Electrode Probe Patents (Class 340/620)
  • Patent number: 10345023
    Abstract: Provided is a temperature-adjusting fluid supply apparatus that causes a fluid for temperature adjustment to be circulated between a heat exchanger that transfers heat supplied from a refrigerant to the fluid, and an object to be adjusted for temperature that uses the heat of the fluid, the temperature-adjusting fluid supply apparatus being able to prevent the fluid from freezing. A temperature-adjusting fluid supply apparatus is provided with a heat exchanger that transfers heat supplied from a refrigerant to a fluid for temperature adjustment, a supply tube through which the fluid flows from the heat exchanger toward an object to be adjusted for temperature, a return tube through which the fluid returning from the object to be adjusted for temperature flows, a flow rate adjustable pump, a flow sensor, a flow switch, a temperature sensor, and a control part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignees: DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD., DAIKIN EUROPE N.V.
    Inventors: Hideo Chikami, Wim Vansteenkiste
  • Patent number: 10238242
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a dispenser for dispensing a liquid (LQ). The dispenser has a housing for receiving a removable container containing the liquid (LQ) and dispenses the liquid (LQ) from the container. The dispenser includes a capacitive sensor having a sensing element for positioning proximal to an exterior of the container. A processor is provided for receiving a capacitance signal (SIG1) from the capacitive sensor. The processor is configured to estimate a quantity of liquid (LQ) in the container in dependence on the capacitance signal (SIG1). The present disclosure also relates to a method of estimating a quantity of liquid (LQ) in a container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Kennedy Hygiene Products Ltd
    Inventors: William Macleod, Laura Salinas Manas
  • Patent number: 10094698
    Abstract: An electrode-type liquid level detection device comprises: an electrode unit in which at least two liquid level measurement electrodes, which are used to detect a liquid level, and a calibration electrode, which is not used to detect the liquid level, are integrated; a record unit that records a pre-use resistance value of each electrode of the electrode unit as initial resistance value; a calculation unit that calculates a resistance value of a to-be-measured object based on the initial resistance value; and a control unit that controls in such a way as to adjust a threshold value for determining whether or not the to-be-measured object exists, based on a change in resistance values of the at least two liquid level measurement electrodes when in use. Therefore, the liquid level can be accurately detected corresponding to deterioration of the instrument.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Satoru Tsuruta, Tatsuo Kagifuku, Isao Kohyama
  • Patent number: 9895899
    Abstract: A consumable supply item for an imaging device holds an initial or refillable volume of ink. A housing defines an interior having a pair of opposed electrodes. The electrodes have a capacitance that varies in response to an amount of liquid between them. A controller energizes one electrode and receives an output reading from the other. The controller processes the reading on board the housing and supplies it as a digital data stream to the imaging device during use. A memory stores calibration values for an empty and full housing. The controller writes back to the memory present fluid levels obtained from the output reading of the electrode. An enable output allows operation or not of a fluid pump in the imaging device. Materials, construction, modularity, and fluid communication ports are further embodiments, to name a few.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Funai Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Marvin Nicholson, Jason McReynolds, Robert Muyskens, Mark Doerre, Ricky Robbins, David Ward
  • Patent number: 9849831
    Abstract: An illumination apparatus for a vehicle storage cavity is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a circuit disposed proximate to and extending significantly along an opening of the cavity. At least one proximity sensor and a plurality of LEDs suspended in a semiconductor ink are printed on the circuit. The circuit is configured to activate an emission from the LEDs in response to the proximity sensor detecting an object entering the storage cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Stuart C. Salter, James J. Surman, Pietro Buttolo
  • Patent number: 9718549
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure generally provide a grey water interface valve liquid level sensor system. The liquid level sensor system may deliver information about the water level and the water movement that occurs in a water reservoir. A control unit may then activate a valve to open so that the water can be removed via vacuum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: MAG Aerospace Industries, LLC
    Inventors: Jakob Hennings, Rohan Lean, Joachim Hilse, Razmik B. Boodaghians, Jeroen Willem Kurvink
  • Patent number: 9715811
    Abstract: A water immersion detection unit detects that an electronic device has been immersed in water. If it is detected that the electronic device has been immersed in water, a salt detection unit measures the salt concentration. A processor makes a determination whether or not the electronic device has been immersed in seawater based on the salt concentration. The processor determines whether or not the electronic device should be washed in water based on a result of the determination whether or not the electronic device has been immersed in seawater. The processor causes a display to display a warning if it is determined that the electronic device should be washed in water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: KYOCERA Corporation
    Inventor: Shinsuke Moriai
  • Patent number: 9581485
    Abstract: A magnetostrictive sensing instrument comprises a probe including a tube having a near end and a distal end. A magnetostrictive wire is in the tube. An adaptor at the tube near end includes a probe circuit comprising a drive circuit for the magnetostrictive wire, a pickup sensor, a preamplifier and a memory circuit storing calibration parameters for the probe. An instrument housing includes a control circuit. A connector is operatively disposed between the instrument housing and the adaptor and comprises electrical conductors for connecting the control circuit to the probe circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: Magnetrol International, Incorporated
    Inventors: Kevin M. Haynes, James M. Berry, Eric C. Moore
  • Patent number: 9506798
    Abstract: Provided is a sensor operative to track changes in a liquid level of a hand-held liquid container, the sensor comprising: an ultrasonic liquid-level sensor configured to indicate a liquid level of a liquid in a hand-held liquid container, wherein the ultrasonic liquid-level sensor is capable of indicating the liquid level when the surface of the liquid is less than 20 centimeters away from the ultrasonic liquid-level sensor; a radio transmitter; and a processor configured to draw power from a portable power source, receive liquid-level indications from the ultrasonic liquid-level sensor, and cause the radio transmitter to transmit data indicative of changes in the liquid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: Trago, Inc.
    Inventors: Davis Michael Saltzgiver, Jac Tyson Saltzgiver, III
  • Patent number: 9441624
    Abstract: A sensor system for sensing liquid level in a bilge, for use in automatic bilge pump actuation. First and second field effect sensors are potted or sealed within a container or the bilge wall and are aligned in a vertical array and each comprise a substantially planar pattern of “electrodes” or conductive traces disposed on a printed circuit board (PCB) along with integrated circuits used to create a loop or arc-shaped electric field. As bilge liquid rises to the proximity or level of the field effect sensors, a change in the arc-shaped electric field is sensed and, in response, a bilge pump is automatically actuated to pump liquid out of the bilge. Optionally, the pump control can be programmed by use of a microprocessor to permit control of on-off timing and prevent undesirable effects of “sloshing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Touchsensor Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Roger D. Burdi, Bruce L. Reniger
  • Patent number: 9417635
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sensing the top level of a material in a vessel is disclosed. A method and apparatus for sensing changes in the top level of a material in a vessel is disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: Little Giant Pump Company
    Inventor: Steven W. Hampton
  • Patent number: 9332322
    Abstract: Techniques and systems are disclosed for monitoring multiple indoor and outdoor climate parameters and wirelessly transmitting the monitored data to a network for on-line analysis and dissemination. In one aspect, a monitoring device includes multiple sensors to monitor air quality modalities and generate corresponding monitored air quality data. The monitoring device includes a processor in communication with the multiple sensors to receive and process the monitored air quality data generated from the multiple sensors. Additionally, the monitoring device includes a display unit in communication with the processor to display the processed air quality data. The monitoring device includes a data communication unit to transmit the processed air quality data to a server. The server stores and optimizes the data through cross-calibration and makes the data available to persons who have purchased the monitoring devices and who wish to share the data in a social network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Greg Niemeyer, Reza Naima, Antero Garcia, Eric Hugh Kaltman
  • Patent number: 9217690
    Abstract: An automotive battery module with one or more battery cells and a coolant loss detection and remediation system cooperative with coolant that is configured to provide thermal management of the battery module. Coolant levels in or around the battery module may be detected, while cooperation with a controller permits corrective action in the event that a leakage of coolant is detected. The controller senses a coolant level sensor which is located in a coolant reservoir to determine when the coolant level drops below a predetermined level. When the coolant level is determined to be low, the controller reports the low level condition and takes remedial action. The controller also has a set of enablement conditions that must be satisfied before the controller senses the coolant level sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Scott M. Skelton, Kulwinder Singh, Richard Marsh, Doug Parks
  • Patent number: 9024766
    Abstract: Methods and systems described herein include individual-use beverage containers including sensors and methods of their use. Beverage containers include: a vessel body configured to hold a beverage; and at least one sensor associated with the vessel body, the at least one sensor including a sensor configured to detect one or more substance in a fluid. Systems include: at least one beverage container including at least one sensor configured to detect one or more substance in fluid; and at least one external device including at least one port configured for communication with the at least one sensor. Methods include: detecting one or more substance within fluid with at least one sensor integral to a beverage container; and interfacing one or more of the at least one sensor with an external device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: The Invention Science Fund, LLC
    Inventors: Leroy E. Hood, Edward K.Y. Jung, Elizabeth A. Sweeney, Clarence T. Tegreene, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • 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: 8928326
    Abstract: A measuring device is used in conjunction with a programmable controller for monitoring electrolyte levels in the battery. According to one implementation, the measuring device is located in a battery and is configured to detect when the electrolyte level in the battery falls below a particular level. The controller is in electrical communication with the electrolyte detection device. The controller is configured to: (i) receive a signal from the electrolyte level detection device indicating when the electrolyte level in the battery has fallen below the particular level; (ii) introduce a wait-period after the signal is received; and (iii) enable an indicator to indicate that the electrolyte level in the battery should be refilled when the wait-period expires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Philadelphia Scientific LLC
    Inventors: Duncan Jones, John Worthington
  • Patent number: 8872651
    Abstract: A fueling environment is equipped with leak detection probes and liquid level probes. Each of the probes is associated with a wireless transceiver. The wireless transceivers send probe data to a site communicator wireless transceiver. To ensure that the site communicator receives the probe data, repeaters are used within the fueling environment. The repeaters receive the probe data, and some period of time after the sensor transceivers stop transmitting, the repeaters retransmit the probe data to the site communicator. The site communicator discards duplicative information and processes the probe data as needed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Veeder-Root Company
    Inventors: Kent Reid, James J. Longworth, Donald A. Kunz
  • 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: 8844351
    Abstract: A sensor system for sensing liquid level in a bilge, for use in automatic bilge pump actuation. First and second field effect sensors are potted or sealed within a container or the bilge wall and are aligned in a vertical array and each comprise a substantially planar pattern of “electrodes” or conductive traces disposed on a printed circuit board (PCB) along with integrated circuits used to create a loop or arc-shaped electric field. As bilge liquid rises to the proximity or level of the field effect sensors, a change in the arc-shaped electric field is sensed and, in response, a bilge pump is automatically actuated to pump liquid out of the bilge. Optionally, the pump control can be programmed by use of a microprocessor to permit control of on-off timing and prevent undesirable effects of “sloshing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Touchsensor Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Roger D. Burdi, Bruce L. Reniger
  • Patent number: 8810417
    Abstract: Methods and systems described herein include beverage immersates and methods of their use. Systems include: at least one beverage immersate, wherein the at least one beverage immersate includes at least one sensor configured to detect at least one analyte in a fluid within a personal use beverage container; and at least one signal transmitter configured to transmit a signal responsive to the at least one beverage immersate. Methods include: detecting one or more analyte in fluid within a personal use beverage container with at least one sensor integral to at least one beverage immersate; and communicating data from the at least one beverage immersate to at least one device external to the beverage immersate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: The Invention Science Fund I, LLC
    Inventors: Leroy E. Hood, Edward K. Y. Jung, Elizabeth A. Sweeney, Clarence T. Tegreene, Lowell L. Wood, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8797050
    Abstract: An electrical circuit confirming to the IEC 61158-2 standard comprising a power supply, a device as a load thereof, and monitoring means adapted to monitor one or more physical layer attributes of the electrical circuit, in which the device comprises an enclosure, device function electronics disposed therein and two terminals connecting said device function electronics to said electrical circuit, in which water detection means is disposed inside said enclosure, and comprises water detection probes and a physical layer attribute modifier mounted across said electrical circuit in parallel with said device function electronics, and in which when said water detection probes detect water said physical layer attribute modifier makes a modification to a physical layer attribute of the electrical circuit, which modification is detectable by said monitoring means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Pepperl + Fuchs GmbH
    Inventors: Renato Kitchener, Gunther Rogoll
  • Patent number: 8776574
    Abstract: A fluid level measurement apparatus supports multiple fluid level sensors of different types, each of which detects a level of fluid and produces an output indicative of the detected fluid level in a different way. The fluid level measurement apparatus is connected to any one of the supported fluid level sensors to measure the fluid level. The fluid level measurement apparatus includes a calculation circuit, multiple output circuits, a determination circuit, and a selection circuit. The calculation circuit calculates the fluid level from a detection voltage. Each output circuit generates the detection voltage based on the output of a corresponding fluid level sensor. The determination circuit determines the connected fluid level sensor. The selection circuit selects the output circuit corresponding to the determined fluid level sensor and allows the calculation circuit to obtain the detection voltage generated by the selected output circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Miyagawa
  • 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: 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: 8593290
    Abstract: An overfill probe is utilized in each compartment of a multi-compartment transport tanker and has a depending sensing tube for detecting liquid overfill conditions. An overfill detector is within the bottom end of the probe tube and is thus protected from damage. Internal damage to the probe and malfunction of the system also precluded by connecting the exposed cap of the probe to the detector by a longitudinally extensible, stretchable cable extending through the tube to the detector, or a circuit board may be retained within the depending tube. Additionally, a thermistor socket and an optic socket are provided which are part of the overfill protection system, each having contact connections that may be readily replaced when worn without removing or replacing the wiring within the socket assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Delaware Capital Formation, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey K. Hunter, Kevin K. Nussair, Randy Donald Robinson, Mark William Dudley, Amber Smith
  • Patent number: 8590375
    Abstract: A method of determining level of a liquid between empty and full conditions within a container includes: providing first and second elongate capacitors, each capacitor being independently capable of measuring the liquid level at least between the empty and full conditions within the container, with the second capacitor being longer than the first capacitor; determining first and second capacitance values for the first and second capacitors, respectively, based on the liquid level height; and dividing the first capacitance value by a difference between the second and first capacitance values to thereby obtain a liquid level value independent of the dielectric constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Rochester Gauges, Inc.
    Inventor: Gagik Farmanyan
  • 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: 8572991
    Abstract: A fluid level sensor and drain fitting is provided that includes a fitting body having a first annular end, a second external-threaded end with an opening therein, and a passage extending from the opening to the first annular end. The drain fitting further includes a plurality of sensors forming an array on the second external-threaded end radially spaced around the opening such that at least one sensor is above the centerline of the opening regardless of the rotational position of the fitting. Each of the sensors are configured to provide an output that changes in response to contact with water. The plurality of sensors are configured to detect a water level relative to the opening in the fitting body based on the number of sensors in the array that provide an output indicative of contact with water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Emerson Electric Co.
    Inventor: Jeffrey N. Arensmeier
  • Patent number: 8529534
    Abstract: An excrement treating apparatus 100 includes an excretion receiver 1 and an apparatus body 2. The excretion receiver 1 includes a receiver body 10 which receives excretions and an excretion sensor 20 which detects the excretions. The apparatus body 2 includes a urine tank 51 which stores urine, a vacuum pump 52 which sucks urine received by the receiver body 10 into the urine tank 51, and a control unit 53. The excretion sensor 20 includes a pair of urine sensor electrodes 21 and 22 which detect urine received by the receiver body 10. The control unit 52 controls so as to reverse the polarity of the urine sensor electrodes 21 and 22 at prescribed time intervals. In the excrement treating apparatus, the excretion sensor's sensitivity is stabilized and urination is accurately detected and treated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignees: Hitachi, Ltd., Uni-Charm Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuya Tanaka, Yoshikazu Ishitsuka, Ryosuke Miyagawa, Ichiro Wada, Miou Suzuki
  • Patent number: 8500412
    Abstract: An alarm system is provided for generating an alert when a water-powered sump pump is activated and water is being used by the water-powered sump pump. The alarm system includes a water sensor for detecting if water within a sump reaches the sensor and a housing for containing sensor electronics, wherein the water sensor is supported by the housing. In addition, a clamp is attached to the housing for releasably attaching the housing to a pipe such that the alarm system may be positioned to alert a user when water-powered sump pump is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Liberty Pumps, Inc.
    Inventors: David M. Williams, Jeffrey D. Goodenbery, Randall D Waldron
  • Patent number: 8456313
    Abstract: This invention is a nuclear radiation-warning detector that measures impedance of silver-silver halide on an interdigitated electrode to detect light or radiation comprised of alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, X rays, and/or neutrons. The detector is comprised of an interdigitated electrode covered by a layer of silver halide. After exposure to alpha particles, beta particles, X rays, gamma rays, neutron radiation, or light, the silver halide is reduced to silver in the presence of a reducing solution. The change from the high electrical resistance (impedance) of silver halide to the low resistance of silver provides the radiation warning that detected radiation levels exceed a predetermined radiation dose threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Inventors: Noel Felix Savignac, Leo S. Gomez, William Graham Yelton, Alex Robinson, Steven Limmer
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8358216
    Abstract: Various embodiments disclose a liquid level detecting device and method, which comprises: a control unit configured to output control instructions corresponding to environmental information according to the environmental information of a location of a sampling needle; an amplifying unit configured to set a gain according to the control instructions; a converting unit configured to receive and convert a capacitance signal from the sampling needle to a voltage signal; the amplifying unit receives the voltage signal and amplifies the voltage signal according to the gain; the control unit receives the amplified voltage signal and compares the amplified voltage signals with a preset voltage threshold to determine whether the sampling needle contacts the liquid level. Some embodiments further disclose a sample application system. Various embodiments consider both sensitivity and reliability of a detection system and is adaptable to various detection environments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Peng Du, Yueping Chen, Yanwen Weng
  • Patent number: 8330467
    Abstract: A measuring device is used in conjunction with a programmable controller for monitoring electrolyte levels in the battery. According to one implementation, the measuring device is located in a battery and is configured to detect when the electrolyte level in the battery falls below a particular level. The controller is in electrical communication with the electrolyte detection device. The controller is configured to: (i) receive a signal from the electrolyte level detection device indicating when the electrolyte level in the battery has fallen below the particular level; (ii) introduce a wait-period after the signal is received; and (iii) enable an indicator to indicate that the electrolyte level in the battery should be refilled when the wait-period expires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Philadelphia Scientific LLC
    Inventors: Duncan Jones, John Worthingdon
  • Patent number: 8288607
    Abstract: A disposable medical probe for detecting a leak of physiological fluid comprising: a support layer, a conductive layer on top of the support layer, the conductive layer comprising two conducting electrodes both placed exclusively on each side of a longitudinal axis, a hydrophilic layer on top of at least a part of the conductive layer, where the conductive layer defines two zones: a proximal zone where two proximal electrode parts being are placed parallel to each other and being spaced apart by a distance d, and a distal zone where two distal electrode parts are symmetrical with respect to said longitudinal axis and are spaced apart from each other by a gap e greater than said distance d.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Gambro Lundia AB
    Inventors: Thierry Court, Jean Michel Goby, Jean Pierre Anselmet
  • Patent number: 8279057
    Abstract: A bed occupancy state detection method includes detecting loads applied to a head side right portion, a head side left portion, a foot side right portion, and a foot side left portion of a bed platform by first to fourth load detecters, respectively, judging whether or not a prescribed judgment formula is satisfied based on load values outputted from the first to fourth load detecters, and notifying information on a bed occupancy state of an object in cases where it is judged that a judgment formula is satisfied from a judgment result at the judgment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Showa Denko K.K.
    Inventor: Kazuo Hirose
  • Patent number: 8237456
    Abstract: In certain embodiments, a multi-channel capacitive sensor for measuring capacitances of sense electrodes to a system reference potential comprises a sample capacitor having first and second terminals. The sensor comprises a first diode having a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the sample capacitor and a second terminal coupled to a first sense electrode, and comprises a second diode having a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the sample capacitor and a second terminal coupled to a second sense electrode. A control circuit is operable to apply a drive signal to the first terminal of the sample capacitor and apply a bias signal to the respective second terminals of at least one of the first and second diodes so as to selectively prevent the at least one of the first and second diodes from conducting the drive signal to respectively connected sense electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Atmel Corporation
    Inventor: John Stanley Dubery
  • Patent number: 8217218
    Abstract: A disposable medical probe for detecting a leak of physiological fluid comprising a support layer, a conductive layer on top of the support layer, the conductive layer comprising two conducting electrodes both placed exclusively on each side of a longitudinal axis, the conductive layer defining two zones: a proximal zone with two proximal electrode parts being placed parallel to each other and being spaced apart by a constant distance d, and a distal zone with two distal electrode parts being spaced apart from each other by a gap e greater than said distance d, where the distal zone of the electrodes defines an increase in the gap between the distal parts of the electrodes, followed by a decrease in the gap between the distal parts of the electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Gambro Lundia AB
    Inventors: Thierry Court, Jean Michel Goby, Jean Pierre Anselmet
  • Patent number: 8169314
    Abstract: A drain pan system for activating a pump when detecting a predetermined water level in a drain pan is provided. The drain pan system includes the drain pan, the pump, a water sensor, first and second inputs, a control section and a switching device. The water sensor is coupled to the drain pan for detecting a level of water in the drain pan, the water sensor generating a drain pan water level detection signal in response to detection of the level of the water in the drain pan equal to or greater than a predetermined water level. The pump is coupled to the drain pan and, when activated, pumps the water from the drain pan. The first input couples a source line to a first power potential. The second input couples a neutral line to a second power potential, the second power potential being a neutral potential. The control section is coupled to the water sensor for receiving the drain pan water level detection signal therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Inventor: Christopher R. Cantolino
  • Patent number: 8076945
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to an autosensitive detector and an autosensitive measurement system with a self-adjustable set-off value, and more specifically, to a probe for adaptation to an environmental parameter such as liquids adapted to reset its measured sensitivity each time the probe is enabled or turned on, which can be further desensitized by adjusting a sensitivity correction factor by a factor (F) within the range of 0.05<F<2.01 of the reset sensitivity or of up to ten times or ten percent of the reset sensitivity but most likely of 10 to 20% from the initial value using a remote control system such as a handheld programmer or programming function of the sensor board.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Inventor: Ronald V. Calabrese
  • Patent number: 8044811
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and sensing device capable of determining a temperature of a liquid and an electrical conductivity of the liquid at the temperature. The sensing device comprises at least one temperature sensor for providing temperature measurement data arranged such that the temperature sensor is physically isolated from the liquid when the sensing device is immersed in the liquid. The device further comprises an electrical conductivity sensor, storage means containing temperature characteristics and a processor. The processor is arranged for instantly measuring an electrical conductivity of a liquid and for evaluating temperature measurement data for determining the temperature of the liquid on the basis of the temperature characteristics.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2011
    Assignee: Diversey, Inc.
    Inventors: Jan Robert Uhlhorn, Lambertus Gerardus P. Van Der Heijden, Jan E. Veening
  • Patent number: 8024967
    Abstract: A sensor system for sensing liquid level in a bilge, for use in automatic bilge pump actuation. First and second field effect sensors are potted or sealed within a container or the bilge wall and are aligned in a vertical array and each comprise a substantially planar pattern of “electrodes” or conductive traces disposed on a printed circuit board (PCB) along with integrated circuits used to create a loop or arc-shaped electric field. As bilge liquid rises to the proximity or level of the field effect sensors, a change in the arc-shaped electric field is sensed and, in response, a bilge pump is automatically actuated to pump liquid out of the bilge. Optionally, the pump control can be programmed by use of a microprocessor to permit control of on-off timing and prevent undesirable effects of “sloshing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2011
    Assignee: Touchsensor Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Roger D. Burdi, Bruce L. Reniger
  • Patent number: 8018347
    Abstract: A device for integrating and indicating a parameter over, comprising: a first electrode (2), a second electrode (3), an electrolyte (5), which is in contact with the first electrode and in consuming contact with a consumption portion (6) of the second electrode, at least two indicators (I1, I2, I3), which are connected to the consumption portion (6) at a respective connecting point (P1, P2, P3). The electrolyte (5) and the consumption portion (6) are selected such that when a voltage is applied over the electrodes (2, 3), the consumption portion (6) is consumed at a predetermined rate, wherein the indicators (I1, I2, I3) are arranged to switch states in response to a consumption frontier (F1, F2) of the consumption portion reaching or passing a connecting point (P1, P2, P3) associated with the respective indicator (I1, I2, I3), wherein at least one of the indicators is a binary (on/off) indicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: Acreo AB
    Inventors: Payman Tehrani, Mats Robertsson, David Nilsson, Oscar Larsson, Nathaniel D. Robinson, Rune Groppfeldt
  • Patent number: 7990670
    Abstract: A protective circuitry (20) is connected between a power input port (11) and an electronic component (12) of an electronic device. The protective circuitry includes a field effect transistor (21) and a detection unit (25). The field effect transistor has a gate and a drain both electrically connected to an anode of the power input port, and a source electrically connected to a cathode of the power input port via the electronic component. The detection unit has two conductive pads spaced to each other. One pad is electrically connected to the gate and the other pad is electrically connected to the cathode of the power input port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Chi Mei Communication Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Chien-Chih Chen
  • Publication number: 20110175729
    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: Application
    Filed: November 9, 2010
    Publication date: July 21, 2011
    Applicant: TEKTRONIX, INC.
    Inventor: Thomas R. KESSINGER
  • Patent number: 7950279
    Abstract: A sensor system for sensing liquid level in a bilge, for use in automatic bilge pump actuation. First and second field effect sensors are potted or sealed within a container or the bilge wall and are aligned in a vertical array and each comprise a substantially planar pattern of “electrodes” or conductive traces disposed on a printed circuit board (PCB) along with integrated circuits used to create a loop or arc-shaped electric field. As bilge liquid rises to the proximity or level of the field effect sensors, a change in the arc-shaped electric field is sensed and, in response, a bilge pump is automatically actuated to pump liquid out of the bilge. Optionally, the pump control can be programmed by use of a microprocessor to permit control of on-off timing and prevent undesirable effects of “sloshing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Touchsensor Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Roger D. Burdi, Bruce L. Reniger
  • Patent number: 7907059
    Abstract: A sewage pipe alarm system includes a portable case seated exterior of the existing pipe. The system further includes a mechanism for detecting a blockage of fluid flow within the existing pipe by determining whether an internal water level within the existing pipe exceeds a threshold water level within the existing pipe. The system further includes a mechanism for notifying a user about the blockage of the existing pipe and a power supply source housed within the case. Such a power supply source is electrically coupled to the detecting mechanism and the notifying mechanism respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Inventor: James Guy
  • Patent number: 7889086
    Abstract: The invention presented herein is about a camera arrangement for a motor vehicle, comprised of a housing that can be attached on the inside of a windshield of a motor vehicle, at least one camera residing in the housing, a moisture sensor installation capable of detecting the moisture on the windshield, where the moisture sensor installation is a non-optical moisture sensor installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Hella KgAA
    Inventors: Heiko Schafer, Michael Schulte
  • Patent number: 7836763
    Abstract: Methods, systems, and computer program products for measuring a capacitance between a probe and a liquid, pausing movement of the probe based on a rate of change of the capacitance, further measuring the capacitance while the probe is paused, and, based on the further measurements, performing one or more of: resuming movement of the probe, determining a position of the probe, aspirating liquid into the probe, and dispensing from the probe. Resuming movement of the probe can include returning iteratively to measuring a capacitance, and the further measuring can be performed for a time interval that can vary based on the further measured capacitance(s), a probe movement characteristic, and/or a sampling rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2010
    Assignee: PerkinElmer LAS, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard R. Harazin, Ronald A. Zweifel
  • Publication number: 20100289654
    Abstract: An overfill probe is utilized in each compartment of a multi-compartment transport tanker and has a depending sensing tube for detecting liquid overfill conditions. An overfill detector is within the bottom end of the probe tube and is thus protected from damage. Internal damage to the probe and malfunction of the system also precluded by connecting the exposed cap of the probe to the detector by a longitudinally extensible, stretchable cable extending through the tube to the detector, or a circuit board may be retained within the depending tube. Additionally, a thermistor socket and an optic socket are provided which are part of the overfill protection system, each having contact connections that may be readily replaced when worn without removing or replacing the wiring within the socket assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2010
    Publication date: November 18, 2010
    Inventors: Jeffrey K. Hunter, Kevin K. Nussair, Randy Donald Robinson, Mark William Dudley, Amber Smith