WO2013034966A1 - Charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles - Google Patents

Charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013034966A1
WO2013034966A1 PCT/IB2012/001709 IB2012001709W WO2013034966A1 WO 2013034966 A1 WO2013034966 A1 WO 2013034966A1 IB 2012001709 W IB2012001709 W IB 2012001709W WO 2013034966 A1 WO2013034966 A1 WO 2013034966A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
irradiation
human body
light
charging
charging apparatus
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2012/001709
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Naoki Fukuo
Original Assignee
Panasonic Corporation
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Panasonic Corporation filed Critical Panasonic Corporation
Publication of WO2013034966A1 publication Critical patent/WO2013034966A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L3/00Electric devices on electrically-propelled vehicles for safety purposes; Monitoring operating variables, e.g. speed, deceleration or energy consumption
    • B60L3/04Cutting off the power supply under fault conditions
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L3/00Electric devices on electrically-propelled vehicles for safety purposes; Monitoring operating variables, e.g. speed, deceleration or energy consumption
    • B60L3/0023Detecting, eliminating, remedying or compensating for drive train abnormalities, e.g. failures within the drive train
    • B60L3/0069Detecting, eliminating, remedying or compensating for drive train abnormalities, e.g. failures within the drive train relating to the isolation, e.g. ground fault or leak current
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/10Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles characterised by the energy transfer between the charging station and the vehicle
    • B60L53/14Conductive energy transfer
    • B60L53/16Connectors, e.g. plugs or sockets, specially adapted for charging electric vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/30Constructional details of charging stations
    • B60L53/305Communication interfaces
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L53/00Methods of charging batteries, specially adapted for electric vehicles; Charging stations or on-board charging equipment therefor; Exchange of energy storage elements in electric vehicles
    • B60L53/30Constructional details of charging stations
    • B60L53/31Charging columns specially adapted for electric vehicles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L2210/00Converter types
    • B60L2210/30AC to DC converters
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J2310/00The network for supplying or distributing electric power characterised by its spatial reach or by the load
    • H02J2310/40The network being an on-board power network, i.e. within a vehicle
    • H02J2310/48The network being an on-board power network, i.e. within a vehicle for electric vehicles [EV] or hybrid vehicles [HEV]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02JCIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS OR SYSTEMS FOR SUPPLYING OR DISTRIBUTING ELECTRIC POWER; SYSTEMS FOR STORING ELECTRIC ENERGY
    • H02J7/00Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries
    • H02J7/0042Circuit arrangements for charging or depolarising batteries or for supplying loads from batteries characterised by the mechanical construction
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage systems for electromobility, e.g. batteries
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/7072Electromobility specific charging systems or methods for batteries, ultracapacitors, supercapacitors or double-layer capacitors
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/72Electric energy management in electromobility
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/12Electric charging stations
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/14Plug-in electric vehicles
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies relating to charging of electric vehicles
    • Y02T90/16Information or communication technologies improving the operation of electric vehicles

Definitions

  • the present invention relates to a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles.
  • a charging connector is accommodated in a charging connector accommodating part provided in a front panel in a non-charging mode. Since the charging connector accommodating part is placed deeply inside the front panel, the inside of the charging connector accommodating part is obscured from view under dark ambient conditions. This causes such a disadvantage that the charging connector is difficult to be accommodated in or extracted from the charging connector accommodating part.
  • various operations such as manipulating a control button, winding a charging cable and the like may be requested. These operations are also difficult to be performed under dark ambient conditions
  • the present invention provides a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles capable of ensuring ambient brightness even under dark ambient conditions to perform operations easily.
  • a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention includes: a power supply part for supplying an electric power from an external power source to a storage part of an electric motor vehicle; an irradiation part for irradiating light; a human body detecting part for detecting a human body; and a lighting control part for causing the irradiation part to start, irradiating the light when the human body detecting part detects a human body.
  • the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles preferably further includes an illuminance detecting part for detecting brightness.
  • the lighting control part preferably causes irradiation part to start irradiation of the light.
  • the lighting control part preferably causes the irradiation part to stop irradiation of the light when a first lighting retention time elapses after the human body detecting part detects no human body.
  • the lighting control part preferably causes the irradiation part to stop irradiation of the light when a second lighting retention time elapses from the time when the brightness detected by the human body detecting part becomes brighter than the brightness threshold.
  • the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles preferably further includes an illuminance sensing for detecting brightness, a mode switching part for switching a control mode of the lighting control part.
  • the lighting control part may include a first mode and a second mode as the control mode of the lighting control part, and the mode switching part may switch the control mode of the lighting control part into one of the first mode and the second mode in response to switching operation of a user.
  • the first mode serves to cause the irradiation part to start irradiation of the light when the human body detecting part detects a human body within a detection area.
  • the second mode serves to cause the irradiation part to start irradiation of the light when the brightness detected by the illuminance detecting part is darker than a brightness threshold.
  • the power supply part preferably includes a power receptacle to which a charging cable is connected, the charging cable having a charging connector for detachably connected to an electric motor vehicle; and the irradiation part preferably irradiates the light to an area including the power receptacle .
  • the power supply part includes a charging cable having a charging connector for detachably connected to the electric motor vehicle, and a holding part for holding the charging cable, wherein the irradiation part irradiates the light to an area including the holding part.
  • the irradiation part preferably irradiates the light downwardly toward the outside of the charging apparatus.
  • the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles capable of ensuring ambient brightness even under dark ambient conditions to perform operations easily.
  • FIGs. 1A and IB show an example where a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with a first embodiment is applied as a wall-mounted type, wherein Fig. 1A is an external perspective view, and Fig. IB is a cross-sectional side view for schematically illustrating a portion accommodating an irradiation part therein;
  • Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment
  • Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional side view showing another arrangement of the irradiation part in the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment ;
  • Fig. 4 is a perspective view showing still another arrangement of the irradiation part in the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment ;
  • FIGs. 5A and 5B show another example where the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment is applied in a stand type, wherein Fig. 5A is a front view, and Fig. 5B is a front view with a door opened;
  • Figs. 6A and 6B show the stand type charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles shown in Figs. 5A and 5B, wherein Fig. 6A is a perspective view with the door opened, and Fig. 6B is a front view with a charging connector taken out ;
  • Figs. 7A and 7B are cross-sectional side views showing a main part of a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with a second embodiment
  • Fig. 8 is ⁇ a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the second embodiment.
  • Figs. 9A and 9B show another example of the stand type charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the second embodiment, wherein Fig. 9A is a front view, and Fig. 9B is an external perspective view.
  • the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles described in the following embodiments is, for example, attached on a wall around a garage of an ordinary house, and used for charging an electric motor vehicle.
  • the electric motor vehicle represents a motor vehicle driven by electric power stored in a battery, such as an electric vehicle (EV) , a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), or a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) .
  • a battery such as an electric vehicle (EV) , a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), or a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) .
  • EV electric vehicle
  • PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
  • FCV fuel-cell vehicle
  • Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of a charging apparatus 1A for electric motor vehicles (hereinafter, referred to as the "charging apparatus") .
  • the charging apparatus 1A includes a control circuit 2, a relay control circuit 3, an irradiation circuit 4, a communications part 5, an electric leakage detection circuit 6, a human body sensing circuit 7, an illuminance sensing circuit 8, a power source circuit 9, and a mode switching part 12. These components 2 to 9 and the mode switching part 12 of the charging apparatus 1A are accommodated in a main body 10 described later.
  • the charging apparatus 1A is provided with a power cable CB1 to which electric power is supplied from an external power source (e.g., a commercial AC power source); and a charging cable CB2 for supplying the electric power to the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the power cable CB1 is constituted by two power lines LI, L2 and a ground line L3.
