(19)
(11)EP 2 796 688 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/16

(21)Application number: 14165131.5

(22)Date of filing:  17.04.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F02C 7/22  (2006.01)
F02C 7/232  (2006.01)
F02C 7/236  (2006.01)

(54)

System for controlling two positive displacement pumps

System zur Steuerung von zwei Verdrängerpumpen

Système permettant de commander deux pompes à déplacement positif


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL 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 RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 22.04.2013 US 201313867627

(43)Date of publication of application:
29.10.2014 Bulletin 2014/44

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

(72)Inventor:
  • HAUGSJAAHABINK, Todd
    Springfield, MA Massachusetts 01118 (US)

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


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2010 089 026
US-A1- 2012 266 600
US-A1- 2012 156 061
US-A1- 2012 315 152
  
      
    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



    [0001] The present disclosure relates generally to fuel systems for gas turbine engines. In particular, the present disclosure relates to fuel systems utilizing fuel flow from two fuel pumps to provide combustion fuel and to operate engine actuation systems.

    [0002] In conventional fuel systems, a main fuel pump is used to deliver fuel to a fuel metering valve that provides fuel directly to fuel injectors in the combustion section of a gas turbine engine. Additionally, some of the fuel flow from the main fuel pump is circulated through actuators that operate other engine or aircraft systems. Such a system is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,487,016, which is assigned to United Technologies Corporation. In some systems, the metering valve is controlled with a servo valve-controlled torque motor that provides fuel based on engine requirements for different speeds, and servo valve-controlled actuators are used to regulate airflow to active clearance control systems based on the fuel flow. The servo valves utilize fuel flow from the main fuel pump to provide actuation. The main fuel pump needs to be sized at a minimum to provide flow to the servo valves and to the injectors at start and idle engine speed, and at a maximum to provide flow to the servo valves and to the injectors under transient engine conditions, such as during take-off. Thus, the main fuel pump must have a large capacity to accommodate the entire engine operating envelope and to provide fuel to other various aircraft systems.

    [0003] More recent systems have utilized a dedicated servo pump to service the actuators in order to reduce inefficiencies of a large main fuel pump. Additionally, it is desirable to ensure that the dedicated servo pump generates enough flow and pressure to ensure operation of the actuators in the event of an engine shutdown. One dual-pump system is described in Pub. No. U.S. 2012/0234015, which is assigned to Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation. This system, however, relies on a pressure regulating valve that has multiple windows controlling multiple fuel flows with a single spool. There is a need for a more efficient and more easily controlled fuel and actuation system for gas turbine engines.

    [0004] US 2012/0315152 discloses a fuel system according to the preamble of claim 1.

    SUMMARY



    [0005] The present invention provides a fuel system as set forth in claim 1.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0006] 

    FIG. 1A shows a fuel and actuation system in a run mode wherein a pump sharing valve regulates flow from a main fuel pump and a servo fuel pump to a combustion system and to actuators.

    FIG. 1B shows a fuel and actuation system in a shut-down mode wherein a pump sharing valve regulates flow from a main fuel pump and a servo fuel pump to actuators.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0007] FIG. 1A shows fuel and actuation system 10 in a run mode wherein pump sharing valve 12 regulates flow from main pump 14 and servo pump 16 to nozzles 18 and to actuators 20. System 10 also includes minimum pressure valve 22, metering valve 24, shut-off valve 26 and pressure regulating valve 28. System 10 is provided with fuel from source 30, which may be a fuel tank located on an aircraft airframe, or a boost pump that receives fuel from a fuel tank. The present disclosure is described with reference to a fuel system for a gas turbine engine that utilizes fuel flow to operate aircraft system actuators. However, the fuel and actuation system described herein may be used with other aircraft or non-aircraft systems.

    [0008] Fuel located in source 30 is pumped out at pressure PD, such as through the use of a boost pump (not shown) to main pump 14 and servo pump 16. Main pump 14 delivers fuel to nozzles 18 within a gas turbine engine combustor where a combustion process that consumes fuel occurs. Servo pump 16 provides fuel to actuators 20 to control various operations related to the gas turbine engine, and then returns the fuel to system 10. Main pump 14 and servo pump 16 are mechanically operated based on shaft speed within the gas turbine engine to which they are coupled. Thus, at higher shaft speeds, pumps 14 and 16 provide higher volumetric flow rates of fuel. Fuel flow from each of main pump 14 and servo pump 16 can be used to compliment flow from the other pump in various operating states of system 10. For example, servo pump 16 can boost output of main pump 14 during normal engine operating conditions (e.g. during high fuel demand conditions), while main pump 14 can boost output of servo pump 16 during engine shut down conditions (e.g. during low fuel demand conditions).

