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Title:
ELECTRIC MACHINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/142221
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Electric machine (10) to convert mechanical energy into electric energy, comprising a first member (13) and a second member (14) configured to cooperate with each other to generate an electromagnetic field, one of either the first member (13) or the second member (14) comprising electric coils (15) and the other of either the first member (13) or the second member (14) comprising at least an electromagnet and/or at least a permanent magnet (16).

Inventors:
BONACCI, Walter (Via Maier 5, PERGINE VALSUGANA, 38057, IT)
MARQUARDT, Lucio (Via Piccardi 43, TRIESTE, 34141, IT)
Application Number:
IT2019/050007
Publication Date:
July 25, 2019
Filing Date:
January 17, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ENECOLAB S.R.L. (Via Caboto 30, TRIESTE, 34147, IT)
International Classes:
H02K7/116; H02K16/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013182964A22013-12-12
WO2013176407A12013-11-28
Foreign References:
US7466053B12008-12-16
EP1250748A12002-10-23
US8253294B12012-08-28
EP0587120A21994-03-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETRAZ, Davide Luigi et al. (GLP SRL, Viale Europa Unita 171, UDINE, 33100, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Electric machine comprising a frame (11) and at least a first drive shaft (12) rotatable with respect to said frame (11), said electric machine (10) also comprising a first member (13) and a second member (14) configured to cooperate with each other to generate an electromagnetic field, one of either said first member (13) or said second member (14) comprising electric coils (15) and the other of either said first member (13) or said second member (14) comprising at least an electromagnet and/or at least a permanent magnet (16), said first member (13) being rotatable around a first axis of rotation (X), characterized in that said first drive shaft (12) is configured to make said first member (13) rotate around said first axis of rotation (X) in a first direction of rotation (Rl), and in that said electric machine (10) also comprises drive means (17) configured to make said second member (14) rotate around said first axis of rotation (X) in a second direction of rotation (R2), opposite said first direction of rotation (Rl).

2. Electric machine as in claim 1, characterized in that said drive means (17) comprise a second drive shaft (18), rotatable with respect to said frame (11).

3. Electric machine as in claim 2, characterized in that said first member (13) is associated with said first drive shaft (12) so as to be rotatable together with the latter around the first axis of rotation (X), and in that said second member (14) is associated with said second drive shaft (18) so as to be rotatable together with the latter around said first axis of rotation (X).

4. Electric machine as in claim 3, characterized in that said first drive shaft (12) and said second drive shaft (18) are coaxial with respect to each other and develop along said first axis of rotation (X).

5. Electric machine as in claim 1, characterized in that said drive means (17) comprise a return mechanism (20) configured to be driven in rotation by said first drive shaft (12).

6. Electric machine as in claim 5, characterized in that said return mechanism (20) comprises first transmission members (21), second transmission members (22), and third transmission members (23), each comprising a respective drive element (2 la, 22a, 23a) and a respective driven element (2 lb, 22b, 23b), wherein one of either said first transmission members (21) or said third transmission members (23) comprises a respective drive element (2 la; 23a) installed on the first drive shaft (12), and a respective driven element (21b; 23b), configured to drive one of either said first member (13) or said second member (14) in rotation around said first axis of rotation (X).

7. Electric machine as in claim 6, characterized in that said second transmission members (22) comprise a respective drive element (22a), installed on said first drive shaft (12), and a respective driven element (22b), installed on a second transmission shaft (25), said second transmission shaft (25) extending along a third axis of rotation (Z), and in that the other of either said first transmission members (21) or said third transmission members (23) comprises a respective drive element (23 a; 21a), installed on said second transmission shaft (25), and a respective driven element (23b; 21b), associated with the other of either said second member (14) or said first member (13).

8. Electric machine as in claim 7, characterized in that said first member (13) is associated with said first transmission shaft (24) and in that said second member (14) is conformed so as to be connected to a third transmission shaft (26), said third transmission shaft (26) extending coaxial to said first transmission shaft (24) along said first axis of rotation (X).

9. Method to generate current by means of an electric machine (10) comprising a frame (11) and at least a first drive shaft (12) rotatable with respect to said frame (11), wherein said electric machine (10) also comprises a first member (13) and a second member (14) configured to cooperate with each other to generate an electromagnetic field, one of either said first member (13) or said second member (14) comprising electric coils (15) and the other of either said first member (13) or said second member (14) comprising at least an electromagnet and/or at least a permanent magnet (16), characterized in that it provides the steps of:

- rotating said first member (13) around a first axis of rotation (X) in a first direction of rotation (Rl) by means of said at least one first drive shaft (12);

- rotating said second member (14) around said first axis of rotation (X) in a second direction of rotation (R2), opposite said first direction of rotation (Rl), by means of drive means (17).

10. Method as in claim 9, characterized in that it provides the step of rotating said first member (13) and said second member (14) at an equal angular speed modulus.

Description:
“ELECTRIC MACHINE”

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns an electric machine, in particular an electric machine for converting mechanical energy into electric energy.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known that electric machines, also called current generators, consist of a stator and a rotor, configured to cooperate with one another to generate an electromagnetic field.

The stator is fixed with respect to the electric machine, while the rotor is configured to rotate inside the stator by means of a drive shaft.

Generally, the stator comprises electric coils while the rotor comprises electromagnets or permanent magnets. However, opposite solutions are also known, in which the stator comprises electromagnets or permanent magnets and the rotor comprises electric coils.

During rotation, the electric machine generates a rotating magnetic field, which induces an electromotive force (emf) on the electric coils. The electromotive force induced generates an electric current, which can be direct or alternate.

One disadvantage of such known electric machines is that the electric energy produced, or electric power, is directly correlated to the rotational speed of the rotor, so it is known to make electric machines able to reach a very high angular speed (co), so as to increase the electric power output.

To reach this angular speed it is necessary to increase the mechanical energy that has to be supplied at input to the electric machine, with a consequent high expenditure of resources. This causes an unwanted lowering of the performance of the electric machine.

Another disadvantage is that these electric machines are complex to control because the higher the angular speed, the more complex it is to regulate and/or keep it constant.

Another disadvantage is that electric machines known in the state of the art are voluminous and bulky.

There is therefore a need to make an electric machine which overcomes at least one of the disadvantages of the state of the art.

One purpose of the present invention is to make an electric machine that is able to provide, given the same mechanical energy supplied, an electric power greater than that obtainable from an electric machine known in the state of the art.

Another purpose is to make an electric machine that is able to provide, given the same size, an electric power equal to or greater than that obtainable with an electric machine known in the state of the art.

Another purpose is to make an electric machine that can be installed in existing plants simply and quickly, without requiring significant structural modifications to known plants.

Another purpose is to make a compact electric machine that is economical to produce.

Another purpose is to make an electric machine with a better performance than electric machines known in the state of the art.

The Applicant has devised, tested and embodied the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the state of the art and to obtain these and other purposes and advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the independent claim, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention or variants to the main inventive idea.

In accordance with the above purposes, the electric machine according to the present invention comprises a frame and at least a first drive shaft rotatable with respect to the frame.

The electric machine also comprises a first member and a second member configured to cooperate with each other to generate an electromagnetic field. In particular, one of either the first member or the second member comprises electric coils and the other of either the first member or the second member comprises at least an electromagnet and/or at least a permanent magnet.

In addition, the first member is rotatable around a first axis of rotation.

According to one aspect of the present invention, the first drive shaft is configured to make the first member rotate around the first axis of rotation in a first direction of rotation.

According to a characteristic aspect of the present invention, an electric machine in accordance with the present invention comprises drive means configured to make the second member rotate around the first axis of rotation in a second direction of rotation, opposite the first direction of rotation.

Thanks to the present invention, an electric machine is made available in which both the members which cooperate with each other to form the electromagnetic field are rotatable. In particular, since the first member and the second member rotate in opposite directions to each other, the present invention allows to obtain a relative speed between the first member and the second member that is much higher than the speed that the first member has with respect to the second member when the latter is attached to the frame, as occurs in electric machines known in the state of the art.

This is advantageous because it allows to obtain, given the same mechanical energy supplied at input, a greater electromotive force (emf) on the electric coils and, consequently, a greater amount of electric current.

