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Hydraulic system with modular inserts

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20140093407 patent thumbnailZoom

Hydraulic system with modular inserts


A hydraulic turbocharger having replaceable, insertable components, including volute inserts, vaned diffuser inserts, nozzle inserts, diffuser inserts, nozzle liners and diffuser liners, that define the internal passageways of a hydraulic turbocharger. By making various components of the turbocharger removably insertable and replaceable, turbochargers can be manufactured in a cost-effective way to maximize efficiency, obtain improved performance and make it easier to operate these types of devices over a wide range of operating conditions. Moreover, the devices can be readily modified while in the field when operating conditions change.
Related Terms: Hydraulic System

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140093407 - Class: 417405 (USPTO) -
Pumps > Motor Driven >Fluid Motor >Rotary Motor

Inventors: Jeff Calkins, Bart Biche, Eric Kadaj, Prem Krish

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140093407, Hydraulic system with modular inserts.

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US 20140093407 A1 20140403 US 14033347 20130920 14 20060101 A
F
01 D 25 24 F I 20140403 US B H
20060101 A
F
04 D 29 60 L I 20140403 US B H
20130101
F
01 D 25 24 F I 20140403 US B H C
20130101
F
04 D 29 605 L I 20140403 US B H C
US 417405 4152141 4152081 29428 HYDRAULIC SYSTEM WITH MODULAR INSERTS US 61703963 20120921 Energy Recovery Inc.
San Leandro CA US
US
Calkins Jeff
Pleasanton CA US
Biche Bart
Redwood City CA US
Kadaj Eric
Canton MI US
Krish Prem
Foster City CA US

A hydraulic turbocharger having replaceable, insertable components, including volute inserts, vaned diffuser inserts, nozzle inserts, diffuser inserts, nozzle liners and diffuser liners, that define the internal passageways of a hydraulic turbocharger. By making various components of the turbocharger removably insertable and replaceable, turbochargers can be manufactured in a cost-effective way to maximize efficiency, obtain improved performance and make it easier to operate these types of devices over a wide range of operating conditions. Moreover, the devices can be readily modified while in the field when operating conditions change.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to and benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/703,963 entitled “REPLACEABLE HYDRAULIC PATHWAYS”, filed Sep. 21, 2012, which is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to a hydraulic system.

The pump industry now has available computational fluid dynamic based machine design software that allows pumps to be designed to achieve various performance parameters. The resultant designs require a high degree of dimensional precision to obtain the desired performance characteristics. The challenge is to convert the complex computer design into actual components.

To produce the desired geometry for internal casing components, investment castings are often used. Investment castings use metal molds that produce a wax pattern that in turn is used to make a ceramic mold. The wax pattern is then heated so that the wax melts and is removed which leaves the ceramic mold. The ceramic mold is then used to produce the metal parts for the pump. The ceramic mold produces high quality castings having a good surface finish and dimensional accuracy. However, investment casting tooling is expensive and is best suited to small size, mass produced parts. For custom designed pumps, the parameters of the pump need to match the performance characteristics that are desired. Flexibility in the design is important to achieving the performance objectives and this does not fit well with the use of mass produced parts. Accordingly, custom designed pumps are not a good fit with investment casting technology.

The internal casing components, such as the volute and diffuser, can be machined from solid metal stock. Such machining can produce precise dimension control and a good surface finish. However, the cross section of the volute is limited to parallel wall design configurations as the machining tools must be inserted and removed from the interior of the casing. There is little flexibility in the shape that can be machined under such restrictions. These restrictions on the shape of the internal chamber of the volute significantly limit the performance and efficiency characteristics of a pump produced with this technology.

Sand castings can also be used to produce pump casings. However, sand casting does not work well for the internal casings of small pumps or turbines, as the surface finish produced is not smooth enough for good efficiency. Without the necessary level of efficiency such small pumps and turbines have a difficult time being a competitive product. In addition, the cores that are used to create the internal voids such as the volute can shift during the molding or pouring process. This results in the void area being both axially and radially displaced from the desired position. Such shifting results in uneven flow entrances and a loss of efficiency for the pump. In addition, the surface finish of such a cast pump casing is not as smooth as desired to obtain the best flow characteristics and efficiency. Some of the above deficiencies can be reduced by grinding or sanding operations on the cast casing provided that the required tools can fit into the areas that need further processing.

The present invention overcomes the deficiencies of the prior art and allows the construction of pumps that maximize the efficiency and performance for the pump and allows for the cost effective production of unique one off design and construction of volute flow passages.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to improvements to the invention described in U.S. Patent Application Publication 2006/0013707 describing the use of removable components in the construction of hydraulic pumps, turbines and turbochargers to enable such devices to operate effectively over a range of operating conditions and to enable such devices to be modified in the field when operating conditions change.

The present invention includes improvements in the design of removable components in the construction of hydraulic pumps, turbines and turbochargers and more specifically relate to removably insertable components that define the internal hydraulic passageways of a turbocharger including volute inserts, vaned diffuser inserts, nozzle inserts, diffuser inserts, nozzle liners and diffuser liners.

Detailed descriptions of these improvements are set forth below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood when the following detailed description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings in which like characters represent like parts throughout the drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a hydraulic turbocharger comprising a pump section and a turbine section, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the hydraulic turbocharger of FIG. 1, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an axially-split volute insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a radially-split volute insert comprising two facing pieces that each have a differently shaped volute, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a radially-split volute insert comprising three separate pieces, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 6 is the radially-split volute insert of FIG. 5 shown with the pieces fastened together, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional front elevation view of a one-piece volute insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional side view of a one-piece volute insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional side view of a pump vaned diffuser insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a front elevation view of the pump vaned diffuser insert of FIG. 9, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the vanes of the pump vaned diffuser insert of FIG. 9, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of a hydraulic turbocharger with an opening in the outlet section that receives a diffuser insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of a diffuser insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 14 is a side view of the diffuser insert of FIG. 13, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view of a hydraulic turbocharger comprising an installed diffuser inserted in the outlet section, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of a hydraulic turbocharger with an opening in the inlet section that receives a nozzle insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of a hydraulic turbocharger with an installed nozzle insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of a nozzle insert, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 19 is a side view of the nozzle insert of FIG. 18, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 20 is a hydraulic turbocharger with an installed nozzle insert liner, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 21 is a hydraulic turbocharger with an installed diffuser insert liner, in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 22 is a perspective view of a two-piece hydraulic turbocharger comprising an outer housing that encloses the pump section and the turbine section and only one end cap, in accordance with an embodiment; and

FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view of the two-piece hydraulic turbocharger of FIG. 22, in accordance with an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

One or more specific embodiments of the present invention will be described below. In an effort to provide a concise description of these embodiments, all features of an actual implementation may not be described in the specification. It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers' specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which may vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it should be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.

When introducing elements of various embodiments of the present invention, the articles “a,” “an,” “the,” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising,” “including,” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements.

The present invention involves improvements to the invention disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication 2006/0013707 the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference into this patent application

The present invention relates to improvements in the design of pumps (e.g. modular pumps), turbines (modular turbines), and modular hydraulic turbochargers and more particularly relates to improvements in the design of removable, insertable components (i.e., inserts, modular inserts) in such devices that enable them to operate more efficiently and under a wide range of operating conditions. These removably insertable i.e., interchangeable) components (i.e., inserts, modular inserts) include pump volute inserts, turbine volute inserts, vane diffuser inserts, diffuser inserts, nozzle inserts, diffuser liners, and nozzle liners. Moreover, each of these components (i.e., inserts, modular inserts) may be one of a plurality of modular inserts that has a different effect on a fluid flow through a pump (e.g., modular pump), a turbine (modular turbine), or modular hydraulic turbocharger. Indeed, each component (i.e., inserts, modular inserts) may be one of many components (i.e., inserts, modular inserts) in a family that are interchangeable used to affect a fluid flow.

The present invention will be understood by those skilled in the art upon review of the following descriptions and the accompanying drawings.

To facilitate the description of the present invention, it will be described in connection with a hydraulic turbocharger utilized for energy recovery that comprises a pump section and a turbine section. However, it should be understood that the present invention is suitable for use with almost any type of pump, turbine or hydraulic turbocharger application. Operating features of such devices are known in the art and will not be described in detail herein.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a hydraulic turbocharger 1 has an outer housing 2, a first section 3, a turbine end section 4 and a pump end section 5 wherein the turbine end section and pump end section are removably secured to the first section of the outer housing. A securing device such as bolts 6 can be utilized to removably secure the turbine end and pump end sections to the first section of the outer housing 2. The first section 3, the turbine end section 4 and the pump end section 5 of the outer housing 2 define a passageway 7 that extends through the outer housing.

The outer housing 2, comprising the first section 3, turbine end section 4 and pump end section 5 is costly to make and requires significant lead time to design and manufacture. However, the performance requirement for each hydraulic turbocharger can vary depending on the parameters of use that are present in a particular application. This variability in performance characteristic can produce an almost infinite number of performance curves for the hydraulic turbocharger. It is not economically feasible to produce unique components for the outer housing 2 to maximize the efficiency for the hydraulic turbocharger.

The present invention allows a standard outer housing to be designed and produced for a range of potential applications. The turbine impeller 8, pump impeller 9, pump volute insert 10 and turbine volute insert 11 can be individually designed to produce the maximum efficiency for the operational parameters of the hydraulic turbocharger. In most applications the turbine volute insert 11 and pump volute insert 10 are designed to cooperate with the turbine impeller and the pump impeller, respectively, to obtain the desired performance characteristics for the hydraulic turbocharger.

The pump volute and turbine volute inserts can be designed and manufactured to achieve the desired performance characteristics. Since the pump and turbine volute inserts are positioned in the first cavity 12 and second cavity 13 respectively, the pump and turbine volute inserts can be custom designed to optimize the performance of the hydraulic turbocharger without requiring a custom design for the entire hydraulic turbocharger. Additionally, the pump and turbine volute inserts of the present invention are removable so they can be removed and modified, or alternatively replaced with new pump and turbine volute inserts that have new shapes and surface finishes to provide improved performance characteristics.

In several preferred embodiments of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 3-6, the pump volute insert and turbine volute insert each comprise a plurality of pieces fastened together to form individual volute inserts that can be removably positioned in the first cavity 12 or second cavity 13 of the turbocharger. There are several preferred ways to design volute inserts wherein they each comprise a plurality of pieces.

In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIG. 3, a volute insert for a hydraulic turbocharger is axially split and comprised two facing pieces 20 and 21; and a first volute end cap 60 and a second volute end cap 61 that are fastened together to form a pump volute at one end and a turbine volute at the opposite end. The benefit of the axially-split volute insert design is a greater flexibility in outer casing design as well as rotor design. Fastening means (not shown), such as screws or other devices, can be used to securely fasten and align the axially split pieces of each of the volute inserts with respect to each other to ensure the volute inserts provide the desired fluid flow characteristics through the hydraulic turbocharger.

In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIG. 4, the pump volute insert and turbine volute insert are each radially split and each comprises two pieces 22, 23 that are fastened together to form a pump volute insert or a turbine volute insert that can be removably positioned in the first cavity 12 and second cavity 13 of the hydraulic turbocharger, respectively. The two pieces 22, 23 are non-mirror facing pieces with each piece having a different volute passageway 24, 25. Fastening means (not shown), such as screws or other devices, can be used to securely fasten and align the radially-split pieces of each of the volute inserts with respect to each other to ensure the volute inserts provide the desired fluid flow characteristics through the hydraulic turbocharger.

