Vertically Reciprocable Patents (Class 73/319)
  • Patent number: 10712193
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting device includes a sensor housing, a holder held rotatably by the sensor housing, a float arm fixed to the holder, a float attached to the float arm and following a surface level of liquid stored in a tank, a magnet provided in the holder, and a Hall element detecting a displacement of the magnet. The float arm is fixed to the holder so as to extend in a direction perpendicular to a rotation axis of the holder. The sensor housing has stoppers which restrict a rotation angle range of the holder to a first rotation angle by bringing a portion of the float arm, which is positioned between a tip of the float arm and the rotation axis, into contact with one of the pair of first stoppers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Inventors: Shinpei Kato, Shintaro Nakajima
  • Patent number: 10704950
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting device includes a sensor housing having a circular rotation recess, a circular holder which is fitted in the rotation recess and held rotatably by the sensor housing, a float arm, a float, a magnet, and a Hall element. The sensor housing has a lock groove and a pair of insertion holes. The holder has a pair of flanges which project in opposite directions from an outer circumferential surface of the holder and are engaged with the lock groove and prevented from coming off the rotation recess by setting the flanges opposed to the respective insertion holes, fitting the flanges into the rotation recess, and then rotating the flanges. The holder has a pair of support projections which come into contact with a bottom surface of the rotation recess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Inventors: Ryo Hirose, Shintaro Nakajima, Shinpei Kato
  • Patent number: 10697819
    Abstract: A liquid level detecting device includes a sensor housing, a holder, an arm fixing portion provided in the holder, a float arm, a float, a magnet provided in the holder, and a Hall element. The arm fixing portion includes a lock hole configured to receive a lock end portion of the float arm, a holding portion having a holding groove, and a retaining portion having a claw. The holding portion has a holding piece that extends parallel with a front surface of the holder and thereby forms the holding groove. The holding piece has a holding projection that projects toward the front surface of the holder so that a projection length of the holding projection increases gradually as the holding piece goes away from the lock hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Inventors: Shinpei Kato, Shintaro Nakajima
  • Patent number: 10436626
    Abstract: Methods and systems for measuring a level of a fluid. A first output is obtained from first sensing elements at a first electrical circuit, the first sensing elements configured to produce the first output based on a position of a floater movable along a floater path. The position of the floater is determined at the first electrical circuit based on the first output. A second output is obtained from second sensing elements at a second electrical circuit, the second electrical circuit being isolated from the first electrical circuit, at least one of the first sensing elements being interleaved with at least one of the second sensing elements, the second sensing elements configured to produce the second output based on the position of the floater. The position of the floater is determined at the second electrical circuit based on the second output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Inventor: Eric Taillon
  • Patent number: 9638569
    Abstract: A liquid level detector may comprise an arm attached to a float, a holder fixed to the arm, and a body rotatably supporting the holder. The body may comprise a first rotation regulator and a second rotation regulator. The first rotation regulator may regulate a rotation angle range of the arm to a first range. The second rotation regulator may regulate the rotation angle range of the arm to a second range. The first range and the second range may not overlap each other in a rotation direction of the arm. Each of the plurality of rotation regulators may comprise a pair of stoppers disposed separately from each other in the rotation direction of the arm. At least a part of area between the pair of stoppers of the each of the plurality of rotation regulators may be open to outside of the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Aisan Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masashi Go, Nobuo Suzuki
  • Patent number: 9175585
