Ford Global Technologies, LLC (Dearborn, MI)
A source of power is connected to a ground unit that is electrically connected to. This allows for hands-free charging. Ground unit contains an energy-storage device, a robotic coupler and connector. The actuator is designed to move the connector to be in contact with a vehicle charging port. The actuator is powered by an energy storage device. A switch arrangement is designed to electrically connect the source of power to the energy-storage device as well as to the connector. A controller is programmed to upon receiving the request to charge a vehicle, connect the connector to the charge port when the connector is physically disconnected from power sources by using an internal source of power.
A person might be able to connect a vehicle to a plug that allows the connection to an external power source. For charging purposes, the operator may connect and disconnect the charging cable by hand. This setup could enable the driver to charge the battery of the vehicle in various locations.
A hands-free charging device consists of an electrical power source and ground unit which are electrically connected to each other. Ground unit includes an energy-storage device and a robot coupler that has a connector and an actuator that can be used to move the connector into contact with a vehicle charging port. The energy storage device is designed to power the actuator. A switch arrangement is set up to selectively electrically connectthe power source to the energy-storage device as well as to the connector. In response to an request to charge an automobile, a controller can (i) command a switching arrangement to disconnect the connector from power source; (ii) the command an actuator to move using energy-storage devices’ power to couple the connector and the vehicle’s charge ports, while the connector remains disconnected from power sources and (iii). The controller can command the switching arrangement to connect the connector with a the power source when the connector has been coupled to the port for charging in the vehicle.
Another method of charging hands-free involves an electric vehicle supply device (EVSE) that can be used to connect to a power source. Additionally, it has the ability to switch. A ground unit is connected to theEVSE by a cable. Ground unit houses an energy storage device as well as a robot coupler, and an actuator that can move a connector to engage with a vehicle charger port. The energy storage device is set up to power the actuator. A controlleris programmed to, in response to a request to charge a vehicle, (i) command the switching arrangement such that the ground unit is electrically disconnected from the power source, (ii) command movement of the actuator, using power from the energy-storagedevice, to couple the connector to the vehicle charge port while the ground unit is electrically disconnected from the power source, and (iii) command the switching arrangement such that the ground unit is electrically connected to the power source oncethe connector is coupled to the vehicle charge port.
According to yet another model, a hands-free charging device includes a connector that can connect to a vehicle charging port, an energy storage device, and an actuator configured to connect the connector autonomously to the vehicle. Amethod of charging a vehicle using the charging system comprises, when a user requests to charge a vehicle: using a switch arrangement of the hands-free charging system to remove the actuator the connector from power grid; operating the actuator with the power of the energy storage device, to connect the connector with the charge port while the connector and the actuator are electrically disconnected from the power grid; using the switch arrangement to electrically connect the connector to the power grid, and then charging the vehicle with the grid.
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The government grants patents to protect an invention, a patent provides the inventor with exclusive rights to develop, utilize, market and promote the invention?society benefits when a innovative technology is introduced to the market. These benefits could be directly realized as people are able to accomplish feats previously unattainable, or indirectly through the economic opportunities that innovation provides (business growth, employment).
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