Invented by Clayton Alexander, Ember Technologies Inc
The Ember Technologies Inc invention works as followsA portable container that is actively heated or cooled has a body with an interior chamber which receives and retains a liquid and at least one heating or cooling element in thermal contact with the chamber. One or more electrical contact points are located on the outer surface of a container. Removable coupling of a module to a part of the body. The module has control circuitry as well as one or several power storage elements to provide power for the control circuitry or the heating or cooling element. The control circuitry wirelessly interacts with a portable electronic device in order to wirelessly transmit and receive information about the operation of the module.
Background for Heated or Cooled Portable Drinkware
The invention is directed towards containers such as cups or mugs and travel mugs. It also includes baby bottles, beer mugs or carafes.
Description of Related Art
Drinkware, such as cups, mugs and travel mugs (and sometimes metal), are made from ceramic or plastic (and sometimes both) to hold liquids. The inability of drinkware to regulate the temperature is a common problem. The liquid (e.g. coffee, tea or milk) that is poured in the drinkware is sometimes too hot to drink. In this case, the user will have to wait before drinking the liquid, otherwise they risk burning their lips. If the user waits to long before drinking the liquid, the liquid may cool too much and become unsatisfying. If the user is traveling (e.g. commuting to the office) for a long time, the liquid may continue to cool so that they cannot enjoy the liquid throughout their journey as the liquid content will not stay warm.
There is therefore a need for improved drinkware (e.g. soup, oatmeal, coffee, or tea) that can cool the contents down (e.g. Poured therein, the contents can be cooled to a temperature that is suitable for consumption.
According to one aspect, a portable container that is actively heated or cooled is provided. The container includes a portable body with a receiving section defined by inner sidewalls and inner bottom walls for receiving and holding liquids, and a heating-cooling system contained in the portable body. The heating and cooling device includes a cooling element that consists of a phase-change material in a chamber surrounding at least part of the inner wall. This phase-change material is designed to change from one phase into a different phase when heated to a certain temperature. The heating and cooling systems also includes a heating component in thermal contact with at least part of the inner bottom or sidewall of the portable body. The heating and cooling systems also include control circuitry located in a part of the portable body. This control circuitry is configured to control operation of the heating elements. The heating and cooling systems also include one or more power-storage elements that are disposed in a portion of the portable and designed to supply electrical energy to the heating element or control circuitry. The cooling element removes the heat from the liquid that is disposed in a receiving portion and has a higher temperature than the predetermined temperatures to reduce the temperature toward the predetermined temperatures, while the control circuitry controls a heating element so as to add heat to a liquid in the receiver portion in order to maintain or increase the liquid’s temperature above predetermined temperatures.
According to another aspect, a portable container that is actively heated or cooled is provided. The container consists of a portable body with an inner sidewall or inner bottom wall that receives and holds a liquid. A heating and cooling unit is housed within the portable body. The heating and cooling systems include a passive cooling device for at least part of an inner sidewall to remove heat from the liquid within the receiving portion, a heating component in thermal contact with at least some of either the inner sidewall, or the inner bottom wall, control circuitry in one portion of portable body that controls the operation of heating element, one or more power-storage elements in another portion, which are configured to supply electrical energy to the heating element or control circuitry. The control circuitry controls heating element to add warmth to liquid in receiving portion. This heat is used to maintain or increase temperature.
According to another aspect, a portable container that is actively heated or cooled is provided. The container includes a portable body with an inner sidewall, inner bottom wall and outer sidewall that are radially separated from each other to form an annular chamber. The container contains a heating-cooling system that is housed within the portable. This system includes a cooling element consisting of a heat sink in the annular space in thermal contact with at the least a part of inner sidewall, or inner bottom wall, of portable body. It also comprises control circuitry in one portion of portable, which controls the operation of heating element. The cooling element removes the heat from the liquid that is disposed in receiving portion. And the control circuitry controls heating element to add additional heat to liquid to maintain temperature at predetermined level or to increase temperature above predetermined level.
