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Патент USA US2086455

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July 6, 1937.
Filed Oct. 18, 1954
Dale G.Wilso_T'1 »
b3 Wan/115.45]
Patented My 6, 1931
Dale G. Wilson, Fort Wayne, Ind., assignor to
General Electric Company, a corporation of
New York
Application October 18, i934, ‘Serial No. 748,819
7 Claims. (Cl. 201-62)
My invention relates to electrical regulators vention as enclosed in a casing I which may be
made of any suitable material, such as punched
and more particularly to improvements in re
and folded sheet metal. Mounted within the ,
sistance regulators of the liquid Contact type.
Heretofore electrical regulators of the liquid casing I, in a normally substantially vertical po
sition, is a tubular member 2 which is support
contact vtype have practically all consisted es
ed within an insulating base member 3. The tu
sentially of a variable resistance device compris
ing a resistor element which has variable amounts bular member 2 is preferably, although not neces
thereof short circuited by submerging it in a sarily, cylindrical in shape and it is composed of
liquid conductor. Such regulators may be termed nonmagnetic metal which is preferably of the
type which is ‘not affected by mercury. One such '10
10 displacement type regulators, as the varying sub
mergence of the resistor in the liquid displaces metal is that which is known in the art as Alle
gheny No. 88. Insulating base 3 may be composed
corresponding amounts of the liquid. As distin
guished from this my regulator may be referred to of hard rubber or “Bakelite”; or the like. Set
into the base a normally vertical resistor ele
as a surface-tension type regulator.
ment 4 which is shown by way of example as a 15
In accordance with one embodiment of my in
cylindrical resistance rod which is axially mount
vention, I provide a resistor element with a rela
ed with respect to the tube- 2. Resistor rod 6 may
tively slidable electrical contact brush compris
ing a suitable liquid, such as mercury which is be made of any suitable material, such for ex
maintained in engagement with the resistor by ample as the synthetic resistance material con
of the relatively high surface-tension and taining silicon and carbon and known to-the 20
trade as “Globar”. The bottom end of the re
negative capillary attraction- of the liquid.
By this constructional feature I have produced sistance rod 4 is preferably metal coated, such
a regulator which is simpler, smaller and less as by an iron spray, so as to facilitate making
an electrical contact therewith. This metal coat
expensive than displacement regulators of cor
ing is indicated at '5. Below the rod 6 and in
responding capacity.
An object of my invention is to produce a new
and improved electrical regulator.
Another object of my invention is to provide a
new and improved variable electrical resistance
Another object of my invention is to provide
a new and improved electrical Contact.
A further object of my invention is to provide
a variable electrical resistance device having a
35 liquid surface-tension type Contact brush.
A still further object of my invention is to
provide a novel automatic voltage regulator.‘
My invention will be better understood from
the following description taken in connection
40 with the accompanying drawing and its scope
will be pointed out in the appended claims.
In the drawing, Fig. 1 is a sectional view of
an operative embodiment of my invention; Fig. 2
is a perspective detailed view of a part of Fig. 1;
45 Fig. 3 is a Circuit diagram illustrating an appli
cation of my invention to a voltage regulator for
a two brush automobile battery charging gener
ator; Fig. 4 is a modi?cation of Fig. 3 in which
the regulator is provided with an automatic cur
50 rent limit relay and Fig. 5 is a circuit diagram
illustrating an application of my invention as a
voltage regulator for a third brush automobile
contact with the metal coating 5 is a spacer or
plug member 6 of suitable conducting metal to
which is fastened a binding post ‘I which is in
sulated from the casing i by suitable means.
Surrounding the upper part of the tube 2 is 30
a solenoid operating magnet 8, which is normally
wound of copper wire, and which has connected
in series therewith a compensating resistance 9
having a temperature coe?lclent of resistance op
posite that of the copper so that the tempera
ture coefficient. of resistance of the Circuit in
cluding the coil 8 and the resistance 9 is zero
and is consequently independent of temperature.
