FreshPatents.com Logo
stats FreshPatents Stats
1 views for this patent on FreshPatents.com
2013: 1 views
Updated: July 25 2014
newTOP 200 Companies filing patents this week


    Free Services  

  • MONITOR KEYWORDS
  • Enter keywords & we'll notify you when a new patent matches your request (weekly update).

  • ORGANIZER
  • Save & organize patents so you can view them later.

  • RSS rss
  • Create custom RSS feeds. Track keywords without receiving email.

  • ARCHIVE
  • View the last few months of your Keyword emails.

  • COMPANY DIRECTORY
  • Patents sorted by company.

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Wireless occupancy sensing with portable power switching

last patentdownload pdfdownload imgimage previewnext patent


20120293013 patent thumbnailZoom

Wireless occupancy sensing with portable power switching


A system may include a wireless receiver to receive a wireless signal from an occupancy sensor and at least one power switch to control power to at least one load in response to the wireless signal, where the wireless receiver and power switch are included in a local switching device, and where the local switching device comprises a power pack having a housing, a power supply to convert high-voltage power to a low-voltage source for operating internal circuitry in the power pack, and switch control logic to implement an unoccupied delay time.

Browse recent Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. patents - Melville, OR, US
Inventor: Kevin Parsons
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120293013 - Class: 307113 (USPTO) - 11/22/12 - Class 307 


view organizer monitor keywords


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120293013, Wireless occupancy sensing with portable power switching.

last patentpdficondownload pdfimage previewnext patent

RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority and is a divisional application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/503,381 titled WIRELESS OCCUPANCY SENSING WITH PORTABLE POWER SWITCHING, filed Jul. 15, 2009, all which is incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

Occupancy sensing technologies are used to monitor the presence of human occupants in indoor and outdoor spaces. Occupancy sensing systems conserve energy by automatically turning off lighting and other electrical loads when the space is unoccupied. They may also perform a convenience function by automatically turning on lighting and other loads when an occupant enters a space.

An occupancy sensing system generally includes at least two major components: an occupancy sensor and a switching device. The sensor generally needs to be positioned in a location that is selected to have a clear view of the entire space that is to be monitored for occupants. This type of location, however, is typically not convenient for the switching device. Therefore, occupancy sensor systems generally include control wiring that runs between the occupancy sensor and the switching devices. This additional wiring tends to be expensive and time consuming to install. It may also be a source of system failures that are difficult to diagnose if the wiring is concealed in walls. Moreover, once the wiring is installed, it is difficult to reconfigure the system if there is a change in the type or location of loads that are to be controlled by the occupancy sensor.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensing system having a portable switching device according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensing system having a portable switching device according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensing system having two or more portable switching devices according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 4 illustrates an example technique for processing a signal from a detector according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 5 illustrates another example technique for processing a signal from a detector according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensor according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of a portable switching device for use in a wireless occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensor according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of a power strip having portable power switching for an occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 10 illustrates an embodiment of a portable power switching device for an occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 11 illustrates an embodiment of a portable power switching device for an occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 12 illustrates an embodiment of an appliance having portable power switching for an occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 13 illustrates an embodiment of a local power switch for a wireless occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

FIG. 14 illustrates another embodiment of a local power switch for a wireless occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure relate to the use of a portable switching device in a wireless occupancy sensing system.

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensing system having a portable switching device according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. The system of FIG. 1 includes a portable switching device 10 to control the flow of power from a building wiring system 12 to an electrical load 14 in response to a wireless signal 16 received from an occupancy sensor 18.

The portable switching device 10 may be portable in the sense that it may be removed from an interior or exterior building space without disconnecting any permanent building wiring. For example, the portable switching device may be implemented with a cord-connected power strip that may be removed from a first office by unplugging it from a receptacle and moved to second office. As another example, the portable switching device may be implemented with a screw-base adapter that may be connected between a light bulb and a screw-type light socket.

