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Title:
ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCE WITH AC-LINE FILTER WITH LOW LEAKAGE CURRENT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/125520
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Provided is a power supply apparatus, and an appliance including the power supply apparatus, which includes a filter that attenuates a noise component of an AC electric current. The filter lacks a capacitor establishing a conductive path for conducting a high-frequency alternating signal, a leakage current, or both to a ground electrode. A rectifier is also included, and is disposed electrically between the filter and a load that is to be energized by operation of the power supply circuit. The rectifier converts the AC electric current into a rectified signal. The power supply apparatus also includes a grounding capacitor that establishes a capacitive, conductive path between an output of the rectifier and a ground electrode that is to be electrically connected to earth ground. The grounding capacitor is electrically separated from the filter by the rectifier, and extends electrically between the ground conductor and at least one of: (i) a positive DC bus conductor from the rectifier, and (ii) a DC bus return to the rectifier.

Inventors:
WANG, Dongyu (629 Bonita Parkway, Henderson, TN, 37075, US)
VENTURINI, Gianluca (Via Gramellini 38, Forli, Forli, IT)
Application Number:
US2012/028697
Publication Date:
September 20, 2012
Filing Date:
March 12, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ELECTROLUX HOME PRODUCTS, INC. (10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, NC, 28262, US)
WANG, Dongyu (629 Bonita Parkway, Henderson, TN, 37075, US)
VENTURINI, Gianluca (Via Gramellini 38, Forli, Forli, IT)
International Classes:
H05B6/04; H05B1/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010133721A12010-11-25
Foreign References:
CN201594793U2010-09-29
US4013859A1977-03-22
EP1255421A22002-11-06
US20080223852A12008-09-18
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LAURICIA, Una, L. et al. (Pearne & Gordon, LLP1801 East Ninth Street,Suite 120, Cleveland OH, 44114-3108, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An electric heating appliance comprising:

an input where AC electric current having an input frequency is introduced to the electric heating appliance;

a heating element that generates heat in response to being electrically energized by electric energy;

a filter that attenuates noise conducted with the AC electric current, said noise having a frequency that is greater than the input frequency of the AC electric current, wherein the filter is devoid of capacitors establishing a conductive path for a high- frequency alternating signal to a ground electrode;

a rectifier disposed electrically between the filter and the heating element, wherein the rectifier converts the AC electric current into a rectified signal; and

a grounding capacitor that establishes a capacitive conductive path between an output of the rectifier and a ground electrode, the grounding capacitor being electrically disposed between the rectifier and the heating element.

2. The electric heating appliance of claim 1, wherein the grounding capacitor establishes the capacitive conductive path between a positive DC bus conductor and the ground conductor, wherein the ground conductor is electrically connected to earth ground when the electric heating appliance is installed.

3. The electric heating appliance of claim 1, wherein the heating element is an inductive heating element that, when energized, induces an electric current in a cooking container placed adjacent to the heating element.

4. The electric heating appliance of claim 1 further comprising an inverter that converts the rectified signal into a high-frequency energizing signal that is introduced to the heating element to electrically energize the heating element.

5. The electric heating appliance of claim 1 , wherein a radio-frequency voltage conducted between the input and the heating element of the electric heating appliance comprises an average that is less than 46 dl^V within a frequency range that extends from about 500 kHz to about 5 MHz.

6. The electric heating appliance of claim 5, wherein the grounding capacitor comprises a capacitance value that limits a leakage current having a frequency of about 60 Hz or less and a maximum voltage of about 120 VRMS conducted by the capacitive conductive path to less than about 3,500 μΑ.

7. The electric heating appliance of claim 6, wherein the capacitance value of the grounding capacitor limits the leakage current having the frequency of about 60 Hz or less and the maximum voltage of about 120 VRMs conducted by the capacitive conductive path to less than about 500 μΑ.

8. The electric heating appliance of claim 1 , wherein the filter is disposed electrically between the input and the rectifier, and is electrically separated from the capacitive conductive path by the rectifier.

9. The electric heating appliance of claim 1 , wherein the rectifier is a full- wave rectifier.

10. The electric heating appliance of claim 1 , wherein the grounding capacitor comprises a capacitance value that limits a leakage current having a frequency of about 50 Hz or less and a maximum voltage of about 240 VRMS conducted by the capacitive conductive path to less than about 3,500 μΑ.