  • the charging cable CB2 is constituted by the two power lines LI, L2, the ground line L3, and a signal line L4 through which the charging apparatus 1A communicates with a charging circuit 101 installed in the electric motor vehicle 100 by a signal (what is called a CPLT signal) .
  • the power lines LI, L2 and the ground line L3 of the power cable CB1 are electrically connected to the power lines LI, L2 and the ground line L3 of the charging cable CB2 via internal wirings of the main body 10, respectively.
  • a charging connector CN1 detachably connected to a charging connector CN2 at the side of the vehicle 100 (hereinafter, referred to as a "vehicle side connector") is provided at an end of the charging cable CB2.
  • the charging connector CN1 includes a body part 110 gripped by a hand, and a connection part 111 provided at a tip end of the body part 110, to be detachably connected to the vehicle side connector CN2.
  • the relay control circuit 3 turns on and off a relay Rl based on a control signal from the control circuit 2.
  • the relay Rl has contacts which are respectively provided between the power line LI of the power cable CB1 and the power line LI of the charging cable CB2, and between the power line L2 of the power cable CB1 and the power line L2 of the charging cable CB2.
  • a power source unit is constituted by the power cable CBl connected to the external power source and the internal wirings through which an AC power inputted via the power cable CBl is outputted to the charging cable CB2.
  • a charging control part for controlling supply of the electric power from the power source unit to the electric motor vehicle 100 is constituted by the control circuit 2, the relay control circuit 3, and the relay Rl .
  • the irradiation circuit 4 lights on and off an irradiation part 4a, constituted by, e.g., a light-emitting diode, based on a control signal from the control circuit 2.
  • the communications part 5 includes a CPLT circuit 5a, and a CPLT monitoring circuit 5b.
  • the CPLT circuit 5a includes a circuit that outputs a signal having a predetermined, voltage value to the signal line L4.
  • the CPLT monitoring circuit 5b detects a signal level (voltage) of the signal line L4 and outputs the detection result to the control circuit 2.
  • an voltage applied from the CPLT circuit 5a is divided by an internal resistance (not shown) of the CPLT circuit 5a side and an internal resistance (not shown) of the charging circuit 101, such that the signal level of the signal line L4 is changed. Further, the charging circuit 101 varies a value of the internal resistance connected to the signal line L4 depending on a charging state.
  • the control circuit 2 determines the charging state based on the signal level of the signal line L4 detected by the CPLT monitoring circuit 5b, and outputs the control signal corresponding to the charging state to the relay control circuit 3.
  • the electric leakage detection circuit 6 includes a zero-phase current transformer (not shown) for detecting an unbalance between currents flowing through the power lines Ll and L2 when an electric leakage occurs on the power lines between the electric motor vehicle and the relay Rl .
  • the electric leakage detection circuit 6 When detecting the electric leakage from an output of the zero- phase current transformer, the electric leakage detection circuit 6 outputs a leakage detection signal to the control circuit 2.
  • the control circuit 2 When the leakage detection signal is inputted from the electric leakage detection circuit 6, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal for turning off the relay Rl to the relay control circuit 3 and stops the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the human body sensing circuit 7 has a human body sensing part 7a constituted by, for example, an infrared detecting element of a pyroelectric type for detecting a heat ray (infrared ray) emitted from a human body.
  • a human body detecting part is configured by the human body ⁇ sensing circuit 7 with the human body sensing part 7a to detect the human body within an area. Based on a detection result of the human body sensing part 7a, the human body sensing circuit 7 detects whether a person is present or not in a detection area set around the main body 10. When detecting the presence of the person in the detection area, the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs a human detection signal to the control circuit 2.
  • a human sensing part is configured by the human body sensing circuit 7 having the human body sensing part 7a which detects whether a person is present or not in the detection area set around the main body 10.
  • the illuminance sensing circuit 8 has an illuminance sensing part 8a constituted by, for example, a photo diode for detecting brightness around the main body 10 and outputs a detection result of the illuminance sensing part 8a to the control circuit 2.
  • an illuminance detecting part is configured by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 with the illuminance sensing part 8a to detect the brightness around the main body 10.
  • the control circuit 2 lights on and off the irradiation part 4a based on the detection result of the human body sensing circuit 7 or the illuminance sensing circuit 8.
  • the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation part 4a in two modes: a first mode and a second mode.
  • the first mode is defined such that the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to start irradiation of light when the human body detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7.
  • the second mode is defined such that the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to start irradiation of the light when the brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than a predetermined brightness threshold.
  • a mode switching part 12 for switching the control mode of the irradiation part 4a into any one of the first mode and the second mode according to a user's switching operation. Accordingly, the user can select the desirable control mode according to installation environment and usage conditions of the charging apparatus 1A. Further, the mode switching part 12 is disposed at a portion capable of being operated from outside in the main body 10.
  • the power source circuit 9 receives an electric power from the external power source via the power cable CB1, generates driving powers for driving the respective circuit components 2 to 8, and then supplies the powers to the respective circuit components 2 to 8.
  • up-down and right-left directions designate up- down and right-left directions in the state where the charging apparatus 1A is installed on a wall 200 as shown in Fig. 1A.
  • the main body 10 is made of synthetic resin to have a vertically elongated rectangular parallelepiped shape, and is fixed on the wall 200 in an appropriate manner.
  • an accommodation part 13 whose front side (opposite to the wall 200) and lower side at a center portion in the right-left direction are opened to form a recess.
  • a holding part 14 On an inner surface of the accommodation part 13, there is provided a holding part 14 to which a connection part 111 of the charging connector CN1 is detachably placed.
  • connection part 111 of the charging connector CN1 is coupled to the holding part 14, and thereby the charging connector CN1 is partially accommodated in the accommodation part 13 in the state where the tip end portion of the charging connector CN1 is inserted into the accommodation part 13.
  • the irradiation part 4a for emitting light to the holding part 14 is attached to the main body 10 at an upper position of the accommodation part 13.
  • the irradiation part 4a is disposed at an inner side of the accommodation part 13, emits the light obliquely and downwardly from the inner side (inside) toward an opening side of the accommodation part 13.
  • the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to a part of the main body 10 (accommodation part 13) and a forward area of the main body 10.
  • the human body sensing circuit 7 detects whether a person is present or not in the detection area set around the main body 10 based on the output of the human body sensing part 7a.
  • the illuminance sensing circuit 8 detects the brightness around the main body 10 by using the illuminance sensing part 8a.
  • an operation part such as a charging stop operation part 25, for forcibly stopping the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • a signal corresponding to the above operation is transmitted to the control circuit 2 from the operation part and a process corresponding to the signal is performed .
  • the control mode of the control circuit 2 is switched into the first mode by operating the mode switching part 12. Further, it is supposed that the electric motor vehicle 100 is parked near the charging apparatus 1A and the detection area of the human body sensing part 7a is set so as to detect the user who is attaching and detaching the charging connector CNl to and from the vehicle side connector CN2 of the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the charging connector CNl is inserted into the accommodation part 13 and held in the holding part 14.
  • the human body sensing part 7a detects the user entering the detection area and the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs a human body detection signal to the control circuit 2.
  • the control circuit 2 outputs a lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on.
  • the accommodation part 13 is irradiated with the light from the irradiation part 4a, the user can easily recognize a position of the accommodation part 13 even under dark ambient conditions such as night, and pull out the charging connector CNl. Further, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly toward the outside of the main body 10, the user can ensure brightness near the ground and perform operations safely. Further, the light from the irradiation part 4a cannot reach far distance because the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly. Accordingly, the light from the irradiation part 4a is less likely to reach the neighboring houses and the like.
  • the forward area of the main body 10 is brightened to some extent because the light is reflected on, e.g., the ground surface. This makes it easier for the user to visibly recognize the operation part such as the charging stop operation part 25 disposed on the front surface of the main body 10, and to operate the operation part disposed on the front surface of the main body 10.
