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Publication numberUS3816827 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1974
Filing dateApr 12, 1972
Priority dateApr 13, 1971
Publication numberUS 3816827 A, US 3816827A, US-A-3816827, US3816827 A, US3816827A
InventorsLynn C
Original AssigneeLynn C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical circuit status indicator apparatus
US 3816827 A
Abstract
A new and improved circuit breaker status indicator apparatus to indicate that a circuit breaker from a plurality of circuit breakers has operated, and to identify which one of the circuit breakers has so operated. Push-to-test circuitry to monitor circuit continuity is included.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [19] Lynn, Jr.

[ 1] 3,816,27 Jane M, 1974 ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT STATUS INDICATOR APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Charles L. Lynn, Jr., 8225 Travelair Ave., Houston. Tex. 77017 [22] Filed: Apr. 12, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 243,348

Related US. Application Data [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 133,554. April 13. 1971, abandoned.

[52] US. Cl. .340/381, 340/376 [51] Int. Cl. 608b, 5/36 [58] Field of Search 340/381 R, 253 A, 248 C,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,612,552 12/1926 Travers ..340/248C Bakken 340/248 C 2,710,954 6/1955 Hallerberg 340/381 X 2,710,956 6/1955 Hallerberg 340/381 X 2,957,072 10/1960 Rigel 340/381 X 2,995,737 8/1961 Zimmerman 340/381 X 3,562,733 2/1971 Murphy 340/253 A Primary Examiner-Harold l. Pitts Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Pravel, Wilson & Matthews [57] 1 ABSTRACT A new and improved circuit breaker status indicator apparatus to indicate that a circuit breaker from a plurality of circuit breakers has operated, and to identify which one of the circuit breakers has so operated. Push-to-test circuitry to monitor circuit continuity is included.

. l0-Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUM 1 I874 SHEET 8 0F 2 1 ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT STATUS INDICATOR APPARATUS CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS BACKGROUND OF INVENTION 1. Field of Invention The present invention relates to circuit breaker indicators which identify a circuit breaker which has operated.

' 2. Description of Prior Art In certain electrical circuit applications, numerous electrical and electronic circuits were used, such as in aircraft and spacecraft, power control for welding, ship building, offshore well control systems and like equipment. The need to rapidly and promptly identify the circuit with a malfunction was highly important in order to determine if the circuit was essential to safe equipment operation. When the circuit was essential, correction of the malfunction had to be promptly taken. However, to locate the circuit with the malfunction, circuit breakers had to be individually scanned to determine a change in position of an operating lever, which was undesirable and time-consuming. Further, space and area limitations or the size'of available dis play surface often prevented placement of each of the circuit breakers in a position visible to the equipment operator.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION Briefly, the present invention provides a new and improved indicator apparatus for indicating the status of an electrical circuit wherein acircuit breaker having an open status and a conductive status causes an operating means to move between a first control position and a second control position in response to the open or conductive status of the circuit breaker.A signal means is interconnected with the operator means, and moves between a first and second operating position in'response to the operating means. A conductive means energizes the signal means when the signal means is in the second position to indicate an open status of the circuit breaker.

A remote monitoring means allows the status of the signal means to be remotely monitored. The remote monitoring means is provided with push-to-test circuitry for continuity check purposes. The remote monitoring means may be connected with a plurality of individual signal means and indicate the first of said individual signal means to be energized. Means are provided for disabling the energized individual signal means, so that energiz'ation of other signal means may be subsequently monitored.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved status indicator for electrical circuits, circuit breakers and the like.

