Kairos Water, Inc. (Kennesaw, GA)
Consistent and small leaks often remain unnoticed in homes and can cause significant damages to the property or mold due to the fact that accessing different places in the house in which leaks could be found is difficult due to the constraints of visibility andreal time monitoring. The underside of a dishwasher is an example of such an area. Due to the limited access to the area and space restrictions it’s difficult to install numerous leak detection systems. Most leak detectorson the market are considered spot leak detectors and are limited in their ability to address consistent/intermittent small and slow leaks where the affected area is not widespread enough to have water come into contact with the leak sensors. The casings that house the circuitry for leak detection on spot detectors also affect their form factors. Their placement in these spot leak detection devices is a problem with appliances like dishwashers, ice makers, and refrigeration productsbecause it often requires extensive removal and installation. The strip sensor has an element of form that must be placed around a suspected leak zone. It can be unusable if the liquid cannot traverse at a speed that is the least resistance. There are also leak-sensing probes with the appearance of ropes and are able to be placed under certain suspected leak sources However, these sensors do not have the capability of detecting leaks of a smaller size that don’t accumulate into larger pools of water.
Water meters are available for commercial, residential or industrial usage. They’ve been on the market for a while. Meters differ also in the kind of technology used to gauge the water flow. Certain meters can be connected to internal networks, and others connect to external networks for information analysis and control. A lot of systems are controlled by proprietary software and communications methods. These meters aren’t cost-effective for consumers, and are usually placed by water utilities on the street where commercial or residential consumption data is monitored and then billed by them. Field workers check typical utility meters for consumption information about once per 60 days. Then the average is then calculated to bill according to the tiered rates. Utility meters that are standard are reliable and require little maintenance. They can lose their accuracy with time as they get older. They are sometimes calibrated, but they are seldom kept up to date for accuracy. They also can cause water contamination by allowing their internal components to deteriorate. Most of these meters aren’t connected to publicly available networksfor data analysis and end user control. Only 20% of street meters in the United States are considered network-connected meters. Most water utility providers have budgetary constraints which make the implementation of smart metering technology difficultand costly to set up.
Street meters usually do not provide other valuable information about the use and real time conditions of the water supply like temperatures and pressure. Many street meters also have a mechanical shut off valve that is built into the line that supplies water however it could be challenging to shut off without necessary equipment. Pressure regulators within a building’s structure are adjusted to control the pressure supplied by the water utility provider. The majority of pressure regulators aren’t remote monitored or controlled so it’s difficult to know when failure is occurring or is likely to happen. Water utilities aren’t equipped to effectively regulate and monitor water utilities, which can be expensive for both commercial and residential end users. The responsibility for losses and water damages remains the sole responsibility the customer if the sources of the damage or loss are in the water conduits after the street meters of utility. This can prove to be an expensive expense for homeowners, commercial property owners, and insurance firms.
In relation to water filtration, as per an UNICEF/World Health Organization report, some 2.1 billion people don’t have access to drinking water in their homes that is clean of bacterial contamination and accessible when required, which sets a baseline that the world will use to gauge progress toward sustainable development goals for drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. A majority of commercial and residential property owners rely on water filtration, in addition to the water treatment carried out by water utility treatment facilities. It is becoming increasingly difficult to assess the quality of water utilized by the end-users due to aging utilities infrastructure.
