US20060286495A1 - Ignition and flame supervision system for open flame gas lights - Google Patents

Ignition and flame supervision system for open flame gas lights Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060286495A1
US20060286495A1 US11/413,954 US41395406A US2006286495A1 US 20060286495 A1 US20060286495 A1 US 20060286495A1 US 41395406 A US41395406 A US 41395406A US 2006286495 A1 US2006286495 A1 US 2006286495A1
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Prior art keywords
flame
system
accordance
current
burner
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Abandoned
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US11/413,954
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Paul Roussel
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Roussel Paul D
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Priority to US11/413,954 priority patent/US20060286495A1/en
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    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F23COMBUSTION APPARATUS; COMBUSTION PROCESSES
    • F23NREGULATING OR CONTROLLING COMBUSTION
    • F23N5/00Systems for controlling combustion
    • F23N5/24Preventing development of abnormal or undesired conditions, i.e. safety arrangements
    • F23N5/242Preventing development of abnormal or undesired conditions, i.e. safety arrangements using electronic means
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F23COMBUSTION APPARATUS; COMBUSTION PROCESSES
    • F23NREGULATING OR CONTROLLING COMBUSTION
    • F23N2027/00Ignition or checking
    • F23N2027/42Ceramic glow ignition
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F23COMBUSTION APPARATUS; COMBUSTION PROCESSES
    • F23NREGULATING OR CONTROLLING COMBUSTION
    • F23N2029/00Flame sensors
    • F23N2029/02Pilot flame sensors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F23COMBUSTION APPARATUS; COMBUSTION PROCESSES
    • F23NREGULATING OR CONTROLLING COMBUSTION
    • F23N2029/00Flame sensors
    • F23N2029/12Flame sensors with flame rectification current detecting means
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F23COMBUSTION APPARATUS; COMBUSTION PROCESSES
    • F23NREGULATING OR CONTROLLING COMBUSTION
    • F23N2031/00Fail safe
    • F23N2031/06Fail safe for flame failures
    • F23N2031/08Fail safe for flame failures for pilot flame failures
    • F23N2227/42
    • F23N2229/02
    • F23N2229/12
    • F23N2231/08
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F23COMBUSTION APPARATUS; COMBUSTION PROCESSES
    • F23NREGULATING OR CONTROLLING COMBUSTION
    • F23N5/00Systems for controlling combustion
    • F23N5/02Systems for controlling combustion using devices responsive to thermal changes or to thermal expansion of a medium
    • F23N5/12Systems for controlling combustion using devices responsive to thermal changes or to thermal expansion of a medium using ionisation-sensitive elements, i.e. flame rods

Abstract

A gas light ignition and flame supervision system for a gas light that comprises a burner tip and a glow coil adapted to be positioned in a operational distance from the burner tip to ignite a flame when heated and to conduct a current through the flame to the tip. The tip having a metallurgy composition that allows the flame current to conduct to a ground line. The flame current on the ground line is sensed by a control unit. Thus, a flame sensor is not positioned in the interior of the gas light housing or in proximity to the flame. The system also includes a remote controller to turn on and off the system.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of the priority of U.S. provisional patent application 60/692,948 filed Jun. 21, 2005.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to gas lighting and more particularly to an ignition and flame supervision system that utilizes a flame current to sense a flame.
  • 2. General Background
  • The flame in gas light fixtures may go out from time to time and requires supervision and control to eliminate the hazards of the flammable gaseous medium when the flame is extinguished. Typically, to detect an extinguished flame, a sensor is placed in proximity to the flame or burner. However, these sensors are distracting from the appearance of the flame or overall visual aesthetics of the gas light fixture.
  • An example of a sensor placed in proximity to the flame is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,653,790.
  • As will be seen more fully below, the present invention is substantially different in structure, methodology and approach from that of other gas lighting systems.
  • SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION
  • The preferred embodiment of the gas light ignition and flame supervision system and gas light fixture of the present invention solves the aforementioned problems in a straight forward and simple manner.
  • The present invention contemplates a gas light ignition and flame supervision system comprising a flame burner assembly having a current conducting construction and operable to emit a flammable gaseous medium and an igniter assembly operable to ignite said flammable gaseous medium to light a flame and to conduct current though the flame, said current further operable to flow along the current conducting construction. A ground line operable to ground a light fixture and conduct the current from the current conducting construction is provided. The system also includes a controller unit operable to sense the flame via the current on the ground line and supervise the igniter assembly and flow of the flammable gaseous medium.
  • In view of the above, an object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system having an igniter assembly which comprises a glow coil.
  • Another object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system wherein the burner assembly and the igniter assembly each comprise an elongated support, the elongated support of the igniter assembly is independently adjustable vertically to position the glow coil a relational distance from a burner tip of the burner assembly, wherein the relational distance effectuates the flow of the current through the flame to the burner tip.
  • A further object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system having a burner tip that has a top fan-shape section and a bottom cylindrical section, the bottom cylindrical section is coupled to the elongated support of the burner assembly.
