US 3729288 A
A high capacity gas burner head. The gas emanating from the burner head is ignited by a piezoelectric ignition system which includes a strip-like hot electrode arranged above the burner to form a spark gap with either the burner head or a ground electrode. The hot electrode also provides a gas deflecting barrier causing the gas to flow into or towards the spark gap.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Berlincourt et al. Apr. 24,1973
 PIEZOELECTRICALLY IGNITED GAS 3,263,729 8/1966 Fetter et a1. ..431/266 2,544,299 3/1951 Damon et a1. .431/266 X g g i l g DUAL PURPOSE 3,558,251 1/1971 Bauger et al. ..431/266 L C R E 3,302,687 2/1967 Gjerde ..43l/266  Inventors: Don A. Berlincourt, Chagrin Falls;
David l Horvath, Aurora both of Primary Examiner-Edward G. Favors Ohio AttorneyEdward E. Sachs  Assignee: Vernitron Corporation, Bcdford,
Ohm 57 ABSTRACT  Filed: 1971 A high capacity gas burner head. The gas emanating 211 App] 110 471 from the burner head is ignited by a piezoelectric ignition system which includes a strip-like hot electrode arranged above the burner to form a spark gap with U-S- either the burner head or a ground electrode The hot [5 l Int. Cl ,.F23q 3/00 l t de l ovides a gas deflecting barrier causin g  Field of Search ..43 l/266, 264, 255, the gas to flow into or towards the spark gap.
 References Cited 3 Claims, 5 Drawing Fig ures UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,511,588 5/1970 Wulfe et a1. ..43 U264 3a 26 12 4.41.44 '0 \Y/IY/IY lv/lv/l I l l l l E a 4 11 5]1 111 1 l 3 I 14 3O Patented April 24, 1973' I! [I'll IIIILLIJl/l/I III, I
INVENTORS DON A. BERLINCOURT DAVID'J. HORVATH gdl/ardg- \Q 4S.
FIG-.4 165 ATTORNEY The invention relates generally to a gas burner and, more particularly, to a gas burner which discharges gas ignited by a piezoelectirc ignition system. The gas burner head is of the type which releases gas at a very rapid rate to provide a high capacity or instant heat effect.
High capacity burner heads have recently come into use for providing means to heat hot water instantly for a short duration and for similar applications. For instance, portable water heaters are known --fo'rcamping purposes in which the fuel supplied to the burner head is in the form of a bottle of propane and the water'is manually pumped into a container in which'thewater temperature is instantly raised -to a high level. This requires the discharge of a high volume ofgas at-a rapid rate through the gas outlets of theburner head. The terms high capacity and rapid rate" are used herein to denote, primarily, that the gas stream emanating from the burner head is of such a naturepreventingreliable ignition of the gas by conventional means, including piezoelectricdevices. Thus, if a'match, cigarette lighter, or conventional piezoelectirc ignition isutilized and ignition does not occur the first time theignitier is applied, it is possible that somethingapproaching an explosion may result on a subsequent try forignition. Furthermore, lighting the gasemanating from-such a burner head is, in any case, extremely dangerous, because a huge flame normally='results from'the' ignition and unless the operator uses extra caution bykeeping a certain distance, the operator may be burned.
It is therefore the primary-object ofthe present invention to provide an ignition system which will establish, substantially without fail, ignition every time that such action is demanded and can be operated from a safe distance.
It is a further object of-the present invention to-provide a burner head associated with a piezoelectric ignition system which utilizes a double purpose'hotelectrode to deflect the gas emanating out of the gas outlet into or towards the spark gap inorder to assure ignition of the gas as required.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a gas burner and piezoelectric ignition system therefor in which the hot electrode is adapted to block or deflect, to a certain degree, the flow of gas in a relatively narrow confined area to reduce momentarily the velocity of the gas in proximity to the spark gap.
It is another and still further object of thepresent invention to provide a gas burner and piezoelectric ignition system therefor in which the electrodes are disposed in such a manner that'the spark which jumps from the hot to the ground electrode extends perpendicular to the direction of thegas stream.
An aspect of the present invention resides in a gas burner associated with a piezoelectric ignitionsystem comprising a dual purpose electrode in which the gas burner head is adapted for receiving a combustible source of fuel and for distributing the fuel through a plurality of gas outlets. The piezoelectric ignition system is effective, upon'actuation thereof, to establish a spark close to one or more of these gas outlets to ingite the fuel. The piezoelectric ignition-system includes an electric circuit to provide a sparkgap adjacent to 2 the outlets and comprises a strip-like hot electrode which terminates with a pointed end and defines one end of the spark gap. The electrode is positioned to be effective to provide, proximate to the spark gap, a gas flow barrier to deflect the gas from one or more of said outlets into or towards the spark gap.
For a better understanding of the present invention, 7
together with other and further objects thereof, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, and its scope will be pointed outin the appended claims.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a vertical cross-sectional view of a gas burner head and essentially, except for part of the electrodes, a diagrammatic view of the piezoelectric ignition system;
FIG. 2 is a view similar'to FIG. 1 showing a modified electric circuit and burner head;
FIG. 3 is a top view of the device shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the hot electrode shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to'the one shown in FIG. 4, but showing a modification of the electrode.