The ability to gauge the flow of water into the structure, along with its quality, timing and place of origin, aids in determining the time and place water intrusions or loss of water occur. A system that takes into account these components to measure water efficiency is likely to solve residential, commercial, and municipal concerns about the financial burdens of poor metering, inefficient infrastructure, or unreported water loss. The embodiments of the water control system embodiments that are described herein incorporate an ultrasonic water flow meter. In certain embodiments, data from the flow meter is transmitted via wireless transmitters with low power to a hub and gateway assembly. In these instances, flow meter data is compressed for compatibility with a low bandwidth signal. The flow pattern may be utilized to detect slow leaks, as well as to identify fixtures and appliances that use water, and also backflow scenarios. The leak sensor innovations described herein can detect local water intrusion. They can detect leaks from both the plumbed water sources, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and condensing dryers. Pressure sensors and temperature sensors are employed to gauge the quality of the water that enters into a structure. Water that is frozen could damage pipes, and pressure that is rising or declining can indicate other issues. By adding water filtration, the solution is capable detecting and removing harmful contaminants that not only negatively impact human beings, but can also result in damage to appliances which mayresult in leaks. Embodiments of the water control system have a micro-turbine that recharges on-board batteries allowing for autonomous operation without the need for an external power supply. The water control system includes a low-power wireless transmitter that can transmit and receive flow data. This ensures the compatibility of the narrow bandwidth signal.
A battery-operated wireless long-range fluid control system is described comprising an ultrasonic flow meter as well as a pressure sensor for fluids, temperature sensor, servomotor to control valves automatically, water quality and filtration analyticssystem, with an electromagnetic hydro turbine that harvests energy to charge the onboard high voltage battery bank. The control system wirelessly monitors a variety of fluid leak detectors, equipped with wireless mesh capabilities that are used to locallyand remotely monitor areas that could be susceptible to leaks of fluid. Leaks can also be identified with the ultrasonic flowmeter which is capable of monitoring very little amounts of loss of fluid that will not necessarily cause any physical leaks in the property, but rather water loss through the fixtures like toilet bowls, faucets, and shower heads. The pressure sensor can detect potential leakages for exterior or interior pipes for water supply. The temperature probe has been included in the system to determine when freezing conditions are likely. This permits for automated and preprogrammed actions to prevent pipe bursts within the building. The system is also comprised of a membrane leak detection sensor that uses a set of electrically-conductive strips arranged in a pattern on one side of a two-sided thin filmnonabsorbent membrane that is used to detect the unwanted presence of fluids. Fluid detection triggers automated response protocols to warn users of structural leaks. The thin film adhesive membrane consists of strategically-placedperforations to allow liquids to travel from the nonconductive side of the membrane to the opposite side via natural fluid dynamics and capillary action with as little as 1 ml of liquid.
The electrical strips on the conductive surface of the thin film membrane are connected to a leak sensing device that detects when electrical flow flows through the conduit of liquid. This closes and completes an normally openelectrical circuit in the event of triggers. This information is then processed by the water control system and various triggers and responses are initiated and signals are wirelessly and bidirectionally transmitted using various radio transmissionprotocols and streams to a gateway and cloud server which can then be translated into actionable data for the end user of the system. Trigger alerts can be heard and visual in nature and can be communicated to users in the local area via the output and input of the physical sensor. Liquid detection sensors are located on the output and input sensing device as electrical probe contacts. This permits the expansion of the leak detection zone and the detection of leaks within the sensor. The electrical conduit is used to separate the leak detection zones from the leak sensor membrane. The leak detection events are processed, and sent to the network layer on the smart building device. The application layer alerts remote users about the whereabouts of the trigger event. The leak sensor might or might not possess sensors for motion or temperature within the housing of the sensor. A leak sensor could inform the owner of the existence of the leak. It also can send a wireless command to a valve controller to regulate the flow of water around the site of the leak.Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.
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Patents are granted by the government to protect the idea. It gives the inventor the rights to develop, use and market the invention. Society gains when new technology is introduced to the market. The benefits can be directly realized as people are able to accomplish feats previously unattainable, or indirectly through the economic benefits which innovation can bring (business growth, jobs).
Patent protection is demanded by many pharmaceutical companies and university researchers for their research and development. A patent can cover an abstract or physical product or process, or a method or composition of materials that are new to the field. Patent protection is granted to any invention that is valuable or novel and is not already known by others in the same area.
Patents recognize and reward inventors for their commercially successful inventions. They provide a reason for inventors to create. Patents permit entrepreneurs and inventors to know that there is the possibility that they’ll receive a return for their efforts, time, and money invested in the development of technology. It means that they can make a living by their work.
