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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SWITCHING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/076302
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A switching device comprising a frame (2), in which an actuator (6) adapted to rotate a main shaft of the switching device and rotatable around an axis (12) of rotation, and spring means are installed, the actuator (6) having a 0 position, an 1 position and a first dead point between the 0 position and the 1 position, the 1 position being located by a given angle (&agr 6) in a first direction relative to the 0 position. The actuator (6) also has a testing position, the testing position being located by a predetermined angle (β6) in a second direction relative to the 0 position, said second direction being opposite relative to said first direction.

Inventors:
MATTLAR HARRI (FI)
SUUTARINEN AKI (FI)
KOLMONEN RAINER (FI)
Application Number:
PCT/FI2005/000070
Publication Date:
August 18, 2005
Filing Date:
February 02, 2005
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ABB OY (FI)
MATTLAR HARRI (FI)
SUUTARINEN AKI (FI)
KOLMONEN RAINER (FI)
International Classes:
H01H3/22; H01H3/32; H01H19/20; H01H19/24; H01H19/22; H01H; (IPC1-7): H01H3/22; H01H19/20; H01H33/28
Foreign References:
US6031192A2000-02-29
EP1353349A22003-10-15
US4743715A1988-05-10
US4020301A1977-04-26
US20020079995A12002-06-27
Other References:
See also references of EP 1719142A1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLSTER OY AB (PO Box 148, Helsinki, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A switching device comprising a frame (2), in which an actuator (6) adapted to rotate a main shaft of the switching device and rotatable around an axis (12) of rotation, and spring means (7) are installed, the actuator (6) having a 0 position, an I position and a first dead point between the 0 position and the I position, the I position being located by a given angle (a6) in a first direction relative to the 0 position, the spring means (7) comprising one or more working springs (8,10) each comprising a first end (14) supported to the frame (2), and a second end (16), the spring means being adapted to rotate the actuator (6), when the actuator (6) is between the 0 position and the I posi tion, towards the 0 position or the I position depending on which side of said first dead point the actuator (6) is, c h a r a c t e r i z e d in that the actuator (6) also has a testing position, the testing position being located by a predeter mined angle (/ ? e) in a second direction relative to the 0 position, said second direction being opposite relative to said first direction.
2. A switching device as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the actuator (6) has a second dead point between the 0 position and the testing position, the spring means (7) being adapted to rotate the actuator (6), when the actuator (6) is between the 0 position and the testing position, to wards the 0 position or the testing position depending on which side of said second dead point the actuator (6) is.
3. A switching device as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the second dead point is accomplished with bending means (18) adapted to bend each working spring (8,10) in the lateral direction.
4. A switching device as claimed in claim 3, characterized in that the bending means (18) comprise, for each working spring (8,10), at least one supporting member (20) provided in the frame (2), and at least one bend ing member (22) provided in the actuator (6) in such a manner that said bend ing member (22) is adapted to direct a lateral force to the second end (16) of the working spring (8), and said supporting member (20) is adapted to direct a lateral force between the first end (14) and the second end (16) of the working spring (8), the force being opposite in direction respective to the force directed by the bending member (22).
5. A switching device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that each of said working springs (8,10) is a coil spring.
6. A switching device as claimed in claim 5, characterized in that when the actuator (6) is between the 0 position and the I position, each of said working springs (8,10) acts as a compression spring.
7. A switching device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the first end (14) of each working spring (8,10) is supported rotatable to the frame (2).
8. A switching device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the actuator (6) comprises, for each working spring (8,10), a slot (24) adapted to receive the second end (16) of the work ing spring, and that the second end (16) of each working spring is at all times in the corresponding slot (24) when the actuator (6) is between its 0 position and I position.
9. A switching device as claimed in claim 8, characterized in that the switching device is configured such that when the actuator (6) is ro tated from the 0 position towards the testing position, the second end (16) of each working spring (8,10) is detached from the corresponding slot (24), and that when the actuator (6) is rotated from the testing position towards the 0 position, the second end (16) of each working spring (8,10) enters the corre sponding slot (24).
10. A switching device as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises a control shaft (4) adapted to rotate the actuator (6) and having a 0 position, an I position and a testing posi tion.
11. A switching device as claimed in claim 10, character i z e d in that the control shaft (4) is connected to the actuator (6) by means of connecting means, the connecting means having a free travel, the connecting means comprising a spiral spring means (28).
12. A switching device as claimed in claim 11, character i z e d in that the connecting means are adapted such that when the control shaft (4) is rotated from the 0 position in the first direction by an angle (y) cor responding to the free travel, the spiral spring means (28) is tensioned while the actuator (6) remains substantially in position, and when the turning angle of the control shaft (4) exceeds the angle (y) corresponding to the free travel in the first direction, the actuator (6) rotates along with the control shaft until the actuator (6) reaches the first dead point.
13. A switching device as claimed in any one of claims 10 to 12, characterized in that the control shaft (4) is adapted to rotate around said axis (12) of rotation.
Description:
SWITCHING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0001] The invention relates to a switching device according to the preamble of the independent claim.