The container also includes an active heating system, which consists of one or more heating elements in thermal communication with at least a portion of the inner sidewall or inner bottom wall, control circuitry disposed within a portion of the portable body, and power storage elements positioned within another part, and configured to provide electrical energy to either, or both, the control circuitry and any one, and/or all, heaters. The container further comprises an active heater system comprising one of more heating components in thermal communication with a portion at least of the inner bottom or sidewall of portable body. Control circuitry is disposed within a portion, which is configured to control operation of one of more heating devices. One or more power storage units are disposed within another portion, which can provide electrical energy for either the control circuitry or the heating elements. The control circuitry calculates a volume of liquid in the receiving part of the portable body using sensed information indicating a liquid’s temperature.
According to another aspect, a portable container that is actively cooled or heated is provided.” The container consists of a portable body with a chamber designed to hold and receive liquid. The container includes an active heat-transfer module that can be removably coupled to the bottom of the portable body. The module includes one or multiple heating elements that are in thermal contact with the base of the body once the module is attached to the body. It also contains control circuitry to control the heating elements and power storage elements to supply electrical energy to either the control circuitry or the heating elements. The control circuitry can wirelessly communicate with an electronic device that is remote to either wirelessly transmit information about the operation of the module to the electronic device or wirelessly receive instructions via the electronic device.
According to another aspect, a portable actively heated baby bottle system is presented. The baby bottle system consists of a body with a chamber that can receive and hold liquid and an active heater module that is removable and attachable to the bottom portion. The module includes one or multiple heating elements that are placed in thermal contact with the base of the bottle when the module has been coupled to the bottle, control circuitry to control the heating elements’ operation, and one of more power storage components to supply electrical energy to either the control circuitry or the heating elements. The control circuitry can wirelessly communicate with an electronic device that is remote to either wirelessly transmit information about the operation of a module to the electronic device or wirelessly receive instructions via the electronic device.
The various embodiments below are a drinkware containers. The term “drinkware container” is understood by those with skill in the art. “Any container that holds a liquid can be used for consumption. This includes cups, mugs travel mugs beer mugs baby bottles carafes or other portable liquid containers.
FIG. The FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional lengthwise view of one embodiment of a beverage container 100 (hereinafter “container”). In FIG. 1, only the cross-section of the container 100 (hereinafter referred to as?container? ) is shown. To illustrate the different components of the container, FIG. 1 is used. A person of skill will be able to understand that the portion of the container 100 shown in FIG. The portion of the beverage container 100 shown in FIG. 1. The container 100 in the illustrated embodiment is a travel mug. As discussed above, however, the drinkware 100 container can be any other type of container, such as cup, mug or beer mug.
The container 100 is defined by an inner sidewall (e.g. a cylindrical or circumferential inner sidewall), and an inner bottom wall 12 that together define a cavity 15 which receives and retains a liquid. The container 100 has also a second wall 20 (e.g. a cylindrical or circumferential inner wall) and a second bottom wall 22, which are separated from the inner wall 10 and the inner bottom wall 12 respectively. This creates a chamber 24 (e.g. an annular chamber), between the inner walls 10, 12, and the second walls 20,22. The inner sidewall 10 may be made from metal (e.g. stainless steel). In other embodiments the inner sidewall can be made from other materials. The second sidewall can also be made from the same material (e.g. both the inner and second sidewalls can be made from stainless steel). In a second embodiment, the second wall 20 can also be made from a material other than the inner surface 10. For example, both the inner and outer sidewalls 10 can be metal (e.g., stainless steel), while the second sidewall is made of plastic.
The chamber 24 may be filled with phase-change material (PCM) 25, The PCM 25 may be either a phase-change material that is solid-liquid or solid-solid. The PCM 25, which can be wax (e.g. Paraffin wax), is a phase change material. Other phase change materials can also be used (e.g. a metal). In the embodiment illustrated, the PCM 25 is the same between the sidewalls 12, 20 and the PCM 25 in between the bottom wall 12. In other embodiments the PCM between the sidewalls 12, 22 and the PCM between the bottom wall 12, 20 may be different.
The PCM 25 may be chosen to have a predetermined melting (transition) temperature, which corresponds generally to the ideal drinking temperature of a heated liquid. The predetermined temperature in some embodiments can be set between 135 and 145 degrees F. For example, it can be 140 degrees F. When the liquid is heated above the predetermined temperature, the PCM can absorb the heat to change from a solid into a liquid. This will reduce the temperature of liquid towards the predetermined temperature. The container 100 reaches a steady-state operation as the temperature of liquid decreases (e.g. via heat conduction from the liquid to the PCM 25, e.g.).
