Material Level Patents (Class 340/612)
  • Patent number: 10318609
    Abstract: A system for deriving the operating state of a machine comprises one or more sensors for making available in each case an output value relating to a current parameter of a component of the machine, and a processing unit which is connected to the sensors and is programmed to derive information about the operating state of machine using a model and on the basis of the measured values of the sensors and/or values derived therefrom. The processing unit can be supplied with a state transition matrix, elements of an emission probability matrix for the probability that an observation is conditioned by a certain state, and a vector for describing an input state, in order to derive the operating states of the machine therefrom. The processing unit is programmed to derive elements of the emission probability matrix from the measured values of the sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: DEERE & COMPANY
    Inventors: Sebastian Blank, Folker Beck, Frank Kneip
  • Patent number: 9646330
    Abstract: A method, system and computer-readable medium for managing usage of storage tank consumables in a storage tank are provided. This is achieved by receiving and storing by a central server comprising a processor and a storage device, measurements of storage tank consumables from a remote system associated with a storage tank; periodically calculating by the processor usage-based data for generating invoices for storage tank consumables based on sensor measurements representative of an estimated usage of the storage tank consumables; receiving and storing by the central server a fill value representing an actual usage reported to the central server when the storage tank is filled; and reconciling the estimated usage with the actual usage by the processor by summing all estimated usages since a last fill of the storage tank, calculating a difference between the sum of the estimated usages and the fill value, and issuing a debit or credit based on the difference for reconciliation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Inventors: Loren Owens, Ken Stauffer
  • Patent number: 9618612
    Abstract: An obstruction marking method includes generating a first echo curve using an electronic level gauge (ELG) coupled to a tank from a first reflected signal (echo signal) received when a material in the tank is at a first level. The ELG includes a radar-based obstruction detection algorithm stored in a memory coupled thereto. A processor implementing the obstruction detection algorithm identifies at least a first feature in the first echo curve to provide at least one suspected obstruction along with its position (first feature position). A second echo curve is generated from a second reflected signal when the material is at a second level. A third echo curve is generated from a third reflected signal when the material is at a third level. The suspected obstruction at the first feature position is stored in the memory as a verified obstruction with its first feature position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Mark L. Muldowney
  • Patent number: 9612147
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a radar level gauge system comprising a first receiver branch for converting a reflection signal to a first digital measurement signal, and a second receiver branch configured to convert the reflection signal to a second digital measurement signal. The first receiver branch modulates an amplitude of the first measurement signal according to a first gain function, and the second receiver branch modulates an amplitude of the second measurement signal according to a second gain function different from the first gain function. The radar level gauge system further comprises processing circuitry configured to determine the filling level based on the first measurement signal and the second measurement signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Rosemount Tank Radar AB
    Inventor: Christer Frovik
  • Patent number: 9474837
    Abstract: A fluid level sensor assembly for monitoring a fluid level in a fluid collection canister of a medical waste fluid collection system. The fluid level sensor assembly includes a fluid level sensor configured for monitoring the fluid level in the fluid collection canister and a fluid level sensor cover configured for preventing direct contact between the fluid level sensor and a fluid in the fluid collection canister. The fluid level sensor cover includes a polymeric cap and polymeric sheath extending from the cap. The elongate tubular sheath surrounds an elongate probe of the sensor with the cap positioned at a base of a sensor body of the sensor to prevent direct fluid contact with the elongate sensor probe and the sensor body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: Dornoch Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Craig B. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 9470085
    Abstract: A computed-implemented method, a device, and a non-transitory computer readable storage medium are disclosed that can perform a method of visualizing sensor data obtained from a plurality of wells at a well site. The method can include acquiring sensor data from one or more sensors operable to measure conditions of subsystems of each well in the plurality of wells at the well site; determining, by a processor, a visual representation of the sensor data; and causing the visual representation of the sensor data to be displayed in a matrix layout on a visual display, wherein the matrix layout comprises an end row representing a current value of the sensor data and one or more intermediate rows representing a past value of the sensor data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Robert Saunders
  • Patent number: 9453611
    Abstract: An apparatus, system and method for measuring quantity of a material are disclosed. One or more sensors are used to measure the quantity of the material are measured and error causing parameters are also measured. Error causing parameters are processed by executing one or more correction methodologies to determine a correction output. The quantity of the material is measured by using the correction output. One or values associated with the quantity of the material are measured and displayed. The one or more values are transmitted to a server and informative messages are received from the server.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Inventor: Shailendra K Suman
  • Patent number: 9385551
    Abstract: Devices, methods and systems disclosed herein relate to a universal charger which provides a power supply for the charging of OMTP devices and non-OMTP devices based on whether an OMTP mobile communication device or a non-OMTP mobile communication device is connected. A power charging apparatus is provided for charging a mobile communication device. The power charging apparatus includes a connector for connecting to a charging port of the mobile communication device, and a controller coupled to the connector, the controller configured to determine whether the mobile communication device connected to the connector is a non-OMTP mobile communication device or an OMTP mobile communication device, the controller further configured to charge a non-OMTP mobile communication device when a non-OMTP mobile communication device is connected to the connector, and further configured to charge an OMTP mobile communication device when an OMTP mobile communication device is connected to the connector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Superior Communications, Inc.
