Patents by Inventor Douglas Carl Hofer

Douglas Carl Hofer has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20210147060
    Abstract: A hypersonic aircraft includes one or more leading edge assemblies that are designed to cool the leading edge of certain portions of the hypersonic aircraft that are exposed to high thermal loads, such as extremely high temperatures and/or thermal gradients. Specifically, the leading edge assemblies may include an outer wall tapered to a leading edge or stagnation point. A coolant supply may be in fluid communication with at least one fluid passageway that passes through the outer wall to deliver a flow of cooling fluid, such as liquid metal, to the stagnation point. The liquid metal vaporizes when the leading edge experiences a high heat load, thereby transpiration cooling the leading edge and/or facilitating a magnetohydrodynamic process for generating thrust or electricity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2019
    Publication date: May 20, 2021
    Inventors: Timothy John Sommerer, Nicholas William Rathay, Narendra Digamber Joshi, Douglas Carl Hofer, Hongbo Cao
  • Publication number: 20210147061
    Abstract: A hypersonic aircraft includes one or more leading edge assemblies that are designed to cool the leading edge of certain portions of the hypersonic aircraft that are exposed to high thermal loads, such as extremely high temperatures and/or thermal gradients. Specifically, the leading edge assemblies may include an outer wall tapered to a leading edge or stagnation point. A coolant supply provides a flow of cooling fluid to a porous tip that is joined to the forward end of the outer wall and defines variable porosity and/or internal barriers to direct a flow of cooling fluid to the regions of the leading edge experiencing the highest thermal loading.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2019
    Publication date: May 20, 2021
    Inventors: Nicholas William Rathay, Brian Magann Rush, Narendra Digamber Joshi, Timothy John Sommerer, Gregory Alexander Natsui, Brian Gene Brzek, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Patent number: 10982713
    Abstract: Heat engines employing fluid bearing assemblies hermetically sealed with a closed flowpath for a working fluid are generally disclosed. For example, the heat engine includes a rotating drivetrain and a fluid bearing assembly. The rotating drivetrain includes a compressor section, an expander section, and a heat exchanger. The compressor section and expander section together define at least in part a closed flowpath for the flow of a working fluid. The heat exchanger is thermally coupled to the closed flowpath for adding heat to the working fluid. The fluid bearing assembly is configured to utilize the working fluid to support the rotating drivetrain. Further, the fluid bearing assembly is hermetically sealed with the closed flowpath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bugra Han Ertas, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Publication number: 20210069632
    Abstract: A carbon dioxide capture system includes a first heat exchanger configured to exchange heat between an exhaust stream and a lean carbon dioxide effluent stream. The carbon dioxide capture system also includes a first turboexpander including a first compressor driven by a first turbine. The first compressor is coupled in flow communication with the first heat exchanger. The first turbine is coupled in flow communication with the first heat exchanger and configured to expand the lean carbon dioxide effluent stream. The carbon dioxide capture system further includes a carbon dioxide membrane unit coupled in flow communication with the first compressor. The carbon dioxide membrane unit is configured to separate the exhaust stream into the lean carbon dioxide effluent stream and a rich carbon dioxide effluent stream. The carbon dioxide membrane unit is further configured to channel the lean carbon dioxide effluent stream to the first heat exchanger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2020
    Publication date: March 11, 2021
    Applicant: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    Inventors: Douglas Carl Hofer, Joseph Philip DiPietro
  • Patent number: 10801549
    Abstract: An axial load management system for a turbomachine including a rotating drivetrain, a thrust bearing assembly, a sensor, and a valve supply line. The rotating drivetrain includes a compressor section and an expander section fluidly coupled together by a closed flowpath. The thrust bearing assembly includes a thrust runner, a thrust bearing housing, and a gas thrust bearing extending between the thrust runner and the thrust bearing housing. Further, the gas thrust bearing supports the rotating drivetrain. The sensor is attached to at least one of the thrust bearing housing or the gas thrust bearing. The valve supply line is fluidly coupled to the closed flowpath. A valve positioned within the valve supply line selectively allows a working fluid to flow between the closed flowpath and a thrust chamber defined by a rotating surface and a fixed surface to modify an axial load on the rotating drivetrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bugra Han Ertas, Douglas Carl Hofer, Younkoo Jeong
