Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION SYSTEMS AND METHODS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/089345
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Embodiments include fenestration units with active sound canceling properties, retrofit units with active sound canceling properties and related methods. In an embodiment a fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties can include an glazing unit including an exterior transparent pane, an interior transparent pane, and an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. The fenestration unit can include an active noise cancellation system including an exterior module including a sound input device and a signal emitter. An interior module can include a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter, and a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane. A sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device. Other embodiments are also included herein.

Inventors:
PLUMMER, David D. (593 Topaz Ln, Hudson, Wisconsin, 54016, US)
FERENC, Kevin T. (Apt. 201, 3261 W. Main St.Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, 53590, US)
Application Number:
US2017/060354
Publication Date:
May 17, 2018
Filing Date:
November 07, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ANDERSEN CORPORATION (100 Fourth Avenue North, Bayport, Minnesota, 55003, US)
International Classes:
G10K11/178; E06B5/20
Foreign References:
US20150358729A12015-12-10
DE10116166A12002-10-10
JPH04334653A1992-11-20
DE19826171C11999-10-28
US4352039A1982-09-28
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEFFNER, Mark E. et al. (Pauly, Devries Smith & Deffner LLC,121 South Eighth Street,Suite 90, Minneapolis Minnesota, 55402, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The Claims Are:

1. A fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties comprising:

an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit comprising:

an exterior transparent pane;

an interior transparent pane;

an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes; and a spacer unit disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes;

an active noise cancellation system comprising

an exterior module connected to the exterior transparent pane, the exterior module comprising

a sound input device;

a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device;

an interior module connected to the interior transparent pane, the interior module comprising

a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter;

a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module;

wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device.

2. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1 and 3-20, wherein the sound cancellation control module is housed within the interior module.

3. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-2 and 4-20, wherein the active noise cancellation system decreases the volume of sound originating from outside of the exterior transparent pane by about 5 dB as measured from a point within 5 centimeters of the inside surface of the interior transparent pane.

4. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-3 and 5-20, wherein the volume of sound originating from outside of the exterior transparent pane is decreased by about 10 db.

5. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-4 and 6-20, wherein the volume of sound originating from outside of the exterior transparent pane is decreased by about 15 db. 6. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-5 and 7-20, the sound cancellation control module disposed within the interior module.

7. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-6 and 8-20, the interior module further comprising an induction transmitting coil and the exterior module further comprising an induction receiving coil, the induction transmitting coil and induction receiving coil configure to convey power from the interior module to the exterior module.

8. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-7 and 9-20, the sound input device comprising a transducer that converts acoustical waves into electrical signals.

9. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-8 and 10-20, the sound input device comprising a microphone.

10. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-9 and 11-20, the microphone selected from the group consisting of externally polarized condenser microphones, prepolarized electret condenser microphones, and piezoelectric microphones.

11. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-10 and 12-20, the sound input device comprising a device selected from the group consisting of an accelerometer with digital or analog output, a piezoelectric film and an optical sensor.

12. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-11 and 13-20, wherein the sound input device is positioned at least about 3 millimeters away from an outside surface of the exterior transparent pane. 13. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-12 and 14-20, wherein the sound input device is positioned within 3 millimeters away from an outside surface of the exterior transparent pane.

14. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-13 and 15-20, the vibration generator comprising an acoustic exciter.

15. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-14 and 16-20, the vibration generator comprising a piezoelectric device. 16. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-15 and 17-20, wherein the fenestration unit is a window.

17. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-16 and 18-20, wherein the fenestration unit is a door.

18. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-17 and 19-20, further comprising a user interface panel in electrical communication with the sound cancellation control module, the user interface panel comprising a user input device and an output device. 19. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-18 and 20, wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with the sound waves only at selected frequencies. 20. The fenestration unit of any of claims 1-19, wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing amplification of sound waves at selected frequencies.

21. An active sound canceling system for a fenestration unit comprising:

an exterior module configured to be connected to an exterior transparent pane, the exterior module comprising

a sound input device;

a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device;

an interior module configured to be connected to an interior transparent pane, the interior module comprising

a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter;

a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module;

wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device. 22. A building material unit with active sound canceling properties comprising: an exterior sheet of material;

an interior sheet of material;

an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior sheets of material; and an active noise cancellation system comprising

an exterior module connected to the exterior sheet, the exterior module comprising

a sound input device;

a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device;

an interior module connected to the interior sheet, the interior module comprising a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter; a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior sheet;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module;

wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior sheet and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device.

23. A fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties comprising:

an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit comprising:

an exterior transparent pane;

an interior transparent pane;

an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes; and a spacer unit disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes;

an active noise cancellation system comprising

a vibration sensor configured to detect vibration of the exterior transparent pane;

an interior module connected to the interior transparent pane, the interior module comprising

a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with the interior module;

wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with sound waves causing vibration of the exterior transparent panel.

24. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23 and 25-33, further comprising an exterior module connected to the exterior transparent pane, wherein the vibration sensor is connected to the exterior module.

25. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-24 and 26-33, wherein the vibration sensor is connected to the exterior transparent pane.

26. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-25 and 27-33, wherein the exterior transparent pane comprising a first glass layer, a second glass layer, and the vibration sensor is disposed between the first and second glass layers.

27. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-26 and 28-33, wherein the vibration sensor is disposed on an interior surface of the exterior transparent pane.

28. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-27 and 29-33, wherein the vibration sensor does not physically contact the exterior transparent pane.

29. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-28 and 30-33, wherein the vibration sensor is an optical vibration sensor.

30. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-29 and 31-33, wherein the vibration sensor is a laser vibration sensor. 31. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-30 and 32-33, wherein a laser emitter is disposed on the inside surface of the interior pane and is directed toward the exterior pane.

32. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-31 and 33, further comprising a reflector disposed on the outside surface of the exterior pane.

33. The fenestration unit of any of claims 23-32, further comprising a reflector disposed on the inside surface of the exterior pane. 34. A fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties comprising: an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit comprising:

an exterior transparent pane;

an interior transparent pane;

an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes; and a spacer unit disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes;

an active noise cancellation system comprising

an interior module connected to the interior transparent pane, the interior module comprising

a vibration sensor configured to detect vibration of the interior transparent pane; a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with the interior module;

wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with sound waves causing vibration of the interior transparent panel.

35. The fenestration unit of any of claims 34 and 36, wherein the vibration sensor is an accelerometer.

36. The fenestration unit of any of claims 34-35, wherein the vibration sensor and the vibration generator are physically integrated.

37. A fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties comprising:

an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit comprising:

an exterior transparent pane;

an interior transparent pane;

an internal space disposed between the first and interior transparent panes; and a spacer unit disposed between the first and interior transparent panes; an active noise cancellation system disposed within the internal space, the active noise cancellation system comprising

a sound input device;

a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with vibration generator;

wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device.

38. The fenestration unit of any of claims 37 and 39-40, wherein the sound input device comprises an accelerometer and is connected to the exterior transparent pane.

39. The fenestration unit of any of claims 37-38 and 40, wherein the sound input device comprises a microphone and is disposed between the exterior transparent pane and the interior transparent pane.

40. The fenestration unit of any of claims 37-39, wherein the microphone is connected to the spacer unit.

41. A window unit with active sound canceling properties comprising:

a transparent pane; and

an active noise cancellation system comprising

a module connected to the transparent pane, the module comprising a vibration sensor; and

a vibration generator configured to vibrate the transparent pane;

a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with the module; wherein the sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves causing vibration of the interior transparent panel.

Description:
ACTIVE NOISE CANCELLATION SYSTEMS AND METHODS

This application is being filed as a PCT International Patent application on November 7, 2017 in the name of Andersen Corporation, a U.S. national corporation, applicant for the designation of all countries and David D. Plummer, a U.S. Citizen, and Kevin T. Ferenc, a U.S. Citizen, inventors for the designation of all countries, and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/418,938, filed November 8, 2016, the contents of which are herein incorporated by reference in its entirety. Field

Embodiments herein relate to fenestration units with active sound canceling properties, retrofit units with active sound canceling properties and related methods. Background

Sound is a pressure wave. Active noise-cancellation generally functions by emitting a sound wave with the same amplitude but with an inverted phase (also known as antiphase) to the original sound. The waves combine to form a new wave, in a process called interference, and effectively cancel each other out. This is known as destructive interference.

As used herein, fenestration units are items such as windows and doors that are placed within openings of a wall of a structure. Fenestrations units typically have a substantially different construction than portions of the wall surrounding them. In particular, many fenestrations units include transparent portions and are designed to be opened. Because of their substantial differences, fenestrations units typically perform very differently than normal wall constructions in terms of insulating properties, sound transmission properties, and the like.

Various approaches to reducing sound transmission through fenestration units have been tried including mismatched glass, laminated glass, storm windows, dual units, and the like.

Summary

In an embodiment a fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties is included herein. The fenestration unit can include an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit including an exterior transparent pane, an interior transparent pane, and an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. A spacer unit can be disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. The fenestration unit can include an active noise cancellation system including an exterior module connected to the exterior transparent pane. The exterior module can include a sound input device, a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device. An interior module can be connected to the interior transparent pane, the interior module can include a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter, and a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane. The system can include a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module. The sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device and/or provide counter force to the interior transparent pane to reduce sound transmittance.

In an embodiment an active sound canceling system for a fenestration unit is included. The system can include an exterior module configured to be connected to an exterior transparent pane. The exterior module can include a sound input device and a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device. The system can include an interior module configured to be connected to an interior transparent pane. The interior module can include a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter, a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane. The system can also include a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module. The sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device and/or provide counter force to the interior transparent pane to reduce sound transmittance.

In an embodiment, a building material unit with active sound canceling properties is included. The building material unit can include an exterior sheet of material, an interior sheet of material, and an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior sheets of material. The building material unit can also include an active noise cancellation system including an exterior module connected to the exterior sheet. The exterior module can include a sound input device, and a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device. An interior module can be connected to the interior sheet. The interior module can include a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter and a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior sheet. The building material unit can further include a sound cancellation control module in electrical

communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module. The sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior sheet and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device and/or provide counter force to the interior sheet to reduce sound transmittance.

In an embodiment, a fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties is included. The fenestration unit can include an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit including an exterior transparent pane, an interior transparent pane, and an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. The insulated glazing unit can further include a spacer unit disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. The fenestration unit can further include an active noise cancellation system including a vibration sensor configured to detect vibration of the exterior transparent pane and an interior module connected to the interior transparent pane. The interior module can include a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane. The fenestration unit can further include a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with the interior module. The sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with sound waves causing vibration of the exterior transparent panel and/or provide counter force to the interior transparent pane to reduce sound transmittance.

In an embodiment a fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties is included. The fenestration unit can include an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit including an exterior transparent pane, an interior transparent pane, and an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. The insulated glazing unit can further include a spacer unit disposed between the exterior and interior transparent panes. The fenestration unit can further include an active noise cancellation system including an interior module connected to the interior transparent pane. The interior module can include a vibration sensor configured to detect vibration of the interior transparent pane and a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane. The fenestration unit can include a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with the interior module. The sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with sound waves causing vibration of the interior transparent panel and/or provide counter force to the interior transparent pane to reduce sound transmittance.

In an embodiment, a fenestration unit with active sound canceling properties is included. The fenestration unit can include an insulated glazing unit mounted within a frame, the insulated glazing unit can include an exterior transparent pane, an interior transparent pane, and an internal space disposed between the first and interior transparent panes. The insulated glazing unit can include a spacer unit disposed between the first and interior transparent panes. The fenestration unit can include an active noise cancellation system disposed within the internal space, the active noise cancellation system can include a sound input device and a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane. The fenestration unit can include a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with vibration generator. The sound cancellation control module controls the vibration generator to vibrate the interior transparent pane and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device and/or provide counter force to the interior transparent pane to reduce sound transmittance.

This summary is an overview of some of the teachings of the present application and is not intended to be an exclusive or exhaustive treatment of the present subject matter. Further details are found in the detailed description and appended claims. Other aspects will be apparent to persons skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the following detailed description and viewing the drawings that form a part thereof, each of which is not to be taken in a limiting sense. The scope herein is defined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Brief Description of the Figures

Aspects may be more completely understood in connection with the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view showing how noise originating outside can pass through a fenestration unit.

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 3 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 4 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 5 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 6 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 7 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 8 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 9 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 10 is a schematic side view of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein.

FIG. 11 is a schematic view of components of a sound cancellation system.

While embodiments are susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specifics thereof have been shown by way of example and drawings, and will be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the scope herein is not limited to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope herein. Detailed Description

In the context of a home or dwelling, fenestration units are the natural pathway for unwanted noise to enter the inside of the home or dwelling. For example, airplanes, trucks, trains and lawnmowers are all common noise producers and their high- volume sound can easily pass through fenestration units and disturb the occupants of a building, regardless of whether it is night or day. Reducing the volume of these undesirable sounds can make the interior space more peaceful and enjoyable.

In various embodiments herein, the volume of sound originating outside can be reduced by detecting such sound and then manipulating an interior pane of a multi- pane fenestration unit so as to cancel out, or greatly diminish, the sound reaching the inside space of the dwelling or structure. In some embodiments, the interior pane can be manipulated to provide counter force to the interior transparent pane to reduce sound transmittance

In some embodiments, external noise is picked up by a microphone, pressure sensor, or vibration sensor as it contacts (or just before or just after) an exterior pane of a fenestration unit. The signal is then processed to generate an inverse phase cancelling signal which is then applied to an interior pane, which is where cancelation of the noise can occur.

Referring now to FIG. 1 , a schematic view is shown illustrating how noise originating outside 120 of a dwelling or structure can pass through a fenestration unit 106 into the inside space 122. Noise can be generated in many different ways. In this example, a truck 124 is illustrated as the source of noise, however it will be appreciated that it could also be other things like a lawnmower, plane, road, train or the like. The sound can first contact the exterior pane 110 of the fenestration unit 106 and then pass through the internal space 114 and contact the interior pane 112 before entering the inside space 122 of the dwelling or structure. The fenestration unit 106 may include a frame 108 and be disposed within an aperture of a wall with an upper wall portion 102 above and a lower wall portion 104 below. However, the upper wall portion 102 and lower wall portion 104 may be thicker and formed of different materials such that less sound passes through those portions versus the fenestration unit. As such, in this example, the last point the noise passes through before entering the inside space 122 is the interior pane 112.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. In this example, the fenestration unit includes an insulated glazing unit having an exterior pane 110, an interior pane 112, and an internal space 114 disposed between the exterior pane 110 and the interior pane 112. The insulated glazing unit can further include a spacer unit 206 (or assembly) between the exterior pane 110 and the interior pane 112. The insulated glazing unit can be disposed within a frame 108.

