WO2013055275A1 - Female docking device - Google Patents

Female docking device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2013055275A1
WO2013055275A1 PCT/SE2012/000156 SE2012000156W WO2013055275A1 WO 2013055275 A1 WO2013055275 A1 WO 2013055275A1 SE 2012000156 W SE2012000156 W SE 2012000156W WO 2013055275 A1 WO2013055275 A1 WO 2013055275A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
docking device
guiding unit
female docking
casing
female
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/SE2012/000156
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Jörgen et al. OLSSON
Thomas Björling
Original Assignee
Olsson Joergen Et Al
Bjoerling Thomas
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

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L11/00Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle
    • B60L11/18Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using power supply from primary cells, secondary cells, or fuel cells
    • B60L11/1809Charging electric vehicles
    • B60L11/1816Charging electric vehicles by conductive energy transfer, e.g. connectors
    • B60L11/1818Adaptations of plugs or sockets for charging electric vehicles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00-H01R33/00
    • H01R13/62Means for facilitating engagement or disengagement of coupling parts or for holding them in engagement
    • H01R13/629Additional means for facilitating engagement or disengagement of coupling parts, e.g. aligning or guiding means, levers, gas pressure electrical locking indicators, manufacturing tolerances
    • H01R13/631Additional means for facilitating engagement or disengagement of coupling parts, e.g. aligning or guiding means, levers, gas pressure electrical locking indicators, manufacturing tolerances for engagement only
    • H01R13/6315Additional means for facilitating engagement or disengagement of coupling parts, e.g. aligning or guiding means, levers, gas pressure electrical locking indicators, manufacturing tolerances for engagement only allowing relative movement between coupling parts, e.g. floating connection
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LELECTRIC EQUIPMENT OR PROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES, IN GENERAL
    • B60L2200/00Type of vehicles
    • B60L2200/40Working vehicles
    • B60L2200/44Industrial trucks or floor conveyors
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R13/00Details of coupling devices of the kinds covered by groups H01R12/70 or H01R24/00-H01R33/00
    • H01R13/005Electrical coupling combined with fluidic coupling
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R2201/00Connectors or connections adapted for particular applications
    • H01R2201/26Connectors or connections adapted for particular applications for vehicles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01RLINE CONNECTORS; CURRENT COLLECTORS
    • H01R24/00Two-part coupling devices, or either of their cooperating parts, characterised by their overall structure
    • H01R24/58Contacts spaced along longitudinal axis of engagement
    • 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
    • Y02PCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN THE PRODUCTION OR PROCESSING OF GOODS
    • Y02P90/00Enabling technologies with a potential contribution to greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions mitigation
    • Y02P90/60Electric or hybrid propulsion means for production processes
    • 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 for electromobility
    • Y02T10/7005Batteries
    • 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 for electromobility
    • 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
    • Y02T90/00Enabling technologies or technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02T90/10Technologies related to electric vehicle charging
    • Y02T90/14Plug-in electric vehicles

Abstract

The present invention relates to a female docking device (1) that is adapted to receive a male element (ME), the docking device (1) having a recess (9) adapted to receive a nose portion (NP) of the male element (ME). The invention also relates to a system for docking a male element in a female docking device. It is significant for the present invention that the female docking device (1) comprises a casing (3) and a guiding unit (6) located inside the casing (3), and that the guiding unit (6) is pivotal relative to the casing (3) in a horizontal plane.

Description

FEMALE DOCKING DEVICE

Technical Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a female docking device that is adapted to receive a male element, the docking device having a recess adapted to receive a nose portion of the male element .

Preferably, the female docking device is located on an electric lift truck that is equipped with a number of

batteries. The invention also relates to a system for docking a male element in a female docking device.

Prior Art

From US 7,535,706 a multiple-purpose docking system is previously known, said system comprising a male member and a female member to be coupled in an active state of the docking system. One of the male member and the female member are suspended from a suspension mechanism, said mechanism

comprising springs that extend transverse to the axial

direction of the male member or the female member. The spring suspension allows the male member or the female member ta assume a correct position for docking.

From US 5,577,706 a water faucet with automatic shut-off mechanism for water conservation is previously known. This reference relates to an additional function of the present invention, i.e. the filling of water in cells of batteries that an electric truck is equipped with.

Objects and Features of the Invention

A primary object of the present invention is to present a female docking device that offers easy access, i.e. it compensates for misalignment between the female docking device and a male member that is penetrating the female docking device.

