The present invention relates to a remote control system for power generator.
More specifically, the invention relates to a remote control system by which it is possible a remote control of each king of power generator or power unit, thus simplifying its installation and allowing its use in campers, roulettes and like.
The specification will be addressed in the following to the installation of the above system in a camper, but it is well evident that the same invention must not be considered as limited to this specific use.
As it is well known, many kinds of electric power generators exist, that are mainly different for power and weight.
It is known that such devices are mainly comprised of a gasoline or Diesel fuel supplied internal combustion engine, and of an alternator. Power obtained by the engine is transformed into electric power by the alternator and it is immediately available for use to supply different electric devices or white goods.
Power generators are employed in different fields. Particularly, it is known that they are for example installed in campers. Thus, it is possible making electric power available in order to permit the use of small white goods, without the needing of maintaining the engine switched on.
A technical problem existing is that, in order to control the power generator from inside the camper, it is necessary ensuring the wire connection between the same generator and a control device. This involves that, during the installation, it is necessary making intervention on the existing electric system of the camper, providing the control device cable, thus making it necessary piercing some parts of the camper or the realisation of passages for the cable.
A further technical problem of the known power units or generators when installed in campers or roulettes is the high vibration transmission caused by said units, thus making uncomfortable their use.
Object of the present invention is therefore that of permitting the use of power units in campers, simplifying their installation, preventing the needing of making installation works for connection between electric power generator or power unit and the means inside the passenger compartment controlling said generator.
A second object of the present invention is that of proposing a power generator transmitting a lower amount of vibrations.
A third object of the present invention is that of permitting the application of said system also to power generators provided with control devices already available and known in the specific field.
A fourth object of the invention is that of providing safety procedures implemented by said control device.
It is therefore specific object of the present invention a remote control system for power generator, characterised in that it comprises a first control module, said first control module comprising first transceiving means and user interaction means; a second control module, said second control module comprising second transceiving means; and in that said first module is provided in a position independent with respect to the position of said power generator, while said second module is connected with said power generator so as to be able to control its operation and to reveal its operation information; said first and said second modules interacting by said first and second transceiving means, and said user controlling said power generator by said interaction means.
Always according to the invention, said first module and said second module can comprise processing means.
Still according to the invention, said processing means can comprise a programmable microprocessor.
Advantageously, according to the invention, said first module and said second module can comprise read in means.
Still according to the invention, said transceiving means can comprise an antenna.
Preferably, according to the invention, connection signal of said transceiving means can tune a carrier with a frequency of 433 MHz.
Always according to the invention, said interaction means can comprise a liquid crystal display, and/or a push-button panel, preferably comprising three buttons, and/or a warning horn.
Advantageously, according to the invention, said second control module can switch off said power generator in case the disconnection period from said first control module is higher than a threshold.
Still according to the invention, said system can comprise a self-control system.
Furthermore, according to the invention, said system can monitor the engine oil level.
Preferably, according to the invention, said generator provides vibration-absorbing elements.
The present invention will be now described, for illustrative but not limitative purposes, according to its preferred embodiments, with particular reference to the figures of the enclosed drawings, wherein:
- figure 1 is a block diagram of the remote control system of a power generator;
- figure 2 shows a top perspective view of a power generator of the system according to the invention;
- figure 3 shows a first lateral view of the power generator according to figure 2; and
- figure 4 shows the second lateral view, partially in section, of the generator of figure 2.
Making reference to figure 1, it is possible observing a block diagram of the remote control system for power generators. Said system provides a power generator 1 and two control modules 2 and 3. control module 3 is connected and installed directly close to or on power generator 1. Control module 2 is instead provided far from the generator 1, for example on the camper dashboard (not shown in the figure). Said modules 2 and 3 are each provided with a transceiver 4, 4', with the respective antenna 5, 5'.
Control module 2, provided with user interface, can be connected with the control module 3 by radio, thus permitting the remote control of the power generator 1.
Control module 2 provides a liquid crystal display 2', a push-button panel 2", preferably having three buttons, by which it is possible sending all the necessary controls through the radio to the control device 3, as well as a warning horn 2"'
For safety reasons, in order that the system can properly work, it is necessary that the radio connection between said two control modules 2 and 3 is active.
Frequency used for radio connection between said control modules 2 and 3 is 433.92 MHz, with a maximum transmission power of 10 Mw. Said band can be freely used all over Europe. Obviously, it is possible using also other kind of radio or phone connections.
Managing of said control modules 2, 3, as well as of the transceivers 4, 4' is entrusted to two micro-controllers (not shown in the figure), each one of which is provided with a program "flash" memory and of an EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) for maintaining data or for installing software.
Furthermore, digital ― analogical converters and RAM (Random Access Memory) are provided.
Certain functions that the control module 2 can manage in the present embodiment are:
- controlling the transceiver 4;
- timing the system;
- controlling service battery charge level;
- controlling supply meter (that can be zeroed) and general meter (that cannot be zeroed);
- set up menu;
- warning hom;
- liquid crystal display;
- push-button panel.
Control module 3, which is provided on the power generator 1. can instead control:
- transceiver 4';
- analogical - digital converter, measuring power from generator,
- activation of fuel air shutter (starter);
- a relays controlling generator circuits switching on and switching off;
- starter controlling relays;
- acquisition of signal relevant to the insufficient oil level;
- acquisition of the electric overloading.
By the push-button 2" buttons, the user can, among the other things:
- switching on and switching off generator 1;
- activating fuel air shutter (starter);
- zeroing the partial timer;
- setting up the standard functions after an alarm;
- modifying the fuel depletion warning time;
- activating the automatic starting mode in case of service battery low voltage.
Further, system according to the invention is provided with different safety arrangements. Particularly, it is controlled efficiency of radio connection between the control modules. In case of an interruption, generator 1 is automatically stopped or switched off and the first control module activates an acoustic alarm by the warning horn and the liquid crystal display.
Further, thanks to the continued monitoring of alternate voltage of generator 1 and of battery voltage, it is possible ensuring a full protection from overloads or from possible voltage fluctuations, not included within set ranges. In case an overload or a voltage fluctuation is revealed, control module 1 instructs control module 2 to switch off the power generator 1.
Making now reference to figure 2, it is possible noting that electric power generator 1 provides an outer frame 6, preferably comprised of stainless steel, coupled with the fuel tank 7. The latter is obviously placed outside the frame 6 for safety reasons.
Power generator 1 can deliver a 220 V alternate voltage or a 12 V direct voltage, and it is provided in the camper electric circuit (not shown), in the same way it is connected with outside powering units. In this way, it is possible preventing the needing of modifying the existing electric systems.
Since said power generator 1 is preferably destined to be installed in campers, trailers and like, it is provided with reduced displacement engines. It permits:
- limiting the weight (even of only 20 - 25 Kg compared with the 50 70 Kg of the present generators, thus not jeopardising the vehicle road holding;
- limiting dimensions;
- reducing fuel consumption; and
- reducing noise.
Said power generator 1 is coupled to the camper by surfaces 8, that are coupled wit outer frame 6 by vibration absorption elements 9. Said vibration absorption elements 9 are also known as silent-blocks, and permit reducing the vibrations of the power generator 1 engine, as well as their transmission.
Laterally with respect to the power generator 1 it is possible noting the control module 3, and the transceiver antenna 5'.
Said module 3 can be also installed on power generators provided with standard control means. In such a case, module 3 will be suitably programmed in order to be able interfacing with the control signals.
In figure 3 it is possible observing the direct current outlets 10 and the alternate current outlet 10' of the power generator 1.
Figure 4 shows the coupling of control module 3 with power generator 1, coupling is only of the electric kind and therefore the system can be, as already said, implemented in every known power generator, providing the necessary modifications.
On the basis of what described in the above, it can be noted that the basic feature of the present invention is that it is permitted the remote control of a power generator under the maximum safety conditions.
An advantage of the present invention is that of providing reduced installation time thanks to the radio connection, thus avoiding the needing of complex wiring.
A second advantage of the solution according to the invention is that of eliminating vibrations thanks to suitable absorption elements.
A third advantage of the solution according to the invention is that it can be programmed, and therefore suitable for power units or power generators already available on the market.
A fourth advantage of the solution according to the invention is that of providing a self-control system permitting monitoring possible operation defects, such as engine oil reduction.
The present invention has been described for illustrative but not limitative purposes, according to its preferred embodiments, but it is to be understood that modifications and/or changes can be introduced by those skilled in the art without departing from the relevant scope as defined in the enclosed claims.