This feature of compensating for the temperature ccef?cient of resistance of a copper coil of
a voltage regulator by means of an opposite char
acteristic resistance in series therewith is, how
ever, an old feature and in and of itself, forms
no’part of the present invention. One terminal
of the coil 8 is connected to a suitable binding 45
post, or terminal 10, which is insulated from the
casing -l by suitable means and one terminal of
the resistor 9 is connected to another similar
binding post ll, whereby connections to the op
erating winding 8 of the regulator may be readily 50
Mounted within the tube 2 is a relatively loose
Referring now to the drawing, and more par
ly ?tting steel plunger l2 having an integral bot
tom member I 3 provided. with an opening therein
.55 ticularly to Fig. 1 thereof, I have shown my in
which ?ts loosely around the resistance rod 4.
battery charging generator.
As shown more clearly in Fig. 2, the bottom part
of the plunger i2 is provided with a plurality of
ber of layers of wire and for a plimger of cylin
openings l4 in the form of curved slots.
Spaced within the plunger I2 is a small quan
tity of a suitable relatively high surface-tension
the operating solenoid this uniform pull zone
will correspond approximately to a range of posi
tions of the top of- the plunger l2 from a position 91
electrical conducting liquid, such for example
about four tenths of the way in the solenoid, from
the bottom thereof, ‘to a position about eight
tenths of the way through the solenoid. How
ever, it should be understood that I do not intend
to be limited to any of these shapes or dimensions 10
and that the plunger may be longer or shorter
than the coil and that the thickness or other
dimensions of the plunger shell may be varied or
the core wound with variable depth of turns or
any other expedient known in the art may be 15
used in order to obtain a satisfactory pull curve
which is accurate within the speci?ed limits of
as mercury, which is indicated at l5. Due to
the physical properties of this liquid it does not
run out through the spaces between the bottom
member l3 of the plunger, which serves to sup
port the liquid, and the tube 2 and the rod 4 but
on the contrary it is held inintimate contact
with the tube 2 and the rod 4 by means of its
surface tension. Consequently, this body of mer
cury I5 forms a ring-like or toroidal electrical
brush acting as a bridging electrical contact be
tween the tube 2 and the rod 4.
For making the other electrical connections to
the variable resistance portion of my regulator
I provide a binding post or terminal [6 which is
fastened to a steel plug H which is in electrical
contact with the tube 2.
If desired, a metal washer i8 may be inserted
in the plunger [2 above the liquid I5 so as to
maintain this liquid in place in the event of vio
lent motion or shaking of the plunger l2.
In order to replenish any of the liquid l5 which
may escape from the plunger I2 due to excessive
vibration or violent motion of the plunger i2, or
30 for any other cause, there is provided a reservoir
ll of the same liquid in the bottom of the in
sulating cup 3. Thus with a su?iciently long
downward stroke of the plunger l2 the support
ing member 13 thereof will be submerged below
35 the surface of the reservoir l9 whereby the liq
uid will enter the plunger through the spaces
between the member l3 and—tl'ie tube on the one
hand and the rod 4 on the other. If desired,
a ring-like washer member 20 may be provided
40 on top of the reservoir I9 so as to prevent splashe
ing of the liquid.
The'electric circuit through the variable re
sistance portion of my invention may be traced
from the terminal It to the plug,“ thence down
the metal tube 2 to the outer surface of the mer
cury ring brush‘ l5 then radially inward through
the mercury IE to the resistance rod 4 and
through this rod to the other terminal 1. with
this circuit it will be seen that when the plunger
is drawn up most of the resistance rod 4 is in
the circuit while when the plunger is moved
downwardly the length of the resistance rod 4
which is in the circuit is progressively shortened
whereby the electrical resistance of the path
through the regulator is correspondingly de
creased. When the plunger is at the extreme
bottom portion of its stroke the bodies l5 and
I! of mercury merge thereby in eifect short
circuiting the device and producing a negligible
60 electrical resistance through the device.
