Vermont Patent of the Month – January 2024

When it comes to turbomachinery, Concepts NREC LLC is the only company in the world with expertise and in-house capabilities that span the entire process – from conceptual design through manufacturing, testing, and installation. With expertise like this, it is no surprise to see the company has been granted a patent for their decoupled collector technology.

A compressor turbomachine is designed to impart energy to a working fluid with a rotating impeller. The higher energy fluid typically flows from the impeller into a collector. The working fluid is then typically directed to a pipe or duct via the outlet flange of the vessel.

At the heart of this new design is an intricate impeller, boasting a hub with a plurality of blades and shafts extending from opposing sides. This impeller, securely cradled within a robust frame, is a testament to precision engineering. What sets this invention apart is the ingenious integration of a collector—fluidly connected to the impeller—to efficiently gather and manage the discharged air.

In a departure from conventional designs, Concepts NREC introduces a distinctive feature—a pair of shrouds flanking the impeller blades. These shrouds, coupled to the frame, possess the remarkable ability to move in a first direction, allowing for precise control over the volume of air transferred from the impeller to the collector. This dynamic adjustment capability opens new avenues for optimizing performance in various operational scenarios.

Crucially, the collector is a standalone entity, mechanically decoupled from the impeller. This novel approach minimizes the transfer of both mechanical and thermal energy between the collector and the impeller. The frame plays a pivotal role in supporting the collector independently, laying the foundation for enhanced operational efficiency and longevity.

Concepts NREC introduces an element of resilience into the design by incorporating vibration-damping resilient material between the collector and the frame. This strategic integration ensures stability and durability, addressing potential challenges associated with mechanical vibrations.

The asymmetric shape of the collector, with a rotational axis offset from its centerline, further underscores the inventive nature of this turbomachine. This deliberate design choice optimizes the working fluid flow, directing it in a controlled manner for superior performance.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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