Patents by Inventor John Michael Miller

John Michael Miller 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: 20020101221
    Abstract: A method of controlling an induction generator such as an automotive starter-alternator or a windmill is disclosed. The method comprises using a minimal number of current sensors and controlling at least one of a machine flux, an output voltage and generator torque, based on the stator or rotor flux magnitude and position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2001
    Publication date: August 1, 2002
    Inventors: Victor R. Stefanovic, John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020093200
    Abstract: A system including an induction machine with a toroidally wound stator and a squirrel cage rotor is presented. The toroidally wound stator has a plurality of phase windings. A position sensor may be operatively connected to the induction machine for providing a position indication that is indicative of a relative position of the rotor and the stator. The system also includes an inverter having a plurality of solid-state switches and a control system. The inverter has the same number of phases as the toroidal induction machine. The inverter is connected to selectively energize the phase windings. A programmable microprocessor, such as a digital signal processor, is operatively connected to the induction machine and includes a program to implement vector control of the induction machine. The microprocessor can also control the inverter so that the induction machine operates with a predetermined number of poles using pole phase modulation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2000
    Publication date: July 18, 2002
    Inventors: Victor R. Stefanovic, John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020089242
    Abstract: An electric machine in accordance with the invention includes a stator core having first and second ends and having windings therein with end turns of the windings protruding from the first and second ends of the stator core. A rotor is rotatably positioned within the stator core. First and second laminated aluminum ring assemblies are positioned against the first and second ends, respectively, of the stator core in contact with the housing. Thermally conductive potting material is positioned between the end turns and the respective first and second ring assembly at the first and second ends of the stator core, thereby creating heat dissipation paths from the end turns, through the potting material and the ring assemblies to the housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2001
    Publication date: July 11, 2002
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller
  • Patent number: 6417650
    Abstract: A method of controlling an induction generator such as an automotive starter-alternator or a windmill is disclosed. The method comprises using a plurality of flux sensing coils and controlling at least one of a machine flux and an output voltage based on the stator or rotor flux magnitude and position. One embodiment of the invention only uses flux sensing coils without requiring current sensors or position sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Victor R. Stefanovic, John Michael Miller
  • Patent number: 6411005
    Abstract: A stator for an induction machine comprises a cylindrical core that has a plurality of inner and outer slots and a plurality of toroidal coils wound about the core and laid in the inner and outer slots. Each toroidal coil occupies a single inner slot and is laid in the adjacent associated outer slot to minimize the distance the coils extend from the end faces of the core thereby minimizing the length of the induction machine. The coils are encapsulated in a material that fills any voids to provide a thermal path for uniform heat dissipation. In operation, a controller is coupled to three current sensors and detects the current of only three phases. These phases are then used to calculate the current of the adjacent six phases, thereby, allowing for better control of the electric machine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Elias G. Strangas, John William Kelly, John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020069841
    Abstract: An electromechanical valve assembly 46 for an internal combustion engine 36 is provided. The valve assembly 46 includes a rotor 68 centered about a first axis 122 having a bore 114 extending generally axially therethrough. The valve assembly 46 further includes a stator 66 operatively disposed about the rotor 68 for producing a torque to cause rotation of the rotor 68 about the axis 122. Finally, the valve assembly 46 includes a valve 70 having a valve stem 126 and a valve head 84 The valve stem 126 extends generally axially through the bore 114 of the rotor 68. The valve stem 126 is also configured to move generally axially responsive to the rotation of the rotor 68 to selectively engage and disengage the valve head 84 with a valve seat 124 of the engine 36.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2000
    Publication date: June 13, 2002
    Inventor: John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020069843
    Abstract: An electromechanical valve assembly 46 for an internal combustion engine 36 is provided. The valve assembly 46 includes a rotor 68 centered about a first axis 122 having a bore 114 extending generally axially therethrough. The valve assembly 46 further includes a stator 66 operatively disposed about the rotor 68 for producing a torque to cause rotation of the rotor 68 about the axis 122. Finally, the valve assembly 46 includes a valve 70 having a valve stem 126 and a valve head 84 The valve stem 126 extends generally axially through the bore 114 of the rotor 68. The valve stem 126 is also configured to move generally axially responsive to the rotation of the rotor 68 to selectively engage and disengage the valve head 84 with a valve seat 124 of the engine 36.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2002