    [0009] A main flow of fuel from main pump 14 flows to metering valve 24 through main line 31 at pressure P1. Metering valve 24 is actively controlled by a FADEC or EEC that operates servo motor 32. Metering valve 24 includes main window 34, unloading port 36 and shut-off port 38. In the run mode, fuel that passes through window 34 of metering valve 24 is controlled by pressure regulating valve 28. From metering valve 24, fuel passes through shut-off valve 26 to engine nozzles 18. Shut-off valve 26 is spring-biased to a shut or closed position, but is held open in the run mode via pressure P2 from metering valve 24. Nozzles 18 provide fuel to a combustor within a gas turbine engine where a combustion process is executed that consumes the fuel. The combustion process, as is known in the art, operates the gas turbine engine to provide shaft power or thrust that drives an aircraft.

    [0010] Fuel not needed by metering valve 24 is routed through pressure regulating valve 28 back to main pump 14. Pressure regulating valve 28 allows fuel from the high pressure side of main pump 14 to be returned to the low pressure side of main pump 14 through bypass line 40. For example, main pump 14 operates to provide a steady flow of fuel to nozzles 18 at different operating speeds of the gas turbine engine. Sometimes, such as during steady state cruise conditions of the gas turbine engine, main pump 14 can provide more fuel than is needed by nozzles 18. In such scenarios, metering valve 24 returns unconsumed fuel back through system 10. In one embodiment, pressure regulating valve 28 is spring-biased to a shut or closed position, but is held open in the run mode via pressure P1 from metering valve 24. In another embodiment, metering valve 24 comprises an electronically operated valve, such as a direct drive valve, that is controlled by a control system for the gas turbine engine. In yet another embodiment, metering valve 24 comprises a servo valve that operates based on fuel flow as do actuators 20, which will be described in detail below.

    [0011] Metering valve 24 is also used to control the position of shut-off valve 26 and pump sharing valve 12 via ports 38 and 36, respectively. Shut-off port 38 is also provided with a low pressure signal in line 42 to allow shut-off valve 26 to open under pressure P2 from metering valve 24 in the run mode. Unloading port 36 is provided with a high pressure signal in line 44 to push pump sharing valve 12 to the run mode position, which affects where flow from servo motor 16 is routed. Additionally, system 10 includes orifices 45A and 45B. In the run mode, the signal in line 42 is saturated by PD through shutoff valve damping orifice 45B, and the signal in line 44 is at P1. In the shutdown mode, the signal in line 42 is switched to P1 which overwhelms shutoff valve damping orifice 45B, and the signal in line 44 is no longer connected to P1, but is now connected to PD via pump sharing valve orifice 45A. Orifices 45A and 45B include openings that permit less through-flow than ports 36 and 38, respectively. Orifice 45B also provides damping to valve 26 to prevent oscillation during operation, as is known in the art.

    [0012] A circulating flow of fuel from servo pump 16 flows to actuators 20 through servo line 46A. Filter 48 removes contaminants from the fuel before being routed to actuators 20 to avoid formation of blockages. In one embodiment, filter 48 comprises a wash filter, as is known in the art. In one embodiment, actuators 20 comprise servo valves that are operated by fuel flow from servo pump 16. In one embodiment, actuators 20 include butterfly valves that are actuated based on the volume of fuel flow provided by servo pump 16. Actuators 20 regulate airflows within the gas turbine engine operated by nozzles 18. For example, actuators 20 may actuate an active clearance control air valve that provides airflow to change the clearance gap in the turbine section of the gas turbine engine. Such an active clearance control system is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,069,662 to Redinger, which is assigned to United Technologies Corporation. As another example, actuators 20 may also actuate a bleed valve that controls bleed airflow from the compressor section of the gas turbine engine operated by nozzles 18 for various uses, such as variable vane systems. After being utilized by actuators 20, the fuel returns to the flow of fuel in system 10, such as between source 30 and main pump 14.

