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NW 129 19%. G. E. ET AL ELECTROLYTIC TYPE OF PERIODIC CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER Filed Feb. 1, 1946 3 Sheets~$heet l f‘ ATTORNEV NOV- 12, 194%- G. E. FREDERICKS ET AL gpmi?gg ELECTROLYTIC TYPE OF PERIODIC‘CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER Filed Feb. 1, 1.946 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR 8. ‘A'rraR/wfx E29 119%. G. E. FREDEFMCKS ET AL ELECTROLYTIC TYPE OF PERIODIC ~CIRCUIT INTERRUPTER Filed Feb. 1, 1946 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 r78 ./03 .9 A2 ' A ' /A o T’ 9/ i T ———r- e 92 ' NVENTO U’ 75mg“_ . *0a $4., 41 ATTORNEY, Patented Nov.vl2, 1946 7 2,411,089 UNITED- STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,411,089 ELECTROLYTIC TYPE OF PERIODIC UIRCUIT INTERRUPTER George E. Fredericks, Bethayres, and Jens Si vertsen, Philadelphia, Pa., assignors to George E. Fredericks (30., Bethayres, -Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Application February 1, 1946, Serial No‘. 644,878 10 Claims.v (Cl. 1'75—320) Z In industrial applications, it is often desirable the time interval of the cycle is utilized to time any desired operation. With the foregoing and many other objects in for an operation to continue for a limited time and then stop. in some cases, it is desirable to have a manual control to start the operation, and, in other cases, it is desirable to have the opera view as will hereinafter more ‘clearly appear our invention comprehends a novel method of inte grating, a novel method of timing, and a novel tion automatically restarting, the latter being usually de?ned as an automatic recycling. electrolytic integrator and timer. The method and apparatus herein disclosed is For the purpose of illustrating the invention, suitable for both types of operations. This does we have shown in the accompanying drawings not hold true of thermal types of time delayed‘ 10 preferred embodiments of it which we have found relays which are not well suited for immediate in practice to give satisfactory and-reliable re recycling. sults. It is, however, to be understood that the A further advantage in the present method is various instrumentalities of which the invention that a linear scale can be obtained which is of consists can be variously arranged and organized major interest in many automatic applications and the invention is not limited to the exact ar where only a small power can be used and pare rangement and organization'of these instrumen ticularly in vacuum powered circuits. talities as herein set forth. 7 The accuracy obtainable is excellent due'to the Figure l is a sectional elevation of an electro fact that the system is based on a simple natural lytic integrator and timer and illustrative of one law, and the parts can be readily manufactured 20 manner of practicing the invention. The elec to desired tolerances. Where even higher ac trolytic levels show the beginning of a cycle. curacy is required, individual adjustments can be Figure 2 is a sectional elevation similar to Fig readily made due to the linear scale calibration. ure 1 but showing the electrolytic levels as at The instrument is primarily an integrator. the end of the cycle. For example, if We have a varying voltage E, we Figure _3 is a bottom plan view of Figure 1, will have at all times a current showing the electrodes and ?laments diagram matically with the pin connections. E ' Figure 4 is a wiring diagram. Figure 5 is a sectional elevation of another I 5 —R where R is the resistance of the circuit. instrument will sum up the value embodiment of the invention in which mercury The is used with the electrolyte for contact purposes. - Figure 6 is a sectional elevation of another em bodiment of the invention which is similar to that of Figures 1 and 2 except that the cham K is constant, while T may vary from one cycle to another. After K has been obtained, the proc ess may be automatically restarted, or is auto 35 bers are of a di?erent physical form. Figure 7 is a section on line 1-1 of Figure 2. Figures 8 and 9 are electrical circuit ‘diagrams for timing and integrating operations. matically interrupted and restarted manually. ' If instead of the voltage varying, the current 40 Figure 10 is a graph showing integration. Similar numerals of reference indicate corre varies, we obtain a voltage drop IiT by passing sponding parts. the current over a resistor rand thereby obtain Referring to the, drawings: For the purpose of explaining the principle of If the current is small enough, we can use it 45 the invention, we will ?rst consider Figure 6 in which a tube l is in the form of a U tube having directly in the circuit without any drop resistor r, in its short leg 2 electrodes 3 and, 4. The short or, if either the current or the voltage is too small, leg 2 is nearly closedv at its upper end by a stric we can use an ampli?er tube to obtain the proper ture 5 and a tube 6 leads therefrom into the value. In this manner, the instrument can be upper end of a long leg 1 of the tube, thereby used as an integrator or timer in many auto» matic controlling devices. _ I In carrying out the invention in practice, an electric current is passed through an electrolyte 50 forming intercorrlmunicating chambers, it being understood that the receptacle formed by the tube 1 