The present invention relates to a gas engine or an engine of that class in which gas or gasolene or other substance capable of exploding when mixed with air and ignited is utilized to drive a piston, the invention consisting mainly in the novel construction and arrangement of instrumentalities and in a novel form of the regulating device whereby the explosive substance is admitted to the cylinder and exploded only when the speed of the engine falls below a predetermined maximum, so that the substance employed to drive the engine is supplied only when required.
The engine embodying the invention is provided with a cylinder open at one end, such as is commonly employed in gas-engines in which the power is applied only to drive the piston outward, the return thereof being due to momentum, and an explosion-chamber is provided `within the closed end of the cylinder, having an air and gas inlet controlled by a check-valve, so that air is forced in during the outward strokeV of the piston by atmospheric pressure, there being also a gas-inlet in a supplemental chamber outside of the explosion-chamber, the said inlet being controlled by a valve adapted to be opened when gas-supply is needed as the piston is moving outward, the said supplemental chamber being in open communication with the air, so that when said gas-valve .is opened gas and air are together drawn into the explosions chamber through a check-valve and are compressed therein by the return stroke of the piston, means being also provided for igniting the mixture of gas and air thus compressed when the piston is near the inner end of the cylinder, the piston then being driven out by the expansion of the gas caused by the explosion thereof. The gas-valve and the igniting device, which is preferably a circuit-breaker having its terminals connected to opposite sides of an electric circuit, so that a spark is after the said shaft has reached a predetermined maximum speed, and for reconnecting these parts when the speed of the shaft falls below said maximum, thus practically regulating the speed of the engine.
In accordance with the present invention the actuating device for the gas-valve and circuit-breaker is controlled by a reciprocating rod suitably operated from the main shaft, and the said rod is connected with the actuating device aforesaid by a movable connecting-piece adapted to be thrown into and out of engagement with said actuating device by means of a weight or pendulum carried by and movably supported on said reciprocating rod. The said weight is arranged to move with the reciprocating rod, but is capable of movement independently thereof, it being obvious therefore that when the said rod reaches y the end of its stroke the momentum of the weight will tend to cause said weight to continue its movement independently of that of the reciprocating rod, this tendency increasing as the speed of movement of the reciprocating rod increases and being resisted by a substantially constant yielding force, as that of gravity. The movable connecting-piece is so arranged as to be disconnected by the movement of said weight relative to the reciprocating rod, the result being that when the reciprocating rod is moving at a predetermined speed the weight at the end of each stroke thereof will operate to disconnect the same from the actuating device for the gas-valve and circuit-breaker, thus allowing the engine to run idle until the speed falls below the normal, when the weight will have less movement with relation to the reciprocating rod owing to the resisting force above mentioned, and will permit the movable connecting-piece to engage the actuating device and produce an explosion.
The invention is preferably embodied in what is known as a four-cycle engine in which every other stroke is idle, the return of the piston serving to compress the air and gas before the explosion takes place, thus obviating the necessity of special means for compressing the air, which compression is practically essential for the proper operation of an engine operating on this principle. The engine therefore is so arranged that after the explosion takes place the piston is driven outward thereby, and when it reaches the end of its outward stroke an exhaust-port is opened by a device operated from the main shaft, so that the products of combustion are free to escape during the return movement of the piston, thus practically clearing out the entire contents of the cylinder. During the next outward stroke the device for operating the gas-valve when in normal condition-that is to say, not disconnected by the regulating device above described--operates to open the gas-valve admitting gas to the supplemental chamber, where it mixes with air therein and is forced therewith into the main explosion-chamber by the atmospheric pressure due to the outward movement of the piston, which produces a vacuum within the cylinder, the check-valve being opened by such atmospheric pressure. During the return movement of the piston due to momentum after the air and gas have thus been admitted the mixture of air and gas is Compressed within the explosion-chamber, and at the end of such return movement the igniting device operates so that the explosion takes place. The igniting device and the gas valve are provided, as has been above stated, with common actuating means, but are so arranged that the gas-valve is opened by a movement of said actuating means in one direction and the igniting device actuated by its movement in the opposite direction, so that the admission of the gas and air and the ignition thereof takes place at the periods described above. In order that the actuating device may cooperate, as thus described, with the main shaft of the engine, the latter is geared to a supplemental shaft or counter-shaft from which the actuating device and the exhaust are directly operated, the gear being so arranged that the speed of said supplemental shaft is half that of the main driving-shaft. Thus when the engine is running at normal speed effective pressure is exerted at one outward stroke of the piston, which then returns, forcing out the products of combustion, and again makes an outward stroke, allowing air and gas to be sucked in behind it and to become compressed during its inward stroke, after which the piston is again acted upon by the sudden expansion of gas due to the explosion, which takes place at the end of said inward stroke. Upon rising above maximum speed, however; the effective stroke is omitted because the gas-valve and igniting device are rendered inoperative by the regulating device, the exhaust however operating regularly at every other stroke to allow the air admitted unmixed with gas when the gas next outward stroke of the piston a vacuum `will be produced whereby the check-valve controlling the inlet to the closing-chamber may be lifted to admit the admixture of air and gas if the gas-valve should be operated at this stroke.
l. In a gas-engine, the combination with the explosion-chamber provided with an inlet controlled by a check-valve, of an air passage leading to said inlet; an inlet to said air-passage for the explosive gas or liquid and a valve controlling said inlet; a mechanically operated igniting device Within the combustion-chamber, and common means for controlling said valve and igniting device comprising a movable member cooperating with a shaft of the engine; a weight carried by said member but capable of movement independently thereof, and means for disconnecting said member from the parts operated thereby by the independent movement of said weight, substantially as described.
2. In a gas-engine provided with an explosion-chamber, the combination with a valve controlling the admission of an explosive gas or liquid to said chamber, and a mechanically operated igniting device Within said chamber; of a common actuator for said valve and igniting device, operating mechanism for said actuator comprising a reciprocating rod adapted to be reciprocated by the rotation of the main shaft, a movable connecting member adapted to connect said reciprocating rod and actuating device together, a weight carried by said rod but movable independently thereof, and an engaging portion movable with said weight and adapted to engage said connecting device when such independent movement of said weight takes place, substantially as described.
3. In a gas-engine, the combination with the explosion-chamber, of a valve controlling the admission of an explosive gas or liquid to said chamber; an igniting-device consisting of a circuit-breaker within said chamber provided with a rotating contact-piece, a common actuating device for said valve and said
circuit-breaker comprising a rock-shaft having an arm or projection adapted to operate the valve, and a pawl cooperating with a pinion mounted on the spindle of said rotating switch-contact, a reciprocating operating-rod for said actuating device, and means for disconnecting said rod from said actuating device in response to an increase in speed, substantially as described.
4. In a gas-engine, the combination With the explosion-chamber, of a mechanically operated igniting device Within said chamber, a valve controlling the admission of a common explosive gas or liquid to said chamber, an actuating device for said valve and igniting device comprising a rock-shaft adapted by its movement in one direction to open said valve and by its movement in the opposite direction to actuate said igniting device; a reciprocating rod provided with a movable connecting member adapted to connect the same with said actuating device when said rod is at or near one extremity of its reciprocating movement, a Weight carried by said rod but capable of independent movement with relation thereto, and an engaging portion carried by said weight adapted to engage said connecting device, substantially as described.
5. In a gas-engine, the combination with the valve controlling the admission of the explosive, and the igniting device, of an actuator common to both, a reciprocating rod connected with the main shaft of the engine; a collar on said rod connected with said actuating device; a hook pivotally connected to said rod normally resting upon the surface of said collar but movab1e beyond the edge thereof during the movement of the said rod; and weight pivotally suspended from said rod and provided with an engaging projection
underlying said hook, substantially as described.
6. In a gas-engine, the combination with a valve controlling the inlet for the explosive, and a mechanically-operated igniting device for said explosive, of an actuator common to said valve and igniting device, a reciprocating rod, means for automatically connecting said rod to, and disconnecting it from said actuator in response to variation in the speed of said main shaft, the main shaft provided with a gear, a supplemental shaft provided with a gear double the diameter of that on the main shaft and meshing therewith, and means for producing the reciprocating movement of said rod from the rotation of said supplemental shaft, substantially as described.
7. The combination With the explosion chamber provided With an air-inlet controlled b v a check-valve, of a valve controlling the admission of a liquid or gaseous explosive to a chamber or a passage leading to said inlet, a mechanically-operated igniting device Within the explosion-chamber, a common actuator for said valve and igniting device, an exhaust valve, and means for operating said exhaust valve and actuator by the rotation of a supplemental shaft geared to the main shaft and adapted to make two revolutions for each single revolution thereof, substantially as described.
8. In a gas-engine, the combination with a pump for an explosive liquid, of a valve connecting rod suitably operated by the main driving-shaft of the engine, and means for automatically connecting and disconnecting said rod and said rock-shaft in response to variations in the speed of the main shaft, whereby said valve is caused to remain closed, and the pump to remain stationary in response to an increase of speed, substantially as described.
9. In a gas-engine, the combination with the valve controlling the admission of the explosive, and the igniting device, of an actuator common to both, a reciprocating rod operated by the main shaft of the engine, a hook pivotally connected with said rod and adapted to engage said actuating device, and a Weight pivotally connected With said rod and adapted by a movement on its pivot to disengage said hook from said actuating device, substantially as described.
10. In a gas-engine, the combination with the explosion-chamber, of a spring-seated valve controlling the admission of an explosive thereto; an unseating device for said valve; a pump for said explosive; an igniting device comprising a circuit-breaker having stationary and rotatable members Within the explosion-chamber, the rotatable member i being provided with a ratchet outside of the explosion-chamber; a common actuating device for said valve-unseat-ing device, pump and igniting device consisting of a rock-shaft having an arm adapted to engage the said unseating device, a connection with the pump and a pawl adapted to cooperate with the ratchet aforesaid to operate the igniting device; an operating device for said rock-shaft consisting of a rod adapted to be continuously reciprocated While the engine is running; and means for disconnecting said rod from Said actuating device in response to an increase of speed in the running of the engine, substantially as described.