  • the user connects the charging connector CN1 detached from the accommodation part 13 to the vehicle side connector CN2.
  • the human body sensing circuit 7 is continued to output the human body detection signal to the control circuit 2, so that the control circuit 2 lights on the irradiation part 4a continuously. Accordingly, the brightness of a work area is ensured, so that the user can easily connect the charging connector CN1 to the vehicle side connector CN2.
  • the control circuit 2 When the user leaves from the parking area after finishing the connection of the charging connector CN1 to the vehicle side connector CN2, no person is present in the detection area of the human body sensing part 7a, so that no detection signal is outputted from the human body sensing circuit 7.
  • the control circuit 2 outputs a lighting-off control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light off. Accordingly, when no person is detected around the main body 10, the irradiation part 4a is lit off. This reduces wasted power consumption of the charging apparatus 1A.
  • the charging circuit 101 of the electric motor vehicle 100 charges a battery 102.
  • the charging apparatus 1A determines that the charging has been completed based on the detection result of the CPLT monitoring circuit 5b and stops the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the human body sensing part 7a detects the user entering the detection area, and then the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs the human body detection signal to the control circuit 2.
  • the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on. Accordingly, the user can ensure brightness near the ground and perform operations safely.
  • the human body sensing part 7a When the user comes closer to the charging apparatus 1A in order to accommodate the charging connector CNl in the accommodation part 13, the human body sensing part 7a is continued to detect the user, and the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs the human body detection signal to the control circuit 2 continuously.
  • the control circuit 2 When the human body detection signal from the human body sensing circuit 7 is inputted into the control circuit 2, the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on.
  • the accommodation part 13 is irradiated with the light from the irradiation part 4a, the user can easily recognize the position of the accommodation part 13 even under dark ambient conditions such as at night, and accommodate the charging connector CNl.
  • the control circuit 2 When the user leaves from the parking area after finishing the accommodation of the charging connector CNl into the accommodation part 13, no person is present in the detection area of the human body sensing part 7a, so that no detection signal is outputted from the human body sensing circuit 7.
  • the control circuit 2 When the predetermined first lighting retention time elapses after no detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7, the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-off control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light off. Accordingly, when no person is detected around the main body 10, the irradiation part 4a is lit off. This reduces wasted power consumption of the charging apparatus 1A.
  • the human body detection signal is inputted to the control circuit 2 from the human body sensing circuit 7, and the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on. Accordingly, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly toward the outside of the main body 10, the user can ensure brightness near the ground, so that the person working in the area irradiated with the light from the irradiation part 4a can move safely.
  • the control circuit 2 may light on and off the irradiation part 4a by using the detection result of the human body sensing circuit 7 in conjunction with the detection result of the illuminance sensing circuit 8.
  • the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to light off when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than a predetermined brightness threshold .
  • the irradiation part 4a is not lit on when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold. Consequently, under bright ambient conditions, namely, in a case where lighting is not necessary, the irradiation part 4a can be lit off. This reduces the wasted power consumption.
  • control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to light on when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold. Further, the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to light off when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold.
  • control circuit 2 may cause the irradiation part 4a to light off when a predetermined second lighting retention time elapses after the brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold.
  • the brightness can be ensured by lighting on the irradiation part 4a when the ambient brightness is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold.
  • the irradiation part 4a can be lit off. This reduces the wasted power consumption.
  • the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles 1A of the present embodiment includes the power supply part (including the charging cable CB2), the irradiation part 4a, the human body detecting part (including the human body sensing circuit 7 and the human body sensing part 7a) , and the lighting control part (including the control circuit 2 and the irradiation circuit 4) .
  • the power supply part supplies the electric power from the external power source to the storage part (including the charging circuit 101 and the battery 102) of the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the irradiation part 4a emits the light.
  • the human body detecting part detects the human body.
  • the lighting control part causes the irradiation part 4a to start emitting the light when the human body detecting part detects the human body.
  • the lighting control part causes the irradiation part 4a to start emitting the light, which makes it easier for the person around the main body 10 to perform operations. Further, the lighting control part causes the irradiation part 4a to emit the light only when the person is detected around the main body 10, thereby reducing the power consumption of the charging apparatus 1A as compared with the case where the irradiation part 4a is lit on constantly.
  • a supporting rod for attaching the sensor light thereto is necessary.
  • the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are provided in the main body 10, it is not necessary to additionally prepare the supporting rod to which the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are attached. This reduces installation cost of the charging apparatus 1A.
  • the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly, the light from the irradiation part 4a does not reach far in the distance (e.g., the neighboring houses and the like).
  • the irradiation part 4a may be disposed in the accommodation part 13 at the front surface side of the main body 10 such that the light is irradiated toward the inside of the accommodation part 13.
  • the light from the irradiation part 4a is not directly emitted to the user's eyes, thereby reducing dazzle of the light that the user feels.
  • the irradiation part 4a may be disposed on the front surface of the main body 10 such that the light is emitted downwardly toward the outside of the main body 10.
  • the irradiation part 4a also emits the light downwardly, whereby the brightness near the ground around the main body 10 can be ensured. Further, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly, the light from the irradiation part 4a is less likely to reach far (e.g., the neighboring houses and the like) .
  • a charging apparatus IB of a stand type as shown in Figs. 5 to 6 may be employed.
  • the charging apparatus IB includes a main body 20 erectly installed on an installation place.
  • an accommodation part 21 for accommodating the charging cable CB2 and the charging connector CN1 therein; and a door 22 adapted to openably close an opening of the accommodation part 21.
  • a protruding piece 23 is provided on an inner wall of the accommodation part 21, and has an inverted U-shape as viewed from a front side of the charging apparatus IB.
  • a hook bar 24 having a round bar shape is bridged across the left and right side walls of the protruding piece 23.
  • the user firstly hangs up and winds the charging cable CB2 around the protruding piece 23 by several turns, thereby accommodating the charging cable CB2 in the accommodation part 21.
  • a locking claw 112 disposed at a tip end of the charging connector CN1 is hooked on the hook bar 24 to hold the charging connector CN1 in the state where the charging connector CN1 is hung on the hook bar 24.
  • the charging cable CB2' and the charging connector CN1 can be compactly accommodated within the accommodation part 21 (see Figs . 5B and 6A) .
  • the user grips the body part 110 of the charging connector CN1 by hand and releases the engagement between the locking claw 112 and the hook bar 24 by manipulating a lock release button (not shown) .
  • the charging cable CB2 and the charging connector CN1 are taken out from the accommodation part 21.
  • the user carries the charging connector CN1 to the parking area of the electric motor vehicle 100 and connects it to the vehicle side connector CN2.
  • the irradiation part 4a is disposed on an upper side of the accommodation part 21 in the front surface of the main body 20.
  • An irradiation part 4b is additionally disposed on an inside of the accommodation part 21.
  • the human body sensing part 7a of the human body sensing circuit 7 and the illuminance sensing part 8a of the illuminance sensing circuit 8 are disposed on the upper side of the accommodation part 21 in the front surface of the main body 20.
  • the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the front surface and the forward area of the main body 20. In the state where the door 22 is open, the light from the irradiation part 4a is also emitted to the inside of the accommodation part 21. The light from the irradiation part 4b is emitted to the forward area of the main body 20 from the opening of the accommodation part 21 while emitted to the inside of the accommodation part 21. Likewise, the lighting on and off of the irradiation part 4a is controlled by the lighting control part constituted by the control circuit 2 and the irradiation circuit 4.
  • the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light when the human body detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7. Further, in the second mode, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal that causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light to the irradiation circuit 4 when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold.
  • the ambient brightness can be ensured by lighting on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b, thereby making it easier for the person around the main body 20 to perform operations.
