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Title:
CRAWLED VEHICLE FOR THE PREPARATION OF SKI PISTES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/082065
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A crawled vehicle for the preparation of ski pistes, in particular a snowgroomer vehicle; the crawled vehicle (1) comprising : - an internal combustion engine (11); - an engine compartment (15) wherein the internal combustion engine (11) is housed; - an air inlet opening (16) to catch air from the outside of the crawled vehicle (1); - a first channel (17), for cold air, connected and fed by the air inlet opening (16) with air coming from outside the crawled vehicle; - a second channel (18) for hot air, preferably connected to the engine compartment (15), to be fed with hot air coming from the internal combustion engine (11); - a third channel (19) for air, coupled to the internal combustion engine (11) to feed the internal combustion engine (11) with air; - an air filter (20) arranged along the third channel (19) and upstream of the internal combustion engine (11); - a connection element (21) connected to the first channel (17), to the second channel (18) and third channel (19); and - an air adjusting device (22) to adjust the air temperature in the third channel (19) and comprising a shutter (25) coupled to the first channel (17) and/or to the second channel (18) and/or to the connection element (21); and a control device (26) controlling a position of the shutter (25) to adjust the temperature of the air entering the third channel (19).

Inventors:
WILLEMS, Samuel (Museumstr. 33, 6020 Innsbruck, 6020, AT)
CASARTELLI, Richard (Maibad 1, Val Di Vizze, 39049, IT)
LENTSCH, Georg (Poschackerl 50, 6527 Kaunerberg, 6527, AT)
SALIS, Francesco (Via Alta 31, Vipiteno, 39049, IT)
Application Number:
IB2018/058232
Publication Date:
May 02, 2019
Filing Date:
October 23, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PRINOTH S.P.A. (Via Brennero 34, Vipiteno, 39049, IT)
International Classes:
E01H4/02; F02D41/00; F02M31/07; F02M35/08; F02M35/09; F02M35/10; F02M35/16
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017134636A12017-08-10
Foreign References:
US6327980B12001-12-11
US20150275828A12015-10-01
GB1259986A1972-01-12
GB2178482A1987-02-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ECCETTO, Mauro et al. (Via Viotti 9, Torino, 10121, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A crawled vehicle for the preparation of ski pistes, in particular a snowgroomer vehicle; the crawled vehicle (1) comprising:

- an internal combustion engine (11) ;

- an engine compartment (15) wherein the internal combustion engine (11) is housed;

- an air inlet opening (16) to catch air from the outside of the crawled vehicle (1) ;

- a first channel (17) connected and fed by the air inlet opening (16) with air coming from outside the crawled vehicle ;

- a second channel (18) for hot air, preferably connected to the engine compartment (15), to be fed with hot air coming from the internal combustion engine (11) ;

- a third channel (19) for air, coupled to the internal combustion engine (11) to feed the internal combustion engine (11) with air;

- an air filter (20) arranged along the third channel

(19) and upstream of the internal combustion engine (11);

- a connection element (21) connected to the first channel (17), to the second channel (18) and third channel (19) ; and

- an air adjusting device (22) to adjust the air temperature in the third channel (19) and comprising a shutter (25) coupled to the first channel (17) and/or to the second channel (18) and/or to the connection element (21); and a control device (26) controlling a position of the shutter (25) to adjust the temperature of the air entering the third channel (19) .

2. The crawled vehicle according to claim 1, wherein the control device (26) comprises an actuator (35), preferably an electric or hydraulic or pneumatic actuator, coupled to the shutter (25) for adjusting a position of the shutter (25) in such a way as to adjust the amount of air from the first channel (17) and/or from the second channel (18) that enters the third channel (19) .

3. The crawled vehicle according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the control device (26) comprises a position sensor

(36) for detecting the position of the actuator (35) .

4. The crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the control device (26) comprises a first temperature sensor (37) coupled to the third channel (19) for measuring a first temperature which is indicative of the air temperature in a point of the third channel (19), in particular downstream of the air filter (20); the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25), preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the first measured temperature.

5. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the control device (26) comprises a second temperature sensor (38) housed on the outside of the crawled vehicle (1) or in the first channel (17) for measuring a second temperature which is indicative of the temperature of the external air entering the first channel (17) ; the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25), preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the second temperature measured.

6. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the crawled vehicle (1) comprises a turbine (30) arranged along the third channel (19) between the air filter (20) and the internal combustion engine (11) ; and a cooler (31) arranged along the third channel (19) between the turbine (30) and the internal combustion engine (11) ; and wherein the control device (26) comprises a third temperature sensor (39) arranged between the cooler (31) and the internal combustion engine (19) for measuring a third temperature of the air exiting the cooler (31) ; the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25), preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the third temperature measured.

7. A crawled vehicle according to claim 6, comprising an exhaust gas recirculation valve (32) for feeding the internal combustion engine (11) with mixed air comprising exhaust gases of the internal combustion engine (11) and air from the third channel (19); the exhaust gas recirculation valve (32) is fed by the third channel (19), in particular it is fed by the air exiting the cooler (31) , and is arranged upstream of the internal combustion engine (11) and downstream of the cooler (31) ; the control device (26) comprising a fourth temperature sensor (40) arranged between the exhaust gas recirculation valve (32) and the internal combustion engine (11) for measuring a fourth mixed air temperature; the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25), preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the fourth temperature.

8. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the control device (26) comprises a load sensor (41) of the engine coupled to the internal combustion engine (11) and configured to detect a load datum of the internal combustion engine (11) indicative of the percentage of instantaneous delivery power provided with respect to the maximum deliverable power; the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25) , preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the load datum of the internal combustion engine (11) .

9. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the control device (26) comprises a clogging sensor (42) coupled to the air filter (20) and configured to detect a clogging of the air filter (20) caused by snow; the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25), preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the data detected from the clogging sensor (42) .

10. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the control device (26) comprises a memory (43) wherein is stored a plurality of values couples; each values couple comprising a value of the air temperature entering the internal combustion engine (11), and a value of the performance of the internal combustion engine (11); the control device (26) being configured to adjust a position of the shutter (25), preferably by means of an actuator (35), on the basis of the plurality of values couples stored in the memory (43) .

11. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, the shutter (25) is housed inside the connection element (21) and is movable among a plurality of positions comprised between a first position wherein the first channel (17) is sealed, and a second position wherein the second channel (18) is sealed, to adjust the air flow entering from the first channel (17) and/or from the second channel (18) .

12. A crawled vehicle according to any of the preceding claims, comprising:

- a frame ( 2 ) ; two wheel assemblies (3) arranged on opposite sides of the frame (2) ; and

two crawls (4), each of which respectively wrapped around one of the two wheel assemblies (3) .

Description:
"CRAWLED VEHICLE FOR THE PREPARATION OF SKI PISTES"

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from Italian Patent Application No. 102017000119992 filed on October 23, 2017, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a crawler vehicle for the preparation of ski pistes.

In particular, the present invention relates to a crawler vehicle for the preparation of ski pistes, in particular a snowgroomer, comprising an internal combustion engine; an external air channel; an air inlet opening connected to the external air channel; an air filter that filters the external air of the external air channel before it is supplied to the internal combustion engine.

BACKGROUND ART

One drawback of the prior art is that crawled vehicles for the preparation of ski piste operate in snowy environments and in these circumstances snow enters the air filter causing clogging. In such cases, the external air does not reach the internal combustion engine or arrives in reduced amount and the internal combustion engine is unable to work at its best. DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

It is a purpose of the present invention to provide a crawled vehicle capable of reducing the inconvenience of the prior art solutions.

According to the present invention there is provided a crawled vehicle for the preparation of ski pistes, in particular a snowgroomer; the crawled vehicle comprising:

- an internal combustion engine;

- an engine compartment wherein the internal combustion engine is housed;

- an air inlet opening to receive air from the outside of the crawled vehicle;

- a first channel for cold air and connected to the air inlet opening to be fed with cold air coming from outside the crawled vehicle;

- a second channel for hot air, preferably connected to the engine compartment, to be fed with hot air coming from the internal combustion engine;

- a third channel for air coupled to the internal combustion engine to feed the internal combustion engine with air;

- an air filter arranged along the third channel and upstream of the internal combustion engine to filter the air directed to the internal combustion engine;

- a connection element connected to the first channel, to the second channel and to the third channel; and

- an air adjusting device for adjusting the air temperature in the third channel and comprising a shutter that is coupled to the first channel or to the second channel or to the connection element and a control device which controls the shutter to adjust the temperature of the air entering the third channel.

