Patents Examined by Thomas E. Denion
  • Patent number: 8844281
    Abstract: A heat engine includes a first rotatable pulley and a second rotatable pulley spaced from the first rotatable pulley. A shape memory alloy (SMA) element is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at an SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element includes a first wire, a second wire, and a matrix joining the first wire and the second wire. The first wire and the second wire are in contact with the pulleys, but the matrix is not in contact with the pulleys. A timing cable is disposed about respective portions of the pulleys at a timing pulley ratio, which is different than the SMA pulley ratio. The SMA element converts a thermal energy gradient between the hot region and the cold region into mechanical energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, Dynalloy, Inc, The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, John Andrew Shaw, Christopher Burton Churchill, Andrew C. Keefe, Geoffrey P. McKnight, Paul W. Alexander, Guillermo A. Herrera, James Ryan Yates, Jeffrey W. Brown
  • Patent number: 8701392
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine wherein an exhaust purification catalyst and a hydrocarbon feed valve are arranged downstream in an exhaust passage. A first NOX purification method, which removes NOX by making a concentration of hydrocarbons that flows into the exhaust purification catalyst vibrate within predetermined amplitude and period ranges and a second NOX purification method which utilizes an adsorption action of NOX to the exhaust purification catalyst are used. A high pressure exhaust gas recirculation system (HPL) causing recirculation of high pressure exhaust gas and a low pressure exhaust gas recirculation system (LPL) causing recirculation of low pressure exhaust gas are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuki Bisaiji, Kohei Yoshida, Mikio Inoue
  • Patent number: 8689754
    Abstract: An assembly for a valve drive of an internal combustion engine, which has a hydraulic support element and a cam follower connected by way of a clamp. The follower rests on one end via a cap on a spherical head of a pressure piston of the support element. The piston extends in a bore of a housing of the support element. The clamp flanks the cap with holding strips along the sides. The inner sides run in a guide zone on the outer shell of the piston. The housing has an opening for hydraulic fluid that can be conducted between the housing and the piston through at least one passage in the piston to a storage chamber. The guide zone on the piston is also designed as an anti-rotation mechanism therefore. The piston is installed in a defined manner and is torsionally oriented in relation to the cam follower.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
    Inventors: Wolfgang Christgen, Peter Sailer, Frank Himsel
  • Patent number: 8671685
    Abstract: The invention relates electrical power generation using renewable sun energy in a Microturbine Sun Tracker (MST), a system for useful electrical output power that combines a Concentrated Solar Energy (CSE) with a closed cycle Microturbine powerplant. The solar light ray energy of the CSE is directed into a solar receiver with an integrated closed cycle microturbine powerplant, heating the working fluid of the microturbine to cause the turbine rotor/power spool rotation and subsequent output electricity. Also the (MST) system combines the dish form (CSE) and the closed cycle microturbine powerplant to a common frame that incorporates a single axis 360° rotation capability and secondary declination tilting capability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: TMA Power, LLC
    Inventor: Joseph Michael Teets
  • Patent number: 8661810
    Abstract: A shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator includes an SMA element and a flexible outer coating or layer. The element is respectively activated by a heating source. The layer surrounds the element, and enhances the heat transfer characteristics of the element to increase the speed of the actuation cycle. The nominal geometry and/or thermal conductivity may be altered during an activation phase, and may include discrete elements oriented with respect to the element, and partially embedded in the layer. An end gripper assembly may be used to cause the layer to move in concert with the element during a phase transformation. An electro-mechanical system includes the cooling source and the actuator. A method includes connecting the actuator to a load, activating the element using the heating source, and deactivating the element using a cooling source or free/ambient air.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Alan L. Browne, Nancy L. Johnson, Xiujie Gao, James Holbrook Brown, Nilesh D. Mankame, Nicholas W. Pinto, IV
  • Patent number: 8656719
    Abstract: A thermal power plant includes a boiler for burning fossil fuel to generate steam, a steam turbine including a high-pressure turbine, an intermediate-pressure turbine, and a low-pressure turbine which are driven by steam generated in the boiler, an absorber for absorbing and capturing CO2 contained in boiler exhaust gas discharged from the boiler in an absorbing liquid, a desorber for circulating the absorbing liquid between the desorber and the absorber and separating CO2 from the absorbing liquid that has absorbed CO2, a reboiler for feeding a heating source for separating CO2 from the absorbing liquid to the desorber, a steam pipe system for feeding steam taken out from the high-pressure turbine and the intermediate-pressure turbine to the reboiler, and a steam feed source switching device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tetsuya Kosaka, Nobuyoshi Mishima, Takashi Sugiura
  • Patent number: 8650867
    Abstract: An exhaust manifold including a manifold body made of a first material and at least one heat shield insert provided inside the manifold body and made of a second material. The first material is a low cost material and the second material is a higher grade, temperature-resistant material. The manifold body includes a plurality of runners, collector and an outlet. The shield insert is preferably provided in the collector region adjacent to the outlet. The heat shield insert may have a curved sheet configuration or a tubular configuration depending on applications. The heat shield properly insulates the manifold body from the exhaust gas to protect the manifold body. The exhaust manifold, which is made from a combination of different materials, provides a more cost-effective solution in high temperature applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Wescast Industries Inc.
    Inventor: Clayton A. Sloss
  • Patent number: 8621845
    Abstract: A thermal management system includes an enable module, a status module and a temperature control module. The enable module enables generation of ammonia for use in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) catalysts of an exhaust system during a passive SCR mode. The status module determines whether the exhaust system is operating in a passive SCR mode and generates a passive SCR active signal. The passive SCR mode includes operating an engine with rich air/fuel ratios. The temperature control module activates electrical heating of an oxidation catalyst based on the passive SCR active signal and a temperature of the oxidation catalyst.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Inventors: Eugene V. Gonze, David B. Brown
  • Patent number: 8622056
    Abstract: A solar energy power generation system generates AC electrical power from solar radiation through the use of parabolic troughs to capture the energy and a fluid turbine to convert the solar energy to mechanical energy. The turbine is directly coupled to a generator to produce AC electrical power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Solar Logic Incorporated
    Inventor: Gregory Bohl
  • Patent number: 8607555
    Abstract: A mixing element has a grid which includes a plurality of rows parallel to each other and a plurality of deflector elements which project from the grid and are inclined in relation to the grid plane normal. All deflector elements of one row are inclined in the same direction. The deflector elements of at least two immediately adjacent first rows are inclined in the same direction. The mixing element is used in an exhaust system of an internal combustion engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies GmbH
    Inventors: Rolf Kaiser, Klaus Rusch, Florian Stadler
  • Patent number: 8601817
    Abstract: A hydrogen production apparatus which includes: a humidifier (2), which is supplied with a process fluid containing carbon monoxide and mixes the process fluid with steam; a reactor (3), which reacts the humidified process fluid output from the humidifier in the presence of a catalyst, thereby converting the carbon monoxide within the process fluid into carbon dioxide; a first pipe (A) through which high-temperature process fluid flows following reaction in the reactor; a second pipe (B) that supplies makeup water; at least one first heat exchanger (51a, 51b) disposed at one of one or more locations where the first pipe and the second pipe cross each other; and a third pipe (C) that supplies steam generated by heat exchange in the first heat exchanger to other apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Takanori Tsutsumi, Yoshinori Koyama, Katsuhiro Ota, Takashi Fujii, Hiromi Ishii
  • Patent number: 8601808
    Abstract: In accordance with the present invention, a Hydrokinetic & Wind Energy Harvester, placed in a wave-swash zone or in a flowing stream captures energy through water turbines and a wind turbine. A funnel guides water to converge and impinge on water turbines housed in a pipe. A trash guard attached to the funnel prevents trash from entering the pipe. A rotational transmission-system with one-way clutches transmits torque to an alternator to generate electricity. Flywheels maintain steady rotation of alternator shaft. A buoyancy chamber at the bottom produces reduction of weight of the unit in water, thereby enhances maneuverability of unit in water. Stabilization tank at the top when filled with water provides extra weight and stability against sliding and overturning of the unit in its operating location. An energy farm combines the energy of several units linked together; in coastal water, units form a seawall-like barrier mitigating coastal erosion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Inventor: Erat S. Joseph
  • Patent number: 8596043
    Abstract: A diesel dosing system for a vehicle includes a control valve (31) controlling fluid flow to a dosing valve (32) for supplying fuel directly into an exhaust passage of the vehicle. A system pressure source (55) feeds the control valve. A shutoff valve (54) is fluidly connected to the pressure source downstream thereof and to the control valve upstream thereof. The shutoff valve permits bi-directional flow there-through. A connection (57) is between the shutoff valve and the control valve defining a fluid volume there-between. The shutoff valve permits fluid flow from the system pressure source through the connection and to the control valve during a regeneration phase of the system. Upon engine shutdown and based on fluid pressure in the volume, the shutoff valve opens so that fluid trapped in the volume will communicate with the pressure source thereby reducing the fluid pressure in the volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: William Imoehl, Willem Nicolaas Van Vuuren
  • Patent number: 8588598
    Abstract: A shape memory alloy actuation apparatus comprises a movable element suspended on a support structure by a plurality of flexures which are non-uniformly configured to apply forces having differing components perpendicular to the movement axis generating a net moment around the center of mass of the movable element in an opposite sense from the moment generated by the actuation force. A shape memory alloy wire is coupled between the support structure and an intermediate body engaging the movable element through a pivotal contact to avoid lateral force transfer. Also coupled between the support structure and the intermediate body is a resilient biassing flexure plastically deformed in a partial region thereof. The shape memory alloy wire is crimped by a crimping member fixed to the support structure holding the shape memory alloy wire against a curved surface from which the shape alloy memory wire extends to the movable element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Cambridge Mechatronics Limited
    Inventors: Richard Topliss, Andrew Benjamin David Brown
  • Patent number: 8584633
    Abstract: An eVCP camshaft phaser comprising a harmonic gear drive unit having a circular spline and a dynamic spline linked by a common flexspline, and a single wave generator disposed within the flexspline. The circular spline is connectable to either of a crankshaft-connectable sprocket or an engine camshaft, the dynamic spline being connectable to the other thereof. The wave generator is driven selectively by an eMotor to cause the dynamic spline to rotate past the circular spline, thereby changing the phase relationship between the crankshaft and the camshaft. A coaxial coil spring is connected to the sprocket and to the phaser hub and is positioned and tensioned to bias the phaser and camshaft to a stop position wherein the engine can run or be restarted after the eMotor is de-energized. Preferably, the spring comprises a spring cassette for easy assembly into the eVCP.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Pascal David, Sebastien Stoltz-Douchet, Pierre Kimus, Michael J. Fox
  • Patent number: 8555841
    Abstract: A coupler plate for a multi-valve system of an internal combustion engine. The coupler plate includes an elongated planar body and through holes on opposite ends. The through holes may be either closed or open ended, and of sufficient size to insert valve stems of valves for an internal combustion engine valve system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG
    Inventor: Lu Zhu
  • Patent number: 8544436
    Abstract: An engine assembly may include an engine structure, a first valve, a first valve lift mechanism and a first camshaft. The engine structure may define a first combustion chamber and a first port in communication with the first combustion chamber. The first valve may be located in the first port and the first valve lift mechanism may be engaged with the first valve. The first camshaft may be rotationally supported on the engine structure and may include a first double lobe engaged with the first valve lift mechanism. The first double lobe may define a first valve opening region including a first peak and a second valve opening region including a second peak rotationally offset from the first peak.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Alan W. Hayman, Robert S. McAlpine
  • Patent number: 8528322
    Abstract: A reductant delivery unit (10?) for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment for vehicles includes a fluid injector (12) having a fluid inlet (24) and a fluid outlet (25) with the fluid inlet receiving a source of urea solution to be sent through the fluid outlet. Movable inlet cup structure (16?) communicates with the inlet of the fluid injector. A shield (18?) is fixed with respect to the fluid injector and surrounds at least portions of the fluid injector and the inlet cup structure. A spring (26) is engaged between a portion of the inlet cup structure and the shield. When the urea solution freezes in the fluid injector and expands near the fluid inlet of the injector, the inlet cup structure moves toward the injector inlet to accommodate the frozen urea solution, with the spring returning the inlet cup structure to an initial position once the frozen urea solution melts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Continental Automotive Systems US, Inc.
    Inventor: William Nicolaas Van Vuuren
  • Patent number: 8516795
    Abstract: An exhaust gas sensor device for detecting a concentration of at least one exhaust gas component in the exhaust gas line of an internal combustion engine is described, having at least one ChemFET for detecting the oxygen content of the exhaust gas. In addition, a corresponding engine control device and an engine control method are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Alexander Martin
  • Patent number: 8453438
    Abstract: An exhaust control device for a vehicle engine wherein an exhaust pipe forms an exhaust passage along with an exhaust port is connected to a cylinder head via the exhaust port. A rotary valve is capable of changing the opening area of the exhaust passage. The rotary valve being disposed in approximately the middle of the exhaust passage. The opening area of the exhaust passage is made controllable by the rotary valve while avoiding an increase in the number of component parts. A rotary valve having a turning axis located at a position offset from the center of the exhaust port is housed in a valve housing provided integrally with a cylinder head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukihiro Tsubakino, Shinsuke Yasui, Isao Azumagakito