    Abstract: A fluid level detection device for a chamber containing a fluid includes a sensor configured to indicate one of at least two states; a first state when a present fluid level in the chamber is above a threshold level with respect to a chamber floor, and a second state when the present fluid level in the chamber is below the threshold level. A stabilizer is configured to at least partially surround the sensor. The stabilizer includes a base portion and a plurality of sidewalls defining a storage well configured to store a portion of the fluid around the sensor. The stabilizer is configured to prevent the sensor from indicating the second state when a present fluid volume in the chamber is above a predetermined minimum amount. The stabilizer is configured to prevent the sensor from indicating a false “low fluid” state during a non-stable event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Sean M McGowan
  • Patent number: 9003878
    Abstract: A fluid level sensor assembly comprises a sensor mounted to a sensor housing. A carrier extends from the sensor housing in an angled orientation. A float is located within the carrier such that the float may move along a longitudinal axis of the carrier. A fragment is secured to the float, and the sensor detects a location of the fragment as the float moves within the carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Continental Automotive Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas Lee Mawhinney, Michael Zaitz
  • Patent number: 8985964
    Abstract: A float switch apparatus for controlling the energization of multiple electric circuits in response to the level of a liquid in a vessel, and a pump system incorporating same, are provided. The apparatus has a guide structure adapted to be mounted in a fixed position relative to the vessel. A first micro-switch with a normal and an engaged position is mounted to the guide structure and is adapted to be connected into a first electric circuit to control the energization thereof. A second microswitch with a normal and an engaged position is mounted to the guide structure at a location above the first micro-switch and is adapted to be connected into a second electric circuit to control the energization thereof. A float rod is slideably mounted to the guide structure for reciprocating movement in a generally vertical direction in a zone above a resting position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Raymond Ascord Noel
  • Publication number: 20140366628
    Abstract: A fluid level indicator is provided for use with a fuel system. The fluid level indicator may have a generally hollow body with an open first end and a closed second end configured to be mounted at least partially inside a filter canister. The fluid level indicator may also have an annular float configured to receive and slide along the second end of the generally hollow body, and a plunger located within an interior of the generally hollow body. At least one of the annular float and the plunger is magnetic and configured to interact with the other of the annular float and the plunger.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2014
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Applicant: Caterpillar Inc.
    Inventors: Mark T. ALLOTT, Joshua L. Seelye
  • Patent number: 8677923
    Abstract: A sewer cleanout level indicator for use with a retrofitted conventional sewer cleanout cap. The indicator provides a visual indication of whether a sewer lateral line is blocked on the residential or private side, or the government side. The indicator includes an elongated tubular member which is slidably received by the retrofitted conventional sewer cleanout cap. The tubular member has an upper end having a circular cap attached thereto. The circular cap has a flexibly-compressible annular flange contiguously carried therebelow. A bulbous float is fixedly attached to the lower end of the tubular member. The float is responsive to a change in a level of fluid or waste water present within the cleanout riser of a conventional sewer lateral line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Inventor: William T. Goff
  • Patent number: 8656774
    Abstract: A method of determining if phase separation into an upper layer of a first fluid and a lower layer of a first fluid has occurred in a tank containing a first fluid, the method including determining a first density of the first fluid adjacent a top surface of the first fluid, determining a second density of the first fluid adjacent a bottom of the tank, and comparing the first density of the first fluid to the second density of the first fluid to determine if the first fluid has separated into the upper layer of the first fluid and the lower layer of the first fluid separated by a phase separation boundary.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Veeder-Root Company
    Inventor: Robert A. Moss
  • Patent number: 8643496
    Abstract: A contact is provided for a fluid level detection apparatus. The contact includes a contact support spring for rotating in response to a change in fluid level. The contact support spring includes a cantilevered spring arm having a proximal end to be fixed to a holder and a free end, and a contact support which is provided at the free end. First and second contacts are attached to the contact support in first and second positions, respectively, the first position being set at one end opposite to an end at which the second position is set. The joining position of the contact support and cantilevered spring arm is set so that a pressing load applied to the first and second contacts on the contact support by the flexure displacement of the contact support spring falls within a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventor: Toshiaki Fukuhara
