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Publication numberUS3141957 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 21, 1964
Filing dateMay 18, 1962
Priority dateMay 18, 1962
Publication numberUS 3141957 A, US 3141957A, US-A-3141957, US3141957 A, US3141957A
InventorsKelm Everett F
Original AssigneeCorning Glass Works
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Connecting electrical units
US 3141957 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July21,1964 ,E1-,KEW 3,141,957

CONNECTING ELECTRICAL UNITS Filed May 18, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 cu/eeE/vr .sal/fece A Tron/ver July 21, 1964y E- F- KEI-M 3,141,957

CONNECTING ELECTRICAL UNITS r mmxmmmm\\\\\mmxlf a5 l A a4 INI/ENTOR. [vz-'effi' x." /YEL M Raw@ rroeNcY United States Patent O York Filed May 18, 1962, Ser. No. 195,784 7 Claims. (Cl. '219-351) This invention relates to means for effecting electrical connections among a plurality of units whereby all units are supplied with electrical current from a single input station and wherein units may be added to r subtracted from the system easily and without disturbing other units.

The invention has utility in systems of electrically operated units wherein it is desired to provide a variable pattern of units or substantially to cover a specified area with such units. In particular, the invention may be utilized, for example, in supplying electrical current to a plurality of heating panels or to a plurality of luminaires positioned along a plane surface such as a wall or a ceiling.

The invention comprises, in general, a plurality of electrical units, each unit having at least two electrical terminals arranged along a straight line forming an angle of 45 with the sides of a rectangular corner of the unit, the units being electrically connected by means of connectors having at least four terminals complementary t0 the terminals on the units and arranged at least two each along two mutually perpendicular lines.

One embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. l is a plan view of four electrical heating panels connected according to the invention,

FIG. 2 is an enlarged plan view, partly cut away, of a connector utilized in joining the panels of FIG. l,

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3-3 or" FIG. 2,

FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view of a corner of a heating panel of FIG. l illustrating the construction of the terminals thereof,

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4, and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 4.

Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 represents four identical heating panels designated respectively by the numerals 2t?, 21, 22, and 23. Since the panels are identical, their construction will be described with reference to panel 23. This panel comprises glass plate 24 supported by metal frame Z5 and having thereon an electrically conductive coating 2&6, which may be any one of numerous suitable compositions well known in the art, for example tin oxide. Coating 26 has fired-on silver electrodes 27 and 32 at its respective ends. The panel is provided with two sets of three terminals each, the sets comprising respectively terminals 28, 29 and 30 and terminals 34, 3S and 36. The sets are located at rectangular corners of panel 23, and the respective terminals fall along lines forming angles of 45 with the sides of frame 25, as illustrated in FIG. 4. Each of the sets comprises two outer current-carrying terminals and an inner ground terminal. Terminals 3@ and 36 are connected, by means of conducting strips 3l and 3'7 respectively, to electrodes 32 and 27 respectively. Such a connection is illustrated in FIG. 6. Terminals 28 and 34 are connected by means of insulated wires 33 and 33 to terminals 36 and 30 respectively. Thus, each set of terminals of panel 23 has its outer, current-carrying terminals connected to opposite electrodes of conductive coating 26, and hence, when a potential is applied across these terminals, a current ilows through coating 26 thereby producing heat. Each of the inner terminals 29 and 3S is grounded to frame 25, by means of a conducting strip such as 39 of FIG.

6. Thus, when an electrical potential is imposed across either set of outer terminals, a potential is imposed not only across coating 26 but also across the other set of outer terminals, and when one inner terminal is grounded the other is also grounded, by means of the electrical connection through frame 25.

The connectors of the present invention are constructed to utilize these last-mentioned facts. All connectors are identical and are illustrated by connector 40 of FIGS. 2 and 3. Connector 40 comprises two sets each having three terminals, such as 41, adapted for mating with the respective terminals of the panels. In the illustrated embodiment the connector terminals and panel terminals are respectively male and female elements, but it will be understood that any other convenient arrangement may be employed for effecting electrical contact. The respective connector terminals of the two sets are oriented along two mutually perpendicular lines, as illustrated in FIG. 2, and are connected by electrically conducting strips such as 42 of FIG. 2. Thus, when two panels are connected by means of connector 40, electrical contact is effected between the inner terminals of the two panels and between the respective outer terminals of the panels by means of conducting strips 42, which are illustrated schematically in FIG. 1 for clarity of illustration by means of the broken lines connecting the respective terminals.

