Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A FLUID DISTRIBUTION ELEMENT FOR A PISTON ENGINE AND A PISTON ENGINE EQUIPPED WITH SUCH A FLUID DISTRIBUTION ELEMENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/115857
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A fluid distribution element (1) for a piston engine, comprising a longitudinal connector bar (2), a cover plate (3) extending along the connector bar, a corrugated element (4) positioned between the connector bar and the cover plate, defining at least two longitudinally extending grooves (4a – 4g). The at least two grooves (4a – 4g) define at 5 least two separate fluid channels (6a – 6g), respectively, extending along the length of the connector bar (2). The fluid distribution element (1) comprises an inlet (7a – 7g) for each fluid channel (6a – 6g), so as to enable fluid communication with a respective fluid line and the fluid channel, said inlet being provided on the connector bar (2) or the end plate (5). The connector bar (2) comprises, for at least one cylinder in an associated bank of a 10 respective piston engine, an outlet (8b – 8f).

Inventors:
HÄGGBLOM, Daniel (Järvikatu 2-4, Vaasa, 65101, FI)
Application Number:
FI2017/050893
Publication Date:
June 20, 2019
Filing Date:
December 14, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
WÄRTSILÄ FINLAND OY (Tarhaajantie 2, Vaasa, 65380, FI)
International Classes:
F02M55/00; F01M11/02; F02M21/02; F02M35/10; F02M37/00; F02M37/10; F02N9/00; F16L9/00; F16L9/19
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012076265A12012-06-14
Foreign References:
US4349001A1982-09-14
EP1512867A12005-03-09
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BOCO IP OY AB (Itämerenkatu 5, Helsinki, 00180, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A fluid distribution element (1 ) for a piston engine, characterized by comprising

- a longitudinal connector bar (2);

- a cover plate (3) extending along the connector bar;

- a corrugated element (4) positioned between the connector bar and the cover plate, defining at least two longitudinally extending grooves (4a - 4g) delimited by either the connector bar (2) or the cover plate (3), and

- an end plate (5) on each longitudinal end of the corrugated element (4), arranged to delimit the longitudinal end of each groove (4a - 4g),

wherein the at least two grooves (4a - 4g) define at least two separate fluid channels (6a - 6g), respectively, extending along the length of the connector bar (2), wherein the fluid distribution element (1 ) comprises, at a longitudinal end portion thereof, an inlet (7a - 7g) for each fluid channel (6a - 6g), so as to enable fluid communication with a respective fluid line and the fluid channel, said inlet being provided on the connector bar (2) or the end plate (5), and

wherein the connector bar (2) comprises, for at least one cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine, an outlet (8b - 8f) provided as an opening between the side of the connector bar (2) facing the corrugated element (4) and another side of the connector bar (2), thus enabling fluid communication between a fluid channel and a respective cylinder head.

2. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to Claim 1 , characterized by

the corrugated element (4) being adjoined to the connector bar (2) by laser welding at least along each crest of the corrugated element (4) facing the connector bar (2), and respectively

the cover plate (3) being adjoined to the corrugated element (4) by laser-welding at least along each crest of the corrugated element (4) facing the cover plate (3).

3. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to Claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the outlets (8b - 8f) are provided as openings extending from a side of the connector bar (2) facing the corrugated element (4) to an adjacent side of the connector bar (2).

4. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -3, characterized in that the corrugated element (4) defines at least one longitudinally extending groove (4a - 4g) on each side of the corrugated element (4), wherein the connector bar (2) delimits the grooves (4a, 4c, 4e, 4g) opening towards said connector bar (2), and respectively, the cover plate (3) delimits the grooves (4b, 4d, 4f) opening towards the cover plate (3), such that each groove (4a - 4g) defines a separate fluid channel (6a - 6g) extending along the length of the connector bar (2), and

wherein the corrugated element (4) comprises a hole (4b”, 4f”) for at least one, preferably each, outlet associated with a fluid channel defined by a groove opening towards the cover plate, said hole being positioned to match with a corresponding outlet, respectively.

5. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to Claim 4, characterized by a circumfusing portion of each hole (4b’, 4b”, 4d’, 4f, 4f”) of the corrugated plate corresponding to an inlet or outlet being adjoined to the connector bar by laser welding.

6. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -5, characterized by comprising at least one transfer channel (6a, 6g) defined by a longitudinally extending groove (4a, 4g) of the corrugated sheet,

said transfer channel having a single inlet (7a, 7g) and a single outlet at opposite longitudinal end portions of the fluid distribution element (1 ).

7. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -6, characterized by the fluid distribution element extending along at least a distance corresponding to a distance between a first cylinder and a last cylinder in an associated bank of the respective piston engine.

8. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -7, characterized by the connector bar (2) being formed of segments provided longitudinally one after another.

9. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -8, characterized by the corrugated element (4) being formed of a corrugated sheet or a plurality of longitudinal profile pieces, each longitudinal profile piece having at least one through and at least one crest.

10. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -9, characterized by the corrugated element (4) being formed of segments joined longitudinally one after another.

1 1. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -10, characterized in that the fluid channels (6a - 6g) comprise at least two of the following:

- a starting air channel;

- a fuel return channel for liquid fuel;

- a fuel leakage channel for liquid fuel;

- a gas channel for gaseous fuel;

- a lube channel for lubrication oil;

- a control channel for control air;

- a water channel for introducing water into combustion chambers;

- a control oil channel.

12. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to Claim 1 1 , characterized in that the fluid channels (6a - 6g) comprise at least a staring air channel, wherein a cross-sectional flow area of said starting air channel is larger than that of any of the other channels.

13. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to Claim 12, characterized in that said starting air channel is formed by two or more separate fluid channels.

14. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -13, characterized in that the connector bar (2), corrugated element (4), and cover plate (3) are made of steel or stainless steel.

15. The fluid distribution element (1 ) according to Claim 14, characterized in that at least the corrugated element (4) and the cover plate (3) are made of stainless steel.

16. A piston engine, comprising a plurality of cylinders, each cylinder being provided with an own cylinder head, characterized by the piston engine being equipped with a fluid distribution element (1 ) according to any of the preceding Claims 1 -15,

wherein each cylinder head of the engine is in fluid communication with at least one fluid channel (6b - 6f) via a respective outlet (8b - 8f) corresponding with said cylinder head.

Description:
A FLUID DISTRIBUTION ELEMENT FOR A PISTON ENGINE AND A PISTON

ENGINE EQUIPPED WITH SUCH A FLUID DISTRIBUTION ELEMENT

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to piston engines and more particularly to fluid distribution elements for piston engines. The present disclosure further concerns pistons engines equipped with such fluid distribution elements.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Piston engines often require multiple different types of fluids to be provided to the vicinity of each cylinder. In certain applications, such as marine engines and/or powerplant engines, the physical size of the engines result in that a complex arrangement of piping or tubing is required for conducting these fluids to the cylinders along a cylinder bank.

This issue has previously been addressed by providing a fluid distribution element having multiple fluid ducts corresponding to the respective fluids to be provided. IN general, fluid distribution elements are provided on the engine assembly so as to extend along the side of engine. The fluid distribution element is further provided with fluid outlets conveniently located near the associated cylinders, thereby simplifying the required piping associated to the fluids concerned.

Fluid distribution elements have typically been manufactured by casting metal in order to achieve a structure capable of withstanding vibrations associated to piston engines, as well as ensuring secure coupling between the outlet and subsequent piping in such a highly vibrating environment. Typically, such fluid distribution elements have been composed of a plurality of cast segments attached one after another, because a single piece cast has generally been considered unfeasible due to the requirement of multiple different variants of such fluid distribution elements corresponding to different types of engines - each having their own distinctive related dimensions, which in turn, would require a separate casting mould for each variant.

For this reason, known fluid distribution elements have been manufactured by casting separate segments, subsequently attached one after another in the longitudinal direction of the engine (i.e. crankshaft direction) in order to form the whole fluid distribution element. Typically, the number of segments used corresponds to the number of cylinders in a respective cylinder bank of the associated engine. Moreover, the segments are provided with outlets communicating with the fluid ducts.

Even in this case, a separate variant is required for each engine type having a different distance between adjacent cylinders, thus requiring a separate mould for each segment variant. In addition to resulting in relatively heavy segments resulting from the monolithic structure achieve by casting, as opposed to mere piping, this approach requires the mating surfaces of the cast segments to be further machined in order to achieve tight seals between adjacent segments. Nevertheless, seals between the mating surfaces adjacent segments require particular care in order to confirm working condition due to the vibrations associated with piston engines.

Another known way of producing fluid distribution elements has been to extrude a single profile piece, incorporating required fluid ducts in the extruded profile as closed profile sections. While this approach enables the fluid distribution profile to be manufactured continuously, and subsequently cut to a desired length, it does not allow the number and size of the fluid ducts to be modified to correspond to the associated engine type without changing the extrusion die and mandrel. Such extrusion dies and mandrels are very costly, and hence, maintaining a specific extrusion die-mandrel - set for each type and variation of fluid distribution element is not generally desirable. In addition, replacing the die-mandrel -set is very time consuming hinders the flexibility of manufacturing of fluid distribution elements for engines of each type and variant.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

An object of the present disclosure is to provide a fluid distribution element having a simple construction, enabling it to be easily manufactured as configured for different types of piston engines having various dimensions, i.e. made-to-measure, while ensuring fluid tightness of the ducts even in high vibration conditions. Furthermore, it is additionally an object of the present disclosure to simultaneously provide a fluid distribution element having a relatively light-weight structure as opposed to conventional casted structures.

It is a further object of the present disclosure to provide a piston engine equipped with such a fluid distribution element.

The objects of the disclosure are achieved by a fluid distribution element and a piston engine characterized by what is stated in the independent claims. The preferred embodiments of the disclosure are disclosed in the dependent claims.

The disclosure is based on the idea of providing a connector bar onto which fluid inlet and outlets are arranged, while fluid channels are provided in the grooves of a corrugated element sandwiched between the connector bar and a cover plate. An advantage of the disclosure is that the connector bar may be provided a sufficiently monolithic structure to ensure reliable fluid coupling in a high-vibration environment, while providing the fluid channels within the grooves of the corrugated element provides a light weight structure. Moreover, the components of the fluid distribution element according to the present disclosure may easily be configured for different lengths and dimensions, thus contributing for greater versatility with respect to configuring the fluid distribution element for different types of engines having various respective dimensions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following, the disclosure will be described in greater detail by means of preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which

Fig. 1 schematically represents a portion of a fluid distribution element 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, illustrated as an exploded axonometric perspective view;

Fig. 2 schematically represents a portion of a fluid distribution element 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, illustrated as an axonometric perspective view as seen from a back side of the fluid distribution element, and

Fig. 3 schematically represents a portion of a fluid distribution element according to an embodiment of the present_disclosure illustrated as a cut view.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DISCLOSURE

According to a first aspect of the present disclosure, a fluid distribution element 1 for a piston engine is provided. Suitably, such a piston engine is a reciprocating internal combustion engine.

The fluid distribution element 1 comprises a longitudinal connector bar 2 and a cover plate 3 extending along the connector bar. A corrugated element 4 is positioned between the connector bar and the cover plate, defining at least two longitudinally extending grooves 4a - 4g delimited by either the connector bar 2 or the cover plate 3. Particularly the at least two grooves 4a - 4g define at least two a separate fluid channels 6a - 6g, respectively, extending along the length of the connector bar 2.

It should be noted, that the corrugated element 4 does not need to be formed by corrugating, but should comprise at least one through (i.e. groove), and at least one crest (i.e. corrugation).

Moreover, an end plate 5 is provided on each longitudinal end of the corrugated element 4, arranged to delimit the longitudinal end of each groove 4a - 4g. That is, in this context the term delimit is used, in connection with the connector bar 2, the cover plate 3 and the end plate 5, to describe an hermetically enclosed boundary on their respective seams along the corrugated element 4.

The fluid distribution element 1 comprises, at a longitudinal end portion thereof, an inlet 7a - 7g for each fluid channel 6a - 6g, so as to enable fluid communication with a respective fluid line and the fluid channel, said inlet being provided on the connector bar 2 or the end plate 5. For example, such fluid line may be a feed line or a discharge line for fluid associated with the respective piston engine. If an inlet 7a-7g is on the connector bar, such an inlet is suitably provided as an opening extending between the side of the connector bar 2 facing the corrugated element 4 and another side of the connector bar 2.

In the context of the present disclosure, an end portion the fluid distribution element 1 , or any of the longitudinal components thereof, is considered to encompass a longitudinal portion extending, for example, 1 /8 of the whole length of the fluid distribution element 1 from the respective end.

The connector bar 2 comprises an outlet 8b - 8f for at least one cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine. Such an outlet 8b - 8f is provided as an opening between the side of the connector bar 2 facing the corrugated element 4 and another side of the connector bar 2, thus enabling fluid communication between a fluid channel and a respective cylinder head. The opening of the outlets 8b-8f on side of the connector bar 2 facing the corrugated element 4 are naturally arranged at a position corresponding to the respective fluid channel 6b-6f. Preferably, but not necessarily, the connector bar 2 comprises an outlet 8b - 8f for each cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine. More preferably, each of the fluid channels 6b-6f comprises a respective outlet 8b- 8f for each cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine. Suitably, the outlets 8b-8f are arranged in groups corresponding to each cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine. That is, a first group of outlets 8b-8f are positioned to correspond with a first cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine, a second group of outlets 8b-8f are positioned to correspond with a second cylinder in an associated bank of a respective piston engine, and so forth.

In an embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the corrugated element 4 is adjoined to the connector bar 2 by laser-welding at least along each crest of the corrugated element 4 facing the connector bar 2. Respectively, the cover plate 3 is adjoined to the corrugated element 4 by laser-welding at least along each crest of the corrugated element 4 facing the cover plate 3. Particularly, this enables the corrugated element 4 to be adjoined to the connector bar 2 form a reverse side (with respect to the weld seam) of the corrugated element 4. That is, the corrugated element 4 is placed on the connector bar, and then welded through the corrugated element 4. Similarly, this enables the corrugated element 4 to be adjoined to the cover plate 3 form a reverse side (with respect to the weld seam) of the cover plate 3. That is, the cover plate 3 is placed on the corrugated element 4. and then welded through the cover plate 3. Other non-additive welding methods may alternatively be used.

In another embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the outlets 8b - 8f are provided as openings extending from a side of the connector bar 2 facing the corrugated element 4 to an adjacent side of the connector bar 2. Preferably, but not necessarily, said adjacent side of the connector bar 2 is a side facing towards cylinder heads in an associated bank of a respective piston engine, suitably upwards, when in use.

In a further embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the corrugated element 4 defines at least one longitudinally extending groove 4a - 4g on each side of the corrugated element 4. In such a case, the connector bar 2 delimits the grooves 4a, 4c, 4e, 4g opening towards said connector bar 2, and respectively, the cover plate 3 delimits the grooves 4b, 4d, 4f opening towards the cover plate 3, such that each groove 4a - 4g defines a separate fluid channel 6a - 6g extending along the length of the connector bar 2.

Moreover, the corrugated element 4 comprises a hole 4b”, 4f” for at least one, preferably each, outlet 8b, 8d, 8f associated with a fluid channel 6b, 6d, 6f defined by a groove 4b, 4d, 4f opening towards the cover plate, said hole being positioned to match with a corresponding outlet, respectively.

Preferably, but not necessarily, the corrugated element 4 comprises a hole 4b’ for at least one, preferably each, inlet 7b, 7d, 7f associated with a fluid channel 6b, 6d, 6f defined by a groove 4b, 4d, 4f opening towards the cover plate 3, said hole being positioned to match with a corresponding inlet, respectively. Such an arrangement is particularly preferred, if the concerned inlets are arranged on the connector bar 2 instead of the end plate 5.

Preferably, but not necessarily, a circumfusing portion of each hole of the corrugated plate corresponding to an inlet or outlet is adjoined to the connector bar by laser-welding. Other non-additive welding methods may alternatively be used for adjoining the circumfusing portions of the holes.

In another embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the fluid distribution element 1 comprises at least one transfer channel 6a, 6g defined by a longitudinally extending groove 4a, 4g of the corrugated sheet 4. The transfer channel 6a, 6g has a single inlet 7a, 7g and a single outlet at opposite longitudinal end portions of the fluid distribution element 1 . Such transfer channels are considered particularly advantageous for conducting lubrication oil, control air, or both, for example.

For example, the inlets and outlets associated to a transfer channel may be provided as opening extending between the side of the connector bar 2 facing the corrugated element 4 and another side of the connector bar 3, or as opening extending through the end plate 5. If multiple transfer channels are provided, it is also possible that the inlets and outlets are provided on the connector bar 2 for one transfer channel, and on the end plate 5 for another transfer channel.

In still another embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the fluid distribution element 1 extends along at least a distance corresponding to a distance between a first cylinder and a last cylinder in an associated bank of the respective piston engine. This enables each outlet 8b-8f associated to a cylinder to be arranged in a matching longitudinal position with respect to a cylinder head of said cylinder

In yet another embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the connector bar 2 may be formed of segments provided longitudinally one after another. Particularly, such segments may be joined one after another uninterruptedly, or alternatively, provided intermittently one after another. In the latter case, one or more additional cover plates may be provided to delimit the grooves opening towards the side of the connector bar 2 at one or more intermittent portions of the fluid distribution element (i.e. where a connector bar 2 is not present), respectively. Moreover, if the connector bar 2 is formed of segments provided longitudinally one after another intermittently, the segments of the connector bar 2 are suitably provided at longitudinal positions corresponding to those of the cylinders of an associated bank of a respective piston engine.

In a further embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the corrugated element 4 may be formed of a corrugated sheet or a plurality of longitudinal profile pieces. In case longitudinal profile pieces are used, each longitudinal profile piece has at least one through (i.e. groove) and at least one crest (i.e. corrugation. Examples of such longitudinal profile pieces include, among others, a L-profile pieces and U profile pieces. In still a further embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the corrugated element 4 may be formed of segments joined longitudinally one after another, preferably uninterruptedly.

In another embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, the fluid channels 6a-6g comprise at least two of the following:

- a starting air channel;

- a fuel return channel for liquid fuel;

- a fuel leakage channel for liquid fuel;

- a gas channel for gaseous fuel;

- a lube channel for lubrication oil;

- a control channel for control air;

- a water channel for introducing water into combustion chambers;

- a control oil channel

A control oil channel may be provided, for example, as a VIC oil channel for hydraulic medium used for variable intake valve timing, a VEC oil channel for hydraulic medium used for variable exhaust valve timing, or both. Naturally, multiple control oil channels may be provided for different purposes, e.g. as described above

Preferably, but not necessarily, the fluid channels 6a-6g comprise at least a staring air channel, wherein a cross-sectional flow area of said starting air channel is larger than that of any of the other channels. Suitably, such starting air channel may be formed by two or more separate fluid channels.

In still a further embodiment of the first aspect according to the present disclosure, in that the connector bar 2, corrugated element 4, and cover plate 3 are made of steel or stainless steel.

Preferably, but not necessarily, at least the corrugated element 4 and the cover plate 3 are made of stainless steel.

It should be noted, that the first aspect of the present disclosure encompasses the combinations of the embodiments discussed above and variations thereof.

In an embodiment of the second aspect according to the present disclosure, a piston engine is provided. Preferably, said piston engine is a reciprocating internal combustion engine. The piston engine comprises a plurality of cylinders, each cylinder being provided with an own cylinder head. Particularly, the piston engine is equipped with a fluid distribution element 1 according to any of the embodiment, or variations thereof, as discussed above in connection with the first aspect of the present disclosure.

Each cylinder head of the engine is in fluid communication with at least one fluid channel 6b-6f of the fluid distribution element 1 via a respective outlet 8b-8f corresponding with said cylinder head.

In the following, an embodiment of a fluid distribution element 1 according to the first aspect of the present disclosure illustrated in the appended drawings are discussed in greater detail. However, it should be noted that the enclosed drawings are provided for the purpose of illustrating a non-limiting exemplary embodiment for the purpose of further elaborating the present disclosure.

Fig. 1 schematically represents a portion of a fluid distribution element 1 according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, illustrated as an exploded axonometric perspective view. It should be noted however, that although an end portion and an intermediate portion of the fluid distribution element 1 are illustrated, an opposite end potion is not illustrated.

Particularly, in Fig. 1 a longitudinal connector bar 2, a corrugated element 4, a cover plate 3 and an end plate 5 of a fluid distribution element 1 are shown as detached from each other for illustrative purposes.

The longitudinal connector bar 2 comprises, at an end portion thereof, inlets 7a-7g for the fluid channels 6a-6g (see Fig. 3), of which inlets 7a, 7g are associated to transfer channels 6a, 6g.

Inlets 7a, 7c, 7e, 7g are provided as openings extending from the side of the connector bar 2 facing towards the corrugated element 4 to an opposite side (i.e. backside) of the connector bar 2, which has been more clearly illustrated in Fig. 2. Inlets 7b, 7d, 7f, in turn, are provided as openings extending from the side of the connector bar 2 facing towards the corrugated element 4 to an adjacent side of the connector bar 2, namely a longitudinal end surface thereof.

The longitudinal connector bar 2 comprises, positioned along the length thereof, outlets 8b-8f for the fluid channels 6b-6f at longitudinal positions corresponding to the positions of corresponding cylinders in an associated cylinder bank of a respective piston engine. The outlets 8b - 8f are provided as openings extending from the side of the connector bar 2 facing towards the corrugated element 4 to an adjacent side opposite side (suitably, an upper side) of the connector bar 2, illustrated more clearly in Fig. 3 with reference to outlet Outlets associated to the transfer channels 6a, 6g are not illustrated in Fig. 1 , as they are positioned at an opposing end portion of the fluid distribution element 1 .

The corrugated element 4 is provided with holes 4b’, 4d’, 4f on the longitudinal grooves 4b, 4d, 4f facing the cover plate 3, arranged at longitudinal positions corresponding to the openings of the inlets 7b, 7d, 7f for enabling fluid communication to the fluid channels 6b, 6d, 6f through the corrugated element 4.

Similarly, the corrugated element 4 is provided with holes 4b” on the longitudinal grooves 4b, 4d, 4f facing the cover plate 3 (although the holes associated to grooves 4d, 4f are not illustrated in Fig. 1 ). Such holes are arranged at longitudinal positions corresponding to the openings of the outlets 8b, 8d, 8f for enabling fluid communication to the fluid channels 6b, 6d, 6f.

An end plate 5 for delimiting the fluid channels 6a-6f at the longitudinal end is also shown.

Fig. 2 schematically represents a portion of the fluid distribution element 1 of Fig. 1 illustrated as a non-exploded axonometric perspective view as seen from the back side (i.e. towards a side of the connector bar 2 opposite to the corrugated element 4) of the fluid distribution element 1 . It should be noted however, that although an end portion and an intermediate portion of the fluid distribution element 1 are illustrated, an opposite end potion is not illustrated.

Particularly, the inlets 7a, 7c, 7e, 7g can be more clearly seen from Fig. 2

Fig. 3 schematically represents a portion of a fluid distribution element according to an embodiment of the present disclosure illustrated as a cut view. Namely, Fig. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional cut view of the fluid distribution element of Fig. 1 , as seen towards a longitudinal end of the fluid distribution element 1 from a longitudinal position of an outlet 8f.

Particularly, Fig. 3 illustrates more clearly how the longitudinal grooves 4a, 4c, 4e, 4g opening towards the connector bar 2 form fluid channels 6a, 6c, 6e, 6g as delimited by the connector bar 2. Respectively, the longitudinal grooves 4b, 4d, 4f opening towards the cover plate 3 form fluid channels 6b, 6d, 6f delimited by the cover plate 3.

By way of an example, Fig, 3 shows the outlet 8f arranged as an opening extending within the connector bar 2 from a side facing the corrugated element 4 at a position corresponding to the fluid channel 8f to an adjacent side of the connector bar 2 (namely, the upper side of the connector bar 2). A hole 4f” Is provided on the groove 4f at a position corresponding to the opening of the outlet 8f, thus enabling fluid communication to the outlet 8f through the corrugated element 4. Similarly, outlets 8b-8e are arranged in a respective manner, although longitudinally spaced apart, not illustrated in Fig. 3 That is, for example, the outlet 8e is arranged as an opening extending within the connector bar 2 from a side facing the corrugated element 4 at a position corresponding to the fluid channel 8e to an adjacent side of the connector bar 2 (namely, the upper side of the connector bar 2). Moreover, for the other outlets 8b, 8d associated to fluid channels 6b, 6d defined by grooves 4b, 4d opening towards the cover plate 3, holes (not illustrated) may be provided on the respective groove 4b, 4d at a position corresponding to the opening of the respective outlet 8b, 8d, thus enabling fluid communication thereto.

It should be noted, that although the present disclosure has been discussed above with reference to an embodiment having seven fluid channels 6a-6g, two of which being transfer channels 6a, 6g, the present disclosure may naturally be implemented with any other number of fluid channels, as defined by the appended Claims.