Variable Cycle Patents (Class 137/624.2)
  • Patent number: 10431363
    Abstract: A plunger includes an elongate plunger body which is at least in part cylindrical and a plunger head at one end of the plunger body. The plunger body has a magnet-interface body portion which has a non-cylindrical cross-section perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of the plunger body. A magnetic latching solenoid actuator using such a plunger is also provided, as is a method of improving the performance of a magnetic latching solenoid actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: JOHNSON ELECTRIC INTERNATIONAL AG
    Inventor: Richard Anthony Connell
  • Patent number: 10368503
    Abstract: An expandable irrigation controller for controlling a plurality of watering stations in an irrigation system includes a removable front panel and an inner housing, connected to the front panel. The inner housing includes a circuit board including control connectors which are connected electrically to the controller and a station module operable to provide an ON/OFF signal to at least one watering station of the irrigation system. The station module is electrically connected to the circuit board via the control connectors and the ON/OFF signal is provided based on instructions from the controller in accordance with the watering program. The control connectors are positioned in a substantially continuous line extending across the inner housing such that the station module is connectable to the control connectors at substantially any desired location. Multiple modules of different sizes may be mounted in the inner housing as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Inventor: Carl L. C. Kah, Jr.
  • Patent number: 10306844
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for a networked irrigation system include a battery powered networked irrigation controller that communicates with a backend server. The backend server monitor rainfall at the location of the irrigation controllers via third party weather resources. General irrigation is set to commence once every several days, and when rain falls at the location of an irrigation controller, the watering schedule is shifted to ensure that watering does not occur more frequently than desired. The irrigation controller uses a cellular transceiver modem to communicate with the backend server, and since the irrigation controller is battery powered, the cellular transceiver modem is maintained in an off state until just prior to commencing a scheduled watering, when the irrigation controller contacts the backend server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Inventor: Michael R. Levine
  • Patent number: 10166565
    Abstract: A method and device for monitoring an irrigation system is provided. The device includes a flow sensor and an irrigation controller comprising at least two outputs. The irrigation monitor is coupled to the irrigation controller and the flow sensor and performs an action in response to detecting a fault condition. The method includes steps of measuring flow through an irrigation feed, determining an intended state of an irrigation valve, associating the measured flow with the intended valve state, and detecting a fault condition. In some examples the irrigation monitor and irrigation controller use a single processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Inventor: Mark Alan Lemkin
  • Patent number: 10123493
    Abstract: The invention provides a regulator system for regulating the operation of an irrigation system which is responsive to user programmed information. It has a control element for issuing watering control signals to an irrigation system, having at least one of (i) a duration programming device for programming a minimum amount of time and a maximum amount of time for the suspension of watering by the irrigation system, and (ii) a user adjustable temperature programming device for programming a minimum allowed temperature for initiating a watering period by the irrigation system. It further has an irrigation system interface for connecting said control element with the irrigation system. It also has a switch for conveying the control signals from the control element to the irrigation system via the irrigation system interface, for either permitting or prohibiting watering by the irrigation system, responsive to the control signals generated by and received from the control element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: The Toro Company
    Inventors: Thomas A. Runge, Bruce M. Downie
  • Patent number: 10108167
    Abstract: A system may include a monitoring device that receives data associated with one or more properties at a well. The monitoring device may determine a plurality of expected flow rates of hydrocarbons produced from the well with respect to a plurality of gas injection rates associated with the well based on the data and a hydrocarbon model. The hydrocarbon model may estimate the plurality of expected flow rates of hydrocarbons. The monitoring device may then adjust a gas injection rate at the well based on the plurality of expected flow rates of hydrocarbons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: ROCKWELL AUTOMATION ASIA PACIFIC BUSINESS CENTER PTE. LTD.
