|Publication number||USRE40310 E1|
|Application number||US 10/838,183|
|Publication date||May 13, 2008|
|Filing date||May 3, 2004|
|Priority date||Mar 8, 2000|
|Publication number||10838183, 838183, US RE40310 E1, US RE40310E1, US-E1-RE40310, USRE40310 E1, USRE40310E1|
|Inventors||Thomas J. Larkner, Steven C. Peake, Chester E. Chomka, Joseph F. Tilp, Eric J. Willman, Kerry W. Leppert, Tina M. Timmerman|
|Original Assignee||Barnstead Thermolyne Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (46), Non-Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (5), Classifications (17), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present application is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/520,827 filed Mar. 8, 2000, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,881, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.
The present invention generally relates to water purification systems and methods and, more specifically, to control systems used to sense and control a volumetric amount of water dispensed from the system.
Water purification systems are used to provide high quality reagent grade water for various applications, including the field of scientific testing and analysis. Many of these applications require that the total organic carbon content of the water be on the order of 10 parts per billion or less ASTM. Type I water is the highest purity and is used for high performance liquid chromatography, atomic absorption spectrometry, tissue culture, etc. Type II water is less pure and may be used for hematological, serological, and microbiological procedures. Type III water is suitable for general laboratory qualitative analyses, such as urinalysis, parasitology and histological procedures. Two prior systems for purifying water are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,397,468 and 5,399,263, each assigned to the assignee of the present invention. The disclosure of each of these patents is hereby incorporated by reference herein.
Purified water dispensing systems that currently provide automatic controlled dispensing of water do so using a timed dispense technique. This is accomplished by electronically controlling a solenoid valve and holding the solenoid valve open for a user-programmed time period. The user sets this time based on the amount of water they wish to dispense from the system. The user determines a relationship between dispensing time and flow rate for their specific system and operating conditions. Another method of controlling the dispensed amount of purified water involves manually opening a valve with the system pump shut off. Actuation of a switch in the valve initiates the pump when the valve is open. The pump remains energized for a time programmed by the user. When the time has expired, the pump is turned off by the control system. The manual valve remains open until the user returns to the system to close this valve. One significant drawback to this method is that the manual valve may remain open for some time until the user returns to shut it off. The main reason for using this method is to provide a manner of dispensing water into a larger vessel without holding a remote operating valve open for a long period of time and without running the water out of the vessel. Another drawback to both of these prior methods relates to the accuracy of the volume dispensed when relying on a user-defined relationship between dispensing time and dispensed volume. If the time value entered by the user is too long, the vessel being filled may run over. Generally, if the time value is incorrect by being either too long or too short, the user must manually correct the dispensed amount of water by removing water from the vessel or manually filling the vessel to the required amount. This, of course, defeats the purpose of having an automatic dispense control. The relationship between dispensed volume and dispensing time will also vary for any given system, depending on the pressure at the inlet of the system, the voltage on any pump associated with the system, the condition of the filters and membranes, among other factors.
In light of these and other problems in the art, it would be desirable to provide a water purification system having an accurate and automatic manner of sensing and, preferably, controlling the volume of water discharged from the system.
The present invention, in one aspect, provides a water purification system for purifying water flowing through a water flow path, and having a sensing device coupled with an electronic control for accurately indicating the volume of water dispensed from an outlet of the system. More specifically, the system includes a water purification device having an inlet and an outlet in the water flow path and at least one interior volume communicating with the inlet and outlet. A purification medium is positioned within the interior volume of the water purification device. The sensing device operates to generate a signal that is used to determine a volume of water dispensed from the outlet. The electronic control is coupled with the sensing device and includes an output responsive to the signal generated by the sensing device for indicating the volume of water dispensed from the outlet. The sensing device may comprise a flow sensor or, for example, a timer. The flow sensor may be coupled upstream of the inlet or downstream of the inlet, or at any other suitable location in the water flow path. The upstream position is preferred so that any contaminates from the sensor will be filtered out or purified by the purification device. If the sensing device is a timer, the timer is associated with a look-up table in the electronic control having time values usable to determine an amount of time for dispensing a desired volume of purified water from the outlet. Alternatively, the control may include an algorithm which is used in conjunction with the timer for dispensing the desired volume of purified water from the outlet. The control may further include an alerting device configured to alert the user when the desired volume of purified water has been dispensed from the outlet.
