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Title:
APPARATUS HAVING AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE, METHOD AND ASSEMBLY FOR PROVIDING ELECTRICAL POWER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/103601
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present patent document relates to an apparatus and a method for providing electrical power, the apparatus comprising: an internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy; an alternator for providing electrical power, wherein the alternator is coupled to a drive which is drivable by the internal combustion engine via a mechanical coupling; a pressurized reservoir configured to store a pressurized gas; and a compressor configured to compress the gas to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure, wherein the drive of the alternator is further configured to be driven by the pressurized gas.

Inventors:
VAN DER TOORN, Aart (Duinroos 7, 2202 Da Noordwijk, NL)
Application Number:
NL2018/050715
Publication Date:
May 31, 2019
Filing Date:
October 26, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ACODEQ VASTGOED B.V. (Duinroos 7, 2202 Da Noordwijk, NL)
International Classes:
F02N9/04; F01B25/14; F01L13/04; F04D13/16
Foreign References:
GB332055A1930-07-17
EP2784265A12014-10-01
JPH03185222A1991-08-13
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAND, Addick Adrianus Gosling (Arnold & Siedsma, Bezuidenhoutseweg 57, 2594 AC The Hague, NL)
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Claims:
Claims

1. Apparatus having an internal combustion engine, the apparatus comprising:

the internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy;

an alternator for providing electrical power, wherein the alternator is coupled to a drive which is drivable by the internal combustion engine via a mechanical coupling;

a pressurized reservoir configured to store a pressurized gas; and

a compressor configured to compress the gas to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure,

wherein the drive of the alternator is further configured to be driven by the pressurized gas.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 , wherein the apparatus is configured to drive the compressor with the internal combustion engine.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the pressurized reservoir comprises three sub-reservoirs, wherein a first of the sub-reservoirs is a back-up reservoir, a second sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to the drive of the alternator, and a third sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to a drive of the starter motor.

4. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-3, wherein the compressor is configured to compress the gas to a pressure of at least 50 bar, preferably at least 100 bar, most preferably at least 200 bar.

5. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-4, wherein the pressurized reservoir is configured to store pressurized gas at a pressure of 100 bar, preferably 200 bar, most preferably 300 bar.

6. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-5, wherein the apparatus further comprises a starter motor configured to start the internal combustion engine, wherein the starter motor is configured to be driven pneumatically by the pressurized gas.

7. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-5, wherein the internal combustion engine comprises cylinders, wherein the internal combustion engine is configured to drive the cylinders with the pressurized gas in order to start the internal combustion engine.

8. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-7, wherein the apparatus further comprises a spring device, this spring device comprising a spring, wherein the spring device is configured to start the internal combustion engine by slackening of the spring and wherein the spring device is configured to be tensioned by the internal combustion engine.

9. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-8, further comprising a dispensing member which is configured for gastight coupling to, and dispensing of the pressurized gas to, a gas reservoir of a portable pneumatic device.

10. Apparatus according to claim 9, wherein the portable pneumatic device is a torch configured to generate light using the pressurized gas which is stored in the gas reservoir.

11. Method for provision of electrical power by an apparatus having an internal combustion engine, wherein the apparatus comprises an alternator for providing electrical power, a pressurized reservoir for storing pressurized gas, and the internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy, the method comprising of:

storing pressurized gas in the pressurized reservoir;

driving the alternator using the pressurized gas when the engine is not in operation;

generation of electrical power by the alternator driven by the pressurized gas;

providing electrical power generated by the alternator to an electrical system of, or coupled to, the apparatus.

12. Method according to claim 11, further comprising of driving the alternator using mechanical energy which is generated by the internal combustion engine when the internal combustion engine is in operation.

13. Method according to claim 11 or 12, wherein the pressurized reservoir comprises three sub-reservoirs, wherein a first of the sub-reservoirs is a back-up reservoir, wherein the internal combustion engine is an internal combustion engine which is started with the pressurized gas from the back-up reservoir when second and/or third sub-reservoirs contain insufficient pressurized gas.

14. Method according to claim 13, wherein the second sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to a pneumatic driver of the alternator and the third sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to a drive of the starter motor or directly to the internal combustion engine in order to start the internal combustion engine.

