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Title:
MULTI-FUNCTIONAL ELECTROMECHANICAL DEVICE FOR A MILD HYBRID SYSTEM INCLUDING AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/209790
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A multi-functional electromechanical device is provided. The device includes a first assembly that includes: 1) at least one motor/generator set configured to act as both: i) a motor to provide rotational assistance to an engine to which it is connected by converting electrical energy from an accumulator set to rotational energy, and ii) a generator configured to act to generate electrical energy to run parasitic devices of the engine to which it is connected, to store in an accumulator set, or to act in both of these capacities, using rotational energy provided by the engine or the transmission; and 2) a second assembly that includes: at least one energy distributor configured to: i) use rotational energy provided by at least one motor/generator set to assist an engine to which it is connected or a transmission to which it is connected to rotate, or ii) use rotational energy of an engine or a transmission to which it is connected to provide rotational energy to at least one motor/generator set to convert the rotational energy into electrical energy for use by parasitic devices or for storage in an accumulator set.

Inventors:
ALONSO, Jose, Luis (Avda. De Las Instrucciones 5180, Montevideo, 12400, UY)
Application Number:
US2016/066577
Publication Date:
December 07, 2017
Filing Date:
December 14, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TWO HEADS, LLC (1090 Vermont Avenue, N.W.Suite 109, Washington DC, 20005, US)
International Classes:
B60K6/26; B60K1/02; B60K6/00; B60K6/20; B60K6/42; B60K6/46
Foreign References:
US20070007059A12007-01-11
US20130013137A12013-01-10
US20070093339A12007-04-26
US20090194347A12009-08-06
US20140045648A12014-02-13
US20140228167A12014-08-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LATIMER, Matthew, T. (Latimer IP Law, LLCP.O. Box 71120, Herndon VA, 20171, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A multi-functional electromechanical device including:

a first assembly including:

at least one motor/generator set configured to act as both: i) a motor to provide rotational assistance to an engine to which it is connected by converting electrical energy from an accumulator set to rotational energy, and ii) a generator configured to act to generate electrical energy to run parasitic devices of the engine to which it is connected, to store in an accumulator set, or to act in both of these capacities, using rotational energy provided by the engine or the transmission; and

a second assembly including:

at least one energy distributor configured to: i) use rotational energy provided by at least one motor/generator set to move and/or assist an engine to which it is connected or a transmission to which it is connected to rotate, or ii) use rotational energy of an engine or a transmission to which it is connected to provide rotational energy to at least one motor/generator set to convert the rotational energy into electrical energy for use by parasitic devices or for storage in an accumulator set;

wherein the first assembly and the second assembly are physically connected.

2. The device of claim 1, comprising two or more motor/generator sets.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein each of the motor/generator sets is independently and coordinately controlled by one or more Electronic Control Units (ECU) connected to the motor/generator sets.

4. The device of claim 2, comprising three motor/generator sets.

5. The device of claim 1, wherein the second assembly is connected to both an internal combustion engine and a transmission, and wherein the second assembly comprises means for decoupling power train movement of the internal combustion engine and the transmission.

6. An internal combustion engine comprising the device of claim 1.

7. A vehicle comprising the engine of claim 6.

8. A method of moving a vehicle comprising at least one wheel that causes movement of the vehicle when in contact with a surface and wherein the vehicle includes an internal combustion engine and a transmission, the method comprising:

applying rotational energy provided by an energy distributor to the transmission, causing rotational movement of the transmission and resulting in movement of the at least one wheel of the vehicle, causing movement of the vehicle.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the internal combustion engine is not running.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein movement of the vehicle is at least about 100 meters.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the movement of the vehicle is at least about one kilometer.

12. The method of claim 8, wherein rotational movement of the transmission does not cause rotational movement of the internal combustion engine.

13. The method of claim 8, wherein the rotational energy of the energy distributor is provided through at least one motor/generator set by way of at least one accumulator set.

Description:
MULTI-FUNCTIONAL ELECTROMECHANICAL DEVICE FOR A MILD HYBRID SYSTEM INCLUDING AN INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

[001] The present invention relates to the field of electromechanical equipment for use in the field of internal combustion engines. More specifically, it relates to an electromechanical device that can assist an internal combustion engine by providing extra mechanical and/or electrical power, and on certain occasions, moving a vehicle a relatively short distance (as compared to fully electric vehicles running on an electric motor) without help from the internal combustion engine. The electromechanical device can produce electricity constantly while the internal combustion engine is operating, and can produce electricity either for storage or for use to produce mechanical power to assist the internal combustion engine produce mechanical power or to power the transmission. The electromechanical device is capable of managing, combining, and distributing three different sources of movement: an internal combustion engine, at least one motor/generator set physically coupled to an energy distributor, and a transmission physically coupled to the internal combustion engine, either directly or by way of the electromechanical device.

Description of Related Art

[002] Mild Hybrid Systems (MHS) are known in the art. For example, various systems with rotor motor-generator arrangements are known in the art, but none of those systems manages to optimize operation of the internal combustion engine, the motor/generator rotor, and the transmission.

