Title:
Digital Air Compressor Control System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A digital air compressor control system is for creating a customized air compressor. The system includes microprocessor, power supply, electric sensors and electric valve. In general, digital control system includes four overall components, which may be present in a variety of electric-mechanical formulations. The first component is the microprocessor. It controls the system's or component's action. It receives signals and sends out action commands according to user requirements. Microprocessor directs most every component action. The second component is power control system. Under microprocessor control, the power control system can supply or stop supplying current to electric components allowing accurate functionality. The next component is sensors. They include pressure sensors and temperature sensors. The pressure sensor picks up the pressure data from the control pressure area. The sensor sends the signal to the microprocessor for processing, and issues appropriate commands that the designer programmed or that the user preset. The temperature sensor function is similar to the pressure sensor, one difference is that the signal comes from the control temperature area. The microprocessor receives these signals and sends commands to control power on or off; motor run or stop; valve open or close. Another component is the electric valve. These valves follow the microprocessor command to either open or close to allow the air tank to reach preset pressure. It also releases tube pressure air from the pump to tank.



Inventors:
Zhang, Ling (Rowland Heights, CA, US)
Zhang, Ning (Taicang City, CN)
Application Number:
11/536049
Publication Date:
04/12/2007
Filing Date:
09/28/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
417/44.2
International Classes:
F04B49/10; F04B49/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
JACOBS, TODD D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILSON DANIEL SWAYZE, JR. (PLANO, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A digital controller to control a digital compressor, comprising: an air tank for storing compressed air; a pressure sensor for determining a pressure of said compressed air and sending a pressure signal corresponding to said pressure of said compressed air; an A/D converter to convert said pressure signal to a digital pressure signal; a microprocessor to accept said digital pressure signal and to control said pressure of said compressed air in said air tank.

2. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 1, wherein said digital controller includes a power control circuit to control a motor.

3. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 2, wherein said digital controller includes an air pump coupled to said motor.

4. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 3, wherein said digital controller includes an air release valve connected to said air pump.

5. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 4 wherein said digital controller includes a air release circuit to control said release valve.

6. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 5, wherein said air release circuit is controlled by said microprocessor.

7. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 4, wherein said air release valve can release residual air from said air pump.

8. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 2, wherein said digital controller includes a temperature sensor to sense a temperature of said motor and to send a temperature signal corresponding to said temperature of said motor to said microprocessor.

9. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 8, wherein said digital controller includes a temperature protector coupled to said temperature sensor.

10. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 8, wherein said digital controller includes an alarm circuit to activate an alarm when said temperature of said motor exceeds a predetermined temperature.

11. A digital compressor system, comprising: a digital compressor includes an air tank for storing compressed air; a pressure sensor for determining a pressure of said compressed air and sending a pressure signal corresponding to said pressure of said compressed air; an A/D converter to convert said pressure signal to a digital pressure signal; a microprocessor to accept said digital pressure signal and to control said pressure of said compressed air in said air tank a display circuit to display information from said microprocessor and; a pressure preset circuit coupled to said microprocessor.

12. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 11, wherein said digital controller includes a power control circuit to control a motor.

13. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 12, wherein said digital controller includes an air pump coupled to said motor.

14. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 13, wherein said digital controller includes an air release valve connected to said air pump.

15. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 14, wherein said digital controller includes a air release circuit to control said release valve.

16. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 15, wherein said air release circuit is controlled by said microprocessor.

17. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 14, wherein said air release valve can release residual air from said air pump.

18. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 12, wherein said digital controller includes a temperature sensor to sense a temperature of said motor and to send a temperature signal corresponding to said temperature of said motor to said microprocessor.

19. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 18, wherein said digital controller includes a temperature protector coupled to said temperature sensor.

20. A digital controller to control a digital compressor as in claim 18, wherein said digital controller includes an alarm circuit to activate an alarm when said temperature of said motor exceeds a predetermined temperature.

Description:

PRIORITY

The present application claims priority under 35 USC section 119 and is based on the provisional application filed on Oct. 6, 2005 and is based on Ser. No. 60/596,619.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to digital air compressors and more specifically it relates to a digital air compressor control system for controlling a customized air compressor.

2. Description of the Related Art

It can be appreciated that digital air compressor have been in the market for a short time. The current market digital air compressor can only digitally display air tank pressure. When you manually adjust the regulator, it can only display regulated pressure. A liquid crystal display may not work under cold conditions.