A further object of the present invention is that the female docking device automatically brings about a

compensation for misalignment. Still an object of the present invention is that the structural design of the female docking device is simple as regards the automatic compensation ability.

At least the primary object of the present invention is fulfilled by a female docking device that has been given the characterizing features of the independent claim 1. Preferred embodiments of the invention are defined in the dependent claims . Brief Description of the Drawings

Below a preferred embodiment of the invention will be described, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, where :

Fig. 1 shows a perspective view of an electric lift truck that is approaching a charging station;

Fig. 2 shows a perspective view of an electric lift truck that is about to dock the charging station;

Fig. 3 shows a side view of an electric lift truck that has completed docking with the charging station;

Fig. 4 shows an exploded view of a part of the female

docking device and a part of a male element that is adapted to enter the female docking device;

Fig. 5A shows a top view of the female docking device where a horizontal element has been deleted;

Fig. 5B shows a slightly perspective view from above where a spring in the horizontal element is shown;

Figs. 6A-

6C show a docking sequence during a certain

misalignment between the male element and the female docking device;

Fig. 7 shows an exploded view of the components inside a housing box that supports the male element;

Figs. 8A-

8B show schematic views of an electromagnet that

controls the water supply to the batteries; Figs. 9A-

9C show a docking sequence to establish water supply to the batteries provided on the electric lift truck;

Fig. 10 is a perspective, partly cut away, perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the female docking device; and

Fig. 11 is a perspective view from below of an inclined

position of the female docking device according to Fig. 10.

Detailed Description of a Preferred Embodiments of the

Invention

In Fig. 1 an electric lift truck T is schematically disclosed, said truck T being in the process of docking a charging station S. The truck T is equipped with a female docking device 1 according to the present invention. In the disclosed embodiment the female docking device 1 is located at the front of the truck T, displaced sideways in order not to interfere with the forklift arrangement FA. The female docking device 1 will be described more in detail below.

The charging station S comprises a framework FW that supports a number of components. An important component of the charging station S is a male element ME that is mounted at one end of an elongated housing box HB, the male element ME being stationary relative the housing box HB. The housing box HB is electrically connected to a power unit PU that supplies direct current (D.C.) to the housing box HB. The power unit PU is normally connected to the main circuit that delivers

alternating current (A.C.). Thus the power unit PU converts A.C. to D.C..

The housing box HB is carried by the framework FW and displaceable in its longitudinal direction relative to the framework FW. The suspension means for the housing box HB are not described in detail since a number of known structural arrangements are possible.

The male element ME comprises a first helical spring HS . Normally, adjacent coils of the first helical spring HS abut each other. The male element ME also comprises a nose portion NP located at the free end of the first helical spring HS. The free end of the nose portion NP is preferably semi-spherical. There is an electrical connection between the nose portion NP and the housing box HB, i.e. the electric cables EC entering the back of the housing box HB extend along and inside the first helical spring HS and terminate in the nose portion NP of the male element ME. The nose portion NP is equipped with first annular contact means CM that are electrically connected to the electric cables EC that extend up to the nose portion NP.

From Fig. 1 it can be learnt that the charging station S has a guiding space GS that is defined between the base that the charging station S rests upon and a portion of the

framework FW of the charging station S. The purpose of the guiding space GS is to receive a fork leg FL of the forklift arrangement FA. By entering the fork led in the guiding space GS it is guaranteed that the female docking device 1 will assume a correct position when docking between the female docking device 1 and the male element ME is to be effected.

In Figs. 2 and 3 it is schematically disclosed how the electric lift truck T gradually approaches the charging station S. In Fig. 2 the nose portion NP of the male element ME is just about to enter the female docking device 1. In Fig. 3 the docking is completed, i.e. the male element ME is properly received in the female docking device 1. During docking the housing box HB is displaced in its longitudinal direction relative to the framework FW. The housing box HB is displaced in the advancing direction of the electric lift truck T. The displacement of the housing box HB to its final position will activate an electric switch ES inside the housing box HB, said switch ES being only schematically disclosed in Figs. 1-3. Thus, when the housing box HB has been displaced to its final position the electric switch ES is in an operating mode, i.e. D.C. flows from the power unit PU and through the electric cables EC up to the nose portion NP of the male element ME.

