
In operation, the external power source will continuously drive drive shaft 612 thereby effecting continuous orbital movement of orbiting scroll 268′″. When system conditions indicate cooling is required, solenoid valve 604 will be positioned by suitable control means to place chamber 260′″ in fluid communication with suction line 610 thereby relieving any separating force resulting therefrom and enabling chamber 262′″ which is supplied with intermediate pressure fluid via passage 266′″ to generate a biasing force which, with the biasing force resulting from discharge pressure fluid acting on the surface of non-orbiting scroll member 258′″ in passage 254′″, will bias non-orbiting scroll member 258′″ into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 268′″. When system requirements have been met, compressor 602 will be unloaded by actuation of solenoid valve 604 to a position in which chamber 260′″ is placed in fluid communication with discharge line 272′″ thereby resulting in the creation of a separating force which will operate to move non-orbiting scroll member axially out of sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 268′″. Cyclic control of compressor 602 may be achieved in the same manner as described above thus eliminating the need for a clutch when such a system is utilized in an automotive application.
While the previous embodiments have all been directed to the use of the fluid being compressed to effect unloading of the respective compressors, the present invention may also accomplish such unloading by the use of other types of force generating means to effect axial movement of one or the other of the two scroll members. Embodiments illustrating such arrangements are shown and will be described with reference to
Referring first to
In this embodiment, an unloading mechanism 662 is provided which includes a suitable force applying actuator 664 supported on a cylindrical flanged support member 666 which in turn is sealingly secured to a fitting 668 provided on the top of shell 622. An actuator shaft 670 extends downwardly through member 666 and fitting 668 and has its lower end connected to cover plate 656. Actuator 664 may be any suitable type force applying capable of exerting a pulling force on non-orbiting scroll 636 such as for example an electrically actuated solenoid, a pneumatic or other fluid actuated piston and cylinder device or any other type of mechanical, magnetic, electromechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, gas or spring type device. Operation of actuator will be controlled by a suitable control module 672 in response to sensed system conditions sensed by appropriate sensors 674.
As noted above, under fully loaded operating conditions, intermediate pressure fluid in chamber 642 will cooperate with discharge pressure fluid in passage 648 to bias non-orbiting scroll member 636 into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 634. When system conditions indicate unloading is desired, control module 672 will effect operation of actuator 664 to exert a separating force on non-orbiting scroll member 636 thereby moving it out of sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member. When fully loaded operation is to be resumed, actuator 664 will be deactuated thereby enabling the biasing force from intermediate pressure chamber 642 and discharge pressure in passage 648 to again move non-orbiting scroll member 636 into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 634. Actuator 664 will be designed to enable rapid cyclic operation so as to enable cyclical loading and unloading of compressor 620 in the same manner as described above.
Referring now to
As best seen with reference to
As shown, valve member 916 extends axially upwardly through discharge chamber 886 and outwardly through shell 882 and is coupled to a suitable actuator 928 secured to shell 882 and which operates to move it between the first and second positions noted above. A fitting 930 surrounds valve member 916 as it passes through shell 882 and contains suitable seals to prevent fluid leakage from discharge chamber 886. Actuator 928 may be any suitable device having the ability to reciprocate valve member 916 between the noted first and second positions including, for example, a solenoid or any other electrical, electromechanical, mechanical, pneumatic or hydraulically actuated device. It should also be noted that actuator may, if desired, be mounted within the interior of shell 882.
Under full load operation, intermediate fluid pressure is biasing chamber 906 in cooperation with discharge pressure acting against the surface of non-orbiting scroll member 896 in passage 908 will bias non-orbiting scroll member 896 axially into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 894. At this time, valve member 926 will be in a position to place separating chamber 904 in fluid communication with area 888 at suction pressure via passages 922 and 924. In order to unload compressor 880, actuator 928 will operate to move valve member 916 to a position in which it places separating chamber 904 in fluid communication with discharge pressure fluid in passage 908 via passages 920 and 922 thereby pressurizing chamber 904. The force resulting from pressurization of chamber 904 will move non-orbiting scroll out of sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 894 to thereby unload compressor 880. In order to reload compressor 880, actuator 928 operates to enable valve 916 to move back to its initial position in which the discharge pressure in chamber 904 will be vented to area 888 which is at suction pressure via passages 922 and 924 thereby enabling intermediate pressure in chamber 906 and discharge pressure fluid in passage 908 to move non-orbiting scroll back into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 894. Cyclical time pulsed actuation of actuator 928 will thus enable the capacity of compressor 880 to be modulated in substantially the same manner as described above.
It should be noted that while compressor 678 has been described utilizing an electromagnetic force applying means, other suitable force applying means may be substituted therefor including mechanical, magnetic, electromechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, gas or mechanical spring type devices.
