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1. (WO2018007605) VARIABLE SPEED TRANSMISSION AND SYSTEM USING SAME
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CLAIMS:

1. A system (1) comprising:

a constant-speed driver (3);

a rotating load (5) configured to be driven into rotation by the constant-speed driver (3);

a controller (12), for controllably changing a rotation speed of the load (5); a variable speed transmission (11), arranged between the constant-speed driver (3) and the load (5);

wherein the variable speed transmission (11) comprises a speed summing gear arrangement (21) with a first input shaft (23), a second input shaft (25) and an output shaft (27);

wherein the output shaft (27) is drivingly coupled to the rotating load (5);

wherein the first input shaft (23) is drivingly coupled to the constant-speed driver (3); wherein the speed of the output shaft (27) is a function of the speeds of the first input shaft (23) and of the second input shaft (25);

wherein a continuous variable transmission device (43; 143; 243; 343) is mechanically coupled to the constant-speed driver (3) and configured to modify the speed of the second input shaft (25) of the speed summing gear arrangement (21); and

wherein the continuous variable transmission device (43; 143; 243; 343) is functionally coupled to the controller (12), such that the rotation speed of the load drivingly coupled to the output shaft (27) can be modulated, while the rotation speed of the constant-speed driver (3) remains constant.

2. The system (1) of claim 1, wherein the continuous variable transmission device (43; 143; 243; 343) comprises a mover member (61 ; 161 ; 245; 347) and a driven member (63 ; 163; 247; 345); wherein the mover member is mechanically coupled to the constant-speed driver (3), and the driven member is mechanically coupled to the second input shaft (25) of the speed summing gear arrangement (21).

3. The system (1) of claim 2, wherein the driven member is arranged substantially

coaxial to the mover member.

4. The system (1) of claim 2 or 3, wherein the mover member (61; 161 ; 245; 347) and the driven member (63; 163; 247; 345) are configured to transmit a variable torque therebetween, and wherein the speed of the second input shaft (25) is modulated by adjusting the torque transmitted between the mover member and the driven member.

5. The system (1) of one or more of claims 1 to 4, wherein the continuous variable transmission device (43; 343) comprises a magnetic coupling.

6. The system (1) of one or more of claims 1 to 4„ wherein the continuous variable transmission device (243) comprises a hydro viscous driver.

7. The system (1) of one or more of claims 1 to 4„ wherein the continuous variable transmission device (143) comprises: an input traction ring (161) drivingly coupled to the constant-speed driver (3); an output traction ring (163) drivingly coupled to the second input shaft (25) of the speed summing gear arrangement (21); a plurality of traction planets (165), in frictional contact with the input traction ring and the output traction ring; wherein each traction planet is mounted on a planet axle operably configured to provide a tiltable rotation axis for each traction planet.

8. The system (1) of any one of the preceding claims, wherein the speed summing gear arrangement (21) comprises an epicyclic gear train.

9. The system (1) of claim 8, wherein the epicyclic gear train comprises a compound planetary arrangement.

10. The system (1) of one or more of the preceding claims, wherein the continuous variable transmission device can be combined with a fixed-ratio gear train, formed by a plurality of gears or toothed wheels (51 , 52, 53; 45; 41) arranged between the driving shaft (13) and the second input shaft (25) of the speed summing gear arrangement (21).

11. A method for operating a variable-speed rotating load (5), comprising the following steps:

driving the rotating load (5) with a constant-speed driver (3) through a speed

summing gear arrangement (21) comprised of a first input shaft (23), a second input shaft (25) and an output shaft (27);

wherein the first input shaft (23) is drivingly coupled to the constant-speed driver (3), the output shaft is drivingly coupled to the load; and

the speed of the output shaft (27) is a function of the speeds of the first input shaft (23) and of second input shaft (25) varying the speed of the rotating load (5) by transmitting a fraction of power from the constant-speed driver (3) through a continuous variable transmission device (43; 143; 243; 343) mechanically coupled to the constant-speed driver and to the second input shaft of the speed summing gear arrangement.

12. The method of claim 1 1, wherein the continuous variable transmission device (43; 143; 243; 343) comprises one of a magnetic coupling, a hydro viscous driver, a combination of an input traction ring, an output traction ring and a plurality of traction planets therebetween, in frictional contact with the input traction ring and the output traction ring.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the continuous variable transmission device comprises a mover member (61 ; 161 ; 245; 347) and a driven member (63; 163; 247; 345); wherein the mover member is mechanically coupled to the constant-speed driver (3), and the driven member is mechanically coupled to the second input shaft (25) of the speed summing gear arrangement (21); and wherein the step of varying the speed of the rotating load (5) comprises the step of vary a torque transmitted between the mover member and the driven member, whereby the speed of the second input shaft is modulated.