Automatically Operated Patents (Class 219/509)
  • Patent number: 10676859
    Abstract: A method for measuring the humidity of a laundry mass contained in a laundry treatment chamber of a laundry appliance. The method includes: providing a capacitor in the laundry appliance, said capacitor having, as part of the capacitor dielectric, the laundry mass; measuring a capacitance of said capacitor by means of an electronic circuitry electrically supplied by a supply voltage and a reference voltage. Providing a capacitor comprises: providing in the laundry appliance at least one conductive plate which forms a plate of said capacitor, and exploiting, as a second plate of said capacitor, routing lines distributing inside the laundry drying appliance said reference voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Electrolux Appliances Aktiebolog
    Inventors: Fabio Vitali, Vincenzo Romeo
  • Patent number: 9842714
    Abstract: Systems and methods of detecting current leakage in a heating element are provided. An alternating current signal can be applied to the heating element. The heating element can have an associated line relay and an associated neutral relay coupled to a line terminal of the heating element and a neutral terminal of the heating element, respectively. A control system can be configured to control a sequence of operations of the line and neutral relays such that the magnitude of a leakage current flowing through the heating element to ground is increased. Such increased magnitude can facilitate detection of the leakage current. The detected leakage current can be compared with a leakage threshold. The control system can cease the operation of the heating element if the leakage current is greater than the leakage threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Assignee: Haier US Appliance Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Leroy Reder, Davide Jonathan Leone
  • Publication number: 20150139630
    Abstract: Provided herein are systems and methods directed to using renewable energy sources with hot water heating systems.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventor: David Kreutzman
  • Patent number: 9006618
    Abstract: A combined seat heater and capacitive occupancy sensor comprises a heating element (10) connected between a first (21) and a second (22) node, and a capacitive sensing network connected to the heating element to apply an oscillating voltage thereto and to derive the capacitive load of the heating element. A common mode choke (16) connects the first and second node to a third (23) and fourth (24) node, respectively. The capacitive sensing network comprises an oscillator (28), AC-coupled to the third and/or the fourth node to drive oscillating voltage into that node, and a transimpedance amplifier (32), which has a first input to receive the oscillating voltage as reference voltage and a second input operatively connected to the heating element. The transimpedance amplifier maintains a voltage on its second input equal to the reference voltage by driving a current into the second input. An output signal (44) indicates the AC component of the current driven into the second input.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: IEE International Electronics & Engineering S.A.
    Inventors: Laurent Lamesch, Aloyse Schoos
  • Publication number: 20150053151
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a fluid flow sensor and low flow cut-off device and an associated method for its operation that is easily integrated into a fluid delivery and/or fluid control system for a variety of appliances, such as boilers and water heaters. The fluid flow sensor and low flow cut-off device can determine a fluid flow rate in or to an appliance and whether that fluid flow rate meets or exceeds a predetermined fluid flow rate threshold for the safe and/or efficient operation of the appliance and, if the threshold is not met, disable the appliance from operating or continuing to operate under such conditions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Applicant: Therm-O-Disc, Incorporated
    Inventor: Timothy Graff
  • Publication number: 20150001200
    Abstract: Systems, devices and methods for sensing moisture within an electronic device are disclosed. A device may include a housing and a display defining an exterior of an electronic device and an interior of the electronic device. Further, the device may include an integrated circuit (IC) within the electronic device and a control element within the electronic device. The device may also include a moisture sensor such as an inductive sensor, a capacitance sensor, or both. The moisture sensor, which may be part of the IC, together with the control element may sense moisture within the electronic device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Inventors: Marcellus Harper, Jason Maynard
  • Publication number: 20150003854
    Abstract: In a heating device, a detector detects AC voltage of the AC power source. A control device detects a zero-cross timing of the AC voltage by using the detector and generate a signal having a high level period of time, a low level period of time, a rising transition changing from a low level to a high level, and a falling transition changing from the high level to the low level. The signal is such a form that at least one of the rising transition and the falling transition is in incoincidence with the zero-cross timing. The control device controls the heating switch to perform a switching action in which the heating switch is rendered on when the zero-cross timing is detected during the high level period of time and rendered off when the zero-cross timing is detected during the low level period of time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 26, 2014
    Publication date: January 1, 2015
    Applicant: BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Akihiro SHIBASAKI, Katsumi INUKAI
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8895903
