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Publication numberUS3274579 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1966
Filing dateFeb 25, 1964
Priority dateFeb 25, 1964
Publication numberUS 3274579 A, US 3274579A, US-A-3274579, US3274579 A, US3274579A
InventorsJr Forney Fuller
Original AssigneeJr Forney Fuller
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fusible plug flame detection system
US 3274579 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1966 F. FULLER, JR

FUSIBLE PLUG FLAME DETECTION SYSTEM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 25, 1964 FIGZ w wrw w \J Q a INVENTOR.



FORNEY A TTORNE Y Sept. 20, 1966 F. FULLER, JR 3,274,579

FUSIBLE PLUG FLAME DETECTION SYSTEM Filed Feb. 25, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG] A ION 30 I l h FIGI B FIG. 3 A 500) INVENTOR.

FQRNEY FULLER JR BY W ATTORNEY 3,274,579 FUSIBLE PLUG FLAME DETECTION SYSTEM Forney Fuller, Jr., P.0. Box 12151, New Orleans, La. Filed Feb. 25, 1964, Ser. No. 347,157 6 Claims. (Cl. 340-227) This invention relates to furnaces and fuel burners associated therewith. More particularly, the invention relates to the detection of heat associated with the burners when burning fuels such as natural gas, oil, pulverized coal, cellulose Waste, waste combustibleliquids, as in black liquor recovery furnaces, and any combination of fuels burned simultaneously in the same furnace.

On any type of fuel fired furnace, one instance being the common household gas cooking range, it is important to detect the absence of a flame While gas is still being supplied to the burner. In private dwellings employing gas cooking ranges, the absence of a flame while gas is still being supplied is generally quite rapidly observed by the odor of the issuing gas and hence preexplosive conditions due to the accumulation of large quantities of flammable gas in a room or other installation are avoided.

In distinction to the ease with which the housewife notices the lack of a flame While gas is being supplied to a burner, industrial installations require a more positive method for detecting the absence of a flame. In industrial installations, the accumulation of large quantities of combustible gases attendant a flameout is not only dangerous to life but the large capital investments make it mandatory that a satisfactory flameout detection system be available.

Prior workers in this art have taught flame failure indicator systems, such as Atwater, U.S. Patent 2,396,146 and Thomson, U.S. Patent 2,692,962, to mention only two of a variety of such systems. The efforts of prior workers in this field have generally been satisfactory and the present invention will provide workers in this area with yet another flame failure apparatus.

It is now recognized by workers in this field that fuel fired furnaces are inherently safe if the furnace space (or envelope) is held above the kindling temperature of the fuel or fuels being fired. With most commercial fuels this is thought to be 1500 F. Heretofore most flame failure detection has been by detection of light emitted from the flame. Conditions of burning can change and frequently this changes the wave length of light emitted, thereby making limited Wave length detectors inoperable.

According to the present invention, the heat from ignited fuel burners is employed to melt fusible plugs in an endless tape. The melting of the fusible plugs is a positive indication that the gas burners are flaming. The failure of the fusible plugs in the endless belt to melt is a positive indication that there has been a flame failure within the furnace or the furnace temperature has dropped below the safe kindling temperature. Suitable means are employed to detect either the melting or non-melting of the fusible plugs, such detection being suitably coupled to the fuel supply so as to cut off the latter when there is no flame or institute other safety measures such as purging the furnace with nitrogen or steam.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a flame failure indicating system for a furnace or other installation employing fuel burners.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a flame failure indication system employing a movable probe travelling past the burners of a burner installation wherein the probe includes a plurality of 3,274,579 Patented Sept. 20, 1966 fusible elements whose melting or failure to melt indicates the presence or absence of the flames in the burners.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a flame failure indication system for a furnace or other installation employing a fuel burner wherein a movable and endless belt passes through the interior of an installation employing a fuel burner and wherein the endless belt contains a plurality of fusible elements and the melting or failure to melt of the fusible elements is an indication of the presence or absence of a flame.

These and other objects will become apparent from the following description.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a partially schematic view of the flame failure indication system of the present invention, being a cross-section of a large furnace having burners therein in combination with an endless flame detection belt.

FIGS. 1A and 1B are similar to FIG. 1 and show variations in the location of the endless belt.

FIG. 2 is a partially schematic and perspective view of a portion of the endless belt of the present invention in combination with an optical means for detecting the melting or non-melting of a plurality of fusible plugs in the belt.

FIG. 3 is a partially schematic view showing the flame failure indication system of the present invention employed to detect flame failure in a plurality of banks of gas burners.

FIG. 3A is similar to FIG. 3 and shows only a single burner.

The FIGURES 1, 1A, 1B show the invention as it may be used to detect furnace temperature at a relatively remote point from the burners, to assure that furnace safety is being maintained when the furnace temperature is above the minimum kindling temperature of the fuel being fired.

