WO1989003553A1 - Valve operating control - Google Patents

Valve operating control Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1989003553A1
WO1989003553A1 PCT/AU1988/000392 AU8800392W WO8903553A1 WO 1989003553 A1 WO1989003553 A1 WO 1989003553A1 AU 8800392 W AU8800392 W AU 8800392W WO 8903553 A1 WO8903553 A1 WO 8903553A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
solenoid
duration
control
interval
valve operating
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU1988/000392
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Gregory John Powley
Michael Robert Osborne
Original Assignee
Powlec Pty. Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16TSTEAM TRAPS OR LIKE APPARATUS FOR DRAINING-OFF LIQUIDS FROM ENCLOSURES PREDOMINANTLY CONTAINING GASES OR VAPOURS
    • F16T1/00Steam traps or like apparatus for draining-off liquids from enclosures predominantly containing gases or vapours, e.g. gas lines, steam lines, containers

Abstract

A fluid system, e.g. a pneumatic system, includes a component (10) from which a fluid is to be intermittently transferred. A selectively operable solenoid valve (11) is mounted and operable to open in response to energisation of its associated solenoid (12). The solenoid (12) is arranged in a housing and is supplied with power from a power source through a DIN plug (13, 14) provided on the solenoid housing. A valve operating control (15) controls operation of the solenoid (12), the valve operating control (15) including a DIN socket (17) coupled to the DIN plug (13, 14), the valve operating control (15) further including a power switching means (18) operative to switch electrical power to the solenoid (12). Timer means (21) controls operation of the power switching means (18) and is adjustable by switches (37, 57) so as to enable user selection of one of a number of possible durations of solenoid energisation and intervals between successive solenoid energisations. A control housing (22) mounts the DIN socket (17) and accommodates the power switching means (18) and the timer means (21) to enable the valve operating control (15) to be disconnected from the solenoid valve housing (12) and re-connected to the solenoid housing as a unit.

Description

VALVE OPERATING CONTROL

This invention relates to intermittent operation of valves, such as in fluid systems and particularly, but not exclusively, in compressed air systems having valve operating controls including condensate exhaust controls.

Condensate comprising water and usually other substances such as oil collect in components of compressed air systems, such as in air receivers and filters. The condensate is normally exhausted from a component by means of a float operated valve which opens if the condensate level rises to a certain level. A difficulty with this exhaust system is that debris in the condensate commonly interferes with correct functioning of the float and valve operation.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an effective and versatile intermittent valve operating control for use in a fluid system e.g. a compressed air system.

It is a further object to provide a valve control which is simple to install and which enables ready replacement of an associated faulty valve.

According to the present invention there is provided a valve operating control for a fluid system, the system including a component from which a fluid is to be intermittently transferred, the system further including a selectively operable fluid transfer valve mounted and operable to open to allow transfer of the fluid from the component, the valve comprising a solenoid valve operable in response to energisation of its associated solenoid, the solenoid being arranged in a housing and being supplied with power from a power source through a solenoid connector provided on the solenoid housing, the valve operating control being for controlling operation of the fluid transfer valve, the valve operating control including a control connector of complementary formation to the solenoid connector so as to be coupled in use to the solenoid connector, the valve operating control further including a power switching means operative to switch electrical power from the power source to the control connector so as to power the solenoid, a selectively adjustable timer means for controlling operation o^ the power switching means and being adjustable so as to enable user determination and control of the duration of solenoid energisation and the intervals between successive solenoid energisations, and a control housing mounting the control connector and accommodating the power switching means and the timer means so as to enable the valve operating control to be disconnected from the solenoid valve housing and re-connected to the solenoid housing as a unit, the timer means including a user operable duration selector for enabling selective adjustment of the duration of solenoid energisation, the duration selector being operative to enable a user to select any one of a number of possible durations of solenoid energisation, the timer means including a duration timer circuit responsive to the duration selector and operable to generate a valve operating signal at the end of the selected duration to cause a predetermined change of state of the power switching means, the timer means further including a user operable interval selector for enabling selective adjustment of the interval between successive solenoid energisations, the interval selector being operative to enable a user to select any one of a number of possible intervals between successive solenoid energisations, the timer means including an interval timer circuit responsive to the interval selector and operable to generate a valve operating signal at the en of the selected interval to cause a predetermined change of state of the power switching means.

