RTX has been granted a patent for an air separation module that separates ambient air into oxygen-enriched and nitrogen-enriched fractions. The module includes a separator, canister, and end cap, with the separator extending between the canister end flange and end. The patent also describes nitrogen generation systems and methods. GlobalData’s report on RTX gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on RTX, photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. RTX's grant share as of September 2023 was 63%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
Air separation module with canister and filter for nitrogen-enriched air
A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11772035B2) describes an air separation module and a nitrogen generation system. The air separation module includes a separator that separates ambient air into an oxygen-enriched air fraction and a nitrogen-enriched air fraction. The module also includes a canister that supports the separator and has an end flange, an intermediate flange, and an end. An end cap is fixed to the canister end flange, and a filter module is connected to the distal end of the end cap. The end cap allows for the filtering of the nitrogen-enriched air fraction from the separator.
The patent also describes an extended-length end cap that is longer than the standard end cap. This extended-length end cap is coupled to the canister intermediate flange and supports a flow control valve. The extended-length end cap fluidly connects the flow control valve to the separator, allowing for the communication of a compressed air flow to the separator. Additionally, the extended-length end cap has a mounting feature for fixation of the air separation module within an aircraft.
The nitrogen generation system, which incorporates the air separation module, includes the extended-length end cap coupled to the canister intermediate flange. It also includes a flow control valve supported by the extended-length end cap, which allows for the issuance of a nitrogen-enriched air flow from the canister. The system further includes a fuel tank that is fluidly coupled to the separator through the flow control valve.
The method of making the air separation module involves defining a canister with an end flange, an intermediate flange, and an end. The separator is then supported within the canister, extending from the end flange to the canister end. An end cap is fixed to the canister end flange, and a filter module is attached to the distal end of the end cap. In some embodiments, an extended-length end cap is fixed to the canister intermediate flange, supporting a flow control valve and allowing for the issuance of a nitrogen-enriched air flow from the canister. The filter module is also fluidly coupled to the separator to provide a compressed air flow.
Overall, this patent describes an air separation module and a nitrogen generation system that utilize a separator, canister, end cap, and filter module to separate ambient air into oxygen-enriched and nitrogen-enriched fractions. The extended-length end cap and flow control valve enhance the functionality of the system, allowing for the issuance of a nitrogen-enriched air flow. This technology has potential applications in aircraft systems and fuel tanks.