Title:
Device for the Performance Adaptation of a Liquid Ring Pump
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
For a device (4) for the performance adaptation of a liquid ring pump, said liquid ring pump (1) comprising a cylindrical workspace (6) for conveying a conveyed fluid (15) between an intake socket (16a) and a pressure socket (18a). The device (4) comprises a control unit (28), control line (22) and a control element (26) connected with the workspace (6). The device is designed to vary the amount of operating liquid of the liquid ring pump (1) during operation (running) of said pump. Also, a method for adapting the performance of the liquid ring pump (1), which is performed in particular via the device (4) is specified.



Inventors:
Olivares, Fausto (Sulzbach, DE)
Weber, Christoph (Nurnberg, DE)
Trimborn, Peter (Feucht, DE)
Application Number:
11/531362
Publication Date:
03/15/2007
Filing Date:
09/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04C19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRAMER, DEVON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James B. Conte (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A device (4) for performance adaptation of a liquid ring pump (1), said pump: comprising a cylindrical workspace (6) for conveying a conveyed fluid (15) between an air intake socket (16a, 16b), and a pressure socket (20a, 20b), wherein the workspace is adapted to receive an operating fluid (5) which generates a liquid ring (5a) during operation of the liquid ring pump (1), said device comprising comprising a control element; a control line and a state of operation wherein during operation said control line is in fluid communication with said operating fluid (5), said control element is actuated to release an amount of operating liquid through said control line while the pump (1) is in operation, said operating liquid is not immediately circulated back into said liquid ring pump, said liquid being released is in addition to any liquid being discharged through said outlets (20a, 20b)

2. The device according to claim 1, characterized in that a control unit (28) is interfaced with said control element, wherein said control unit cooperates in the actuation of said control element.

3. The device according to claim 2 characterized in that the control unit (28) is interfaced with at least one sensor (30), wherein in said state of operation, said control unit cooperates in the actuation of said control element in dependence upon information received from said at least one sensor (30).

4. The device according to claim 3 characterized in that the sensor is a pressure sensor disposed along a pathway (70) in which conveying fluid (15) enters inlet (16a, 16b), said sensor upstream of said inlet.

5. The device according to claim 4 characterized in that said device includes at least one additional sensor for sensing temperature, said temperature sensor also located along said pathway.

6. A device according to one of claim 1 characterized in that said control line during said state of operation receives operating liquid from a shutdown or total drain outlet (2).

7. The device according to claim 6 characterized in that said control line receives operating fluid during said state of operation from a total discharge line (2a), said discharge line in fluid communication with said total drain outlet (2).

8. The device according to claim 7 characterized in that said total drain outlet includes a first outlet at a drive end side of the pump and a second outlet at a non-drive end side of the pump, wherein said control line is interfaced with said first and second outlets such that during said state of operation, said control line receives operating liquid through both outlets.

9. A device according to one of claim 1 characterized in that said control line during said state of operation receives operating liquid from at least one internal shaft seal supply aperture (3).

10. The device according to claim 9 characterized in that said inner shaft seal aperture includes a first opening at a drive end side of the pump and a second opening at a non-drive end side of the pump, wherein said control line is interfaced with said first and second openings such that during said state of operation, said control line receives operating liquid through both openings.

11. A method for performance adaptation of a liquid ring pump (1), said pump comprising a cylindrical workspace (6) for conveying a conveyed fluid (15) between an air intake socket (16a, 16b) and a pressure socket (20a, 20b) wherein the workspace is adapted to receive an operating fluid (5) which generates a liquid ring (5a) during operation of the liquid ring pump (1), said method characterized by: varying a hydraulic characteristic of the liquid ring pump (1) as control variable.

12. The method, according to claim 11, characterized by actuating a control element (26) interfaced with a control line (22) to release a determined amount of operating fluid (5) through said line while the pump (1) is in operation, said liquid being released is in addition to any liquid being discharged through said pressure socket; a. refraining from immediately circulating said operating fluid back into a workspace of a liquid ring pump.

13. The method, according to claim 12 characterized by affecting the actuation of said control element (26) by a control unit 28.

14. The method, according to claim 13 characterized by actuating said control element (26) in dependence upon information received from at least one sensor (30).

15. The device according to claim 14 characterized in that the sensor is a pressure sensor disposed along a pathway in which conveying fluid enters inlet (16a, 16b), said sensor upstream of said inlet.

Description:

We hereby claim foreign priority under section 119 of the US Patent statute, based on German application 102005043434.7, filed Sep. 13, 2005.

FIELD

The invention relates to a device for the performance adaptation of a liquid ring pump, said pump comprising a cylindrical workspace for conveying a conveyed fluid between a fluid inlet (intake socket) and a fluid outlet (pressure socket), wherein an operating fluid is contained in the workspace, said device controls the volume of operating liquid in the pump during operation of the pump.

BACKGROUND

A liquid ring pump is suitable for conveying dry or liquid-containing gases and is commonly used both as a vacuum pump and also as a compressor. A liquid ring pump of this type has an impeller eccentrically arranged inside a casing that contains an operating fluid. Water is often used as the operating fluid. During operation of the pump, the rotation of the impeller causes the operating fluid in the pump casing to form a liquid ring that lifts off on the suction side from an impeller hub of the impeller and revolves with the same. The liquid ring cooperates with the impeller to draw in fluid at the inlet, compress the fluid, and discharge it at the outlet. Due to the pump principle, the conveyed fluid when discharged via the pressure socket (outlet) is mixed with the operating fluid. The operating fluid is subsequently separated from the conveyed gas in a separator and fed back to the pump. The operating liquid in some pump arrangements can also serve to seal spaces between the shaft, impeller and plate port of a pump. A liquid ring pump is revealed, for example, in the printed publication U.S. Pat. No. 4,392,783.

Industrial processes in vacuum and pressure applications, within the framework of which liquid ring pumps are employed, are often subject to periodical and also non-periodical changes. As a result, the performance requirement placed on the given liquid ring pump generally changes as well. Liquid ring pumps, however, for the benefit of a simple design, often are not controllable or adjustable with respect to their driving power. Liquid ring pumps of this type are often sized for maximum load or maximum process requirements, and they therefore typically draw, too much driving power during normal operation. In the vast majority of existing installations, the excess power of the liquid ring pumps is reduced by means of a throttle regulation, false air, or bypass regulation. The excess driving power is simply disposed of in these cases.

Some modern systems employ liquid ring pumps that regulate the power requirement during changing process conditions via a speed adaptation by means of a converter. However, converters consume a certain amount of the conserved energy through electrical losses. Additionally, the use of a converter disadvantageously entails a comparatively high investment expenditure, additional space requirement, and increased susceptibility to failure.

SUMMARY

The invention is therefore based on the object of providing a device for the performance adaptation of a liquid ring pump, as well as a method carried out especially by said device for the performance adaptation of the liquid ring pump.

Accordingly, one embodiment of the device comprises a control line interfaced with a control element. The control line is fluidly connected to the workspace or chamber of the pump. The control line and element are designed to modify, as a correcting variable, a hydraulic characteristic of the liquid pump. The modified characteristic is preferably the volume of operating liquid in the chamber during operation (running) of the pump.

As an alternative to the variation of the quantity of operating fluid, or in combination therewith, the device could be designed to modify the viscosity of the operating fluid contained in the workspace.

To regulate and change the volume of liquid during operation of the pump, one embodiment of the invention uses a control line fluidly connected to the total drain connection or outlet(s). Standard pumps generally have a total drain connection allowing for the drainage of the operating fluid from the pump when the pump is not in operation i.e., shut down. The control line cooperates with a control element (valve) which is interfaced with a control unit. The control unit actuates the valve of the control line based on input from one or more sensors or other actuators which monitor process parameters. The sensors could be process pressure, temperature, flow volume, or humidity sensors disposed at, in or up stream of the fluid inlet intake socket. Moreover, the volume of process liquid and/or dry content of the product can also be used as a process parameter. The actuator, in addition to sensors, could include a push button on the control unit. The push button activates the valve to release a predetermined amount of operating liquid during operation.

The control unit compares the actual value or values to a pre-set value or values for the process parameters and discharges a volume of operating fluid during operation to bring the actual values in line with the pre-set values. Therefore, the use of a control unit is advantageous in that it allows for the regulation of the pump by taking into account process parameters such as the physical characteristics of the conveyed fluids, one such characteristic being process pressure. It also, of course, allows one to take into account other process variables such as temperature.

As an alternative to the use of a control unit, the controlling element, such as the valve, may be activated manually. The control element may also be activated, pneumatically or hydraulically by signals from the control unit or from other means.

As an alternative to using the total drain connections (total outflow disposed at the bottom of the workspace), the control line is interfaced with one or more of the internal shaft sealing supply connections present in known pumps. In this case, fluid is removed during operation through these sealing supply connections.

As a further alternative, the control line is interfaced with the pump by providing a unique connection in the pump for the control line.

The object is additionally met according to the invention with a method. The above explanations regarding advantages and embodiments of the inventive device shall be logically translated to a method for controlling the performance of a liquid ring pump.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To explain the device and method in more detail, example embodiments of the invention are described below and in the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of a liquid ring pump having suitable standard connections for interfacing with an embodiment of our device for performance adaptation of a liquid ring pump; the shown pump includes an impeller bounded on each axial side by a port plate, each port plate being coupled to an end shield.

FIGS. 1a, and 1b are front plan views of the end shields shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 is a stripped down schematic diagram showing an embodiment of our device interfaced with a liquid ring pump.

FIG. 3 is a stripped down schematic diagram showing our device interfaced with a liquid ring pump.

FIG. 4 is a stripped down schematic illustration of a pump arrangement comprising a liquid ring pump and our device for the performance adaptation of the liquid ring pump, said device comprising a control line discharging into the total outflow connection of the pump.

FIG. 5 is a stripped down schematic illustration according to FIG. 4 of a variant of the device wherein the device for the performance adaptation additionally incorporates a control line interfaced with the peak of the workspace of the pump.

FIG. 6 is a schematic depiction according to FIG. 5 of an additional variant of the pump device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 shows a liquid ring pump 1 which has an approximately cylindrical workspace 6, total drain connections or outlets 2 and inner shaft seal supply connections or apertures 3. The workspace has a central axis 40 and is radially surrounded by housing 41 The connections or apertures 2 and 3 are suitable for interfacing with the device or assembly 4 for controlling the volume of operating fluid 5 in the workspace or operating chamber 6 of liquid ring pump 1. The operating/sealing supply liquid inlets 7 are also shown. The pump also includes an impeller 11 supported eccentrically relative to the workspace 6 with impeller blades 11a and hub 11b, and a shaft 12. In the axial direction, the workspace 6 is bounded by port plates 21a, 21b which are coupled to end shields 18a, 18b. The end shields are symmetrical with each other. The end shields each have inlets 13 to internal shaft seal connections 3. The work space 6 is filled with operating liquid 5. The operating liquid or fluid 5 is usually water. See FIG. 4. The operating fluid or liquid 5 can serve to seal the interstices 43 between impeller 11, shaft 12 and port plates 21a, 21b.

In operation, the impeller rotates in the direction 14. An amount of conveyed fluid 15 is drawn into inlets 16a, 16b of end shields or heads 18a, 18b. The conveyed fluid 15 exits outlets 20a, 20b.

In more detail, during operation of the pump, the impeller blades or vanes 11a force the operating fluid 5 into a fast rotating movement so that the operating fluid 5, under action of the centrifugal force, forms a liquid ring 5a that is concentric relative to the workspace 6. As a result of the eccentric mounting of the impeller 11, a sickle-shaped space 6b is created between the liquid ring 5a and impeller 11 within which conveyed fluid 15 is transported in the direction of rotation 14. The conveyed fluid 15 is a dry or wet gas.

Now referring to FIG. 2, the interface of device 4 with a total drain or shutdown drain connection 2 can be seen. The device 4 includes a control line, pipe or conduit 22. The line 22 is interfaced with total drain line 2a by way of a two way valve 24. Total drain line 2a is at the drive end. For reference end shield 18a is located at the drive end. Line 22 is also interfaced with a control element 26 downstream of valve 24. The control element may be an electronically or mechanically actuated valve.

Control element 26 is interfaced with control unit 28. Interfaced with control unit 28 is sensor or sensors 30. The sensor or sensors 30 can be for sensing process pressure, temperature, humidity or flow volume. Sensors 30 can be located up stream, at, or in fluid inlets 16a, 16b. Arranging the sensor(s) at the intake socket, i.e., on the suction side, is particularly advantageous, as the values for pressure, volume flow, temperature and humidity of the conveyed fluid are not yet influenced and distorted through pressure loss, leakage, or diffusion of the operating fluid into the conveyed fluid. In this embodiment, it is also shown that the control unit 28 receives signals from a temperature sensor 30 located along the pump discharge pathway 71. The reference 4 in the drawings is not intended to refer to the whole pump assembly but rather only the Device which is the control unit, sensors, and control line.

Line 70 generally shows a flow path of the conveyed fluid 15 which enters the pump via inlets 16a, 16b. Line 71 generally shows the path of conveyed fluid 15 exiting outlets 20a, 20b. Additionally line 72 generally depicts the pathway of supply liquid which enters inlets 7. The supply liquid can be operating fluid 5 and can serve as sealing fluid to seal the spaces 43.

Prior to operation, the control unit is programmed so as to have a specified or desired process parameter Ps. During operation, the control unit compares actual process parameter values Pi to the specified parameters. The actual parameters are collected and transmitted to the control unit 28 via sensors 30. The control unit, in dependence on a comparison result transmits signals to actuate control element 26 to discharge an amount of operating fluid from chamber 6 to vary the actual value Pi to meet the desired value Ps. The control element 26 of course can be a valve directly actuated by control unit 28 or indirectly actuated by the control unit by way of a motor. In the case of direct activation, one could use a solenoid valve. A motor actuated valve however has the advantage that the size of the valve aperture can be varied by the motor to more precisely control the discharge. In general, to increase the flow of conveyed fluid 15, an amount of operating fluid 5 is discharged, during operation of the pump. The amount of discharged fluid is in addition to any fluid being discharged through outlets 20, 20b. The discharged fluid is not immediately re-circulated back into the workspace 6. The valve can be actuated in other ways including manually, hydraulically, or pneumatically.

It should be noted that although device 4 uses a line 22 which branches off from total drain line 2a at the drive end, it is contemplated that by using appropriate valves and actuators one could use a single line for both the total drain line 2a and control line 22 (See discussion on FIG. 4, supra.). Further, although device 4 is shown as regulating discharge out of total drain outlet 2 in connection with total drain line 2a, device 4 could regulate the discharge at the total drain connection 2 on the non-drive end, i.e. at shield 18b. As a further alternative, the control line 22 could include a conduit which interfaces the total drain connections 2 at both the drive end and non drive end of the pump with valve 26.

FIG. 3 shows an alternative way of interfacing a control line 32 of device 4 for controlling the level of the operating fluid 5, during operation of the pump, with existing pump connections. In this embodiment, the control line is interfaced with the inner shaft seal connections 3 on both the drive and non-drive end. The internal shaft seal supply to which the control line is interfaced is generally shown at 3a. The interface with connections 3 could be through inlets 13. A liquid supply line or pathway which feeds the liquid into the pump is generally shown by line 73. The fluid could be operating fluid 5 for the liquid ring or for the sealing of the spaces 43

Interfaced with control line or conduit 32 is control element 26. The control element 26 is actuated in the same manner as control element 26 in FIG. 2. In this embodiment, it is also shown that the control unit 28 receives signals from a temperature sensor 30 located along the pump discharge pathway 71.

In accordance with FIG. 4, the device 4 comprises a control line 100 for discharging and feeding operating fluid 5 into the workspace 6. The control line 100 opens into total outflow or shutdown drain connection 2 of the workspace 6. The control line 100 has a controlling element 102, which is designed especially in the style of a bi-directionally operable operating-fluid pump. Depending on the activation of the controlling element 102, operating fluid 5 can thus be either fed to or removed from the workspace 4. The control line 100 can serve as the total drain line after shut down. The device 4b additionally comprises control unit 28, which enables actuation of the controlling element 102 via sensors 30.

FIG. 5 shows an additional embodiment. In contrast to the embodiment according to FIG. 4, the device, in this case incorporates two separate control lines namely one feed control line 200a and one discharge control line 200b. The discharge control line 200b opens into the peak 202 of the workspace 6. The feed control line 200a opens into the workspace at the total outflow 2. The control line 200b is preferably is interfaced with the inner shaft seal connection 3. The interface could be through inlets 13

The feed control line 200a and the discharge control line 200b each have a controlling element 206a and 206b in the form of a control valve or pump for regulating the flow of the operating fluid through control lines 200a, 200b. Control unit 28 enables activation of controlling elements 206a, 206b depending on the input from the sensor(s) 30.

In accordance with FIG. 6, the device, in contrast to the embodiment according to FIG. 5, comprises only the single control line 300 for discharging operating fluid 5. Controlling element 26 is interfaced with control line 300. The control line 300 could have its own unique connection or interface with the inner shaft seal connections. 3