The solenoid connector preferahly comprises a DI type plug and the control connector comprises a complementary DIN socket exposed on the control housing so as to provide a compact and replaceable valve operating control.

The power source may comprise an AC source, and the valve operating control may include a full wave rectifier arranged and operative to provide regulated DC power for the timer means.

The duration selector preferably includes a switch which is user operable to select one of a predetermined number of possible solenoid energisation durations, the duration selector further including duration display means operative in response to user operation of the duration selector switch to provide a visual display of the particular selected solenoid energisation duration. In this embodiment, the duration display means may comprise a plurality o* light sources, each one o~~ the ligκt sources being orovidec for ε respective one of the possible durations and being energised upon user selection o* the respective duration. The timer circuit may include a logic circuit operative to compare the elapsed time since a start of the duration with the selected duration and being operative to cause the generation of the valve operating signal when the elapsed time corresponds to the selected duration.

The interval selector preferably includes a switch which is user operable to select one of a predetermined number of possible intervals between successive solenoid energisations, the interval selector further including interval display means operative in response to user operation of the interval selector switch to provide a visual display of the particular selected interval between successive solenoid energisations. The interval display means may comprise a plurality of light sources, each one of the light sources being provided for a respective one of the possible intervals and being energised upon user selection of the respective interval.

The interval timer circuit may include a logic circuit operative to compare the elapsed time since a start of the interval with the selected interval and being operative to cause the generation of the valve operating signal when the elapsed time corresponds to the selected interval, the control including a reset generator operative to generate a reset signal after the selected interval, the reset signal causing the commencement of the duration of solenoid energisation.

A test circuit may be' provided v/hich is selectively operable by the user, the test circuit being operable to cause operation of a display means operative to provide a visual display o^ the particular user selected duration or interval, the test circuit thereby enabling visual verification of correct functioning of the display means. The test circuit is preferably further operable to generate a test valve operating signal v/hich is applied to the power switching means to cause operation thereof for the duration of the test valve operating signal, the power switching means reverting to its initial state at the end of the test valve operating signal duration. The test circuit preferably includes a test gate for generating a test signal to initiate the functions of the test circuit, the test gate having inputs connected to the duration selector and to the interval selector and the test gate being operable upon simultaneous operation of both the duration and interval selectors to cause generation of the test signal . Possible and preferred features of the present invention will now be described with particular reference to the accompanying drawings.

However it is to be understood that the features illustrated in and described with reference to the drawings are not to be construed as limiting on the scope of the invention. In the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a schematic side view of a valve and valve operating control which can incorporate the invention,

Fig. 2 is a circuit diagram for a valve operating control embodying the present invention, and Fig. 3 is a front view of a housing usable in the present invention.

In the drawings, a compressed air system has a component in such as an air receiver or filter in which condensate collects. A valve 11 is connected to the component 10 in a known way so as to exhaust the condensate when the valve 11 is open. The valve 11 has an associate* solenoid 12 which when energised operates the valve 11. The valve 11 could be normally open and held closed when the solenoid is energised or vice versa as circumstances of use require.

The solenoid 12 preferably has a standard ϋl l plug configuration of pins 13, 14 v/hich project from the solenoid housing.

The exhaust control 15 comprises a control connector 16 having sockets 17 in use receiving the pins 13, 1Δ so that power supplied to contacts associated v/ith the sockets 17 is connected to the solenoid 72. Power switching means Is is provided to switch electrical power from a power source (not shown) connected to power cable 19 to the control connector 15 so as to power the solenoid 12. The switching means IS includes triac and driver 20 although a relay may alternatively be used for switching pov/er to the connector IS. The triac and driver 20 may have a high power capability so that the exhaust control 15 could be used to control operation of two or more solenoid valves simultaneously by switching power via a connector to both of the respective solenoids.

The triac and driver 20 is operated by timer means 21 operative so that the duration of solenoid energisation and the interval between successive energisations are botμ determined by the timer means 21. These may be both selectively adjustable. For example, the timer means 21 may comprise an oscillator and registers which give an output signal to change the state of the triac and driver 2~ when the accumulated count in the registers reach selectable values. Other electronic, electro-mechanical or mechanical timer devices will obviously be usable although electronic timers are preferred for compactness and reliability. To power the timer means 21, a full wave rectifier, and regulated voltage supply of standard design may be used so as to utilise whatever source of power is being used for solenoid energisation.

The power switching means 18, timer means 21 and connector 15 are all provided in a common housing 22 so that these components can be connected and disconnected from the solenoid 12 as a unit. Thus if valve 11 and/or solenoid 12 are faulty, the disconnection of the unit

22 enables simple replacement o"P the faulty comρonent(s).

Referring to Fig. 2 power from the power supply is supplied to input leads 30 and the power switching means T0., which may be a triac and driver for example, switches power to the output leads 31 which are connected to the connector 16. Across the leads 31 is an indicator light such as an LED 32 which indicates when the power is being supplied to an associated connector.

A DC power supply 33 provides a regulated power supply for the remainder of- the circuit. ,- lamp such as an LED 34 is connected across the output of the supply 33 so as to indicate an "on" state of the electronic circuit as indicated by the existence of a voltage at the output of the supply 33.

The timer means 21 which controls operation of the power switching means 18 includes a user operable duration selector 35 v/hich enables selection of the duration of solenoid energisation-. The duration selector 35 enables the user to select any one of a number o possible durations. In the circuit of Fig. 2 there is provided a tv/o bit up/down counter 36 which enables for example the selection of any one of four states corresponding to four possible durations, e.g. 0.5, 1, 2, 5 seconds. The selected duration is set by the user operable push button switch 37 provided on the housing (Fig. 3). The counter 36 can be cycled through the four possible states under control of the switch 37.

The duration selector 35 further includes duration display means 38 shown as an array of LEPs -39 operative in response to user operation of the switch 37 to provide a visual display of the particular selected duration. respective one of the LEDs 39 is energized upon user selection of the respective duration, the decoder 40 being operative to determine the particular selecte state o the counter 35 and cause operation of the appropriate LED 39. The timer means 21 includes a duration timer circuit [ ~ responsive to the duration selector 35 and operable to generate a valve operating signal on output line 43 at the end of the selected duration to cause a predetermined change of state of the power switching means 18. The timer circuit 42 includes a counter £4 supplied with clock pulses from clock generator 45 so as to be operative as an elapsed time counter, the timer circuit 42 including also a logic circuit 46. The logic circuit 46 compares the elapsed time since the start of the duration as represented by the pulse count stored in counter 44 with the selected generation as represented by the state of counter 36 and causes the generation of the valve operating signal on line 43 when the elapsed time corresponds to the selected duration.

The valve operating signal on line 43 is applied to set-reset latch 50 which creates an output signal on line 51 which causes operation of the switching means 18.

Analogous in construction anrl operation in all respects to the duration selector 35 and timer circuit 42 is the interval selector 5F and interval timer circuit 62 v/hich together enable user selection of the interval between successive solenoid energisations. The interval selector 55 includes switch 57 which is used to set the state of two bit up/down counter 56 e.g. corresponding to intervals of say 3, 10, 30, 45 minutes. The decoder 60 monitors the state of the counter 56 and causes the appropriate LED 59 of the display means 58 to be illuminated on the housing front panel (Fig. 3).

The interval timer circuit 62 includes counter 64 and logic circuit 66 which generates a valve operating signal on line 63 when the elapsed time corresponds to the selected desired interval between successive solenoid energisations. The signal on line 63 is applied to the set/reset latch 50 which operates as a reset generator which is operative to generate a reset signal on line y after the selected interval, the reset signal causing the resetting of the counter 4-^ and thereby causing the commencement of the duration o solenoid energisation. In the circuit of Fig. 2 there is also a test circuit 1~ which is selectively operated by the user and v/hich causes operation of the display means 38, ~~ to enable visual verification o^ correct functioning of the display means. This is achieved by application o^ signals froπ the test circuit 70 to the counters 36, 55. £1so the test circuit 70 is operable to generate a test valve operating signal on line 71 which is applied to the switching means 18 through the gate 72 to cause operation of the switching means 1? for the duration of the test valve operating signal on line 71. The test circuit 70 includes a test gate 74 for generating a test signal, the test gate 74 having inputs 75, 76 connected to the duration selector 35 and interval selector 55 in such a way that simultaneous operation of both the duration and interval selector switches 37, 57 causes generation of the test signal at output 77. In addition to the circuit components illustrated, there may be a memory having an associated low power battery or the like, the memory storing the user selected duration and interval values and being arranged, e.g. in association with the counters 36, 56, to retain that data in the event of a power supply failure. In this way upon reconnection of power to the circuit the user is not obliged to reselect the duration and interval values.

