Including Bridge Means Patents (Class 219/499)
  • Patent number: 10520556
    Abstract: A bridge circuit having a full-bridge circuit having a first branch and a second branch coupled in parallel, the first branch comprising a first half-bridge circuit and a first tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) resistor cascade coupled in series, and the second branch comprising a second half-bridge circuit and a second TMR resistor cascade coupled in series, wherein the full-bridge circuit has an offset voltage of zero or substantially close to zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventor: Juergen Zimmer
  • Patent number: 10517145
    Abstract: A chemical liquid thermostat control device is provided, and has a chemical tank for accommodating a chemical liquid, PTC resistor patterns for heating and maintaining the chemical liquid in a constant temperature, a current limit circuit for controlling the PTC resistor patterns to heat or to stop heating according to a real-time resistance value of each of the PTC resistor patterns, so as to maintain the chemical liquid at the constant temperature. The PTC resistor patterns are uniformly spaced in the chemical tank and immersed in the chemical liquid. Each of the PTC resistor patterns is connected with the current limit circuit through a wire. A heating power of a heating device can be real-time adjusted for intelligently heating. Thus, it is safer and a fire risk can be prevented. The life time of the PTC resistor patterns is more than a decade, and doesn't need be replaced frequently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2019
    Assignee: WUHAN CHINA STAR OPTOELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Di Ma
  • Patent number: 10003312
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a resistor having an input coupled to an output of an amplifier. The apparatus also includes a feedback circuit coupled to an output of the resistor and to an input of the amplifier. The feedback circuit includes a first component of a voltage divider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2018
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventor: Vijayakumar Dhanasekaran
  • Patent number: 9992821
    Abstract: A heating apparatus includes a power source, a heating unit, and a control unit. The control unit includes a transistor and a thermal resistor. The transistor is connected between the power source and the heating unit to control the power source to provide power to the heating unit. The thermal resistor is connected to the transistor. A resistance value of the thermal resistor changes along with ambient temperature to turn on or off the transistor to control the power source to provide power to the heating unit according the ambient temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignees: HONG FU JIN PRECISION INDUSTRY (WuHan) CO., LTD, HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Xin Ye, Chun-Sheng Chen
  • Patent number: 9823105
    Abstract: A circuit arrangement (1) for monitoring the temperature of an electronic component (2), which, in particular, can be impinged with an electric current and can be connected to at least one voltage source (3). The circuit arrangement is able to guarantee safe monitoring of the temperature of an electronic component impinged with electric current by the electronic component (2) being part of at least one Wheatstone bridge (7) and by at least one switching device (8) being provided that influences the impingement of the electronic component (2) with electric current on the basis of a bridge transverse voltage of the Wheatstone bridge (7). Additionally, circuit arrangement (1) is well suited for use in a calorimetric mass flowmeter (18).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: KROHNE Messtechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Jürgen Lehmkuhl, Jörg Kube
  • Patent number: 9816975
    Abstract: A fluid state detection apparatus which can detect a short failure in which a constituent Wheatstone bridge circuit is shorted to a power supply. A combustible gas detection apparatus (1) judges that a short failure has occurred in a constant temperature control circuit (231) (S240) when a top potential V21 is equal to or greater than a first judgment value Vth1 and a difference D1 (=V11?V31) is equal to or greater than a second judgment value Vth2. As a result, apparatus (1) can distinguish “a state in which a bridge circuit (210) is shorted to a DC power supply (40) (where the constant temperature control circuit 231 is in a short failure state)” from “a state in which the resistance of the heat generation resistor (15) deceases due to a combustible gas (hydrogen)” based on the top potential V21 and the difference D1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masahiro Yamashita, Shoji Kitanoya, Masaya Watanabe
  • Patent number: 9719864
    Abstract: A method for determining the ambient temperature of an electronic device, the device comprising heat-generating components (102) and a temperature sensor (105) positioned within a common casing (101), the method comprising the steps of: in an environment with a controlled ambient temperature: determining (307) a device-specific coefficient of power dissipation change (a) between a first (Emin) and second (Emax) power modes, wherein in the second power mode (Emax) the device dissipates more power than in the first power mode (Emin); and in an environment for which the ambient temperature is to be determined: measuring (203-205) temperatures (Tmin, Tmax) by the temperature sensor (105) for the first power mode (Emin) and the second power mode (Emax), calculating (206) ambient temperature (Tamb) as a function of the measured temperatures (Tmin, Tmax) and the device-specific coefficient of power dissipation change (a).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: ADVANCED DIGITAL BROADCAST S.A.