  • irradiation parts 4a, 4b emit the light downwardly in the above embodiment, irradiation parts 4a, 4b may emit the light horizontally and upwardly, or may have such a function that it irradiates the parking space of the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the power supply part is constituted by the charging cable CB2. In the present embodiment, however, the power supply part is constituted by a power receptacle 11.
  • Fig. 7A is a cross-sectional view of a main part of the present embodiment
  • Fig. 8 is a schematic block diagram of the present embodiment.
  • the charging apparatus 1A includes the power receptacle 11, the control circuit 2, the irradiation circuit 4, the human body sensing circuit 7, the illuminance sensing circuit 8, and the power source circuit 9.
  • the charging apparatus 1A is adapted to accommodate the respective circuit components shown in Fig. 8 in a main body 10.
  • the power receptacle 11 is connected to the external power source (e.g., a commercial AC power source) via electric wirings. This power receptacle 11 is used for charging the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • a plug CN3 provided at one end of a charging cable CB3 (what is called a CCID cable) is detachably connected to the power receptacle 11.
  • a charging connector detachably connected to the electric motor vehicle 100.
  • the control circuit 2 controls lighting on and off of the irradiation part 4a based on the detection signal from the human body sensing circuit 7 or the illuminance sensing circuit 8.
  • the control circuit 2 controls lighting on and off of the irradiation part 4a in a similar manner to the first embodiment. In the case where operating in the first mode, the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation circuit 4 to light on the irradiation part 4a when the human body sensing circuit 7 detects the human body around the main body 10.
  • the control circuit 2 may control the irradiation circuit 4 to light on the irradiation part 4a.
  • the irradiation part 4a is not lit on even if a person is detected, thereby reducing the wasted power consumption .
  • the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation circuit 4 to light on the irradiation part 4a.
  • the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the accommodation part 13, and illuminates the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 13, so the user can easily connect the charging cable CB3 to the power receptacle 11.
  • the irradiation part 4a is not lit on, thereby suppressing the wasted power consumption.
  • the irradiation part 4a is disposed at an upper and inner side (inside) of the accommodation part 13 and emits the light downwardly toward the outside (i.e., the outside of the main body 10) .
  • the brightness near the ground around the main body 10 can be ensured, and the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted downwardly, so that the light from the irradiation part' 4a is less likely to reach far (e.g., the neighboring houses and the like). Further, since the light from the irradiation part 4a emitted downwardly is reflected on, for example, the ground, the forward area of the main body 10 is illuminated bright to some extent, which makes it easier for the user to operate the operation part disposed on the front surface of the main body 10.
  • the irradiation part 4a may be disposed in the accommodation part 13 at the front surface side of the main body 10 and emit the light toward the inside of the accommodation part 13, whereby the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 13 may be irradiated with the light.
  • the irradiation part 4a since the irradiation part 4a emits the light toward the inner side (inside) of the accommodation part 13, the light from the irradiation part 4a is prevented from entering the user's eyes directly when the user views the accommodation part 13 from the outside, thereby reducing dazzle of the light that the user feels.
  • a stand type of charging apparatus IB shown in Fig. 9 may be employed.
  • the charging apparatus IB includes a main body 20 erectly installed on an installation place, in which the respective circuit components described in Fig. 8 are accommodated.
  • a plurality of accommodation parts 21 e.g., four in the present embodiment
  • a door 22 adapted to openably close an opening of the accommodation part 21 is provided.
  • the power receptacle 11 as the power supply part is accommodated in at least one of the accommodation parts 21.
  • the irradiation part 4a constituted by, e.g., a light-emitting diode
  • the human body sensing part 7a of the human body sensing circuit 7 and the illuminance sensing part 8a of the illuminance sensing circuit 8 are disposed on the upper portion of the main body 20. The light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the front surface and the forward area of the main body 20.
  • the light from the irradiation part 4a is also emitted to the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 21. Further, the light from the irradiation part 4b is emitted to the forward area of the main body 20 from an opening of the accommodation part 21 while illuminating the inside of the accommodation part 21.
  • the lighting control part constituted by the control circuit 2 and the irradiation circuit 4 controls lighting on and off the irradiation parts 4a, 4b.
  • the lighting control part i.e., the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation parts 4a, 4b in two modes: a first mode and a second mode.
  • the control circuit 2 When the control mode of the control circuit 2 is in the first mode, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal that causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light, to the irradiation circuit 4.
  • the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal which causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light, to the irradiation circuit 4 when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold.
  • the ambient brightness can be ensured by lighting on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b, which makes it easier for the person around the main body 20 to perform operations.
  • the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 when the person is detected around the main body ' 20.
  • the irradiation circuit 4 receives the lighting-on control signal from the control circuit 2 and lights on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b, whereby the light from the irradiation parts 4a, 4b is emitted to the area around the main body 20.
  • the lighting control part causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light when the person is detected around the main body 20, the person around the main body 20 can easily perform operations. Further, since the lighting control part lights on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b only when the person is detected around the main body 20, the power consumption can be reduced as compared with the case where the lighting control part lights on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b at all times.
  • a supporting rod for attaching the sensor light thereto is necessary.
  • the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are provided in the main body 20, it is not necessary to additionally prepare the supporting rod to which the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are attached. This reduces installation cost of the charging apparatus IB.

Abstract

A charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles includes: a power supply part for supplying electric power from an external power source to a battery part of an electric motor vehicle, and an irradiation part for irradiating light. Further, the charging apparatus includes a human body detecting part for detecting a human body, and a lighting control part for controlling the irradiation part to start irradiating the light when the human body detecting part detects the human body.

Description

CHARGING APPARATUS FOR ELECTRIC MOTOR VEHICLES
Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles.
Background of the Invention In recent years, there has been widely spread an electric vehicle driven by an electric motor, such as a battery-powered vehicle or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. As the electric vehicle is widely spread among general users, a charging facility for charging electric vehicles becomes necessary even in an ordinary house. For instance, there is proposed a charging apparatus for electric vehicles as disclosed in, e.g., Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2010-283947.
In the charging apparatus for electric vehicles disclosed in JP2010-283947A, a charging connector is accommodated in a charging connector accommodating part provided in a front panel in a non-charging mode. Since the charging connector accommodating part is placed deeply inside the front panel, the inside of the charging connector accommodating part is obscured from view under dark ambient conditions. This causes such a disadvantage that the charging connector is difficult to be accommodated in or extracted from the charging connector accommodating part. In addition, in a charging apparatus, various operations, such as manipulating a control button, winding a charging cable and the like may be requested. These operations are also difficult to be performed under dark ambient conditions
Summary of the Invention In view of the above, the present invention provides a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles capable of ensuring ambient brightness even under dark ambient conditions to perform operations easily.
A charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention includes: a power supply part for supplying an electric power from an external power source to a storage part of an electric motor vehicle; an irradiation part for irradiating light; a human body detecting part for detecting a human body; and a lighting control part for causing the irradiation part to start, irradiating the light when the human body detecting part detects a human body.
The charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles preferably further includes an illuminance detecting part for detecting brightness. When the brightness detected by the illuminance detecting part is darker than a predetermined brightness threshold and when the human body detecting part detects a human body, the lighting control part preferably causes irradiation part to start irradiation of the light.
In the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles, the lighting control part preferably causes the irradiation part to stop irradiation of the light when a first lighting retention time elapses after the human body detecting part detects no human body.
In the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles, the lighting control part preferably causes the irradiation part to stop irradiation of the light when a second lighting retention time elapses from the time when the brightness detected by the human body detecting part becomes brighter than the brightness threshold.
The charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles preferably further includes an illuminance sensing for detecting brightness, a mode switching part for switching a control mode of the lighting control part. Further, the lighting control part may include a first mode and a second mode as the control mode of the lighting control part, and the mode switching part may switch the control mode of the lighting control part into one of the first mode and the second mode in response to switching operation of a user. The first mode serves to cause the irradiation part to start irradiation of the light when the human body detecting part detects a human body within a detection area. The second mode serves to cause the irradiation part to start irradiation of the light when the brightness detected by the illuminance detecting part is darker than a brightness threshold.
In the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles, the power supply part preferably includes a power receptacle to which a charging cable is connected, the charging cable having a charging connector for detachably connected to an electric motor vehicle; and the irradiation part preferably irradiates the light to an area including the power receptacle .
In the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles, preferably, the power supply part includes a charging cable having a charging connector for detachably connected to the electric motor vehicle, and a holding part for holding the charging cable, wherein the irradiation part irradiates the light to an area including the holding part.
In the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles, the irradiation part preferably irradiates the light downwardly toward the outside of the charging apparatus.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles capable of ensuring ambient brightness even under dark ambient conditions to perform operations easily.
-A- Brief Description of the Drawings
The objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of embodiments, given in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figs. 1A and IB show an example where a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with a first embodiment is applied as a wall-mounted type, wherein Fig. 1A is an external perspective view, and Fig. IB is a cross-sectional side view for schematically illustrating a portion accommodating an irradiation part therein;
Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment;
Fig. 3 is a cross-sectional side view showing another arrangement of the irradiation part in the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment ;
Fig. 4 is a perspective view showing still another arrangement of the irradiation part in the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment ;
Figs. 5A and 5B show another example where the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the first embodiment is applied in a stand type, wherein Fig. 5A is a front view, and Fig. 5B is a front view with a door opened;
Figs. 6A and 6B show the stand type charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles shown in Figs. 5A and 5B, wherein Fig. 6A is a perspective view with the door opened, and Fig. 6B is a front view with a charging connector taken out ;
Figs. 7A and 7B are cross-sectional side views showing a main part of a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with a second embodiment;
Fig. 8 is ^a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the second embodiment; and
Figs. 9A and 9B show another example of the stand type charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles of the second embodiment, wherein Fig. 9A is a front view, and Fig. 9B is an external perspective view.
Detailed Description of the Embodiments Hereinafter, a charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles in accordance with embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings. Note that the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles described in the following embodiments is, for example, attached on a wall around a garage of an ordinary house, and used for charging an electric motor vehicle. Herein, the electric motor vehicle represents a motor vehicle driven by electric power stored in a battery, such as an electric vehicle (EV) , a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), or a fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) .
(First Embodiment)
A first embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 1A to 6B.
Fig. 2 is a block diagram showing a schematic configuration of a charging apparatus 1A for electric motor vehicles (hereinafter, referred to as the "charging apparatus") . The charging apparatus 1A includes a control circuit 2, a relay control circuit 3, an irradiation circuit 4, a communications part 5, an electric leakage detection circuit 6, a human body sensing circuit 7, an illuminance sensing circuit 8, a power source circuit 9, and a mode switching part 12. These components 2 to 9 and the mode switching part 12 of the charging apparatus 1A are accommodated in a main body 10 described later.
The charging apparatus 1A is provided with a power cable CB1 to which electric power is supplied from an external power source (e.g., a commercial AC power source); and a charging cable CB2 for supplying the electric power to the electric motor vehicle 100. The power cable CB1 is constituted by two power lines LI, L2 and a ground line L3. The charging cable CB2 is constituted by the two power lines LI, L2, the ground line L3, and a signal line L4 through which the charging apparatus 1A communicates with a charging circuit 101 installed in the electric motor vehicle 100 by a signal (what is called a CPLT signal) .
Further, the power lines LI, L2 and the ground line L3 of the power cable CB1 are electrically connected to the power lines LI, L2 and the ground line L3 of the charging cable CB2 via internal wirings of the main body 10, respectively. A charging connector CN1 detachably connected to a charging connector CN2 at the side of the vehicle 100 (hereinafter, referred to as a "vehicle side connector") is provided at an end of the charging cable CB2. As shown in Fig. 1A, the charging connector CN1 includes a body part 110 gripped by a hand, and a connection part 111 provided at a tip end of the body part 110, to be detachably connected to the vehicle side connector CN2.
The relay control circuit 3 turns on and off a relay Rl based on a control signal from the control circuit 2. The relay Rl has contacts which are respectively provided between the power line LI of the power cable CB1 and the power line LI of the charging cable CB2, and between the power line L2 of the power cable CB1 and the power line L2 of the charging cable CB2. When the relay Rl is turned on, a charging circuit 101 of the electric motor vehicle 100 is connected to an external power source, and the electric power is supplied to the charging circuit 101 from the external power source. On the other hand, when the relay Rl is turned off, the electric power supplied from the external power source to the charging circuit 101 is stopped. Herein, a power source unit is constituted by the power cable CBl connected to the external power source and the internal wirings through which an AC power inputted via the power cable CBl is outputted to the charging cable CB2. Further, a charging control part for controlling supply of the electric power from the power source unit to the electric motor vehicle 100 is constituted by the control circuit 2, the relay control circuit 3, and the relay Rl .
The irradiation circuit 4 lights on and off an irradiation part 4a, constituted by, e.g., a light-emitting diode, based on a control signal from the control circuit 2.
The communications part 5 includes a CPLT circuit 5a, and a CPLT monitoring circuit 5b. The CPLT circuit 5a includes a circuit that outputs a signal having a predetermined, voltage value to the signal line L4. The CPLT monitoring circuit 5b detects a signal level (voltage) of the signal line L4 and outputs the detection result to the control circuit 2.
When the charging connector CN1 is connected to the vehicle side connector CN2, an voltage applied from the CPLT circuit 5a is divided by an internal resistance (not shown) of the CPLT circuit 5a side and an internal resistance (not shown) of the charging circuit 101, such that the signal level of the signal line L4 is changed. Further, the charging circuit 101 varies a value of the internal resistance connected to the signal line L4 depending on a charging state.
Accordingly, a dividing ratio of the voltage is changed such that the signal level of the signal line L4 is changed. The control circuit 2 determines the charging state based on the signal level of the signal line L4 detected by the CPLT monitoring circuit 5b, and outputs the control signal corresponding to the charging state to the relay control circuit 3.
The electric leakage detection circuit 6 includes a zero-phase current transformer (not shown) for detecting an unbalance between currents flowing through the power lines Ll and L2 when an electric leakage occurs on the power lines between the electric motor vehicle and the relay Rl . When detecting the electric leakage from an output of the zero- phase current transformer, the electric leakage detection circuit 6 outputs a leakage detection signal to the control circuit 2. When the leakage detection signal is inputted from the electric leakage detection circuit 6, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal for turning off the relay Rl to the relay control circuit 3 and stops the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100.
The human body sensing circuit 7 has a human body sensing part 7a constituted by, for example, an infrared detecting element of a pyroelectric type for detecting a heat ray (infrared ray) emitted from a human body. Herein, a human body detecting part is configured by the human body sensing circuit 7 with the human body sensing part 7a to detect the human body within an area. Based on a detection result of the human body sensing part 7a, the human body sensing circuit 7 detects whether a person is present or not in a detection area set around the main body 10. When detecting the presence of the person in the detection area, the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs a human detection signal to the control circuit 2. Thus, a human sensing part is configured by the human body sensing circuit 7 having the human body sensing part 7a which detects whether a person is present or not in the detection area set around the main body 10.
The illuminance sensing circuit 8 has an illuminance sensing part 8a constituted by, for example, a photo diode for detecting brightness around the main body 10 and outputs a detection result of the illuminance sensing part 8a to the control circuit 2. Herein, an illuminance detecting part is configured by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 with the illuminance sensing part 8a to detect the brightness around the main body 10.
The control circuit 2 lights on and off the irradiation part 4a based on the detection result of the human body sensing circuit 7 or the illuminance sensing circuit 8. Herein, the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation part 4a in two modes: a first mode and a second mode. The first mode is defined such that the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to start irradiation of light when the human body detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7. The second mode is defined such that the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to start irradiation of the light when the brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than a predetermined brightness threshold.
In the charging apparatus 1A, there is also provided a mode switching part 12 for switching the control mode of the irradiation part 4a into any one of the first mode and the second mode according to a user's switching operation. Accordingly, the user can select the desirable control mode according to installation environment and usage conditions of the charging apparatus 1A. Further, the mode switching part 12 is disposed at a portion capable of being operated from outside in the main body 10.
The power source circuit 9 receives an electric power from the external power source via the power cable CB1, generates driving powers for driving the respective circuit components 2 to 8, and then supplies the powers to the respective circuit components 2 to 8.
The above circuit components 2 to 9 are accommodated in the main body 10 of the charging apparatus of a wall- mounted type, as shown in Fig. 1A. In the following description, up-down and right-left directions designate up- down and right-left directions in the state where the charging apparatus 1A is installed on a wall 200 as shown in Fig. 1A.
The main body 10 is made of synthetic resin to have a vertically elongated rectangular parallelepiped shape, and is fixed on the wall 200 in an appropriate manner. At a lower portion of the main body 10, there is provided an accommodation part 13 whose front side (opposite to the wall 200) and lower side at a center portion in the right-left direction are opened to form a recess. On an inner surface of the accommodation part 13, there is provided a holding part 14 to which a connection part 111 of the charging connector CN1 is detachably placed. In a non-charging mode, the connection part 111 of the charging connector CN1 is coupled to the holding part 14, and thereby the charging connector CN1 is partially accommodated in the accommodation part 13 in the state where the tip end portion of the charging connector CN1 is inserted into the accommodation part 13.
As shown in Fig. IB, the irradiation part 4a for emitting light to the holding part 14 is attached to the main body 10 at an upper position of the accommodation part 13. The irradiation part 4a is disposed at an inner side of the accommodation part 13, emits the light obliquely and downwardly from the inner side (inside) toward an opening side of the accommodation part 13. Thus, the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to a part of the main body 10 (accommodation part 13) and a forward area of the main body 10.
On a front surface of the main body 10, there are provided the human body sensing part 7a included in the human body sensing circuit 7; and the illuminance sensing part 8a included in the illuminance sensing circuit 8. The human body sensing circuit 7 detects whether a person is present or not in the detection area set around the main body 10 based on the output of the human body sensing part 7a. The illuminance sensing circuit 8 detects the brightness around the main body 10 by using the illuminance sensing part 8a.
Further, on the front surface of the main body 10, there is provided an operation part such as a charging stop operation part 25, for forcibly stopping the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100. When the user operates the operation part, a signal corresponding to the above operation is transmitted to the control circuit 2 from the operation part and a process corresponding to the signal is performed .
Next, an operation of the charging apparatus 1A will be described. Herein, it is supposed that the control mode of the control circuit 2 is switched into the first mode by operating the mode switching part 12. Further, it is supposed that the electric motor vehicle 100 is parked near the charging apparatus 1A and the detection area of the human body sensing part 7a is set so as to detect the user who is attaching and detaching the charging connector CNl to and from the vehicle side connector CN2 of the electric motor vehicle 100.
In the non-charging mode of the electric motor vehicle 100, the charging connector CNl is inserted into the accommodation part 13 and held in the holding part 14. When the user comes closer to the charging apparatus 1A in order to charge the electric motor vehicle 100, the human body sensing part 7a detects the user entering the detection area and the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs a human body detection signal to the control circuit 2. When the human body detection signal from the human body sensing circuit 7 is inputted into the control circuit 2, the control circuit 2 outputs a lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on.
At this time, since the accommodation part 13 is irradiated with the light from the irradiation part 4a, the user can easily recognize a position of the accommodation part 13 even under dark ambient conditions such as night, and pull out the charging connector CNl. Further, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly toward the outside of the main body 10, the user can ensure brightness near the ground and perform operations safely. Further, the light from the irradiation part 4a cannot reach far distance because the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly. Accordingly, the light from the irradiation part 4a is less likely to reach the neighboring houses and the like. Although the light from the irradiation part 4a is radiated downwardly, the forward area of the main body 10 is brightened to some extent because the light is reflected on, e.g., the ground surface. This makes it easier for the user to visibly recognize the operation part such as the charging stop operation part 25 disposed on the front surface of the main body 10, and to operate the operation part disposed on the front surface of the main body 10.
Next, the user connects the charging connector CN1 detached from the accommodation part 13 to the vehicle side connector CN2. During the above operation, the human body sensing circuit 7 is continued to output the human body detection signal to the control circuit 2, so that the control circuit 2 lights on the irradiation part 4a continuously. Accordingly, the brightness of a work area is ensured, so that the user can easily connect the charging connector CN1 to the vehicle side connector CN2.
When the user leaves from the parking area after finishing the connection of the charging connector CN1 to the vehicle side connector CN2, no person is present in the detection area of the human body sensing part 7a, so that no detection signal is outputted from the human body sensing circuit 7. When a predetermined first lighting retention time elapses, after no detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7, the control circuit 2 outputs a lighting-off control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light off. Accordingly, when no person is detected around the main body 10, the irradiation part 4a is lit off. This reduces wasted power consumption of the charging apparatus 1A.
In the state where the charging connector CN1 is connected to the vehicle side connector CN2, when the electric power is supplied from the charging apparatus lA to the electric motor vehicle 100, the charging circuit 101 of the electric motor vehicle 100 charges a battery 102. When the charging of the battery 102 is completed, the charging apparatus 1A determines that the charging has been completed based on the detection result of the CPLT monitoring circuit 5b and stops the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100.
When the user comes closer to the charging apparatus
1A in order to detach the charging connector CN1 from the vehicle side connector CN2 after the power supply to the electric motor vehicle 100 is stopped, the human body sensing part 7a detects the user entering the detection area, and then the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs the human body detection signal to the control circuit 2. When the human body detection signal from the human body sensing circuit 7 is inputted into the control circuit 2, the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on. Accordingly, the user can ensure brightness near the ground and perform operations safely.
When the user comes closer to the charging apparatus 1A in order to accommodate the charging connector CNl in the accommodation part 13, the human body sensing part 7a is continued to detect the user, and the human body sensing circuit 7 outputs the human body detection signal to the control circuit 2 continuously. When the human body detection signal from the human body sensing circuit 7 is inputted into the control circuit 2, the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on. At this time, since the accommodation part 13 is irradiated with the light from the irradiation part 4a, the user can easily recognize the position of the accommodation part 13 even under dark ambient conditions such as at night, and accommodate the charging connector CNl.
When the user leaves from the parking area after finishing the accommodation of the charging connector CNl into the accommodation part 13, no person is present in the detection area of the human body sensing part 7a, so that no detection signal is outputted from the human body sensing circuit 7. When the predetermined first lighting retention time elapses after no detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7, the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-off control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light off. Accordingly, when no person is detected around the main body 10, the irradiation part 4a is lit off. This reduces wasted power consumption of the charging apparatus 1A.
On the other hand, even if the user comes closer to the charging apparatus 1A without any purpose of charging the electric motor vehicle 100, the human body detection signal is inputted to the control circuit 2 from the human body sensing circuit 7, and the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 and causes the irradiation part 4a to light on. Accordingly, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly toward the outside of the main body 10, the user can ensure brightness near the ground, so that the person working in the area irradiated with the light from the irradiation part 4a can move safely.
By the way, in the above first mode, the control circuit 2 may light on and off the irradiation part 4a by using the detection result of the human body sensing circuit 7 in conjunction with the detection result of the illuminance sensing circuit 8. In this case, the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to light off when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than a predetermined brightness threshold .
Therefore, even if the human body detection signal is inputted into the control circuit 2 from the human body sensing circuit 7, the irradiation part 4a is not lit on when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold. Consequently, under bright ambient conditions, namely, in a case where lighting is not necessary, the irradiation part 4a can be lit off. This reduces the wasted power consumption.
In the case where the control mode of the control circuit 2 is switched into the second mode by the mode switching part 12, the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to light on when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold. Further, the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation part 4a to light off when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold.
Alternately, the control circuit 2 may cause the irradiation part 4a to light off when a predetermined second lighting retention time elapses after the brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold. In the second mode, the brightness can be ensured by lighting on the irradiation part 4a when the ambient brightness is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold. Further, under bright ambient conditions, namely, in the case where the ambient brightness is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold and lighting is not necessary, the irradiation part 4a can be lit off. This reduces the wasted power consumption.
As described above, the charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles 1A of the present embodiment includes the power supply part (including the charging cable CB2), the irradiation part 4a, the human body detecting part (including the human body sensing circuit 7 and the human body sensing part 7a) , and the lighting control part (including the control circuit 2 and the irradiation circuit 4) . The power supply part supplies the electric power from the external power source to the storage part (including the charging circuit 101 and the battery 102) of the electric motor vehicle 100. The irradiation part 4a emits the light. The human body detecting part detects the human body. The lighting control part causes the irradiation part 4a to start emitting the light when the human body detecting part detects the human body.
Thus, when the person is detected around the main body
10, the lighting control part causes the irradiation part 4a to start emitting the light, which makes it easier for the person around the main body 10 to perform operations. Further, the lighting control part causes the irradiation part 4a to emit the light only when the person is detected around the main body 10, thereby reducing the power consumption of the charging apparatus 1A as compared with the case where the irradiation part 4a is lit on constantly.
Further, in a case where so-called a sensor light which lights on in response to the detection of a person is installed, a supporting rod for attaching the sensor light thereto is necessary. In the present embodiment, however, since the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are provided in the main body 10, it is not necessary to additionally prepare the supporting rod to which the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are attached. This reduces installation cost of the charging apparatus 1A.
As described above, since the brightness near the ground around the main body 10 can be ensured and the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly, the light from the irradiation part 4a does not reach far in the distance (e.g., the neighboring houses and the like).
As shown in Fig. 3, the irradiation part 4a may be disposed in the accommodation part 13 at the front surface side of the main body 10 such that the light is irradiated toward the inside of the accommodation part 13. By doing so, when the user views the accommodation part 13 from the outside, the light from the irradiation part 4a is not directly emitted to the user's eyes, thereby reducing dazzle of the light that the user feels.
Alternatively, as shown in Fig. 4, the irradiation part 4a may be disposed on the front surface of the main body 10 such that the light is emitted downwardly toward the outside of the main body 10.
In this case, the irradiation part 4a also emits the light downwardly, whereby the brightness near the ground around the main body 10 can be ensured. Further, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light downwardly, the light from the irradiation part 4a is less likely to reach far (e.g., the neighboring houses and the like) .
Although Figs. 1A and IB, and Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate the charging apparatus 1A of a wall-mounted type, a charging apparatus IB of a stand type as shown in Figs. 5 to 6 may be employed. The charging apparatus IB includes a main body 20 erectly installed on an installation place. In a front surface of the main body 20, there are provided an accommodation part 21 for accommodating the charging cable CB2 and the charging connector CN1 therein; and a door 22 adapted to openably close an opening of the accommodation part 21. A protruding piece 23 is provided on an inner wall of the accommodation part 21, and has an inverted U-shape as viewed from a front side of the charging apparatus IB. A hook bar 24 having a round bar shape is bridged across the left and right side walls of the protruding piece 23.
To accommodate the charging cable CB2 and the charging connector CN1 in the accommodation part 21, the user firstly hangs up and winds the charging cable CB2 around the protruding piece 23 by several turns, thereby accommodating the charging cable CB2 in the accommodation part 21. Secondly, a locking claw 112 disposed at a tip end of the charging connector CN1 is hooked on the hook bar 24 to hold the charging connector CN1 in the state where the charging connector CN1 is hung on the hook bar 24. Thus, the charging cable CB2' and the charging connector CN1 can be compactly accommodated within the accommodation part 21 (see Figs . 5B and 6A) .
On the other hand, when connecting the charging connector CN1 to the vehicle side connector CN2, the user grips the body part 110 of the charging connector CN1 by hand and releases the engagement between the locking claw 112 and the hook bar 24 by manipulating a lock release button (not shown) . After that, the charging cable CB2 and the charging connector CN1 are taken out from the accommodation part 21. The user carries the charging connector CN1 to the parking area of the electric motor vehicle 100 and connects it to the vehicle side connector CN2. In the charging apparatus IB, the irradiation part 4a is disposed on an upper side of the accommodation part 21 in the front surface of the main body 20. An irradiation part 4b is additionally disposed on an inside of the accommodation part 21. Further, the human body sensing part 7a of the human body sensing circuit 7 and the illuminance sensing part 8a of the illuminance sensing circuit 8 are disposed on the upper side of the accommodation part 21 in the front surface of the main body 20.
The light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the front surface and the forward area of the main body 20. In the state where the door 22 is open, the light from the irradiation part 4a is also emitted to the inside of the accommodation part 21. The light from the irradiation part 4b is emitted to the forward area of the main body 20 from the opening of the accommodation part 21 while emitted to the inside of the accommodation part 21. Likewise, the lighting on and off of the irradiation part 4a is controlled by the lighting control part constituted by the control circuit 2 and the irradiation circuit 4.
In a case where the control mode of the control circuit 2 is in the first mode, the control circuit 2 causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light when the human body detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7. Further, in the second mode, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal that causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light to the irradiation circuit 4 when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold. Thus, the ambient brightness can be ensured by lighting on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b, thereby making it easier for the person around the main body 20 to perform operations.
Although the irradiation parts 4a, 4b emit the light downwardly in the above embodiment, irradiation parts 4a, 4b may emit the light horizontally and upwardly, or may have such a function that it irradiates the parking space of the electric motor vehicle 100.
(Second Embodiment)
A second embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to Figs. 7 to 9. In the following description, the same reference numerals are assigned to the same components as those in the first embodiment, and redundant description thereof will be omitted.
In the charging apparatus 1A of the first embodiment, the power supply part is constituted by the charging cable CB2. In the present embodiment, however, the power supply part is constituted by a power receptacle 11.
Fig. 7A is a cross-sectional view of a main part of the present embodiment, and Fig. 8 is a schematic block diagram of the present embodiment. The charging apparatus 1A includes the power receptacle 11, the control circuit 2, the irradiation circuit 4, the human body sensing circuit 7, the illuminance sensing circuit 8, and the power source circuit 9. The charging apparatus 1A is adapted to accommodate the respective circuit components shown in Fig. 8 in a main body 10.
The power receptacle 11 is connected to the external power source (e.g., a commercial AC power source) via electric wirings. This power receptacle 11 is used for charging the electric motor vehicle 100. A plug CN3 provided at one end of a charging cable CB3 (what is called a CCID cable) is detachably connected to the power receptacle 11. At the other end of the charging cable CB3, there is provided a charging connector detachably connected to the electric motor vehicle 100. By connecting between the power receptacle 11 and the electric motor vehicle 100 via the charging cable CB3, electric power is supplied to the electric motor vehicle 100 via the charging cable CB3.
The control circuit 2 controls lighting on and off of the irradiation part 4a based on the detection signal from the human body sensing circuit 7 or the illuminance sensing circuit 8. The control circuit 2 controls lighting on and off of the irradiation part 4a in a similar manner to the first embodiment. In the case where operating in the first mode, the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation circuit 4 to light on the irradiation part 4a when the human body sensing circuit 7 detects the human body around the main body 10.
At this time, the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the accommodation part 13 and illuminates the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 13, thereby making it easy to connect the charging cable CB3 to the power receptacle 11. Further, in the first mode, when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold and when the human body detection signal is inputted from the human body sensing circuit 7, the control circuit 2 may control the irradiation circuit 4 to light on the irradiation part 4a. Thus, under bright ambient conditions, namely, in the case where lighting is not necessary, the irradiation part 4a is not lit on even if a person is detected, thereby reducing the wasted power consumption .
Further, in the second mode, when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold, the control circuit 2 controls the irradiation circuit 4 to light on the irradiation part 4a. At this time, the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the accommodation part 13, and illuminates the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 13, so the user can easily connect the charging cable CB3 to the power receptacle 11. Furthermore, in the case where the ambient brightness is brighter than the predetermined brightness threshold, the irradiation part 4a is not lit on, thereby suppressing the wasted power consumption.
In the present embodiment, as shown in Fig. 7A, the irradiation part 4a is disposed at an upper and inner side (inside) of the accommodation part 13 and emits the light downwardly toward the outside (i.e., the outside of the main body 10) .
Thus, the brightness near the ground around the main body 10 can be ensured, and the light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted downwardly, so that the light from the irradiation part' 4a is less likely to reach far (e.g., the neighboring houses and the like). Further, since the light from the irradiation part 4a emitted downwardly is reflected on, for example, the ground, the forward area of the main body 10 is illuminated bright to some extent, which makes it easier for the user to operate the operation part disposed on the front surface of the main body 10.
Alternatively, as shown in Fig. 7B, the irradiation part 4a may be disposed in the accommodation part 13 at the front surface side of the main body 10 and emit the light toward the inside of the accommodation part 13, whereby the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 13 may be irradiated with the light. In this case, since the irradiation part 4a emits the light toward the inner side (inside) of the accommodation part 13, the light from the irradiation part 4a is prevented from entering the user's eyes directly when the user views the accommodation part 13 from the outside, thereby reducing dazzle of the light that the user feels.
Although the charging apparatus 1A shown in Figs. 7A and 7B is a wall-mounted type, a stand type of charging apparatus IB shown in Fig. 9 may be employed.
The charging apparatus IB includes a main body 20 erectly installed on an installation place, in which the respective circuit components described in Fig. 8 are accommodated. In the main body 20, a plurality of accommodation parts 21 (e.g., four in the present embodiment) are provided side by side along the up-down direction, and a door 22 adapted to openably close an opening of the accommodation part 21 is provided. The power receptacle 11 as the power supply part is accommodated in at least one of the accommodation parts 21.
Further, the irradiation part 4a constituted by, e.g., a light-emitting diode, is attached on the upper portion of the main body 20. The irradiation part 4b constituted by, e.g., a light-emitting diode, is also provided inside the accommodation part 21. Furthermore, the human body sensing part 7a of the human body sensing circuit 7 and the illuminance sensing part 8a of the illuminance sensing circuit 8 are disposed on the upper portion of the main body 20. The light from the irradiation part 4a is emitted to the front surface and the forward area of the main body 20. In the state where the door 22 is open, the light from the irradiation part 4a is also emitted to the power receptacle 11 disposed in the accommodation part 21. Further, the light from the irradiation part 4b is emitted to the forward area of the main body 20 from an opening of the accommodation part 21 while illuminating the inside of the accommodation part 21.
Like the first embodiment, the lighting control part constituted by the control circuit 2 and the irradiation circuit 4 controls lighting on and off the irradiation parts 4a, 4b. The lighting control part (i.e., the control circuit 2) controls the irradiation parts 4a, 4b in two modes: a first mode and a second mode. When the control mode of the control circuit 2 is in the first mode, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal that causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light, to the irradiation circuit 4.
Further, in the second mode, the control circuit 2 outputs a control signal which causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light, to the irradiation circuit 4 when the ambient brightness detected by the illuminance sensing circuit 8 is darker than the predetermined brightness threshold. Thus, the ambient brightness can be ensured by lighting on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b, which makes it easier for the person around the main body 20 to perform operations.
As described above, in the case where operating in the first mode, the control circuit 2 outputs the lighting-on control signal to the irradiation circuit 4 when the person is detected around the main body ' 20. The irradiation circuit 4 receives the lighting-on control signal from the control circuit 2 and lights on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b, whereby the light from the irradiation parts 4a, 4b is emitted to the area around the main body 20.
Thus, since the lighting control part causes the irradiation parts 4a, 4b to start emitting the light when the person is detected around the main body 20, the person around the main body 20 can easily perform operations. Further, since the lighting control part lights on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b only when the person is detected around the main body 20, the power consumption can be reduced as compared with the case where the lighting control part lights on the irradiation parts 4a, 4b at all times.
Furthermore, in the case where so-called a sensor light lit on in response to the detection of a person is installed, a supporting rod for attaching the sensor light thereto is necessary. In the present embodiment, however, since the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are provided in the main body 20, it is not necessary to additionally prepare the supporting rod to which the human body detecting part, the lighting control part, and the irradiation part 4a are attached. This reduces installation cost of the charging apparatus IB.
While the invention has been shown and described with respect to the embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes and modification may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

Claims

What is claimed is:
1. A charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles comprising :
a power supply part for supplying an electric power from an external power source to a storage part of an electric motor vehicle;
an irradiation part for irradiating light;
a human body detecting part for detecting a human body; and
a lighting control part for controlling the irradiation part to start irradiating the light when the human body detecting part detects the human body.
2. The charging apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: an illuminance detecting part for detecting brightness, wherein, when the brightness detected by the illuminance detecting part is darker than a predetermined brightness threshold and when the human body detecting part detects the human body, the lighting control part controls the irradiation part to start irradiation of the light.
3. The charging apparatus of claim 1 or 2,
wherein the lighting control part controls the irradiation part to stop irradiation of the light when a first lighting retention time elapses after the human body detecting part detects no human body.
4. The charging apparatus of claim 2, wherein the lighting control part controls the irradiation part to stop irradiation of the light when a second lighting retention time elapses from the time when the brightness detected by the human body detecting part becomes brighter than the brightness threshold.
5. The charging apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: an illuminance detecting part for detecting brightness, and
a mode switching part for switching a control mode of the lighting control part,
wherein the lighting control part includes a first mode in which the irradiation part is controlled to start irradiation of the light when the human body detecting part detects a human body within a detection area, and a second mode in which the irradiation part is controlled to start irradiation of the light when the brightness detected by the illuminance detecting part is darker than a brightness threshold, as the control mode of the lighting control part, and
wherein the mode switching part switches the control mode of the lighting control part into one of the first mode and the second mode in response to a switching operation of a user.
6. The charging apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the power supply part includes a power receptacle to which a charging cable is connected, the charging cable having a charging connector for being detachably connected to an electric motor vehicle; and the irradiation part irradiates the light to an area including the power receptacle .
7. The charging apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the power supply part includes a charging cable having a charging connector for being detachably connected to the electric motor vehicle, and a holding part for holding the charging cable, and
wherein the irradiation part irradiates the light to an area including the holding part.
8. The charging apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the irradiation part irradiates the light downwardly toward an outside of the charging apparatus.
PCT/IB2012/001709 2011-09-06 2012-09-05 Charging apparatus for electric motor vehicles WO2013034966A1 (en)

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