US 3896422 A
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United States Patent Kowalsky  July 22, 1975  ALARM SYSTEM OPERATED BY AMBIENT 2,476,517 7/1949 Titus 315/87 CONDITIONS 2,916,730 12/1959 JollnsOn, JL... S40/227.1 3,162,846 12/1964 GuIdIce 340/237 S  Inventor: Stanley J. Kowalsky, 4 Stan St., 3,200,393 8/1965 Worley 340/420 Latrobe, Pa. 15650 3,486,068 12/1969 Dunn et al. 315/87 [221 Filed: Nov- 5, 1971 FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS [2l] Appl. No.: 196,035 217,416 4/1907 Germany 340/237 440,947 1/ 1936 United Kingdom 340/237 Related U.S. Application Data  (lgiginutioi-in-art of Ser. No. 848,492, Aug. 8, Primary Examiner Glen R` Swann nl a an one Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Melvin A. Crosby  U.S. Cl 340/227 R; S40/227.1; 340/420  Int. C1. G08b 17/06  ABSTRACT  Field of Search'm' S40/227 2271, 228, 237 R A pilot flame is extinguished when combustion products or gases other than oxygen enter the upper end of i a protectively enclosing stack to reduce the supply of  References Cited oxygen to the flame. A flame detecting switch device UNITED STATES PATENTS connected to the ilot lame burner, triggers an alarm P 1,979,837 11/1934 Lueck et al 340/237 t0 provide a warning. 2,097,182 10/1937 Dodge et al. 2,166,104 7/1939 Collbohm 340/237 7 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PTENYEDJUL@ i975 SHEET ////////////////////V 2\\ cfn u m w/ d Mmm w?, M y u W.. m/ .nui m m d AL m @lo O 4 f..
//H l l M mvENTOR STNLEY J. KOWHLSKY PTENTE JUL 2 2 i975 SEEN INVENTOR. STANLEY d. MOWALSLO ALARM SYSTEM OPERATED BY AMBIENT CONDITIONS RELATED APPLICATION Stanley J. Kowalsky: Ser. No. 848,492 (now abandoned); Filing Date: Aug. 8, 1969; of which the present case is a Continuation-ln-Part.
This invention relates to a warning alarm device adapted to be mounted in homes, apartment buildings, factories, etc. More particularly, the warning device is of the type which monitors the condition of the ambient air in order to detect the presence of combustion products indicative of fire, or the presence of gases, such as carbon monoxide. Also, other types of triggering of the arm are contemplated, such as a door operated switch, and remote signalling is also included.
An important object of the present invention resides in the efficient utilization of a flame detecting switch device such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,407,369, issued Oct. 22, 1968, to W. J. Hardesty, as part of an early warning fire alarm system.
In accordance with the present invention, the condition of ambient air is monitored for the presence of combustion products, such as gas, smoke and aerosols. A flame burner is regulated to produce a continuous flame at the bottom of a chimney enclosure under normal ambient air conditions. The requisite supply of oxygen for maintaining the flame is drawn in at the top of the chimney and is thereby disturbed when gases other than oxygen, or depleted in oxygen enter the upper end of the chimney causing the flame to be extinguished. Extinction of the flame is sensed by the flame detecting switch device to trigger the alarm which includes an audible alerting device powered, for example, by an available a.c. power supply through a transformer.
In one embodiment of the invention, a second audible alerting device is energized from a d.c. source or battery which is maintained in a charged condition as long as the a.c. power is available. Failure of the a.c. source is automatically indicated by visual means and the second audible alerting device through a relay while the d.c. source may be monitored through another relay device causing energization of a second visual indicator. Thus, operation of the warning alerting device will be assured.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic elevational view of the warning device of the present invention, in a typical installation.
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the device.
FIG. 3 is an electrical circuit diagram associated with the warning device. t
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view showing a modification of the circuit of FIG. 3 to provide for an alarm in the case of an intruder and also to provide for remote signally to, for example, police and fire departments.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view showing a modification of the circuit of FIG. 3 to provide for emergency lighting.
