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1. WO1987003651 - INTERMITTENT SERVICE SCREW COMPRESSOR

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INTERMITTENT SERVICE SCREW COMPRESSOR.

V- The present invention relates to a screw compressor for intermittent operation which comprises a compressor housing having a casing wall which encloses at least two compression chambers which partially overlap one another in a ra- 5 dial direction and each of which accommodates a screw rotor and is closed at the ends by a high-pressure end wall and a low-pressure end wall.
A compressor of this kind can be used conveniently for
maintaining the level of pressure in the pneumatic brake
10 system of an automotive vehicle. The compressor is normally activated, or engaged, via a coupling when the engine of
the vehicle is started, and is de-activated or disengaged
through the coupling subsequent to reaching the intended
pressure in the. brake system. The compressor is re-engaged

15 when the need arises, i.e. when the pressure has fallen to a given level. The coupling required herefor is both relatively expensive and bulky, and can be omitted in those
instances when the compressor is driven by a separate motor, such as an electric motor, capable of being started
20 and stopped in a corresponding manner. This latter solution is not an ideal solution, however, and consequently there
is a need for improvement' in this regard.
The object of the present invention is to provide a
compressor which is particularly suited to intermittent
25 operation and which is not encumbered with the aforesaid
drawbacks .
This object is achieved with a compressor constructed in accordance with the invention and having the characterizing features set forth in the following claims.

By enabling the whole of the wall plate of the high-pressure end wall located adjacent the rotor ends to be displaced axially through a short distance and therewith open, or unseal, the compression chambers, the air flowing through the compressor is recycled to the inlet side thereof practically without loss, i.e. the compressor is driven in a fully unloaded or inactive state until it needs to be re-engaged. Re-engagement of the compressor is effected by returning the wall plate of said high-pressure end wall to its chamber sealing position, this resetting of the wall plate preferably being achieved in a controlled manner, so as to initiate production of compressed air smoothly and evenly. The wall plate can be operated readily by means of an auxiliary piston device arranged in a cylinder chamber in the high-pressure end wall and connected to said wall plate. This arrangement solely requires a pressure fluid connection, and thus obviates the need for mechanical operating devices with associated lead-through bushings in the high-pressure end wall plate.
If the rbtor bearings are positioned solely at the low-pressure end of the compressor, the ends of the rotors adjacent the high-pressure end thereof may be completely flat, thereby enabling the wall plate to be imperforate and also totally flat.
Since the compressor of this kind normally incorporates an oil injection facility, there is provided in accordance with one advantageous embodiment of the invention a valve arrangement which is constructed to curtail the inflow of oil, or alternatively to cut-off the oil supply completely, when the wall plate occupies its axially withdrawn or retracted position, corresponding to the inactive state of the compressor, since with the wall plate in this position it is not necessary to cbol and seal the compression chambers . Neither is there any real need for lubrication when the compressor is in its inactive state.

The invention will now be described in more detail with reference to an exemplifying embodiment thereof illustrated in the accompanying schematic drawings, in which
- Figure 1 is a longitudinal sectioned view of a compres- sor constructed in accordance with the invention, and

- Figure 2 is a sectional view taken on the line II-II in Figure 1.
The illustrative compressor of this embodiment has a housing 1 which comprises a casing wall 2, a low-pressure end wall 3, and a high-pressure end wall 4. The casing wall 2 encloses two radially overlapping compression chambers 5, 6, each of which accommodates a respective rotor 7 and 8, said rotors having provided thereon mutually engaging helical lands and grooves . In the illustrative embodiment the rotors 7, 8 have shafts 9, 10 which are of large diameter and which are journalled in bearings 11 located in an axial extension of the low-pressure end wall 3.
The illustrated compressor also incorporates an inlet channel, indicated in Figure 1 with the- chain line 12, located in the upper part (not shown) of the casing wall 2, and an outlet channel which is located in the lower part of the casing wall 2 and the high-pressure end wall 4, and which is indicated by the chain line 13 in Figure 1.
The high-pressure end wall comprises two parts, namely a first part in the form of a flat, imperforate end wall plate 14 which in the active compression state of the compressor lies sealingly against a planar end-surface of the casing wall 2 and also against the planar end surfaces of the rotors 7, 8, and a second part in the form of a cap-like device 15 which is firmly attached to a flanged portion of the end-surface of said casing wall 2.
The cap-like device 15 and the wall plate 14 present between mutually opposing surfaces thereof a space 16 into which the wall plate 14 can be withdrawn in the axial di-rection of the compressor, against the action of two springs 17. Movement of the wall plate 14 is effected by means of a piston device 19 which is connected to the wall plate through a rod 20 and which is ovably arranged in a cylinder chamber 18 incorporated in the cap-lika device 15. The wall plate 14 is withdrawn, or retracted, from the position shown in Figure 1 , by supplying pressure fluid to the chamber 18, through a channel 21.
When the plate is moved away from its illustrative position, the space 16 and the high-pressure end of the comp-ression chambers 5, 6 are placed in communication with the compressor inlet 12, via a channel 12', so that the air flowing through the rotor grooves is recycled to the inlet 12, i.e. the compressor is inactive and has no load thereon.
The illustrative compressor is of the kind in which oil is injected into the compression chambers, for the purpose of cooling, lubricating, and sealing the compressor. Accordingly, an oil supply channel 22 and a plurality of oil injection ports 23 are provided in the casing, wall 2..
Since there is no need* to inject oil into the compressor when it is inactive, i.e. without load, there is provided in the casing wall a bore 25 which intersects the oil supply channel 22 and which accommodates a valve body 24 operative in interrupting the flow of oil, either fully or par-tially, when the compressor is inactive. In the illustrated loaded state of the compressor, the valve body is held inserted in the bore 25 by the wall plate 14, against the action of a spring 26, so that a hole or recess provided in the valve body 24 is located in the channel 22 and permits oil to pass therethrough.
On the other hand, when no load is placed on the compressor the wall plate 14 is withdrawn slightly into the space 16, such as to enable the valve body 24 to be moved outwardly by the spring 26 and close the oil supply channel 22 fully, or almost fully. Thus, no oil, or substantially no oil, will be injected into the compressor until a load is again placed therein.
It will be understood that the invention is not restricted to the described and illustrated embodiment and that modifications can be made within the scope of the invention defined in the following claims. For example, the rotors may be journalled at both ends thereof, although this would add the complication of needing to provide the plate wall 14 with sealed apertures for accommodating the rotor shafts.