  • Patent number: 8579139
    Abstract: This gauge well mixer works off of the differential pressure in a storage tank and gauge well. Slot covers with dividers are installed in the gauge well. The slot covers and dividers are staggered for better mixing. The gauge well has a vertical interior space extending the length of thereof; wherein the slots open into the vertical, interior space. A first horizontal divider is located in the vertical, interior space below a first slot; and a second horizontal divider is located in the vertical, interior space above a second slot. The slot covers are installed on slots located between the first slot and the second slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Marathon Petroleum Company LP
    Inventor: Steven A. Sablak
  • Patent number: 8443664
    Abstract: An equalizing tank for a hydraulic motor vehicle brake system, with a housing including a housing upper part and a housing lower part, and with a device for monitoring the fluid level in the equalizing tank, the device including a switching unit which is fastened to the housing and has a plug-in connector and a contact carrier, a portion of which projects into a guide pipe which extends into an interior space of the tank, and a sensor element or switching element which is arranged on the contact carrier in the region of the guide pipe and which can be switched by a transmitter in a switching point at which the switching unit generates a signal for an electronic control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG
    Inventors: Johann Ludwig, Hans-Jürgen Neumann, Swen Ottmann, Christoph Schiel, Peter Tandler, Werner Krebs, Barbara Schmidt
  • Patent number: 8430641
    Abstract: A float switch to control at least two pumps has a guide with two normally-closed micro-switches and a float rod slidably mounted thereto allowing reciprocating vertical movement. The float rod has one or more lower cam surfaces cooperating with the micro-switches to sequentially release them from their engaged positions to their normal positions during upward movement of the float rod. A float is slidably mounted to the float rod between upper and lower float stops. The shape of the lower cam surfaces is such that the weight of the float rod is insufficient to allow the float rod to move downwardly against resistance provided either by the first micro-switch or separately by the second micro-switch and the weight of the float rod combined with at least a portion of the weight of the float is sufficient to overcome either such resistance and to move the float rod downwardly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Inventor: Raymond Ascord Noel
  • Patent number: 8299931
    Abstract: An inexpensive and simple-to-operate ice safety device is provided for deployment in a body of water. Once deployed, the ice safety device can be activated to check whether ice has formed to a predetermined thickness around the ice safety device. If ice has not formed to the predetermined thickness, the ice safety device indicates an unsafe condition. The ice safety device can be moored to a fixed location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Inventor: Zoe Eggleston
  • Patent number: 8220482
    Abstract: A leak detection system for the rapid and accurate detection of the mean surface level change of a body of liquid is provided. The system is capable of sensing mean surface level changes under static or turbulent surface conditions. In one embodiment, the system includes a rigid walled sensor pod with at least one inner pod cavity that is so positioned to receive liquid from a body of liquid by way of an opening below the surface of the liquid such that dynamic equilibrium is possible and maintained between the mean surface level of the body of liquid and the amount of liquid in the inner cavity. The system further includes a sensor assembly having a stiction free float operating in conjunction with a strain gauge, and microprocessors applying algorithms to process, display, and report the sensor data in accordance with the needs of the end user or to initiate actions for automated control functions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: Kona Labs LLC
    Inventors: Richard DeVerse, Van R. Malan
  • Patent number: 8196466
    Abstract: A sensor for measuring fluid level is provided that includes a float, which may be steel or another material that affects magnetic flux. The sensor further includes a housing defining a cavity configured to receive the float. The housing may be, but need not be, tubular, and the cavity may be cylindrical. At least one magnetic coil is wound to the housing along the cavity. The coil may be wound around the housing. The float is positionable in the fluid to move within the cavity in relation to fluid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Gerritt VanVranken Beneker, Robert Dean Keller