FIG. 6 is a schematic view showing how the flame could control a wind-up alarm.
FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing how the flame could control a battery powered alarm.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, FIG. l illustrates the warning device of the present invention generally referred to by reference numeral 10. As shown, the warning device includes a frame l2 secured to a vertical wall by means of fasteners 14. The frame supports the various components of the warning device which are concealed behind a vertical housing 18 supported on the frame which also supports thereabove, a decorative cover 20 made of any suitable material having an opening 22 at the top thereof through which ambient air conditions surrounding the warning device may be monitored as will be hereafter explained. The upper end of the device is disposed close to ceiling 1l and is, thus, extremely sensitive to changes in atmosphere in that vicinity. Since most unwanted gases, carbon dioxide, for example, are generated in the presence of heat, they can be best detected near the ceiling of an enclosure.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the frame includes a back wall 24 from which lower and upper supporting plates 26 and 28 extend. The housing I8 is suspended from the upstanding rim 30 on the upper supporting plate so as to enclose the components of the warning device which are disposed between the lower and upper supporting plates. The cover 2() which is mounted on the upper supporting plate 28, encloses a vertical chimney stack 32 having an upper open end 34 projecting slightly above the cover 20 and a lower end resting on the plate 28 and sealed to a sealing ring 36. The sealing ring is internally grooves to seat an O-ring 38 in sealing engagement with the base portion 40 of a graphite burner having an upwardly projecting stem 42 from which a flame 44 extends when a gaseous fuel such as natural gas is supplied to the burner through the fitting 46 suspended below the plate 28 as shown in FIG. 3. The flame 44 thus constitutes a pilot light which will be maintained continuously as long as a requisite supply of oxygen flows thereto downwardly in the stack 32. Should gases free of oxygen, or depleted in oxygen, enter the stack at its upper end 34, the supply of oxygen will ne reduced or cut-off causing the flame to be extinguished. The flame is, accordingly, adjusted so as to be sensitive to the desired degree to such changes in ambient conditions. Thus, the ambient air is monitored for the presence of unwanted gases, such as combustion products.
The pilot flame 44 is maintained by a regulated supply of natural gas fuel to the fitting 46 through conduit 48. The pilot flame may be ignited by an electric type of igniting device 50 to which a source of electrical energy is connected through the cable 52. Any convenient or available source of energy may be utilized to produce the pilot flame. Gaseous fuel is preferred for operating the flame burner and is supplied through a gas tilter 56. The outlet of the gas filter is connected through a tube 58 to an adjustable gas flow regulator 60 from which the supply tube 48 extends upwardly to the fitting 46.
Mounted on the lower plate 26, is a flame detecting switch device 64 of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No` 3,407,369 aforementioned. Thus, the flame detecting switch device is connected by a heat conductor 66 to the flame burner device in order to sense the presence or absence of the flame 44. When the flame is extinguished, the flame detecting switch device 64 triggers an electrically operated alarm, the components of which are mounted in the frame.
The upper mounting plate 28 as shown in FIG. 1, mounts an audible alerting device such as a buzzer 68 which is electrically operated by electric current from either an a.c. source or a d.c. source. In the embodiment illustrated, the warning device is normally energized from the usually available a.c. power supply which may be turned off through an on-off switch 70 also mounted on the device. Should the a.c. power supply fail, the warning device will still be operative from a d.c. power supply which may be monitored through a d.c. voltmeter 72 shown in FIG. 3. Monitoring of the d.c. power supply through the voltmeter 72 is effected by depressing a push button test switch 74 on the device. A replaceable fuse device 76 is also shown in FIG. 3.
The device includes a second audible alerting device or buzzer 78, seen in FIG. 3, a power transformer 80 through which a.c. power is supplied at the proper voltage level, an a.c. power monitoring relay device 82 and a set of batteries 84 constituting the d.c. power supply aforementioned. A second, d.c. monitoring relay device 86 is provided, while a reset switch 88 is also carried by, or near, the device. The device also carries a pair of power failure indicating lamps 90 and 92.
