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1. (WO2017091721) GAS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AND CONTROLLER
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CLAIMS

I claim:

1. A gas supply system, comprising:

a gas panel defining an enclosure that includes a gas dispensing manifold, wherein gas flow through the gas dispensing manifold is regulated using one or more solenoids;

a redundant control system that is electrically connected to the one or more solenoids, wherein the redundant control system is configured to send actuation signals to the solenoids to allow or prevent gas from flowing through the gas dispensing manifold; and

a communications module that allows the redundant control system to monitor a plurality of gas panels, the monitoring including receiving feedback from gas cabinet components regarding component operational status and transmitting actuation signals from the redundant control system to the gas panel.

2. The gas supply system of claim 1 , wherein the gas panel further comprises one or more gas storage and dispensing vessels mounted in the enclosure and joined in gas flow communication with the gas dispensing manifold.

3. The gas supply system of claim 1, wherein the gas panel and the redundant control system are located in a secure room that is only accessible to authorized persons.

4. The gas supply system of claim 3, wherein the authorized persons provide credentials indicating proof of certifications that allow them to perform tasks within the enclosure of the gas panel.

5. The gas supply system of claim 1, wherein the redundant control system has at least one secondary, mirrored control system configured to assume control of the gas panel on demand.

6. The gas supply system of claim 1, wherein the gas panel comprises a valve manifold box (VMB) that controls pressure and flow of gases through the gas dispensing manifold, ensuring that pressure and flow to one or more connected tools is substantially constant.

7. The gas supply system of claim 6, wherein the valve manifold box includes or is connected to an electronic pressure regulator that controls gas pressure to an inlet of a mass flow controller (MFC) which controls gas flow in the gas panel.

8. The gas supply system of claim 7, wherein the electronic pressure regulator comprises at least one of a dome loaded pressure regulator or an electro-pneumatic pressure regulator, each of which is configured to receive control signals issued by the redundant control system.

9. The gas supply system of claim 8, wherein pressure feedback readings at the MFC are provided to the dome loaded pressure regulator or to the electro-pneumatic pressure regulator to control gas line pressure.

10. The gas supply system of claim 1, wherein the communications module provides remote access to the redundant control system, allowing the redundant control system to be accessed via a portable electronic device.

11. A gas panel monitoring system, comprising:

one or more cameras positioned in view of at least one gas panel, the gas panel being located within a controlled access area;

one or more cameras positioned in view of an access door that allows entrance into to the controlled access area;

an equipment recognition system configured to determine whether pieces of equipment are being taken into the controlled access area and, if so, identify which pieces of equipment are being taken into the controlled access area; and

a controller configured to monitor video feed data from the cameras to verify that safety protocol steps related to the identified pieces of equipment are being followed before access to the gas panel in the controlled access area is granted.

12. The gas panel monitoring system of claim 11, further comprising an electronic identification device configured to grant or prevent access to the controlled area based on electronic identifiers provided to the electronic identification device.

13. The gas panel monitoring system of claim 11, wherein the controller allows or prevents tasks from being performed on the gas panel based on the identity of one or more persons who are accessing the gas panel.

14. The gas panel monitoring system of claim 11, further comprising a radio frequency identification (RFID) device configured to read RFID tags placed on gas panel equipment.

15. The gas panel monitoring system of claim 11, further comprising a display device configured to display video feed data from the one or more cameras positioned in view of the at least one gas panel, and video feed data from the one or more cameras positioned in view of the access door.

16. The gas panel monitoring system of claim 11, wherein video feed data from the one or more cameras positioned in view of the at least one gas panel, and video feed data from the one or more cameras positioned in view of the access door is provided to a portable electronic device for monitoring.

17. A gas distribution platform controlled via a high availability computing cluster, comprising:

a plurality of gas panels each defining an enclosure including therein a gas dispensing manifold, wherein gas flow through the gas dispensing manifold is regulated using one or more solenoids;

a high availability computing cluster configured to receive information from and communicate information to the plurality of gas panels, the high availability computing cluster including:

a first computing system that controls one or more of the gas panels, the first computing system having an assigned internet protocol (IP) address and being configured to host a web server via a shared IP address;

a second computing system that acts as a backup to the first computing system, the second computing system having an assigned IP address, wherein the first and second computing systems are interchangeable with each other, such that if the first computing systems fails, the second computing system will assume control of the one or more gas panels, and will take over hosting the web server via the shared IP address;

at least one software application running independently on both the first and second computing systems, the software application being configured to operate the one or more gas panels; and

a redundant hardware interface configured to communicate commands generated by the software application with the one or more gas panels.

18. The gas distribution platform of claim 17, wherein the first and second computing systems are hot-swappable.

19. The gas distribution platform of claim 17, wherein the second computing system is in a standby mode, listening to the operating state of the first computing system.

20. The gas distribution platform of claim 17, further comprising a dual power supply unit that includes two separate power supplies, wherein only one of the two power supplies is needed to operate the high availability computing cluster and/or the plurality of gas panels.