Title:
Generation and Management of Mass Air Flow
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Systems and methods for generating high velocity mass air flows are disclosed. High velocity mass air flow (air charging) devices are needed in a variety of research, industrial, commercial, and consumer applications. The exemplary systems and apparatus described incorporate an electric motor subassembly, an air effector subassembly, a highly intelligent apparatus controller subassembly (and interfaces), and linked sensors, connectors, and wiring. The exemplary method described includes the operational apparatus controller subassembly (e.g., elements, logic, and behavior) that controls the entire apparatus' functions and interactions.



Inventors:
Kwong, Arnold W. (Saint Paul, MN, US)
Manning, David B. (Ventura, CA, US)
Prusinski, Thomas M. (Corvallis, OR, US)
Case, Albert F. (Saint Paul, MN, US)
Application Number:
12/024070
Publication Date:
09/11/2008
Filing Date:
01/31/2008
Assignee:
Turbodyne Technologies, Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04B17/03
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRIEU, THAI BA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. An apparatus for generating a high velocity mass air flow comprising: an air charging effector housing; an inlet allowing an air inflow to enter said housing; an outlet allowing an air outflow to exit said housing; an air charging effector subassembly rotatably disposed in said air charging effector housing and connected to said output shaft of said air charging motor; a power module subassembly that controls said air charging effector subassembly; an intelligent control apparatus subassembly that controls operation of said apparatus; wherein said apparatus generates a high velocity mass air flow.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said high velocity mass volume of air comprises a pressurized air flow at about 1000 torr and about 1,000,000 cm3/min.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said high velocity mass volume of air comprises an air flow at about 28 g/sec.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a control feedback subassembly that uses measurements to limit possible damage to said apparatus due to uncontrolled velocity or mass air flow.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said apparatus pressurizes said air outflow, with a pressure above ambient, to fill an air output source volume that may comprise a fixed or variable container.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said apparatus depressurizes said air inflow, with a pressure below ambient, to evacuate an air intake source volume that may comprise a fixed or variable container.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said apparatus is portable and provides for stand-alone operations without a substantially fixed installation for the generation or storage of a high pressure air source.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said apparatus is portable and provides for stand-alone operations without an external power source.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said apparatus further comprises a compact form factor having an integral air charging effector and air charging motor housing that holds said air charging effector and said air charging motor, wherein said air charging motor is positioned such that said intake air is drawn across said air charging motor.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising one or more sensors emplaced in, around, or alongside one or more physical elements of said apparatus for sensing one or more parameters of said apparatus, wherein data from said sensor(s) is communicated to said control apparatus subassembly.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a communications subassembly, wherein said communications subassembly communicates data from said sensors to said control apparatus subassembly.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said control apparatus subassembly further comprises one or more of: a control loop, a logic and decision making capability, sensor measurement, feedbacks, communications with an external application environment, event sequencing, and/or control of said power module subassembly.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising an air intake subassembly and an air outflow subassembly, wherein said control apparatus subassembly controls an operation of one or more of said air intake subassembly and/or said air outflow subassembly.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said power module subassembly further comprises one or more of: an electrical storage device, a continuing electrical supply input, a pneumatic power source, a chemical power source, and/or a thermal power source.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: an air charging motor subassembly having an output shaft; wherein said an air charging effector subassembly is connected to said output shaft of said air charging motor; and wherein said a power module subassembly controls said air charging motor subassembly.

16. A method of generating a high velocity mass air flow comprising: receiving a flow of air intake through an air inlet; controlling said air intake using an intake control valve subassembly; sensing said air intake using an intake sensor subassembly; charging said air intake to form a high velocity mass air outflow using an air charging effector subassembly driven by an air charging motor subassembly; powering said air charging motor subassembly from a power source module; sensing said high velocity mass air flow exiting said air charging effector subassembly using an outflow sensor subassembly; controlling said air outflow using an outflow control valve subassembly; expelling said high velocity mass air outflow through an air outlet; controlling one or more of said intake control valve subassembly, said intake sensor subassembly, said air charging motor subassembly, said power source module; said outflow sensor subassembly, and said outflow control valve subassembly using an apparatus controller subassembly.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising pressurizing said high velocity mass volume outflow to about 1000 torr and moving said high velocity mass volume outflow at about 1,000,000 cm3/min.

18. The method of claim 16, further comprising moving said high velocity mass volume at about 28 g/sec.

19. The method of claim 16, further comprising: operating said an air charging effector subassembly at sub-optimal efficiencies in order to meet specific operational needs; and providing power to said air charging motor subassembly from a local power source that is independent of external power sources and that is under the direct control of said apparatus controller subassembly.

20. The method of claim 16, further comprising communicating with a remote or central location to communicate one or more of operational, control, management, and sensory data.

21. A hybrid electrical and combustion engine comprising: an air intake receiving a flow of air; an intake control valve subassembly in fluid communication with said air intake and controlling said flow of intake air; an intake sensor subassembly in fluid communication with said air intake and sensing said intake air; an air charging effector subassembly in fluid communication with said air intake, said air charging effector subassembly generating an outflow of air; an outflow sensor subassembly in fluid communication with said air charging effector subassembly and sensing said outflow of air; an outflow control valve subassembly in fluid communication with said air charging effector subassembly and controlling said outflow of air; an air intake manifold in fluid communication with said air charging effector subassembly; a combustion engine in fluid communication with said air intake manifold; a hybrid motor/generator coupled to said combustion engine, wherein torque produced by said combustion engine is passed to said hybrid motor/generator; a power storage component electrically coupled to said hybrid motor/generator, said power storage component storing electric power created by said hybrid motor/generator; an apparatus power storage component electrically coupled to said power storage component; an air charging motor subassembly electrically coupled to said apparatus power storage component, wherein said stored electrical power is deliver to said air charging motor subassembly via a power source module; wherein said air charging motor subassembly is coupled to and powers said air charging effector subassembly; and a controller subassembly for controlling one or more of: said intake control valve subassembly, said intake sensor subassembly, said outflow sensor subassembly, said outflow control valve subassembly, said combustion engine, and said power source module.

22. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 21, further comprising a sensor and control data flow between said controller subassembly and said power source module, wherein a power flow from said power source module to said air charging motor subassembly is regulated by said controller subassembly by means of said sensor and control data flow.

23. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 21, further comprising one or more of: a control data flow for said intake control valve subassembly, a control data flow for said intake sensor subassembly, a control data flow for said outflow sensor subassembly, and a control data flow for said outflow control valve subassembly.

24. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 21, further comprising a control and data interface, wherein said controller subassembly monitors an operation of said combustion engine through said control and data interface and modulates power delivery to said air charging effector to optimize said combustion engine combustion cycle.

25. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 21, wherein said controller subassembly controls the operations of said hybrid electrical and combustion engine according to dynamic or preset operations.

26. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 21, wherein one or more of: said intake control valve subassembly, said outflow control valve subassembly, said intake sensor subassembly, and/or said outflow sensor subassembly may be excluded and/or an integral part of an existing intake air management system.

27. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 21, further comprising a power regulator electrically connected between said power storage component and said apparatus power storage component, wherein said power regulator conditions and/or regulates electrical power before flowing into said apparatus power storage component.

28. An apparatus for generating a high velocity air flow comprising: an air charging effector housing; an inlet allowing an air inflow to enter said housing; an outlet allowing an air outflow to exit said housing; an air charging effector rotatably disposed in said air charging effector housing; a power module that controls power to said air charging effector; a control apparatus that controls operation of said air charging effector to condition the output air of said air charging effector into said high velocity air flow in accordance with a desired operating profile and controls operation of said power module to manage power consumption of said air charging effector in accordance with said desired operating profile.

29. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising an internal combustion engine, said internal combustion engine comprising: an intake manifold for receiving the compressed air outflow, said intake manifold in fluid communication with at least one cylinder of said internal combustion engine; and an engine electronic control unit in communication with said control apparatus, wherein control signals are transmitted between said engine control unit and said control apparatus to adjust the speed of the air charging motor in order to supply the high velocity air flow to said internal combustion engine.

30. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising a control feedback subassembly that measures said air inflow and/or said high velocity air flow and provides measurement inputs to said control apparatus for using in adjusting operation of said air charging effector.

31. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein said high velocity airflow has a pressure above ambient and is provided so as to fill an air output source volume of a fixed or variable container.

32. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein said high velocity airflow has a pressure below ambient and is provided so as to evacuate an air intake source volume of a fixed or variable container.

33. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein said apparatus is portable.

34. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein said air charging effector housing has a compact form factor having an integral air charging effector and air charging motor housing that holds said air charging effector and an air charging motor, wherein said air charging motor is positioned such that said intake air is drawn across said air charging motor for cooling said air charging motor.

35. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising one or more sensors emplaced in, around, or alongside said air charging effector and/or said power module so as to sense air flows and/or ambient temperature and communicates measured values to said control apparatus.

36. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein said control apparatus further comprises means for communicating with an external application environment.

37. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising an air intake subassembly and an air outflow subassembly, wherein said control apparatus controls operation of said air intake subassembly and/or said air outflow subassembly.

38. The apparatus of claim 28, further comprising: an air charging motor having an output shaft, wherein said air charging effector is connected to said output shaft of said air charging motor, and wherein said power module controls application of power to said air charging motor.

39. A method of generating a high velocity air flow comprising: receiving a flow of air intake through an air inlet; controlling said air intake using an intake control valve; sensing said air intake using an intake sensor; charging said air intake to form a high velocity air outflow using an air charging effector driven by an air charging motor; sensing said high velocity air flow exiting said air charging effector subassembly using an outflow sensor; controlling said air outflow using an outflow control valve; expelling said high velocity air outflow through an air outlet; and controlling one or more of said intake control valve, said intake sensor, said air charging motor said outflow sensor, and said outflow control valve so as to condition said air outflow in accordance with a desired operating profile.

40. A hybrid electrical and combustion engine comprising: an air intake receiving a flow of intake air; an intake control valve in fluid communication with said air intake and controlling said flow of intake air; an intake sensor in fluid communication with said air intake and sensing said intake air; an air charging effector in fluid communication with said air intake, said air charging effector generating an outflow of air; an outflow sensor in fluid communication with said air charging effector and sensing said outflow of air; an outflow control valve in fluid communication with said air charging effector and controlling said outflow of air; an air intake manifold in fluid communication with said air charging effector; a combustion engine in fluid communication with said air intake manifold; a hybrid motor/generator coupled to said combustion engine, wherein torque produced by said combustion engine is passed to said hybrid motor/generator; a power storage component electrically coupled to said hybrid motor/generator, said power storage component storing electric power created by said hybrid motor/generator; an apparatus power storage component electrically coupled to said power storage component; an air charging motor electrically coupled to said apparatus power storage component, wherein said stored electrical power is deliver to said air charging motor, wherein said air charging motor is coupled to and powers said air charging effector; and a controller for controlling one or more of: said intake control valve, said intake sensor, said outflow sensor y, said outflow control valve, and said combustion engine in accordance with a desired operating profile.

41. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 40, further comprising a sensor that detects power usage of said air charging motor, wherein said controller regulates power usage of said air charging motor in response to the detected power usage and said desired operating profile.

42. The hybrid electrical and combustion engine of claim 40, wherein said intake control valve, said outflow control valve, said intake sensor, and/or said outflow sensor are incorporated into a preexisting intake air management system.

43. A method of generating a conditioned air flow, comprising: receiving a flow of intake air through an air inlet; sensing said flow of intake air using an intake flow sensor; adjusting said flow of intake air upstream of said intake flow sensor whereby a volumetric flow rate of said flow of intake air is set by an air intake control signal received from a control apparatus; charging an adjusted flow of intake air to form a conditioned air outflow using an air charging effector driven by an air charging motor; controlling the air charging motor with a motor control signal derived from a desired operating profile by the control apparatus so as to manage the speed of said air charging motor to condition the air outflow; powering said air charging motor from a power source module that manages power consumption by the air charging motor based on a power control signal received from the control apparatus; sensing the conditioned air outflow exiting said air charging effector using an outflow sensor; controlling said conditioned air outflow using an outflow control valve controlled by a valve control signal derived from said desired operating profile by the control apparatus in response to outputs of said outflow sensor.

44. An apparatus for controlling the generation of a conditioned air flow comprising: an air inlet for receiving a flow of intake air; an intake flow sensor that senses said flow of intake air and provides a first sensing output; an intake control valve that adjusts the volumetric flow rate of intake air upstream of said intake flow sensor, in response to an air intake control signal to form an adjusted flow of intake air; an air charging effector that conditions said adjusted flow of intake air to form a conditioned air outflow; an air charging motor that drives the air charging effector in response to a motor control signal so as to manage the speed of said air charging motor to condition the air outflow; a power source module that powers said air charging motor and manages power consumption by the air charging motor based on a power control signal; an outflow sensor that senses the conditioned air outflow exiting said air charging effector and provides a second sensing output; an outflow control valve that controls said conditioned air outflow in response to a valve control signal; and a control apparatus that generates said air intake control signal, said motor control signal, said power control signal, and said valve control signal based on a desired operating profile and said first and second sensing outputs.

45. An apparatus for controlling the generation of a high density air flow comprising: an air inlet for receiving a flow of intake air; an intake flow sensor that senses said flow of intake air and provides a first sensing output; an intake control valve that adjusts the volumetric flow rate of intake air upstream of said intake flow sensor, in response to an air intake control signal to form an adjusted flow of intake air; an air charging effector that pressurizes said adjusted flow of intake air to form a compressed air outflow; an air charging motor that drives the air charging effector in response to a motor control signal so as to manage the speed of said air charging motor to condition the air outflow; a power source module that powers said air charging motor and manages power consumption by the air charging motor based on a power control signal; an outflow sensor that senses the compressed air outflow exiting said air charging effector and provides a second sensing output; an outflow control valve that controls said compressed air outflow in response to a valve control signal; and a control apparatus that generates said air intake control signal, said motor control signal, said power control signal, and said valve control signal based on a desired operating profile and said first and second sensing outputs.

46. The apparatus of claim 45, wherein the air effector compresses the adjusted flow of intake air to form an air outflow at a pressure above atmospheric pressure.

47. The apparatus of claim 45, further comprising an internal combustion engine, said internal combustion engine comprising: an intake manifold for receiving the compressed air outflow, said intake manifold in fluid communication with at least one cylinder of said internal combustion engine; and an engine electronic control unit in communication with said control apparatus, wherein control signals are transmitted between said engine control unit and said control apparatus to adjust the speed of the air charging motor in order to supply a compressed air outflow to said internal combustion engine.

48. The apparatus of claim 47, wherein the power source module has a source of power independent from a vehicle in which said apparatus is mounted.

49. The apparatus of claim 48, wherein said apparatus is placed proximate a battery compartment in a hybrid vehicle.

50. The apparatus of claim 49, wherein said air charging device generates a heated air flow.

51. The apparatus of claim 50, wherein said heated air flow is circulated in said battery compartment to heat a hybrid vehicle battery.

52. The apparatus of claim 47, further comprising an intercooler located downstream of the outflow control valve, wherein said conditioned air outflow is directed through said intercooler to cool the air flow.

53. The air charging device according to claim 52, wherein said cooled air flow is circulated in the battery compartment of said hybrid vehicle to cool at least one electric battery in said battery compartment.

54. An air charging device for inflating or deflating a flexible membrane comprising: an air inlet for receiving a flow of intake air; an air charging effector that increases the volumetric flow rate of intake air to form a high velocity air outflow; an air charging motor that drives the air charging effector in response to a motor control signal; a control apparatus that generates said motor control signal so as to manage the speed of said air charging motor; and an air outlet that provides said high velocity air outflow to said flexible membrane.

55. The air charging device according to claim 54, wherein said air charging device is portable.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/887,424, entitled “Generation of High Velocity Mass Air Flows,” by Kwong et al., filed Jan. 31, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNOLOGY FIELD

The present invention generally relates to the field of air flow generation. More particularly, the present invention relates to systems and methods for generating and managing mass air flows, and subsets thereof including high velocity, high pressure, high density, and the like. This technology is particularly suited, but by no means limited, for application to hybrid vehicles, vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines, stationary applications of internal combustion engines, and ancillary uses of such air flows.

BACKGROUND

Applications in research, industrial, commercial and consumer applications for pressurized air flows are long standing and well known. Pneumatic systems, using generated or stored pressurized air, are well known and were common even in the early parts of the twentieth century. The availability of air pumps based on fan or blower technologies (such as, for example, centrifugal, spiral, and axial flow air effector devices) is widespread and common.

Air charging refers to the provision of air, or fluid handling like a gas, for purposes both to pressurize an outflow air stream, and to depressurize an intake air source volume. In applications, this may support using a velocity mass air flow device to either fill, with a pressure above the ambient, an outflow need, or to evacuate an intake air source volume that may be a fixed or variable volume container.

In many extant approaches in the known art there are shortcomings and problems with the performance of air charging devices where the resistance from existing structures, gas pressure, or resistive load degrades the ability of the air charging device to be serviceable.

Existing pressurized air flow applications have additional shortcomings that include (varying by the device being compared), for example:

1) Existing devices fail to provide a mass air flow sufficient to complete a task within the desired time window although the mass air flow over a much longer time period may be sufficient.

2) Existing devices fail to provide the necessary control feedback and use measurements to limit possible damage from an uncontrolled velocity or mass air flow.

3) Existing devices fail to provide for operation without a substantial fixed installation that generates, or stores, high pressures that can be transformed into a high velocity mass air flow.

4) Existing devices place a high load on the equipment supplying power (e.g., combustion engine, electrical feed, gas pressure, etc.) on a highly dynamic basis that causes unwanted side-effects in the system the application is supporting.

5) Existing devices place demands for space or physical configurations that cause additional costs and resource requirements beyond that desirable.

6) Existing devices fail to provide the flexibility to use high-velocity mass air flows, or slower less massive flows, to allow optimization of power expenditure, or for other purposes.

7) Existing devices fail to provide power management alternatives that allow multiple operating uses to optimally use power available in an application environment.

8) Existing devices fail to provide full coverage to handle all of the aspects of the apparatus from the low level control of the electrical motor to the connections to the entire application's apparatus structure.

9) Existing devices do not have extensive safety provisions and features to protect the device, the platform on which it is operating, or the human users.

10) Existing devices are not easily integrated into an overall platform power management and operating plan that allows flexible usage of their capabilities while managing their impact on power expenditure, instantaneous demand, and overall power capacity.

Conventional devices and applications have sought with limited success to meet one or more of these applications requirements with a wide variety of power mechanisms, air effector configurations, and control loops.

