(19)
(11)EP 3 347 230 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 16763063.1

(22)Date of filing:  09.09.2016
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H02J 5/00(2016.01)
H02J 50/40(2016.01)
B60L 53/12(2019.01)
H02J 50/90(2016.01)
H02J 50/12(2016.01)
B60L 53/38(2019.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2016/071354
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/042364 (16.03.2017 Gazette  2017/11)

(54)

A SYSTEM AND A METHOD FOR DETERMINING A RELATIVE POSITION AND/OR ORIENTATION BETWEEN A PRIMARY AND A SECONDARY WINDING STRUCTURE

SYSTEM UND VERFAHREN ZUR BESTIMMUNG EINER RELATIVEN POSITION UND/ODER AUSRICHTUNG ZWISCHEN EINER PRIMÄREN UND EINER SEKUNDÄREN WICKLUNGSSTRUKTUR

SYSTÈME ET PROCÉDÉ POUR DÉTERMINER UNE POSITION ET/OU ORIENTATION RELATIVE ENTRE DES STRUCTURES D'ENROULEMENT PRIMAIRE ET SECONDAIRE


(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: 11.09.2015 GB 201516099

(43)Date of publication of application:
18.07.2018 Bulletin 2018/29

(73)Proprietor: Bombardier Primove GmbH
10785 Berlin (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • KLINGSPOR, Alexander
    76131 Karlsruhe (DE)
  • MÜHLENHOFF, Dirk
    55116 Mainz (DE)
  • ANDERS, Dominik
    68163 Mannheim (DE)
  • VELTE, Eric
    68623 Lampertheim (DE)

(74)Representative: Ramrath, Lukas 
Patentanwälte Bressel und Partner mbB Potsdamer Platz 10
10785 Berlin
10785 Berlin (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 717 430
WO-A1-2015/117989
DE-A1-102013 110 280
US-A1- 2012 095 617
US-A1- 2015 175 025
WO-A1-2014/029414
WO-A2-2014/183926
US-A1- 2012 001 593
US-A1- 2012 161 530
  
      
    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


    [0001] The invention relates to a system for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary and a secondary winding structure of a system for inductive power transfer, in particular to a vehicle.

    [0002] Electric vehicles, in particular a track-bound vehicle, and/or a road automobile, can be operated by electric energy which is transferred by means of an inductive power transfer. Such a vehicle may comprise a so-called receiving device adapted to receive an alternating electromagnetic field and to produce an alternating electric current by electromagnetic induction. Such a receiving device can comprise or provide a so-called secondary winding structure. Furthermore, such a vehicle can comprise a rectifier adapted to convert an alternating current (AC) to a direct current (DC). The DC can be used to charge a traction battery or to operate an electric machine. The rectifier converts the AC provided by the receiving device into the DC.

    [0003] The inductive power transfer is usually performed using a primary unit which generates the alternating electromagnetic field by a primary winding structure and a secondary unit which comprises the receiving device for receiving said electromagnetic field. The primary unit and the secondary unit can e.g. each comprise a set of three-phase windings providing the aforementioned primary and secondary winding structure. A set of windings of the primary unit can be installed on the ground (primary windings) and can be fed by a wayside power converter (WPC). A set of windings of the secondary unit is installed on the vehicle. For example, the second set of windings can be attached underneath the vehicle, in the case of trams under some of its wagons. The first and the secondary side can be part of a high frequency transformer to transfer electric energy to the vehicle. This transfer can be done in a static state (when there is no movement of the vehicle) and in a dynamic state (when the vehicle moves).

    [0004] US 7,454,170 B2 discloses an inductive transmission system for inductive transmission of power and full duplex data signals between first and second devices. The transmission system includes a bi-directional inductive channel between the two devices, a transmitter for transmitting a power signal at a first frequency from the first device to the second device over the inductive channel, a first modulating device for modulating a first data signal at a first modulation frequency, and a second modulating device for modulating a second data signal at a second modulation frequency. Further, the transmitters transmit the modulated first data signals from the first device to the second device over the inductive channel and transmit the modulated second data signals from the second device to the first device over the inductive channel. The first modulation frequency and the second modulation frequency are at least a factor two apart.

    [0005] Inductive power transfer usually requires a correct positioning of a vehicle-sided secondary winding structure relative to a primary winding structure in order to maximize the amount of transfer power but also in order to meet safety requirements and ensure an electromagnetic compatibility.

    [0006] WO 2011/127455 A2 describes a wireless charging and wireless power alignment of wireless power antennas associated with a vehicle.

    [0007] WO 2014/023595 A2 discloses a vehicle and an induction charging unit, wherein the induction charging unit comprises a primary coil and the vehicle comprises a secondary coil. Further, in the charging position, the secondary coil is located in a preferred spatial position range with respect to the primary coil with the result that, in order to set the charging position, the system determines, by means of an electromagnetic distance and angle measurement using triangulation, a location which describes a time-dependent spatial position of the secondary coil with respect to the primary coil. The system detects, by means of the location and the charging position, at least one partial driving direction along which the location of a charging position can be approached.

    [0008] The documents disclose communication antennas of an inductive power transfer (IPT) unit, namely the primary unit or the secondary unit.

    [0009] WO 2015/117989 A1 discloses a method of communication between a vehicle and a wayside control unit for controlling an inductive power transfer to the vehicle. Further, the invention relates to a vehicle, a wayside control unit, and an arrangement of the vehicle and the wayside control unit.

    [0010] EP 2 717 430 A1 discloses a contactless electricity supply device.

    [0011] WO 2014/183926 A1 discloses a system for the alignment of a vehicle.

    [0012] US 2012/161530 A1 discloses a wireless AC power feeding and, more particularly, to power control thereof.

    [0013] US 2015/175025 A1 discloses a system comprising a vehicle having an automatic radio-based vehicle safety unit and having an access control device.

    [0014] DE 10 2013 110 280 A1 discloses a device for determining a position of a vehicle which is inductively chargeable.

    [0015] Component tolerances and environmental influences can result in detuning of the transmitter devices used for the determination of the relative position and/or orientation. Such a detuning can thus result in measurement errors and imprecise results. Usually, a time consuming calibration of the system is necessary in order to provide the desired accuracy of the results.

    [0016] There is the technical problem to provide a system and a method for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary and a secondary winding structure of an inductive power transfer system, wherein inaccuracies due to component tolerances and environmental influences are minimized while the installation and operational effort for said minimization is reduced.

    [0017] The solution to said technical problem is provided by the subject-matter with the features of claim 1 and 11. Further advantageous embodiments of the invention are provided by the subject-matter of the sub claims.

    [0018] It is a main idea of the invention to automatically tune a transmitting frequency to the resonant frequency of a resonant circuit of a transmitting unit, wherein the transmitting unit is used to transmit a positioning signal.

    [0019] Another aspect of the invention is to use a broad-banded receiving unit for receiving the positioning signal in order to provide a reliable reception of the tuned positioning signal.

    [0020] A system for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary and a secondary winding structure of a system for inductive power transfer, in particular to a vehicle, is proposed. The system for inductive power transfer can comprise a primary unit with the primary winding structure and the secondary unit with a secondary winding structure. The vehicle can comprise a secondary unit with the secondary winding structure for receiving an alternating electromagnetic field which is generated by the primary winding structure of a primary unit. The primary winding structure generates the alternating electromagnetic field if the primary winding structure is energized or supplied with operating currents. The primary unit can comprise a totality or a subset of components by which an alternating electromagnetic field for inductive power transfer is generated. Correspondingly, the secondary unit can comprise a totality or a subset of components by which the alternating electromagnetic field for inductive power transfer is received and a corresponding output voltage is provided.

    [0021] The primary unit can be provided by an inductive power transfer pad. An inductive power transfer pad can be installed on the surface of a route or a parking space or it can be integrated within such a surface.

