Rhode Island Patent of the Month – August 2021

One method of achieving hot water “on demand” is to circulate heated water through the closed water system of a house or business continually. This method is especially used in places that are prone to drought or dry times in an effort to reduce water wastage while waiting for water to heat up. Other versions use pulse modes rather than continuous circulation. Regardless, these systems have their inefficiencies. Taco, Inc. has designed a new pump system with greater efficiency without requiring extensive replacement procedures.

Their design relies on the new knowledge that an external control unit can be connected to the power source and the pump to act as a “msrt switch” to convert dumb pumps into smart pumps. It successfully maintains a minimal flow of hot water for instant hot water on demand. It reduces the loss of heat energy, even in northern states winters. A microcontroller operated switch is positioned between the power source and pump. It’s programmed through an algorithm that records the usage data of hot water to help set up the best operating times for the individual user. For instance, if you shower in the mornings, your new smart pump will begin adapting and ensuring hot water will be ready at this time. With this growing logic, the control system knows when to circulate water and when to shut the pump off. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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