Referring now to FIG. 3, it will be noted that the primary of transformer 80 is connected through the fuse 76 and on-off switch 70 to the a.c. source of power so as to supply a.c. electrical energy through its secondary to the relay coil 94 associated with the a.c. relay device 82. Thus, as long as a.c. power is available, the relay coil 94 will be energized to hold its relay switch 96 in an operative position disengaged from the contact 98 and engaged with a contact 100 completing a circuit through lamp 90. Connected in parallel with the relay coil 94 to the secondary winding of the transformer, is the fire alerting buzzer 68 in series with the switch element associated with the flame detecting switch device 64. The secondary of the transformer is also connected through a rectifier diode 102 to the positive terminal of the d.c. battery power supply 84 and through the load resistor 104 to the negative terminal thereof. Accordingly, the battery supply will be maintained charged at a voltage level predetermined by the Zener diode 106 connected across its power terminals. The terminals of the d.c. battery supply may also be connected across the d.c. voltmeter 72 upon actuation of the test switch 74 so thatthe condition of the battery may be monitored.
The positive terminal of the d.c. battery supply is connected to the relay switch 96. Accordingly, whenever there is a.c. power failure, the relay coil 94 will be deenergized so that its relay switch 96 disengages the contact 100 to open the circuit to the lamp 90. The indicator lamp 90 will thereby be extinguished to signify failure of the a.c. power supply. When the relay switch 96 engages contact 98, it connects the positive terminal of the battery to the relay switch 108 associated with the d.c. relay device 86. A relay coil 110 is associated with the relay device 86, one terminal of which is connected to the negative terminal of the battery through resistor 104 while the other terminal is Connected to the contact 112 and one side of reset switch 98 as shown in FIG. 6. With the relay switch 108 engaging contact 114 and the relay coil 110 deenergized the horn 78 is connected across the battery 84 in series with resistor 104 when there is a.c. power failure to provide an audible alarm. The horn 78 continues to operate until the battery 84 is drained or reset switch 88 closed to complete energizing circuits through lamp 92 and relay coil 110. Relay coil remains energized after release of reset switch 88 since actuated relay switch 108, which opens the circuit to horn 78, engages contact 112 to complete holding circuits through relay coil 110 and lamp 92 until the battery is drained.
Thus, whenever reset switch 88 is actuated, the indicator lamp 92 will be illuminated to indicate the availability of d.c. power and will silence the horn 78 when activated in response to a.c. power failure. Restoration of a.c. power disconnects the relay coil 110 and lamp 92 from the battery by reenergizing relay coil 94 to disengage relay switch 96 from contact 98 through which the battery connection was established. Thus, the warning device of the present invention will be reliable in operation since its operative condition will be continuously monitored including the standby d.c. power source.
FIG. 4 shows a blade 65 connected to move with blade 64 and controlling the connection of a battery 113 to a relay 115. Relay 115 had blade means that close when the relay is energized and complete a circuit to a remote signalling device, in the local fire department station, for example.
FIG. 4 also shows switch blade means 116, which may be in the form of a plurality of switch blades in parallel, and which are operated by doors and windows so that any attempt by an intruder to make an unauthorized entrance will sound the alarm. Further, switch blade means 118 connected to move with blade means 1 16 control the connection of battery l 13 to relay 120. Relay 120 has a blade'which closes when the relay is energized and completes a circuit to a remote signalling device, in the local police department, for example.
FIG. 5 shows how relay 94 of FIG. 3 could be provided with an additional blade 122 controlling the connection of a battery or other standby source of electrical energy to an emergency lighting system, comprising one or more lamp means 124 and a selector switch 126. In the circuit of FIG. 5 failure of a.c. power supply will automatically cause the energization of emergency lamps, or the preparing of a circuit for energization of such lamps.