    Inventors: George Chen, Samuel Sentosa
  • Patent number: 9087651
    Abstract: A vibration limit switch system and related method is provided with a piezoelectric transmitting- and/or receiving unit, in operable connection with a membrane that can be put in oscillation, and a mechanical oscillation arrangement that is coupled to the membrane, whereby the piezoelectric transmitting- and/or receiving unit is adhered directly, or via an adaptation layer by an adhesive layer, to the membrane 4. In this improvement, the adhesive layer between the membrane and the transmitting-and/or receiving unit or the adaptation layer has a thickness in an edge area R which thickness is elevated in comparison to a central area Z. This thickness is arranged in differing geometries and amounts to further improve performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: VEGA GRIESHABER KG
    Inventors: Martin Mellert, Joern Jacob, Holger Gruhler
  • Patent number: 9085961
    Abstract: A well cellar high fluid level alarm includes a control box providing a water-tight enclosure and a alarm control circuitry disposed within the control box. An audible alarm indicator is operably connected to the alarm control circuitry. A visual alarm indicator is operably connected to the alarm control circuitry. A float switch is operably connected to the alarm control circuitry. An electrical power cable is operably connected to the control circuitry and provides electrical power thereto. A control switch is operably connected to the control circuitry and is operable to turn the control circuitry on and off. Operational indicator lamps are operably connected the control circuitry and operates to indicate an on or off state of the control circuitry. The control circuitry operates to operate the audible alarm indicator and the visual alarm indicator upon the float switch sensing a high fluid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Inventor: Keldon Ehalt
  • Patent number: 9019076
    Abstract: A storage system for material containers provides a readable ID distinguishing each container, and includes a scale that weighs containers, so that the system can distinguish between containers that are sufficiently loaded to be effective and containers that are insufficiently loaded. The system preferably includes storage for containers held in contact with readers of the container IDs. This allows a controller to keep track of containers checked out for use and returned for storage, and to identify containers that have been discharged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Key Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: George H. Eckerdt
  • Patent number: 8983667
    Abstract: A system is provided to control fluid flow in a wastewater treatment system through wastewater level manipulation. The wastewater treatment system may include a wastewater treatment plant connected to a plurality of pump stations by a main. Each of the plurality of pump stations may include a wet well with a pump therein. The system may include a central server in communication with a sensor to sense a level of wastewater within the wet well. The pump may be automatically moved to an on position when the level of the wastewater in the wet well is at or above a first level and may be automatically moved to an off position when the level of the wastewater in the respective wet well is at or below a pump cutoff level. The central server may systematically manipulate the first level to selectively set the level of wastewater within the wet well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Data Flow Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas F. Smaidris
  • Patent number: 8976029
    Abstract: A system of managing product at a location in which a weight-sensing RFID tag is utilized to determine the weight or pressure applied to a substrate and then this information is read by an RFID reader and then transmitted to a data storage repository and processing program for further handling of the data. The data storage repository and processing program may be near the RFID reader or may be remotely located with respect to the RFID reader.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Inventor: Annette Cote McTigue
  • Patent number: 8941503
    Abstract: The water saving alarm for use with a toilet tank is an accessory that works in conjunction with an existing toilet to provide an audible alarm upon detection of a drop in water level inside of the toilet tank for a predetermined amount of time. The water saving alarm is solely capable of alerting an end user to a continuously running toilet in order for said end user to take corrective action with said toilet. The water saving alarm includes a housing that rests atop of the top, edge of the toilet tank, and from which an air pressure tube descends downwardly inside of the toilet tank in order to detect water level therein. The audible alarm is produced from a speaker located elsewhere on said housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Inventor: Ted G. Hobson
  • Patent number: 8941504
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of determining if a fluid level in a transmission is satisfactory. The transmission includes a controller and is coupled to a powered vehicle. The method includes measuring a grade of the surface upon which the vehicle is positioned with an inclinometer and measuring the fluid level in the transmission with a fluid sensor. The method also includes communicating the measured grade and measured fluid level to the controller and determining a fluid level threshold based on the measured grade. The measured fluid level and fluid level threshold are compared and a determination is made if the measured fluid level is satisfactory based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Inventor: Avery T. Sheets
  • Patent number: 8917576