[003] For example, the MHS announced by VALEO comprises a motor/generator that uses a single rotor, installed in between the internal combustion engine and the transmission. The single rotor rotates at the same speed as the internal combustion engine.

[004] In addition, an MHS announced by DELPHI comprises a motor/generator that uses a single rotor, which is installed next to the internal combustion engine's front power take off (PTO), and which is coupled to it by a belt. [005] The company AVL has disclosed two alternative MHS arrangements. One comprises a motor/generator that uses a single rotor, installed next to the internal combustion engine's front power take-off and connected via a belt-drive or directly to the crankshaft. The other disclosed arrangement comprises an internal combustion engine and an electric motor that are not connected mechanically.

[006] The current state of the art focuses on, and considers optimal, the use of a single rotor motor/generator, which is designed to have the optimal size to perform specific tasks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[007] The present invention provides a multi-functional electromechanical device designed to physically and electrically connect, either directly or indirectly, to an internal combustion engine (also referred to herein at times simply as an "engine") and its associated transmission. The multi-functional electromechanical device includes at least two assemblies, which work simultaneously and, in embodiments, independently, to provide three functions. The first assembly, which is referred to herein as a motor/generator set, is a set of at least one electric motor/generators that, under some circumstances (motor mode), use electrical power stored in an accumulator set (e.g., a battery or a set of batteries) to start the internal combustion engine, provide mechanical assistance to the engine, and/or run some or all of its parasitic devices.

Under other circumstances, the motor/generator set uses some of the rotational energy of a running internal combustion engine or the rotational energy of its associated transmission to generate electricity (generator mode), which is used to run some or all parasitic devices of the engine and, preferably at times, the vehicle in which it is employed in general, as well as some or all parasitic devices of the engine and the vehicle together. Alternatively or additionally, when in generator mode, some or all of the electricity that is generated by the motor/generator set can be stored in an accumulator set for later use, when needed. The second assembly of the multifunctional electromechanical device, which is referred to herein as an energy distributor, can provide a separate and distinct function from the motor/generator set. Under certain

circumstances, it can enable use of electricity stored in an accumulator set to assist the internal combustion engine in providing power for movement of the vehicle to which it and the internal combustion engine and/or transmission are attached. The energy distributor assembly can transfer electromechanical power received from the motor/generator set directly to the internal combustion engine or directly to the transmission or both. The energy distributor assembly has the ability to decouple the power train movement of the internal combustion engine and the transmission using a clutch, torque converter, or equivalent device. In this way, the energy distributor assembly can direct mechanical power directly to the transmission without the need to engage the internal combustion engine. One general function of the energy distributor assembly is to control whether rotational energy delivered by the motor/generator set (i.e.,

electromechanical power) is delivered to the internal combustion engine to supplement its power output or to deliver the energy directly to the transmission. Another general function of the energy distributor assembly is to control delivery of rotational energy of the engine and/or transmission to the motor/generator set to provide electrical energy to parasitic devices and/or accumulator sets. Typically, the electrical energy is routed to the parasitic devices through an accumulator set.

[008] The multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention can be physically and electrically connected to an internal combustion engine, and, preferably, also to a transmission. In such embodiments, the invention provides an MHS that comprises an internal combustion engine, the multi-functional electromechanical device, and a transmission.

[009] The present invention provides an electromechanical system that, in embodiments, uses at least one Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to control the direction of rotation of one or more rotors (armatures) in a motor/generator set. When two or more motor/generators are present, the ECU can split specific tasks between them. The multi-functional electromechanical device also includes a mechanical system, referred to herein as an energy distributor, which together with the motor/generator set and the ECU are capable of managing, combining, and distributing, in the most efficient way (as commanded by the (ECU)), the capabilities of the two assemblies using computer coding that is well known in the art and widely used. It is to be noted that current MHS do not include an energy distributor. As such, in embodiments, the present invention provides an advantage over MHS currently known in the art and provides an advancement in the art that can be applied in the future for all types of engines. [010] In general, there are three different sources of movement that are primarily relevant to the multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention: (i) the rotational output of an internal combustion engine; (ii) the rotational direction of the rotors of the motor/generator set, and (iii) the rotational movement of a transmission. The multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention efficiently couples and integrates these three sources of movement to allow for improved fuel efficiency and improved power production, as compared to MHS currently known in the art.

[011] The present invention improves the managing of available resources and improves the managing of each component, as compared to electromechanical devices for use in MHS known in the art. It is well known that in recent years electronics have made an exponential leap in sophistication, and further that in the field of the invention these advancements have allowed the production of a great number of sensors capable of measuring an enormous number of different events taking place in a vehicle, or even just a drivetrain, at any one moment. However, these advancements in sophistication are not always well implemented by the mechanical arrangements of the drivetrain or the vehicle in which it is placed.