  • Patent number: 8181518
    Abstract: A magnetic float is provided for a level indicator system that is suitable for low density liquids at high pressure, such as C3-liquids. The float comprises a hollow tube, first and second endcaps, and a magnet assembly. The hollow tube comprises a carbon fiber reinforced cured resin matrix and has a first end, a second end, and a longitudinal axis extending between the ends. The first and second endcaps are formed from polymer and dome-shaped. They seal the first and second ends of the hollow tube, respectively, to hermetically seal the inside of the float the outside. At least one polymeric reinforcing ring is mounted inside of a midsection of the hollow tube between the first end and the second end to resist radial inward collapse of the tube. The magnet assembly is mounted in the tube near the first endcap and comprises a plurality of longitudinally elongated magnets positioned adjacent the inside wall of the hollow tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Inventor: Wade L. Donehue
  • Patent number: 8135554
    Abstract: Transmission of probe configuration data is initiated upon recognition by the probe of a prescribed condition. Probe configuration data protocol includes a data frame, subdivided into a desired number of time slots. Unlike measurement data protocol, where inter-pulse pair timing within a slot varies based on a magnet position or temperature sensor resistance, configuration data protocol in accordance with the invention uses fixed inter-pulse timing to represent the various states of digital data. In such manner, at least a portion of the time slots making up the particular data frame can be used for containing data sent from the probe, and which can then be interpreted by the receiving processing device as at least one bit of binary code allocated to each individual slot of the portion of time slots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Inventor: Jonathan A. Levy
  • Patent number: 8117911
    Abstract: This invention relates to bulk liquid storage tanks, and in particular to an improved tank gauge for measuring the amount of liquid within the tank and for monitoring the movement or settling of the storage tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Inventor: Dennis Rose
  • Patent number: 7880625
    Abstract: A liquid level warning device with a separate audible alarm is disposed in a liquid tank for indicating the amount of liquid in the tank. The device also includes a plurality of float switches disposed at pre-selected levels within the tank and a plurality of LED's for indicating the level of liquid in the tank. A separate audible alarm independent of the visual indicators sounds an alarm when the tank is at a pre-selected level. A float switch is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Inventor: Abdulmohsen Ahmed Almoumen
  • Patent number: 7843199
    Abstract: A level meter for measuring the fill level of a medium in a vessel, includes a reference container that can be connected to the vessel in a manner whereby the level in the reference container is identical to that in the vessel. The reference container is provided with an adapter unit for a microwave level meter operating by the radar principle which adapter unit encompasses an injection device for coupling-in a microwave signal. This constitutes a low-cost solution for connecting a microwave level meter to a reference container, ensuring optimized signal injection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2010
    Assignee: Krohne S.A.
    Inventor: Dirk Schulz
  • Patent number: 7707882
    Abstract: An insulation beverage container (10) is provided and includes a gauge (40) for indicating the level of beverage held in the container (10). The gauge (40) includes a float (42) positioned within the container (10), a visual indicator (44) extending outside of the container (10), and a link (46) connecting the float (42) to the indicator (44) to move the indicator (44) with the float (42) as the position of the float (42) varies with the level of the beverage in the container (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2010
    Assignee: Thermos L.L.C.
    Inventor: Marvin Lane
  • Patent number: 7610807
    Abstract: A wave guide probe for use with direct-read tank level gages to provide electric signal output is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a translucent tube, a wave guide probe, and an electronics assembly. The translucent tube is for containing a fluid interface. The wave guide probe is positioned in the translucent tube. The electronics assembly is operably associated with the wave guide probe for actuating the wave guide probe and producing an electrical output signal representative of a location of the fluid interface in the translucent tube. The apparatus provides both electronic and optical level indications and is well suited for tank applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Jogler, Inc.