[0002] Switching devices are instruments employed for opening and closing an electric circuit. The switching device comprises at least one pole and a control device adapted to open and close said pole. Switching devices include switches and switch-fuses, for example.

[0003] Switching devices have a 0 position, wherein the poles of the switching device are open, and an I position, wherein the poles of the switching device are closed. The positions of the poles of the switching device are changed by rotating the main shaft of the switching device. For rotating the main shaft, switching devices are provided with an actuator having a 0 position and an I position, which correspond to the 0 position and I position of the switching device.

[0004] Some switching devices also have a testing position, wherein the poles of the switching device are open, but the position of the auxiliary con- tacts corresponds to the I position of the switching device.

[0005] The problem in known switching devices is to accomplish the testing position. In some known switching devices, separate lever mechanisms are used to accomplish the testing position, but such an assembly is complex.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0006] The object of the invention is to provide a switching device allowing the above-mentioned problem to be solved. The object of the inven- tion is achieved with a switching device, which is characterized in what is stated in the independent claim. Preferred embodiments of the invention are described in the dependent claims.

[0007] The invention is based on providing the switching device with an actuator adapted for driving the main shaft and capable of turning from the 0 position in both directions.

[0008] An advantage of the switching device of the invention is a simple structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES [0009] In the following, the invention will be described in more detail in connection with preferred embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1 is a schematic view of the operating mechanism of a switching device according to an embodiment of the invention with the switch- ing device in the 0 position; Figure 2 is a schematic view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the control shaft turned along its free travel towards the I position; Figure 3 is a schematic view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the switching device in the I position; Figure 4 is a schematic view of the operating mechanism of Figure 1 with the switching device in the testing position; Figure 5 shows the control device module of a switching device ac- cording to an embodiment of the invention seen obliquely from above; and Figure 6 shows the control device module of Figure 5 unassembled.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0010] Figures 1 to 4 show the operating mechanism of a switching device according to an embodiment of the invention. The operating mechanism comprises a control shaft 4, an actuator 6, and spring means 7 assembled in a frame 2.

[0011] The actuator 6 is rotatable around an axis 12 of rotation and arranged to rotate the main shaft of the switching device. The control shaft 4 is rotatable around the axis 12 of rotation and adapted to rotate the actuator 6.

The control shaft 4 is connected to the actuator 6 by connecting means com- prising a spiral spring means 28. An example of the implementation of the connecting means is shown in Figure 6, which will be dealt with later. The spring means 7 comprise two working springs 8 and 10, each having a first end 14 supported rotatable to the frame 2, and a second end 16. The first end 14 of each working spring is thus hinged to the frame 2 in a manner allowing the second end 16 of the working spring to move circumferentially relative to the first end 14. The working springs 8 and 10 are coil springs and they are so rigid that they do not require buckling blocking bars inside thereof.

[0012] A switching device whose operating mechanism is shown in Figures 1 to 4 has a 0 position, an I position and a testing position. In the 0 position, the poles of the switching device are open and in the I position, the poles of the switching device are closed. In the testing position, the poles of the switching device are open, but the position of the auxiliary contacts corre- sponds to the I position of the switching device. Both the control shaft 4 and the actuator 6 have a 0 position, an I position and a testing position, which cor- respond to the aforementioned positions of the switching device.

[0013] In a complete switching device assembly, an operating han- dle (not shown) of the switching device is fastened to the control shaft 4 allow- ing the user to rotate the control shaft.