[012] In embodiments, by splitting the motor/generator set into two or more

motors/generators and their intrinsic rotors of the same type but of smaller size than currently used in the art, the multi-functional electromechanical device is able to perform as a motor and generator at the same time. That is, under the control of the ECU, each rotor of the

motor/generator set can have a rotational direction function, albeit at different times, such that the motor/generator to which it belongs can act as either a motor or a generator. In such a way, the ECU can, for example, dedicate one motor/generator to run constantly as a motor providing mechanical or electromechanical power to parasitic elements of the vehicle or the accumulator set, e.g., by way of a pulley/belt system, while the other motor/generators may perform as generators or motors, depending on the need detected by the ECU when sensing the

circumstances under which the vehicle is operating. For example, in a configuration of the multifunctional electromechanical device in which there are three motor/generator sets in the motor/generator assembly, the ECU can, when the engine is under load, dedicate one

motor/generator to act as a motor to supply power to the engine while turning off the other two. If an additional load on the engine is detected, the ECU can dedicate a second motor/generator to act as a motor to supply power to the engine while leaving the third motor off. Under extreme loads, the ECU can dedicate all three motor/generators to act as motors to supply power to the engine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[013] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention, and together with the written description, serve to explain certain principles of the invention. The drawings are not to be considered as limiting the scope of the invention in any way.

[014] Fig. 1 is a cut-away view of a motor/generator assembly comprising one

motor/generator set of a multi-functional electromechanical device according to an embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the motor/generator assembly comprises a rotor (element 2) of one motor/generator for supplying power to the engine and/or its parasitic devices, and two other rotors (elements 3 and 4) of two other motor/generators, which can supply power to the engine (i.e., act as motors) or can generate electrical energy for storage or use to run parasitic devices (i.e., act as generators). It is to be noted that pulley 5 is an optional element, and is depicted in the figure solely to better describe this embodiment of the invention.

[015] Fig. 2 is a cut-away view of the motor/generator assembly depicted in Fig. 1, in which two rotors (elements 3 and 4) are physically linked such that they work as a single unit instead of independently, as is the situation in Fig. 1.

[016] Fig. 3 is a schematic depiction of an energy distributor of a multi-functional electromechanical device according to an embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the energy distributor comprises a planetary gear system for power distribution from an internal combustion engine to a transmission and/or to one or more motor/generator sets, from the motor/generator sets to the transmission, and from the transmission to the motor/generator sets.

[017] Fig. 4 schematically depicts an alternative solution to the embodiment depicted in Fig. 1, in which there is a different coupling of the shafts. [018] Fig. 5 is a schematic depiction of a planetary gear system of an energy distributor according to embodiments of the invention in the situation where the multi-functional electromechanical device is providing power assistance to an internal combustion engine.

[019] Fig. 6 is a schematic depiction of a planetary gear system of an energy distributor according to embodiments of the invention in the situation where the multi-functional electromechanical device is using power from an internal combustion engine to keep the vehicle running and to generate electricity for storage in an accumulator set, for example in a battery or set of batteries.

[020] Fig. 7 is a schematic depiction of a planetary gear system of an energy distributor according to embodiments of the invention in a hypothetical situation where the planetary carrier (element 24)is not moving because 100% of the engine's energy is applied to move the transmission.

[021] Fig. 8 is a schematic depiction of a planetary gear system of an energy distributor according to embodiments of the invention in the situation where an internal combustion engine linked to the multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention is idling, and where the rotational energy of the internal combustion engine is being used substantially to produce electricity to run parasitic devices and to store electricity in an accumulator set, for example in a battery or set of batteries.

[022] Fig. 9 is a schematic depiction of a planetary gear system of an energy distributor according to embodiments of the invention in the situation where an internal combustion engine linked to the multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention is reducing its speed and the engine is disengaged from the planetary gear system, and where the energy from the transmission is used to drive the motor/generator set to generate electricity.

[023] Fig. 10 is a cut-away view of an exemplary combination of an embodiment of the electromechanical device of the invention coupled to an internal combustion engine (not shown). DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS

EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[024] Reference will now be made in detail to various exemplary embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings. The following description of preferred or exemplary embodiments is not meant as a limitation of the invention, but rather is provided to assist the reader in understanding certain aspect or elements of embodiments of the invention.

[025] Before embodiments of the present invention are described in detail, it is to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting. Unless defined otherwise, all technical terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the term belongs. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the present invention, exemplary and/or preferred methods and materials are now described. All publications, including patent publications, trade publications, and Internet publications mentioned herein are incorporated herein by reference to disclose and describe the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited. The present disclosure is controlling to the extent it conflicts with any incorporated publication.

[026] As used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" include plural referents unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to a motor/generator set includes a plurality of such sets (and similarly, reference to motor/generator sets includes a single motor/generator), and reference to "the energy distributor" includes reference to one or more energy distributors and equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art, and so forth. Furthermore, the use of terms that can be described using equivalent terms includes the use of those equivalent terms. For example, the term "rotor" includes the term "armature" and other equivalent terms used in the automotive and electrical industries. In addition, as the parts of the device can be made from any of the common and well- known materials used in building internal combustion engines and accessories to such engines, it is not necessary in this document to give a listing of materials and methods that can be used in forming each element and fastening certain elements to other elements or making electrical connections.