The electric machine according to the present invention therefore advantageously has a higher efficiency than electric machines known in the state of the art.

Moreover, with the electric machine according to the present invention, given the same mechanical energy supplied, it is possible to use a lower number of electric coils than the number of electric coils present in a conventional electric machine to obtain an amount of electric energy comparable to the amount of electric energy produced by the electric machine known in the state of the art. The lower number of coils therefore allows to reduce the sizes and the production costs of the first member and/or the second member, so as to obtain an electric machine having a bulk and a lower cost compared with electric machines known in the state of the art.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it can be used in both existing and newly constructed plants to generate electric energy, such as hydroelectric or wind plants, or to generate electric energy suitable to power auxiliary user devices in means of transport, such as automobiles or boats.

The above advantages of the electric machine according to the present invention mean that it is particularly suitable to be installed in existing plants in association with a source of mechanical energy which would otherwise be wasted in order to obtain electric powers even of minor entity.

Embodiments of the present invention also concern a method to generate current from an electric machine as described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other characteristics of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of some embodiments, given as a non-restrictive example with reference to the attached drawings wherein:

- fig. 1 is a schematic view in section of an electric machine according to the present invention;

- fig. 2 is a schematic view in section of a variant embodiment of the electric machine in fig. 1 ;

- fig. 3 is a schematic view in section of another embodiment of an electric machine according to the present invention;

- fig. 4 is a view from above of fig. 3;

- fig. 5 is a cross section view along the line V-V of fig. 4;

- fig. 6 is a cross section view along the line VI-YI of fig. 4;

- fig. 7 is a cross section view along the line VII-VII of fig. 4.

To facilitate comprehension, the same reference numbers have been used, where possible, to identify identical common elements in the drawings. It is understood that elements and characteristics of one embodiment can conveniently be incorporated into other embodiments without further clarifications.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

Embodiments described here with reference to the attached drawings show an electric machine, indicated as a whole by the reference number 10.

According to the present invention, the electric machine 10 comprises a frame 11 and at least a first drive shaft 12 which can rotate with respect to the frame 11.

The electric machine 10 comprises a first member 13, also called the first rotor, rotatable around a first axis of rotation X, and a second member 14.

The first member 13 and the second member 14 are configured to cooperate with each other so as to generate an electromagnetic field.

The second member 14 comprises electric coils 15, and the first member 13 comprises at least one electromagnet and/or at least one permanent magnet 16.

In alternative versions, the first member 13 can comprise electric coils 15 and the second member 14 can comprise an electromagnet and/or a permanent magnet 16.

The electric energy is generated by means of the relative rotation of the first member 13 and the second member 14, so that a rotating magnetic field induces an electromotive force on the electric coils 15, in accordance with the physical laws that govern electromagnetism.

In particular, the first member 13 is disposed inside the second member 14. In other words, in the configurations shown in the attached drawings, the second member 14 surrounds the first member 13 annular ly.

According to the present invention, the first drive shaft 12 is configured to make the first member 13 rotate around the first axis of rotation X in a first direction of rotation R1.

According to the present invention, moreover, the second member 14 can also rotate around the first axis of rotation X.

Unlike electric machines known in the state of the art, the present invention does not provide a stator, meaning by this term a“member fixed to the frame”. For this reason, the second member 14 can also be referred to as a second rotor, or improperly as a“counter-rotating stator”.

The electric machine 10 comprises drive means 17 configured to make the second member 14 rotate around the first axis of rotation X in a second direction of rotation R2, opposite the first direction of rotation Rl.

According to a first embodiment, shown by way of example in fig. 1 , the drive means 17 can comprise a second drive shaft 18, rotatable with respect to the frame 11.

According to this embodiment, the first drive shaft 12 and the second drive shaft 18 are coaxial with respect to each other and develop along the first axis of rotation X.