. Due to the fact that my regulator is not a
displacement type regulator the net weight of
the plunger is a constant for all positions thereof
except, of course, the extreme lowermost posi
tion when the bottom of the plunger is in the
drical or tubular shape and of the same length as
The natural air piston action between the
plunger l2 and the tube 2 serves as a damping 20
means for the regulator so as normally to pre
vent too violent movement of the plunger l2 and
so as to adapt the regulator to the time constant
of the ?eld circuit of a generator which it may
be used to regulate. It should be understood, 25
however, that other methods of damping already
known in the art may be used if found necessary.
Solenoid magnet 8 may be wound either for
voltage regulator purposes or current regulator
purposes, depending upon how it is intended to 30
use the regulator. If the regulator is to be a
voltage regulator the coil 8 will be wound with
relatively high number of turns of relatively
small wire so as to have a high resistance where
as if it is adapted for current regulations it will 35
be wound with a few turns of relatively heavy
low resistance wire so as to adapt it to carry the
relatively heavy generator current.
In Fig. 3 I have shown my regulator connected
for regulating the voltage of a variable speed two 40
brush generator 2| having a shunt ?eld wind
ing 22.
Generator 2| may, by way of example, be a
battery charging generator provided on an auto
mobile and as shown it is connected, through a 45
schematically represented conventional reverse
current cutout 23, to a storage battery 24 and to
load circuits comprising lamps 2i and a horn 26,
the latter two being controlled respectively by
switches 21 and 28. The terminals I. and II
of the operating solenoid of the regulator are
connected across the terminals of generator 2|
and the resistor terminals ‘I and Ii of the regu-.
lator are connected in series with the shunt ?eld
winding 22 of the generator. With this ar
rangement, any variation in speed of the gen
erator 2|, normally tending to cause a change
in its terminal voltage, will cause corresponding
changes in the energiration of the winding 8 of
the regulator, thereby causing the plunger II to
move up or down, depending upon whether the
voltage change was an increase or decrease, re
spectively, whereby the resistance in the shunt
?eld circuit is increased or decreased, respec
tively, with the result that the voltage of the
mercury I9. Due to this fact it is’necessary to generator is- maintained at a substantially pre
have the range of motion of the plunger take determined normal value, for as is well lmder
place within the so-called uniform pull zone of _ stood by those skilled in the art, an increase in
the actuating magnet 8 in order that the device resistance in the ?eld circuit of a dynamo-elec
will operate satisfactorily as ‘a regulator. By tric machine reduces the voltage thereof, while 70
uniform pull zone is meant the zone wherein a decrease in the resistance of such a circuit tends
fora constant energization of the winding 8 the to increase the voltage thereof.
Fig. 4 differs from Fig. 3 in that in the load
> pull‘ on plunger I2 is constant throughout a
there is provided a
given range of positions. _ For an operating wind- ' circuit of the generator
75 ing which is uniformly wound with an even num
current limit relay 2! having a it of normally 7;
open contacts 30 which, when closed, are con
nected to short circuit a resistance 3| in series
with the operating magnet of the regulator I.
If desired, resistor 3| and compensating resistor
9 may be combined as a unit. The relay 29 may
be so calibrated as to close contacts 30 when the
load on generator 2| tends to exceed a predeter
mined safe value and as soon as this occurs and v
the resistance 3| is short circuited the effect on
‘.0 the regulator l is of a relatively large increase in
voltage due to the fact that the short circuiting
of the resistor 3i tends to increase the current
‘,ow through the winding 8. This causes the
2. In combination, a-pair of spaced substan
tially parallel vertical electrical conductors, a ver
tically movable member loosely ?tted between
said conductors, and a body of electrical conduct
ing liquid carried by said member and engaging
each of said conductors, said liquid having a sur
face-tension sufficiently high to prevent its fall—
ing through the spaces between said member and
said conductors.
