Having Heat Sensor Patents (Class 340/622)
  • Patent number: 10274356
    Abstract: A liquid level meter includes a first resistive temperature detector; a first temperature measuring body a liquid level detection section a temperature detection section detecting the temperatures of the first resistive temperature detector and the first temperature measuring body; a current control section determining a value of a current to apply to the first resistive temperature detector such that a difference between the temperatures of the first resistive temperature detector and the first temperature measuring body detected by the temperature detection section to be a first constant value; and a power supply unit supplying a current of the determined current value to the first resistive temperature detector; wherein the liquid level detection section determines whether the first resistive temperature detector is present in a liquid or outside of the liquid using the value of the current applied to the first resistive temperature detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: FUJIKIN INCORPORATED
    Inventors: Kaoru Hirata, Katsuyuki Sugita, Atsushi Hidaka, Kouji Nishino, Nobukazu Ikeda
  • Patent number: 10161661
    Abstract: A refrigeration cycle apparatus includes a refrigeration cycle in which refrigerant circulates, the refrigeration cycle including a compressor, an outdoor heat exchanger, expansion valves, and indoor heat exchangers, which are connected to each other via a refrigerant pipe, a heat source unit accommodating the outdoor heat exchanger, use-side units accommodating the indoor heat exchangers, and a control unit that controls at least turning on and off of the refrigeration cycle. The control unit detects abnormality of the refrigeration cycle based on the pressure or temperature of the refrigeration cycle in an off time of the refrigeration cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Yasutaka Ochiai, Masaki Toyoshima, Takashi Okazaki
  • Patent number: 10102934
    Abstract: A reactor state monitoring apparatus including: a first gamma ray-dose measurement device that detects and measures an atmospheric radiation dose caused by radioactive substances on a containment vessel side respective to a biological shielding wall surrounding a pressure vessel and outside the pressure vessel; a second gamma ray-dose measurement device that detects and measures a radiation dose on the pressure vessel side respective to the biological shielding wall; a fuel radiation measuring device that detects and measures a radiation dose of fuel in the pressure vessel; and a water amount evaluation device that calculates a difference between radiation doses measured by the fuel radiation measuring device and the first gamma ray-dose measurement device as a corrected fuel radiation dose, and acquires a cooling water level as a water level evaluation value, based on the radiation dose measured by the second gamma ray-dose measurement device and the corrected fuel radiation dose.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOSHIBA
    Inventors: Mikio Izumi, Hidehiko Kuroda, Yuka Takada, Makoto Takemura, Hiroaki Kenjyo
  • Patent number: 9851135
    Abstract: A crankcase heating control system for a heat pump system includes a data receiving module and a power control module. The data receiving module receives data indicative of a temperature of a compressor of the heat pump system, data indicative of an ambient temperature, and data indicative of a current date and a current time. The power control module selectively applies power to a heater of a crankcase of the compressor and selectively disables the heater based on the temperature of the compressor, the ambient temperature, the current date, and the current time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Hung Pham
  • Patent number: 9631853
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of controlling an icemaker for a refrigerator, and more particularly to a method of controlling an icemaker for a refrigerator which can automatically determine a water shortage situation during water supplying, ice making, and ice separating processes of the icemaker, can prevent production of imperfect ice pieces, and can solve an ice separating defect, thereby smoothly performing an operation of the icemaker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: DAEWOO ELECTRONICS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Jung Owan Lee
  • Patent number: 9429462
    Abstract: A two-wire process variable indicator includes a housing having a plurality of terminals disposed therein. The terminals are coupleable to a two-wire process control loop. A power module is coupled to the plurality of terminals to receive current flow from the process control loop. Driver circuitry is coupled to the power module and a microencapsulated electrophoretic display is coupled to the driver circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Rosemount Inc.
    Inventor: Mark S. Schumacher
  • Patent number: 9177702
    Abstract: A PTC composition comprises crystalline polymer and conductive ceramic filler dispersed therein. The crystalline polymer has a melting point less than 90° C. and comprises 5%-30% by weight of the PTC composition. The crystalline polymer comprises ethylene, vinyl copolymer or the mixture thereof. The vinyl copolymer comprises at least one of the functional group selected from the group consisting of ester, ether, organic acid, anhydride, imide or amide. The conductive ceramic filler comprises a resistivity less than 500 ??-cm and comprises 70%-95% by weight of the PTC composition. The PTC composition has a resistivity about 0.01-5 ?-cm and its resistance at 85° C. is about 103 to 108 times that at 25° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: POLYTRONICS TECHNOLOGY CORP.