The container 100 may have an outer sidewall 30, (e.g. a circumferential inner sidewall or a cylindrical inner sidewall), that extends between a rim 31, of the container 30, and an outer bottom wall 32. The rim 31 may define the drinking lip for container 100. The outer sidewalls 30 and 32 can optionally be one piece (e.g. monolithic without seams). In other embodiments however, at least part of the outer wall 30 can be separated from the bottom 32 as discussed below. The outer sidewall can extend radially from the second wall 20. The outer sidewall can optionally be radially separated from the second wall 20 in order to define a space 34 (e.g. an annular space) between them. In one embodiment, chamber 34 can create an air space between the second wall 20 and outer sidewall 30. This air space can be used to insulate outer sidewall from second sidewall and inner sidewall. In other embodiments, however, the outer wall 30 can be located adjacent to the second sidewall 20, so there is no space between them. The outer sidewall can also be made from an insulating material, such as foam or plastic.
Referring to FIG. The container 100 may have a heating component 40 that is disposed above or on the inner bottom surface 12 and covers a minimum portion of the inner base wall 12, so as to be in thermal communication directly with the liquid within the chamber 15. In the embodiment shown, the heating elements 40 cover the bottom inner wall 12 in its entirety. Heating element 40 can be a resistive heating element. In one embodiment, a screen-printed trace pattern can be used to define the heating element. Electrically connecting the heating element 40 with one or more power-storage elements 60 located in a bottom chamber 50, and/or circuitry 80 in a bottom chamber 70 is a connecting lead line. In one embodiment, a leadline could extend upwards along the inner wall 10, downwards along the second wall 20, and optionally through a dividing barrier 36 that separates one or more power-storage elements 60 from second bottom wall 22. Optionally, the lead line can extend through a second wall 38 which separates the power storage elements from the control circuitry. In a second embodiment, the leadline can extend between the heating elements 40 and a conduit (not illustrated) that is located between the inner bottom walls 12 and 22 and optionally through the bottom wall and/or the second bottom walls 38 in order to electrically link the heating element and the one or more control circuitry and/or power storage element 80.
In the embodiment illustrated, the outer bottom and sidewalls 32 can be a single unit (e.g. Monolithic without seams, so that the power storage elements (e.g. batteries, capacitors) or control circuitry 80 can be permanently housed within the chambers 50 and 70. In another embodiment, a portion (or portions) of the outer wall 30 can be separated from the outer bottom 32. This allows the power storage elements 60 to be housed within a module which can be removed and coupled with the rest of container 100. The module can, for example, be connected to the bottom plate 36 using a key-slot, threaded, or any other suitable connection. In this embodiment, the leadline of the heating element 40 terminates at the bottomplate 36. This leads to an electrical connection between a leadline within the module and a leadline on the container 100. In another embodiment, an outer bottom wall can be removable from the container 100. This can allow access to the control circuitry and/or power storage elements 60 to perform maintenance, testing, and/or to replace them.
The control circuitry can control the charging (e.g. the control circuitry can include a charge circuit) of one or more power-storage elements. It can also control power delivery to the heating element. In one embodiment, control circuitry 80 controls the delivery of power to heating element 40 in order to maintain liquid within the chamber 15 at a predetermined temperature. In another embodiment, control circuitry 80 controls delivery of power to heating element 40 for input heat into the liquid in order to increase the temperature to a selected user temperature. Optionally, the user-selected temperature can be displayed via an interface on the container body 100. In a second embodiment, a user-selected temperature can be wirelessly transmitted to the control circuitry from a portable device (e.g. a smart phone or tablet). The control circuitry 80 may control the delivery of power to heating element 40 in at least part based on information provided by one or multiple sensors that sense parameters of liquid quality (e.g. temperature, volume or pH).
FIG. The figure 2 shows a cross sectional view of one embodiment of the drinkware container (hereinafter “container” 100A). The container 100A looks similar to the container shown in FIG. 1 except for the following. The reference numbers used to identify the different components of container 100A in FIG. are the same as those used to identify the components of container 100. The reference numerals for the container 100A are identical to those used in FIG. The reference numbers of the container 100A have been changed to include the letter?A? The description of the different components of the container shown in FIG. The description of the various components of the container shown in FIG. 2, except as described below.
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