In the preferred embodiment, the control system includes an input device configured to allow a user to input a desired volume of purified water to be dispensed from the outlet. A flow regulation device is coupled with the control system and operative to stop the discharge of purified water at the outlet upon reaching the desired volume of purified water.
Various objectives, advantages and features of the invention will become more readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
With reference to the drawings, and to
Further referring to
As illustrated in
Briefly, water purification device 34 comprises a filter assembly 36 including a plurality of identically constructed cartridges 38a-d coupled in fluid communication with each other and with the inlet and outlet of the water purification device 34. In operation, water circulating or passing through the fluid circuit 12 is directed through the filter assembly 36 or cartridges 38a-d as schematically illustrated in FIG. 1. Purified water exiting from cartridge 38d moves past a sanitization port 40 which may be used to periodically inject a sanitent into fluid circuit 12 as necessitated by application requirements. A jumper 42 is provided for optionally connecting the remote dispensing gun 32 to the fluid circuit 12 as described in detail below.
Upon exiting the filter assembly 36, the purified water enters a dispense manifold 44 connected in the fluid circuit 12. The dispenser manifold 44 includes a first normally-closed solenoid valve 46 that is coupled to the flow control system 20. The normally-closed solenoid valve 46 may be selectively opened by the user to direct water through a final filter 48 and through the water outlet 16. When purified water is not being dispensed, a normally-open solenoid valve 50 is provided to direct the water in a recirculating manner through a check valve 52 and back to the beginning of fluid circuit 12 to be continuously recirculated by pump 30. Check valve 52 prevents backflow from inlet 14 and also provides any necessary back pressure for a manual valve (not shown) associated with the option remote dispensing gun 32.
Flow control system 20 is the primary focus of the present invention and is illustrated according to a preferred embodiment in FIG. 2. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, flow control system 20 includes a vane-type flow sensor 54 that is coupled to a flow controller 56 of the flow control system 20. Flow sensor 54 is operable to generate a signal that is used by the flow controller 56 to determine a volume of water dispensed from the water outlet 16. The flow controller 56 provides an output that is responsive to the signal generated by the flow sensor 54 for indicating the volume of water dispensed from the outlet 16.
The flow control system 20 of the present invention is provided to allow a user to input a desired volume of water to be dispensed at the outlet 16, and also to determine the volume of water dispensed from the water purification system 10. The user input 26 of the user interface 24 (
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention as shown in
Operation of the water purification system 10, including the flow sensor 54 and flow controller 56, will now be described in connection with monitoring and controlling the volume of purified water dispensed through outlet 16. Flow controller 56 is operable to run the software routines of
Referring now to
Further referring to
With reference now to
Referring now to
Referring now to
If a determination is made at step 138 that the remote gun 32 is connected to the fluid circuit 12, the flow controller 56 turns the pump 30 to “full speed” at step 146. A determination is made at step 148 whether a pulse is detected by the pulse counter 62, indicating that purified water is being dispensed through the remote gun 32. If no pulse is detected at step 148, indicating that the valve (not shown) of the remote gun 32 has been closed, the flow controller 56 resets the pump 30 to operate at its “recirculation speed” at step 150.
While a vane-type flow sensor 54 is shown in the preferred embodiment of
Alternatively, when the sensing device is a timer and algorithm, the flow controller 56 converts the user's input of the desired volume of purified water to be dispensed into a time value for opening the normally-closed solenoid valve 46. The time value is computed in the algorithm by dividing the desired volume of purified water input by the user by the known flow rate of the system 10.
It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in art that while the flow control system 20 has been described as being positioned upstream of the inlet to the water purification device 34, the flow control system may alternatively be positioned downstream of the outlet of the water purification device 34 without departing from the spirit and the scope of the present invention.
While the present invention has been illustrated by a description of these preferred embodiments and while these embodiments have been described in some detail, it is not the intention of the Applicants to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. This has been a description of the present invention, along with the preferred methods of practicing the present invention as currently known. Various aspects of this invention may be used alone or in different combinations. The scope of the invention itself should only be defined by the appended claims, wherein we claim:
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|U.S. Classification||210/87, 222/189.06, 210/138, 222/23, 222/36, 222/52, 210/136, 702/46, 210/109, 210/94, 210/194|
|International Classification||B01D35/14, B01D17/12, C02F1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||C02F2209/40, C02F1/008|
|Jan 14, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Dec 18, 2013||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC (ASHEVILLE) LLC, OHIO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BARNSTEAD THERMOLYNE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:031804/0744
Effective date: 20131212
|Feb 7, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12