1 1. A power supply apparatus for driving an electric load, the power supply apparatus comprising: a filter that attenuates a noise component of an AC electric current, said noise component having a frequency that is greater than a frequency of the AC electric current, wherein the filter lacks a capacitor establishing a conductive path for conducting a high-frequency alternating signal and a leakage current to a ground electrode;

a rectifier disposed electrically between the filter and a load to be energized by operation of the power supply circuit, wherein the rectifier converts the AC electric current into a rectified signal;

a grounding capacitor that establishes a capacitive conductive path between an output of the rectifier and a ground electrode that is to be electrically connected to earth ground, the grounding capacitor being electrically separated from the filter by the rectifier, wherein the grounding capacitor extends electrically between the ground conductor and at least one of: (i) a positive DC bus conductor from the rectifier, and (ii) a DC bus return to the rectifier; and

an inverter that converts the rectified signal into a high-frequency alternating signal that is to be introduced to the load.

Description:
ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCE WITH AC-LINE FILTER

WITH LOW LEAKAGE CURRENT

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

[0001] This application relates generally to a method and apparatus for filtering an electric signal and, more specifically, to an electric heating appliance comprising an AC line filter without a grounding capacitor that limits earth leakage currents.

2. Description of Related Art

[0002] Electric appliances such as an electric range converts AC electric current introduced to the range into heat for elevating the temperature of food, for example. Like any electric device, electric appliances are made up of electronic and electric components that store and discharge a portion of this electric current. The electric current discharged from the components, commonly referred to as leakage current, is typically conducted to ground by a protective conductor including a grounding capacitor coupled between the AC line and ground. Without the protective conductor and grounding capacitor, the leakage current could potentially be discharged through any conductive part, or a surface of a non-conductive part of the electric range through any, possibly undesirable, conductive path to ground.

[0003] A power AC line filter can also be provided to an electric appliance to attenuate at least a portion of the electromagnetic interference ("EMI") conducted along the AC power line of those appliances. The protective conductor and grounding capacitor combination that discharges the leakage current is included in such EMI filters to shunt high-frequency interference from the AC electric current to ground in addition to discharging the leakage current. The EMI filter has traditionally been provided to electric appliances at the AC input where the AC electric current is introduced to the electric appliance. In such a location, the EMI filter including the protective conductor and grounding capacitor can attenuate the EMI before the AC electric current is subsequently introduced to circuit components disposed between the filter and a load. [0004] The design of conventional EMI filters including the grounding capacitor for discharging the leakage current has been limited by competing design interests. On the one hand, the value of the leakage current discharged via the grounding capacitor is a function of, and optionally proportional to, the capacitance value of the grounding capacitor. By minimizing the capacitance value of the grounding capacitor, the undesired leakage current can also be minimized.

[0005] But on the other hand, the degree of attenuation achievable by the EMI filter can also be a function of, and optionally proportional to, the capacitance value of the grounding capacitor. Increasing the capacitance value of the grounding capacitor increases the effectiveness of the EMI filter in attenuating radio-frequency and other noise having a high frequency relative to the frequency of the AC electric current. Thus, electric appliances provided with traditional EMI filters including the grounding capacitor have required balancing the desire to limit the leakage current through the grounding capacitor and the desire to attenuate the EMI in the AC electric current.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[0006] According to one aspect, the subject application involves a an electric heating appliance including an input where AC electric current having an input frequency is introduced to the electric heating appliance, and a heating element that generates heat in response to being electrically energized by electric energy. A filter can also be provided to attenuate noise conducted with the AC electric current. The noise has a frequency that is greater than the input frequency of the AC electric current, and the filter is devoid of capacitors establishing a conductive path for a high- frequency alternating signal to a ground electrode. A rectifier is disposed electrically between the filter and the heating element to convert the AC electric current into a rectified signal. Further, a grounding capacitor is provided to establish a capacitive, conductive path between an output of the rectifier and a ground electrode. The grounding capacitor is electrically disposed between the rectifier and the heating element.

[0007] According to another aspect, the subject application involves a power supply apparatus for driving an electric load. The power supply apparatus includes a filter that attenuates a noise component of an AC electric current. The noise component has a frequency that is greater than a frequency of the AC electric current, and the filter lacks a capacitor establishing a conductive path for conducting a high-frequency alternating signal and a leakage current to a ground electrode. A rectifier is also included, and is disposed electrically between the filter and a load to be energized by operation of the power supply circuit to convert the AC electric current into a rectified signal. The power supply apparatus also includes a grounding capacitor that establishes a capacitive, conductive path between an output of the rectifier and a ground electrode that is to be electrically connected to earth ground. The grounding capacitor is electrically separated from the filter by the rectifier, and extends electrically between the ground conductor and at least one of: (i) a positive DC bus conductor from the rectifier, and (ii) a DC bus return to the rectifier. An inverter is also included in the power supply apparatus to convert the rectified signal into a high-frequency alternating signal that is to be introduced to the load.

[0008] The above summary presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the systems and/or methods discussed herein. This summary is not an extensive overview of the systems and/or methods discussed herein. It is not intended to identify key/critical elements or to delineate the scope of such systems and/or methods. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The invention may take physical form in certain parts and arrangement of parts, embodiments of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:

[0010] FIG. 1 shows an illustrative embodiment of an electric heating appliance provided with a power supply unit that includes an EMI filter lacking grounding capacitors;

[0011] FIG. 2 shows an illustrative embodiment of a power supply unit that includes an EMI filter lacking grounding capacitors, the power supply unit also including a grounding capacitor electrically connected between a DC bus return and earth ground;

[0012] FIG. 3 shows an illustrative embodiment of a power supply unit that includes an EMI filter lacking grounding capacitors, the power supply unit also including a grounding capacitor electrically connected between a positive DC bus conductor and earth ground; and

[0013] FIG. 4 schematically illustrates an embodiment of an EMI filter lacking grounding capacitors that extend between the EMI filter and earth ground.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] Certain terminology is used herein for convenience only and is not to be taken as a limitation on the present invention. Relative language used herein is best understood with reference to the drawings, in which like numerals are used to identify like or similar items. Further, in the drawings, certain features may be shown in somewhat schematic form.

[0015] It is also to be noted that the phrase "at least one of, if used herein, followed by a plurality of members herein means one of the members, or a combination of more than one of the members. For example, the phrase "at least one of a first widget and a second widget" means in the present application: the first widget, the second widget, or the first widget and the second widget. Likewise, "at least one of a first widget, a second widget and a third widget" means in the present application: the first widget, the second widget, the third widget, the first widget and the second widget, the first widget and the third widget, the second widget and the third widget, or the first widget and the second widget and the third widget.

[0016] FIG. 1 shows an illustrative embodiment of an electric heating appliance embodied as an induction cooktop 10. The induction cooktop 10 is illustrated in FIG. 1 in combination with an oven 12, but alternate embodiments of the electric heating appliance can include a stand-alone induction cooktop 10 by itself, without the oven 12. Further, a power supply unit 14 and an electromagnetic interference ("EMI") filter 16 (FIGs. 2 and 3) are shown through a cutaway portion 15 of the heating appliance and are described herein as supplying electric energy to energize a heating element, such as an inductive coil 18 as shown in FIG. 1 for example, for the sake of clarity. When energized, the inductive coil 18 induces an electric current in a cooking container such as a pan (not shown) placed atop the inductive coil 18. However, it is to be understood that the power supply unit 14 and EMI filter 16 herein are suitable to supply electricity to energize any desired load, such as a resistive or any other type of heating element that generates heat when electrically energized.