    Inventors: Kuo Chang Lo, Wei Tsang Dai, Yi An Sha, Chun Teng Tseng
  • Patent number: 8789564
    Abstract: This asphalt loading arm is for dispensing fluids from a storage tank to a receiving tank. The loading arm includes an overfill probe to prevent overfilling during transfer from one tank in loading lanes at asphalt terminals. The overfill probe is a rapid temperature response probe. The rapid response temperature probe that has a very fast response time. Placing a transmitter on the probe uniquely allows a PLC to collect data from the probe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Marathon Petroleum Company LP
    Inventors: Thomas Jividen, R. Benjamin Hill, Kenneth Stiens
  • Patent number: 8739621
    Abstract: A pencil-shaped electrical heating element, in particular for application in a device for measuring filling level in a liquid container, in particular in a reactor chamber of a nuclear plant, contains an electrically-conducting sleeve and at least one electric line embedded therein which is in conducting contact with the sleeve. The electrical line has at least two line sections with differing electrical properties and/or thermal conductivities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Areva GmbH
    Inventors: Sacha Kaercher, Wolfgang Vogt, Stefan Pfleger, Wilfried Harfst
  • Patent number: 8665100
    Abstract: The performance of a PCA unit associated with an airport gate is monitored by a temperature sensor in the stream of output air leaving the PCA unit, to produce a signal indicative of the temperature of the output air that may be compared to an acceptable range of values, or to the temperature of air input to the PCA unit (as measured by a second temperature sensor). An alert is generated to a human operator if the temperature measured does not compare favorably with the desired range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Twist, Inc.
    Inventors: Joe W. Wright, James Dillon, Dave McIntire
  • Patent number: 8643716
    Abstract: A method and system for steam leak detection. The method comprises obtaining real-time temperature data representing a heat dissipation of a steam pipe along a steam pipe route, processing the real-time temperature data in real-time to determine at least one indication of a potential steam leak based on the real-time temperature data and to generate a processed image for display, and displaying the processed image to depict the heat dissipation of the steam pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Power Survey LLC
    Inventors: David Kalokitis, Jonathan Lloyd Schepps, Peng Chang
  • 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: 8619768
    Abstract: Described are a method and a sensor aware network for dynamic processing of sensor data. Network context data are inserted into data packets from sensors or local sensor networks coupled to the sensor aware network. Sensor aware nodes in the sensor aware network can read the context data and can respond by performing specific network actions. The sensor data and network context data are provided to one or more application nodes. The sensor data and network context data can be stored in a database and later searched according to the network context data. Advantageously, sensor data flows can be treated differently by the sensor aware network, the application and the user, depending on the type of sensor data and the actual data values. Thus critical responses to certain sensor data flows can be implemented more efficiently than otherwise possible using conventional network configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Avaya, Inc.
    Inventor: Indermohan Monga
  • 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: 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: 8494512
    Abstract: A communication terminal includes a first wireless communication unit that communicates with a base station; a second wireless communication unit that communicates with another communication terminal including an equivalent of the first wireless communication unit; a temperature measurement unit; and a control unit that selects one of the first wireless communication unit and the second wireless communication unit according to a temperature measured by the a temperature measurement unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Kyocera Corporation
    Inventors: Takashi Matsumura, Tomohiro Miki
  • Patent number: 8477029
    Abstract: A modular device for determining attributes of a substance stored in a container having a sensing module, a transmitter module and a power source module. The sensing module is capable of sensing attributes of a substance and providing an output. The transmitter module is configured to transmit an output of the at least one sensing module when operably coupled to the sensing module. The power source module is capable of being operably connected to the sensor module and the transmitter module to power the sensor module and the transmitter module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Farhad Ashrafzadeh, Ali R. Buendia-Garcia, Richard A. McCoy, Yingqin Yuan
  • Patent number: 8410946
    Abstract: A system includes a controller configured to receive a signal from a thermal radiation sensor indicative of a temperature of a region including at least one fluid passage. The controller is also configured to detect a leak within the at least one fluid passage based on the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Adil Ansari, Rahul Jaikaran Chillar
  • 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: 8400320
    Abstract: System for monitoring oil level and detecting leaks in power transformers, reactors, current and potential transformers, high voltage bushings and the like, notably for a system that through the use of sensors and other electronic components measures and monitors transformers and similar equipment in real time, filled with insulating oil, with greater precision and without need for floats or mobile mechanical parts, while presenting countless facilities in the sense of making level monitoring more reliable and safer, highlighting the level error calculations, oil leak detection alarm, excess oil detection alarm during the equipment filling process and calculation of tendencies of evolution for levels among other facilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Inventor: Eduardo Pedrosa Santos
