Patents Examined by Michael Sherry
  • Patent number: 7365451
    Abstract: A power converter that can continue to operate after suffering a partial failure. The power converter includes multiple array transformers; normally-on switches connected respectively in series with the ends of each of the primary windings of the array transformers; normally-off current bypass devices connected in parallel with the series connections of the primary windings of the array transformers and the switches at the transformer ends; AC-DC converter units having AC sides respectively connected secondary windings of the array transformers; and mutually independent DC circuits respectively connected to DC sides of the AC-DC converter units. By turning on the current bypass device of the primary winding of a specified array transformer and turning off the switches at the ends of that primary winding, it is possible to isolate the specified array transformer and the AC-DC converter unit connected to it.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tomohiko Aritsuka
  • Patent number: 7365954
    Abstract: A protected power device includes a power transistor with an internal control line to receive a control line current and a fault detector, coupled to the internal control line. A power device protection circuit includes a power device driver, coupled to the control line to drive the protected power device, a current sensor, coupled to the control line to sense a fault of the protected power device by monitoring the control line current and to generate a fault-sensing signal, and control logic, coupled to the current sensor and to the power device driver to respond to the fault-sensing signal of the current sensor. The fault detector modifies the control line current upon detecting a fault and the current sensor senses the fault by sensing the modified control line current. The control logic responds to the sensed fault by limiting or shutting down the current of the protected power device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventor: James E. Gillberg
  • Patent number: 7365453
    Abstract: A system for controlling the operation of conductive plates immersed in an aqueous solution, such as in water treatment applications. The system allows independent control of the current sourced or sunk by each of a plurality of plates. The system also allows each plate to be placed in a high-impedance state in which no appreciable current is sourced or sunk by the system. A plate or a group of plates is controlled by a control module which interfaces to a central controller such as a personal computer or a programmable logic controller. Multiple control modules can be added to a system to support multiple plates, each of which can be controlled individually from the central controller. Each control module is also capable of sensing voltage and current at its corresponding plate and providing that information to the central controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: The Water Company LLC
    Inventor: Brian C. Large
  • Patent number: 7365952
    Abstract: The battery pack according to the present invention is to avoid any trouble or the like of the primary or secondary battery inside the battery pack with a simple mechanical construction when a load is intermittently connected between the external terminals of the battery pack. For this end, the battery pack includes at least the battery cell and a protection circuit for shutting off overcurrent discharge and features in the provision of shut-off holding means and releasing means. The shut-off holding means maintains discharge shut-off condition after abnormal discharge shut-off by shorting or connecting a low resistance between the external plus terminal and the external minus terminal from outside of the battery pack. The releasing means releases the shut-off condition of the shut-off holding means when a predetermined voltage is applied between the external plus terminal and the external minus terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Bunya Sato
  • Patent number: 7365449
    Abstract: An aircraft cabin including at least two seats, which seat each include at least two elements which can be moved relative to each other and at least one actuator for the relative displacement of these movable elements, and at least one central power control unit in the cabin in order to allocate a total available power level to each seat, where each seat includes parts for reading at least one item of morphological information of the passenger sitting in the seat, and a part for transmitting information to the central power control unit in accordance with each item of morphological information, and the central power control unit is capable of allocating to each seat a total available power level in accordance with each item of morphological information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2008
    Assignee: Precilec
    Inventors: Thierry Marin-Martinod, Jean-Claude Robert
  • Patent number: 7362552
    Abstract: An arc fault circuit interrupter includes line and load terminals, separable contacts, a current sensor sensing current flowing between the terminals and associated with one type of load, and a first arc fault detection circuit generating a first trip signal responsive to the sensed current. A second arc fault detection circuit collects a plurality of sensed current samples for a current line cycle and also for a previous line cycle, determines a total current value from a peak current of the current line cycle samples, employs the total current value and some of the samples to determine the type of load, and generates a second trip signal responsive to the sensed current and the determined type of load. A trip circuit generates a third trip signal responsive to the first and second trip signals. An operating mechanism opens the contacts responsive to the third signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Robert T. Elms, Kevin L. Parker, Joseph C. Zuercher
  • Patent number: 7362553
    Abstract: An arc fault circuit breaker includes line and load terminals, separable contacts electrically connected between the terminals, a current sensor adapted to sense current associated with a load and flowing between the terminals and through the separable contacts. An arc fault detection circuit provides series arc protection and generates a trip signal responsive to the sensed current. The arc fault detection circuit collects a plurality of samples of the sensed current over plural line cycles, determines that the load is a dimmer-controlled load, determines a phase angle at which the sensed current begins conduction within one of the line cycles, and determines that the phase angle consistently moves in a forward direction or a reverse direction. If so, then series arc protection is responsively inhibited. An operating mechanism opens the separable contacts responsive to the trip signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Robert T. Elms, Kevin L. Parker
  • Patent number: 7362010
    Abstract: A current-sensing switching circuit includes a first terminal clamp for the current feed for a first unit, based on the state of a second unit the state of which is detected at a second terminal clamp. The first terminal clamp may be switched, based on the current that is picked off at the second terminal clamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Rodricks Bazil
  • Patent number: 7362011
    Abstract: An apparatus for preventing a contact from being corroded includes a power source, a signal line connected to the contact, a resistance connected to the signal line, a switching section, a comparator, and an overheat detecting section. The switching section has a switch between the power source and the signal line. An impedance of the switch is smaller than that of the resistance when the switch is turned on. The comparator compares a potential of the signal line with a predetermined potential to determine as to whether or not the contact is corroded. The comparator outputs a driving signal when the comparator concludes that the contact is corroded. The overheat detecting section detects whether or not temperature of the apparatus exceeds a predetermined temperature. The overheat detecting section decreases current flowing through the switching section when the temperature of the apparatus exceeds the predetermined temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Fujitsu Ten Limited
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Komatsu, Masahiko Fujimoto, Kouji Oonishi, Keisuke Kido, Junichi Sawada
  • Patent number: 7362557
    Abstract: A controller implements a state machine for operating the bi-directional power converter with a flexible load pattern while maintaining a thermal condition of the power converter within acceptable limits. The state machine implements a wait loop in response to selected conditions to maintain the thermal condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Continental Automotive Systems U.S. Inc.
    Inventors: Christophe Soudier, Lizhi Zhu, Vinod Reddy, Venkatapathi R. Nallapa
  • Patent number: 7362554
    Abstract: Electrostatic discharge (ESD) clamp using output driver. An electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection device for an output driver having a p-channel transistor and n-transistor pair connected between a power supply terminal and ground for driving an input/output pad therefrom. An ESD event detector is provided for detecting an ESD event on the pad. A drive circuit drives the n-channel and p-channel drive transistors in response to receiving a logic control signal to either drive the pad from the supply terminal or to sink the pad to ground. ESD protection logic circuitry is provided to cause both the p-channel and n-channel transistors to turn on when the ESD event detector detects an ESD event, the ESD protection circuitry disposed forward of the drive circuit such that the ESD protection logic circuitry operates independent of the state of the drive circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Silicon Labs CP, Inc.
    Inventors: James Dub Austin, Kenneth W. Fernald
  • Patent number: 7362555
    Abstract: An ESD protection circuit is implemented for a semiconductor device having a first circuit system operating with a first power supply voltage and a first complementary power supply voltage, and a second circuit system operating with a second power supply voltage and a second complementary power supply voltage. The ESD protection circuit includes a first diode having an anode coupled to the first power supply voltage and a cathode coupled to a first node connecting the first circuit system and the second circuit system for preventing a crosstalk of current between the first power supply voltage and the second complementary power supply voltage. A first MOS transistor module is coupled between the first node and the first complementary power supply for selectively creating a current path from the first node to the first complementary supply voltage for dissipating an ESD current during an ESD event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Chau-Neng Wu, Jian-Hsing Lee
  • Patent number: 7362007
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, and method for supplying an uninterruptible power source to a dual power device capable of being alternately powered through either a primary power input connected to a primary power source or a secondary power input connected to a secondary power source is provided. One implementation includes a power input for receiving AC from the primary power source, one or more converter elements operative to receive the AC from the power source, to convert the AC to DC, and to deliver the DC to a power storage element. The apparatus also includes a power storage element that stores at least a portion of the DC delivered from the converter elements. The power stored in the power storage elements is delivered to the secondary power input of the dual power device when the primary power source is disconnected from the dual power device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Inventor: Walter Emory Farmer
  • Patent number: 7362009
    Abstract: A chain reaction control circuit for parallel power supply provides greater power without changing the design of the original power supply structure. It includes a control unit to receive a first power actuation signal output from a power actuation unit, then output multiple sets of second power actuation signals to parallel power supplies. The multiple power supplies that are coupled in parallel receive the second power actuation signals and transform electric power simultaneously, then output electric power. After the electric power transformation has been finished, first power confirmation signals are output from the power supplies to the control unit which receives the first power confirmation signals and outputs a second power confirmation signal to a linked load. And the power supplies supply the corresponding and matching electric power to a linked load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Zippy Technology Corp.
    Inventors: Tsung-Chun Chen, Tsung-Te Lee
  • Patent number: 7362558
    Abstract: In the case of a protective device in a controller which contains at least one processor and is connected to a sensor via a sensor ground line and at least one further line, the invention provides that a ground in the controller is connected to the sensor ground line via a semiconductor switch which disconnects or connects the ground and the sensor ground line as a function of whether the current through the sensor ground line and/or the voltage between ground and the sensor ground line are/is in each case greater or less than a predetermined value, and that the voltage which is applied to ground or is applied to the sensor ground line can be applied to an internal ground, which is used for measurement purposes, controlled by the processor with the aid of two further semiconductor switches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Antonio Romero Lobato
  • Patent number: 7362006
    Abstract: A steering lock for ensuring an unlock state when it is imperative that the steering lock remain in the unlock state. The steering lock includes a motor for generating drive force that engages and locks a lock bar with a steering shaft. The steering lock includes an ECU. When shifting the steering lock to the unlock state from a lock state, the ECU controls the motor to generate drive force acting in a direction to urge the lock bar to disengage from the steering shaft. The ECU continuously controls the motor to generate drive force acting in the direction to urge the lock bar to disengage from the steering shaft even after the lock bar has moved to the unlock position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki Seisakusho
    Inventors: Kazuya Otani, Hiroshi Mori, Daisuke Someda, Tomoo Kakegawa, Masachika Kamiya, Noriyasu Onishi
  • Patent number: 7359167
    Abstract: A leakage-current detection and interruption apparatus includes a plug adapted to receive an alternating current voltage, pairs of separable contacts adapted to receive the AC voltage from the plug, and an operating mechanism adapted to open and close the contacts. A power cord includes line and neutral power conductors adapted to conduct the AC voltage from the contacts to the load, a ground conductor, and two non-load carrying, non-ground conductors. One or both of the conductors do not shield one or both of the power conductors. A detection circuit is adapted to detect cord faults. The detection circuit includes a ground fault detection circuit having a current transformer with an opening through which the power conductors pass. The ground fault detection circuit cooperates with the non-load carrying, non-ground conductors to detect one or more of the cord faults and with the operating mechanism to interrupt the detected faults.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventor: Robert T. Elms
  • Patent number: 7359172
    Abstract: A method of protecting a MOSFET switch from overheating. The method is achieved by determining a ratio of ON resistance of the switch to resistance of a sense resistor, the sense resistor being series coupled in the source-drain circuit of the switch. Further, the ratio is compared to a reference signal and an output signal is generated when the ratio exceeds the reference signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: International Rectifier Corporation
    Inventor: Jun Honda
  • Patent number: 7358626
    Abstract: A large number of irrigation system devices connected to a common two-wire cable can be powered and individually controlled from a central location by transmitting over the cable DC pulses of alternating polarity. Control information is conveyed by transmitting a command pulse train consisting of a series of pulses, separated by short no-power intervals, whose polarities indicate logic ones or zeros. Following a command pulse train, a selected watering station decoder acknowledges receipt of instructions by drawing current during a predetermined pulse of an alternating-polarity power pulse cycle, while a sensor decoder returns binary data by drawing current during one or the other of the alternating-polarity pulses of a series of power pulse cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: The Toro Company
    Inventors: Randall James Gardner, Michael D. Heine, John C. Dalman
  • Patent number: 7359177
    Abstract: A plasma reactor has a dual frequency plasma RF bias power supply furnishing RF bias power comprising first and second frequency components, f(1), f(2), respectively, and an RF power path having an input end coupled to the plasma RF bias power supply and an output end coupled to the wafer support pedestal, and sensor circuits providing measurement signals representing first and second frequency components of a measured voltage and first and second frequency components of a measured current near the input end of the RF power path. The reactor further includes a processor for providing first and second frequency components of a wafer voltage signal as, respectively, a first sum of the first frequency components of the measured voltage and measured current multiplied by first and second coefficients respectively, and a second sum of the second frequency components of the measured voltage and measured current multiplied by third and fourth coefficients, respectively. A processor produces a D.C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Jang Gyoo Yang, Daniel J. Hoffman, Steven C. Shannon, Douglas H. Burns, Wonseok Lee, Kwang-Soo Kim