[0014] In Figure 1, the control shaft 4 and the actuator 6 are in the 0 position. This being so, both the working springs 8 and 10 and the spiral spring means 28 are substantially in a rest position, and the second end 16 of each working spring is in a corresponding slot 24 of the actuator 6. The second end 16 of each working spring comprises a bar-like portion extending substantially parallel to the axis 12 of rotation, which in Figures 1 to 4 is substantially per- pendicular relative to the plane of the figure. Each slot 24 is adapted to coop- erate with said bar-like portion of the second end of the corresponding working spring.

[0015] In Figure 2, the control shaft 4 is rotated along the free travel, i. e. angle y clockwise compared with its 0 position. This being so, the spiral spring means 28 is tensioned, but the actuator 6 is still in the 0 position. In the embodiment shown in the figures, angle y is 35°.

[0016] When the control shaft 4 is further rotated clockwise from the position of Figure 2, the actuator 6 starts to turn with the control shaft 4, and the working springs 8 and 10 start to become compressed.

[0017] Once the actuator 6 has rotated 45° relative to its 0 position, it reaches its first dead point. This being so, the working springs 8 and 10 have reached their highest tension. When the actuator 6 is at the first dead point, the control shaft is at an 80° angle relative to its 0 position.

[0018] When the actuator 6 has passed the first dead point, the working springs 8 and 10 start to decompress. Thereby the actuator 6 starts to rotate rapidly clockwise towards the I position, and the tension of the spiral spring means 28 starts to lower, until, when the actuator 6 is at an 80° angle relative to its 0 position, the spiral spring means 28 has reached its rest posi- tion and the control shaft 4 starts to rotate along with the actuator 6. Once the actuator 6 has rotated by angle as relative to its 0 position, it reaches its I posi- tion and stops rotating. This being so, the control shaft 4 is also in its I position, being at angle a4 relative to its 0 position. In the embodiment shown in the fig- ures, both angles a4 and as are 90°.

[0019] When the actuator 6, rotated by the working springs 8 and 10, starts to rotate the control shaft 4, the control shaft is at an 80° angle rela- tive to its 0 position. In principle, the user experiences a 10° stroke of the oper- ating handle of the switching device, but as the user is turning the handle in exactly the same direction, the stroke is not felt in practice.

[0020] In Figure 3, the control shaft 4 and the actuator 6 are in the I position. As the control shaft 4 starts to be rotated anticlockwise from the posi- tion of Figure 3, the actuator 6 immediately starts to turn with the control shaft 4, and at the same time the working springs 8 and 10 start to be compressed.

Once the actuator 6 has been rotated 45° anticlockwise from the position of Figure 3, it reaches the first dead point. When the actuator 6 is rotated over the first dead point anticlockwise, the working springs start to decompress and ro- tate the actuator 6 into the 0 position. As the actuator 6 rotates anticlockwise, rotated by the working springs, the spiral spring means 28 is tensioned. Even if the user entirely detached his grip of the operating handle of the switching de- vice immediately after the actuator 6 has passed the first dead point anticlock- wise, the spiral spring means 28 also draws the control shaft 4 to its 0 position.

[0021] Figures 1 to 3 show that the second end 16 of each working spring is in the corresponding slot 24 when the actuator 6 is between its 0 posi- tion and I position.

[0022] In the embodiment shown in the figures, the working springs 8 and 10 are adapted to operate purely as compression springs when the ac- tuator 6 is between the 0 position and the I position. In other words, the work- ing springs are at no stage stretched longer than their rest position lengths, and they are not subjected to any substantial lateral bending forces.

[0023] When the control shaft 4 starts to be rotated anticlockwise from the position of Figure 1, i. e. the 0 position of the switching device, the ac- tuator 6 immediately starts to rotate along with the control shaft 4. When the actuator 6 is rotated anticlockwise, the working springs 8 and 10 start to bend laterally. The lateral bending of the working springs is caused by bending means 18, which comprise supporting members 20 provided in the frame 2 and bending member 22 provided in the actuator 6. The supporting members 20 are provided by placing the working springs sufficiently close to the walls of the frame 2, whereby said walls operate as supporting members 20. Each bending member 22 provided in the actuator 6 is a cam adjacent to the corre- sponding slot 24.

[0024] When the actuator 6 is rotated anticlockwise from its 0 posi- tion, each bending member 22 directs a lateral force to the second end 16 of the corresponding working spring, the force being directed outwards relative to the axis 12 of rotation. When each supporting member 20 provided in the frame 2 simultaneously directs a lateral force to the middle portion of the cor- responding working spring, i. e. between the first and second ends of the work- ing spring, the force being reverse relative to the force directed by the bending member 22, each working spring bends laterally. Herein, the lateral direction of a working spring refers to the direction that is perpendicular relative to the axial direction defined by the first end 14 and the second end 16.