    [0022] The present invention can be applied in particular to the field of inductive energy transfer to any land vehicle, for example track bound vehicles, such as rail vehicles (e.g. trams). In particular, the invention relates to the field of inductive energy transfer to road automobiles, such as individual (private) passenger cars or public transport vehicles (e.g. busses).

    [0023] In the following, reference can be made to a primary-sided coordinate system and a secondary-sided coordinate system. The primary-sided coordinate system can be a coordinate system of the primary winding structure, wherein the secondary-sided coordinate system can be a coordinate system of the secondary winding structure.

    [0024] The primary-sided coordinate system can comprise a first axis, which can also be referred to as longitudinal axis, wherein the first axis can be a longitudinal axis of the primary winding structure or extend parallel to that axis. A second axis, which can also be referred to as lateral axis can be a lateral axis of the primary winding structure or extend parallel to that axis. A third axis, which can also be referred to as a vertical axis, can be oriented perpendicular to the first and the second axes. The third axis can be oriented parallel to a desired direction of power transfer, i.e. from the primary unit to the secondary unit. The vertical axis can be oriented from bottom to top if pointing from the primary unit to the secondary unit.

    [0025] The secondary-sided coordinate system can also comprise a first axis, which can be referred to as longitudinal axis, wherein the first axis can be a longitudinal axis of the secondary winding structure or extend parallel to that axis. A second axis of the secondary winding structure can be referred to as lateral axis, wherein the second axis can be a lateral axis of the secondary winding structure or can extend parallel to that axis. A third axis can be referred to as a vertical axis of the secondary winding structure and can be oriented perpendicular to the first and the second axes of the secondary winding structures. The third axis of the secondary winding structure can be oriented parallel to the desired direction of power transfer.

    [0026] In the following, a length can be measured along the first axis, a width can be measured along the second axis and a height can be measured along the third axis. Directional terms referring to a direction such as "above", "under", "ahead", "beside" can relate to the aforementioned longitudinal, lateral and vertical axes of the respective coordinate system.

    [0027] An origin of the primary-sided coordinate system can correspond to a geometric center of the primary winding structure. Correspondingly, an origin of the secondary-sided coordinate system can correspond to a geometric center of the secondary winding structure.

    [0028] The primary and/or secondary winding structure can comprise at least one subwinding structure. A subwinding structure can be provided by at least one section of the winding structure. In particular, a subwinding structure can provide a loop or a coil, wherein the loop or coil is provided by one or multiple sections of the winding structure. The winding structure can extend along the longitudinal axis of the corresponding coordinate system. Preferably, a winding structure comprises multiple subwinding structures which extend along the longitudinal axis. In this case, successive subwinding structures of the winding structure can be arranged adjacent to one another along said longitudinal axis. Adjacent to each other can mean that central axes of the subwindings, in particular the axes of symmetry, are spaced apart from another, e.g. with a predetermined distance along the longitudinal axis. A loop or coil can be circular-shaped, oval-shaped or rectangular-shaped.

    [0029] It is possible that the winding structure comprises at least one winding section which extends along the longitudinal axis and at least one winding section which extends along the lateral axis of the corresponding coordinate system. The winding structure, in particular each subwinding structure, can thus be provided by sections extending substantially or completely parallel to the longitudinal axis and sections extending substantially or completely parallel to the lateral axis. In particular, each subwinding can be provided by two sections extending substantially or completely parallel to the longitudinal and two sections extending substantially or completely parallel to the lateral axis.

    [0030] Further, the system comprises at least one secondary-sided transmitting unit. In the context of this invention, the term "secondary-sided" can mean that the respective element is arranged fixed in position relative to the secondary-sided coordinate system. In particular, a position of the secondary-sided element in the secondary-sided coordinate system can be known. Also, the term "secondary-sided" can mean that the respective element can be part of the secondary unit. Concerning the secondary-sided transmitting unit, a position and orientation within the secondary-sided coordinate system and thus relative to the secondary winding structure, can be known, e.g. by performing a calibration.

    [0031] Further, a positioning signal with a positioning frequency is transmittable by the secondary-sided transmitting unit. This can mean that the secondary-sided transmitting unit generates the positioning signal with the positioning frequency. The positioning signal denotes a signal used for the determination of the relative position and/or orientation. In particular, the positioning signal can be different from the electromagnetic field for inductive power transfer. Thus, the secondary winding structure cannot be part of the secondary-sided transmitting unit. The positioning signal can be generated with a desired, e. g. constant, transmitting power.

    [0032] The secondary-sided transmitting unit can comprise a resonant circuit. The positioning frequency can be a frequency of a frequency interval comprising a resonant frequency of a resonant circuit of the secondary-sided transmitting unit. The positioning signal can be a periodic, preferably a harmonic, signal, e.g. a sine or cosine signal.

    [0033] Further, the system comprises at least one primary-sided receiving unit for receiving a signal comprising the positioning signal. In addition to the positioning signal, the received signal can also comprise other signals. In the context of this invention, the term "primary-sided" can mean that the respective element is arranged fixed in position relative to the primary-sided coordinate system. In particular, a position and/or orientation of the primary-sided element in the primary-sided coordinate system is known. Also, the term "primary-sided" can mean that the respective element is part of the primary unit. In particular, the position and/or orientation of the primary-sided receiving unit in the primary-sided coordinate system and thus relative to the primary winding structure is known.

    [0034] Further, a signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency is determinable. The signal received by the primary-sided receiving unit can comprise multiple signal portions, wherein one signal portion corresponds to the received positioning signal generated by the transmitting unit. Further signal portions can e.g. correspond to interferences.

    [0035] Determination of the signal portion with the positioning frequency can comprise two steps, wherein in a first step, the positioning frequency is determined, wherein in a second step, the corresponding signal portion is determined. The primary unit or the primary-sided receiving unit can comprise at least one means for determining the signal portion with the positioning frequency, in particular means to determine the positioning frequency and to determine the corresponding signal portion.

    [0036] The signal portion with the positioning frequency can be determined by a primary-sided control unit, wherein the primary-sided control unit can be part of the primary-sided receiving unit or the primary unit.

    [0037] Further, the relative position and/or orientation is determinable depending on the determined signal portion. Further, the relative position and/or orientation is determinable depending on at least one signal characteristic of the determined signal portion, e.g. a spectral power of the determined signal portion. The relative position can e.g. be determined with the secondary-sided coordinate system or within the primary-sided coordinate system. In the case that the relative position is determined in the primary-sided coordinate system, the relative position can be determined as the position of the origin of the secondary-sided coordinate system within the primary-sided coordinate system. If the relative position is determined in the secondary-sided coordinate system, the relative position can be determined as the position of the origin of the primary-sided coordinate system within the secondary-sided coordinate system.

    [0038] Correspondingly, the orientation can be determined as the orientation of the secondary-sided coordinate system relative to the primary-sided coordinate system or the orientation of the primary-sided coordinate system relative to the secondary-sided coordinate system. The orientation can e.g. be determined according to the yaw-pitch-role convention.

    [0039] It is possible to determine the relative position and orientation in a two dimensional coordinate system provided by the longitudinal axes and lateral axis of the primary- or secondary-sided coordinate system. In this case, the vertical distance can be neglected. The relative position and/or orientation can e.g. be determined in a two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system or in a polar coordinate system.

    [0040] If the system comprises more than one primary-sided receiving unit for receiving a signal comprising the positioning signal, the signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency can be determinable for each receiving unit. Further, the relative position and/or orientation is determinable depending on selected, in particular all, determined signal portions or depending on at least one signal characteristic thereof.

    [0041] The relative position and/or orientation is determined by a secondary-sided control unit or by a primary-sided control unit. This means that the relative position and/or orientation is either determined on the primary side or on the secondary side.