[027] The present invention relates to a multi-functional electromechanical device, which is suitable for use, among other things, in a Mild Hybrid System (MHS) for assistance to an internal combustion engine. Although the detailed description herein focuses on embodiments relating to implementation of the device in vehicles, it is to be understood that the invention is equally applicable to use in stationary environments (e.g., for use in running industrial equipment, such as lathes, drills, conveyor belts, welders, etc.). The device is a multi-assembly device capable of starting an internal combustion engine and delivering both electrical and mechanical power for operation of the engine and/or some or all parasitic equipment required by the engine or a vehicle in which it is placed, such as, for example: water pump, power steering pump, air conditioning compressor, vacuum pump, passenger compartment fans, and the elements that enable the engine to work, such as, for example: the starter, the oil pump, the fuel pump, and the volumetric compressor. Other optional exemplary parasitic equipment in addition to those listed herein will be immediately apparent to the skilled artisan, and thus, for brevity, are not listed herein. The device is also capable of generating electricity for storage in an accumulator set. In general, the manufacturer of the vehicle will program the device to perform in desired ways using an

Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and supporting sensors to provide the vehicle with the power and fuel efficiency characteristics desired for the vehicle.

[028] In its basic form, the present invention provides an accessory system to an internal combustion engine that provides a power assistance system, which can, in embodiments, assist in starting the engine, running some or all of the parasitic equipment of the engine, running some or all parasitic equipment of the vehicle in which it is employed, generating electrical energy for storage and later use, or various combinations of these functions. The accessory is referred to herein as a multi-functional electromechanical device, and in exemplary embodiments, it comprises two main assemblies. The first assembly is referred to herein as a motor/generator set, which is essentially an electromechanical assembly comprising one, two, three, or more motor/generators and which includes their intrinsic rotors and, in embodiments, stators. The second assembly is referred to herein as an energy distributor, which includes mechanical elements for delivery of mechanical energy (e.g., rotational energy) to and from the motor generator set and the engine and/or transmission. The two assemblies can physically operate independently based on inputs from one or more ECU. In general, the motor/generator set can perform, in embodiments, three main tasks: (i) starting an engine, (ii) providing power to assist the engine by providing mechanical power to the engine and/or to provide mechanical or electrical power to assist in running, or to fully run, parasitic devices, and (iii) providing mechanical power directly to a transmission to move a vehicle a relatively short distance or as far as the energy in the accumulator sets permits. In general, the energy distributor executes instructions from the ECU to couple the outputs of the engine, the motor/generator set, the transmission, power take offs, and other functions of a powertrain that affect torque, power, fuel efficiency, etc. Standard, well-known electrical connections can be used to connect the ECU to the motor/generator set and standard computer connections and software coding well-known in the industry can be used to make the appropriate software-to-software and software-to-hardware connections.

[029] The multi-functional electromechanical device includes an assembly, which includes at least one motor/generator set that is independent of the engine and that has the particularity and capability to perform two functions simultaneously: (i) convert electrical power into a rotary motion to assist the engine, and (ii) generate electrical power to run parasitic equipment and/or for storage for later use. In embodiments, the assembly receives and delivers rotary motion through a power take off, which can be coupled to the engine and/or transmission of a vehicle, and/or any mechanism that ultimately delivers and/or distributes power to propel a vehicle in the direction desired (e.g., forward or backward).

[030] With reference to the embodiment depicted in Figure 1, the motor/generator set comprises outer body 1 that houses one or more motor/generators containing rotors (2,3,4). Preferably, outer body 1 is a one-piece element, such as one formed by die casting of a desired metal or other material known in the art as useful for making assembly outer bodies or housings, such as, but not limited to, ceramics and plastics. As depicted in the figure, a preferred embodiment can comprise three motor/generators per motor/generator set. One motor/generator, e.g., a motor comprising rotor element 2 in Figure 1, may always acts as electric motor that supports or is dedicated to running some or all necessary accessories for the engine to start and run. The others, e.g., motor/generators comprising rotor elements 3,4 in Figure 1, selectively operate as electric motors or as generators, as dictated by the ECU. The motor/generator set of this exemplary embodiment further comprises pulley 5 to mechanically/physically couple the motor/generator set to parasitic electrical devices and for connection with the engine. In other embodiments, pulley 5 is omitted. Inclusion of pulley 5 can be dictated by the manufacturer depending on the configuration of the engine compartment and other vehicle-specific

considerations. Yet further, it can be seen that the motor/generator set of the depicted

embodiment comprises solenoids 7, movable couplings 8, bearings 9, shaft 10 of rotor 4, shaft 11 of rotor 3, and shaft 12 of rotor 2. The figure further shows that there is a mechanical connection between shaft 10 of rotor 4 to connector 6, which allows the rotational movement of connector 6 to be transferred to the engine or transmission by way of the energy distributor (not depicted). The connection between the motor/generator set and the energy distributor may be made using any number of systems known in the art, and it is to be understood that depiction in the figure of use of mechanical gears is for simplicity only.