The prior embodiments of the present invention have all been directed to various means for effecting unloading by axial separation of the respective scroll members. However, the present invention also contemplates accomplishing unloading by radial separation of the flank surfaces of the scroll wraps thereby providing a leakage path between the compression pockets. Embodiments illustrating this method of unloading are shown and will be described with reference to
Referring now to
Bearing housing 700 includes a plurality of substantially identical circumferentially spaced chambers 712 within each of which a piston 714 is movably disposed. Each piston 714 includes a pin 716 projecting axially upwardly therefrom, through opening 718 in the upper surface of bearing housing 700 and into corresponding axially aligned opening 720 provided in non-orbiting scroll member 702. A spring 722 is provided in each of the openings 720 and extends between a cylindrical spring retainer 724 secured to non-orbiting scroll 702 and the upper end of each of the pins 716 and serves to exert an axially downwardly directed biasing force thereon. As shown, each of the pins 716 includes an upper portion 726 of a first diameter and a lower portion 728 of a greater diameter. Pins 716 are positioned in surrounding relationship to the periphery of orbiting scroll 704. An annular manifolding assembly 729 is secured to the lower portion of main bearing 700 and closes off the lower end of respective chambers 712. Manifolding assembly 729 includes an annular passage 731 from which respective axially extending passages 733 open upwardly into each of the chambers 712.
As best seen with reference to
Compressor 692 also includes a three way solenoid valve 742 having a fluid line 744 connected to annular passage 731, a second fluid line 746 connected to suction line 748 and a third fluid line 750 connected to discharge line 752.
Under fully loaded operation, solenoid valve 742 will be in a position so as to place each of the chambers 712 in fluid communication with suction line 748 via passages 733, passage 731, and fluid lines 744 and 746. Thus, each of the pistons and associated pins will be held in a lowered positioned by springs 722 whereby orbiting scroll member will be free to orbit at its full maximum radius. As axially movable non-orbiting scroll 702 is biased into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll 704 by biasing chamber 708, compressor 692 will operate at full capacity. In order to unload compressor 692, solenoid valve will be actuated so as to place discharge line 752 in fluid communication with annular chamber 731 which in turn will pressurize each of the chamber 712 with discharge pressure fluid to urge each of the pistons 714 and associated pins 716 to move axially upwardly to a fully raised position as shown in FIG. 39. Because the force of the discharge pressure fluid acting on the respective pistons 714 will not be sufficient to overcome the forces urging the orbiting scroll radially outwardly, pins 716 will move upwardly sequentially as the orbiting scroll moves away therefrom. Once all of the pins have moved upwardly, the large diameter portion 728 of pins 716 will be in a position to engage the arcuate cutouts 754 provided around the periphery of orbiting scroll member 704 as best seen with reference to
A further modification of the embodiments shown in
Additionally, in this embodiment, springs 722 have been replaced by an intermediate pressure biasing arrangement including a passage 770 in scroll member 702″ extending from intermediate pressure biasing chamber 708″ into the upper end of member 724″. Thus, pins 716″ will be biased to a lowered position by means of intermediate fluid pressure. In all other respects the construction and operation of compressor 766 will be substantially identical to compressor 692 and hence corresponding portions have been indicated by the same reference numbers used in
Another arrangement for radially unloading a scroll-type compressor is shown in
Non-orbiting scroll member 784 includes a cavity at the upper end thereof in which a floating seal member 802 is disposed to define an intermediate pressure biasing chamber 804 which is supplied with fluid under compression at a pressure between suction and discharge via passage 806 to thereby axially bias non-orbiting scroll member 784 into sealing engagement with orbiting scroll member 790. The upper end of floating seal 802 sealingly engages plate 776 and cooperates with non-orbiting scroll member 784 to define a discharge fluid flow path 808 from discharge port 810 to discharge chamber 778 via discharge check valve 812 and opening 814 in plate 776.
A piston member 816 is axially movably disposed within cavity 796 and includes suitable seals to thereby define a sealed separating chamber 818 at the lower end of cavity 796. A plurality of springs 820 extend from a radially inwardly extending flange portion 822 of member 782 into suitable wells 824 provided in piston member 816 and serve to bias piston member 816 axially downwardly away from hub portion 797. Additionally, piston member 816 includes a conically shaped radially inwardly facing surface 826 at the upper end thereof which is adapted to engage and is complementary to the outer conical surface of center hub 797.
As shown, a three way solenoid valve 828 is also provided which is connected to separating chamber 818 via fluid line 830, to suction line 832 via fluid line 834 and to discharge line 836 via fluid line 838. It should be noted, however, that a two way solenoid valve connected only to suction could be substituted for three way solenoid 828. In such a case, a bleed hole from the bottom chamber 818 through member 792 opening into area 780 would be required to vent discharge pressure fluid in somewhat similar manner to that described with reference to FIG. 38.