    Inventor: Jeffrey M. Skinner
  • Patent number: 7596999
    Abstract: Apparatus for monitoring the amount of sediment carried into and deposited within an underground stormwater-receiving system comprises a high surface area float that moves up and down within a chamber of the system. A rod extends upwardly from the float and is slidably contained within a tube that runs from the top of the chamber and to the soil surface. The top of the rod is visible to a worker on the surface. When storm water drains away, the float comes to rest on such sediment as has accumulated in the bottom of the chamber. Thus, the amount of sediment is determinable according to the changed rest-position of the rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2009
    Assignee: Stormtec, LLC
    Inventor: Ronald R. Vitarelli
  • Patent number: 7484409
    Abstract: A fluid level switch for a machine having a fluid reservoir adapted to contain a fluid at an acceptable level. The fluid level switch includes a mounting plate, a float housing, and a float assembly positioned within the float housing. The mounting plate retains first and second contacts. The float housing is configured to receive fluid from the fluid reservoir and the float assembly is movable in response to the level of fluid in the float housing. The float assembly includes a contact member electrically connecting the first and second contacts when the level of the fluid is below the acceptable level. The contact member is coupled to the float for movement with the float and for movement relative to the float.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2009
    Assignee: Briggs & Stratton Corporation
    Inventors: Richard A. Dykstra, Gary Gracyalny, David Procknow, John Garthwaite
  • Publication number: 20080202600
    Abstract: The present invention relates generally to a fluid level control system comprising a level sensor (10), and a valve in the form of a shut-off valve (12). The level sensor (10) is mounted to a vessel (not shown) and designed to sense the level of fluid, such as fuel, in the vessel. The shut-off valve (12) is designed to be actuated by a dry-break refuelling nozzle (not illustrated). The shut-off valve (12) is operatively coupled to the level sensor (10) via a sampling flow line (14) together with first and second hydraulic return lines (16) and (18), respectively. The shut-off valve (12) is of a normally-open configuration wherein it permits the flow of fuel from the refuelling nozzle to the vessel whilst the fluid or fuel level is below a predetermined level. The level sensor (10) is configured to effect closure of the shut-off valve (12) when the fuel level is at the predetermined level.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2004
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Inventors: Adam R. Peattie, Shane Keys
  • Patent number: 7398682
    Abstract: A fluid level detector system, which may measure the amount of fluid in a reservoir, and may further trigger an alarm when the fluid level in the cassette reaches a low level condition. The cassette's reservoir may contain a transient sterile solution, which is moving through the cassette to be either cooled or heated in the heat exchanger area. The detection scheme includes a ring magnet housed in a float assembly located in the fluid reservoir of the cassette and, e.g., two magnetic sensors, such as may form a Hall effect integrated circuit, which may be fixed within the console.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: Innercool Therapies, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Magers, Adib Gabrail Daoud, Mark D. Wieczorek
  • Patent number: 7399985
    Abstract: A detection system for determining material level in a container where the container has an opening and an optical window mounted to the opening. A sensor element is mounted to the container adjacent the window. The sensor element has an optical emitter and an optical receiver positioned to form a triangular vertex with the material surface level within the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: DataOnline, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Walter Mruk, Martin Adams, William Kilkerr, Nicholas Bell, Robert Barnacle
  • Patent number: 7353704
    Abstract: Provided herein are devices useful for guiding cables, wires, cords, and the like. A device according to the present invention is particularly useful for guiding a cable that is used in providing an external liquid-level gauge on an oil tank. A cable guide means according to the present invention provides gauging means for judging the liquid levels in tanks which are more reliable than provided by the prior art, and which are essentially maintenance-free over their lifetime.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Inventor: Shane H. Clanton
  • Patent number: 7343800