[0017] As shown in FIGs. 2 and 3, the power supply unit 14 provided to the induction cooktop 10 includes input terminals 20 where an AC electric current for energizing the inductive coil 18 heating element is introduced to the induction cooktop 10. The AC electric current can be supplied by an AC mains input 22 such as a wall outlet 24 (FIG. 1) commonly found in residential dwellings. According to an illustrative embodiment, the AC electric current supplied by the can be a generally sinusoidal signal having an input frequency of approximately 60 Hz and a RMS voltage of approximately 120 VRMS- According to other embodiments, the AC electric current supplied by the can be a generally sinusoidal signal having an input frequency of approximately 50 Hz and a RMS voltage of approximately 230 VRMS or approximately 240 VRMS-

[0018] The AC electric current input via the input terminals 20 is then introduced to the EMI filter 16. An example of a single-stage EMI filter 16 is shown schematically in FIG. 4. As shown, the EMI filter 16 includes a parallel arrangement of capacitive C and resistive R impedances, and an inductive L impedance in series with positive signal input Li. Grounding capacitors 26 (shown in broken lines), also commonly referred to as Y-capacitors 26, extending between the EMI filter 16 and earth ground found in conventional filters are absent from the EMI filter 16. The grounding capacitors 26 omitted from the EMI filter 16 are drawn in broken lines in FIGs. 2, 3 and 4 simply to illustrate a position of the grounding capacitors 26 in conventional filters relative to other components included in the power supply unit 14 such as a rectifier 28, shown in FIGs. 2 and 3.

[0019] If present in the EMI filter 26, the grounding capacitors 26 would establish a conductive path for leakage current to be conducted to a grounding electrode 30 that is to be at earth ground E potential when the induction cooktop 10 is installed. The leakage current for the filter in FIG. 4 if the grounding capacitors were present would be represented by the equation: leakage iTi VC

[0020] where f is the frequency of the AC electric current introduced to the filter, V is the maximum RMS voltage between LI or L2/N and earth ground E, and C is the total, combined capacitance of all grounding capacitors 26 extending between the filter and earth ground E. Thus, for a given frequency and voltage, lowering the capacitance C of the grounding capacitors extending between the filter and earth ground could limit the leakage current to desirable levels. However, lowering the total capacitance C of the filter would interfere with attenuation of the line conducted noise emissions. Thus, installing grounding capacitors 26 between the filter and earth ground would require a tradeoff between leakage current reduction and noise attenuation. Accordingly, the EMI filter 16 of FIG. 4 is devoid of such grounding capacitors 26 extending between the EMI filter 16 and earth ground.

[0021] The EMI filter 16 attenuates line-conducted noise emissions with the AC electric current. The noise has a frequency that is greater than the input frequency of the AC electric current. For example, the AC electric current can have a frequency of approximately 60 Hz, and noise components appearing in the AC electric current waveform can be at least two orders of magnitude greater. According to illustrative embodiments, the noise components to be filtered from the AC electric current include signals having a frequency of at least 9 kHz, and optionally at least 100 kHz. Such illustrative embodiments of the EMI filter 16 can also filter noise components having frequencies up to 5 MHz, and optionally up to 10 Mhz, or 20 MHz, or greater.

[0022] The AC electric current filtered by the EMI filter 16 is subsequently converted to a rectified signal by the rectifier 28, shown in FIGs. 2 and 3. The illustrative embodiment of the rectifier 28 shown in FIGs. 2 and 3 is a full-wave rectification circuit, including a full-bridge configuration of diodes 32 or other suitable, unidirectional-conducting circuit components. The full-wave embodiment of the rectifier 28 transmits both the positive half-cycle and the negative half-cycle of the oscillating waveform of the AC electric current. However, both half-cycles of the waveform are emitted from the rectifier 28 as positive half cycles forming the rectified signal. Although shown as a full-wave rectifier, the rectifier 28 can be a half-wave rectifier, or any other apparatus for at least partially converting an AC waveform of the AC electric current from the EMI filter 16 into a rectified signal that is more-unidirectional than the oscillating waveform of the AC electric current.

[0023] A smoothing capacitor Ci can be provided across the output of the rectifier 28. The smoothing capacitor d establishes a conductive path along which an oscillating component of the rectified signal can be conducted to a DC bus return 34. Further, the smoothing capacitor d resists voltage oscillations, promoting a substantially-constant waveform of the rectified signal. Thus, the waveform of the rectified signal resulting from the presence of the smoothing capacitor d closely approximates that of a DC signal.

