The assignee for this patent, patent number 8653763, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a fan and in particular to a bathroom ventilator with a soft-start, low noise, power-saving and waterproof functions.
"The bathroom is usually equipped with the bathroom ventilator. When the user turns on the switch, the bathroom ventilator starts to generate airflows in the bathroom and thus carry the bad smell or moisture out.
"However, the conventional bathroom ventilator does not have the soft-start function. Thus, once the bathroom ventilator is switched on, it will rotate at full speed within a very short time. In this case, the user can obviously hear the noise caused by the bathroom ventilator. If the noise raising rate of the bathroom ventilator reaches about 10 dB per second, the noise will make the user feel uncomfortable.
"In addition, to switch on the bathroom ventilator from still state to full speed state requires a very large start-up current. Thus, the inrush current, voltage spike or spike noise may occur in the starting moment when switching on the bathroom ventilator. Moreover, the arc (electric arc phenomenon) may be generated to damage the bathroom ventilator.
"Please refer to FIG. 7 which shows the conventional bathroom ventilator. The conventional bathroom ventilator is composed of a grille 10, a frame 11, an impeller 12, an AC motor 14 and a housing 15. The impeller 12 is driven by the AC motor 14. Because the conventional bathroom ventilator does not have any waterproof mechanism, the motor and its coil will be directly contaminated by dust or water to cause the dangerous voltage so that the product reliability and safety will be greatly reduced. Furthermore, the electric power for driving the conventional bathroom ventilator is usually provided by the utility power system. However, the utility power system provides the AC power supply so that the ventilator using AC motor powered by the AC power supply usually consumes relatively more energy, which leads to larger power consumption.
"In addition, the impeller 12 has a base plate 12a, a hub 12b disposed on the base plate 12a, several blades 12c disposed on the base plate 12a, and a ring 12d connecting the top portions of the blades 12c. However, due to the small number of blades, the performance of air intake will be affected and the noise of airflow is loud. The noise mainly comes from the electrical noise of motor, vibration and airflow, wherein the noise of airflow is the major source."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In view of the foregoing, the present invention is to provide a ventilator with the soft-start function that can reduce the noise and prevent the inrush current, voltage spike or spike noise, thereby increasing the product reliability, extending the life time of the product and reducing the power consumption. The ventilator also has low-noise, power-saving and waterproof functions.
"To achieve the above object, the present invention discloses a ventilator including a base, a drive device disposed on the base, an impeller coupled to the drive device and driven by the drive device, and a cover assembled with the base to define a closed area between the cover and the base for receiving a first circuit board therein, wherein when an AC power source is input to the first circuit board to be converted, a DC power source is output to drive the drive device.
"The ventilator further includes a housing for receiving the impeller therein, wherein the base is disposed in the housing, and risen toward an inside of the housing to form an accommodation space.
"In addition, the ventilator further includes a duct connector assembled with the housing, and a baffle disposed in the duct connector, wherein the baffle is opened by the airflow generated from the impeller when the impeller is driven and rotated by the drive device, and the baffle is closed by gravity when the impeller stops to rotate.
"Further, the ventilator further includes an axial tube having an end passing through the base and into the accommodation space, wherein at least one bearing is disposed in the axial tube, and a second circuit board telescoped onto the end of the axial tube and disposed in the accommodation space.
"Preferably, the second circuit board is a DC drive circuit board and the first circuit board includes an AC/DC converter. The AC/DC converter includes two diodes to prevent a reverse current, a voltage-drop module for outputting the DC power source to the drive device, and a rectification module coupled to the voltage-drop module for receiving the AC power source.
"The rectification module includes an AC filter and a bridge rectification circuit, the AC filter receives the AC power source and filters a low-band frequency portion of the AC power source away, and the bridge rectification circuit is coupled to the AC filter and the voltage-drop module for converting the AC power source into the DC power source to be transmitted to the voltage-drop module.
"The voltage-drop module includes a transformer coupled to the rectification module for decreasing the DC power source to a work voltage, a switch electrically connected to the transformer for outputting the stabilized work voltage, a coupler coupled to the transformer for retrieving a feedback signal from the transformer and outputting a coupling signal, a controller electrically connected to the switch and the coupler for outputting a control signal to the switch according to the coupling signal, and a DC filter coupled to the transformer and the control device for receiving the stabilized work voltage and filtering a high-band frequency portion of the stabilized work voltage.
"The first circuit board further includes a control module electrically connected to the AC/DC converter and the drive device, wherein the control module comprises a converter, a Hall element and a micro control unit (MCU), the converter is coupled to the DC filter for decreasing the work voltage, the decreased work voltage is used as a power source for the Hall element and the MCU. The MCU is coupled to the drive device for generating a soft-start signal to drive and control a rotation speed of the drive device. The Hall element is coupled to the MCU for sensing a variation of a magnetic field of the drive device so as to output a feedback signal to the MCU, and the MCU controls the drive device according to the feedback signal.
"Preferably, the first and second circuit boards are integrated in the same circuit board and disposed in the closed area formed between the base and the cover.
"The impeller comprises a hub, a base plate coupled to the hub, a first blade set disposed around the hub and on the base plate, and a first annular part disposed at an outer lateral edge of each blade of the first blade set.
"Preferably, the impeller further includes a second blade set disposed around the hub, the first and second blade sets are coupled with each other by a second annular part, and the first blade set has a plurality of blades arranged with those of the second blade set in an alternate or symmetrical manner. The base plate is coupled to the hub through an inclined part with an oblique or curved plane.
"Preferably, a ratio of a height of the hub to that of the impeller is ranged between 0.3 and 0.55.
"Preferably, a ratio of a height of the impeller to a diameter of the impeller is ranged between 0.8 and 0.9.
"Preferably, a blade number of the impeller is greater than 60.
"To achieve the above object, the present invention discloses a ventilator including a housing, a base disposed in the housing, and an impeller mounted on the base and comprising a hub, wherein a ratio of a height of the hub to that of the impeller is ranged between 0.3 and 0.55.
"To achieve the above object, the present invention discloses a ventilator including a housing, a base disposed in the housing, and an impeller mounted on the base, wherein a ratio of a height of the impeller to a diameter of the impeller is ranged between 0.8 and 0.9.
"As mentioned above, the ventilator of the present invention drives and controls the rotation speed of the motor according to the soft-start signal so that the rotation speed of the bathroom ventilator can be increased slowly to the target rotation speed. Compared with the prior art, the present invention can reduce the noise and prevent the inrush current, voltage spike or spike noise, thereby increasing the product reliability and extending the life time of the product."
For more information, see this patent: Lin, Chih-Hua; Chen, Yan-Lin; Liu, Te-Chung; Hsu, Shih-Tzung; Kuo, Pei-Chang. Ventilator and Its Impeller. U.S. Patent Number 8653763, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Circuit Board,
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