Advantageously, the first drive shaft 12 and the second drive shaft 18 can be connected to the frame 11 by suitable guide members 19 - for example radial bearings of the ball or roller type - able to allow the rotation thereof with respect to the frame 11. In this first embodiment, the first member 13 is then keyed on the first drive shaft 12 so as to be rotatable together with the latter around the first axis of rotation X in the first direction of rotation Rl, while the second member 14 is keyed on the second drive shaft 18 so as to be rotatable together with the latter around the first axis of rotation X in the second direction of rotation R2, opposite the first direction of rotation Rl .

Guide members 19 are provided in suitable positions where the second member 14 contacts the first member 13 so as to allow the relative rotation of the first member 13 and the second member 14.

According to possible embodiments, the same mechanical energy can be supplied at input to the first drive shaft 12 and to the second drive shaft 18. In this case, the first drive shaft 12 and the second drive shaft 18 can rotate at the same angular rotation speed.

A second embodiment of an electric machine according to the present invention is shown in figs. 2-4. In this embodiment, the drive means 17 are configured as a return mechanism 20 configured to be driven in rotation by the first drive shaft 12.

According to this embodiment, the electric machine 10 can comprise a single first drive shaft 12 rotatable with respect to the frame 11 around a second axis of rotation Y.

According to possible embodiments, the return mechanism 20 can comprise first transmission members 21, second transmission members 22, and third transmission members 23.

Each of the transmission members 21, 22, 23 comprises at least one pair of motion transmission elements known in the state of the art, such as for example gears or toothed wheels, or pulleys connected by belts; each pair being indicated by a dotted line in figs. 2-4.

The return mechanism 20 also comprises a plurality of motion transmission shafts 24, 25, 26. These are idle shafts or pipes which are driven in rotation by the transmission members 21, 22, 23.

We will now describe in detail the structure of the return mechanism 20 and its functioning.

Each of the transmission members 21, 22, 23 comprises a respective drive element 2 la, 22a, 23a and a respective driven element 2 lb, 22b, 23b.

At least one of either the first transmission member 21 or the third transmission member 23 comprises a respective drive element 21a; 23a installed on the first drive shaft 12, and a respective driven element 21b; 23b, configured to make one of either the first member 13 or the second member 14 rotate around the first axis of rotation X.

According to the present invention, the second transmission members 22 comprise a respective drive element 22a, also installed on the first drive shaft 12, and a respective driven element 22b, installed on a second transmission shaft 25, which extends along a third axis of rotation Z. Furthermore, the other of either the first rotational members 21 or the third transmission members 23 comprises a respective drive element 23a; 21a, installed on the second transmission shaft 25, and a respective driven element 23b; 21b, associated with the other of either the second member 14 or the first member 13.

With reference to the embodiment shown in fig. 2, the first transmission members 21 comprise a drive element 21a, installed on the first drive shaft 12, and a driven element 21b, installed on a first transmission shaft 24. It should be noted that in this embodiment, the first member 13 is keyed on the first transmission shaft 24, which extends along the first axis of rotation X.

Consequently, the rotation of the first drive shaft 12 makes the first member 13 rotate around the first axis of rotation X by the action of the elements 21a, 21b of the first transmission member 21.

According to this variant embodiment, the third transmission members 23 comprise a respective drive element 23a, also installed on the second transmission shaft 25, and a respective driven element 23b, associated with the second member 14.

In some embodiments, the respective driven element 23b can be connected to the second member 14 by means of mechanical connection means known in the state of the art, such as for example a plurality of threaded screws, or in alternative embodiments, it can be integrated in a single body with the second member 14.

It should also be noted that in the embodiment shown in fig. 2 the first member 13 is associated with the first transmission shaft 24 and the second member 14 is conformed so as to be connected to a third transmission shaft 26, which extends coaxial to the first transmission shaft 24 along the first axis of rotation X.

During use, the first drive shaft 12 makes both the second drive shaft 25 rotate around the third axis of rotation Z by the action of the elements 22a, 22b, and also the second member 14 (and with it the third drive shaft 26 ) around the first axis of rotation X, by the action of the elements 23a, 23b. It should be noted that the particular configuration of the return mechanism 20 causes the second transmission shaft 25 to rotate in the second direction of rotation R2, that is, in a direction opposite to the first direction of rotation Rl, that is, the direction of rotation of the first drive shaft 12.

In one embodiment, the axes of rotation X, Y and Z are all parallel to one another.

The return mechanism 20 described above is configured in such a way as to make the first member 13, and with it the first transmission shaft 24, rotate in the first direction of rotation Rl, concordant with the direction of rotation of the first drive shaft 12, and it is also configured to make the second member 14, and with it the third transmission shaft 26, rotate in the second direction of rotation R2, opposite the first direction of rotation Rl.

It is not excluded, however, that the transmission members 21, 22, 23 can be configured to make the first member 13 rotate in the opposite direction to the direction of rotation of the first drive shaft 12, and consequently, the second member 14 in a direction concordant with the direction of rotation of the first drive shaft 12.

Advantageously, the first drive shaft 12 and the transmission shafts 24, 25, 26 can be connected to the frame 1 1 by means of guide members 19 - for example radial bearings, of the ball or roller type - able to allow rotation with respect to the frame 11.

According to the embodiment shown in fig. 2, the first drive shaft 12 and the second drive shaft 25 are located at different vertical heights Dl, D2 with respect to a base 27 of the frame 11. In particular, the first drive shaft 12 is disposed at a first vertical height, defined by a first distance Dl between the second axis of rotation Y and the base 27, and the second transmission shaft 25 is disposed at a second vertical height, defined by a second distance D2 between the third axis of rotation Z and the base 27.

According to an alternative embodiment, shown in figs. 3 and 4, the first drive shaft 12 and the second drive shaft 25 are located at the same vertical height D with respect to the base of the frame 11.

With reference to the embodiment shown in figs. 3-4, moreover, the third transmission members 23 comprise a drive element 23a, installed on the first drive shaft 12, and a driven element 23b, configured to make the second member 14 rotate around the first axis of rotation X.

According to this variant embodiment, the first transmission members 21 comprise a respective drive element 21a, also installed on the second transmission shaft 25, and a respective driven element 21b, associated with the first member 13.

During use, the first drive shaft 12 makes both the second member 14 rotate around the first axis of rotation X, through the action of the elements 23a, 23b, and also the second transmission shaft 25 around the third axis of rotation Z through the action of the elements 22a, 22b. In this variant embodiment, thanks to the action of the elements 21a, 21b, the first member 13 (and with it the first transmission shaft 24) is made to rotate around the first axis of rotation X, in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the second member 14.

ft is obvious that the elements comprised in the transmission members 21, 22, 23 are suitably sized according to the reduction ratio of the speeds to be obtained.

For example, if it is desired to give the second member 14 an angular speed equal in module to that of the first member 13, as known in the state of the art, the elements 21a, 22b, 22a, 22b and 23a, 23b have substantially the same diameter and/or the same number of teeth, in the case of toothed elements, in order to have a reduction ratio of 1 : 1.

Figs. 5-7 show schematic sectional views of the return mechanism 20 in fig. 4, in which both the relative spatial disposition of the transmission members 21, 22, 23 with respect to each other, and the size of each of them, are visible.

According to possible embodiments, the first member 13 and/or the second member 14 can be provided with electric brushes 33, as conventionally known in the state of the art. According to the present invention, a method to generate current by means of an electric machine 10 as described above is also provided, which provides the steps of:

- rotating the first member 13 around the first axis of rotation X in a first direction of rotation R1 by means of a first drive shaft 12;

- rotating the second member 14 around the first axis of rotation X in a second direction of rotation R2, opposite the first direction of rotation Rl, by means of drive means 17.

According to possible embodiments, the method advantageously provides to rotate the first member 13 and the second member 14 at an angular speed equal in module.

It is clear that modifications and/or additions of parts can be made to the electric machine and the method to generate electric energy using said electric machine as described heretofore, without departing from the field and scope of the present invention.

It is also clear that, although the present invention has been described with reference to some specific examples, a person of skill in the art shall certainly be able to achieve many other equivalent forms of electric machine and the method to generate electric energy using said electric machine, having the characteristics as set forth in the claims and hence all coming within the field of protection defined thereby.

In the following claims, the sole purpose of the references in brackets is to facilitate reading: they must not be considered as restrictive factors with regard to the field of protection claimed in the specific claims.