    Inventor: Hassan S. Suheil
  • Patent number: 9933778
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide systems, methods, and computer program products for performing diagnostics on water distribution systems (e.g., automated drip-line irrigation systems). Embodiments of the present invention can afford users with the ability to identify defective components based on the diagnostics. Furthermore, embodiments of the present invention provide users with additional information in regard to potential causes and trends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Hendrik F. Hamann, Nigel C. P. Hinds, Levente Klein, Fernando J. Marianno, Ronald F. Ridgeway, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9932859
    Abstract: A lubricating fluid damped anti-rotational system is provided comprising a pawl carrier having an axis of rotation and a radial aperture, a pawl pivotably mounted to the pawl carrier on a pivot joint, the pawl having a contact portion and a counterweight portion, a lubricating fluid jet configured to propel a lubricating fluid through the radial aperture toward the contact portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: UNITED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventor: Christopher T. Anglin
  • Patent number: 9912732
    Abstract: The disclosure extends to apparatuses, methods, systems, and computer program products for generating and optimizing irrigation protocols. The disclosure also extends to a system and method for the detection of faults or deviations from a baseline configuration in an irrigation system during operation in accordance with the disclosed methods, systems, and computer program products for optimizing water usage in growing plants for yard and crops.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Skydrop Holdings, LLC
    Inventors: Matt Romney, Clark Endrizzi
  • Patent number: 9695546
    Abstract: A dryer including an air condensing unit that can use cooling water to reduce air moisture by condensation in a non-contact manner. The air condensing unit includes a condensing duct and a hollow rib enclosed inside the condensing duct. During a drying process, cooling water flows through the hollow rib and, at the same time, air coming from the tub flows through the hollow rib and is cooled off by the cooling water. The cooled air exits the condensing duct and flows back to the tub after travelling through a drying duct that includes a heater. The external wall and/or internal wall of the rib has protrusions and depressions formed in a three-dimensional pattern to increase surface area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: DONGBU DAEWOO ELECTRONICS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Sung Myun Lee
  • Patent number: 9655312
    Abstract: An agile irrigation controller enables any number of programs to be added, limited only by available memory, and is similarly adaptable to control any number of valves or similar irrigation devices in a network. Stored programs within the memory include pointers to next programs in memory, linking the programs together. The memory further stores groups of valves, with links to additional groups of valves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Nelson Irrigation Corporation
    Inventors: Travis A. Griggs, Mark A. Bauman
  • Patent number: 9532513
    Abstract: An irrigation system is provided and includes a main irrigation line, one or more lateral driplines, each lateral dripline being divided into zones and including a plurality of emitters at each zone and a plurality of controllable valves disposed along each of the one or more lateral driplines at zone borders. Each one of the plurality of controllable valves is actuatable to activate corresponding emitters in the associated zone in a zone by zone cycle and each one of the plurality of emitters is replaceable to vary an amount of deliverable fluid by the zone by zone cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hendrik F. Hamann, Levente I. Klein, Sergio A. Bermudez Rodriguez, Michael A. Schappert
  • Patent number: 9532514
    Abstract: An irrigation system is provided and includes a main irrigation line, one or more lateral driplines, each lateral dripline being divided into zones and including a plurality of emitters at each zone and a plurality of controllable valves disposed along each of the one or more lateral driplines at zone borders. Each one of the plurality of controllable valves is actuatable to activate corresponding emitters in the associated zone in a zone by zone cycle and each one of the plurality of emitters is replaceable to vary an amount of deliverable fluid by the zone by zone cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hendrik F. Hamann, Levente I. Klein, Sergio A. Bermudez Rodriguez, Michael A. Schappert
  • Patent number: 9466412
    Abstract: The magnetic contactor, according to an exemplary embodiment, includes: a moving core including a main core disposed to be movable in a length direction thereof and first and second core plates disposed at both ends of the main core, respectively; a coil provided on the circumference of the main core; a fixed core disposed around the coil to form a magnetic path; and a permanent magnet disposed between the coil and the fixed core, wherein the first core plate is disposed outside the fixed core, the second core plate is disposed inside the fixed core, and the fixed core is provided with at least one protrusion to reduce a gap between the fixed core and the first or second core plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Dong Jin Cho, Dong Kyu Shin, Young Myoung Yeon