15. Apparatus according to any one of the claims 1-14, wherein the apparatus is a vehicle or a vessel.

16. Apparatus with an internal combustion engine, the apparatus comprising:

the internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy;

an alternator for providing electrical power, wherein the alternator is coupled to a drive which is drivable by the internal combustion engine via a mechanical coupling;

a pressurized reservoir which is configured to store a pressurized gas; and

wherein the drive of the alternator is further configured to be driven by the pressurized gas, wherein the pressurized reservoir is configured to store pressurized gas at a pressure of 100 bar.

17. System comprising the apparatus according to claim 16 and a compressor configured to compress the gas to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure, wherein the system comprises a coupling for coupling the compressor to the apparatus with an internal combustion engine for the purpose of providing pressurized gas to the pressurized reservoir.

Description:
Apparatus having an internal combustion engine, method and assembly for

providing electrical power

The present patent application relates to an apparatus having an internal combustion engine, a method for providing electrical power and an assembly of an alternator or dynamo for providing electrical power and a drive for driving the alternator.

Rechargeable storage batteries are generally used to provide electrical power to an apparatus with an internal combustion engine, such as a vehicle, for instance a car. These storage batteries, i.e. batteries, are not very environmentally friendly due to the use of for instance lead in lead batteries and other harmful and/or toxic substances.

It is an object of the present patent application to provide a more environmentally friendly electricity supply for such apparatuses with internal combustion engine.

According to a first aspect, the present patent application provides an apparatus having an internal combustion engine, comprising:

the internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy;

an alternator for providing electrical power, wherein the alternator is coupled to a drive which is drivable by the internal combustion engine via a mechanical coupling;

a pressurized reservoir configured to store a pressurized gas; and

a compressor configured to compress the gas to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure,

wherein the drive of the alternator is further configured to be driven by the pressurized gas.

The compressor compresses the gas, preferably air from the area surrounding the apparatus, after which the pressurized gas is stored in the pressurized reservoir, for instance a gas bottle. Because the drive of the alternator is configured to be driven by the pressurized gas, for instance by means of a fan or a pneumatic motor, the alternator can also generate electrical power when the engine of the apparatus is not running. Hereby, the apparatus according to the invention needs no battery. Such an apparatus without battery is further particularly suitable for very cold or very warm climates, since batteries have a very short lifespan in such conditions and the apparatus with pressurized gas is largely impervious thereto.

The apparatus can be any machine which has an internal combustion engine and which requires or has to provide electrical power, wherein the electrical power is obtained by means of an alternator. The apparatus can be a vehicle or vessel. It is possible to envisage here cars, trucks, excavators, tractors, ships, and so on and so forth. It will also be apparent that the apparatus having a combustion engine can have a stationary configuration, for instance a generator or other stationary machines. In an embodiment the apparatus is configured to drive the compressor with the internal combustion engine. The compressor is preferably driven by the combustion engine via a mechanical transmission. This mechanical transmission can comprise an assembly of shafts, pulleys and/or V-belts.

In an embodiment the pressurized reservoir comprises three sub-reservoirs, wherein a first of the sub-reservoirs is a back-up reservoir, a second sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to the drive of the alternator, and a third sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to a drive of the starter motor. Applying such a division ensures that there is always sufficient pressurized gas, at least in the back-up reservoir, to at least start the engine. When the engine has been started, the compressor can be driven once again so as to fill the pressurized reservoir with pressurized gas. When the motor is running the generator will generate electrical power by driving the motor, whereby the electrical system of, or coupled to, the apparatus is provided with electrical power.

The sub-reservoirs can be configured as separate reservoirs, such as separate gas bottles. The pressurized reservoir can also be configured as a unit with the three sub-reservoirs therein.

This latter embodiment has the advantage that the volume and consumption of materials for the wall of the reservoirs can be reduced.

In an embodiment the compressor is configured to compress the gas to a pressure of at least 50 bar, preferably at least 100 bar, most preferably at least 200 bar. Applying such pressures enables the volume of the pressurized system comprising the compressor, pressurized reservoir and gas conduits to be reduced.

In an embodiment the pressurized reservoir is configured to store pressurized gas at a pressure of 100 bar, preferably 200 bar, most preferably 300 bar. This embodiment reduces the volume of the pressurized system comprising the compressor, pressurized reservoir and gas conduits.

In an embodiment the apparatus further comprises a starter motor configured to start the internal combustion engine, wherein the starter motor is configured to be driven pneumatically by the pressurized gas.

In an alternative embodiment, when the internal combustion engine comprises cylinders, the internal combustion engine is configured to drive the cylinders with the pressurized gas in order to start the internal combustion engine.

In a further embodiment the apparatus further comprises a spring device, this spring device comprising a spring, wherein the spring device is configured to start the internal combustion engine by slackening of the spring and wherein the spring device is configured to be tensioned by the combustion engine.

In an embodiment the apparatus further comprises a pressurized gas dispensing member which is configured for gastight coupling to, and dispensing of the pressurized gas to, a gas reservoir of a portable pneumatic device. The portable pneumatic device is preferably a torch configured to generate light using the pressurized gas which is stored in the gas reservoir. This embodiment is particularly suitable for emergency services such as fire service and police.

In an embodiment the apparatus or the compressor comprises an electrical terminal which, when connected to an electricity supply, can drive the compressor electrically via electrical connection. This has the advantage that, if the pressurized reservoir were to unexpectedly be empty, the compressor can be driven by means of electrical power in order to thus fill the pressurized reservoir with compressed air. The apparatus, or the compressor, preferably further comprises a coupling for the purpose of mechanically coupling and uncoupling the compressor and the internal combustion engine. Uncoupling can here be done when the compressor is being electrically driven via the terminal.

In an embodiment the compressor comprises a sliding armature motor, wherein the sliding armature motor comprises the coupling.

The generating of mechanical energy by the internal combustion engine takes place by conversion of chemical energy from a fuel into mechanical energy.

According to a second aspect, the present patent application provides a method for provision of electrical power by an apparatus having an internal combustion engine, wherein the apparatus comprises an alternator for providing electrical power, a pressurized reservoir for storing pressurized gas, and the internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy, the method comprising of:

storing pressurized gas in the pressurized reservoir;

driving the alternator using the pressurized gas when the engine is not in operation;

generation of electrical power by the alternator driven by the pressurized gas;

providing electrical power generated by the alternator to an electrical system of, or coupled to, the apparatus.

Advantages of the device according to the first aspect apply to the method, and vice versa. Features of the apparatus can also be applied in the method.

In an embodiment the driving comprises of driving the alternator using mechanical energy which is generated by the engine when the engine is in operation.

In an embodiment the pressurized reservoir comprises three sub-reservoirs, wherein a first of the sub-reservoirs is a back-up reservoir, wherein the engine is an internal combustion engine which is started with pressurized gas from the back-up reservoir when second and third sub reservoirs contain insufficient pressurized gas.

In an embodiment the second sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to a pneumatic driver of the alternator and the third sub-reservoir is pneumatically connected to a drive of the starter motor or directly to the internal combustion engine in order to start the internal combustion engine.

Provided according to a third aspect is an assembly, the assembly comprising an alternator for providing electrical power and a drive for driving the alternator, wherein the drive is configured to drive the alternator both via a mechanical coupling with an internal combustion engine and through a pneumatic drive by pressurized gas.

The mechanical coupling can be obtained with a shaft, pulley, belt, and so on. The pneumatic drive can be a fan or a pneumatic motor, for instance as applied in pneumatic tools. The alternator of the assembly can be an alternator as applied in the apparatus according to the first aspect and the method according to the second aspect. The assembly is preferably for use in the apparatus according to the first aspect and the method according to the second aspect.

Provided according to a fourth aspect is an apparatus with an internal combustion engine, the apparatus comprising: the internal combustion engine which is configured to generate mechanical energy; an alternator for providing electrical power, wherein the alternator is coupled to a drive which is drivable by the internal combustion engine via a mechanical coupling; a pressurized reservoir which is configured to store a pressurized gas; and wherein the drive of the alternator is further configured to be driven by the pressurized gas.

This embodiment without compressor, as is also applied in the method according to the second aspect, has the advantage that weight can be saved. The device also becomes less mechanically complex. For applications such as in fork-lift trucks and the like this can be highly advantageous, since these vehicles are refuelled daily (for instance fork-lift trucks using natural gas as fuel). During this refuelling a compressed air terminal can then also be easily coupled to the fork-lift truck for the purpose of filling up the pressurized reservoir. This is because the pressurized reservoir is used mainly to start the internal combustion engine and to drive the alternator when the internal combustion engine is not on and no electrical power is required, whereby the pressurized reservoir need not be regularly filled up.