    [0013] Minimum pressure valve 22, which is a spring-actuated valve, ensures that actuators 20 receive a minimum effective pressure to operate. From minimum pressure valve 22, the fuel flows into pump sharing valve 12 through servo line 46B. In one embodiment, pump sharing valve 12 is pushed to the run mode position via fuel pressure in line 44, with a spring-assist. In another embodiment, pump sharing valve 12 comprises an electronically operated valve, such as a direct drive valve, that is controlled by a control system for the gas turbine engine. In yet another embodiment, pump sharing valve 12 comprises a servo valve that operates based on fuel flow as do actuators 20. Share window 50 of pump sharing valve 12 alternatively directs fuel to main line 31 via line 56 or to the inlet of servo pump 16 via line 58. Additionally, pump sharing valve 12 includes sharing port 52 that opens and closes fuel circuit 54 between fuel line 31 and the outlet of servo pump 16.

    [0014] In the run mode, pump sharing valve 12 is positioned to close sharing port 52 and fuel circuit 54 under a high pressure signal in line 44 from metering valve 24 and spring force. Positioned as such, window 50 routes a shared flow of fuel from minimum pressure valve 22 to main line 31 through line 56. As such, any excess fuel pressurized by servo pump 16, e.g. fuel not needed by actuators 20, is routed to the output of main pump 14 in main line 31. Thus, servo pump 16 acts to compliment main pump 14 in the run mode. As such, the capacity of main pump 14 can be reduced, as compared to a main fuel pump that operates independently of a servo fuel pump. In the run mode, each of main pump 14 and servo pump 16 operates to provide their respective recipient (e.g. nozzles 18 and actuator 20, respectively) the desired fuel needs, with excess capacity provided to compliment main pump 14. In the shut-down mode, pump sharing valve 12 operates to provide all flow from main pump 14 to actuators 20, as shown in FIG. 1B.

    [0015] FIG. 1B shows fuel and actuation system 10 in a shut-down mode wherein pump sharing valve 12 regulates flow from main pump 14 and servo pump 16 to actuators 20. In the shut-down mode, metering valve 24 is activated via servo motor 32 to close-off fuel flow through window 34 to shut-off valve 26. Shut-off port 38 is provided with a high pressure signal to assist shut-off valve 26 in closing. Shut-off valve 26 also closes under spring force. Simultaneously, with pressure P2 dead-headed, it becomes equal to pressure P1 due to leakage through the metering valve. This forces the pressure regulating valve 28 to close, assisted by a spring force in valve 28. Unloading port 36 is positioned to provide a low pressure signal to pump sharing valve 12, which allows valve 12 to connect share window 50 with line 58. A shared flow of fuel from window 50 is routed to the inlet of servo pump 16 through line 58. Additionally, all output of main pump 14 is routed from main line 31, through port 52 and fuel circuit 54 to join with the output of servo pump 16. As such, actuators 20 receive a combined flow of fuel from servo pump 16 and pump 14 that is sufficient for actuation of actuators 20, even under low flow conditions.

    [0016] In view of the foregoing, system 10 is configured to ensure adequate flow of fuel to nozzles 18 and actuators 20 under a variety of operating conditions for a gas turbine engine. Under normal, cruise conditions where the gas turbine engine is driving main pump 14 and servo pump 16 at high flow rates, system 10 operates in a run mode where servo pump 16 provides all of the required fuel flow requirements to actuators 20. Any excess capacity of servo pump 16 is routed to supplement fuel flow from main pump 14 to nozzles 18. As such, main pump 14 need not be sized to meet the full demands of nozzles 18. Under shut-down conditions, when the gas turbine engine is not actively powering main pump 14 and servo pump 16, system 10 operates in a shut-down mode where main pump 14 provides additional flow to servo pump 16 to supplement fuel flow to actuators 20.

    [0017] Low output conditions may occur when the gas turbine engine stalls during flight. Under these conditions, main pump 14 and servo pump 16 are providing lower than normal output due to the significantly reduced operating speed of the gas turbine engine, which is rotating only under power from residual momentum or windmilling conditions. Thus, under stall conditions, servo pump 16 may not, without taking other measures, be able to provide actuators 20 with sufficient fuel for actuation, which may hinder restarting of the gas turbine engine such as by limiting the capability to re-orientate variable vanes. However, with the present system, output flow of main pump 14 supplements output of servo pump 16 to ensure actuators 20 receive sufficient flow to provide actuation and re-start of the engine. The capacity of main pump 14 is large enough, such that even under low flow, windmilling conditions, enough fuel is provided to actuators 20 to enable actuation. The pump sharing valve described herein, therefore, allows the main pump and the servo pump to share fuel flows in various concentrations to provide efficient operation under different engine operating conditions.

