(19)
(11)EP 3 468 438 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
25.03.2020 Bulletin 2020/13

(21)Application number: 18713668.4

(22)Date of filing:  27.03.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A47L 5/24  (2006.01)
A47L 9/28  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2018/057795
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/178086 (04.10.2018 Gazette  2018/40)

(54)

BATTERY-OPERATED VACUUM CLEANER

BATTERIEBETRIEBENER STAUBSAUGER

ASPIRATEUR FONCTIONNANT SUR BATTERIE


(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: 27.03.2017 EP 17163173

(43)Date of publication of application:
17.04.2019 Bulletin 2019/16

(73)Proprietor: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
5656 AG Eindhoven (NL)

(72)Inventor:
  • LUBBERS, Matthijs, Hendrikus
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)

(74)Representative: Steenbeek, Leonardus Johannes 
Philips Intellectual Property & Standards High Tech Campus 5
5656 AE Eindhoven
5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2014/021116
DE-A1-102008 007 985
US-A1- 2016 128 527
WO-A1-2016/065151
US-A1- 2013 091 657
  
      
    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

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The invention relates to battery-operated vacuum cleaner.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] US 2010/0229321 discloses hand-held cleaning appliance including an airflow generator for generating an airflow along a suction conduit, a separating apparatus in communication with the suction conduit for separating dirt and dust from the airflow, a power source for supplying power to the airflow generator and a handgrip enabling a user to maneuver the hand-held cleaning appliance. The handgrip has a first end and a second end. The airflow generator is arranged directly adjacent the first end of the handgrip and the power source is arranged adjacent the second end of the handgrip.

    [0003] WO 2014/021116 discloses a handheld cleaner that has a cleaner body provided with a body housing and a handle. The body housing is internally equipped with an electric motor that uses a battery as a power source. The handle is held by a user. The handle has a first grip and a second grip that are configured to be held while allowing an exchange of hands therebetween. From front to rear, the handheld cleaner features a filter, a fan, a motor, and a battery. The first grip is at some distance behind the battery, and has an upper end connected to the second grip which is above the battery, and a lower end connected to an exhaust pipe which is below the battery, between the fan and a rear end of the handheld cleaner.

    [0004] US 2016/0015228 discloses a hand carryable surface cleaning apparatus. The apparatus comprises a main body housing a suction motor, and a cyclone bin assembly. The document mentions that the closer the suction motor is to handle, the smaller the moment arm between the handle and the center of gravity of the suction motor. As a result, a user will have to exert less force to maintain surface cleaning apparatus at a desired orientation while in a hand held cleaning mode. Power can be supplied to the surface cleaning apparatus 100 by an electrical cord that can be connected to a standard wall electrical outlet. Alternatively, or in addition, the power source for the surface cleaning apparatus can be an onboard energy storage device, including, for example, one or more batteries.

    [0005] US 2016/0270615 discloses an electric vacuum cleaner. A battery is housed along the up-down direction at the position of the rear end portion of the case main body, that is, a position on the rear side that is the other lateral side lateral to the axial directions of the turning flows in the first and second centrifugally separating parts.

    [0006] A battery-operated vacuum cleaner according to the preamble of claim 1 is already known e.g from US-A-20130091657.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] It is, inter alia, an object of the invention to provide a battery-operated vacuum cleaner having improved ergonomic properties. The invention is defined by the independent claim 1. Advantageous embodiments are defined in the dependent claims.

    [0008] One aspect of the invention provides a battery-operated vacuum cleaner comprises a handle having a lower end, a battery having an end that is adjacent to the lower end of the handle, a dirt management system coupled to an inlet for dirt-loaded air; and an airflow generator for generating an airflow through the dirt management system, the airflow generator being positioned adjacent the battery and a lower end of the handle. The battery has a first side adjacent to the airflow generator and a second side adjacent to the dirt management system.

    [0009] Preferably, the battery is positioned between the handle and the dirt management system.

    [0010] In embodiments, the three components which are dominant contributors to the overall weight of the appliance are positioned in such a manner that an optimum for ergonomics is generated. These and other aspects of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated with reference to the embodiments described hereinafter.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] Figs. 1 - 12 show various embodiments of a battery-operated vacuum cleaner in accordance with the invention.

    DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



    [0012] Figs. 1 - 12 show various embodiments of a battery-operated vacuum cleaner in accordance with the invention, having a handle H, a power source or battery B, an airflow generator (motor-fan aggregate) AG, a dirt management system (cyclone, bucket, filter) DMS, a suction tube T, a virtual tilting line VTL, a hinge HN and a nozzle N.

    [0013] A battery-operated vacuum cleaner contains three components which are dominant contributors to the overall weight of the appliance, viz. the airflow generator AG, the dirt management system DMS (which includes a cyclone, a bucket, and a filter) and the most dominant one, the power source formed by the battery B. To solve the high force in the hand during use on surfaces different to the floor, the center of mass should be close to the handle H. To have the optimal position for the center of mass, the three components B, AG, DMS that are dominant contributors to the weight should be arranged in a specific manner.

    [0014] Most usage of the appliance is vacuuming the floor, this means the center of mass should be close to but in front of the handle. Another important aspect for the position of the center of mass is maneuvering/steering. When the center of mass is above a virtual tilting line VTL (i.e. a virtual line from the hinge HN to a middle of the handle H), the steering becomes very nervous. The mass tilts the appliance to left or right when slightly steered. Having the center of mass exact on to the virtual tilting line VTL is still perceived as nervous. Having the center of mass a bit under the virtual tilting line VTL makes the appliance a bit self-correcting when moving back and forward. This is in general perceived by the user as most comfortable.

    [0015] The above mentioned position of center of mass determines the position of the heaviest components (dirt management system DMS, airflow generator AG, and battery B) of the appliance. Compared to the power source B and the airflow generator AG, the dirt management system DMS is the biggest component but also not as heavy (low weight/size ratio), and should for that reason be further away from the handle H than the other two components airflow generator AG and the battery B. The airflow generator AG and the battery B should be distributed in front and below the handle H. Another restriction for the airflow generator AG is that the airflow generator AG needs to be connected via an air channel to the dirt management system DMS. To reduce pressure loss, this air channel should be short and wide with a minimum of bends.

    [0016] The battery B not only serves to provide power for the air flow generator AG but also for several powered accessories such as nozzles and lights. The battery B can be a singular large battery cell or a combination of multiple battery cells to form one power source of sufficient capacity. Due to the power capacity of current state of the art battery cells, several cells are necessary to have a satisfying runtime of the appliance. The advantages of having multiple cells are not only a satisfying runtime, but also that the form of the power source (the combined cells) can be more freely designed. However, it is preferred to have a compact power source which can be replaced easily either by a user or by a service center. Having battery cells on multiple places in the appliance is thus a less preferred option.

    [0017] Based upon the above mentioned boundaries, an optimal configuration of components can be distilled. The battery B is adjacent to an upper and a lower end of the handle H, where there is sufficient space around the handgrip to position fingers etc. The battery B preferably has an L shape. The airflow generator AG is positioned directly adjacent to the battery B and below the lower end of the handle H. The dirt management system DMS is placed in front of the battery B and the handle H, and is adjacent to the battery B and airflow generator AG. For good ergonomics, the handle H is preferably at an angle of more than 45° with regard to the suction tube T, so that the user can easily push and pull the vacuum cleaner.

    [0018] The above principles can be implemented in various ways, of which Figs. 1 - 12 show examples. In Fig. 1, the battery B is L shaped, with an approximately 90° angle between the legs of the L, with a relatively thick short leg next to the dirt management system DMS and a relatively thin long leg adjacent to the airflow generator AG. In Fig. 2, the battery B is again L shaped, with an approximately 90° angle between the legs of the L, but now the long leg neighbors the dirt management system DMS (filter F, cyclone C, bucket BK) while the short leg neighbors the airflow generator AG. Fig. 3 resembles Fig. 1, with a slightly differently shaped battery B. Fig. 4 shows a tilted dirt management system DMS, and a battery having two legs neighboring the airflow generator AG and the dirt management system DMS, which two legs are at an angle different from 90°. In Fig. 5, both legs of the battery B have about the same thickness. In Fig. 6, the handle H extends behind the battery B. In a practical embodiment, the shape of battery B resembles \-, i.e. the battery B has a long end neighboring the dirt management system DMS and parallel to but spaced from the handle H, and a short end neighboring the airflow generator AG, in which the long end leans slightly backwards compared to the short end, like in Figs. 4-6, but different from Figs. 4-6 in that the long end continues a little downwards beyond the point where the short end connects with the long end. In Fig. 7, the battery B partly has a triangular shape. In Fig. 8, the battery B has a T-shape rather than an L-shape. In Fig. 9, the handle H is curved, the dirt management system DMS is tilted, and the battery B has two legs at an angle larger than 90°. In Fig. 10, the battery B is curved. In Fig. 11, the dirt management system DMS is parallel to the suction tube T, with the cyclone C facing downwards. The battery B is kind of L-shaped, with one leg about parallel to the handle H. In Fig. 12, the dirt management system DMS is again parallel to the suction tube T, with the battery B having a T-shape with the long leg about parallel to the handle H.

    [0019] It should be noted that the above-mentioned embodiments illustrate rather than limit the invention, and that those skilled in the art will be able to design many alternative embodiments without departing from the scope of the appended claims. In the claims, any reference signs placed between parentheses shall not be construed as limiting the claim. The word "comprising" does not exclude the presence of elements or steps other than those listed in a claim. The word "a" or "an" preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements. In the device claim enumerating several means, several of these means may be embodied by one and the same item of hardware. The mere fact that certain measures are recited in mutually different dependent claims does not indicate that a combination of these measures cannot be used to advantage.


    Claims

    1. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner, comprising:

    a handle (H) having an upper end and a lower end;

    a battery (B) having an end that is adjacent to the lower end of the handle (H);

    a dirt management system (DMS) coupled to an inlet (N) for dirt-loaded air;

    an airflow generator (AG) for generating an airflow through the dirt management system (DMS), the airflow generator (AG) being positioned adjacent the battery (B) and the lower end of the handle (H),

    wherein the battery (B) has a first side adjacent to the airflow generator (AG) and a second side adjacent to the dirt management system (DMS), characterized in that the second side is at an angle to the first side, the angle being one of approximately 90° and larger than 90°.


     
    2. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in claim 1, wherein the battery (B) is positioned between the handle (H) and the dirt management system (DMS).
     
    3. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the handle (H) and at least a part of the battery (B) are sufficiently spaced apart to allow a user to put his fingers between the handle (H) and the battery (B).
     
    4. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the battery has a polygon shape, and at least a part of the battery (B) is parallel to at least a part of the handle (H).
     
    5. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein another end of the battery (B) is adjacent to the upper end of the handle (H).
     
    6. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the airflow generator (AG) is positioned below the lower end of the handle (H).
     
    7. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the dirt management system (DMS) is coupled to the inlet (N) via a suction tube (T), and the dirt management system (DMS) comprises a cyclone (C) arranged at an angle smaller than 90° with respect to the suction tube (T).
     
    8. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in claim 7, wherein the cyclone (C) is arranged in parallel to the suction tube (T).
     
    9. A battery-operated vacuum cleaner as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the inlet (N) comprises a nozzle having a hinge (HN), and a center of mass of the combination of the battery (B), the airflow generator (AG) and the dirt management system (DMS) is positioned below a virtual line between the hinge (HN) and a middle of the handle (H).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger, umfassend:

    einen Griff (H), der ein oberes Ende und ein unteres Ende aufweist;

    eine Batterie (B), die ein Ende aufweist, das an das untere Ende des Griffs (H) angrenzt;

    ein Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS), das mit einem Einlass (N) für schmutzgeladene Luft gekoppelt ist;

    einen Luftstromgenerator (AG) zum Erzeugen eines Luftstroms durch das Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS), wobei der Luftstromgenerator (AG) an die Batterie (B) und das untere Ende des Griffs (H) angrenzend positioniert ist,

    wobei die Batterie (B) eine erste Seite aufweist, die an den Luftstromgenerator (AG) angrenzt, und eine zweite Seite, die an das Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS) angrenzt, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die zweite Seite an einem Winkel zu der ersten Seite liegt, wobei der Winkel in etwa 90° oder größer als 90° beträgt.


     
    2. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Batterie (B) zwischen dem Griff (H) und dem Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS) positioniert ist.
     
    3. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Griff (H) und mindestens ein Teil der Batterie (B) ausreichend beabstandet sind, um es einem Benutzer zu erlauben, seine Finger zwischen den Griff (H) und die Batterie (B) zu geben.
     
    4. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Batterie eine Vieleckform aufweist, und mindestens ein Teil der Batterie (B) zu mindestens einem Teil des Griffs (H) parallel ist.
     
    5. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei ein anderes Ende der Batterie (B) an das obere Ende des Griffs (H) angrenzt.
     
    6. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Luftstromgenerator (AG) unter dem unteren Ende des Griffs (H) positioniert ist.
     
    7. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei das Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS) an den Einlass (N) über ein Saugrohr (T) gekoppelt ist, und das Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS) einen Zyklon (C) umfasst, der in Bezug auf das Saugrohr (T) an einem Winkel, der kleiner als 90° ist, eingerichtet ist.
     
    8. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach Anspruch 7, wobei der Zyklon (C) parallel zu dem Saugrohr (T) eingerichtet ist.
     
    9. Batteriebetriebener Staubsauger nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, wobei der Einlass (N) eine Düse umfasst, die ein Scharnier (HN) aufweist, und wobei ein Massenmittelpunkt der Kombination aus der Batterie (B), dem Luftstromgenerator (AG) und dem Schmutzmanagementsystem (DMS) unter einer virtuellen Linie zwischen dem Scharnier (HN) und einer Mitte des Griffs (H) positioniert ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie, comprenant :

    une poignée (H) ayant une extrémité supérieure et une extrémité inférieure ;

    une batterie (B) ayant une extrémité qui est adjacente à l'extrémité inférieure de la poignée (H) ;

    un système de gestion de poussière (DMS) accouplé à une entrée (N) pour de l'air chargé de poussière ;

    un générateur de flux d'air (AG) permettant de générer un flux d'air à travers le système de gestion de poussière (DMS), le générateur de flux d'air (AG) étant positionné adjacent à la batterie (B) et à l'extrémité inférieure de la poignée (H),

    dans lequel la batterie (B) a un premier côté adjacent au générateur de flux d'air (AG) et un second côté adjacent au système de gestion de poussière (DMS), caractérisé en ce que le second côté est à un angle par rapport au premier côté, l'angle étant un parmi approximativement 90° et plus grand que 90°.


     
    2. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la batterie (B) est positionnée entre la poignée (H) et le système de gestion de poussière (DMS).
     
    3. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la poignée (H) et au moins une partie de la batterie (B) sont suffisamment espacées pour permettre à un utilisateur de placer ses doigts entre la poignée (H) et la batterie (B).
     
    4. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la batterie a une forme de polygone, et au moins une partie de la batterie (B) est parallèle à au moins une partie de la poignée (H).
     
    5. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel une autre extrémité de la batterie (B) est adjacente à l'extrémité supérieure de la poignée (H).
     
    6. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le générateur de flux d'air (AG) est positionné en dessous de l'extrémité inférieure de la poignée (H).
     
    7. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel le système de gestion de poussière (DMS) est accouplé à l'entrée (N) via un tube d'aspiration (T), et le système de gestion de poussière (DMS) comprend un cyclone (C) agencé à un angle plus petit que 90° par rapport au tube d'aspiration (T).
     
    8. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon la revendication 7, dans lequel le cyclone (C) est agencé en parallèle par rapport au tube d'aspiration (T).
     
    9. Aspirateur alimenté par batterie selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'entrée (N) comprend un suceur ayant une articulation (HN), et un centre de masse de la combinaison de la batterie (B), du générateur de flux d'air (AG) et du système de gestion de poussière (DMS) est positionné en dessous d'une ligne virtuelle entre l'articulation (HN) et un milieu de la poignée (H).
     




    Drawing












    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