In an embodiment the pressurized reservoir is configured to store pressurized gas at a pressure of 50 bar, preferably 100 bar, more preferably 200 bar, most preferably 300 bar. This embodiment reduces the volume of the pressurized system comprising the compressor, pressurized reservoir and gas conduits.

Provided according to a further aspect is a system, the system comprising the apparatus according to the fourth aspect or, as in the method of the second aspect, a compressor configured to compress the gas to a pressure higher than atmospheric pressure and a coupling for coupling the compressor to the apparatus with an internal combustion engine for the purpose of providing pressurized gas to the pressurized reservoir. Further advantages, features and details of the present invention will be elucidated with reference to the following description of figures relating to a preferred embodiment thereof, in which:

Fig. 1 is a schematic side view of a vehicle according to a preferred embodiment;

Fig. 2 is a schematic process diagram of a compressed air system of the vehicle of Fig. 1 according to a preferred embodiment;

Fig. 3 is a schematic process diagram of a compressed air system of the vehicle of Fig. 1 according to another preferred embodiment; and

Fig. 4 is a schematic process diagram of a compressed air system of the vehicle of Fig. 1 according to a further preferred embodiment.

The apparatus, embodied as a vehicle 1, comprises a compressed air system 2. The compressed air system 2 is suitable for application with an internal combustion engine 10.

Compressed air system 2 comprises a compressor 12 for compressing air entering via air inlet 14. Compressor 12 is configured to be driven mechanically by internal combustion engine 10. For this purpose a mechanical coupling comprises a first shaft 16 which is connected to combustion engine 10 and a second shaft 20 for mechanically driving compressor 12. The first and second shafts 16 and 20 are connected via pulleys and V-belt 18.

Compressor 12 supplies compressed air via gas conduit 30 to pressurized reservoir 32. Compressor 12 is preferably configured to realize a pressure of at least 200 bar. It is of course also possible to compress to lower pressures, for instance 100 bar, or higher pressures, for instance 300 bar, depending on the type of vehicle, the necessary storage of pneumatic energy and weight requirements of compressed air system 2. A higher pressure, such as 200 or 300 bar, has the advantage that the volume of pressurized reservoir 32 can be reduced. Pressurized reservoir 32 has a configuration complementary to the applied pressure range of compressor 12.

In the shown embodiments the pressurized reservoir is configured as three sub-reservoirs, i.e. first sub-reservoir 34, second sub-reservoir 36 and third sub-reservoir 38. The first sub reservoir 34 is configured as a back-up reservoir and can be connected via valve 62 to the third sub-reservoir 38. Back-up reservoir 34 is also able via valve 58 to play the part of the second sub reservoir 36. In addition, the back-up reservoir can be connected to the second sub-reservoir 36 by also opening valve 42.

Second sub-reservoir 36 is here configured to drive pneumatic starter motor 44. Starter motor 44 is mechanically connected via mechanical coupling 46 to internal combustion engine 10 in order to start it. Starter motor 44 comprises a pneumatic motor which converts pneumatic energy into movement for the purpose of the driving by the compressed air. Applying a pneumatic starter motor has the advantage that existing internal combustion engines can be applied, wherein only the starter motor has to be changed to a pneumatic version. Alternatively, internal combustion engine 10 is configured such that it can be started with compressed air without application of a separate starter motor. This embodiment can reduce the weight of the vehicle. Such a combustion engine can for instance be configured to drive the cylinders directly with the compressed air with appropriate control, for instance of valves.

In a further alternative, as shown schematically in fig. 3, internal combustion engine 10 is started by a spring device 440 which is connected via a mechanical coupling 460 to combustion engine 10. Spring device 440 can comprise a spiral spring which, after starting, is tensioned by a further mechanical coupling 462 with combustion engine 10, for instance by rotation of a shaft connected to the spring device and pulleys and a belt which are connected to a rotating shaft of the combustion engine. The spiral spring is chosen such that it supplies sufficient mechanical power to start the combustion engine. Spring device 440 can further be configured to uncouple from combustion engine 10 when the spring is fully tensioned. When a user of the vehicle wishes to start the engine, spring device 440 will slacken, and thus start internal combustion engine 10, via a coupling having for this purpose an input on the user panel.

In the shown embodiments of fig. 2 and 3 the compressor is not driven when internal combustion engine 10 is off. When second sub-reservoir 36 is empty, back-up reservoir 34 can be used to still start the engine with starter motor 44 via valve 58.

Third sub-reservoir 38 is pneumatically connected to a pneumatic drive 52 which is coupled to alternator 24 in order to drive alternator 24. The pneumatic connection can be formed by pneumatic coupling or conduit 48. Applying valve 50 enables control of the supply to drive 52. If desired, valves 42, 50, 58, 62 and/or 66 can be configured controllably. The valves can here be placed in open and closed position. It is also possible to envisage control on the basis of a pressure difference upstream and downstream of the respective valve or a desired outlet pressure of the valves, for instance depending on the power required by starter motor 44, drive 52, and so on.

Alternator 24 can be driven both by the pneumatic drive 52 and by the internal combustion engine via a mechanical coupling, embodied as shaft 22, which is mechanically connected to the combustion engine. Shaft 22 can be uncoupled from the drive shaft of alternator 24 by coupling 72, for instance when no current is needed in the vehicle. Pneumatic drive 52 of the alternator is connected to the main part of the alternator via a shaft 54. The drive for the alternator, this drive comprising the mechanical coupling, for instance shaft 22, and the pneumatic drive 52, can be embodied as a unit so that it is easier to use with known alternators. An alternator can also be developed together with the drive. Alternator 24 can be configured to provide direct current or alternating current via electrical connection 26 to electrical system 28. For the purpose of generating electrical power the alternator 24 can comprise a stator, a rotor and coils.

The compressed air system or the compressor 12 can further comprise an electrical terminal 80 which, when connected to an electricity supply, can drive the compressor electrically via electrical connection 82. This has the advantage that, if the pressurized reservoir were to unexpectedly be empty, the compressor can be driven by means of electrical power in order to thus fill the pressurized reservoir with compressed air. Compressed air system 2, or compressor 12, further comprises a coupling 70 for the purpose of mechanically coupling and uncoupling the compressor and internal combustion engine 10. Uncoupling can here be done when the compressor is being electrically driven via terminal 80. In a favourable embodiment the compressor comprises a sliding armature motor (not shown), wherein the sliding armature motor comprises the coupling 70. A sliding armature motor is a self-braking electric motor with conically embodied rotor and stator and a brake or coupling. When the electric motor is being electrically powered by electrical terminal 80, the coupling (brake) will release. When the internal combustion engine is running and the electric motor is not being powered, the sliding armature motor will automatically close coupling 70 by the self-braking of the coupling, and compressor 12 will be driven by combustion engine 10.

In addition, the compressed air system 2 can be equipped with a compressed air terminal 96, whereby pressurized reservoir 32 can be filled via pneumatic connection 84. This embodiment is particularly suitable for industrial vehicles or stationary machines with an internal combustion engine, where a compressed air terminal can be present. This connection 96 can be used if pressurized reservoir 32 has become unexpectedly empty, whereby it may no longer be possible to start combustion engine 10.

In the embodiment of fig. 2 the third sub-reservoir 38 is in pneumatic connection with dispensing point 68 for dispensing pressurized gas to a removable device, such as a torch which is configured to generate light using pneumatic energy. For this purpose dispensing point 68 and the removable device have complimentary couplings for the purpose of coupling dispensing point 68 and the removable device in gastight manner.

A further embodiment is shown in Fig. 4. Compared to the embodiments of Fig. 2 and 3, compressor 12 and the components associated therewith are absent, among others. This embodiment is advantageous for applications such as in or on industrial vehicles (for instance fork lift trucks) or stationary machines, since these vehicles are regularly refuelled at a central point (for instance fork-lift trucks using natural gas as fuel). During this refuelling a complementary compressed air terminal can then also be easily coupled to compressed air terminal 96 (for instance in the fork-lift truck) for the purpose of filling up the pressurized reservoir, in this case embodied by way of example with the three sub-reservoirs 34, 36 and 38. This is because the pressurized reservoir is used mainly to start the internal combustion engine and to drive the alternator when the combustion engine is not on and no electrical power is required, whereby the pressurized reservoir need not be regularly filled up.

This embodiment is further configured just as the embodiments of Fig. 2 or Fig. 3. The present invention is not limited to the above described preferred embodiments thereof; the rights sought are defined by the following claims, within the scope of which many

modifications can be envisaged.