Thanks to the present invention, the control device of the air control device adjusts a position of the shutter so that the air entering the third channel has a temperature capable of dissolving residues of snow within the filter and consequently avoiding the clogging of the air filter.

According to a preferred embodiment, the control device comprises an actuator, preferably an electric or hydraulic or pneumatic actuator, coupled to the shutter to check the position of the shutter so as to adjust the amount of air from the first channel and/or from the second channel entering the third channel.

According to another preferred embodiment, the control device comprises a position sensor for detecting the position of the actuator.

According to another preferred embodiment, the control device comprises a first temperature sensor coupled to the third channel to measure a first temperature which is indicative of the air temperature in a point of the third channel and to adjust the position of the shutter on the basis of the first air temperature measured.

According to another preferred embodiment, the control device comprises a second temperature sensor housed at the outside of the crawled vehicle or into the first channel to measure a second temperature which is indicative of the temperature of the external air and entering the first channel and to adjust the position of the shutter or the external temperature detected.

According to another preferred embodiment, the crawler vehicle comprises a turbine arranged along the third channel between the filter and the internal combustion engine; a cooler arranged along the third channel between the turbine and the internal combustion engine; and wherein the control device comprises a third temperature sensor arranged between the cooler and the internal combustion engine to measure a third air temperature downstream of the cooler and to adjust the position of the shutter according to the third temperature measured.

According to another preferred embodiment, comprising an exhaust gas recirculation mixing valve for feeding the internal combustion engine with air mixed with a mixture of exhaust gases and air caught from the outside; the mixing valve is fed by the third channel and is arranged upstream of the internal combustion engine and downstream of the cooler; the control device comprising a fourth temperature sensor to measure a fourth mixed air temperature and check the position of the shutter on the basis of the fourth temperature .

According to another preferred embodiment, wherein the control device comprises a load sensor of the engine coupled to the internal combustion engine and configured to detect a load datum of the engine which can indicate the delivery power of the internal combustion engine in relation to the maximum deliverable power of the internal combustion engine; the control device adjusting the position of the shutter on the basis of the load datum of the internal combustion engine .

According to another preferred embodiment, wherein the control device comprises a clogging sensor coupled to the air filter and configured to detect a clogging of the air filter caused by snow; the control device being configured to adjust the position of the shutter on the basis of the data detected by the clogging sensor.

According to another preferred embodiment, the control device comprises a memory in which a plurality of value couples is stored, wherein one of the values of the value couples refers to a temperature of the air entering the internal combustion engine, and the other value is a datum referring to the performance of the internal combustion engine; the control device is configured to adjust the position of the shutter on the basis of the plurality of values couples stored in the memory.

According to a preferred embodiment, the shutter is housed inside the connection element and is movable among a plurality of positions comprised between a first position wherein the air flow entering from the first channel is obstructed and a second position wherein the air flow entering from the second channel is obstructed to adjust the air flow entering from the first channel and/or from the second channel.

According to another preferred embodiment, the crawler vehicle comprises a frame;

- two wheel assemblies arranged on opposite sides of the frame; and

- two crawls, each of which respectively wrapped around one of the two wheel assemblies.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description of a non-limiting embodiment thereof, with reference to the attached figures, wherein:

- Figure 1 is a side elevation view, with parts removed for clarity, of a crawled vehicle constructed in accordance with the present invention; - Figure 2 is a schematic view of a detail of crawled vehicle of Figure 1; and

- Figure 3 is a perspective view, with parts shown as cross-sectional views, of a detail of the crawled vehicle constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention; and

- Figure 4 is a perspective view, with parts removed for clarity, of the detail of the crawled vehicle of Figure 3 at a different angle with respect to Figure 3.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

With reference to Figure 1, reference numeral 1 indicates, as a whole, a crawled vehicle for the preparation of ski pistes, in particular a snowgroomer, suitable to be driven in a travel direction D (Figure 4) onto a snowy path.