[031] Each one of the coupling and uncoupling mechanisms between each rotor has full autonomy regarding the mechanisms of coupling and uncoupling of the other rotors within the motor/generator set. Further, it is possible to implement any attachment and detachment system between the rotors.

[032] In a preferred embodiment, the coupling mechanism of each rotor is preferably a solenoid that, when activated, attracts to itself a movable disc (PLATEN/PLATINA), which then couples two rotors to each other, or the unit to which the solenoid is activated will jointly activate the drive shaft or the drive shafts, as appropriate.

[033] In another preferred embodiment of coupling of each rotor with the drive shaft or drive shafts, as appropriate, is by using independent axes for each rotor partially embedded or recessed in the axes of the other rotors, being all aligned.

[034] The operation of the multi-functional electromechanical device in a vehicle, which will be associated with any type or design of an internal combustion engine, can function, with adjustment and selective administration of operation of each motor/generator set, as either a motor or a generator as needed, administered through one or more ECU. The ECU, which independently of other tasks that it could manage for various purposes, will essentially control the storage charge of the available accumulator set, as required by the vehicle, determining at what interval it needs to recover energy storage, and when is necessary and/or desirable to assist the engine to move the vehicle via the transmission.

[035] Turning to Figure 2, it is shown that in some embodiments of the invention multiple rotors, e.g., elements 3,4, are mechanically linked or coupled by way of a single shaft 13, and thus serve the same function, while rotor 2 is still free to act independently of rotors 3,4. It is important to understand that, except in embodiments such as that depicted in Figure 2, in which two rotors are mechanically coupled, the use of movable coupling and decoupling mechanisms 8 permits the rotors of the motor/generator set to either couple or uncouple, alternatively and independently as required for each motor/generator to act as either a motor or a generator. As such, in Figure 2, shaft 12 is free to act independently of rotors 3,4. Power take off outputs (not depicted) on both sides of the assembly, or for that matter on both sides of the MHS

encompassed by the invention, are preferably on the same axis. Note that rotors 3,4 share in this configuration the same main shaft 13 connected to connection 6 then to the engine and/or power distribution mechanism and/or transmission.

[036] Having multiple motor/generators allows the most comprehensive system ductility. The operational combination thereof offers the possibility of providing the response that combines greater energy efficiency for each of the different situations that arise in actual use of a vehicle equipped with an MHS. For example, a preferred configuration could apply a set of three motors in one motor/generator set. The first works as motor to keep the parasitic elements needed to support running of the engine. Some different combinations of applicable diagrams, where E = engine, G = generator, and 0 = disconnected or offline the power circuit, as well as engine or generator, could be: [EGG], [EEE], [E0E], [EGO], [EGE], [E00], and [E0G].

[037] As an example, in the event that some parasitic element requires support in addition to the support provided by the first motor/generator of the motor/generator set, which is acting as a motor, the second motor/generator would be dedicated as a motor to assist in this task. In embodiments where a pulley is present, the motors can support the parasitic devices either through the pulley or through the pulley and through mechanical assistance to the engine. In embodiments where a pulley is not included, the motors can support running of parasitic elements through mechanical assistance to the engine. In this event, the configuration for delivering additional energy could be [EEO]. Likewise, in the situation where two

motor/generators attend to the power consumption needs of parasitic elements, and the third one is free to act as a generator, the configuration can be represented by [EE-G]. Yet as another example, in the situation where the first two motor/generators are attending to the power consumption needs of parasitic elements and the third motor/generator is assigned to assist, in addition to the engine, the transmission, the configuration can be represented by [EE-E].

[038] Another situation, [000], is where the set operates simply as direct axis of the power take off, where the parasitic elements necessary for operation of the engine are directly powered from the engine itself. In this situation, the motors simply behave as momentum wheels.

[039] The large number of applicable combinations allows the ECU to have a menu of options that it can weigh among variables, such as, but not exclusive to, power requirements, power energy available in storage, power energy required for consumption, and emissions, and allows it to choose the best variation in individual motor/generator functions to combine to provide for each specific need.

[040] Figure 3 shows an embodiment of a planetary gearing mechanism for an energy distributor. This embodiment of the invention favors the link between the engine,

motor/generator set, and transmission. The figure depicts shaft 22 driven by the engine, planetary carrier 24, which is connected to a motor/generator set (not depicted), satellite gears 23, linking shaft 22, and outer crown 25, which is connected to the vehicle's transmission (not depicted).

[041] With reference to Figure 4, in a preferred embodiment, a shaft 14, which includes pulley anchor point 19, comprises a central core-axis that supports rotor 2, and two exterior sheaths-axes 15,17, each functioning as a drive shaft for rotors 3 and 4, respectively. In a preferred embodiment, between the central axis and the exterior sheaths-axes, there are shielding bearings 16,18 that prevent or minimize friction caused by different rotation among them. As shown in Figure 4, elements 20 and 21 are the coupling/decoupling mechanisms for rotors 3 and 4, respectively.