The system 200 can include an active noise cancellation system including an exterior module 202 connected to the exterior transparent pane 110. The exterior module 202 can include a housing 204. The exterior module 202 can be attached to the exterior pane 110 via an attachment platform 214. The attachment platform 214 can be adhesively bonded (permanently or temporarily) to the exterior pane 110. In some embodiments, the attachment platform 214 can be attached to the exterior pane 110 using a suction cup or similar structure

The exterior module 202 can include a sound input device 208. Exemplary sound input devices are described in greater detail below. The sound input device 208 (or sound pickup device, microphone, pressure sensor, vibration sensor, etc.) can detect sound and generate a signal therefrom. It will be appreciated that the position of the sound input device 208 relative to the exterior pane 110 can vary. In some embodiments, the sound input device 208 can be contacting the exterior pane 110. However, in other embodiments, the sound input device 208 can be spaced away from the exterior pane 110. For example, in some embodiments, the sound input device

208 (e.g., the portion of the sound input device registering sound) can be at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.5, 10, 15 or 20 millimeters away from the exterior surface of the exterior pane 110. In some embodiments, the sound input device 208 can be at a distance in a range wherein any of the foregoing distances can serve as the upper or lower bound of the range, provided that the upper bound is greater than the lower bound.

The exterior module 202 can also include a signal emitter 210, which can be configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device 208.

The active noise cancellation system can also include an interior module 222 connected to the interior transparent pane 112. The interior module 222 can include a housing 224. The interior module 222 can be attached to the interior pane 112 via an attachment platform 234. The attachment platform 234 can be adhesively bonded (permanently or temporarily) to the interior pane 112. In some embodiments, the attachment platform 234 can be attached to the interior pane 112 using a suction cup or similar structure. The interior module 222 can include a signal receiver 230 to receive a signal from the signal emitter 210 of the exterior module 202. The interior module 222 can also include a vibration generator 238 configured to vibrate the interior transparent pane 112. Aspects of exemplary vibration generators are discussed in greater detail below.

As described above, the signal emitter 210 of the exterior module 202 can emit a signal that is received by the signal receiver 230 of the interior module 222. In some embodiments, the signal emitter 210 can emit a wireless signal such as an RF signal, an optical signal, infrared signal, or the like. As such, the signal receiver can include an optical sensor, an RF antenna, or the like. This signal can include data regarding sound detected by the sound input device 208 of the exterior module 202. In some embodiments, the signal can be an analog signal. In other embodiments, the signal can be a digital signal. For example, the exterior module 202 can include an analog to digital converter in order to result in a digital signal representing the sound received by the exterior module 202. In some embodiments, the signal can reflect raw data regarding sound detected by the sound input device 208. In other embodiments, the signal can reflect data after one or more processing steps have taken place. The sound input device 208 can be connected to a printed circuit board 216 or other structural member inside the exterior module 202.

The interior module 222 can be powered by a power input line 228 which connects to a power input port 236. In some embodiments, the power input line 228 can be removed from the power input port 236. However, in other embodiments, the power input line 228 is fixed to the power input port 236.

In some embodiments, the system 200 can include components for transferring power from the interior module 222 to the exterior module 202. However, other embodiments do not include such a feature and power can be supplied to the interior module 222 and the exterior module 202 completely separately. In the embodiment shown, the interior module 222 can include an inductive power transmission emitter 232 and the exterior module 202 can include an inductive power transmission receiver 212. In this manner, power can be inductively transferred from the interior module 222 to the exterior module 202, eliminating the need for separate power supply wires connected to the exterior module 202. The inductive power transmission emitter 232 can be connected to a printed circuit board 226, or other structural member inside the interior module 222.

In some embodiments, the exterior pane itself can be used to detect sound or as a portion of a mechanism to detect sound. For example, vibrations of the exterior pane can be detected and used as a proxy for the sound waves hitting the exterior pane from the outside. This can be in addition to, or instead of, a separate sound pickup device such as that discussed with regard to FIG. 2 above. Referring now to FIG. 3, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. In this embodiment, the exterior pane 110 itself can serve as a sound pick-up device, microphone or portion thereof. For example, vibrations of the exterior pane 110 can be sensed, which can be indicative of sound received by or otherwise impacting the exterior pane 110. In specific, a device 302, such as an accelerometer or similar device, can detect vibrations of the exterior pane 110 and generate signals therefrom.

As before, the exterior pane 110 can be separated from an interior pane 112 by an internal space 114. The exterior module 202 can also include a power transmission receiver 212, and a signal emitter 210. The interior module 222 can also include a power transmission emitter 232, a signal receiver 230, and a vibration generator 238.

It will be appreciated that vibrations of the exterior pane 110 can be sensed in many different ways. In some embodiments, a piezoelectric device can be used to sense vibrations of the exterior pane 110. Piezoelectric devices generate an AC voltage when subjected to mechanical stress or vibration. In some embodiments, a flexion sensor can be used to sense vibration of the exterior pane. Some flexion sensors can function as a variable resistor, wherein resistance changes as the sensor flexes.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. In this embodiment, the exterior pane 110 can include a first sheet 402 and a second sheet 406, with a piezoelectric device 404 sandwiched between first sheet 402 and the second sheet 406. As the exterior pane 110 vibrates, a signal can be created by the piezoelectric device 404. The signal can be conveyed to the interior module 222 via a signal line 408. However, in some embodiments the signal can be conveyed to the interior module 222 wirelessly. However, it will be appreciated that a piezoelectric device need not be sandwiched in between two panes in order to be operative to detect vibrations. For example, in some embodiments, a piezoelectric device can be attached to the exterior pane 110 either on the inside or outside thereof. Referring now to FIG. 5, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. In this embodiment, a piezoelectric element 502 is adhered to the interior surface of the exterior pane 110. As the exterior pane 110 vibrates, a signal can be created by the piezoelectric element 502. The signal can be conveyed to the interior module 222 via a signal line 408 which can form part of a signal circuit. However, in some embodiments the signal can be conveyed to the interior module 222 wirelessly.

In some embodiments, vibrations of an exterior pane can be detected purely from the interior module 222 or another device on the inside of the interior pane 112. Referring now to FIG. 6, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. In this embodiment, an optical emitter/receiver 602 associated with the interior module 222 can emit an optical beam 604 which can bounce off of an exterior reflector 606 before being received by the emitter/receiver 602. In some embodiments the emitter and receiver are two separate components, in other embodiments they are a single component. In some embodiments, the optical beam can be coherent light, such as with a laser beam. In other embodiments the optical beam can be infrared, ultraviolet, visible light, or the like. Vibrations of the exterior pane 110 can be manifested as deflections of the optical beam 604 as it is received by the emitter/receiver 602. These deflections can, in turn, be processed into a signal reflective of the incoming sound.

While FIG. 6 shows an exterior reflector 606, it will be appreciated that this separate structure can be excluded from some embodiments or can be in a different position in some embodiments. For example, in some embodiments a reflector can be disposed on the interior surface of the exterior pane. In some embodiments the interior surface of the exterior pane itself may function as an effective reflector. In some embodiments, a coating on the pane, such as on a pane of glass, can serve as a reflector. In some embodiments, a low-e coating on glass can serve as a reflector.

In some embodiments noise/sound detection functions can be coupled with noise cancellation functions all in the interior module 222, eliminating the need for a separate exterior module. Referring now to FIG. 7, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. The interior module 222 of the system 200 can include a sound or vibration sensor 702. The sound or vibration sensor 702 can detect vibrations of the interior pane 112. It will be appreciated that while many of the views shown herein include two panes of glass, various embodiments herein will work with glazing units including a single transparent pane or more than two panes. In addition, it should be appreciated that units herein can be used in many contexts including fenestration units for commercial and residential buildings, window units for vehicles, and the like.

In some embodiments, the same device used to vibrate the interior pane 112 can also be used to detect vibrations of the interior pane 112. Referring now to FIG. 8, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. In this embodiment, the vibration generator 238 can be used to both detect vibrations of the interior pane 112 as well as cause cancelling vibrations of the interior pane 112.

In some embodiments of the noise cancellation system, components thereof

(some or all) can be disposed between the exterior pane 110 and the interior pane 112. For example, in some embodiments, components of the noise cancellation system can be disposed between the spacer unit 206 and the edges of the exterior pane 110 and the interior pane 112. However, in some embodiments, components of the noise cancellation system can be disposed above the spacer unit 206.

Referring now to FIG. 9, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system 200 in accordance with various embodiments herein. A vibration or noise detection component 902 can be disposed between the exterior pane 110 and the interior pane 112. The vibration or noise detection component 902 can be attached to the exterior pane 110 and/or configured to detect vibrations of the exterior pane 110. A vibration generator 904 can be configured to vibrate the interior pane 112.

In some embodiments, instead of, or in addition to, sensing vibration of the exterior pane 110 or the interior pane 112, pressure and/or sound can be sensed within the internal space 114 between the exterior pane 110 and the interior pane 112.

Referring now to FIG. 10, a schematic side view is shown of a noise cancellation system in accordance with various embodiments herein. A microphone 1002 or vibration sensor can be positioned to detect pressure and/or sound within the internal space 114. The microphone 1002 can be attached to the spacer unit 206 in some embodiments, but in other embodiments can be detached therefrom.

Effects of Noise Cancellation

As described above, systems herein can be effective to reduce or substantially eliminate undesirable sounds originating from the outside of a structure as perceived on the inside of the structure. The degree of efficacy can vary based on many factors including the distance of the source of the noise from the fenestration unit, the original volume of the noise, the frequency of the noise, and the like. However, in various embodiments, systems herein can reduce the volume of noise originating from the outside by at least about 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22.5, or 25 decibels as measured on the inside at a point within 5 cm of the interior surface of the interior pane of the unit. In some embodiments, the noise reduction can be within a range wherein any of the foregoing numbers can serve as the upper or lower bound of the range, provided that the upper bound is greater than the lower bound.

Sound Input Devices / Vibration Sensors

Sound input (sound pickup) devices can be included with embodiments herein. Sound input devices can include those having various types of directional response characteristics. Sound input devices can include those having various types of frequency response characteristics.

While in many cases herein reference is made to a microphone in the singular, it will be appreciated that in many embodiments multiple microphones can be used. In some cases the microphones can be used in a redundant manner. However, in some cases the microphones can be different in terms of their position, frequency response, or other characteristics.

In some embodiments, the sound input device can be a transducer that converts acoustical waves into electrical signals. The electrical signals can be either analog or digital.