Referring now to the drawing, and particularly FIG. 1,there is'shown a gas burner head 10 provided with a plurality of 'vertically extending gas outlets 12 connected toa chamber 14. Gas is supplied from a source of fuel, such as bottled'propane, to the chamber '14 through conduit 16. Conventionally, a fuel supply nozzle 18, provided with an orifice 20, terminates into the conduit 16 which also has provision for-receiving air, see 22, so'that the gas can mix with the air. The gas supply is regulated by means of a valve 24. For most conventional applications, the burner head 10 is made of electrically conductive metallic material.
The .piezoelectric ignition system comprises a manually actuated piezoelectric voltage source, for instance of the type shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,469,119 and U.S. Pat. No. 3,449,637, shown herein diagrammatically at-26. Thevoltage source 26 includes at least one piezoelectric element (not shown) one side of which is electrically connected'to a so-called hot electrode'28 and the other side, or end, of the piezoelectric element is connected to ground by means of ground electrode 30.
In the-embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the electrodes 28-and 30 fonn together with the voltage source 26 a complete electric circuit which establishes a spark gap 32 proximate to one or more of the gas outlets 12 as hereinafter further described. In order to prevent shorting of the circuit, the electrodes 28 and 30 are separated by means of an insulating member 34. More specifically, the ground electrode may be in either conventional form, i.e., composed of a wire-like configuration or, preferably, have a strip-like cross-section at least proximate to the surface of the burner head from which the gas emanates; When the ground electrode 30 is constructed in the preferred manner the terminal end 36, 'which defines one end of the spark gap 32, is
'tapered to a point as, for instance, shown inv FIGS. 4
and '5, see 38. The last segment of the electrode 30 proximateto the burner head is arranged aboveand approximately parallel to the top surface of the burner head lo.
The hot electrode 28 must, in order to meet the requirements of this invention, be constructed in a strip-like manner so that its width is substantially greater than its thickness, i.e., at least by a factor of 1.5 although, to make best use of the invention, this factor should exceed 2. The electrode 28 also terminates with a pointed or tapered end, see 38, which defines the other end of the spark gap 32 and thus the two pointed ends 36 and 38 face each other proximate to a gas outlet 12 so as to facilitate the spark to jump from electrode 28 to electrode along a plane which is perpendicular to the gas stream emanating out of the gas outlet.
Referring again specifically to FIG. 1, which is the preferred embodiment, it will be noted that the electrode 28 has a dual purpose, i.e., to provide a spark gap 32 in the conventional manner and to establish a gas flow barrier to deflect the gas from one or more of the outlets into or towards the spark gap. This is accomplished by constructing the electrode 28 in a striplike manner and by positioning the strip-like electrode 28 so that portions of the electrode 28 will actually be vertically above the spark gap 32, and in the path of the gas stream. It is possible to increase the effectiveness of the barrier by providing the electrode 28, at least in the vicinity of the gas stream, with lateral extensions which are of curved or angular configuration and give a hoodlike appearance 39, as shown in FIG. 5.
While from a cost point of view it has been expedient to fabricate the strip-like electrode with a uniform width and thickness, it is conceivable, however, and it will be plain to those skilled in the art, that only those areas of the electrode 28 which are proximate to the gas stream need to be fabricated in the manner aforedescribed, while the balance can be made in the conventional mode.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is shown a modification of the invention in which burner head 40 is provided with laterally extending gas outlets 42. The strip-like construction of the electrode 28 again acts as a gas flow barrier and causes the gas to be deflected into or towards the spark gap 44. A conventional ground electrode 46 is connected to the piezoelectric element of the voltage source 26 and the ground circuit 4 is completed through the burner head itself which defines the other end of the spark gap 44.
lgnition of the gas emanating from the gas outlets is accomplished by manually actuating the piezoelectric voltage source which causes the gap 32 or 44 to be ionized and the voltage thus generated to spark across the gap whereby the gas is ignited. Due to the construction of the hot lead electrode 28 the gas flow is sufficiently disturbed and/or slowed down in the vicinity of the gap so as to make ignition consistently possible with each actuation of the voltage source 26.
While there have been described what are at present considered to be the preferred embodiments of this invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modification s may be made therein without departing from the invention, and it is aimed, therefore, in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. Piezoelectrically ignited gas burner with dual purpose electrode, comdprising: l a gas burner hea adap ed for receiving a combustible source of fuel and for discharging the fuel through one or more gas outlets;
a piezoelectric ignition system effective upon actuation thereof to establish a spark close to one or more of said outlets to ignite the fuel emanating from said outlets; said system including an electric circuit, to provide a spark gap adjacent to said outlets and a pair of electrodes having a width greater than the thickness and terminating with'pointed ends in spaced relationship to form said spark gap, said electrodes being positioned to be effective to provide proximate to said spark gap a gas flow barrier to slow or to deflect the gas stream from one or more of said outlets.
2. Piezoelectrically ignited gas burner according to claim 1, wherein said electrode is provided with laterally extending portions for deflecting the gas stream.
3. Piezoelectrically ignited gas burner according to claim 2, wherein the laterally extending portions are angularly shaped.