This invention relates to an improved method of converting input torque to output torque in a multi stepped gearbox and recovering energy from and applying energy to a power train.
The unit can be part of a conventional power train, a hybrid power train a kinetic energy recovery system or a full electric power train.
Conventional hybrid power train systems and kinetic energy recovery systems use a gearbox to transfer torque from the main input source, which is usually an internal combustion engine, to the output, torque from the gearbox goes to the drive axle or axles and additional gearing, transmissions, shafts and clutches connect a variety of electric engines and torque multipliers to this primary power train to harvest and apply electrical energy. The electric shift energy recovery unit (ESERU) here described needs no additional external components; with an electric control unit and an electric energy storage device it comprises a complete hybrid system or a kinetic energy recovery system.
The ESERU is a multi ratio stepped gearbox, suitable for vehicles and other torque transfer devices, comprising a number of gear sets
Figure: 1 (1-6), which can be selected independently or in combination, gear changes are made using electro magnetic energy eliminating the need for mechanical, hydraulic or pneumatic clutches and synchronizing assemblies.
The outer component of each gear set operates as a rotating part of an electric engine, using magnets embedded in the outer circumference of the gear set components (1-6) and the static parts of the electric engines (7) which are built into the gearbox casing (16). Electric energy is used to accelerate, decelerate and position components in the gear sets, to allow them to be unlocked or locked with electronic lockers (13), to facilitate the conversion of input rpm to output rpm, controlling the timing of the application of electrical energy and the force, produces a constantly variable and efficient transfer of torque from input to output of each gear set, giving a true seamless shift between a ratio of 1:1 of any locked gear set and the mechanical ratio of the gear set unlocked.
The electrical engines recover electric energy to storage from the power train during deceleration and apply electric energy from storage to the power train during acceleration and cruise and/or when electrical power transfer is demanded, eliminating the need for extra gearing between the electric engines and the power train in hybrid, KERS or electric applications and supply the required electrical power for gear changes in all configurations including conventional or full electric application.
Initial transfer of torque, to achieve propulsion and establish inertia in either rotational direction of the single output shaft (14), is achieved by applying electric energy to the electric engines of the gearbox, if another external engine is required to apply torque to the power train after inertia is established, the outer component of the first gear set (1), is brought to stationary using electro magnetic energy and electronic lockers (13), lock this component to the gearbox casing (16), the external engine is then capable of applying torque through this gear ratio to output.
Gear changes between gear sets is achieved by unlocking the engaged gear outer component from the gearbox casing (16), accelerating the outer component using electro magnetic energy, established component inertia and control over the input torque source, to bring the complete gear set to a common shaft rotational speed, locking this gear set, unlocking the next selected gear set, decelerating the outer component of this gear set to stationary, using electro magnetic energy and locking this component to the gearbox casing (16). A wide range of gear ratios and ratio combinations is made available using this operating method and torque application to the power train from both the gearbox electrical engines and an external engine is made available to output over a wide and efficient range.
The ESERU gear train comprises a variable number of planetary gear sets Example: Figure 1 (1 – 6), any one of the three components comprising the gear sets (8,9,10), can be chosen for torque input, any one for torque output and the remaining component locked stationary, giving a wide range of available ratios from a wide range of possible configurations.
The casing lockers engage with slots (18) on the outside of each gear set and the lockers within the gear train engage with corresponding slots in adjacent components. When a sun gear needs to be locked to the casing to achieve a gear ratio, a locker within the static support tube (18) is used.
The static tube is an extension of the gear case (16) and forms the main gear train support.
Example of engaged gear set Figure 1: Input from engine (12) through input shaft (11) and first gear sun gear (10), drives planet gears (9), which are forced to ‘walk’ around crown wheel (8), which is locked to the gear casing Figure 2 (16) by lockers (13), the output of the first gear planet gears (9) drives the input sun gear of the second gear sun gear (17) via the first gear planet carrier.
When not selected for use, the gear sets are locked together as one unit with no relative gear motion, giving zero gear torque loss at a ratio of 1:1 input to output, in direct top gear the complete gear train is locked at a ratio of 1:1 input to output, producing no gear torque loss from the complete gear train, the torque output shaft Figure 1 (14) drives the vehicle through a drive axle (15), or other torque transfer device in all gear combinations.
A sliding locker Figure 3 (19) is provided in most configurations, to allow the selection of disengaged gear train neutral.
1. A stepped ratio gearbox without hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanically operated clutches, synchronisers or ratio changing mechanism.
2. An energy recovery and application unit, being an integral part of a gearbox that eliminates the need for additional gear sets and the associated control and installation systems.
3. The electro magnetic operation of a gear set producing a seamless constantly variable change of gear ratios, while maintaining a smooth constant transfer of torque from input to output.
4. A method of torque application that eliminates the need for a direct engagement clutch, by establishing the vehicle or output device inertia prior to connecting a separate torque input device.
5. A gearbox without any relative gear movement in gear sets not ratio selected and in the whole gear train when direct top gear 1:1 ratio is selected, resulting in very low torque loss in use.
6. A hybrid gearbox unit that can be configured to replace most current conventional vehicle transmissions to form the basis of a more efficient, compact and lighter hybrid system.
7. A racing car gearbox including integral energy recovery and apply components, without the need for external gear units or electrical engines, making the unit lighter, more compact and more efficient for KERS applications and installations.
Electric Shift Energy Recovery Unit
A gearbox unit including integral electric engine components 1-7 which are used for operating gear changes and for recovering electric energy from and applying electric energy to a gear train
Figures 1, 2 and 3 to accompany abstract