    [0042] Information on the relative position and/or orientation can e.g. be provided to a driver of the vehicle or driver assistance system. Thus, these information can be used to position the secondary winding structure relative to the primary winding structure such that an aligned state is provided. The aligned state can be provided if the relative position and/or orientation is within a desired interval of positions and/or orientations, e.g. if the secondary winding structure is arranged above the primary winding structure or within an active volume of the primary winding structure. Further, these information can be used in order to control or enable the inductive power transfer. In particular, the inductive power transfer can only be enabled if the primary and secondary winding structure are in an aligned state.

    [0043] In a preferred embodiment, the transmitting unit comprises at least one resonant circuit.

    [0044] The resonant circuit can comprise at least one inductive element and at least one capacitive element. The at least one inductive element can e.g. be provided by an antenna element, in particular an antenna winding structure or antenna coil. The antenna element can be a magnetic element antenna, e. g. a ferrite rod antenna. The resonant circuit can be a series or a parallel resonant circuit.

    [0045] Further, a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit is determinable. The system can e. g. comprise means for determining the resonant frequency. The resonant frequency can be determined from a range of possible resonant frequencies, wherein the range comprises all or at least a part of changed resonant frequencies which are due to component tolerances and/or environmental influences. Thus, the resonant frequency can be variable. In particular, the resonant frequency can change due to component tolerances and/or environmental influences such as a temperature or pollution. Exemplary means for determining the variable resonant frequency will be explained later.

    [0046] The resonant frequency of the resonant circuit can be determined by a secondary-sided control unit, wherein the control unit can be part of the transmitting unit or the secondary unit.

    [0047] Further, the positioning frequency is chosen as the resonant frequency.

    [0048] Determining the resonant frequency and transmitting the positioning signal with a determined resonant frequency advantageously allows operating the resonant circuit with minimal power losses. Determining the signal portion with the resonant frequency on the primary side advantageously allows identifying the positioning signal in a broader spectrum, which, in turn, increases the accuracy of the determination of the relative position and/or orientation. Further, the determination of the resonant frequency advantageously allows to energize the resonant circuit with a maximal current if the driving voltage is limited, e.g. to a maximal output voltage of a signal generator. If the frequency does not match the resonant frequency, the circuit impedance can prevent the current flow even if the signal generator provides its maximal output voltage.

    [0049] In a preferred embodiment, the secondary-sided transmitting unit comprises at least on signal generator for generating an operating signal for the resonant circuit. The frequency of the operating signal is adjustable. Further, an amplitude of the operating signal can be adjustable. The signal generator can comprise semiconductor elements, e.g. MOSFETs or IGBTs. These elements can be arranged in a so-called half- or full-bridge arrangement. Alternatively, the signal generator can comprise any other means for a digital-to-analogue converter. The signal generator can e.g. be provided by a so-called driver chip. If the operating signal is applied to the resonant circuit, the resonant circuit transmits the positioning signal.

    [0050] The operating signal can be a periodic signal, in particular a harmonic signal. Preferably, the operating signal is a sine or a cosine signal. The signal generator can invert a direct current (DC) input signal into an alternating current (AC) output signal which provides the operating signal. In summary, positioning signals with different frequencies can be generated by the signal generator and the resonant circuit.

    [0051] In another preferred embodiment, the resonant frequency is determinable depending on an input power to the signal generator. The input power can be determined depending on an input current and an input voltage of the signal generator, e. g. as the product of the input current and the input voltage. The input current and/or the input voltage can be determined by a respective measuring means, e.g. a current sensor or a voltage sensor. The input power can thus be the power provided by a DC input current and a DC input voltage.

    [0052] Alternatively or in addition, the resonant frequency is determinable depending on an output power of the signal generator. The output power can be determined depending on the output voltage and an output current of the signal generator, e.g. as the product of the output current and the output voltage. The output voltage can e.g. correspond to the aforementioned input voltage.

    [0053] The system or the transmitting unit can comprise means for determining said input and/or output power, e.g. a control unit.

    [0054] It is, for instance, possible that the frequency of the operating signal is varied within a set of adjustable frequencies until the input power and/or the output power is maximized.

    [0055] Determination of the resonant frequency can be performed before the transmission of a positioning signal or periodically. The positioning signal can be transmitted during a parking procedure of the vehicle over a primary unit, e.g. over a charging pad. The parking procedure can e.g. be detected based on information transmitted between the primary unit and the secondary unit. The positioning signal can be switched off after the parking procedure is finished. Alternatively, the positioning signal can be transmitted during the process of inductive power transfer. In this case, protective measures against interferences of the positioning signal should be provided.

    [0056] This advantageously provides a simple and accurate determination of the resonant frequency which can vary due to component tolerances and/or environmental influences.

    [0057] In another embodiment, the at least one primary-sided receiving unit is a narrow-band receiving unit. Alternatively, the at least one primary-sided receiving unit is a broad-band receiving unit. This can mean that a reception sensitivity of the primary-sided receiving unit is higher than a predetermined threshold value for a predetermined range of frequencies. The frequency range can comprise frequencies of the LF frequency band, e.g. frequencies between 80 kHz to 300 kHz. This advantageously allows to reduce field warping due to metallic surfaces on the ground. It is, however, also possible to selected a higher frequency, e.g. a frequency higher than 300 kHz, in particular if a direct line of sight is available. This advantageously allows to receive positioning signals with varying frequencies with a desired reception sensitivity.

    [0058] In another embodiment, the system comprises at least two primary-sided receiving units, wherein the at least two receiving units are direction-sensitive receiving units. Main reception directions of the at least two receiving units are oriented differently. For example, a receiving unit can comprise a receiving antenna winding structure or a receiving antenna coil. In particular, a receiving unit can be provided by a directional antenna. This can mean that a maximal receiving sensitivity is provided for signals received from a desired direction.

    [0059] Preferably, a receiving unit or a direction-sensitive receiving unit can comprise a magnetic element antenna, in particular a ferrite rod antenna. It is, however, also possible that the transmitting unit can comprise a magnetic element antenna, e.g. a ferrite rod antenna, wherein the winding structure of the magnetic element antenna provides at least a part of the inductive element of the resonant circuit.

    [0060] It is further possible that the system comprises at least three primary-sided receiving units, wherein the at least three receiving units are direction-sensitive receiving units and main reception directions of the at least three receiving units are oriented differently. In particular, the main reception directions of two or three receiving units can be oriented orthogonal to each other.

    [0061] In the case of multiple receiving units, the signal portion of the received signal with the positioning or resonant frequency is determinable for each receiving unit. The relative position and/or orientation is then determinable depending on all signal portions of the set of signals receiver by all receiving units, in particular depending on a relationship between these signal portions.

    [0062] In a preferred embodiment, a main reception direction of a first receiving unit is oriented parallel to a longitudinal axis of the primary winding structure, i.e. parallel to the longitudinal axis of a primary-sided coordinate system. Further, a main reception direction of a second receiving unit is oriented parallel to a lateral axis of the primary winding structure, i.e. parallel to the lateral axis of the primary-sided coordinate system. A main reception direction of a third receiving unit can then be parallel to a vertical axis of the primary winding structure, i.e. parallel to a vertical axis of the primary-sided coordinate system.

    [0063] In another preferred embodiment, the system comprises at least two pairs of at least two primary-sided receiving units. The at least two receiving units are direction-sensitive receiving units, wherein a main reception direction of the at least two receiving units of one pair are oriented differently, wherein the receiving units of one pair are arranged close together. In particular, the main reception directions of the receiving units of one pair can be oriented parallel to the longitudinal axis and parallel to the lateral axis, respectively. In the context of this invention, the term "close together" can mean that the antenna elements, e.g. the antenna winding structures are arranged within a predetermined (small) volume. Further, close together can mean that the geometric centres of the antenna elements are spaced apart by at least a predetermined maximal distance within the primary-sided coordinate system. The maximal distance can e.g. be 500 mm or even smaller.

    [0064] The two pairs, however, can be spaced apart with a distance which is larger than said maximal distance between the two antenna elements of the receiving units of one pair.

    [0065] This advantageously allows receiving the positioning signal at various locations on the primary side and with different orientations. Hence, the accuracy of the determination of the relative position and/or orientation can be advantageously improved.

    [0066] Further described is an embodiment in which the system comprises a primary-sided AD-converter (analogue to digital converter). The received signal is digitizable by the AD-converter. If there is more than one receiving unit, each of the received signals is digitizable by the same AD-converter or by different AD-converters. The use of an AD-converter advantageously simplifies the determination of the signal portion corresponding to the positioning signal based on the digitized signal.

    [0067] In another embodiment, the system comprises at least one spectrum determining means, wherein a spectrum of the received signal is determinable by the at least one spectrum determining means. The spectrum can e.g. be determinable based on the digitized signal. The spectrum determining means can e.g. be provided by a filter means, e.g. a filter performing a fast fourier transformation (FFT). The spectrum determining means can also be provided by a control unit, in particular a primary-sided control unit.

    [0068] Based on the spectrum, the signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency or at least one signal characteristic of that portion can be determined. It is, for instance, possible to determine the spectral portion within the spectrum with the positioning frequency or comprising the positioning frequency, wherein the spectral power of said portion is determinable, wherein the relative position and/or orientation is determinable depending on said spectral power.

    [0069] Additionally, it is possible to determine the spectral power for multiple frequencies, wherein the positioning frequency is chosen as the frequency corresponding to the portion with the maximal spectral power. In summary, it is possible to determine either both, the positioning frequency and the corresponding signal portion, or only the signal portion based on the spectrum. In the latter case, the positioning frequency must be known beforehand.

    [0070] Determining the spectrum advantageously allows a robust and accurate determination of the signal portion with the positioning frequency or at least one characteristic, e. g. a spectral power, of said signal portion.

    [0071] In another embodiment, the positioning frequency is determinable based on the spectrum. This has been explained before. For instance, the positioning frequency can be determined as the frequency corresponding to a signal portion with a maximum spectral power in the spectrum or in a predetermined portion of the spectrum. This advantageously allows a simple but robust determination of the positioning frequency on the primary side.

    [0072] In another embodiment, the system comprises at least one communication means for a communication between a primary unit and a secondary unit. The communication means can e.g. be means for a unidirectional communication or, preferably, for a bidirectional communication. The communication can be a signal or data communication. The communication means can provide a wireless communication.

    [0073] It is possible that the positioning frequency which is determined on the secondary side, e.g. by a secondary-sided control unit, can be communicated to the primary side, e.g. a primary-sided control unit. Based on this communicated positioning frequency, the signal portion of the received signal can be determined. In this case, the positioning frequency communicated from the secondary side to the primary side can be used as the positioning frequency and the signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency is determined as the signal portion with the communicated positioning frequency.

    [0074] Further according to the invention, in particular if the relative position and/or orientation is determined on the primary side, corresponding information is communicated to the secondary side.

    [0075] Further described is an embodiment in which the relative position and/or orientation is determinable by a primary-sided evaluation unit. The primary-sided evaluation unit can be provided by one of the aforementioned primary-sided control units.

    [0076] Alternatively or in addition, the relative position and/or orientation is determinable by a secondary-sided evaluation unit. The secondary-sided evaluation unit can also be provided by one of the aforementioned secondary-sided control units.

    [0077] The relative position and/or orientation can e.g. be determined by using at least one data base, wherein the data base contains or encodes a relationship between the at least one determined signal portion, in particular at least one signal characteristic of the determined signal portion, and the relative position and/or orientation. The data base can also be referred to as look-up table. The data base can be generated by performing a calibration process.

    [0078] If more than one primary-sided receiving unit is used, the data base can contain a relationship between a set of determined signal portions, e.g. a set of signal characteristics of the determined signal portions, and the relative position and/or orientation. If the data base does not cover all possible relationships, an interpolation method can be used in order to determine the relative position and/or orientation for a set of determined signal portions or characteristics which is not explicitly contained in the data base.

    [0079] If the relative position and/or orientation is determinable by the secondary-sided evaluation unit according to the invention, the determined signal portion, e.g. at least one signal characteristic of the determined signal portion, e.g. the spectral power, is communicated from the primary side to the secondary side, e.g. via the proposed communication means.

    [0080] Determining the relative position and/or orientation on the secondary side advantageously allows using secondary-sided units which reduce the installation requirements for the primary unit. Determining the relative position and/or orientation by a primary-sided evaluation unit instead of a secondary-sided evaluation unit advantageously allows reducing the installation space and weight of the secondary unit. Since the primary unit allows integrating transmitting units with larger antenna units, an antenna range can be increased which, in turn, improves the accuracy of the position determination.

    [0081] In another embodiment, at least one primary-sided receiving unit is at least partially provided by at least one winding structure of an inductive object detection system. The object detection system can be a system for detecting a foreign object, in particular a foreign metal object, inside and/or outside an active volume of the primary winding structure.

    [0082] The object detection system can comprise inductive and capacitive elements, wherein these elements can be different from the elements of the resonant circuit of the proposed system. Such elements advantageously allow detecting a foreign object depending on a change of an inductance or capacitance of the aforementioned inductive or capacitive elements. The detection system is designed as an inductive sensing system, wherein the inductive sensing system can comprise one or multiple detection winding(s) and, if applicable, one or more excitation winding(s). Using an inductive detection system, an active or passive detection can be realized. In the case of an active detection, one or more excitation winding(s) and one or more detection winding(s) can be used. An active object detection can be performed by monitoring at least one characteristic properties of an excitation field generated by the excitation winding(s) and received by the detection winding(s). In the case of a passive detection, only one or more passive detection winding(s) are used. The passive object detection is performed by monitoring at least one characteristic of the passive winding(s), in particular an inductance.

    [0083] In particular, the at least one primary-sided receiving unit can be at least partially provided by or comprise one detection winding structure. Alternatively, the at least one primary-sided receiving unit can be at least partially provided by or comprise one excitation winding structure. Preferably, the detection winding structure can provide a receiving antenna structure of the primary-sided receiving unit. Alternatively or in addition, the primary-sided AD-converter is provided by an AD-converter of the inductive object detection system. In this case, the inductive object detection system can comprise an AD-converter in order to digitize the output signals of one or multiple detection windings.

    [0084] For example, an amplitude and/or a phase value of the signal received by the at least one winding structure of the inductive object detection system or the signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency can be determined. Then, the relative position and/or orientation is determinable depending on the determined amplitude and/or phase value.

    [0085] Determination of the relative position and/or orientation based on the signal received by the at least one winding structure of the inductive object detection system can be performed alternatively or in addition to the determination of the relative position and/or orientation based on the signal portion with the positioning frequency received by a primary-sided receiving unit. In other words, the system can comprise multiple primary-sided receiving units, wherein one or multiple, but not all, receiving units can be at least partially provided by at least one winding structure of the inductive object detection system. Determination of the relative position and/or orientation based on the signal received by the at least one winding structure of the inductive object detection system can e.g. be performed for a near field positioning, e.g. if the secondary unit is arranged directly above the primary unit.

    [0086] The inductive object detection system can comprise multiple detection and/or exciting winding structures, wherein these winding structures can be distributed, preferably evenly, across an active area assigned to the primary winding structure. The active area can denote an area covering the primary winding structure. The multiple detection and/or exciting winding structures can e.g. be arranged in an array-like structure.