[042] Figure 5 depicts schematically movement of gears within a planetary gear system of the energy distributor of embodiments of the multi-functional electromechanical device during the situation of acceleration. It shows central shaft 22 rotating clockwise powered by the engine running and satellite gears 23 rotating counterclockwise as a result. Rotation of satellite gears 23 causes the outer crown 25 to rotate counterclockwise, thus causing rotation in the transmission. Planetary carrier 24 rotates counterclockwise, increasing the power or torque applied to move the vehicle.

[043] As a non-limiting summary of the energy distributor operation depicted in Figure 5, the internal combustion engine is started and, while the vehicle is stopped, outer crown 25 is stopped. The rotation of the central shaft driven by the internal combustion engine makes satellite gears 23 rotate and these make the ring attached to the power take-off of the assembled motor/generator set rotate, generating power to restore the power consumed during starting of the internal combustion engine. When the vehicle is in motion, outer crown 25 engaged to the transmission is released and rotation of the central shaft caused by the rotation of the crankshaft of the internal combustion engine transfers rotation through satellite gears 23 to outer crown 25, which will move the transmission and the vehicle. If the acceleration requested by the user requires more power than delivered by the internal combustion engine, the ECU will instruct at least one of the motor-generator sets to supply extra torque. The motor/generator, which is acting as motor and actuating on planetary carrier 24 between satellite gears 23, will increase the power available to the wheels of the vehicle.

[044] Figure 6 depicts schematically movement of gears within a planetary gear system of the energy distributor of embodiments of the multi-functional electromechanical device during the situation of a stable ride. Without higher energy requirements, the engine is able to move the transmission without assistance of the energy distributor. The energy distributor has planetary carrier 24 rotating in clockwise direction and deriving energy to move the motor/generator set (not depicted), which generates electric power to accumulate and later use in situations like that described in the discussion of Figure 5. The single force applied to the transmission is generated by the rotation of central shaft 22 driven by the engine. Satellite gears 23 and outer crown 25 are equivalent to those elements as depicted in Figure 5.

[045] Figure 7 depicts schematically movement of gears within a planetary gear system of the energy distributor of embodiments of the multi-functional electromechanical device during the situation in which the engine is used only to move the transmission. It shows how central shaft 22 causes satellite gears 23 to rotate and transfer of the rotational motion to outer crown 25. As can be seen in the figure, planetary carrier 24 is stopped.

[046] Figure 8 depicts schematically movement of gears within a planetary gear system of the energy distributor of embodiments of the multi-functional electromechanical device during the situation where the transmission is stopped and the engine is dedicated to move the energy distributor. It shows central shaft 22 rotating clockwise, causing satellite gears 23 to rotate counterclockwise. As depicted in the figure, outer crown 25 is arrested, and planetary carrier 24 rotates clockwise.

[047] Figure 9 depicts schematically movement of gears within a planetary gear system of the energy distributor of embodiments of the multi-functional electromechanical device during the situation of deceleration. The figure shows central shaft 22 uncoupled from the engine by way of a clutch, torque converter, or the like (depicted in Figure 10) and completely stopped. Outer crown 25 rotates counterclockwise, causing satellite gears 23 and planetary carrier 24 to move counterclockwise. This movement of gears allows the ECU to activate the generator mode through the motor/generator set.

[048] Figure 10 depicts a cut-away view of an embodiment of the multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention, including both an energy distributor and a

motor/generator set. As mentioned above, a motor/generator set comprising rotors 2,3,4 and pulley 5 is mechanically connected to an energy distributor by way of connector 6. Connector 6 is mechanically connected to gear 14, thus allowing rotation of either element to cause rotation of the other element. Details of the various modes of operation of the multi-functional

electromechanical device according to embodiments of the invention are detailed above with regard to the other figures. It is to be noted that outer crown 25 connects to the transmission (not depicted) and allows coupling of the transmission to the energy distributor and thus to the motor/generator set. Figure 10 further depicts mechanical clutch 15, which connects the multifunctional electromechanical device to the internal combustion engine (not depicted), and which functions to couple and decouple the rotational movement of the internal combustion engine and the transmission.

[049] The energy distributor depicted in the figures can comprise a central driving shaft, which is connected via a coupling and uncoupling mechanism with the internal combustion engine. The central shaft preferably has helical teeth, engaged in a gear group of smaller diameter and similar gear toothing, which are twinned with the central driving shaft. This group of satellite gears are connected by a ring that keeps them equidistant. The ring is attached to the overall power take off of the motor/generator set. On the outside, this group of satellite gears has a crown gear with toothing on the inside, which is engaged with the group of satellite gears and is connected to the vehicle transmission. In the assembled energy distributor, all of the central shaft, the satellite gears, and the outer crown gear are related distributors.

[050] Although the present multi-functional electromechanical device is suitable for use in combination with any type of internal combustion engine, in non-limiting preferred

embodiments, the engine associated with the present multi-functional electromechanical device system is one encompassed by the engines disclosed in either or both of U.S. Patent No.