Under full load operation, solenoid valve 828 will be in a position so as to place separating chamber 818 in fluid communication with suction line 832 via fluid lines 830 and 834 thereby maintaining chamber 818 at substantially suction pressure. The action of springs 820 will maintain piston member in its axially lowered position as shown in
When unloading is desired, solenoid valve 828 will be actuated to a position to place discharge line 836 in fluid communication with separating chamber 818 via fluid lines 838 and 830 thereby pressurizing chamber 818 to substantially discharge pressure. The biasing force resulting from this pressurization of chamber 818 will operate to move piston 816 axially upwardly overcoming the biasing force of springs 820 and moving conical surface 826 into engagement with the outer conical surface of hub 796 of orbiting scroll member 790. Continued upward movement of piston 816 to a position as shown in
It should be noted that while compressor 772 has been shown as including springs 820 to bias piston 816 axially downwardly, it may be possible to delete these biasing members in some applications and to rely on the axial component of the force exerted on piston 818 by the engagement of conical surface 826 with the conical surface on hub 796 to cause movement of piston member away from orbiting scroll member 790. Additionally, solenoid valve 828 is intended to be controlled in a cyclical manner by means of a control module 80 80″ and associated sensors 82 82″ in response to varying system conditions in substantially the same manner as described above with respect to the other embodiments.
It should also be noted that the features incorporated in the various embodiments described above should not be viewed as being restricted to use only in that embodiment. Rather, features of one embodiment may be incorporated into another embodiment in addition to or in lieu of the specific features disclosed with respect to that other embodiment. For example, the discharge check valve provided on the outer shell of some of the embodiments may be substituted for the discharge check valve provided adjacent the discharge port in other embodiments or vice versa. Likewise, the suction control module disclosed for use with the embodiment of
In each of the above embodiments, it is intended that the orbiting scroll continue to be driven while the compressor is in an unloaded condition. Obviously, the power required to drive the orbiting scroll member when the compressor is unloaded (no compression taking place) is considerably less than that required when the compressor is fully loaded. Accordingly, it may be desirable to provide additional control means operative to improve motor efficiency during these periods of reduced load operation thereof.
Such an embodiment is shown schematically in
The above described compressor unloading arrangements are particularly well suited to provide a wide range of capacity modulation in a relatively inexpensive and effective manner and to maximize the overall efficiency of the system as compared to prior capacity modulation arrangements. However, under some operating conditions such as those encountered when condenser inlet pressure is at a reduced level, it may be desirable to reduce the compression ratio of the compressor to avoid over-compression of the refrigerant at certain levels of system capacity reduction.
Compressor 864 includes a pair of ports 866, 868 in non-orbiting scroll member 32′ which open into compression pockets 870, 872 respectively. Ports 866 and 868 communicate with a passage 874 opening outwardly through the outer periphery of non-orbiting scroll member 32′ into the lower area 876 of shell 12′ which is at suction pressure. Suitable valve means 878 are provided to selectively control communication of ports 866, 868 with area 876. Preferably, ports 866, 868 will be located in an area such that they will begin to be in communication with the respective compression pockets prior to the compression pockets being sealed off from the suction fluid supply from area 876.
In operation, when it is determined that a reduction in compressor capacity is desired, a determination will also be made from the system operating conditions if the compressor is operating in an over-compression mode or an under-compression mode. If it is determined that an over-compression mode is present, initial capacity reduction will most efficiently be carried out by opening valve means 878 which will thus place pockets 870, 872 in fluid communication with area 876 of compressor 864 which is at suction pressure. The effect of opening valve 878 is thus seen as reducing the operating length of the wraps as compression does not begin until the respective pockets are closed off from the supply of suction gas. As the volume of the pockets when they are closed off when ports 866, 868 are open to area 876 is less than if ports 866, 868 were closed, the compression ratio of the compressor is reduced. This then will eliminate or at least reduce the level of over-compression. If additional capacity reduction is required after ports 866, 868 have been opened, the cyclic pulsed unloading of compressor 864 may be initiated in the same manner as described above.
If it is initially determined that the compressor is operating either in an under-compression mode or a point between an under and over-compression mode, reducing the compression ratio thereof will only result in decreased efficiency. Therefore, under these conditions, the cyclic pulsed unloading of compressor 864 will be initiated in the same manner as described above while valve means 878 and hence ports 866, 868 remain in a closed position.
In this manner, the overall efficiency of the system may be maintained at a high level regardless of the operating conditions being encountered. It should be noted that while
While it will be apparent that the preferred embodiments of the invention disclosed are well calculated to provide the advantages and features above stated, it will be appreciated that the invention is susceptible to modification, variation and change without departing from the proper scope or fair meaning of the subjoined claims.