Virgin Galactic has been granted a patent for a heater system designed to control the temperature of a pipe. The system includes a heater body with split parts, power source, temperature sensors, and a control module to adjust heating based on measured temperature values. GlobalData’s report on Virgin Galactic 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 Virgin Galactic, was a key innovation area identified from patents. Virgin Galactic's grant share as of February 2024 was 61%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Heater system for pipe temperature control

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11920719B2) discloses a heater system designed for pipes, featuring a heater body part with multiple split parts, each containing a heating line. The system includes a power source connected to the heating lines, a confinement and manipulation part to maintain the cylindrical form of the heater body, temperature sensors in each split part to measure temperature values, and a control module to adjust the power source based on the temperature readings. The control module stores reference temperature information and failure current compensation data to address heating failures in specific split parts, ensuring the internal temperature of the heater body is maintained within the desired range.

Furthermore, the patent details additional features such as a memory storing second failure current compensation information, an alert unit to signal temperature discrepancies, and specific cutting planes within the heater body split parts. The confinement and manipulation part, composed of velcro tapes, is strategically placed to ensure proper functioning. The flexible material used for the split parts allows for easy installation and operation. The control module efficiently groups and controls the heating lines in the split parts, ensuring optimal performance of the heater system for pipe applications. Overall, the patented heater system offers a comprehensive solution for maintaining consistent temperatures in pipes, with built-in mechanisms to address potential heating failures and ensure reliable operation in various industrial settings.

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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.