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There are a variety of patents, and understanding these is vital to safeguard your invention. Patents for utility are used to protect the development of new methods and machines. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the best as they protect the owner from copycats and other competition. Most often the utility patent is issued for alterations or improvements to existing inventions. They can also be used to improve or alter existing inventions. For instance, a process patent will be able to cover actions or methods of performing a specific act, whereas a chemical composition will include an assortment of components.
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How to Search for Patents
Patent searches are the initial step to getting your patent. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Once the patent application is filed, the product that is covered by the patent application could be referred to as patent-pending and you will be able to locate the patent application online on the public pair. After the patent office approves your application, you will be able do a patent number search to locate the issued patent. The product you are selling will become patented. You can also use the USPTO search engine. Read on for more details. Patent lawyers or a patent attorney can advise you on the process. In the US Patents are granted through the US patent and trademark office or the United States patent and trademark office, which also examines trademark applications.
Are you interested in finding similar patents? These are the steps you should follow:
1. Create a list of terms for your invention according to its function and composition or use.
Begin by writing down a concise, precise description of your invention. Be sure to avoid using terms that are generic such as “device,” “process,” and “system.” Instead, look for synonyms for the terms you chose initially. Next, note important technical terms and keywords.
To help you find terms and keywords, you can use the questions below.
- What’s the goal of the invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
- Is the invention a way of making something or performing some function? Is it a product or process?
- What is the structure of the invention? What is the physical composition?
- What is the purpose of the invention?
- What are the terms in the technical field and keywords used to describe an invention’s nature? A technical dictionary can assist you to locate the right terms.
2. These terms enable you to search for relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications on the Classification Search Tool. If you’re not able to determine the correct classification for your invention, look through the class Schemas (class schedules). If you do not get results from the Classification Text Search, you might consider substituting your words for describing your invention using synonyms.
3. Examine the CPC Classification Definition to verify the accuracy of the CPC classification that you have found. If the chosen classification includes a blue square with the letter “D” on its left, clicking on the link will lead you to a CPC classification description. CPC classification definitions will assist you in determining the classification’s scope, so you can choose the most relevant. They may also provide research tips or other suggestions that can be useful for further investigation.
4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to search for patent documents that have the CPC classification. By focusing your search on abstracts and representative drawings you can narrow your search to the relevant patent documents.
5. Take advantage of this list of most pertinent patent documents to examine each in detail for similarities to your own invention. Pay close attention to the specifications and claims. Refer to the applicant and patent examiner for additional patents.
6. You can retrieve patent applications that have been published that meet the CPC classification you selected in Step 3. It is possible to use the same method of search in Step 4 to narrow your results down to the most relevant patent applications through the abstract as well as the illustrations on every page. Then, you must carefully review the patent applications published with particular attention paid to the claims as well as additional drawings.
7. You can search for additional US patent publications using keyword searching in AppFT or PatFT databases, as well as search for patents classified as that aren’t from the United States as in the following table. You can also make use of search engines on the internet to search non-patent documents that describe inventions in the literature. For example:
- Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
- Search for foreign patents using the CPC classification. Then, re-run the search using international patent office search engines such as Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s worldwide patent publication database of over 130 million patent publications. Other national databases include:
- European Patent Office (EPO) provides esp@cenet to access a network of Europe’s patent databases with access to machine translation of European patents.
- Japan Patent Office (JPO) – with access to machine translations of Japanese patents.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) offers PATENTSCOPE with a full-text search of published international patent applications and machine translations for some documents, as well as a list of international patent databases.
- Korean Intellectual Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
- State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) with machine translation of Chinese patents.
- Other International Intellectual Property Offices with online patent databases include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
- Search non-patent literature. Inventions can be made public in many non-patent publications. It is recommended that you search journals, books, websites, technical catalogs, conference proceedings, and other print and electronic publications.
To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.