(19)
(11)EP 2 535 233 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
22.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/17

(21)Application number: 12172084.1

(22)Date of filing:  14.06.2012
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B60T 1/10(2006.01)
B60T 17/22(2006.01)
B60T 13/58(2006.01)

(54)

REGENERATIVE AIR BRAKE MODULE

REGENERATORISCHES DRUCKBREMSMODUL

MODULE DE FREIN À AIR RÉGÉNÉRATIF


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 15.06.2011 US 201113160728

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.12.2012 Bulletin 2012/51

(60)Divisional application:
19159701.2 / 3587199

(73)Proprietor: ArvinMeritor Technology, LLC
Troy, MI 48084 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • Lloyd, Jeffrey M
    Auburn Hills, MI Michigan 48326 (US)

(74)Representative: Foot, Paul Matthew James 
Withers & Rogers LLP 4 More London Riverside
London Greater London SE1 2AU
London Greater London SE1 2AU (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2010 125 398
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] This invention generally relates to a regenerative air brake module for a vehicle.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Hybrid vehicles include an e-machine or other alternative power source which works in conjunction with an internal combustion engine to drive the vehicle. The vehicle includes traditional foundation braking and regenerative braking can also be provided by the alternative power source.

    [0003] Hybrid vehicles recapture braking energy that would otherwise be lost as heat through foundation braking to improve vehicle operational efficiency. An example of a known regenerative braking system for a vehicle is disclosed in US2010/125398. When regenerative braking is being performed, it is important that the vehicle operator's braking and handling "feel" be unaffected. To achieve this there should be controlled blending of regenerative and foundation braking such that the vehicle operator can operate the vehicle in a normal and predictable manner. Maintaining this feel for hybrid commercial truck braking systems presents even more challenges. Further, it is important that mechanical safety features be incorporated into the system in the event of a failure of the regenerative braking portion of the brake system.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0004] An air brake system for a vehicle blends regenerative and foundation braking during low deceleration conditions in an effective and controlled manner. The braking system also includes a mechanical override that bypasses system electronics in response to an aggressive brake request such that treadle circuit pressure is sent directly to a brake relay circuit to actuate vehicle brakes.

    [0005] The air brake system includes a brake input member configured to receive a brake request, the brake input member mechanically actuating a treadle valve of a treadle circuit having a treadle circuit air pressure. A sensor measures the brake request, and a controller is configured to determine a valve command based on the brake request from the sensor and based on a regenerative braking level. A control valve is configured to control a delivered air pressure level in a brake relay circuit based on the valve command, the brake relay circuit includes a relay valve and is configured to communicate the delivered air pressure level to a vehicle brake. A mechanical bypass valve is operable to directly communicate treadle pressure to the relay valve when requested brake pressure is greater than an override limit.

    [0006] In one example embodiment, the air braking system for a vehicle includes a treadle circuit with a treadle valve and a relay circuit with a relay valve. The treadle valve is associated with a treadle input that is actuated in response to a brake request. The relay valve communicates a delivered air pressure to a vehicle brake. A first pressure sensor measures a requested brake pressure from the treadle valve. A control valve is in a normally open position to directly connect the treadle circuit and the relay circuit during a first mode of operation. The control valve is operable to block treadle pressure in a second mode of operation. An electronic pressure regulator is configured to communicate treadle pressure to the relay valve when in the first mode of operation and is configured to communicate an air pressure less than the treadle pressure when in the second mode of operation. A controller is configured to generate a control signal based on the requested brake pressure and an available amount of regenerative braking. The control valve and electronic pressure regulator operate in the first or second mode of operation in response to the control signal to communicate the delivered air pressure to the vehicle brake. A mechanical bypass valve is operable to directly communicate treadle pressure to the relay valve when the requested brake pressure is greater than an override limit.

    [0007] The first mode of operation is defined as a system "off' mode for standard air brake operation, and the second mode of operation is defined as a system "on" mode for regenerative braking operations at a condition where the requested brake pressure is less than a predetermined limit. When in the first mode of operation, the delivered air pressure is the treadle pressure, and when in the second mode of operation, the delivered air pressure is an air pressure that is less than the treadle pressure.

    [0008] In one example, the air brake system includes a second pressure sensor that measures a delivered brake pressure to the relay valve and communicates the delivered brake pressure to the electronic control unit to provide a closed-loop system.

    [0009] These and other features of the present invention can be best understood from the following specification and drawings, the following of which is a brief description.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] 

    Figure 1 is a schematic representation of a vehicle brake system with a regenerative brake module.

    Figure 2 is a schematic representation of a regenerative brake module as used in the brake system of Figure 1.

    Figure 3 is the regenerative brake module of Figure 2 in a system off condition.

    Figure 4 is the regenerative brake module of Figure 2 in a system on condition.

    Figure 5 is the regenerative brake module of Figure 2 in an aggressive braking condition.

    Figure 6 is another example of a regenerative brake module that can be used in the brake system of Figure 1.

    Figure 7 is another example of a regenerative brake module shown in a standard brake operation mode.

    Figure 8 is the regenerative brake module of Figure 7 in a lower pressure, regenerative brake operation condition.

    Figure 9 is the regenerative brake module of Figure 7 in a mid-pressure, regenerative brake shutdown sequence.

    Figure 10 is the regenerative brake module of Figure 7 in high pressure, regenerative brake override condition.

    Figure 11 is a schematic representation of a bypass valve combining stage one and stage two valves that can be used in a regenerative brake module as shown in Figures 7-10.

    Figure 12 is the bypass valve of Figure 11 with a pressure regulator blocked condition and with stage one closed, which corresponds to Figure 9.

