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CHIP DETECTOR SWITCH WITH CLEANING MEANS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235915D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-28
Document File: 5 page(s) / 60K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention proposes a technique to clean chips in the gearbox of an engine or a wind turbine. The technique includes a chip detector switch with cleaning means. The cleaning means are added to remove chips mechanically. The cleaning means is actuated, for example, by an electric motor, so that no personnel are required and removal of the switch is not required. A wiper is added to the clip detector switch which is remotely operated and sweeps the particles from the chip detecting gap.

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CHIP DETECTOR SWITCH WITH CLEANING MEANS

BACKGROUND

The present invention generally relates to chip detectors in engines and more particularly to a chip detector switch with cleaning means in the gearbox.  

In general, chip detectors are located in gearbox or engine oil passages or tank. The chip detectors utilize collection of metal particles or chips between two electrodes. the chip detectors monitor change of resistance between electrodes as an indicator of a failure occurring in the gearbox or engine. For example, failure emanating by surface fatigue of gears or bearings which generates loose metal particles in the oil of the gearbox or engine. Early detection of a failure allows intervention such as shutdown of equipment and repair, among others, before the failure progresses to a condition where repair is no longer possible, or failure results in extensive collateral damage. A chip detector switch generates false alarms due to collection of normal small wear debris which are accumulated across the electrodes. In engines or gearboxes which are maintained or inspected frequently, this is not a problem as normal debris is removed during maintenance. However, in machines, such as wind turbines, which operate for months without maintenance, debris will accumulate and a false alarm requires the turbines to be shut down and personnel to climb the tower, remove the switch, cleaning and re-installation.

A conventional technique includes an electrical device which applies a high current to burn or melt the accumulated debris. However, the technique is costly and degrades oil. Further, there are chances that the technique does not clear all the debris, in case, particles weld to each other and electrodes.

Another conventional technique uses an electromagnet instead of a permanent magnet to release the chips when the electromagnet is deactivated. However, the technique requires constant application of power which consumes energy. Further, if the power is lost due to power failure, particles are inadvertently released. Also, non-ferrous particles are not affected by the electromagnet and remains on the chip detector switch.

Therefore, there is a need in the art for a technique to clear all debris from the engine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 depicts a housing wall of the gearbox or engine threaded to accept the chip detector switch.

Figure 2 depicts end view of the chip detector switch.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention proposes a technique to clean chips in gearbox of an engine. The technique includes chip detector switch with cleaning means.  The cleaning means are provided to remove chips mechanically. The cleaning means is actuated, for example, by an electric motor, so that no personnel are required and removal of switch is not required. A wiper is added to the clip detector switch which is remotely operated and sweeps particles from chip detecting gap. The wiper is operated by an electric motor. It is also possible to...