Water dispenser abstract
A coffee brewer and hot water dispenser, which includes a brew
water tank (30), with water heated to a pre-determined temperature
by a pre-heater (38). A boiler (50) boils the pre-heated water into
a spray head (56) and into a ground coffee containing cone (114).
A separate hot water tank (70) is heated by a heater (72), and a
solenoid valve (74) dispenses hot water into a container. Fill,
water level dispensing and process control use a solid state electronic
controller (140) interconnected to an indicating control panel (112).
The improvement permits larger capacity by the use of a bypass hot
water cycle adding a predetermined volume of water to the container
and supplementing the control by expanding its capabilities using
multiple sequencing of the brew cycle for increasing the volume
of brewed coffee.
Water dispenser claims
What is claimed is:
1. An improved coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus
attached to city water and electrical power of the type having,
a brew water tank receiving and storing water from an external source,
a brew pre-heater in mechanical and fluid communication with said
brew water tank for heating and maintaining brew water temperature
therein using heat produced by electrical energy, a brew boiler
in fluid communication with said brew water tank for boiling pre-heated
water from the brew tank for coffee brewing using heat produced
by electrical power, circular spray head means for receiving boiling
water from said brew boiler and distributing boiling water evenly
over coffee grounds in a uniform parametric manner, a hot water
tank receiving and storing water from an external source, a hot
water heater in mechanical and fluid communication with said hot
water tank for heating and maintaining water temperature therein
using heat produced by electrical power, hot water dispensing means
fluidly connected to said hot water tank for supplying heated water
to an external container for food and beverages, and an electronic
controller interconnected with an indicating control panel defining
means to regulate both brew water and hot water fill, level, temperature
and dispensing, also process indicating and selection means, permitting
a user to select on/off function, half and full pot brew levels,
view brewing progress intervals, viewing when it is safe to remove
coffee containing brew cone, viewing heater malfunction and initiate
hot water dispensing, wherein the improvement comprises;
bypass hot water means for adding a predetermined volume of hot
water from the hot water tank to an external server for receiving
and distributing brewed coffee, and
multiple sequence process means actuated by the electronic controller
initiating a plurality of dispensing cycles from the brew boiler
distributing boiling water over coffee grounds in succession until
an external server is filled.
2. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus as recited
in claim 1 wherein said bypass hot water means further comprises
an electromagnetic bypass solenoid valve in fluid communication
with the hot water tank actuated upon demand of the electronic controller.
3. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus as recited
in claim 2 further comprising a baffle within a coffee brew cone
in alignment with said bypass solenoid valve such that a predetermined
volume of hot water from the hot water tank will flow directly into
an external server without passing through any coffee grounds.
4. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus as recited
in claim 1 wherein said bypass hot water means further comprises
a brew bypass probe contained within the hot water tank for measuring
a predetermined volume of hot water.
5. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus recited
in claim 4 wherein said brew bypass probe further comprises a metallic
rod through which an electrical circuit is passed to a ground probe
using water within the hot water tank as a conductor to complete
an electrical circuit, thus indicating water volume to the electronic
6. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus as recited
in claim 1 further comprising bypass hot water means is energized
by the electronic controller only once during a brewing cycle.
7. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus as recited
in claim 1 wherein said plurality of dispensing cycles further comprises
said electronic controller defining means to regulate brew water
fill, level, temperature and dispensing a prearranged number of
times until an external server is filled.
8. The coffee brewer and hot water dispenser apparatus as recited
in claim 1 wherein said circular spray head means further comprises
a pair of inlet elbows each threadably connected to a skirted dish-shaped
circular body having a raised ring with a groove therein surrounding
ingress of the elbow and a round cone-shaped diverting disc of a
diameter less than that of the body, having a plurality of extending
fingers snapped over the ring into the groove, leaving a gap for
a flowpath between each body and disc, thereby permitting boiling
water to be evenly distributed over each cone disc and flow from
each head through a gap between the body and disc in a even and
predetermined circular manner.
Water dispenser description
The present invention relates to coffee making machines in general.
More specifically, to improvements in the type that deliver both
boiling water for coffee, contained in a filter to a brew pot, and
a separate hot water system for food and beverage.