    Figure 13 is the bypass valve of Figure 11 with a pressure regulator blocked condition and with the stage two valve open to provide a bypass flowpath as shown in Figure 10.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT



    [0011] A braking system 10 for a hybrid vehicle includes a primary brake circuit 12 for a rear axle 14 and a secondary brake circuit 16 for a front axle 18. The exemplary hybrid vehicle includes a drive system with an electric motor and combustion engine that cooperate to propel the vehicle; however, in alternate embodiments other hybrid vehicles (for example, hydraulic hybrids and spinwheel hybrids), and electric vehicle configurations may utilize the brake circuit described herein. The rear axle 14 includes a set of rear wheels 20 and the front axle 18 includes a set of front wheels 22. Each wheel 20, 22 includes a wheel brake with an air chamber 24. A front air supply reservoir 26 is fluidly connected to front air chambers 24 via fluid connections in the secondary brake circuit 16. A rear air supply reservoir 28 is fluidly connected to rear air chambers 24 via fluid connections in the primary brake circuit 12. An air dryer 30 is connected to the front 26 and rear 28 air supply reservoirs to reduce the moisture content of the air being supplied to the reservoirs.

    [0012] A control valve 32 is fluidly connected to the primary 12 and secondary 16 brake circuits. The control valve 32 can also be optionally fluidly connected to a tractor protection valve 34 and trailer brake system 36. A brake input member, such as a brake treadle 38 for example, is connected to the primary 12 and secondary 16 brake circuits, as well as being connected to the control valve 32. A vehicle operator can press down on the brake treadle 38 to initiate a braking request. The braking system 10 may also include a separately actuated parking brake 40 that can be selectively actuated by the vehicle operator.

    [0013] The braking system 10 includes a regenerative brake module 50 for each of the front 18 and rear 14 axles. The regenerative brake module 50 for the rear axle 14 is associated with a rear relay valve 52 that is part of a brake relay circuit. The regenerative brake module 50 for the front axle 18 is the same as the module for the rear axle; however, the brake module 50 additionally includes a front relay valve 54not present in the exemplary secondary brake circuit 16.

    [0014] One example of the regenerative brake module 50 is shown in greater detail in Figures 2-6. As shown in Figure 2, the brake treadle 38 forms part of a treadle circuit that includes a first treadle valve 56 for the primary brake circuit 12 and a second treadle valve 58 for the secondary brake circuit 16. In the example shown, a regenerative brake module 50 for the rear axle 14 is shown, with the first treadle valve 56 being fluidly connected to the rear air supply reservoir 28. It should be understood that operation of the regenerative brake module 50 for the front axle 18 would be the same as shown for the rear axle but would be connected through the second treadle valve 58.

    [0015] A first pressure sensor 60 measures a requested brake pressure generated by the vehicle operator pressing down on the brake treadle 38. A control valve comprising a 3/2 valve 62 for example, is downstream of the first pressure sensor 60. The 3/2 valve 62 is in a normally open position and is operable to move to a closed position to block airflow to vehicle foundation brakes, i.e. to block direct flow to the rear relay valve 52. An electronic pressure regulator valve 64 connects to the 3/2 valve 62 when in the closed position to allow venting. The electronic pressure regulator valve 64 provides a fluid connection between the rear air supply reservoir 28 and the rear relay valve 52 positioned upstream of the rear air chambers 24.

    [0016] An electronic control unit 66 receives the vehicle operator brake pressure request, i.e. a treadle pressure input signal 68, and compares the requested brake pressure to an available amount of regenerative brake torque that can be provided by an alternative power source 70, such as an electric generator for example. A determination of available regenerative braking can take into account parameters such as vehicle speed, passenger ride preference, the brake request, the regenerative capacity of the vehicle, energy storage state-of-charge or equivalent, and various powertrain and engine characteristics. Although an exemplary embodiment is described in which the electronic control unit 66 determines an 'available regenerative braking' it is to be understood the electronic control unit can determine a target regenerative braking level based on vehicle parameters that is less the maximum available regenerative braking level and control the vehicle based on the target regenerative braking level. For example, the target regenerative braking level may be less than the available regenerative braking during transient conditions such as a shift event. The electronic control unit 66 can determine an amount of foundation brake pressure based on the available regenerative braking level, for example to supplement regenerative braking to generate a desired total brake torque. The electronic control unit 66 generates a control signal based on the determined foundation brake level to command the 3/2 valve 62 to the closed position thereby connecting the electronic pressure regulator valve 64 to the reservoir and providing desired foundation brake pressure needed to the rear relay valve 52 of the brake relay circuit.

    [0017] In one example, a vehicle operator generates a brake request measured by the first pressure sensor at 30 psi. The electronic control unit 66 determines how much total braking torque is being requested by translating the pressure signal to a brake torque output, for example 1000 Nm by modelling or using a lookup table. The control unit 66 determines the available regenerative braking torque and determines a supplemental foundation brake level based on the brake torque output and the available regenerative braking torque. This torque requirement is translated back to a reduced brake application pressure by the electronic control unit 66 and is delivered by the pressure regulator 64 from the reservoir to the wheel brakes via relay valve 52 and the air chambers 24. For example, if the request is 1000 Nm and the available regenerative torque is 200 Nm, then the foundation brakes will supply the remaining 800 Nm. The calculation of total brake torque versus treadle pressure requires a known number of braking units and does not take into account trailer brakes, which comprise a variable braking source. Application of this regenerative brake module 50 to the trailer brake air circuit would also be possible if the number of trailer brakes were determined.

    [0018] At least one pressure-piloted valve 72 selectively provides fluid communication between the treadle 38 and the relay valve 52 when the requested brake pressure is greater than a predetermined (override) value limit, i.e. a mechanical bypass is provided to quickly and efficiently accommodate aggressive braking requests. In one example, a second pressure sensor 86 is included that measures a delivered brake pressure to the relay valve and communicates the delivered brake pressure to the electronic control unit 66 to provide a closed-loop system.

    [0019] Thus, the first pressure sensor 60, second pressure sensor 86, the 3/2 valve 62, the pressure-piloted valve 72, the electronic pressure regulator valve 64, and the electronic control unit 66 cooperate to form the regenerative brake module 50. The regenerative brake module 50 is switchable between a system "off' condition and a system "on" condition depending on various factors such as an amount of braking requested, vehicle speed, road conditions, etc.

