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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
CAPACITOR MOUNTING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/067266
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A simpler, lower-cost way of installing polymer capacitor canisters on motors and other equipment. A bracket (17) and/or fastener (18) is attached to the canister (e.g., by ultrasonic welding a polymer fastener (18) or bracket (17) directly to the polymer canister), and the fastener (18) and/or bracket (17) are used to make the connection between the canister and the equipment. E.g., fasteners may be chosen so that they mate with holes or matching fasteners on the equipment to which the capacitor becomes a simple snap-in-action. The capacitor manufacture can now easily manufacture capacitors with a wide range of built-in fastener arrangements, relieving the equipment manufacturer of most of the work formerly associated with installing a capacitor on equipment.

Inventors:
Hudis, Martin (7 Laura Lane Mattapoisett, MA, 02739, US)
Grenier, Glenn (4 Shaker Road North Dartmouth, MA, 02747, US)
Jenkins, David (149 Blackmore Pond Road West Wareham, MA, 02576, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2000/011852
Publication Date:
November 09, 2000
Filing Date:
May 01, 2000
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AEROVOX, INC. (740 Belleville Avenue New Bedford, MA, 02745, US)
Hudis, Martin (7 Laura Lane Mattapoisett, MA, 02739, US)
Grenier, Glenn (4 Shaker Road North Dartmouth, MA, 02747, US)
Jenkins, David (149 Blackmore Pond Road West Wareham, MA, 02576, US)
International Classes:
H01G2/04; H02K11/00; H02K17/30; (IPC1-7): H01G4/00; F16L3/12; H01G2/10; H02K11/00
Foreign References:
US3030532A
US3810252A
US5493158A
US3619641A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lee, Roger G. (Fish and Richardson, P.C. 225 Franklin Street Boston, MA, 02110-2804, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
1. A capacitor of the type in which a capacitive element is housed in a polymer canister, which is installed in equipment, comprising a polymer canister comprising a polymer wall surrounding the capacitive element; at least one fastener supported on the exterior surface of the polymer wall, the fastener configured to attach the canister to the equipment in which the capacitor is to be installed.
2. The capacitor of claim 1 further comprising a bracket adhered to the exterior surface, the bracket configured to support the at least one fastener.
3. A capacitor of the type in which a capacitive element is housed in a polymer canister, which is installed in equipment, comprising a polymer canister comprising a polymer wall surrounding the capacitive element; a bracket adhered to the exterior surface of the polymer wall, the bracket configured to support at least one fastener configured to attach the canister to the equipment in which the capacitor is to be installed.
4. The capacitor of claim 2 or 3 wherein the fastener is a male fastener and is attached to the bracket prior to installation of the capacitor in the equipment.
5. The capacitor of claim 1,2 or 3 wherein the fastener is a female fastener configured to mate with a male fastener attached to the equipment.
6. The capacitor of claim 3 wherein the fastener is a male fastener extending from the equipment, and the bracket has an opening configured to receive the fastener.
7. The capacitor of claim 4 wherein the bracket has at least one hole through which the at least one fastener extends, and the bracket has a cavity on its rear surface (which faces the canister wall), and the cavity is sized and configured to hold the head of the fastener.
8. The capacitor of claim 2, or 3 wherein the canister has at least one curved surface, and the bracket is adhered to the curved surface.
9. The capacitor of claim 8 wherein the canister is approximately cylindrical (circular or oval in cross section), the bracket is elongated, and the long dimension of the bracket runs in the longitudinal direction of the cylinder.
10. The capacitor of claim 2 or 3, wherein the bracket is ultrasonically welded to the canister wall.
11. The capacitor of claim 2, or 3 wherein the bracket and polymer are primarily polypropylene.
12. The capacitor of claim 2 or 3 wherein the bracket comprises an opening for receiving a fastener configured to clamp the bracket to the equipment.
13. The capacitor of claim 2 or 3 wherein the bracket comprises a slot with a variable radial distance from the centerline of the canister, and wherein the slot is configured to receive a fastener and to cause the fastener to be forced radially against the wall of the slot when the canister is rotated about the centerline to move the fastener along the length of the slot.
14. The capacitor of claim 13 wherein at the end of the slot at which the slot is radially closest to the centerline of the canister the slot is wider than at the other end, thereby easing reception of the fastener within the slot.
15. The capacitor of claim 2 or 3 wherein at least one resilient element is included on the bracket, the element being configured to press against the equipment when the capacitor is installed to reduce vibration.
16. The capacitor of claim 15 wherein the resilient element comprises at least one winglike element extending from the bracket.
17. The method of manufacturing capacitors of the type in which a capacitive element is housed in a polymer canister, which is, in turn, installed in equipment, the method comprising: manufacturing the capacitor with a canister in a small number of sizes and shapes; storing the manufactured capacitors in inventory without attaching thereto fasteners for attaching the canister to the equipment; receiving a specification of the type, location, and size of fastener that an equipment manufacturer desires to use to attach the canister to the equipment; and removing the manufactured capacitors from inventory, and connecting the fasteners to the canister, using fasteners of the type and size, and in the location, specified.
18. The method of claim 17 wherein the fasteners are connected to the canister by adhering a bracket to the canister, with the bracket supporting the fasteners.
19. The method of claim 18 wherein different size and types of fasteners are used with the same bracket.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein the bracket is adhered to the canister by ultrasonic welding.
21. The method of claim 20 wherein the canister and bracket are made primarily of polypropylene.
Description:
CAPACITOR MOUNTING Background of the Invention The invention relates to apparatus and methods for manufacturing capacitors and for mounting capacitors on motors and other equipment.