  • Patent number: 10765994
    Abstract: A carbon dioxide capture system includes a first heat exchanger that exchanges heat between an exhaust stream and a lean carbon dioxide effluent stream. The carbon dioxide capture system also includes a second heat exchanger in flow communication with the first heat exchanger. The second heat exchanger is configured to cool the exhaust stream such that a condensate is formed, and the second heat exchanger is configured to channel a condensate stream for injection into the lean carbon dioxide effluent stream. A first turboexpander including a first compressor is driven by a first turbine. The first compressor is coupled in flow communication with the first heat exchanger. The first turbine is coupled in flow communication with the first heat exchanger and configured to expand the lean carbon dioxide effluent stream. The carbon dioxide capture system further includes a carbon dioxide membrane unit coupled in flow communication with the first compressor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: NextStream CO2, LLC
    Inventors: Douglas Carl Hofer, Anthony Herbert Neumayer, Joseph Philip DiPietro
  • Patent number: 10746084
    Abstract: At least one thermal module in fluidic communication with the one or more electronic components. The thermal module including a hydraulic motor operable to rotate a motor output shaft. The module further including a fan coupled to the motor output shaft, at least one heat exchanger in fluidic communication with the fan to provide passage therethrough of an air stream in response to rotational movement of the fan, and a conduit carrying a pressurized liquid stream through the hydraulic motor and each of the at least one heat exchanger. The pressurized liquid stream causing the motor output shaft to rotate and wherein heat in one of the air stream or the pressurized liquid stream is passed through each of the at least one heat exchanger and rejected into the other of the air stream or the pressurized liquid stream. A thermal management system including the at least one thermal module is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Juan Antonio Sabate, Ruxi Wang, Karthik Kumar Bodla, Krishna Mainali, Yash Veer Singh, Gary Dwayne Mandrusiak, William John Bonneau, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Patent number: 10718346
    Abstract: A compressor system includes a first compressor assembly including at least one first impeller. The first compressor assembly defines at least one first volute configured to receive a first working fluid from the at least one first impeller at a first pressure and a first temperature. The compressor system also includes a second compressor assembly rotatably coupled to the first compressor assembly. The second compressor assembly includes at least one second impeller rotatably coupled to the at least one first impeller. The second compressor assembly defines at least one second volute configured to receive a second working fluid from the at least one second impeller at a second pressure. Further, at least one of the following conditions exist, i.e., the first pressure is different from the second pressure and the first temperature is different from the second temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Publication number: 20200191042
    Abstract: At least one thermal module in fluidic communication with the one or more electronic components. The thermal module including a hydraulic motor operable to rotate a motor output shaft. The module further including a fan coupled to the motor output shaft, at least one heat exchanger in fluidic communication with the fan to provide passage therethrough of an air stream in response to rotational movement of the fan, and a conduit carrying a pressurized liquid stream through the hydraulic motor and each of the at least one heat exchanger. The pressurized liquid stream causing the motor output shaft to rotate and wherein heat in one of the air stream or the pressurized liquid stream is passed through each of the at least one heat exchanger and rejected into the other of the air stream or the pressurized liquid stream. A thermal management system including the at least one thermal module is disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2018
    Publication date: June 18, 2020
    Inventors: Juan Antonio Sabate, Ruxi Wang, Karthik Kumar Bodla, Krishna Mainali, Yash Veer Singh, Gary Dwayne Mandrusiak, William John Bonneau, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Publication number: 20200103178
    Abstract: A counter-flow heat exchanger including a core region and a plenum region. The core region including a first set of heat exchanging passageways and a second set of heat exchanging passageways disposed at least partially therein. A plenum region is disposed adjacent opposed distal ends of the core region. Each of the plenum regions including a fluid inlet plenum, a fluid outlet plenum and a tube plate disposed therebetween. The first set of heat exchanging passageways is truncated and defines a first tube-side fluid flow path in a first direction. The second set of heat exchanging passageways defines a second tube-side fluid flow path in a second opposing direction. Each of the heat exchanging passageways extending from a fluid inlet plenum to a fluid outlet plenum. The tube plates and the core region include one of a cast metal formed thereabout each of the heat exchanging passageways or a braze bond formed between each of the heat exchanging passageways.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 12, 2017
    Publication date: April 2, 2020
    Inventors: William Dwight GERSTLER, Douglas Carl HOFER, Adegboyega Masud MAKINDE, Stephen Francis RUTKOWSKI, Chiranjeev S. KALRA
  • Publication number: 20190368549
    Abstract: An axial load management system for a turbomachine including a rotating drivetrain, a thrust bearing assembly, a sensor, and a valve supply line. The rotating drivetrain includes a compressor section and an expander section fluidly coupled together by a closed flowpath. The thrust bearing assembly includes a thrust runner, a thrust bearing housing, and a gas thrust bearing extending between the thrust runner and the thrust bearing housing. Further, the gas thrust bearing supports the rotating drivetrain. The sensor is attached to at least one of the thrust bearing housing or the gas thrust bearing. The valve supply line is fluidly coupled to the closed flowpath. A valve positioned within the valve supply line selectively allows a working fluid to flow between the closed flowpath and a thrust chamber defined by a rotating surface and a fixed surface to modify an axial load on the rotating drivetrain.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2018
    Publication date: December 5, 2019
    Inventors: Bugra Han Ertas, Douglas Carl Hofer, Younkoo Jeong
  • Patent number: 10488085
    Abstract: Thermoelectric energy storage system and an associated method are disclosed. The thermoelectric energy storage system includes a first refrigeration system, a power system, a first thermal storage unit, and a second thermal storage unit. The first refrigeration system includes a first heat exchanger, a first compressor, a second heat exchanger, and a first expander. The first heat exchanger is disposed upstream relative to the first compressor. The power system includes a third heat exchanger, a second compressor, a fourth heat exchanger, a fifth heat exchanger, and a second expander. The third heat exchanger is disposed upstream relative to the fourth heat exchanger. The fifth heat exchanger is disposed downstream relative to the second expander. The first thermal storage unit is coupled to the first heat exchanger and the fifth heat exchanger. The second thermal storage unit is coupled to the first refrigeration system and the power system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2019
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Andrew Maxwell Peter, Douglas Carl Hofer, Roger Allen Shisler, Chiranjeev Kalra, Andrew Paul Mann
  • Patent number: 10465982
    Abstract: A method includes directing a refrigerant fluid mixture and a flow of natural gas through a first heat exchanger for exchanging heat between a natural gas flow path and a first refrigerant flow path. The method also includes expanding the flow of natural gas exiting from the first heat exchanger via a first throttle valve. Further, the method also includes directing a generated cold natural gas vapor and a slurry having a liquefied natural gas and solidified carbon dioxide through a filter sub-assembly. Moreover, the method also includes separating the solidified carbon dioxide by the filter sub-assembly to form a purified liquefied natural gas. Finally, the method includes directing a pulse of a cleaning fluid having at least one of methane and carbon dioxide through the filter sub-assembly to remove the solidified carbon dioxide therefrom and storing the purified liquefied natural gas in a storage tank assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ching-Jen Tang, Douglas Carl Hofer, Vitali Victor Lissianski
  • Publication number: 20190293117
    Abstract: Heat engines employing fluid bearing assemblies hermetically sealed with a closed flowpath for a working fluid are generally disclosed. For example, the heat engine includes a rotating drivetrain and a fluid bearing assembly. The rotating drivetrain includes a compressor section, an expander section, and a heat exchanger. The compressor section and expander section together define at least in part a closed flowpath for the flow of a working fluid. The heat exchanger is thermally coupled to the closed flowpath for adding heat to the working fluid. The fluid bearing assembly is configured to utilize the working fluid to support the rotating drivetrain. Further, the fluid bearing assembly is hermetically sealed with the closed flowpath.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 23, 2018
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Inventors: Bugra Han Ertas, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Publication number: 20190128126