    [0087] In another embodiment, a primary unit of the system for inductive power transfer comprises at least one magnetically conducting element, wherein the at least one magnetically conducting element and/or the at least one primary-sided receiving unit are arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal is directed along a longitudinal axis of the at least one primary-sided receiving unit.

    [0088] The magnetically conducting element or an arrangement of multiple magnetically conducting elements can be arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field for power transfer is primarily directed along a longitudinal axis of a primary-sided reference coordinate system.

    [0089] Further, the magnetically conducting element or the arrangement of multiple magnetically conducting elements and/or the at least one primary-sided receiving unit can be arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal is directed along a longitudinal axis of a primary-sided ferrite rod antenna which extends along the longitudinal direction of the primary-sided reference coordinate system.

    [0090] Further, the magnetically conducting element or the arrangement of multiple magnetically conducting elements and/or the primary-sided ferrite rod antennas can be arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal is guided through the at least one primary-sided ferrite rod antenna.

    [0091] This advantageously allows increasing the field strength of the electromagnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal in the primary-sided receiving unit.

    [0092] Further proposed is a method for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary winding structure and a secondary winding structure of a system for inductive power transfer. The method can be performed by a system according to one of the embodiments described in this invention.

    [0093] A positioning signal with a positioning frequency is transmitted by the secondary-sided transmitting unit. Further, a signal is received by at least one primary-sided receiving unit, wherein the received signal comprises the positioning signal. The received signal can be provided by the transmitted position signal at least partially. Further, a signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency is determined. This signal portion of the received signal can correspond to the transmitted positioning signal which is received by the receiving unit. Further, the relative position and/or orientation is determined depending on the determined signal portion, in particular depending on at least one signal characteristic of the determined signal portion. Preferably, the relative position and/or orientation is determined depending on a spectral power of the determined signal portion.

    [0094] This advantageously allows a robust and accurate determination even if there are component tolerances and/or environmental influences which change signal characteristics of the positioning signal.

    [0095] Further described is an embodiment in which a resonant frequency of a resonant circuit of a secondary-sided transmitting unit is determined, e. g. from a range of possible resonant frequencies which covers different resonant frequencies due to component tolerances and/or environment influences. Further, the positioning frequency is chosen as the resonant frequency.

    [0096] Further described is an embodiment in which the frequency of an operating signal of a signal generator is adjusted. The signal generator can be a secondary-sided signal generator. Further, the signal generator can be part of the transmitting unit. The operating signal is an operating signal of the resonant circuit. In particular, the frequency of the operating signal can be adjusted such that it corresponds to a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit.

    [0097] This advantageously allows operating the resonant circuit with minimal power losses. The frequency of the operating signal can be varied within a range interval of frequencies. The range can comprise the resonant frequency with ideal components and the resonant frequencies with maximal tolerances of these components.

    [0098] Further described is an embodiment in which the resonant frequency is determined depending on an input power and/or output power to/of the signal generator. In particular, the resonant frequency can be determined as the frequency of the operating signal, at which the input power and/or output power of the signal generator is maximal.

    [0099] This advantageously allows a simple determination of the resonant frequency even if there are component tolerances.

    [0100] Further described is an embodiment in which a signal comprising the positioning signal is received by at least two primary-sided receiving units, wherein the at least two receiving units are direction-sensitive receiving units, wherein a main reception direction of the at least two receiving units are oriented differently. Of course, the transmitted positioning signal can also be received by a third receiving unit. This has been explained before. Then, the signal portions of the received signals with the positioning frequency can be determined for each receiving unit, wherein the relative position and/or orientation can be determined based on these determined signal portions or based on at least one signal characteristic of these determined signal portions.

    [0101] Further described is an embodiment in which the received signal(s) is/are digitized. This advantageously simplifies a signal processing in order to determine the signal portion with the positioning frequency.

    [0102] Further described is an embodiment in which a spectrum of the received signal is determined. This has been explained before.

    [0103] Further described is an embodiment in which the positioning frequency is determined based on the spectrum of the at least one received signal. It is, for instance possible, to transform the received signal, in particular the digitized received signal into the frequency domain, e.g. by a known transformation, preferably a fast fourier transformation. Then, the positioning frequency can be determined as the frequency of a signal portion of the spectrum with a maximum spectral power. This advantageously allows a simple identification of the positioning frequency on the primary side.

    [0104] Further described is an embodiment in which a frequency interfering means is detected based on the spectrum. It is, for instance, possible to detect interference means if there are multiple local maxima of the spectral power within the spectrum. In this case, the frequency of at least one of these local maxima can be determined as the positioning frequency, wherein the remaining frequencies are identified as frequencies of interference signals. If such a frequency interfering means is detected, an alarm signal can be generated. The alarm can e.g. be used to control an alignment process and/or the inductive power transfer process. It is, for instance, possible to terminate an ongoing alignment and/or power transfer process or to prevent a start of a power transfer process if an alarm signal is generated.

    [0105] In another embodiment, the positioning frequency is communicated from the secondary unit to the primary unit. This means that corresponding information, e. g. information encoding the value of the positioning frequency, can be communicated, in particular transmitted, from the secondary unit to the primary unit. This can e.g. be performed by using an adequate communication means, e.g. a wireless communication means.

    [0106] Then, this communicated positioning frequency can be taken as the positioning frequency of the signal portion of the received signal which is to be determined for the final determination of the relative position and/or orientation.

    [0107] This means that there are at least two options for determining the positioning frequency on the primary side. In a first option, the positioning frequency can be determined based on the spectrum, wherein in a second option, information on the positioning frequency are transmitted from the secondary side to the primary side.

    [0108] Further described is an embodiment in which the relative position and/or orientation is determined by a primary-sided and/or a secondary-sided evaluation unit. This has been explained before.

    [0109] Further described is an embodiment in which different secondary-sided transmitting units are operated with different frequencies. The frequencies can be equal to the corresponding resonant frequencies or different from their respective resonant frequencies as long as the frequencies are different from one another.

    [0110] In this case, the determination of the relative position and/or orientation can be based on positioning signals with different frequencies which advantageously increases the accuracy. In this case, however, it can be necessary to transmit the frequency information of the frequencies of the operating signals from the secondary side to the primary side in order to reliably detect the corresponding signal portions of the received signal(s). In this case, only one of the secondary-sided transmitting units can be operated with the positioning frequency.

    [0111] The invention will be explained with reference to the attached figures. The figures show:
    Fig. 1
    a schematic block diagram of a system according to the invention,
    Fig. 2
    a schematic block diagram of primary-sided receiving units,
    Fig. 3
    a schematic block diagram of a system for inductive power transfer and
    Fig. 4
    a schematic top view on a system for inductive power transfer.


    [0112] In the following, identical reference numerals denote elements with the same or similar technical features.

    [0113] Fig. 1 shows a schematic block diagram of a system 1 for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary winding structure 18 (see Fig. 3) and a secondary winding structure 21 (see Fig. 3) of a system 2 (see Fig. 3) for inductive power transfer. A vehicle 3 comprises a human-machine interface 4 (HMI 4) which can e.g. be provided by a touchscreen in the passenger compartment. Further, the vehicle 3 comprises a secondary-sided control unit 5 which can e.g. be provided by a microcontroller. Further, the vehicle 3 comprises a signal generator 6 and a ferrite rod antenna 7. The signal generator 6 can generate an operating signal with a desired frequency f, in particular a harmonic signal. If energized with the operating signal, the ferrite rod antenna 7 generates a positioning signal PS. Thus, a low-frequency positioning signal PS is transmitted by the ferrite rod antenna 7. The signal generator 6 and the ferrite rod antenna 7 are parts of a secondary-sided transmitting unit. The ferrite rod antenna 7 provides or is part of a resonant circuit of this transmitting unit.

