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Title:
DEVICE FOR CONDUCTING ELECTRIC CURRENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/124374
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The device (1) for conducting electric current comprises at least one conductor element (2), electrically connectable to a power source, at an inlet portion (3) of said device (1). The conducting element (2) is also electrically connectable to an electrical load to be powered, at an outlet portion (4) of said device (1), via sliding contact. The electrical load is rotatable with respect to said conducting element (2). The inlet portion (3) comprises a support body (34) coupled at a respective operating surface (35) to the conductor element (2). The conductor element (2) has an elongated shape and is bended so as to form an intermediate portion (21) and a pair of arms (22), said arms (22) facing each other, spaced by said intermediate portion (21), and being capable of making said sliding contact with said electrical load to be powered at a respective end portion (23).

More Like This:
JPS51115860SPRING DEVICE
Inventors:
BINI GIORGIO
BIBA ILIR
BIBA ARTUR
BINI ALESSANDRO
ANZELMO SAVERIO
Application Number:
PCT/IT2020/050320
Publication Date:
June 24, 2021
Filing Date:
December 21, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BINI S R L (IT)
SPM SPECIAL MACHINE S R L (IT)
International Classes:
H01R39/18; H01R39/39; H01R39/24; H01R39/46
Foreign References:
US20150222067A12015-08-06
US3871727A1975-03-18
US5633550A1997-05-27
US4368398A1983-01-11
US7188407B22007-03-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MANZELLA & ASSOCIATI (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1) A device (1) for conducting electric current comprising at least one conductor element

(2), said conductor element (2) being electrically connectable to a power source, at an inlet portion (3) of said device (1), said conductor element (2) being also electrically connectable to an electrical load to be powered, at an outlet portion (4) of said device (1), by sliding contact, said electrical load being revolving to said conductor element (2 ), said inlet portion (3) comprising a support body (34) coupled at a respective operating surface (35) to said conductive element (2), said conductive element (2) having elongated shape and being bended so as to form an intermediate portion (21) and a pair of arms (22), said arms (22) facing each other, spaced from said intermediate portion (21), and being capable of directly making said sliding contact with said electrical load to be powered at a respective end portion (23), said arms (22) having at least one leakage slit (24) for dissipating the heat deriving from the conduction of electric current.

2) A device as in claim 1 , characterized in that said at least one leakage slit (24) has an elongated shape and extends longitudinally to said arm (22).

3) A device as in claim 2, characterized in that it comprises a plurality of said leakage slits (24), said leakage slits (24) being substantially parallel.

4) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a plurality of said conductor elements (2) is engagable to said operating surface (35) of said support body (34).

5) A device as in claim 4, characterized in that said conductor elements (2) are arranged so that the respective arms (22) are superimposed and spaced apart.

6) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said support body (34) comprises a hooking edge (37) opposed to said operating surface (35), said hooking edge (37) having at least one curved recess (39).

7) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said inlet portion

(3) comprises a covering element (31), said covering element (31) shaping at a respective end a pair of protrusions (33) facing one another, said conductor element (2) being interposed between said support body (34) and said covering element (31).

8) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that each said arm (22) is at least partially housed in a channel (36) obtained peripherally in said support body (34) or shaped between said support body (34) and said protrusions of said covering element (31).

9) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said arms (22) form a U or V shape with said intermediate portion (21) of said conductor element (2).

10) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that each said arm (22) of said conductor element (2) comprises a coupling hole (26), which is passing through and positioned near to said intermediate portion (21), said coupling hole (26) being capable of housing coupling means for associating each said arm (22) with said support body (34).

11) A device as in claim 10, characterized in that said coupling means is configured to adjust the opening of said arms (22).

12) A device as in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said at least one leakage slit (24) is provided with a first end and a second end, said first and second ends being closed.

Description:
Description

DEVICE FOR CONDUCTING ELECTRIC CURRENT Technical field

[01] The present invention relates to a device for making an electrical connection of sliding contact type.

Prior art

[02] The use of devices for making an electrical connection between a moving part and a fixed part of different types of motor parts has been known for a long time.

[03] A widespread type of device involves the use of a gripper member, which includes a pair of arms constrained to each other but free to rotate at a first end. Each arm comprises at least one chord of conductive material, for example copper, which extends from the first end to a second end of the arm. The chord enables the transmission of electricity from the first end to the second end of the arm. Furthermore, a conductive brush is positioned at the second end of each arm. The gripper member includes at least one spring that allows the second ends of the arms to be brought closer to adjust the distance between the brushes. In use, the brushes, coming into contact with a ring positioned on the rotor of the motor, enable the conduction of electric current. The gripper member, in use, is mounted and electrically connected to an inlet terminal board powered by an external power source, such as a battery.

[04] A solution that discloses what has been previously described is shown for example in US patent 2015/222067.

[05] A disadvantage of the previously described apparatus is the structural complexity, which results in poor versatility and complicated maintenance.

[06] A further disadvantage complained of is the presence of the springs which, when stressed by the arms, are subject to wear and consequent breakage.

[07] The previously described apparatus also complains of excessive dimensions, especially in applications where it is necessary to increase the current flow rate where multiple devices are connected in parallel.

[08] A disadvantage is also represented by the high overtemperature values detected in case of device failure.

[09] A further problem complained of is the high values found in the impedance of the brush - ring system.

[10] A further disadvantage is the possibility of obtaining a coupling configuration between the arms and the motor unit only in a V shape, resulting in less versatility of use.

Disclosure

[11] The object of the present invention is to solve the mentioned problems, devising a device for conducting electric current, which achieves compactness and constructive simplicity. [12] A further object of the invention is to provide a device having simple maintenance.

[13] Another object of the invention is to provide a device which conducts electric currents of high intensity and which is compact and simple to manufacture.

[14] A further object of the invention is to create a device for conducting electric current which, in case of failure, has low temperature increase at the contact points.

[15] A still further object of the invention is to create a device for conducting electric current which, in the event of failure, rapidly dissipates the overtemperature at the contact points.

[16] Another object of the invention is to create a device for conducting electric current that enables a stable and reliable electrical coupling between a moving and a static part.

[17] A still further object of the invention is to provide a device for conducting electric current having simple constructive and functional conception, with reliable operation and versatile use, as well as relatively cheap cost.

[18] The cited purposes are achieved, according to the present invention, by the device for conducting electric current according to the attached claims.

[19] The device for conducting electric current comprises at least one conducting element that may be electrically connected to a power source, at an input portion of the device. The conducting element is also electrically connectable to an electrical load to be powered, at an outlet portion of the device, through sliding contact. In particular, the electrical load is rotatable with respect to the conducting element.

[20] The inlet portion comprises a support body coupled at a respective operating surface to the conducting element. In particular, the conductor element has an elongated shape and is bended to form an intermediate portion and a pair of arms.

[21] Preferably the arms face each other, are spaced from the intermediate portion and designed to make sliding contact with the electrical load to be powered at a respective end portion.

[22] Advantageously, the end portion is directly in contact with the electrical load.

[23] Preferably the arm has at least one opening for heat leakage.

[24] More preferably, said at least one opening is a slit.

[25] Advantageously, the leakage openings rapidly dissipates the heat deriving from the conduction of electrical energy. In particular, the device achieves an effective leak of heat at the point of contact between the ends of the arms and the conductor ring.

[26] More specifically, the leakage openings hinder the rise of overheating in the event of device failure.

[27] More preferably, the slits have an elongated shape and extend longitudinally to the arm.

[28] Preferably each slit is provided with a first end and a second end.

[29] More preferably, the first end and the second end are closed.

[30] More preferably, the openings are shaped like a slot. [31 ] Preferably the leakage slits are substantially parallel.

[32] Advantageously, the leakage slits are positioned discontinuously along each arm.

[33] A plurality of conductive elements may be coupled to the operating surface of the support body.

[34] Advantageously, each arm of the conducting element comprises a coupling hole.

[35] Preferably the coupling hole is a through hole and it is positioned in proximity to the intermediate portion. The coupling hole is capable of housing coupling means for associating each arm to the support body.

[36] More preferably, the coupling means are capable of changing the opening of said arms.

[37] In particular, the coupling means are suitable for adjusting the opening of the arms such that, in use, the ends adhere to the conductor ring with a preselected contact pressure.

[38] Advantageously, the variation of the contact pressure allows the optimization of the speed with which the conducting element slides on the conducting ring.

[39] Advantageously, the variation of the contact pressure allows the resulting electrical resistance of the device to be modified.

[40] Advantageously, the device conducts currents up to 500 [A] Advantageously, the conductor elements are arranged so that the respective arms are superimposed and spaced apart.

[41] According to a further embodiment, the support body comprises a hooking edge opposed to the operating surface.

[42] More preferably, the hooking edge forms at least one curvilinear recess.

[43] Preferably, this curvilinear recess comprises at least one surface shaped like an arc of circumference.

[44] More preferably, this arc of circumference has an extension not less than 180 °.

[45] Preferably, the device is suitable for transmitting power signals up to 40 [A] and information.

[46] Advantageously, the inlet portion includes a covering element, which forms a pair of protrusions facing each other at the respective ends. Preferably, the conducting element is interposed between the support body and said covering element.

