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Title:
METHOD FOR DETERMINING WATER QUALITY OR CHANGE THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/117782
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention describes a method for determining the water quality and/or a change in the water quality subsequent to the addition of at least a substance X in a water flow in a water processing device 1, wherein a substance addition unit 2 containing the substance X is arranged to enable the addition of said substance X to an inlet Z1 of the water processing device 1, and wherein the water processing device 1 comprises a data receiving unit 100 which receives data in the water processing device 1, said method comprising the steps of adding the substance X in an amount Y to the water processing device 1, sending data relating to the amount Y of the substance X to the data receiving unit 100, the data is then collected in the data receiving unit 100 and the data receiving unit 100 then compares the received data to a set water quality protocol and then makes a control decision based on that, or compares received data with other received data from other sources and then makes a control decision based on that, and/or sends the comparison of data relating to water quality from different data sources to a user interface or to a control unit or computer device.

Inventors:
MAHDJOUBI NAMIN, Amir Mehrdad (Skomakaregatan 4 A lgh 1701, Malmö, 211 34, SE)
HAMMER, Dick (Råbyvägen 1D, Lund, 223 61, SE)
Application Number:
SE2018/051235
Publication Date:
June 20, 2019
Filing Date:
November 30, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ORBITAL SYSTEMS AB (Hans Michelsensgatan 10 A, Malmö, 211 20, SE)
International Classes:
E03B1/04; A47K3/28
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013144381A12013-10-03
Foreign References:
US20110146800A12011-06-23
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AWA SWEDEN AB (P.O Box 1571, Malmö, 200 71, SE)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A method for determining the water quality and/or a change in the water quality subsequent to the addition of at least a substance X in a water flow in a water processing device (1 ), wherein a substance addition unit (2) containing the substance X is arranged to enable the addition of said substance X to an inlet (Z) of the water processing device (1 ), and wherein the water processing device (1 ) comprises a data receiving unit (100) which receives data in the water processing device (1 ),

said method comprising the steps of adding the substance X in an amount Y to the water processing device (1 ), sending data relating to the amount Y of the substance X to the data receiving unit (100), the data is then collected in the data receiving unit (100) and the data receiving unit (100) then compares the received data to a set water quality protocol and then makes a control decision based on that, or compares received data with other received data from other sources and then makes a control decision based on that, and/or sends the comparison of data relating to water quality from different data sources to a user interface or to a control unit or computer device.

2. The method according to claim 1 , wherein the method comprises sending data relating to the amount Y of the substance X and also the type of the substance X to the data receiving unit (100).

3. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the water processing device (1 ) comprises a data receiving unit (100) being a control unit which also provides a control decision if water should be sent in a specific route or be separated off.

4. The method according to any of claims 1 -3, wherein the water processing device (1 ) is a water recycling device (200), and wherein the water recycling device (200) comprises a data receiving unit (100) being a control unit which receives data and also provides a control decision if water should be recycled in the water recycling device (200) or discarded to an outlet (Z2) of the water recycling device (200).

5. The method according to any of claims 1 -4, wherein the substance addition unit (2) is weighed continuously to enable to set an amount Y when adding the substance X.

6. The method according to any of claims 1 -5, wherein the water processing device (1 ) comprises one or more water quality sensors (20) which sends water quality data to the data receiving unit (100).

7. The method according to any of claims 3-6, wherein the decision if water can be sent in a specific route or be separated off, or recycled or discarded is made based on a water quality measurement in one or more water quality sensor units (20) and if the resulted measurement is above a set baseline requirement then water is separated off or discarded.

8. The method according to claim 7, wherein the method also involves a change in the set baseline requirement when the substance X is added in an amount Y.

9. The method according to claim 7 or 8, wherein the data of the water quality measurement in one or more water quality sensor units (20) and change over time is saved in the control unit and sets the baseline requirement for a specific event E implying adding a certain substance X in an amount Y so that said baseline requirement is set automatically for the next event E or an event similar to event E.

10. The method according to any of claims 1 -9, wherein the substance addition unit (2) is a dispenser unit.

1 1 . The method according to any of claims 1 -10, wherein the method involves using a hair dye, a hair rinsing fluid, a shampoo or a hair conditioner in a hair salon or a shower system.

12. Water recycling device (200), said water recycling device (200) comprising a flow path (4) for recycled water, a fresh water inlet (5), a recirculation water inlet (6) and a recirculation water outlet (Z2), a user outlet (8), a heater (9) and a filter (10), and wherein a substance addition unit (2) is arranged to enable addition of said substance X to an inlet (Z1 ) of the water recycling device (200), wherein the water recycling device (200) comprises a data receiving unit (100) which receives data in the water recycling device (200).

13. Water recycling device (200) according to claim 12, wherein the data receiving unit (100) is a control unit which also provides the decision if water should be recycled or discarded to an outlet (Z2), and wherein the substance addition unit (2) has a data connection to the data receiving unit (100).

14. Water recycling device (200) according to claim 12 or 13, wherein the substance addition unit (2) is a dispenser unit.

15. Water recycling device (200) according to any of claims 12-14, wherein the substance addition unit (2) has an electronic identification tag which is readable in the water recycling device (1 ) so that identification data may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit (100).

16. Water recycling device (200) according to any of claims 12-15, wherein the substance addition unit (2) is connectable to an inlet (Z1 ) of the water recycling device (1 ) by placement in a weighing unit (300) which has data connection to the data receiving unit (100) so that weight data may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit (100).

17. Water recycling device (200) according to claim 16, wherein the weighing unit (300) comprises several dispenser placements (310) with individual weighing and individual data connection to the data receiving unit (100) so that weight data for each dispenser placement (310) may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit (100).

18. Water recycling device (200) according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the weighing unit (300) is spring-loaded. 19. Hair shower system (900) or shower system (1000) comprising a water recycling device (200) according to any of claims 11 -15.

Description:
METHOD FOR DETERMINING WATER QUALITY OR CHANGE THEREOF Field of the invention

The present invention relates to a method for determining the water quality and/or a change in the water quality subsequent to the addition of a substance in a water flow in a water processing device, especially in a water recirculation device, where the method involves receiving data and in or more ways processing that data. Furthermore, the present invention is also directed to a water recycling device arranged to receive a substance from a substance addition unit.

Technical Background

There are different known systems and methods which involve the addition of a substance and also data processing. For instance, in

W02009/032929 there is disclosed systems and methods for facilitating consumer-dispenser interactions, which involves inter alia a product dispenser comprising a reader which is configured to read a machine readable item. Moreover, in US 2011/0052764 there is disclosed an apparatus for dispensing nutritional products including a number of storage hoppers for powdered ingredients, a controllable outlet connected to each storage hopper and operable to release controlled amounts of the powdered ingredients, a controllable liquid supply, a mixer, and a control system including a user interface for capturing data from a user. The control system is said to use the data that the user inputs to determine the quantity of each powdered ingredient and the quantity of liquid to be released to create a nutritional product, and sends signals to the liquid supply and the outlets to release the determined quantity of liquid and each powdered ingredient into the mixer to be mixed before being dispensed into a container.

There is need for data-driven solutions in methods and systems intended to measure water quality. The present invention is directed a method and system where the water quality and change thereof may be decided subsequently to the addition of a substance into a water flow.

Summary of the invention

The purpose above is achieved by a method for determining the water quality and/or a change in the water quality subsequent to the addition of at least a substance X in a water flow in a water processing device, wherein a substance addition unit containing the substance X is arranged to enable the addition of said substance X to an inlet of the water processing device, and wherein the water processing device comprises a data receiving unit which receives data in the water processing device, said method comprising the steps of adding the substance X in an amount Y to the water processing device, sending data relating to the amount Y of the substance X to the data receiving unit, the data is then collected in the data receiving unit and the data receiving unit then compares the received data to a set water quality protocol and then makes a control decision based on that, or compares received data with other received data from other sources and then makes a control decision based on that, and/or sends the comparison of data relating to water quality from different data sources to a user interface or to a control unit or computer device.

As may be understood from above, regarding the data relating to the amount Y of the substance X may be processed in different ways in the data receiving unit. The data is collected, and possibly stored, in the data receiving unit. According to one specific embodiment, the data receiving unit then compares the received data to a set water quality protocol and then makes a control decision based on that. In such a case the water quality protocol may be given by a fixed requirement or a maximum level of a parameter indicating the contaminants in the water, or it can be a dynamic water quality

requirement where the water quality requirement may be changed already when the substance X is added or may be changed as a result of a change in another parameter being measured in the water processing device.

According to another specific embodiment the data receiving unit compares the received data with other received data from other sources and then makes a control decision based on that. In this case, the received data may be compared with data coming from one or more sensors in the water processing device, with data coming from other water processing devices and data receiving units thereof, or with data coming from totally different data sources. According to yet another specific embodiment the data receiving unit sends the comparison of data relating to water quality from different data sources to a user interface or to a control unit or computer device. In this case, the focus is on sending the comparison to a user interface or any type of control unit or computer device. As such, the data may be further evaluated, processed or used to trigger another action by any type of user.

It should further be said that any type of combination of two or more of the different actions above are possible according to the present invention.

The present invention is of interest for many different types of water processing devices, such as where it is of interest to separate streams, compare data, e.g. water quality data, etc. Moreover, the water processing device may be of any type available, however water recirculating devices are especially of interest, as further discussed below. Furthermore, also the substance addition unit may be of different type. One example is a dispenser unit. Moreover, the data receiving unit may be a local control unit, but a control unit can also be common for several water processing devices. The latter can be seen as a central data receiving unit, which e.g. may be connected to 10 different local water processing devices. Moreover, the data receiving unit may a control unit or may be unit only receiving data and collecting such and/or sending the data to another source or control unit. Specific embodiments of the invention

Below some specific embodiments of the present invention are discussed. According to one embodiment, the method comprises sending data relating to the amount Y of the substance X and also the type of the substance X to the data receiving unit. The ability of sending data on both amount and type may come from different types of arrangements. Regarding the amount, this may e.g. be given by weighing the substance addition unit before and after the addition has been performed. The amount could also be measured inside of the water processing device by use of one or more sensors, however providing the data as early as possible has advantages. Furthermore, in relation to the type of the substance X, then the substance addition unit could be arranged with some kind of identification tag or the like so that the data is transferred that way. Moreover, the actual data on the type of substance can also be put into the system by a user by a simple action on a panel or the like.

According to yet another specific embodiment of the present invention, the water processing device comprises a data receiving unit being a control unit which also provides a control decision if water should be sent in a specific route or be separated off, i.e. sent in another route. This is of interest to separate off a stream having e.g. a high level of contaminants in the water or holding high levels of added substances which can be recovered and reused. Moreover, a water stream with a high water quality can be recycled or sent to a subsequent step where it is important to have“clean” water. This may be either in the case of the water processing device being a water recycling device so that the device comprises a recycling loop to recycle clean water in one and the same deice, or in the case of feeding clean water to a

subsequent water processing device, of the same type or of different type.

As hinted above, according to one embodiment of the present invention, the water processing device is a water recycling device, and wherein the water recycling device comprises a data receiving unit being a control unit which receives data and also provides a control decision if water should be recycled in the water recycling device or discarded to an outlet of the water recycling device. As an example, the water recycling device may be a hair shower device, and the substance X then may be a shampoo or a conditioner. When the shampoo or conditioner is added to the device, then data on type and amount is sent to the control unit which then makes a decision on recycling or discarding to an outlet, such as a drain of the device.

It should be noted that the actual addition of type and certain amount may trigger the decision making directly in the control unit.

Furthermore, according to one embodiment, the substance addition unit is weighed continuously to enable to set an amount Y when adding the substance X. As such the data connection may be given directly between a weighing unit and the control unit.

Moreover, according to one embodiment of the present invention, the water processing device comprises one or more water quality sensors which sends water quality data to the data receiving unit. Such a sensor(s) may be a complement to the data input on type and amount of an added substance. Moreover, such a sensor(s) enables to continuously track the water quality in the device. The sensor(s) may be of any type available and suitable, and one example is an electrical conductivity (EC) sensor. Another example is a sensor measuring the number of particles in the flow. Yet another possible example is a sensor measuring certain substances, such as fatty

components, inter alia coming from shampoo, conditioner or similar added substances.

Furthermore, sensors in the water processing device may also be a driving force with reference to the decision of recirculating or discarding water. Therefore, according to one specific embodiment of the present invention, the decision if water can be sent in a specific route or be separated off, i.e. sent in another route, or recycled or discarded is made based on a water quality measurement in one or more water quality sensor units and if the resulted measurement is above a set baseline requirement then water is separated off or discarded.

This sensor feature may function as a standalone feature or in combination with other functionality of the method. As an example, when the sensor(s) measures a level above certain baseline requirement, i.e. implying a level of water quality which is below the set target, then the control unit will ensure that the water flow is started to be discarded. However, the baseline requirement may also be changed based on the addition of a substance. For instance, the baseline requirement may be programmed to be lowered 25% or 50% as a direct result of the addition of a substance X in an amount Y, which implies that the water quality requirement is set in a tougher range. The system then changes the requirements already before being able to measure the change in water quality. When the change in the water quality is measured in the sensor(s), already a decrease in water quality of a certain level will imply that the water is started to be discarded. It may further be said that the level of lowering in percentage of the baseline requirement e.g. may be set based on the type of substance and the amount thereof.

In line with what has been disclosed above, the method according to the present invention may also involve a change in the baseline requirement when the substance X is added in an amount Y. As mentioned above, this change is dependent on the type of substance and amount thereof.

Moreover, according to yet another specific embodiment of the present invention, the data of the water quality measurement in one or more water quality sensor units and change over time is saved in the control unit and sets the baseline requirement for a specific event E implying adding a certain substance X in an amount Y so that said baseline requirement is set automatically for the next event E or an event similar to event E. This possible direction implies that the control unit saves and learns the implication of certain events and can then also make decision based on these. This decision may be directed to deciding the change of a baseline requirement to optimise the right timing when starting to discard and linked to the type and amount of substance added. It should be noted that substances of interest, just to give some examples, may be a shampoo or a conditioner, but may also be detergents or cleaning agents which are added in a cleaning sequence or the like. Furthermore, a baseline requirement suitably is set in a parameter which may be directly linked to water quality in one way or the other, e.g. conductivity, turbidity or the like.

As hinted above, the device according to the present invention can be a hair washer device or any other type of water processing device involving a recirculation ability. Furthermore, the substance addition can be a dispenser unit. Furthermore, according to one specific embodiment of the present invention, the method involves using a hair dye, a hair rinsing fluid, a shampoo or a hair conditioner in a hair salon or a shower system. These different types of substances may be contained in different dispenser which are used to add the same in a water processing device according to the present invention.

Furthermore, the present invention is also directed to water recycling devices. According to one specific embodiment of the present invention there is provided a water recycling device, said water recycling device comprising a flow path for recycled water, a fresh water inlet, a recirculation water inlet and a recirculation water outlet, a user outlet, a heater and a filter, and wherein a substance addition unit is arranged to enable addition of said substance X to an inlet of the water recycling device, where the water recycling device comprises a data receiving unit which receives data in the water recycling device.

According to one embodiment, the data receiving unit is a control unit which also provides the decision if water should be recycled or discarded to an outlet, and where the substance addition unit has a data connection to the data receiving unit. As mentioned above, the control unit may be a local unit but may also be a central unit operating for several separate water recycling devices. As mentioned, the substance addition unit may be a dispenser unit, which may be seen in the figures. It should however be noted that the present invention is not limited to the use of a dispenser, and the addition of a substance may come from another source than a typical dispenser.

According to yet another specific embodiment of the present invention, the substance addition unit has an electronic identification tag which is readable in the water recycling device so that identification data may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit. The identification type may of different type, e.g. a NFC-ID. This type of identification enables a direction connection between type of substance being added and container or dispenser containing the substance.

Moreover, according to another specific embodiment of the present invention, the substance addition unit is connectable to an inlet of the water recycling device by placement in a weighing unit which has data connection to the data receiving unit so that weight data may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit. Such an alternative is shown in fig. 4 of the drawings. Moreover, according to one embodiment, the weighing unit comprises several dispenser placements with individual weighing and individual data connection to the data receiving unit so that weight data for each dispenser placement may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit. Also this can be understood from an alternative according to the present invention shown in fig. 4. Furthermore, the weighing unit may e.g. be spring-loaded.

As understood from above, the present invention is also directed to a hair shower system or shower system comprising a water recycling device according to the present invention. Moreover, the method and device according to the present invention may be operated in a hair salon, a hotel or at home.

Moreover, the actual data handling and/or software operating in a method or system according to the present invention may be of different type. It should again be said that the data can be handled in different ways, such as directly changing a baseline requirement of the water quality in a water processing device, and/or directly giving the decision of separating off or recirculating. Moreover, data may also only be stored, compared with other data and/or received to be sent to directly to another source. The latter is also dependent on if a control unit is local or central.

Detailed description of the drawings

In fig. 1 there is shown a water processing device 1 in the form of a water recycling device 200 according to one embodiment of the present invention. The water recycling device 200 is a washing machine comprising an inlet Z1 and an outlet Z2. Moreover, a recirculation loop is provided which is linked to a water quality sensor 20 from which a control unit (not shown) may decide on if water should be recirculated or discarded via the outlet Z2 which is led to a drain. Moreover, in this case the water recycling device 200 also comprises a local data receiving unit 100 which receives data in the water processing device. As mentioned above, the data receiving unit 100 may be a control unit, and then a local control unit, but the actual control unit may instead be centralized for several water recycling devices 200 and thus data receiving units 100. As notable, the data receiving unit 100 is connected to a substance addition unit 2, such as a dispenser, to enable to send data relating to the amount Y of the substance X being added to the inlet Z1 of the water recycling device 200. It may further be said that the data receiving unit suitably is in connection with the water quality sensor 20 so that it can receive data also from the sensor 20.

In fig. 2 there is shown yet another water recycling device 200 according to another embodiment of the present invention. In this case the water recycling device 200 is in the form of a hair shower device or system Moreover, in fig. 3 there is shown another water recycling device 200 according to the present invention. The water recycling device 200 comprises a flow path 4 for recycled water, a fresh water inlet 5, a recirculation water inlet 6 and a recirculation water outlet Z2, a user outlet 8, a heater 9 and a filter 10, where a substance addition unit 2, such as a dispenser, is arranged to enable addition of said substance X to an inlet Z1 of the water recycling device 200, and where the water recycling device 200 comprises a data receiving unit 100 which receives data in the water recycling device 200.

AS seen in fig. 4, several dispenser units 2 may be arranged in a unit comprising several dispenser placements 310. Moreover, the total unit may be arranged on a weighing unit 300 so that the weighing unit 300 comprises the dispenser placements 310. The dispenser placements 310 has individual weighing and individual data connection to the data receiving unit 100 so that weight data for each dispenser placement 310 may be sent to and received by the data receiving unit 100. As an example, the weighing unit 300 may be spring-loaded.