8,789,499 and PCT patent application number PCT/US2016/034502. Both of these documents are hereby incorporated herein in their entireties. As disclosed in the documents, each of the disclosed engines can have a relatively compact size compared with other engines currently known in the art. In such embodiments, the present multi-functional electromechanical device, because it can be integral to the engine, transmission, or both, allows for alternative, reduced number, and more space-efficient placement of batteries, as compared to other MHS known in the art. In these embodiments, the use of a 48 volt system conserves space and weight, and thus further provides an improvement over the current standard 60 volt (or higher) hybrid systems available in the art. It is to be clearly understood, however, that the multi-functional

electromechanical device of the present invention can be fully integrated into any internal combustion engine and design, while still providing as-yet unrecognized advantages in energy distribution and fuel economy and efficiency. The present invention thus clearly reduces carbon emission from internal combustion engines currently available in commerce, and is highly suitable for reduction of the "carbon implant" of countries that utilize the technology. The contribution toward reducing carbon emissions is related not only to the device of the present engine, but to the engine with which it is associated. In essence, employing the present device with an engine allows the use of a smaller engine that otherwise would be needed. The smaller engine, with will produce equivalent power as a larger engine lacking the device, will produce less carbon emissions. This concept is equally applicable to internal combustion engines used in vehicles as well as internal combustion engines that are stationary, such as those that can be used in machine shops or other industrial settings.

[051] The multi-functional electromechanical device and the MHS referred to herein, in preferred embodiments, will have the ability to be plugged into an external electrical power source, allowing, in such a situation, to recharge the accumulator set to its full storage capacity.

[052] In embodiments, the multi-functional electromechanical device can be linked to an engine through a gear, chain, belt, or any other mechanical coupling element that has the ability to start the engine. Although in exemplary embodiments, the multi-functional electromechanical device is disclosed as being capable of starting an internal combustion engine, it is to be recognized that a conventional starter may be used instead of the multi-functional

electromechanical device. The multi-functional electromechanical device can have the ability to transmit and modulate power produced by the engine to the transmission and/or to an

accumulator set, such as a battery.

[053] As a general, non-limiting summary of operation of the multi-functional

electromechanical device of the invention within the context of a vehicle comprising an internal combustion engine and a transmission, once the engine is started, the vehicle will be set to move, for which, the engine's flywheel will couple with the transmission to transmit power in proper relationship to the vehicle's differential assembly. The power applied will be managed by an ECU, which will sense the energy available in one or more accumulator sets, and will deliver it in accordance to a predefined program (as mentioned above, typically set by the manufacturer to achieve desired parameters for marketing of the vehicle). [054] Depending on the demand from the acceleration command to the ECU, the ECU will apply accumulated energy to one, two, or more motor/generators of the multi-functional electromechanical device, so that one or more of the motor/generators function as motors, delivering rotary power by way of rotation of one or more rotors as a mechanical means for power distribution to drive the vehicle via the engine and/or the transmission. In such a situation, the vehicle's acceleration will be the result of the combination of the power delivered by the engine and the multi-functional electromechanical device.

[055] Once the acceleration requirement is finished, that is, when the vehicle reaches a stable speed range, the ECU will manage changes in system operation, as is known in the art. For example, at first, the ECU could gradually override instruction of delivery of energy to the rotor or rotors, for example by way of the stators in the motor/generator sets, which until then functioned as motors. According to the evaluation that the ECU would perform, between necessary replacement of the consumed energy from the accumulator set and remaining energy unapplied from the engine to the transmission (sensing, for example, rpm), the ECU could gradually activate the electrical regeneration up to fulfil the accumulator set storage capacity or until the next time of acceleration required by the user, whichever comes first, in which once again the cycle of applying electrical energy stored in rotary motion will start.

[056] The motor/generator set enables the system to regenerate energy when activating brakes and during vehicle deceleration. The regeneration process starts when the acceleration command is released, with the ECU's instruction to decouple the engine's flywheel from the transmission and at slowdown intervals, the coupling with the powertrain electrical system is maintained, generating power derived for storage in the accumulator set.

[057] This system is, in embodiments, completely independent from the braking system of the vehicle, although it can take advantage of the braking system. In embodiments, energy generation can benefit by the contribution of the transmission's rpm reduction, a situation that is widely known and used by vehicles of medium and large size that use engine-braking.

[058] Concerning a hypothetical circumstance, the performance of a preferred embodiment can comprise three motor/generator sets and a situation, as follows. The engine is started, so one or all of the rotors of the motor/generator sets deliver driving force to rotate the engine and consume electrical energy for it. When the level of revolutions of the engine and transmission indicate that the vehicle is ready to move, again the rotors deliver power assistance to the engine to start moving the vehicle, the motor/generator now acting as a motor.

[059] Once the vehicle has reached the desired speed, acceleration normally decreases and the ECU detects that no additional power assistance is required. In this circumstance, it will disable power delivery to a motor of the motor/generator set of the multi-functional

electromechanical device.

[060] In the next situation, if the ECU senses that there is no variation and the required speed is kept, the ECU disables the next motor of the motor/generator set.