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for controlling the supply of power to a radiant heater of a cooking hob. According to one implementation a method is provided that includes the use of a control circuit that is configured to deliver power to the radiant heater via first and second electrical paths. One control method includes supplying a first level of power to the radiant heater through a closed disconnection switch situated in the first electrical path while sensing a temperature of the cooking hob. Upon detecting that the temperature has reached or exceeded a predetermined temperature, the control circuit terminates the supply of power to the radiant heater through the first electrical path by opening the disconnection switch and for at least a period of time initiating the supply of a second level of power to the radiant heater through the second electrical path, the second level of power being less than the first level of power and sufficiently low to cause the radiant heater to cool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Eika, S. Coop
    Inventors: Daniel de los Toyos López, Jon Endika Azpiritxaga Zalbide, Agustin Etxebarrieta Alonso
  • Patent number: 8869426
    Abstract: A washing and/or drying appliance includes a heating circuit (140) for heating a washing liquid and/or a drying air flow, connected to voltage distribution lines (105a,105b) distributing power inside the appliance. The heating circuit includes at least one heating resistor (205) in series to switch means (210a,210b) controlled by an appliance control unit (125) for selectively energizing the heating resistor when required. The switch means of the heating circuit includes a first and a second switch (210a,210b) in series to the heating resistor, the heating resistor being interposed between the first and second switches. A monitoring circuit arrangement is provided, which includes a first resistor (R1) in shunt to the heating resistor and having a resistance substantially higher than that of the heating resistor, and a pull-up network connected between a first terminal (215b;215a) of the heating resistor and one of the voltage distribution lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.
    Inventors: Marco Lorenzi, Paolo Driussi
  • Patent number: 8867908
    Abstract: A hot water heater includes a tank for storing water, one or more heating elements for selectively applying heat to the water in the tank, and a controller for controlling the heating elements, operative to automatically self-program control of the hot water heater to reduce energy consumption of the hot water heater based on usage data. The controller is operative to execute a learning algorithm that tracks usage data of the hot water heater based on one or more parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Joseph Mark Brian, Michael Thomas Beyerle, Jay Andrew Broniak, David C. Bingham
  • Publication number: 20140251979
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method of operating an electric heater having a resistive heating element selectively coupled to an AC power supply by a first pair of contacts of a first relay having opened and closed state conditions and by a second pair of contacts of a second relay having opened and closed state conditions and a switch coupled in parallel to the second pair of contacts. The method includes changing a state condition of one of the first and second relays while maintaining the state condition of the other of the first and second relays; upon the changing of the state condition, shunting the output of the second relay contacts coupled with the resistive heating element to the switch; and changing the state condition of the other of the first and second relays after completion of debounce for the one of the first and second relays.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Publication date: September 11, 2014
    Applicant: WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION
    Inventor: SAADAT HUSSAIN
  • Patent number: 8796592
    Abstract: A staining device for staining samples has a heating device including a first heating element and a second heating element. A switch arrangement allows the two heating elements to be connected in parallel or in series. A power connection supplies power to the heating elements. A sensor is designed and located to detect a current supplied to the heating elements. A switching unit is coupled to the sensor and determines a voltage causing the current. Depending on the voltage, the switching unit connects the heating elements in parallel or in series.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Leica Biosystems Nussloch GmbH
    Inventor: Markus Berberich
  • Patent number: 8618452
    Abstract: A microwave oven comprises a cooking cavity and a RF generation module configured to deliver microwave energy into the cooking cavity. A controller is operatively associated with the RF generation module. The controller receives and processes a signal indicative of current state of an associated energy supplying utility for determining whether to operate the microwave oven in one of a normal operating mode and an energy savings mode in response to the received signal. The controller is configured to at least temporarily block the signal when the RF generation module is activated if a frequency of the signal is at least partially degraded by a frequency of the RF generation module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: John K. Besore, Michael F. Finch, Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, Craig Nold, Jeff Donald Drake, Derrick Douglas Little
  • Patent number: 8614407
