Title of Invention

ELECTRICALLY POWERED VEHICLES HAVING MOTOR AND POWER SUPPLY CONTAINED WITHIN WHEELS

Abstract An electrically powered vehicle, for example a bicycle, has a motor, controller and power supply contained within a wheel compartment. A cylindrical stalor frame is fixed on the wheel axle, with an inner surface of the stator frame defining a space for housing the power supply and controller circuitry. A plurality of electromagnet stator segments are mounted on an outer surface of the stator frame. A cylindrical rotor frame is coupled to the axle through bearings. An inner surface of the rotor frame is coupled to the axle through bearings. An inner surface of the rotor frame supports a plurality of permanent magnets that surround the stator segments to form a radial air gap therebetween. Mounted to the outer surface of the rotor frame by appropriate supporting structure is a vehicle tire.
Full Text ELECTRICALLY POWERED VEHICLES HAVING MOTOR
AND POWER SUPPLY CONTAINED WITHIN WHEELS
Related Applicafion
This application contains subject matter related to copending U.S. Application serial
number 09/993,596 of Pyntikov et al., filed November 27,2001 and 09/996,102 of Maslov et
al., filed October 1, 2001. The disclosure of these copending applications are incorporated by
reference herein.
Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to electrically powered vehicles, more particularly to
vehicles in which drive motor elements, control circuits and power supply are contained within
one or more vehicle wheels.
Background
The above identified Pyntikov et al. and Maslov et al. applications describe the
development of efficient battery powered electric motor drives that may be advantageously
employed in vehicles and other environments. The applications address the challenges of
attaining smooth operation over a wide speed range, while maintaining a high torque output
capability at minimum power consumption. Electronic control of pulsed energization applied to
motor windings, by precisely varying pulse width, duty cycle, and switched application of a
battery source, provides a wide functional versatility and flexible management of motor
characteristics.
While the complexity of electronic elements can be extensive and diverse, the need is
recognized for a motor structural configuration in which the control elements that provide
such operation are self-contained. Such a configuration should not be made at a sacrifice in
performance of the motor flux producing structure within a given constituent of the motor.
The Pyntikov et al. and Maslov et al. applications contemplate configurations in which the
stator is formed of a plurality of individual power modules and corresponding core segments,
each module comprising electrical control and drive elements supplied by a power source
incorporated within the stator. Such parallel architecture provides relatively independently
controlled functionality for each module. Performance of each module individually may be
measured in situ during normal operation or by running more extensive, software controlled,
diagnostic routines. Based on test results, a module can be automatically recalibrated,
disconnected, or flagged for repair or replacement. Overall motor performance, determined by
combining the characteristics of the independent modules, can be compared to original
benchmarks to analyze various repair options for devising the minimum necessary action.
In environments in which portability and size are important factors, such as bicycles,
tricycles, motorcycles and the like, a vehicle motor drive should advantageously provide ready
accessibility to the various structural components for replacement of parts at a minimum of
inconvenience. Smaller vehicles present additional challenges to incorporate motor controls,
which can be sophisticated, motor structure and one or more power supplies within a limited
available space. For example, a power source must be provided that has a sufficient capacity
for satisfactory operation of a vehicle drive such as described above while satisfying rather
severe space and weight requirements of small vehicles. The need exists for providing such a
power source within the confines of the vehicle structure while also being unobtrusive to the
user.
Disclosure of the Invention
The present invention fulfills the above described needs, at least in part, by provision of
an electrically powered vehicle, for example a bicycle, having a motor, controller, power
supply and charger contained within a wheel compartment. A cylindrical stator frame is fixed
on the wheel axle, with an inner surface of the stator frame defining a space for housing the
power supply. A plurality of electromagnet stator segments are mounted on and distributed
about an outer surface of the stator frame. A cylindrical rotor frame is coupled to the axle
through bearings. An inner surface of the rotor frame supports a plurality of permanent
magnets distributed about the surface and surrounding the stator segments to form a radial air
gap therebetween. The outer surface of the rotor frame supports a tire that is mounted thereon
via a supporting structure such as a bicycle spoke frame or that may be mounted thereon
directly. The motor, power supply and motor control circuit may all be contained within a
front or back wheel hub of a bicycle mat is readily accessible. For particulars of various rotor
and stator structural configurations and a motor control scheme for generating electromotive
force, reference is made to the above-identified patent applications.
The power supply requirements are dependent upon vehicle variables, such as size and
weight, as well as the particular motor structural configuration and desired operating
characteristics. The power supply may comprise a plurality of standard battery cells, such as
D-cells, which can be replaced easily when necessary with readily available cells. An
advantage of such cells is that they are readily available, as are rechargeable batteries. With
easy access, the batteries can be exchanged with other rechargeable batteries and stored for
reuse later. With appropriate connection of the batteries to an external portion of the wheel,
the batteries can be recharged in situ, without the need for taking apart the wheel.
A further advantage of the invention is that additional battery cells may be contained
within storage space in a second wheel and coupled, via an electrical cable carried by the
vehicle frame, to the motor drive in the first wheel. Provision of commonly available
batteries in both wheels broadens the range of useful operating environments to include more
rugged vehicles or multi-passenger vehicles. Depending on the particular design
characteristics of the motor, the cells all may be connected in appropriate parallel and/or
series/parallel configurations.
As an added feature, a switch may be provided in the cable circuit to permit selective
connection of the cells in the second wheel to the motor and its controller. Smaller vehicles
may not require the simultaneous connection of all the batteries at all times. During periods
of light use or when the first wheel contains new or newly charged batteries, connection of the
second wheel batteries may be opened by the switch, thereby conserving the power supply.
These batteries may be switched into circuit during higher torque requirements, for example
travel at a severe uphill gradient or when carrying an additional passenger and/or heavy loads.
The batteries in the second wheel thus comprise a reserve power supply that can also be
switched into circuit when the batteries in the first wheel indicate a loss of power after a
period of use.
The reserve power supply can be contained in a front bicycle wheel, which can easily
be removed from the vehicle without disturbing the rear wheel. Removal of the rear wheel is
more cumbersome due to the added weight of the motor components and its interconnection
with the bicycle chain. The front wheel batteries can be easily taken to a remote location
where the batteries can be recharged or replaced. Replacement of the front wheel with the
new or recharged power supply allows prolonged use of the vehicle so that attention to the
rear wheel can be delayed to a more convenient time.
Yet another aspect of the invention is the provision of a motor, controller, charger and
power supply in each of a plurality of wheels of the vehicle. This "all wheel drive"
functionality permits a greater range of control of the vehicle for better traction and torque
distribution, and adds a level of redundancy to the drive system.
Additional advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those
skilled in this art from the following detailed description, wherein only the preferred
embodiment of the invention is shown and described, simply by way of illustration of the best
mode contemplated of carrying out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable
of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modifications in
various obvious respects, all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings
and description are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive.
Brief Description of Drawings
The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation,
in the figures of the accompanying drawing and in which like reference numerals refer to
similar elements and in which:
Fig. 1 is an illustration of a bicycle in accordance with the present invention.
Fig. 2 is an exploded view of the structural components within a hub section of a
wheel of the bicycle shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a three-dimensional perspective view of the motor structure and power supply
batteries within the wheel hub in accordance with the present invention.
Fig. 4 is a three-dimensional perspective view of the motor structure and controller
elements within the wheel hub in accordance with the present invention.
Fig. 5 is a view of the structural relationship between the hub section and the other
wheel elements of the bicycle of Figs. 1 and 2.
Fig. 6 is an illustration of a variation of the bicycle shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 7 is an illustration of another variation of the bicycle shown in Fig. 1.
Fig. 8 is an illustration of a bicycle, such as shown in Fig. 7, with additional features
in accordance with the present invention.