The female docking device 1 of the present invention is described more in detail in Fig. 4. For reasons of clarity only half the female docking device 1 is in principle shown in Fig. 4.

The female docking device 1 according to the present invention comprises an outer casing 3, said casing 3

comprising two generally horizontal, planar disc elements 5 that are located at a certain distance from each other, said distance being measured perpendicular to the planes of the disc elements 5. An alternative expression is that the disc elements 5 are located at a certain vertical distance from each other. Two generally vertical elements 7 (only one shown in Fig. 4) extend between the horizontal elements 5, the four elements 5 and 7 forming the casing 3 of the female docking device 1, said casing 3 having open ends. In the casing 3 a guiding unit 6 is provided. At the end of the guiding unit 6 that faces in the forward direction, i.e. the forward motion direction of the electric lift truck T, a concave guiding surface 8 is provided. This forward motion direction is indicated by the arrow F in Fig. 1. The concave guiding surface 8 defines a forward end of guiding unit 6. In the centre of the concave guiding surface 8 a recess 9 is

provided, said recess 9 having a length/depth that is adapted to the length of the nose portion NP of the male element ME. A displaceable element 10 is provided in the recess 9, said displaceable element 10 having a concave portion 11 that faces towards the opening of the recess 9. Preferably, the concave portion 11 is semispherical in order to establish a proper cooperation with the nose portion NP that also preferably is semispherical. Behind the displaceable element 10 a second helical spring 12 is provided, said second helical spring 12 urging the displaceable element 10 towards the open end of the recess 9. In the centre of the concave portion 11 the

displaceable element 10 has an opening 11A. The displaceable element 10 is moving in the axial direction of the recess 9. When the female docking device 1 is not in use the

displaceable element 10 is covering the open end of the recess 9. Thereby, dirt is prevented from entering the recess 9.

Generally, the recess 9 is preferably circular

cylindric. In the recess 9 second electric contact means 13 are provided, said means being in the shape of strips 13 having a longitudinal direction in the circumference of the cylindrical portion of the recess 9. In the disclosed

embodiment the second electric contact means 13 are located in the region of the open end of the recess 9. The second

electric contact means 13 are, via electric cables (not shown) , connected to the batteries (not shown) that are provided on the electric lift truck T.

As is evident from Fig. 4 the guiding unit 6 is

pivotally mounted in the casing 3 by means of two pins 14, whereby each pin 14 extends both into the horizontal elements 5 of the casing 3 and into the guiding unit 6. The pins 14 define a pivot axis A that the guiding unit 6 may pivot/turn around .

The generally vertical elements 7 are shown in more detail in Fig. 5A that shows a top view of the female docking device 1. In Fig. 5A the upper horizontal, planar element 5 has been omitted for clarity reasons. As is evident from Fig. 5A the generally vertical elements 7 are provided with

depressions on the sides that face towards each other. Thus, a first depression 20 is provided in each vertical element 7 at the end of the female docking device 1 that faces towards the front of the electric lift truck T. Each vertical element 7 is also provided with a second depression 21 that is located at the opposite end of the female docking device 1, i.e. the end that faces towards the rear end of the electric lift truck T.

As is evident from Fig. 5A the guiding unit 6 is allowed to pivot/turn around the pins 14 and assume an inclined position due to the provision of the depressions 20 and 21. In the inclined position of the guiding unit 6 a front portion of the guiding unit 6 is received in one of the first depressions 20 and a rear portion of the guiding unit 6 is received in one of the second depressions 21. By having the guiding unit 6 inside a casing 3 there is no risk that the guiding unit 6, when performing a pivot/turn, interferes with adjacent

components on the electric lift truck T. In this connection it should be pointed out that the position of the guiding unit 6 in Fig. 5A is assumed only when the male element ME is docked in the female docking device 1, see Fig. 6C. The same applies for the position of the guiding unit 6 in Fig. 5B. In Fig. 5B a torsion spring 15 is located in the upper, horizontal element 5, said torsion spring 15 being mounted on a first peg 16 provided in the element 5. Opposite arms 17 of the torsion spring 15 cooperate with second pegs 18 provided on the guiding unit 6. The torsion spring 15 will return the guiding unit 6 to a neutral position as soon as turning forces no longer act on the guiding unit 6.