    Publication date: June 13, 2002
    Inventor: John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020070713
    Abstract: A method of controlling an induction generator such as an automotive starter-alternator or a windmill is disclosed. The method comprises using a plurality of flux sensing coils and controlling at least one of a machine flux and an output voltage based on the stator or rotor flux magnitude and position. One embodiment of the invention only uses flux sensing coils without requiring current sensors or position sensors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2000
    Publication date: June 13, 2002
    Inventors: Victor R. Stefanovic, John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020067161
    Abstract: A magneto-strictive sensor 82 for determining a position of a valve 70 and/or a rotor 68 of an electromechanical valve assembly 46 is provided. In particular, the magneto-strictive sensor 82 is utilized to determine a rotational position of the rotor 68 and/or an axial position of the valve 70. The sensor 82 includes a sonic conduit 144 extending around a portion of a circumference of the rotor 68 of the valve assembly 46. The sensor 82 further includes a sonic wave generator 150 generating a sonic wave in the conduit 144 responsive to a transmit signal. The sonic wave propagates to a localized stress boundary 156 in the conduit 144 which is induced by a sensor magnet 80 rotating with the rotor 68. The sonic wave is reflected in the conduit 144 from the stress boundary 156. The sensor 82 further includes a sonic wave receiver 152 receiving the reflected sonic wave from the conduit 144 and generating a received signal responsive to the sonic wave.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Inventor: John Michael Miller
  • Patent number: 6392905
    Abstract: A pulse width modulation circuit (10) has a first set of windings with a first inverter circuit coupled thereto and a second set of windings having a second inverter circuit coupled thereto. A pulse width modulation controller pulse width modulates the first inverter circuit and the second inverter circuit so that the first inverter circuit has a predetermined phase shift therebetween to reduce input ripple.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Henry Heping Huang, John Michael Miller, Michael W. Degner
  • Patent number: 6373162
    Abstract: An electric machine or assembly 10 including a generally cylindrical ferromagnetic housing 12, two substantially identical and opposed stator assemblies 14, 16 which are fixedly mounted within housing 12, a generally disc-shaped rotor 18 which is disposed between stator members 14 and 16 and which is coupled to a rotatable shaft 20, and a generally circular and stationary field coil 22, which is fixedly mounted within housing 12 and is controllably and selectively engergizable to vary the output voltage, power, or torque provided by assembly 10.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller
  • Publication number: 20020036441
    Abstract: A rotor 33, 133 for use in an electrical machine 100 having permanent magnets 34, 134 included therein, each permanent magnet 34, 134 between an adjacent pair of poles 32, 132, wherein each adjacent pole 32, 132 has an opposite polarity. Each permanent magnet 34, 134 has a magnetization polarity on its radially-outward surface 38, 138, and each adjacent permanent magnet 34, 134 has the opposite polarity on its radially-outward surface 38, 138. In addition, each pair of permanent magnets 34, 134 have the same magnetic polarity on their adjacently facing surfaces. This arrangement of permanent magnets 34, 134 may be used on electrical machines 100 having either a Lundell-type rotor 33 or salient pole rotor 133. The arrangement of permanent magnets 34, 134 increases the output power and efficiency of the electrical machine 100 while decreasing magnetic noise.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 27, 2001
    Publication date: March 28, 2002
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller, Xingyi Xu
  • Publication number: 20020036442
    Abstract: A rotor 33, 133 for use in an electrical machine 100 having permanent magnets 34, 134 included therein, each permanent magnet 34, 134 between an adjacent pair of poles 32, 132, wherein each adjacent pole 32, 132 has an opposite polarity. Each permanent magnet 34, 134 has a magnetization polarity on its radially-outward surface 38, 138, and each adjacent permanent magnet 34, 134 has the opposite polarity on its radially-outward surface 38, 138. In addition, each pair of permanent magnets 34, 134 have the same magnetic polarity on their adjacently facing surfaces. This arrangement of permanent magnets 34, 134 may be used on electrical machines 100 having either a Lundell-type rotor 33 or salient pole rotor 133. The arrangement of permanent magnets 34, 134 increases the output power and efficiency of the electrical machine 100 while decreasing magnetic noise.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2001
    Publication date: March 28, 2002
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller, Xingyi Xu
  • Patent number: 6359800
