Patent number 8608427 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to an arrangement for optimizing the running clearance for turbomachines that are at least partially of the axial type, by controlling or regulating the inner diameter, which is relevant to the running clearance, of at least one stator structure that surrounds a rotor blade ring.
"Persons skilled in the art usually refer to this technology as Active Clearance Control, or ACC. As a rule, the known designs using this construction are based on the principle of supplying areas of the housing or stator elements with a flow of low-temperature air, i.e. cooling air, in a defined fashion in order to influence the running clearance via thermal contraction of these components. A reduction or interruption in the flow of cooling air causes the components to expand again. This procedure is more effective the greater the temperature difference between the component and the cooling air. Preferably, a hot turbine stator is supplied with relatively cool air from a compressor. Such an arrangement is disclosed for example in U.S. Pat. No. 6,454,529 B1. In compressors, the development also includes active monitoring of the maintaining of the clearance. Thermal influencing of the housing or stator reaches its limit in particular in compressors, due to small temperature differences. Thus, there is a demand for systems that perform better and that react faster."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "Against the background of the known solutions, the object of the present invention is to propose an arrangement for optimizing the running clearance in turbomachines that are at least partly of the axial type, said arrangement having particularly fast reaction time and high power, and thus being suitable for use in compressors.
"This object is achieved by the arrangement having a new type of stator structure having an inner ring, an outer ring concentric thereto at a radial distance therefrom, and a plurality of links that integrally connect the rings. All of the links are inclined in the circumferential direction by the same angle, relative to the radial direction. In addition, the arrangement comprises an adjustment device for rotating the inner ring relative to the outer ring, with elastic modification of the running clearance-relevant inner diameter. Thus, the present invention relates to a mechanical arrangement that, starting from a 'center position' free of adjustment forces, enables both a compression and an expansion of the inner ring, depending on the direction of rotation, with elastic, reversible deformation. The reaction speed of the arrangement is a function predominantly of the speed of the selected adjustment device. Because the present invention does not rely on thermally induced deformations, significant improvement can be achieved with respect to speed, e.g. using hydraulic, pneumatic, or piezoelectric force-producing devices. This also has the advantage that for the adjustment it is not necessary to take any process gas stream from the engine, or at least not to any significant extent.
"In the following, the present invention is explained in more detail on the basis of the drawings, which are simplified and not to scale."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Bock, Alexander. Arrangement for Optimising the Running Clearance for Turbomachines. U.S. Patent Number 8608427, filed
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