Patents by Inventor Gerald Allen Alston

Gerald Allen Alston has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 9638434
    Abstract: Heating, ventilating and air conditioning are provided to a temporary, flexible shelter, especially in a rugged, remote and/or extreme environment, including locations and/or conditions where access to electric power may be limited and/or expensive. A portable system may include a light weight HVAC unit, with variable-speed components that are dynamically managed for efficiency, reliability and safety, and a flexible, self-insulating duct for connecting the HVAC unit to the temporary shelter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Alaska Structures, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20150075766
    Abstract: Heating, ventilating and air conditioning are provided to a temporary, flexible shelter, especially in a rugged, remote and/or extreme environment, including locations and/or conditions where access to electric power may be limited and/or expensive. A portable system may include a light weight HVAC unit, with variable-speed components that are dynamically managed for efficiency, reliability and safety, and a flexible, self-insulating duct for connecting the HVAC unit to the temporary shelter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2013
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Applicant: Alaska Structures, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20150052926
    Abstract: A cascade cooling system that uses low-grade thermal and other energy input sources to provide refrigeration and air conditioning in stationary and mobile applications. A two-loop embodiment includes a heat-powered first loop incorporating a vapor-jet compressor and a second loop based on a mechanical compressor powered by an electric motor or other source of rotational torque. The system uses waste heat, solar thermal or a fuel-fired heat source to partially or fully offset mechanical/electrical energy input. The system can also operate entirely on thermal, electrical or mechanical input. The ability to use multiple energy sources in any combination maximizes energy efficiency, performance and reliability. The system is well suited to making beneficial use of waste heat in vehicle applications. In stationary applications, solar thermal and/or waste heat from industrial processes can be used to improve the efficiency of conventional cooling systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 24, 2013
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Patent number: 8863540
    Abstract: An HVAC system to be installed in a vehicle comprises a battery management controller. The battery management controller comprises at least one connection for electrically coupling a first power source with a first voltage; at least one connection for electrically coupling a second power source with a second voltage; and a first memory storage device configured to record data collected by the battery management controller. The battery management controller is configured to run a temperature control system and to supply power to the temperature control system from a combination of the first and second power sources with a combined voltage, and wherein the second power source is disconnected when the combined voltage drops below a predetermined amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Crosspoint Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: Gerald Allen Alston, Ethan Petersen
  • Patent number: 8393171
    Abstract: An HVAC system that uses a mechanical compressor powered by vaporized refrigerant and/or electric power, to increase efficiency in a jet ejector cooling cycle. The device is further able to convert thermal energy to electric power which may be used to meet internal or external requirements, for example, to activate control a system or charge a battery. Compatible input power includes only thermal energy, only electric energy or a combination of the two. Motive thermal energy may be input at a wide range of temperature and include both waste and non-waste heat sources such as that from an internal combustion engine and fuel-fired heater. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic may also be used when collected from either concentrated or non-concentrated sources. Embodiments of the device are equally well suited to both mobile and stationary applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Patent number: 8381540
    Abstract: An installable HVAC system used for a vehicle is disclosed. The HVAC system includes a housing, a compressor, a motor operatively coupled to the compressor; a condenser in fluid communication with the compressor; and a power management controller configured to run the motor with power from a given power source. The compressor, the motor, the condenser, and the power management controller are located within the housing. The housing is configured to attach to an existing HVAC system of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2013
    Assignee: Crosspoint Solutions, LLC
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Patent number: 8342812
    Abstract: A variable speed air compressing system includes a compressor, a motor configured to actuate the compressor, and a rectifier configured to receive alternating current from a first power source and to provide rectified direct current having a first voltage. The system also includes an inverter configured to receive the rectified direct current and to receive direct current from a second power source having a second voltage. The inverter is configured to provide alternating current to the motor. The alternating current provided to the motor is based on the rectified direct current if the first voltage is greater than the second voltage and the alternating current is based on the direct current from the second power source if the second voltage is greater than the first voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Crosspoint Solutions, LLC
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20110289953
    Abstract: A cascade cooling system that uses low-grade thermal and other energy input sources to provide refrigeration and air conditioning in stationary and mobile applications. A two-loop embodiment includes a heat-powered first loop incorporating a vapor-jet compressor and a second loop based on a mechanical compressor powered by an electric motor or other source of rotational torque. The system uses waste heat, solar thermal or a fuel-fired heat source to partially or fully offset mechanical/electrical energy input. The system can also operate entirely on thermal, electrical or mechanical input. The ability to use multiple energy sources in any combination maximizes energy efficiency, performance and reliability. The system is well suited to making beneficial use of waste heat in vehicle applications. In stationary applications, solar thermal and/or waste heat from industrial processes can be used to improve the efficiency of conventional cooling systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2010
    Publication date: December 1, 2011
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20110265506
    Abstract: An energy efficient and highly versatile electrically-powered air conditioning and heating system for mobile vehicles. Multiple variable-speed compressors operate in series and parallel modes giving an exceptionally wide range of operating capacity making the system suitable for combined on-highway and no-idle use in trucks. In series mode, the single-stage compressors function like a two-stage compressors for increased energy efficiency. A unique power control and storage system has multi-voltage input and output capability without the use of DC-DC or DC-AC converters. A battery management system is incorporated which is compatible with all advanced battery technologies and offers cell-level charge and discharge control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2010
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20110247351
    Abstract: An HVAC system that uses a mechanical compressor powered by vaporized refrigerant and/or electric power, to increase efficiency in a jet ejector cooling cycle. The device is further able to convert thermal energy to electric power which may be used to meet internal or external requirements, for example, to activate control a system or charge a battery. Compatible input power includes only thermal energy, only electric energy or a combination of the two. Motive thermal energy may be input at a wide range of temperature and include both waste and non-waste heat sources such as that from an internal combustion engine and fuel-fired heater. Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic may also be used when collected from either concentrated or non-concentrated sources. Embodiments of the device are equally well suited to both mobile and stationary applications.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Publication date: October 13, 2011
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Patent number: 8030880
    Abstract: The disclosed power system may comprise first and second batteries; an electrical power generator; an electrical load powered by at least one of the first battery, the second battery or the electrical power generator; a converter; and a battery management controller. The converter is connected to both the first and second batteries and configured to operate in a neutral mode, a first battery charging mode, or a second battery charging mode. The converter is configured to create a voltage difference between the first and second batteries in the charging modes. The battery management controller is configured to monitor the voltage of the first battery and the voltage of the second battery and/or to monitor current flow to and from the first and second batteries. The controller controls operation of the converter to operate in the neutral mode, the first battery charging mode or the second battery charging mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Glacier Bay, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald Allen Alston, Justin Dobbs, Larry Knight
  • Publication number: 20100143158
    Abstract: A variable speed air compressing system includes a compressor, a motor configured to actuate the compressor, and a rectifier configured to receive alternating current from a first power source and to provide rectified direct current having a first voltage. The system also includes an inverter configured to receive the rectified direct current and to receive direct current from a second power source having a second voltage. The inverter is configured to provide alternating current to the motor. The alternating current provided to the motor is based on the rectified direct current if the first voltage is greater than the second voltage and the alternating current is based on the direct current from the second power source if the second voltage is greater than the first voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20100106350
    Abstract: A propulsion system for a marine vessel comprising an engine driving a generator for supplying electrical power to a propulsion motor, an operator display, a fuel consumption sensor, a vessel position sensor, a vessel speed sensor, and a controller configured to receive inputs from the fuel consumption, vessel position and vessel speed sensors and calculate the vessel's efficiency through water and efficiency over land, wherein both efficiency values are displayed on the operator display as volume of fuel consumed per distance traveled (over land or through the water).
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2009
    Publication date: April 29, 2010
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20100094490
    Abstract: A marine vessel power generation and propulsion system including a control system. The system includes a plurality of generator sets, each generator set including an engine configured to drive an electrical generator and wherein each generator set is configured to supply electrical power to an electrical bus. The control system includes a controller configured to switch the power generation system between a plurality of operating modes, wherein in each mode of operation the controller adjusts each generator set to dynamically optimize the performance of the power generation system. In each mode of operation the controller is configured to prioritize a different predetermined characteristic when optimizing the performance of the power generation system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 16, 2008
    Publication date: April 15, 2010
    Inventors: Gerald Allen Alston, Justin Richard Dobbs
  • Publication number: 20090269994
    Abstract: A marine vessel includes an exterior component fitted to a hull of the marine vessel and a propulsion module configured to be received by the exterior component. The propulsion module includes a power source configured to drive a propeller; a shaft configured to couple the power source and the propeller. The module includes a housing configured to store at least the power source and a portion of the shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2009
    Publication date: October 29, 2009
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20090261599
    Abstract: A power generation system including an engine and an electrical generator driven to rotate at rotational speed by the engine. The generator is configured to supply an adjustable amount of required electrical power having a voltage and a current to at least one electrical load. The system also includes a controller configured to adjust at least one operating parameter of the engine in order to maximize efficiency of the system. The system efficiency is a measure of the combined operation of generator and engine and load for a given load condition. The controller is configured to maximize system efficiency based only upon the required electrical power being supplied by the generator. The controller is configured so that the controller does not independently consider any one of the rotational speed, the voltage or the current being supplied by the generator when adjusting the at least one operating parameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2008
    Publication date: October 22, 2009
    Inventors: Gerald Allen Alston, Justin R. Dobbs
  • Publication number: 20090229288
    Abstract: An HVAC system to be installed in a vehicle comprises a battery management controller. The battery management controller comprises at least one connection for electrically coupling a first power source with a first voltage; at least one connection for electrically coupling a second power source with a second voltage; and a first memory storage device configured to record data collected by the battery management controller. The battery management controller is configured to run a temperature control system and to supply power to the temperature control system from a combination of the first and second power sources with a combined voltage, and wherein the second power source is disconnected when the combined voltage drops below a predetermined amount.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2009
    Publication date: September 17, 2009
    Inventors: Gerald Allen Alston, Ethan Petersen
  • Publication number: 20090228149
    Abstract: An environmental control and power system (ECAPS) including an ECU with at least one variable-speed compressor driven by a DC motor, wherein the ECU is adapted to condition air and output the conditioned air and a variable-speed diesel engine connected to a generator. The generator is configured to vary in speed so as to output AC power at a variable frequency. The system includes a rectification assembly which transforms the AC power from the generator and/or external AC power into DC power. The ECAPS directs the DC power to the DC motor to drive the variable-speed compressor and varies, in a controlled manner, at least one parameter of the outputted conditioned air from the HVAC system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2009
    Publication date: September 10, 2009
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20090228150
    Abstract: An HVAC system includes a fluid driven turbine configured to drive a centrifugal compressor and a permanent magnet motor/generator; a battery electrically connected to the permanent magnet motor/generator; and a controller for the battery and the motor/generator. The turbine, compressor and generator are coaxially positioned along a rotatable shaft. The controller is configured to cause the motor/generator to draw electrical power from the battery or to supply electrical power to the battery in order to rotate the shaft at an efficient speed. The motor/generator is configured to supply electrical power to charge the battery when driven by the turbine and is configured to drive the rotation of the compressor when supplied by electrical power from the battery.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2009
    Publication date: September 10, 2009
    Inventor: Gerald Allen Alston
  • Publication number: 20090222155
    Abstract: A system for automatically controlling the speed of a battery powered electric propulsion motor driving a shaft connected to a propeller located on a sailing vessel. The system includes a user interface for selecting either a neutral, a regeneration or a forward thrust operating mode. The system also includes a controller configured to receive input from a motor speed sensor and a motor current sensor. The controller adjust the speed of the motor to the correct motor speed. The controller is configured so that in the neutral mode the correct motor speed is the speed required to substantially eliminate thrust on the shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 12, 2009
    Publication date: September 3, 2009
    Inventors: Gerald Allen Alston, Bruce Nelson, Justin Dobbs