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Electric Stove Safety Switch - Robotics in the News

Created by cachee on Mon, 2013-01-14 11:35

Kitchen fires make up 44% of all house fires. Following are some of the reasons for the fires as reported by National Fire Protection Association:

· Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires. 

· Two-thirds (67%) of home cooking fires started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.

· Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of these fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.

· Ranges accounted for the largest share (58%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.

 

We interviewed two seniors and found that they had left the stove on with either no pot on it or the left the pot on so long that the water boiled out and burnt the pot.  This was one of the items we talked about in our meeting before going out to interview different Seniors.

We went to the local Home Improvement store and asked salesperson about the current safety features for electric stoves. The salesperson indicated that the only safety feature on the stove had was a light. We investigate what was under the top of the stove to see how it was put together.

We had already been researching different types of add-on safety devices available for electric stoves since we were fascinated by the idea. We found one where you had to be in the room (this used a motion sensor) or you set a timer for how long you wanted the burner to be on.  The cost of this device was $325.00 plus installation. Another device was a low temperature safety burners that controlled the temperature such that it would not get too hot and took longer to cook your food. The cost of this device was $170.00 plus installation.

These options did not address the issue if you were to stay in the kitchen and not near the stove or if you needed to sit down in another room. We discussed possible design ideas over several different meetings. We wanted to use a pressure type switch what would know when a pot was on the element.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These options did not address the issue if you were to stay in the kitchen and not near the stove or if you needed to sit down in another room. We discussed possible design ideas over several different meetings. We wanted to use a pressure type switch what would know when a pot was on the element.

We determined a switch/sensor along with a power module could be inserted into the range’s element circuit. The purpose of the switch/sensor is to insure that there was a pot on the element before the power is applied. Figure 1 is a flow chart for the Electric Stove Safety Switch Device and Figure 2 is the Electrical Diagram for the Electric Stove Safety Switch Level l.

 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 shows logic flow of the safety switch

Figure 2 illustrates cross section of the drip pan with the safety switch

Figure 3 Electrical Block Diagram of the Electric Stove Safety Switch Device

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND BEST MODE OF IMPLEMENTATION

We worked with engineers to the development the prototype and determined the best place to put the switch/senor was where the burner blade went through the drip bowl.

Note: this safety feature will only work with the burners that have a locking slot built into the drip pan.

We have built a concept model for the skit and used a push button type switch for our sensor. Below are pictures of our project.

The Electric Stove Safety Switch 7000 (ES3-7000) Level I could be retrofitted or added to a drip bowl for under $50.00 per burner ($20 for the power module, $10 for the switch/sensor and 4.00 for the drip bowl 2.00 for miscellaneous parts).

Level II of the ES3-7000 has a heat sensor to detect that a pot was left the stove too long and all the liquid was evaporated out. This additional sensor and warning system will let you know that the pot is getting too hot.

Through some testing we determined that the heat sensor would have to trigger at 300 degrees. The sensor would send a signal to turn off the element and turn on the warning system before a fire is started. The Electrical Block Diagram on the next page is Level II of the ES3-7000. The Level II part of the ES3-7000 would have the heat sensors in the hood vent or on the bottom of the microwave above the stove. The heat sensor would send a signal to the power module in the main part of the stove.

 

This idea can also be adapted to a gas stove by adding a inline electric controlled valve which would be connected to a power module.

 

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