    [0114] The control unit 5 can control the signal generator such that the frequency f is varied until an input power of the signal generator 6 for generating the operating signal is maximized. The frequency f of the operating signal (and thus of the positioning signal PS) can be varied in a frequency interval ranging from 80 kHz to 300 kHz or 400 kHz. If the input power is maximized, the frequency f corresponds to a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit comprising the ferrite rod antenna 7.

    [0115] Further, the vehicle 3 comprises a wireless communication interface 8. The control unit 5 controls an operation of the HMI 4 via a signal connection. Further, the control unit 5 controls the operation of the signal generator 6 via a signal connection. The control unit 5 is also connected to the interface 8 via a bidirectional data communication. The control unit 5 can e.g. transmit information on the frequency f of the operating signal to the interface 8, wherein the interface 8 transmits this information to a primary-sided wireless communication interface 9.

    [0116] The system 1 further comprises two pairs 10a, 10b of ferrite rod antennas 11. The primary-sided ferrite rod antennas 11 provide primary-sided receiving units with a desired signal reception band. The signal reception band can e.g. comprise frequencies with a bandwidth of 5 kHz or 10 kHz. A centre frequency of the signal reception band can correspond to the desired positioning frequency.

    [0117] The ferrite rod antennas 11 provide direction-sensitive receiving units, wherein main reception directions of the two ferrite rod antennas 11 of one pair 10a, 10b are oriented differently.

    [0118] Fig. 1 shows a primary-sided reference coordinate system, wherein a longitudinal axis x and a vertical axis z are shown. A lateral axis y (not shown) is oriented perpendicular to the lateral and the vertical axes x, z. The axes x, y, z can be axes of the primary winding structure 18. It is shown that one ferrite rod antenna 11 of each pair 10a, 10b is oriented such that a main reception direction is oriented parallel to the longitudinal axis x and the remaining ferrite rod antenna 11 is oriented such that the main reception direction is oriented parallel to the vertical axis z.

    [0119] The ferrite rod antennas 11 are connected to an AD-converter 12. Upon reception of a signal comprising the positioning signal PS, ferrite rod antennas 11 will generate an analogue output signal. However, the ferrite rod antennas 11 will receive other signal 5 than the positioning signal PS. The AD-converter 12 digitizes the resulting signal 5 of each ferrite rod antenna 11. A filter 13 performs a fast fourier transformation and provides a spectrum 14 of each of the received signals. The spectrum 14 is transmitted to a primary-sided control unit 15. The primary-sided control unit 15 is connected to the primary-sided interface 9. The interface 9 transmits the frequency f of the operating signal to the primary-sided control unit 15. Based on the transmitted frequency f, the primary-sided control unit 15 determines the signal portion of the received signals with this frequency f and its spectral power.

    [0120] Thus, four values of a spectral power are determined, namely one value per primary-sided ferrite rod antenna 11. Based on a data base (not shown) and these values, the primary-sided control unit 15 can determine a relative position and/or orientation of the primary winding structure 18 and the secondary winding structure 21. The relative position and/or orientation can e.g. be provided by a distance d between geometric centres of the primary and secondary winding structures 18, 21 and angles of rotation between a primary-sided reference coordinate system and the secondary-sided reference coordinate system. The distance d and the angle(s) a can be transmitted from the primary-sided control unit 15 to the primary-sided interface 9, to the secondary-sided interface 8, to the secondary-sided control unit 5 and to the HMI 4. Thus, information on the distance d and the orientation can be provided to a passenger or a driver of the vehicle 3.

    [0121] (Why is the frequency f provided from the primary-sided control unit 15 to the AD-converter?)

    [0122] Fig. 2 shows a detailed block diagram on primary-sided parts of the system 1 for determining a position and/or orientation of a primary winding structure 18 to a secondary winding structure 21 (see Fig. 3) of a system 2 for inductive power transfer. The position and/or orientation information can be used in order to navigate a vehicle such that a desired alignment of primary winding structure 18 and a secondary winding structure 21 is achieved. Only if an aligned state is provided, an inductive power transfer can be performed.

    [0123] In Fig. 2, four ferrite rod antennas 11 are shown, wherein two ferrite rod antennas 11 provide one pair 10a, 10b of two pairs of primary-sided receiving units. In contrast to the embodiment shown in Fig. 1, a main reception direction of one ferrite rod antenna 11 of each pair 10a, 10b is oriented parallel to a longitudinal axis x of a primary-sided reference coordinate system, wherein the main reception direction of the remaining ferrite rod antenna 11 of the pair 10a, 10b is oriented parallel to the lateral axis y of the primary-sided reference coordinate system.

    [0124] The winding structures of each ferrite rod antenna 11 are connected to an AD-converter 12. The AD-converter 12 can be an AD-converter 12 of a foreign object detection system. The foreign object detection system can comprise one or multiple detection windings (not shown). It is also possible that one or more ferrite rod antennas 11 can be detection windings of the foreign object detection system.

    [0125] Further shown are a primary-sided control unit 15 and filter 13 for performing the fast fourier transform.

    [0126] Fig. 3 shows a schematic block diagram of a system 2 for inductive power transfer to a vehicle 3. Shown is an inductive power transfer pad 16 which is installed on a surface 17 of a route. The inductive power transfer pad 16 comprises a primary winding structure 18 with a geometric centre 19. Further shown is a primary-sided reference coordinate system, wherein a longitudinal axis x and a vertical axis z are shown. Above the inductive power transfer pad 16 which provides a primary unit, a secondary unit 20 with a secondary winding structure 21 is shown. Further shown is a geometric centre 22 of the secondary winding structure 21. Indicated are primary-sided ferrite rod antennas 11 which provide receiving units and a secondary-sided ferrite rod antenna 7 which provides a transmitting unit of a system 1 for determining the relative position and/or orientation between the primary winding structure 18 and the secondary winding structure 21.

    [0127] Fig. 4 shows a schematic top view on a system 2 for inductive power transfer. Shown is an inductive power transfer pad 16. Not shown is the primary winding structure 18 (see e.g. Fig. 3). The inductive power transfer pad 16 comprises at least one magnetically conducting element 23. It is shown that the magnetically conducting element 23 is arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field 24 for power transfer is primarily directed along a longitudinal axis x of the primary-sided reference coordinate system.

    [0128] Further, the magnetically conducting element 23 and/or the primary-sided ferrite rod antennas 11 are arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal is also directed along a longitudinal axis of at least one of the primary-sided ferrite rod antennas 11, in particular along a longitudinal axis of a primary-sided ferrite rod antenna 11 which extends along the longitudinal direction x of the primary-sided reference coordinate system. Further, the magnetically conducting element 23 or the arrangement of multiple magnetically conducting elements 23 and/or the primary-sided ferrite rod antennas 11 are arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal is guided through the at least one primary-sided ferrite rod antenna 11.

    [0129] This advantageously allows increasing the field strength of the electromagnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal in the primary-sided ferrite rod antennas 11.

    [0130] Further shown is a secondary unit 20 with a secondary-sided ferrite rod antenna 7.


    Claims

    1. A system for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary winding structure (18) and a secondary winding structure (21) of a system (2) for inductive power transfer, wherein the system (1) comprises at least one secondary-sided transmitting unit, wherein a positioning signal (PS) with a positioning frequency is transmittable by the secondary-sided transmitting unit, wherein the system comprises at least one primary-sided receiving unit, wherein a signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency is determinable, wherein the relative position and/or orientation is determinable depending on a signal characteristic of the determined signal portion and using at least one data base containing a relationship between the at least one signal characteristic and the relative position and/or orientation,
    characterized in that
    information on the relative position and/or orientation determined by a primary-sided control unit depending on signal portions of signals received by at least two primary-sided direction-sensitive receiving units with differently oriented main reception directions are communicated to the secondary side,
    or in that
    information on the relative position and/or orientation is determined by a secondary-sided control unit depending on signal portions of signals received by at least two primary-sided direction-sensitive receiving units with differently oriented main reception directions which are communicated to the secondary side.
     
