Patents by Inventor Thomas Frank Fric

Thomas Frank Fric 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).

  • Patent number: 9018787
    Abstract: In one aspect, embodiments of a method of controlling a power rating of a wind turbine are described. One embodiment of the method comprises retrieving, by a computing device, one or more preset values from a memory, wherein the one or more preset values include at least an initial torque setpoint for a wind turbine; determining, by the computing device, an adjusted torque setpoint for the wind turbine based at least in part on one or more operating conditions received from one or more measurement devices associated with the wind turbine; and adjusting a real power output rating of the wind turbine based on the determined adjusted torque setpoint. In one aspect, the computing device can be a controller for the wind turbine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Devendra Shashikant Dange, Thomas Frank Fric, Edward Wayne Hardwicke, Jr., Renjith Viripullan Kekkaroth, Noah Pennington
  • Patent number: 8853877
    Abstract: A method for controlling a wind farm having a power output constraint is disclosed. The method may include operating a plurality of wind turbines within the wind farm. Each wind turbine may include a baseline power output and a maximum power output. The baseline power output may be defined by a control-limited power curve as a function of wind speed. In addition, the method may include comparing a total power output for the wind farm to the power output constraint of the wind farm, controlling the operation of at least one wind turbine of the plurality of wind turbines to provide an increased power output for the at least one wind turbine when the total power output is less than the power output constraint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Jonathan Henry Zalar, Thomas Frank Fric
  • Publication number: 20130277970
    Abstract: In one aspect, embodiments of a method of controlling a power rating of a wind turbine are described. One embodiment of the method comprises retrieving, by a computing device, one or more preset values from a memory, wherein the one or more preset values include at least an initial torque setpoint for a wind turbine; determining, by the computing device, an adjusted torque setpoint for the wind turbine based at least in part on one or more operating conditions received from one or more measurement devices associated with the wind turbine; and adjusting a real power output rating of the wind turbine based on the determined adjusted torque setpoint. In one aspect, the computing device can be a controller for the wind turbine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Publication date: October 24, 2013
    Inventors: Devendra Shashikant Dange, Thomas Frank Fric, Edward Wayne Hardwicke, JR., Renjith Viripullan Kekkaroth, Noah Pennington
  • Patent number: 8096761
    Abstract: A method for operating a wind turbine. The method includes providing a wind turbine having at least one blade having adjustable pitch angle that is adjusted according to an operational parameter schedule. A blade efficiency parameter is determined in response to a wind speed and a rotor speed. A minimum pitch angle is determined in response to the blade efficiency parameter and the pitch angle of the at least one blade in response to the blade efficiency parameter is maintained to an angle equal to or greater than the minimum pitch angle independent of the operational parameter schedule. A wind turbine plant and a method for servicing a wind turbine are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2012
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Kevin Standish, Kirk Gee Pierce, Bernard Landa
  • Patent number: 8038395
    Abstract: A wind turbine pitch control system is disclosed that provides a pulsed torque to the blade pitch actuator if continuous torque fails to adjust the blade pitch angle to a commanded pitch angle. This invention provides a cost-effective way to increase peak torque capability for existing wind turbines that have problems, under certain operating conditions, moving blades per the control command.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Negel Ernesto Martin, Bryan J. Troise
  • Patent number: 8035242
    Abstract: A method of controlling a wind turbine that includes at least one rotor shaft and at least one blade operatively coupled to the rotor shaft includes measuring a first wind turbine operational condition that is representative of a blade deflection value and generating a first operational condition signal based on that first wind turbine operational condition. The wind turbine also includes a drive train including at least one rotor shaft and an electric generator. The method also includes measuring at least one second wind turbine operational condition and generating at least one second operational condition signal. The method further includes changing the blade deflection value by changing the second operational condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bernard Landa, Carlos Eduardo Latorre, Thomas Frank Fric, Thomas Omar Converse, Thomas Dinjus, Michael Gregory Brown, Gert Torbohm, Nadine Schuell
  • Publication number: 20110140431
    Abstract: A method of controlling a wind turbine that includes at least one rotor shaft and at least one blade operatively coupled to the rotor shaft includes measuring a first wind turbine operational condition that is representative of a blade deflection value and generating a first operational condition signal based on that first wind turbine operational condition. The wind turbine also includes a drive train including at least one rotor shaft and an electric generator. The method also includes measuring at least one second wind turbine operational condition and generating at least one second operational condition signal. The method further includes changing the blade deflection value by changing the second operational condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2010
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Inventors: Bernard Landa, Carlos Eduardo Latorre, Thomas Frank Fric, Thomas Omar Converse, Thomas Dinjus, Michael Gregory Brown, Gert Torbohm, Nadine Schuell
  • Publication number: 20110135466
    Abstract: A system is disclosed for monitoring and controlling the deflection of turbine blades of a wind turbine. The system includes a passive position detecting apparatus and a controller. The passive position detecting apparatus may be configured to acquire and transmit data relating directly to a position of at least one of the turbine blades. The controller may be configured to receive the data from the passive position detecting apparatus and compare such data to a known position reference to determine turbine blade deflection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2010
    Publication date: June 9, 2011
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: CARLOS EDUARDO LATORRE, THOMAS CONVERSE, MICHAEL GREGORY BROWN, BERNARD P. LANDA, THOMAS FRANK FRIC, THOMAS ERNST DINJUS, GERT TORBOHM, NADINE SCH√úLL
  • Publication number: 20100098540
    Abstract: A method for operating a wind turbine. The method includes providing a wind turbine having at least one blade having adjustable pitch angle that is adjusted according to an operational parameter schedule. A blade efficiency parameter is determined in response to a wind speed and a rotor speed. A minimum pitch angle is determined in response to the blade efficiency parameter and the pitch angle of the at least one blade in response to the blade efficiency parameter is maintained to an angle equal to or greater than the minimum pitch angle independent of the operational parameter schedule. A wind turbine plant and a method for servicing a wind turbine are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2008
    Publication date: April 22, 2010
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Kevin Standish, Kirk Gee Pierce, Bernard Landa
  • Publication number: 20090246021
    Abstract: A wind turbine pitch control system is disclosed that provides a pulsed torque to the blade pitch actuator if continuous torque fails to adjust the blade pitch angle to a commanded pitch angle. This invention provides a cost-effective way to increase peak torque capability for existing wind turbines that have problems, under certain operating conditions, moving blades per the control command.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Publication date: October 1, 2009
    Applicant: GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY
    Inventors: Thomas Frank FRIC, Negel Ernesto MARTIN, Bryan J. TROISE
  • Patent number: 7581921
    Abstract: A control system for a rotary machine is provided. The rotary machine has at least one rotating member and at least one substantially stationary member positioned such that a clearance gap is defined between a portion of the rotating member and a portion of the substantially stationary member. The control system includes at least one clearance gap dimension measurement apparatus and at least one clearance gap adjustment assembly. The adjustment assembly is coupled in electronic data communication with the measurement apparatus. The control system is configured to process a clearance gap dimension signal and modulate the clearance gap dimension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bharat Sampathkumaran Bagepalli, Patrick Lee Jansen, Gary R. Barnes, Thomas Frank Fric, James Patrick Francis Lyons, Kirk Gee Pierce, William Edwin Holley, Corneliu Barbu
  • Patent number: 7540156
    Abstract: A combustion liner for a gas turbine combustion system is provided. The combustion liner comprises a combustion zone between an inlet end and an exhaust end. The combustion liner comprises a one-piece casting construction. The combustion liner is formed from a nickel-based superalloy having strength characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Mark Roger Brown, Thomas Frank Fric, Thomas Edward Johnson, Anne Elizabeth Kolman
  • Publication number: 20070292260
    Abstract: A control system for a rotary machine is provided. The rotary machine has at least one rotating member and at least one substantially stationary member positioned such that a clearance gap is defined between a portion of the rotating member and a portion of the substantially stationary member. The control system includes at least one clearance gap dimension measurement apparatus and at least one clearance gap adjustment assembly. The adjustment assembly is coupled in electronic data communication with the measurement apparatus. The control system is configured to process a clearance gap dimension signal and modulate the clearance gap dimension.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Publication date: December 20, 2007
    Inventors: Bharat Sampathkumaran Bagepalli, Patrick Lee Jansen, Gary R. Barnes, Thomas Frank Fric, James Patrick Francis Lyons, Kirk Gee Pierce, William Edwin Holley, Corneliu Barbu
  • Patent number: 6896475
    Abstract: A diffuser includes an opening along the diffuser wall for preventing or delaying boundary layer separation of the main flow. The opening may include a curved passageway having a curvature convex relative to the main flow for utilizing the Coanda effect. A gas turbine may include the diffuser with an opening and a centerbody with an opening, each for providing a secondary flow of fluid into the diffuser. The gas turbine may direct fluid from an upstream turbine stage to the opening. A steam turbine may include the diffuser and may situate the opening downstream the diffuser inlet but upstream the location of boundary separation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Paolo Graziosi, Richard Edwin Warren, Jr., Thomas Frank Fric, Ramani Mani, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Publication number: 20040091350
    Abstract: A diffuser includes an opening along the diffuser wall for preventing or delaying boundary layer separation of the main flow. The opening may include a curved passageway having a curvature convex relative to the main flow for utilizing the Coanda effect. A gas turbine may include the diffuser with an opening and a centerbody with an opening, each for providing a secondary flow of fluid into the diffuser. The gas turbine may direct fluid from an upstream turbine stage to the opening. A steam turbine may include the diffuser and may situate the opening downstream the diffuser inlet but upstream the location of boundary separation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2002
    Publication date: May 13, 2004
    Inventors: Paolo Graziosi, Richard Edwin Warren, Thomas Frank Fric, Ramani Mani, Douglas Carl Hofer
  • Patent number: 6383602
    Abstract: A method for improving the cooling effectiveness of a gaseous coolant stream which flows through at least one passage hole in a substrate to an exit site on a high-temperature surface of the substrate is disclosed. The method comprises disrupting the coolant stream at the exit site, so that the coolant stream contacts a greater area of the high-temperature surface. In some embodiments, the exit site is a crater. Moreover, the exit site may be formed within a coating applied over the substrate, e.g., a thermal barrier coating applied over a superalloy substrate. Related articles are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Robert Patrick Campbell
  • Patent number: 5859704
    Abstract: A method of superficial laser induced fluorescence for measuring film cooling performance within a fluid tunnel apparatus includes the step of introducing a test fluid uniformly dyed with a fluorescent dye into the fluid tunnel apparatus so as to surround a cooling model having a test geometry. The cooling model is positioned adjacent to a laser sheet. A background fluorescent image of the test fluid about the cooling model is recorded. The test fluid is then flushed from the tunnel apparatus. Next, a cooling simulation fluid flow and a hot gas simulation flow are introduced within the fluid tunnel apparatus. The cooling simulation fluid contains the same fluorescent dye concentration as the test fluid and the hot gas simulation fluid contains no fluorescent dye. A data image of the cooling simulation fluid flow is recorded about the cooling model as the cooling simulation fluid flow passes through the cooling model and into the hot gas simulation fluid flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Robert Otto Auer, Robert Patrick Campbell
  • Patent number: 5851105
    Abstract: A strut bridges inner and outer walls of a frame defining a flow channel for channeling a fluid therethrough. The strut has leading and trailing edges, and a root and tip, and is tapered between the root and tip for varying frequency and amplitude of vortex shedding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Thomas Frank Fric, Michael Lewis James
  • Patent number: 5683062
    Abstract: Insect debris is removed from or prevented from adhering to insect impingement areas of an aircraft, particularly on an inlet cowl of an engine, by heating the area to 180.degree.-500.degree. C. An apparatus comprising a means to bring hot air from the aircraft engine to a plenum contiguous to the insect impingement area provides for the heating of the insect impingement areas to the required temperatures. The plenum can include at least one tube with a plurality of holes contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl. It can also include an envelope with a plurality of holes on its surface contained in a cavity within the inlet cowl.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 4, 1997
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Clifford Lawrence Spiro, Thomas Frank Fric, Ross Michael Leon