The main problem with the conventional digital air compressor is that existing air compressor is not programmable and has no memory functions. The air tank pressure can not be set according to user specifications and the settings cannot be saved. Another problem with the conventional digital air compressors is that existing the digital air compressor does not stop pressurizing the tank until the tank reaches maximum pressure which is the kick out pressure. The motor cannot stop pressurizing the tank at any user defined kick out pressure. Most of the time, this excess pressure will waste energy. Another problem with the conventional digital air compressor is that the existing digital air compressor does not display the complete control characteristics usually the users can only read air pressures.

In these respects, the digital air compressor control system according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in doing so, provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of creating a customized air compressor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of digital air compressor now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new digital air compressor control system wherein the control system of the present invention can be utilized for creating a customized air compressor.

The general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a digital air compressor control system that has many of the advantages over the conventional digital air compressor. To attain this advantage, the present invention generally includes a microprocessor, a power control system, electric sensors, display system and electric valves. In general, digital control system and the like include four overall components, which may be present in a variety of electric-mechanical formulations. The first component is the microprocessor. It controls the system's or component's action. The microprocessor receives signals and sends out action commands in the form of signals according to user requirements or to the pre-programming requirements of the products. Microprocessor directs most component action. The second component is a power control system. Under microprocessor control, the power control system can supply or stop supplying current to electric components allowing accurate functionality. The next component is various sensors. The sensors include pressure sensors, temperature sensors and oil position sensors. The pressure sensor picks up the pressure data from the controlling pressure area, and then the sensor sends the signal to the microprocessor for processing. The microprocessor can issue appropriate commands in the form of signals that the user has pre-programmed or the user has input. The function of the temperature sensor is similar to the function of the pressure sensor; the difference is that the signal comes from the control temperature area of the motor. The oil position sensor is used for the oil air compressor. It controls the lubrication oil level. When the oil level is lower than the preprogrammed volume, it will send a signal to the microprocessor to start the alarm system to notify the user that some lubrication oil should be added. The microprocessor receives these signals from the temperature sensors and sends commands to control power on or off; motor run or stop; valve open or close. Another component is the electric valve. These valves follow the microprocessor command to either open or close to allow the air tank to reach the user inputted pressure. It may also release the tube pressure air from the pump to tank.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, some features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of the description and should not be regarded as limiting.

A primary objective of the present invention is to provide a digital air compressor control system that will overcome the shortcomings of the prior art devices.

An objective of the present invention is to provide a digital air compressor control system for creating a customized operational air compressor.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that creates an object to be installed on various sizes, styles and type of air compressors.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that has the capability to memorize custom settings.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that can be programmed to fit any style and design of air compressors.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that users can preset maximum pressure according to user equipment requirement.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that can make digital air compressor operation easy and direct.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that allows digital air compressors to keep all traditional air compressor functions and add additional functions.

Another objective is to provide a digital air compressor control system that can achieve distance control.

Other objectives and advantages of the present invention will become obvious to the reader and it is intended that these objectives and advantages are within the scope of the present invention.

To the accomplishment of the above and related objectives, this invention may be embodied in the form illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that changes may be made in the specific constructions illustrated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various other objectives, features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become fully appreciated as the it becomes better understood when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a is digital air compressor control diagram;

FIG. 2 illustrates the microprocessor and pressure sensor;

FIG. 3A illustrates the power circuit;

FIG. 3B illustrates the power control circuit;

FIG. 4A illustrates the pressure preset circuit;

FIG. 4B illustrates the oil position sensor;

FIG. 5 illustrates the LED display circuit;

FIG. 6A illustrates the alarm circuit;

FIG. 6B illustrates the air release circuit;

FIG. 6C illustrates the record gate circuit;

FIG. 6D illustrates the A/D reference circuit.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, the attached figures illustrate a digital air compressor control system 100, which comprises microprocessor 8, power control circuit 10, electric sensors which includes pressure sensor 6, temperature protector 12, temperature sensor 20 and oil position sensor 14 and electric valves which include air release valve 4, and air output regulator 5. In general, digital control system 100 and the like include four overall components that may be present in a variety of electric-mechanical formulations. The first component is the microprocessor 8. The microprocessor 8 controls the system's or component's action. It receives signals and sends out action commands in the form of signals and in accordance with the user requirements.