'section, of the apparatus of the present invention,

, 2 showing a circuit breaker thereof in an open or tripped status;

FIG. 2 is an elevation view, taken partly in crosssection, of the apparatus of FIG. 1, with the circuitbreaker thereof in a conductive or set status;

FIG. 3 is an elevation view of a panel for mounting the apparatus of the present invention; 4

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3; and

FIGS. 5-7 are schematic electrical circuit diagrams of the. apparatus of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, the letter A'designates generally the apparatus of the present invention including a pushpull circuit breaker 11 mounted on a panel 12. An operating lever or re-set arm 13 of the circuit breaker 11 moves between a first control position (FIG. 2) and a second control position (FIG. 1) in response to the status of the circuit breaker 11.

The circuit breaker 11 is otherwise of the conventional type having a set or conductive status under normal operating conditions, and having a tripped, or nonconductive open circuit, status when abnormal operat ing conditions occur, such as excessive current flow therethrough, as is known in the art. Accordingly, the conventional details of the circuit breaker 11 are not shown in the drawings in order to preserve clarity therein.

When the circuit breaker 11 is in the set status, the operating lever 13 is in the first control position (FIG. 2). When the circuit breaker 11 is in the tripped status, the operating lever 13 is in the second control position (FIG. 1).

A signal push button 14, preferably in the form of a transparent or suitably colored synthetic resin tube having an enlarged head 15, is slidably mounted in a tubular support 16. The push button 14 -is further slidably mounted with and projects outwardly from an opening 17a in a front surface 17 of the circuit breaker 11.

A socket 'nut 18 engages a threaded external surface 16a of the tubular support 16. The socket nut 18 and the surface 17 of the circuit breaker l1 confine an edge surface 12a of the panel adjacent an opening 20 therein. The socket nut 18 and the surface 17 thus mount the circuit breaker 11 with the panel 12 with the tubular support 16 and push button 14 extending outwardly through the opening 20 in the panel 12. The panel 12 may be mounted for use extending horizontally (FIGS. 1 and 2), or vertically (FIG. 4), as desired.

The push button 14 is formed in two parts: a base 22 and an outer portion 23. Base 22 has internal threads in an outer end 22a which receive a threaded inner end 23a of the outer portion 23 of the push button 14. The outer portion 23 of the push button 14 is thus removed with respectto the base 22 in order that an electric alarm bulbor other suitable alarm means 25 may be mounted in the push button 14. The bulb 25 of the signal push button 14 indicates the status of the circuit breaker 11, as will be set forth hereinbelow.

A base wall portion 26 of the push button 14 is provided with an inwardly extending lug 27. The lug 27 interconnects the operating lever 13 of the circuit breaker 11 with the signal push button 14 so that push button 14 moves from a first operating position (FIG.

The apparatus A receives operating electrical power from a suitable power supply P which may be a DC. or A.C. supply source and provides such power to an electrical load circuit L through the circuit breaker 11. In installations having numerous electrical load circuits L, the apparatus A includes a plurality of circuit breakers 11 of like structure and function to that set forth hereinabove. Such circuit breakers 11 are mounted with individual openings in the panel 12 (FIG. 3), each providing power therethrough to an individual electrical load circuit L, and each having an individual signal push button 14 therewith responsive to the status of the operating lever 13 of the circuit breaker 11.

A power common bus 32 is electrically connected to the power supply P at a connector screw 33. The power common bus 32 is insulated fromthe panel 12 by an insulating strip 35 at similar material to that of the insulation' 30.-

An inlet conductor 37, including a conductive strip 37a mounted on the insulation 30 on the surface 17 and in electrical connection with the power common bus 32, provides electrical current to the circuit breaker 11. The electrical current flows from the power common bus 32 and inlet conductor 37 through the circuit breaker 11 when such circuit breaker is in the set status.

An outlet conductor 38 is electrically connected to the circuit breaker 11 and conducts electrical current therefrom when the circuit breaker 11 is in the set status to a conductive strip 38a mounted with the lip 31 of the insulation 30. An electrical connection is formed between an individual outlet bus 39 in electrical contact with the strip 38a and an electrical conductor 40 at aconnectorscrew 41. The electrical conductor 40 furnishes electrical current from the circuit breaker 11 to the load circuit L so long as the circuit breaker 11 is in the set status.