    [0020] Figure 3 shows an example of the regenerative brake module 50 being in the system off condition For example, the control module can determine and command the system off condition when a stability control event (ABS, traction control, etc.) is detected, at slow speed, when the energy storage devices are at a maximum state of charge, or when a system fault is detected. In the system off condition the 3/2 valve 62 is normally open such that air can flow through the 3/2 valve 62, to the pressure regulator 64, and to the relay valve 52 (as indicated by flowpath 74). At pressures that exceed the predetermined limit, the pressure piloted valve 72 opens a secondary flowpath 76 to fluidly connect the pressure to the relay valve 52. In the off state both flowpaths are available depending on the treadle pressure. The pressure regulator valve 64 is connected to the supply reservoir 28 as indicated at 78. Thus, in this system off condition, there is standard air brake operation with all electronic valves being normally open for control pressure and a mechanical bypass valve being normally closed but which can provide a secondary flow path in response to pressures exceeding a predetermined limit.

    [0021] Figure 4 shows the system on condition, which typically corresponds to a situation where low pressure (pressure below the predetermined limit) braking is requested. In the system on condition (regenerative braking active) the treadle pressure is blocked by the 3/2 valve 62 and the electronic control unit 66 reads this treadle pressure as a braking request. The electronic control unit 66 then generates a command signal which is communicated to the pressure regulator 64 to provide an alternate pressure, i.e. the control unit 66 modifies the treadle circuit request.

    [0022] When this occurs, the 3/2 valve 62 is moved to the closed position, as shown in Figure 4, to block air flow from the treadle circuit and to open an exhaust path 82 through the pressure-piloted valve 72 for the electronic pressure regulator 64 to utilize during delivery of the pressure required by the electronic control unit 66. The electronic pressure regulator valve 64 delivers pressure from the reservoir connection 78 to the relay valve 52. The pressure-piloted valve 72 remains closed in this condition to isolate the requested treadle pressure from the pressure signal delivered by the electronic pressure regulator 64.

    [0023] A second pressure sensor 86 is positioned downstream of the pressure regulator valve 64 and upstream of the relay valve 52 to measure the pressure being delivered to the relay valve 52. Thus, in the system on condition a commanded pressure is delivered from the supply reservoir 28 via the electronic pressure regulator 64 to the relay valve 52, a vent path is provided for the pressure regulator valve 64, and the delivered brake pressure is monitored by the second pressure sensor 86 to provide closed loop control. Further, in the event of a full holdoff, the air brakes can be "prepped" at a crack pressure.

    [0024] Figure 5 shows the regenerative brake module 50 in a "push through" braking condition, which would occur during a high pressure (above predetermined pressure limit) braking event, i.e. aggressive or panic stopping. In response to an aggressive braking request, the electronic control unit receives the high pressure signal from the pressure sensor 60 and cancels regenerative braking operation, returning the 3/2 valve to its normally open position, and communicates the treadle pressure through the electronic pressure regulator 64 to the relay valve 52. In addition, the pressure-piloted valve 72 moves to a secondary position where air flow is communicated through the pressure-piloted valve 72 to a location downstream of the electronic pressure regulator valve 64 (as indicated by flowpath 88). Further, air flow venting from the 3/2 valve 62 is blocked by the pressure-piloted valve 72 (as indicated at 90) such that all available pressure generated by the treadle is communicated directly to the relay valve 52. The redundant operation of blocking the exhaust port serves to alleviate any inadvertent venting of the treadle pressure if the system could not react fast enough during a panic stop or failed to cancel the regenerative braking mode for some reason. Thus, if the system is in the "on" condition and a vehicle operator initiates a panic stop, the treadle pressure overpowers the pressure-piloted valve 72 and the pressure-piloted valve 72 blocks the vent option of the pressure regulator valve 64. In other words, in this situation the treadle pressure signal overrides electronic control and the treadle pressure is sent directly to the relay valve 52. As discussed above, the second pressure sensor 86 measures the delivered brake pressure supplied to the relay valve 52 and communicates the delivered brake pressure to the electronic control unit 66 to provide a closed-loop system. If the first pressure sensor 60 or the second pressure sensor 86 reads a pressure in excess of the predetermined limit, i.e. the pressure limit of the pressure-piloted valve 72, when the pressure-piloted valve 72 is moved to the bypass position, the pressure sensor 86 communicates the pressure data to the electronic control unit 66 to cancel the control (system on) mode and revert to a system off condition.

    [0025] The regenerative brake module 50 also incorporates a fault sensing condition. During normal operation, when the system is in the off condition, the first 60 and second 86 pressure sensors read the same pressure. If the sensors read different pressures, this can be used to detect possible valve failures. If one of the sensors fails, for example if the treadle pressure sensor (first pressure sensor 60) fails, the second pressure sensor 86 would still be capable of reading the requested pressure. Any difference between a failed delivery sensor and the pressure regulator valve 64 (associated with the second pressure sensor 86) can be used in a perturbation test to determine a cause of the failure. As such, a double component failure is required to lose each brake circuit operation.

    [0026] Figure 6 shows another example of a regenerative brake module 50'. This configuration is similar to that of Figures 2-5; however, the pressure-piloted valve 72 is separated into two pressure control valves. A first pressure piloted valve 100 is operable to bypass the 3/2 valve 62 when pressure exceeds a first predetermined limit, which would occurring during an event as described above with regard to Figure 4 or 5. A second pressure-piloted valve 102 is operable to block pressure from exhausting from the 3/2 valve 62 when pressure exceeds a second predetermined limit, which would occur during an aggressive braking request as described above with regard to Figure 5. The first and second predetermined limits are set to a common pressure which would be within the range of 20-50 psi, for example.

    [0027] In an optional embodiment, the brake module 50 can include an additional check valve, schematically indicated at 80. This valve 80 would be operational only during a failure mode as described below. In the system "on" condition, if the pressure regulator 64 fails to switch off when treadle pressure exceeds the override limit, i.e. when the bypass valve is tripped, then there is a condition where two pressure regulators would be fighting for control. For this reason, the valve 72 is configured to block the exhaust path such that the valve does not allow the pressure regulator 64 to vent treadle pressure back to the control unit's commanded value, i.e. a lower pressure.