In Figs. 6A-6C the entering of the male element ME in the female docking device 1 is schematically illustrated. In Fig. 6A the nose portion NP of the male element ME contacts the concave surface 8 of the guiding unit 6. However, since the point of contact is offset from the centre of the guiding unit 6 and also the centre of the recess 9 the guiding unit 6 will perform a pivotal movement as disclosed in Figs. 5A and 5B. The pivotal movement is due to that the nose portion NP applies a force to the guiding unit 6 in the contact point between the nose portion NP and the concave surface 8. This will initiate a moment about the pivot axis A and a turning of the guiding unit 6 will be effected. Due to the pivoting of the guiding unit 6, the concave surface 8 and the flexibility of the first helical spring HS the nose portion NP of the male element ME will enter the recess 9, see Fig. 6B. In this position the convex, preferably semispherical , nose portion NP will cooperate with the preferably semispherical concave portion 11 of the displaceable element 10. When the female docking device 1 is further advanced forward the nose portion NP of the male element ME will be fully docked in the recess 9 of the female docking device 1, see Fig. 6C. When the docking is completed the first and second electric contact means CM and 13 are in proper contact to transfer D.C. from the first electric contact means CM to the second electric contact means 13.

When the male element ME is properly docked in the female docking device 1 the first and second electric contact means CM and 13 are in contact with each other and D.C. can be supplied to the batteries provided on the electric lift truck T, i.e. the power unit PU delivers D.C. to the housing box HB, the cables in the housing box HB and inside the helical spring HS delivers D.C. all the way to the nose portion NP, the electric contact means CM, 13 delivers D.C. to the cables (not shown) connected to the female docking device 1 and said last mentioned cables deliver D.C to the batteries (not shown) provided on the electric lift truck T.

As regards the supply of pressurized, distilled water to the batteries of the electric lift truck T reference is made to Fig. 7 where the components provided inside the housing box HB are disclosed, the housing box HB being omitted for clarity reasons. A hose 25 for supply of pressurized, distilled water extends inside the housing box HB and in the longitudinal extension of the housing box HB. In the disclosed embodiment a first portion of the hose 25 is connected to an inlet 48 of a first valve unit 26 while a second portion of the hose 25 is connected to an outlet 49 of an upper cover 46 of the first valve unit 26. The inlet portion of the hose 25 is connected to a water source WS outside the housing box HB, the water source WS supplying pressurized, distilled water of a certain pressure to the hose 25. The first valve unit 26 cooperates with an electromagnet unit 27 provided in the housing box HB. The first valve unit 26 also has a lower cover 47.

The first valve unit 26 comprises a base element 50 that in the disclosed embodiment has a generally rectangular shape. The base element 50 is equipped with a protruding rim 51 that also has a rectangular, closed shape. In the space inside the rim 51 an end of a water passage WP (not shown in Fig. 7) emanates and an O-ring 52 is mounted around an orifice 53 of the water passage WP. The water passage WP extends between the space inside the rim 51 and the inlet 48 of the first valve unit 26. The first valve unit 26 further comprises a plate 54 that has an outer contour that fits to the inner contour of the rim 51.

Inside the housing box HB two guide bars GB are

provided, said guide bars GB being part of a supporting structure inside the housing box HB. As is evident from Fig. 7 a portion of the electric cables EC are wound around a portion of the guide bars GB, said coils of the electric cables EC and the adherent portions of the guide bars GB constitute a part of the electromagnet 27. A prerequisite for this arrangement is that the guide bars GB are made out of a magnetizable material, normally iron.

The electromagnet 27 further comprises blocks 60 of magnetizable material, normally iron, the guide bars GB extending through the blocks 60. The blocks 60 constitute two poles of the electromagnet 27. A transverse element 61 that bridges the guide bars GB is also a part of the electromagnet

27, i.e. the transverse element 61 is made of magnetizable material. When D.C. flows in the electric cables EC the coil portions, the transverse element 61 and the iron blocks 60 will function as an electromagnet 27, i.e. a magnetic field is established between the poles 60.

In Figs. 8A and 8B the function of the electromagnet 27 is schematically disclosed. For clarity reasons certain parts of the components have been cut away. The upper and lower covers 46, 47 are assembled in a water-proof way by means of a sealing 56.

In Fig. 8 A the electromagnet 27 is active and the plate

54 is urged against the space inside the rim 51 of the base element 50. This means that the plate 54 compresses the O-ring 52 and the orifice 53 is shut off, i.e. the pressurized water can only reach up to the end of the water passage WP, i.e. the contact portion between the O-ring 52 and the plate 54. This is illustrated by the arrows in fig. 8A. Thus, no pressurized water can reach the nose portion NP of the male element ME.