For example, conventional fan devices may generate a significant volume of air, but generate an output pressure of less than 15% increase from normal conditions. Thus, a typical fan device is inadequate for applications that require a combination of high air flow with higher pressure. The physical diameter and consequent physical guards required also are disadvantages of conventional fan devices in even volume applications.

Also, a centrifugal air actuator may generate modest pressure, but typically requires a very large diameter blower to generate a higher pressure output. Blowers for high volume operation may achieve considerable flow rates, at modest pressures, but range up to almost 60 centimeters in diameter. The electrical power and motors necessary (or other power source) for large centrifugal blowers is also a large consideration when using centrifugal air actuators in high air flow applications.

The efficiency of other air actuator devices (such as compressors in the form of scrolls or overlapped spirals) are not as high as that of the high volume mass air flow devices described in this application. Further, extant compressor applications tend to be specialized and constrained.

To generate pressure, a fixed compressor and tankage system (such as found in many industrial environments) may be used to provide high pressure, but the pneumatic infrastructure is substantial and the possible faults and complexity of the control systems are substantial.

Thus, in view of the foregoing, there is a need for systems and methods that overcome the limitations and drawbacks of the prior art. In particular, there is a need for systems and methods capable of moving a pressurized stream of air (air charging) at a high flow rate and that addresses one or more of these limitations and drawbacks, and preferably addresses most of these limitations and drawbacks, and more preferably the entire range of these shortcomings and provides superior applications performance in many situations. Embodiments of the present invention provide such solutions.

In a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, a recognized concern is the ability of the vehicle to operate in cold-weather/ambient conditions. The Department of Energy has selected a series of goals for fuel-cell developments reaching through 2010. U.S. Pat. No. 6,727,013 B2, entitled “Fuel cell energy management system for cold environments,” issued to William S. Wheat et al., discloses the use of a resistive heater to warm the fuel cells. But this approach reduces usable capacity of the fuel cells. U.S. Pat. No. 6,797,421 B2, entitled “Fuel cell thermal management system,” issued to Eric T. White, also discloses the use of a resistive heater to warm the fuel cells with a coolant process (with an unspecified cooling mechanism) to cool them. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,815,103, entitled “Start control device for fuel cell system,” issued to Hiroyuki Abe et al., at FIG. 3, Label S01, a reference is made to the use of a hot air supply, but no mechanism or control structure for such a mechanism is described. U.S. Pat. No. 6,616,424 B2, entitled “Drive System and Method for the Operation of a Fuel Cell System” issued to Raiser discloses the use of compressed air to assist in fuel cell operations, however a hot gas supply is not used.

In the body of U.S. Pat. No. 7,200,483 B1, entitled “Controller Module for Modular Supercharger System,” issued to Kavadeles, the supercharger described and controlled is powered by a mechanical belt and pulley arrangement (see, FIG. 1 elements 102, 136, 138, 142). Thus, the operation of supercharger is dependent on the mechanical RPM of the engine and reduces the power available from engine at low RPM when torque is needed for acceleration or other functions.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,141,965; 6,079,211, 5,867,987; 5,771,868 and 5,904,471 disclose conventional approaches to pre-conditioning and directing inflows of air into a device using various pre-whirl strategies, diverters, and vanes; and outlet conditioning of outflows of air for disposal or application. However, these references do not disclose or teach according the inlet and outlet condition of flows full consideration in the deployment and operation of the devices. None of these references teaches the capacity to actively incorporate active pre- and post-conditioning of the flows while managing the power and operating characteristics of the electric motor subassembly. In U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,771,868 and 6,102,672, the control concepts extend to the incorporation of EGR (engine gas recirculation) and bypass air sources. But these references do not disclose or teach incorporation of active inlet and outlet conditioning of flows while managing the power and operating characteristics of the electric motor assembly. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,062,026 and 5,867,987 disclose using various sensors to assist the air charging units during operations. However, the teachings of these references do not support greater diversity of sensors, sensor interconnection methods, methods of utilizing sensor and sensor-based information (e.g., with direct data, or other apparatus and methods subassemblies). U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,560,208 and Reissued 36,609 disclose air charging mechanisms with interconnections to the engine (such as Element 40 in FIG. 6). These references, however, do not disclose incorporation of engine controls, other vehicular subsystems, diagnostic, comfort/entertainment, communication, or human external controls into the operation of a method and apparatus that closely operates with considerations of power modules, electric motor subassembly management, and air flows' management. U.S. Pat. No. 5,787,711 discloses the incorporation of multiple air moving devices in a co-axial relationship. The device of this reference does not incorporate connections to sensors and control logic to manage the thermal and operating needs of the device, nor does it teach availing the apparatus of multiple sensor feeds, actively able to manage both thermal and power considerations, and the operating characteristics of an electric motor subassembly. U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,029,452; 6,182,449; and 6,205,787 disclose how various configurations of electric motor subassemblies can be applied to the air charging needs of two and four cylinder combustion engines (either diesel or gasoline powered). But these references do not teach providing a means to handle active power management with the operating characteristics of the electric motor subassembly.

SUMMARY

The following summary is a simplified summary of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of some of the aspects of the invention. This summary is not intended to identify key or critical elements of the invention or to define the scope of the invention.

Embodiments of the present invention are directed to unique and innovative solutions to the limitations and problems described above in the prior art while preserving many advantages for the consumer. Embodiments of the present invention are capable of moving a pressurized stream of air (air charging) at a high flow rate. The application of a high velocity mass air flow effector and computing apparatus and methods combine to accrue new benefits to applications/consumers by providing services and performance not available with conventional air actuator systems and methods. Operating the device with different inlet and outlet management, electric motor subassembly rotating and control settings also provides for air flows and beneficial effects.

Embodiments of the present invention may use and combine conventional elements with unique and novel additions and improvements in order to solve technological limitations, as discussed above, in conventional systems and methods. The air charging methods and systems are preferably compatible with existing frameworks in technological, legal, regulatory, and cultural settings. The air charging methods and apparatus for generating a high velocity mass air flows may address one or more, if not all, of the limitations cited in prior art and others known to practitioners. The application of the device at other than high velocity flows may address other needs not met by extant devices.

The systems and methods for generation and management of high velocity mass air flows may be used by individuals and businesses in research, industry, commercial, and consumer applications for both applications requiring high velocity mass air flow and for applications where space, power supply, and/or application system considerations provide benefits to users. The alternative operating modes at other than high velocity flows expands the applications for a single, or product family, of devices.

The installation of a specific embodiment of the invention into usage is referred to herein as an instantiation of the embodiment. The instantiation of an embodiment may use subsets of the complete embodiment's description in order to economize on a specific function (for an illustrative example, omitting active outlet management in some cases where an engine intake manifold already has said feature and this would be redundant and duplicative). The environment and situation of the usage of the embodiment is referred to as the “platform.” Specific components of an embodiment are referred to “elements” or “components.”

One exemplary embodiment of the invention may include a power supply module, an electric motor with an air effector in combination with a computer-based apparatus controller implementation employing computing equipment, software, and (optionally) a communications network.

Economies can be gained when applying more than one embodiment (possibly a plurality of embodiments on a single applications' platform) installed on the same platform. Shared control elements, shared power stores, shared maintenance spares, and shared control of dynamic behavior can yield results not otherwise found when multiple apparatus of other descriptions are applied. The capability of shedding demand on combustion engine torque in high demand situations is well known (illustrated by shutting down an air condition compressor during periods of high acceleration on a small engine, or variable power assist mechanisms). In analogous fashion, the use of shared control elements (connected logically or physically) can shed demand for power in embodiments of the invention in: high demand situations according to operational optimizations defined in the profiles for the devices' operation, to meet the overall operational needs (power, air charging, comfort, and others) across an entire trip, or to operate the device to meet specific high demands (such as meeting the needs for generated power in a high load condition for a hybrid). Physical locations for multiple devices on a single platform (illustrated by needs for multiple air charging or emissions control embodiments in an engine compartment, heating/ventilating embodiments for passenger compartment comfort, battery/fuel cell heating/ventilating, and heating/ventilating embodiments for cargo/equipment compartments) may be in multiple discrete areas, but the control elements of the embodiments may, or may not, communicate or interact with a plurality of the other embodiments instantiated on the same platform through communications media or other interactions (illustrated below in the exemplary embodiments). Multiple embodiments present for a single application (such as multiple air charging devices on a single combustion engine) may interact in a plurality of instantiations with the greatest benefits found when control element, power management, power storage modules, or sensor connections are combined with operating profiles as described more fully in the detailed description of illustrative embodiments.

An exemplary embodiment for the support of applications of high velocity mass air flows include a system and apparatus that receives electrical power, control signals (data flows), and an intake media (normally, but not limited to, gases such as ambient air, inert gases, or other fluids where behavior is like an “air” or gaseous fluid flow). Electrical power stored within the unit's power module may be sufficient for some applications and limited operations, but certain applications may utilize an electrical power supply at some point during a normal operating cycle. Having a separate stored power capacity within the apparatus also enables capabilities for operational optimization and flexibility not available without this integrated feature. Control signals may be as limited as an on/off (e.g., switch originated) signal, or may be as complex as a communications network message that is interpreted by the control apparatus as a stimulus to initiate one or more operations. The control signals may flow over media as simple as an open or closed circuit, or the control signals may flow over a complex communications network mediated by one or more specialized electronic circuit apparatus and that may utilize linear, or non-linear, communications protocols to pass messages, sensor data, meta-data, and the like that is interpreted by the control apparatus as stimulus to perform one or more operations (that may be pre-defined or dynamically determined) to control the electric motor, control valves (optional), sensors (optional), and air effector.

According to another aspect of the invention, the power module, containing in the exemplary embodiments both a power management element and a power storage element, may have the capability of controlling, or cooperating in, the optimal and flexible consumption of power, power capacity, and power distribution for the entire platform where the embodiment is applied. Operating under the control of the Control Apparatus the Power Module Subassembly can conduct operations using a plurality of one or more power sources; the Power Module Subassembly can determine, or be controlled, optimal uses (or conservation) of power supply, power expenditure, or capacity (including recharge); and the Power Module Subassembly can act to provide safety features to the apparatus. Thus, in instantiations of the embodiment where multiple power sources (grid power, alternator/generator, Power Storage Module, auxiliary platform batteries, hybrid primary electrical storage, or others) are present the Power Module Subassembly can control, or cooperate in, the choice of power supply (source optimization), power expenditure (drain optimization), power capacity (overall platform capacity and resource allocations such as recharging, recharge times, and priorities), and power distribution (source or drain optimization based on overall platform distribution and utilization).

The “air effector” referred to throughout this application may be considered as one embodiment of a fluid/media flow device that is related to a transport or movement that can be described by fluid-dynamics. Thus, the “air effector” may include devices otherwise described with terms such as “wheels,” “impellers,” “propellers,” “discs,” “bladed assembly,” “fan,” “flow director,” “mover,” and the like. Preferred embodiments of the invention may use a close physical proximity between the electrical motor and the effector subassembly. This may also be the case with alternate embodiments described, but practitioners will note that a larger physical distance (coupled mechanically, pneumatically, magnetically, or in other fashion) accomplishes identical functions within exemplary method and control apparatus configurations of the invention. Embodiments of the invention may use other air effectors to optimize for other application design criteria (such as acoustic signature, component materials, ease of field maintenance, flow characteristics, etc.).

In like manner, the presence of sensors (such as, for example, in the intake, outflow, air effector housing, motor housing, or other positions on the equipment; sensors may also be placed environmentally or fed remotely to the control apparatus for safety, feedback, control, performance measurement, comparison, testing, device self-assessment, or process control purposes) may be optional in some applications, but most applications are envisioned to incorporate some sensor capabilities into the control apparatus handling to assure proper operations, safety of operation (e.g., to people and other facilities and equipment), for optimal operation, etc. Sensors in the preferred embodiments may include temperature sensing, pressure sensing, and electrical measurements. In alternative embodiments, a plurality of sensors measuring, for example, temperature, pressure, electrical, emissions, gas composition, vibration, acoustic signature, battery condition, fuel, historical sensor information, engine conditions, etc. may be components of the invention. Sensors providing control, monitoring, historical, and profile information to the apparatus can be direct data feeds from an engine control module or fuel control module; a direct sensor feed from a sensing apparatus (such as a thermocouple, accelerometer, coupling value, or diaphragm pressure sensor); an indirect sensor access (such as a bus or network connected sensor); a surrogate sensor feed (derived from relayed or preprocessed sensor data in another module); or inferred sensor data (produced by observations of other operating, environmental, or engine characteristics.

One exemplary embodiment of the present invention may include the following major component elements.

An intake subassembly (element 1) that brings in the medium (normally air as has been described) and passes it into an air effector (element 2). The air effector increases the velocity (flow) and pressure, and therefore the mass air volume (over time), from ambient conditions to those desired in the application. This output is passed through an outflow subassembly (element 3).

Additional elements, obvious to practitioners, include filtering for inflows and outflows of the device in order to effect protection of the embodiments of the invention and to protect the application applying these airflows. As a safety feature there may be sensors present to indicate the absence of these filters and thus limit the automatic operation of an embodiment to safe conditions. Manual operation of the embodiments could include an override mode when the operation of the embodiment of the invention is less than optimal safety conditions are warranted due to larger application safety concerns or optimization.

Intake (inlet) and outflow (outlet) subassemblies occur in most embodiments of the invention to support optimization of airflow through the air effector subassembly. The plurality of components in the inlet and outlet subassemblies is illustrated by instantiations including diverter valves, active swirl assemblies in the inlet, outlet directing vanes, active swirl assemblies in the outlet, and the appropriate valves such as iris, servo, or diaphragm types. Both active and passive valves can be applied to inlet or outlet functions. Both powered and unpowered valves can be applied with solenoids or other powered mechanisms used for valve controls.

In another exemplary embodiment, the capability of an inlet control to manage the pre-swirl on a dynamic basis can alter the functional delivery of a mass air flow to a very different set of efficiency bands. In an exemplary embodiment the capability of an outlet control to manage the pre-swirl on a dynamic basis for the outflow going into another component of a multi-stage embodiment (thus it becomes the pre-swirl of the next stage) can alter the functional delivery of the mass air flow of the next stage of an application.

As an illustration of just one function, active outlet controls can be used to manage waste-gate functionality when the devices are operating at a higher level than needed instantaneously by the platform application. The control element may be responsible for the control of the outlet so that the embodied output of the air effector is used for the optimal priority selection of the platform application while maintaining the availability of a high mass airflow level for output on a demand basis. In an alternate embodiment this control capability might be shared with application control mechanism such that the embodiment's control element communicated with the application control mechanism to effect the waste gate functionality.

A power supply module (element 4) may pass power to an electric motor (element 5) that drives the air effector (element 2). A control apparatus (element 6) that may use control loops, logic and decision-making capability, and communications with the external application environment to determine the sequence of events, controls the power supply module (element 4), the electric motor (element 5), and possibly controls element 1 and/or element 3 if those elements are implemented as including controllable valves, cutoffs, diverters, or other flow management devices.

The inflow subassembly (element 1) may include a mechanical coupling and supply of air to transport. The outflow subassembly (element 3) may include a mechanical coupling and outlet for the air transported. The power module (element 4) may include a plurality of electrical storage devices, a continuing electrical supply input, or other power source (such as, for example, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, etc.) that can be converted to its output electrical power to be supplied.

The electric motor (element 5) may include a mechanical coupling be made linking the rotary action of the electric motor into the mechanical action driving the air effector (element 2). The control apparatus (element 6) may include control data flows (such as, for example, on/off, open/close, etc.) to be established and effective between it and at minimum the electric motor (element 5). Additional data flows between the control apparatus (element 6) and the intake and outflow subassemblies (elements 1 and 3) may take the form of controls, feedback, sensor measurements, or sequencing. The control apparatus (element 6) may also receive, manage, control, integrate, and process data flows to and from the sensors (element 7 through n, number not fixed), any external information (such as, for example, control, feedback, indirect sensor, safety, management, or meta-data such as rule parameters or interpretive information), and may use some or all of the available data to control and manage the other elements of the apparatus and process as embodied (such as, for example, automated diagnostics, safety management, power management, flow management, reporting, metrics, controls for licensing, etc.).

The motors used in the exemplary embodiments of the invention may be sensorless brushless direct current motors. The selection of these motors includes their advantages of high speed, efficient power consumption, and compatibility with operating environments. However, in alternate embodiments of the invention, a wide variety of motor types can be used including sensored and sensorless motors, switched reluctance, alternating current motors, brushedibrushless motors, and others that meet the needs of a specific embodiment. The selection of a motor technology and its application in embodiments of the invention may be supported by features in the control elements' use of profiles and functional isolation of the power and motor control sub-assemblies within the power elements and control elements. The selection, in an alternate embodiment, of a sensor based direct current motor may accommodate an applications' requirement of very fine shaft controls using hall-effect or optical-encoded sensors.

The motor controls used in the exemplary embodiments may be capable of starting, stopping, running, and controlling the running of motors in small increments. In an embodiment of the invention using direct current motors, the rotation of the motor may be controlled by the motor controls to the extent that discrete electrical timing pulses are handled by the motor controls to cause the sequence of electrical events rotating the shaft of the motor. This level of motor control allows the control element to support multiple speeds of rotation, different motor startup and shutdown, different energy management settings in motor operations, and different motor diagnostics. In exemplary embodiments, the power module supplying current to the motor subassembly may also contain a plurality of active (e.g., current limiters, electrical supply conditioning and filters, and others) and passive (e.g., safety interlocks against incorrect wiring, keyed connectors, and others) safety features to protect the embodiments operation.

The sensor(s) (element 7), may be emplaced in, around, or alongside the physical elements of the apparatus. The sensor element(s) may measure various parameters, such as for example: temperature, pressure, operations of the electric motor, the conditions of the power storage component of the power module, element 4, the conditions of the control apparatus (such as internal temperatures to provide for a thermal shutoff if needed), the conditions of the environment (intake external ambient temperatures and pressures), the possible conditions at the outflow (temperatures, pressures, etc.), and the state of control valves (intake element 1, inside the air effector element 2 (if any), outflow element 3), etc.

The physical packaging of different embodiments of the invention may take different forms that may be dictated by the application. The preferred embodiment described, and the alternate embodiments, provide for a variety of exemplary physical packaging configurations.

In heating, ventilating, and/or air cooling applications, packaging advantages not present in other air moving techniques may be found. An exemplary embodiment may use a highly compact 70 mm ducted-fan assembly controlled and powered by the elements otherwise described to replace a series of 200 mm blower assemblies. A separate alternate embodiment for an air exhaust application may apply the single 20 centimeter high velocity air movement configuration to replace multiple 20 centimeter blower assemblies.