Thus, when a potential is imposed across the outer terminals of either set of terminals ot a given panel, a potential is imposed across the outer terminals of the remaining set of the same panel. If this remaining set is then linked to one of the sets of a second panel by means of a connector such as 40, a potential results across the outer terminals of that set, which is similarly transmitted to the remaining set of terminals of that panel. Thus, each set of outer terminals can serve both to energize the conductive coating and to transmit current to another panel. In like manner, the inner ground terminals are connected from one panel to another. By this process current entering panel 20 at the location indicated in FIG. 1 both energizes the coating of that panel, and is transmitted to panel 21 and energizes the coating thereon, and so on until all four of the illustrated panels become operative. It will be observed that there is provided a parallel electrical circuit among the respective panels, and hence, even though one or more panels become defective, current will continue to ow through the remaining panels.

It will be understood that the positions of the terminals within the respective sets may be altered as long as the electrical circuitry remains as illustrated. For example, the ground terminal of each set could be placed as an outer terminal as long as the electrical connections remain unchanged and as long as the arrangement is identical for each set of terminals of each panel. It will be further understood that the ground terminal can be eliminated from the system completely.

The respective sets of panel terminals have been made to fall along lines forming angles of 45 with the edges of the respective panels in order to make possible the various relative orientations between the respective panels illustrated in FIG. l. Thus, it can' be seen that this configuration allows identical connectors to be utilized in connecting identical panels in end-to-end relation, as are panels 20 and 21, in side-to-end relation, as are panels 21 and 22, and in side-to-side relation, as are panels 22 and 23, and that the rigidity of the connectors assists in maintaining the relative orientations of the panels. The result is that numerous patterns of units can be constructed using only one conguration of panel and one configuration of connector. Since the only requirement relating to terminal orientation on the panels is that they fall along lines forming 45 angles with the sides of the panels at the respective corners, it will be seen that each of the illustrated sets of panel terminals could fall along lines perpendicular to those illustrated; that is, the lines, instead of forming isosceles triangles with the edges of the panels, may just as well bisect the corner angles. In such case no change would need to be made in the configuration of connectors 40.

The panels of FIG. 1 have been shown each having two sets of terminals located at two corners. It will be understood that, if so desired, additional terminals may be provided at the remaining corners and may be connected to the illustrated terminals in order to permit additional panels to be connected to the panels at these remaining corners. Since such additional terminals would be only for the transfer of current to additional panels, they would not have electrical connections with the electrically conductive coatings on their respective panels. It will be seen, however, that such additional terminals, although Within the scope of the present invention will only rarely be necessary, since any number of panels of the type illustrated may be connected together.

The illustrated panels are constructed in the form of rectangles having length-to-width ratios of 2:1 to facilitate arranging pluralities of panels solidly to cover rectangular areas such as walls and ceilings. It will be understood that this shape, although advantageous, is not necessary, and other shapes may be employed. For example, the panels may be in the form of squares.

Although the present invention has been illustrated as employed in connecting heating panels, it will be apparent that other forms of electrical units may be connected in the same manner. It may be found advantageous, for example, to utilize the invention in connecting other operating components, such as fluorescent lighting fixtures. It will be further apparent to those skilled in the art that variations in the construction of the panels and connectors may be made within the scope of the present invention, and accordingly, it is intended that the present invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. The combination of a plurality of electrically operated units, each said unit having a substantially rectangular base and including an operating component, each of said units having at each of at least two rectangular corners of said base a set of at least two electrical terminals, said sets of terminals being located respectively along lines forming angles of 45 with the sides of said rectangular base in the plane of said base, in at least one said unit a first terminal of a first of said sets being electrically connected with said operating component and with a first terminal of a second of said sets and a second terminal of said second set being electrically connected with said operating component and with a second terminal of said first set, and joining at least two of said units a connector comprising two sets each having at least two terminals electrically insulated from one another, said sets of connector terminals being respectively arranged along two mutually perpendicular lines, each of said terminals of each of said sets of connector terminals being electrically connected to a terminal of the other said set and to a terminal of one of said units to effect electrical connection between said units.

