WO2018065854A1 - Floor tile - Google Patents

Floor tile Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2018065854A1
WO2018065854A1 PCT/IB2017/055897 IB2017055897W WO2018065854A1 WO 2018065854 A1 WO2018065854 A1 WO 2018065854A1 IB 2017055897 W IB2017055897 W IB 2017055897W WO 2018065854 A1 WO2018065854 A1 WO 2018065854A1
Authority
WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
designed
piezoelectric
body
plurality
tile
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2017/055897
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Alessio CALCAGNI
Original Assignee
Luche S.R.L.
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

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04FFINISHING WORK ON BUILDINGS, e.g. STAIRS, FLOORS
    • E04F15/00Flooring
    • E04F15/02Flooring or floor layers composed of a number of similar elements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L41/00Piezo-electric devices in general; Electrostrictive devices in general; Magnetostrictive devices in general; Processes or apparatus specially adapted for the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L41/02Details
    • H01L41/04Details of piezo-electric or electrostrictive devices
    • H01L41/053Mounts, supports, enclosures or casings
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L41/00Piezo-electric devices in general; Electrostrictive devices in general; Magnetostrictive devices in general; Processes or apparatus specially adapted for the manufacture or treatment thereof or of parts thereof; Details thereof
    • H01L41/08Piezo-electric or electrostrictive devices
    • H01L41/083Piezo-electric or electrostrictive devices having a stacked or multilayer structure
    • H01L41/0833Piezo-electric or electrostrictive devices having a stacked or multilayer structure with non-rectangular cross-section orthogonal to the stacking direction, e.g. polygonal, circular
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02NELECTRIC MACHINES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H02N2/00Electric machines in general using piezo-electric effect, electrostriction or magnetostriction
    • H02N2/18Electric machines in general using piezo-electric effect, electrostriction or magnetostriction producing electrical output from mechanical input, e.g. generators

Abstract

Floor tile (100) comprising a plurality of piezoelectric stacks (1), each of the stacks being made by overlapping a plurality of piezoelectric elements (2) and a first plurality of elastic insulating spacers (3) interposed between each pair of adjacent piezoelectric elements (2); a plurality of plastic containers (6) each one of them being designed to house a corresponding piezoelectric stack (2); at least one box (8) designed to house at least two plastic containers (6). The tile (100) further comprises a body (11) configured to accommodate the at least one box (8) and formed by: an upper surface (12) designed to support a flooring; a pressure transfer element (13), designed to transform the pressure exerted on the upper surface of the body (11) in a uniform compression of all piezoelectric stacks (1) contained therein; a retaining element (14) of the at least one box (8) designed to fix the box (8) inside the body (11); elastic elements designed to promote the release from a compressed configuration to a rest configuration when the pressure exerted on the upper surface of the body (11) is removed and a lower element (15) closing the body (11).

Description

FLOOR TILE

The present invention relates to the field of electric power production.

In particular, the present invention concerns a floor tile capable of producing electric power.

The continued growth of global power demand has required a continuous development of technology in the field of power production.

In recent years, the need to obtain energy while avoiding producing environmental damage typical of, for example, fossil fuels, has determined the attempt to target research towards possible sources of clean energy production.

Among the many possible solutions, one is based in particular on the exploitation of the piezoelectric effect, that is, the property of some crystalline materials to polarize, generating a potential difference when they are subject to deformation, thus producing an electric current that can be stored and used later.

A possible known way to efficiently exploit piezoelectricity of some materials is to insert them into containers destined to be installed below the flooring of places receiving a high number of visitors.

In this way, people passing over the device guarantee a constant stress of the piezoelectric material, allowing to achieve good results in terms of power production.

However, the systems presented by the known art, also due to the innovative nature of this kind of approach, present a number of issues that make them not enough advantageous in case of large-scale use.

In this context, the technical task underlying the present invention is to propose a floor tile that overcomes at least some of the drawbacks of the known art mentioned above.

In particular, it is an object of the present invention to provide an easy-to- install floor tile, on which maintenance operations are simple to perform, and allowing to optimize the conversion efficiency of mechanical energy applied to the tile in electric power.

The mentioned technical task and the specified aims are substantially achieved by a floor tile, including the technical specifications set out in one or more of the appended claims.