Microprocessor 8 controls each component's action. The second component is power control system which includes the power control circuit 10. Under control of the microprocessor 8, the power control system can supply or stop supplying current/power to electric components including the motor 1 allowing accurate functionality. The next component includes various sensors. The sensors include pressure sensors 6, oil position sensor 14 and temperature sensor 20 which includes a temperature protector 12. The pressure sensor 6 measures the pressure data from her controlling pressure area, and then the pressure sensor 6 sends the signal corresponding to the pressure to the microprocessor 8 for processing, and the microprocessor 8 issues appropriate commands in the form of signals that is determined by the pressure signal and a predetermined signal output by the pressure preset circuit 9 that the user has programmed or preset the pressure desired for the air tank 2. For example, if the pressure determined by the pressure sensor 6 is below the programmed or preset pressure set by the user stored in the pressure preset circuit 9, then the microprocessor 8 will activate the motor 1 through the power control circuit 10. The motor 1 will drive the air pump 2 to produce pressurized air. The pressure sensor 6 measures the pressure in the air tank 3 and sends a signal to the A/D converter which includes the A/D transformation circuit 7. The A/D converter converts the analog signal from the pressure sensor 6 to a corresponding digital signal which is read by the microprocessor 8. When the pressure in the air tank 3 substantially equals the predetermined or preset pressure in the pressure preset circuit 9, the microprocessor 8 will send a signal to the power control circuit 10 to shutdown the motor 1. The power control circuit 10 will inactivate the motor 1 in response to the signal. The microprocessor 8 may send a signal to the air release valve 4 discharge the residual air in the air pump 2. The air pump 2 will start easier with the residual air removed because of the light loading.

The function of the temperature sensor 20 of the temperature protector 103 is similar to the pressure sensor 6, the only difference is that the signal from the temperature sensor 20 comes from required control temperature area of the motor 1. When the temperature sensor 20 detects a high temperature due to an overload or internal short circuit which will cause the current to increase and the motor 1 to overheat, a signal is sent to the temperature protector 12 which in turn sends a signal to the microprocessor 8 indicating the high temperature of the motor 1. The microprocessor 8 outputs a signal to the power control circuit 10 to shutdown the motor 1, and the power control circuit 10 operates to turn off the motor 1. Additionally, the microprocessor 8 sends a signal to the alarm circuit 15 to activate an alarm to indicate to a user that there is a problem with the motor. The microprocessor 8 receives these sensor signals and sends commands to control power on or off; motor run or stop; valve open or close. Another component is the electric valve. These valves follow the microprocessor command to either open or close to allow the air tank 3 to reach the preset pressure. The microprocessor 8 also releases tube pressure air from the pump to tank by controlling the electric valves.

In general, digital control system 100 of the present invention and the like include four overall components, which may be present in a variety of electric-mechanical formulations. The first component is the microprocessor 8. (see the FIG. 1 and FIG. 2) The microprocessor 8 controls the action of the component and correspondingly the action of the system. The microprocessor 8 receives signals from sensors and sends out action commands in the form of signals in accordance with values that have been stored in the preset circuit 9 which has accepted predetermined values from the user. The microprocessor 8 directs the actions of the components. The microprocessor 8 is preferably comprised of a small computer connected to and powered by a power supply. The microprocessor 8 may be composed of integrated chip LIC with some electronic elements and attached on the PVC board. In order to vary the operation of the microprocessor 8, programmers will write programs and store these programs into the chip. When the procedure starts, the operation of the microprocessor 8 should be carried out according to the programmed procedures. The microprocessor 8 sends out different signals to control the different component functionality. FIG. 1 is the whole control system working diagram. The microprocessor 8 controls the power control system 10; pressure sensors 6; temperature sensors 20; air release valve 4 and air volume valve (not shown). The microprocessor 8 is programmable unit. It can be designed for various air compressors accommodating more or fewer different functions. Digital air compressor has entered the unlimited space for the air compressor development.

The second component is power control system including the power control circuit 10. Under the control of the microprocessor 8, the power control system 10 can supply or stop supplying current to electric components allowing accurate functionality. (Shown on FIG. 3) Power control system is a subcomponent of the microprocessor. The instructions of the microprocessor 8 in the form of signals should depend on the power control system to be able to comply with the signals from the microprocessor 8. FIG. 1 illustrates this operation. Microprocessor 8 instructs to inflate, and then power control system 10 turns on the power to the motor 1 and begins inflating the air tank 3. All of other components work generally as described above. A PVC membrane switch panel allows a user to press the button to preset the tank maximum pressure to the microprocessor 8 and read the preset pressure and tank pressure from digital display screen controlled by the LED display circuit 12. Many different power control systems can be fit with various programmed digital air compressors.