  • A still further object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system that has no flame sensors in proximity to the flame, in the interior of the gas light fixture and/or attached to the gas light fixture.
  • A still further object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system having an igniter assembly comprising microprocessor-controlled valve to turn on and off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium, the microprocessor-controlled valve is controlled by the controller unit and a manual safety shutoff valve.
  • A still further object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system having an igniter assembly which may be controlled by a remote control transmitter in wireless communication with the system.
  • A still further object of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system having an igniter assembly which comprises a hot surface igniter and an integrated glow coil radially extending from the hot surface igniter, the hot surface igniter is adapted to be flush mounted to a wall or support surface, with the proper relational distance between the glow coil and a tip of the burner assembly being fixed.
  • The present invention contemplates a gas light ignition and flame supervision system for a gas light that comprises a burner tip operable to burn a flammable gaseous medium to create a flame. A glow coil is included and is adapted to be positioned at a operational distance from the burner tip to ignite the flame when heated and to conduct a current through the flame to the tip. The tip has a metallurgy composition that allows the current to conduct to a ground line.
  • The present invention further contemplates a gas light ignition and flame supervision system kit for a gas light comprising a burner assembly with a metal burner tip operable to burn a flame and having a metallurgy composition for current conduction and a control unit. The control unit is operable to sense a flame current from the burner assembly when flowing on a ground line and to supervise and control a flow of a flammable gaseous medium through the burner assembly and ignition of the flame.
  • In view of the above, a feature of the present invention is to provide a gas light fixture assembly having a gas light ignition and flame supervision system having an igniter assembly and which is adapted to be mounted on a post, a wall or hung from a ceiling.
  • A further feature of the present invention is to provide a gas light fixture assembly that is attractive.
  • A still further feature of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system kit that can be installed in and used with any gas light fixture.
  • A still further feature of the present invention is to provide a gas light ignition and flame supervision system kit that includes a metal tip that is capable of producing a 2 inch flame at 1350 Btu/hr.
  • The above and other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the drawings, the description given herein, and the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • For a further understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention, reference should be had to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like parts are given like reference numerals and, wherein:
  • FIG. 1A illustrates a side view of the gas light ignition and flame supervision system (kit) installed in a gas light housing (shown in phantom);
  • FIG. 1B illustrates a side view of the gas light fixture system;
  • FIG. 2A illustrates a front view of the gas light fixture housing with the flame burner assembly and ignition assembly installed therein;
  • FIG. 2B illustrates a front view of the gas light fixture housing mounted to a post;
  • FIG. 2C illustrates a front view of the gas light fixture housing intended to be hung by a cable;
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the flame burner assembly and ignition assembly when installed;
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the burner tip;
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a side view of the burner tip;
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of the burner tip;
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of the burner tip;
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a bottom view of the burner tip;
  • FIG. 9 illustrates a back view of the hot surface igniter;
  • FIG. 10 illustrates a side view of the hot surface igniter;
  • FIG. 11 illustrates a side view of the hot surface igniter;
  • FIGS. 12A and 12B illustrate a state diagram of the operation of the gas light ignition and flame supervision system;
  • FIG. 13 illustrates a general block diagram of the microprocessor controller unit; and,
  • FIG. 14 illustrates a general block diagram of the program instructions.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT
  • Referring now to the drawings and in particular, FIGS. 1A and 3, the gas light ignition and flame supervision system is designated by the reference numeral 10. The gas light ignition and flame supervision system 10 is intended to be installed in and for use with open flame gas light fixtures 170, such gas light fixtures designed to burn a flammable gaseous medium, such as without limitation, natural, propane or manufactured gas. The gas light ignition and flame supervision system 10 is comprised of a flame burner assembly 20, a hot surface igniter assembly 40, a dual adjustable slide 60 to insure correct positioning of the hot surface igniter assembly 40 in relation to the flame burner assembly 20, a microprocessor control unit 80 for precise system control, a wiring harness 85, a manual turn on/off valve 100 for flame regulation and safety cut off, an automatic (microprocessor-controlled) valve 110, and on/off switch 120.
  • Optionally, the gas light ignition and flame supervision system 10 includes a remote control assembly 150 having a wireless receiver 152 (shown in phantom) and a wireless transmitter 154 (shown in phantom). The receiver 152 is coupled to the on/off switch 120 and is adapted to receive wireless control signals, such as via radio frequency (RF) or infrared, to turn the system 10 on or off via the remote control transmitter 154. The remote control transmitter 154 may also regulate gas flow to manipulate size of the flame. The remote control transmitter 154 is hand-held and portable, similar to a TV remote.
  • The gas light fixture system 160 of the present invention as best seen in FIG. 1B, includes a gas light fixture housing 170 and the gas light ignition and flame supervision system 10.
  • FIG. 2A illustrates a front view of the gas light fixture housing 170 with the flame burner assembly 20 and ignition assembly 40 installed therein. The housing 170 includes a plurality of transparent surfaces 172 forming an enclosure. In the exemplary embodiment, the front transparent surface 172 is a door 174. Thus, the user has access to the manual on/off valve 100 and adjustable slide 60. The transparent surface 172 are formed by glass supported by a frame structure 176. In the exemplary embodiment, the frame structure 176 is grounded by ground line GRND of system 10.
