Patent Issued for Control System for a Plurality of Consumers Arranged in a Distributed Manner, in Particular for Lamp Operating Devices, and Methods...Zumtobel Lighting GmbHNewsRx.com
Patent Issued for Control System for a Plurality of Consumers Arranged in a Distributed Manner, in Particular for Lamp Operating Devices, and Methods for Putting into Operation
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Fenkart, Karlheinz (Hohenems, AT); Klocker, Bernhard (Dornbirn, AT), filed on October 12, 2006, was cleared and issued on December 4, 2012.
The patent's assignee for patent number 8326441 is Zumtobel Lighting GmbH (Dornbirn, AT).
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As a rule, illumination systems of a modern construction, provided in particular for the illumination of larger buildings or plants, offer not only the option of switching on and of, or setting in their brightness, the luminaires arranged in different regions via the switches or dimmers arranged in the respective regions. Instead there is also the possibility of remotely controlling the luminaires from a central control device. Through this a convenient illumination control is obtained for the illumination of larger buildings or complexes. Such illumination systems therefore normally have one or a plurality of command generators which by means of commands can address and control the decentralised lamp operating devices arranged in different regions and connected to a current supply grid. Often, a communication from the lamp operating devices to the command generator is provided, for example to report back faulty operating states. In this way there is made possible not only a comfortable illumination control but also a reliable monitoring of the condition of the illumination system.
"The control of the individual lamp operating devices is carried out via an address assigned to them individually, via which they can be addressed by the central control unit. Thereby preferably there are assigned to the lamp operating devices so-called operating addresses which among other things also take into account the arrangement of the light sources in the different regions of the building to be illuminated. Here there arises supplementarily also the possibility of combining the light sources arranged in the different rooms into groups which can be addressed in common by the central control unit.
"Nowadays, control systems for lamp operating devices which make possible an individual control of the devices often work in accordance with the so-called DALI (Digital Adressable Lighting Interface) standard. This is an interface developed by the illumination industry for the conveyance of digital control commands between a central control unit and consumers arranged in a distributed manner. Via a so-called DALI-Bus there can then be connected to a command generator up to 64 luminaires, which luminaires are individually addressable. Since the corresponding lamp operating devices do not have any operating address upon their production and installation in the illumination system this must be allocated in the context of an initialization procedure which has to be carried out in accordance with the DALI-Standard as explained below.
"After installation of all lamp operating devices, without consideration of their spatial arrangement, at first the operating devices of the individual luminaires are connected to the DALI-Bus, that is to the control line. The supply of the lamp operating devices with voltage effected thereafter results in every lamp operating device generating an individual random address for itself. The command is then issued by the central command generator that the lamp operating devices report with their random address, through which there is stored internally at the command generator a list of all devices, which also contains the information about the random addresses via which the devices are respectively contactable.
"Since this random address does not yet, however, take into account the spatial arrangement of the lamp operating device, in a following step there is the allocated the respective operating address provided for later operation. This is effected in that at first the central command generator calls a first random address, which has the consequence that the corresponding luminaire identifies itself, thus for example illuminates. Now a person must determine in which room this luminaire is located. As soon as the position is established, a corresponding return report is effected to the central station. A further person then enters the location and the group of the reporting luminaire into the control device, which has the consequence that a suitable operating address is then assigned to this luminaire. One after another, in this way all random addresses are handled until an operating address has been assigned to all luminaires. This is stored respectively in a corresponding memory of the lamp operating device.
"Comparable procedures for assigning operating addresses for lamp operating devices in larger illumination systems are known from EP 0 766 881 A1 or EP 0 433 527 A1. All these known methods are based on the principle that at first the lamp operating devices are called upon for identification on the basis of an original or random address not taking into account the position, wherein after determination of the actual position of the luminaire a new operating address is then assigned to this luminaire.
"These known methods for initializing larger illumination systems are in this respect problematic that finding a luminaire which is instantly identifying itself can be very effortful; today, however, these methods are still used. Furthermore they also have, however, the disadvantage that the regular operating address, which was distributed in the context of the initialization procedure from the central command generator, is itself stored in each case in the lamp operating device in question. If an exchange of the corresponding luminaire with the lamp operating device is now required or the lamp operating device is to be exchanged alone, the information about the actual operating address is then lost. This is not a problem in the event that one single lamp operating device has to be exchanged since this can be identified from the central station in relatively simple manner and can be provided with a new operating address--namely the old regular operating address. Should, however, a plurality of lamp operating devices be replaced at the same time, which in the case of maintenance works in larger illumination systems may well be the case, there arises uncertainty. It cannot then then any longer be determined from the central station which exchanged lamp operating device should have which regular operating address. In this case as a rule the entire facility must be programmed anew to assign suitable operating addresses to all devices again."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention is now based on the object of counteracting the disadvantages described above. In particular there is to be provided a control system for a plurality of consumers arranged in a distributed manner with which the assignment and storage of the operating addresses, in particular after maintenance work, is effected in optimized manner.
"The object is achieved by the invention indicated in the independent claims. Advantageous developments of the invention are subject of the dependent claims.
"A first aspect of the present invention is based on the concept of assigning a separate memory element to each consumer, which is provided for storing the corresponding operating address of the consumer and is connected to the respective consumer via the control line of the control system.
"Thus, in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention there is proposed a control system for a plurality of consumers, in particular for lamp operating devices, arranged in a distributed manner, wherein the control system has at least one command generator, a control line which connects the command generator with the consumers, and a transmission and reception unit associated with each consumer and provided for communication with the command generator, and wherein an operating address is assigned to each consumer via which the consumer is contactable by the command generator. In accordance with the invention it is provided that a memory element separate from the consumer is associated with each consumer, for storing the operating address, wherein the memory element is connected to the respective consumer via the control line.
"The advantage of the solution in accordance with the invention consists in that, in the case that a consumer or a lamp operating device must be exchanged, the memory element separate therefrom remains in location in the system. If this is connected to the control system after the exchange of the consumer, then the memory element enters into contact with the consumer automatically and provides this with the correct operating address. Even after the exchange of a plurality of consumers correspondingly no new installation of the control system is required since the correct operating addresses are assigned to the consumers again automatically. Through this possibly necessary maintenance works on the control system are simplified considerably since no centralized new allocation of operating addresses is required after an exchange of the individual devices.
"The allocation of addresses upon the first putting into operation of the system can, with the system in accordance with the present invention, be effected in manner known to date in that the individual consumers identify themselves initially with provisional original or random addresses and are then provided with regular operating addresses in the context of an initialization process as described in the introduction. The function of the separate memory element in accordance with the invention then consists in supplementarily storing the operating addresses assigned the consumers, in order to transmit the originally provided operating address to the new device in the case of a later exchange of the consumer.
"In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention the memory element has, however, in addition input elements for manually entering an operating address to be assigned to the consumer. In this case the effortful initialization procedure then is no longer required for allocating the operating addresses for the first time. Instead a consumer can be assigned an operating address in a simple manner, in that this is entered manually into the memory element and the memory element then transmits corresponding information to the consumer. In this case it is no longer required to seek a luminaire identifying itself with its provisional original or random address. Instead it is merely required to connect the correspondingly programmed memory elements to the bus line system or the control line, in order to allow this to make contact with the respective consumer.
"The concept of carrying out the allocation of operating addresses by means of a memory element into which at first the desired operating address is programmed manually and is then connected with the consumer, can otherwise be effected independently of whether the memory element is connected to the consumer via the control line or is directly connected thereto.
"In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention there is correspondingly proposed a control system for a plurality of consumers arranged in a distributed manner, in particular for lamp operating devices, which has at least one command generator, a control line which connects the command generator with each consumer, and associated with each consumer a transmission and reception unit provided for communication with the command generator, wherein an operating address is assigned to each consumer via which the consumer is contactable by the command generator, and wherein in accordance with the invention a separate or separable memory element is associated with the consumer for storing the operating address, which memory element has input elements for the manual input of an operating address assigned the consumer.
"Further, this aspect of the present invention also relates a method for the putting into operation of a control system for a plurality of consumers arranged in a distributed manner, in particular for lamp operating devices, wherein within the scope of the method each consumer is assigned an operating address via which the consumer is contactable by the command generator, and wherein the allocation of addresses is effected in that the operating addresses of the consumers are in each case manually entered into memory elements which are respectively connected to the corresponding consumers.
"Advantageous developments of the two inventive ideas described above relate in particular to the configuration of the memory element.
"Thus it is preferably provided that in the event that the memory element is connected to the respective consumer via the control line, the memory element is provided during operation with energy via the control line of the control system. Thus the memory element works extensively in a non-powered manner and in comparison with the actual consumers of the control system takes considerably less power. This has the consequence that the memory element is exposed to a lower load and correspondingly has an extremely long operating life. The memory element can therefore 'survive' without problem the exchange of a plurality of consumers.
"Since, however, during the manual input of the operating address there is an increased energy consumption, it is preferably provided that the memory element has a connection to the external energy supply for the programming procedure. This connection can for example be formed by means of at least one connection of the memory element to the control line(s) of the system, wherein then during programming this connection is connected to an external energy supply source. As an alternative to this, a separate connection can also be provided via which the energy supply is preferably inductively effected during the manual input of the operating address.
"Preferably the memory element has further an indicator or a display for the representation of the programmed-in or stored operating address, wherein it can be provided that the indicator or the display is activated exclusively during the manual input of the operating address. In this way the energy consumption during the later operation is reduced considerably.
"Altogether, there is this provided a control system for a plurality of consumers arranged in a distributed manner which due to the use of the memory elements in accordance with the invention is considerably more maintenance-friendly. It in particular it is no longer required, after a exchange of a plurality of consumers, to assign new operating addresses to these within the context of a complicated assignment procedure. In the event that the memory element has input elements for the manual input of an operating address, even a particularly simple initialization of the complete system is made possible."
For additional information on this patent, see: Fenkart, Karlheinz; Klocker, Bernhard. Control System for a Plurality of Consumers Arranged in a Distributed Manner, in Particular for Lamp Operating Devices, and Methods for Putting into Operation. U.S. Patent Number 8326441, filed October 12, 2006, and issued December 4, 2012. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=29&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1442&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20121204.PD.&OS=ISD/20121204&RS=ISD/20121204
Keywords for this news article include: Zumtobel Lighting GmbH.
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2012, NewsRx LLC