The next component is the various sensors. They include pressure sensors 6, oil positioned sensor 14 and temperature sensors 20. The pressure sensor 6 picks up the pressure data from the controlling pressure area of the air tank 3, and then the sensor 6 sends the signal to the microprocessor 8 for processing. The microprocessor 8 can issue appropriate commands in the form of signals that the user has programmed or the user has preset. The function of the temperature sensor 20 is similar to the function of the pressure sensor 6; one difference is that the signal is based upon the temperature from the control temperature area of the motor 1. The microprocessor 8 receives these signals and sends commands in the form of signals to control power on or off; motor run or stop; valve open or close. The sensor 6, 14, 20 is a component in the digital control system. The sensor 6, 14, 20 is used as a measuring tool used to get various data and sends it to the microprocessor 8. The microprocessor 8 issues instructions based on the output of the sensor 6, 14, 20. FIG. 1 illustrates that the sensor 6, 14, 20 gives the microprocessor 8 measured data, then the microprocessor will send instructions to the control valve, temperature protector 12 and so on. Different type of sensors can be used for digital air compressor control system.

Another component is the electric valve 4. These valves 4 follow the programmed command of the microprocessor 8 to either open or close to allow the air tank 3 to reach the preset pressure. These valves 4 can also release the pressure of the air in the tube from the pump 2 to tank 3. The valve 5 is similar to a gate. Most valves only have two functions: open or close. The air outlet control valve of the air outlet regulator 5 that will be controlled to open an amount determined by the microprocessor 8 and the amount can be varied incrementally. All valves are controlled by the microprocessor 8. Various electric valves can be used on the digital air compressor control system 100. The amount that the electric valves 4 are opened can be stored in the pressure preset circuit 9, and the microprocessor 8 can control the air outlet regulator 5 to open the valves by the amount set by the user. Electric current, power and gate size opening are user selected items.

FIG. 1 additionally illustrates the oil position sensor 14 which is connected to the oil tank 16 air pump 2 to detect the level of the oil in the air pump 2. The oil lubricates the mechanism. When the oil level drops below a predetermined level which is programmed in the microprocessor 8, the oil position sensor 14 sends a signal to the microprocessor 8 that the oil level has dropped below the predetermined level. The microprocessor 8 sends a signal to the alarm circuit 15 to activate the alarm circuit 15. The alarm circuit 15 may activate an audio alarm, a visual alarm or send an alarm to a remote location so that the low oil level in the oil tank 16 can be corrected.

FIG. 1 additionally illustrates that the pressure sensor 6 are connected to the LED display circuit 12 so that the signals from the pressure sensor 6 which correspond to the pressure can be displayed.

The microprocessor 8 can be positioned on to the PCB board and is connected with the subcomponents. The microprocessor 8 is shown on the FIG. 1 and FIG. 2. All of the components may be assembled in a box. The digital control system box may be then connected with the air tank 3, outlet tube and the second connected air tube is the air release tube. It will release air from the pump 2 to the air tank 3 through a one-way valve when the motor 1 is stopped. Power and motor power connection ports may be positioned on the back of the digital control system box. The power port may be connected with the power plug, and motor port will be connected with the motor 1. The control system box can be molded in the air compressor head cover. Another alternative embodiment of the present invention includes installing control box in the room as control center to control or adjuster outside air compressor tank pressure or air outlet. This achieves distance control.

Changes may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention. Plug in the power, and the display screen circuit 12 shows the tank pressure substantially immediately after the power has been turned on. Meantime, the pressure light of the display circuit 12 is on and the stop light of the display circuit 12 is on. Before you start the air compressor, press the set button; set light of the display circuit 12 turns on, pressure light turns off, and stop light turns on. The display screen 12 stays flash condition. Use a up or down button to input the predetermined kick out pressure of the tank 4. The flash condition last about 5 second and stop glitter. That tells the user that the set up has been completed. The set light turns off; pressure light turns on and stop light turns on at this time. Press on/off button, and the motor will start to work. Inflate light is turned on, pressure light turns on and stop light turns off. When the air tank 3 reaches the preset pressure, the motor 1 stops operating. At this time, the inflate light is off, the pressure light turns on and the stop light turns on. When air pressure goes down to the program number, the motor 4 starts to work again. All the lights and function go through the process again, until tank pressure reaches the preset number, then the motor 4 stops.

As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents