Aisin has been granted a patent for a drive device that includes a fluid coupling and a rotary electrical machine. The device is designed to input torque from one side and output it from another side. The rotary electrical machine includes a non-rotatable stator and a rotor that rotates about the fluid coupling’s rotational axis. The stator has coil ends that protrude from the core, with one end bent radially outward and located outside the core’s outer peripheral surface. The patent claim provides further details on the device’s configuration and features. GlobalData’s report on Aisin gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Aisin, hybrid powertrains was a key innovation area identified from patents. Aisin's grant share as of September 2023 was 31%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for a drive device with a fluid coupling and rotary electrical machine

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Aisin Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11777368B2) describes a drive device that includes a fluid coupling and a rotary electrical machine. The fluid coupling consists of an impeller and a turbine, with torque being inputted from one side and outputted from the other side in the axial direction. The rotary electrical machine comprises a non-rotatable first stator and a rotor that rotates about the rotational axis of the fluid coupling.

The first stator of the rotary electrical machine includes a first stator core, a first coil end, and a second coil end. The first coil end protrudes from the first stator core in the axial direction, while the second coil end protrudes to the opposite side of the first coil end. The first coil end is bent radially outward, flaring from its base portion closest to the stator core to its tip portion farthest from the stator core. The diameter of the radially inner surface of the first annulus near the tip portion is greater than the diameter near the base portion. This configuration allows the first annulus to be located partially outside the outer peripheral surface of the first stator core. In a radial view, the first annulus overlaps with the torus of the fluid coupling, while the first stator core does not.

The patent also describes various additional features of the drive device. For example, the rotary electrical machine can overlap the fluid coupling in an axial view. The rotor of the rotary electrical machine can be attached to the outer shell of the fluid coupling, either radially inside or outside the center of the torus of the fluid coupling. The fluid coupling can also include a second stator and a one-way clutch, with the one-way clutch attached to the inner peripheral end of the second stator. Additionally, the drive device may include an inhibiting member attached to the outer shell of the fluid coupling.

Another embodiment of the drive device includes an angle sensor disposed radially inside the center of the torus of the fluid coupling, overlapping the torus in a radial view. In yet another embodiment, the drive device includes a starter ring gear that transmits torque to the crankshaft of an engine. The rotary electrical machine is disposed radially outside the fluid coupling, and the starter ring gear overlaps with the first or second coil end of the rotary electrical machine in a radial view.

Overall, this granted patent presents a unique configuration for a drive device that combines a fluid coupling and a rotary electrical machine, offering potential advantages in terms of torque transmission and overall performance.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.