  • As best seen in FIG. 2B, the gas light fixture housing 170 may be attached to a post or support rod 180 for installation away from a house or building.
  • As best seen in FIG. 2C, alternately, the gas light fixture housing 170 may be hung from a ceiling via a support rod, cable 182, chain or the like. In a still further alternate embodiment, the system 10 may be fully integrated into the gas light fixture housing 170. For example, the microprocessor control unit 80 may be attached to the housing 170 (as, for example, in a false back of the housing 170).
  • Referring also to FIGS. 4-8, the flame burner assembly 20 includes a metallic tip 22 designed for maximum visibility with minimal gas consumption. The flame burner assembly 20 is intended to produce a yellow-colored flame. I speculate that, the more oxygen to the flame, the more the flame appears yellow; and, likewise, the less oxygen to the flame, the more the flame color changes to blue or becomes more blue intermixed with yellow.
  • The flame burner assembly 20 is constructed and arranged to conduct an electrical current C through the flame (hereinafter referred to as the “flame current C”), which travels from the glow coil 44 of the hot surface igniter 42 through the flame (the current can be as little as 0.7 micro amp) through the flame burner assembly 20 to the ground line GRND. This feature requires compatibility and positioning of the hot surface igniter and metal burner tip (brass, stainless steel etc.) to operate efficiently.
  • The metallurgy of the metallic tip 22 should be capable of conducting the flame current C from the glow coil 44 propagated, leaked, emitted or conducted through the flame. The metallic tip 22 is comprised of a generally bottom cylindrically-shaped section 24 and a fan-shaped top section 26. In the exemplary embodiment, the metallic tip 22 is symmetrical. Hence the front and back sides 28, 29 are essentially identical. The back side 29 has an air port 30 formed therein in the bottom cylindrically-shaped section 24. The front and back sides 28, 29 each includes radiating flanges F1 and F2 with are intended to be mated together and welded with a plurality of spot welds to fixedly integrate or attach the front and back sides 28, 29 together.
  • The bottom end of the bottom cylindrically-shaped section 24 is adapted to be coupled or fixedly attached to a top end of the burner barrel or elongated support 32 via first fitting 34. The burner barrel or elongated support 32 is comprised of tubing, such as brass, having the manual on/off valve 100 attached to a bottom end. The burner barrel or elongated support 32 provides a path for the flow of gas through the flame burner assembly 20 to fuel the flame from metallic tip 22. The bottom end of the burner barrel 32 includes a second fitting 36 for attachment of the manual on/off valve 100 in-line with the flow of gas through the flame burner assembly 20.
  • Referring still to FIG. 6, the front and back sides 28, 29 of the fan-shaped top end 26 gradually taper toward each other. The fan-shaped top end 26 includes a slit 32 in the top thereof through which gas emits or exits to produce the flame when ignited.
  • Referring now to FIG. 7, a portion of the metallic tip 22 is cut away to illustrates an internal gauze cup or concaved portion 37 from inside of the metallic tip 22 at the junction between the bottom cylindrically-shaped section 24 and the fan-shaped top end 26. The gauze cup serves as a filter to keep trash (e.g., dead bugs) from entering and accumulating in the metallic tip 22 below the gauze cup 37.
  • In the exemplary embodiment, the metallic tip 22 produces a large spread-out or fanned-out flame while consuming approximately 1350 Btu/hr. Nevertheless, other metallic tips may be used but may not be as efficient.
  • Furthermore, the design of the metallic tip 22 creates a two-peak flame shape separated by a lull giving a quasi-bat-ear appearance. Furthermore, the metallurgy and composition of the flame burner assembly 20 is constructed and arranged to conduct the flame current so that it is propagated to the ground line GRND.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 1A and 9-11, the hot surface igniter assembly 40 is comprised of a hot surface igniter 42 with a glow coil 44 and igniter barrel or elongated support 46. The hot surface igniter assembly 40 also serves as a flame supervision sensor and can produce a flame current when a flame is present. Not all types of 120V hot surface igniters can be successfully implemented in the present invention. The hot surface igniter 42 is intended to be designed to accommodate dual duty of ignition and flame sensing. Many igniters advertised as sensors do not work while many advertised as single duty can work. The preferred hot surface igniter assembly 40 is Norton model 601 mini-igniter or equal. The glow coil 44 of the hot surface igniter 42 is made of a ceramic composite.
  • The hot surface igniter 42 has a structure adapted to be affixed to the igniter barrel 46 or, alternately, a wall or other support surface. The hot surface igniter 42 has formed therein a hole 48. The igniter barrel 46 is attached to the hot surface igniter 42 via a fastener, such as without limitation, a screw (NOT SHOWN) through the hole 48. The hot surface igniter 42 has embedded therein conductive wires 47 a and 47 b which extend into, integrate with and are embedded in the glow coil 44. The current is adapted to be conducted through the conductive wires 43 a and 43 b and wires 47 a and 47 b. Thus, as the flame contacts the glow coil 44, the current C is conducted, propagated, leaked or emitted through the flame and to the metallic tip 22.