An opening is formed in the support 16 in order that the conductive strip 37a may provide electrical current toa contact 43 therein. An insulated covering 45 prevents electrical connection between the conductive strip 37a and the support 16.

An electrically conductive strip 47 mounted with the push button 14 is in electrical connection with the contact 43 when the push button 14 is in either the first operating position (FIG. 2) or the second operating'position (FIG. 1). The strip 47 extends into the body of the push button 14 (FIGS. 1 and 2) and furnishes electrical current to the alarm lamp 25 therein.

An output conductor 48 is electrically connected to an output terminal of the lamp 25. The output conductor 48 extends through the body of the push button 14 to a contact 49.

An electrical contact mounted in an insulation covering 51in the'support 16 is in electrical connection with the contact 49 when the push button 14 is in the first operating position. An electrical conductor 52 extends from the contact 50 through the insulated covering 51 along the insulation 30 to a conductive strip 52a.

An auxiliary bus 53 is in electrical connection with the conductive strip 52a. The auxiliary bus 53 is insulated from the panel 12 by an insulating strip 54. The auxiliary bus 53 is electrically connected at a connector screw 55 to an auxiliary conductor 56. The auxiliary conductor 56 electrically connects the auxiliary bus 53 to a first contact 57a of a monitor lamp 57.

An electrical contact 60 mounted in the insulation covering 51 in the support 16 is in electrical connection with the contact 49 when the push button 14 is in the second operating position. An electrical conductor 61 extends from the contact 60 through the insulating covering 51 to a conductive strip 62.

An output bus 64 is inelectrical connection with the conductive strip 62. The output bus 64 is insulated from the panel 12 by an insulating strip 65. The output bus 64 iselectrically connected-at a connector screw 66 to an output conductor 68. The output conductor 68 electrically connects the output bus 64 to a second input contact 57b of the monitor lamp 57.

It should be noted, as is evident from FIGS. 1-4 that the individual outlet busses 39, the auxiliary bus53 and the output buss 64 are not in electrical connection with each other due to the differing thicknesses of the insulation with which such busses are mounted to the panel An output contact 57c of the monitor lamp S7 is electrically connected to an electrical ground to complete the circuit for theelectrical current from the power supply P through the signal push button 14 and through the monitor lamp 57.

In the operation of the present invention, the circuit breaker 11 permits-electrical current to flow from the power supply P through the power bus 32, the conductor 37, the circuit breaker 11, the conductor 38, the output bus 30, the conductor 40 to the electrical load circuit L during normal operating conditions (FIG. 5).

The electrical contact 50 is in contact with the contact 49 with the push button 14 permitting the flow of electrical current through the auxiliary conductor 55 to the first input contact 57a of the monitor lamp 57. The monitor 57, as has been'previously set forth, is of the push-to-test type. In the event it becomes desirable to test the continuity of the circuit of the apparatus A, the operator merely depresses the monitor lamp 57 to a position making electrical connection between the input contact 57a and the output contact 570 thereof (FIG. 6) and watches for indication of continuity of the circuit as indicated by illumination of 'the monitor lamp 57. In the event of abnormal circuit conditions, such as excessive current flow through the circuit breaker l1,

the circuit breaker 11 will move to the tripped status, moving the operating lever 13 to the second control position and moving the push button 14 to the second operation position. With the push button 14 in the secbeing indicated by the apparatus A of the present invention. The equipment operator may then check the panel 12 to determine which of the alarm lamps is illuminated, indicating the particular circuit in which the malfunction is indicated. The equipment operator then may take suitable corrective action to correct the circuit malfunction if the circuit malfunction is critical for safe equipment operation.

In the event that the circuit malfunction is not critical and repair is not necessary, the operator of the equipment may disable the illuminated alarm means 25 in the following manner: the outer portion 23 of the push button 14 is unthreaded from thebase 22 and the lamp 25 therein .is removed, preventing electrical current from flowing therethrough and disabling the monitor lamp 57. In this manner, initial circuit malfunction in a non-critical circuit in the equipment does not prevent subsequent energization of other alarm lamps 25. Thus, a critical circuit failure may be detected after several non-critical equipment failures have been previously sensed and the alarm means 25 for such non-critical failure have been disabled.

An alternative test circuit 70 (FIG. 7) may be used when monitor lamp 57 isnot of the push-to-test type. The monitor lamp 57 in this embodiment has an input to receive current from conductors 56 and 68 and an output, which are electrically connected between to conductors 56 and 68. A portion of the conductor 56 between terminals 56a and 56b is removed. A relay coil 71 is electrically connected through an energizing push button 72 between a power supply 73, which may be the power supply P, if desired, and electrical ground.

An electrical conductor 74 connects the power supply 73 to a normally open contact 71a of the relay 71. When the relay 71 is not receiving current, the contact 71a is in the position shown in FIG. 7. The contact 71a is electrically connected through a conductor 75 to the conductor 68.

A second contact 71b of the relay 71 is electrically connected to the terminal 56a conductor 56 with a conductor 76. When the relay 71 is not receiving current, the contact 71b is in the position shown in FIG. 7. When in such position, the contact 71b permits current from the conductor 56 and terminal 56a to flow therethrough and through a conductor 77 and terminal 56b through the remainder of the conductor 56 to the lamp 57. In this position, the lamp 57 receives current when the circuit breaker 1-1 is set.

When it is desired to test alarm lamp 25 and monitor lamp 57 for continuity, the user depresses puch button 72, furnishing current to relay coil 71. Contacts 71a and 71b move from the position shown to an opposite position when relay coil 71 receives current. At this time, an electrical circuitis established from the power supply 73, conductor 75, contact 71a, conductors 75 and 68 to the lamp 57. If lamp 57 is operating properly, it is illuminated. A' return circuit exists for the lamp 25 through conductor 56, terminal 56a, conductor 76, contact 71b to electrical ground. In this manner, the lamp 25 may be tested for continuity even though no push-to-test feature is contained in 'such lamp. If lamp 25 is operating, it is illuminated.

The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes in the size, shape, materials, wiring connections and contacts as well as in the details of the illustrated circuitry and construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. An apparatus for indicating the status of an electrical circuit, comprising:

a. circuit breaker means having a set status and a tripped status;

b. operator means moving between a first control position and a second control position in response to the status of said circuit breaker means;

c. signal means for indicating the status of said circuit breaker means, said signal means moving between a first operating position and a second operating position responsive to said operator means;

d. conductive means for energizing said signal means when said signal means is in the second operating position; and

e. means for interconnecting said operator means and said signal means, wherein said signal means moves to said second operating position to be energized by said conductive means responsive to a tripped status of said circuit breaker means.

' 2. The structure of claim 1, further including:

panel means for mounting said circuit breaker means and said signal means.

3. The structure of claim 2, further including:

means for insulating said conductive means from said panel means.

4. The structure of claim 2, wherein a power supply energizes an electrical circuit through said circuit breaker means and further including:

a. inlet means for conducting current from the power supply to said circuit breaker means; and

b. outlet means for conducting current from said circuit breaker means to the electrical circuit.

5. The structure of claim 4, further including:

means for insulating said inlet means and said outlet means from said panel means.

6. The structure of claim 1, further including:

a. monitor means for remotely indicating the status of said signal means; and

b. means for connecting said signal means and said monitor means wherein said monitor means remotely indicates the status of said signal means.

7. The structure of claim 6, further including:

a. said monitor means comprising means relatively movable for testing the operability of said signal means; and

b. auxiliary conductor means for energizing said monitor means and said signal means.

8. The structure of claim 1, wherein:

a. said circuit breaker means comprises a plurality of circuit breakers, each having an open status and a conductive status, and each having an individual operator means associated therewith; and

b. said signal means comprises individual signal means for each circuit breaker of said plurality of circuit breakers, each of said individual signal means moving between a first operating position and a second operating position responsive to said individual operatorv means associated with said circuit breaker; and furtherincluding;

c. monitor means for remotely indicating the status of said signal means.

9. The structure of claim 8, further including:

means for disabling energized ones of said individual signal means after same are energized, wherein energization of subsequent ones of said individual signal means are indicated on said monitor means. 10. An apparatus adapted for mounting on a panel for indicating the status of an electrical circuit to an electrical load, comprising:

a. circuit breaker means mounted along a front surface thereof with said panel and having an opening therein adjacent an opening formed in said panel;

b. said circuit breaker means having a set status and a tripped status in accordance with the current flow to the electrical load;

c. operator means moving between a first control position and a second control position in response to the status of said circuit breaker means;

d. signal means for indicating the status of said circuit breaker means, said signal means being mounted with and projecting outwardly'from said opening in said circuit breaker and from said opening in said panel;

e. said signal means moving between a first operating position and a second operating position responsive to said operator means;

f. power common bus means for providing power to the apparatus from a power supply;

g. inlet conductor means for electrically connecting said power common bus means to said circuit breaker means and said signal means;

1. output bus means for electrically connecting said first input contact of said monitor lamp to said output contact of said signal means when said signal means is in the first operating position in order that said signal means may be tested for continuity when said circuit breaker means is in set status; and

m. auxiliary bus means for electrically connecting said second input contact of said monitor lamp to said output contact of said signal means when said signal means is in the second operating position in order that said remote lamp may indicate that said circuit breaker means is in tripped status.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1612552 *Feb 4, 1921Dec 28, 1926Westinghouse Electric & Mfg CoCircuit-interrupting system
US1649011 *Nov 26, 1920Nov 15, 1927Westinghouse Electric & Mfg CoCircuit breaker
US2710954 *Feb 25, 1954Jun 14, 1955HallerbergWarning light with test means
US2710956 *Mar 9, 1954Jun 14, 1955HallerbergWarning light with normally closed test circuit
US2957072 *Oct 20, 1959Oct 18, 1960Eldema CorpIlluminated switch
US2995737 *Jun 3, 1957Aug 8, 1961Harold F ZimmermanWarning light
US3562733 *Dec 15, 1967Feb 9, 1971Gen ElectricElectric circuit breaker with improved trip alarm
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4318065 *Dec 2, 1980Mar 2, 1982Siemens AktiengesellschaftMeans for actuating electro-magnetic switchgear
US4668036 *Nov 19, 1985May 26, 1987Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki KaishaLarge picture display device
US4698621 *Sep 25, 1984Oct 6, 1987Masot Oscar VCircuit breaker panels with alarm system
US4706073 *Jul 31, 1985Nov 10, 1987Oscar Vila MasotCircuit breaker panels with alarm system
US7102344May 27, 2005Sep 5, 2006Short Barry W FCircuit tester
US7345579Nov 30, 2005Mar 18, 2008Nelson Carl ATrailer illumination system test drive and method of use
DE3525227A1 *Jul 15, 1985Apr 3, 1986Oscar Vila MasotAlarmeinrichtung
EP0182361A2 *Nov 19, 1985May 28, 1986Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki KaishaLarge picture display device
WO1986006857A1 *May 9, 1986Nov 20, 1986Albert BlumWarning lamp
Classifications
U.S. Classification340/815.52, 340/638, 335/17
International ClassificationH01H71/04, H01H73/00, G08B5/22, G08B5/36, H01H73/14, H01H9/16
Cooperative ClassificationH01H9/162, H01H71/04, H01H73/14, G08B5/36
European ClassificationH01H73/14, H01H71/04, G08B5/36, H01H9/16B1