Also there may be a power-up circuit so that after a longer period of power failure or upon initial installation there may be default values of the duration and interval, e.g. two seconds and ten minutes respectively, so that the counters 36, 56 do not adopt arbitrary values upon initial power up.

Although not illustrated, there may be a delay circuit associated with the duration and interval selectors 35, 55 to enable verification of genuine user operation of the switches 37, 57 before the counters 36, 56 change state.

It will be seen that the preferred embodiment of the valve operating controls illustrated in the drawings can enable operation of the solenoid valve automatically both in duration of valve openiny and intervals between successive valve openings. The user can select among the choice of intervals and durations. The circuit and valve operation can be tested. The provision of the control connector and timer in the housing enables the entire control to be compact and readily removed for replacement of the associated valve, solenoid etc. e.g. for maintenance purposes. Also of course the installation and operation of the control will be seen to be particularly simple. The timer and duration and interval selection circuitry can in fact be an integrated circuit. The invention can be used not only for exhausting refuse fror condensers, filters, etc. in compressed air systems, but also in other environments where automatic intermittent valve operation is desirable such as for blowing out air lines, for automatic dispensing of fluid doses, draining condensate from steam or other fluid systems, air pulsing systems.

It is to be understood that various alterations, modifications and/or additions may be made to the features of the possible and preferred embodiments) of the invention as herein described without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the claims.

