Woodward has been granted a patent for a fuel injector that operates with combustible gas. The injector includes multiple nozzle valve elements controlled by a hydraulic piston control assembly and a 3/2-way valve. The valve allows for the control of hydraulic pressure in the control chambers of the piston assembly, enabling precise control of the nozzle valve elements’ stroke. GlobalData’s report on Woodward gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Woodward, photovoltaic drones was a key innovation area identified from patents. Woodward's grant share as of September 2023 was 60%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Fuel injector for controlling combustible-gas nozzle valve elements

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Woodward Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11767815B2) describes a fuel injector for combustible gas. The fuel injector includes multiple combustible-gas nozzle valve elements, each consisting of a piston section and a hydraulic piston control assembly. The hydraulic piston control assembly comprises two control chambers, an opening-pressure control chamber, and a closing-pressure control chamber, which are separated by the piston section. The volumes of these control chambers are variable, allowing for stroke control of the combustible-gas nozzle valve element.

The fuel injector also features a 3/2-way valve that controls the pressures in the opening-pressure control chamber and the closing-pressure control chamber of each combustible-gas nozzle valve element. In the first configuration, the 3/2-way valve connects the opening-pressure control chamber to a control fluid source and the closing-pressure control chamber to a fluid outflow. In the second configuration, it reverses the connections, connecting the opening-pressure control chamber to the fluid outflow and the closing-pressure control chamber to the control fluid source.

The patent further describes the configuration of the closing-pressure control chamber to exert a closing force on the combustible-gas nozzle valve element under a hydraulic load, while the opening-pressure control chamber exerts an opening force on the valve element. The fuel injector maintains a first uniform hydraulic pressure level in the opening-pressure control chambers and controls a second uniform hydraulic pressure level in the closing-pressure control chambers using the 3/2-way valve.

Additionally, the patent discusses the communication between the opening-pressure control chambers and the closing-pressure control chambers. They can be connected in tandem through a flow path or flow connection, which is connected to the 3/2-way valve. The flow path can form a ring line or a star line, providing fluidic communication between the chambers.

The fuel injector can be used in a dual-fuel injector system and can be arranged in an evenly distributed circumferential arrangement around the injector. The patent also mentions the use of multiple 3/2-way valves, combustible-gas nozzle valve elements, and a separate control fluid supply device to control the strokes of the valve elements in tandem.

Furthermore, the patent describes an internal combustion engine that incorporates these fuel injectors for combustible gas. The engine includes multiple fuel injectors, each with a piston section and a hydraulic piston control assembly, as well as a 3/2-way valve to control the pressure in the control chambers.

Overall, this patent presents a fuel injector design that allows for precise control of combustible gas injection in internal combustion engines, offering potential improvements in engine performance and efficiency.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.