Patent Number: 6,293,516

Title: Reduced-energy-consumption actuator

Abstract: A latching-valve system (10) includes a piezoelectric transducer (44) mounted on its housing (16). To change the valve's state, a microcontroller (54) causes a valve driver (58) to drive current through the actuator's coil (12). It continues driving current through the coil (12) until the transducer's output reaches a magnitude characteristic of the disturbance that typically results when the actuator's armature (22) reaches the end of its travel. At that point, the microcontroller (54) stops driving current through the coil. If the characteristic sound does not occur within a predetermined duration, the microcontroller (54) causes a voltage-multiplier circuit (Q1, L1, D1) to increase the voltage that the valve driver (58) applies to the coil.

Inventors: Parsons; Natan E. (Brookline, MA), Mo; Xiaoxiong (Nashua, NH)

Assignee: Arichell Technologies, Inc.

International Classification: F16K 31/08 (20060101); F16K 31/06 (20060101); F16K 031/08 ()

Expiration Date: 09/25/2018