    [0018] While the invention has been described with reference to an exemplary embodiment(s), it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A fuel system (10) for an aircraft, the fuel system (10) comprising:

    a main pump (14) that receives fuel from a source (30);

    a servo pump (16) that receives fuel from the source (30);

    a metering valve (24) that receives main flow (31) from the main pump (14);

    a shut-off valve (26) that receives fuel flow from the metering valve (24);

    an actuator (20) that receives fuel flow from the servo pump (16); and

    a pump sharing valve (12)that receives circulating flow from the servo pump (16) and that alternatively directs shared flow to the main flow (31) or an inlet of the servo pump (16); characterised in that

    the metering valve (24) includes a shut-off port (38) that actuates the shut-off valve (26), and the shut-off port (38) provides a low signal pressure to the shut-off valve (26) in a run mode so that the shut-off valve (26) is biased open and a high signal pressure to the shut-off valve (26) in a shut-down mode so that the shut-off valve (26) is forced closed.


     
    2. The fuel system (10) of claim 1, wherein the pump sharing valve (12) further controls fuel through a fuel circuit (54) connecting an output flow of the main pump (14) with the circulating flow.
     
    3. The fuel system (10) of claim 1 or 2, further comprising a pressure regulating valve (28) disposed in a bypass line (40) connecting a high pressure side of the main pump (14) with a low pressure side of the main pump (14).
     
    4. The fuel system (10) of claim 3, wherein the pressure regulating valve (28) is actuated by output pressure of the metering valve (24).
     
    5. The fuel system (10) of any preceding claim, wherein the metering valve (24) includes an unloading port (36) that actuates the pump sharing valve (12);
    and optionally wherein the unloading port (36) provides:

    a high signal pressure to the pump sharing valve (12) in a run mode so that the pump sharing valve (12) provides the shared flow to the main flow (31); and

    a low signal pressure to the pump sharing valve (12) in a shut-down mode so that the pump sharing valve (12) provides the shared flow to the inlet of the servo pump (16).


     
    6. The fuel system (10) of any preceding claim, further comprising:

    a boost pump that provides fuel from the source (30) to the main pump (14) and the servo pump (16); and

    fuel nozzles (18) that receive fuel from the shut-off valve (26).


     
    7. The fuel system (10) of any preceding claim, further comprising:

    a filter (48) positioned between the servo pump (16) and the actuator (20); and

    a minimum pressure valve (22) positioned between the servo pump (16) and the pump sharing valve (12).


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Kraftstoffsystem (10) für ein Flugzeug, wobei das Kraftstoffsystem (10) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Hauptpumpe (14), die einen Kraftstoff von einer Quelle (30) empfängt;

    eine Servopumpe (16), die einen Kraftstoff von der Quelle (30) empfängt;

    ein Dosierungsventil (24), das eine Hauptströmung (31) von der Hauptpumpe (14) empfängt;

    ein Absperrventil (26), das eine Kraftstoffströmung von dem Dosierungsventil (24) empfängt;

    einen Aktuator (20), der eine Kraftstoffströmung von der Servopumpe (16) empfängt; und

    ein Pumpenverteilungsventil (12), das eine zirkulierende Strömung von der Servopumpe (16) empfängt, und das abwechselnd eine geteilte Strömung an die Hauptströmung (31) oder einen Einlass der Servopumpe (16) leitet;
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass

    das Dosierungsventil (24) einen Absperranschluss (38) einschließt, der das Absperrventil (26) betätigt, und wobei der Absperranschluss (38) in einem Ausführungsmodus einen niedrigen Signaldruck an das Absperrventil (26) bereitstellt, sodass das Absperrventil (26) dazu vorgespannt ist, sich zu öffnen, und in einem Abschaltmodus einen hohen Signaldruck an das Absperrventil (26) bereitstellt, sodass das Absperrventil (26) dazu gezwungen ist, sich zu schließen.


     
    2. Kraftstoffsystem (10) nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Pumpenteilungsventil (12) ferner einen Kraftstoff durch einen Kraftstoffkanal (54) steuert, der eine Ausgabeströmung der Hauptpumpe (14) mit der zirkulierenden Strömung verbindet.
     
    3. Kraftstoffsystem (10) nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, ferner umfassend ein Druckregulierungsventil (28), das in einer Bypassleitung (40) angeordnet ist, die eine Hochdruckseite der Hauptpumpte (14) mit einer Niederdruckseite der Hauptpumpe (14) verbindet.
     
    4. Kraftstoffsystem (10) nach Anspruch 3, wobei das Druckregulierungsventil (28) durch einen Ausgabedruck des Dosierungsventils (24) betätigt wird.
     