  • Patent number: 8009052
    Abstract: In a method and system for monitoring the power state of an x-ray emitter and/or an x-ray detector, the x-ray emitter is operated according to a set of test parameters, so as to emit x-rays that strike at least a portion of the detector region of the x-ray detector. At least one value characterizing the operation of the x-ray emitter and/or the x-ray detector is determined, and this detected parameter is compared with a comparable reference parameter value. The power state of the x-ray emitter and/or the x-ray detector is determined based on deviation of the detected parameter from the reference parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Mathias Hörnig, Thomas Mertelmeier, Phillip Thaler
  • Patent number: 7980422
    Abstract: A dispensing urn assembly (10, 10?) with a hollow body (12) with an interior surface for containing beverage (14) and a manually operable faucet (16) for selectively dispensing beverage (14) from the bottom of hollow body with an electronic status display assembly (50) controlled by a microcomputer (62) in response to a temperature probe (44), a level probe (42) and a timer reset switch (46) to provide graphic displays (64,68, 72), numerical displays (66,70, 74) of the temperature, quantity and time elapsed or remaining since the brewing of the beverage and light indication displays (55,57, 59) when preselected values are achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Food Equipment Technologies Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Zbigniew G. Lassota
  • Publication number: 20110156918
    Abstract: System for monitoring oil level and detecting leaks in power transformers, reactors, current and potential transformers, high voltage bushings and the like, notably for a system that through the use of sensors and other electronic components measures and monitors transformers and similar equipment in real time, filled with insulating oil, with greater precision and without need for floats or mobile mechanical parts, while presenting countless facilities in the sense of making level monitoring more reliable and safer, highlighting the level error calculations, oil leak detection alarm, excess oil detection alarm during the equipment filling process and calculation of tendencies of evolution for levels among other facilities.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 30, 2009
    Publication date: June 30, 2011
    Inventor: EDUARDO PEDROSA SANTOS
  • Publication number: 20100117843
    Abstract: This heat pump type hot water supply apparatus has a remaining hot water display (41) which displays remaining hot water in a hot water storage tank (22) by a plurality of scales (41a-41e) step by step, and a display controller (30) which changes the remaining hot water display (41) according to the amount of remaining hot water in the hot water storage tank (22). A change amount of hot water which changes a level lighting 3 scales (41c-41e) of the remaining hot water display (41) to the next level thereof by the display controller (30) is larger than a change amount of hot water which changes a level lighting 4 scales (41b-41e) of the remaining hot water display (41) to the next level thereof by the display controller (30).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2008
    Publication date: May 13, 2010
    Applicant: SANDEN CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kouji Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 7649468
    Abstract: A system comprising at least one liquid detector that has a cathode and an anode and at least one switching mechanism for receiving a positive voltage from the cathode and anode of a liquid detector. Each switching mechanism comprises at least one switching component that is connected with a power source. Each switching component supplying a current from its connected power source when the switching component is activated. Preferably, each switching component is activated, when the switching component receives a voltage that exceeds a threshold voltage. The system also comprises a base unit that communicates remotely or through direct connection with each switching mechanism. The base unit communicates with at least one application control device that is connected with at least one electronic control apparatus for preventing the undesirable condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2010
    Inventor: Thomas Gordon
  • Patent number: 7561057
    Abstract: A system for detecting water leaks is described. In one embodiment, the system includes a plurality of sensors, selected from a moisture sensor, a water level sensor, and/or a water temperature sensor. A processor collects moisture readings from the sensors. In one embodiment, the processor reports a possible water leak when a moisture sensor detects moisture above a moisture threshold value. In one embodiment, the processor reports a water leak when the water level reading exceeds a water threshold value and/or when the temperature reading exceeds a temperature threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Inventor: Lawrence Kates
  • Publication number: 20090051554
    Abstract: A sensing device arrangement for a fuel storage system is provided having at least one storage tank, a plurality of sensing devices positioned in or around the at least one storage tank, and a controller in electrical communication with the plurality of sensing devices. The controller is configured to communicate with each sensing device of the plurality of sensing devices on a single bi-directional data line. A sensing device of the plurality of sensing devices is activated by the controller. Data is acquired by the sensing device and transmitted to the controller over the data line. The controller instructs the sensing device to change to a low power state. The controller receives electrical characteristics from the plurality of sensing devices recognized on the data line and calculates a characteristic of the sensing device arrangement. The controller verifies compliance with an intrinsic safety barrier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2007
    Publication date: February 26, 2009
    Applicant: DELAWARE CAPITAL FORMATION, INC.
