(19)
(11)EP 2 159 427 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
20.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/21

(21)Application number: 09251232.6

(22)Date of filing:  30.04.2009
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F04D 25/06  (2006.01)
F04D 27/02  (2006.01)
F04D 25/08  (2006.01)
F04D 29/46  (2006.01)

(54)

COMPACT DRIVE FOR COMPRESSOR VARIABLE DIFFUSER

KOMPAKTANTRIEB FÜR VARIABLEN VERDICHTERDIFFUSOR

COMMANDE COMPACTE POUR DIFFUSEUR VARIABLE DE COMPRESSEUR


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO SE SI SK TR

(30)Priority: 02.09.2008 US 202609

(43)Date of publication of application:
03.03.2010 Bulletin 2010/09

(73)Proprietor: Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation
Windsor Locks, CT 06096-1010 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Beers, Craig M.
    Wethersfield, CT 06109 (US)
  • Beck, John M.
    Granby, CT 06035 (US)

(74)Representative: Dehns 
St. Bride's House 10 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8JD
London EC4Y 8JD (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- S55 125 399
US-A- 3 372 862
US-A- 3 243 159
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] This application relates to a drive for a compressor diffuser.

    [0002] Diffusers are utilized to control an outlet cross-sectional flow area in a compressor. Variable diffusers include a plurality of vanes that can be pivoted to change the cross-sectional flow area between minimum and maximum amounts.

    [0003] In one recently developed diffuser, disclosed in EP 1792024, a ring is driven by a mechanical connection to rotate. When the ring rotates, it carries pins that are received within diffuser vanes. The diffuser vanes pivot as the ring rotates, and thus the cross-sectional flow area can be controlled.

    [0004] The prior art mechanical drive arrangement is complex, requires a relatively large drive motor, and may not be as accurate as desired.

    [0005] US 3372862A, US 3243159A and JP S55125399A disclose vane mechanisms for centrifugal fluid-flow machines.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0006] According to an aspect, the present invention relates to a compressor comprising: an impeller, an inlet for delivering air to the impeller, said impeller being arranged for compressing air and delivering it to an outlet; a variable diffuser positioned downstream of the impeller and including a plurality of pivoting vanes; and a drive arrangement for pivoting said plurality of pivoting vanes, said drive arrangement including an electric motor arranged to cause a pinion gear to rotate, said pinion gear having gear teeth engaging gear teeth on a rack section, rotation of said rack section causing said plurality of pivoting vanes to pivot; wherein said rack section is a curved rack section, and wherein said rack section drives a ring, said ring carrying pins to cause said plurality of pivoting vanes to pivot, characterised by: said impeller being mounted on air bearings; and wherein said pinion gear is positioned radially inwardly of said curved rack section.

    [0007] In a disclosed embodiment of this invention, a drive arrangement for driving diffuser vanes includes an electric motor driving a pinion gear. The pinion gear engages a curved rack section to cause a ring to rotate and pivot diffuser vanes. The compressor is mounted on air bearings, and the unique arrangement provides a compact drive arrangement.

    [0008] These and other features of the present invention can be best understood from the following specification and drawings, the following of which is a brief description.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0009] 

    Figure 1 schematically shows a compressor incorporating an embodiment of the present invention.

    Figure 2 is the detail of a drive arrangement for a diffuser.

    Figure 3 shows a drive connection.

    Figure 4 shows a portion of the diffuser vane.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT



    [0010] A compressor 20 is illustrated in Figure 1, and may be mounted in an aircraft X, shown schematically. An inlet 22 delivers air to be compressed to a compressor impeller 24. An electric motor 26 drives the impeller 24. Air bearings 28 and 30 support the motor shaft 29 for rotation. Cooling air 32 is delivered to the air bearings from a source 34. An outlet 36 of the compressor is positioned downstream of the impeller. A diffuser 38 has a plurality of vanes (see Figure 4) which can be pivoted to control the cross-sectional flow area. A motor 40 drives the diffuser as will be explained below.

    [0011] As shown in Figure 2, the motor 40 drives a pinion gear 42 that has teeth engaged with teeth on a curved rack section 44. As the pinion gear 42 rotates, it causes the curved rack section 44 to rotate. The curved rack section 44 drives a ring 70. Ring 70 carries pins 72. Pins 72, when rotated, cause diffuser vanes 50 to pivot relative to housing 48 on pins 74. As the diffuser vanes 50 pivot, the cross-sectional flow area downstream of the impeller changes.

    [0012] Figure 3 shows the pinion gear 42 engaging the curved rack section 44. As shown, ring 70 carries the pins 72 (see Figure 2) to cause the vanes 50 to pivot.