The computing apparatus that implements the control apparatus (element 6) can be any of the configurations that support the set of environmental software supporting the application. The communications connections may include one or more linkages to the local application network (such as marine, automotive, building management, appliance management, local device network, point to point signaling, and the like), Internet (wide area network), private virtual networks, direct telecommunications connections, using wired, wireless, or fiber-optic media. It will be appreciated to those practicing in the art that the various embodiments allow for considerable flexibility in the configuration and deployment of the control apparatus element. The connections to sensors or sensing data can occur through a similar wide variety of communications mediums and exchange protocols.

The embodiment support transformational or transmitting functions may include a system and apparatus comprising a plurality of the control apparatus operating environment as described for support of various embodiments with additional capacity for storage (such as optical, magnetic, or solid state memory), systems capabilities (storage management, system management, operational and usage management, etc.), and specific interface tasks (or processes) residing in one or more physical (or virtual) operating environments residing in one or more systems and communications networks. The rule-based application software codes specific to embodiments of the invention may be invoked on the demand, or schedule, of the operations required and may incorporate functionality to log, audit, and validate all conducted operations.

The embodiment support for functions supporting the system and apparatus may maintain a complete data trail for purposes of reporting regulatory compliance, auditing, marketing analytics, demographic analysis, performance/capacity management, warranty management, license management, customer service and the like. The system and apparatus may be additions to the capacities to operate the invention's embodiments in a minimal application, or with additional capacity and capability in the device controller to support the processing, transformations, transmissions that additional software modules (including Report Writers, performance and capacity analysis, log and audit trail analytics, compliance checking, market analyzers, and added demographic and verification subsystems, among others). The support functions can also be used to optimize customer experiences; provide customization of operating parameters, set points, and algorithms; and enforce compliance with operating, regulatory, or user preferences.

As is evident to practitioners of the art, the embodiments of invention can also be combined with other air-charging mechanisms. The combinations or integration with other air charging mechanisms can occur in a wide variety of applications (illustrated, for example, by those in propulsion, stationary, mobile generators, rotary power generation, industrial testing, controlled combustion, and others). The physical interconnections of inlets, outlets, and shared or unique plenums, lead to a wide variety of possible combinations. The logical operating behavior of sequential (one or more operate in a sequence with others), exclusive (solitary operation excluding others), combined (simultaneous operations possibly at different operating behavior), shared (interdependent operations), staged (input of one possibly dependent on one or more others), or independent (operating without regard to others) also lead to a wide variety of possible combinations. The dynamic control of multiple embodiments of an invention concurrently in the same applications platform (illustrated, for example, by the use of multiple high velocity mass air flow devices outputting to a single output plenum to increase the total flow available for an application), with the instantiation of the invention using a plurality of elements (illustrated, for example, by multiple power storage modules, multiple sensors, multiple motors, or multiple inlet/outlet controls) is also within the embodiments of the invention. The presence of additional elements (illustrated, for example, by redundant control elements, redundant sensors, redundant interconnections, redundant power modules, or redundant motor/effector assemblies) for fault tolerance, high availability, high capacity, or high capability instantiations is also contemplated in those instantiations of embodiments of the invention where the application requires those qualities.

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments that proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, is better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings exemplary constructions of the invention; however, the invention is not limited to the specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed. Included in the drawing are the following Figures:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an overview of an exemplary system and major elements to provide generation of high velocity mass air flows in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cutaway view showing an exemplary electric motor and air effector;

FIG. 3 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary process and logical organization to provide generation of high velocity mass air flows;

FIG. 4 is a partial cutaway view showing an exemplary apparatus for generating high velocity mass air flows;

FIG. 5 is a cutaway view showing another exemplary apparatus for generating high velocity mass air flows;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary hybrid electrical and combustion engine having a mass air flow device;

FIG. 7 is an example of an embodiment of the invention on an internal combustion engine platform including a hybrid engine and electrical power drive;

FIG. 8 is an example of an embodiment of the invention on an internal combustion engine platform including a combustion engine turbocharger;

FIG. 9 is an example of an embodiment of the invention acting as an air-charging device for an internal combustion engine platform;

FIG. 10 is an example of an embodiment of the invention including a bypass valve subassembly;

FIG. 11 is a simplified drawing focusing on the functional placement of elements of an embodiment in an air moving application;

FIG. 12 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to an internal combustion engine platform including dual superchargers;

FIG. 13 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to an internal combustion engine platform with a parallel installation of an embodiment of an air-charging effector and a turbocharger;

FIG. 14 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to an internal combustion engine platform with multistage supercharging;

FIG. 15 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to an internal combustion engine platform with parallel turbocharging;

FIG. 16 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to an internal combustion engine platform with secondary air injection into engine gas recirculation;

FIG. 17 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to an internal combustion engine platform with secondary air injection into the exhaust catalytic assembly;

FIG. 18 is an example of an exemplary embodiment of a power source module and power storage devices;

FIG. 19 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to the application of warming a hybrid vehicle battery compartment;

FIG. 20 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to the application of warming a vehicle's interior passenger, cargo, or electronics compartments;

FIG. 21 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to the application of cooling a hybrid vehicle battery compartment;

FIG. 22 is an example of the embodiment of the invention as applied to the application of cooling a vehicle's interior passenger, cargo, or electronics compartments;

FIG. 23 is an example of an embodiment of the invention as applied to the application of inflating or deflating a plenum of air;

FIG. 24 is an example of an embodiment of the invention applied to an airflow such as those found in a heating, ventilating, or air conditioning application;

FIG. 25 is an example where multiple embodiments are applied for multiple uses in a single platform exploitation of the invention's different capabilities;

FIG. 26 is an example of an embodiment where the instantiation of the apparatus and method is used to cool a space containing an internal combustion engine;

FIG. 27 is an example of an embodiment where the instantiation of the apparatus and method is used to warm a space during adverse conditions;

FIGS. 28, 29, and 30 illustrate different hybrid, plug-in type hybrid, and pure type hybrid vehicle platforms;

FIG. 31 is an example view of exemplary apparatus for inlet controls;

FIG. 32 is an example view of exemplary apparatus for outlet controls;

FIG. 33 is a very simple exemplary connection of a sensor directly into the Control element of the invention;

FIG. 34 is an illustrative example of the acquisition of a sensor value into the Control element of the invention;

FIG. 35 shows an illustrative example sensor, for pressure, communicating with the Control element via a sensor, or sensor data, multiplexor interface;

FIG. 36 shows an illustrative example sensor, for pressure, communicating with the Control element via a local application platform network;

FIG. 37 shows an exemplary interconnection of the local platform application control units to the Control element;

FIG. 38 shows an exemplary interconnection of indirect controls to the Control element of the invention;

FIG. 39 shows an exemplary interconnection of indirect controls to the Control element of the invention;

FIG. 40 shows the addition of the electrical and communications methods to access desired data via local network, or bus, monitoring;

FIG. 41 shows an exemplary interconnection from the identification or metadata sources in the local application platform to the Control element;

FIG. 42 shows an exemplary interconnection from the diagnostic, archive, data logging, or other stored data values within the local application platform;

FIG. 43 shows an exemplary interconnection of the User Profile data with the Control element of the embodiment of the invention via a communication media such as a network;

FIG. 44 shows an exemplary interconnection of User Profile data with the Control element of the embodiment of the invention directly into the unit;

FIG. 45 shows an exemplary interconnection of emissions sensor data with the Control element of the embodiment of the invention via a network interface;

FIG. 46 is the interconnection of a predictive unit with the Control element of the embodiment of the invention via a network interface; and

FIG. 47 shows an exemplary interconnection of human input through a user interface, and then via a plurality of communications media, protocols, and connections present; to the Control element of the embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

The present invention includes embodiments of systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the combustion elements of a hybrid combustion-electric vehicle.

The present invention includes embodiments of systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the combustion support elements of a hybrid combustion-electric vehicle.

The present invention also includes embodiments of systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the electrical elements of a hybrid combustion-electric vehicle for cooling applications.

The present invention also includes several exemplary embodiments of systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the electrical elements of a hybrid combustion-electric vehicle for heating applications.

Also, the present invention includes embodiments of systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the passenger elements of a hybrid combustion-electric vehicle for cooling applications.

In addition, the present invention includes embodiments of systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the passenger elements of a hybrid combustion-electric vehicle for heating applications.

The present invention also includes embodiments of systems and methods for generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the operation of an internal combustion-engine vehicle propulsion operations.

The present invention may also includes embodiments of systems and methods for generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the operation of an internal combustion-engine used in stationary operations.

Exemplary embodiments can be applied to vehicular propulsion, vehicular power generation, stationary, and marine platforms where internal combustion engines are used. Although there are variances in the platform environments, platform controls, and operating patterns the usage of embodiments of the invention possess high levels of commonality. In propulsion, vehicular power generation, marine propulsion, marine power generation, and stationary generator operations the internal combustion engines often require air charging. The presence of air charging subsystems in these platforms, such as turbochargers, superchargers, compressed air subsystems, and the like, have direct instances where the embodiments of the application can be instantiated. The combinations and integration of the air charging features of embodiments of the invention and the extant air charging equipment is similar (by illustration multi-stage turbocharging, multi-stage supercharging, parallel turbocharging, or secondary air injection). The platform controls may vary in specific implementation (for example, CAN bus vehicular applications share many characteristics with NMEA marine applications) but the operating requirements of the platform controls remains highly similar (such as stationary Modbus or control-loop). Operating patterns are also highly similar in subtle, but important, ways when viewing power management and local power storage module elements of the embodiments of the invention. For vehicular power generation and stationary generator uses multiple managed power sources are common operating pattern requirements. In a vehicle the managed capacity and power expenditure controls for the primary electrical storage component has very high commonality of operating patterns with a stationary generator coupled with an uninterruptible power supply electrical storage component. The commonality of applications platform requirements lead to instantiations of the embodiments of the invention that are functionally the same even though the platform environments vary as to location. Although embodiments of the invention are discussed with particular application to vehicular, stationary, marine, or other platforms it is obvious to practitioners that the embodiments can be applied to other platforms without change of the novel and unique features of the invention from which the benefits derive.

Moreover, the present invention may include embodiments of systems and methods for generation of high velocity mass air flows, or designed air flows, for use in the operation of emissions control functions used for internal combustion engines. In these embodiments the invention is applied to the supply of air, on a designed or demand basis, to the emissions control functions used for internal combustion engines. The uses of air include the secondary air injection into an exhaust gas stream for cooling or pressurization prior to recirculation into the intake manifold or air intake of an internal combustion engine. Secondary air injection for purposes of continued reaction (or burning) of residual fuel in the exhaust stream (particularly of engines without sophisticated fuel management) can greatly assist in the reduction of emissions of unburned fuel and the capture of additional thermal energy for application (illustrated by embodiments used in multi-stage combustion systems). An exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 17 is the use of an embodiment of the invention, either on a dedicated or shared basis, to supply secondary air injection into the catalytic converter assembly for a plurality of requirements such as pre-heating, accelerating heating to an operating temperature, and supply of additional air into the assembly for optimal operating conditions.

The present invention also includes systems and methods for the generation of high velocity mass air flows. The systems and methods are capable of moving a pressurized stream of air (i.e., air charging) at a high flow rate. For purposes of the described embodiments, the general design point for the exemplary devices described are at about 1000 torr, and about 1,000,000 cc/min air flow. Exemplary devices may show a mass air flow of about 28 gm/sec or more when running at full operational potential. Alternate embodiments with other air effectors (such as those used in an axial flow configuration) may operate a design point up to 50,000,000 cc/min air flow and 100 torr.

In contrast to existing devices, such as centrifugal blowers, large diameter fans, or other air movement actuators, certain preferred embodiments may share a common set of form factors that generally fall within a roughly cylindrical package approximately 22 centimeters in diameter and 15 centimeters in length. Associated electrical power subassemblies (including the secondary apparatus power storage devices and power control), apparatus control electronics, and connections for such a unit may be packaged to fit an enclosure (that may be physically proximate and/or separated) approximately 15 centimeters in length, 10 centimeters in width, and 7.5 centimeters in depth. Existing devices of similar capabilities may require a cylindrical mechanical package of approximately 25 centimeters in diameter and 25 centimeters in length, accompanied by electrical components 32 centimeters in length, 26 centimeters in width, and 15 centimeters in depth. If mechanical and electrical components are packaged separately, they may be connected by one or more cables for power, sensor, and control transmission. For alternate embodiments, an environmentally appropriate implementation of electrical, sensor, and control modules may be integrated into the mechanical assembly design with minimal effect on the overall size of the mechanical assembly. Additional alternate embodiments for applications requiring smaller mass air flows or pressures of air movement, where applications, may be fulfilled by sub-optimal operation, may also vary in size and packaging (for example, such variance may be due to the smaller needs of an air effector, smaller or larger inlet/outlet modules, or the presence of multiple copies of an element). Also, where alternate power or control provisioning applies, alternate embodiment may allow instantiations where both mechanical and electrical assemblies may be reduced in size by up to about 50%. Scaling for larger assemblies is also possible in alternate embodiments for different demands. In addition to the clear functionality and energy management benefits obtained by developing a new embodiment of the invention the packaging of the invention saw a reduction of more than 80% of the size of the prior product family's controller and a reduction of more than 80% of the new motor technologies are incorporated herein. For smaller axial flow units not requiring collectors or volutes the reduction in size and packaging involved are more than 50%. For such units, actuators may fall into a cylindrical form factor 12 centimeters in diameter and 15 centimeters in length or smaller.

In some applications the ability to control and regulate the product of a high air flow at a pressure may be more important than the need to run at peak efficiency. Exemplary embodiments of the invention may have the ability to be applied even at sub-optimal efficiencies, or at much lower mechanical stress, to meet a specific application need (such as a requirement at specific parts of the operating range). Thus, the operation of the units at sub-optimal levels may be one characteristic of the innovation that adds to its unique character. A specific use of this capability is to operate in a sub-optimal mode to develop a temperature variant air flow for applications.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is illustrated an overview of an exemplary system 100 in accordance with the present invention. FIG. 1 shows the major component elements that may comprise system 100, including intake subassembly 1, air effector subassembly 2, outflow subassembly 3, power module subassembly 4, electric motor subassembly 5, control apparatus subassembly 6, and sensor(s) elements 7.

Intake subassembly 1 brings in a medium (normally air as has been described) and passes the medium into the air effector 2. The air effector 2 increases the velocity (flow) and pressure, and therefore the mass air volume (over time), from ambient conditions to those desired in the application. This output is passed through the outflow subassembly 3.

The power supply module 4 passes power to the electric motor 5 that drives the air effector 2. Control apparatus 6 may, for example, include control loops, logic and decision making capability, and communications with the external application environment to determine the sequence of events, control the power supply module 4, the electric motor 5, and may possibly control the intake element 1 and/or outlet element 3 if, for example, those elements are implemented as including controllable valves, cutoffs, diverters, or other flow management devices.

The inflow subassembly 1 may include a mechanical coupling and supply of air to transport. The outflow subassembly 3 may include a mechanical coupling and outlet for the air transported. The power module 4 may include a plurality of electrical storage devices, a continuing electrical supply input, or other power source (such as, for example, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, etc.) that can be converted to an output electrical power to be supplied.

The electric motor 5 may include a mechanical coupling linking the rotary action of the electric motor into the mechanical action driving the air effector 2. The control apparatus 6 may include control data flows (such as, for example, on/off, open/close, etc.) to be established and effective between the control apparatus 6 and the electric motor 5. Additional data flows between the control apparatus 6 and the intake and outflow subassemblies (elements 1 and 3) may take the form of controls, feedback, sensor measurements, or sequencing. The control apparatus 6 may also receive, manage, control, integrate, and process data flows to and from the sensors (element 7 through n, number not fixed), any external information (such as, for example, control, feedback, indirect sensor, safety, management, or meta-data such as rule parameters or interpretive information), and may use some or all of the available data to control and manage the other elements of the apparatus and process as embodied (such as, for example, automated diagnostics, safety management, power management, flow management, reporting, metrics, controls for licensing, etc.).

The sensor(s) 7 may be emplaced in, around, or alongside the physical elements of the apparatus. The sensor element(s) may measure various parameters, such as for example: temperature, pressure, operations of the electric motor, the conditions of the power storage component of the power module, element 4, the conditions of the control apparatus (such as internal temperatures to provide for a thermal shutoff if needed), the conditions of the environment (intake external ambient temperatures and pressures), the possible conditions at the outflow (temperatures, pressures, etc.), and the state of control valves (intake element 1, inside the air effector element 2 (if any), outflow element 3), etc.

The physical packaging of different embodiments of the invention may take different forms that may be dictated by the application. The preferred embodiment described, and the alternate embodiments, provide for a variety of exemplary physical packaging configurations.

The computing apparatus that implements the control apparatus 6 can be any of the configurations that support the set of environmental software supporting the application. The communications connections may include one or more linkages to the local application network (such as marine, automotive, building management, appliance management, local device network, point to point signaling, and the like), Internet (wide area network), private virtual networks, direct telecommunications connections, using wired, wireless, or fiber-optic media. It will be appreciated to those practicing in the art that the various embodiments allow for considerable flexibility in the configuration and deployment of the control apparatus element. The connections to sensors or sensing data can occur through a similar wide variety of communications mediums and exchange protocols.

An embodiment supporting transformational or transmitting functions may include a system and apparatus comprising a plurality of the control apparatus operating environment as described for support of the invention embodiments with additional capacity for storage (such as optical, magnetic, or solid state memory), systems capabilities (storage management, system management, operational and usage management, etc.), and specific interface tasks (or processes) residing in one or more physical (or virtual) operating environments residing in one or more systems and communications networks. The rule-based application software codes specific to the invention may be invoked on the demand, or schedule, of the operations required and may incorporate functionality to log, audit, and validate all conducted operations.

The embodiment support for required functions supporting the system and apparatus may maintain a complete data trail for purposes of reporting regulatory compliance, auditing, marketing analytics, demographic analysis, performance/capacity management, warranty management, license management, and customer service. The system and apparatus may be additions to the capacities to operate the invention's embodiments in a minimal application, or with additional capacity and capability in the device controller to support the processing, transformations, transmissions that additional software modules (including Report Writers, performance and capacity analysis, log and audit trail analytics, compliance checking, market analyzers, and added demographic and verification subsystems, among others) provide these functions in support of the invention. The support functions can also be used to optimize customer experiences; provide customization of operating parameters, set-points, and algorithms; and enforce compliance with operating, regulatory, or user preferences.