In FIG. 6, a detector is placed adjacent the flame and controls a magnetic latch of conventional structure. Such detectors and latches are known as, for example, in respect of the controlling of valves in the gas supply to hot water tanks and the like. In the FIG. 6 modification the alarm 132 is of the wind-up type and when wound up is latched against sounding by the magnetic latch. When, however, the flame is extinguished, the latch is released and the alarm will sound.
In FIG. 7, the detector 134 operates a magnetic switch in circuit with battery 136 and electric alarm 138. As in the case of FIG. 6 modification, the magnetic latch operated by the detector holds the switch open until the flame is extinguished and whereupon the switch will close and the alarm will sound.
In each ofthe FIGS. 6 and 7 modifications, the button 140 is held depressed when the flame is first lighted until the dector is heated by the flame and, at this point, the magnetic latch becomes effective and will remain effective even after releasing the button until the flame is extinguished.
In all of the modifications, the important novel principle exists that oxygen for maintaining the flame is drawn in supply through the top of the chimney stack and there is no other supply of oxygen to the flame. Thus, and especially when the device is placed in an upper portion of an enclosure or room, ahigh degree of sensitivity exists and even small changes in ambient conditions will cause the flame to be extinguished and the alarm to sound.
Modifications may be made within the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is'.
ll. A warning device responsive to abnormal ambient atmospheric conditions, especially in a room of a building and comprising: a pilot burner device having an imperforate base member, vertically elongated tubular chimney means open only at the top and at the bottom, said chimney means being sealed at the bottom to said base member of said burner device and protectively enclosing the burner device for limited exposure to ambient atmospheric conditions, regulated means connected to the burner device through said base member and supplying fuel thereto at a controlled rate for maintaining a continuous flame within the chimney means near the lower end thereof under normal ambient atmospheric conditions during which oxygen is supplied to said burner device solely by air which flows downwardly in said chimney means via the open upper end of said chimney means, said chimney means permitting only sufficient air to pass from the upper end of the chimney means downwardly therein in counterflow to the gases rising from said burner device to maintain said flame under normal ambient atmospheric conditions whereby an abnormal ambient atmospheric condition creating an oxygen deficiency will cause said flame to be extinguished, flame detecting means operatively associated with the burner device and operable for sensing extinction of the flame, and normally inactive alarm means operatively connected to said flame detecting means and operable for producing an alerting signal in response to sensing by said flame detecting means of extinction of said flame, said device being adapted to be placed in a room with the upper end of said chimney means near the ceiling of the room whereby the air entering the upper end of the chimney means is taken from near the ceiling of the room.
2. A warning device according to claim ll which in cludes mechanically operable switch means remote from said device operatively connected to said alarm means and operable upon actuation thereof to trigger said alarm means, said mechanically operable switch means being adapted for actuation by closures such as doors or windows.
3. A warning device according to claim 2 which includes other switch means actuated simultaneously with said mechanically operable switch means, and signal means remote from said device and connected to said other switch means for actuation thereby.
4. A warning device according to claim l which includes further switch means operable simultaneously with said alarm means, and further signal means remote from said device and connected to said further switch means for actuation thereby.
5. A warning device according to claim l which includes an emergency lighting system comprising lamp means and a standby source of power for energizing said lamp means but normally disconnected therefrom, and emergency switch means connected between said source and said lamp means and responsive to the interruption of the source of electric power to said device for completing a circuit from said Standby source of power to said lamp means.
6. A warning device according to claim 1 in which said alarm means is a mechanical alarm having a windup spring, a latch operable when effective to hold said alarm off, said flame detecting means being operatively connected to said latch and operable when hot ot make said latch effective and operable when cold to make said latch ineffective.
7. A warning device according to claim 1 in which said alarm means is an electrically operable alarm, a source of electrical energy for actuating said alarm, a switch connecting said source to said alarm, a latch operable when effective to hold said switch open, said flame detecting means being operable when hot to make said latch effective and when cold to make said