With reference to Figure 1, the crawled vehicle 1 comprises a frame 2; two wheel assemblies 3 (only one visible in Figure 1) and arranged on opposite sides of the frame 2; and two crawls 4, each of which respectively wrapped around one of the two wheel assemblies 3.

With reference to Figures 1 and 4, the frame 2 extends along an axis A and supports the wheel assemblies 3.

With reference to Figure 1, the crawled vehicle 1 comprises a control unit 5; a cabin 6; a user interface 7 arranged in the cabin 6; a blade 8 which is frontally supported by the frame 2; a mill 9 supported at the rear by the frame 2; a winch assembly 10 attached above the frame 2; an internal combustion engine 11; and a power transmission 12 operatively connected to the internal combustion engine 11, wheel assemblies 3, blade 8, mill 9, and winch assembly 10. The power transmission 12 can be hydraulic or electric or a hydraulic and electric combination.

Also with reference to the attached Figures 1 and 2, the crawled vehicle comprises an engine compartment 15 inside which is housed the internal combustion engine 11; an air inlet opening 16 to catch air from the outside of the crawled vehicle 1; a first channel 17 connected and fed by the air inlet opening 16 with air coming from outside; a second channel 18 of hot air connected to the engine compartment 15 to be fed with hot air from the engine compartment 15 heated by the internal combustion engine 11; a third channel 19 of air coupled to the internal combustion engine 11 to feed the internal combustion engine 11 with air; an air filter 20 arranged along the third channel 19 and upstream of the internal combustion engine 11; a connection element 21 connected to the first channel 17, second channel 18 and third channel 19; and an air adjusting device 22 to adjust the air temperature in the third channel 19.

Also with reference to Figure 2, the crawled vehicle 1 comprises a turbine 30 arranged along the third channel 19 and downstream of the air filter 20 and connected to the air filter 20 to receive air; a cooler 31 arranged along the third channel 19, downstream of the turbine 30 and connected to the turbine 30 to receive and cool the air exiting the turbine 30; an exhaust gas recirculation valve 32 connected to the third channel 19, downstream of the cooler 31 and upstream of the internal combustion engine 11 for mixing air coming from the third channel 19, in particular from the turbine 31, and the exhaust gas from the internal combustion engine 11 and feeding the internal combustion engine 11 with said mixture of air.

With reference to Figures 3 and 4, the air adjusting device 22 comprises a shutter 25 coupled to the connection element 21 and a control device 26 which controls the shutter 25 to adjust the temperature of the air entering the third channel 19. In greater detail, the shutter 25 is housed inside the connection element 21 and is configured to adjust the air coming from the first channel 17 and the second channel 18. In greater detail, the shutter 25 is arranged in a point of the connection element 21 wherein the first and the second channel 17 and 18 are interconnected. The shutter 25 is movable and can assume different positions between a first position and a second position. In the first position, the shutter 25 completely closes the entrance to the air coming from the first channel 17 and is fully open to the air coming from the second channel 18. In the second position the shutter 25 completely closes the entrance to the air coming from the second channel 18 and is fully open to the air coming from the first channel 17. In the intermediate positions between the first and the second position, the shutter 25 adjusts the air flow coming from the first channel 17 and the second channel 18. In particular, when the shutter 25 is moved from the first position to the second position, the air coming from the first channel 18 increases and the air coming from the second channel decreases with respect to the first position. In addition, when the shutter 25 is moved from the second position to the first position, the air coming from the second channel 18 increases and the air coming from the first channel 17 decreases with respect to the second position.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention not shown in the attached figures, the shutter of the air adjusting device is coupled preferably and exclusively to the first channel and adjusts the air flow exiting the first channel .

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention not shown in the attached figures, the shutter of the air adjusting device is coupled preferably and exclusively to the second channel and adjusts the air flow exiting the second channel.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention not shown in the attached figures, the air adjusting device comprises a first and a second shutter, wherein the first shutter is coupled preferably and exclusively to the first channel and adjusts the air flow coming from the first channel; the second shutter is coupled preferably and exclusively to the second channel and adjusts the air flow coming from the second channel.