3. In combination, a metallic tube, a. rod of 10
electrical resistance material substantially axially
mounted within said tube, a movable circular sup
maximum resistance in the circuit of ?eld wind
,7» ing 22, whereby the voltage of generator 25 is
porting member loosely ?tted between said rod
and tube, and a quantity of relatively high sur
face-tension electrical conducting liquid carried 15
by said supporting member and forming a ring
' reduced to a minimum value.
like electrical conductor between said rod and
regulator plunger to pull up thereby inserting
This obviously
reduces the current output of the generator .2!
and as soon as the current output falls below the
Z0 predetermined maximum safe value the relay 29
again opens its contacts 30. If overload condi
tions still exist on the load circuit of generator 2|
the relay 29 will again close its contacts with the
result that the relay 29 provides a de?nite vi
bratory type current limit for the generator 2!.
With the arrangement shown in Fig. 4 the com
plete operation is such that up to the prede
termined safe value current the voltage of the
4. In combination, a pair of cylindrical elec
trical conductors arranged concentrically in 20
spaced relation, a body of mercury, and means
in spaced relation with said conductors for par
tially enclosing said'body of mercury between
said conductors in such a manner as to maintain
through said mercury.
conductors 25
5. In combination, a normally vertical metallic
cylinder, a rod of electrical resistance material
generator is ‘maintained substantially constant,
substantially axially mounted within said cylin
whereas as soon as the safe value of current is
der, a movable circular supporting member loose 30
ly ?tted between said rod and cylinder, a quantity
of relatively high surface-tension electrical con
exceeded the voltage of the generator is dropped
to its minimum value, whereby the maximum
value current is de?nitely limited to a predeter
mined value.
Fig. 5 di?ers from Fig. 3 only in that the regu
' lator I is used for regulating the voltage of a
third brush type generator 32. In such case, the
terminals 1 and I6 are connected in circuit with
the ?eld winding of the generator 32 and the
operating magnet terminals [0 and II are con
nected across the terminals of the generator 32.
With this arrangement, the regulator regulates
the generated current below the third brush set
ting and the third brush regulates the current to
the value determined by the setting.
While I have shown and described a particu
lar embodiment of my invention, it will be ob
vious to those skilled in the art that changes and
modi?cations may be made without departing
50 from my invention, and I, therefore, aim in the
appended claims to cover all such changes and
modi?cations as fall within the true spirit and
scope of my invention.
'What I claim as new and desire to secure by '
Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. In combination, a length of electrical re
sistance material, a movable member in spaced
relation with said material, a quantity of elec
trical conducting liquid carried by said member
60 and in engagement with said material, said liquid
having a surface-tension su?icient normally to
prevent its running through the space between
ducting liquid carried by said supporting member
and forming a ring-like electrical conductor be
tween said rod and cylinder, and a reservoir of 35
said liquid surrounding the bottom of said rod
and adapted to receive said supporting member
at the bottom limit of its range of motion.
6. In combination, a normally vertical tube of
non-magnetic metal, an electromagnet winding 40
surrounding the upper portion of said tube, a base
of insulating material closing the bottom of said
tube, a rod of electrical resistance material sup
ported by said base and extending into said tube,
a hollow solenoid plunger of magnetic material
loosely ?tted in said tube, said plunger having an
opening in the bottom side thereof which ?ts
loosely around said resistance rod, said plunger
also having openings in its sides’near the lower
end thereof, and a quantity of, mercury in the
bottom of said plunger forming an electrical con
ducting path between said tube and said rod.
'7. In combination, a normally vertical tube of
non-magnetic metal, an electromagnet winding
surrounding the upper portion of said tube, a base
of insulating material closing the bottom of said
tube, a rod of electrical resistance material sup
ported by said base and extending into said tube,
a hollow solenoid plunger of magnetic material
loosely ?tted in said tube, said plunger having an 60
opening in the bottom side thereof which ?ts
loosely around said resistance rod, said plunger
said member and said material, a reservoir of , also having openings in‘ its sides near the lower
said liquid at one end of said material, and means
65 for moving said member along said material in
order to vary the point of contact with said re
sistance, said motion havinga range su?icient to
submerge said support below the surface of said
reservoir of liquid whereby any loss in said quan
70 tity of liquid .will be replenished.
end thereof, a quantity of mercury in the bottom
of said plunger forming an electrical conducting
path between said tube and said rod, and a res
ervoir of mercury surrounding the bottom of said
rod and adapted to receive said plunger.
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