FIG. 2 illustrates further details of an exemplary system and depicts a cross-sectional view of system 100 showing elements and related sub-elements. As shown in FIG. 2, an electric motor 5 and air effector 2 may be housed in a housing 245. Intake subassembly 1 may include an air intake 200. Air effector subassembly 2 may include an air effector 250. Outflow subassembly 3 may include an air outlet 280. Electric motor subassembly 5 may include an electric motor 240. As shown, the electric motor and air effector subassembly housing 245 holds both the electric motor 240 and the air effector 250. The power and control cable 300 connects to an external control apparatus (not shown) and power module subassembly (not shown). The additional mechanical attachments for the rotational shaft linking the electric motor 240 and air effector 250 may include support and bearing subassembly 310. The illustrated embodiment has the advantages of a very compact form factor packaging, cooling air drawn across the electrical motor and control apparatus assembly, and ability to integrate sensors into a compact design as required. FIG. 2 shows one possible configuration of the power module subassembly 4 and electric motor subassembly 5.

FIG. 3 provides a flowchart of an exemplary logical organization and flow of data during operation of the system 100. The major component elements shown in the overview of FIG. 1 are shown in FIG. 3 with associated data flows to illustrate both the relationships and data flows on a more dynamic representational basis.

In operation, a flow of air, or other fluid flow, through the unit, as described in a simplified fashion through the intake subassembly, air effector subassembly, and outlet subassembly, component elements 1, 2, and 3 (see FIG. 1). The flow of air follows the path depicted in FIG. 3 from an air intake 100, and then successively through a control valve subassembly (intake) 200, past a sensor subassembly (intake) 300, past an air charging motor subassembly 400 (optionally, this may not be present in all embodiments), the air charging effector subassembly 500, past a sensor subassembly (outflow) 600, and then through a control valve subassembly (outflow) 700 before exiting the apparatus 100 through the air outflow 800.

In several embodiments, the complexity and presence of the sensor subassembly (intake) 300 and sensor subassembly (outflow) 600 will depend on the needs of the application and the types of data that need to be collected for the apparatus controller subassembly's 900 handling. In similar fashion the need for actuators, controlled from the apparatus controller subassembly 900, may vary in the control valve subassembly (intake) 200 and control valve subassembly (outflow) 700. In some embodiments, actuators in these units 200, 700 may need to divert airflows, change which of the application choices for inflows or outflows is selected, or assure the safe operation of the unit. As one simple example, the closure of these valves may be effected simply to reduce, or eliminate, continued exposure to marine (salt) conditions when the unit is not used on a frequent basis. In similar fashion the control valve subassembly 200 could allow for selection of tanked, pressurized, or pre-cleaned gas flows (such as for material handling hoods) instead of ambient air. In similar fashion the control valve subassembly 700 could select an outflow direction that varies depending on whether the airflow was used to purge a chamber of gas or simply exit a waste gate. In a very simple embodiment application the air intake 100 and control valve subassembly in combination can be combined to select for an application choice to inflate or deflate a variable chamber of a gas or air (with coordination of the control valve subassembly 700 and air outflow 800). Along with connections to the source and destinations of flow that may be appreciated to practitioners the invention is capable of providing for high velocity air charge for a variety of applications.

The various data flows communicating control, sensor data, feedback, management information, component configuration, component operating state information, error conditions, warning conditions, and other information may be shown with the logical directions of exemplary data flows for embodiments of the invention (shown in FIG. 3, for example, with primary respect to the apparatus controller subassembly 900). The embodiments of the invention provide for many different sensor connections and the ability of the apparatus controller subassembly 900 to access, communicate, manage, or interact in a variety of fashions (see e.g., FIGS. 33 through 47). As may be appreciated to practitioners, the low-level communications mechanisms are in many, if not most, cases bidirectional in a communications sequence of events dictated by a communications protocol. Examples of these communications' content include:

1) sensors may include presets for data scaling or sensitivity 300, 400, 600, 1000, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1600;

2) control valves may report current operating states and conditions 200, 700, 1100, 1700;

3) the power source module 1000 may report the conditions of stored power, operating capacities, and diagnostic information; and

4) the apparatus and controller subassembly 900 may need a connection to external applications configuration 1800.

The physical embodiments that connect these logical components of the invention may pass data over many possible physical connection media including wired, wireless, fiber-optic, common signaling media, through integrated sensor loops, or the like. Embodiments of the invention may be constrained to any particular physical embodiment that creates and maintains the physical connection media. This may be an important consideration in certain embodiments because the application of the invention may require that it operate in an integrated functional configuration where a vehicle, marine, avionic, appliance, alarm, power management, building management, factory integration, data collection, or other multiple device connection (network or standalone) in a wide range of connection topologies (such as bus, star, point-to-point, relay, message passing, or routed mesh) are applied for the entire application. The advantages of integrating the available apparatus controller subassembly 900 into a larger set of physical and logical connections (shown as the control data flows and external interfaces 1800) to control, manage, diagnose, acquire the data, or provide a regulated function for the invention are beneficial.

Another application shown in FIG. 3 may be the role and composition of the power source module 1000. The power source module 1000 supplies electrical current (in certain applications one or more feeds of DC power) to the air charging motor subassembly 400 and to the apparatus controller subassembly 900. Other embodiments may also supply the sensor subassembly (intake) 300, the sensor subassembly (outflow) 600, the control valve subassembly (intake) 200 (if powered), the control valve subassembly (outflow) 700 (if powered), and the control data flows and external interfaces 1800 (if required) from the power source module 1000 as well.

As previously discussed with respect to some embodiments, the apparatus may retain the capability to locally supply the DC power from one or more power storage modules (not shown). In addition, the capability to bypass the power storage modules (optionally in a specific embodiment), have multiple supply paths for energy to be converted or supplied through the power source module 1000 to the air charging motor subassembly 400, and be able to control, manage, report, and diagnose these features from the apparatus controller subassembly 900, provides other advantages unique to this invention. Power storage components managed by the power source module 1000 may be with, or without, internal capabilities providing data (such as, for example, manufacturer, model, serial number, cumulative usage, current capacity levels, etc.).

The capability to convert multiple supply energy sources to DC power (for example, but not limited to, AC power, DC power at a different voltage, pneumatic power, chemical energy, thermal energy, an induction power supply, etc.) provides for high levels of flexibility and options for continued operations by the user. An example of this multi-source capability is the availability of either AC power (in various voltages, phases, and amperages), or DC power (in a mobile power plant supply feed) that may then be conditioned (e.g., rectified) appropriately to provide operating charge to the power storage capacity. The technology enabling the power storage module can be a simple rechargeable battery technology (including choices such as Ni-Cad, Lead-Acid, Li-Ion, NMH, and others), or a different form such as a super-capacitor, fuel cell, wet cell, thin metal film cell, etc.

A design priority for the power source module 1000 may be that it can provide a consistent sensor and control data flows 1400 for the apparatus controller subassembly 900. This can be accomplished while providing a power flow 1500 to the air charging motor subassembly 400 that is better conditioned (e.g., clean and consistent) than externally-supplied power. In some applications this may be modified to meet lower requirements for some embodiments, but other embodiments will use this capability to provide power source module 1000 alternatives for user application configuration. Thus, a single embodiment may have multiple models or product family members depending on the application configurations for power supply.

An example of a preferred embodiment of the power source module 1000 is the use of Boulder Technologies GP100TMFSC batteries in the 12-V (or 24-V) configuration to provide a power source that is mediated using a current limiter and power sensing circuit. This preferred embodiment provides local storage capacity for the power source module 1000 and resources to be managed by apparatus controller 900.

Another characteristic of the exemplary systems and methods described is the ability to use power sources, such as those described in the preferred embodiment, or others, to provide a power source that is independent of external power sources and that is under the direct control of the apparatus controller subassembly that can optimize its power expenditure while having closely monitored operations. This feature may allow an embodiment to apply the use of a local power supply, not required to support other functions outside the air-moving application, that can be used to overcome in-rush current requirements, manage outage conditions (such as after-cooling), and handle control actuation needs to self-protect the entire air handling apparatus.

The apparatus controller subassembly 900 may use the information from the sensor and control data flows for motor 1300 and the sensor and control data flows 1400 from the power source module 1000 to determine appropriate operations, sequencing, and control processes for the invention. In turn, the power source module 1000 may incorporate current limiters, programmable power management, or other active electrical energy management that provide for the system to be efficient with its utilization of electrical power and supplies. Use of up-line supply sensing (not shown) can also be integrated into embodiments of the invention to supply some applications considerations such as hot switching, hot unplugging, or cold attachments. The application of the highly intelligent apparatus controller subassembly may provide the above described advantages, and others, over extant applications within the state of art and practice.

FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary apparatus for generation of high velocity mass air flow. FIG. 4 shows the air charging motor subassembly 400, from the drawing for FIG. 3, along with a set of connected components. In this embodiment the air inflow 110 is equivalent to the air intake 100 in FIG. 3. The air charging effector and motor housing 145 holds the air charging effector subassembly 150 and the air charging motor subassembly 140. The air charging effector subassembly 150 corresponds to the air charging effector subassembly 500 in FIG. 3. The air charging motor subassembly 140 corresponds to the air charging motor subassembly 400 in FIG. 3. The air outflow 180 corresponds to the air outflow 800 in FIG. 3. The cable for apparatus controller and power 190 corresponds to the physical connection alluded to by the block diagram elements sensor and control data flows for motor 1300 in FIG. 3, the power flow 1500 in FIG. 3, and sensors integrated into the housing or the air charging motor subassembly (not shown).

In this preferred embodiment, the air charging effector subassembly 150 contains an air charging wheel that pressurizes and accelerates air to meet the applications needs for a high velocity mass air flow. In other embodiments the air charging effector subassembly 150 may contain other air flow effector devices. In FIG. 4, the air charging wheel may be driven by an electric motor where the electric motor shaft may be directly coupled in-line with the air charging wheel. The apparatus controller subassembly is normally held in a separate enclosure that may incorporate additional sealing (for environmental protection), cooling, connectors, interfaces, or external interfaces. The apparatus controller subassembly may also contain the power source module or this may be enclosed separately depending on the physical mounting for the invention.

The apparatus controller subassembly 900 may include the ability to interact with the power source module 1000 to control the deployment of the power source in a manner consistent with a series of profiles, or user demand characteristics, that are supported by the operation of the apparatus controller subassembly. The apparatus controller subassembly may be capable of operating certain functions of the invention on an autonomous basis (for example, for manufacturing testing, field diagnostics, failure/fallback operations, application system diagnostics, maintenance functions, and the like) or under the direction of the external flows through the control and data flows from external interfaces 1800. In a preferred embodiment, this may be transported across an application-network such as NMEA 2000. Other transport could be via CAN, IEEE 802, IEEE 1394, or the like.

The thermal management 195 provisions for some embodiments may be relatively simple. In more complex embodiments there may be active, or passive, heating/cooling thermal management provisions that may be managed by the apparatus controller subassembly based on sensor, operating, design, or application requirements.

In the normal operation of preferred embodiments, the duty cycle of the unit may be either continuous or intermittent (regular or irregular cycles, depending on the application needs). This characteristic may be true of some embodiments, and driven by a unit interfacing with the apparatus controller subassembly.

FIG. 5 illustrates another exemplary embodiment of an apparatus for generating a high velocity mass air flow. As shown in FIG. 5, the air charging motor and air effector subassemblies housing 45 may be directly connected to the apparatus controller housing 95. The power source model is not shown. The air intake 10 corresponds to the logical functions shown as the air intake 100 in FIG. 3. The air intake 10 allows the flow of air across the baseplate for the apparatus controller subassembly and across the air charging motor and air effector subassembly providing a mechanism for integrated cooling and heat dissipation. The air outflow 80 corresponds to the logical functions shown as the air outflow 800 in FIG. 3. The air charging motor subassembly 40 and the integrated sensors that correspond to the sensor and control data flow for motor 1300 in FIG. 3 are in the same housing as the air effector subassembly 50. A connector for control sensors, data flow, and external interfaces 180 is also shown. The power source module (not shown) may also feed information back to the apparatus controller subassembly 90 and power is locally transformed through the apparatus controller subassembly's 90 control.

In this alternate embodiment, the integration of the apparatus controller subassembly 90 suppresses additional costs in the cabling, attachment, and support of the invention in more than one packaging article. The power supply module 100 cables can allow for simplifying the power supply module 100 to eliminate the stored power configuration if the lowest possible price-point is a highly desired design requirement.

This embodiment has the advantages of a very compact form factor packaging, cooling air drawn across the electrical motor and control apparatus assembly, and ability to integrate sensors into a compact design if needed. This alternate embodiment shows that the physical packaging for the invention can vary across embodiments.

Other features, advantages, and benefits are described below. In accordance with another aspect of the present invention(s), the methods and systems allow for a user to obtain a high velocity mass air flow while the user retains control of the operation of the apparatus.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the methods and systems allow for the user to obtain a high velocity mass air flow that utilizes a power module subassembly that is integrated into the control of the control apparatus element.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow that can be controlled externally in an application through the application of a highly capable control apparatus.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, the methods and systems allow the user to obtain a high velocity mass air flow where the apparatus controller is capable of controlling a plurality of an electric motor, power supply module, thermal management, control valves, and sensors.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow that can use sensor, or sensor based, information for control of the apparatus.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow that is controlled by a control apparatus capable of determining appropriate functional and environmental, operating and non-operating conditions and modes that protect the safety of the apparatus.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the methods and systems allow for the user to obtain a high velocity mass air flow that is controlled by a control apparatus capable of determining appropriate functional and environmental operating conditions and modes that enable automatic operational and performance adjustment of the apparatus.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the methods and systems allow for the user to obtain a high velocity mass air flow that utilizes an electric motor, coupled to an air effector, powered by a power module detached from a continuous supply of power.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow that utilizes an electric motor, coupled to an air effector, where the unit may be directly connected to an electrical, or other, power source external to the unit, and where the unit can operate, in a different operating mode, without the direct provision of such a power source.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the methods and systems allow for the user to obtain a high velocity air mass flow that utilizes an electric motor, coupled to an air effector, where the unit may be directly connected to an electrical, or other, power source external to the unit, and where the unit can operate in a mode that provides supplemental power to the unit when power demand exceeds the external power source supply.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow where the information on these activities is relayed for purposes of audit, control, management, assessment, compliance or examination.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow where the data from the operation of the unit can provide diagnostic, operating history, sensor measurements, or other metrics from the unit as part of controlled operation.

According to another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow where the information on these activities is processed by an apparatus (that may include human participation) to determine if compliance with “terms and conditions of use” (internal compliance), contractual compliance, regulatory compliance (compliance with administrative or cooperative regulations), and legal compliance (by statute, treaty, or common law) has been appropriate and as specified.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the methods and systems provide for the safe operation of the unit that is governed by a control apparatus that utilizes available sensor and control inputs to decide whether safe operation is possible.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, the user may obtain a high velocity mass air flow that can directly control intake and outflow control valves that change the characterization of the apparatus' performance.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the device may be used as an “inflator/deflator” for partial, or fully, marine vehicles, entertainment and advertising, modular constructions for shelters, and industrial framing components.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the device may be used as a mass air flow device in an HVAC system.

According to another embodiment of the invention, the device may be used as a mass air flow device to manage the air charging requirements in a vehicular or other transportation device where an internal combustion engine is combined with a plurality of one or more other motive power subsystems. Such applications include those sometimes identified as “hybrid” or “plug in” propulsive mechanisms. There are also applications for such a device in purely electrical vehicles, as well as, non-vehicular fixed/mobile applications where the motive power is used for production, operations, and/or generation. In an exemplary application, the device may be linked with the existing propulsive mechanism control modules as either a controlled sub-system peripheral (e.g., extending the ability of the propulsive mechanism control to air charging as well as other functions), or as an independent or autonomous device that provides a self-managed capability to provide air charging in a tailored fashion to the propulsive application requirement.

For propulsive mechanisms where both a combustion engine and an electrical component are incorporated, an mass air flow device embodiment enables efficient operation of the combustion mechanism by providing air charging, supports the application of smaller (and lighter) propulsive mechanisms, and allows optimization of propulsive mechanism operation by choosing where, how, and for what performance to expend electrical power and combusted fuels. The selection of an optimization strategy may be accomplished by the mass air flow device embodiment, by interactions with the vehicular control modules, or under the direct instruction of the vehicular control modules. The incorporation of the mass air flow device allows the propulsive mechanism control modules flexibility in managing combusted fuel—air mixtures' stoichiometric ratio (where the ratio by weight may dynamically range from about 9:1 for ethanol (e.g., 9.7:1 for E85) to about 14.67:1 for gasoline, to about 17:1 for compressed natural gas (e.g., primarily methane) and the ratio may vary depending on other environmental, operating history, operating optimizations, and the like) on a dynamic basis.

A benefit of incorporating a mass air flow device into the air charging management regime for a propulsion application is to provide operational performance, practicality or diverse fueling, and reliability by dynamically adjusted operation of the entire propulsion mechanism. Because the mass air flow device embodiments described are driven by electrical power sources, the presence of large electrical capacities provides for a range of air charging not otherwise possible in air charging devices coupled directly to combustion cycles and combustion. A direct consequence of the availability of the mass air flow device embodiment is the availability of air heated by compression that can also significantly improve the operation of many electrical battery mechanisms by subsystem warming. The same mass air flows can also be diverted for the comfort, or preservation, of passengers and cargo.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of the invention in a vehicle implementation with a hybrid electrical (e.g., battery) and a combustion engine. The embodiment functions in a manner similar to the embodiment described with reference to FIG. 3, supra. Additional vehicle components are shown that are not part of the earlier embodiment to illustrate other aspects of the invention. As shown in FIG. 6, the flow of air follows the path from the vehicle air intake 100 through a control valve subassembly (intake) 200, sensor subassembly (intake) 300, air charging effector subassembly 500, sensor subassembly (outflow) 600, and control valve subassembly (outflow) 700, into a vehicle air intake manifold 1900 and into a vehicle combustion engine 2000. In some embodiments, control valve subassemblies 200 and/or 700, as well as airflow sensor subassemblies 300 and/or 600 may be excluded or an integral part of an existing intake air management system, in which case sensor and control data flows 1100, 1200, 1600, and 1700 may be replaced or supplanted by control and data flows through control data flows and external interface 1800.