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to system and method for determining a fluid level. The system comprises a sensing rod assembly comprised of releasably connectable rod segments. Each rod segment carries a processor and a plurality of inductors. Each inductor generates a position signal responsive to a float signal. A float assembly comprises a housing containing a circuit having an integrally formed coil periodically energizable by a processor to emit the float signal. A control assembly receives the generated position signals and determines the fluid level. The method comprises providing releasably connectable rod segments with inductors that generate a position signal responsive to a float signal, determining a sensing rod assembly length, forming the sensing rod assembly, disposing it within a container, providing a float assembly periodically actuated to generate a float signal, generating position signals responsive to the float signal and analyzing those signals to determine the fluid level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2008
    Assignee: FB iMonitoring, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert M. Harman, Philip R. Couch, Alexander M. Barry, David M. Dixon
  • Patent number: 7334536
    Abstract: An improved sewer backup indicator. The sewer backup indicator is installed into a sewer cleanout cap housing which comprises a pop-up device that detects and holds the detection of a back up in the sewer system, which is due to number of reasons. This invention helps to determine a problem in the sewer system and where the problem would most likely be making it quicker to resolve the problem so that a sewer spill could be prevented. In general, this invention will prevent sewer spills, law suits, and prevent the endangerment of our wild and aquatic life. My invention is basically is to protect our environment and our water supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2008
    Inventor: Raymond Aniban, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7315250
    Abstract: An electrical field activated switch system includes a fluid container 14 having an aperture formed in a sidewall thereof. The floor of the primary tray 22 is positioned entirely beneath the fluid container and a secondary tray is positioned entirely within the primary tray and in proximity to and at an elevation beneath the aperture. A tube 30 is coupled between the aperture and the secondary tray. A housing 36 has an open bottom secured to the secondary tray with a cylinder 38 vertically oriented therein. A base 40 is supported upon the secondary tray floor. An electrical induction switch assembly includes two wires with stripped lower ends positioned within the cylinder with their lower ends being separated and in proximity to the base. A float is slidably received upon the cylinder with a magnetic plate secured to the float.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Inventor: Rodolfo Hernandez-Zelaya
  • Patent number: 7284422
    Abstract: A device measures the high and low fluid levels of a fluid body. A housing has a shaft with a buoyant weight, the shaft protruding through a cap on the housing's top and capable of sliding through the cap. A first ring encompasses the shaft and is initially positioned immediately below the cap, while a second ring is positioned immediately above the cap. As fluid enters the housing, the shaft rises in lockstep with the fluid level causing the first ring to be pushed downwardly on the shaft and when the fluid level falls, the shaft falls causing the second ring to be pushed upwardly along the shaft. The distance between the rings is the amount of fluid level variation. A debris tube attached to the housing measures the upper limit of fluid level. Subtracting the amount of variation from this upper limit yields the lower fluid level limit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2007
    Inventor: Douglas A. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7278311
    Abstract: A liquid level and density measurement device is disclosed. The device comprises an elongated magnetostrictive transducer and at least two transducer magnets embedded into floats that can freely move along a transducer. One float is relatively more sensitive to liquid density variation than the other float. The less sensitive float is used for liquid level measurement and the more sensitive float is used for liquid density measurement. The liquid density float has a lower part completely immersed into a liquid and an upper part partially immersed into a liquid. The upper part is made substantially in the form of a hollow cylinder with an internal diameter larger than the external diameter of the liquid level float. Therefore the liquid density float can move up and down without touching the liquid level float.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2007
    Assignee: Franklin Fueling Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Vitaliy Demin
  • Patent number: 7265677
    Abstract: System for indicating when a tank is full. The system includes a signal and control box. A container is connected to the tank. The container has a base, a float, an upper portion, and a lower portion. An orifice is arranged at the upper portion of the container. The float has an electrical contact connected to the signal and control box. The base of the container is arranged one of above a maximum filling level of the tank and substantially at the same level as the maximum filling level of the tank. A communication conduit is connected to each of the base of the container and an area of the tank which is in proximity to an upper portion of the tank. The system generates at least one warning signal after the tank is completely filled and when the container is partially filled by the communication conduit. This Abstract is not intended to define the invention disclosed in the specification, nor intended to limit the scope of the invention in any way.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2007