    [0028] However, the valve may still attempt to ventilate. In a situation where treadle pressure exceeds the override limit and continues to increase, the pressure regulator 64 may try to vent what is considered to be excessive downstream pressure, which fills the blocked vent air passage with high pressure air. As treadle pressure begins to decrease, but is still higher than the override limit, the high pressure air is still trapped behind the pressure regulator 64. This results in application of an unbalance load on the pressure regulator valve 64 and serves as a mechanical mechanism to request more pressure from the regulator. The result is that the regulator will start to deliver pressurized air from the reservoir as pressure from the treadle is decreasing, causing a backflow through the treadle. Adding the check valve 80 allows this pressure to escape in this failure state and prevents backflow. If the check valve 80 is not included, the system may have a lag in brake release timing if the control unit 66 does not properly cancel out of the regenerative braking mode in this particular failure mode.

    [0029] Another example of a regenerative brake module 200 is shown in Figures 7-10. This configuration is similar to that of Figures 2-5; however, the mechanical bypass, i.e. the pressure-piloted valve 72 comprises a valve 202 that includes a stage one valve 204 and a stage two valve 206.

    [0030] Figure 7 shows a configuration that corresponds to a system "off' mode which occurs during standard braking operations. In this mode, the 3/2 valve 62 is in a normally open position and fluidly connected to the relay valve 52 through the pressure regulator valve 64, which is also in a normally open position. As such, treadle pressure from a treadle circuit is communicated directly to the relay valve 52 in a relay circuit of the brake system to allow standard braking to occur in response to braking requests input to the treadle 38.

    [0031] Figure 8 shows a configuration for a system "on" condition that comprises a first mode of operation. This first mode of operation is for braking requests that comprise a low pressure condition, i.e. requested pressures are below a predetermined limit such as 20-50 psi for example. In this mode of operation, the 3/2 valve 62 is moved to a position that blocks treadle pressure and opens an exhaust path 210 for the 3/2 command valve to the stage one valve 204. As such, air can be exhausted through the regulator valve 64, through the 3/2 valve 62 and out through the stage one valve 204. The stage two valve 206 continues to block access to the treadle circuit.

    [0032] The first pressure sensor 60 reads the command pressure, i.e. the pressure requested as a result of an input to the treadle 38, and communicates this pressure to the electronic control unit 66. The control unit 66 determines how much regenerative braking can be supplied and then determines how much air pressure to deliver from the reservoir 28 to supply any remaining pressure needed. As such, the requested pressure, instead of being wholly supplied via the reservoir as occurs in standard operation, is supplied as a combination of regenerative braking and a reduced amount of reservoir air pressure. Thus, the air pressure delivered to the relay valve 52 is less than the command pressure. The second pressure sensor 86 measures the pressure supplied to the relay valve 52 and communicates this measured pressure back to the control unit 66 to establish a closed loop control of delivery pressure.

    [0033] Figure 9 shows another mode of operation that corresponds to a mid-pressure, regenerative brake shutdown sequence. This occurs at pressures that exceed the predetermined pressure limit set for the Figure 8 configuration, but which are less than an override limit that would be set for a panic or aggressive brake request such as that which will be discussed with regard to Figure 10.

    [0034] In the mid-pressure mode of operation, initially the 3/2 valve 62 blocks the treadle pressure and the stage two valve 206 is also in a blocking position. The stage one valve 204 also moves to a blocking position to block the exhaust path 210 from the regulator valve 64 and 3/2 valve 62. Initially, the braking supplied to the wheel 20 is a blend of regenerative braking and a reduced air pressure, i.e. reduced compared to the command request, from the reservoir. However, in this mode, the control unit 66 blends out the regenerative braking such that the system will revert to the "off' mode as shown in Figure 7 for standard brake operation. Thus, the 3/2 valve 62 will move from the blocking position shown in Figure 9 back to a normally open position. Figure 10 shows a second mode of operation that corresponds to a high pressure, regenerative brake override condition. This would occur for a panic braking or aggressive braking request. In this configuration the stage one valve 204 blocks the exhaust path 210 and the stage two valve 206 moves to an open position, i.e. a bypass position, to directly connect the treadle circuit to the relay circuit, i.e. treadle pressure is directly supplied to the relay valve 52. The control unit 66 has no capability to override the treadle pressure and the system returns to the "off' mode as shown in Figure 7.

    [0035] In an optional embodiment, the brake module 200 can include an additional check valve, schematically indicated at 212. This valve 212 would be operational only during a failure mode as described below. In the system "on" condition, if the pressure regulator 64 fails to switch off when treadle pressure exceeds the override limit, i.e. when the bypass valve 202 is tripped, then there is a condition where two pressure regulators would be fighting for control. For this reason, the stage one valve 204 is configured to block the exhaust path 210 such that the valve does not allow the pressure regulator 64 to vent treadle pressure back to the control unit's commanded value, i.e. a lower pressure.

    [0036] However, the valve may still attempt to ventilate. In a situation where treadle pressure exceeds the override limit and continues to increase, the pressure regulator 64 may try to vent what is considered to be excessive downstream pressure, which fills the blocked vent air passage with high pressure air. As treadle pressure begins to decrease, but is still higher than the override limit, the high pressure air is still trapped behind the pressure regulator 64. This results in application of an unbalance load on the pressure regulator valve 64 and serves as a mechanical mechanism to request more pressure from the regulator. The result is that the regulator will start to deliver pressurized air from the reservoir as pressure from the treadle is decreasing, causing a backflow through the treadle. Adding the check valve 212 allows this pressure to escape in this failure state and prevents backflow. If the check valve 212 is not included, the system may have a lag in brake release timing if the control unit 66 does not properly cancel out of the regenerative braking mode.

    [0037] Figures 11-13 show the bypass valve 202 as used in the configuration shown in Figures 7-10. This valve is also set forth and described in a co-pending EP application claiming priority from serial no. US 13/160610, filed on even date herewith and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention, which is directed to the air braking system. The subject matter of this co-pending EP application claiming priority from serial no. US 13/160610 is herein incorporated by reference. The bypass valve 202 incorporates the stage one 204 and stage two 206 valves as discussed above. The bypass valve 202 has a valve body 214 that includes a bore 216 that receives the stage one 204 and stage two 206 valves. The bore 216 has an enlarged bore portion 216a of a maximum bore diameter at one valve end. A first reduced bore portion 216b extends from the enlarged bore portion 216a to a second reduced bore portion 216c. The stage one valve 204 is normally open and the stage two valve 206 is normally closed. The valve body 214 includes a 3/2 valve port 222, a relay valve port 224, a treadle port 226, and an exhaust port 228 that exhaust out of the enlarged bore portion 216a.

    [0038] A shaft 230 is fit within the valve body 214 in a sliding relationship and extends between a first shaft end 232 and a second shaft end 234. A bore 236 is formed within the shaft 230 and extends from the first shaft end 232 to the second shaft end 234. Fit within the bore 236 is a tube 238 that receives a plunger 240 at the first shaft end 232. The plunger 240 has a stem or shaft portion that is slidingly received within the tube 238 and an enlarged head portion that extends out of the tube 238. A seal 242 is received around the shaft portion and abuts against an underside of the enlarged head portion.

    [0039] In the configuration shown in Figure 11, the system is in a low pressure mode such as that described above with regard to Figure 8. The first shaft end 232 is seated against a first valve seat 244 formed at one end of the second reduced bore portion 216c and the plunger 240 is positioned such that the seal 242 is moved out of engagement with the shaft 230 to allow the pressure regulator 64 to connect to the exhaust path 210 via port 222.

    [0040] The shaft 230 also includes an enlarged flange portion 246 that supports a sealing member 248 for engagement with a second seal seat 250 formed at the transition between the first reduced bore portion 216b and the second reduced bore portion 216c. A resilient member 252 has one end 254 supported on a side of the flange portion 246 that is opposite of the sealing member 248 and an opposite end 256 that is seated against an insert member 258 that is fit within the enlarged bore portion 216a. The insert member 258 comprises a cup-shaped member having a base portion with an opening 260 through which the second shaft end 234 extends. A surface of the base portion surrounding the opening 260 provides a seat of the end 256 of the resilient member 252.

    [0041] Received within the insert member 258 is a piston 262 that also comprises a cup-shaped member. A piston head portion 264 of the piston 262 faces the base portion of the insert member 258 and includes an opening 266 to receive the tube 238. A stem 268 surrounds the opening 266 and extends outwardly from the piston head portion 264 in a direction away from the base portion of the insert member 258. The tube 238 extends through the stem 268.

    [0042] An end cap 270 is fit against the valve body 214 at an open end of the enlarged bore portion 216a. The end cap 270 includes an opening 272 for the exhaust path 210. Surrounding the opening 272 is a lip 274 that extends inwardly toward the piston 262. A resilient member 276 is seated within the piston 262. One end 278 of the resilient member 276 is seated against the piston head portion 264 and an opposite end 280 of the resilient member 276 is seated against end cap 270 to surround the lip 274.

    [0043] As discussed above, Figure 11 discloses a low pressure mode for the brake system. The 3/2 valve port 222 is open such that the pressure regulator 64 is free to use the exhaust path through the tube 238 and out the exhaust port 228. As shown, the plunger 240 is moved out of engagement with the shaft 230 to open the exhaust path and the relay valve port 224 is blocked. The treadle port 226 that is connectable to the treadle circuit is inactive at low braking pressures. As such, the valve design provides a balanced configuration where performance is independent of the downstream relay valve pressure.

    [0044] In Figure 12, the valve 202 is in a position that corresponds to the mode set forth in Figure 9. The plunger 240 is sealingly seated within the tube 238 and shaft 230 such that the pressure regulator 64 is blocked at the 3/2 valve port 222 from allowing exhaust flow out of port 228. As such, the pressure regulator 64 is blocked from lowering the brake pressure and the control unit 66 is configured to blend out of the regenerative braking to return to standard brake operation. As shown, the stage one valve 204 has closed and the piston 262 has moved away from the insert 258. This mode would occur at pressures that exceed a predetermined limit that would be within the range of 20-50 psi, for example.

    [0045] In Figure 13, the valve 202 is in a position that corresponds to the mode set forth in Figure 10. The exhaust path is blocked via the plunger 240 at the 3/2 valve port 222. The piston 262 has moved further away from the insert 258, and the flange portion is unseated from the second valve seat 250. This connects the treadle circuit directly to the relay circuit for an aggressive braking condition via the relay valve port 224 and the treadle port 226. The electronic valves are therefore immediately bypassed and the control unit 66 cannot override the bypass valve 202 in this condition.

    [0046] As shown and discussed, the various movements of the valve components occur in stages. The second stage 206 is normally closed, but as treadle pressure increases the valve is configured initially move the piston 262 away from the shaft end 234 to first blend out regenerative braking at mid-pressure ranges. As treadle pressure increases for an aggressive braking request, the shaft 230 is free to move the flange portion 246 away from the second valve seat 250 due to the compressed movement of the piston 262. This directly connects the relay and treadle circuits.

    [0047] The subject braking system 10 operates to provide computer controlled brake blending while maintaining appropriate mechanical safety features. As discussed above, brake treadle pressure is read by a pressure sensor and when the system is in the on condition, the pneumatic signal generated by the vehicle operator is blocked by the 3/2 valve, which is normally open. This valve simultaneously opens an exhaust/vent port for the proportional regulator valve that sends an alternative pressure command to the brake system. The regulator valve taps directly into the supply reservoir and delivers the alternate pressure signal from this supply. The second pressure signal reads the output pressure signal and closes the control loop on the delivery brake pressure. An alternative mechanical bypass exists that opens a self-piloted valve at a predetermined pressure to mechanically limit the regenerative braking zone to a lower range of the brake application range. This keeps regenerative operation in a low-g arrangement and voids vehicle dynamic influences.

    [0048] In one example, two regenerative brake modules are used on each circuit in the vehicle. The redundancy of the two modules allows cross checking of the input pressure sensor. Examining both pressure sensors in each circuit can determine if there is a valve failure in-between, and a perturbation of the valve setting can examiner the delivery sensor function. This module can also provide ATC operation in place of an ATC valve.

    [0049] Although an embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.


    Claims

    1. An air braking system (10) for a vehicle comprising:

    a brake input member (38) configured to receive a brake request, the brake input member (38) mechanically actuating a treadle valve (56,58) of a treadle circuit having a treadle circuit air pressure;

    a sensor (60) that measures the brake request at the treadle circuit;

    a controller (66) configured to determine a control valve (62) command based on the brake request from the sensor (60) and based on a regenerative braking level;

    a control valve (62) configured to control a delivered air pressure level in a brake relay circuit based on the control valve command, wherein the brake relay circuit includes a relay valve (52) and is configured to communicate the delivered air pressure level to a vehicle brake (24),

    characterized in that,

    a mechanical bypass valve (72) that is operable to directly communicate treadle pressure to the relay valve (52) when the requested brake pressure is greater than an override limit.


     
    2. The air braking system according to claim 1 wherein the controller is configured to determine the brake request based on treadle valve pressure.
     
    3. The air braking system according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the controller is configured to:

    receive a pressure signal measured in the treadle circuit,

    to determine an available regenerative braking level, and

    to determine the control valve command based on the pressure signal and the available regenerative braking level.


     
    4. The air braking system according to any preceding claim wherein, when operating in a first mode, the controller commands pressure to vehicle brakes at a different pressure than that requested by the treadle valve such that regeneration compensates for at least a portion of the brake request, preferably wherein, when operating in a second mode, air flows directly between the treadle circuit and the brake relay circuit to allow direct control of the delivered air pressure level by treadle valve pressure.
     
    5. The air braking system according to any preceding claim wherein, when treadle circuit air pressure falls below a predetermined pressure, the control valve allows direct air flow between the treadle circuit and the brake relay circuit.
     
    6. The air braking system according to any preceding claim wherein direct air flow is provided between the treadle circuit and the brake relay circuit in response to a system fault detection or when a high deceleration brake request.
     
    7. The air braking system according to any preceding claim wherein the regenerative braking level is based at least on one or more of the following parameters including vehicle speed, brake request, energy storage state-of-charge, and engine characteristics.
     
    8. A method of controlling an air brake system for a vehicle comprising:

    initiating a brake request by actuating a treadle input associated with a treadle valve in a treadle circuit;

    measuring a requested brake pressure from the treadle valve with a first pressure sensor;

    providing a relay valve circuit to communicate a delivered air pressure to a vehicle brake via a relay valve;

    providing a control valve that is in a normally open position to directly connect the treadle circuit and the relay circuit during a first mode of operation;

    configuring the control valve to block treadle pressure in a second mode of operation;

    configuring an electronic pressure regulator to communicate treadle pressure to the relay valve when in the first mode of operation, and to communicate an air pressure less than the treadle pressure when in the second mode of operation;

    generating a control signal based on the requested brake pressure and an available amount of regenerative braking, with the control valve and electronic pressure regulator operating in the first or second mode of operation in response to the control signal to provide the delivered air pressure;

    communicating the delivered air pressure to the vehicle brake via the relay valve; and

    directly communicating treadle pressure to the relay valve when the requested brake pressure is greater than an override limit via a mechanical bypass valve.


     
    9. The method according to claim 8 wherein, when in the first mode of operation, the delivered air pressure is the treadle pressure, and when in the second mode of operation, the delivered air pressure is an air pressure that is less than the treadle pressure and including:
    defining the first mode of operation as a system "off' mode for standard air brake operation; and
    defining the second mode of operation as a system "on" mode for regenerative braking operations at a condition where the requested brake pressure is less than a predetermined limit, preferably wherein the method includes closing the bypass valve when operating in the first mode of operation, and moving the bypass valve to provide an exhaust path when in the second mode of operation such that air can be exhausted through the electronic pressure regulator, through the control valve, and out of the bypass valve.
     
    10. The method according to claim 9 including measuring the delivered pressure to the relay valve with a second pressure sensor, and communicating the measured delivered pressure to the controller to provide closed loop control, preferably wherein the predetermined limit comprises a low pressure condition and including a third mode of operation where the requested brake pressure is greater than the first predetermined limit and less than the override limit to comprise a mid-pressure operating condition, and including:
    blocking the exhaust path via the bypass valve when in the third mode of operation; and
    blending out regenerative braking to revert from the third mode of operation to the first mode of operation.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Luftbremssystem (10) für ein Fahrzeug, das Folgendes umfasst:

    ein Bremseingabeelement (38), das konfiguriert ist, ein Bremsanforderung zu empfangen, wobei das Bremseingabeelement (38) ein Pedalventil (56, 58) eines Pedalkreises, der einen Pedalkreis-Luftdruck aufweist, mechanisch betätigt;

    einen Sensor (60), der die Bremsanforderung am Pedalkreis misst;

    eine Steuereinrichtung (66), die konfiguriert ist, auf der Grundlage der Bremsanforderung vom Sensor (60) und auf der Grundlage eines Pegels der Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie einen Steuerventilbefehl zu bestimmen;

    ein Steuerventil (62), das konfiguriert ist, auf der Grundlage des Steuerventilbefehls einen abgegebenen Luftdruckpegel in einem Bremsrelaiskreis zu steuern, wobei der Bremsrelaiskreis ein Relaisventil (52) enthält und konfiguriert ist, den abgegebenen Luftdruckpegel an eine Fahrzeugbremse (24) weiterzugeben,

    gekennzeichnet durch

    ein mechanisches Umgehungsventil (72), das betreibbar ist, den Pedaldruck direkt an das Relaisventil (52) weiterzugeben, wenn der angeforderte Bremsdruck größer als ein Übersteuerungsgrenzwert ist.


     
    2. Luftbremssystem nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Steuereinrichtung konfiguriert ist, die Bremsanforderung auf der Grundlage des Pedalventildrucks zu bestimmen.
     
    3. Luftbremssystem nach Anspruch 1 oder Anspruch 2, wobei die Steuereinrichtung konfiguriert ist zum:

    Empfangen eines Drucksignals, das im Pedalkreis gemessen wird,

    Bestimmen eines verfügbaren Pegels der Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie und

    Bestimmen des Steuerventilbefehls auf der Grundlage des Drucksignals und des verfügbaren Pegels der Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie.


     
    4. Luftbremssystem nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei dann, wenn es in einer ersten Betriebsart arbeitet, die Steuereinrichtung den Druck an die Fahrzeugbremsen mit einem anderen Druck als jenem, der durch das Pedalventil angefordert wird, anweist, derart, dass die Rückgewinnung zumindest einen Anteil der Bremsanforderung ausgleicht, wobei vorzugsweise dann, wenn es in einer zweiten Betriebsart arbeitet, Luft direkt zwischen dem Pedalkreis und dem Bremsrelaiskreis strömt, um eine direkte Steuerung des abgegebenen Luftdruckpegels durch den Pedalventildruck zu ermöglichen.
     
    5. Luftbremssystem nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei dann, wenn der Pedalkreis-Luftdruck unter einen vorgegebenen Druck abfällt, das Steuerventil einen direkten Luftstrom zwischen dem Pedalkreis und dem Bremsrelaiskreis ermöglicht.
     
    6. Luftbremssystem nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei als Antwort auf eine Systemfehlerdetektion oder wenn eine Bremsanforderung mit hoher Verzögerung vorliegt, ein direkter Luftstrom zwischen dem Pedalkreis und dem Bremsrelaiskreis bereitgestellt wird.
     
    7. Luftbremssystem nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Pegel der Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie auf mindestens einem oder mehreren der folgenden Parameter basiert, die eine Fahrzeuggeschwindigkeit, eine Bremsanforderung, einen Ladungszustand eines Energiespeichers und Kraftmaschineneigenschaften enthalten.
     
    8. Verfahren zum Steuern eines Luftbremssystems für ein Fahrzeug, das Folgendes umfasst:

    Auslösen einer Bremsanforderung durch Betätigen einer Pedaleingabe, die einem Pedalventil in einem Pedalkreis zugeordnet ist;

    Messen eines angeforderten Bremsdrucks vom Pedalventil mit einem ersten Drucksensor;

    Breitstellen eines Relaisventilkreises, um einen abgegebenen Luftdruck über ein Relaisventil an eine Fahrzeugbremse weiterzugeben;

    Bereitstellen eines Steuerventils, das sich während einer ersten Betriebsart in einer üblicherweise offenen Position befindet, um den Pedalkreis und den Relaiskreis direkt zu verbinden;

    Konfigurieren des Steuerventils, in einer zweiten Betriebsart den Pedaldruck zu sperren;

    Konfigurieren eines elektronischen Druckregulierers, den Pedaldruck an das Relaisventil weiterzugeben, wenn er in der ersten Betriebsart ist, und einen Luftdruck weiterzugeben, der kleiner als der Pedaldruck ist, wenn er in einer zweiten Betriebsart ist;

    Erzeugen eines Steuersignals auf der Grundlage des angeforderten Bremsdrucks und eines verfügbaren Betrags der Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie, wobei das Steuerventil und der elektronische Druckregulierer als Antwort auf das Steuersignal in der ersten oder der zweiten Betriebsart arbeiten, um den abgegebenen Luftdruck bereitzustellen;

    Weitergeben des abgegebenen Luftdrucks über das Relaisventil an die Fahrzeugbremse; und

    direktes Weitergeben des Pedaldrucks an das Relaisventil über ein mechanisches Umgehungsventil, wenn der angeforderte Bremsdruck größer als ein Übersteuerungsgrenzwert ist.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 8, wobei in der ersten Betriebsart der abgegebene Luftdruck der Pedaldruck ist und in der zweiten Betriebsart der abgegebene Luftdruck ein Luftdruck ist, der kleiner als der Pedaldruck ist, und das Folgendes enthält:

    Definieren der ersten Betriebsart als eine System-"Aus"-Betriebsart für den Normluftbremsbetrieb; und

    Definieren der zweiten Betriebsart als eine System-"Ein"-Betriebsart für Vorgänge zur Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie in einem Zustand, in dem der angeforderte Bremsdruck kleiner als ein vorgegebener Grenzwert ist, wobei das Verfahren vorzugsweise das Schließen des Umgehungsventils, wenn es in der ersten Betriebsart arbeitet, und das Bewegen des Umgehungsventils, derart, dass ein Auslassweg bereitgestellt wird, wenn es in der zweiten Betriebsart arbeitet, derart, dass Luft durch den elektronischen Druckregulierer, durch das Steuerventil und aus dem Umgehungsventil ausgelassen werden kann, enthält.


     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, das das Messen des an das Relaisventil abgegebenen Drucks mit einem zweiten Drucksensor und das Weitergeben des gemessenen, abgegebenen Drucks an die Steuereinrichtung, um einen geschlossenen Regelkreis bereitzustellen, enthält, wobei der vorgegebene Grenzwert vorzugsweise einen Niederdruckzustand umfasst, und das eine dritte Betriebsart enthält, wobei der angeforderte Bremsdruck größer als der erste vorgegebene Grenzwert und kleiner als der Übersteuerungsgrenzwert ist, um einen Mitteldruckbetriebszustand zu umfassen, und Folgendes enthält:

    Sperren des Auslasswegs über das Umgehungsventil in der dritten Betriebsart; und

    Ausblenden der Rückgewinnung von Bremsenergie, um von der dritten Betriebsart in die erste Betriebsart zurückzukehren.


     


    Revendications

    1. Système de frein à air (10) pour un véhicule, comprenant :

    un élément d'entrée de frein (38) configuré pour recevoir une demande de frein, l'élément d'entrée de frein (38) actionnant mécaniquement une soupape à pédale (56, 58) d'un circuit de pédale ayant une pression d'air de circuit de pédale ;

    un capteur (60) qui mesure la demande de frein au niveau du circuit de pédale ;

    un contrôleur (66) configuré pour déterminer un ordre de vanne de régulation (62) sur la base de la demande de frein du capteur (60) et sur la base d'un niveau de freinage régénératif ;

    une vanne de régulation (62) configurée pour commander un niveau de pression d'air délivré dans un circuit de relais de frein sur la base de l'ordre de vanne de régulation, dans lequel le circuit de relais de frein comprend une soupape relais (52) et est configuré pour communiquer le niveau de pression d'air délivré à un frein de véhicule (24),

    caractérisé par une soupape de dérivation mécanique (72) qui est opérationnelle pour communiquer directement la pression de pédale à la soupape relais (52) lorsque la pression de frein demandée est supérieure à une limite de dépassement.


     
    2. Système de frein à air selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le contrôleur est configuré pour déterminer la demande de frein sur la base de la pression de soupape à pédale.
     
    3. Système de frein à air selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel le contrôleur est configuré pour :

    recevoir un signal de pression mesuré dans le circuit de pédale,

    déterminer un niveau de freinage régénératif disponible, et

    déterminer l'ordre de vanne de régulation sur la base du signal de pression et du niveau de freinage régénératif disponible.


     
    4. Système de frein à air selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel lors du fonctionnement dans un premier mode, le contrôleur ordonne la pression pour les freins de véhicule à une pression différente de celle demandée par la soupape à pédale de sorte que la régénération compense au moins une partie de la demande de frein, de préférence dans lequel, lors du fonctionnement dans un deuxième mode, l'air circule directement entre le circuit de pédale et le circuit de relais de frein afin de permettre une commande directe du niveau de pression d'air délivré par la pression de soupape à pédale.
     
    5. Système de frein à air selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel, lorsque la pression d'air de circuit de pédale descend au-dessous d'une pression prédéterminée, la vanne de régulation permet une circulation d'air directe entre le circuit de pédale et le circuit de relais de frein.
     
    6. Système de frein à air selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la circulation d'air directe est prévue entre le circuit de pédale et le circuit de relais de frein en réponse à la détection d'une défaillance de système ou en cas de demande de frein à forte décélération.
     
    7. Système de frein à air selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le niveau de freinage régénératif est basé sur au moins un ou plusieurs des paramètres suivants comprenant la vitesse de véhicule, la demande de frein, l'état de charge d'un stockage d'énergie et des caractéristiques de moteur.
     
    8. Procédé permettant de commander un système de frein à air pour un véhicule, comprenant les étapes consistant à:

    lancer une demande de frein en actionnant une entrée à pédale associée à une soupape à pédale dans un circuit de pédale ;

    mesurer une pression de frein demandée provenant de la soupape à pédale avec un premier capteur de pression ;

    prévoir un circuit de soupape relais pour communiquer une pression d'air délivrée à un frein de véhicule par l'intermédiaire d'une soupape relais ;

    prévoir une vanne de régulation qui se trouve dans une position normalement ouverte pour relier directement le circuit de pédale et le circuit de relais pendant un premier mode de fonctionnement ;

    configurer la vanne de régulation pour bloquer la pression de pédale dans un deuxième mode de fonctionnement ;

    configurer un régulateur de pression électronique pour communiquer la pression de pédale à la soupape relais dans le premier mode de fonctionnement, et pour communiquer une pression d'air inférieure à la pression de pédale dans le deuxième mode de fonctionnement ;

    générer un signal de commande sur la base de la pression de frein demandée et d'une quantité disponible de freinage régénératif, la vanne de régulation et le régulateur de pression électronique fonctionnant dans le premier ou le deuxième mode de fonctionnement en réponse au signal de commande pour fournir la pression d'air délivrée ;

    communiquer la pression d'air délivrée au frein de véhicule par l'intermédiaire de la soupape relais ; et

    communiquer directement la pression de pédale à la soupape relais lorsque la pression de frein demandée est supérieure à une limite de dépassement par l'intermédiaire d'une soupape de dérivation mécanique.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 8, dans lequel, dans le premier mode de fonctionnement, la pression d'air délivrée est la pression de pédale, et dans le deuxième mode de fonctionnement, la pression d'air délivrée est une pression d'air qui est inférieure à la pression de pédale, et comprenant les étapes consistant à :

    définir le premier mode de fonctionnement comme un mode de système « désactivé » pour un fonctionnement de frein à air normal ; et

    définir le deuxième mode de fonctionnement comme un mode de système « activé » pour des opérations de freinage régénératif à condition que la pression de frein demandée soit inférieure à une limite prédéterminée, de préférence dans lequel le procédé comprend la fermeture de la soupape de dérivation lors du fonctionnement dans le premier mode de fonctionnement, et le déplacement de la soupape de dérivation pour prévoir un chemin d'échappement dans le deuxième mode de fonctionnement de sorte que l'air peut être évacué à travers le régulateur de pression électronique, à travers la vanne de régulation et hors de la soupape de dérivation.


     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, comprenant la mesure de la pression délivrée à la soupape relais avec un deuxième capteur de pression, et la communication de la pression délivrée mesurée au contrôleur pour fournir une commande en boucle fermée, de préférence dans lequel la limite prédéterminée comprend une condition de basse pression, et comprenant un troisième mode de fonctionnement dans lequel la pression de frein demandée est supérieure à la première limite prédéterminée et inférieure à la limite de dépassement pour comprendre une condition de fonctionnement à mi-pression, et comprenant :

    le blocage du chemin d'échappement par l'intermédiaire de la soupape de dérivation dans le troisième mode de fonctionnement ; et

    la suppression du freinage régénératif pour revenir du troisième mode de fonctionnement au premier mode de fonctionnement.


     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description