  • In the exemplary embodiment, the glow coil 44 is adapted to be oriented vertically rather than horizontally and has a thin vertical profile. Thus, the glow coil 44 does not interrupt the flame profile and is not aesthetically distracting when installed. Furthermore, illumination (glowing) of the glow coil 44 of the exemplary embodiment disappears rapidly when deenergized.
  • The glow coil 44 of the exemplary embodiment is very fragile because of the very thin profile. Thus, an even more preferred glow coil 44 may be sturdier provided is it is not aesthetically distracting and does not interrupt the flame profile.
  • Other types of hot surface igniters with glow coils may be substituted. For example, the hot surface igniter of one manufacturer that worked to emit, leak, conduct or propagate the current into the flame had a glow coil the size of a large pen. The large glow coil was aesthetically distracting and interrupted the flame shape. However, other models with ceramic glow coils did not work.
  • The hot surface igniter 42 may be attached or flush mounted to a wall or support surface via the fastener, with the proper relational distance between the glow coil 44 and the metallic tip 22 being fixed. On the other hand, the igniter barrel or elongated support 46 in combination with the dual adjustable slide 60 allows such distance to be adjusted.
  • The igniter barrel or elongated support 46 comprises tubing, such as without limitation brass, protecting the wires 43 a, 43 b and orienting the glow coil 44 at a position above the top distal end of the metallic tip 22.
  • The distance between glow coil 44 and the top distal end of the metallic tip 22 is adjustable via a dual adjustable slide 60. The dual adjustable slide 60 is constructed and arranged to be selectively secured to the burner barrel 32 and the igniter barrel or elongated support 46 via mounting brackets (NOT SHOWN) to secure the location of the glow coil 44 above the metallic tip 22 via a pair of fasteners 62 a and 62 b. The fasteners 62 a and 62 b may be a set screw or other type of fastening means to selective secure the burner barrel 32 and the igniter barrel 46 via mounting brackets (NOT SHOWN) of the slide 60.
  • To adjust (increase or decrease) the distance of the glow coil 44, the fastener 62 a securing the igniter barrel 46 is loosened. Thereafter, the ignite barrel 46 is slid up or down in the mounting bracket to increase or decrease, respectively, the distance of the glow coil 44 in relation to the fixed metallic tip 22. The dual adjustable slide 60 is designed to slide up/down the burner barrel 32 while allowing the igniter barrel 46 to be adjusted independently. This feature enables correct placement of the glow coil 44.
  • Accordingly, the dual adjustable slide 60 is also constructed and arranged to slide up or down along the burner barrel 32. The dual adjustable slide 60 allows the distance to be adjusted for a first range defined by the length of the igniter barrel 46. A second independent range of adjustment is provided by the length of the burner barrel 32.
  • The glow coil 44 of the igniter assembly 40 should be placed in the most constant part (non-flickering part) of the flame in the range of 0.5 inches to 1.5 inches with preference for smaller distances i.e. approximately 0.75″ above the metallic tip 22, for a 2 inch flame height. For larger flame heights, the distance and range may be increased.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the hot surface igniter assembly 40 is attached to the flame burner assembly 20 via the dual adjustable slide 60. The igniter barrel 46 is positioned parallel and behind the burner barrel 32. Thus, when viewed from the front of a gas light fixture 170, the igniter barrel 46 is essentially obscured from sight, as best seen in FIG. 3.
  • As best seen in FIG. 9-11, the length L of the glow coil 44 and hot surface igniter 42 is approximately 2¼ inches; the width W is approximately ⅝ of an inch; and, the height H is approximately 1 inch.
  • During installation, the combination hot surface igniter assembly 40 and flame burner assembly 20 are the only portions of the system 10 that must be located inside the gas light fixture housing 170 (other than the usual necessary components). The other components, such as, the microprocessor control unit 80 and automatic valve 110 can be located up to several feet away out of necessity (lack of space in light fixture housing) or for aesthetics (simply looks better/cleaner).
  • In the exemplary embodiment, the manual on/off valve 100 is also positioned inside of the gas light fixture housing 170.
  • A source of flammable gaseous medium is coupled to the automatic valve 110 via an inlet port 112 and outputs the flammable gaseous medium through distribution pipe 105. In the exemplary embodiment, the automatic valve 110 is a direct acting solenoid brass valve. Flammable gaseous medium flows from the inlet port 112 though the automatic valve 110 to the flame burner assembly 20 via distribution pipe 105. The manual on/off valve 100 is coupled to the distribution pipe 105 to manually shut off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium.
  • The current conducted by the flame (from the igniter assembly 40 to the ground line GRND) is interpreted by the microprocessor 82 to supervise system 10. Hence, the system 10 does not sense a “flame” as such. Instead, the presence of a flame is sensed by the detection of the flame current C.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 13-14, the microprocessor controller unit 80 includes a microprocessor 82 and storage medium or memory 84 for storing program instructions 86, the program instructions 86 being operable upon execution by the microprocessor 82 to turn on and off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium through the burner assembly 20 as will be described in more detail later. In the preferred embodiment, the microprocessor control unit 80 is a Kidde Fenwall 35-755215-015.