Previously, many type of coffee brewers have been used in endeavoring
to provide an effective means for producing hot water quickly and
efficiently for coffee brewing. In most cases, this hot water supply
has been limited to brewers utilizing a hot water reservoir that
is elevated in temperature to near boiling, providing an appropriate
quantity of water to be available for brewing purposes.
Ground coffee is normally contained in a removable filter unit
disposed below the outlet of the hot water reservoir. When users
wish to brew a pot of coffee, they energize the controls so that
cold water from another source enters the reservoir and causes hot
water to exit through the ground coffee and the filter into a storage
pot located on a warming plate below the filter. The water in the
reservoir is then reheated, ready for brewing a subsequent pot of
It will be noted that many coffee making machines, known in the
art, are also equipped with a second outlet faucet, where hot water
may be withdrawn from the reservoir without passing through the
coffee filter for making tea, hot chocolate, other beverage, or
freeze dried soups, etc.
U.S. Pat. No. 5063836 issued to Patel, is such a device, however,
improved to include level sensing, controlling water inlet f low
to the reservoir. A solid state circuit board controls function
to particularly accurate temperatures so as to preclude boiling
and maintain a constant fill level compensating for evaporation.
In many instances prior art, as well as this forementioned coffee
brewer, utilize a glass coffee pot for receiving the brewed coffee
and, therefore, require a warming plate. Others, however, employ
a vacuum sealed, capped server that maintains the leaving liquid
temperatures for long periods of time, eliminating the necessity
of a warming plate.
U.S. Pat. No. 5404794 issued to Patel et al, is an improvement
of the above described prior art and includes a tank heater for
maintaining hot water in a partitioned reservoir and, also, a boiler
to feed boiling water into the ground coffee contained in the removable
filter. This prior art further incorporates a spigot, or external
faucet, in communication with the reservoir to allow individual
cups, or containers, of hot water to be withdrawn from the same
source for various food reconstitution, or so-called instant beverages.
Many other coffee brewers have been developed to incorporate features
of level, temperature and dispensing control. The field is actually
replete with both home and commercial coffee brewers of various
designs and approaches, however, the need still exists for improvements
in automation, safety, and visual indication of the process.
The improvement to the coffee brewer and hot water dispenser is
related to patent application Ser. No. 08/810708 now U.S. Pat.
No. 5830236 filed Mar. 3 1997 by the inventor. All of the elements
of this invention are used in the improvement with some additions
to expand the functional operation of the device.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
The prior art coffee brewer and hot water dispenser of the inventor
to which the improvement is directed is commercially successful
and is in present use for brewing up to 150 5 oz (0.15 liter) cups
per hour for the 120 volt electrical input or 204 cups per hour
for the 220 volt configuration. While this capacity is acceptable
in most commercial applications, the need has arisen for even larger
capacity systems, such as restaurants, coffee houses and large food
serving establishments. The problem is that the need may be filled
by simply making the device proportionately larger with bigger tanks
and heaters, etc., however, the physical size and electrical power
available becomes the limiting factor. It is, therefore, a primary
object of the invention to increase the size of the tanks only slightly
and bypass a predetermined amount of hot water from the hot water
tank directly to the coffee server. This approach permits the requisite
6 minute maximum infusion time to eliminate bitterness from the
coffee grounds while increasing the volume from the brew tank by
repeating the brew cycle.
An important object of the invention is that the improvement does
not substantially increase the electrical maximum amperage draw
requirements for the coffee brewer system, as it utilizes the same
basic components, only adding multiple cycles to the existing system.
This is accomplished by using the same volume probe measurements
and repeating the procedure using repetitive cycles to accomplish
the increase in volume. Obviously, the coffee brew cone must be
larger to hold more coffee grounds in the filter and a pair of spray
heads are utilized for even distribution of the boiling water over
Another object of the invention is that with the multiple cycle
brew and hot water bypass, the physical size of the apparatus is
held to a minimum and the brewing time is minimized in comparison
with simply proportionally increasing the size to accomplish the
Still another object of the invention is that the brew is more
consistent with multiple cycles, as the brew tank is maintained
at a constant temperature. Further, this improvement permits the
same basic elements and controls to be employed, not limited by
larger volume alone.
Yet another object of the invention is directed to the use of volumetric
measurement for both the brewing and hot water bypass systems, as
almost all prior art employs time or pressure to measure the amount
of boiling water to be introduced during the brewing cycle. Measuring
by volume is much more accurate and consistent than other methods
used in the art.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention
will become apparent from the subsequent detailed description of
the preferred and other embodiments, also the appended claims, further
taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a partial isometric view of the basic preferred embodiment.
FIG. 2 is a left side view of the invention in its basic embodiment
with a vacuum coffee server shown in dotted lines.
FIG. 3 is a right side view of the invention in its basic embodiment
with a vacuum coffee pot shown in dotted lines.
FIG. 4 is a rear view of the invention in its basic embodiment.
FIG. 5 is a partial isometric view of the hot water tank completely
removed from the invention for clarity, illustrating the addition
of the bypass water probe and female boss.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 6--6 of FIG.
5 illustrating the bypass water probe recess.
FIG. 7 is a partial isometric view of the improved spray head holder
with a pair of spray heads completely removed from the invention
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 8--8 of FIG.
7 showing a single assembled spray head attached to the spray head
FIG. 9 is a partial isometric view of the inlet elbow of the spray
head completely removed from the invention for clarity.
FIG. 10 is a partial isometric view of the diverting disc of the
spray head completely removed from the invention for clarity.
FIG. 11 is a partial isometric view of the empty assembled enclosure.
FIG. 12 is a partial isometric view of the completed sub-assembly
ready to be inserted into the enclosure.
FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the preferred embodiment with the
extension column shown dotted.
FIG. 14 is a block diagram of the preferred embodiment electrical
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
The best mode for carrying out the invention is presented in terms
of a preferred embodiment, which utilizes basically all of the same
elements as introduced in the inventor's prior patent application
Ser. No. 08/810708 now U.S. Pat. No. 5836236. In order to not
be repetitive in the description of the original elements, the drawings
and element identification numbers will remain the same, as only
a slight enlargement in the physical size is required in order to
allow for a bigger server and increased volume in the water holding
The following list enumerates all of the common elements by original
identification numbers and description from the inventions prior
patent to which the improvement is directed. It should be noted
that a few of the detailed elements are lacking, as they had little
to do with the improvement and become irrelevant and, therefore,
30 brew water tank
34 probe recesses
36 probe recess ring
38 brew pre-heater
50 brew boiler
52 check valve
56 spray head
58 inlet elbow
60 circular body
62 raised ring
66 diverting disc
68 extending fingers
70 hot water tank
72 water heater
74 water dispense solenoid valve
76 safety switch
80 brew fill solenoid valve
82 water fill solenoid valve
84 metallic enclosure
90 extension column
92 top housing
94 top cover
96 lower back plate
98 base stiffener
100 spray head holder
112 indicating control panel
114 coffee brew cone
124 upper back plate
132 power cord
134 brew thermistor
136 water thermistor
140 electronic controller
152 brew fill probe
154 brew 25 oz. probe (reidentified as brew 1st level probe)
156 brew 50 oz. probe (reidentified as brew 2nd level probe)
158 brew 75 oz. probe (reidentified as brew 3rd level probe)
160 brew ground probe
162 water fill probe
164 water safety probe
166 water ground probe
170 coffee pot
172 coffee server
Elements 154 156 and 158 have been reidentified relative to their
function, rather than a specific volumetric quantity, as was the
case in the prior patent.
The improvement includes the addition of bypass hot water means
for adding a predetermined volume of hot water from the hot water
tank 70 to an external server 172 or pot 170. The bypass hot water
means is in the form of a electromagnetic bypass solenoid valve
200 that is in fluid communication with the hot water tank 70 and
is actuated upon demand of the electronic controller 140. The bypass
solenoid valve 200 is depicted in FIGS. 12 through 14 and is attached
to the hot water tank 70 through a female boss 202 as illustrated
in FIG. 5. The solenoid valve 200 is configured with a barbed inlet
and outlet and the inlet is inserted into the boss 202 and held
in place by friction. The outlet of the solenoid valve 200 includes
a length of hose 204 for directing the flow of hot water. The bypass
solenoid valve 200 is of the same basic configuration as the existing
water dispense solenoid valve 74 shown in FIGS. 12 and 13.
In order to bypass hot water into the server 172 or pot 170 the
coffee brew cone 114 has been modified to include a baffle 206 that
is located within the cone opposite the handle and is formed in
a hat shape with an inwardly facing angular bend, so as to hold
the coffee ground filter away from the edge. The bypass solenoid
valve 200 with its extending hose 204 is in alignment above the
baffle 206 permitting hot water from the hot water tank 70 to flow
straight onto the edge of the cone 114 and on to the external container,
such as the server 172 or pot 170 without passing through the coffee
grounds held by the filter inside the cone. FIG. 13 depicts the
modified cone 114 and a wire basket 208 or the like, may be added
within cone to support the added weight of a larger amount of coffee
In order to dispense the appropriate predetermined amount of bypass
hot water, a brew bypass probe 210 is added into the hot water tank
70 by the addition of another probe recess 34 and ring 36 as illustrated
in FIGS. 5 and 6. The probe 210 is similar in operation and configuration
to the water fill probe 162 and water safety probe 164 etc., and
varies only by its length, which is approximately 2 inches (5.08
cm) long in the preferred embodiment of the improvement, using a
slightly larger hot water tank 70. In operation the brew bypass
probe 210 functions in like manner as its companion probes in the
tank 70 since it is a metallic rod through which an electrical circuit
is passed to the water ground probe 166 using water within the
tank to complete the electrical circuit, consequently indicating
water volume to the electronic controller 140.
In order to increase the capacity of the coffee brewer and hot
water dispenser without unduly increasing its size and to use existing
technology already developed and patented by the inventor, multiple
sequence process means is added to the device. This process means
is actuated by the electronic controller 140 and initiates a number
of dispensing cycles from the brew boiler 50 over coffee grounds
in the cone 114. As the controller 140 already contains sequence
control using the volume measuring probes 154 156 and 158 and
a fill probe 152 utilizing a series of cycles is easily accomplished.
The series of boiling hot water and forcing it into the spray head
56 and then refilling the tank is already in effect in the prior
art, therefore, repeating the same sequence is easily accomplished
with slight modification to the controller 140. The bypass hot water
means is required to be actuated only once during a brewing cycle,
however, the controller 140 may regulate the brew water fill, level,
temperature and dispensing a prearranged number of times until the
external server is filled. It will be noted that this plurality
of cycles does not limit the ultimate capacity of the device, as
the control remains the same and only slight changes in increasing
the physical size is necessary to elevate and expand the devices
capacity to almost unlimited levels.
It should be noted, however, that in order to handle larger amounts
of coffee grounds it has been found that to reach an optimum level
of brewing quality the circular spray head means must be expanded
to utilize a pair of spray heads 56 each including an inlet elbow
58 threadably connected to a skirted disk-shaped circular body 60
having a raised ring 62 with a groove 64 therein surrounding ingress
of the elbow. Further, a round cone shaped diverting disc 66 of
a diameter less than that of the body 60 having a plurality of
extending fingers 68 is snapped over the ring 62 into the groove
64. This arrangement leaves a gap, or flowpath, between the body
60 and disc 66 permitting boiling water to be evenly distributed
over each cone disc 66 and flow from each head 56 through the gap
in a predetermined circular manner. This dual head requires a modified
spray head holder 212 which is illustrated along with the spray
head 56 in FIGS. 7 through 10.
In operation the coffee brewer and hot water dispenser operates,
as described, in the inventors previous patent with the exception
of the one time, per brew, of the bypass hot water and the multiple
sequence process of the brewing cycle. It should also be recognized
that this improvement may require larger physical size tanks 30
and 70 along with the metallic enclosure 84 in order to accommodate
a larger external server. While the invention has been described
in complete detail and pictorially shown in the accompanying drawings,
it is not to be limited to such details, since many changes and
modifications may be made in the invention without departing from
the spirit and scope thereof. Hence, it is described to cover any
and all modifications and forms which may come within the language
and scope of the appended claims.