    2. The system according to claim 1, characterized in that the transmitting unit comprises at least one resonant circuit, wherein a resonant frequency of the resonant circuit is determinable, wherein the positioning frequency is chosen as the resonant frequency or does not deviate from the resonant frequency more than a predetermined amount.
     
    3. The system according to claim 2, characterized in that the secondary-sided transmitting unit comprises at least on signal generator (6) for generating an operating signal for the resonant circuit, wherein a frequency of the operating signal is adjustable.
     
    4. The system according to claim 3, characterized in that the resonant frequency is determinable depending on an input power and/or output power to/of the signal generator (6).
     
    5. The system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a main reception direction of a first receiving unit is oriented parallel to a longitudinal axis (x) of the primary winding structure (18), wherein a main reception direction of a second receiving unit is oriented parallel to a lateral axis (y) of the primary winding structure (18) and/or that the system (1) comprises at least two pairs of at least two primary-sided receiving units, wherein the at least two receiving units are direction-sensitive receiving units, wherein a main reception direction of the at least two receiving units of one pair are oriented differently, wherein the receiving units of one pair are arranged close together.
     
    6. The system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the system (1) comprises at least one spectrum determining means, wherein a spectrum of the received signal is determinable by the at least one spectrum determining means.
     
    7. The system according to claim 6, characterized in that the positioning frequency is determinable based on the spectrum.
     
    8. The system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the system (1) comprises at least one communication means for a communication between a primary unit (16) and a secondary unit (21).
     
    9. The system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that at least one primary-sided receiving unit is at least partially provided by at least one winding structure of an inductive object detection system and/or the primary-sided AD-converter (12) is provided by an AD-converter of the inductive object detection system.
     
    10. The system according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a primary unit comprises at least one magnetically conducting element (23), wherein the at least one magnetically conducting element (23) and/or the at least one primary-sided receiving unit are arranged and/or designed such that the magnetic field used to transmit the positioning signal is directed along a longitudinal axis of the at least one primary-sided receiving unit.
     
    11. A method for determining a relative position and/or orientation between a primary winding structure (18) and a secondary winding structure (21) of a system (2) for inductive power transfer, wherein a positioning signal (PS) with a positioning frequency is transmitted by the secondary-sided transmitting unit, wherein a signal comprising the positioning signal (PS) is received by at least one primary-sided receiving unit, wherein a signal portion of the received signal with the positioning frequency is determined, wherein the relative position and/or orientation is determined depending on a signal characteristic of the determined signal portion and using at least one data base containing a relationship between the at least one signal characteristic and the relative position and/or orientation, wherein information on the relative position and/or orientation determined by a primary-sided control unit depending on signal portions of signals received by at least two primary-sided direction-sensitive receiving units with differently oriented main reception directions are communicated to the secondary side or wherein information on the relative position and/or orientation is determined by a secondary-sided control unit depending on signal portions of signals received by at least two primary-sided direction-sensitive receiving units with differently oriented main reception directions which are communicated to the secondary side.
     
    12. The method according to claim 11, characterized in that the positioning frequency is communicated from the secondary unit (20) to the primary unit (16).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. System zur Bestimmung einer relativen Position und/oder Orientierung zwischen einer primären Windungsstruktur (18) und einer sekundären Windungsstruktur (21) eines Systems (2) für eine induktive Energiesendung, wobei das System (1) mindestens eine sekundärseitige Sendeeinheit umfasst, wobei ein Positionierungssignal (PS) mit einer Positionierungsfrequenz durch die sekundärseitige Sendeeinheit sendbar ist, wobei das System mindestens eine primärseitige Empfangseinheit umfasst, wobei ein Signalanteil des empfangenen Signals mit der Positionierungsfrequenz bestimmbar ist, wobei die relative Position und/oder Orientierung abhängig von einer Signaleigenschaft des bestimmten Signalanteils und unter Verwendung mindestens einer Datenbank, die eine Beziehung zwischen der mindestens einen Signaleigenschaft und der relativen Position und/oder Orientierung enthält, bestimmbar ist,
    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass
    Informationen über die relative Position und/oder Orientierung, die von einer primärseitigen Steuereinheit abhängig von Signalanteilen von Signalen, die durch mindestens zwei primärseitige, richtungsempfindliche Empfangseinheiten mit unterschiedlich ausgerichteten Hauptempfangsrichtungen empfangen werden, bestimmt werden, an die sekundäre Seite übermittelt werden,
    oder dadurch, dass
    Informationen über die relative Position und/oder Orientierung abhängig von Signalanteilen von Signalen, die durch mindestens zwei primärseitige, richtungsempfindliche Empfangseinheiten mit unterschiedlich ausgerichteten Hauptempfangsrichtungen empfangen werden und die an die sekundäre Seite übermittelt werden, von einer sekundärseitigen Steuereinheit bestimmt werden.
     
    2. System nach Anspruch 1, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Sendeeinheit mindestens einen Resonanzkreis umfasst, wobei eine Resonanzfrequenz des Resonanzkreises bestimmbar ist, wobei die Positionierungsfrequenz als die Resonanzfrequenz gewählt wird oder um nicht mehr als einen vorgegebenen Betrag von der Resonanzfrequenz abweicht.
     
    3. System nach Anspruch 2, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die sekundärseitige Sendeeinheit mindestens einen Signalerzeuger (6) zum Erzeugen eines Betriebssignals für den Resonanzkreis umfasst, wobei eine Frequenz des Betriebssignals einstellbar ist.
     
    4. System nach Anspruch 3, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Resonanzfrequenz abhängig von einer Eingangsleistung und/oder einer Ausgangsleistung in den/aus dem Signalerzeuger (6) bestimmbar ist.
     
    5. System nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass eine Hauptempfangsrichtung einer ersten Empfangseinheit parallel zu einer Längsachse (x) der primären Windungsstruktur (18) ausgerichtet ist, wobei eine Hauptempfangsrichtung einer zweiten Empfangseinheit parallel zu einer Querachse (y) der primären Windungsstruktur (18) ausgerichtet ist, und/oder dass das System (1) mindestens zwei Paare von mindestens zwei primärseitigen Empfangseinheiten umfasst, wobei die mindestens zwei Empfangseinheiten richtungsempfindliche Empfangseinheiten sind, wobei eine Hauptempfangsrichtung der mindestens zwei Empfangseinheiten von einem Paar jeweils unterschiedlich ausgerichtet ist, wobei die Empfangseinheiten eines Paares nahe beieinander angeordnet sind.
     
    6. System nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das System (1) mindestens eine Spektrumsbestimmungseinrichtung umfasst, wobei ein Spektrum des empfangenen Signals durch die mindestens eine Spektrumsbestimmungseinrichtung bestimmbar ist.
     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 6, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Positionierungsfrequenz auf Basis des Spektrums bestimmbar ist.
     
    8. System nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das System (1) mindestens eine Kommunikationseinrichtung für eine Kommunikation zwischen einer primären Einheit (16) und einer sekundären Einheit (21) umfasst.
     
    9. System nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass mindestens eine primärseitige Empfangseinheit zumindest zum Teil von mindestens einer Windungsstruktur eines induktiven Objekterfassungssystems bereitgestellt wird und/oder der primärseitige AD-Wandler (12) von einem AD-Wandler des induktiven Objekterfassungssystems bereitgestellt wird.
     
    10. System nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass eine primäre Einheit mindestens ein magnetisch leitendes Element (23) umfasst, wobei das mindestens eine magnetisch leitende Element (23) und/oder die mindestens eine primärseitige Empfangseinheit so angeordnet und/oder gestaltet sind, dass das Magnetfeld, das verwendet wird, um das Positionierungssignal zu senden, entlang einer Längsachse der mindestens einen primärseitigen Empfangseinheit gelenkt wird.
     
    11. Verfahren zum Bestimmen einer relativen Position und/oder Orientierung zwischen einer primärseitigen Windungsstruktur (18) und einer sekundärseitigen Windungsstruktur (21) eines Systems (2) für eine induktive Energiesendung, wobei ein Positionierungssignal (PS) mit einer Positionierungsfrequenz durch die sekundärseitige Sendeeinheit gesendet wird, wobei ein Signal, welches das Positionierungssignal (PS) umfasst, durch mindestens eine primärseitige Empfangseinheit empfangen wird, wobei ein Signalanteil des empfangenen Signals mit der Positionierungsfrequenz bestimmt wird, wobei die relative Position und/oder Orientierung abhängig von einer Signaleigenschaft des bestimmten Signalanteils und unter Verwendung mindestens einer Datenbank, die eine Beziehung zwischen der mindestens einen Signaleigenschaft und der relativen Position und/oder Orientierung enthält, bestimmt wird, wobei Informationen über die relative Position und/oder Orientierung , die abhängig von Signalanteilen von Signalen, die von mindestens zwei primärseitigen, richtungsempfindlichen Empfangseinheiten mit unterschiedlich ausgerichteten Hauptempfangsrichtungen empfangen werden, von einer primärseitigen Steuereinheit bestimmt und an die sekundäre Seite übermittelt werden oder wobei Informationen über die relative Position und/oder Orientierung abhängig von Signalanteilen von Signalen, die von mindestens zwei primärseitigen, richtungsempfindlichen Empfangseinheiten mit unterschiedlich ausgerichteten Hauptempfangsrichtungen empfangen werden und die an die sekundäre Seite übermittelt werden, von einer sekundärseitigen Steuereinheit bestimmt werden.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 11, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die Positionierungsfrequenz von der sekundären Einheit (20) an die primäre Einheit (16) übermittelt wird.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système pour déterminer une position et/ou une orientation relative entre une structure d'enroulement primaire (18) et une structure d'enroulement secondaire (21) d'un système (2) pour un transfert d'énérgie inductive, dans lequel le système (1) comprend au moins une unité d'émission de côté secondaire, dans lequel un signal de positionnement (PS) ayant une fréquence de positionnement est apte à être émis par l'unité d'émission de côté secondaire, dans lequel le système comprend au moins une unité de réception de côté primaire, dans lequel une partie de signal du signal reçu ayant la fréquence de positionnement est apte à être déterminée, dans lequel la position et/ou l'orientation relative est apte à être déterminée en fonction d'une caractéristique de signal de la partie de signal déterminée et en utilisant au moins une base de données contenant une relation entre l'au moins une caractéristique de signal et la position et/ou l'orientation relative,
    caractérisé en ce que
    des informations sur la position et/ou l'orientation relative, déterminées par une unité de contrôle de côté primaire en fonction de parties de signal de signaux reçus par au moins deux unités de réception sensibles à la direction de côté primaire ayant des directions de réception principales orientées différemment, sont communiquées au côté secondaire,
    ou en ce que
    des informations sur la position et/ou l'orientation relative sont déterminées par une unité de contrôle de côté secondaire en fonction de parties de signal de signaux reçus par au moins deux unités de réception sensibles à la direction de côté primaire ayant des directions de réception principales orientées différemment, lesquelles sont communiquées au côté secondaire.
     
    2. Système selon la revendication 1, caractérisé en ce que l'unité d'émission comprend au moins un circuit résonant, dans lequel une fréquence de résonance du circuit résonant est apte à être déterminée, dans lequel la fréquence de positionnement est choisie comme étant la fréquence de résonance ou ne s'écarte pas de la fréquence de résonance de plus d'une quantité prédéterminée.
     
    3. Système selon la revendication 2, caractérisé en ce que l'unité d'émission de côté secondaire comprend au moins un générateur de signal (6) pour générer un signal de fonctionnement pour le circuit résonant, dans lequel une fréquence du signal de fonctionnement est réglable.
     
    4. Système selon la revendication 3, caractérisé en ce que la fréquence de résonance est apte à être déterminée en fonction d'une puissance d'entrée et/ou d'une puissance de sortie vers le/du générateur de signal (6).
     
    5. Système selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'une direction de réception principale d'une première unité de réception est orientée parallèlement à un axe longitudinal (x) de la structure d'enroulement primaire (18), dans lequel une direction de réception principale d'une seconde unité de réception est orientée parallèlement à un axe latéral (y) de la structure d'enroulement primaire (18) et/ou en ce que le système (1) comprend au moins deux paires d'au moins deux unités de réception de côté primaire, dans lequel les au moins deux unités de réception sont des unités de réception sensibles à la direction, dans lequel une direction de réception principale des au moins deux unités de réception d'une paire sont orientées différemment, dans lequel les unités de réception d'une paire sont agencées en étant proches les unes des autres.
     
    6. Système selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que le système (1) comprend au moins un moyen de détermination de spectre, dans lequel un spectre du signal reçu est apte à être déterminé par l'au moins un moyen de détermination de spectre.
     
    7. Système selon la revendication 6, caractérisé en ce que la fréquence de positionnement est apte à être déterminée sur la base du spectre.
     
    8. Système selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce que le système (1) comprend au moins un moyen de communication pour une communication entre une unité primaire (16) et une unité secondaire (21).
     
    9. Système selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'au moins une unité de réception de côté primaire est au moins partiellement fournie par au moins une structure d'enroulement d'un système de détection inductive d'objet et/ou le convertisseur analogique-numérique, AD, de côté primaire (12) est fourni par un convertisseur AD du système de détection inductive d'objet.
     
    10. Système selon l'une des revendications précédentes, caractérisé en ce qu'une unité primaire comprend au moins un élément magnétiquement conducteur (23), dans lequel l'au moins un élément magnétiquement conducteur (23) et/ou l'au moins une unité de réception de côté primaire sont agencés et/ou conçus de sorte que le champ magnétique utilisé pour émettre le signal de positionnement est dirigé le long d'un axe longitudinal de l'au moins une unité de réception de côté primaire.
     
    11. Procédé pour déterminer une position et/ou une orientation relative entre une structure d'enroulement primaire (18) et une structure d'enroulement secondaire (21) d'un système (2) pour un transfert d'énérgie inductive, dans lequel un signal de positionnement (PS) ayant une fréquence de positionnement est émis par l'unité d'émission de côté secondaire, dans lequel un signal comprenant le signal de positionnement (PS) est reçu par au moins une unité de réception de côté primaire, dans lequel une partie de signal du signal reçu ayant la fréquence de positionnement est déterminée, dans lequel la position et/ou l'orientation relative est déterminée en fonction d'une caractéristique de signal de la partie de signal déterminée et en utilisant au moins une base de données contenant une relation entre l'au moins une caractéristique de signal et la position et/ou l'orientation relative, dans lequel des informations sur la position et/ou l'orientation relative, déterminées par une unité de contrôle de côté primaire en fonction de parties de signal de signaux reçus par au moins deux unités de réception sensibles à la direction de côté primaire ayant des directions de réception principales orientées différemment, sont communiquées au côté secondaire ou dans lequel des informations sur la position et/ou l'orientation relative sont déterminées par une unité de contrôle de côté secondaire en fonction de parties de signal de signaux reçus par au moins deux unités de réception sensibles à la direction de côté primaire ayant des directions de réception principales orientées différemment, lesquelles sont communiquées au côté secondaire.
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 11, caractérisé en ce que la fréquence de positionnement est communiquée de l'unité secondaire (20) à l'unité primaire (16).
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description