  • In the preferred embodiment, the system 10 includes a wire harness 85 or wiring port assembly connecting the wiring from the microprocessor controller unit 80 to the hot surface igniter assembly 40 via electrical lines 43 a and 43 b. The wire harness 85 connects the ground line GRND extending from the housing 170 to microprocessor control unit 80, and electrical lines 114 to automatic (microprocessor-controlled) valve 110, and power from a source through switch 120. The wire harness 85 facilitates installation and reduces wiring errors.
  • Microprocessor/Sequence of Operation
  • The microprocessor 82 executes the program instructions 86 to provide a precise, repeatable timing sequence for ignition times, purge times, multiple tries for ignition and shut off and to monitor the flame.
  • To increase durability, and for outdoor applications especially, the microprocessor controller unit 80 may be encapsulated in a water proof or weather proof housing.
  • Call for Heat (Power Up)
  • The program instructions 86 include a call for heat (which is also a power up) sequence 91, which is operable upon applying power (120 volts) and which call for heat (power up) sequence resets, performs self checks of, and verifies operational readiness of the system 10. The call for heat (power up) sequence 91 is signaled by the on/off switch 120 in the on state (which also serves to switch power to the microprocessor controller unit 80).
  • Ignition
  • The program instructions 86 include an ignition sequence 92. After the call for heat (power up) sequence 91 is completed, the ignition sequence 92 permits a pre-purge of the system 10 for a predetermined period of time (and, in the preferred embodiment, the duration of the pre-purge time is less than a second). If no flame is detected during the pre-purge period, then the ignition sequence 92 continues which causes the hot surface igniter assembly 20 to energize for the heat up period (in the preferred embodiment, 6 seconds) which is then followed by the opening of the automatic (microprocessor-controlled) valve 110 for the trial-for-ignition (TFI) period (in the preferred embodiment, ten seconds). During the heat up period the temperature of the glow coil 44 is increased.
  • During the latter part of the TFI period (in the preferred embodiment, the last two seconds), the igniter assembly 40 is de-activated and the gas valve 110 remains energized. Assuming a successful ignition (flame achieved), the flame is thereafter constantly monitored (see below) to assure the system 10 operates properly and safely. If the flame, once ignited, is later extinguished, the microprocessor controller unit 80 will shut off the gas flow by closing the solenoid valve 110. The system 10 automatically resets, and begins the ignition sequence 92.
  • System Failure During Trial-For-Ignition (TFI) Period
  • The program instructions 86 include a flame supervision sequence 94. If the system 10 fails to ignite, the system 10 will re-attempt the ignition sequence 92 a predetermined number of times (in the preferred embodiment, two more times) before safety lock out by lockout sequence 95. To recover from the lock out, the power to the system is shut off for a period of time (in the preferred embodiment, five seconds) and restarted (power may be cut off via on/off switch 120, including, of course, via remote control assembly 150).
  • Flame Supervision Requires No Additional Sensors.
  • In the flame supervision sequence 94, the system 10 senses flame via the flame current C, which is the current traveling from the hot surface igniter/glow coil 44 through the flame (the current can be as little as 0.7 micro amp) through the burner assembly 20 to the ground line GRND. This feature requires compatibility and positioning of the hot surface igniter and metal burner tip (brass, stainless steel etc.) to operate efficiently. The ground line GRND is coupled back to the microprocessor controller unit 80.
  • If the system 10 is provided with the remote control assembly 150, the program instructions 86 may include a remote control sequence 96 to control or regulate the flame size and other control functions.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 12A-12B, the state diagram 100 of the system operation is shown. The state diagram begins with state S102, where the process begins with a Call for Heat and thus the powering up of the microprocessor control unit 80 by application of 120V to said microprocessor control unit via the on/off switch 120. State S102 is followed by state S104. At state S104, the microprocessor controller unit 80 performs a self-check and verifies operational readiness. In one embodiment, the microprocessor controller unit 80 contains an externally mounted light emitting diode (LED, not shown) which can be used to annunciate (e.g., by flashing in one of several patterns) that the power up has or has not successfully completed.
  • State S104 is followed by state S106. At state S106, the ignition sequence starts and energizes the hot surface igniter 42 thus beginning to heat up the glow coil 44. State S106 is followed by state S108. At state S108, a period of time for heat-up (a heat-up time period, e.g., 6 seconds) is allowed and the time measured during which the hot surface igniter 42 is energized (so as to allow the glow coil 44 to reach a temperature sufficient to cause ignition of the flammable gaseous medium when said flammable gaseous medium encounters said glow coil 44). State S108 is followed by state S110 (i.e, state S110 follows after said heat-up time period).
