**METHOD FOR MANAGING FLOW EQUALIZATION AMONG CONSUMERS ON A COMMON DISTRIBUTION NETWORK**

*;*

**H04L12/24***;*

**H04L12/28***;*

**H04L29/06***;*

**H04L29/12**

**H04N7/24**US6233611B1 | 2001-05-15 | |||

US20100306353A1 | 2010-12-02 | |||

US20080140347A1 | 2008-06-12 | |||

US20150123464A1 | 2015-05-07 | |||

US20160198325A1 | 2016-07-07 |

WHAT IS CLAIMED: 1) A method to manage a total input flow capacity of a media to a plurality of consumers interconnected by a common distribution network, comprising the steps of: establishing a consumer flow value; setting a plurality of management boundaries values based on total number of consumers to establish a plurality of unique flow level factors; and communicating a flow level factor to a flow regulator to thereby regulate the total output of the media. 2. The method of claim 1 wherein the plurality of consumers are aligned on the common distribution network in series. 3. The method of claim 3 wherein the consumer flow value is set to be a ration of the input flow volume and the output flow volume. 4. The method of claim 3 wherein the management boundaries are set to be a percentage of total output. 5. The method of claim 4 wherein each consumer has the same maximum consumption level. 6. The method of claim 5 wherein the media is selected from the group consisting of fluids, electricity and data. |

Distribution Network

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT APPLICATION

[0001] This patent application claims a benefit to the May 16, 2019 filing date of

United States Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/848,642, titled“Method for Managing Flow Equalization Among Consumers on a Common Distribution Network,” by Fifield. The disclosure of US 62/848,642 is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0002] The subject matter of the present disclosure generally relates to a method to manage a prescribed quantity of flow volume among two or more consumer members having the same maximum consumption volume limit (referred to herein as“identical consumer members”) connected in series on a common distribution network.

[0003] In one embodiment, the method is applied to In-Flight Entertainment

(IFE) power distribution loads in an aerospace application.

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0004] Methods and techniques for flow equalization management within a distribution network, such as with electric systems or fluid flow systems, are commonly applied within industry. Current methods for flow equalization or optimization are dependent on a communication network between consumer devices to facilitate the management of flow volume qualities within the distribution network. The addition of communication networks involves an increase in weight, hardware and software complexity to the over-all system.

[0005] This disclosure presents a method to manage a prescribed quantity of flow volume using an existing measurement of flow within the network; thereby removing any added communication between consumer members, in order to achieve flow equalization among two or more identical consumer members in the network.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] Figure 1 depicts the Scaled Flow management method data flow diagram

[0007] Figure 2 depicts the flow distribution network among several consumer members

[0008] Figure 3 depicts the Scaled Flow management method illustration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] The subject matter of the present disclosure generally relates to a method to manage a flow volume using a scaled flow management method which regulates the flow volume for each consumer member, not to exceed a defined maximum input flow volume into a distribution network. [0010] An objective of this method is to minimize the maximum input flow volume, such that any number of consumer members may operate at full consumption levels while other consumers are operating at less than full consumption, based on predetermined flow volume settings. This enables a flow optimization between all consumers throughout the entire distribution network.

[0011] The scaled flow management method includes a set of equations to manage the flow optimization effectively and efficiently among identical consumer members within the distribution network.

[0012] The flow optimization equation or flow equation is the governing mathematical equation that states the relationship that the sum of all the consumers’ consumption, within a common distribution network, is equal to the total amount of input capacity into the network.

Flow Equation

[0013] The general form for the flow equation relates to the sum of the flow volumes for each consumer (Bx) being equal to the total volume (Al) into the distribution network:

[0014] Another form of the flow equation is: where C represents the last consumer in the series. [0015] Along with the flow equation, several other equations establish a formulation for the scaled flow management method, which are; a number of

management boundaries for the system, a management boundaries limit values, consumer flow value, and flow level factors(s).