Referring now to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the numeral 10 denotes generally a cross-sectional view taken of a large furnace. The commercial embodiments of large furnaces exhibit wide variations in design and the reader is requested to note that the illustrated furnace is but one of a large number with which the present flame failure indication system according to the present invention may be employed. The numeral 12 denotes an endless belt or tape formed of metal of suitable flexibility and high melting point. The endless belt is supported by four pulleys denoted by the numeral 14 and motion in the indicated direction is afforded by a motor 16 coupled either directly to one of the pulleys 14 by raised Wheel face engaging the tape holes, or indirectly, as by friction, to the movable belt 12. The numerals 18 and 20 denote apertures leading, respectively, into and out of the furnace for the passage of the belt therein and thereout. Sealing of apertures 18 and 20 is effected by blocks 19 and 21, see FIG. 2. The numeral 22 denotes a cooling device which may, in one form, consist of a cool air blast, cool oil bath, or water spray for cooling the endless tape after passing through the combustion zone of the furnace 10. A fusible plug inserter denoted by the numeral 24 is positioned adjacent a lower run of the belt 12 and in association therewith a conventional photocell system 26 is positioned. The photocell arrangement 26 inspects the belt and insures that the mechanism 24 is operating properly, i.e., that a fusible plug is inserted in each of the holes of the tape 12.

The numerals 30 and 32 denote elements of a detection system which, in one form, consist of a photocell and a light source such as Laser, Maser or incandescent.

A Laser beam can be made of different degrees on intensity. It should be just intense enough to penetrate dust atmosphere or smoke that may be present in the furnace; but not intense enough to damage its receiver or other parts that may come in contact with the beam. For ease of illustration, the elements 30 and 32 are shown as positioned exteriorly of the furnace 10. In practice it will be observed that the elements 30 and 32 may also be placed either within the furnacelt) or the furnace walls are provided with high temperature glass or other transparent substances. The numeral 34 denotes an alarm suitably coupled with detection elements 30 and 32. In practice, the alarm 34 is linked with the fuel input to the burners of the furnace so that a flame failure (to be described in detail later) results in the cessation of fuel fed to the furnace.

The numeral 50 denotes burners within furnace 10, and the numeral 52 denotes a combustion zone adjacent these burners. It will be observed that the tape 12 passes, in the indicated direction of travel, substantially medially of the combustion zone 52.

Referring now to FIGURE 2 of the drawings, the numerals 36 denote apertures in the endless belt 12, the latter here being shown in three distinct sections for purposes of illustrations. The numerals 38 denote fusible plugs within apertures 36, these being the fusible plugs which mechanism 24 inserts. The numeral 40 denotes the fusible plugs 38 at various stages of melting as the belt 12 passes upwardly within furnace 1t) and into the combustion zone 52. The fusible plug material when melted is removed by a combination of vaporization and by solid removal through the ash discharge system always located at the bottom of a furnace.

A description of the above-described elements will now be set forth, illustrating a preferred mode of operation of the flame failure indication system according to the present invention. Assuming the furnace to be in full operation with the burners 50 ignited and flame within the combustion zone 52 performing the intended heating function within the furnace 10, a portion of the endless belt 12 to the right of photocell system in FIG. 1 passes into the furnace 10 through aperture 18 and thence begins its upward travel. As it nears the combustion zone 52, the heat due to the flames causes the fusible plugs 38 to melt, this progressive melting being indicated at 40 at FIG. 2. It will be observed that the lower run of tape 12 in FIG. 2 contains plugs completely intact while the upper run of the tape 12 shows the plugs as having been completely melted. Thus, with continued upward movement of the tape 12, the fusible plugs 38 become completely melted after having passed through combustion zone 52 and when they reach the area of the plug detection elements 30 and 32, the plugs 38 have all melted and the light from the detection system passes through the apertures 36 indicating that the furnace burners are operating as intended. After having passed through the combustion zone 52 and the interior of the furnace 10, the tape 12 is quite hot and for this purpose the cooling device 22 is employed to lower the temperature. This portion of the tape now passes around to the plug insertion mechanism 24 where new plugs 38 are inserted in the holes and the operation of the system is as above described. I

In the event of a flame failure within the furnace 10, and a resultant lowering of furnace temperature the plugs do not melt or, if they do melt, they will melt incompletely so that the light from detection elements 30, 32 does not pass through apertures 36 thus giving an indication, by means of the alarm 34, that there has been a flame failure. In such an instance, by suitable circuitry so well known by workers in this art as not to require description thereof at this point, the input to the fuel burners 50 is cut off, thus precluding the escape of flammable fuel vapor which otherwise would create a potentially dangerous explosive situation in the installation.

Referring now to FIG. 3 'of the drawings, the practice of the present invention on a furnace employing a single burner or a plurality of banks of burners is illustrated.

FIGURES 3 and 3A show the invention used adjacent to a burner or group of burners where the flame may actually impinge against the tape and fusible plugs. In

this case a higher melting temperature plug is used and detection of flame out on one burner or group of burners can be detected. In FIGURES 3 and 3A with the ex ception of the fusible plug detection elements, the numerals correspond to those of FIGURES 1 and 2 with a zero added. Thus, the numeral 120 in FIGURE 3 corresponds to the element 12 of FIGURES 1 and 2. Referring to the detection arrangement of the embodiment of FIGURE 3, with a plurality of tapes 120 for the purpose of detecting a flame failure in any one of a plurality of burner banks 590 in furnace 100, the numeral denotes a source of light (also Maser and Laser source) while numerals 62, 64 and 66 denote light-sensitive elements such as photocells which are mounted, respectively, on pivoted elements 68, 70 and 72. In operation, where it is desired to detect the presence or absence of fusible plugs in the upper belt 120, gate 68 is placed in the illustrated position and light source 60 cooperates with photocell element 62 to make the determination. Assuming that the upper burner bank 500 is operating properly, the flames therefrom will have melted all of the plugs in the upper belt 120 and now gate 68 which carries photocell 62 is swung clockwise and the beam from source 60 may now be used to detect the presence or absence of fusible plugs in the middle belt 120. Thus, in the arrangement illustrated in FIGURE 3, one light source 60 may be employed to test a plurality of belts 120.

It will be observed that in the embodiment of FIG- URE 1, the fusible plug detection elements 30 and 32 are placed quite near the combustion zone 52, thus necessitating the use of high temperature resistant elements 30 and 32 or the use of transparent materials in the walls of the furnace 10. This is in distinction to the arrangement of FIGURE 3 wherein the fusible plug detection mechanism is located eXteriorly of the furnace. Either arrangement may be employed, and it will be observed that the greater cost necessitated by the arrangement of FIGURE 1 yields the desired result of detecting the absence of a melted plug more rapidly. In FIGURES 1A and 1B, the detection tape passes horizontally through the furnace, through the kindling temperature zone thereof. This arrangement may be employed when the width of a furnace 12 permits the tape to traverse the furnace in sufficient time to assure safe detection exteriorly of the furnace. This permits the use of conventionalphotocell detection elements 30 and 32 in lieu of Laser and Maser.

What is claimed is:

1. A flame failure detection system including a static installation having a fuel burner therein, a probe provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced apertures adapted to contain fusible elements, said probe positioned at least partially within said static installation and adjacent said fuel burner, and means to detect the condition of the said fusible elements, whereby detection of melting of the fusible elements indicates an ignition condition of the fuel burner and detection of the fusible elements as not melting indicates a non-ignition condition.

2. A flame failure indication system comprising a static installation having a fuel burner mounted therein, an endless belt having at least one portion therein passing through said static installation and adjacent said burner, said belt having a plurality of apertures therein, means for placing a fusible plug within each of said apertures, and means for detecting the melting of said fusible plugs to thereby determine the presence of a flame in the fuel burner.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein said detection means includes a source of radiation adapted to shine against a portion of said endless belt.

4. The flame detection system of claim 2 including means to insert fusible plugs in said tape and means for moving said belt into and out of said static installation.

5. The flame failure indication system of claim 2 including alarm means coupled to said fusible plug melting detection means, said alarm means being coupled to the fuel input to said burner to thereby cut off said fuel input when a fusible plug has not melted.

5 6 6. The method of detecting flame failure in a static References Cited by the Examiner installation having a tuel burner therein including the UNITED STATES PATENTS steps of contlnuously msertmg and Withdrawing from a combustion area within said static installation a probe 1,953,072 4/1934 Casper 340339 X having a plurality of spaced fusible elements thereon, 5 335L876 9/1962 Brown 34O 2'27 detecting the melting or non-melting of fusible elements and continuously providing said probe with new fusible NEIL READ lmary Exammer' elements. R. M. ANGUS, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1953072 *Sep 9, 1930Apr 3, 1934Louis CasperRemote control advertising and electric signalinc system
US3052876 *Oct 8, 1959Sep 4, 1962Brown Robert MIndicating device for meat treatment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4246785 *Feb 28, 1979Jan 27, 1981Sellers Gregory JTesting effectiveness of thermal insulation
US4270560 *Nov 19, 1979Jun 2, 1981Kearney John GPhoto-electric burst disc indicator
US6244856 *Aug 8, 1997Jun 12, 2001Interotex LimitedBurner assemblies
U.S. Classification431/15, 431/80, 431/21, 340/590
Cooperative ClassificationF23N2027/04