  • At state S110, the automatic (microprocessor-controlled) valve 110 is energized allowing the flammable gaseous medium to flow to the burner assembly 20 and thus to encounter the hot glow coil 44. The TFI sequence is also initiated at state S110. State S110 is followed by state S112.
  • At state S112, a predetermined TFI interval is spent and measured (such as 10 seconds, but divided into two parts, a first part (e.g., 8 seconds) and a second part (e.g., 2 seconds)). During the first part of the TFI time interval, the automatic (microprocessor-controlled) valve 110 remains open and the hot surface igniter 42 remains energized. For the second part of the TFI time interval, the hot surface igniter 42 is de-energized and switched to a flame sense mode while the automatic valve 110 remains energized. State S112 is followed by either state S114 or state S116, depending on whether or not a flame current C is sensed during the TFI interval.
  • At state S114, assuming a flame is established and the minimum of 0.7 uA of current is sourced through the glow coil 44, automatic valve 110 remains open and will remain in a burn mode until the call for heat is removed or the flame is lost (e.g., loss of gas source, wind blowing the flame out, etc.); and, in the latter case, assuming the call for heat remains present, the system 10 will go to state S106 and thereafter step through the states S100 as otherwise described herein.
  • If the flame is not established at the end of the first TFI period, the system 10 goes to state 116 and the controller unit 80 will de-energize the automatic valve 110, keep the hot surface igniter 42 de-energized and initiate the interpurge period (which, in a preferred embodiment is 15 seconds). The length of the interpurge period is set to allow sufficient time for the flammable gaseous medium to dissipate or disperse from the gas light fixture 170. State S116 is followed by state S118 at the end of the interpurge period.
  • At state S118, the controller unit 80 will start the ignition sequence again and thus go to state S106 and thereafter step through the states S100 as otherwise described herein. The controller unit 80 is programmed to have a maximum number of tries for ignition (and, in the preferred embodiment, the maximum number of tries is three). If at least 0.7 uA is not sensed for the flame current C at the end of the ignition try that represents that maximum number of tries (and, again, in the preferred embodiment, such try would be the third try), the lockout will occur (in other words, the system 10 will not return to state s106 but rather will remain in the lockout condition, as described below).
  • In the lockout condition, the valve 110 is de-energized. The controller unit 80 will not re-try for ignition until power to the controller unit 80 is removed and re-applied. The system 10 will remain in the lockout condition indefinitely until power cycling is performed. In an embodiment with the LED (as described above but, again, not shown), the LED may display a pattern (e.g., a steady three flash sequence) so as to identify the lockout condition.
  • In view of the above, at least the microprocessor control unit 80 with the program instruction 86 and tip 22 (the core components) may be sold as a kit. Furthermore, the kit may also include the core components and one, more or all of the other components of system 10.
  • Because many varying and differing embodiments may be made within the scope of the inventive concept herein taught and because many modifications may be made in the embodiment herein detailed in accordance with the descriptive requirement of the law, it is to be understood that the details herein are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Claims (54)

1. A gas light ignition and flame supervision system for a gas light comprising:
a flame burner assembly having a current conducting construction and operable to emit a flammable gaseous medium;
an igniter assembly operable to ignite said flammable gaseous medium to light a flame and to conduct current though the flame, said current further operable to flow along the current conducting construction;
a ground line operable to ground a light fixture and conduct the current from the current conducting construction; and,
a controller unit operable to sense the flame via the current on the ground line and supervise the igniter assembly and emission of the flammable gaseous medium.
2. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the igniter assembly comprises a glow coil.
3. The system in accordance with claim 2, wherein the burner assembly and the igniter assembly each comprise an elongated support, the elongated support of the igniter assembly is independently adjustable vertically to position the glow coil a relational distance from a burner tip of the burner assembly, wherein the relational distance effectuates flow of the current through the flame to the burner tip.
4. The system in accordance with claim 3, wherein the burner tip has a top fan-shape section and a bottom cylindrical section, the bottom cylindrical section is coupled to the elongated support of the burner assembly.
5. The system in accordance with claim 4, wherein the burner tip comprises:
a front side having side flanges; and,
a back side having essentially an identical contour of the front side and having side flanges welded to the side flanges of the front side.
6. The system in accordance with claim 3, wherein the elongated support of the igniter assembly is attached to the elongated support of the flame burner assembly via an adjustable slide, wherein the elongates supports are parallel and the adjustable slide is adjustable vertically.
7. The system in accordance with claim 2, wherein the glow coil of the igniter assembly should be placed in a non-flickering part of the flame in the range of 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches.
8. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the system has no flame sensors in proximity to the flame.
9. The system in accordance with claim 1, further comprising:
a microprocessor-controlled valve to turn on and off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium, the microprocessor-controlled valve is controlled by the controller unit; and,
a manual safety shutoff valve.
10. The system in accordance with claim 1, further comprising a switch to turn on and off the system.
11. The system in accordance with claim 9, wherein said switch is radio frequency coupled to a remote control transmitter.