According to the present invention, provided herein is a floor tile comprising: a plurality of piezoelectric stacks, each of these stacks being realized by overlapping a plurality of piezoelectric elements and a first plurality of elastic insulating spacers interposed between each pair of adjacent piezoelectric elements; a plurality of plastic containers, each one of them designed to contain a corresponding piezoelectric stack; at least one box configured to house at least two plastic containers.

The tile further comprises a body configured to accommodate the at least one box and comprising: an upper surface designed to support a flooring; a pressure transfer element, designed to transform the pressure exerted on the upper surface of said body in a uniform compression of all piezoelectric stacks contained therein; a retaining element of the at least one box, designed to fix the box inside the body; elastic elements designed to promote the release from a compressed configuration to a rest configuration when the pressure exerted on the upper surface of the body is removed; and a lower element closing the body.

The present invention also relates to a kit for the production of an energy- producing floor comprising: a plurality of floor tiles according to the claims of the present invention and at least one battery configured to be electrically connected to the tiles.

Further features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the description of an exemplary, but not exclusive, and therefore non-limiting preferred embodiment of a floor tile, as illustrated in the appended figures, wherein:

- Figure 1 a shows an exploded view of a piezoelectric stack of a floor tile according to a possible embodiment; - Figure 1 b shows the same assembled stack;

- Figure 2 shows an exploded view of a plastic container of a floor tile according to the present embodiment;

- Figure 3 shows an exploded view of a box of a floor tile according to the present embodiment;

- Figure 4 shows an exploded view of a body according to the present invention;

- Figure 5 shows a section of the assembled tile according to the present invention, wherein it is possible to see its constituent elements inside the same;

- Figure 6a shows a further possible embodiment of a plastic container of a floor tile once assembled;

- Figure 6b shows an exploded view of the component shown in Figure 6a. In Figs. 1 a and 1 b, 1 generally indicates a piezoelectric stack constituting the basic element of the present invention.

The piezoelectric stack is realized by overlapping a plurality of piezoelectric elements 2; in accordance with a preferred embodiment, there are at least five piezoelectric elements 2 made by piezotite® diaphragms and the polarities of piezoelectric elements 2 are electrically connected in parallel. The wiring required to connect the piezoelectric elements 2 of each piezoelectric stack 1 of the floor tile 100 converges into an electronic control element 9 which allows to convert the signal produced by the piezoelectric stack 1 into directly usable electric current, for example by a temperature sensor, a repeater for at least one wireless signal, a pressure sensor, a pedometer, a lighting system, a circuit breaker contained in the tile, or stored in an external battery.

Between each pair of adjacent piezoelectric elements 2 a spacer 3 is inserted, which is made of an elastic and electrically insulating material, preferably silicones, which allows the pressure to be transferred to all piezoelectric elements 2 of the piezoelectric stack 1 without, however, the risk of subjecting it to excessive stress. Its task is, in fact, also to dampen part of the pressure exerted by allowing the life of the stack to be lengthened.

First spacers 3 are also provided at the ends of the piezoelectric stack; these may have different sizes compared to the first elastic spacers 3 interposed between two adjacent piezoelectric elements 2.

When the piezoelectric stack 1 is subjected to a mechanical deformation, a compression in the case described herein, the piezoelectric elements 2 polarize generating a potential difference that allows the generation of electric power.

According to a possible embodiment, the piezoelectric stack 1 also comprises a plurality of second spacers 4 having an open annular shape, also made with an elastic and electrically insulating material, but more rigid than the first spacers 3.

These second spacers 4 are circumferentially disposed with respect to the other elements constituting the piezoelectric stack 1 so that their first portion encloses at least a part of a respective first spacer and in a second portion at least a part of a respective piezoelectric element 2.

The function of the second spacers 4 is to maximize the deflection of the piezoelectric element 2 during the compression of the stack, thus increasing the energy production, this being possible since each second spacer 4 is configured to support an outer edge of the respective piezoelectric element

2 only.

In addition, the open annular structure of the second spacers 4 provides a guide for the wiring needed for stack operation.

Preferably, the piezoelectric elements 2, the first spacers 3 and the second spacers 4 have a circular or quadrangular cross-section with the lateral size being greater than the height.