Establish the number of management boundaries (MB)

[0016] Management boundaries are defined as a predetermined number of volume limit values for the purpose of defining a flow volume level for any given consumer member to maintain a total flow equalization in a distribution network.

[0017] For a given collection of consumer members, a practical minimum number of boundaries within a distribution network should be established, besides the full power limit; being one of the boundaries.

[0018] The following equation will establish a minimum number of boundaries - rounding it up to the next whole number:

MB = ( - 1) Eq. 2

For example; given n =3, being a special case, then Eq 2 would be a value of 1.

Therefore, adding a full consumption value with the calculated value on MB, the total number of boundaries would be two.

[0019] For another example; given n=6, then Eq 2 would be a value of 3. Which mean, two boundary levels in addition to the full consumption value. Establish flow level factor (FlowFact)

[0020] A flow level factor is a ratio between the consumption level value (CLV) and the total consumption value, typically set at 100%, for the purpose of maintaining a desired or mandated consumption flow volume by each consumer member.

[0021] The consumption level value is based on the nominal controllability levels of the consumption output amount. The number of flow factor values is based on number of management boundaries.

[0022] The flow level factor value is based on the following equation;

Consumption Limit value (CLV)

Flow Fact =

Total Consumption Value Eq. 3

[0023] For example, given MB = 3, a system required three flow setting; FF1

100%, FF2 = 75% and FF3 = 25%. Such that;

[0024] The flow level factors regulate the maximum flow volumes for any consumer member; where the desired consumption amount of each consumer member may be less than the flow factor set limit. Establish management boundaries limits (MBL)

[0025] Given a number of management boundaries (MB) from equation 2, a management boundary limit (MBL) is a value establishing a consumption level, for each member, in which a transition will occur between flow volume settings.

[0026] The following are constraints for establishing MBLs: a) The nth consumer will not need active flow management below full consumption amount.

Rationale: The nth consumer is the last member of the network and will not limit the flow volume below maximum capacity. b) No more than (n-1) consumers shall limit their flow volume below a predetermined minimum amount.

Rationale: Input system capacity is too small if more than (n-1) consumer amounts are needed to manage every consumer’s consumption.

A) Determine the lower management boundaries limit

[0027] Equation 4 is derived from equation 3 and substituting the minimum required flow volume for all consumer members into the denominator, thus determining the lower boundary limit. This limit value is the minimum amount of flow (n-1) consumer member’s base on the use of the lowest flow factor value (Example:

FlowFactor3 Eq. 3 c).

[0028] The lower management boundaries limit is based on equation 2, which infers the following conditions; 1) C(n-l) equals the full load of the nth consumer,

2) All other consumers are set to the lowest flow volume setting

CLV

LowLimit Factor = CLV+ (n-1) _{* }FlowFact _{* }CLV Eq. 4

Which simplifies to;

1

LowLimit Factor = l+(n-l) _{* }FlowFact(Lowest value) Eq. 5

[0029] Equation 5 infers that the maximum flow volume amount of any device within the network is independent of managing the maximum input flow volume for all consumers connected is series on a comment network.

B) Determine the next limit factor

[0030] The next limit is based on the next larder value of Flow factor (Example

Eq. 3b) load values distributed across n-1 consumers following this relationship;

(C onsumer Max Limit _{* } (n) * Flow Fact) -Consumer MaxLimit

( MB)Limit Factor = (n- 1) * C onsumer Max Limit

Eq. 6

Which simplifies to;

Eq. 7

The last limit factor, MB=1, will have a numerical value of 1.0. The management boundaries limit data will be externally generated and hosted as a data set into the control processor unit within the consumer member device. Consumer flow value (CFV)

[0031] The consumer flow value is based on a ratio of the output flow volume measurement, provided as a measured quality from an output flow detector, by the input flow volume value, provided as a measured quality from a input flow detector,

[0032] For example, if the input flow to the member is 150% and the consumer member is consuming 50%; then the CFV would be output flow volume measurment 50%

- - - = - = 0.33 input flow volume measurement 150%

[0033] The calculated value of consumer flow is used to compare it to the values provided from the management boundaries limits values.

Set Flow Fact value

[0034] When a consumer flow value exceeds one of the management boundary limits, a new flow factor value will be communicated to the flow regulator.

[0035] Referencing Fig. 1, the scaled flow management method 300 manages a prescribed quantity of flow volume, among two or more consumer members having the same maximum consumption volume limit (referred to herein as“identical consumer members”), connected in series on a common distribution network. The scaled flow management method 300 receives two inputs measurements, input flow volume measurement 110 and output flow volume measurement 250 and outputs one flow factor value 320. [0036] Referencing Fig. 2, the input flow volume measurement 110 is a qualitative measurement of flow, such as, a fluid flow rate in gallons per minute or electrical current flow rate in amperes. Consumers 200 are aligned along the distribution network 105 in series. The distribution network transports a media, which may be a fluid, electrical current, data or any other transportable medium. There is a flow detector 110 - 113 associated with each consumer 200 - 203. Each flow detector communicates 120 - 123 with the scaled flow management system to generate a consumer flow value (310 in Fig. 1).

[0037] Fig. 3 illustrates the scaled flow management for an individual consumer

200. The input flow is measured 110 and a flow volume measurement 310 is communicated to a scaled flow management system 300 contained within a control processor unit 210. The flow volume measurement is compared to the set flow factor value 320 and an output flow factor value 330 is set. The flow factor setting value is signaled 230 to flow regulator 220. The output flow volume measurement 250 as measured at output flow 140 as a qualitative measurement of flow, such as a fluid flow rate in gallons per minute or electrical current flow rate in amperes.

[0038] The calculate consumer flow value 310 is a mathematical ratio between the output flow volume measurement 250 and input flow volume measurement 110 values. The output sampling duty cycle of the calculate consumer flow value 310 will be dependent on the overall flow rate of change for the system. For example, a fluid flow the rate of change can be measured in several hours, therefore the sampling time can be measured once an hour. [0039] The management boundaries 305 are a mathematical equation based on a total number of consumers in the series to establish the value of flow level factors 306. The flow level factor 306 are n number of mathematical equations based on the ratio of consumption level value to the total consumption value, which is typically 100%. The value of n is based on the value of management boundaries 305. The consumption level value is a deterministic value based on the controllability of the consumption output amount. Exemplary, a consumption output may have prescribed controllability outputs of three levels, the number of levels being based on the value of management boundaries 305, such as, 100%, 75% and 25%.

[0040] The management boundaries limits 307 are n number of mathematical equations, where each equation is based on a flow level factor 306 value. The value of n is based on the value of management boundaries 305. The lowest numerical management boundaries limit value is based on the smallest numerical flow level factor 306 value in equation 8:

_ 1 _

LowLimit MB Factor = l+(n-i) _{* }Lowest value FlowFact(306) Eq. 8

Therefore, each unique management boundaries limit 307 will correspond to a unique flow level factor 306 value.

[0041] The next higher management boundary limit 307 corresponds to a mathematical expression not to exceed n-1 equations based on the next larger numerical flow level factor (306) value to be inserted into equation 9. [0042] The last management boundary limit 307 will be 1.0. This represents the full flow consumption for any consumer.

[0043] The output of the set flow factor value 320 is a comparison between each management boundary limit 307 and the calculate consumer flow value 310. The output of set flow fact value 320 will be a unique flow level factor 306 value corresponding to the management boundary limit 307 that is the next larger numerical value of the calculate consumer flow value 310.

[0044] The send flow factor 330 is the equivalent flow level factor 306 value by which the flow regulator 400 responds accordingly. The communication medium can be analog, digital or wireless.

**Previous Patent:**LOW-POWER PERSON TRACKING SYSTEM THAT USES MAGNETIC SIGNALS

**Next Patent: SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MAKING AN ICE STRAW**