may have many different forms. The tube i is ?lled with an electrolyte 8 which may be a to convert a portlon'of it into its component gases, the gases are exploded to complete a cycle and 55 weak solution of sulfuric acid or other suitable acid or base. A heater 9 is within the tube I 3 2,411,089 and as shown in the leg 2 above the electrodes 3 and Q, and a heater I0 is preferably employed in the leg ‘l above the electrolyte. In the electric circuit in Figure 6, the current passes from a source of electric supply by a lead it through a variable resistance !2 to the elec trode i, electrode 3 and by line i3 to lead iii. 4 has prongs a, b, c, d, e, ,f, and g and h. Prongs a and b are in the heater line H; h and g in heater line 573; and d and f in the electrode line. 54 is the electrolyte. In the diagram, Fig. 4, current passes by line 22 to the primary of a transformer ‘55 and from a selected tap 56 of the primary to the plates or anodes of a recti?er tube 51, and by line 58 from the secondary to the heater of‘ tube 51. The leads and heaters $3 and Iii.v The heater line is 10 recti?ed current passes by line 59 to the elec preferably provided with a ?xed resistance IT. A small current is passed between the‘ elec trodes and by line 60 and rheostat 6! to line 52. The gases formed from the electrolyte cause the trodes 3 and ti, which, if we use sulfuric acid as an electrolyte, causes a small amount of oxygen level of the electrolyte to lower and open the circuit through the electrodes. When this elec and hydrogen at theelectrodes. The gases rise and are trapped below the stricture 5. Enough trode current is broken, the current through the relay coil ‘53R increases to energize the relay of the electrolyte adheres to the top Wall of the chamber to completely close the stricture by and '63 gives contact for a current to pass by capillary action. The trapped gases create a lines 22 and E5, lighting a lamp 66, to relay 63, pressure above the electrolyte forcing the liquid line 61 and line 62. The lighting of the lamp level downwardly, thereby opening the electrode indicates that the instrument is ready for re , cycling. To repeat the cycle, the operator closes circuit. The voltage across the electrodes is small, two to eight volts depending on the elec a momentary push button switch 88 and current A relay IS in a heater line it is connected to the trolyte used. Ee=E—IR, where I is the electrode current and R the resistance of that part of re sistor 52 in series with the electrodes. The'voltage across the relay coil has therefore been kept low passes by line 69 through the heaters, return ing by lines it] and 59 to the secondary.‘ If the contacts of switch 68 had been arranged on the relay, recycling would have automatically oc curred. In Figure 8 a circuit diagram is shown for due to the drop IR, and this voltage has been insu?‘icient to deliver enough current to the relay coil R15 to energize it. When the electrolytic utilizing the instrument as an integrator with current ceases, the relay receives suf?cient power 30 the embodiment seen in Figures 1 and 2. ‘I2 to attract its armature. . is a transformer to obtain correct ?lament voltage The current now passes through heaters 9 and i0, and the gases are exploded. The space for a recti?er tube 13. The circuit whereby a recti?ed pulsating D. 0. current is obtained from previously occupied by the gases is reoccupied the A. 0. supply is conventional and similar to by the electrolyte. The relay automatically re 03 Cl that already described.- By means of condensers cycles'the instrument. l3 and M and resistors 15 and‘lB we obtain from During the explosion, a rather high pressure point 77 to 18 across 16 a partly smoothed D. C. obtains in the gas chamber which but for the voltage and get a current from ‘H across resistor stricture might force some of the mixture which ‘wand part of 80 a current which in 80 is divided is unexploded down through the liquid. The 40. into two parts, namely, I which is the electrolysis stricture opens under this high pressure and current to anode Ill and cathode 48 and to 18; and allows this gas to escape through the stricture a small current 2‘ which is continuous through all into the upper chamber in which the water vapor of resistor 80 and relay coil 8| to 18. The voltage and gas mixture separate slowly. ‘ required across the electrodes 41 to 48 is a nearly By the next time the heating of the ?lament constant voltage, not dependent on current. If we occurs, we may get a slight explosion of these wish to evaluatethe path in ohms, we have, may escape gases around the ?lament Ill.