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for supplying current to a glow plug in a running diesel engine after reaching the operating temperature thereof by a series of current pulses, wherein a piston of the engine carries out a work cycle comprising several strokes and the glow plug is supplied with current as a function of the strokes of the work cycle such that the electric current supplied in each work cycle is mainly supplied at a predetermined, steady stroke of the piston, wherein control time intervals that follow each other are defined, during which up to two switching processes can be triggered by a control device, by which the glow plug can be connected to a voltage source for creating a current pulse or can be disconnected from the voltage source for ending a current pulse. According to the invention, the control time intervals have a duration that can be varied by the control device as a function of the rotational speed of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: BorgWarner BERU Systems GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Kernwein, Peter Schaefer
  • Publication number: 20130334203
    Abstract: Enhanced safety for electrical appliance, such as toaster, toaster ovens or rotisseries, is provided by a circuit arrangement which removes power from all or a portion of the appliance upon detection of potentially dangerous conditions as well as activating a visual or audible alarm. The circuit arrangement includes sensors and circuitry for detecting various types of dangerous or hazardous conditions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Applicant: TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH CORPORATION
    Inventor: Raymond L. Legatti
  • Publication number: 20130319997
    Abstract: A portable keep-warming device with time control function is proposed. A carbon film on a keep-warming sheet of the keep-warming device is mixed with silver so as to have greater resistance. Therefore, a small current will have a sufficient heat generated. Besides, the packaging of the keep-warming sheet with the carbon fiber layer and the metal gluing layer provides a greater heat dissipating area. The different time control modes provides the function of fast heating of the keep-warming sheet and long using time of the battery so as to increase the usages of the present invention. Furthermore, the appearance of the keep-warming sheet can be formed as desired to as to suit different usages of the keep-warming sheet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Publication date: December 5, 2013
    Inventor: Ming-Yi CHAO
  • Publication number: 20130270256
    Abstract: There is provided an instantaneous water heater capable of expelling heated water or steam when internal pressure reaches or exceeds a predetermined pressure, thus preventing an accident, product damage, or the like. The instantaneous water heater includes a main body having an inlet allowing water to be introduced therethrough and an outlet allowing water to be discharged therethrough; a heating unit disposed in the main body and heating water introduced to the main body; and a decompression unit connected to a decompression hole disposed in the main body and expelling heated water or steam to the outside thereof when internal pressure within the main body reaches or exceeds a predetermined pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Applicant: COWAY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Si-Jun Park, Jin-Seong Ka, Jin-Hwan Noh, Hyun-Seok Moon, Jae-Man Kim, Young-Jae Lee, Byung-Sun Mo, Dae-Hwan Kim
  • Patent number: 8530793
    Abstract: Disclosed is a warm window system that utilizes individual buss bars that are placed within the space between an inside window pane and an outside window pane and creates sufficient physical force to create an electrical contact on the tin oxide layer on the inside surface of the inside pane of glass. The buss bars have a modulus of elasticity to ensure sufficient electrical contact with the tin oxide layer to prevent the formation of hot spots and securely hold the buss bars in place. Both a z buss bar and c buss bar are also disclosed that are capable of generating a sufficient amount of reactive force to create a secure contact with a tin oxide layer on the interior surface of an interior pane of glass in a warm window system to hold the buss bar in place and provide a large contact surface area to provide sufficient electrical contact with the tin oxide layer to prevent hot spots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Energized Glass, LLC
    Inventors: Steven X. Johnson, Dave Lundahl
  • Patent number: 8450659
    Abstract: A load control system and method of time multiplexing power to a plurality of holding shelves in a food holding cabinet to allow total cabinet power to be limited to electrical distribution capabilities. This method allows for individual shelf heaters to be utilized normally to maintain food temperatures during normal use and modulates power when multiple shelves demand heating that would normally exceed branch circuit capabilities thus tripping the breaker. The system monitors temperature of each shelf and based upon demand executes a logical demand schedule for each shelf heater output (time multiplexing or modulating AC power to each) such that total system demand does not exceed available power to the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2013
    Assignee: Restaurant Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Andrew Theodos, Steven Matthew Takata, Charles D. Grant
  • Publication number: 20130126517
    Abstract: A household appliance has a heating circuit (140) for heating a fluid including a heating element (150) that can be selectively energized (155) to determine the heating of the fluid, and a monitoring unit (125) for monitoring the operation of the heating circuit. The monitoring unit (125) is configured to monitor at least one electrical potential internal to the heating circuit (140). The at least one electric potential internal to the heating circuit (140) is at least one among:—an internal electric potential detected at a first terminal (160b) of the heating element (150) connected to an on/off switch (155) of the heating circuit (140);—an internal electric potential detected at a second terminal (160a) of the heating element (150) connected to a main switch (135) of the appliance or to a safety switch provided for switching the heating circuit off in case of malfunction of the on/off switch (155).