[0025] When the actuator 6 is rotated sufficiently anticlockwise from the 0 position, it reaches a second dead point. When the actuator 6 is between the 0 position and the second dead point, the spring means 7 tend to rotate the actuator 6 towards the 0 position. When being rotated anticlockwise, the actua- tor 6 may have a small clearance, whereby the bending means start to bend the working springs laterally only after the actuator has rotated for instance 5° anticlockwise from its 0 position. Other functions of the actuator 6 may also have small clearances. These clearances help to make sure for instance that the spring means 7 are not tensioned at other times than when the operating position of the switching device is being changed. Allowing clearances may also be advantageous in order to facilitate manufacturing.

[0026] When the actuator 6 exceeds the second dead point anti- clockwise, the second end 16 of each working spring is detached from the cor- responding slot 24 because of the lateral bending. The spring means 7, coop- erating with the bending means 18, cause the actuator 6 to rotate up to its test- ing position having passed the second dead point anticlockwise, even if the user detached his grip of the operating handle of the switching device.

[0027] When the actuator 6 has rotated by angle ? e antidockwise relative to its 0 position, it reaches its testing position and stops rotating.

Hereby also the control shaft 4 is in its testing position, being at angle/34 rela- tive to its 0 position. In the embodiment shown in the figures, both angles ß4 and ß6 are-45°, the negative sign representing the reverse direction as com- pared with angles a4, a6 and y.

[0028] When the actuator 6 is rotated sufficiently clockwise from the testing position, it reaches the second dead point. When the actuator 6 is be- tween the testing position and the second dead point, the spring means 7 tend to rotate the actuator towards the testing position. When the actuator 6 ex- ceeds the second dead point clockwise, the second end 16 of each working spring enters the corresponding slot 24. When the actuator 6 is between the second dead point and the 0 position, the spring means 7 tend to rotate the actuator towards the 0 position, as was previously stated.

[0029] When the operating handle of the switching device is re- leased between the 0 position and the testing position of the actuator, the ac- tuator 6 thus tends to move to either the 0 position or the testing position de- pending on which side of the second dead point the actuator is. The forces directed by the spring means 7 to the actuator 6 between the 0 position and the testing position are generated substantially only from the lateral bending of the working springs, i. e. the working springs are not substantially compressed or stretched axially. The lateral bending of the working springs is achieved by means of the bending means 18 in the above-described manner.

[0030] The force required to exceed the dead points can be affected by the design of the spring means 7 and the bending means 18. In an em- bodiment of the invention, exceeding the second dead point requires less force than does exceeding the first dead point.

[0031] The switching device of the invention may be modular, i. e. comprise a control device module and one or more pole cell modules. Figure 5 shows the control device module of a modular switching device according to an embodiment of the invention, and Figures 6 show the control device module of Figure 5 disassembled. The control device module shown in Figures 5 and 6 operates in the aforementioned manner, which is described in Figures 1 to 4.

[0032] In Figure 6, the frame of the control device module is disas- sembled into a cover portion 40, an upper portion 42 of the frame, and a lower portion 44 of the frame.

[0033] Figure 6 shows that the connecting means for connecting the control shaft 4 and the actuator 6 comprise slits 30 provided in the actuator 6, and corresponding projections 32 provided in the control shaft 4, each of said slits 30 being adapted to receive the corresponding projection 32. The free travel of the connecting means is achieved by arranging the circumferential dimension of each slit 30 to be larger than the circumferential dimension of the corresponding projection 32.

[0034] Both the actuator 6 and the control shaft 4 are provided with a hole 34 adapted to receive a peg 36 provided at the corresponding end of the spiral spring means 28.

[0035] The working springs 8 and 10 of Figure 6 comprise a link at the second end 16, the link being an about 270° loop extending substantially in a plane.

[0036] The control device module of Figures 5 and 6 comprises a main shaft element 38, which in a completed switching device constitutes part of the main shaft, and which is adapted to be rotated by the actuator 6.

[0037] It is obvious to a person skilled in the art that the basic idea of the invention can be implemented in a variety of ways. Consequently, the invention and its embodiments are not restricted to the above examples, but can vary within the scope of the claims.