Stationary Armature Generator

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US Patent # 3,879,622

Permanent Magnet Motion Conversion Device

( 1975-04-22 )


Classification: - international: H02K53/00; H02K53/00; (IPC1-7): H02K7/06;- european: H02K53/00

Abstract --- A permanent magnet motor in one embodiment utilizes a spring-biased reciprocating magnetizable member positioned between two permanent magnets. Magnetic shields in the form of rotatable shutters are located between each permanent magnet and the reciprocating member to alternately shield and expose the member to the magnetic field thereby producing reciprocating motion. A second embodiment utilizes a pair of reciprocating spring-biased permanent magnets with adjacent like magnetic poles separated by a magnetic shield which alternately exposes and shields the like poles from the repelling forces of their magnetic fields.

Background of the Invention

This invention relates to the use of energy stored in the fields of permanent magnets. This energy is utilized in prime movers capab le of producing work without the addition of energy from an outside source.

The world is now confronted with a crisis brought about by a shortage of sources of energy. People everywhere are being asked to conserve energy in every possible way. And scientists are seeking diligently for new sources of energy and for ways to utilize conventional sources more efficiently.

Electromagnetic energy is known and employed throughout the world in countless applications. Permanent magnets have played a large part in the development and utilization of electromagnetic energy, but no significant use as a primary energy source has ever been made of the potential energy which exists in the field of a permanent magnet. It is an object of this invention to provide a permanent magnet motor which produces reciprocating motion. The reciprocating motion thus produced may be converted to rotary motion by conventional mechanisms as desired.

Summary of the Invention

The invention utilizes the attraction and repulsion properties of the magnetic fields of permanent magnets to produce reciprocating motion in a member of magnetizable material. A first embodiment of the invention employs a pair of permanent magnets positioned in spaced relationship along a common axis. A spring-biased magnetizable member is mounted along the common axis between the permanent magnets. A rotatable shutter of magnetic shielding material is mounted between the spring-biased magnetizable member and each permanent magnet. When the shutters are rotated to expose and shield, in alternate sequence, the magnetizable member from the magnetic fields of the permanent magnets, the magnetizable member is caused to reciprocate along the common axis between the permanent magnets. The reciprocating motion o the member can be converted to useful work by conventional mechanisms.

A second embodiment utilizes a pair of permanent magnets mounted for reciprocating movement along a common axis. The magnets are spring-biased in adjacent positions with like magnetic poles facing each other A magnetic shielding shutter is moved in and out from between the facing magnetic poles to cause the permanent magnets to repel each other against the spring action to produce reciprocating motion.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 is a diagrammatic view of one embodiment of a permanent magnet motor constructed in accordance with the invention;

Figure 2 is a plan view of one of the rotary shutters used as a magnetic shield in the device of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a diagrammatic view of a second embodiment of the invention with the magnetic shield in position; and

Figure 4 is a diagrammatic view of the device of Figure 3 with the magnetic shield removed from between the permanent magnets.

Description of the Preferred Embodiments

The invention will be understood more readily by referring to Figure 1 which is a diagrammatic view of a first form of the invention which may utilize either the attraction or repulsion of magnetic fields to produce reciprocating motion in a prime mover device. A pair of permanent magnets 1 and 3 are positioned in spaced relationship to each other with a magnetizable member 5 located therebetween. The member 5 is shown with arms 7 and 9 connected thereto. Arm 7 is also connected to driving link 11 which is provided to convert the reciprocating motion of member 5 to rotary motion by means of eccentric connection to circular member 13.

The member 5 is spring-biased in the position shown by means o springs 15, 17, 19, and 21. Biasing links 23 and 25 connect arms 7 and 9 to the spring members.

A pair of rotatable shutter members 27 and 29 are mounted on shaft 31 which is concentric with the common axis of permanent magnets 1 and 3 and magnetizable member 5. Shaft 31 is driven by a suitable device such as motor 33 shown.

Figure 2 is a plan view of rotatable shutter 27 show in Figure 1. The shutter 27 comprises cutout portions 35 and 37 and portions 39 and 41 of magnetic shielding material. The positions of the magnetic shielding portions of shutters 27 and 29 are displaced 90 degrees in rotation from each other so that when shutter 27 exposes the pole pieces of permanent magnet 1, shutter 29 is shielding the pole pieces of permanent magnet 3.

In operation the motor 33 turns shaft 31 and the rotatable shutters 27 and 29 attached thereto. As the pole pieces of one of the permanent magnets are exposed, magnetizable member 5 is attracted thereto, since at the same time the pole pieces of the other permanent magnet will be shielded. As the shutter continues rotation the pole pieces of each magnet will be alternately exposed and shielded causing magnetizable member 5 to reciprocate back and forth between the permanent magnets with assistance from the biasing springs, one pair of which will be compressed while the other air is tensioned. The circular wheel 13 serves as a power take-off means and converts the reciprocating motion of magnetizable member 5 to circular motion for shaft rotation.

An alternative arrangement could be achieved in the device of Figure 1 by substituting a permanent for the magnetizable member 5. In this case the magnet would have to be oriented so that like magnetic poles were always adjacent each other. The device would operate by the repulsion properties of like magnetic poles with the reciprocating member 5 being repelled by magnetic forces as the rotatable shutter uncovered the pole pieces.

Figures 3 and 4 illustrate a second embodiment o the invention employing the property of magnetic repulsion. A pair of permanent magnets 45 and 47 are positioned in tubular members 49 and 51. Springs 53 and 55 bias permanent magnets 45 and 47 in position so that like magnetic poles are adjacent. A magnetic shutter member 57 separates permanent magnets 45 and 47 when they are in their fully-biased position.

When the magnetic shutter member 57, which acts as a magnetic shield between permanent magnets 45 and 47, is removed, as shown in Figure 4, the magnets 45 and 47 repel each other and compress springs 53 and 55. When the shutter member 57 is again placed between magnets 45 and 46, the compressed springs 53 and 55 force magnets 45 and 47 back into the position shown in Figure 3. Periodic action of shutter member 57 will produce a periodic reciprocating motion which may be converted to useful rotary motion by circular wheels 59 and 61. The shutter 57 may be mounted for rotary motion in a fashion similar to shutters 27 and 29 of Figure 1.

What is claimed is: --- [Claims not included here ]

US Patent # 4,567,407

Biased Unitized Motor Alternator with Stationary Armature and Field

( January 28, 1986 )

John W. Ecklin

Abstract --- A unitized (single unit) motor and flux switch alternator having stationary field, armature and motor windings which provides a magnetic path for some of the motor input power to feed through and increase the alternating current (AC) generator output. A rotor formed from a material having a high magnetic permeability (solid or laminated soft steel) is controlled in speed by controlling the magnitude and timing of the pulsed direct current (DC) supplied to the motor windings which may be wound on the stationary legs or the rotor. The current flow in the motor windings can be controlled by a mechanical commutator if the motor windings are on the rotor or by a solid-state converter if the motor windings are on the legs in a manner normally associated with brushless DC motors. The DC windings of the flux switch alternator can be replaced by permanent magnets since the reversing field in the AC output windings are predominantly time stationary.

Current U.S. Class:  318/140 ; 310/113; 310/155; 318/138; 318/149; 318/153

Current International Class:  H02P 25/30 (20060101); H02K 47/00 (20060101); H02K 47/04 (20060101); H02P 25/16 (20060101)

Field of Search:  318/140,141,142,144,148,149,151,152,153,138 310/159,12R,103,113,158,159,152,154,156,168,171,177,179,46,181,155 322/39,90,100,13

References Cited: U.S. Patent Documents

1730340  October 1929  Smith // 2217499  October 1940  Smith // 2279690  April 1942  Lindsey // 2505130  April 1950  Maynard // 2520828  August 1950  Bertschi //
2732509  January 1956  Hammerstrom et al. // 2816240  December 1957  Zimmer // 3009092  November 1961  Carmichael // 3010040  November 1961  Braun // 3253170  May 1966  Philips et al. // 3346749  October 1967  Shafranek // 3512026  May 1970  Tiltins // 3518473  June 1970  Nordebo // 3569804  March 1971  Studer // 3577002  May 1971  Hall // 3588559  June 1971  Fono // 3594595  June 1971  Frederic et al. // 3641376  February 1972  Livingston // 3879622  April 1975  Ecklin // 3953753  April 1976  Barrett // 3967200  June 1976  Tetsugu et al. // 4053801  October 1977  Ray et al. // 4138629  February 1979  Miller et al. // 4237395  December 1980  Loudermilk // 4259604  March 1981  Aoki // 4297604  October 1981  Tawse //



Inductor alternators were as popular and efficient as any generator before 1900. They had no brushes for high reliability but they were slightly larger than other generators and output unidirectional pulses. As a result they lost out to other generators except in special applications. Later the flux switch alternator replaced the inductor alternator as the flux switch alternator outputs AC and since all AC coils and DC coils were used twice as much, the flux switch alternator output four times more than inductor alternator, all else being equal.

Simple inductor alternators had four legs with AC and DC coils wound on each leg and a four lobed steel rotor. The flux switch alternator simply wound these same coils between the four legs instead of on the legs and cut two opposite lobes from the steel rotor. Since only steel rotates with a conservative force, what could require four times more input torque to the flux switch alternator?

Because of sags, glitches, brownouts, blackouts and other surprises from electric power systems many large electronic systems including computers now use a motorgenerator (M-G) for back-up or emergency power. Few motors or generators are individually over 95 per cent efficient so when their shafts are mechanically coupled, the overall efficiency of an M-G with separate motors and generators is seldom over 90 percent efficient.

It is commonplace to teach the output of a generator is equal to the mechanical input power minus the losses. It is also known from Lenz's law (but seldom taught) a generator that is 95 percent efficient consumes 95 percent of the input to overcome torque due to internal forces and 5 percent goes to losses. The rotors of most of today's generators are repelled as they approach a stator and are attracted back by the stator as soon as the rotor passes the stator in accordance with Lenz's law. Thus, most rotors face constant nonconservative work forces and therefore, present generators require constant input torque.

Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide a more compact motor generator.

It is also an objective of this invention to bias all steel above ground by attaching this steel to the positive terminal of a power supply or battery and grounding the negative terminal to bleed off or gound most free electrons to decrease losses from unwanted induced currents. This will also decrease losses in any other motor, generator or transformer with armatures.

It is further an objective of this invention to make a more compact and far more efficient motor generator by unitization.

It is yet another objective of this invention to take advantage of a conservative no work force demonstrated by a simple damped oscillator consisting of a steel ball bearing released off center on a button permanent magnet with magnetic poles on the flat surfaces.

According to this invention, the legs or the rotor of a flux switch alternator are provided with motor windings. The steel rotor of the unitized flux switch alternator actually aids the input torgue for half of each rotation as the rotor is always attracted and never repelled. This construction makes it possible for some of the current or power fed to the motor windings to magnetically feed through a solid magnetic path to the AC output windings which does not occur in today's M-Gs as they are only mechanically coupled by their shafts and have no common magnetic path to share.

From basic electronic technology we learn a charged condensor has few free or conduction electrons on the positive plate and an excess of free electrons on the negative or grounded plate. Since steel armatures are conductors, there has been considerable effort expended in materials research to increase resistance to conduction electrons in armature materials to thereby reduce hysteresis and eddy current damping losses. Another more common approach is to laminate or powder these armatures. Accordingly, a further feature of the invention, the reduction in hysteresis and eddy current damping losses.

This invention provides a biased and unitized M-G which is smaller, has less loss, and is more efficient than present units.

Since the steel rotor is always attracted to the strongest magnetic field regardless of it's polarity, steel gets a conservative force or is accelerated to a leg and slowed down or decelerated by the magnetic field set up in the legs by the DC coils or permanent magnets of the flux switch alternator. Moreover, because the flux induced into the two lobed rotor by the stationary source of field flux exhibits no reluctance change as rotation takes place, there is an essentially lossless transfer.

Well established mechanical or solid-state commutator technology allows the pulsing or energizing of the motor coils (whether stationary on the legs or on the rotor) to selectively provide given magnetic polarities when the rotor gets within 30 degrees of any leg in the direction of motion of the rotor and to deenergize these pulses 10 degrees or so before the rotor gets to a leg to take advantage of a large collapsing field.


In accordance with a principle of this invention, a unitized flux switch alternator is provided whose stationary field of flux is established by DC coils or permanent magnets.

In accordance with another principle of this invention, a solid or laminated steel rotor is turned and timed by pulses of current fed to either stationary motor coils on the legs or to a winding on the rotor to increase given magnetic polarities using standard commutating procedures. This pulsed polarized magnetic motor flux feeds through to the AC output coils providing a fatter appearing sine wave for an increased output power.

It will also be appreciated from the foregoing description that the invention is electrically, magnetically and mechanically inexpensive and uncomplicated using only well known and fully developed technologies.


The foregoing objects and other attendant advantages and features of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a magnetic circuit diagram illustrating the basic embodiment of the invention of how steel moves with conservative forces in a magnet's field,

FIG. 2 is a simple prior art inductor alternator,

FIG. 3 is a simple prior art flux switch alternator using permanent magnets and demonstrating how magnetic flux is reversed in the AC coils by turning the steel rotor,

FIG. 4 is an end view of the unitized, motor generator incorporating the present invention,

FIG. 5 illustrates a rotor for a 6 pole unitized MG, and

FIG. 6 illustrates a modification wherein the DC motor windings are on the armature pole pieces.


FIG. 1 is a magnetic circuit diagram which is useful for illustrating a basic aspect of the invention. A steel ball 19 is set on either the North or South pole of a button magnet 20 which, in turn, is positioned on a steel sheet 23. Magnet 20 might be one half inch in diameter by three sixteenths of an inch thick in which case steel ball member 19 should be five sixteenths of an inch in diameter. When steel ball 19 is pushed to the edge of button magnet 20 and released under the influence of the magnetic field, it has a damped oscillation. If all losses could be overcome, the excursion of steel ball 19 would be constant and in either case demonstrates a conservative no work force.

FIG. 2 is a prior art inductor alternator and is shown because such sketches are now difficult to locate and also to observe the similarity of the motion of the steel rotor 13 and 19 in FIG. 1. Stator 10 is provided with pole pieces 11 corresponding in number to the teeth projections 12 on toothed iron rotor 13. Primary winding 14 on pole pieces 11 are energized through rheostat 15 from battery 16 and the AC output to a load 17 are taken from secondary winding 9.

FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) are of a flux switch alternator. These sketches show the rotor 5' in two positions. Stator 40 includes a pair of permanent magnets 41 and 42 and a flux guiding structure 43 having pole pieces 44-1, 44-2, 44-3 and 44-4 and windings 45 and 46 on legs 47 and 48. The flux reversal through the AC windings 45 and 46 is demonstrated by rotation of rotor 5'. Also it can be seen that two rotations of rotor 5' will produce four sine waves. To get 60 cycles (hertz) per second out, rotor 5' is rotated at 1800 revolutions per minute (RPM) with a double lobed rotor. Using a six lobed rotor 5", as illustrated in FIG. 5, the speed of rotation can be reduced to 600 RPM for 60 cycle (Hz) AC out. Similar strategies can be used to generate three phase AC. Since rotors 5' turn with a conservative force, it is obvious it should be embedded in magnetically transparent material MT to make it a better flywheel and a smooth surface to reduce windage losses. In FIGS. 2 and 3(a) and 3(b), a separate drive means coupled to the shafts S of rotors 13, 5 and 5' produce the motive force on the rotors.