  • Patent number: 9404603
    Abstract: A valve manifold includes a valve body carrying pairs of laterally spaced piston actuated valves controlled by control modules operative to selectively pressurize and exhaust an outlet port connected to a fluid device and configured in groupings permitting varying valve functionalities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Inventors: John Leslie Johnson, James G. Johnson
  • Patent number: 8922369
    Abstract: An electronic faucet has a controller configured to selectively open and close a valve to provide fluid flow through the valve and a passageway of the faucet. The controller is programmed to selectively open and close the valve to generate a fluid flow pattern through the passageway to provide an indication to a user of a condition of the electronic faucet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2014
    Assignee: Masco Corporation of Indiana
    Inventor: Joel D. Sawaski
  • Patent number: 8752582
    Abstract: An improved sequencing fluid control valve comprising a housing having inlet and outlet ports, a valve seat disposed within the housing, a collapsible valve member disposed within the housing and forming a chamber and a bulb. A sequencing means disposed within the chamber that controls the axial motion of the valve member in response to application of fluid pressure at the inlet such that the motion of valve member alternates between an open free flowing state and a closed restricted flow state. Housing and valve member cooperate in the open position to provide an annular flow path that does not require the fluid flow direction to substantially change while flowing from inlet to outlet. Housing and valve member bulb cooperate in the closed position to form a circumferential seal to restrict the fluid flow. Alternative embodiments including viscous damping means and variations on the housing mount are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Aeromaster Innovations, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey J. Spitzer
  • Patent number: 8714188
    Abstract: The water hammerless opening device comprises an actuator operating type valve installed on the fluid passage, an electro-pneumatic conversion device to supply the 2-step actuator operating pressure Pa to the afore-mentioned actuator operating type valve, a vibration sensor removably fixed to the pipe passage on the upstream side of the actuator operating type valve, and a tuning box to which the vibration detecting signal Pr detected by the vibration sensor is inputted, through which the control signal Sc to control the step operating pressure Ps? of the afore-mentioned 2-step actuator operating pressure Pa is outputted to the electro-pneumatic conversion device, and with which the 2-step actuator operating pressure Pa, of the step operating pressure Ps? which makes the vibration detecting signal Pr nearly zero, is outputted from the electro-pneumatic conversion by adjusting the control signal Sc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignees: Fujikin Incorporated
    Inventors: Tadahiro Ohmi, Kouji Nishino, Masaaki Nagase, Ryousuke Dohi, Nobukazu Ikeda, Ryutaro Nishimura
  • Patent number: 8482409
    Abstract: An electronic faucet has controller is configured to selectively open and close a valve to provide fluid flow through the valve and a passageway of the faucet. The controller is programmed to monitor a maintenance condition of the electronic faucet and to selectively open and close the valve to generate a fluid flow pattern through the passageway to provide an indication to a user of an existing maintenance condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Masco Corporation of Indiana
    Inventor: Joel D Sawaski
  • Patent number: 8448657
    Abstract: A passive cycle skipping valve comprising a pawl and a wheel comprising a first plurality of pins, wherein a distal end of the pawl is configured to engage any of the first plurality of pins where when the second pin is separated from the first pin by at least a threshold pin separation distance, the valve opens and when the second pin is not separated from the first pin by at least the threshold pin separation distance, the valve does not open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Red Mountain Engineering LLC
    Inventors: Michael Edwin Slafter, Randal Edward Zugnoni
  • Patent number: 8201989
    Abstract: A fluid mixing system capable of quickly stabilizing flow rates of a plurality of fluids to be mixed is arranged to mix the fluids and deliver a mixture thereof to a container. The system includes a plurality of on-off valves for the respective fluids and delivering the fluids to the container. The on-off valves are caused to open and close in order according to respective duty ratios each indicating an opening/closing ratio in a cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: CKD Corporation
    Inventors: Kazutoshi Itoh, Yasunori Nishimura
  • Patent number: 8020574