In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the pump volute insert and turbine volute insert are each radially split and each comprises three pieces 26-28 that are fastened together, as shown in FIG. 6, to form a pump or turbine volute insert 29 that can be removably positioned in the first cavity 12 and second cavity 13 of the hydraulic turbocharger, respectively. Additionally, the radially-split pump volute insert and turbine volute insert may comprise more than three pieces fastened together. Fastening means (not shown), such as screws or other devices, can be used to securely fasten and align the radially-split pieces of each of the volute inserts with respect to each other to ensure the volute inserts provide the desired fluid flow characteristics through the hydraulic turbocharger.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, an additional feature is utilized to position and maintain the removable volute inserts in the correct position in the hydraulic turbocharger. 0-rings 17 are utilized between the outer wall of the pump volute insert 10 and the pump end section 5 and between the outer wall of the turbine volute insert 11 and the turbine end section 4. The 0-rings 17 serve to provide a take up of tolerance and impart a force to help ensure the pump volute insert and the turbine volute insert are properly positioned and in the optimum configuration when the securing bolts 6 are utilized to removably secure the pump end section 5 and turbine end section 4 to the first section 3 of the outer housing 2. The 0-rings 17 help to ensure the desired fluid flow characteristics are achieved to optimize the performance of the hydraulic turbocharger.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, a pump or turbine volute insert is formed of a single piece of material (i.e., a single-piece volute, one-piece volute) and wherein the one-piece pump or turbine volute insert 30 is removably positioned (see FIG. 1) in the first cavity 12 to form a pump volute and in the second cavity 13 to form a turbine volute. The pump volute insert and turbine volute insert can be machined to the desired geometry and surface finish prior to being installed in the first cavity 12 and the second cavity 13, respectively. The volute inserts may be fabricated out of any materials familiar to those skilled in the art that provide the desired efficiency and flow characteristics. Forming the pump and turbine volute inserts out of single pieces of material allows for fewer components to be used in the pump construction. Moreover, forming the pump and turbine volute inserts out of single pieces of material eliminates the need to align two mirror pieces, like the volute inserts described in detail in the above-mentioned mentioned '707 patent application.

The one-piece removable pump insert volute 30 (shown in FIGS. 7 and 8) is held in place in the cavity (see FIG. 1) between the first section 3 and the pump end section 5 of the outer housing 2. The pump volute insert 30 is in fluid communication with the pump impeller 9 and the inlet 15 (i.e., pump inlet) formed by the passageway 7. A pump outlet 18 is positioned in the first section 3 of the outer housing 2 and the pump outlet 18 is also in fluid communication with the first cavity 12 defined by the pump volute insert 10.

The one-piece removable turbine insert volute 30 (shown in FIGS. 7 and 8) is held in place in the cavity between the first section 3 and the turbine end section 4 of the outer housing 2. The turbine volute insert 16 is in fluid communication with the turbine impeller 8 and with the discharge 14 (i.e., turbine outlet) formed by the passageway 7. The turbine volute insert 11 is also in fluid communication with the turbine inlet 19 formed in the first section 3 of the outer housing 2.

The size and shape of the turbine and pump volute inserts is complex and varies to achieve the desired performance characteristics for the hydraulic turbocharger. The one-piece pump volute insert and one-piece turbine volute insert can be machined or otherwise formed to have characteristics that provide the desired fluid flow, optimize efficiency and maximize performance of the turbocharger. The one-piece volute inserts can be removed and then modified or replaced with new one-piece volute inserts in order to change the performance characteristics of the hydraulic turbocharger.

As shown in FIGS. 9-11, in another preferred embodiment of the present invention, removable vaned diffuser inserts 31 for the pump side of the turbocharger are utilized as an alternative to the use of pump volute inserts described hereinabove. As shown in FIG. 11, the vaned diffuser inserts 31 have a series of vanes 32 that serve to direct fluid flow between the components along the internal passageways of the hydraulic turbocharger.

A pump side diffuser insert may be utilized to direct fluid flow between the pump impeller 9 and the pump outlet 18.

The pump vaned diffuser insert is machined or otherwise formed to have a shape and surface finish to direct the fluid flow in a way that optimizes the performance of the hydraulic turbocharger. The removable vaned diffuser inserts can be removed and then modified or replaced with new vaned diffuser inserts to change the performance characteristics of the hydraulic turbocharger.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention a pump diffuser insert comprising vanes is formed of a single piece of material (i.e., one-piece structure, single-piece), as shown in FIG. 10, and wherein the one-piece pump diffuser insert is removably positioned (not shown) in the first cavity 12 to form the hydraulic passageway between the pump impeller and the pump outlet. The pump vaned diffuser insert can be machined to the desired geometry and surface finish prior to being installed in the first cavity 12. The vaned diffuser insert may be fabricated out of any materials familiar to those skilled in the art that provide the optimum efficiency and flow characteristics. Forming the pump diffuser insert out of single pieces of material allows for fewer components to be used in the pump construction and eliminates the need to align multiple pieces.

In another embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 11, the pump vaned diffuser insert, instead of being formed of single pieces of material, comprise two pieces that are radially split and fastened together to form a pump vaned diffuser insert that can be removably positioned in the first cavity 12 of the hydraulic turbocharger. The two-piece pump vaned diffuser insert can be radially split into two facing mirrored pieces (i.e., same as one another) or, alternatively, can be radially split to form into two non-mirror facing pieces (i.e., different from one another). In another embodiment of the present invention, the radially-split pump vaned diffuser insert comprises more than two pieces. Fastening means such as screws or other devices can be used to securely align the diffuser insert pieces with respect to each other to form diffuser inserts that provide the desired fluid flow characteristics through the hydraulic turbocharger.

In another embodiment of the present invention (not shown), the vaned diffuser inselts, instead of being formed of single pieces of material, are formed from a plurality of pieces fastened together. In one embodiment of the present invention (not shown), the pump diffuser insert comprises two pieces that are axially split and fastened together to form a diffuser insert that can be removably positioned in the first cavity 12 of the hydraulic turbocharger. Fastening means such as screws or other devices can be used to securely align the diffuser insert pieces with respect to each other to form diffuser inserts that provide the desired fluid flow characteristics through the hydraulic turbocharger.

As shown in FIG. 12, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention the outlet section 18 of the pump is designed to be capable of receiving removable diffuser inserts and comprises straight sidewalls 33.

As shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, a removable diffuser insert 35 comprises a straight outer wall 36 that substantially aligns with the inner wall 33 of the outlet section 18 of the pump (shown in FIG. 12) when the diffuser insert is removably inserted into the outlet section of the pump. As shown in FIG. 15, when the removable diffuser insert is installed the tapered inside wall 37 of the diffuser insert reduces the velocity of the fluid moving through it as it moves from the pump volute towards the outlet section 18 of the pump.

In a preferred embodiment, a means is provided to hold the diffuser insert 35 in place inside the turbocharger and ensure the diffuser insert remains in alignment with the volute insert to direct fluid flow from the volute insert to the pump discharge outlet. One preferred retention means comprises a groove 38 around the outer diameter of the diffuser insert 35 that receives a retaining ring 39 (shown in FIG. 15) to keep the diffuser insert 35 in position relative to the outlet section 18 of the pump after it is installed.

As shown in FIG. 16, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, a hydraulic turbocharger has a turbine side that includes an inlet section 40. FIG. 17 shows the nozzle insert 41 after it is installed in the inlet section 40 on the turbine side of the turbocharger. The nozzle insert serves to direct fluid flow between the inlet section 40 of the turbine and the turbine volute.

In a preferred embodiment, a means is provided to hold the removable nozzle insert 41 in place inside the turbocharger and ensure the nozzle insert remains in proper alignment to direct fluid flow from the turbine inlet 40 to the turbine volute. As shown in FIGS. 18 and 19, in one preferred the retention means comprises a groove 42 around the outer diameter of the nozzle insert 41 that receives an 0-ring to keep the nozzle insert 41 in position relative to the inlet section 40 on the turbine side of the turbocharger.

To allow for greater flexibility in the design of nozzle inserts the nozzle centerline can be off-center of the outside diameter of the nozzle insert as shown in FIG. 18.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 20, nozzle insert liners 43 can be inserted into previously installed nozzle inserts in a hydraulic turbocharger in a nesting configuration to modify the fluid flow through the internal passageways of the hydraulic turbocharger.

In practical application, when using a nozzle insert liner, previously installed nozzle inserts are left in place and a new nozzle insert liner fabricated to have an outside shape that aligns substantially with the already installed nozzle insert and an inside shape and surface finish that provides the desired fluid flow and performance characteristics through the pump inlet is inserted. Additional nozzle insert liners with different characteristics can be installed into previously inserted nozzle insert liners in a nesting configuration.

In another preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 21, diffuser insert liners 44 can be inserted into previously installed diffuser inserts in a hydraulic turbocharger in a nesting configuration to modify the fluid flow through the internal passageways of the hydraulic turbocharger.

In practical application, when using a diffuser insert liner, previously installed diffuser inserts are left in place and a new diffuser insert liner fabricated to have an outside shape that aligns substantially with the already installed nozzle insert and an inside shape and surface finish that provides the desired fluid flow and performance characteristics through the pump inlet is inserted. Additional diffuser insert liners with different characteristics can be installed into previously inserted diffuser insert liners in a nesting configuration.

The use of an axially-split volute insert design provides particular advantages in the construction of hydraulic turbochargers having different designs than the design shown in FIG. 1.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 22 and 23, a hydraulic turbocharger 45 comprises an outer housing 46 and only one end cap 47 removably secured to the outer housing with the turbine discharge (i.e., turbine outlet) being integral to the housing 46. A securing device such as bolts (not shown) can be utilized to removably secure the end cap to the outer housing. The outer housing 46 of the turbocharger comprises a pump section that includes a pump inlet 48, a pump discharge 49, a pump impeller 50 and a pump volute forming a first cavity 51 and a turbine section that includes a turbine inlet 52, a turbine discharge 53, a turbine impeller 54 and a turbine volute forming a second cavity 55. A shaft 56 is connected between the pump impeller 50 and the turbine impeller 54.

Removably positioned inside the outer housing of the turbocharger is a removable pump and turbine volute insert that can be machined to the desired geometry and surface finish prior to being installed. The axially-split facing pieces of the pump volute insert and turbine volute insert are fastened together to define volutes that direct fluid flow through the internal passageways of the turbocharger. The volutes are stationary pump and turbine flow passages whose changing shape and flow area convert fluid velocity into pressure on the pump side and fluid pressure to velocity on the turbine side.

In operation, fluid at high pressure enters the turbine inlet and is directed to the turbine volute formed by the turbine volute insert. The fluid is directed from the turbine volute to the impeller, which is caused to rotate by impulse and reaction effects of the fluid on the vanes of the turbine impeller. The rotating turbine impellers power output is transmitted through the rotatable shaft to the pump impeller. The turbine impeller decreases the pressure on the fluid that enters the turbine side of the hydraulic turbocharger and the fluid is discharged through discharge opening on the passageway.

In operation, fluid at low pressure enters the inlet of the passageway and enters the pump impeller. The rotating impeller vanes cause the fluid to accelerate towards the periphery of the impeller. The high velocity fluid exits the impeller to enter the volute, where the increasing flow area of the volute collects the impeller flow. The fluid leaves the volute and then enters the pump discharge where increasing area produces a reduction in fluid velocity and increase in fluid pressure.

In practice it has been found that it can be difficult to remove the various components, like the ones described in this specification, that are designed to be removed, modified or replaced with different components, from the interior cavities and other sections of hydraulic turbochargers. For example, due to close tolerances it may be difficult to get tools into the interior cavities to remove replaceable volute inserts and vaned diffusers. The nozzle inserts and diffuser inserts may also be difficult to remove from a pump or hydraulic turbocharger.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention (not shown), additional features are utilized to make it easier for operators to remove the various removable components from the interior sections of a pump or hydraulic turbocharger of the type described in the present invention.

Means are provided for each of the removable components, either integrated into the design of the components themselves or separately attached to the components, to make it easier for operators to remove each of the removable, insertable components from the pump or hydraulic turbocharger.

This written description uses examples to disclose the invention, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the invention, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the invention is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal language of the claims.

1. A system, comprising: a modular hydraulic turbocharger, comprising: a housing with a pump inlet, a pump outlet, a turbine inlet, and a turbine outlet; a first cavity within the housing, wherein the first cavity is in fluid communication with the pump inlet and the pump outlet; a second cavity within the housing, wherein the second cavity is in fluid communication with the turbine inlet and the turbine outlet; a pump impeller coupled to a shaft, wherein the pump impeller is disposed within the first cavity of the housing; a turbine impeller coupled to the shaft, wherein the turbine impeller is disposed within the second cavity of the housing, and wherein the turbine impeller is responsive to a motive fluid to drive the pump impeller to pump a fluid through the modular hydraulic turbocharger; and a first modular insert within the housing, wherein the first modular insert is interchangeable with a first plurality of modular inserts, and each of the first plurality of modular inserts has a different effect on a fluid flow through the hydraulic turbocharger. 2. The system of claim 1, wherein the first plurality of modular inserts comprises one or more pump volute inserts, one or more turbine volute inserts, one or more vane diffuser inserts, one or more diffuser inserts, or one or more nozzle inserts. 3. The system of claim 1, comprising a second modular insert interchangeable with a second plurality of modular inserts each having a different effect on the fluid flow through the hydraulic turbocharger, wherein the first modular insert is a pump volute insert and the second modular insert is a turbine volute insert. 4. The system of claim 1, wherein the turbine outlet is integral with the housing. 5. The system of claim 1, wherein the first modular insert comprises a single-piece volute insert. 6. The system of claim 1, wherein the first modular insert comprises a multi-piece volute insert. 7. The system of claim 6, wherein the multi-piece volute insert comprises axially split sections that form a passage configured to receive the shaft. 8. The system of claim 6, wherein the multi-piece volute insert comprises a first volute end cap and a second volute end cap. 9. The system of claim 8, wherein a first diameter of the first volute end cap is greater than a second diameter of the second volute end cap. 10. The system of claim 6, wherein the multi-piece volute insert comprises radially split sections that are different from one another. 11. The system of claim 1, wherein the first modular insert is a first diffuser insert disposed within the pump outlet, or a first nozzle insert disposed within the turbine inlet, or a combination thereof. 12. The system of claim 11, comprising a first diffuser liner nested within the first diffuser insert, or a first nozzle liner nested within the first nozzle insert, or a combination thereof. 13. The system of claim 1, wherein the first modular insert is a vane diffuser insert disposed within the first cavity. 14. A system, comprising: a modular pump, comprising: a housing with a pump inlet and a pump outlet; a first cavity within the housing, wherein the first cavity is in fluid communication with the pump inlet and the pump outlet; and a pump impeller, wherein the pump impeller is disposed within the first cavity of the housing to pump fluid through the modular pump; a first modular insert within the housing, wherein the first modular insert is interchangeable with a plurality of modular inserts, and each of the plurality of modular inserts has a different effect on a fluid flow through the modular pump. 15. The system of claim 14, wherein the first modular insert comprises a vane diffuser insert or a volute insert disposed within the first cavity. 16. The system of claim 15, wherein the first modular insert is a one-piece structure. 17. The system of claim 15, wherein the first modular insert comprises the vane diffuser insert having multiple radial components that selectively couple together. 18. The system of claim 17, wherein the multiple radial components of the vane diffuser insert are the same as one another. 19. The system of claim 17, wherein the multiple radial components of the vane diffuser insert are different from one another. 20. A method, comprising: selectively supporting a modular insert of a plurality of modular inserts in a housing of a hydraulic turbocharger, wherein each modular insert of the plurality of modular inserts has a different effect on a fluid flow through the hydraulic turbocharger.


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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140093407 A1
Publish Date
04/03/2014
Document #
14033347
File Date
09/20/2013
USPTO Class
417405
Other USPTO Classes
4152141, 4152081, 29428
International Class
/
Drawings
19


Hydraulic System


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