    Inventor: Jean-Luc Dupont
  • Patent number: 7259384
    Abstract: Systems and methods for fluid level detection are disclosed. In one embodiment, a sensor assembly includes at least one optical fiber adapted to at least one of transmit and receive an optical signal, and a moveable float member. The float member is adapted to move in a first direction as the fluid level increases and in a second direction as the fluid level decreases. The float member blocks the optical signal at a first value of the fluid level, and allows the optical signal to pass at a second value of the fluid level. The presence or absence of the optical signal is detected to determine the level of fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Sham S. Hariram, Sharanpal S. Sikand
  • Patent number: 7082827
    Abstract: An example of an apparatus for detecting the lowering of a top surface of a liquid includes a housing that has a housing hole, and an insertion member attached to the housing. A dowel is inserted into the housing hole, and a float is attached to the dowel. A detector switch that has an actuator arm is also attached to the housing, with the actuator arm of the detector switch located proximate a first end of the dowel. An audio transducer is attached to the housing, to sound an alarm if the first end of the dowel does not push the actuator arm to a position near the body of the detector switch, for example due to the lowering of the top surface of a liquid in which the float is placed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Inventor: Scott R. Samuelson
  • Patent number: 7082828
    Abstract: Leakage detection of cargo from the hold of a barge involves a mounting plate to the top hatch of the hold. Two pipes secured to the plate extend to locations near the bottom. Each pipe has a guide tube in it coaxial with the pipe. Each pipe has a float in it received around the guide tube. A float follower is in each tube and magnetically coupled to the float so that the float follower rises and falls with the float. One pipe has an open bottom for cargo to freely move up and down in the pipe as the hold is filled and emptied. The other pipe has a valve at the bottom for admitting cargo from the hold to the pipe at the port of origin of the vessel. Following loading of the cargo, the valve is closed. One embodiment tethers the floats to reels atop the plate. Any change of level of the floats, reflecting a loss of cargo during transit from the port of origin to that of destination, is reflected in relative rotation of the reels and triggering an output signal to an annunciator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Electromechanical Research Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventor: Larry C. Wilkins
  • Patent number: 7066024
    Abstract: A float adapted to track an interface between two liquids of differing density, includes a hollow buoyant body having an interior cavity adapted to retain liquid. At least one upper access opening is provided in the body, which is adapted to permit filling of the interior cavity with liquid. The interior cavity is capable of holding sufficient liquid to retard the buoyancy of the body. By filling the interior cavity with a liquid of a first density, the hollow buoyant body can be made to float at an interface with a lighter liquid of a second density.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Inventor: Brian Watchel
  • Patent number: 7062967
    Abstract: An apparatus and method are provided for determining the fuel level in a fuel tank. The apparatus includes an acoustic transducer arranged to transmit an acoustic signal and receive a reflected signal. A float remains buoyant at the surface of the fuel in the tank and has a reflective portion for receiving the acoustic signal and reflecting the reflected signal therefrom. An interface circuit is connected to the transducer and measures an elapsed time between transmitting the acoustic signal and receiving the reflected signal. The interface then produces an output as a function of the elapsed time that is indicative of the fuel level in the fuel tank.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler Corporation
    Inventors: Donna M Hale, Nancy M Isles, Dan P Borza
  • Patent number: 7055386
    Abstract: A dial assembly with magnetic calibration feature adapted for use as part of a gauge assembly for measuring fluid levels in cryogenic applications is disclosed. The dial assembly includes a base, a pivot pin extending from the base, a pointer assembly pivotally mounted on the pivot pin, and a calibration magnet with adjustment feature. The pointer assembly includes a pointer coupled with a pointer magnet. The calibration magnet with adjustment feature is magnetically coupled to the pointer magnet and adapted to adjust a position of the pointer magnet and therefore the pointer relative to volume indicia on a dial face of the dial assembly. In operation, a movement of the calibration magnet induces a movement in the pointer magnet. The adjustment feature is coupled to the calibration magnet such that it is manipulatable even when the dial assembly is mounted on a gauge head of a gauge assembly installed on a vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2006
    Assignee: Rochester Gauges, Inc.
