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Old 11-07-2016, 12:48   #1
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Solar Powered Refrigeration

I had no idea this was patentable. Are we all guilty of patent infringement???
Solar-Powered Refrigeration System | NASA
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Old 11-07-2016, 13:14   #2
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

It would appear so, I guess the patented part is the controller that allows it to work without batteries?
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Old 11-07-2016, 20:50   #3
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

Since that press release was dated 2011, I guess it hasn't exactly taken the world by storm lol.
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Old 11-07-2016, 23:48   #4
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

More a reflection on the decrepit nature of many of our once excellent nature public institutions than the innovative nature of the once great NASA. Danfoss have had the variable speed compressor on the market for years, eutectic systems using water based fluids have been around almost for ever and gee wiz, insulated boxes for refrigeration.


Has not the US patent office heard of prior art and what sort of morons do they have reviewing the details of the claims before they issue patents?
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:55   #5
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

The elimination of a battery can be easily done these days with super capacitors.
There are youtube videos of guys replacing the battery in their cars with super capacitors.
Granted, most of the cars are beaters, but the theory still holds.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...ce+car+battery
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Old 12-07-2016, 12:20   #6
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

These days the patent office doesn't review for prior art. That's up to your lawyer to do before you file or when you fight it out in court. I'm sure we've all heard the supposedly true story where an attorney asks "Isn't it true that if you die during the night, you won't know about it until you wake up in the morning" and the physician/witness replies "Did you actually graduate from law school?" After reading this patent, I suspect that attorney has gone into patent law.

The essence of a patent is the claims. I've included the claims here so you can read them yourself. As you read, keep in mind that if something already exists, then claiming it gets you nothing. So claim 1 claims a refrigerator with a solar panel and a compressor, and containing a phase change material located in the interior space. Have you ever left an ice cube in your refrigerator? That's a phase change material. So are those blue freezer packs. This has been done before, so this claim gets you nothing.

In my opinion, the rest of the claims are similarly weak. I don't think anything is actually protected with this patent, though by the end of the claims I was so bored I wasn't paying much attention. It's possible that he managed to sneak in some combination of the parts.

Don't worry about your sailboat fridge being taken away from you.

Quote:
What is claimed is:

1. A refrigeration system which comprises:

an enclosure having an interior space;

phase-change material situated in said interior space;

a photovoltaic panel configured to provide electrical power having a DC voltage; and

a compressor electrically connected to the photovoltaic panel to receive electrical power at said DC voltage, wherein the compressor is configured to circulate refrigerant through a first heat exchanger to cool the refrigerant, through a constriction configured to sustain a pressure drop, and through a second heat exchanger to extract heat from said interior space.

2. The refrigeration system of claim 1, further comprising:

a pump configured to circulate a fluid through the second heat exchanger to cool the fluid, and through a third heat exchanger to extract heat from the phase change material.

3. The refrigeration system of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the second heat exchanger is situated adjacent to the phase change material.

4. The refrigeration system of claim 1, wherein the phase-change material mass, when solidified, is sufficient to maintain the interior space of the enclosure substantially at a phase-change temperature for more than 36 hours.

5. The refrigeration system of claim 1, wherein the phase-change material comprises water.

6. The refrigeration system of claim 1, further comprising a capacitor coupled to the compressor to smooth variations in said DC voltage.

7. The refrigeration system of claim 6, wherein the compressor is a variable speed compressor, and wherein the refrigeration system further comprises a controller configured to monitor the DC voltage and to regulate the compressor speed to run the compressor at a substantially maximum available power.

8. The refrigeration system of claim 7, wherein the controller is configured to receive a temperature signal indicative of a temperature of the interior space of the enclosure, and wherein the controller is configured to halt the compressor if the temperature falls below a lower temperature limit.

9. The refrigeration system of claim 7, further comprising an alternate energy source, wherein the controller is configured to receive a temperature signal indicative of a temperature of the interior space of the enclosure, and wherein the controller is configured to enable the alternate energy source if the temperature rises above an upper temperature limit.

10. The refrigeration system of claim 7, wherein the controller is configured to calculate a voltage rate-of-change magnitude, wherein the controller is configured to increment the compressor speed when the voltage rate-of-change magnitude is below a predetermined threshold, and wherein the controller is configured to decrement the compressor speed when the voltage rate-of-change magnitude is above a predetermined threshold.

11. The refrigeration system of claim 1, wherein the compressor has a direct electrical connection to the photovoltaic panel.

12. The refrigeration system of claim 1, wherein the compressor is a DC powered, variable speed compressor, the output of which is responsive to an amount of received solar radiation.

13. A solar powered refrigeration apparatus, comprising:

a compressor;

a solar powered electrical power source electrically connected to said compressor;

a thermal energy storage device having communication with said compressor; and

control means, associated with said power source, for accumulating electrical power derived from said power source and for conducting accumulated electrical power, and continuous electrical power derived from said power source, to said compressor.

14. The solar powered refrigeration apparatus of claim 13, wherein the thermal energy storage device comprises a phase change material.

15. A solar powered refrigeration apparatus which comprises:

a compressor system;

a solar powered electrical power source electrically connected to said compressor system; and

a control means, associated with said solar power source, for accumulating electrical power derived from said solar power source, and for conducting accumulated electrical power and continuous power derived from said solar power source to said compressor system.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said control means includes a capacitive power storage means.

17. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said solar power source is directly electrically connected to said compressor system during start-up of said compressor system.

18. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said control means further comprises means for increasing a level of power applied to said compressor during start-up of said compressor by applying both continuous power and an increased level of accumulated power to said compressor.

19. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein said control means comprises means for repeatedly adjusting, by means of motor speed adjustments, a load associated with said motor to enable said motor to use substantially all of the available power.

20. A power control system for efficiently applying power received from a solar collector array to an electric motor, wherein the system comprises:

buffer circuitry connected to receive power from said solar collector array, the buffer circuitry including means for accumulating electrical power derived from said solar collector array;

speed control means associated with said electric motor; and

control circuitry associated with said buffer circuitry and said electric motor for repetitively monitoring the motor load and available power available from both said solar collector array and said buffer circuitry, and for adjusting said speed control means to cause said motor to utilize substantially all of the available power.
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Old 12-07-2016, 23:48   #7
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

I downloaded and started to read the patent and decided the claims were so nonsensical as to be a complete waste of time to read all.


Id NASA crazy or ignorant enough to actually attempt to defend this patent in a court of law?
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Old 13-07-2016, 13:24   #8
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

Agree.
They added a capacitor and got a new patent.

Whoopdedoo.
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Old 13-07-2016, 15:37   #9
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Re: Solar Powered Refrigeration

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I downloaded and started to read the patent and decided the claims were so nonsensical as to be a complete waste of time to read all.


Id NASA crazy or ignorant enough to actually attempt to defend this patent in a court of law?
Many governmental agencies give Bonuses to employees for filing patents...the USPTO is flooded with such pointless patents. So it costs the Tax Payers twice. First to hand out a "performance bonus" to the employee and then to pay the USPTO employee to waste his time on a bogus patent made for the sake of some money for the track.
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