In Fig. 8B the electromagnet 27 is inactive, i.e. no D.C. is flowing in the electric cables EC. This means that the plate 54 is not urged against the O-ring 52. A release spring

55 inside the first valve unit 26 raises the plate 54 a certain distance upwards and pressurized water is flowing in the water passage WP, is allowed to bypass the O-ring and the orifice 53 and flow through the outlet 49 of the first valve unit 26. This is illustrated by the arrows in Fig. 8B. In this connection it should be mentioned that in certain

circumstances the release spring 55 may be omitted, i.e. the expansion of the O-ring 52 will raise the plate 54.

The hose 25 extends from the outlet 49 of the first valve unit 26 and further inside the first helical spring HS and all the way to a second valve unit 28 that is located in the nose portion NP of the male element ME, see Fig. 4 that shows an exploded view of the second valve unit 28. The second valve unit 28 comprises a cylindrical tube 29 that has a nipple 30 at one end. One end of the hose 25 is connected to said nipple 30. The second valve unit 28 also comprises a third helical spring 31, a slide 32 and a packing box 33 that is manufactured from a flexible material, e.g. rubber or plastic .

The slide 32 is provided with a countersink 34 at one end to receive one end of the third helical spring 31. The slide 32 is also provided with a number of axial grooves 35 that extend between the ends of the slide 32. The slide 32 is further provided with a spigot 36, said spigot 36 projecting axially from the main body of the slide 32. In the present embodiment the free end of the spigot 36 is equipped with a conical chamfer. The packing box 33 is provided with a

through-going centre hole 37. Generally, the cross-section of the spigot 36 corresponds to the cross-section of the through- going hole 37. In the disclosed embodiment the spigot 36 and the hole 37 have circular cross-section. In the disclosed embodiment the diameter of the hole 37 is somewhat smaller than the diameter of the spigot 36.

As is shown in Fig. 4 an actuating pin element 40 is mounted in the bottom of the recess 9. The actuating pin element 40 is mounted in a rear wall 41 of the guiding unit 6. The actuating pin 40 has a central, through-going passage 42 that extends in the axial direction of the pin element 40. The free end of the pin element 40 that is located in the recess 9 is at least partly conical. In the area of the conical end a transverse boring 43 is provided, said boring 43 extending from the central passage 42 to the circumference of the pin element 40. The free end 43 of the pin element 40 that is located outside the recess 9 is adapted to receive a hose (not shown) that transports distilled water to the batteries (not shown) that are mounted on the electric lift truck T.

The second valve unit 28 is mounted in the nose portion NP of the male element ME in as assembled state. The second valve unit 28 is mounted in a space that is close to the free end of the nose portion NP. At the free end of the nose portion a through-going axial hole AH is provided. The

assembled state of the second valve unit 28 is disclosed in Figs. 9A-9C that shows the docking of the male element ME in the female docking device 1. As is shown in Figs. 9A and 9B the packing box 33 is mounted on the spigot 36, i.e. the spigot 36 is received in the hole 37. Since the diameter of the spigot 36 is somewhat larger than the diameter of the hole 37 there is a tight-fit mounting of the packing box 33 on the spigot 36.

In Fig. 9A the nose portion NS of the male member ME has established contact with the displaceable element 10 of the female docking device 1. Further advancement of the nose portion NP will move the displaceable element 10 deeper inside the recess 9, see Fig. 9B. In the positions illustrated in Figs. 9A and 9B the packing box 33 is mounted on the spigot 36 and pressurized distilled water in the grooves 35 will not be able to by-pass the packing box 33 since a sealing is

established both between the circumference of the packing box 33 and the inside of the cylindrical tube 29 as well as between the spigot 36 and the centre hole 37 in the packing box 33.

Still further advancement of the nose portion NP will move the displaceable element 10 to a position where the displaceable element 10 abuts the rear wall 41 of the guiding unit 6 of the female docking device 1. This is illustrated in Fig. 9C. When the displaceable element 10 abuts the wall 41 the second helical spring 12 is fully compressed. During the final phase of the insertion of the nose portion NP into the recess 9 the free end of the actuating pin element 40 that is located in the recess 9 will extend through the holes 11A and AH and make contact with the free end of the spigot 36, the conical design of these free ends will cooperate. As is evident from Fig. 9C the end of the actuating pin 40 will urge the slide 32 backwards and the third helical spring 31 will be compressed. During said movement of the slide 32 the packing box 33 will enter the portion of the actuating pin 40 that is located close to the free end of the actuating pin 40 that is located in the recess 9. Therefore, it is suitable that the diameter of the free of the actuating pin 40 that receives the packing box 33 has the same diameter as the spigot 36. As can be learnt from Fig. 9C pressurized, distilled water in the grooves 35 may now travel beyond the spigot 36 and via the transverse boring 43 to the central passage 42 of the

actuating pin element 40. The pressurized, distilled water then continues to the batteries (not shown) that are provided on the electric lift truck T via the hose (not shown) that is mounted on the free end 44 of the actuating pin 40 that is located outside the recess 9.

In the position of the nose portion NP that is shown in

Fig. 9C the first and second electric contact means CM and 13 are abutting each other.

In the position illustrated in Fig. 9C both charging of the batteries and supply of distilled water to the batteries may take place. The charging, i.e. the delivery of D.C., has been described above. The supply of distilled water will commence when the batteries (not shown) that are provided on the electric lift truck T are fully charged. Then the flow of D.C. in the electric cables EC will stop and the electromagnet 27 will assume an inactive state. As has been described above pressurized water will then bypass the first valve unit 26 and the pressurized, distilled water will reach the batteries provided on the electric lift truck T.

In this connection it should be pointed out that that the concept described above of having an electromagnet to control water supply during a charging session of batteries should be regarded as an independent innovation. This means that the electric charging of the batteries must not be effected by docking a male element in a female docking device. The charging may be effected in alternative ways. The

inventive concept is that an electromagnet 27 is energized by the electric cables EC that supply D.C. to the batteries for charging them. When the charging is completed the supply of D.C. will end and the electromagnet 27 is no longer active. This means that the first valve unit 26 opens and the water supply to the batteries starts.

In Fig. 10 an alternative embodiment of the female docking device 101 is disclosed. In Fig. 10 a male element ME is also present, said male element ME in principle being identical to the male element ME described above. Therefore, they are given the same reference designation.

The main difference between the female docking device 101 and the female docking device 1 is that the female docking device 101 is void of a stationary casing.

The female docking device 101 comprises a guiding unit 106 that is pivotal around a screw 114 that defines a pivot axis for the guiding unit 106 to pivot/turn around. The screw 114 is received in a hole in a bottom of the guiding unit 106. The screw 114 is anchored in a stationary base member 104 that is rigidly attached to the electric lift truck (not shown) . Likewise the female docking device 1 the guiding unit 106 of the female docking device 101 is equipped with a concave guiding surface 108 and a recess 109 in the centre of the concave guiding surface 108. A displaceable element 110 is provided in the recess 109. Between the stationary base member 104 and a portion of the female docking device 101 return springs 115 (only one visible in Fig. 10) are provided.

If there is a misalignment between the nose portion NP of the male element ME and the recess 109 the nose portion NP will hit the guiding surface 108 offset from recess 109. This will initiate a turning moment upon the guiding unit 106, i.e. the guiding unit 106 will pivot/turn around the axis defined by the screw 11 .

In Fig. 11 an inclined position of the guiding unit 106 is disclosed. From Fig. 11 it is evident that the turning of the guiding unit 106 causes one return spring 115 to compress while the other return spring 115 is extended. In a

corresponding way as described above the rounded shape of the nose portion NP, the concave guiding surface 108 and the inclination of the guiding unit 106 will guarantee that a proper docking is effected even if there is a misalignment between the male element ME and the female docking device 101.

When the male element ME is disconnected from the female docking device 101 the return springs 115 will displace the guiding unit 106 to its neutral position. Feasible Modifications of the Invention

In the embodiments described above the guiding surface 8; 108 is concave. However, within the scope of the present invention it is also possible that the guiding surface is frusto-conical .

Claims

Claims
1. Female docking device (1; 101) that is adapted to receive a male element (ME), the docking device (1; 101) having a recess (9; 109) adapted to receive a nose portion (NP) of the male element (ME) , c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the female docking device (1; 101) comprises a guiding unit (6; 106) with a guiding surface (8; 108), that an open end of the recess (9; 109) lies in the guiding surface (8; 108), and that the guiding unit (6; 106) is pivotal in a horizontal plane.
2. Female docking device (1) according to claim 1,
c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the female docking device (1) comprises a casing (3), that the guiding unit (6) is located inside the casing (3), and that the guiding unit (6) is pivotal relative to the casing (3).
3. Female docking device (1) according to claim 2,
c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the guiding unit (6) is suspended in two pins (14) that extend between the guiding unit (6) and the casing (3), said pins (14) defining a common pivot axis (A) for the guiding unit (6) .
4. Female docking device (1) according to claims 2 or 3, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the casing (3) is provided with interior depressions ( (20, 21) to facilitate the pivoting of the guiding unit (6).
5. Female docking device (1; 101) according to any of the preceding claims, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the guiding unit (6; 106) has a concave guiding surface (8; 108).
6. Female docking device (1; 101) according to any of the previous claims, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that a
displaceable element (10; 110) is provided in the recess (9; 109), the element (10; 110) being displaceable in the axial direction of the recess (9; 109), and that a helical spring (12) is provided in the recess (9; 109), said helical spring (12) urging the element (10; 110) towards the opening of the recess (9; 109) .
7. System for docking a male element (ME) in a female docking device (1) , the male element (ME) being suspended by a framework (FW) that rests on a ground, the female docking device (1) being mounted on an electric lift truck (T) that rests on the same ground as the framework (FW) ,
c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the female docking device (1) comprises a casing (3) and a guiding unit (6) located inside the casing (3), and that the guiding unit (6) is pivotal relative to the casing (3) in a horizontal plane.
8. System according to claim 7, c h a r a c t e r i s e d in that the guiding unit (6) is suspended in two pins (14) that extend between the guiding unit (6) and the casing (3), said pins (14) defining a common pivot axis (A) for the guiding unit ( 6) .
PCT/SE2012/000156 2011-10-14 2012-10-12 Female docking device WO2013055275A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
SE1130097 2011-10-14
SE1130097-7 2011-10-14

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
SE1450548A SE538449C2 (en) 2011-10-14 2012-10-12 Docking device receptacle

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2013055275A1 true true WO2013055275A1 (en) 2013-04-18

Family

ID=48082166

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/SE2012/000156 WO2013055275A1 (en) 2011-10-14 2012-10-12 Female docking device

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Country Link
WO (1) WO2013055275A1 (en)

Cited By (1)

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JP5926830B1 (en) * 2015-02-27 2016-05-25 川重商事株式会社 The charging device and a charging system

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US4119051A (en) * 1977-09-29 1978-10-10 Chicago Bridge & Iron Company Rigid mooring arm quick disconnect
US5272431A (en) * 1991-11-27 1993-12-21 Nee Patrick W Automatic power connector for recharging electric vehicles
US5478249A (en) * 1993-04-09 1995-12-26 Societe D'exploitation Des Procedes Marechal (Sepm), S.A. Electrical connector and more specifically a charging connector
US5577706A (en) * 1995-10-25 1996-11-26 King; Robert J. Water faucet with automatic shut-off mechanism for water conservation
US7535706B2 (en) * 2005-08-04 2009-05-19 Innoventor Engineering, Inc. Multi-purpose docking system
US20110004717A1 (en) * 2004-03-18 2011-01-06 Michigan Aerospace Corporation Docking system

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4119051A (en) * 1977-09-29 1978-10-10 Chicago Bridge & Iron Company Rigid mooring arm quick disconnect
US5272431A (en) * 1991-11-27 1993-12-21 Nee Patrick W Automatic power connector for recharging electric vehicles
US5478249A (en) * 1993-04-09 1995-12-26 Societe D'exploitation Des Procedes Marechal (Sepm), S.A. Electrical connector and more specifically a charging connector
US5577706A (en) * 1995-10-25 1996-11-26 King; Robert J. Water faucet with automatic shut-off mechanism for water conservation
US20110004717A1 (en) * 2004-03-18 2011-01-06 Michigan Aerospace Corporation Docking system
US7535706B2 (en) * 2005-08-04 2009-05-19 Innoventor Engineering, Inc. Multi-purpose docking system

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP5926830B1 (en) * 2015-02-27 2016-05-25 川重商事株式会社 The charging device and a charging system
WO2016136061A1 (en) * 2015-02-27 2016-09-01 川重商事株式会社 Charging device and charging system

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