    Inventors: Carl A. Taylor, Dan E. Swindler
  • Patent number: 7021139
    Abstract: A non-contact type liquid level sensor includes a sensor housing; a rotary shaft, rotatably mounted on the sensor housing; a float, vertically movable with a change of a liquid level; a float arm, having a first end mounted on the float, and a second end coupled to the rotary shaft such that the rotary shaft is rotated with a vertical movement of the float; an annular magnet, coupled to the rotary shaft, and rotating together with the rotary shaft; a pair of arcuate stators, disposed in the sensor housing so as to confront an outer peripheral surface of the magnet; and a magnetoelectric transducing element, disposed between the first ends of the stators, for detecting a change of a magnetic flux density in the stators, which is caused by a turn of the magnet, and for converting the detected change of the magnetic flux density into an electrical signal. Second ends of the stators are spaced from each other to form a gap having an opening angle within a range from 50° to 200°.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: Yazaki Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiaki Fukuhara, Yukio Takahashi
  • Patent number: 7009125
    Abstract: A linear slip to slip coupling has an input portion and an output portion with a common horizontal centerline. A fluid container has a threaded aperture. An adaptor has a threaded input end releasably coupled to the threaded aperture of the container. An unthreaded output end is coupled to the input portion. A nipple has an output end and an input end. The nipple is coupled to the output portion of the coupling. An end cap is coupled to the output end of the nipple. An induction switch subassembly is coupled to the coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2006
    Inventor: Rodolfo Hernandez-Zelaya
  • Patent number: 6998552
    Abstract: A float-type liquid level switch includes a main body, a float, a magnetic reed switch, and a light emitting element; the float has a magnet joined thereto, and is displaceable along a length of the main body; the magnetic reed switch and the light emitting element are held in the main body; both the magnetic reed switch and the light emitting element are connected to a control circuit to form a circuit; when the float is moved to such a position by buoyancy of liquid in a container that the magnet is near to, and activates the magnetic reed switch, the light emitting element will be powered to produce light, which will travel out of the main body to indicate that liquid level reaches a certain point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Young-G Enterprise Corporation
    Inventor: Jui-Yang Li
  • Patent number: 6988406
    Abstract: A system of liquid level detection has a vessel, a sight glass in fluid communication with the vessel, a float positioned in the sight glass, a proximity switch affixed exterior of the sight glass for transmitting a signal relative to a sensing of the float in proximity to the proximity switch, a timer cooperative with the proximity switch for measuring a period of time relative to the signal from the proximity switch, and an indicator cooperative with the timer for producing a humanly perceivable indication when the period of time is at a predetermined limit. The proximity switch can be positioned so as to detect a low level of liquid in the vessel or a high level of liquid in the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2006
    Inventor: Robert Mack
  • Patent number: 6983655
    Abstract: A vehicle cesspool level sensor includes a mounting base, a stainless steel detection tube welded to the bottom side of the mounting base to hold a detection circuit on the inside, an end cap welded to the bottom end of the stainless steel detection tube, a float axially movably mounted the detection tube and movable, the float having two magnets symmetrically disposed at two sides and adapted to induce the detection circuit, a stainless steel strainer fastened with the top end to an endless locating flange at the bottom side of the mounting base, and a strainer cover capped on the bottom end of the stainless steel strainer and fastened to the end cap with a screw.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2006
    Inventors: Chia-Hung Liang, Chia-Fu Liang
  • Patent number: 6915692
    Abstract: In a tank for liquid fuel, particularly a tank for LPG in a system for supply of LPG to the internal-combustion engine of a motor vehicle, the level-sensor device comprises a floating member guided so as to move in a substantially vertical direction within the tank according to the variations of level, and transducer means consisting of an aligned series of reed relays that are activated selectively by one or more permanent magnets carried by the floating member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: C.R.F. Societa Consortile per Azioni
    Inventors: Mario Ricco, Sisto Luigi De Matthaeis, Annunziata Anna Satriano, Claudio Amorese, Onofrio De Michele
  • Patent number: 6817242
    Abstract: A device indicates the level of concrete within the hopper of a concrete pump and prevent accidental overflow and spills. The concrete level indicator device includes an elongate post with an enlarge float fixed to the bottom end and a guide sleeve for allowing vertical telescoping movement of the post as the concrete level in this hopper changes. A retaining collar attaches to a screen in the hopper of the pump and surrounds the guide sleeve for limiting swinging movement of the post and guide sleeve, thereby maintaining the device in a vertical position within the hopper with the float resting on the concrete. As concrete is filled into the hopper, the post rises through the guide sleeve until a visual indicator (e.g. a red band) on the top end of the post is visibly exposed above the guide sleeve, thereby alerting the operator to interrupt the discharge of concrete being filled in the hopper until the concrete level drops and the visible indicator on the post is no longer visible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Inventor: Stephen M. Moran