In some embodiments, the sound input device can specifically be a microphone. Various types of microphones can be used. In some embodiments, the microphone can be an externally polarized condenser microphone, a prepolarized electret condenser microphone, or a piezoelectric microphone. Sounds can cause vibration of materials. In various embodiments herein vibration sensors are included. Various types of devices can be used to detect vibrations. Vibration sensors can include, but are not limited to, piezoelectric devices (including but not limited to piezoelectric films), accelerometers (digital or analog), velocity sensors, and the like. Vibration sensors can operate by detecting one or more of displacement, velocity, and acceleration, amongst other approaches.

In various embodiments herein, accelerometers can be used to detect sound and/or vibration of an element of the system. Accelerometers can be of various types including, but not limited to, capacitive accelerometers, piezoelectric accelerometers, potentiometric accelerometers, reluctive accelerometers, servo accelerometers, strain gauge accelerators, and the like.

In some embodiments herein, velocity sensors can be used to detect sound and/or vibration of an element of the system. Velocity sensors can include, but are not limited to, electromagnetic linear velocity transducers and electromagnetic tachometer generators.

In some embodiments herein, the sound input device or vibration sensor can be coupled with the vibration generator as one component. By way of example, some sound transducers can serve both to detect sound or vibration as well as generate sound or vibration. For example, a conventional acoustic speaker can be used to both detect sound or vibration as well as produce sound or vibration.

Vibration Generators

Various embodiments herein include vibration generators. Vibration generators herein can include direct or indirect vibration generators. A direct vibration generator is a device that can create vibrations through direct physical contact between the device generating vibrations and the element to be vibrated. An indirect vibration generator is a device that creates vibrations in an element to be vibrated, but not through direct physical contact. Rather an indirect vibration generator can generate vibrations through various indirect techniques such as emitting pressure waves through the air and/or generating varying electromagnetic fields that can interact directly with an element to be vibrated or a portion thereof such as a magnet

Vibration generators can specifically include a conventional acoustic speaker or a portion thereof. For example, in some embodiments, the vibration generator can include a construction similar to a conventional acoustic speaker, but without the cone.

In some embodiments, a magnetostrictive material can be used to form a vibration generator. Magnetostrictive materials expand and contract in a magnetic field. An exemplary magnetostrictive material is terfenol-D, which is an alloy of terbium, iron and dysprosium. As such, a magnetostrictive material can be exposed to a varying magnetic field in order to generate vibrations forming a magnetostrictive transducer or actuator. For example, wire can be wrapped around a magnetostrictive material forming a coil. The magnetostrictive material, or something connected thereto, can in turn be bonded to a structure to be vibrated, such as a membrane or a pane of a unit described herein, causing that material to move as a current is passed through the wire.

In some embodiments, an acoustic exciter can serve as a vibration generator. Acoustic exciters can be of various types. In some embodiments, the acoustic exciter is similar to a conventional acoustic speaker. In some embodiments, the acoustic exciter is similar to a conventional acoustic speaker, however without certain components thereof such as without one or more of the cone, surround, frame, and/or spider. In some embodiments the acoustic exciter can include a permanent magnet including, but not limited to, a neodymium magnet. The acoustic exciter can also include a coil, commonly referred to as a voice coil. When electric current flows through the voice coil, the coil forms an electromagnet. The electromagnet can be positioned within a constant magnetic field created by the permanent magnet. As the current through the coil changes, the relative repulsion and/or attraction of the electromagnet with respect to the permanent magnet changes which can cause movement of the coil relative to the permanent magnet leading to vibrations and/or sound waves.

In some embodiments, the coil can be connected to a diaphragm which can create pressure waves or sound. In some embodiments, the coil can be connected (directly or indirectly) to an element of the system to be vibrated, such as the interior pane. In some embodiments, the permanent magnet can be connected (directly or indirectly) to an element of the system to be vibrated, such as the interior pane.

In some embodiments, a piezoelectric vibration generator can serve as the vibration generator. For example, a piezoelectric vibration generator includes a piezoelectric material which can connected to an element of the system to be vibrated (directly or indirectly). When an electric charge is applied to a piezoelectric material, it can generate a mechanical stress which, when the electric charge is varied, can result in a vibration. Non-Fenestration Applications

While many embodiments herein are directed to fenestration units such as doors, windows, and similar structures, it will be appreciated that the components and principals herein can also be usefully applied to non-fenestration applications. For example, instead of transparent exterior and interior panes, the system can also function in the context of a structural member having exterior and interior sheets of construction materials such as plywood, oriented strand board, particle board, sheet rock, polymeric sheets, and other sheeting materials.

In an embodiment, a building material unit with active sound canceling properties can be included. The building material unit can have an exterior sheet of material, an interior sheet of material, and an internal space disposed between the exterior and interior sheets of material. The unit can also include an active noise cancellation system including an exterior module connected to the exterior sheet. The exterior module can include a sound input device, and a signal emitter configured to emit a signal based on a signal received from the sound input device. The active noise cancellation system can include an interior module connected to the interior sheet. The interior module can include a signal receiver to receive the signal from the signal emitter and a vibration generator configured to vibrate the interior sheet. The system can further include a sound cancellation control module in electrical communication with at least one of the exterior module and the interior module.

The sound cancellation control module can control the vibration generator to vibrate the interior sheet and generate pressure waves causing destructive interference with a portion of the sound waves received by the sound input device. The sound cancellation control module can perform various steps including, but not limited to, filtering one or more signals representing sound, segmenting the signal into discrete frequency portions (or channels), generating inverse phase signals, recombining discrete frequency portions into a unitary inverse phase signal, and acting as a vibration generator driver or controlling the same. The sound cancellation control module can be implemented using any suitable technology, and may include, for example, a printed circuit board (PCB) with one or more microchips, such as a microcontroller, a programmable logic controller (PLC), an ASIC, an FPGA, a microprocessor, a digital signal processing (DSP) chip, or other suitable technology.

Sounds Cancellation Circuits/Methods

Sound cancellation can be achieved in various ways. In many embodiments, sound or vibration is sensed and then opposite sound or vibration (or inverse-phase) is generated in order to cancel or at least partially cancel the original sound or vibration.

Referring now to FIG. 11 , a schematic diagram is shown of one embodiment of how components of such a system can work together in order to cancel, or at least partially cancel, sound or vibration. One or more of the components discussed with regard to FIG. 11 can form a sound cancellation control module. One or more of these components can be housed within an interior module, an exterior module or even separately, outside of an interior module or exterior module.

A sound or vibration pick-up device, such as a microphone 1102 can be used to detect sound or vibration. The signal from the microphone 1102 can be processed by a processing module 1104. The processing module 1104 can execute steps including, but not limited to, filtering, sampling, and modelling. In some

embodiments, filtering can achieve breaking the incoming sound into segments 1106, such as segments having particular ranges of frequencies.

Various filter elements can be used in order to break the signal into multiple discrete segments 1106 including, but not limited to, high pass filters, low pass filters, bandpass filters, and the like. The number of segments that the incoming sound can be broken into can vary. In some embodiments, there are from 1 to 100 segments. In some embodiments, there are from 2 to 40 segments.

The segments 1106 than then pass to a phase inverter and/or delay processing module 1108. This module can process the signals in order to create a phase inverted version 1112 of the original signals (or noise cancelling signals). A portion of the original signals 1110 can simultaneously pass by this step for later processing.

A recombination module 1114 can then take the phase inverted segmented signals 1112 and recombine them into a cancelling signal that can then be fed into a driver 1118 which operates one or more mechanical actuators 1120 in order to create cancelling sounds or vibrations.

Various feedback loops can be used in accordance with embodiments herein. In some embodiments, the original signal components 1110 and/or noise cancelling signals can pass to a signal sensor 1116, the output of which can be fed back into the processing module 1104. In addition, a vibration sensor 1122 can be configured to pick up the output of the mechanical actuators 1120 and the resulting signal can also be fed back into the processing module 1104.

In various embodiments herein, the system can include self-calibration features. By way of example, feedback loops, such as those referenced above can be used to tune the relative effectiveness of the inverted phase signals in cancelling out the original signals. Self-calibration can be configured to happen substantially continuously or at intervals of time. Self-calibration can be effective to account for differences between different scenarios of use including different size panes, different pane materials, laminated versus non-laminated glass, different framing structures, different gas types in the interior space between panes, different resonant frequencies, and the like.

Elements of the system including, but not limited to, the filters and other processing components described herein can be analog circuit components or can be modules of a digital signal processing system. Elements herein can be implemented using any suitable technology, and may include, for example, a printed circuit board (PCB) with one or more microchips, such as a microcontroller, a programmable logic controller (PLC), an ASIC, an FPGA, a microprocessor, a digital signal processing (DSP) chip, or other suitable technology.

In some embodiments, the system can include a wireless communications module in order to connect with other devices and/or a network for transmission and receiving of data and/or commands, amongst other purposes. In some embodiments, the system can include a WIFI, Bluetooth, cellular, or other communications chip in order to allow the system to communicate either other devices.

Adaptation to Variable Conditions

Systems and methods herein can be configured to be adapt to various conditions. For example, input reflecting current conditions can be fed into one or more components of the system including the processing module 1104, the phase inverter and/or delay processing module 1108 and the recombination module 1114 in order to change the functioning thereof in order to more effectively generate cancelling sounds and/or vibrations. Conditions, as used herein, can include one or more of temperature, pressure, light, material identity and state, tension, flexibility, and the like.

For example, in some embodiments, the system can include a temperature sensor. The output of the temperature sensor can be used to modify how the cancelling signals are generated. For example, higher temperatures generally make materials of transparent panes somewhat more flexible. Higher flexibility can result in lower frequencies being readily conducted there through and/or frequency shifting to lower frequencies because more flexible materials can vibrate more readily at lower frequencies. In contrast, lower temperature can have the opposite effect on many materials and can therefore result in stiffer materials that can more readily vibrate at higher frequencies. In some embodiments, if the temperature is relatively high, the system can cause noise cancelling signals to be biased toward lower frequencies. In some embodiments, if the temperature is relatively low, the system can cause noise cancelling signals to be biased toward higher frequencies.

The amount of frequency biasing or shifting can depend on the magnitude of the current temperature over a standard set point temperature. For example, in some embodiments, the inverted phase (cancelling) sound can be biased by at least about 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, 7,500, or 10,000 Hz. In some embodiments, the inverted phase sound can be biased by an amount that falls within a range wherein any of the foregoing numbers can serve as the upper or lower bound of the range, provided that the upper bound is greater than the lower bound.

The size of the panes in a fenestration unit can also directly impact what frequencies are favored and how sound passing there through is likely to get distorted. By way of example, larger panes can more easily vibrate at lower frequencies and can result in the sound passing there through to be naturally biased toward lower frequencies. Conversely, smaller panes can more easily vibrate at higher frequencies and can result in the sound passing there through to be naturally biased toward higher frequencies. The system can bias the noise cancelling signals toward higher or lower frequencies in order to account for this effect. The degree to which the inverted phase (cancelling) sound can be biased can be as described above with regard to the effect of temperature.

The nature of the materials forming the panes of a fenestration unit can also impact what frequencies are favored and how sound passing there through is likely to get distorted. Some types of glass can more easily vibrate at lower frequencies and can result in the sound passing there through to be naturally biased toward lower frequencies. Conversely, other types of glass can more easily vibrate at higher frequencies and can result in the sound passing there through to be naturally biased toward higher frequencies. The system can bias the noise cancelling signals toward higher or lower frequencies in order to account for this effect. The degree to which the inverted phase (cancelling) sound can be biased can be as described above with regard to the effect of temperature.

Pressure within the fenestration unit can also impact what frequencies are favored and how sound passing through the fenestration unit is likely to get distorted. If the space between the exterior and interior panes is at a relatively high pressure, then this tends to result in biasing the sound passing there through to higher frequencies. Conversely if the space between the exterior and interior panes is at a relatively lower pressure, then this tends to result in biasing the sound passing there through to lower frequencies. The system can bias the noise cancelling signals toward higher or lower frequencies in order to account for this effect. The degree to which the inverted phase (cancelling) sound can be biased can be as described above with regard to the effect of temperature.

In some embodiments, input from light sensors can also be used. By way of example, the types of sounds and volume of sounds that are acceptable during the day can be different than during the night. In this manner, the system can automatically cancel sound in an appropriate manner day or night.

Selected Transmission of Desired Frequencies

In various embodiments herein, incoming sounds are broken up into frequency range segments before further processing. This segmentation approach offers unique benefits in that it can be possible to cancel certain sounds and magnify others. For example, children tend to speak and make noise at higher frequencies. Large commercial trucks are typically at lower frequencies than children. In some scenarios, it may be desirable to block out lower frequency truck noise while allowing higher frequency sounds from children to pass through or even be amplified.

As such, in some embodiments herein, different frequency segments are processed differently in order to accomplish this effect. In specific, in some embodiments, higher frequencies can be allowed to pass through (by not generating an inverted phase sound to block them) or even amplified by the system while lower frequency sounds can be cancelled. For example, it may be desirable to allow frequencies associate with children or with alarms to pass through while blocking frequencies associated with trucks, trains, or lawn mowers.

Pressure waves (sound waves) generally must have a frequency of between about 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz in order for humans to hear and perceive them as sound. In some embodiments, one or more ranges of frequencies can be selectively blocked while other frequencies are allowed to pass through, or selectively allowed through while others are blocked.

As a specific example of selectively allowing some frequencies to pass through, in some embodiments, sounds at frequencies of 1000 to 1400 Hz can be allowed to pass through or amplified while the rest of the range of frequencies can be canceled or attenuated.

As another specific example, infants have fundamental frequencies of 250 to 650 Hz and small children can have fundamental frequencies of around 350 to 450 Hz. In some embodiments, selected frequencies, such as between 250 to 650 Hz are allowed to pass through while other frequencies are blocked.

Tire and road noise can have a prominent peak in the frequency range of 700 to 1300 Hz. In some embodiments, noise in that frequency range is blocked or substantially attenuated while other frequencies are allowed to pass through unimpeded.

It will be appreciated that selective blocking or passage can be accomplished in accordance with embodiments herein across the frequencies of sound perceptible by the human ear.

In some embodiments herein, the system can receive a command and enter a recording mode to receive a sample of sound for either selective blocking or selective transmission. By way of example, a button can be mounted on a component of the system and actuations of the button can cause the system to enter a temporary mode where vibrations/sound received are then designated for selective blocking and/or selective transmission. In this manner, the system can be tuned by an end user in order to be able to selectively block or allow the transmission of sounds in any desired frequency range.

The embodiments described herein are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed in the following detailed description. Rather, the embodiments are chosen and described so that others skilled in the art can appreciate and understand the principles and practices.

All publications and patents mentioned herein are hereby incorporated by reference. The publications and patents disclosed herein are provided solely for their disclosure. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the inventors are not entitled to antedate any publication and/or patent, including any publication and/or patent cited herein.

It should be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to a composition containing "a compound" includes a mixture of two or more compounds. It should also be noted that the term "or" is generally employed in its sense including "and/or" unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

It should also be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the phrase "configured" describes a system, apparatus, or other structure that is constructed or configured to perform a particular task or adopt a particular configuration to. The phrase "configured" can be used interchangeably with other similar phrases such as arranged and configured, constructed and arranged, constructed, manufactured and arranged, and the like.