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Title:
AN ENGINE USABLE AS A POWER SOURCE OR PUMP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/044185
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An engine which includes a rotor mounted relative to an output shaft, the rotor having one or more piston cylinder assembly's disposed in or on the rotor. The longitudinal axis/axes of the one or more piston cylinder assembly's is orientated to be tangential to a peripheral rim of the rotor. The rotor or output shaft has a lobed cam which rotates at the same, greater or slower speed than the rotor and in which via compression and combustion, each piston rotates the rotor continuously relative to a stationary part of the engine.

Inventors:
WHITE, William Llewis (36a Vernon Terrace, St MartinsChristchurch, 8022, NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2011/000205
Publication Date:
April 05, 2012
Filing Date:
September 30, 2011
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TGGMC LIMITED (c/- Evan Taylor Limited, 1st Floor192 Papanui Roa, Christchurch 8014, NZ)
WHITE, William Llewis (36a Vernon Terrace, St MartinsChristchurch, 8022, NZ)
International Classes:
F02B55/08; F02B43/00; F02B57/00; F02B59/00; F02B63/06; F02B67/00; F02B69/00; F02B75/04; F02B75/32; F04B27/06; F16H21/16; F16H25/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2001042624A22001-06-14
Foreign References:
US20040163532A12004-08-26
GB1260112A1972-01-12
Other References:
See also references of EP 2625403A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RICHARD LYTH PATENT ATTORNEY (P O Box 61, 735 Old Tai Tapu RoadTai Tapu, 7645, NZ)
Download PDF:
Claims:
An engine or pump including a rotor mounted relative to an output shaft, the rotor having one or more piston cylinder assembly's disposed in or on the rotor with the longitudinal axis/axes of the one or more piston cyli nder assembly's orientated to be tangential to a periphe ral rim of the rotor, the rotor or output shaft having a lobed cam which rotates at the same, greater or slower speed than the rotor and where in via compression and combustion, each piston rotates the rotor continuously relative to a stationary part of the engine.

An engine or pump as claimed in claim 1 wherein each piston cylinder assembly has a piston or connecting rod connected to a lever member mounted relative to the rotor at a fulcrum or rocking point which is offset f rom the axis of the rotor and output shaft.

An engine or pump as claimed in claim 1 wherein each piston cyl inder assembly has an articu lated connecting rod to linearise connecting rod movement within the cylinde r.

An engine or pump as claimed in claim 2 wherein each leve r member has at its proximal end a roller or the like adapted in use to contact the lobed cam .

An engine or pump as claimed in any one of the preceding claims whe rein the stroke length can be adjusted as required to i ncrease or decrease output.

An engine or pump as claimed in claim 4 whe rein the lobed cam can be rotatable axially relative to the rotor to thereby adjust the dwell ti ming of the piston(s) in its(their) bore(s) to thereby adjust power output from the engine or pu mp if additional power is requi red.

An engine or pump as claimed in claim 2 wherein each lever member has at its proximal end a spherical or cu rved su rface roller, and the lobed cam surfaces are ramps, tapered in side elevation, whi le the peaks which contact the rol lers are flat so that axial movement of the cam allows the point of contact of the roller relative to the cam surface to be different to thereby alter the stroke length by forcing the piston to travel further down its bore while always bringing the pistons to TDC at the same place so that powe r output is adjustable up or down as is requi red.

An engine or pump as claimed in any one of the precedi ng claims wherein the cam is disposed concentric with rotor.

An engine or pump as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 7 when dependent on claim 4 where in two or more cams are disposed adjacent proximal ends of the lever membe rs, the two or more piston controlling cams being linked and timed by gears or a tim ing belt and communicate motion individually to their adjacent lever members.

An engine or pump as claimed in any one of the preceding claims and as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying d rawing.

An engine as clai med in claim 1 in wh ich an armature of annular design is secured to the rotor and a stationary winding or other structure is placed radially concentric to it, to thereby provide a means for electric power gene ration which does not require any mechanisms external to the engine to generate electricity.

An engine as claimed in claim 1 or claim 1 1 whe rein a centrifugally disposed flu id pump/filter is mounted on the rotor so as to create a centrifugally induced flow th rough the pump/filter via the rotation of the rotor.

An engine as claimed in claim 1 1 or claim 1 2 wherein the centrifugally cleaned f luid is then heated to a predetermined temperatu re by a cooling system of a fluid cooled variant of the engine so that by rotation of the eng ine , electricity generation and filtered hot fl uid can be de rived.

An engine as clai med in any one of the preceding claims wherein one or more similar rotors carrying two cyl inders each is disposed along a com mon output shaft to produce a 2, 4, 6 or more cylinde r engine as desired.

Description:
AN ENGINE USAB LE AS A POWER SOU RCE O R PUM P

Field of the I nvention

The invention relates to engines and in particular to engines that may be used either as a power source or as a pump.

Background to the I nvention

It is a recognised that most piston engines are inherently inefficient. A number of factors are responsible for this inefficiency including the motion of the pistons, and the fact that at times each piston is either at rest or in a drag state which therefore reduces the amou nt of energy available at the crank of the engine . Also energy is requi red to move a piston to the top of its bore duri ng each compression or pump stroke.

A further cause of inefficiency in an existing inte rnal combustion engi ne is that energy is used to operate gears, cams and other equipment necessary to enable the engine to function. This use of ene rgy results in reduced efficiency, and in the f inal analysis only a small percentage of input energy is transferred as output f rom an engine.

Rotary type engines overcome some of the above problems. However, rotary engines are complex and sealing problems exist between the moving parts. While rotary engines have dramatically changed the design of standard piston and cylinder engines they have resulted in complex sealing and design problems which can result in reliability problems. Hybrid engines are another type of known engine. An example of a hybrid engine is described in EP09641 36, which is a rotary type engine configu ration with the engine's block defining a cyl ind rical rotor having a pl urality of bores which open to combustion chambers near the periphery of the engine block. A piston is disposed in each bore . Each piston has its own crank with rotation transferred to the engine block/rotor via a planetary gear arrangement. Inlet ports, spark pl ugs and outlet ports are arranged around the periphery of the engine housing in the same manner as a conventional rotary engine . The advantage claimed for this configu ration of engine is that the power/movement of the pistons is almost completely converted to rotational movement of the engine and th us it produces a g reater power output pe r size/weight than a conventional piston engine . A f urthe r advantage is that the rotary natu re of the engine does away with the need to employ valves and th us the associated problem of valve damage i n conventional engines is eliminated. Such an engine sti ll suffe rs from considerable sealing problems and losses in the planetary gearbox l inking the piston rods to the rotor.

Another hybrid engine is described in AU 8496/27. This engine is of a type that has a continuously rotating group of cylinders disposed tangential ly on a main rotatable member. Corresponding pistons are intermittently rotating. The pistons are attached to piston levers pivoted about the centre of rotation . I n order to ach ieve correct ope ration of this engine the pistons must be locked against movement in either di rection during combustion so that energy can be transfe rred to the rotatable member via the cylinders. Afte r combustion the piston must accelerate at twice the speed of the rotary member in order to move back to top dead centre for the next combustion stroke . A sophisticated arrangement of gears and levers is therefore required to operate the pistons in th is manner. Because the pistons m ust travel at twice rotational speed the engine's maximum speed is l imited by the abi lity to move the pistons from standstil l to top dead centre.

As well as the above mentioned disadvantages, in existing piston engines, the time the piston spends at the top and bottom of its stroke is ve ry short as the crankshaft operates to change direction at the instant that the extreme of piston travel is reached . This reduces dwell and leads to incomplete bu rning of gases in the combustion chamber. These incompletely bu rnt gases are expelled i n the exhaust resulting in ineff iciencies in the engine and poll ution of the atmosphere.

Accordingly it is an object of the present invention to provide an engine which is efficient and economical to run . It is a further object of the present invention to provide an engine which has high rotational inertia and torque relative to its size and weight.

It is still a f urther object of the prese nt invention to provide an engine which can be control led in a variety of ways to meet a variety of functional needs.

Yet a fu rther object of the present invention is to provide an engine which ameliorates some of the disadvantages of known engi nes, or at least provides the public with a usef ul alternative choice.

Summary of the Invention

I n a fi rst aspect the invention provides for an eng ine including a rotor mounted re lative to an output shaft, the rotor having one or more piston cylinder assembly's disposed in or on the rotor with the longitudinal axis/axes of the one or more piston cylinde r assembly's orientated to be tangential to a peripheral rim of the rotor, the rotor or output shaft having a lobed cam wh ich rotates at the same, greater or slower speed than the rotor and wherein via compression and combustion , each piston rotates the rotor contin uously relative 5 to a stationary part of the engi ne.

Each piston cyli nde r assembly has a piston or connecting rod con nected to a leve r member mounted relative to the rotor at a fu lcrum or rocking point which is offset f rom the axis of the rotor and 10 output shaft. Each lever member has at its proximal end a roller or the li ke adapted in use to contact the lobed cam.

The stroke length in one embodiment of the engine can be adjusted as requi red to increase or decrease engine output.

!5

I n one example an armature of an nular design can be secu red to the rotor and a stationary winding or other structure placed radially concentric to it, to the reby provide a means for electric power generation wh ich does not requ ire any mechanisms external to the 20 engine to generate electricity.

It would be readi ly understood by a skilled add ressee that phase correction can be mechanical ly arranged to suit engine speed and visa versa.

25

An alternate or synchronous use can be to mount a centrifugally disposed fluid pump/filter on the rotor so as to create a centrif ugally induced flow through the pump/filter via the rotation of the rotor. The centrifugally cleaned fluid can then be heated to a 30 predetermined temperatu re by a cooling system of a fluid cooled variant of the engine. Thus, via the rotation of the engine, W

electricity generation and filtered hot fluid can be derived as a result.

The invention will now be described with reference to its use as an 5 internal combustion engine . Use of the engine as a pump is not excluded and such use is with in the abil ity to be attributed to the ski lled addressee.

Brief Description of the Drawing

0

An example of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying Figu re 1 which shows a cross section through a four stroke example of engine according to the invention. 5 Description of a Preferred Example

An example of engine according to the invention is shown in Figure

1 . Although the following description is of the unit usable as an engine it is to be appreciated that a skilled address would0 appreciate that the unit can be used as a pump.

The engine includes a rotor 1 mounted in relation to a suitable housing not shown . The rotor 1 is mounted on an output shaft 2. The rotor 1 has in the example a pair of cylinders 3, 3' mounted so that thei r longitudinal axes are tangential to the periphery of the rotor 1 . It is to be appreciated that more than two cylinders can be mounted on the rotor as is required. The rotor 1 is in effect acting as a flywheel to create added ine rtia to the engine while it operates. Each cylinder 3, 3' has mounted in a bore 4, 4' a piston 5 , 5' . Each0 cylinder 3, 3' and its associated piston 5, 5' can be a standard piston cylinder assembly. The pistons 5, 5' each have a piston or connecting rod 6, 6' respectively connected to a lever member 7, 7'. An articulated connecting rod (not shown) could alternatively be used in each cylinder to linearise connecting rod movement within the cylinder.

Each of the lever members 7, 7' is mounted relative to the rotor 1 at a fulcrum or rocking point 8, 8' which is offset from the axis of the rotor 1 and output shaft 2. Each lever member 7, 7' has at its proximal end 9 a roller or the like 10, 10'.

Concentric with and at the centre of the rotor 1 is a lobed cam 11. In the example the lobed cam 11 has four lobes 12 on its outer surface 13. In a first embodiment the lobed cam 11 is stationary so that rotor 1, lever members 7, 7' and their associated pistons 5, 5' rotate.

It will be appreciated by the skilled addressee that the present engine operates differently to conventional engines because during combustion, movement of the pistons 5, 5' is controlled, thereby causing the cylinders 3, 3', which are disposed on the rotor 1 to move. This causes rotation of the rotor 1 and output shaft 2. In the illustrated example the direction of movement is shown by arrow X. As the cylinders 3, 3' and rotor 1 rotate the lever members 7, 7' rotate because their fulcrum points 8, 8' are eccentrically positioned. The rollers 10, 10' follow the surface 13 of the lobed cam 11 thereby communicating motion to the lever members 7, 7'. The fulcrum points 8, 8' of the lever members 7, 7' are closer to the proximal end 9 than to a connecting rod end 14, 14' thereof. This means that relatively speaking a small movement of the proximal ends 9, 9' results in the connecting rod ends 14, 14' moving a larger distance.

The cylinders 3, 3' on the rotor 1 are mounted with their longitudinal axes tangential to the periphery 15 thereof.

It will be appreciated by the skilled addressee that in certain circumstances rollers 10, 10' may not follow the surface 13 of the cam 11 and in this case it may be necessary to hold the rollers 10, 10' in contact with the surface by including an outer journal or collar 16 to provide a surface which substantially parallel's the surface profile of the cam 11.

In use as the rollers 10, 10' follow the surface 13 of the cam 11 the pistons 5, 5' move in the bores 4, 4' of the cylinders 3, 3'. As the rollers 10, 10' move onto the lobes 12 the pistons 5, 5' are moved to top dead centre of the bores 4, 4'. Fuel and air for combustion is introduced before the pistons 5, 5' reach top dead centre and the compressed fuel/air mixture is ignited in known manner by ignition means not shown. Contrary to the way a standard engine operates and as the pistons 5, 5' cannot move backwards the combustion of the fuel results in the cylinders 3, 3' moving away from the pistons 5, 5' thereby causing the rotor 1 to move in the direction of arrow X resulting in rotation of the output shaft 2.

As pistons 5, 5' are pivotably disposed on rotor 1, via piston lever members 7, 7' they continuously rotates with the rotor 1. The speed and motion and their position, relative to cylinders 3, 3' can be controlled by the shaping of lobes 12 on cam 11 and thus the time taken for pistons 5, 5' to go from top dead centre (TDC) to bottom dead centre within the cylinders 5, 5' can be lengthened or shortened to manage the effective energy stroke experienced by rotor 1 .

While the illustrated embodiment utilises a cam 1 1 disposed concentric with rotor 1 it is possible that an embodiment of the engine can utilise two or more cams 1 1 disposed adjacent proximal ends 9, 9' of the lever members 7, 7' . The two or more piston controllers could be lin ked and timed by gears or a timing belt and comm unicate motion individually to their adjacent leve r members 7, 7' . This arrangement would be suitable for an engine with a large diameter rotor 1 and would enable shorte r lever members 7, 7' to be utilised . While such an embodiment is possible it is not preferred as it introduces additional gears and timing mechanisms and thus reduces the simplicity of the engine .

An advantage of the invention is that the cam 1 1 rotates at the same speed and in the direction of rotation as all the other moving components or faster when an increase in powe r output f rom the engine is requ ired .

Yet another advantage of the engine is that the engine can, in effect, "free wheel" with the rotor turn ing while no other parts of the engine are moving . The compression ratio of the engine can be i ncreased or decreased as required.

It will also be apparent to the skilled addressee that an engine according to the i nvention could ope rate as eithe r a two or four stroke eng ine . Figure 1 il lustrates a four stroke fluid cooled engine, although the design contemplates more or less strokes than are illustrated , and/or air cooling. The four piston strokes are suction , compression , combustion (or expansion) and exhaust strokes. It will be appreciated by the skilled addressee that in the embodiment shown in Figu re 1 rollers 1 0 and 1 0' ride up onto lobes 1 2 simultaneously forcing both pistons 5 and 5' to top dead centre at, or approximately at, the same time. A timing belt (shown by dashed line - 1 7) can control operation of the cylinder head valves (not shown). A typical arrangement could therefore be such that when piston 5 was on a compression stroke diametrically opposite piston 5' would be on an exhaust stroke . It would also be appreciated by the skilled addressee that using the engine configu ration it is possible to run as a four stroke engine with the piston cylinde r assemblies fi ring sequentially or synchronously.

It will also be apparent to the skilled addressee that any number of cylinders can be disposed around rim 1 5 of rotor 1 and that by appropriate timing of valves, ignition spark and positioning of lobes 1 2 on cam 1 1 a variety of firing sequences can be achieved. Timing for the ignition spark can be via a mechanical-type distributor directly driven from the axis of rotor 1 or via a gear on timing belt, or be of compression ignition design .

Alternatively, an electronic-type distributor can utilise a transducer adapted to detect the angular position of rotor 1 or cam 1 1 to create ignition.

Due to the design of the engine it is suitable for "waste to ene rgy" type fuels, and thus could have variable spark intensity derived from multiple sparkplugs mounted within each combustion chamber, and the synchronous delive ry of either the same or variable fuels via multiple fuel injectors mounted in each combustion chamber, all of which could be engaged or disengaged at will, according to demand.

This design contemplates the possibility of a synchronous and perhaps constantly varying supply of quality or mixture of compression and or spark ignited fuels, and via a "knock detection " system could evaluate fuel balance requirements and arrange subsequent engine settings as the fuel is being consumed. In practice the number of cylinders that can be disposed around a single rotor 1 is limited by physical size and complexity in overlapping lever members for engagement with the cam 11. In a more practical arrangement one or more rotors 1 carrying two cylinders each can be disposed along a common output shaft 2 to produce a 2, 4, 6 etc cylinder engine as desired. It should also be appreciated that the engine can have only one cylinder. In a single cylinder embodiment rotor 1 must be counterbalanced by a weight or weights opposite the cylinder, piston and lever member. In an alternative construction (not shown) the cam 11 can be rotatable axially relative to the rotor 1 to thereby adjust- the dwell timing of the pistons 5, 5' in their bores 4, 4' to thereby adjust power output from the engine if additional power is required. This is in effect a variable speed crankcase operated engine, which derives it's energy from the rotor via the cylinder heads and generally stationary piston lever cam.

In yet another alternative construction the stroke length of the engine can be adjusted by replacing the cylindrical rollers 10, 10' with spherical or curved surface rollers, and the cam surfaces 13 with ramps, tapered in side elevation, while the peaks which contact the rol le rs 9 are flat. Put another way the major d iamete r of the cam surface 1 3 remains constant while the ramps may be progressively tape red on the i nner or outer facing, peaking at the minor diameter between lobes. Axial movement of the cam 1 1 allows the point of contact of the roller 9, 9' relative to the cam su rface 1 3 to be different thus altering the stroke length by forcing the piston to travel f urther down its bore, but always bringing the pistons to TDC at the same place, and thereby power output is adjustable up or down as is requi red .

Another advantage of the invention is that the pistons 5, 5' are at top dead centre at or approximately at the same place.

Where in the description particular mechanical i ntege rs are described it will be appreciated that a ski lled addressee with recognize that thei r alternatives can be substituted therefore .

Particular examples of the invention have been described and it is envisaged that improvements and modifications can take place without departing f rom the scope of the attached claims.