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Publication date: May 23, 2013
    Applicant: ELECTROLUX HOME PRODUCTS CORPORATION N.V.
    Inventors: Paolo Driussi, Marco Lorenzi
  • Publication number: 20130105456
    Abstract: A solar energy system comprising a defrosting module. The defrosting module includes a first light sensor configured to be located on a solar panel and to produce a first signal which is proportional to the intensity of sunlight reaching the solar panel. The defrosting module includes a second light sensor configured to be located proximate to the solar panel and configured to produce a second signal which is proportional to the intensity of ambient sunlight in the vicinity of the solar panel. The defrosting module includes a control circuit configured to compare the first signal and the second signal and to produce an activation signal when the difference between the first signal and the second signal reaches a threshold value, wherein the activation signal is configured to activate a heater module coupled to the solar panel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2011
    Publication date: May 2, 2013
    Applicant: LSI Corporation
    Inventors: Roger A. Fratti, Arlen R. Martin, Cathy L. Hollien
  • Publication number: 20130091627
    Abstract: A heater includes: a power source for supplying power; a heating section for receiving power from the power source and converting the received power into heat energy; an electrical leakage breaker circuit for cutting off a power transfer from the power source to the heating section; and a control section for receiving leaked current information from the electrical leakage breaker circuit and operating the electrical leakage breaker circuit when the leaked current amount exceeds a preset amount or electrical leakage breaker state information is stored, wherein when the power transfer is cut off, the control section stores the electrical leakage breaker state information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: WOONGJIN COWAY CO., LTD
    Inventor: Tae-Kyung Kang
  • Patent number: 8389908
    Abstract: Systems and methods source a heating resistor to control temperature. For example, a sensor block assembly (SBA) heater controls the temperature of a MEMS device in a sensor block assembly. An exemplary embodiment generates a root mean square (RMS) pulse width modulation (PWM) control signal based upon an input voltage from a power source, controls a switch in accordance with the RMS PWM control signal; and sources a heater resistor from the power source in accordance with the controlling of the switch. Power to the heating resistor is controlled by the switch to provide a substantially constant value of power to the heating resistor for varying values of the input voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Schwerman
  • Patent number: 8378262
    Abstract: A defogging device for reducing fog on a surface of a substrate, which comprises a power unit and a heating element. The heating element is attached to the substrate, which comprises at least one carbon nanotube film comprising carbon nanotubes arranged substantially parallel to each other. The heating element transforms electricity into heat to vaporize fog of the first surface of the substrate when the heating element is connected to the power unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2013
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Chao-Tsang Wei, Ga-Lane Chen
  • Publication number: 20130026156
    Abstract: A heating unit for use in heating a propane tank is disclosed. The heating unit includes a first pliable cover layer, and a second pliable cover layer pliable electrical heating element disposed therebetween. The pliable electrical heating element includes a heat generating element for converting electrical energy to heat energy and a heat spreading element. The heat spreading element comprises carbon that is thermally coupled to the heat generating element for distributing the heat energy. A thermal insulation layer is positioned to a second side of the pliable electrical heating element and adjacent the first cover layer. Additionally, a receiving power connector is electrically connected to the heat generating element and is configured to couple to an electrical power source. The heating unit is sized to substantially cover the sides and one or both ends of a propane tank.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2012
    Publication date: January 31, 2013
    Inventors: David Naylor, Thomas Caterina
  • Patent number: 8324538
    Abstract: Systems and methods to source a resistive load, such as a heating resistor, to control temperature while adhering to a specified power draw budget and/or a specified root mean square (RMS) current limit. For example, a sensor block assembly (SBA) heater controls temperature of a MEMS device in a sensor block assembly while adhering to the power draw budget and/or an average current limit. An exemplary embodiment generates a pulse width modulation (PWM) control signal, controls a switch in accordance with the control signal, sources the resistive load from a power source in accordance with the controlled switch, and modifies the duty factor of the switch to reduce the power drawn by the resistive load in response to the power drawn by the resistive load exceeding a power limit defined by a slope-intercept curve. The limiting of power into a resistor load limits the RMS current drawn by that load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Schwerman
  • Publication number: 20120298650
    Abstract: A method and apparatus of generating a laser pulse of a desired energy and micro-machining a substrate using the laser pulse. A beam of light is provided from a laser source. The beam is directed via a modulator to produce an output laser pulse with a portion of the laser pulse being used to determine the energy of the laser pulse. The modulator is controlled so as to switch off the output laser pulse when the determined energy of the output laser pulse reaches a threshold value. The output laser pulse is steered to a substrate for micro-machining.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 22, 2011
    Publication date: November 29, 2012
    Inventors: Krzysztof Michal Nowak, Howard John Baker, Roy McBride, Jozef Jacek Wendland
  • Patent number: 8304699
    Abstract: A proximity switch flow sensor detects movement of a faucet handle of a faucet of a hot water container in order to detect flow from the hot water container. The proximity switch flow sensor includes an emitter paired with a detector, which can be mounted in association with the faucet handle to detect open and closed positions of the faucet handle, to provide electronic logic information regarding the status of the faucet handle position, as an indication of a flow condition, to a control unit that controls heating of water in the hot water container. An electro-mechanical switch and a mechanism to transfer movement of the faucet handle to the switch may also be used to detect open and closed positions of the faucet handle as an indication of a flow condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: BE Intellectual Property, Inc.
    Inventors: Winston S. Fliess, Anitha Kalla
  • Publication number: 20120273475
    Abstract: Disclosed is an automatic mattress heating apparatus which automatically heats a mattress selectively or completely. An automatic mattress heating apparatus which automatically heats a part or the entirety of a heated area of a mattress according to the number of sleeping persons or the positions of the sleeping persons. The automatic mattress heating apparatus is safely and conveniently used while properly providing heat according to the number of sleeping persons or the positions of the sleeping persons without waste of energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2011
    Publication date: November 1, 2012
    Inventor: Jung Ho An
  • Patent number: 8178821
    Abstract: A substrate treating apparatus for treating substrates with a treating liquid is disclosed. The apparatus includes a treating tank for storing the treating liquid, and treating the substrates as immersed in the treating liquid, a chamber surrounding the treating tank, a supply device for supplying an inert gas containing an organic solvent into the chamber, a lift mechanism vertically movable, while supporting the substrates, between a process position in the treating tank and a wait position above the treating tank and inside the chamber, a tank temperature control device for controlling temperature of the treating tank, a chamber temperature control device for controlling temperature of the chamber, and a control device for causing the tank temperature control device and the chamber temperature control device to perform heating treatment at least while the inert gas containing the organic solvent is supplied from the supply device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tomoaki Aihara
  • Publication number: 20120017770
    Abstract: Disclosed is a cooking appliance provided with: a water tank (30) disposed inside a main case (10); a steam-generation device (40) that generates steam by heating water supplied from the water tank (30); a heating chamber (20) to which steam from the steam-generation device (40) is supplied; an exhaust duct (72), provided inside the main case (10), for expelling exhaust from inside the heating chamber (20) to outside the main case (10); an exhaust temperature sensor (74) that measures the temperature of the exhaust air inside the exhaust duct (72); and a steam-generation decision unit that, upon cooking in which steam is supplied from the steam-generation unit (40) into the heating chamber (20), uses information on a physical quantity (the exhaust temperature measured by the exhaust temperature sensor (74)), which indirectly indicates whether there is water in the steam-generation device (40), to decide whether or not to halt steam generation, including the case in which the water tank (30) is out of water.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2010
    Publication date: January 26, 2012
    Inventors: Yasuaki Sakane, Toshiaki Ueki
  • Patent number: 8089032