As shown in FIG. 6, torque produced by the vehicle combustion engine 2000 may be passed by mechanical coupling into a hybrid vehicle motor/generator 2100, creating electrical power stored in a vehicle power storage component 2200. In some embodiments, this electrical power will require conditioning or regulation by a power regulator 2300, before flowing into the apparatus power storage component 2400. Stored electrical power may then be delivered to the air charging motor subassembly 400 by a power source module 1000. Power flow 1500 may be regulated by the apparatus controller subassembly 900 by means of sensor and control data flows 1400. The controller subassembly 900 may monitor the operation of combustion engine 2000 through control and data interface 1800 and modulates power delivery to the air charging system to optimize the engine combustion cycle. The apparatus controller subassembly 900 may then control the operations of the embodiment according to dynamic or preset operations.

For hybrid and plug-in automotive (and other transportation) applications, (there are other fixed installation applications such as standby generators, on-site power, and fixed plant motors where this applies as well), the mass air flow device described may be used with particular benefits. The application of an “intelligent” air charging subsystem can be combined with other vehicular subsystems such as, for example, active drive trains, active suspension, fuel/ignition management, emissions controls, electrical management, environmental sensing, active braking, dynamic engine management, or active environmental (compartment) management and the like to optimize the fuel efficiency, comfort, operational flexibility, or performance of the vehicle.

In FIG. 7 an exemplary embodiment of the invention is shown with a large illustrative suite of sensors. The exemplary embodiment illustrates the application of an embodiment of the invention to use with an internal combustion engine (on a platform such as those shown in FIGS. 28, 29, and 30; or a distinct internal combustion engine propulsion, stationary application, marine or portable power generation, marine propulsion, or testing application) 7-1900, 7-2000, 7-2100 where air charging is provided to the air intakes. The embodiment apparatus controller 7-900 uses internally stored codes, internally stored data, profile information from vehicle systems 7-3000 (illustrated by historical data 7-700, user profile data 7-710, user demand 7-720), internally stored 7-900 or from the vehicle engine control unit (ECU) 7-2500)), to control the apparatus. The control is manifest through the actions of the power source module 7-1000, the air-charging motor 7-400, and through inlet and outlet valve management (as shown in FIGS. 31 and 32 and the bypass valve 7-510). The apparatus controller 7-900 may also be responsible for some safety functions. The air charging motor 7-400 drives the air charging effector 7-500. The airflow through the embodiment in this application has an air intake 7-100 going through an inlet air filter 7-101. After going through the air charging effector 7-500 the air may be re-circulated or vented by the bypass valve 7-510. Additional air charging occurs via the Turbocharger subassembly 7-103 where the air is vented. The additional airflow from the Turbocharger assembly also ends up in the air intake 7-1900. After going through the internal combustion engine 7-2100 the air exhausts 7-2000 and then may be used for the turbocharger 7-103 to air charge more inlet air from the inlet air filter 7-101 and deliver it back into the air intake 7-1900. The air charging motor 7-400 may be controlled by the apparatus controller 7-900 that can control the rotating assembly, the electric operations, and access to the data and sensors present in the air charging motor 7-400. The sensors for temperature 7-620, pressure 7-610, airflow 7-600, voltage 7-650, battery condition 7-695, vibration 7-660, gas composition 7-630, current 7-640, emissions 7-635, engine condition 7-690, acoustic 7-685, fuel data 7-670 (from fuel tank 7-2510), position 7-680, and information from the engine control unit 7-2500 may be used by the apparatus controller 7-900. The transfer of data from sensors to the apparatus controller can occur across a plurality of communications and methods, such as described in FIGS. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 47. The power source module may manage a local secondary power device, such as described in FIG. 18, and may handle related safety features.

FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of the invention that is applied to the generation of boosted air for an internal combustion engine with a turbocharger also present. The airflow starts at an air intake 8-100 and air filter 8-101 to be routed to the turbocharger 8-103 or to the air charging effector of the embodiment 8-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 8-500 may be rerouted by a bypass valve 8-510 or is supplied to an internal combustion engine 8-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 8-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 8-2100 the air exhaust through the outlet 8-2000 can be used to power the turbocharger assembly 8-103. As shown, the air charging effector 8-500 is driven by the air charging motor 8-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 8-900. Power for the apparatus controller 8-900, air charging motor 8-400, and the bypass valve 8-510 (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 8-400 and apparatus controller 8-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

In FIG. 9, an embodiment of the invention is applied to the generation of air charging for an internal combustion engine. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 9-100 and air filter 9-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 9-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 9-500 may be supplied to an internal combustion engine 9-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 9-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 9-2100 the air exhaust through the outlet 9-2000 can be used to power the turbocharger assembly 9-103. As shown, the air charging effector 9-500 is driven by the air charging motor 9-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 9-900. Power for the apparatus controller 9-900, air charging motor 9-400, and the bypass valve (optional, not shown) may be supplied by a power source module (9-1000) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (such as those from the electronics control unit 9-2500 or not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 9-400 and apparatus controller 9-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors (pressure 9-610, temperature 9-620, or mass airflow 9-600), inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

FIG. 10 shows an embodiment of the invention that is applied to the generation of air charging for an internal combustion engine. The airflow may start at an air intake 10-100 and air filter 10-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 10-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 10-500 can be rerouted by the bypass valve 10-510 or supplied to an internal combustion engine 10-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 10-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 10-2100, the air may exhaust through the outlet 10-2000. The air charging effector 10-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 10-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 10-900. Power for the apparatus controller 10-900, air charging motor 10-400, and the bypass valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) are also used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 10-400 and apparatus controller 10-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

FIG. 11 is a simplified drawing illustrating the functional placement of elements of an embodiment in an air moving application. The use of an embodiment of the invention in an air-moving application calls for an inflow process through an air intake. The inflow may be subject to a plurality of operations including modification, limitation, augmentation, or conditioning by a subassembly referred to as the inlet control valve 11-530. The modification of the airflow is illustrated by the use of devices to reduce turbulence in the air. The limitation of the airflow is illustrated by the use of limiting valves (such as pop-off pressure valves), barriers (such as butterfly valves), or orifice constraint (such as iris valves). The augmentation of the airflow is illustrated by the addition to the air intake from re-circulated gas, additional flows (such as added mixture components or additives to the airflow for combustion augmentation), or combining the flows of multiple subassemblies. The conditioning of the airflow is illustrated by the use of a device to pre-swirl the air in the intake. The outflow may be subject to a plurality of operations like those of the inflow with additional paths possibly present to re-circulate, bypass, or divert outputs 11-520. The recirculation path returns some, or all, of the output from the air charging effector 11-500 to the intake and inflow operations. The bypass path 11-510 is illustrated by the venting of the device to atmosphere. The diversion of outflow air is illustrated by dividing the stream for different applications or for further air charging operations in an additional stage. Numerous filtering, sensor measurement, and airflow path combinations are possible without impacting the essential innovative content of the invention. A specific embodiment of the invention may have none, some, or all of the inlet and outlet airflow functions other than a direct path.

The air charging effector 11-500, present in all embodiments of the invention, operates on the airflow to change its measured characteristics. In other alternate embodiments where instantiations of the invention are used to generate vacuum other effectors may be used. The air charging effector may change the rate of flow, the pressure of flow, the volume of flow, or it may not change things at all depending on the operating target set for it by the apparatus controller. A change in the rate of flow may be illustrated by the increase in the velocity of the airflow measured in meters/second. A change in the pressure of the flow may be illustrated by the increase in measurable pressure due to the compression of the flow by a compressor wheel and collector measured in torr. A change in the volume of flow may be illustrated by the increase in measureable volume due to the air effector measured in cc per minute.

The air charging motor 11-400 may be directly connected to the apparatus controller 11-900 and may also be connected to electrical power. The apparatus controller 11-900 may be capable of starting, stopping, running, and controlling the running of motors (like 11-400) in small increments. In exemplary embodiments using direct current motors, the rotation of the motor may be controlled by the motor controls to the extent that discrete electrical timing pulses are handled by the motor controls to cause the sequence of electrical events rotating the shaft of the motor 11-400. The connections between the air charging effector 11-500 and the air charging motor 11-400 are coupled and are illustrated by connections that are directly mounted onto the shaft of the electric motor, hooked to the electric motor 11-400 through a gearbox subassembly, coupled by various mechanical means such as small belts or coupled via other shaft rotation conversions. The apparatus controller sub-assembly 11-900 makes use of control signals and feedback indicators from the air charging motor sub-assembly. Illustrative examples of the control signals and feedback indicators are the position information on the rotating assembly, electrical feedback indicators, and electrical current measurements. In various alternative embodiments, none, one, some, or all, of the connections between the air charging motor and apparatus controller may be absent depending on the application for the embodiment or the nature of the specific air charging motor.

Present throughout the embodiment of the apparatus may be safety features and considerations. Self protection for the air charging effector subassembly in the embodiment of the invention is provided by the apparatus controller. Simpler mechanical protections (such as bypass or relief valves) may also be present in alternative embodiments. The packaging of the embodiment may incorporate safety features as well to present incorrect electrical terminations, mis-wired sensors, or missing airflow path ducts' connections. The apparatus controller 11-900 may then handles a plurality of connections to other elements such as sensors, data devices, or other control mechanisms. (See FIGS. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 47).

In alternative embodiments the apparatus controller 11-900 can be a self-sufficient and standalone device and thus requiring minimal connections to external controls or functions. In other alternative embodiments, the apparatus controller may have substantial quantities of connections for sensors, communicating with the application' apparatus, and communicating with other control devices outside the scope of this application. Not illustrated on this FIG. 11 are the power control subassembly (see FIG. 18) with alternatives for power management, storage, and connections. The apparatus controller 11-900 may have the capability to control the power control subassembly 11-400 and power storage modules (not shown) in the exemplary embodiments. It is possible for an alternative embodiment to not have this control because of control being vested in an external control apparatus. (not shown).

In FIG. 12 illustrates an embodiment of the invention for an internal combustion engine application with two stages of supercharging and two superchargers. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 12-100 and air filter 12-101 to be routed to the supercharger 12-104 or to the air charging effector of the embodiment 12-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 12-500 may be rerouted by a bypass valve 12-510 or may be sent to the supercharger assemblies 12-104. Air is supplied to an internal combustion engine 12-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 12-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 12-2100 the air may exhaust through the outlet 12-2000. As shown, the air charging effector 12-500 is driven by the air charging motor 12-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 12-900. Power for the apparatus controller 12-900, air charging motor 12-400, and the bypass valve 12-510 (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 12-400 and apparatus controller 12-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The embodiment illustrated uses a shared apparatus controller 12-900 for both air charging motors 12-400. In an alternate embodiment, each motor could have its own apparatus controller (for example if demanded by physical spacing). In this embodiment, the air charging motors 12-400 could have a single power control module (not shown) and share a single secondary power storage device (not shown) or have their own dedicated secondary power storage devices (not shown).

In FIG. 13, an embodiment of the invention is applied to the generation of boosted air for an internal combustion engine with a turbocharger also present. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 13-100 and air filter 13-101 to be routed to the turbocharger 13-103 or to the air charging effector of the embodiment 13-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 13-500 may be rerouted by a bypass valve 13-510 or may be supplied to an internal combustion engine 13-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 13-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 13-2100, the air may exhaust through the outlet 13-2000 can be used to power the turbocharger assembly 13-103. The air charging effector 13-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 13-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 13-900. Power for the apparatus controller 13-900, air charging motor 13-400, and the bypass valve 13-510 (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 13-400 and apparatus controller 13-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The embodiment in FIG. 13 may be applied as a series turbocharging configuration to overcome turbo lag. The air charging effector 13-500 may be engaged on a demand basis by the apparatus controller 13-900 to increase the incoming pressure air to the turbocharger assembly 13-103. This configuration allows the turbocharger to spool up more quickly and thus deliver more air charging to the internal combustion engine.

FIG. 14 shows an embodiment of the invention comprising an internal combustion engine application with multistage supercharging. Three stages of supercharging are shown. Also as shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 14-100 and air filter 14-101 to be routed to the supercharger 14-104 or to the air charging effector of the embodiment 14-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 14-500 may be rerouted by a bypass valve 14-510 or may be routed through the two stages of supercharger compressor assemblies 14-104. Air may be supplied to an internal combustion engine 14-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 14-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 14-2100, the air may exhaust through the outlet 14-2000. The air charging effector 14-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 14-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 14-900. Power for the apparatus controller 14-900, air charging motor 14-400, and the bypass valve 14-510 (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 14-400 and apparatus controller 14-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The exemplary embodiment illustrated uses a shared apparatus controller 14-900 for both air charging motors 14-400. In an alternate embodiment each motor could have its own apparatus controller (for example if demanded by physical spacing). In this embodiment the air charging motors 14-400 could have a single power control module (not shown) and share a single secondary power storage device (not shown) or have their own dedicated secondary power storage devices (not shown). In this application, the multiple stages of superchargers may be used to provide very high volumes of air and high flow rates, but at the penalty of high power demanded by the supercharger compressor assemblies 14-104. One use of this embodiment of the invention may be to increase the effectiveness of the supercharger stages by providing them with air charging (especially at low power rates transferred to the supercharger assemblies 14-104).

Also, the plurality of the superchargers illustrated in FIG. 14-104 could be powered by either belt drive or exhaust gas flows. In alternate embodiments, additional electric motor 14-400 and air effector assemblies 14-500 could be substituted for any or all of the superchargers illustrated. In this alternate embodiment, different electric motor 14-400 and air effector assemblies 14-500 could be substituted to replace belt or exhaust drive superchargers for one or more stages of the air charging process. In an alternate embodiment, the air charging function next to the engine intake 14-1900 could be an air effector assembly 14-500. This alternate embodiment has the advantage of no ducting, plenum, or manifold to add latency (turbo lag) to the air charging process. In an alternate embodiment where the air effector assembly 14-500 is placed between a supercharger and another supercharger, the purpose of the embodiment may be to compensate for a notch, or lack of overlap, between the flow ranges of two devices. In this embodiment, the apparatus controller 14-900 may be able to smooth the transition between air charging states for the internal combustion engine 14-2100. The power source module (not shown) and the secondary power storage device (not shown) may be managed by the apparatus controller 14-900 in accordance with optimal operations under a profile. In an alternate embodiment, the use of a series of air effectors 14-500 (multiple stages, or multiple stages with and without other belt or exhaust driven units 14-404) driven by electric motors 14-400 and controlled by the apparatus controller 14-900 has the advantage of having the air charging process under the management and control of a single, or cooperating, apparatus controller 14-900. For any of these with one or more electric motor 14-400 and air effector assemblies 14-500 a plurality of power source modules (not shown) and secondary power storage devices (not shown) could be managed by the apparatus controller 14-900 or more than one apparatus controller. In like fashion a plurality of additional inlet and outlet valves (as discussed in FIGS. 31 and 32) can be applied to manage the isolation, combination, or routing of airflows throughout the combinations of devices in multiple embodiments.

FIG. 15 shows in an internal combustion engine application with multistage, parallel supercharging. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 15-100 and air filter 15-101 to be routed to the turbocharger 15-103 or to the air charging effector of the embodiment 15-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 15-500 may be rerouted by a bypass valve 15-510 or may be routed through the two stages of supercharger compressor assemblies 15-103. Additional bypass and gas control valves route air as needed 15-540 15-550. Air may be supplied to an internal combustion engine 15-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 15-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 15-2100, the air may exhaust through the outlet 15-2000 to power the turbochargers and finally exhausted 15-105. The air charging effector 15-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 15-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 15-900. Power for the apparatus controller 15-900, air charging motor 15-400, and the bypass valve 15-510 (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 15-400 and apparatus controller 15-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The embodiment illustrated may use a shared apparatus controller 15-900 for both air charging motors 15-400. In an alternate embodiment, each motor could have its own apparatus controller (for example if demanded by physical spacing). In this embodiment the air charging motors 15-400 could have a single power control module (not shown) and share a single secondary power storage device (not shown) or have their own dedicated secondary power storage devices (not shown). In this application the multiple stages of super turbochargers are used to provide very high volumes of air and high flow rates, but at the penalty of high power demanded by the super turbocharger compressor assemblies 15-1043. The use of the embodiment of the invention may be to increase the effectiveness of the supercharger stages by providing them with air charging (especially at low power rates transferred to the super turbocharger assemblies 15-1043). The embodiment thus reduces turbo lag at a design point where the primary and secondary turbocharger assemblies 15-103 are ineffective or less effective.

FIG. 16 is another embodiment illustrating the application of the invention to an air charging requirement including the use of exhaust gas return for an internal combustion engine (i.e., secondary air injection into exhaust gas recirculation). As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 16-100 and air filter 16-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 16-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 16-500 can be rerouted by the bypass valve 16-510 or may be supplied to an internal combustion engine 16-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 16-1900. After use by the internal combustion engine 16-2100, the air may exhaust through the outlet 16-2000. The exhaust gas return control valve 16-550 controls the recirculation of exhaust gas back through the air charging effector 16-500 or its venting 16-105. The air charging effector 16-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 16-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 16-900. Power for the apparatus controller 16-900, air charging motor 16-400, and the bypass valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 16-400 and apparatus controller 16-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

In FIG. 17, an embodiment of the invention is applied to the generation of air charging for an internal combustion engine and secondary air injection into the exhaust catalytic conversion assembly 17-2400. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 17-100 and air filter 17-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 17-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 17-500 can be rerouted by the bypass valve 17-510 or may be supplied to an internal combustion engine 17-2100 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary generator, mobile generator, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake 17-1900. An alternate pass controlled by the exhaust air injection control valve 17-530 may provide an airflow to exhaust catalyst subassembly. After use by the internal combustion engine 17-2100 the air exhaust through the outlet 17-2000. The air charging effector 17-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 17-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 17-900. Power for the apparatus controller 17-900, air charging motor 17-400, and the bypass valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 17-400 and apparatus controller 17-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

This embodiment may provide an improvement over older techniques that used belt-driven air pumps or other power take offs to power the air pumping assembly. For example, the embodiment could, at different times, be applied to pumping cooling or heating air to the exhaust catalyst 157-2400 or to supply oxygen to the exhaust catalyst assembly 175-2400.