    Inventors: Miroslaw Wlodarczyk, Piotr Paszkudzki
  • Patent number: 9550541
    Abstract: A two-wheeled vehicle includes a frame, a plurality of ground-engaging members for supporting the frame, and an engine supported by the frame and operably coupled to the ground-engaging members. Additionally, the two-wheeled vehicle includes an upper and lower fairing assembly that cooperate together to define wind flow around the vehicle. Vents and deflectors are controllable to regulate the airflow to the rider. A vehicle control unit is operable to control the heated grips and the cruise control. A trunk is provided for mounting to the motorcycle and is electrically coupled to a harness running beneath the seat. The vehicle is further profiled to receive a hand held GMRS handset and smart phone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: Indian Motorcycle International, LLC
    Inventors: Ryan P. Lenton, Donald W. Kahl, John M. Nutter, Neil P. Quade, Andrew J. Novak
  • Patent number: 9554421
    Abstract: Oven appliances and methods for operating oven appliances are provided. An oven appliance includes a cooking assembly, the cooking assembly including a heating element. The oven appliance further includes a user interface panel, the user interface panel comprising a resistive touchscreen operable to transmit electrical signals. The oven appliance further includes a controller in communication with the resistive touchscreen and the heating element. The controller is operable to receive the electrical signals, select a calibration set based on a temperature-related operating condition, and interpret the electrical signals based on the selected calibration set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: Haier US Appliance Solutions, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric Xavier Meusburger
  • Patent number: 9242747
    Abstract: It is disclosed herein an innovative concept for in-space propulsion for future Air Force, NASA and commercial systems having mass and power scalability over a wide range and using easily-handled advanced propellants. The invention combines the fields of microdischarge physics and nonequilibrium plasmadynamics to reduce dramatically the size of electric thrusters by 1-2 orders of magnitude, which when coupled with micronozzles that are electrically conducting or electrically insulating result in high thrust and high thruster efficiency, and will enable scalable, low-cost, long-life distributable propulsion for control of femtosats, picosats, nanosats, microsats, and space structures. The concept is scalable from power levels of 1 W to several kilowatts with thrust efficiency approaching 60%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: CU Aerospace, LLC
    Inventors: Rodney L. Burton, Gabriel F. Benavides, David L. Carroll
  • Patent number: 8952299
    Abstract: A dual resistance heater for a phase change material region is formed by depositing a resistive material. The heater material is then exposed to an implantation or plasma which increases the resistance of the surface of the heater material relative to the remainder of the heater material. As a result, the portion of the heater material approximate to the phase change material region is a highly effective heater because of its high resistance, but the bulk of the heater material is not as resistive and, thus, does not increase the voltage drop and the current usage of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Yudong Kim, Ilya V Karpov, Charles C. Kuo, Greg Atwood, Maria Santina Marangon, Tyler A. Lowrey
  • Patent number: 8909033
    Abstract: A method is provided for interconnecting a single electrical heating element of a hot water heater to first and second AC electrical power sources. Typically, these first and second AC electrical power sources include a utility provided electrical power source and a renewable power source that generates AC power from DC power. The method includes operating a controller that selectively connects and disconnects the first and second power sources. If sufficient electrical power is available from the renewable power source, the utility provided electrical power source may be disconnected to preferentially utilize renewable energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Inventor: David Kreutzman
