LS Electric has been granted a patent for a circuit breaker opening/closing assistance apparatus. The device uses a visible image of the circuit breaker to correct its thermal image and assist in the opening/closing operation based on the identified temperature. It also identifies the temperature of a circuit breaker with a failure and assists in the opening/closing operation based on the identified temperature. The device includes a material identification unit, an image correction unit, a diagnosis unit, and a controller. GlobalData’s report on LS Electric gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on LS Electric, Battery management systems was a key innovation area identified from patents. LS Electric's grant share as of September 2023 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Circuit breaker opening/closing assistance apparatus based on thermal image correction

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: LS Electric Co Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11776162B2) describes a device designed to assist in the opening and closing of a circuit breaker in a power system. The device includes several components that work together to identify the material of the circuit breaker, correct thermal images, diagnose the circuit breaker's operation state, and generate control signals based on the diagnosis.

The device features a material identification unit that acquires a visible image of the circuit breaker using a light source and identifies the material imaged on the acquired visible image. An image correction unit then acquires a thermal image of the circuit breaker and corrects it based on the emissivity of the identified material. A diagnosis unit is responsible for identifying the normal operation state of the circuit breaker by detecting temperature values on the corrected thermal image and comparing them with the current operation state. Based on this comparison, the diagnosis unit can diagnose the absence or presence of a failure in the circuit breaker. Finally, a controller generates a control signal based on the diagnosis and provides it to the circuit breaker.

The patent also describes additional features of the device. For example, the material identification unit can identify the material imaged at each coordinate of the visible image based on color data detected at each coordinate. The image correction unit can correct the thermal image corresponding to each coordinate based on the emissivity of the identified material. Additionally, the device can detect color changes in the visible image caused by movement of the light source and use this information to determine the emissivity of the material.

Another embodiment of the device includes a compensation unit that compensates for the temperature value of the thermal image based on a first temperature detected on the thermal image and a second temperature provided by temperature sensors on the circuit breaker. The diagnosis unit then identifies the normal operation state based on the temperature values detected on the compensated thermal image and compares it with the current operation state to diagnose any failures. The controller generates control signals based on the diagnosis and provides them to the circuit breaker.

Overall, this patented device offers a comprehensive solution for assisting in the opening and closing of circuit breakers by accurately identifying materials, correcting thermal images, diagnosing operation states, and generating control signals based on the diagnosis.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.