    Abstract: An electronic controller that is adapted to cooperate with a decorative wall plate is provided. In one illustrative embodiment, the electronic controller may be adapted to be mounted in a junction box, with a user interface having a shape and size to fit within one or more apertures in a wall plate. The wall plate may be secured relative to the electronic controller and/or junction box such that the user interface extends at least partially through the one or more aperture in the wall plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Stephane Beland, Francois Houde
  • Patent number: 8084715
    Abstract: A control panel used in combination with a power unit to control the operation of a sauna. The control panel is equipped with a microprocessor that has software and proper circuitry to allow a user to use buttons to input information into the control panel regarding the time, temperature, and day on which heating within the sauna is to occur. Additionally, the power unit has a microprocessor with a pulse width modulation output that causes individual heating elements to continuously produce varying intensities of heat in order to maintain a consistent desired temperature, and/or intermittently radiate heat creating a wave of heat to be emitted by each individual heating element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2011
    Assignee: Quad Cities Automatic Pools, Inc.
    Inventor: Keith A. Hall
  • Patent number: 8039774
    Abstract: A heating system in the form of a multi-layer, yet relatively thin and flexible panel. The panel contains a number of layers including first, second and third electrically insulating layers. A first electrically conductive resistive layer (heater layer) is sandwiched between the first and second insulating layers. A second electrically conductive resistive layer (resistive neutral plane layer) is sandwiched between the second and third insulating layers. The heater layer has a neutral electrical connection and a live electrical connection. The neutral and live electrical connections are electrically connected to each other at the panel only by electrically resistive material of the heater layer extending between the neutral and live electrical connections. The resistive neutral plane layer has a neutral electrical connection electrically connected with the neutral connection of the heater layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: United States Gypsum Company
    Inventor: Ashish Dubey
  • Publication number: 20110174801
    Abstract: Systems and methods source a heating resistor to control temperature. For example, a sensor block assembly (SBA) heater controls the temperature of a MEMS device in a sensor block assembly. An exemplary embodiment generates a root mean square (RMS) pulse width modulation (PWM) control signal based upon an input voltage from a power source, controls a switch in accordance with the RMS PWM control signal; and sources a heater resistor from the power source in accordance with the controlling of the switch. Power to the heating resistor is controlled by the switch to provide a substantially constant value of power to the heating resistor for varying values of the input voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2009
    Publication date: July 21, 2011
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Paul Schwerman
  • Patent number: 7847683
    Abstract: An apparatus for implementing an emergency machine off circuit of a fabrication system, includes: at least one safety switch adapted for shunting an operation enable signal from a piece of equipment selected for removal from service, the switch also removing from service supplemental devices for the selected equipment. A semiconductor fabrication system and a method for removing equipment from service are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory S. Boettcher, William R. Copeland, Joseph P. DeGeorge, Scott M. Hargash, William T. Petry, Robert R. Young
  • Publication number: 20100236110
    Abstract: An automatically cooling iron has: a housing with an electric heating plate on the bottom, a fan inside of the housing, a motion status detector and an automatic switch circuit. The motion status detector is a ball switch providing three kinds of status information: statically and horizontally placing/statically and vertically standing/motion. The automatic switch circuit has a heating switch, a fan switch and a microprocessor. The microprocessor calculates horizontally placing time or vertical standing time according to the information of statically and horizontally placing/statically and vertically standing/motion provided by said ball switch, and if the horizontally placing time or vertical standing time reaches a predetermined value, the microprocessor controls the heating switch to cut off power to the electric heating plate and controls the fan switch to turn on the fan.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 18, 2010
    Publication date: September 23, 2010
    Applicant: Tsann Kuen (Zhangzhou) Enterprise Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chih-hwa LEE
  • Patent number: 7791004
    Abstract: A fluid heating system configured to regulate a temperature of a fluid within a fluid receptacle having a fluid reservoir includes a processing unit, at least one fluid temperature sensor in electrical communication with the processing unit, and a heating element in electrical communication with the processing unit. The at least one fluid temperature sensor is configured to detect a temperature of one or both of the fluid receptacle and/or fluid retained within the fluid receptacle. The processing unit selectively activates and deactivates the heating element to regulate the temperature of the fluid within the fluid receptacle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2010
    Assignee: Allied Precision Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas K. Reusche, Philip E. Chumbley
  • Patent number: 7728260
    Abstract: Disclosed is a warm window system that utilizes individual buss bars that are placed within the space between an inside window pane and an outside window pane and creates sufficient physical force to create an electrical contact on the tin oxide layer on the inside surface of the inside pane of glass. An insulating nonconductive layer can also be used in conjunction with the buss bars. That include metal strips, braided wires, spring loaded indentations, etc. The buss bars have a modulus of elasticity to ensure sufficient electrical contact with the tin oxide layer. The buss bars can be used with either hard coat or soft coat tin oxide coatings on tempered glass or annealed glass. Electrical connections and wires are hidden from the viewing area of the warm window system to enhance the aesthetic value of the warm window system. Retrofit systems allow use of the warm window system in conjunction with an existing installed window system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Inventor: Steven X. Johnson
  • Publication number: 20100102050
    Abstract: A proximity switch flow sensor detects movement of a faucet handle of a faucet of a hot water container in order to detect flow from the hot water container. The proximity switch flow sensor includes an emitter paired with a detector, which can be mounted in association with the faucet handle to detect open and closed positions of the faucet handle, to provide electronic logic information regarding the status of the faucet handle position, as an indication of a flow condition, to a control unit that controls heating of water in the hot water container. An electro-mechanical switch and a mechanism to transfer movement of the faucet handle to the switch may also be used to detect open and closed positions of the faucet handle as an indication of a flow condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2008
    Publication date: April 29, 2010
    Applicant: BE Intellectual Property, Inc.
    Inventors: Winston S. Fliess, Anitha Kalla
  • 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: 7554063
    Abstract: A heating apparatus including a housing defining a volume of air therein having an inlet and an outlet aperture. The heating apparatus also includes a heat generator having an elongate tubular metal sheath extending between an inner end and an outer end, a resistive wire within the sheath, and a substantially nonconducting material for electrically isolating the sheath relative to the resistive wire. The heat generator includes a terminal portion at the inner end and a heating portion extending between the terminal portion and the outer end of the sheath. The terminal portion is adapted for connection to a source of electrical power. Also, the heating portion of the heat generator is positioned in the housing to heat the volume of air. The heating apparatus also includes one or more insulators for electrically isolating the sheath relative to the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Dimplex North America Limited
    Inventors: Kristoffer Hess, Jeffery J. Kube
  • Patent number: 7475495
    Abstract: The current invention relates to a clothes dryer having a dryness sensing device and method of use comprising at least two electrically conductive sensor bars placed closely together but not touching one another so that articles in the dryer can contact two of the sensor bars at the same time. At least one sensor bar is electrically connected to an electrical current source and at least one sensor bar is electrically connected to an electrical ground. A microcontroller is electrically connected between the electrical current source and the electrical ground so as to be capable of measuring the voltage across the sensor bars when the sensor bars are contacted by the articles being dried. The microcontroller is configured so as to determine the dryness of the articles by calculating the electrical resistance of the articles by using the value of the voltage across the sensor bars and the value of the current through the sensor bars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Howell H. Chiles, Timothy E. White
  • Publication number: 20090003406
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for testing thermal switches is disclosed including modulating the temperature of a receiver in thermal contact with a thermal switch at a first rate within a range containing the nominal switch temperature of the thermal switch. A first temperature at which the switch changes state is recorded. The temperature is then modulated at a second rate and a second temperature at which the switch again changes state is recorded. The temperature may be modulated at a third rate slower than the second rate to determine a third temperature. The first, second, and third switch temperatures are then processed and output to an operator. The first, second, and third rates may be determined according to an exponentially decreasing function.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2007
    Publication date: January 1, 2009
    Applicant: FLUKE CORPORATION
    Inventors: Allen Erik Sjogren, Eric Nerdrum, Michael Harney
  • Publication number: 20080128407
    Abstract: A razor blade is dried by inserting a razor into a device having an electrically operated fan that turns on when a user places the razor into or onto it. The controller that controls the fan includes at least a suitable switch or sensor and a power source but can also include a timer that turns the fan off after a predetermined time interval.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2007
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Inventor: Brian Scott Cohn
  • Patent number: 7307245
    Abstract: Various present invention devices enable adherence to requirements for medical items. A medical item of the present invention includes a monitoring or data recording device to monitor and/or record medical solution conditions. The device may further include indicators to indicate compliance of the medical solution with prescribed requirements (e.g., manufacturer, medical standard or regulation, etc.). The medical item may alternatively include a barcode or transponder to uniquely identify the medical item to a thermal treatment system measuring and storing conditions in a central database. The present invention further includes various thermal treatment systems that monitor medical items for prescribed requirements and display the monitored parameters to medical personnel. In addition, the present invention may place time stamp information on medical items to enable determination by medical personnel of compliance with prescribed requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2007
    Assignee: Patented Medical Solutions, LLC
    Inventors: Durward I. Faries, Jr., Bruce R. Heymann, Calvin Blankenship, David Hendrix
  • Patent number: 7186954
    Abstract: Apparatus is provided for detecting and controlling an abnormal rise in temperature associated with a combination of a cooking utensil (10) and a cooking surface (4) overlying an electric heater (6). A temperature-responsive device (24) monitors the temperature of the cooking utensil (10), while cooking utensil detection means (26) detects the location of the cooking utensil (10). Control means (30) is adapted to control energizing of the heater (6) whereby an abnormal rise in temperature associated with an event within the cooking utensil (10) is distinguished from an abnormal rise in temperature sensed by the temperature-responsive device (24) and associated with removal of the cooking utensil (10) from the cooking surface (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Ceramaspeed Limited
    Inventor: Peter Ravenscroft Wilkins
  • Patent number: 7180036
    Abstract: A temperature control system having a re-circulation loop that uses valves to selectively circulate a temperature control fluid through a cooling system, through a heating system, or through a through passage so as to controlling the temperature of the temperature control fluid, which, in turn, controls the temperature of a target. A temperature sensor monitors the target's temperature. A controller controls valve operation in response to the temperature measured by the temperature sensor to obtain a predetermined target temperature. Beneficially, the controller controls the target's temperature according to a predetermined temperature profile. Continuous etching along a predetermined temperature profile is possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2007
    Assignee: Oriol, Inc.
    Inventor: Boris Atlas
  • Patent number: 6869538
    Abstract: A method, system and apparatus for performing peritoneal dialysis are provided. To this end, in part, a method of controlling a medical fluid heater is provided. The method includes the steps of determining a first heater control output based on a number of measured inputs for the heater and at least one mathematical relationship between at least two of the measured inputs, determining a second heater control output based on at least one fuzzy logic membership function and at least one fuzzy logic rule, and determining a third heater control output based on the first and second outputs and using the third heater control output to control the heater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Baxter International, Inc.
    Inventors: Alex Anping Yu, Peter Hopping