    Abstract: Utilizing a sonar system to determine if a structural member of an underwater support structure that is supposed to be filled with air is instead flooded with water. The determination that a supposedly air filled structural member is instead flooded with water provides an indication that the structural member is cracked or damaged, making it easier to find damaged members and effect suitable repair. The sonar system is located a distance from the structural member so that it is spaced from the structural member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Inventors: Harry J. Lichter, Joseph M. Cuschieri
  • Patent number: 8906240
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to early detection of low bicarbonate level. In certain aspects, a method includes receiving a first signal from a conductivity detector connected to a line through which a solution of salt concentrate and fluid flows and determining a first conductivity of the solution based on the first signal. The method also includes receiving a second signal from the conductivity detector at a time after receiving the first signal, determining a second conductivity of the solution based on the second signal, and determining whether the second conductivity is less than the first conductivity by at least a threshold amount.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2014
    Assignee: Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Joseph Crnkovich, Aiyuan Wang, Fei Wang
  • Patent number: 8887392
    Abstract: Apparatus useful for connecting a drain pan overflow sensor to the evaporator assembly of a ductless mini-split HVAC system includes at least one carrier extending upwardly from the overflow sensor and at least one connector releasably engageable with the carrier and at least one fin and/or evaporator coil tube of the evaporator assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: The Rectorseal Corporation
    Inventors: Zhengyi Xu, Robert Allen Martinelli
  • Patent number: 8866624
    Abstract: Signaling systems are disclosed that indicate a change in an absorbent article, such as the presence of a body fluid. The various different signaling systems disclosed do not include any conductive elements contained on the interior of the article as were required in the past. Instead, the changes are monitored from the outer cover of the article. In one aspect, for instance, a signaling device is provided for sensing and indicating the presence of a body exudate in an absorbent article, the device including a housing and a capacitive sensor disposed within the housing, the capacitive sensor adapted to sense a change in capacitance due to an insult to the absorbent article. The signaling device can include an attachment mechanism for removably attaching the housing to the absorbent article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Sudhanshu Gakhar, Andrew Mark Long
  • Patent number: 8842016
    Abstract: A system for notifying when a fire extinguisher is discharged or moved uses a device mounted on the fire extinguisher for monitoring one or more conditions. For example, the device may be interconnected with a trigger detecting mechanism otherwise present on the extinguisher or sense a sudden drop in pressure to detect when the extinguisher is activated. An accelerometer may be provided to detect motion. GPS processing can identify the location of the fire extinguisher when an event occurs. When the device detects a change in one or more of the conditions, or needs to send periodic updates of the fire extinguisher conditions, a message is forwarded from the device to a third party clearinghouse via a wireless communication network. The clearinghouse reviews the data, and forwards the data, as may be appropriate, to one or more authorized parties identified in the database.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Cellco Partnership
    Inventors: Carlos A. Cazanas, Azam Khan, Terence John Sullivan
  • Patent number: 8836521
    Abstract: One aspect of the invention is an apparatus including an alarm for alerting an operator to recharge a humidifier, wherein such alarm is generated other than through the use of a humidity sensor. In one embodiment the total work performed during heating and hydrating an insufflation gas is measured and an alarm generated when the total work performed exceeds a particular threshold. In another embodiment, a flow meter is used to measure the total flow of insufflation gas so that when the total flow of insufflation gas reaches a predetermined level an alarm is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Lexion Medical LLC
    Inventors: Duane Lloyd, Douglas E. Ott
  • Patent number: 8823532
    Abstract: A fluid leak containment device (20) having a back wall (32), a left wall (38), a front wall (26), a right wall (44) and a base (24) is disclosed. The front wall (26) has a height (74) less than that the height (72) of the back wall (32), the left wall (38), and the right wall (44). The base (24) has plateaus (50) and valleys (52) that direct the flow of a fluid (22) to the front wall (26) if a leak does occur. A sensor (64) may be placed to provide additional auditory or visual alerts when fluids (22) are detected by the sensor (64) in fluid leak containment device (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Inventor: Rollin R. Carlblom
  • Patent number: 8760302
    Abstract: A dewatering system includes a selective calibrating sensor circuit configured to receive sensor readings from an electronic sensor, to determine if the electronic sensor is immersed in water, to allow a user to adjust a pump down time in the field, and to generate a control output signal accordingly. The selective calibrating sensor circuit periodically performs a self-calibration when the electronic sensor is not immersed in water to cancel the effect of potential contaminants deposited on the electronic sensor over its operating life. The selective calibrating sensor circuit inhibits calibration when the electronic sensor is immersed in water. In some applications with multiple electronic sensors, the selective calibrating sensor circuit disconnects from one of the electronic sensors before performing the self-calibration. In certain embodiments, a pump control circuit including the selective calibration sensor circuit can be configured to be mounted with a housing of the pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: SEEwater, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald MacDonald
  • Patent number: 8742953
    Abstract: A marine fuel system and method includes receiving a fuel level signal from a fuel level sensor for a marine fuel tank on a marine vessel and discriminating between condition A comprising an increase in the true amount of fuel in the fuel tank above a given level, and condition B comprising a transient increase in the level of fuel in the fuel tank above the given level due to vessel movement, which may include movement due to waves, rough water, people moving on the vessel, and so on, while the vessel is stationary at a dock or filling station and being re-fueled. An alert signal is output in response to condition A and not to condition B.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew W. Snyder, Aaron J. Ward
  • Patent number: 8736455
    Abstract: A fluid volume alarm system is presented. The alarm system has a container for storing fluid, and alarm module coupled to the container for notifying a user or observer that the fluid within the container has reached a predetermined level. The container has at least one exterior wall and defines an interior volume for at least temporary storage of fluid. In one aspect, there are at least two electrodes disposed on an interior portion of the exterior wall of the container and positioned at a position thereon an interior portion of the exterior wall corresponding to a predetermined fluid level at which it is desirable to receive an alarm. The system also has an alarm module configured to alert the practitioner that the fluid has met or has exceeded the predetermined level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Inventors: Todd A. Linsenmeyer, Joseph V. DiTrolio, Dorothy F. Linsenmeyer
  • Patent number: 8730050
    Abstract: A device for monitoring the condition of a fluid receptacle such as one that is gradually filling or emptying is disclosed. The receptacle is attached to a torque weighing device, coupled with a transducer that outputs a measurement signal representing the weight of the receptacle. An alert or alarm may be generated by a signaling device in response to the measurement signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Hill-Rom SAS
    Inventor: Frederic Bregeon
  • Patent number: 8730023
    Abstract: A fuel gauge system has a fuel gauge unit, a processing unit, display units, input units, and a GPS navigation system unit with means to connect to other connections and which, by audio and visual aids, informs and alerts an operator of a vehicle of the amount of fuel remaining and range and which allows the operator to manipulate and select and alter the levels, the volume and frequency intervals at which the alerts are sounded, emitted and displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Inventor: Sivathanu B. Kumar
  • Patent number: 8665083
    Abstract: A system for providing communications for container security is provided. The system includes a sensing system for monitoring the contents of the container; a signal receiving element for receiving sensor data from the sensing system; a control element for analyzing received sensor data; a first transceiver element for receiving signals containing sensor data from within the container and for transmitting those signals outside of the container; and a satellite transceiver element for receiving signals from the first transceiver element and for forwarding the received signals via satellite uplink to a remote location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: GlobalTrak, LLC
    Inventors: Linda G. Easley, Ronald L. Martin
  • Patent number: 8656693
    Abstract: A filling degree gauge for measuring and displaying a residual filling potential of a target area, such as a container, being filled through a target, such as an open top, with goods by a goods carrier, such as a discharge spout, of an agricultural vehicle, such as a harvester, has a 3D sensor for observing at least a part of the target area including at least a part of the target, a data control system and a visual display unit. The data control system operates to provide on the visual display unit a visual display indicating residual filling potential by indicating the current one of at least three different levels of residual filling potential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: CLAAS Agrosystems KGaA mbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Tommy Ertbolle Madsen, Morten Rufus Blas, Kristian Kirk
  • Patent number: 8648729
    Abstract: An exemplary embodiment of a system includes first and second sensors. The first sensor is operable to provide an output indicative of a sensed refrigerant liquid temperature of a liquid refrigerant line that is within or extending from an outlet of a condenser coil of an air conditioner or heat pump unit. The second sensor is operable to provide an output indicative of a sensed refrigerant liquid pressure in the liquid refrigerant line. A controller is configured to determine at least one target pressure value from the output indicative of the sensed refrigerant liquid temperature of the liquid refrigerant line. The controller is configured to determine if the level of refrigerant charge is at, above, or below an acceptable level based on a comparison of the output indicative of sensed refrigerant liquid pressure to the at least one target pressure value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2014
    Assignee: Emerson Electric Co.
    Inventors: Amr E. Gado, Thomas J. Fredricks, Thomas B. Lorenz
  • Patent number: 8643496
    Abstract: A contact is provided for a fluid level detection apparatus. The contact includes a contact support spring for rotating in response to a change in fluid level. The contact support spring includes a cantilevered spring arm having a proximal end to be fixed to a holder and a free end, and a contact support which is provided at the free end. First and second contacts are attached to the contact support in first and second positions, respectively, the first position being set at one end opposite to an end at which the second position is set. The joining position of the contact support and cantilevered spring arm is set so that a pressing load applied to the first and second contacts on the contact support by the flexure displacement of the contact support spring falls within a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Toshiaki Fukuhara
  • Patent number: 8638224
    Abstract: A refrigerator may include a main body having a storage chamber formed therein, a cooling device for cooling the storage chamber, and a door for opening and closing the storage chamber. A basket may be installed at the door and a pressure sensor may be provided on the basket to detect a pressure applied by a storage item stored in the basket. A controller may output a control signal based on the pressure detected by the pressure sensor to a display that displays a residual amount of the item stored in the refrigerator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventor: Su Re Park
  • Patent number: 8633820
    Abstract: A system for monitoring the fermentation process in connection with ensilage of fodder (1) comprises a sensor device (3) arranged in the fodder during the ensilage thereof and a monitoring device (11) operatively connected to the sensor device during the ensilage. The sensor device (3) comprises at least one sensor (3a-c) provided for repeatedly measuring the content of at least one chemical substance in the fodder, which is affected by the fermentation process. The monitoring device comprises receiving means (12) provided for receiving the repeatedly measured values of the content of the chemical substance; processing means (13) provided for comparing the repeatedly measured values with reference values of the content of the chemical substance; and notifying means (14-16) provided for notifying a farmer (17) depending on the outcome of the comparison of the repeatedly measured values and the reference values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: DeLaval Holding AB
    Inventors: Magnus Jonsson, Pierre De Villiers
  • Patent number: 8629778
    Abstract: Various methods and systems are provided for monitoring fuel usage and/or remaining run time of backup power sources. In one embodiment, a method includes tracking run time of a backup power source; determining a current fuel level associated with the backup power source; and providing a fuel level warning. In another embodiment, a system includes a fuel monitoring system including logic that obtains a current run time corresponding to a backup power source; logic that determines a current fuel level based at least in part upon the current run time, the current fuel level corresponding to a fuel source supplying the backup power source; and logic that provides a fuel level warning based upon the current fuel level and a predefined fuel level threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Southern Company Services, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher James Burrow
  • Patent number: 8624705
    Abstract: A storage system for material containers provides a readable ID distinguishing each container, and includes a scale that weighs containers, so that the system can distinguish between containers that are sufficiently loaded to be effective and containers that are insufficiently loaded. The system preferably includes storage for containers held in contact with readers of the container IDs. This allows a controller to keep track of containers checked out for use and returned for storage, and to identify containers that have been discharged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Key Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: George H Eckerdt
  • Publication number: 20130314234
    Abstract: A method for warning of a residual amount of liquid detergent includes: calculating a total use amount of liquid detergent by adding up a use amount of liquid detergent whenever a washing process is performed; and comparing the total use amount of liquid detergent to a reference amount, and warning of a residual amount of liquid detergent according to the comparison result. Accordingly, a user does not need to frequently check the residual amount of liquid detergent, and may easily fill up a container with the liquid detergent. Furthermore, since a sensor for sensing the residual amount of liquid detergent is not installed, it is possible to reduce the manufacturing cost of the washing machine and to prevent a user from getting an electric shock from a current leaking to the container.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Inventor: Jin Pyung Yang
  • Patent number: 8594851
    Abstract: Reductions in energy consumption and maintenance requirements for operating a wastewater treatment plant are achieved by controlling the operation of pumps at pump stations along a force main in a systematic fashion. The operation of the pumps is controlled to manage the flow of wastewater along the force main to minimize energy consumption, to eliminate sediment, to manage peak pressures encountered by smaller pumps and to avoid septic conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Data Flow Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas F. Smaidris
  • Patent number: 8587425
    Abstract: Aspects of the present invention are related to systems, methods and apparatus for monitoring and controlling energy usage. Alert notifications may be generated based on a current power status of an energy-consuming device and location information of a mobile device associated with the energy-consuming device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Sharp Laboratories of America, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Rodney Ferlitsch, Basil Isaiah Jesudason
  • Patent number: 8576085
    Abstract: A capacitance-type liquid measuring probe 10 includes two concentric metallic tubes 12 and 14 extending downwardly into a tank of oil. The concentric metallic tubes 12 and 14 form the plates of a capacitor. The probe 10 measures the oil level in the tank during jet engine testing by detecting a change in electrical capacitance between the two concentric metallic tubes 12 and 14, the capacitance change being caused by a change in the level of the oil. The measuring circuitry 30 includes thermal compensating resistors and a temperature-stabilized detector. The measurement electronic circuit package is separately-housed and connected to the probe 10 via a cable 44 so that the circuitry 30 can be located remotely from the hot environment in which the probe 10 operates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Tektronix, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas R. Kessinger
  • Patent number: 8570169
    Abstract: A portable dispensing device is provided having a container configured to be moved to a plurality of locations. An access point at an opening of the container controls access into and out of the container. A scale is coupled to a bin within the container and is configured to measure a weight of the bin and contents of the bin. A computing device is in electrical communication with the access point and the scale and configured to allow or deny access to the container as well as receive the measured weight from the scale to determine a number of items in the bin. The computing device further associates an item removed from the bin with the individual or credits an item returned to the bin with the individual when the individual exits the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Job Site Resources, LLC
    Inventors: Michael Green, Kevin Hall
  • Publication number: 20130249697
    Abstract: One aspect of the invention is an apparatus including an alarm for alerting an operator to recharge a humidifier, wherein such alarm is generated other than through the use of a humidity sensor. In one embodiment the total work performed during heating and hydrating an insufflation gas is measured and an alarm generated when the total work performed exceeds a particular threshold. In another embodiment, a flow meter is used to measure the total flow of insufflation gas so that when the total flow of insufflation gas reaches a predetermined level an alarm is activated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2012
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Inventors: Duane Lloyd, Douglas E. Ott
  • Patent number: 8531282
    Abstract: A vehicle bumper guard and monitoring assembly is provided for protecting the bumper area of a vehicle, monitoring the surrounding area, and providing an alert upon detection of contact with the bumper guard. The assembly includes a sheet having opposed ends. The sheet is configured for conforming to a bumper of a vehicle. A plurality of hooks is coupled to and extends from the sheet. Each hook is configured for securing to the vehicle whereby the sheet is positioned over the bumper of the vehicle. A plurality of sensors is coupled to the sheet. Each sensor is configured to detect contact or imminent contact between an object and the bumper of the vehicle. A transmitter is operationally coupled to the sensors to transmit an alert signal when contact is detected between the object and the bumper of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Inventor: William Santiago
  • Publication number: 20130222143
    Abstract: Discussed herein is a shelf assembly that allows efficient discharge and collection of fluids out of fluid containers. In embodiments, the shelf assembly includes one or more racks that allow for placement of fluid containers in an inverted position. The shelf assembly further includes a collecting tray adjacent to (e.g., below) each rack to collect the fluids dripping out of the racks. The collecting tray discharges the fluids from the tray to a discharge station via outlets and/or connecting spouts. The discharge station allows for collection of the discharged fluids and subsequent disposal of the discharge. Such disposal is in accordance with EPA or other local regulations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 29, 2012
    Publication date: August 29, 2013
    Inventor: Santiago J. Martinez
  • Patent number: 8514090
    Abstract: A level detector or sensor for a dust collection system has a threaded housing that seats in a penetration in the lid of a dust collection drum or other container, and can be adjusted mechanically in its mounting. The sensor has an adjustment to control the distance at which it picks up light off the collected material. An elongated flexible cable connects the sensor with an alarm strobe, which may be a low-power LED device, and can be positioned at a convenient location remote from the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2013
    Assignee: Oneida Air Systems Inc
    Inventors: Robert M Witter, Jeffrey Hill, John J Fitzsimmons
  • Patent number: 8466798
    Abstract: A system includes a first sensor that provides an output indicative of a sensed temperature of a liquid refrigerant line that is within or extending from an outlet of a condenser coil of an air conditioner or heat pump unit. The system includes a second sensor that provides an output indicative of a sensed pressure in the liquid refrigerant line. A controller is configured to determine at least one target pressure value from the output indicative of the sensed temperature of the liquid refrigerant line. The controller is configured to determine if the level of refrigerant charge is at, above or below an acceptable level based on a comparison of the output indicative of sensed pressure to the at least one target pressure value. The system includes a display that displays an indication of whether the level of refrigerant charge is at, above or below an acceptable level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: Emerson Electric Co.
