Woodward has been granted a patent for a gas mixer that includes a convergent-divergent nozzle, an air housing, a gas housing, and a gas nozzle. The gas mixer is designed to supply a secondary gas to the first gas flow path upstream of the divergent portion of the nozzle. The gas housing includes a flapper valve that can control the flow of gas through different gas inlets. GlobalData’s report on Woodward gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s company profile on Woodward, photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Woodward's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
A gas mixer with convergent-divergent nozzle and flapper valve
A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11686278B2) describes a gas mixer and an engine system incorporating this gas mixer. The gas mixer includes a convergent-divergent nozzle, an air housing, and a gas housing. The convergent-divergent nozzle has a convergent portion and a divergent portion, and it defines a first gas flow path. The air housing has an air inlet that supplies air to the first gas flow path upstream of the nozzle. The gas housing defines a second gas flow path and includes a first gas inlet and a second gas inlet. A flapper valve is also part of the gas housing and has a pivoting valve body. The valve body can be urged into a first configuration by gas pressure from the first gas inlet, allowing gas flow along the first gas inlet and blocking gas flow along the second gas inlet. Conversely, the valve body can be urged into a second configuration by gas pressure from the second gas inlet, allowing gas flow along the second gas inlet and blocking gas flow along the first gas inlet. Additionally, a gas nozzle is positioned parallel to and centrally within the first gas flow path in the convergent portion of the nozzle, supplying a secondary gas to the first gas flow path upstream of the divergent portion.
The engine system described in the patent includes an intake manifold, a throttle, an exhaust manifold, and the gas mixer. The gas mixer is positioned downstream of the throttle and upstream of the intake manifold. It has the same components as the gas mixer described above. The first gas inlet of the gas mixer receives a secondary gas from the first exhaust gas sub-manifold, while the second gas inlet receives a secondary gas from the second exhaust gas sub-manifold. The engine system may also include a compressor upstream of the throttle to increase the pressure within the first gas flow path and a turbine downstream of the exhaust manifold, coupled to the compressor, to rotate the compressor. An exhaust gas cooler may be positioned between the exhaust manifold and the gas mixer to lower the temperature of the exhaust gas. Furthermore, a fuel inlet coupled to the gas mixer supplies fuel into the second gas flow path upstream of the gas nozzle.
This patented gas mixer and engine system aim to improve the efficiency and performance of engines by optimizing the mixing of gases. By controlling the flow of secondary gases from different cylinders of the engine, the gas mixer ensures an appropriate mixture for combustion. The inclusion of a flapper valve prevents backflow and allows for efficient gas flow. The positioning of the gas nozzle within the convergent portion of the nozzle enhances the mixing process. Overall, this technology has the potential to enhance the performance and efficiency of engines, leading to improved fuel consumption and reduced emissions.