12. The system in accordance with claim 1, wherein the igniter assembly comprises a hot surface igniter and an integrated glow coil radially extending from the hot surface igniter, the hot surface igniter is adapted to be flush mounted to a wall or support surface, with a proper relational distance between the glow coil and a tip of the burner assembly being fixed.
13. A gas light ignition and flame supervision system for a gas light comprising:
means for emitting and burning a flammable gaseous medium and conducting a current;
means for igniting said flammable gaseous medium to light a flame and conducting current though the flame, said current further operable to flow to the emitting, burning and conducting means;
means for grounding a light fixture and conducting the current from the emitting, burning and conducting means; and,
means for sensing the flame via the current flowing on the grounding means and controlling the igniting and conducting means and controlling the flow of the flammable gaseous medium.
14. The system in accordance with claim 13, wherein the igniting and conducting means comprises means for heating up and conducting current.
15. The system in accordance with claim 14, wherein:
the emitting, burning and conducting means comprises a burner tip and means for supporting the burner tip; and,
the igniting and conducting means comprises means for supporting the heating up and conducting current means;
the supporting means of the igniting and conducing means is adjustable vertically to position the heating up means a distance from the burner tip.
16. The system in accordance with claim 15, wherein the burner tip has a top fan-shape section and a bottom cylindrical section, the bottom cylindrical section is coupled to the supporting means.
17. The system in accordance with claim 16, wherein the burner tip comprises:
a front side having side flanges;
a back side having essentially an identical contour of the front side and having side flanges welded to the side flanges of the front side; and,
a gauze cup formed in the burner tip and positioned in proximity to the junction between the top end of the bottom cylindrical section and the top fan-shaped section.
18. The system in accordance with claim 14, wherein the igniting and conducting means is attached to the emitting, burning and conducting means having a burner tip via means for sliding the igniting and conducting means vertically to position the means for heating up and conducting current a distance from the burner tip.
19. The system in accordance with claim 18, wherein the heating up means should be placed in a non-flickering part of the flame in the range of 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches.
20. The system in accordance with claim 13, wherein the system has no means of sensing the flame in proximity to the flame.
21. The system in accordance with claim 13, further comprising:
means, controlled by the controlling means, for turning on or off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium; and
means for manually shutting off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium to the emitting, burning and conducting means.
22. The system in accordance with claim 13, further comprising means for switching on and switching off operations the system.
23. The system in accordance with claim 22, wherein said switching means is radio frequency coupled to means for remotely controlling the switching means.
24. The system in accordance with claim 13, wherein the igniting and conducting means comprises a hot surface igniter and a integrated glow coil radially extending from the hot surface igniter, the hot surface igniter is adapted to be flush mounted to a wall or support surface, with the proper relational distance between the glow coil and a burner tip of the emitting, burning and conducting means being fixed.
25. A gas light system comprising:
a gas light housing having transparent surfaces and a frame;
an ignition and flame supervision system comprising:
a flame burner assembly mounted in said gas light housing and having a current conducting construction, the flame burner assembly operable to emit a flammable gaseous medium;
an igniter assembly operable to ignite said flammable gaseous medium to light a flame and conduct current though the flame, said current further operable to flow along the current conducting construction;
a ground line operable to ground the gas light housing and conduct the current from the current conducting construction; and,
controller unit operable to sense the flame via the current on the ground line.
26. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein the igniter assembly comprises a glow coil.
27. The system in accordance with claim 26, wherein the burner assembly and the igniter assembly each comprise an elongated support, the elongated support of the igniter assembly is independently adjustable vertically to position the glow coil a distance from a burner tip of the burner assembly, wherein the distance permits the flow of the current through the flame.
28. The system in accordance with claim 27, wherein the burner tip has a top fan-shape section and a bottom cylindrical section, the bottom cylindrical section is coupled to the elongated support of the burner assembly.
29. The system in accordance with claim 28, wherein the burner tip comprises:
a front side having side flanges; and,
a back side having essentially an identical contour of the front side and having side flanges welded to the side flanges of the front side.
30. The system in accordance with claim 27, wherein the elongated support of the igniter assembly is attached to the elongated support of the flame burner assembly via an adjustable slide, wherein the elongates supports are parallel and the adjustable slide is adjustable vertically.
31. The system in accordance with claim 26, wherein the glow coil of the igniter assembly should be placed in a non-flickering part of the flame in the range of 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches.
32. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein the system has no other flame sensors in proximity to the flame.
33. The system in accordance with claim 25, further comprising:
a microprocessor-controlled valve to turn on and off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium, the microprocessor-controlled valve is controlled by the controller unit; and,
a manual safety shutoff valve.
34. The system in accordance with claim 25, further comprising a switch to turn on and off the system.
35. The system in accordance with claim 34, wherein said switch is radio frequency coupled to a remote control transmitter.
36. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein the igniter assembly comprises a hot surface igniter and a integrated glow coil radially extending from the hot surface igniter, the hot surface igniter is adapted to be flush mounted to a wall or support surface, with the proper relational distance between the glow coil and a tip of the burner assembly being fixed.
37. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein said gas light housing is mounted on a post.
38. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein the gas light housing is adapted to be mounted to a wall.
39. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein the gas light housing is adapted to be hung from a ceiling.
40. The system in accordance with claim 25, wherein said controller unit is adapted to be coupled to said gas light housing.
41. A gas light ignition and flame supervision system kit for a gas light comprising:
a burner assembly with a metal burner tip operable to burn a flame and having a metallurgy composition for current conduction; and,
a control unit operable to sense a flame current from the burner assembly when flowing on a ground line and supervise and control a flow of a flammable gaseous medium through the burner assembly and ignition of the flame.
42. The kit in accordance with claim 41, further comprising:
an igniter assembly having a hot surface igniter with integral glow coil wherein the control unit is operable to selectively energize and heat up said glow coil.
43. The kit in accordance with claim 42, wherein:
the igniter assembly includes an elongated support;
the burner assembly includes an elongated support; and,
further comprising an adjustable slide adapted to be slideable coupled to each if the elongated supports to adjust the distance of the glow coil in relation to the of the metal burner tip.
44. The kit in accordance with claim 41, further comprising:
a solenoid valve operable to selectively open or close wherein when the solenoid valve is open allows the flammable gaseous medium flow to the burner assembly; and,
a manual shutoff valve operable to manually turn shut off the flow of the flammable gaseous medium to the burner tip.
45. The kit in accordance with claim 44, wherein the control unit comprises:
a computer program loaded in said control unit wherein, upon execution, the computer program being operable to sequence said solenoid valve open after energizing a glow coil in order to achieve safe ignition of the flammable gaseous medium flowing through said burner tip.
46. The kit in accordance with claim 41, wherein the burner tip has a top fan-shape section and a bottom cylindrical section, the bottom cylindrical section is coupled to the elongated support of the burner assembly.
47. The kit in accordance with claim 46, wherein the burner tip comprises:
a front side having side flanges; and,
a back side having essentially an identical contour of the front side and having side flanges welded to the side flanges of the front side.
48. The kit in accordance with claim 47, wherein the burner tip further comprises:
a gauze cup formed in the burner tip and positioned in proximity to the junction between the top end of the bottom cylindrical section and the top fan-shaped section.
49. The kit in accordance with claim 41, further comprising a switch operable to be electrically connected to said control unit to signal the computer control unit to turn said flame on or off.
50. The kit in accordance with claim 49, wherein said switch is a remote controlled switch.
51. A gas light ignition and flame supervision system for a gas light comprising:
a. a burner assembly with a conducting metal burner tip;
b. a solenoid valve piped to said burner assembly;
c. a flame current operable hot surface igniter installed above said burner assembly at a distance that allows a flame current to leak from said hot surface igniter to said metal burner tip;
d. a computer control unit which is electrically coupled to said hot surface igniter to selectively energize said hot surface igniter, which is electrically coupled to said solenoid valve to selectively open or close said solenoid valve and which is electrically grounded to a case for said gas light to detect a flame current;
e. a computer program loaded in said computer control unit for sequencing said solenoid valve open and closed when energizing said hot surface igniter in order to achieve safe ignition of gas flowing through said burner tip and for sensing a flame from said burner tip via a flame current.
f. a switch electrically connected to said computer control unit to signal the computer control unit to turn said gas light on or off.
52. The system of claim 51, wherein said switch is a remote controlled switch.
53. The system of claim 52, wherein said remote controlled switch is radio frequency coupled to a remote controller.
54. A gas light ignition and flame supervision system for a gas light that comprising:
a burner tip operable to burn a flammable gaseous medium to create a flame; and,
a glow coil adapted to be positioned at a operational distance from the burner tip to ignite the flame when heated and to conduct a current through the flame to the tip wherein the tip has a metallurgy composition that allows the current to conduct to a ground line.
US11/413,954 2005-06-21 2006-04-28 Ignition and flame supervision system for open flame gas lights Abandoned US20060286495A1 (en)

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US8519883B2 (en) * 2008-09-30 2013-08-27 Cooper Technologies Company Adjusting the sensitivity of a PIR sensor or a doppler radar sensor disposed within a light fixture
US8587319B1 (en) 2010-10-08 2013-11-19 LDARtools, Inc. Battery operated flame ionization detector
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US8866637B1 (en) 2008-01-24 2014-10-21 LDARtools, Inc. Data collection process for optical leak detection
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8034290B1 (en) * 2007-01-29 2011-10-11 LDARtools, Inc. Reigniting flame in volatile organic compound device
US8751173B1 (en) 2007-03-28 2014-06-10 LDARtools, Inc. Management of response to triggering events in connection with monitoring fugitive emissions
US8866637B1 (en) 2008-01-24 2014-10-21 LDARtools, Inc. Data collection process for optical leak detection
US8519883B2 (en) * 2008-09-30 2013-08-27 Cooper Technologies Company Adjusting the sensitivity of a PIR sensor or a doppler radar sensor disposed within a light fixture
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US9546788B2 (en) * 2012-06-07 2017-01-17 Chentronics, Llc Combined high energy igniter and flame detector

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