Large capacitors of the type having a cylindrical or oval canister are typically installed on motors, power supplies, lighting fixtures, and other equipment using special covers or brackets. For example, capacitors are installed on the outside of motors using a"dog house"cover made from sheet metal. The capacitor canister is inserted into the open side of the cover, and held in place by protrusions matching the shape of the canister. The cover, with canister installed, is then screwed down to the motor housing. One such cover is shown in U. S. Patent No. 3,030,532. Metal or plastic straps are also used; a strap extends around the body of the capacitor canister, and its ends are fastened to the equipment to which the capacitor is being attached.

Typically, capacitor canisters are manufactured in a relatively small range of sizes and shapes, and the equipment manufacturer is responsible for custom designing the dog house, strap, or installation brackets to adapt one of the canister shapes to its particular equipment. The capacitor canister is often made from polymer (e. g., polypropylene).

Summary of the Invention We have discovered a simpler, lower-cost way of installing polymer capacitor canisters on motors and other equipment. A bracket and/or fastener is attached to the canister (e. g., by ultrasonic welding a polymer fastener or bracket directly to the polymer canister), and the fastener and/or bracket are used to make the connection between the canister and the equipment. E. g., fasteners may be chosen so that they mate with holes or matching fasteners on the equipment to which the capacitor is being attached. Depending on choice of fastener, installation of the capacitor becomes a simple snap-in action. The capacitor manufacturer can now easily manufacture capacitors with a wide range of built-in fastener arrangements, relieving the equipment manufacturer of most of the work formerly associated with installing a capacitor on equipment.

In a first aspect, the invention features a capacitor with a polymer canister comprising a polymer wall surrounding a capacitive element. In one configuration, at least one fastener is supported on the exterior surface of the polymer wall. The capacitor fastener is configured to attach the canister to the equipment in which the capacitor is to be installed. Alternatively, a bracket may be adhered (e. g., by ultrasonic welding) to the exterior surface of the polymer wall, and the bracket configured to support a fastener.

One or more of the following features may preferably be used in preferred embodiments of this aspect of the invention. A bracket may be provided with openings for receiving fasteners extending from the equipment (instead of providing the fasteners on the canister). The fastener may be a male fastener and be attached to the bracket prior to installation of the capacitor in the equipment. The fastener may be a female fastener configured to mate with a male fastener attached to the equipment.

The bracket may have at least one hole through which the at least one fastener extends, and the bracket may have a cavity on its rear surface (which faces the canister wall), and the cavity may be sized and configured to hold the head of the fastener. The canister may have at least one curved surface, and the bracket may be adhered to the curved surface. The canister may be approximately cylindrical (circular or oval in cross section), the bracket may be elongated, and the long dimension of the bracket may run in the longitudinal direction of the cylinder. The bracket may be ultrasonically welded to the canister wall. The bracket and polymer may be made primarily of polypropylene. The bracket may have an opening for receiving a fastener configured to clamp the bracket to the equipment. The bracket may have a slot with a variable radial distance from the centerline of the canister, and the slot may be configured to receive a fastener and to cause the fastener to be forced radially against the wall of the slot when the canister is rotated about the centerline to move the fastener along the length of the slot. At the end of the slot at which the slot is radially closest to the centerline of the canister, the slot may be wider than at the other end, thereby easing reception of the fastener within the slot. At least one resilient element (e. g., a wing-like extension) may be included on the bracket, with the element being configured to press against the equipment when the capacitor is installed to reduce vibration.

In a second aspect, the invention features a method of manufacturing capacitors of the type in which a capacitive element is housed in a polymer canister, which is, in turn, installed in equipment. The capacitors are manufactured with canisters of a small number of sizes and shapes. The manufactured capacitors are stored in inventory without attaching fasteners for attaching the canister to the equipment. A specification is received of the type, location, and size of fastener that an equipment manufacturer desires to use to attach the canister to the equipment. The manufactured capacitors are removed from inventory, and the fasteners as specified are attached to the canister.

One or more of the following features may preferably be used in preferred embodiments of this aspect of the invention. The fasteners may be connected to the canister by adhering a bracket to the canister, with the bracket providing support for the fasteners. Different sizes and types of fasteners may be used with the same bracket.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments and from the claims.