2. The combination according to claim 1 in which each said base comprises a conducting metal, each of said sets of terminals of each said unit includes a third terminal electrically connected to said base, and each of said sets of connector terminals includes a third terminal, said third terminals of said connector being electrically interconnected and each being electrically connected to one of said third terminals of said units.

3. The combination according to claim 1 in which each of said rectangular bases has sides in the ratio 2:1.

4. An electrically operated unit having a substantially rectangular base and including an operating component, said unit having at each of at least two rectangular corners thereof a set of at least two electrical terminals, said sets of terminals being located respectively along lines forming angles of 45 with the sides of said rectangular base in the plane of said base, a first terminal of a first of said sets being electrically connected with said operating component and with a first terminal of a second of said sets and a second terminal of said second set being electrically connected with said operating component and with a second terminal of said first set.

5. A unit according to claim 4 in which said base comprises a conducting metal and each of said sets of terminals includes a third terminal electrically connected to said base.

6. The combination of a plurality of electrically operated heating panels, each comprising a generally flat rectangular metal frame supporting a glass plate having an electrically conducting coating thereon, each of said panels having at each of at least two rectangular corners thereof a set of at least two electrical terminals, said sets of terminals being located respectively along mutually perpendicular lines forming angles of 45 with the sides of said rectangular base in the plane of said base, in each said panel a first terminal of a first of said sets being electrically connected with said electrically conducting coating and with a first terminal of a second of said sets and a second terminal of said second set being electrically connected with said electrically conducting coating and with a second terminal of said first set, and joining at least two of said panels a connector comprising two sets each having at least two terminals electrically insulated from one another, said sets of connector terminals being respectively arranged along two mutually perpendicular lines, each of said terminals of each of said sets of connector terminals being electrically connected to a terminal of the other said set and to a terminal of one of said panels to effect electrical connection between said panels.

7. The combination according to claim 6 in which each of said sets of terminals of each said panel includes athird terminal electrically connected to said base, and each of said sets of connector terminals includes a third terminal, said third terminals of said connector being electrically interconnected and each being electrically connected to one of said third terminals of said panels.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 473,848 Mayer Apr. 26, 1892 1,652,708 De Leeuw Dec. 13, 1927 2,569,961 Tidd Oct. 2, 1951 2,594,069 Poehlmann Apr. 22, 1952 2,608,634 Abbott Aug. 26, 1952 2,746,680 Maul May 22, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 531,116 France Oct. 15, 1921

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US473848 *May 11, 1891Apr 26, 1892F Onemayer
US1652708 *Apr 9, 1921Dec 13, 1927Albert F NathanPermutation switch
US2569961 *May 19, 1950Oct 2, 1951Us Rubber CoRadiant heating installation
US2594069 *Feb 28, 1948Apr 22, 1952Mallory & Co Inc P RBattery voltage selector jumper board and terminal board for industrial truck chargers
US2608634 *May 5, 1950Aug 26, 1952Us Rubber CoRadiant heating installation
US2746680 *Jun 19, 1953May 22, 1956Michael MaulRecord controlled machine with cross connecting board
FR531116A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7975400 *Dec 20, 2003Jul 12, 2011Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhDevice for determining the conductance of laundry, dryers and method for preventing deposits on electrodes
US8286369Jan 27, 2011Oct 16, 2012Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhDevice for determining the conductance of laundry, dryers and method for preventing deposits on electrodes
Classifications
U.S. Classification392/439, 338/333, 219/543, 338/308, 219/541, 392/437, 439/43
International ClassificationH01R31/00, H01R31/02, F24C7/04
Cooperative ClassificationF24C7/043, H01R31/00, H01R31/02
European ClassificationH01R31/00, F24C7/04B, H01R31/02