Claims

CLAIMS: 1. A valve operating control (15) for a fluid system, the system including a component (10) from which a fluid is to be intermittently transferred, the system further including a selectively operable fluid transfer valve (11) mounted and operable to open to allow transfer of the said fluid from the component (10), said valve (11) comprising a solenoid valve operable in response to energisation of its associated solenoid (12), the solenoid (12) being arranged in a housing and being supplied with power from a pov/er source through a solenoid connector (13, 14) provided on the solenoid housing, the valve operating control (15) being for controlling operation of said fluid transfer valve (11), the valve operating control (15) including a control connector (16) of complementary formation to the solenoid connector (13, 14) so as to be coupled in use to the solenoid connector (13, 14), the valve operating control (15) further including a power switching means (18) operative to switch electrical power from the power source to said control connector (16) so as to power the solenoid (12), a selectively adjustable timer means (21) for controlling operation of the power switchiny means (18) and being adjustable so as to enable user determination and control of the duration of solenoid energisation and the intervals between successive solenoid energisations, and a control housing (22) mounting the control connector (16) and accommodating the power switching means (18) and the timer means (21) so as to enable the valve operating control (15) to be disconnected from the solenoid valve housing (12) and re-connected to the solenoid housing as a unit, said timer means (21) including a user operable duration selector (35) for enabling selective adjustment of the duration of solenoid energisation, the duration selector (35) being operative to enable a user to select any one of a number of possible durations of solenoid energisation, the timer means (21) including a duration timer circuit (42) responsive to the duration selector (35) and operable to generate a valve operating signal (43) at the end of the selected duration to cause a predetermined change of state of the power switching means (18), said timer means (21) further including a user operable interval selector (55) for enabling selective adjustment of the interval between successive solenoid energisations, the interval selector (55) being operative to enable a user to select any one of a number of possible intervals between successive solenoid energisations, the timer means (21) including an interval timer circuit (62) responsive to the interval selector (55) and operable to generate a valve operating signal (63) at the end of the selected interval to cause a predetermined change of state of the pov/er switching means (18).
2. A control as claimed in Claim 1, wherein said solenoid connector (13, 14) comprises a DIN type plug and said control connector (16) comprises a complementary DIM socket (17) exposed on the control housing (22) so as to provide a compact and replaceable valve operating control (15).
3. A control as claimed in Claim 1 wherein said power source comprises an AC source, and said valve operating control (15) includes a full v/ave rectifier arranged and operative to provide regulated DC pov/er for said timer means (21). 4. A control as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the duration selector (35) includes a switch (37) v/hich is user operable to select one of a predetermined number of possible solenoid energisation durations, the duration selector (35) further including duration display means (38) operative in response to user operation of the duration selector switch (37) to provide a visual display of the particular selected solenoid energisation duration.
5. A control as claimed in Claim 4 wherein the duration display means (38) comprises a plurality of light sources (39), each one of the light sources (39) being provided for a respective one of the possible durations and being energised upon user selection of the respective duration.
5. A control as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the timer circuit (42) includes a logic circuit (46) operative to compare the elapsed time since a start of the duration with the selected duration and being operative to cause the generation of the valve operating signal (^3) when the elapsed time corresponds to the selected duration. 7. A control as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the interval selector (55) includes a switch (57) which is user operable to select one of a predetermined number of possible intervals between successive solenoid energisations, the interval selector (55) further including interval display means (58) operative in response to user operation of the interval selector switch (57) to provide a visual display of the particular selected interval between successive solenoid energisations. 8. A control as claimed in Claim 7 wherein the interval display means (58) comprises a plurality of light sources (59), each one of the light sources (59) being provided for a respective one of the possible intervals and being energised upon user selection of the
5 respective interval.
9. A control as claimed in Claim 1 wherein the interval timer circuit (62) includes a logic circuit (66) operative to compare the elapsed time since a start of the interval with the selected interval and being operative to cause the generation of the valve operating
10 signal (63) when the elapsed time corresponds to the selected interval, the control including a reset generator (50) operative to generate a reset signal (65) after the selected interval, the reset signal (65) causing the commencement of the duration of solenoid energisation.
15 10. A control as claimed in Claim 1 and further including a test circuit (70) which is selectively operable by the user, the test circuit (70) being operable to cause operation of a display means (38, 58) operative to provide a visual display of the particular user selected duration or interval, the test circuit (70) thereby enabling
20 visual verification of correct functioning of the display means (38, 58).
11. A control as claimed in Claim 10 wherein the test circuit (70) is further operable to generate a test valve operating signal (71) v/hich is applied to the power switching means (18) to cause operation
25 thereof for the duration of the test valve operating signal (71), the power switching means (18) reverting to its initial state at the end of the test valve operating signal duration.
12. A control as claimed in Claim 1 and further including a test circuit (70) operable to generate a test valve operating signal (71)
30 which is applied to the pov/er switching means (18) to cause operation thereof for the duration of the test valve operating signal (71), the pov/er switching means (18) reverting to its initial state at the end of the test valve operating signal duration.
13. A control as claimed in Claim 12 wherein said test circuit (70) 35 includes a test gate (74) for generating a test signal (77) to initiate the functions of the test circuit, the test gate (7Λ) having inputs (75, 76) connected to the duration selector (35) and to the interval selector (55) and the test gate (70) being operable upon simultaneous operation of both the duration and interval selectors ^0 (35, 55) to cause generation of the test signal (77).
PCT/AU1988/000392 1986-10-13 1988-10-11 Valve operating control WO1989003553A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB8723905 1987-10-12
GB8723905A GB8723905D0 (en) 1986-10-13 1987-10-12 Valve operating control

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WO1989003553A1 true true WO1989003553A1 (en) 1989-04-20

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Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/AU1988/000392 WO1989003553A1 (en) 1986-10-13 1988-10-11 Valve operating control

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7878012B1 (en) * 2009-09-21 2011-02-01 Orten Philip A Portable sprinkler system

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3978887A (en) * 1975-04-07 1976-09-07 Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc. Programmable water valve
US4165532A (en) * 1977-12-30 1979-08-21 The Toro Company Automatic irrigation sprinkler system controller
AU8310582A *
US4541563A (en) * 1982-08-25 1985-09-17 Mitsubishi Mining & Cement Co., Ltd. Electronic valve control apparatus
AU5900286A *

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
AU8310582A *
AU5900286A *
US3978887A (en) * 1975-04-07 1976-09-07 Lawrence Peska Associates, Inc. Programmable water valve
US4165532A (en) * 1977-12-30 1979-08-21 The Toro Company Automatic irrigation sprinkler system controller
US4541563A (en) * 1982-08-25 1985-09-17 Mitsubishi Mining & Cement Co., Ltd. Electronic valve control apparatus

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7878012B1 (en) * 2009-09-21 2011-02-01 Orten Philip A Portable sprinkler system

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