With reference to Figure 4, the control device 26 comprises an actuator 35 preferably an electric or hydraulic or pneumatic actuator, coupled to the shutter 25 to control the position of the shutter 25 in such a way as to adjust the amount of air from the first channel 17 and/or from the second channel 18 entering the third channel 19. In greater detail, the actuator 35 adjusts the position of the shutter 25 between the first position and the second position.

Furthermore, with reference to Figures 2 and 4, the control device 26 comprises a position sensor 36 for detecting the position of the actuator 35. The control device 26 adjusts the position of the shutter 25 by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the position detected by the position sensor 36, so that the control device 26 performs a feedback control on the position of the shutter 25.

With reference to Figure 2, the control device 26 comprises a first temperature sensor 37 coupled to the third channel 19 to measure a first temperature which is indicative of the air temperature in a point of the third channel 19 and adjust the position of the shutter 25 on the basis of the first air temperature measured. In greater detail, the first temperature sensor 37 is arranged between the air filter 20 and the turbine 30 and the first temperature indicates the temperature of the air exiting the air filter 20 and entering the turbine 30.

Furthermore, the control device 26 comprises a second temperature sensor 38 housed on the outside of the crawled vehicle 1 to measure a second temperature which is indicative of the temperature of the external air and entering the first channel 17. The control device 26 is configured to adjust the position of the shutter 25, by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the second detected temperature.

The control device 26 comprises a third sensor 39 arranged along the third channel between the cooler 31 and the internal combustion engine 11, in particular between the cooler 31 and the exhaust gas recirculation valve 32 to measure a third temperature of the air exiting the cooler 31 and entering the exhaust gas recirculation valve 32. The control device 26 is configured to adjust the position of the shutter 25, by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the third temperature measured.

Furthermore, the control device 26 comprises a fourth temperature sensor 40 to measure a fourth mixed air temperature 40 arranged between the exhaust gas recirculation valve 32 and the internal combustion engine 11 to measure the temperature of the mixed air exiting the exhaust gas recirculation valve 32 and entering the internal combustion engine 11. The control device 26 is configured to control the position of the shutter 25, by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the fourth temperature.

With reference to Figure 2, the control device 26 comprises a load sensor 41 of the engine coupled to the internal combustion engine 11 and configured to detect a load datum of the internal combustion engine 11 indicative of a percentage of actual delivery power with respect to the maximum deliverable power that can be delivered by the internal combustion engine 11. The control device 26 is configured to adjust the position of the shutter 25, by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the load datum of the internal combustion engine 11.

With reference to figure 2 the control device 26 comprises a clogging sensor 42 coupled to the air filter 20 and configured to detect a clogging of the air filter 20 caused by snow. The control device 26 being configured to adjust the position of the shutter 35, by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the data detected by the clogging sensor 42.

Furthermore, the control device 26 comprises a memory 43 wherein are stored a plurality of values couples, wherein one of the values of the values couple is indicative of a temperature of the air entering the internal combustion engine 11, in other words it is a value of the fourth temperature; and the other value is a datum referring to the performance of the internal combustion engine 11. The control device 26 is configured to adjust the position of the shutter 25, by means of the actuator 35, on the basis of the plurality of values couples stored in the memory.

Thanks to the present invention, the control device 26 adjusts the temperature of the air entering the third channel 19 so that the air filter 20 is not clogged by snow and to obtain the maximum performance achievable of the internal combustion engine 11. In other words, the control device 26 adjusts the temperature of the air entering the third channel 19 to a value such that it is able to dissolve any snow residues in the air filter 20 or such that avoids a clogging caused by snow in the air filter 20. Furthermore, the control device 26 adjusts the temperature of the air entering the third channel 19 also to maximize the efficiency of the internal combustion engine 11, so that the air entering the internal combustion engine 11 is at a proper temperature, i.e. a temperature that maximizes the efficiency of the internal combustion engine 11.

Furthermore, it is evident that the present invention also covers embodiments not described in the detailed description and equivalent embodiments, which fall within the scope of protection of the appended claims.