Description of the Drawings FIGS. 1-5 are isometric views of five preferred embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 is an elevation view of the embodiment FIG. 2 installed on a piece of equipment.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view in the vicinity of one of the fasteners of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a flow diagram of the steps of manufacturing a capacitor with fastener arrangement customized for a particular customer's requirements.

FIGS. 9-10 are an isometric view and a top view of a sixth embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 11-12 are an isometric view and a top view of a seventh (twist-and-lock) embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 13 is a top view of a variation of the embodiment shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 14 is a section view of the embodiment of FIGS. 9-10 installed on a wall of a piece of equipment.

Detailed Description FIGS. 1-5 and 9-12 show seven alternative embodiments of the invention. In each embodiment, the capacitor canister 10, which consists of cylindrical housing 12, cover 14, spade electrical connectors 16, and an internal capacitive element (not shown), has adhered to it a bracket 17 and one or more fasteners 18. In FIGS. 5,9, and 10, only bracket 17 appears, as male fasteners would project from the equipment to which the canister is being attached (e. g., FIGS. 5 and 10) or be supplied at the time of installation (e. g., FIG. 9). The male fasteners would be received in openings or slots 19 in the bracket. In FIG. 1, fastener 18 projects downwardly from the base of the canister (bracket 17 appears in dashed lines, as it is on the bottom surface of the canister).

Fasteners 18 mate with holes 20 or matching fasteners on the equipment to which the canister is to be attached. For example, FIGS. 6 and 7 (an enlargement of one area of FIG. 6) shows the embodiment of FIG. 2 installed on wall 30 of a piece of equipment. Holes 20 in the wall are sized so that simply pressing fasteners 18 into the holes achieves a secure attachment.

As shown in FIG. 7, fasteners 18 each have a head 22 that is captured within cavity 24 of bracket 17. The fastener is installed before bracket 17 is ultrasonically welded to the canister 12. This permits a range of different size and type fasteners to be used with the same bracket, and allows the capacitor manufacturer to sell the same capacitor canister with a wide range of different fasteners.

FIG. 14 shows the embodiment of FIGS. 9-10 installed on wall 30 of a piece of equipment. Fastener 18 (e. g., a screw) is installed through opening 19 in bracket 17, and secured to mating female fastener 40 on the opposite surface of wall 30.

The twist-and-lock embodiment of FIGS. 11-12 is similar to the embodiment of FIGS. 9-10 except that instead of providing an opening 19 through which a fastener 18 is inserted at the time of installation, an elongated slot 19 is provided in the bracket for receiving a fastener extending from the wall of the equipment. The slot is configured so that it is located at a further radial distance from the centerline of the canister at one end than at the other. During installation of the capacitor, fastener 18 is received at the radially closer end of the slot, and the capacitor is turned radially. This forces the fastener to press tightly (in a radial direction) against the wall of the slot,

holding the capacitor in place by friction. The slot may be wider at the end at which it is radially closer to ease reception of the fastener at that end. A variation of this embodiment would place slot 19 on a wall of the equipment, and provide the fastener on the canister.

Combinations of the twist-and-lock approach of FIGS. 11-12 and the simpler screw-down approach of FIGS. 9-10 and 14 may be used.

FIG. 13 shows a variation of the embodiment of FIG. 2. Anti-vibration elements 50 may be added to bracket 17, so that when the bracket is installed, elements 50 are pressed tightly against the surface of the wall of the equipment to which the capacitor is attached. Elements 50 should be resilient so that a more or less constant pressure is maintained by them against a surface of the equipment. A great many other shapes could be used for a resilient element 50, other than the extension or wing shown in FIG. 13.

As shown in FIG. 8, a capacitor manufacturer making use of the invention would typically manufacture capacitor canisters in only a small number of different sizes and shapes. These limited sizes and shapes would be stored in inventory.

Customers would specify to the capacitor manufacturer the size, type, and location of the fastener or fasteners that they would like to have on the capacitor canisters. The capacitor manufacturer would select a bracket and fasteners that meet the customers specifications and then ultrasonically weld the bracket and fasteners to the chosen capacitor canister. By maintaining an inventory of brackets and fasteners, the capacitor manufacturer is able to quickly and easily provide its customers with a wide range of fastener configurations, while continuing to manufacturer only a limited range of canister sizes and shapes.

Ultrasonic welding of the brackets 17 to the canisters is done using conventional ultrasonic welding techniques. For example, ridges (energy directors) that focus ultrasonic energy are molded into the surfaces that are welded during installation of the bracket onto the canister. Polypropylene is preferably used for the bracket, the same material typically used for capacitor canisters.

Other Embodiments Other embodiments of the invention are within the scope of the following claims. The claims include a great many other arrangements of fasteners and/or brackets installed on the canister other than those shown in FIGS. 1-7 and 9-14. For example, the fasteners could be directly welded to the canister without the use of a bracket; adhesive could be used in place of ultrasonic welding; other polymers (e. g., polystyrene or nylon) could be used in place of polypropylene; a female fastener (or simply an opening) could be provided on the capacitor canister, to mate with projecting male fasteners on the equipment.

What is claimed is: