Title:
Device for remotely controlling ignition of a gas appliance by transmitting and receiving RF waves
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An ignition control device including a controller section and a remote control section for a gas appliance (e.g., a gas stove or a gas water heater) is disclosed. A signal communication between the controller mounted on a burner of the gas appliance and the remote control section held by the hand is done by transmitting and receiving RF waves therebetween. The invention can correctly ignite the gas appliance and audibly inform a user of any ignition failures or abnormal conditions.



Inventors:
Hsieh, Chung-yen (Taipei City, TW)
Application Number:
11/711154
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
02/27/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F23N5/24
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
SUERETH, SARAH ELIZABETH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TROXELL LAW OFFICE PLLC (SUITE 1404 5205 LEESBURG PIKE, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22041, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for controlling ignition of a gas burning device, comprising: a controller section mounted on a burner of the gas burning device and comprising a gas valve (2) including an initial ignition coil assembly (21) and a master ignition coil assembly (22), a circuit board (1) including a high voltage ignition controller (19), a first MCU (micro control unit) (11), an RF, (radio frequency) transceiver module (12) having a first antenna (121), a switch (13), a buzzer (14), a first connector (15) connected to the gas valve (2), and a DC (direct current) power supply (110) for supplying DC power to the circuit board (1), and an ignition unit (5) including a high voltage output terminal (51), a ground terminal (52), and an ignition detection terminal (53) wherein the terminals (51, 52, 53) are electrically connected to the circuit board (1); a detector (6) for detecting concentrations of CO and CO2; and a battery powered remote control section comprising a keypad (91), a display (92), an RF transceiver module (94) having a second antenna (941), and a second MCU (90) connected to the display (92), the RF transceiver module (94), and the keypad (91) respectively; wherein in an ignition operation (i) the remote control section is activated to send RF waves to the controller section for turning on the switch (13), (ii) the switch (13) attempts to ignite the initial ignition coil assembly (21), (iii) the high voltage ignition controller (19) is enabled for ignition, (iv) the ignition detection terminal (53) detects flame at a stop time after a predetermined times of ignition and repeatedly detects flame at another stop time after a subsequent predetermined times of ignition if no flame has been detected until either flame is detected or a predetermined period of time has elapsed, (v) the master ignition coil assembly (22) is enabled to ignite in response to the detection of flame, and (vi) the ignition operation ends successfully with the initial ignition coil assembly (21) being disabled and pressurized gas being supplied from the gas valve (2) to the burner continuously; wherein the buzzer (14) is adapted to issue an alarm and the gas valve (2) is adapted to close if the detected concentration of CO or CO2 exceeds a predetermined level; wherein data about ignition and concentration of CO or CO2 is adapted to show on the display (92) and the data is transferred between the first antenna (121) and the second antenna (941) by sending and receiving RF waves between the controller section and the remote control section; and wherein the buzzer (14) is adapted to issue an alarm and the ignition unit (5) is disabled for stopping the ignition operation if any of the ignitions fails.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the predetermined period of time is one minute.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The invention relates to ignition controlling device of a gas appliance (e.g., a gas stove or a gas water heater), and more particularly to a device for controlling ignition of such a gas appliance by transmitting and receiving RF (radio frequency) waves between a controller section mounted on a burner of the gas appliance and a remote control section held by the hand.

2. Description of Related Art

Devices for controlling ignition of a gas stove (or a gas water heater) are known in the art. A controller section, as one portion of the device, is mounted on, for example, a gas stove as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The controller section comprises a circuit board A, a gas valve B, and a high voltage ignition controller E. On the circuit board A, there are provided a MCU (micro control unit) A1, a receiving module A2 having an antenna A21, a switch A3, a buzzer A4, a first connector A5 connected to the gas valve B, a second connector A6 connected to a temperature sensing resistor C, a first ignition connector A7, and a DC (direct current) jack A8 connected to a DC plug D so that external DC power can be supplied from a DC power supply A9 to the circuit board A in operation.

The ignition controller E comprises a second ignition connector E1 connected to the first ignition connector A7, a transformer E2, an ignition control module E3, and a separate ignition unit E4 having a high voltage output terminal E41, a ground terminal E42, and an ignition detection terminal E43 all connected to circuitry of the ignition controller E.

A remote control section, as the other portion of the device, is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The remote control section is implemented a rectangular body F having on its front surface a display F2 and a keypad F1, on its rear surface a transmission module F4 including an antenna F41, a MCU F42, a transmitter F43, and a buzzer F44, and a battery unit F5 for supplying operating power to the remote control section, and a CO detector F3 extending from a top.

In operation, the remote control section is activated to send radio waves to the controller section for turning on the switch A3. An initial ignition coil assembly B1 in the gas valve B is enabled to ignite. And in turn, the transformer E2 and the ignition control module E3 are enabled to apply a high voltage to the high voltage output terminal E41 for igniting the gas stove. The controller section will be disabled automatically if no flame has been detected by the ignition detection terminal E43 after one minute has elapsed. To the contrary, a master ignition coil assembly B2 in the gas valve B is enabled to ignite the gas stove if flame has been detected by the ignition detection terminal E43 within one minute. Thereafter, the high voltage ignition process ends successfully with the initial flame being extinguished and pressurized gas being supplied to the gas stove continuously.

However, no feedback mechanism is provided in the well known ignition control device, i.e., no signal is sent back from the controller section to the remote control section in operation. Thus, the need for improvement still exists.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore one object of the invention to provide an ignition control device including a controller section and a remote control section for a gas appliance (e.g., a gas stove or a gas water heater) in which a signal communication between the controller mounted on a burner of the gas appliance and the remote control section held by the hand is done by transmitting and receiving RF waves therebetween.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 schematically depicts a controller section of a conventional gas stove (or gas water heater) ignition device;

FIG. 2 is a detailed circuitry of the controller section of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3A is a front view of a remote control section of the conventional gas stove ignition device;

FIG. 3B is a rear view of the remote control section of the conventional gas stove ignition device;

FIG. 4 is a detailed circuitry of the remote control section shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B;

FIG. 5 schematically depicts a controller section of a gas stove (or gas water heater) ignition device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a detailed circuitry of the controller section of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7A is a front view of a remote control section of the gas stove ignition device of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7B is a rear view of the remote control section of the gas stove ignition device of FIG. 5; and FIG. 8 is a detailed circuitry of the remote control section shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, a controller section of a gas stove (or gas water heater in the other embodiment) ignition device according to a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown. The controller section comprises a circuit board 1, a gas valve 2, a high voltage ignition controller 19 on the circuit board 1, and a separate ignition unit 5.

On the circuit board 1, there are provided a first MCU 11, an RF (radio frequency) transceiver module 12 having an antenna 121, a switch 13, a buzzer 14, a first connector 15 connected to the gas valve 2 including an initial ignition coil assembly 21 and a master ignition coil assembly 22, two second connectors 16 connected to a low temperature sensing resistor 3 and a high temperature sensing resistor 3A respectively, and a DC jack 18 connected to a DC plug 4 so that external DC power can be supplied from a DC power supply 110 to the circuit board 1 in operation.

The ignition unit 5 comprises a high voltage output terminal 51, a ground terminal 52, and an ignition detection terminal 53 all connected to circuitry of the circuit board 1. A first detector 6 for detecting concentrations of CO and CO2 in the air, a water flow measurement module 112 (for gas water heater only), a fire controller 7, and a fan 8 are further provided and are connected to circuitry of the circuit board 1. The first detector 6 can send data about detected concentrations of CO and CO2 to the controller section and the remote control section as detailed later.

The initial ignition coil assembly 21 comprises an ADC (analog to digital converter), an OP AMP (operational amplifier), and a comparator and is adapted to detect an open circuit, a short circuit, and a voltage variation on a load (e.g., coil). The high voltage ignition controller 19 is adapted to convert a feedback signal sent from the ground terminal 52 into a digital form. For saving power and prolonging a useful life of the device, it is contemplated by the invention that an intermittent high voltage discharge for ignition is adopted. That is, the invention begins to detect flame at a stop time after a predetermined times of ignition. Thereafter, the invention again detects flame at another stop time after a subsequent predetermined times of ignition if no flame has been detected. Likewise, the ignition detection terminal 53 comprises an ADC, an OP AMP, and a comparator and is adapted to detect an open circuit, a short circuit, and a voltage variation on the load.

Referring to FIGS. 7A, 7B and 8, a remote control section of the gas stove ignition device is shown. The remote control section is implemented a rectangular body 9 having on its front surface a display 92 and a keypad 91, on its rear surface an RF transceiver module 94 having an antenna 941, and a battery unit 95 for supplying operating power to the remote control section, and on a top a resistor member 93 and a second detector 96 for detecting concentrations of CO and CO2 in the air. There is further provided a second MCU 90 connected to the display 92, the resistor member 93, the second detector 96, the battery unit 95, a buzzer 97, the RF transceiver module 94, and the keypad 91 respectively.

In operation, the remote control section is activated to send RF waves to the controller section for turning on the switch 13. Thereafter, the switch 13 attempts to ignite the initial ignition coil assembly 21. An alarm is issued by the buzzer 14 and the ignition unit 5 is disabled if the initial ignition coil assembly 21 fails to ignite.

The high voltage ignition controller 19 is enabled to apply a high voltage for ignition if the initial ignition coil assembly 21 successfully ignites. A feedback signal from the high voltage ignition controller 19 is detected. An alarm is issued by the buzzer 14 and the ignition unit 5 is disabled if the high voltage ignition controller 19 fails to ignite as informed by the feedback signal.

Thereafter, in response to the successful operation of the high voltage ignition controller 19, the ignition detection terminal 53 detects flame at a stop time after a predetermined times of ignition. The provision of the low temperature sensing resistor 3 and the high temperature sensing resistor 3A aims at preventing an erroneous action of the ignition detection terminal 53 from occurring.

Thereafter, the ignition detection terminal 53 again detects flame at another stop time after a subsequent predetermined times of ignition if no flame has been detected. The ignition detection terminal 53 is allowed to detect for duration of, for example, one minute. An alarm is issued by the buzzer 14 and the ignition unit 5 is disabled if the ignition detection terminal 53 still fails to detect flame after one minute. The ignition process then returns to the beginning of the ignition operation (i.e., causing the switch 13 to attempt to ignite the initial ignition coil assembly 21 again.)

To the contrary, attempts to enable the master ignition coil assembly 22 are made if flame has been detected. An alarm is issued by the buzzer 14 if fails to enable the master ignition coil assembly 22. Otherwise, the ignition process ends with the initial flame being extinguished and pressurized gas being supplied to the gas stove continuously.

Both the first and second detectors 6 and 96 can issue an alarm and the gas valve 2 is forced to close if either detector has detected that concentration of CO or CO2 in the air has exceeded a predetermined, allowable level. Note that, the provision of the water flow measurement module 112, the fire controller 7, and the fan 8 can effect a complete combustion.

Also, the temperature sensing resistors can precisely measure room temperature Thus, an alarm is issued and the gas valve 2 is closed if the measured room temperature is abnormal. Further, data about temperature, ignition, concentration of CO or CO2, or the like can be shown on the display 92 for visually informing a user of any abnormal conditions since data is transferred between the controller section and the remote control section in the form of RF waves sending and receiving between the sections.

While the invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention set forth in the claims.