    Inventors: Amr E. Gado, Thomas J. Fredricks, Thomas B. Lorenz
  • Patent number: 8446283
    Abstract: A device which detects or senses liquid level in a beverage containment vessel, and produces either light, audio or a data output based on the liquid level being equal to or less than a predetermined level. The device, in practice, preferably retains the shape of the beverage containment vessel (e.g., cylindrical), and have an outer housing of opaque or semi-translucent material. The device is either integrated into a new beverage containment vessel, or retrofitted to existing vessels. The device is powered by battery, and can be switched on, off, or into various operating modes by internal switching mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Inventor: Vincent J Pietrorazio
  • Patent number: 8432291
    Abstract: A diagnostic system and method for a home appliance is provided. When the home appliance outputs product information as a sound signal, a service center remotely performs fault diagnosis of the home appliance by receiving the sound signal, detecting the product information from the sound signal, checking the state of the home appliance using diagnostic data included in the product information to determine whether the home appliance is out of order, diagnosing, when water supply malfunction including a water supply error or a water level sensor error has occurred, a cause of the water supply malfunction, and deriving a solution to the water supply malfunction. Upon deriving a diagnosis result through the fault diagnosis of the home appliance, the service center immediately notifies the user of the diagnosis result and may dispatch a service technician or may provide the user with a solution to allow the user to easily fix the fault without dispatching a service technician.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: LG Electronics Inc.
    Inventors: Jonghye Han, Inhaeng Cho, Phaljin Lee, Hoijin Jeong
  • Patent number: 8416090
    Abstract: A vehicle fuel tank is provided. The vehicle fuel tank includes a housing defining an interior region, a fuel level sensor coupled to the interior region, the fuel level sensor responsive to a fuel pressure, and a radio frequency identification (RFID) device electronically coupled to the fuel level sensor configured to wirelessly transmit a signal indicative of a fuel level in the fuel tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Matthew Bucciero
  • Patent number: 8410944
    Abstract: A radiator detecting device of the present invention includes a radiator cap, a sensing unit, a circuit device, a warning device, and an adjusting means. One end of the sensing unit connects to the radiator cap, and another end extends toward a direction away from the radiator cap. The circuit device has a circuit board. The circuit board includes a control circuit for detecting a state of the sensing unit, and the sensing unit selectively makes the control circuit generate a suggestion signal. Once receiving the suggestion signal generated by the control circuit, the warning device generates a warning signal. The adjusting means is used for adjusting a length of the sensing unit received in the radiator. Said sensing unit can be moved with respect to the radiator between a first position and a second position. Thereby, the sensing unit can fit different depths of different radiators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Inventor: Wen-Hui Hung
  • Patent number: 8410948
    Abstract: A wastewater holding tank sensor probe for use in determining the presence of a conductive liquid held within a wastewater holding tank in a recreational vehicle is disclosed. The probe is less sensitive to the presence of conductive residue as a result of an improved geometry and/or choice of materials that reduce the leakage currents between the probe tip and the sensor probe attachment surface, typically the wall of the tank. This reduction in sensitivity to conductive residue buildup can be measured by a geometrically determined resistivity factor between the probe tip and the mounting surface of the probe. The reduction in sensitivity can also be measured by the length of the path through the conductive residue between the probe tip and the mounting surface of the probe. A variety of geometries and material choices to reduce the sensitivity of electrical conductance based sensor probes to conductive residue are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Inventor: John Vander Horst