    Inventors: Ian F. Jarvie, Przemyslaw Olaf Iwaszczyszyn
  • Patent number: 7471208
    Abstract: A process for monitoring a fluid storage system using a vessel for storing the fluid and a detection apparatus using synchronized sensors for monitoring and measuring state properties of the fluid is disclosed. The method includes using a housing with at least one pressure sensor and at least one temperature sensor for synchronously collecting data regarding the fluid. Each sensor communicates with a processor and a signaling means to provide synchronized data. The method includes continuously forming at least one calculated value, such as a value for mass of the fluid, from the data synchronously collected using a processor, and continuously comparing the calculated value to at least one predetermined range of values for the fluid in the vessel to identify if the at least one calculated value is within the predetermined range of values. Then, the method includes communicating the compared values from the processor to an auxiliary device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2008
    Assignee: Innovative Measurement Methods, Inc.
    Inventors: John Charles Hoben, Allen Ray Westmoreland, Alexander Bukhman, Israel Bukhman
  • Patent number: 7405667
    Abstract: A technique for quickly determining the type of liquid in a container externally regardless of the material of the container, preferably contactlessly. A halogen heater 102 and an infrared thermopile 103 are disposed outside an electrically conductive container 101 made of aluminum, for example. The surface temperature of the container 101 is measured when the halogen heater 102 is off, followed by the turning-on of the halogen heater 102 for two seconds, for example. The surface temperature of the container 101 is then measured, and a difference from the previous result of measurement is calculated. If the difference is smaller than a threshold value, the liquid in the container is determined to be a safe liquid consisting primarily of water, and a blue lamp is activated. If the difference is greater than the threshold value, the liquid in the container cannot be determined to be a safe liquid consisting primarily of water, and a red lamp is activated, indicating abnormality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2008
    Assignee: Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Takeshi Abe, Yasuhiko Shinozawa, Yoshinobu Miyagi, Kouichiro Yamada, Tomohide Machida
  • Patent number: 7233252
    Abstract: Method of monitoring water conservation in an apartment complex by positioning infrared cameras with motion sensors in the clean outs of the waste water discharge lines leading to public sewer systems wherein each camera image is displayed on a computer screen and the motion sensors, which start and stop the digital video recorders (DVR), are adjusted by circumscribing the area of the camera image and the pixel sensitivity setting for motion sensors activation, which triggers the DVR recordings. In this arrangement the intermittent or constant flow of waste water is detected in real time indicating normal or abnormal flow of waste water, respectively. Further, an infrared camera may be positioned on the apartment complex side of the water meter to determine in real time if water is being supplied to the complex and the waste water flow out is little or none then loss of water outside the plumbing system from overflowing commodes, tubs, lavatories or broken pipe is indicated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Inventor: Greg Hardin
  • Patent number: 7176805
    Abstract: Upon detection of a flammable gas condition, an intelligent thermostat regulates operation of appliances that have sources of ignition which could be the source of or may ignite the flammable gas. This hazardous condition is detected by a flammable gas detector and is communicated to the intelligent thermostat by wired or wireless communications. The intelligent thermostat then communicates with these appliances either via wired or wireless communications. The intelligent thermostat may also provide a visual warning user interface screen to inform the occupant of the hazardous condition, and may signal smoke detectors in the dwelling to sound an audible flammable gas warning. Alternatively, the flammable gas detector may signal the smoke detectors in the dwelling to sound an audible flammable gas warning directly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: Maple Chase Company