    5. Kraftstoffsystem (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Dosierungsventil (24) einen Auslassanschluss (36) einschließt, der das Pumpenteilungsventil (12) betätigt;
    und gegebenenfalls wobei der Auslassanschluss (36) Folgendes bereitstellt:

    in einem Ausführungsmodus einen hohen Signaldruck an das Pumpenteilungsventil (12), sodass das Pumpenteilungsventil (12) die geteilte Strömung an die Hauptströmung (31) bereitstellt; und

    in einem Abschaltmodus einen niedrigen Signaldruck an das Pumpenteilungsventil (12), sodass das Pumpenteilungsventil (12) die geteilte Strömung an den Einlass der Servopumpe (16) bereitstellt.


     
    6. Kraftstoffsystem (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend:

    eine Druckerhöhungspumpe, die einen Kraftstoff von der Quelle (30) an die Hauptpumpe (14) und die Servopumpe (16) bereitstellt; und

    Kraftstoffdüsen (18), die einen Kraftstoff von dem Absperrventil (26) empfangen.


     
    7. Kraftstoffsystem (10) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, ferner umfassend:

    einen Filter (48), der zwischen der Servopumpe (16) und dem Aktuator (20) positioniert ist; und

    ein Mindestdruckventil (22), das zwischen der Servopumpe (16) und dem Pumpenteilungsventil (12) positioniert ist.


     


    Revendications

    1. Système de carburant (10) pour un aéronef, le système de carburant (10) comprenant :

    une pompe principale (14) qui reçoit du carburant d'une source (30) ;

    une servo-pompe (16) qui reçoit du carburant de la source (30) ;

    un doseur (24) qui reçoit un écoulement principal (31) de la pompe principale (14) ;

    une vanne d'arrêt (26) qui reçoit un écoulement de carburant du doseur (24) ;

    un actionneur (20) qui reçoit un écoulement de carburant de la servo-pompe (16) ; et

    une vanne de partage de pompe (12) qui reçoit un écoulement en circulation de la servo-pompe (16) et dirige en alternance l'écoulement partagé vers l'écoulement principal (31) ou une entrée de la servo-pompe (16) ;

    caractérisé en ce que

    le doseur (24) comporte un orifice d'arrêt (38) qui actionne la vanne d'arrêt (26), et l'orifice d'arrêt (38) fournit une basse pression de signalisation à la vanne (26) dans un mode opérationnel de sorte que la vanne d'arrêt (26) est amenée en position ouverte et une haute pression de signalisation à la vanne d'arrêt (26) dans un mode de coupure de sorte que la vanne d'arrêt (26) est forcée en position fermée.


     
    2. Système de carburant (10) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la vanne de partage de pompe (12) commande en outre le carburant à travers un circuit de carburant (54) reliant un écoulement de sortie de la pompe principale (14) avec l'écoulement en circulation.
     
    3. Système de carburant (10) selon la revendication 1 ou 2, comprenant en outre une vanne de régulation de pression (28) disposée dans une conduite de dérivation (40) reliant un côté haute pression de la pompe principale (14) avec un côté basse pression de la pompe principale (14).
     
    4. Système de carburant (10) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel la vanne de régulation de pression (28) est actionnée par la pression de sortie du doseur (24).
     
    5. Système de carburant (10) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, dans lequel le doseur (24) comporte un orifice de décharge (36) qui actionne la vanne de partage de pompe (12) ;
    et éventuellement dans lequel l'orifice de décharge (36) fournit :

    une haute pression de signalisation à la vanne de partage de pompe (12) dans un mode opérationnel de sorte que la vanne de partage de pompe (12) fournit l'écoulement partagé à l'écoulement principal (31) ; et

    une basse pression de signalisation à la vanne de partage de pompe (12) dans un mode de coupure de sorte que la vanne de partage de pompe (12) fournit l'écoulement partagé à l'entrée de la servo-pompe (16).


     
    6. Système de carburant (10) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre :

    une pompe de gavage qui fournit du carburant de la source (30) à la pompe principale (14) et à la servo-pompe (16) ; et

    des injecteurs de carburant (18) qui reçoivent du carburant de la vanne d'arrêt (26).


     
    7. Système de carburant (10) selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre :

    un filtre (48) positionné entre la servo-pompe (16) et l'actionneur (20) ; et

    une vanne de pression minimale (22) positionnée entre la servo-pompe (16) et la vanne de partage de pompe (12).


     




    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