Detailed Description of the Invention
Fig. 1 is illustrative of one example of the invention. Bicycle 10 comprises a front
wheel 12 and back wheel 14 coupled to frame 16 through axles which are not shown. Also
coupled to the frame are handle bars 18, of which only one is shown, and seat 20. Propulsion
for the vehicle may be provided by a standard pedal and chain gear coupling with the rear
wheel as well as an electric motor drive contained within hub area 22 in the rear wheel. As
more particularly described below, the hub houses the motor, controller elements and power
supply. Cable 24, mounted on frame 16 is connected between the hub a switch and throttle,
not shown, at the handle bar. The operator may activate the motor drive by turning on the
switch to complete a circuit for the motor, motor controller and power source via cable 24.
Fig. 2 is an exploded view of the hub 22 and its internal structural components. The
elements indicated by bracket 30, when assembled, are unitary with the bicycle frame 16, axle
32 being directly attached to the frame. Cylindrical stator frame 34, together with plates 36,
only one of which is shown, define a space within which batteries 38 are to be housed. The
batteries may be commonly available items, such as D-cells, that may be rechargeable. Plate
40 also forms part of the cylindrical stator frame structure and is representative of various
circuit elements and circuit connections that provide motor controller operation for the
various motor phase windings and battery charging, as well as connections to the batteries
and cable 24. Reference is again made to the above-identified copending applications,
previously incorporated by reference herein, for more detailed explanation of appropriate
motor controller operation. Provision of one or more substrates, integrated circuit
components, printed circuits, etc., is believed to be well within the skill of the artisan. The
illustration of plate 40 is intended merely to depict the structural relationship of elements in
accordance with the present invention.
A plurality of electromagnet stator segments 42 are positioned to be distributed about
and mounted to the outer cylindrical surface of the stator frame 34. The electromagnet
segments are ferromagnetically isolated from each other and, in operation, can each be
separately controlled. Stator frame 34 is formed of a non-magnetic material, such as
aluminum. Rotor frame 44 has an inner cylindrical surface upon which is to be mounted
permanent magnet rotor 46. A back iron ring supports a plurality of distributed permanent
magnets which need not be in abutting relationship with each other. Plates 48 and bearings
50 are part of the rotor assembly.
Figs. 3 and 4 are three dimensional representations of the hub structure within outer
plates 48. When assembled, the stator components form a cylinder having a relatively narrow
width, the outer circumference bounded by the electromagnets. The rotor surrounds the stator
to form a radial air gap between the stator electromagnets and the rotor permanent magnets.
The outer plates 48 are mounted to the cylindrical frame 44 to enclosed the hub portion and
are supported by the axle through bearings 50. As shown in Fig. 5, tire 54 may be mounted to
the rotor frame 44 by spokes 56 in conventional manner. Rotation of the motor rotor thus
provides propulsion to the tire 54.
In the embodiment of Fig. 1, the batteries, motor and control elements are all mounted
in a hub of the rear tire. In the variation illustrated in Fig. 6 the hub arrangement is provided
in the front tire. This arrangement permits use of a shorter length of cable. Being confined to
the front portion of the vehicle, the cable is less likely to be entangled with the rider or the
bicycle gear and chain apparatus. In addition, a convenience benefit is realized because the
front wheel is more easily removed from (and reassembled with) the vehicle when battery
replacement, recharging or motor and/or controller needs attention.
An additional variation of the invention is depicted in Fig. 7. The vehicle of Fig. 7
differs from that of Fig. 1 in that an additional hub compartment is provided in the front
wheel as well. The components within the front wheel hub may be similar to the components
of the rear wheel hub, described above with respect to Fig. 3. Cable 24, supported by the
vehicle frame, comprises electrical connections among both hubs and one or more switches at
the handle bar 18. Switch 60 is in a line between both hubs. The operator, by selecting
switch positions may activate motor propulsion in both front and rear wheels (all wheel
drive), or motor propulsion for either rear wheel drive or front wheel drive. This functionality
can be obtained through coordination between the switch 60 and the switch and throttle at the
handle bar. Provision of appropriate switches and wiring interconnections is within the
normal capability of a person of ordinary skill in the art. Merely by way of example, the
handle bar switch may be a multiple switch and the switch 60 may be a single pole switch.