In some embodiments, the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor may be implemented as an occupancy signal that provides a relatively high-level indication of whether the monitored space is occupied or not. For example, the wireless signal may be encoded as a binary signal where one state indicates the space is occupied, and the other state indicates the space is not occupied. A binary occupancy signal may have refinements such as a delay time integrated into the signal, i.e., the signal does not switch from the occupied to the unoccupied state until the space has been unoccupied for the entire duration of the delay time.

In other embodiments, the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor may be implemented as a detector signal that provides a relatively low-level indication of a physical stimulus being sensed by a detector in the occupancy sensor. For example, in an occupancy sensor that uses passive infrared (PIR) sensing technology, the wireless signal may be encoded to transmit primitive signals or raw data from the PIR detector. Such signals or data may then be processed in the portable switching device to determine whether the monitored space is occupied.

In this and any other embodiments, the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor may be transmitted in any suitable form, for example, radio frequency (RF) signals, infrared (IR) signals, ultrasonic signals, etc.

FIG. 2 illustrates another embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensing system having a portable switching device according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. In the system of FIG. 2, the portable switching device 20 may be configured to control power to two separate loads 22 and 24 independently in response to the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor. For example, in some embodiments, one of the loads may always be energized, or may be controlled by a master switch, while the other load may be controlled by the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor. In other embodiments, both loads may be controlled by the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor, but with different delay times, different levels of sensitivity, etc. In yet other embodiments, one of the loads may be controlled by the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor, while the other load may be controlled by a combination of an ambient light detector, as well as the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensing system having two or more portable switching devices according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. In the system of FIG. 3, two different portable switching devices 26 and 28 may be configured to control power to two separate loads 30 and 32 in response to the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor. For example, in some embodiments, the first portable switching device 26 may be implemented with a screw-base adapter to turn off a task light as soon as an occupant has left a cubical that is monitored by the occupancy sensor, but the second portable switching device 28 may be implemented with a power strip configured to turn off a computer monitor and printer 30-minutes after the occupant has left the cubical.

FIG. 4 illustrates an example technique for processing a signal from a detector according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. In the embodiment of FIG. 4, a signal processor 34 is included in an occupancy sensor 36 to process signals from a detector 38. The signal processor may include all of the functionality to process a raw signal from the detector, as well as logic to make the final determination of whether the monitored space should be considered occupied.

For example, with an occupancy sensor based on PIR sensing technology, the detector 38 may include a semiconductor chip with one or more pyroelectric detectors that generate a voltage that changes in response to changes in the amount of infrared energy in the field of view. In this example, the signal processor 34 may include amplifiers, comparators, logic, etc. to determine whether a change in the amount of infrared energy is caused by the motion of an actual occupant or by some other source of infrared energy such as background energy from ambient light. The signal processor may also include logic to implement features such as a delay time to prevent false unoccupied readings. The final output from the signal processor is a binary occupancy signal that indicates whether the monitored space is occupied or unoccupied. The occupancy signal is transmitted as the wireless signal 40 to a portable switching device 42.

Although the example of FIG. 4 is shown with only one detector, multiple detectors may be used. For example, some embodiments may include both PIR and ultrasound detectors, in which case, the signal processor may include circuitry to process changes in the output of the PIR detector, as well as detecting Doppler shift in the output from an ultrasound transducer. The signal processor may also include logic to make the final occupancy determination by combining the information from the PIR and ultrasound detectors.

In the embodiment of FIG. 4, and in any other embodiments, the signal processor 34 and any other circuitry and/or logic may be implemented in analog and/or digital hardware, software, firmware, etc., or any combination thereof.

FIG. 5 illustrates another example technique for processing a signal from a detector according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the signal processor 44 is moved to the portable switching device 48. Rather than transmitting an occupancy signal, the occupancy sensor 50 transmits a detector signal that provides a relatively low-level indication of a physical stimulus being sensed by the detector 52 in the occupancy sensor. For example, in an occupancy sensor that uses PIR sensing technology, the occupancy sensor may transmit the value of the voltage output from the PIR detector in analog or digital form on the wireless signal 54. The signal processor 44 in the portable switching device 48 may then perform the processing to determine whether a change in the amount of infrared energy received at the detector 52 is caused by the motion of an actual occupant. The signal processor 44 may also include logic to implement features such as a delay time, sensitivity adjustment, etc. The portable switching device 48 then uses the occupancy determination to control the flow of power to an electrical load 14.