FIG. 18 shows an exemplary embodiment of the power source module and power storage devices. The embodiment provides for flexibility and control of multiple power sources 18-1100 18-1200 29-1010 18, and the use, in exemplary embodiments, of a local secondary power storage device 18-1200. The availability of power in these embodiments from the local secondary power storage device 18-1200, the common electrical grid 18-1100, the engine battery 29-1010, the engine in generator mode 18-2200, and any secondary battery storage 29-1010 (other than a hybrid primary storage battery or fuel-cell) allows the apparatus power storage module 18-1000 to select from a plurality of sources for a plurality of uses (including recharging the local secondary power storage device 18-1200). The operations of the apparatus power source module may be directed by the apparatus control subassembly using the profiles of operation and optimization strategies derived from the current operating profiles requirements. The management of power expenditure by the embodiment may include the air charging motor 18-400 and may also include sub-optimal air flow generation, apparatus safe operation, and power management for inlet and outlet management as present in certain embodiments. Different embodiments present in a single platform (illustrated simply by a hybrid car plugged into the power grid) can be simultaneously applied to separate operating needs (illustrated by keeping the cargo compartment of a vehicle warm, maintaining a warmth level in a battery compartment, and maintaining a warmth level in the engine emissions control) under the operation of the apparatus controller and profiles. Across an operating period could place the priority for a sequence of operations of the apparatus power source module 18-100 to recharge its own secondary power storage device 18-1200, maintaining warmth levels in various compartments of the vehicle (such as prioritizing warmth in the battery compartment while recharging is conducted), and then shifting to warming the passenger compartment only shortly before more vehicle use takes place. The apparatus controller may also respond to external conditions known from sensor data (such as heat or cold) and dynamically change apparatus power source module operations under a profile for these conditions. Under dynamic load conditions (such as route planned power consumption, steep hills, or high performance requirements) the apparatus power source module in an embodiment can, under control and cooperation of the apparatus control subassembly, plan, distribute, supply, restore, and conserve power capacity, power expenditure, power distribution, and power intake.

The capabilities of the apparatus power source module may be common to exemplary embodiments of the invention with specific instantiations subject to variances for requirements and optimizations in a specific platform environment. In the embodiments of the invention described herein, the assumption is that the functions of the apparatus power source module and secondary power storage device are functionally common and consistent with the description provided for the embodiment of FIG. 18.

FIG. 19 illustrates an embodiment of the invention for heating of air to be supplied to warm a battery compartment. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 19-100 and air filter 19-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 19-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 19-500 can be rerouted by the recirculation valve 19-510 or may be supplied to the battery compartment 19-190 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary room, mobile plenum, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake. After cycling through the compartment the air may be re-circulated or vented 19-510. The air charging effector 19-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 19-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 19-900. Power for the apparatus controller 19-900, air charging motor 19-400, and the recirculation valve (optional) may supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors 19-610 19-620 19-600 and other data inputs (such as those from the engine control unit 19-2500) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 19-400 and apparatus controller 19-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 sensors (19-610, 19-620, 19-600), inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment. The nature of running a compressive air charging effector 19-500 is that the energy transferred may also increase the heat of the air output by up to about 20 degrees or more (depending on ambient conditions and air intake setups). The availability of warming for the battery compartment may serve to keep the available energy capacity of the battery up in very cold conditions. The use of a local secondary power storage device (not shown) or plug-in grid power to externally power the air charging motor 19-400 may also provide a mechanism to maximize the battery capacity available at low or very high ambient temperatures.

FIG. 20 shows an embodiment of the invention that may be applied to the heating of air to be supplied to warm a passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 20-100 and air filter 20-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 20-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 20-500 can be rerouted by the recirculation valve 20-510 or may be supplied to the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment 20-19200 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary room, mobile plenum, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake. After cycling through the compartment, the air my be re-circulated or vented 20-510. The air charging effector 20-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 20-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 20-900. Power for the apparatus controller 20-900, air charging motor 20-400, and the recirculation valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors 20-610 20-620 20-600 and other data inputs (such as those from the engine control unit 20-2500) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 20-400 and apparatus controller 20-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors (20-610, 20-620, 20-600), inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The nature of running a compressive air charging effector 20-500 as shown is that the energy transferred may also increase the heat of the air output by up to about 20 degrees or more (depending on ambient conditions and air intake setups). The availability of warming for the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment will serve to keep the available energy capacity of the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly up in very cold conditions. The use of a local secondary power storage device (not shown) or plug-in grid power to externally power the air charging motor 20-400 may also provide a mechanism to maximize the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly capacity available at low or very high ambient temperatures. Of particular benefit in a vehicular application at low temperatures is the availability of heated air in a very short (e.g., less than one minute) period of time. Existing hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles use either primary electrical storage power for a resistance heater and fans, or heated air or coolant from an internal combustion engine, or generated electricity for resistance heating from the internal combustion engine to generate this heat. The illustrated embodiment can provide both an airflow and heated air in a very short period of time possibly using only its onboard secondary power storage device (if properly sized) for power until other power is available, for example, from the hybrid electrical systems. In a power configuration and profile using grid power the embodiment acts as a warmer assembly similar to those extant using resistive elements and fans.

FIG. 21 shows an embodiment of the invention as applied to the cooling of air to be supplied to cool a passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 21-100 and air filter 21-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 21-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 21-500 can be rerouted by the recirculation valve 21-510 or may be supplied to the heat exchanger/chiller assembly 21-2600. As shown the heat exchanger/chiller assembly then supplies the cool air to the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment 21-2050 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary room, mobile plenum, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake. After cycling through the compartment, the air may be re-circulated or vented 21-510. The air charging effector 21-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 21-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 21-900. Power for the apparatus controller 21-900, air charging motor 21-400, and the recirculation valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors 21-610 21-620 21-600 and other data inputs (such as those from the engine control unit 21-2500) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 21-400 and apparatus controller 21-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors (21-610, 21-620, 21-600), inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The nature of running an air charging effector 21-500 is that the airflow may be supplied to the heat exchanger/chiller assembly 21-2500. The heat exchanger/chiller assembly 21-2500 can take the form of a simple intercooler or be used to drive the exchange in a fluid cooling cycle. The availability of airflow for the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment may serve to keep the available energy capacity of the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly up in very hot conditions. The use of a local secondary power storage device (not shown) or plug-in grid power to externally power the air charging motor 21-400 may also provide a mechanism to maximize the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly capacity available at very high ambient temperatures. Existing hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles typically use either primary electrical storage power for a cooler/chiller and fans, or cooled air or coolant from an external source. The illustrated embodiment may provide both an airflow and cooling air in a very short period of time possibly using only its onboard secondary power storage device (if properly sized) for power until other power is available, for example, from the hybrid electrical systems. In a power configuration and profile using grid power, the exemplary embodiment may act as an airflow assembly. When used in alternate embodiments of the invention, spiral or scroll effectors may be used for cooling applications where they are more appropriate than compression based air-effectors.

FIG. 22 shows another embodiment of the invention that may be applied to the cooling of air to be supplied to cool a passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 22-100 and air filter 22-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 22-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 22-500 can be rerouted by the recirculation valve 22-510 or may be supplied to the heat exchanger/chiller assembly 22-2600. The heat exchanger/chiller assembly then supplies the cool air to the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment 22-2050 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary room, mobile plenum, test unit, or other such article) through the air intake. After cycling through the compartment, the air may be re-circulated or vented 22-510. The air charging effector 22-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 22-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 22-900. Power for the apparatus controller 22-900, air charging motor 22-400, and the recirculation valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors 22-610 22-620 22-600 and other data inputs (such as those from the engine control unit 22-2500) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 22-400 and apparatus controller 22-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors (22-610, 22-620, 22-600), inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The nature of running an air charging effector 22-500 as shown is that the airflow may be supplied to the heat exchanger/chiller assembly 22-2500. The heat exchanger/chiller assembly 22-2500 can take the form of a simple intercooler or be used to drive the exchange in a fluid cooling cycle. The availability of airflow for the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly compartment may serve to keep the comfort level of the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly in very hot conditions. The use of a local secondary power storage device (not shown) or plug-in grid power to externally power the air charging motor 22-400 may also provide a mechanism to maximize the passenger, cargo, or electronics assembly comfort available at very high ambient temperatures. The illustrated embodiment may provide both an airflow and cooling air in a very short period of time possibly using only its onboard secondary power storage device (if properly sized) for power until other power is available, for example, from the hybrid electrical systems. In a power configuration and profile using grid power, the embodiment may act as an airflow assembly. When used in alternate embodiments of the invention, spiral or scroll effectors can be used for cooling applications where they are more appropriate than compression based air-effectors.

FIG. 23 shows an exemplary embodiment that may be used as an inflator/deflator for a plenum or flexible membrane. As shown, a relatively simple embodiment of the invention may be coupled via airflow connections to a plenum. Depending on the settings, or controlled by the apparatus controller 23-900, the air charging effector 23-500 inflates or deflates the plenum 23-4000 by the operation of the air charging motor 23-400. Simple sensor outputs (not shown) to detect pressure may be used by the apparatus controller 23-900 to control operation of the rotating element of the air charging motor subassembly 23-500 to halt continued operations when no longer necessary. In alternative embodiments, the apparatus controller 23-900 may have sensor inputs from human users that cause it to automatically control the settings of the inflator and deflator valves 23-520 23-530 of the embodiment. Relief 23-570 and check valves 23-560 may serve to protect the assemblies and plenum 23-4000. The power management control subassembly 23-1000 and power storage module subassemblies (not shown on the Figure for clarity) can be present with local power storage and power management, or may simply be fed in an alternative embodiment directly to the apparatus control 23-900 and air charging motor 23-500. The device/system may comprise a portable packaging including a power management control 23-1000 subassembly and power storage module. The entire package may be about 23 centimeters in length, about 20 centimeters in width, and about 15 centimeters in depth, for example. The application of this embodiment may include a large number of fixed plenum sized applications (such as rigid inflatable boats, inflatable industrial bladders, inflatable buildings, moon bouncers, and others) and some applications where a continued pressurized airflow is needed (such as advertising semi-rigids).

FIG. 24 is an embodiment of the invention with a minimal illustration for application of the invention to heating, ventilating, and other airflow applications (i.e., non-automotive). As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 24-100 and air filter 24-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 24-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 24-500 can be rerouted by the outlet control valve 24-520 or may be supplied to an air plenum. The air charging effector 24-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 24-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 24-900. Power for the apparatus controller 24-900, air charging motor 24-400, and the valves 24-520 24-530 (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 24-400 and apparatus controller 24-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

For example, the high velocity and mass air flow of one such embodiment can be used as a substitute for the large fans used to furnish air into combustion heating furnaces. Another embodiment could be used to supply ambient airflow to a heat exchanger/chiller assembly with an air charging effector optimized for flow. Units as small as 400 g for a 50,000,000 cc/min air mover are possible with this configuration optimized for smaller spaces and features. Multiple embodiments sharing the apparatus controller 24-900 and power management modules (not shown) can reduce average controller and packaging to less than about 3 kg.

FIG. 25 is illustrative of multiple embodiments of the invention applied to a single platform having multiple applications. As shown in FIG. 25, the airflow begins at an air inlet and filter 25-101 that provides air to air charging effectors 25-500 likely to be in three different physical compartments of the platform. The air charging needs may be for heating/cooling the battery compartment 25-2010, supplying charge air to the vehicle internal combustion engine 25-1900, and for heating/cooling the interior/cargo/electronics compartment 25-2020. Common to the each of the instantiations of the three embodiments is the air charging motor 25-400 and air charging effector assembly 25-500 (although the air effectors present in each instantiation may be distinct). Recirculation and other valves (forms of the inlet and outlet controls discussed with FIGS. 31 and 32) 25-530, 25-510 may be used to control air flow to the end areas and devices. As shown, heat exchangers/chiller assemblies are present as needed for cooling 25-2500 or compressive heating is used for warming. The internal combustion engine takes air in through the intake 25-1900 and then exhausts it. In this combination of embodiments, the power control module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown) (discussed with reference to FIG. 18) may exist for each instantiation or be shared depending on specific platform requirements. The apparatus controller 25-900 may also be shared, or replicated in the same or slightly different forms, depending on platform requirements. A plurality of sensors and other communications connections (such as those shown in FIG. 7 and detailed in FIGS. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47) may be used for each instantiation of an embodiment combined to meet the needs of a platform and multiple applications.

FIG. 26 is an embodiment of the invention applied to exhausting the air from an engine compartment. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake and air filter to be routed to the air cooling heat exchanger 26-2500 (supplied by a cooling fluid cycle 20-106) and then through the plenum 26-2050 to the air charging effector of the embodiment 26-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 26-500 can be rerouted by the outlet control valve (not shown) or may be removed from an air plenum 26-2050. The air charging effector 26-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 26-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 26-900. Power for the apparatus controller 26-900, air charging motor 26-400, and the valves (not shown optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (not shown) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 26-400 and apparatus controller 26-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7 sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The high velocity and mass air flow of one such embodiment can be used a substitute for the large fans used to furnish air into combustion heating furnaces. Another embodiment could be used to supply ambient airflow to a heat exchanger/chiller assembly with an air charging effector optimized for flow. Units as small as about 400 g for a 50,000,000 cc/min air mover are possible with this configuration optimized for smaller spaces and features. Multiple embodiments sharing the apparatus controller 26-900 and power management modules (not shown) can reduce average controller and packaging to less than about 3 kg. Engine manufacturers continually look for ways to keep the total heat environment of their compartments in control. This embodiment of the invention can be connected to the engine control unit or platform control unit to actively cool (by exhausting) the engine environment (connections using the communications or capabilities shown to sensors in FIGS. 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47). In many applications platforms the structural disadvantages of holes in the engine compartment are at least partially overcome by using the smaller aperture (nominally less than about 12 centimeters in an embodiment) than extant fans (often in excess of about 20 centimeters).

In FIG. 27, an embodiment of the invention is applied to the heating of air to be supplied to warm a passenger, cargo, or engine compartment. As shown, the airflow starts at an air intake 27-100 and air filter 27-101 to be routed to the air charging effector of the embodiment 27-500. The outlet flow from the air charging effector 27-500 can be rerouted by the recirculation valve 27-510 or may be supplied to the passenger, cargo, or engine compartment 27-200 (illustrated as a vehicle, but which could be a stationary room, mobile plenum, test unit, bubbling air, or other such article) through the air intake. After cycling through the compartment the air may be re-circulated or vented 27-510. In an alternate embodiment, the plenum 27-2050 may include an open bubbling-air device that feeds the heated air as small bubbles into a fluid. The air charging effector 27-500 may be driven by the air charging motor 27-400 under the control of the apparatus controller 27-900. Power for the apparatus controller 27-900, air charging motor 27-400, and the recirculation valve (optional) may be supplied by a power source module (not shown) and secondary power storage device (not shown). Sensors and other data inputs (such as those from the engine control unit 27-2500) may also be used by the unit (including the control, sensor, and power flows between the air charging motor 27-400 and apparatus controller 27-900). In like fashion to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, sensors, inlet and outlet valves, and connections and communications with other platform functions can embellish the embodiment.

The nature of running a compressive air charging effector 27-500 as shown is that the energy transferred may also increase the heat of the air output by up to about 20 degrees or more (depending on ambient conditions and air intake setups). The availability of warming for the passenger, cargo, or engine compartment may serve to keep the comfort of the passenger, cargo, or engine up in very cold conditions. The use of a local secondary power storage device (not shown) or plug-in grid power to externally power the air charging motor 27-400 may also provide a mechanism to maximize the passenger, cargo, or engine capacity available at low ambient temperatures. The embodiment can provide both an airflow and heated air in a very short period of time possibly using only its onboard secondary power storage device (if properly sized) for power until other power is available from the grid electrical systems. In a power configuration and profile using grid power, the embodiment may act as a warmer assembly similar to those extant using resistive elements and fans. In an example embodiment, the apparatus may be applied to the warming of compartments and facilities in bodies of water. This is needed both to maintain comfort conditions and to maintain the operating character of the engine compartments by keeping them sufficiently heated (and air circulated) to avoid formation of ice and frost. Depending on the outlet device the heated airflow can also be augmented by resistive heating elements to increase its airflow temperature to be applied to frost or ice reduction.

Intake (inlet) and outflow (outlet) subassemblies occur in most embodiments of the invention to support optimization of airflow through the air effector subassembly. The plurality of components in the inlet and outlet subassemblies is illustrated by instantiations including diverter valves, active swirl assemblies in the inlet, outlet directing vanes, active swirl assemblies in the outlet, and the appropriate valves such as iris, servo, or diaphragm types. Both active and passive valves can be applied to inlet or outlet functions. Both powered and unpowered valves can be applied with solenoids or other powered mechanisms used for valve controls. An exemplary example of embodiments of active inlet (FIG. 31) and active outlet (FIG. 32) show that the valve subassemblies may use power sourced from the local Power Source Module 31-1000/32-1000, control from the Apparatus Controller 31-900/32-900, and related sensor data 31-880/32-880 to conduct operations of a valve actuator 31-410/32-410 and consequently a valve 31-530/32-530.

In another exemplary embodiment, the capability of an inlet control to manage the pre-swirl on a dynamic basis can alter the functional delivery of a mass air flow to a very different set of efficiency bands. In an exemplary embodiment the capability of an outlet control to manage the pre-swirl on a dynamic basis for the outflow going into another component of a multi-stage embodiment (thus it becomes the pre-swirl of the next stage) can alter the functional delivery of the mass air flow of the next stage of an application.

Valves in the embodiments of the invention include inlet, outlet, bypass valves, re-circulating valves, vents, exhausts, and connections points between airflows. Unpowered inlet and outlet valves are illustrated by the use of ‘diverters’ or ‘gates’ that may be operated by a plurality of methods such as manual intervention, pressure in the airway, or mechanical linkages. Powered inlet and outlet valves may also have unpowered ‘safe’ or ‘fallback’ settings (that use mechanisms such as pressure loading or mechanical springs) to handle conditions of power loss or to protect against damage. In like manner, powered valves may have manual or mechanical settings (that use methods such as vacuum pressure, mechanical linkages, or manual stops) to ensure access to ‘safe’ or ‘fallback’ settings. For valves (inlet and outlet valves in general including bypass valves, re-circulating valves, vents, and exhausts) in general the provision of feedback, pressure, temperature, or other sensors in the assembly also implies a need for the information for the control element to properly manage the valve or know its setting. Local safety provisions in the valve may override control setting in the event of sensor failure detected in the valve assembly.

FIGS. 33-47 are examples of various methods and configurations for sensors, sensor data, identification and metadata, messages, inquiries, stored information, human interactions, and interactions with other control elements in exemplary applications where the embodiments of the invention may be in use. These examples are illustrative and instantiations of the invention may have a plurality of these, and similar, elements.

FIG. 33 is a simple connection of a sensor directly into the Control element of the systems and methods for generation and management of mass air flow. The illustrative example of a thermocouple outputs an electrical signal that may be translated, for example, into a useful digital representation and then into a control domain value for action and processing. Thus, signal conditioning, calibration, ranging, and other sensor management and sensor control functions can be supported directly by the control element as the instantiation of the embodiment requires. Data acquisition, data translation, data validation, data context, and data integration are also functions that may be directly supported by the control element as the instantiation of the embodiment requires. Other functions may also similarly be supported.