Fig. 1 b shows in detail a piezoelectric stack assembled according to the embodiment comprising the second spacers 4; also shown is the second portion of the second spacer 4 at the base of the stack circumscribing an empty space 5, since there are no further piezoelectric elements 2 below, which guarantees the space required for the deformation of the piezoelectric elements 2 during the compression of the stack.

The newly defined piezoelectric stack 1 is configured to be inserted into a plastic container 6 of which an exploded view is shown in Fig. 2a.

The plastic container performs the function of isolating the piezoelectric stack from the other tile components; there is also a through hole 7 through which the wiring of the piezoelectric stack 1 can conveniently pass.

In accordance with an alternative embodiment, the plastic container 6 is made by a plurality of small plates 6a, two small plates 6a in the specific example shown in more detail in the appended Figs. 6a, 6b, each having a plurality of passage seats 6b configured to engage a portion of the edge of a respective piezoelectric element 2.

In use, said small plates 6a define the retaining walls for the piezoelectric stack 1 to which they are associated, so as to ensure a stable positioning of the same within the floor tile 100.

Always in accordance with this embodiment, the plastic container 6 further comprises a pressure element 6c having a flat upper portion 6d and a lower portion 6e, realized by means of a plurality of blades suitable for interposing between two adjacent piezoelectric elements 2.

This solution allows both to bind the piezoelectric elements 2 to their edge ends and to optimize the transmission of the pressure uniformly, thus ensuring their correct bending when pressed, thereby optimizing the process of converting mechanical energy into electric power.

The plastic container 6 is in turn configured to be inserted into a box 8, of which an exploded view is shown in Fig. 3, inside which at least two plastic containers 6 may be accommodated, with the corresponding piezoelectric stack 1 .

According to a preferred embodiment, shown in the appended figures by way of non-limiting example, the boxes have a quadrangular base and are configured to accommodate 4 piezoelectric stacks 1 . The box is divided into compartments by a separator equipped with through holes 10 which are configured to allow the passage of the wiring of each single piezoelectric stack 1 contained in box 8.

Fig. 4 shows an exploded view of a body 1 1 made according to the present invention.

the structure of the body 1 1 comprises an upper surface element 12 configured to support a flooring, for example: parquet, linoleum, carpet, ceramic tiles or other types of tiles.

Also present is a pressure transfer element 13, designed to transform the pressure exerted on the upper surface of said body 1 1 in a uniform compression of all piezoelectric stacks 1 contained therein.

The pressure transfer element consists of two plates 13a and 13b and a connection element 13c. The connection element is configured to connect the pressure transfer element to a

retaining element 14 configured to bind at least one box 8 inside the body

1 1 .

The plate 13b is secured to the connection element 13c and is connected to the plate 13a by means of elastic elements, for example springs.

The structure of the body 1 1 is complemented by a lower element closing the body.

In use, the completely assembled floor tile 100, of which a section is shown in Fig. 5, can take two configurations.

If no pressure is exerted on the tile, it assumes a rest configuration; when, for example, a person is walking on the tile, the exerted pressure determines its passage to a compression configuration in which the piezoelectric elements 2 are deformed mechanically.

This deformation of the piezoelectric elements 2 causes their polarization, generating a potential difference at the ends of the piezoelectric stack 1 , thus producing an electric current.

When the pressure drops because the person has moved, the tile returns to the rest configuration. The present invention also relates to a kit for the production of an energy- producing floor. The kit comprises a plurality of floor tiles 1 according to the present invention and at least one battery suitable to be electrically connected to the tiles and to accumulate the electric power produced by them.

Optionally, the electric power could be used by actuators that can take advantage of the energy contained in the battery, or even directly produced by the tiles, for their functioning; for instance, a lighting system could be electrically connected to the batteries.

Advantageously, the presence of elastic elements in the body and the mechanical features of the first elastic insulating spacers favour the return of the floor tile 100 from the compression configuration to the rest configuration.

This feature ensures that, after a stress, the floor tile 100 has time to come back to a rest configuration before receiving further stresses, thus maximizing efficiency and reducing the risk that the tile will always stay in the compression configuration if the stresses to which it is subject have an excessively high frequency.

In addition, the shape and size of the body 1 1 can be easily adapted to the type of floor under which its installation is desired. In case a tile flooring is installed, the tile will be made the same size of the flooring tile, whereas in the case of parquet flooring or similar solutions the size of the tile is not influential and can be decided, for example, based on criteria such as ease of transport and of laying.

The particular structural shape of the floor tile 100 according to the present invention further allows for a high modularity of the same, thus guaranteeing a remarkable ease of replacement of the individual components, for example in the event of failure, without necessarily having to replace the whole floor tile 100.

Claims

1. Floor tile (100) comprising:
- A plurality of piezoelectric stacks (1 ), each one of said stacks being made of overlapping piezoelectric elements (2) and a first plurality of elastic insulating spacers (3) interposed between each pair of adjacent piezoelectric elements (2);
- a plurality of plastic containers (6) each one of them being designed to house the corresponding piezoelectric stack (1 );
- at least one box (8) designed to house at least two plastic containers (6); characterized in that it comprises a body (1 1 ), designed to house at least one housing (8), comprising:
- an upper surface (12) designed to support the flooring surface;
- a pressure transfer element (13), designed to transform the pressure exerted on the upper surface of said body (1 1 ) in a uniform compression of all piezoelectric stacks (1 ) contained therein;
- a retaining element (14) of the at least one box (8) and designed to fix the box (8) inside the body (1 1 );
- elastic elements designed to promote the release from a compressed configuration to a rest configuration when the pressure exerted on the upper surface (12) of the body (1 1 ) is removed;
- A lower element (15) closing the body (1 1 ).
2. Tile according to claim 1 which envisages a second plurality of insulating elastic spacers (4), each second spacer (4) being an open annular body designed to circumferentially comprise, in its first portion, at least a part of the corresponding first elastic insulating spacer (3) and, in its second portion, at least a part of the corresponding piezoelectric element (2).
3. Tile according to claim 1 or 2, in which the piezoelectric elements (2), the first insulating elastic spacers (3) and the second insulating elastic spacers (4) have a circular or quadrangular cross-section with the lateral size being greater than the height.
4. Tile according to one or more of the preceding claims, in which each piezoelectric stack (1 ) has, at each of its ends, a corresponding spacer (3a) having different sizes as compared to the sizes of the insulating elastic spacers (3) interposed between two consecutive piezoelectric elements (2) of the piezoelectric stack.
5. Tile according to one or more of the preceding claims, in which there is a wiring designed to electrically connect each piezoelectric stack (1 ) to at least one corresponding electronic control element.
6. Tile according to one or more of the preceding claims, in which at least one hole (7, 10) allowing the passage of said wiring is comprised in each element in said tile.
7. Tile according to one or more of the preceding claims, in which the floor tile (100) is designed to house at least one of the following elements: a temperature sensor, a wireless repeater able to transmit at least one wireless signal, a pressure sensor, a pedometer, a lighting system, a switch.
8. Tile according to one or more of the preceding claims, in which the body (1 1 ) is designed to support at least one of the following floor types: parquet, linoleum, carpet, ceramic tiles.
9. Kit for making an energy-producing floor characterized in that it comprises:
- a plurality of floor tiles (100) according to claims 1 to 8;
- at least one battery designed to be electrically connected to said plurality of tiles (100).
10. Kit according to claim 9, in which the battery is designed to at least supply power to a lighting system.
PCT/IB2017/055897 2016-10-06 2017-09-27 Floor tile WO2018065854A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
IT102016000100583 2016-10-06
IT201600100583 2016-10-06

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2018065854A1 true true WO2018065854A1 (en) 2018-04-12

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ID=58609640

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/IB2017/055897 WO2018065854A1 (en) 2016-10-06 2017-09-27 Floor tile

Country Status (1)

Country Link
WO (1) WO2018065854A1 (en)

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2012080636A1 (en) * 2010-12-17 2012-06-21 Ludovic Giraud Electrical-energy generating floor element
CN203602981U (en) * 2013-08-08 2014-05-21 闫世伟 Power generating floor board based on piezoelectric materials
DE102014107336A1 (en) * 2014-05-23 2015-11-26 Iryna Krause Mobile surface module

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2012080636A1 (en) * 2010-12-17 2012-06-21 Ludovic Giraud Electrical-energy generating floor element
CN203602981U (en) * 2013-08-08 2014-05-21 闫世伟 Power generating floor board based on piezoelectric materials
DE102014107336A1 (en) * 2014-05-23 2015-11-26 Iryna Krause Mobile surface module

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