    Abstract: A fluid passage is emergently-closed in a short time without causing a water hammer by an extremely simple device and operation. A water hammerless closing device includes an actuator operated valve provided in a fluid passage, an electro-pneumatic conversion device for supplying a 2-step actuator operating pressure Pa to an actuator operated-type valve, a vibration sensor removably secured to the pipe passage on the upstream side of the actuator operated-type valve, and a tuning box receiving a vibration detection signal Pr from the vibration sensor and delivering a control signal Sc to the electro-pneumatic conversion device for controlling the step operating pressure Ps? of the 2-step actuator operating pressure Pa so that, with the control signal Sc being regulated, the electro-pneumatic conversion device outputs the 2-step actuator operating pressure Pa with the step operating pressure Ps? capable of bringing the vibration detection signal Pr substantially to zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2011
    Assignees: Fujikin Incorporated
    Inventors: Tadahiro Ohmi, Nobukazu Ikeda, Kouji Nishino, Masaaki Nagase, Kyousuke Dohi, Ryutaro Nishimura
  • Patent number: 6634426
    Abstract: Plunger lift operations are difficult to optimize due to lack of knowledge of tubing pressure, casing pressure, bottom-hole pressure, liquid accumulation in the tubing and location of the plunger. Monitoring the plunger position in the tubing helps the operator (or controller) to optimize the removal of liquids and gas from the well. The plunger position can be tracked from the surface by monitoring acoustic signals generated as the plunger falls down the tubing. When the plunger passes by a tubing collar recess, an acoustic pulse is generated that travels up the gas within the tubing. The acoustic pulses are monitored at the surface, and are converted to an electrical signal by a microphone. The signal is digitized, and the digitized data is stored in a computer. Software processes this data along with the tubing and casing pressure data to display plunger depth, plunger velocity and well pressures vs. time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Inventors: James N. McCoy, Augusto L. Podio, Dieter J. Becker, Orvel Lynn Rowlan
  • Patent number: 6478040
    Abstract: Gas supplying apparatus and gas substitution method where machinery and parts constituting the gas system are not damaged, and where gas substitution in the gas system is carried out in a short time with good efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Nippon Sanso Corporation
    Inventors: Tsutomu Kikuchi, Tetsuya Satou, Akira Nishina, Tetsuya Kimijima
  • Patent number: 6460563
    Abstract: An improved apparatus and method are provided for irrigation systems such as automated sprinkler systems. A pre-assembled housing or valve box includes an inlet for receiving water and one or more outlets for distribution of water to other components in the irrigation system, and also includes manifolding and power and valve means for selectively controlling the flow of water from the outlets. Many of the manifold components are integrally molded with each other and provided in modular form so that the system can be relatively compact and can be customized into a variety of configurations. The manifold can consist of or include integrally formed or interconnected valve bases. The electrical power system includes a main terminal box with power lines leading to connectors adjacent each outlet, so that solenoid valves may be readily connected thereto and replaced as necessary. O-rings, non-conducting gel, and similar mechanisms are provided to ensure the water-tightness of the electrical connections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Olson Irrigation Systems
    Inventors: Donald O. Olson, Gerald Peterson, Aaron De Laby
  • Patent number: 6443173
    Abstract: An automatic auxiliary condensate drain for an automatic dry-pipe type fire protection sprinkler system, wherein condensation which forms within the sprinkler system due to changes in temperature is drained from the condensate reservoir at the direction of a programmable controller. The programmable controller coordinates the opening and closing of inlet and outlet valves so that accumulated condensate is drained from the system, yet the pressurized gas located in the sprinkler system is not allowed to escape. Actuators operate the inlet and outlet valves in response to signals from the programmable controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Inventor: Frank V. Thompson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6371162
    Abstract: An electro-mechanical actuator for operating a fluid control valve and controlling the operation of one or more field instruments, including other valve actuators. An electro-mechanical actuator has a drive unit and an electric motor driving the drive unit to open and close a fluid control valve to the fully opened and fully closed states under the control of monitoring limit open and limit closed sensors. Auxiliary control output lines connected to other field instruments from the electro-mechanical actuator drive associated fluid control valves to fully open and fully closed states. Limit open sensors and limit closed sensors monitor the valve open and closed state of the other respective field instruments and through a respective pair of auxiliary travel input lines to the electro-mechanical control the field instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: Fisher Controls International, Inc.
    Inventor: Floris J. Groeneveld
  • Patent number: 6314979
    Abstract: An inventive apparatus and method is disclosed for the automatic injection of a liquid additive (e.g., liquid fertilizer, liquid herbicide, liquid pesticide, liquid fungicide, a wetting agent solution or a mixture thereof) into a horticultural liquid dispensation system (e.g., a conventional sprinkler system). The invention can be readily packaged/installed with conventional watering systems or readily implemented with existing, installed watering systems. In one arrangement, the invention includes a programmable controller and an injection assembly comprising at least one solenoid valve and an injector. The controller senses which of a plurality of watering zones is currently being watered, and effects the transmission of electrical pulses to the solenoid valve. Such pulses cause the valve to open/close and thereby produce stroking of a spring-loaded piston within the injector. As a result, a predetermined amount, or “slug”, of liquid additive is injected into the watering system on each stroke.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Fertigator, Inc.
    Inventor: Jon S. Lips
  • Patent number: 6286765
    Abstract: A method and apparatus provides a controlled, continuous up-and-down motion of a pop-up sprinkler head device during an irrigation period to approximate a modified sine wave output from the pop-up sprinkler device assuring uniform coverage of an area to be irrigated without excessive watering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2001
    Assignee: Nibco Inc.
    Inventor: Joe D. Byles
  • Publication number: 20010015228
    Abstract: A fluid distributor valve comprising a chamber formed by a body and bonnet and having an intermediary plate through which a central shaft extends, a rotor being fitted around said central shaft and being submitted to the action of the fluid flowing into said chamber, said body having fluid outlet bottom orifices being each closed by a respective stopper, said stoppers being prised open by means activated by a reducing gear connected to said rotor, This valve is characterized in that it comprises a central device by means of which the fluid passage towards the rotor is controlled and can even be totally blocked in order to thus adjust the time during which each outlet will be held open, and also in order to keep a given outlet open and all of the remaining outlets closed when the valve has been arrested.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2001
    Publication date: August 23, 2001
    Inventors: Emilio Serrano Sanchez, Juan Capdevila Arnau, Armand Puiggros Roig
  • Patent number: 6206042
    Abstract: A modular modular control apparatus for a water treatment system which periodically undergoes a regeneration cycle including a backwash phase and a replenishment phase. The modular control apparatus has a modular design which includes interchangeable timer modules, a drive motor module, a drive mechanism, a valve cartridge unit, a brine valve module and interchangeable brine valve levers. The timer modules are rugged and relatively inexpensive but are not adjustable. Thus, to adjust the predetermined interval between regeneration cycles, a different timer module is installed. The drive mechanism includes two camming elements which in cooperation with an interchangeable lever and brine line sealing module draw a brine solution from the brine tank to replenish the treatment media and refill the brine tank with water to form a new brine solution. The use of interchangeable brine valve levers allows the quantity of brine solution used to replenish the treatment media to be easily adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: Chemical Engineering Corporation
    Inventors: Alan B. Channell, Rudy B. Wilfong, Robert W. Wilfong, Danny J. Painter