[0024] In FIG. 2, a grounding capacitor Cy is electrically connected between the DC bus return 34 and a ground electrode 35 that is to be connected to earth ground when the induction cooktop 10 is installed. For the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the grounding electrode C Y is separated from the EMI filter 16 by the rectifier 28, and is so located instead of being provided to the EMI filter 16, which is devoid of such grounding capacitors Cy. The grounding capacitor Cy in FIG. 2 establishes a capacitive conductive path between an output of the rectifier 28 and the ground electrode 35, and is electrically disposed within the power supply unit 14 to be located between the rectifier 28 and the inductive coil 18.

[0025] Positioned as shown in FIG. 2, the grounding capacitor Cy is exposed to the rectified signal, having a generally-constant, DC waveform rather than the alternating waveform of the AC electric current supplied to the EMI filter 16. It is believed that some of the high-frequency noise components conducted in the AC electric current are filtered by the EMI filter 16 before the AC electric current reaches the rectifier 28, exposing the grounding capacitor Cy in FIG. 2 to relatively-low frequency components that remain in the rectified signal. Accordingly, the leakage current, which is a function of, and optionally proportional to the frequency as shown by the equation set forth above, is substantially reduced from the leakage current that would result if the same grounding capacitor Cy were to be provided to the EMI filter 16 and exposed to the relatively-high frequency noise components. Accordingly, due to the lower leakage current through the grounding capacitor Cy positioned as shown in FIG. 2 than through a conventional grounding capacitor 26 provided to a filter, a greater capacitance value can be selected for the grounding capacitor Cy than for a conventional grounding capacitor 26 provided to the filter to achieve the desired noise attenuation performance.

[0026] The rectified signal can then be supplied to an inverter 36 that converts the rectified signal into a high-frequency energizing signal that is to be introduced to the inductive coil 18 to electrically energize the inductive coil 18. The inverter 36 can be any suitable device, such as a full-bridge inverter for example, that can convert a substantially DC signal into an alternating signal as is known in the art.

[0027] According to illustrative embodiments, the power supply unit 14 including the EMI filter 16 without a grounding capacitor, which is instead provided as shown in, and described with reference to FIG. 2, achieves radio-frequency voltage levels that average less than 46 dl^V within a frequency range that extends from about 500 kHz to about 5 MHz. Such an average is based on the measurement of the radio frequency voltage between the power line and ground using a 50 μΗ/50 Ω line impedance stabilization network. Additionally, the grounding capacitor comprises a capacitance value that limits a leakage current having a frequency of about 60 Hz or less and a maximum voltage of about 120 VRMS conducted by the capacitive conductive path to less than about 3,500 μΑ. For other embodiments, the capacitance value of the grounding capacitor Cy limits the leakage current having a frequency of about 60 Hz or less and a maximum voltage of about 120 VRMS conducted by the capacitive conductive path to less than about 500 μΑ.

[0028] The illustrative embodiment shown in FIG. 3 differs from that shown in FIG. 2 in that the grounding capacitor is electrically connected between a positive DC bus conductor 37 from the rectifier 28 and the ground electrode 35. Similar to the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the present embodiment electrically separates the grouding capacitor C Y from the EMI filter 16, which lacks any grounding capacitors. As described above, the grounding capacitor Cy is exposed to the rectified signal instead of the AC electric current introduced to the EMI filter 16. The rectified signal, compared to the AC electric current, has a generally-constant, DC waveform rather than the alternating waveform, and it is believed that some of the high-frequency noise components conducted with the AC electric current are filtered by the EMI filter 16 before those noise components can reach the grounding capacitor Cy in FIG. 3. Accordingly, the leakage current is reduced from the leakage current that would result if the same grounding capacitor Cy were to be provided to the EMI filter 16 and exposed to the relatively -high frequency noise components. Due to the lower leakage current through the grounding capacitor Cy positioned as shown in FIG. 3 than through a conventional grounding capacitor 26 provided to a filter, a greater capacitance value can be selected for the grounding capacitor Cy than for a conventional grounding capacitor 26 provided to the filter to achieve the desired noise attenuation performance.

[0029] Illustrative embodiments have been described, hereinabove. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the above devices and methods may incorporate changes and modifications without departing from the general scope of this invention. It is intended to include all such modifications and alterations within the scope of the present invention. Furthermore, to the extent that the term "includes" is used in either the detailed description or the claims, such term is intended to be inclusive in a manner similar to the term "comprising" as "comprising" is interpreted when employed as a transitional word in a claim.