Manual pedal propulsion is available as a backup. The chain may be disengaged from the
rear hub during motor operation.
As an alternative variation of the above described arrangement of Fig. 7, one of the
front or wheel hubs instead houses a reserve supply of batteries and recharging circuitry,
without motor and motor controller elements. Electrical connections among the reserve
supply batteries are arranged so that a parallel connection may be made via closure of switch
60 with the batteries in the motor hub. A greater power supply capacity is thus available for
instances in which the batteries in the motor hub have diminished charge or when high load
conditions are imposed. The additional energy source in combination with highly efficient
motor operation permits travel for great distances in the intervals between battery replacement
or recharging.
As an additional feature of the present invention, appropriate wiring can be provided
within a wheel hub for connection of the batteries to terminals outside the hub for connection
to a battery charger. Such a feature would be beneficial in avoiding the need to remove a
wheel and dismantle the hub to replace the batteries. Fig. 8 illustrates, diagrammatically,
external terminal boxes 62a and 62b, which are fixed to the bicycle frame adjacent the rear
and front wheels, respectively. The terminal boxes contain appropriate terminal
configurations for mating with any commonly available battery charging apparatus. Wiring is
provided between the batteries within the hubs and the external terminal boxes. While Fig. 8
is illustrative of an embodiment in which batteries are contained in both wheels, it is
contemplated that some applications may require batteries in only a single wheel, with the
need for only one battery charging terminal.
In this disclosure there is shown and described only preferred embodiments of the
invention and but a few examples of its versatility. It is to be understood that the invention is
capable of use in various other combinations and environments and is capable of changes or
modifications within the scope of the inventive concept as expressed herein. For example, it is
within the contemplation of the invention that the motor rotor frame may be coupled through
bearings to the outer surface of the stator frame instead of to the axle.
As a further alternative, the tire may be mounted directly to the rotor frame. The spokes
would then be eliminated as the hub diameter is increased to the inner dimension of the tire.
Such a modification, creates a greater space in which a more powerful motor and additional
batteries can be housed.
CLAIMS
What is claimed is:
1. In an electrically powered vehicle, a wheel comprising:
an axle;
a cylindrical stator frame fixed on the axle, an inner surface of the stator frame
defining a space for housing a power supply;
a plurality of electromagnet stator segments mounted on and distributed about an
outer surface of the stator frame;
a cylindrical rotor frame coupled to the axle through bearings, an inner surface of the
rotor frame supporting a plurality of permanent magnets distributed to surround the stator
segments to form a radial air gap therebetween; and
a tire mounted to an outer surface of the rotor frame.
2. A vehicle as recited in claim 1, wherein the power supply comprises a plurality of
battery cells.
3. A vehicle as recited in claim 2, wherein the plurality of battery cells are D-cells.
4. A vehicle as recited in claim 1, wherein the cylindrical stator frame space
comprises control elements for driving the electromagnet stator segments.
5. A vehicle as recited in claim 4, wherein the cylindrical stator frame space further
comprises battery recharging circuitry.
6. A vehicle as recited in claim 1, wherein the vehicle is a bicycle and the wheel is a
rear wheel.
7. A vehicle as recited in claim 1, wherein the vehicle is a bicycle and the wheel is a
front wheel.
8. A vehicle as recited in claim 1, wherein the plurality of electromagnet stator
segments are spatially separated from each other.
9. A vehicle as recited in claim 1, wherein the plurality of permanent magnets are
spatially separated from each other.
10. A vehicle as recited in claim 2, further comprising:
a second wheel containing a storage space for housing additional battery cells; and
an electrical cable carried by the frame for coupling the stator segments with the
additional battery cells in the second wheel.
11. A vehicle as recited in claim 10, further comprising a switch coupled to the
electrical cable for selectively connecting the additional batteries in the second wheel.
12. An electrically powered vehicle comprising:
a first wheel having a hub portion in which a rotary electric motor is mounted;
a second wheel having a hub portion in which a power supply is mounted; and
a frame structurally connecting the hub portions of the first and second wheels.
13. A vehicle as recited in claim 12, wherein the power supply
comprises a plurality of battery cells.
14. A vehicle as recited in claim 12, wherein the hub portion of the first wheel
comprises an axle and the rotary electric motor comprises:
a stator fixedly mounted to the axle; and
a rotor surrounding the stator and separated therefrom by an air gap, the rotor coupled
to the axle via bearings.
15. A vehicle as recited in claim 14, wherein the stator comprises a plurality of
electromagnet core segments that are spatially separated from each other.
16. A vehicle as recited in claim 14, wherein the rotor comprises a plurality of
permanent magnets that are spatially separated from each other.
17. A vehicle as recited in claim 13, further comprising electrical cable carried by the
frame for connection between the motor and the power supply, the cable being secured to the
frame.
18. In an electrically powered vehicle, a plurality of wheels, each wheel comprising:
an axle;
a cylindrical stator frame fixed on the axle, an inner surface of the stator frame
defining a space for housing a power supply and a motor controller;
a plurality of electromagnet stator segments mounted on and distributed about an
outer surface of the stator frame;
a cylindrical rotor frame coupled to the axle through bearings, an inner surface of the
rotor frame supporting a plurality of permanent magnets distributed to surround the stator
segments to form a radial air gap therebetween; and
a tire mounted to an outer surface of the rotor frame.

An electrically powered vehicle, for example a bicycle, has a motor, controller and power supply contained within a
wheel compartment. A cylindrical stalor frame is fixed on the wheel axle, with an inner surface of the stator frame defining a space
for housing the power supply and controller circuitry. A plurality of electromagnet stator segments are mounted on an outer surface
of the stator frame. A cylindrical rotor frame is coupled to the axle through bearings. An inner surface of the rotor frame is coupled
to the axle through bearings. An inner surface of the rotor frame supports a plurality of permanent magnets that surround the stator
segments to form a radial air gap therebetween. Mounted to the outer surface of the rotor frame by appropriate supporting structure
is a vehicle tire.

Documents:

1588-KOLNP-2004-(06-03-2012)-CORRESPONDENCE.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-ABSTRACT 1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-abstract.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-AMANDED CLAIMS.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-assignment-1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-assignment.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-CANCELLED PAGES.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-claims.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-CORRESPONDENCE 1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-correspondence-1.2.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-correspondence.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-DESCRIPTION (COMPLETE) 1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-description (complete).pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-DRAWINGS 1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-drawings.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-examination report.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-FORM 1.1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 18-1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 18.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-FORM 2.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 3-1.2.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-FORM 3.1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 3.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 5-1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-form 5.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-FORM-27-1.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-FORM-27.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-gpa-1.1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-gpa.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-abstract.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-claims.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-description (complete).pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-drawings.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-form 1.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-letter patent.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-granted-specification.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-international preliminary examination report.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-international publication.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-international search report.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-others pct form.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-others-1.1.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-OTHERS.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-pct priority document notification.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-pct request form.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-PETITION UNDER RULE 137.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-reply to examination report-1.1.pdf

1588-KOLNP-2004-REPLY TO EXAMINATION REPORT.pdf

1588-kolnp-2004-specification.pdf


Patent Number 245527
Indian Patent Application Number 1588/KOLNP/2004
PG Journal Number 04/2011
Publication Date 28-Jan-2011
Grant Date 24-Jan-2011
Date of Filing 20-Oct-2004
Name of Patentee WAVECREST LABORATORIES LLC.
Applicant Address 45600 TERMINAL DRIVE, DULLES, VA 20166
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 PYNTIKOV ALEXANDER V 21184 SUNDIAL COURT, ASHBURN, VA 20147
2 BENSON MARK A 18260 OAK LAKE COURT, LEES BURG, VA 20176
PCT International Classification Number B62M 23/02
PCT International Application Number PCT/US2003/08676
PCT International Filing date 2003-03-28
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 10/146,024 2002-05-16 U.S.A.