FIG. 34 illustrates the acquisition of a sensor value into the Control element of the systems and methods for generation and management of mass air flow. The illustrative example is of a pressure sensor that converts the raw sensor response into a useful digital or analog representation that may subsequently be transferred into the control domain for action and processing. Thus, the handling of sensor functions can be divided between elements of the invention and external components at the useful convenience of the instantiation of the embodiment.

FIG. 35 has the illustrative example sensor, for pressure, communicating with the Control element via a sensor, or sensor data, multiplexor interface.

FIG. 36 has the illustrative example sensor, for pressure, communicating with the Control element via a local application platform network. Thus, the illustrations are showing that multiple communications media, methods, and connections can be used with interfacing and connection functionality divided between elements of the invention and external components at the useful convenience of the instantiation of the embodiment.

FIG. 37 is the interconnection of the local platform application control units to the Control element. The illustrative example shows an engine control unit, or a fuel management system control unit, connected via an engine network to the Control element. Other embodiments may also interface to a plurality of other controls such as emissions controls, entertainment controls, suspension controls, drive train controls, power management controls, lighting controls, passenger comfort controls, security controls, or monitors as needed for the efficient and effective control of the particular embodiment.

FIG. 38 shows an exemplary interconnection of indirect controls to the Control element of the systems and methods for generation and management of mass air flow. The illustrative example shows other controls including, for example, Passenger Comfort, Suspension, or Fuel Level, connection via another control or diagnostics unit that then sends the data onwards to the controller. Although the fuel level (or electrical capacity as an example) that may be useful in managing the system's power usage is not normally available directly to the Control element of the invention; it may be available to another control or diagnostics unit that can provide an access point by which said data can be conveyed to the Control element. The Control element may then perform a plurality of functions on the data that includes process, act, store, retrieve, and communicate said data. Illustrations of these indirect controls (that can also be connected more directly to the Control Element of the embodiments of the invention in alternate embodiments) include accelerometers, global position tracking, vehicle weight on wheels, ambient lighting conditions, vehicle total power consumption, or battery cycling, age, charge state information, etc.

FIG. 39 shows an example of the interconnection of indirect controls to the Control element. Like FIG. 38, this figure is an illustrative example of the connection of the Control element with the control, diagnostics, or other data unit in the application platform (shown as connected via a controls interface and a transmission media). This may be accomplished by a plurality of the wide range of transmission media, transmission protocols, and transmission physical senders and receivers.

FIG. 40 is like FIG. 36, but includes the addition of the electrical and communications methods to access desired data via local network, or bus, monitoring. This monitoring (sometimes called ‘snooping’) allows a less costly interconnection of an embodiment of the invention. The passive observation of the data traffic in the device can be used by the Control element to dynamically alter the behavior of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 41 shows an example of an interconnection from identification or metadata sources in the local application platform to the Control element. Identification or metadata sources in the local application platform are the values such as those representing the model, serial number, version, configuration management, manufacturing source, engineering control, performance values, data configuration, connection, security, power management, capabilities, or capacities of the other functional elements in the local application platform. A plurality of these data elements can be used by a specific instantiation of an embodiment for the control, monitoring, and behavioral management of the invention. These data elements may also be accessed, for the local invention, directly by the Control element.

FIG. 42 shows an example of the interconnection from a diagnostic, archive, data logging, or other stored data values within the local application platform. Stored data such as the times of the last platform operations, operating status, last known configuration or behavioral settings, set points, sensor configuration, diagnostic state, length of operation, duration of run, prior error conditions seen by the device, and conditions of other platform elements can be used by the Control element in managing and controlling embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 43 shows an example of the interconnection of User Profile data with the Control element via a communication media such as a network. User Profile data is a set of data that provides parameters, set points, operating protocols, limits, behavioral directives, and startup data values for the optimal operation of the embodiment. The Control element may access this information, to dynamically control the behavior of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 44 shows an example of the interconnection of User Profile data with the Control element directly into the unit. This provides a simplified case for alternate embodiments of the invention from the more complex case in FIG. 43.

FIG. 45 shows an example of the interconnection of emissions sensor data with the Control element via a network interface. As an illustrative example the provision of additional air charging for use by a catalytic converter, emissions gas recirculation, or other emissions function the Control element can thus has data to determine the optimal dynamic behavior of embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 46 is an exemplary interconnection of a predictive unit with the Control element via a network interface. The illustrative example shows the availability of prediction data to the Control element. Prediction data may be produced from a variety of methods, such as historical patterns (as an example, normal length of drive or number of air charging events in a time period), hyper-real time predictions based on sensor and behavioral data, or defined parameters allowing predictions (such as the appropriate optimal settings for operations during startup, shutdown, maintenance, diagnostic, or specific operating profiles). The access to this data may thus allows the Control element to manage elements such as rotating assemblies, power consumption, data access, or flow management (inlets, outlets, operating set points, operating rotational controls) on a dynamic basis.

FIG. 47 shows an example interconnection of human input through a user interface, and then via a plurality of communications media, protocols, and connections present; to the Control element. The human input can be used to dynamically control the instantiation of the invention.

Exemplary applications include, but are not limited to:

1. Active Drive Trains: that may use an air charging subsystem to manage the availability of torque to the engine for dead stop take offs or transitions between drive train (“shift”) states; and heavy engine load conditions, such as going up a steep hill;

2. Active Suspension: that may use an air charging subsystem to preset suspension characteristics for ‘lags’ in acceleration;

3. Fuel/ignition management: that may use an air charging subsystem to handle flexible fuel (Ethanol, gasoline, diesel, natural gas, hydrogen, or combination fuels) in the same engine by dynamic air charging configuration;

4. Emissions controls: that may use the air charging subsystem to handle the needs for additional air flows (such as Engine Gas Recirculation, Emissions cooling, pre heating of catalytic converters, active filtration or emissions heating);

5. Electrical management: that may use an air charging subsystem to handle the needs to reduce battery demand during combustion engine operations or to add additional performance to power generation capacity while in a demand mode for combustion engine operation or to act in managing overall power supply, capacity, and expenditure;

6. Environmental sensing: that may use an air charging subsystem to handle the effects of very cold conditions on battery performance, engine fuel burning temperature performance, or for supplying non combustion heat to vehicular components;

7. Active braking: that may use the air charging subsystem to efficiently add power for electrical generation in the engine for powered (magnetic or friction) braking of the vehicle.

8. Dynamic Engine Management can use the air charging subsystem to add pressurized air intake or exhaust as needed to optimize engine configuration of mechanical functions (such as engine cycle configuration, operation of engine cycle components, and pneumatic controls); and 9. Environmental Management: that may use an air charging subsystem to add warm air to a passenger or cargo compartment prior to electrical or combustion based heating. This can also be used to warm batteries for better performance in cold conditions. This can also be used to cool batteries with airflow for better performance in hot conditions.

10. Active brake cooling can use the air charging subsystem to blow air across the brakes thereby providing a cooling effect and providing a means for cleaning the brakes under limited soiling circumstances.

11. An embodiment could be employed to generate large number of bubbles for an instantiation where the heat and bubbles were used to oppose the formation of ice onto surfaces.

12. An embodiment could be employed to generate a lowered plenum pressure in an area where a negative pressure should be maintained for cleanliness purposes.

These applications use two features of an embodiment of the invention: 1) the use of a compressive capacity that heats the air while generating the mass air flow, and 2) the capability of the control module of the embodiment to act autonomously, in integration, or under the control of an external management capability.

Common to all of the preferred embodiments of the invention are the specific capabilities providing a comprehensive range of apparatus management of power (power consumption and capacity), air charging mechanism management (electric motor subassembly management of the rotating subassembly, inlet/outlet active management features, and dynamic management of fluid flow), and capabilities and capacity to consider sensor, control, and stored information to function in a complex operating environment.

Another capability or capacity of the apparatus is the functioning of the device in a safe manner with an incorporated set of features to protect the device, operating environment, and human users. Examples of a plurality of features incorporated through the elements composing the invention are safety limits (illustrated by current limiting in the Power Module or operating thermal limits hot and cold for the rotating assembly), sequences of behavior to limit possibly hazardous conditions (illustrated by self-shutdown of the rotating assembly, distinct startup sequences in response to environment conditions, fail-safe settings for inlets and outlets in the event of missing or invalid sensor data) (sometimes called safety protocols), element controls for components of the inventions (illustrated by turning off power to network interface connections if repeatedly creating network errors on operations), indicators and annunciators (illustrative means such as visual, audible, tactile, or via connections) of the status of the device, safety optimization rules (illustrated by reduction of functionality to restricted levels to conserve power to maintain limited operations instead of a total functional shutdown), data logging and archiving (illustrated by storage and archiving of operating states, events, durations, commands, or other diagnostic information during manufacturing test, field test, diagnostic test, or on command from an external control unit), regulatory compliance restrictions (illustrated by rejection of operating conditions that would create a regulatory compliance exception, tracking of regulatory compliance exceptions, or storing compliance measurements), and self-management of the device (illustrated by rejection of an invalid set point, conflicting operating parameters, or rejection of commands that could create a hazard condition).

Embodiments of the invention may differ in their specifics, but exemplary embodiments of the invention may incorporate a plurality of features that are an innovative exploitation of, for example, the available sensor, fine motor control, and power management capabilities. These features can include the management of the device (including inlet, outlet, and air effector management) to reduce or restrict operations in surge or stall conditions. In an analogous fashion to the operation of anti-skid brakes or anti-slip transmission features the control elements of the invention's embodiments can manage a plurality of the features of the embodiment (including inlet, outlet, airflow, air effector, and power management) to maintain the effective levels of operation possible to the device within its targeted operating profile. The active management of the features present in an embodiment of the invention also support device capabilities of self-protecting the apparatus from operating conditions possibly harmful to the device (such as extended operations at levels with certain harmonics, or operations at levels with high vibration or shock conditions, or operations at levels damaging to the recipient of the outflow, or operations where power consumption would cause negative effects). The power management module present in an exemplary embodiment may also provide for the functional enablement of safety and protection features of the device such as management of power consumption for safe operation of the power storage module, management of power consumption for safe operation of the larger battery/power storage module in the application (such as a hybrid battery or fuel cell), protection for the device against electrical quality concerns (such as sags, surges, fade, spikes, or drops in supply), and management of the device for the application (illustrated by preferences for the operation of the platform over passenger comfort without an override).

Operation of the embodiments of the invention may occur under a profile of usage. The use of stored profiles of usage for embodiments of the invention provides specific benefits not available to other conventional systems or elements. The basic concept of a stored profile can be found in a wide variety of implementations in both vehicular and non-vehicular implementations. Some of the novel and innovative aspects of the application of profiles to the embodiments of the present invention may include the availability of the extent and capabilities of profiles from high level operating strategies through low level motor controls. A profile for an embodiment of the invention may include a plurality of parameters, set points, configuration information, operating capabilities, communications sequences and interactions, data handling rules, data storage requirements, security information, stored processing codes, stored objects, encoded personal data, location information, optimization priorities, operating user preferences, maintenance state, operating constraints, and regulatory requirements.

The storage, communication, and processing of these profiles can be accomplished with a wide variety of extant representations, media, communications methods and apparatus, processing modules, interpretation methods, storage media, storage handling, integrity, validity, and security methods, encodings, encryption, partial or complete retrievals, partial or complete storage, constructions, version and configuration controls, external representations, translations, and dynamic algorithmic transformations.

The operational application of profiles in the embodiments of the invention can include both the retrieval, storage, and processing of the numeric, measurement values, textual, or selection indicators for use by the control element of embodiments of the invention, and the dynamic changes and modifications of the profiles that may occur during normal, and abnormal, functions applied to the storage, representation, and translations of the profile components. Profiles in the context of the invention applies to all of the representations, storage, and processing of the individual, and collective, numerical, measurement, textual, or selection indicators at any point in their existence and handling.

“Parameters” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, or selection indicators for use by the control element of embodiments of the invention. The parameters cover the requirements of the control element of the embodiments of the invention to properly control the apparatus. The parameters may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of motor parameters (e.g., startup, shutdown, motor electrical interfacing, motor rotational characteristics, motor electrical consumption, diagnostic and error conditions, availability of diagnostic or configuration information via separate motor interfacing, motor type, motor electrical configuration of windings/poles, motor thermal characteristics, motor response curves, motor efficiency, motor safety responses, motor safe operation, and others), measurement and sensor translation values (such as conversions from thermocouples or pressure sensors to data ranges normally used by the control element, sensor conversion values for external sensors, or other information), and other such values.

“Set points” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The set points cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The set points may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values such as idle rotational speeds, minimum operating speeds, tables of operating speeds against ambient temperature or pressure, minimal or maximal temperatures, minimal or maximal pressures, minimal or maximal speeds for conditions of other components in the apparatus, a table of normal operating conditions known as ‘low’, ‘medium’, ‘high’ (or other labeled operating conditions uniform between profiles, but having different set point values), tables of operating values for different power store levels, tables of operating values for different power store types, tables of operating values for different power store discharge rates, tables of operating values for different power consumption rates, or other such values.

“Configuration Information” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The configuration information covers the static and dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The configuration information may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values that identify the components, versions, or engineering controls; that identify the number of components present and their capacities or capabilities as needed by the control element; the configuration possibilities for the correct interoperation of the device with its application (such as requirements for other information, device configuration, number and type of other elements present, or requirements for proper operations); the information labeling other collections of data useful for handling external (human or apparatus driven functions) functions (such as warranty, factory records, minimum training or certification requirements for safe maintenance, compatibility with replacement parts, or other labels); and other such values.

“Operating Capabilities” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The operating capabilities may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The operating capabilities can include the non-sensor information that identifies controls for the inlet and outlet controls (active or passive), the static operating demands for the behavior of the apparatus (such as the presence or absence of a connection to a secondary air injection requirement), the fault tolerance element presence or absence (redundant modules, redundant air effectors and motors, absent backup power storage modules, redundant human interfaces, redundant support for multiple external diagnostic interfaces, and others), the static or dynamic condition of air inlets and outlets, the static or dynamic condition of filters; the static or dynamic condition of sensors, communications methods and apparatus connections.

“Communications sequences and interactions” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The communications sequences and interactions cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The communications sequences and interactions may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values illustrated by communications timeouts, sequencing of protocols to be used during operations, sequences of data transmission, error handling codes for communications integrity checking, encryption keys, encryption algorithm identification, communications media checking and preferences, communications protocols, identification values for broadcast or communications interconnections, availability of communications functions such as diagnostic data retrieval, data communications archiving, or control and diagnostic interactions.

“Data handling rules” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The data handling rules covers the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The data handling rules may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values covering data logging intervals, data logging contents, responses to diagnostic data retrieval requests, data archiving, event logging, sensor value handling, power component characteristics, and handling values for other application platform needs.

“Data storage requirements” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The data storage requirements cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The data storage requirements may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values and operations related to size and speed of the available data store; the capacity for logging, archiving, and redundant storage functions; the data organization and data structure of stored numerical, measurement values, textual, or label data, representation, and structural information; data storage sequences, events, connections, and interactions.

“Security information” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The security information covers the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The security information may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values such as encryption keys, identities, authentication sequences, access controls, functional controls, integrity checking, validity checking, and conformance. The purposes of the security information handling are to control knowledge, access, integrity, validity, and conformance for functions such as factory testing, diagnostics, warranties, protections against stolen or misappropriated devices, protections against access of information when not controlled, operational integrity, valid operating combinations, maintenance access, modification and reconfiguration controls, and conformance to specifications.

“Stored processing codes” can be a plurality of numerical, procedural values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The stored processing codes cover the dynamic operations that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the conduct of the device. The stored processing codes may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the functional representations used to store the events, flow of events, evaluations, calculations, and data management during the conduct of operations. The availability in the profiles of stored processing codes supports the extension of functions of the control element, and other apparatus components, by the ability to statically or dynamically add, change, delete, access, or copy the pre-existing processing codes. The profile provides a specific mechanism and functionality to update, reduce, extend, copy, validate, verify, or replace processing codes in the control element, or other component elements, or the apparatus that embodies the invention.

“Stored objects” can be a plurality of stored data, stored processing codes, configuration information, security information, encoded personal data, or other profile representations stored as objects for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The stored objects covers the static and dynamic operating objects that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The maintenance state may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the objects stored as one or more parts of the profile. Thus, a profile consists of a variety of collections of stored objects that can be statically or dynamically handled and processed during the normal functions of the control element of the embodiments or the invention or by components of the embodiments of the invention depending on the instantiation of the invention.

“Encoded personal data” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The encoded personal data covers the data that the end user or device operator of the embodiments of the invention applies to the presence in the apparatus. The encoded personal data may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the data such as identification of asset the apparatus is attached to, the routing for retrieved stored data, identification of the data handling of archived or logged measurement values and operating information, batch or group identification for multiple apparatus, lot tracking information, materials or disposal handling, and other such data.

“Location information” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The location information covers the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The location information may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values useful to the embodiments of the invention such as current location, route planning, energy plan for routing, operational plans for device functions on route, route and time dependencies, or such other data. The purposes of the location information for the control element may be to allow the optimization priorities for the apparatus to be acted upon. Thus, the knowledge of a long uphill grade at a certain part of a forthcoming route can allow the control element of the apparatus to plan for the energy consumed during that part of the route (longer and higher level operations of an air charging device in this example). In analogous fashion, a long downhill grade with regenerative recapture of the energy in a hybrid vehicle thus allow higher levels of battery warming or passenger comfort operations during that part of the route. Routing and time dependencies can provide for additional air charging for dual-transmission vehicles allowing higher performance from the combustion engine component in order to adjust speeds on a longer trip to reach a destination in a time period. For very short runs the need for passenger comfort may outweigh the need for conserving power capacity. For long runs the need for battery warming may exceed that of air charging. The availability of location information to the Control unit of the embodiment of invention enables this capabilities and functions when needed.

“Optimization priorities” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The optimization priorities cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the operation of the device. The optimization priorities may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values that allow operation of the device supporting a variety of optimizations. An embodiment of the apparatus can always be composed where the safety features of the apparatus and method are always the highest automatic priority for the device. In alternative embodiments the conservation of power capacity, the ability to reach a destination at certain time, the maintenance of comfort for passengers, cargo, or vehicle components, or the need for internal combustion engine fuel can be priorities for control of the apparatus at the lowest level. An additional illustration of an optimization priority is providing a choice to the platform human user between cabin comfort and environmental emissions levels; or between depletion of electrical capacity and fuel capacity. In these cases the optimization priorities can be dynamically modified by human (as part of an informed decision) or application systems intervention in pre-selected types of conduct.

“Operating user preferences” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The operating user preferences cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The operating user preferences may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the sensor, pre-selection, and automated selection of the optimization priorities, operating constraints, and operating profiles to be applied at specific instances by the Control element. The functions addressed are the identification, selection, and initiation of the profile in the operations controlled by the Control element. Further, the switching, adding, deleting, modification, updating, replacement, or translation/transformation of profiles in response sensor, pre-selection, or automated selection is also a function of the Control element of the invention.

“Maintenance state” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The maintenance state covers the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The maintenance state may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values for functions of the apparatus and methods for hot swapping components of the apparatus, the ability to bypass certain operating constraints, regulatory requirements, optimization priorities, sensor measurements, or conformance requirements such that a qualified user can access the functionality of the device in a secure access controlled manner.

“Operating constraints” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The operating constraints cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The operating constraints may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values time or calendar values (such as those limiting the hours of the day, days of the week, duration in hours, duration in days, other bounding values), values for minimal and maximal limits of continuous operations, values for minimal or maximal apparatus behaviors in normal or abnormal conditions (such as pre-run, after-run, maintenance cycles, diagnostic cycles, or in override conditions), values for consistent operations (illustrated by compatibility with other configuration information, regulatory requirements, or air charging requirements), and other information.

“Regulatory requirements” can be a plurality of numerical, measurement values, textual, or selected operating labels for use by the control element of the embodiments of the invention. The regulatory requirements cover the dynamic operating values that the control element of the embodiments of the invention applies to the consistent operation of the device. The regulatory requirements may vary based on the instantiation of the embodiment, but can include a plurality of the values that delimit the operating states or operating requirements of the apparatus. The regulatory requirements may include a plurality of requirements such as minimum/maximum operating elapsed times, minimum/maximum operating temperatures, minimum/maximum operating pressures, average performance over a defined interval of time or elapsed time, minimum/maximum operating components functional, minimum/maximum data logging, minimum/maximum operator interactions, and other such data.

The usefulness of these profiles can be illustrated by the following examples, but the scope and coverage of the embodiments of the invention are not limited to these examples.

In a simple embodiment for a propulsion vehicle a human operator of the apparatus and methods might select between ‘high performance’, ‘best energy conservation’, ‘most comfortable’, or ‘regulatory testing’ profiles, for example.

In a complex embodiment for a hybrid propulsion vehicle having multiple power stores, the profiles might be applied, and changed, for dependencies of vehicle routing, ambient conditions, power store status, levels of available internal combustion fuel, fuel mixture, user preferences, and the like.

The air charging mechanism (subsystem where the embodiment is implemented) effects on engine performance are such that a smaller engine may be used where a larger, heavier, or higher fuel-consumption engine may otherwise have been required. The vehicle designers, operators, or managers can also select the usage pattern, control points, performance trade-offs, and other characteristics of the vehicle operations depending on what features, energy usage, and/or controls are appropriate at design, deployment, or in dynamic operation of the vehicle.

The extant trend to flexible fuel vehicles (which may be particularly important in emerging world markets) allows a wider range of fuel capabilities because the mass air flow device air charging characteristics allow for fuels such as ethanol (with, for example, a 9.1:1 by weight stoichiometric ratio), E85 (9.7:1), gasoline (14.7:1), or natural gas (17:1) to be combusted. This range (of over 80% variance) is even more complex when environmental (such as outside temperature), operating history (engine status), fuel blend (that may be a combination of fuels), or operating needs (high altitude, high demand, low demand) are factored into vehicle management on a dynamic basis. The ability (reliability) to operate the vehicle may depend on the ability of the air charging subsystem to supply appropriate amounts of air when attempting to operate on specific fuels and conditions.

The application of the invention's mass air flow devices into a hybrid, plug-in, or electrical vehicle (see e.g., FIGS. 28-30) may be especially beneficial because it enables operating possibilities and performance characteristics not easily achieved by even combinations of other devices.

Another feature of exemplary embodiments of the present invention includes the flexibility and capability of the mass flow device to interact with the external controls and environment in ways not previously available. For example, earlier attempts at high velocity mass air moving devices were limited in many situations to simply being turned on or off by a switch control. Other devices were limited to a set palette of operating flows or very limited operating cycles. The limitations from these earlier devices were often due to immediately available power, lack of sensory or control inputs, or highly constrained motor control functions.

The various embodiments of the invention may include a plurality of the features documented here, but many different combinations are possible due to the ability to “soft configure” the device at design, manufacturing, and/or in the field. The ability to customize the configuration of the device while using the same base physical components (such as, for example, the motor, connectors, physical fittings, etc.) also are advantageous to the control of design costs (e.g., using high levels of reuse, design for configuration, design for customization, and component design for design cost control), control manufacturing costs (e.g., common components, design for manufacturing, integrated features for test management, integrated features for manufacturability, integrated features for mass customization in manufacturing, integrated features for quality assurance), and in the field (e.g., common replaceable components, design for field service, integrated self-test features, integrated self-protection features, integrated features for field service quality assurance, and integrated features for field flexibility).

The interactions of the different embodiments of the invention may include several categories of interactions. These exemplary categories are not mutually exclusive, nor are the embodiments limited to a subset of the interactions. Depending on the embodiment, the invention may be capable, with appropriate control flows, of operating in any, or all, of the described interactions with full capability (or a subset as required).

The interactions of the mass flow device can occur in both direct (e.g., control flows, signals, or switching) and indirect (e.g., power states, sensor inputs, common actuator states, broadcast data bus/transport messages) methods. The interactions can occur as conditional requests, preemptory commands, and/or as informational status only. Note that example messages may be dependent on implementation and any specific device embodiment may handle interactions in a manner consistent with the specific implementation and product environment.

The table below illustrates exemplary interactions:

InteractionDirect-
DescriptionIndirectInteractionExamples
Control FlowDirectConditionalReport Power Module State,
RequestBring Up Check
Control FlowDirectPreemptorySet mass air flow desired,
CommandTurn Device Off
Control FlowDirectInformationalPower availability High
StatusAccelerating
Stopping
Parked-Idle
Control FlowDirectPreemptoryEnter diagnostic mode
Command
Control FlowDirectConditionalReport history of operation
Request
Control FlowDirectPreemptoryChange operating customization or
Commandconfiguration
Control FlowDirectInformationalSensors available
Status
SignalsDirectChange inChange to Performance profile
ProfileChange to Energy Saver profile
Change to City Profile
Change to High Altitude Profile
SignalsDirectPreemptoryEntering external power module
Commandrecharge
SignalsDirectConditionalGenerate heated airflow if possible
Request
SwitchingDirectOn/OffPower feed from external power goes
to zero
SwitchingDirectInformationalGoing from external power generator
Statusto stored power
Power StateIndirectInformationalPower Current available is reduced
(measured by device sensor)
Power Current available is reduced
(external bus message from external
power unit)
Power StateIndirectPreemptoryExternal bus interface issues power
Commandreset
Power StateIndirectConditionalBroadcast external bus message
Requestrequesting power consumption to be
reduced if possible
Sensor InputsIndirectInformationalHigh Temperature Conditions
StatusLow Temperature Conditions
Overpressure Condition
Underpressure Condition
Sensor InputsIndirectConditionalLocal energy cell reports 50%
Requestavailable capacity
Sensor InputIndirectConditionalLocal energy cell reports fully
Requestcharged
Sensor InputIndirectPreemptoryLocal energy cell reports zero
Commandavailable capacity
Common actuatorIndirectPreemptoryOutflow actuator set to waste gate
stateCommandoutput until needed
Common ActuatorIndirectConditionalInflow closed due to obstruction -
stateRequestreduce operation if needed
Broadcast messagesIndirectPreemptoryRetransmit - last message had an
Commanderror
Broadcast messageIndirectConditionalSelective Rollcall for devices
RequestReport any warning or diagnostic
messages
Report any fault conditions

Exemplary categories of interactions between the various mass flow device embodiments and the external include:

InteractionDescriptionExample
NoneIsolated UnitPredefined On/Off Air Flow
Cycle
ExternalPower Up/DownControlled for specific
Switchedoperating cycle by On/Off
external control flow
IndependentOperates withoutUses own sensors to
outside directiondetermine if mass air flow
of controlsflushing is required
Uses own controllers to
operate simple or complex
cycling of mass air flows
Independent -Operates withSensors shared with other
Indirectindirect sensordevices that trigger mass air
or control flowflows when needed (such as
informationemergency failover)
Triggered by low
temperature sensors that
other devices need
supportive heated air flows
Independent -Operates indepen-Operates independently
Informationaldently butsupplying intake and
provides infor-outflow information to
mation toother devices
other devicesOperates independently
for history,while supplying operating
diagnostics,conditions, sensor readings,
and operationsand diagnostic information
to other devices
FullyControlledUnder control of engine
Integratedcompletely bymanagement, or
SlaveexternalHVAC environmental
management unitcontroller
FullyOperates underCooperating with fuel and
Integratedhighly autonomousenvironmental management
Peermanagement withcontrollers, or |
information andHVAC environmental units
control requestsdistributed in a facility
from other devices

None Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “None” category of interactions may include uses of the high velocity mass flow device for ventilation purposes. For many types of this use, the high velocity mass flow device may be coupled to an inflow and outflow that directs the mass air flow to or from the compartment. Operations run either until stopped by an operator or sensors indicate that the function is complete or needs to be halted for other (such as, for example, diagnostic failure) reasons.

External Switched Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “External Switched” category may include a power up/down interaction where the external power supplied to the unit may be controlled by the external application. A simple application occurs when an “automated warming” or an “automated inflator” function is initiated by an external control application to refresh air in an otherwise overheated passenger compartment. The external controller (such as a climate control module for the passenger compartment) switches the mass flow device by Power Up/Down supplied to the device. Operations may run either until stopped by this external switching or because of other reasons (such as, for example, reaching a pre-set run time or diagnostic failure).

Independent Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “Independent” operation includes an application wherein the mass flow device may be deployed to act as a mass air flow for flushing a specified compartment on a self controlled basis. The device' sensors may act to trigger a control flow that initiates a mass air flow flush (for example, to expel unwanted concentrations of gas or particles). Operations may run until a preprogrammed operating cycle is completed or until other conditions are reached (such as, for example, sensors reporting a clearance state, diagnostic failure, or low power conditions). An example of this embodiment is flushing all of the too warm or too cold air from a vehicular compartment (battery or passenger) on a fixed basis, or to purge accumulated gaseous by-products as part of preset operating profile.

Independent—Indirect Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “Independent—Indirect” operation may include a mass flow device deployed in concert with other devices in an environmental control situation or in an environmental protection role for sensitive equipment (such as, for example, batteries, instrumentation, etc.). Sensors hooked into the communications interface (external) from the device that detect a state that requires the application of a mass air flow are then acted in response by the mass flow device. An example of this sensing state includes the failure of another mass air flow device or a falling temperature. This state sensing then triggers operations of the device to provide a mass air flow (that will act as a heat transfer due to the compressive heating of the creation of the pressurized flow) to support the required environment. Operations may run a condition such as those that show the sensor data is now within control limits without the operation of the embodiment, that the state of power support is inadequate, or until a preprogrammed operating cycle is complete.

Independent—Informational Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “Independent—Informational” application of the mass flow device occurs when the embodiment is in direct control (and possibly in sole interface) to sensors in the air flow path (e.g., intake, and outflow, or, onto other elements of environment hooked to the external data interface) or other data flows in the environment (such as, for example, control states, power information, or operating profiles based on time, events, or sequences). The device is responsible for interpreting and acting upon the received sensor or data flows and conducting operations in response that may be a simple operating cycle, or a complex algorithmic response, or a heuristic control system process. Autonomous operations in response to the sensor or data flows can be monitored, recorded, or relayed to other devices, management reporting systems, maintenance stations, archival recording devices, or other readouts and storage as may be required. Additional control flows, data flows, and sensor relay may occur in addition as in those operating modes where the embodiment acts as a primary management controller in a larger environment. Operations may continue until sensor inputs, operating profiles, local power switching, or other indications cause the embodiment to discontinue operations.

Fully Integrated Slave Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “Fully Integrated Slave” application of the mass flow device occurs when the embodiment is under the direct control of an external management unit that controls the starting and stopping of the unit (with local exceptions in the embodiment to self-management directives), conduct of operations (including application of, for example, preset profiles, operating control strategies, and feedback driven controls), and provide data (such as, for example, diagnostic, sensor, operating, or status information). The external management may be responsible for directly commanding the unit to perform operations (even though it may be acting on sensor information provided by the embodiment or by status information related to the state of power module activity). The operations of the embodiment may continue until the unit completes the commanded operations (that may return it to a specific operating mode, such as continuing to relay sensor data), the embodiment acts under self-management directives (such as, for example, to fault and cease operations in self-protection or due to conditions where damage would result to the embodiment, persons, or surrounding devices), the embodiment is commanded by the external management via a control flow to interrupt operations, or until insufficient power is available to operate.

Fully Integrated Peer Category of Interaction:

An exemplary embodiment of the “Fully Integrated Peer” application of the mass flow device may occur when the embodiment is operating both under the control of an external management controller (in similar fashion to all of the functions described for the “Fully Integrated Slave” category of interaction) while in addition the unit pursues independent operations as previously established for the unit (for example, conducting self-diagnostic checks and “warm up” actions when the embodiment first receives power or has idle functional time). The unit may be responsible for arbitrating both the Requested Functions, Preemptory Commands, and responding to direct and indirect signals and flows (e.g., data, control, or sensor) that may occur. The unit is responsible for maintaining operations under a set of strategies (such as, for example, profiles, operating modes, and information actions such as those found in the “Independent—Informational” interaction category). The complexity of actions of the device in the “Fully Integrated Peer” category of interaction may be determined based on the particular application in which the device may be operating such as, for example, with heuristic, pre-planned, or control-loop response strategies. The functions that provide information to outside devices (directly via the external data and control flows interface or indirectly via sensor information that is shared/relayed/available) may continue as controlled by the embodiment.

The following are exemplary engine and vehicle applications in which the mass flow device may be used and/or incorporated. Exemplary applications include:

I. IC Engine/Fuel Types:

1. Gasoline:

Gasoline engines benefit from reduced pumping losses with positive intake pressure. Active control of intake air pressure optimizes combustion efficiency at varying engine speeds and under wide ranging ambient pressure and temperature conditions.

2. Diesel/Biodiesel:

In addition to benefits for gasoline engines, compression of intake air charge provides heat for starting and running at low ambient temperatures. Active control of intake air pressure and temperature optimizes combustion under various mixes of traditional and bio-derived fuels. On-demand pressurized intake charge reduces particulate (smoke) emissions by optimizing combustion under acceleration.

3. Ethanol:

Active control of intake mass air flow allows for most efficient combustion of pure ethanol or intermediate gasoline/ethanol blends. Heated intake charge aids fuel vaporization for engine operation at low ambient temperatures. Additional mass air flow allows for full combustion of larger volume of ethanol as required to produce equivalent power to gasoline fuels.

4. Natural Gas:

Active control of intake mass air flow allows for precise optimization of lean-burn or stoichiometric combustion of natural gas blends of varying gas compositions. Increased mass air delivery increases maximum power available from natural gas fuels.

5. Hydrogen:

Increased mass air flow to engine allows for complete combustion under stoichiometric conditions requiring significantly more airflow than traditional fuels. Compressed intake flow compensates for volume of combustion chamber displaced by gaseous hydrogen fuel. It has been shown that the stoichiometric or chemically correct A/F ratio for the complete combustion of hydrogen in air is about 34:1 by mass. This means that for complete combustion under normal operating conditions, 34 pounds of air are required for every pound of hydrogen. This is much higher than the 14.7:1 A/F ratio required for gasoline.

Due to hydrogen's low ignition energy limit, igniting hydrogen may be easy and gasoline ignition systems can be used. At very lean A/F ratios (e.g., about 130:1 to about 180:1) the flame velocity may be reduced considerably and the use of a dual spark plug system may be preferred. Also, hydrogen engines are typically designed to use about twice as much air as theoretically required for complete combustion. At this A/F ratio, the formation of NOx may be reduced to near zero. Unfortunately, this also reduces the power out-put to about half that of a similarly sized gasoline engine. To make up for the power loss, hydrogen engines may be larger than gasoline engines, and/or may be equipped with a mass flow device.

6. Hydrogen Fuel-Cell:

In a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle a recognized concern is the ability of the vehicle to operate in cold-weather/ambient conditions. The embodiment of the invention can be applied to the direct realization of these goals. The unique and innovative features of the invention, in these two embodiments, are the provision of a fuel cell warmer that does not depend on electrical resistive heating while providing warm air for other purposes, a fuel cell cooler that also has unique and innovative features, and that the control and management of air moving devices are under the control of an apparatus that can either manage, be managed, or jointly manage the provision of heating and cooling to the fuel cell apparatus. Specifically, the fuel cell warmer uses a compressive heating mechanism, instead of a resistive electrical element, that also can cycle warm air for passenger or cargo comfort. The fuel cell cooler can be more effective with a full integration of the cooling power consumption process with the fuel cell power management control.

II. Power Storage/Hybrid Types:

1. Battery Cell:

Power stored by hybrid vehicle motor/generator is available to maintain sufficient charge in apparatus power storage. Air charge produced by mass airflow device may be used to maintain vehicle batteries at optimal operating temperature. Power supplied by hybrid power storage cells at variable high voltage levels may require voltage regulation, isolation, and conditioning to supply power to airflow apparatus power storage device. Positive pressure mass air flow provides combustion engine with additional torque for acceleration when vehicle battery reserves are depleted or to optimize combustion for recharging process. See FIG. 28.

2. “Plug-In” Hybrid:

Hybrid vehicles operated on electric power to the limits of battery capacity are left without electric motor assist when batteries are depleted. On-demand mass air flow provides for additional engine torque as needed during such periods. See FIG. 29.

3. “Pure” Hybrid:

Hybrid applications in which an internal combustion engine is used only to provide electrical power to motor systems benefit from the ability to closely control operating cycle of engine for maximum efficiency under varying environmental conditions and fuel supplies. See FIG. 30.

While the present invention has been described in connection with the exemplary embodiments of the various Figures, it is not limited thereto and it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications and additions may be made to the described embodiments for performing the same function of the present invention without deviating therefrom. Therefore, the present invention should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather should be construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the appended claims. Also, the appended claims should be construed to include other variants and embodiments of the invention, which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the present invention.