    Abstract: A turbine blisk is provided. The turbine blisk includes an inner rim, a plurality of adjacent rotor blades extending radially outward from said inner rim, a shroud segment integrally coupled to each of the plurality of adjacent rotor blades, thereby forming a plurality of adjacent shroud segments, and a gap defined between each of the adjacent shroud segments. The gap has a geometry that facilitates interlocking the plurality of adjacent shroud segments when a torsional force is applied to the plurality of adjacent rotor blades.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2018
    Publication date: May 2, 2019
    Inventors: Douglas Carl Hofer, Rajiv Sampath, Edip Sevincer, Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, Chiranjeev Singh Kalra
  • Patent number: 10246345
    Abstract: A desalinating system and method is disclosed. The desalination system comprises using a turbo freeze or fast-cooling process to freeze saline water droplets and separate salt crystals from pure water crystals, wherein said system provides for simultaneous injection of saline water droplets and a chilled refrigerant into a freezing chamber at a slip velocity sufficient to reduce the size of the saline water droplets to an optimal diameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Vitali Victor Lissianski, Douglas Carl Hofer, John Aibangbee Osaheni, Rajkeshar Singh, Anna Lis Laursen, Francisco J. Moraga
  • Patent number: 10208609
    Abstract: A turbine operable with a first fluid and a second fluid is provided. The turbine includes a shaft and having a dry gas seal area, a balance area, and a shaft surface. The turbine also includes a stationary component coupled to a housing and having a first side and a second side and defining a channel in flow communication with the shaft surface. A heat exchange assembly is coupled to the housing and in flow communication with the shaft and the stationary component. The heat exchange assembly includes a first flow path coupled in flow communication with the dry gas seal area and the channel and configured to direct the first fluid along the first side. Heat exchange assembly also includes a second flow path coupled in flow communication with the balance area and channel and configured to direct the second fluid along the second side.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Chiranjeev Singh Kalra, Azam Mihir Thatte, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Patent number: 10175672
    Abstract: A turbomachine complex includes at least one motor-generator, at least one power source coupled to the at least one motor-generator, and at least one load dissipative device coupled to the at least one motor-generator. The turbomachine complex is configured to energize the at least one motor-generator through the at least one power source. The turbomachine complex is further configured to simultaneously energize the at least one at least one load dissipative device through the at least one motor-generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Douglas Carl Hofer, Matthew Alexander Lehar
  • Publication number: 20180340712
    Abstract: Thermoelectric energy storage system and an associated method are disclosed. The thermoelectric energy storage system includes a first refrigeration system, a power system, a first thermal storage unit, and a second thermal storage unit. The first refrigeration system includes a first heat exchanger, a first compressor, a second heat exchanger, and a first expander. The first heat exchanger is disposed upstream relative to the first compressor. The power system includes a third heat exchanger, a second compressor, a fourth heat exchanger, a fifth heat exchanger, and a second expander. The third heat exchanger is disposed upstream relative to the fourth heat exchanger. The fifth heat exchanger is disposed downstream relative to the second expander. The first thermal storage unit is coupled to the first heat exchanger and the fifth heat exchanger. The second thermal storage unit is coupled to the first refrigeration system and the power system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2017
    Publication date: November 29, 2018
    Inventors: Andrew Maxwell PETER, Douglas Carl HOFER, Roger Allen SHISLER, Chiranjeev KALRA, Andrew Paul MANN
  • Patent number: 10077660
    Abstract: A turbine engine assembly is provided. The assembly includes a low-pressure turbine assembly including a first turbine section configured to rotate in a first rotational direction at a first rotational speed, and a second turbine section configured to rotate in a second rotational direction at a second rotational speed. The second rotational direction is opposite the first rotational direction and the second rotational speed is lower than the first rotational speed. The assembly also includes a first drive shaft coupled to the first turbine section, and a fan assembly including a first fan section coupled to the first drive shaft such that the first fan section rotates in the first rotational direction at the first rotational speed, and a second fan section coupled to the second turbine section such that the second fan section rotates in the second rotational direction at the second rotational speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Douglas Carl Hofer, Narendra Digamber Joshi, Michael Solomon Idelchik