    Abstract: A method and system for increasing the output of an alternator for an automotive vehicle has a first three-phase winding (18) and a second three-phase winding (20) that are coupled to a respective first rectifier circuit (26) and a second rectifier circuit (28). A switch circuit (30) is located between the first rectifier circuit (26) and the second rectifier circuit (28). A controller (32) that is coupled to a speed sensor (34) and provides a signal indicative of the speed of the alternator, controls the operation of the switch circuit (30). When the speed sensor (34) indicates that the speed of the alternator is below a predetermined threshold, the first rectifier circuit (26) and second rectifier circuit (28) are coupled together through switch circuit (30). When the speed sensor (34) indicates that the speed of the alternator is above a predetermined speed, the switch circuit (32) is controlled to an open state so that two parallel half-wave rectifier circuits are formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller, Xingyi Xu
  • Patent number: 6359331
    Abstract: A power switching module includes a substrate having at least one silicon die forming at least one power switching element and having leadframe terminal posts extending away therefrom. A planar negative rail layer providing a negative power supply and including a non-inductive current shunt resistor formed therein and a planar positive rail layer providing a positive power supply are positioned at the substrate so that the negative rail layer and the positive rail layer are coplanar with respect to each other. A phase output layer providing a phase output signal is also positioned at the substrate. Each of the layers are electrically isolated from each of the other layers and are electrically connected to the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignees: Ford Global Technologies, Inc., Semipower Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Lawrence Edward Rinehart, Venkateswara Anand Sankaran, John Michael Miller
  • Patent number: 6359366
    Abstract: A rotor 33, 133 for use in an electrical machine 100 having permanent magnets 34, 134 included therein, each permanent magnet 34, 134 between an adjacent pair of poles 32, 132, wherein each adjacent pole 32, 132 has an opposite polarity. Each permanent magnet 34, 134 has a magnetization polarity on its radially-outward surface 38, 138, and each adjacent permanent magnet 34, 134 has the opposite polarity on its radially-outward surface 38, 138. In addition, each pair of permanent magnets 34, 134 have the same magnetic polarity on their adjacently facing surfaces. This arrangement of permanent magnets 34, 134 may be used on electrical machines 100 having either a Lundell-type rotor 33 or salient pole rotor 133. The arrangement of permanent magnets 34, 134 increases the output power and efficiency of the electrical machine 100 while decreasing magnetic noise.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller, Xingyi Xu
  • Patent number: 6271648
    Abstract: A method of preconditioning a battery 34 of a hybrid electric vehicle 10 to improve cold temperature starting of vehicle 10. The method utilizes the vehicle's electric starter/generator 16 to generate forward and reverse torque pulsations which draw power from battery 34, thereby heating the core of battery 34. The forward and reverse torque pulsations are further effective to rock the engine crankshaft 18, thereby eliminating static friction and reducing the torque required to crank engine 14.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2001
    Assignee: Ford Global Tech., Inc.
    Inventor: John Michael Miller
  • Patent number: 6073713
    Abstract: A crankshaft position sensing apparatus for use with an engine (16) having a combined starter/alternator assembly (18). The crankshaft position sensing apparatus includes a tone ring (38) with a sensor (36) and bandpass filter (46), having a cylinder identification input from a camshaft sensor (48), and a gain limiter (54). The sensing apparatus mounts near the rotor (30) of the combined starter/alternator assembly (18). The filtered crankshaft position signal can then be input into a vehicle system controller (58) and an inner loop controller (60). The starter/alternator assembly (18) in combination with an internal combustion engine is particularly useful for a hybrid electric vehicle system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2000
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Larry Raymond Brandenburg, John Michael Miller
  • Patent number: 5977679
    Abstract: A stator (10) for an induction machine for a vehicle has a cylindrical core (12) with inner and outer slots (26, 28) extending longitudinally along the inner and outer peripheries between the end faces (22, 24). Each outer slot is associated with several adjacent inner slots. A plurality of toroidal coils (14) are wound about the core and laid in the inner and outer slots. Each coil occupies a single inner slot and is laid in the associated outer slot thereby minimizing the distance the coil extends from the end faces and minimizing the length of the induction machine. The toroidal coils are configured for an arbitrary pole phase modulation wherein the coils are configured with variable numbers of phases and poles for providing maximum torque for cranking and switchable to a another phase and pole configuration for alternator operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John Michael Miller, Vlado Ostovic
  • Patent number: 5965967
    Abstract: A "claw pole" or Lundell rotor has permanent magnets included therein, each permanent magnet disposed between an adjacent pair of pole fingers. The permanent magnets each have a magnetization polarity at an angle between radial and tangential with respect to the axis of rotation of the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Feng Liang, John Michael Miller, Xingyi Xu