‘ This ex be, four volts and a current of 20 ma., i. e. the plosion, however, is almost imperceivable and is path represents 200 ohms. The relay coil 8| may have a resistance of 10,000 ohms. The current i rarely seen ‘due to the fact that almost all of the gases are exploded in the short leg of the tube. 50 will therefore be only 4/1o,ooo A. which is entirely insu?icient to energize the relay. The electrode In the embodiment seen in Figure 5, the tube, electrodes and heaters are the same as in Figure current will depend on the position ~of an arm 83 6, the vmain difference being that mercury 18 is used with the electrolyte to control contacts It and 20 for the relay 2!, whereas in Figure 6 an electromagnetic relay is used. The electrolytic circuit and the heater circuit will therefore be clear without detailed description. In Figures 1 to 4. and '7, the integrator and which moves a pointer 84 to di?erent ‘positions ' on 80. _The current can therefore be varied be tween a maximum value which we have when the pointer is near 79 and a minimum value determined by the limit of the stroke of the arm 83. The arm 83 is energized by any instrument, ' recorder or motor affected by the quantity we timer has been shown in a di?erent form but 60 want to integrate, for example, a liquid ?ow, a gas ?ow, or a gas or liquid pressure that varies. embodying the same principles as in Fig. 6. An outer tube M is sealed at its upper end by a cap If it is an electric ?ow, we can use a simpler arrangement as previously explained. The cur 42. An inner, open ended tube 43 has a stricture 4% and is connected at three points 65 with the rent will be directly‘ inversely proportional to the wall of the outer tube to be suspended within it, 65 sum part of the resistors 80 and 19 in series with see Fig. 10. Within, spaced from and sealed with the electrodes 657 and 48. the outer tube is a‘ press d6 supporting spaced When the electrode current is broken by the liquid level as previously explained, the voltage electrodes ill and. t8 embedded in insulating material except at their upper ends which ex drop in resistors '59 and 80 disappears, and the tend into the lower chamber of the inner tube small current 2' increases to a value su?cient to £53. A heater 69 is positioned in the lower cham- ‘ energize the relay. This may be 1, 2, 5 or 10 ma. ber above the electrodes and its line is in the dependent on the characteristic and quality of re press. A heater 50 having a line M is in the upper lay selecteddependent on the accuracy required. chamber of tube éil . The tube structure is sealed in a base 52 of insulating material. The base 75 When the relay is energized, two things will happen: - . ' ' 2,411,089 5 A. A current willpass from 85 over the relay b. Move'the liquid and thereby make a new contacts 86 and 81' through the electric counter contact, see l9 and 20, Figure 5. Mer coil 88 and to 18 which is minus. The counter cury is used but is not absolutely neces 89 will move ahead one number. sary. ' B. A current will pass from 1 l3 which is one 5 c. Inflate a bellows or other elastic bag, 4 side of the winding of the ?lament transformer which is used directly to make or break over the relay contacts 86, 81, through the ?la a contact or both make and break a ments 49 and v5!! and back to the other side 99 of contact, see Figs. 7, 8 and 9. the ?lament Winding. 4. When the gas pressure has created the new The gas mixture explodes as previously ex ‘ electrical conditions. these can be utilized plained, recycling the process which starts over to: ‘ again while one unit has been counted by the a. Perform what we want done at the end electric counter. One unit is equal to one product ‘ of the cycle and signal that the cycle of ?ow and time, i. e., volume or whatever else has been completed-see the lamp 66, was integrated. Figure 4. Instead of the lamp any Figure 10 shows adiagram of the integration. other controls too numerous to men From 0 to 91 is one integration which resulted in tion could be performed by the same the counter stepping ahead one number; and contacts or parallel ones, The signal from 91 to 92 is the next integration and the shows that the apparatus is ready for counter steps ahead an additional number. recycling by using the momentary The time T1 is not equal to the time T2, how switch 68 for the ?laments, or ?lament. ever, the ?ow was in average higher during the b. Perform what is to be done at the end of time T2 than T1, but the area A1 is the same-as the cycle and. light the filaments. This the area A2. This is proven by Faraday’s law of would happen if the contacts of switch electrolysis. . 58 had been mounted on the relay, and Figure '9 shows another application of our in energized by the same. tegrator. We assume that an instrument meas 5. When the gas explodes it is 'reconverted into ures a certain quantity and puts out a D. C. volt its original electrolyte and we have returned age proportional to said quantity. This may be to the starting condition. the ampli?ed output from a thermocouple, an 30 It has been found that direct sunlight and electrical bridge arrangement, a speedometer or other strong light has a tendency to slow down anything. If the voltage is not D. C. but A. C., the condensation of water vapor, The result of we rectify the Voltage and introduce it to our in this is that after a number of cycles it may take strument over the points 93 and 9d, polarized plus a second or two from the lighting of the ?la at 93 and minus at 99. ment to the explosion of the gas. The apparatus We will assume that the voltage is weak and should therefore preferably be mounted in a box does not pass enough power to energize a relay. The electrolysis current passes from 93 over re sistor 95 to ‘the anode ill, cathode 48 and by line or container where it is protected from direct sun rays. ‘ In Figures 1 to 4, the instrument has been ar- ' 96 back to 94 which is the negative side of the 40 ranged with contacts and is adapted to be plugged input. By means of the lines 91 and 99 and the into a standard radio tube socket. This has been resistor 