  • Publication number: 20140308051
    Abstract: The heating apparatus includes a first detection part which detects whether or not the power supplied to the heat generation member is in an overpower state by detecting a positive phase of a half wave in an alternating voltage of a commercial power supply applied to the first or the second current path of the heat generation member, a second detection part which detects whether the power supplied to the heat generation member is in an overpower state or not by detecting a negative phase of a half wave in an alternating voltage the commercial power supply applied to the first current path or the second current path of the heat generation member, and a control part which controls itself to stop supplying power from the commercial power supply to the heat generation member in a case where an overpower state is detected by the first or second detection part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2014
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Inventor: Yasuhiro Shimura
  • Patent number: 8779337
    Abstract: A thermal type flow sensor measures a flow rate of a fluid by means of a heat resistive element having a temperature dependency. The sensor is comprised of: plural heat resistive elements used for a flow rate measurement; and a driver circuit for controlling a current applied to these heat resistive elements to cause their heating. The driver circuit is configured to sense a resistance change of a lower-temperature side heat resistive element among the plural heat resistive elements and to control the current to be applied to the plural heat resistive elements in accordance with a sensed value of the lower-resistance's variation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nakano, Masamichi Yamada, Masahiro Matsumoto, Izumi Watanabe
  • Patent number: 8653420
    Abstract: A temperature control circuit of an oven controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) is provided. A first and a second digital potentiometer are correspondingly arranged in a bridge circuit which outputs a voltage to an input terminal of a differential amplifier (OPAMP), wherein the resistance value of the first digital potentiometer is adjustable so as to adjust the temperature of the oven to the peak temperature of the crystal resonator, and the resistance value of the second digital potentiometer is adjustable so as to cancel the temperature gradient of the first digital potentiometer. In the temperature control circuit of OCXO, the heat generation of the heater resistor is controlled by the power transistor based on the control voltage from the differential amplifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Nihon Dempa Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Junichi Arai
  • Patent number: 8357874
    Abstract: A plasma supply device includes a full bridge circuit that is connected to a DC power supply and that has two half bridges each with two series connected switching elements. The plasma supply device further includes a primary winding of a power transformer connected to centers of the half bridges between the switching elements. The primary winding includes a tapping connectable to an alternating current center between the potentials of the DC power supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Huettinger Elektronik GmbH + Co. KG
    Inventors: Thomas Kirchmeier, Hans-Juergen Windisch, Hanns-Joachim Knaus, Michael Glueck
  • Patent number: 8283609
    Abstract: An on die thermal sensor in a semiconductor memory device includes: a reference voltage generating unit for generating a band gap voltage and generating a reference voltage by using the base band gap voltage; a voltage amplifying unit for outputting a temperature voltage by amplifying the band gap voltage; and a temperature information code generating unit for generating a temperature information code corresponding to a voltage level of the temperature voltage, wherein voltage variation of the temperature voltage is amplified as much as a preset amplifying value and a maximum voltage level of the temperature voltage is maintained lower than that of a power supply voltage used in the semiconductor memory device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Hynix Semiconductor Inc.
    Inventor: Chun-Seok Jeong
  • Patent number: 8203102
    Abstract: A thermal type flow sensor measures a flow rate of a fluid by means of a heat resistive element having a temperature dependency. The sensor is comprised of: plural heat resistive elements used for a flow rate measurement; and a driver circuit for controlling a current applied to these heat resistive elements to cause their heating. The driver circuit is configured to sense a resistance change of a lower-temperature side heat resistive element among the plural heat resistive elements and to control the current to be applied to the plural heat resistive elements in accordance with a sensed value of the lower-resistance's variation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Nakano, Masamichi Yamada, Masahiro Matsumoto, Izumi Watanabe
  • Patent number: 8035060
    Abstract: The invention provides for an inkjet printhead having a plurality of micro-electromechanical vapor bubble generators. Each bubble generator includes a nozzle in fluid communication with an ink chamber, and a heater positioned in thermal contact with ink in the chamber. Each generator also includes drive circuitry configured to provide a modulated pulse to the heater to generate a vapor bubble in the ink in said chamber, the pulse comprising a pre-heat series of a predetermined number of pulses separated by a predetermined period, followed by a trigger pulse of a period twice that of said predetermined period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd
    Inventors: Angus John North, Samuel James Myers, Kia Silverbrook
  • Patent number: 7994455
    Abstract: Traditional temperature-control products have the problem that the temperature of the working surface reaches the setting temperature too slowly when heating up or recovering from a temperature drop. A traditional temperature control circuit and temperature-settings selector components are modified to solve this problem. When heating begins, the modified circuit increases the initial setting temperature to be above the target setting temperature. The modified circuit then adjusts the setting temperature by measuring the heating power consumption. Once the working surface of the temperature control product reaches the initial setting temperature, the heating power consumption drops and the modified circuit reduces the temperature setting to the target setting temperature. The temperature control product can rapidly achieve the target temperature. A positive-temperature-coefficient heating component is used in the temperature control product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Pericom Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Qun Song, Fang Xie, Qi Wu, Zeyu Huang
  • Patent number: 7679354
    Abstract: A phase detecting device includes a power input unit that receives an AC voltage; a phase detector that detects zero-crossing points of the AC voltage, and outputs a phase detecting signal when the zero-crossing points of the AC voltage are detected; and a power switch that selectively cuts off a flow of AC into the power input unit in response to a mode control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2010
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Bong-su Shin
  • Patent number: 7626144
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for rapid temperature changes of thin samples is disclosed. The apparatus comprises of a thin-film resistive element embedded in a membrane, a narrow gap between the membrane and a heat sink, and a control circuit. The resistive element acts both as a heater and as a temperature sensor to reduce time constant of the control circuit. The gap between the membrane and the heat sink is filled with gas (e.g., N2 or He) acting as cooling medium with low thermal inertia. The temperature controller has a microsecond time constant, which allows adjusting rapidly the power applied to the membrane, depending on heat released/absorbed by a sample during an isotherm or during a given rate of temperature changes. The membrane has low thermal inertia and, coupled with high-speed temperature controller, allows controlled cooling and heating rates up to 100 000 K s?1 and higher. The method can be a core of any setup where controlled fast temperature-time profile of thin or small sample is desirable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Inventor: Mikhail Merzliakov
  • Patent number: 7598476
    Abstract: A fusing apparatus in an image forming apparatus that heats a fusing unit by applying an induced current is provided. The flicker characteristics of the fusing apparatus are improved by gradually increasing the amount of induced current applied to the fusing unit for a predetermined amount of time so that the amount of induced current applied to the fusing unit is prevented from severely varying. The fusing apparatus comprises a fusing unit which is resistance-heated or induction-heated by applying an induced current and fuses toner onto paper using the heat. The fusing apparatus further comprises a pulse width modulation (PWM) signal generation unit which generates a PWM signal in response to the ON signal so that the amount of induced current input to the fusing unit gradually increases to a reference current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Young-Min Chae, Hwan-Guem Kim, Durk-Hyun Cho, Su-Kyoung Chae, Sang-Yong Han
  • Patent number: 7589299
    Abstract: In one aspect, a cooktop heating system that include a first cooktop heating element, a second cooktop heating element, and an interface device. The system also includes a controller for selectively associating the interface device with any one or both of the first cooktop heating element and the second cooktop heating element. In another aspect, the system includes at least one cooktop heating element, a potentiometer, and controller arrangement operatively connected between the potentiometer and the at least one cooktop heating element to determine heating of the at least one cooktop heating element responsive to the input provided by the potentiometer and control power provision to the at least one cooktop heating element responsive to the determination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Electrolux Home Products, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary Fisher, Chris Ray Blackson
  • Patent number: 7508671
    Abstract: A computer system and its method of cooling are provided. A vapor chamber serves as a heat spreader for heat from the microelectronic die. A thermoelectric module serves to cool the vapor chamber and maintain proper functioning of the vapor chamber, thus keeping the microelectronic die cooled. A controller receives input from five temperature sensors, and utilizes the input to control current to the thermoelectric module and voltage/current to a motor that drives a fan and provides additional cooling. A current sensor allows the controller to monitor and limit power provided to the thermoelectric module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Ioan Sauciuc, Gregory M. Chrysler, Ravi V. Mahajan
  • Patent number: 7491911
    Abstract: A MEMS vapour bubble generator that uses a heater in thermal contact with a liquid to generate a bubble. The heater is energized by an electrical pulse that is shaped to have a relatively low power, sub-nucleating portion and a high power portion that nucleates the bubble. The thermal energy transferred to the liquid by the sub-nucleating portion speeds up the nucleation of the bubble across the surface of the heater during the nucleating portion. This produces larger, more stable bubble having a regular shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Silverbrook Research Pty Ltd
    Inventors: Angus John North, Samuel James Myers, Kia Silverbrook
  • Patent number: 7404880
    Abstract: A layered sensor element used in a gas measuring sensor for measuring a physical property of a measuring gas, preferably for determining the temperature of the measuring gas or the concentration of a component of the measuring gas. The sensor element contains a wave-form heater, which is embedded in a porous heater insulation. At least one separating element having a lower porosity than the porous heater insulation is provided between two adjacent sections of the wave-form heater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Johannes Kanters, Lothar Diehl, Stefan Rodewald
  • Patent number: 7304272
    Abstract: A system for adjusting parameters of a temperature sensor for settling time reduction is disclosed. The system includes an input for receiving a signal for triggering an adjustment of one or more parameters associated with one or more portions of the temperature sensor. And, an adjuster that includes a current sourcing/sinking adjuster, a feedback loop current adjuster and a feedback loop resistance adjuster coupled to the input. The adjuster adjusts one or more voltages associated with one or more portions of the temperature sensor in response to a receipt of the signal for triggering an adjustment to achieve the settling time reduction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: National Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Dan D'Aquino, Mehmet Aslan
  • Patent number: 7247816
    Abstract: A heating apparatus includes a heating roller that is heated by heating units, a main power supply that supplies power from an external power supply to the main heating unit, and an auxiliary power supply that supplies power to the auxiliary heating unit. The auxiliary power supply further includes a mass capacitor of multiple capacitor cells, which are charged by the external power supply. The connection mode of the capacitor cells is changed at least at the time of electric discharge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2007
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuhito Kishi, Eriko Konno
  • Patent number: 7223946
    Abstract: A method for controlling and regulating an electrical heating of a probe situated in the exhaust system of an internal combustion engine, a total heating power of the probe being set, and an actual temperature value of the probe being determined by measuring a characteristic parameter, e.g., a resistance. To prevent overheating of the probe ceramics, and therefore over-compensation of aging effects when using such a method, a rated heating power is determined by way of a program map as a function of operating points of the internal combustion engine; a control heating power is determined from the actual temperature value and a new setpoint value in a controller; and the total heating power is formed as the sum of the rated heating power and the control heating power. Moreover, due to this procedure, the regulating reserve of the controller is retained in wide ranges of the operating points. A cost advantage is yielded, because a measuring resistor and an analog-to-digital converter can be omitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2007
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Eberhard Schnaibel, Andreas Koring
  • Patent number: 7196294
    Abstract: A solder-joint detection circuit uses a resistive bridge and a differential detector to detect faults in the solder-joint network both inside and outside the digital electronic package during operation. The resistive bridge is preferably coupled to a high supply voltage used to power the package. Resistors R1 and R2 are connected in series at a first junction between the high and low supply voltages and a resistor R3 is coupled to the high supply voltage and connected in series with the resistance of the solder-network at a second junction. The network is held at a low voltage on the die. The detector compares the sensitivity and detection voltages and outputs a Pass/Fail signal for the solder-joint network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Ridgetop Group, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Hofmeister, Philipp S. Spuhler, Bert M. Vermeire
  • Patent number: 7002112
    Abstract: A heating apparatus includes a heating roller that is heated by heating units, a main power supply that supplies power from an external power supply to the main heating unitl, and an auxiliary power supply that supplies power to the auxiliary heating unit. The auxiliary power supply further includes a mass capacitor of multiple capacitor cells, which are charged by the external power supply. The connection mode of the capacitor cells is changed at least at the time of electric discharge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2006
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuhito Kishi, Eriko Konno
  • Patent number: 6974934
    Abstract: An apparatus including a reference resistor for use with ratiometric temperature sensing of a device to be sensed. The resistive element has a resistance dependant upon a temperature of the device to be sensed and is electrically coupled to a reference resistor. The reference resistor is maintained at a substantially constant temperature by a temperature controller. A sensor circuit is electrically coupled to the resistive element and the reference resistor to sense their electrical parameters when a current passes through them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: Intel Corporation
    Inventors: Douglas A. Sprock, Robert A. Carney, David K. Thiesen
  • Patent number: 6933476
    Abstract: A heating unit includes a bridge having an arm in which there is located a heating element, and a circuit for directing a sensing current through the heating element. The circuit of the present invention reduces the duty cycle of the sensing current, thus reducing the average sensing current and allowing the use of higher peak sensing currents. In one embodiment, a set of zener diodes determines the start and stop points of the sensing current pulses. In another embodiment, the start and stop points are determined by electronic logic performed by a quad comparator. In another embodiment, one of the zener diodes is replaced by a SIDAC. The invention allows sensing of heating elements having very small temperature coefficients. The circuits of the invention produce a sensing current which is relatively unaffected by variations in supply voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Inventors: Bruce E. Metz, Mark S. Robinson
  • Patent number: 6849833
    Abstract: A temperature control system for reducing flicker in an electrical resistance heater comprising: an electrical resistance heater divided into at least two electrical loads and; a source of electrical power for repetitively supplying electrical power to each of the at least two electrical loads at successive different time sub periods within a predetermined time period, wherein the sum of the power supplied to the at least two electrical loads is equal to the total power supplied to the electrical resistance heater during the predetermined time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: John A. Harrington, Steven W. Tanamachi
  • Publication number: 20040149728
    Abstract: A heating unit includes a bridge having an arm in which there is located a heating element, and a circuit for directing a sensing current through the heating element. The circuit of the present invention reduces the duty cycle of the sensing current, thus reducing the average sensing current and allowing the use of higher peak sensing currents. In one embodiment, a set of zener diodes determines the start and stop points of the sensing current pulses. In another embodiment, the start and stop points are determined by electronic logic performed by a quad comparator. In another embodiment, one of the zener diodes is replaced by a SIDAC. The invention allows sensing of heating elements having very small temperature coefficients. The circuits of the invention produce a sensing current which is relatively unaffected by variations in supply voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2003
    Publication date: August 5, 2004
    Inventors: Bruce E. Metz, Mark S. Robinson
  • Patent number: 6586712
    Abstract: A temperature limiting user interface comprises a potentiometer for providing a reference signal to an electronic apparatus, the electronic apparatus being adapted to generate heat as a function of the reference signal; and a temperature-sensitive impedance, thermally coupled to the electronic apparatus so as to receive at least a portion of the heat, and electrically coupled to the potentiometer so as to alter the reference signal as a function of temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Harry Kirk Mathews, Jr., John Stanley Glaser, Austars Raymond Schnore, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6586711
    Abstract: An improved control for the heater element of a motor vehicle engine exhaust gas oxygen sensor determines the temperature of the heater element and adjusts the heater element current by closed-loop control to minimize deviation of the heater element temperature from a desired heater temperature determined in relation to the desired oxygen sensor temperature. The heater temperature is calculated based on the heater element resistance, and the heater resistance is adaptively adjusted to account for sensor-to-sensor variation. The adaptive adjustment is updated based on a deviation of the measured heater element resistance from an expected value under predetermined calibration conditions at engine start-up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher E. Whitney, Yonas Nebiyeloul-Kifle, Jeffry A. Helmick, Bradley E. De Pottey
  • Publication number: 20030019865
    Abstract: An improved control for the heater element of a motor vehicle engine exhaust gas oxygen sensor determines the temperature of the heater element and adjusts the heater element current by closed-loop control to minimize deviation of the heater element temperature from a desired heater temperature determined in relation to the desired oxygen sensor temperature. The heater temperature is calculated based on the heater element resistance, and the heater resistance is adaptively adjusted to account for sensor-to-sensor variation. The adaptive adjustment is updated based on a deviation of the measured heater element resistance from an expected value under predetermined calibration conditions at engine start-up.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 27, 2001
    Publication date: January 30, 2003
    Inventors: Christopher E. Whitney, Yonas Nebiyeloul-Kifle, Jeffry A. Helmick, Bradley E. De Pottey
  • Publication number: 20020130123
    Abstract: Device for detecting, monitoring and controlling the operating status of an electric iron which is provided with at least one electric heating circuit having a heating element and a first power switch of the iron connected in series to the heating element. The device includes a control unit being provided as an integrated circuit, a second power switch which is controlled by the control unit depending on the operating status of the electric iron and which is connected in series with the electric heating circuit. An indicator unit having at least one indicator element indicates the heating status of the electric iron. A low voltage power supply for energizing at least one of the control unit, indicating unit, and second power switch. A low-impedance measuring resistance is connected in series with the second power switch, and provides an indirect detection means of the switching status of both power switches.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2002
    Publication date: September 19, 2002
    Inventor: Helmut Prager
  • Patent number: 6429410
    Abstract: A circuit for heating a component is maintained at a predefined operating temperature by a resistance heating element. A control system for the temperature of the resistance heating element is provided. From a determination of the average electrical energy delivered to the resistance heating element, an analysis arrangement concludes that the predefined operating temperature of the component to be heated has been at least approximately reached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Stefan Koch
  • Patent number: 6307187
    Abstract: A method of operating a resistance heating element and a device for carrying out the method are described. During a first step, the resistance of a resistor of the resistance heating element is determined at a known base temperature. In a second step, the resistance setpoint value is determined as a function of resistance of the resistor at the known base temperature and known temperature coefficients. The resistance heating element is activated by approximately setting the resistance setpoint value in order to heat the resistance heating element to the given setpoint temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Cornelius Peter, Kurt Ingrisch, Thomas Weigold, Guenther Riehl
  • Patent number: 6198077
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a temperature compensated timer for a heating appliance that heats a food item during a heating cycle. The timer includes a coil having first and second terminals and presenting a resistance between the terminals that is a function of temperature changes of the coil. A timing circuit is coupled to the first and second terminals of the coil. The timing circuit operates to drive a current through the coil to maintain a heating cycle and to generate a delay signal a delay time after the heating cycle is initiated. The delay time has a value that is a function of the resistance of the coil. The delay signal is operable to remove the current from the coil to terminate the heating cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2001
    Assignee: Salton, Inc.
    Inventor: Lawrence Lile
  • Patent number: 6191398
    Abstract: A dry bath with a heat conductive block having a plurality of bores adapted to receive tubes containing samples of material. The dry bath includes a heater and a temperature sensor mounted to the block. A heat controller executes a control cycle of initially operating the heater to heat the block in the absence of the tubes to a desired temperature. Next, the heat controller automatically detects a change in temperature of the block in response to tubes being placed in the bores, wherein the samples in the tubes have a temperature different, for example, less, than the desired temperature. In that case, the heat controller operates the heater to first automatically heat the block to a temperature greater than the desired temperature. Thereafter, the heat controller automatically reduces the heat being applied to the block while heat continues to transfer to the samples such that the block and samples simultaneously reach, and are maintained at, the desired temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2001
    Assignee: Barnstead/Thermolyne Corporation
    Inventors: Steven C. Peake, Jason A. Harms
  • Patent number: 6100510
    Abstract: A control device includes both a heating element and a temperature sensor. The control device has the form of a Wheatstone bridge which applies sensing current to the heating element. When the bridge is unbalanced, the control device may apply heating current to the heating element. In one embodiment, the sensing current is switched, so that it flows only for a relatively small part of the electrical cycle. The circuit also includes a provision for reduction or elimination of electrical spikes. The circuit further includes a calibration arrangement, which enables the user to adjust the bridge without passing heating current through the heating element. Another feature of the invention enables the set point of the bridge to be remotely controlled, by adjusting a level of analog current applied to the bridge. The circuit also includes an arrangement for compensating for temperature-induced changes in its components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Assignee: Bruce E. Metz
    Inventors: Stephen T. Chen, Bruce E. Metz
  • Patent number: 5981918
    Abstract: A circuit is provided for temperature-dependent control of the heating current of seat heaters to detect with a high functional reliability an interruption in the lead wire to a temperature element and to shut down the heating current in the event that an interrupt is found.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Rainer Topp, Gerald Materna
  • Patent number: 5938961
    Abstract: A controller for controlling the cooking of food within a cooking apparatus. The controller is comprised of a temperature sensor input for receiving an output of a temperature sensor and a system for initiating a cook of a food product based upon a set cook temperature and a set cook time. Plural indications of incremental energy that is absorbed by the food product during the cook are determined, wherein each of the plural indications of incremental energy is based upon a difference between a temperature determined at the temperature sensor input and a desired internal temperature of the food product. The end of the cook is established when the total of the plural indications of incremental energy is one of equal to and greater than an ideal energy to prepare the food product based upon the set cook time and the cook temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1999
    Inventor: Charles A. Maher, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5861610
    Abstract: An improved heater wire and electro-thermal controller suitable for use in electric heating appliances such as electric blankets and heating pads. The heater wire is formed with a first conductor for heat generation and a second conductor for sensing. The first conductor and second conductor are wound as coaxial spirals with an insulation material electrically isolating the two conductors. The two spirals are counter-wound with respect to one another to insure that the turns cross, albeit on separate planes, several times per inch. With the conductors thus formed, if the insulation separating the conductors fails, the first and second conductors will come into electrical contact to facilitate detection of this hazardous condition. The controller of the present invention includes an electronic control unit a sensor input circuit, a heater driver circuit and a user interface circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1999
    Assignee: Micro Weiss Electronics
    Inventor: John Weiss
  • Patent number: 5847367
    Abstract: The temperature of a heating element (3), which heating element has a temperature dependent resistance, is measured by comparing the current through it with a user adjustable reference value. The AC voltage across a current sensing resistor (7) in series with the heating element (3) is compared in a comparator (9) with a reference AC voltage generated at a tap (6) of a voltage divider (8). The phase of the logic output signal of the comparator (9) indicates a first state in which the heating element (3) is too hot or is not conducting, or a second state in which the heating element (3) is too cold and conducting. A second comparator (16) detects whether or not the heating element (3) is conducting. A logic gate (18) and a latch (17) switch on the current through the heating element (3) in response to timed pulses from a timing circuit (15) and switch off the current through the heating element (3) when the heating element (3) is conducting and too hot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1998
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Philip T. Hancock, John S. Crawford
  • Patent number: 5705792
    Abstract: A temperature sensing system that includes a temperature probe, a signal conditioning circuit, and a microprocessor. The conditioning circuit incorporates a novel dual voltage range measurement technique that improves the accuracy of such systems. The safety circuitry is provided in order to protect against thermal runaway and to inhibit or enable a door lock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: Robertshaw Controls Company
    Inventor: Donald W. Graham