    Inventors: John Gilman Chapman, Jr., Nicholas Ashworth, Robert Burt, Timothy E. Wallaert
  • Patent number: 6973828
    Abstract: An improved liquid level sensor is disclosed which provides a reliable and simple device for accurately determining the level of a liquid within a vessel. The sensor utilizes a plurality of thermocouple junctions grouped in pairs with the pairs being spaced along a line extending generally in the direction in which the liquid level may vary. A first thermocouple junction of each pair is located in relatively close thermal proximity to an electrically powered heater and the second of each pair of thermocouple junctions is spaced away from the heater. The thermocouple junctions are connected in series and produce a signal indicative of the level of liquid along the sensor. Alternatively, a single threshold liquid level sensor is provided for use with a hermetic interface to provide a signal to indicate a level of liquid within a container. Additionally, a pressure sensing circuit may also be incorporated with either liquid level sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2005
    Assignee: Therm-O-Disc, Incorporated
    Inventors: Bernd D. Zimmermann, David Reynolds, Richard L. Gerich
  • Patent number: 6959599
    Abstract: A level detector for storage tanks for fluids comprises a microprocessor, a network of resistive elements connected in series or parallel, and a plurality of conductive elements between them, connected across a power source. The resistive elements have a high temperature coefficient, and are heated by passing a high electric current through them, after which a low electric current is passed through them and the voltage between them is sampled by the microprocessor. The resistive elements lose heat through conduction, so that a pair of resistive elements can be detected having differential cooling between them as a consequence of being adjacent to the void within the tank or the fluid within the tank. Thus, an approximation of the fluid level within the storage tank can be determined and signalled remotely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Inventors: Robert Feldstein, Donald Edward Hewson, Joseph Rait
  • Patent number: 6948364
    Abstract: The liquid level detector system of the present invention comprises a heater thermally coupled to the interior of the vessel. A linear sensor, having a vertical longitudinal axis, is located in proximity to the heater such that discrete elevations of the interior of the vessel are thermally coupled to corresponding longitudinal portions of the sensor. The correspondence is incrementally continuous such that the elevations corresponding to the portions of the sensor increase from one to the other end of the sensor. The sensor may be actuated resulting in a resistance measurement indicative of the temperature detected by it. The vertical dimension of the sensor is sufficiently large such that the resistance measurement will vary in proportion to the longitudinal portion of the sensor thermally coupled to the liquid. The sensor generates an electrical signal defining a temperature signal indicative of the resistance measurement and thereby the temperature detected by the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Inventors: Charles D. Snelling, Leo T. Van Lahr
  • Patent number: 6847291
    Abstract: An apparatus operable in a wet environment for detecting the presence or absence of water in a non-conductive vessel, by measuring changes in dielectric constant and detecting the temperature of water in same vessel. A conductive element coupled to a sensing and switching means, transmits data to the controller, resulting from a change of dielectric constant at the conductive element. A temperature sensor detects and transmits temperature signals to the controller. A controller means receives data, from the dielectric constant sensor means and temperature data from the temperature sensor. Includes a coupling means which transmits data from the controller to an external device. The isolation means electrically isolates the conductive element and temperature sensor means from the water contained in a non-conductive vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Sequence Controls Inc.
    Inventor: William Harry Kemp
  • Patent number: 6801132
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and device for the early detection of fire and for fighting fire indoors and outdoors, especially in living areas, of homes and buildings. According to the invention, a central freely programmable domestic control block comprising an intelligent bus system, sensors, and actuators controls, regulates and monitors the domestic technical system and, at the same time, sensors detect the direct and indirect fire characteristics, which are monitored by a separate check, control and regulating block that activates an extinguishing agent supply system when a set value has been exceeded. The aim of the invention is to improve a method and device of the aforementioned type such that the extinguishing agent is variably and selectively discharged with a high degree of efficacy by the provision of a system which can be modularly integrated in the security design of a building.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Inventors: Torsten Clauss, Andreas Schmidt, Wassil Jansen
  • Patent number: 6741180
    Abstract: A dispensing urn assembly (10, 10′) with a hollow body (12) with an interior surface for containing beverage (14) and a manually operable faucet (16) for selectively dispensing beverage (14) from the bottom of hollow body with an electronic status display assembly (50) controlled by a microcomputer (62) in response to a temperature probe (44), a level probe (42) and a timer reset switch (46) to provide graphic displays (64,68, 72), numerical displays (66,70, 74) of the temperature, quantity and time elapsed or remaining since the brewing of the beverage and light indication displays (55,57, 59) when preselected values are ahieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Food Equipment Technologies Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Zbigniew G. Lassota
  • Patent number: 6615658
    Abstract: A system for detecting the level of a liquid in a vessel, comprises a detector assembly including a thermally conductive substrate supported within the vessel. One or more heaters are mounted on the substrate within the vessel. One or more temperature sensors, each associated with a respective heater, are mounted on the substrate. The sensor(s) may be actuated to generate an electrical signal defining a temperature signal indicative of the detected temperature. A processor is electrically connected to the sensor(s) for receiving the temperature signal(s) after actuation of the associated heater(s). The processor is programmed to calculate a “temperature index” proportional to the temperature signal(s). The temperature index(s) indicates the temperature increase detected by the sensor(s) resulting from actuation of the heater(s). This, in turn, indicates the presence of liquid or vapor adjacent to the sensor(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Inventor: Charles Darwin Snelling
  • Patent number: 6612169
    Abstract: The invention relates to an indicator system for fluid levels, including two or more optically and/or thermally conducting fibers, preferably suitable for indicating the fluid level of a lubricant in the case of piston internal combustion engines. In this case, the fibers are either provided at the end with a substance varying in optical properties under the action of heat, or contain chambers which are filled with an appropriate substance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Thomas Martin
  • Patent number: 6578415
    Abstract: A limit-level sensor for measuring level of a liquid has a resistance element which has an electric resistance which suddenly varies a transition temperature which lies above the maximum liquid temperature. The resistance element is first of all heated by electric current. Thereupon, the electric resistance of the resistance element is measured. When the resistance element is covered with liquid, the heat generated by the electric current is led away so that the temperature of the resistance element is less than its transition temperature. If the resistance element is not covered by liquid, this heat is scarcely led away, so that the temperature of the resistance element remains above the transition temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Mannesman VDO AG
    Inventors: Ralf Schimmel, Stefan Lipfert, Joachim Acht, Werner Wallrafen
  • Patent number: 6568263
    Abstract: A system for detecting the level of fluid in a fluid containing vessel. The system includes a device for applying energy to a selected location on the vessel. A sensor in proximity to the location detects the energy level at the location during first and second intervals. A memory device stores data representative of the energy detected by the sensor at each interval, and a logic circuit compares the amount of energy of the first interval to that of the second. Data corresponding to the level of fluid in the vessel may be displayed locally or signaled to remote data receiving and display devices, as appropriate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Inventor: Charles Darwin Snelling
  • Patent number: 6559771
    Abstract: A sensing and measuring circuit, employing a positive-temperature-coefficient sensing device, for detecting the presence and approximately measuring the quantity or concentration of heat-absorptive substances such as water. May be used for sensing a quantity of rainfall or irrigation water, or for detecting and giving an alarm or initiating remediation for leakage of water, oil, or other fluids from confinement to an unauthorized location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Lansense, LLC
    Inventor: Donald G. Landis
  • Patent number: 6549136
    Abstract: A sensor and associated circuitry for sensing and reacting to the presence of a fluid or other material having heat capacity. A positive-temperature-coefficient device initiates a switching step when the amount of heat-capacity material reaches a certain level, or is totally absent. The switching step may trigger an alarm or control circuit to rectify the fluid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Lansense, LLC
    Inventor: Donald G. Landis
  • Patent number: 6535134
    Abstract: A method for generating an electrical signal and a sensor device (10) for executing the method. The signal is generated because of a change in a fluid-filled space. A sensor element (12) of the sensor device (10) detects the heat transfer over time between the sensor element (12) and the fluid. The sensor element (12), which has a temperature-dependent electrical conductivity and to which a voltage has been applied, is brought to a temperature which lies outside the range of the fluid temperatures. In the passive phase, the fluid is brought to a constant passive temperature by a heat transfer between the sensor element (12) and the surroundings. The sensor device (10) provides a constant passive output voltage. A heat transfer between the sensor element (12) and its surroundings takes place in the active phase by changes in the fluid-filled space. The sensor device (10) provides an active output voltage, which is different from the passive output voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Inventors: Edo Lang, Roland Obrist
  • Publication number: 20020189345
    Abstract: A humidifier including a reservoir adapted for retaining liquid and an evaporative media supported in adsorbing contact with the liquid. A reservoir temperature sensor detects a temperature within the reservoir at a low liquid level and provides a reservoir temperature signal indicative thereof. An air inlet temperature sensor detects a temperature of air upstream from the evaporative media and provides an air inlet temperature signal indicative thereof. An air outlet temperature sensor detects a temperature of air downstream from the evaporative media and provides an air outlet temperature signal indicative thereof. A controller determines an operating condition of the humidifier based upon at least one of the reservoir temperature signal, the air inlet temperature signal, and the air outlet temperature signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2001
    Publication date: December 19, 2002
    Applicant: Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.
    Inventor: Patrick T. Mulvaney
  • Publication number: 20020145527
    Abstract: A dispensing urn assembly (10, 10′) with a hollow body (12) with an interior surface for containing beverage (14) and a manually operable faucet (16) for selectively dispensing beverage (14) from the bottom of hollow body with an electronic status display assembly (50) controlled by a microcomputer (62) in response to a temperature probe (44), a level probe (42) and a timer reset switch (46) to provide graphic displays (64,68, 72), numerical displays (66,70, 74) of the temperature, quantity and time elapsed or remaining since the brewing of the beverage and light indication displays (55,57, 59) when preselected values are ahieved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 16, 2001
    Publication date: October 10, 2002
    Inventor: Zbigniew G. Lassota
  • Patent number: 6411916
    Abstract: A method of tracking and monitoring the temperature of a food product from point of origin until it is removed from the display case by the consumer for immediate transport to the point of sale. As a plurality of food products are delivered to a store and put into a storage facility, a sensor is associated with a group of food products. The sensor is adapted to simulate the temperatures of the associated products using “learning algorithms”. As the food products are removed from storage to the preparation area, the sensor is also moved to the preparation area. During preparation, the temperature data may be added to the product label. Then, the product is loaded into a display fixture. The display fixture has a network interface that activates a cooling system for the display fixture upon activation by the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Hill Phoenix, Inc.
    Inventor: Henry R. Pellerin
  • Publication number: 20010035827
    Abstract: A system for detecting the level of a liquid in a vessel, comprises a detector assembly including a thermally conductive substrate supported within the vessel. One or more heaters are mounted on the substrate within the vessel. One or more temperature sensors, each associated with a respective heater, are mounted on the substrate. The sensor(s) may be actuated to generate an electrical signal defining a temperature signal indicative of the detected temperature. A processor is electrically connected to the sensor(s) for receiving the temperature signal(s) after actuation of the associated heater(s). The processor is programmed to calculate a “temperature index” proportional to the temperature signal(s). The temperature index(s) indicates the temperature increase detected by the sensor(s) resulting from actuation of the heater(s). This, in turn, indicates the presence of liquid or vapor adjacent to the sensor(s).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2001
    Publication date: November 1, 2001
    Inventor: Charles Darwin Snelling
  • Publication number: 20010015100
    Abstract: A limit-level sensor (3) has a resistance element (4) which has an electric resistance which suddenly varies a transition temperature which lies above the maximum liquid temperature. The resistance element (4) is first of all heated by electric current. Thereupon, the electric resistance of the resistance element (4) is measured. When the resistance element (4) is covered with liquid (2), the heat generated by the electric current is led away so that the temperature of the resistance element (4) is less than its transition temperature. If the resistance element (4) is not covered by liquid (2), this heat is scarcely led away, so that the temperature of the resistance element (4) remains above the transition temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2001
    Publication date: August 23, 2001
    Applicant: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventors: Ralf Schimmel, Stefan Lipfert, Joachim Acht, Werner Wallrafen
  • Patent number: 6237411
    Abstract: A limit-level sensor for measuring level of a liquid has a resistance element which has an electric resistance which suddenly varies a transition temperature which lies above the maximum liquid temperature. The resistance element is first heated by electric current. Thereupon, the electric resistance of the resistance element is measured. When the resistance element is covered with liquid, the heat generated by the electric current is led away so that the temperature of the resistance element is less than its transition temperature. If the resistance element is not covered by liquid, this heat is scarcely led away, so that the temperature of the resistance element remains above the transition temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2001
    Assignee: Mannesmann VDO AG
    Inventors: Ralf Schimmel, Stefan Lipfert, Joachim Acht, Werner Wallrafen