In some embodiments, the signal processing functions may be distributed between multiple components. For exampled, the occupancy sensor may include some rudimentary signal processing in which the detector signal is converted to a digital form with an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). In such an embodiment, some amount of filtering may be included in the occupancy sensor as well. The digitized detector signal may then be transmitted to the portable switching device where additional signal processing circuitry may complete the processing to make the occupancy determination.

In other embodiments, signal processing for multiple detectors may be distributed between multiple components. For example, with an occupancy sensor that uses a combination of PIR and video sensing, the signal processing for the PIR detector, which may require relatively little processing power, may be performed at the occupancy sensor, while processing for the video detector, which may require more processing power, may be performed at the portable switching device. In this example, the wireless signal may include a binary occupancy signal relating to the PIR portion, and a more complex detector signal relating to the video portion. Logic at the portable switching device may combine the binary PIR occupancy signal with the output from the video processing to make a final occupancy determination.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of a wireless occupancy sensor according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. The system of FIG. 6 includes a detector 56 and a wireless transmitter 58. In some embodiments, the detector may be coupled directly to the transmitter to transmit the detector signal as a relatively low-level indication of a physical stimulus sensed by a detector, for example, by transmitting a primitive signal or raw data from the detector on the wireless signal 66. In other embodiments, the occupancy sensor may include a signal processor 60 to process the detector signal and determine whether the space monitored by the detector is occupied. In such an embodiment, the signal processor may output a binary occupancy signal that is transmitted as the wireless signal 66 and indicates whether the monitored space is occupied or unoccupied. The signal processor may include logic to implement additional features such as a delay time, variable sensitivity, etc.

The occupancy sensor may also include one or more additional detectors 62. In some embodiments, the output of an additional detector may be coupled directly to the transmitter 58, while in other embodiments, the output of an additional detector may be processed by the signal processor 60. Alternatively, one or more additional transmitters may be included to transmit the output signal for one or more additional detectors, with or without subjecting the detector signal to signal processing.

The transmitter 58 may transmit the wireless signal 66 using any suitable wireless transmission technology. Examples include infrared transmission using a standard from the Infrared Data Association (IrDA), RF transmission using one of the many standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), or any other standardized and/or proprietary wireless communication technology.

A user interface 68 may be included to enable a user to configure the system, adjust parameters, etc. For example, the user interface may enable a user to set an unoccupied delay time, detector sensitivity, learn mode, etc. A user interface may be implemented with any level of sophistication from a simple push-button switch with no user feedback to a keypad with full text display, etc.

A power source 64 provides power to operate some or all of the various components of the occupancy sensor. In some embodiments, the power source may be provided from an external source, for example, by a hardwired connection to a 24 VDC power supply, a 120 VAC branch circuit, etc. In other embodiments, the power source may be internal, for example, one or more batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaic cells, etc. Other embodiments may include combinations of these various types of power sources. For example, primary power may be provided by a 120 VAC circuit, which maintains a backup battery in a charged state to provide power in the event of a loss of the 120 VAC circuit.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of a portable switching device for use in a wireless occupancy sensing system according to some of the inventive principles of this patent disclosure. The system of FIG. 7 includes a wireless receiver 70 to receive a wireless signal from an occupancy sensor using any suitable wireless transmission technologies, including those discussed above. A signal processor 72 may be included depending on the nature of the wireless signal. If the wireless signal is implemented as an occupancy signal that provides a relatively high-level indication of whether the monitored space is occupied, the signal processor may be omitted. In other embodiments, if the wireless signal from the occupancy sensor is implemented as a detector signal the signal processor may be included to process the detector signal and determine whether the monitored space is occupied.