[47] Preferably, each arm is at least partially housed in a channel formed peripherally in the support body. According to a different embodiment, each arm is housed in a channel formed between the support body and the protrusions of the covering element.

[48] Advantageously, the arms form a U or V shape with the intermediate portion of the driving element.

[49] Preferably, the device conducts electrical energy by exploiting resistivity levels between 0.2 [mQ] e 6 [mQ]

Description of drawinqs [50] The details of the invention will become more evident from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the device for conducting electric current according to the invention, illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of the device according to the invention;

Figures 2 and 3 are respectively a side and front view of the device illustrated in Figure 1 ; Figure 4 is a perspective view of a variant of the embodiment illustrated in Figure 1 ; Figures 5 and 6 are respectively a front and side view of a second embodiment of the device according to the invention.

Best mode

[51] With particular reference to Figures 1 - 3, the reference number 1 indicates the device for conducting electric current according to the present invention, which will be called device 1 for simplicity.

[52] The device 1 comprises a conductive element 2, which is preferably metallic, suitable for the transmission of electric energy from an inlet portion 3 to an outlet portion 4.

[53] The inlet portion 3 comprises a covering element 31 and means for connecting to an external electrical energy source, such as for example a battery, which supplies the electric energy to the device 1 .

[54] The outlet portion 4 is suitable for being associated with a conducting ring, not shown in the figures, positioned on the rotor of a rotating member, such as an electric motor. In particular, the conducting element 2 is capable for coming into contact with the conducting ring, creating electrical continuity between the aforementioned external electricity source and the conducting ring through the interposition of the device 1.

[55] The conducting element 2 has an elongated and substantially flattened shape. In particular, the conducting element 2 may be made in the form of a reed having an intermediate portion 21 from which a pair of arms 22 facing each other are connected.

[56] Preferably, the conducting element 2 is made of copper-beryllium alloy.

[57] Each arm 22 comprises an end portion 23, which is opposite to the intermediate portion 21 , which preferably has rounded corners and a substantially U-shaped profile. In particular, the end 23 is capable of adhering stably with the aforementioned conducting ring of the rotor of the aforementioned rotating member, in use.

[58] Furthermore, each arm 22 preferably has a plurality of leakage slits 24 on the surface between the intermediate portion 21 and the end portion 23. The leakage slits 24 are preferably longitudinal and substantially parallel to each other. In particular, the leakage slits 24 are contiguous with respect to each other and are sized so as to disperse the heat accumulated in the arms 22, in use, due to the Joule effect by the passage of electric current transmitted from the inlet portion 3 to the outlet portion 4. Each leakage slit 24 is provided with a first end and a second end. The first end and the second end are closed.

[59] The pair of arms 22 and the intermediate portion 21 are arranged so as to form a V or U- shaped profile.

[60] The device 1 preferably comprises a plurality of conductor elements 2 superimposed and mutually spaced so that there is an air channel between each arm 22 of the conductor element 2 and the next one.

[61] The inlet portion 3 comprises first connection means 25 designed to bind the conductor element 2 to the covering element 31. In particular, the first connection means 25 are suitable, in a known way, for being associated with electrical terminals, not shown in the figures, in such a way as to create an electrical connection between the inlet portion 3 and the conductor element 2. Preferably, the electrical terminals are made from faston or cable terminals.

[62] The covering element 31 has one or more openings 32. Preferably, the cover element 31 has a pair of openings 32. The openings 32 are suitable for housing the first connection means 25.

[63] Preferably the covering element 31 is made of metal material such as aluminum or an aluminum alloy.

[64] The covering element 31 forms a central body at the ends of which a pair of protrusions 33 are connected by an arch.

[65] Preferably the cover element 31 has a C shape.

[66] The inlet portion 3 also comprises a support body 34 which is preferably prism-shaped and positioned close to the longitudinal surface of the intermediate portion 21 of the conducting element 2 at a respective operating surface 35 and opposite the covering element 31 . In particular, the operating surface 35 is made peripherally in the support body 34 and also includes one or more holes, not shown in the figures, suitable for inserting the first connection means 25.

[67] The housing of the first connection means 25 determines, in use, the stable positioning of the conducting element 2 between the covering element 31 and the support body 34.

[68] The positioning between the protrusions 33 of the support body 34 forms an adjustment channel 36 which directs the arms 22 of the conductor element 2 to assume a V-shape or a U-shape.

[69] The operation of the device for conducting electric current is easily understandable from the above description.

[70] An electric power generator, such as a battery, electrically powers the inlet portion 3 of the device 1 . The current is subsequently transmitted to the conductor element 2 and flows up to the arms 22 and the ends 23.

[71] In use, the end portions 23 of the conductive element 2 are in contact with the conducting ring of the rotor of the rotating member, electrically connecting the static device 1 and the rotor.

[72] The end portions 23 are preferably made with rounded corners so as to reduce the contact friction with the conductor ring.

[73] In particular, the protrusions 33 and the support body 34 impose on the arms 22 of the conductor element 2 the arrangement to be made, in a V or U shape, depending on the positioning.

[74] According to a preferred embodiment, in the V-shaped arrangement, the arms 22 abut on the protrusions 33 and are set apart from the support body 34.

[75] According to a further embodiment, in the U-shaped arrangement, the arms 22 are placed against both the support body 34 and the protrusions 33.

[76] According to a preferred embodiment, to increase the electric current capacity of the device 1 a plurality of conductive elements 2 is inserted between the covering element 31 and the support body 34, as previously described (see in particular Figure 1). In particular, during operation according to this embodiment, the current capacity may reach up to 500 [A], without compromising the thermal regime of the device, thanks to the thermal dispersion provided by the leakage openings 24.

[77] According to a variant shown in Figure 4, each arm 22 has a coupling hole 26 positioned close to the intermediate portion 21 . In particular, the coupling hole 26 is a through hole and is capable of associating each arm 22 with the support body 34 through coupling means.

[78] According to a preferred embodiment, the leakage openings 24 are positioned discontinuously along each arm 22. In particular, the discontinuous positioning of the leakage openings allows the heat accumulated in specific portions of the arms to be dissipated in a localized manner 22.

[79] Preferably, the coupling means are self-locking nuts coupled to a headless screw.

[80] More particularly, the coupling means are suitable for adjusting the opening of the arms 22 so that, in use, the ends 23 adhere to the conducting ring with a preselected contact pressure.

[81] The variation of the contact pressure optimizes the sliding speed with which the conducting element 2 adheres to the conducting ring.

[82] Furthermore, the variation of the contact pressure allows the variation of the resulting electrical resistance of the device 1 .

[83] According to a further embodiment shown in Figures 5 - 6, the device 1 is unprovided with the covering element 31 presenting only the support body 34. The conducting element 2 is directly associated with the support body 34. In particular, each arm 22 is inserted in the channel 36, the latter being obtained peripherally in the same support body 34. More preferably, the channel 36 is a through channel and passes through the support body 34.

[84] Furthermore, the support body 34, according to the same embodiment, comprises a hooking edge 37 shaped by at least one curvilinear recess 39. Preferably, this curvilinear recess 39 comprises at least one surface shaped like an arc of circumference having an extension of not less than 180°, so as to receive a coupling member, for example a pin. Preferably, the hooking edge 37 is opposed to the intermediate portion 21 of the conducting element 2 with respect to the support body 34.

[85] In particular, the device 1 according to the current embodiment is suitable for the transmission of electric currents up to 40 [A] and of information signals.

[86] Preferably the support body 34 is made of plastic material such as polycarbonate for example.

[87] According to a preferred embodiment, more devices 1 are placed side by side to form a plurality of devices. Furthermore, the support body 34 comprises a contact surface 38 adjacent to the operating surface 35 and preferably flat.

[88] In particular, the plurality of devices placed side by side is achieved by positioning the same single devices 1 so that the contact surfaces 38 of two adjacent devices 1 mate. From the positioning of the plurality of devices, the hooking edges 37 align to form a longitudinal groove.

[89] The devices 1 are also mutually constrained, in a known way, by the insertion of anchoring means, for example identified by a pin, which is inserted into the groove.

[90] According to a further embodiment, the device 1 , alternatively to the through channel 36, has a pair of fins, not shown in the figures. The fins of each pair are mutually opposed and house, in use, the arm 22.

[91] Preferably the device 1 conducts electrical energy by exploiting resistivity levels ranging from 0.2 [mO] and 6 [mO]

[92] According to the invention, the leakage openings 24 rapidly disperse the heat dissipated by the Joule effect from the conduction of electricity in such a way as not to overheat the device 1. In particular, the device 1 effectively disperses heat at the points of contact between the ends 23 and the conductor ring.

[93] More specifically, the heat dispersion achieved thanks to the leakage openings 24 enables the device to reach low overheating even in case of failure.

[94] In the practical embodiment of the invention, the materials used, as well as the shape and the size, may be modified depending on requirements.

[95] Should the technical features mentioned in any claim be followed by reference signs, such reference signs were included strictly with the aim of enhancing the understanding of the claims and hence they shall not be deemed restrictive in any manner whatsoever on the scope of each element identified for exemplifying purposes by such reference signs.