    [0013] Figure 4 shows the vanes 50 pivoting on the pins 74. The operation of the impeller, and the times when it might be desirable to cause the impeller vanes to pivot is as described in the above-referenced patent application. As can be appreciated, as vanes 50 pivot, they open or restrict the flow cross-section as shown by d. It is the use of the compact mechanical drive that is inventive here.

    [0014] Notably, the pinion 42 is positioned radially inwardly of the curved rack section 44, thus resulting in less required space. In addition, the arrangement provides very accurate positioning of vanes 50 while utilizing a very low power motor.

    [0015] Although an embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.


    Claims

    1. A compressor (20) comprising:

    an impeller (24), an inlet (22) for delivering air to the impeller, said impeller being arranged for compressing air and delivering it to an outlet (36);

    a variable diffuser (38) positioned downstream of the impeller and including a plurality of pivoting vanes (50); and

    a drive arrangement for pivoting said plurality of pivoting vanes, said drive arrangement including an electric motor (40) arranged to cause a pinion gear (42) to rotate, said pinion gear having gear teeth engaging gear teeth on a rack section (44), rotation of said rack section causing said plurality of pivoting vanes (50) to pivot;

    wherein said rack section (44) is a curved rack section, and

    wherein said rack section drives a ring (70), said ring carrying pins (72) to cause said plurality of pivoting vanes (50) to pivot,

    characterised by:

    said impeller (24) being mounted on air bearings (28,30); and

    wherein said pinion gear (42) is positioned radially inwardly of said curved rack section (44).


     
    2. The compressor as set forth in claim 1, wherein said outlet (36) is at a radially outer location.
     
    3. An aircraft comprising a compressor as claimed in any preceding claim.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kompressor (20), Folgendes umfassend:

    einen Impeller (24), einen Einlass (22) zum Liefern von Luft an den Impeller, wobei der Impeller dazu angeordnet ist, Luft zu verdichten und an einen Auslass (36) zu liefern;

    einen variablen Diffusor (38), der stromabwärts von dem Impeller positioniert ist und eine Vielzahl von schwenkbaren Leitschaufeln (50) beinhaltet; und

    eine Antriebsanordnung zum Schwenken der Vielzahl von schwenkbaren Leitschaufeln, wobei die Antriebsanordnung einen Elektromotor (40) beinhaltet, der dazu angeordnet ist, ein Zahnradgetriebe (42) dazu zu veranlassen zu rotieren, wobei das Zahnradgetriebe eine Verzahnung auf einem Zahnstangenabschnitt (44) aufweist, wobei die Rotation des Zahnstangenabschnitts die Vielzahl von schwenkbaren Leitschaufeln (50) dazu veranlasst, zu schwenken;

    wobei der Zahnstangenabschnitt (44) ein gewölbter Zahnstangenabschnitt ist, und

    wobei der Zahnstangenabschnitt einen Ring (70) antreibt, wobei der Ring Stifte (72) trägt, die die Vielzahl von schwenkbaren Leitschaufeln (50) dazu veranlassen, zu schwenken,

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:

    der Impeller (24) auf Luftlagern (28, 30) befestigt ist; und

    wobei das Zahnradgetriebe (42) radial nach innen von dem gewölbten Zahnstangenabschnitt (44) positioniert ist.


     
    2. Kompressor nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Auslass (36) an einem radial äußeren Ort ist.
     
    3. Ein Luftfahrzeug, das einen Kompressor nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Compresseur (20) comprenant :

    une roue à aubes (24), une entrée (22) pour acheminer de l'air vers la roue à aubes, ladite roue à aubes étant conçue pour comprimer de l'air et l'acheminer vers une sortie (36) ;

    un diffuseur variable (38) positionné en aval de la roue à aubes et comportant une pluralité d'aubes pivotantes (50) ; et

    un dispositif de commande permettant de faire pivoter ladite pluralité d'aubes pivotantes, ledit dispositif de commande comportant un moteur électrique (40) conçu pour amener un pignon d'engrenage (42) à pivoter, ledit pignon d'engrenage ayant une denture d'engrenage sur une section de crémaillère (44), la rotation de ladite section de crémaillère amenant ladite pluralité d'aubes pivotantes (50) à pivoter ;

    dans lequel ladite section de crémaillère (44) est une section de crémaillère incurvée, et

    dans lequel ladite section de crémaillère entraîne une bague (70), ladite bague supportant des tiges (72) pour amener ladite pluralité d'aubes pivotantes (50) à pivoter,

    caractérisé en ce que :

    ladite roue à aubes (24) est montée sur des paliers à air (28, 30) ; et

    dans lequel ledit pignon d'engrenage (42) est positionné radialement vers l'intérieur de ladite section de crémaillère incurvée (44).


     
    2. Compresseur selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite sortie (36) se trouve à un emplacement radialement extérieur.
     
    3. Aéronef comprenant un compresseur selon une quelconque revendication précédente.
     




    Drawing












    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description