In FIG. 4, stator 70 exemplarily includes four poles 71-1N, 71-2S, 71-3S and 71-4N and connecting sections 72-1, 72-2, 72-3 and 72-4 on which are located the DC coils 75 and the AC output coils 74, AC output coils 74-1 and 74-3 being wound on stator connecting portions 72-1 and 72-3, respectively, and DC coils or windings 75-2 and 75-4 being wound on stator connecting portions 72-2 and 72-4, respectively. These DC windings on the stator connecting portions are energized from a DC source, such as a battery. Prior art solid-state commutator controls such as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,569,804 or other DC brushless motor controls may be used when the DC motor coils are on the legs or pole pieces 1, 2, 3 and 4 as in FIG. 6. The rotor 80 is on shaft 81 journeled at it's ends for free rotation, or if vertically oriented, on magnetic bearings to eliminate further friction losses. DC windings 75 and the AC output windings 74 can overlap, and in fact be bifilar wound. As noted above, well established mechanical or solid state commutator technology allows the pulsing or energizing of the motor coils (whether stationary on the stator legs as shown in FIG. 6 or on the rotor as shown in FIG. 4) to selectively provide given magnetic polarities when the rotor gets within 30 degrees of any leg in the direction of motion of the rotor and to deenergize these pulses 10 degrees or so before the rotor gets to a leg. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, brushes B1 and B2 are engaged by commutator segments C1 and C2, respectively, when the rotor is within 30 degrees of leg 2 and 4 of the stator 82 and leave these commutator segments at about 10 degrees before the rotor gets to those legs.

Exemplary dimensions of the four legged stator 70 are 12 inches in diameter by one inch thick and wide, as are the pole pieces 71.

A battery 90 is shown for bias in FIG. 4 however, a positive lead to a DC coil can be attached to the stator in the case where permanent magnets are not used instead of the DC coils.

It will be appreciated that not only does some of the power to the motor coils 82 feed through to the AC output coils 74-1 and 74-3 but the only power required to the motor coils 82 would be that needed in a structure corresponding to FIG. 1 to keep the ball at a constant excursion or the rotor 80 at a constant speed. Also since the power to the DC coils 75-2 and 75-4 saturates the stator 70 when the rotor is between two legs (71-1N and 71-3S or 71-2S and 72-4N) much less motor power is required (as in a variable flux path magnetic amplifier) using a mechanical commutator and winding the DC motor coils 82 on rotor 80. Very little change is required to the input torque as the electrical load on the alternator varies. Magnetic lines of force always tend to shorten their path so they not only take the easiest path, they make the shortest magnetic path. See FIG. 1.

As noted above, the direction of the current fed to the motor coils can be controlled by a mechanical commutator to give the tips of the rotor the opposite magnetic polarity to that of the legs the rotor tips approach.

As shown in FIG. 6, instead of placing the DC motor windings on the rotor as shown in FIG. 5, the motor windings 82 can be on the pole pieces, such as 71-1N of FIG. 6.

By unitizing we not only get rid of an external motor but some of the pulsed power fed to the motor coils will feed through to the AC coils and generate more output. Pulse or energize the motor coils to increase given magnetic polarities when the rotor gets within 30 degrees or so of any leg in the direction of motion and deenergize 10 degrees before 80 gets to a leg to take advantage of a large collapsing field.

Stator losses are caused by current flow either hysteresis or eddy current damping. By biasing stator at a positive voltage most free or conduction electrons are grounded reducing these losses to almost zero. The stator are similar to the electron starved plate of a charged condensor. Biasing works better than laminated or powdered stator to reduce these losses in conductors.

Except for space applications it is more efficient to use brushes and wind the motor coils on the rotor. Since the DC coils should saturate the armature when the rotor is between two legs it takes much more energy to motor coils on the legs compared to rotor.

Motor windings can be applied to the flux switch alternator of FIG. 3a and FIG. 3b incorporating the permanent magnets.

While illustrative forms of the system in accordance with the present invention have been described, it will be understood that numerous changes may be made without departing from the principles and scope of this invention.

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