[061] In another situation, the vehicle may be in an upward slope, in which the speed of the vehicle tends to diminish. To maintain the speed, the driver should increase the acceleration command, or, if the speed is being established by a speed control system, the ECU should increase the number of rpm to compensate for any loss in speed. According to the present invention, the ECU instructs one or more motor/generators of the motor/generators set to function as motors to provide assistance to the engine under this situation.

[062] In situations where acceleration is not involved and/or power energy delivery has been achieved, the ECU evaluates the appropriate time to apply one or more motor/generators of the motor/generator set of the multi-functional electromechanical device of the invention as a generator to compensate for the energy used during acceleration. According to the invention, the ECU is programmed to deliver commands to the appropriate mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical units that can execute and supply the desired needs of the ECU. Such mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical functions are well known in the art and need not be detailed herein. In situations where applying one of the motor/generators as a generator does not diminish the vehicle's speed, and where the accumulator set is not in a fully charged state, the ECU can apply the second motor/generator as a generator to replenish the charge of the accumulator set.

[063] The online sensed and processed information allows the ECU to efficiently manage available resources to optimize performance and maintain energy balance. It allows the vehicle, at times when more power is required, to use electromotive assistance for the engine and storage of remaining power energy. The modular configuration of relatively small motor/generators, of selective use, individual and/or jointly, and indistinct, favors that power energy accumulation can be captured, even when dealing with small intervals or loads.

[064] In a preferred embodiment, the MHS combination discussed herein, in which the internal combustion engine is a compact engine, as referenced above or by others, with an electrical system capable of functioning as a motor, or as a generator, or both at the same time is provided. It enables a reduction in a coupled engine's cubic capacity and therefore consumption of fuel and emissions of carbon dioxide and pollutants, without affecting the vehicle's performance. This is achieved by delivering power at acceleration intervals and by lessening the burden on the engine itself to power parasitic devices. Therefore, the presently disclosed configuration equipped with relatively small motor/generators allows the rational use of energy. Using relatively small motor/generators with suitable electronic firmware and software favors optimum use and energy balance, increasing the autonomy of the vehicle and thereby reducing emissions and operating costs.

[065] In view of the disclosure above and the accompanying figures, the practitioner will understand that the present invention encompasses a multi-functional electromechanical device that includes: A) a first assembly that includes at least one motor/generator set configured to act as both: i) a motor to provide rotational assistance to an engine to which it is connected by converting electrical energy from an accumulator set to rotational energy, and ii) a generator configured to act to generate electrical energy to run parasitic devices of the engine to which it is connected, to store in an accumulator set, or to act in both of these capacities, using rotational energy provided by the engine or the transmission; and B) a second assembly that includes at least one energy distributor configured to: i) use rotational energy provided by at least one motor/generator set to move/rotate and/or assist an engine to which it is connected or a transmission to which it is connected to rotate, or ii) use rotational energy of an engine or a transmission to which it is connected to provide rotational energy to at least one motor/generator set to convert the rotational energy into electrical energy for use by parasitic devices or for storage in an accumulator set, wherein the first assembly and the second assembly are physically connected. In embodiments, the device can comprise two or more motor/generator sets. In such embodiments, each of the motor/generator sets can be independently and coordinately controlled by one or more ECU connected to the motor/generator sets. In an exemplary embodiment, the device comprises three motor/generator sets. The practitioner will further understand that the second assembly can be connected to both an internal combustion engine and a transmission, and can comprise means for decoupling power train movement of the internal combustion engine and the transmission. The invention further comprises all types of internal combustion engines comprising the device of the invention, as well as all vehicles (terrestrial vehicles, aquatic vehicles, aircraft) comprising the device of the invention.

[066] Yet further, in view of the disclosure above and the accompanying figures, the practitioner will understand that the present invention encompasses a method of moving a vehicle, wherein the vehicle includes an internal combustion engine and a transmission, and where the method comprises applying rotational energy provided by an energy distributor to the transmission, causing rotational movement of the transmission and resulting in movement of the vehicle. In embodiments, the vehicle comprises multi-functional electromechanical device that is capable of moving a vehicle that comprises at least one means of propulsion, such as a wheel or a propeller, that, when caused to move, causes movement of the vehicle. In embodiments and in the case of a terrestrial vehicle, movement is achieved when a wheel is in contact with a surface. In embodiments, the internal combustion engine is not running and movement of the vehicle is caused by engagement of the device with the transmission. In exemplary embodiments, the vehicle is an automobile and movement of the is at least about 100 meters, preferably at least about one kilometer. In embodiments, rotational movement of the transmission does not cause rotational movement of the internal combustion engine. Furthermore, in embodiments, the rotational energy of the energy distributor is provided through at least one motor/generator set by way of at least one accumulator set.

[067] Is reasonable to understand, that both the figures and coupling systems between rotors, like any other elements indicated herein, are only an explanation of some of the preferred applicable arrangements. It is to be understood that the scope of the invention includes a modular and selective set of functions, acting at times as both a generator and as a motor, through the use of a set of rotors independently or jointly organized in a single outer body, that function according to the energy requirements and the potential for energy recovery, led by an ECU, and linked both to the engine and the transmission by a power distributor mechanism to improve the performance of a hybrid drive unit.