95, a negative bias will be placed on the found to be a practical arrangement. grid 99 of the triode 199 relative to the cathode When the instrument is used as a timer, we 48 which will prevent any current flow in the must assume it is to be connected to a constant anode l0! cathode path of the tube. _ When the electrolysis current is broken, how ever, by the action of the integrator, the voltage voltage source or derives its current from a con stant current source. The sample diagram of Fig. a shows the apparatus deriving its power drop across 95 will disappear. The grid 99 will from an ordinary 60 cycle A. C. line. By means of get the same potential as the cathode 592. This will allow a current to pass from one side 699 of, 50 the tap switch 59 and the potentiometer 6i used as a rheostat for the electrolysis current the lat our supply through the counter winding Hi4, re ter can be in?nitely varied within its limits. The lay coil I05, plate l?l, cathode E92 and conductor timing can therefore be accurately set and will I06 back to the other side l9? of the supply. accurately repeat. If the current source is 115 The counter H18 will register one unit, the re lay is energized and a current passes from one 55 volts A. C. and varies between 110 volts and 120 volts, i. e., plus or minus 5 volts, the timing will side of the ?lament supply I99, relay contacts 1 l9 be accurate better than plus or minus 5%. A. and HI, ?laments 49 and 50 and back to the ' thermal type relay where the timing is inversely other side I 12 of the ?lament winding. ‘The gases proportional to the square of the voltage would explode, restart the cycle. A graph of the inte give an error of plus or minus 10% for the same 60 gration may be exactly as previously explained in ‘ ?uctuations, but generally is even much worse connection with Figure 10. . due to temperature build up and is often plus It will be apparent from the foregoing that the or minus 50%. i gist of this invention is: If higher accuracy is desired we can use either 1. Passing an electric current through'an electro_ lyte thereby obtaining gases. 2. These gases are trapped in a container and create a gas pressure, . 3. This gas pressure is utilized to do av certain Y amount of work as: 70 a. Change the liquid level so that one of the a. Utilize a more accurate supply voltage, or b. The resistor H in Figure 4 may be a compen ‘ sating resistor which will counteract voltage ?uctuations. This is most readily obtain able by using an ordinary light bulb which has a very steep current characteristic, as to resistance. electrodes is out of the electrolyte to If we desire to consider the errors inherent in create conditions for other electrical the instrument, we ?nd only what can be caused means to come into play, for example by room temperature. This error is inherent in the .relay in Figures 1, 2 and 6. 76 all types of accurate instruments. Where ex 2,411,089 ? . Y treme accuracy is required or where extreme tem peratures must be met, or both, compensation but opening for higher pressures created by the explosion of said gases of decomposition. 2. In an electrolytic integrator, a receptacle containing an electrolyte and having a gas trap ping chamber in free communication at its lower end with saidlelectrolyte, the upper end of said chamber being closed except for a restricted pas to ?ll up the volume. To compensate for this, sage opening therefrom, electrical means to de we can use the resistor ‘H of a temperature co compose said electrolyte, and means to ignite the efficient and value which will increase the cur rent correspondingly and thereby retain the time 10 gases of decomposition when their product of vol~ must be made. If we assume that the volume of the gas cham ber increases with an increase in temperature, we need more of a product, current times time T substantially the same as for some other tem ume and‘ pressure reaches a predetermined amount, and said passage being closed under nor mal pressures in said chamber but opening for During the research on this instrument, many higher pressures created by the explosion of the types of electrolyte were found to give satisfac-j tory results. A weak solution of sulfuric acid was 15 gases of decomposition. 3. In ‘an electrolytic timer, a receptacle con found to have better overall characteristics. Used taining an electrolyte and having a gas trapping with- D. C., the hydrogen is developed at the. chamber in free communication at its lower end cathode and oxygen at the anode and the gas with said electrolyte, the upper end of said chain? . trapped is two parts hydrogen and one part oxy gen. If we use hydrochloric acid we obtain hy 20 ber being closed except,for a restricted passage open'to said receptacle, electrical means to de drogen and chlorine which recombines to form compose said electrolyte, and means to ignite the hydrochloric acid. A number of bases can also gases of decomposition and explode them when be used. NaOH has given excellent results. _ their product of volume and pressure reaches a ' We have found that we can dispense with the ?laments or heaters if desired. Referring to Fig 25 predetermined amount, and said passage being closed under normal pressure in said chamber but ures 2 and 6, we have found that if we use a high opening for higher pressures created by the ex supply voltage for the electrolytic current in plosion of said gases of decomposition. series with a resistor of several thousand ohms 4. In an electrolytic integrator, a receptacle ‘and after the liquid level drops below the top electrode, we will get a current along the ?lm of 30 containing an electrolyte and having a gas trap electrolyte ‘along the glass. This current path ping chamber in communication at its lower end with the electrolyte, the upper end of said cham is of such high resistance that the gas mixture ber being closed except for a restricted passage will heat up su?icient to explode. This action is opening therefrom, and an electric circuit having not at present as reliable as the ?laments and de pends more on_the electrolyte, and is better the 35 electrodes extending into the receptacle to de- compose the electrolyte into explosive gases, there higher the resistance'the electrolyte has and the by changing the level of said electrolyte and the manner it wets the glass and electrodes. resistance in said circuit, and means to ignite In selecting the electrolyte, it is important that perature. we have a combination where the electrodes will ' said gases, the time of ignition of said gases being not be attacked. .Platinum electrodes have given 40 controlled by said change in resistance. 5. In an electrolytic timer, a, receptacle 'con excellent results, and only the small part directly - in contact with the electrolyte needs to be made of this material. The system will work using D. C. or A. C. Using A. 0., however, both hydrogen and oxygen are developed at the same electrode. This reduces the e?‘lciency due to the oxygen developing a small‘ ?lm of platinum oxid which acts as an ‘ taining an electrolyte, electrodes and their circuit to decompose said electrolyte, said electrodes ex tending into the receptacle in spaced relation ship, means to ignite the gases of decomposition, and means to utilize change in apparent resistance between said electrodes to control said igniting means. 6. The construction speci?ed in claim 5 having We have obtained the most reliable operation 50 auxiliary means to ignite gases‘ exterior of said chamber which may not have been ignited by said with D. C. or~recti?ed A. C. as shown in Figure 6. ?rst igniting means. > In our‘ research up to the present time where electrolytic condenser. continuous recycling is employed, the embodi 7. In an electrolytic device for integrating a — product of electric current and time, a, receptacle 55 containing an electrolyte and having a gas trap other embodiments herein disclosed. ping chamber in free communication with said Insofar as we are aware we are the ?rst in the electrolyte and having a restricted passage open art to integrate and time in the manner herein‘ ing from said chamber, an electrical circuit to set forth, and we therefore desire our claims to decompose the electrolyte and having electrodes such features-to receive the broad and generic interpretation to which pioneers in the art are 60 extending into said receptacle, ignition means to ignite the gases of decomposition, and an ignition entitled. . control circuit having a thermionic valve and Having thus described our invention, what we means to utilize the change in current or voltage claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Pat between said electrodes to vary the grid voltage entis: . 1. In an electrolytic timer, a receptacle contain 65 in said valve to change its plate-cathode current to effect control of ignition. ing an electrolyte and having a gas trapping 8. In an electrolytic integrator, a receptacle chamber in free communication at its lower end containing an electrolyte and having a gas trap with said electrolyte, the upper end of said cham ping chamber in free communication with said ber being closed except for a restricted passage opening therefrom, electrical means to decom 70 electrolyte, the upper end of said chamber beingr closed except for a restricted passage open to-said pose said electrolyte, and means to ignite the receptacle, means to use a current to beHinte gases of decomposition and explode them when grated to decompose said electrolyte, and means their product of volume and pressure reaches a to ignite and explode the gases of decomposition predetermined amount, and said passage being closed under normal pressure in said chamber 75 when they reach apredetennined amount, said ment in Figure 5 has not been as reliable as the 2,411,089 a 9 ' _ 10 _ passage being closed under normal pressure in said chamber but opening under explosive pressure for composition, means to ignite and explode said gases in said ?rst chamber when they reach a escape of unignited gases. predetermined amount, thereby opening said was ‘ 9. The construction speci?ed in claim 8, having ‘ sage by explosive pressure to permit unignited in addition means to ignite the unignited gases CI gases to pass into said second chamber, said pas which escaped through said passage. sage being closed under normal pressure in said 10. In a device'of the character stated. a re ?rst chamber, and means to ignite gases in said ceptacle having two gas trapping chambers con~ nected by a restricted passage, the ?rst of said chambers containing an electrolyte, means to decompose said electrolyte into its gases of de second chamber. GEORGE E. FREDmICKS. JENS BIVERTSEN.