Switch control logic 74 controls a power switch 76 in response to an occupancy signal from the receiver and/or the signal processor. The switch control logic 74 may also control one or more additional power switches 78. A power switch may include any suitable form of isolated or non-isolated power switch including an air-gap relay, solid state relay, or other switch based on SCRs, triacs, transistors, etc. The switch may provide power switching in discrete steps such as on/off switching, with or without intermediate steps, or continuous switching such as dimming control.

A user interface may be included to enable a user to configure the system, adjust parameters, etc. For example, the user interface may enable a user to set an unoccupied delay time, detector sensitivity, learn mode, etc. As with the occupancy sensor as described above, a user interface on a portable switching device may be implemented with any level of sophistication from a simple push-button switch, to a keypad with full text display, etc. For example, in some embodiments, a user interface may include a trimming potentiometer (trim pot) to set a delay time for unoccupied mode.

The power connections to the power switches may be implemented in any suitable form. For example, in some embodiments, the input power connection 82 may include a standard grounded or ungrounded power cord with a plug for connection to a wall receptacle. In other embodiments, the input power connection may include a screw base to connect the switching device to a standard screw-type light socket. In embodiments that include more than one power switch, additional power inputs 84 may be connected to the same or separate input power connections.

Since the portable switching device of FIG. 7 includes at least one power connection 82 or 84, one of these connections may be utilized as a source of power to operate the wireless receiver, signal processor, user interface, logic, etc. Alternatively, a separate power source such as one or more batteries, PV cells, etc. may be used as a primary or back-up source of power to operate this circuitry.

The connection from a power switch to a load may also be implemented in any suitable form. For example, in some embodiments, the connection 86 from the switch 76 may include a receptacle for a standard power plug, a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), a screw socket for a standard light bulb or other type of lamp holder, etc. In an embodiment having two power switches in a power strip, one of the switches may be configured to switch power to one or more receptacles in response to the wireless signal from an occupancy sensor under control of the switch control logic, while the other switch may be configured to switch a separate group of receptacles on at all times, or only turn off in response to a master on-off switch on the power strip.

In another embodiment having two power switches in a power strip, the two switches may both be configured to be controlled by the wireless signal from an occupancy sensor, but the switch control logic may cause the two switches to control separate groups of receptacles on the power strip with different delay times.

In some other embodiments, the switch control logic may also be configured to provide various types of overrides such as manual or timer overrides of the occupancy sensor for certain loads. For example, on a power strip, a specific receptacle for a coffee maker may be configured to remain energized for a fixed length of time, regardless of occupancy, to assure a completely brewed pot of coffee. The user interface may be configured to enable a user to select a specific receptacle and designate the override time and other parameters.

As another example with a power strip, a receptacle for a networked printer that is normally controlled by the occupancy sensor may be manually and temporarily overridden to remain on, for example, if the occupant knows that others will be sending network print jobs to the printer while the occupant is away from the monitored space.



Download full PDF for full patent description/claims.

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Wireless occupancy sensing with portable power switching patent application.
###
monitor keywords



Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Wireless occupancy sensing with portable power switching or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Switchable capacitor arrays for preventing power interruptions and extending backup power life
Next Patent Application:
Power supply
Industry Class:
Electrical transmission or interconnection systems
Thank you for viewing the Wireless occupancy sensing with portable power switching patent info.
- - - Apple patents, Boeing patents, Google patents, IBM patents, Jabil patents, Coca Cola patents, Motorola patents

Results in 0.51914 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Novartis , Pfizer , Philips , Procter & Gamble ,

###

All patent applications have been filed with the United States Patent Office (USPTO) and are published as made available for research, educational and public information purposes. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the authors/assignees, and is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2-0.203
     SHARE
  
           

FreshNews promo


stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120293013 A1
Publish Date
11/22/2012
Document #
13563209
File Date
07/31/2012
USPTO Class
307113
Other USPTO Classes
307116
International Class
01H47/00
Drawings
8



Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents