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Title:
LAMINATED GLAZING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/025051
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A laminated glazing is described comprising first and second sheets of glazing material having therebetween at least one sheet of adhesive interlayer material, a first electrically actuated device and a first receiver coil in electrical communication with the first electrically actuated device. On a portion of a first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material is a first coupling region for positioning thereon a transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors. When a first transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors is positioned on the coupling region and the first and second electrical connectors thereof are connected to an alternating current power supply, a primary magnetic field is produced in the first transmitter coil that induces an alternating voltage in the first receiver coil to provide an electrical current to the first electrically actuated device. Methods for making such laminated glazings are also described.

Inventors:
DAY, Stephen Roland (23 Almond Brook Road, Standish, Wigan Greater Manchester WN6 0TB, WN6 0TB, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/052311
Publication Date:
February 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 04, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PILKINGTON GROUP LIMITED (European Technical Centre, Hall LaneLathom, Nr. Ormskirk Lancashire L40 5UF, L40 5UF, GB)
International Classes:
H04B5/00; H02J7/02; B32B17/10
Foreign References:
JP3203152U2016-03-17
US20100060077A12010-03-11
JP3201863U2016-01-07
US20100219183A12010-09-02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STANLEY, Andrew Thomas et al. (Pilkington Group Limited, Intellectual Property European Technical Centre,Hall Lan, Lathom Ormskirk Lancashire L40 5UF, L40 5UF, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A laminated glazing comprising:

a first sheet of glazing material, a second sheet of glazing material and at least one (a first) sheet of adhesive interlayer material therebetween, the first and second sheets of glazing material each having a first major surface and a respective second opposing major surface, the laminated glazing being configured such that the second major surface of the first sheet of glazing material faces the first major surface of the second sheet of glazing material; at least one (a first) electrically actuated device between the first and second sheets of glazing material; at least one (a first) receiver coil between the first and second sheets of glazing material, the first receiver coil being in electrical communication with the first electrically actuated device; at least one (a first) coupling region on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material, the coupling region being at least a portion of the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material for positioning a transmitter coil thereon, the transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors for connection to an alternating current power supply comprising first and second terminals; wherein when a first transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors is positioned on the coupling region, upon connecting the first electrical connector of the first transmitter coil to the first terminal of the alternating current power supply, and connecting the second electrical connector of the first transmitter coil to the second terminal of the alternating current power supply, a primary magnetic field is produced in the first transmitter coil that induces an alternating voltage in the first receiver coil to provide an electrical current to the first electrically actuated device.

2. A laminated glazing according to claim 1, further comprising a first transmitter coil mounted on the first coupling region, the first transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors.

3. A laminated glazing according to claim 2, wherein the first transmitter coil is mounted directly on the first coupling region.

4. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of the first electrically actuated device and/or an operation of the first receiver coil and/or an operation of the first transmitter coil and/or an operation of at least one (a first) external electrically actuated device, the first external electrically actuated device not being between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

5. A laminated glazing according to claim 4, wherein the control signal control is useable to control an operation of at least one (a first) external electrically actuated device, and wherein the first external electrically actuated device is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material and/or the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material or wherein the first electrically actuated device is remote from the laminated glazing.

6. A laminated glazing according to claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the control means monitors an operational state of the first electrically actuated device and controls an operation of the first transmitter coil and/or an operation of the first receiver coil in response thereto.

7. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 4 to 6, wherein the control means monitors an operational state of the first transmitter coil and controls an operation of the first receiver coil in response thereto.

8. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 4 to 7, wherein the control means monitors an operational state of the first receiver coil and controls an operation of the first transmitter coil in response thereto.

9. A laminated glazing according to any of the claim 4 to 8, wherein the control means comprises a sensor manually operable by the presence of a user's hand.

10. A laminated glazing according to claim 9, wherein the sensor comprises a capacitive sensor.

11. A laminated glazing according to claim 9 or claim 10, wherein the sensor is in electrical communication with the first electrically actuated device.

12. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 4 to 8, wherein the control means comprises a receiver for receiving at least one (a first) signal transmitted from a transmitter, wherein upon receipt of the first signal from the transmitter, the control signal is provided.

13. A laminated glazing according to claim 12, wherein the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material or mounted on the first surface of the first sheet of glazing material or mounted on the second surface of the second sheet of glazing material.

14. A laminated glazing according to claim 12 or claim 13, wherein the receiver comprises at least one detector for detecting electromagnetic radiation.

15. A laminated glazing according to claim 14, wherein the at least one detector is operable in the wavelength range 300nm to 2000nm, preferably in the wavelength range 300nm to 800nm or the wavelength range 780nm to 1600nm.

16. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 12 to 15, wherein the receiver comprises at least one photodiode.

17. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 12 to 16, wherein the receiver is configured such that upon receiving a predetermined control signal, the amount of electrical power supplied to the first transmitter coil is controlled and/or wherein the receiver performs one or more action requiring a known amount of power and/or modifies the behaviour of the first electrically actuated device to be operable with a level of power provided by the first transmitter coil.

18. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 4 to 17, wherein the control means comprises a transmitter for transmitting at least one (a first) signal to a receiver, wherein upon receipt of the first signal from the transmitter, the control signal is provided.

19. A laminated glazing according to claim 18, wherein the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material or mounted on the first surface of the first sheet of glazing material or mounted on the second surface of the second sheet of glazing material.

20. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 12 to 19, wherein the transmitter comprises at least one source of electromagnetic radiation.

21. A laminated glazing according to claim 20, wherein the transmitter comprises at least one source of electromagnetic radiation operable in the wavelength range 300nm to 2000nm, preferably in the wavelength range 300nm to 800nm or the wavelength range 780nm to 1600nm.

22. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 12 to 21, wherein the transmitter comprises at least one light source, preferably a solid state light source, more preferably a light emitting diode.

23. A laminated glazing according to any of the claims 12 to 22, wherein the receiver is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material and the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material, or wherein the receiver is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material, and the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material, or wherein the the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material, or wherein the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material, or wherein the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material or the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material, or wherein the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is remote from the laminated glazing, or wherein the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the receiver is remote from the laminated glazing.

24. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first transmitter coil is configured to be operable with an alternating current power supply operable in a frequency range of less than or equal to 100MHz, preferably in a frequency range of 50Hz to 100MHz.

25. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first receiver coil is configured to be inductively coupled to the first transmitter coil when energised with an alternating current at a frequency between 50Hz and 100MHz.

26. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first electrically actuated device comprises at least one source of illumination, preferably at least one light emitting diode.

27. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first electrically actuated device comprises processing means for controlling one or more electrically actuated component, the or each electrically actuated component being part of the electrically actuated device.

28. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil comprises at least one conductive loop.

29. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein at least a portion of the first transmitter coil and/or at least a portion of the first receiver coil is/are arranged in a spiral configuration.

30. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil is/are flat.

31. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil is/are adapted to receive a ferromagnetic core or a ferrimagnetic core.

32. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the first electrically actuated device comprises a sensor which is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glazing material, the sensor being in communication with a device for control of the device by manual operation of the sensor.

33. A laminated glazing according to any of the preceding claims, being a laminated glazing for a vehicle or a building.

34. A vehicle or building comprising at least one laminated glazing according to any of the claims 1 to 32.

35. A vehicle or building according to claim 34, wherein the vehicle or building comprises at least one switch interface operable by a user of the vehicle or building to provide a control signal to the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

36. A vehicle or building according to claim 34 or claim 35, wherein the vehicle or building comprises at least one sensor to provide at least one output characteristic of an operation or environmental characteristic of the vehicle or building, the at least one output of the at least one sensor being useable to provide a control signal to the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

37. A method of making a laminated glazing comprising the steps:

(i) providing a first sheet of glazing material;

(ii) providing a first receiver coil;

(iii) positioning the first receiver coil on the first sheet of glazing material;

(iv) providing an electrically actuated device;

(v) positioning the electrically actuated device on the first sheet of glazing material such that the first receiver coil is in electrical communication therewith;

(vi) providing a first sheet of adhesive interlayer material; (vii) positioning the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material on the first sheet of glazing material;

(viii) providing a second sheet of glazing material;

(ix) positioning the second sheet of glazing material on the first sheet of glazing material; and

(x) laminating the first sheet of glazing material to the second sheet of glazing material by means of at least the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material.

38. A method according to claim 37, wherein the steps occur in the order (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix) and then (x).

39. A method according to claim 37, wherein steps (i), (ii) and (iii) are carried out at one location, and the first sheet of glazing material having the first receiver thereon is provided to the same or another location for at least the subsequent step (iv) and (v).

40. A method according to claim 37, wherein steps (vi) and (v) occur before step (ii) and (iii).

41. A method according to any of the claims 37 to 39, wherein the electrically actuated device and the first receiver coil are physically connected such that steps (ii) and (iv) and steps (iii) and (v) occur at the same time.

42. A method according to any of the claims 37 to 41, wherein following step (x), a first transmitter coil is positioned on the first or second exposed surface of the laminated glazing, the first transmitter coil being arranged for inductive coupling with the first receiver coil.

43. A method according to claim 42, wherein the first transmitter coil is positioned opposite the first receiver coil, preferably directly opposite the first receiver coil.

44. A method according to any of the claims 37 to 43, wherein prior to step (x), a control means is provided, the control means being positioned on the first sheet of glazing material.

45. A method according to claim 44, wherein the control means comprises at least one photodiode and/or at least one solid state source of electromagnetic radiation, in particular infrared radiation.

46. A method according to claim 44 or claim 45, wherein the control means is configured to be in communication with the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

47. A method according to claim any of the claims 37 to 46, wherein in addition to step (vi) and step (vii), the method comprises the step of positioning at least one more sheet of adhesive interlayer material on the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material prior to step (x).

48. A method according to any of the claims 36 to 47, wherein following step (i) and before steps (ii) to (x), a preliminary sheet of adhesive interlayer material is provided on the first sheet of glazing material such that following step (iii) and step (v) the first receiver coil and the electrically actuated device are on the preliminary sheet of adhesive interlayer material.

49. A method according to claim 37, wherein a sub-assembly comprising the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material, the electrically actuated device and the first receiving coil is made by positioning the electrically actuated device and the first receiver coil between the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material and a second sheet of adhesive interlayer material, such that at step (vii) the sub-assembly is positioned on the first sheet of glazing material. Preferably the sub-assembly comprises a third sheet of adhesive interlayer material, and the first receiver coil and the electrically actuated device are positioned in a cut out region in the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material, and the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material is positioned between the second sheet of adhesive interlayer and the third sheet of adhesive interlayer material, such that at step (viii) the sub-assembly comprising first, second and third sheets of adhesive interlayer material is positioned on the first sheet of glazing material.

Description:
LAMINATED GLAZING

The present invention relates to a laminated glazing having an electrically actuated device between two sheets of glazing material to be powered remotely by inductive coupling and to a method of making such a laminated glazing.

It is known to use wireless charging stations for providing power to charge portable devices such as toothbrushes and mobile phones. Typically a charging station incorporating a primary inductor coil is supplied with an alternating current to produce an oscillating magnetic field in the primary inductor coil. The portable device includes a secondary inductor coil and the oscillating magnetic field produced by the primary inductor coil induces an alternating electromotive force in the secondary inductor coil which creates an alternating electric current in the receiver coil to drive a load directly, or to be rectified to a direct current, which drives the load. In such portable devices the load is typically a rechargeable battery for powering the portable device.

In systems for inductive charging of portable electronic devices it is known to use control systems to control the operation of the primary inductor coil, for example as described in WO2015/034782A2.

Within the field of laminated glazings comprising two panes of glazing material joined by at least one adhesive interlayer such as PVB, it is typically not practical to incorporate a battery between the panes because of the size constraints. However although thin rechargeable batteries are now becoming available that may be useful in such applications, such batteries need to survive the lamination process, which typically involves high temperature (about 100 ° C to 150 ° C) and high pressure (about 5 to 15 atmosphere).

Given that batteries are typically incompatible with laminated glass manufacture and laminated glass applications, and practical alternatives to batteries have lower energy storage capabilities, there is a greater requirement that the power supplied to a device being supplied by such alternatives is controlled for improved efficiency.

In the laminated glass field, for example for automotive or architectural application, it is known from EP1534513B 1 to provide a laminated glazing panel having one or more light emitting diodes mounted on a circuit board between two glass plies of the laminated glazing panel. The circuit board may extend outwardly beyond an edge of the laminated glazing panel for electrical connection with a power supply. Alternatively the circuit board may terminate within the laminated glazing panel where it may be connected to, or in electrical contact with, an electrical current carrier that is integral with the glazing, for example a busbar or thin surface coating or a conductive metal oxide, which in turn is connected to, or in electrical contact with, a power supply. In this alternative there will still be electrical connectors extending beyond the edge of the laminated glazing panel in order to provide electrical current to the electrical current carrier that is integral with the glazing.

It is known from WO2008113978A1 to provide a laminated vehicle glazing comprising at least two glazing panes laminated together by at least one interlayer therebetween; at least one sensor which is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand contacting or proximal to at least one of the panes; at least one shield associated with the at least one sensor whereby the at least one sensor is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand from only one side of the vehicle glazing; and at least one connector electrically connected to the at least one sensor connectable to an external device for control of the external device by manual operation of the at least one sensor. Also in the field of automotive glazings, it is known to use inductive coupling between a coil located between the panes of a laminated glazing and an electrical device located on the outer surfaces of the glazing, as described in WO2008058881A1. A problem with having the primary inductor coil in between the panes of the laminated glazing is that in order to provide the required alternating electric current to the primary coil, again electrical conductors must extend to the edge of the laminated glazing to allow electrical connection thereto.

A problem with electrical connectors that extend out from the edges of a laminated glazing is that routes for potential water ingress into the laminate may be introduced. Additionally the exposed electrical connectors may be vulnerable to accidental physical damage, for example upon handling or when the laminated glazing is installed into a window frame. The present invention aims to at least partially overcome the problems discussed above.

Accordingly the present invention provides from a first aspect a laminated glazing comprising: a first sheet of glazing material, a second sheet of glazing material and at least one (a first) sheet of adhesive interlayer material therebetween, the first and second sheets of glazing material each having a first major surface and a respective second opposing major surface, the laminated glazing being configured such that the second major surface of the first sheet of glazing material faces the first major surface of the second sheet of glazing material; at least one (a first) electrically actuated device between the first and second sheets of glazing material; at least one (a first) receiver coil between the first and second sheets of glazing material, the first receiver coil being in electrical communication with the first electrically actuated device; and there being at least one (a first) coupling region on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material, the first coupling region being at least a portion of the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material for positioning a transmitter coil thereon, the transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors for connection to an alternating current power supply comprising first and second terminals; wherein when a first transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors is positioned on the coupling region, upon connecting the first electrical connector of the first transmitter coil to the first terminal of the alternating current power supply, and connecting the second electrical connector of the first transmitter coil to the second terminal of the alternating current power supply, a primary magnetic field is produced in the first transmitter coil that induces an alternating voltage in the first receiver coil to provide an electrical current to the first electrically actuated device.

The first receiver coil has first and second output connectors, and the laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention is preferably configured such that the first receiver coil and the first and second output connectors of the first receiver coil do not extend beyond the peripheral edge of the laminated glazing.

The first electrically actuated device has first and second input connectors, and the laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention is configured such that the first and second input connectors of the first electrically actuated device do not extend beyond the peripheral edge of the laminated glazing such that it is not possible to make a galvanic connection to the first and/or second input connectors of the first electrically actuated device.

A laminated glazing in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention is preferably configured such that the receiver coil and the first electrically actuated device and the respective first and second connectors thereof are positioned inboard of the peripheral edge of the laminated glazing. This provides the advantage that the exposed peripheral edge of the laminated glazing is less susceptible to water ingress and delamination because no electrical connectors extend beyond the edge of the laminated glazing. The first receiver coil is able to provide electrical power to one or more electrically actuated devices located between the first and second sheets of glazing material of the laminated glazing.

Upon electrically connecting the first input connector of the first electrically actuated device to a first terminal of a suitable power supply, and electrically connecting the second input connector of the first electrically actuated device to a second terminal of the suitable power supply, electrical power is supplied to the electrically actuated device.

Preferably the first electrically actuated device comprises means to convert an alternating current to a direct current. Preferably the means to convert an alternating current to a direct current comprises a rectifier circuit.

Preferably the first input connector of the first electrically actuated device is galvanically connected to the first output connector of the first receiver coil.

Preferably the second input connector of the first electrically actuated device is galvanically connected to the second output connector of the first receiver coil.

Preferably the laminated glazing comprises a first transmitter coil mounted on the first coupling region, the first transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors for connection to a suitable power supply. Preferably the laminated glazing comprises a first transmitter coil mounted directly on the first coupling region.

Preferably the laminated glazing comprises control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of the first electrically actuated device. Preferably the laminated glazing comprises control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of the first transmitter coil.

Preferably the laminated glazing comprises control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of the first receiver coil.

Preferably the laminated glazing comprises control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of a second electrically actuated device, the second electrically actuated device being between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

Preferably the laminated glazing comprises control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of a plurality of electrically actuated devices, the plurality of electrically actuated devices being between the first and second sheets of glazing material. Preferably the laminated glazing comprises control means for providing a control signal for controlling an operation of at least one (a first) external electrically actuated device, the first external electrically actuated device not being between the first and second sheets of glazing material. The first external electrically actuated device may be mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material or the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material. Alternatively the first external electrically actuated device may be remote from the laminated glazing. When the laminated glazing is used in at least a part of a vehicle glazing, the first external electrically actuated device may be any electrically actuated device that is part of the vehicle, such as a motorised mechanism used to open and close a window, such as a side window or sunroof.

Preferably the control means is between the first and second sheets of glazing material. Preferably the control means monitors an operational state of the first electrically actuated device and controls an operation of the first transmitter coil in response thereto.

Preferably the control means monitors an operational state of the first electrically actuated device and controls an operation of the first receiver coil in response thereto.

Preferably the control means monitors an operational state of the first transmitter coil and controls an operation of the first receiver coil in response thereto.

Preferably the control means monitors an operational state of the first receiver coil and controls an operation of the first transmitter coil in response thereto. Embodiments of the first aspect of the present invention having control means have preferable

In some embodiments the control means comprises a sensor manually operable by the presence of a user's hand. Preferably the sensor comprises a capacitive sensor.

Preferably the sensor is in electrical communication with the first electrically actuated device.

In some embodiments the control means comprises a receiver for receiving at least one (a first) signal transmitted from a transmitter, wherein upon receipt of the first signal from the transmitter, the control signal is provided. Embodiments where the control means comprises a receiver have other preferable features.

Preferably the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

Preferably the receiver is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material.

Preferably the receiver is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material. Preferably the receiver comprises at least one detector for detecting electromagnetic radiation.

Preferably the at least one detector of the receiver is operable in the wavelength range 300nm to 2000nm, more preferably in the wavelength range 300nm to 800nm or the wavelength range 780nm to 1600nm.

Preferably the receiver comprises at least one photodiode. Preferably the receiver is configured such that upon receiving a predetermined control signal, the amount of electrical power supplied to the first transmitter coil is controlled.

Preferably the receiver is configured such that upon receiving a predetermined control signal, the receiver performs one or more action requiring a known amount of power or modifies the behaviour of the first electrically actuated device to be operable with a level of power provided by the first transmitter coil.

Preferably the transmitter for sending the first signal to the receiver is remote from the laminated glazing.

Preferably the transmitter for sending the first signal to the receiver is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material. Preferably the transmitter for sending the first signal to the receiver is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material.

Preferably the transmitter for sending the first signal to the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material. In some embodiments the control means comprises a transmitter for transmitting at least one (a first) signal to a receiver, wherein upon receipt of the first signal from the transmitter, the control signal is provided.

Embodiments where the control means comprises a transmitter for transmitting at least one (a first) signal to a receiver have other preferable features. Preferably the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

Preferably the transmitter is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material.

Preferably the transmitter is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material. Preferably the transmitter comprises at least one source of electromagnetic radiation.

Preferably the transmitter comprises at least one source of electromagnetic radiation operable in the wavelength range 300nm to 2000nm, preferably in the wavelength range 300nm to 800nm or the wavelength range 780nm to 1600nm.

Preferably the transmitter comprises at least one light source, preferably a solid state light source, more preferably a light emitting diode.

In embodiments of the first aspect of the present invention having control means, when the control means comprises a receiver and/or a transmitter, the laminated glazing has other preferable features.

Preferably the receiver is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material and the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

Preferably the receiver is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material, and the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

Preferably the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material. Preferably the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is mounted on the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material. Preferably the receiver is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the transmitter is remote from the laminated glazing, the transmitter not being mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material or the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material and not being between the first and second sheets of Preferably the transmitter is between the first and second sheets of glazing material and the receiver is remote from the laminated glazing, the receiver not being mounted on the first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material or the second major surface of the second sheet of glazing material and not being between the first and second sheets of glazing material.

Other embodiments of the first aspect of the present invention have other preferable features. Preferably the first transmitter coil is configured to be operable with an alternating current power supply operable in a frequency range of less than or equal to 100MHz, more preferably in a frequency range of 50Hz to 100MHz.

Preferably the first receiver coil is configured to be inductively coupled to the first transmitter coil when energised with an alternating current at a frequency between 50Hz and 100MHz. Preferably the first electrically actuated device comprises at least one source of illumination.

Preferably the at least one source of illumination comprises at least one light emitting diode.

Preferably the electrically actuated device comprises processing means for controlling an operation of one or more electrically actuated component. Preferably the or each electrically actuated component is part of the electrically actuated device. Preferably the first transmitter coil comprises at least one conductive loop.

Preferably the first receiver coil comprises at least one conductive loop.

Preferably at least a portion of the first transmitter coil and/or at least a portion of the first receiver coil is/are arranged in a spiral configuration.

Preferably the first transmitter coil is flat. Preferably the first receiver coil is flat.

Preferably the first transmitter is adapted to receive a ferromagnetic core or a ferrimagnetic core.

Preferably the first receiver coil is adapted to receive a ferromagnetic core or a ferrimagnetic core.

Preferably the first and/or second sheets of glazing material are glass, more preferably soda-lime- silica glass. A typical soda-lime-silica glass composition is (by weight), Si0 2 69 - 74 %; A1 2 0 3 0 -

3 %; Na 2 0 10 - 16 %; K 2 0 0 - 5 %; MgO 0 - 6 %; CaO 5 - 14 %; S0 3 0 - 2 %; Fe 2 0 3 0.005 - 2 %. The glass composition may also contain other additives, for example, refining aids, which would normally be present in an amount of up to 2 %. The soda-lime-silica glass composition may contain other colouring agents such as Co 3 0 4 , NiO and Se to impart to the glass a desired colour when viewed in transmitted light. The transmitted glass colour may be measured in terms of a recognised standard such as BS EN410. Preferably the first sheet of adhesive interlayer comprises polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA), polyurethane (PU), polycarbonate, poly vinyl chloride (PVC) or a copolymer of ethylene and methacrylic acid.

Preferably the laminated glazing is an automotive glazing or a glazing for the interior or exterior of a building.

Preferably the first electrically actuated device comprises a sensor which is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glazing material, the sensor being in communication with a device for control of the device by manual operation of the sensor. Preferably the device is between the first and second sheets of glazing material. Preferably the device is remote from the laminated glazing. That is, by having such a sensor the electrically actuated device may be used to control the operation of another electrically actuated device that is remote from the laminated glazing. Suitable sensors or sensor assemblies are described in

WO2008113978A1. The sensor may comprise a visual indicator to indicate the location of the sensor and/or the function of the device. The visual indicator may be printed on the first and/or second major surface of the first and/or second sheet of glazing material. Preferably the sensor comprises at least one electrical illumination device, laminated between the first and second sheets of glazing material, adapted to illuminate the visual indicator and/or to indicate manual operation of the device.

From a second aspect the present invention provides a vehicle or a building comprising a laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention. When the laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention is part of a building, preferably the building comprises at least one switch interface operable by a user of the building to provide a control signal to the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

Preferably the building comprises at least one sensor to provide at least one output characteristic of an operation or environmental characteristic of the building, the at least one output of the at least one sensor being useable to provide a control signal to the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

When the laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention is part of a vehicle, preferably the vehicle comprises at least one switch interface operable by a user of the vehicle to provide a control signal to the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

Preferably the vehicle comprises at least one sensor to provide at least one output characteristic of an operation or environmental characteristic of the vehicle, the at least one output of the at least one sensor being useable to provide a control signal to the first transmitter coil and/or the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

From a third aspect the present invention provides a method of making a laminated glazing comprising the steps:

(i) providing a first sheet of glazing material;

(ii) providing a first receiver coil;

(iii) positioning the first receiver coil on the first sheet of glazing material;

(iv) providing an electrically actuated device;

(v) positioning the electrically actuated device on the first sheet of glazing material such that the first receiver coil is in electrical communication therewith;

(vi) providing a first sheet of adhesive interlayer material;

(vii) positioning the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material on the first sheet of glazing material;

(viii) providing a second sheet of glazing material;

(ix) positioning the second sheet of glazing material on the first sheet of glazing material; and

(x) laminating the first sheet of glazing material to the second sheet of glazing material by means of at least the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material.

It is to be understood within the context of the present invention that when an element A is positioned on an element B, this does not rule out the possibility of there being one or more other elements in between element A and element B. For example, in step (iv) above there may be another (a second) sheet of adhesive interlayer material in direct contact with the first sheet of glazing material such that when the electrically actuated device is positioned on the first sheet of glazing material, the second sheet of adhesive interlayer material is between the first sheet of glazing material and the electrically actuated device.

Following step (x) a laminated glazing is produced that has two (first and second) exposed surfaces. The first exposed surface of the laminated glazing is the major surface of the first sheet of glazing material not facing the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material. The second exposed surface of the laminated glazing is the major surface of the second sheet of glazing material not facing the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material.

Preferably the steps occur in the order (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), (vi), (vii), (viii), (ix) and then (x).

Preferably steps (i), (ii) and (iii) are carried out at one location, and the first sheet of glazing material having the first receiver thereon is provided to the same or another location for at least the subsequent steps (iv) and (v).

Preferably steps (vi) and (v) occur before step (ii) and (iii).

Preferably the electrically actuated device and the first receiver coil are physically connected such that steps (ii) and (iv) and steps (iii) and (v) occur at the same time. Preferably steps (vi) and (vii) occur before step (ii) and/or step (v).

Preferably following step (x), a first transmitter coil is positioned on the first or second exposed surface of the laminated glazing, the first transmitter coil being arranged for inductive coupling with the first receiver coil. Preferably the first transmitter coil is positioned opposite the first receiver coil.

Preferably the first transmitter coil is positioned directly opposite the first receiver coil. Preferably prior to step (x), a control means is provided, the control means being positioned on the first sheet of glazing material.

When a control means is provided, preferably the control means comprises at least one photodiode and/or at least one solid state source of electromagnetic radiation, in particular infrared radiation. When control means is provided, preferably the control means is configured to be in

communication with the first receiver coil and/or the first electrically actuated device.

In embodiments when the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material is positioned on the first sheet of glazing material before the electrically actuated device and/or the first receiver coil, preferably the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material has a first cut out region therein for accommodating the first receiver coil and/or the electrically actuated device within the first cut out region.

In some embodiments, preferably a sub-assembly comprising the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material, the electrically actuated device and the first receiving coil is made by positioning the electrically actuated device and the first receiver coil between the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material and a second sheet of adhesive interlayer material, such that at step (vii) the sub-assembly is positioned on the first sheet of glazing material. Preferably the sub-assembly comprises a third sheet of adhesive interlayer material, and the first receiver coil and the electrically actuated device are positioned in a cut out region in the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material, and the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material is positioned between the second sheet of adhesive interlayer and the third sheet of adhesive interlayer material, such that at step (vii) the sub-assembly comprising first, second and third sheets of adhesive interlayer material is positioned on the first sheet of glazing material.

Other embodiments have other preferable features. Preferably the method comprises, in addition to step (vi) and step (vii), the step of positioning at least one more sheet of adhesive interlayer material on the first sheet of adhesive interlayer material prior to step (x).

Preferably following step (i) and before steps (ii) to (x), a preliminary sheet of adhesive interlayer material is provided on the first sheet of glazing material such that following step (iii) and step (v) the first receiver coil and the electrically actuated device are on the preliminary sheet of adhesive interlayer material.

Preferably the first electrically actuated device comprises at least one source of illumination, in particular at least one light emitting diode.

Preferably the first electrically actuated device comprises at comprises a sensor which is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glazing material, the sensor adapted to be in communication with a device for control of the device by manual operation of the sensor.

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings (not to scale), in which: Figure 1 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of a laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention;

Figure 2 shows a schematic block diagram of the laminated glazing shown in figure 1 ;

Figure 3 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of another laminated glazing in accordance with the present invention for positioning in a frame; Figure 4 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of the laminated glazing shown in figure 3 positioned in the frame;

Figure 5 shows a schematic block diagram of another laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention;

Figure 6 shows a schematic block diagram of another laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention; Figure 7 shows a schematic block diagram of another laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention;

Figure 8 shows a schematic exploded isometric representation of another laminated glazing in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention; and

Figure 9 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of the laminated glazing shown in figure 8;

Figure 1 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of a laminated glazing in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention.

The laminated glazing 1 comprises a first sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 2 and a second sheet of soda-lime silica glass 4. Each sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 2, 4 has the same peripheral shape and dimensions and is 4mm thick and was produced using the float process. Other methods for producing the sheets of glass may be used, for example by rolling.

Each sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 2, 4 has a first major surface and a respective opposing second major surface. The first major surface of the first sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 2 is labelled by the numeral 3. The second major surface of the second sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 4 is labelled by the numeral 5.

Between the first and second sheets of soda-lime silica glass 2, 4 are two sheets of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) 6, 8. Each sheet of PVB 6, 8 is sized to be coextensive with the glass sheets 2, 4. Each sheet of PVB 6, 8 has a first major surface and a second opposing major surface. Each sheet of PVB is about 0.76mm thick.

The first major surface of the first sheet of PVB 6 is in contact with the second major surface of the first sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 2. The second major surface of the second sheet of PVB 8 is in contact with the first major surface of the second sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 4.

Mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of soda-lime-silica glass 2 is a transmitter coil 10. The transmitter coil 10 comprises a substantially flat coil in a spiral configuration having first and second inputs 10a, 10b for electrically connecting the transmitter coil 10 to a suitable power supply. The transmitter coil is configured such that upon connecting the first and second inputs 10a, 10b to a suitable alternating current power supply, the transmitter coil produces an alternating magnetic field.

Between the first and second sheets of PVB 6, 8 is an electrical assembly comprising a receiver coil 12, wires 14, 14', 16, 16', a rectifier circuit 18 having input and output connectors and an electrically actuated device 20 having input connectors.

The electrical assembly is arranged to be fully enclosed by the PVB sheets 6, 8 such that electrical power is not able to be provided thereto by electrical connectors extending out of (or into) the edge of the laminated glazing. The receiver coil 12 is substantially flat in a similar manner to the transmitter coil 10, and has first and second output connectors in electrical communication with the input connectors of the rectifier circuit 18 via wires 14, 16. The electrically actuated device 20 is in electrical communication with the output connectors of the rectifier circuit 18 via wires 14', 16' . The electrical assembly comprising the receiver coil 12, wires 14, 14', 16, 16', the rectifier circuit

18 having input and output connectors and the electrically actuated device 20 having input connectors may all be on a circuit board such that the wires are tracks on the circuit board. For a polyimide type circuit board, the wires 14, 14', 16, 16' may be copper tracks on the circuit board. If the circuit board is a PET sheet, the wires 14, 14', 16, 16' may be conductive inks. Upon connecting the first input connector 10a and the second input connector 10b to a suitable alternating current power supply 22 by means of cables 24, 26, an alternating magnetic field is produced in the transmitter coil 10. This produces an alternating electrical voltage at the output of the receiver coil 12 (i.e. in wires 14, 16) that is rectified to produce a direct current by rectifier circuit 18. The direct electrical current is used to power the electrically actuated device 20 via wires 14', 16'. The electrically actuated device 20 may comprise one or more electrical component that requires electrical power to function. For example, the electrically actuated device 20 may comprise one or more source of illumination such as a light emitting diode (LED).

In this example the electrically actuated device comprises a plurality of LEDs mounted on a circuit board.

For very thick sheets of PVB or other suitable adhesive interlayer material between the glass sheets 2, 4, it may be possible for the electrically actuated device to incorporate a commercially available rechargeable battery that has a thickness of about 6mm. To incorporate such a rechargeable battery the laminate is preferably produced by using pressure sensitive adhesives or epoxy resin type materials as this type of adhesive interlayer does not necessarily require the rather high temperature and/or pressure for adhesive interlayers that are available in sheet form such as PVB, EVA, PVC or PU. Alternatively it is possible to use adhesive interlayer materials that do not require lamination temperatures beyond the operational parameters of the rechargeable battery.

The alternating current power supply 22 may be provided with power from a direct current power supply and a power inverter. When the laminated glazing is as shown in figure 1, the laminated glazing 1 may be installed in a suitable frame or the like, or an aperture in a vehicle.

Figure 2 shows a schematic block diagram of the laminated glazing 1 as shown in figure 1. This block diagram in figure 2 is used to illustrate how the electrical assembly comprising the receiver coil 12, the wires 14, 16, the rectifier circuit 18, the wires 14', 16' and the electrically actuated device 20 are all between the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of glazing material 2 (in this example soda-lime-silica glass) and the second major surface 5 of the second sheet of glazing material 4 (in this example also soda- lime silica glass). As such, the block diagram of figure 2 is effectively a simplified view of the cross section shown in figure 1.

The rectifier circuit 18 and electrically actuated device 20 may all be part of the same electrically actuated device 20' i.e. they share a common circuit board.

The type of schematic block diagram used in figure 2 is used hereinafter to illustrate other laminated glazings in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention.

Figure 3 shows a schematic cross sectional representation of another laminated glazing 1 ' . The laminated glazing 1 ' is the same as the laminated glazing 1 shown in figure 1 except there is not a transmitter coil 10 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2. Otherwise, the construction of the laminated glazing Γ is the same as the construction of the laminated glazing 1.

Although such a laminated glazing 1 ' as shown in figure 3 is not able to provide electrical power to the electrically actuated device 20 between the glass sheets 2, 4, a transmitter coil may be provided at a later stage and mounted on the first major surface 3 or the second major surface 5 at a suitable location for inductive coupling to the receiver coil 12.

Alternatively a suitable transmitter coil may be incorporated in another element such that when the laminated glazing is installed, the suitable transmitter coil in the other element is on (or in close proximity with) the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2 or the second major surface 5 of the glass sheet 4 such that inductive coupling may occur between the suitable transmitter coil and the receiver coil 12 between the glass sheets 2, 4. This is illustrated in figure 3 where a transmitter coil 10' is incorporated into element 15, which may be a structural element, for example of a building, vehicle or the like.

The element 15 is used to support the laminated glazing 1 ' therein, so may be a frame or the like. Suitable cables 24, 26 extend from a suitable alternating current power supply 22 along the element 15 internal and/or external thereto to electrically connect the alternating current power supply 22 to the first and second inputs 10a', 10b' of the transmitter coil 10'. The power supply 22 may be suitably switched to control the power supplied to the transmitter coil 10'.

If the laminated glazing is too far from the transmitter coil 10', inductive coupling to the receiver coil 12 in the laminated glazing Γ may not be possible.

However when the element is used to also support the laminated glazing Γ, for example when the element 15 is a frame or an aperture in a vehicle body, the laminated glazing is intended to be in close proximity to the transmitter coil 10' because the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2 in the installed position will be adjacent to, preferably in physical contact with, the surface 15' of the element 15. The transmitter coil 10' may be on the surface 15', or in an opening in the element 15 such that the transmitter coil has one end in the opening and the other end being flush with the surface 15'. The laminated glazing Γ may be moved in the direction of arrow 17 towards the surface 15' until the laminated glazing Γ is in the final installed position as shown in figure 4.

The laminated glazing Γ may be fixed to the element 15 by clips, adhesive of other suitable fixing means, which may be integrally formed with the element 15.

As shown in figure 4, the transmitter coil 10' is on the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2. There may be a space between the transmitter coil 10' and the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2, for example less than a few millimetres i.e. between 0.1mm and 5mm, although such spacing may reduce the effectiveness of the inductive coupling between the transmitter coil 10' and the receiver coil 12.

In the embodiment shown in figures 3 and 4, it may not be possible to ensure accurate alignment of the transmitter coil 10' in the element 15 with the receiver coil 12 that is between the glass sheets 2, 4. Suitable stops 19 may provided on the element 15 and/or the edge of the laminated glazing 1 ' to aid with the alignment of the transmitter coil 10' and the receiver coil 12 to ensure suitable inductive coupling.

It will be readily apparent that the laminated glazing 1 ' shown in figure 3 may be represented by the block diagram of figure 2 with the exclusion of the box labelled with the number ΊΟ', because the laminated glazing 1 ' does not have a transmitter coil mounted on the first major surface 3 of the sheet of glass 2.

Figure 5 shows a schematic block diagram representation (of the type used in figure 2) of a cross- sectional view of another laminated glazing 11 in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention. Whilst the block diagram of figure 5 is used to illustrate that there are two sheets of adhesive interlayer material (i.e. PVB) 6, 8 between the glass sheets 2, 6, the thickness of the sheets of PVB 6, 8 relative to the position of the other components between the glass sheets 2, 4 is not shown to scale. For example, all the components may be between the sheets of PVB 6, 8 as shown in figure 1.

The laminated glazing 11 is essentially the same as the laminated glazing 1 except that also located between the sheets of soda-lime-silica glass 2, 4 is a transmitter 30 in electrical communication with the electrically actuated device 20'. In this example the electrically actuated device 20' comprises a capacitive switch that senses the presence of a user's hand (or finger) contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glass 2, 4.

Upon sensing the presence of a user's hand by the sensor, the electrically actuated device sends a signal to the transmitter 30. The transmitter 30 is also powered by the electrical current from the receiver coil 12 when the receiver coil 12 is inductively coupled to the transmitter coil 10.

In this example the transmitter 30 is a diode that emits infrared (IR) radiation having a wavelength around 800nm. The transmitted IR signal travels in the direction of arrow 35 through the PVB sheet 6 and glass sheet 2 towards receiver 40 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of glass 2. The receiver 40 is a photodiode configured to receive an IR signal having a wavelength of about 800nm and is mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of glass 2 with an adhesive such as an epoxy resin. The receiver may be powered by the electrical power supply that is used to provide power to the transmitter coil 10.

When the receiver 40 receives a signal from the transmitter 30, a control signal is sent to the external device 50. In this example the control signal is sent to the external device 50 via cable 45, but the control signal may be sent to the external device 50 wirelessly, for example via Bluetooth.

The external device 50 is therefore controllable by the sensor that is part of the electrically actuated device 20' that is between the glass sheets 2, 4. In this example the external device 50 is an openable window such as a side window in a vehicle. The external device 50 comprises a motor that is used to raise or lower the window (not shown).

As can be seen from figure 5, the transmitter may be configured to transmit the IR signal in the direction counter to arrow 35, that is in the direction of arrow 35' (shown in phantom). As such, the receiver (shown in phantom as 40') may be mounted on the second major surface 5 of the second sheet of glass 4. The receiver 40' may provide a control signal to external device 50' (or 50 via suitable wired/wireless means thereto).

There may be more than one transmitter 30 between the two glass sheets 2, 4, each having an associated receiver 40 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first glass sheet 2 or the second major surface 5 of the second glass sheet 4.

Figure 6 shows a schematic block diagram representation of a cross-sectional view of another laminated glazing 21 in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention. As for figure 5, the block diagram of figure 6 is used to illustrate that there are two sheets of adhesive interlayer material (i.e. PVB) 6, 8 between the glass sheets 2, 6, the thickness of the sheets of PVB 6, 8 relative to the position of the other components between the glass sheets 2, 4 is not shown to scale. For example, all the components may be between the sheets of PVB 6, 8 as shown in figure 1.

The laminated glazing 21 is essentially the same as the laminated glazing 11 except that also located between the sheets of glass 2, 4 is a receiver 80 and a processor 90. Also mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of glass 2 is a transmitter 60 configured to transmit a signal in the direction of arrow 65 towards receiver 80. The transmitter 60 may be mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of glass 4 using a suitable adhesive means or clips.

The processor 90 is in electrical communication with the receiver coil 12, the electrically actuated device 20', the transmitter 30 and the receiver 80. As for the example shown in figure 5, the transmitter 30 is an IR emitting diode and the electrically actuated device 20' comprises a capacitive switch that senses the presence of a user's hand contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glass 2, 4. The receiver coil 12 may also be in direct electrical communication with the transmitter 30.

The IR receiver 40 is configured in the same way as described with reference to figure 5. Upon sensing the presence of a user's hand by the sensor that is part of the electrically actuated device 20', the transmitter 30 send an IR signal in the direction of arrow 35 to the IR receiver 40 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2. The IR receiver 40 then sends a signal to the external device 50 to change an operation thereof. In this respect, the laminated glazing 21 operates in the same manner as the laminated glazing 11.

However in contrast to the laminated glazing 11, the laminated glazing 21 is able to receive information from an external source remote from the laminated glazing 21 i.e. not physically connected to the laminated glazing 21. This is achieved by the transmitter 60 being in electrical communication with an external device 70 via a cable 75. The external device 70 may be electrically coupled to the external device 50 via cabling 55. The external devices 50, 70 may be part of the same external device.

Instead of cables 45, 75, data may be transmitted wirelessly to/from the respective external device.

The external device 70 monitors an operational and/or environmental aspect remote from the laminated glazing 21 and provides a suitable output via cable 75 to cause the transmitter 60 to emit an IR signal towards the receiver 80.

Upon receipt of the signal from the transmitter 60, the receiver 80 sends a signal to the processor 90. The processor 90 uses the signal from the transmitter 80 to control the receiver 12 and/or the electrically actuated device 20' and/or the transmitter 30.

For example, if the external device 50 is a vehicle sunroof, the external device 70 may monitor whether or not it is raining. If it is raining, the external device 70 (i.e. a rain sensor) sends a signal to the transmitter 60. An IR signal is sent to the transmitter 80, thereby sending a signal to the processor 90 to indicate it is raining. The processor then controls the function of the electrically actuated device 20'. In one alternative, the capacitive switch is deactivated such that the presence of a user's hand is no longer sensed, thereby preventing the electrically actuated device 50 from being operated (i.e. opening the vehicle sunroof). In another alternative, or in addition to, a light emitting diode that is part of the electrically actuated device 20' is illuminated informing the user that the capacitive switch is no longer operational.

The provision of the transmitter 60 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first sheet of glass 2 and the receiver 80 and the processor 90 between the glass sheets 2, 4 allows the function of the electrically actuated device 20' and/or the receiver 12 and /or the transmitter 30 to be altered depending on factors external to the laminated glazing There may be more than one transmitter 60 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2, each having an associated receiver 80 in between the two glass sheets 2, 4. Likewise, there may be more than one transmitter 30 between the two glass sheets 2, 4, each having an associated receiver 40 mounted on the first major surface 3 of the first glass sheet 2 or the second major surface 5 of the second glass sheet 4.

The receiver 40 and the transmitter 60 may be part of the same module. The receiver 80 and the transmitter 30 may be part of the same module.

Figure 7 shows a schematic block diagram representation of a cross-sectional view of another laminated glazing 1 Γ in accordance with the first aspect of the present invention.

The laminated glazing 1 Γ is essentially the same as the laminated glazing 1, 11 except that also located between the sheets of glass 2, 4 is an electrically actuated device 20", a receiver 40' and a processor 90'. In this respect, the receiver 40' is similar to the receiver 80 shown in figure 6. However in contrast to the laminated glazing 21 shown in figure 6, the receiver 40' is configured to receive an IR signal transmitted to the receiver 40' from a transmitter 30' that is not in physical contact with the laminated glazing 1 Γ .

The processor 90' is in electrical communication with the receiver coil 12, the electrically actuated device 20" and the receiver 40'. The electrically actuated device 20' comprises an array of light emitting diodes.

The receiver may be in direct electrical communication with the receiver coil 12.

In use, the laminated glazing operates in the following manner. The transmitter coil 10 is provided with an alternating current from a suitable power supply such that an alternating current is induced in the receiver coil 12. The electrical current produced by the receiver coil is used to power the electrically actuated device 20', the receiver 40' and the processor 90'. The processor 90' monitors the operational state of the receiver 40' and controls the array of light emitting diodes of the electrically actuated device 20".

An external electrically actuated device 50' monitors conditions external to the laminated glazing, for example the ambient temperature, the temperature of a component etc. If the laminated glazing is installed in a vehicle, the external electrically actuated device may monitor the level of fuel in the vehicle, or the power state of an battery in an electric vehicle. When a predetermined parameter is obtained, the external electrically actuated device 50' sends a signal to the transmitter 30' . Since the receiver 40' is configured to receive an IR signal, the transmitter 30' is an IR diode operable in the wavelength range 800-1 lOOnm to emit a signal in the direction of arrow 35' towards the receiver 40' that is between the glass sheets 2, 4 of the laminated glazing 1 Γ. The signal that is emitted by the transmitter 30' may comprise one or more pulse. Upon receipt of the signal by the receiver 40' to indicate the predetermined parameter has been obtained i.e. for a vehicle, the fuel tank is almost empty, the processor 90' controls the function of the array of light emitting diodes of the electrically actuated device 20" to display a message.

A different sequence of pulses may be emitted by the transmitter 30' for receipt by the receiver 40' to indicate a different parameter has been obtained and the processor 90' controls the light emitting diodes of the electrically actuated device 20" to display an appropriate message.

In an alternative to the laminated glazing shown in figure 7, the transmitter 30' is mounted on the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2, preferably with a suitable adhesive or clip.

Figure 8 shows a schematic isometric exploded representation of a laminated glazing 101 according to the first aspect of the present invention. The laminated glazing 101 is similar to the laminated glazing 1 Γ .

The laminated glazing 101 comprises a first sheet of glass 102 having a first major surface 103 and an opposing second major surface (not labelled). The laminated glazing also comprises a second sheet of glass 104 having a first major surface and a second opposing major surface 105. Other glazing material may be used for one or both glass sheets 102, 104, for example plastic such as polycarbonate.

Mounted to the first major surface 103 of the first sheet of glass 102 is a first transmitter coil 110 having first and second electrical connectors 111 and 112. Upon connecting the first and second electrical connectors 111, 112 to a suitable alternating current power supply having first and second terminals, an oscillating primary magnetic field is produced in the first transmitter coil.

The first transmitter coil 110 is a flat coil in a spiral configuration. Although the first transmitter coil 110 is shown having a rectangular outline, the first transmitter coil may have other configurations, for example a circular coil.

In between the first and second sheets of glass 102, 104 are a first sheet of PVB 106, a carrier ply 107 and a second sheet of PVB 108. The first sheet of PVB 106 is joined to the second major surface of the first sheet of glass 102 and one side of the carrier ply 107. The second sheet of PVB 108 is joined to the first major surface of the second sheet of glass 104 and the other side of the carrier ply 107.

All of the first glass sheet 102, the first sheet of PVB 106, the carrier ply 107, the second sheet of PVB 108 and the second sheet of glass 104 are in a substantially coextensive stack. Each glass sheet is 2.1mm thick and each sheet of PVB is 0.76mm thick.

The carrier ply 107 is a plastic ply that does not soften during the lamination process. A suitable plastic material is PET, polycarbonate or polyimide. A transparent carrier ply is preferred. The carrier ply 107 is about lOOum thick and is the carrier for a number of electrical components, electrically conductive pathways and electrical connectors. Mounted on the carrier ply 107 facing the first sheet of PVB 106 is a receiver coil 112, an electrically actuated device 120 comprising a sensor 121 and a light emitting diode 122, and a data transmitter 140 comprising an IR LED 141. A screen printed icon or the like 130 is on the first major surface 103 above the sensor 121 to show the position thereof.

In this example the electrically actuated device is a switch interface of the type described in WO2008113978A1 and the sensor is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand (or a finger) contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glass 102, 104.

Although the receiver coil 112, the electrically actuated device 120 and the inner data transmitter 140 are shown on the carrier ply 107, any combination of these components may be provided on a separate carrier ply. The provision of a carrier ply 107 assists with the relative positioning of each part of the electrical assembly.

The receiver coil 112 has a first output electrical connector (or connector region) 115 and a second output electrical connector (or connector region) 116. A suitable rectifier circuit (not shown) converts the alternating current produced by the receiver coil 112 (when the transmitter coil is connected to a suitable alternating current power supply) into a direct current to power the electrically actuated device 120 and the transmitter 140.

The first output electrical connector 115 is in electrical communication with the electrically actuated device 120 and the transmitter 140 via suitable electrically conductive tracks or wires. The second output electrical connector 116 is in electrical communication with the electrically actuated device 120 and the inner data transmitter 140 via suitable electrically conductive tracks or wires. For clarity, only one such electrically conductive track or wire is labelled in figure 6 as 118.

The electrically actuated device 120 provides an output signal S that is communicated to the transmitter 140 via suitable electrically conductive tracks or wires. Upon receipt of the signal S, the transmitter 140 causes the IR LED 141 to emit a series of pulses through the PVB sheet 106 and the glass sheet 102 for receipt by a suitable receiver positioned remote from the laminated glazing 101.

Alternatively the suitable receiver may be mounted on the first major surface 103 of the first sheet of glass 102, or the first major surface 105 of the second sheet of glass 104, in a manner as described with reference to figure 5 or figure 6.

Upon receipt of the signal from the transmitter 140, the receiver (not shown) sends a control signal to an external electrically actuated device (not shown) for operation thereof. For example, the external electrically actuated device may comprise one or more electrically actuated component such as a motor, illumination device or actuator, such that upon moving a human hand near the first major surface 103 of the first glass sheet 102 in the region of the icon 130, the sensor 121 is actuated thereby actuating the external electrically actuated device i.e. the external electrically actuated device is switch on or off. The external electrically actuated device may be attached or mounted to the laminated glazing 101, or remote therefrom.

Such a laminated glazing 101 does not have any electrical connectors extending to the edge of thereof, which may cause problems due to water ingress and/or delamination. Although the laminated glazing in figure 8 shows only two sheets of adhesive interlayer material

(PVB sheets 106, 108), there may be three or more sheets of adhesive interlayer material.

Alternatively, there may be a single sheet of adhesive interlayer material. If there is only a single sheet of adhesive interlayer material, one side of the carrier ply 107 may be provided with a pressure sensitive adhesive. In an alternative, the carrier ply 107 may not be coextensive with the first and second sheets of glass 102, 104 such that the adhesive interlayer material extends beyond the perimeter of the carrier ply 107 but is coextensive with the first and second glass sheets.

To accommodate the electrical assembly in between the first and second sheets of glass 102, 104, all or any part thereof may be positioned in a cut-out region in a sheet of adhesive interlayer material in order to better accommodate the relatively incompressible material of the electrical assembly or any part thereof.

The thickness of the first and/or second sheet of glass 102, 104 may be in the range 1mm to 25mm. The thickness of the first and second sheet of glass 102, 104 may be the same or different.

The thickness of the first and/or second sheet of adhesive interlayer material 106, 108 may be in the range 0.1mm to 5mm, preferably 0.1 mm to 0.8mm. When the laminated glazing comprises a transmitter and/or receiver between the sheets of glazing material, it is advantageous to use a transmitted (and consequently received) wavelength of

electromagnetic radiation where there is minimum absorption due to the glass sheet and/or the adhesive interlayers. For example, if the data transmitter between the sheets of glazing material uses infrared radiation at a wavelength between 800nm and lOOOnm, it is advantageous to direct the transmitted signal through a sheet of glazing material that has low absorption in the 800nm to lOOOnm range. For example, for a sheet of float glass it is advantageous for the transmitted signal from the transmitter between the sheets of glass to pass through a sheet of glass that has very low levels of transition metal ions such as ferrous iron that absorbs strongly in this wavelength region. This may conveniently be achieved by having the sheet of glass in the transmission direction to have a very low level of iron oxide (expressed as wt% Fe 2 0 3 ) in the glass composition, for example <0.1 lwt%, preferably 0.001 to 0.09wt% Fe 2 0 3 .

In the direction of the data transmitter/receiver configured not for the receipt/transmission of IR, the glass sheet may contain higher levels of iron oxide or other colourants that may absorb in the IR, and/or there may be a layer of optically opaque ink on one or both major surfaces thereof. It will be readily apparent that similar arguments apply when there is a receiver between the sheets of glazing material. It is advantageous for there to be little absorption between the path of such a receiver and the transmitter configured to transmit a signal to said receiver.

When the first transmitter coil 110 is electrically connected to a suitable alternating current power supply as described above, an alternating voltage is induced between the first and second outputs 115, 116 of the receiver coil 112 that may be used to power the electrically actuated device 120.

There may be at least one more electrically actuated device 125 (shown in phantom in figure 8) between the sheets of PVB 106, 108.

Figure 9 shows a schematic cross sectional representation of a laminated glazing 10 Γ similar to that shown in figure 8 through the line A-A', except the components between the sheets of PVB 106, 108 are not on a carrier ply 107 and are laid out slightly differently for clarity.

The laminated glazing 10 Γ comprises a first sheet of glass 102 and a second sheet of glass 104 joined by first and second sheets of adhesive interlayer material 106, 108 therebetween. Suitable adhesive interlayer material includes polyvinyl butyral (PVB) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). In this example both sheets 106, 108 are PVB having a thickness of 0.76mm.

The first sheet of glass 102 has a first major surface 103 and a second opposing major surface (not labelled).

The first sheet of adhesive interlayer material 106 is in contact with the second major surface of the first sheet of glass 102.

The second sheet of glass 104 has a first major surface (not labelled) and an opposing second major surface 105. The second sheet of adhesive interlayer material 108 is in contact with the first major surface of the second sheet of glass 104.

The first sheet of adhesive interlayer material 106 is joined to the second sheet of adhesive interlayer material 108.

In between the first and second sheets of adhesive interlayer material 106, 108 is an electrical assembly that will be described in more detail hereinafter.

On the first major surface 103 of the first sheet of glass 102 is a substantially flat first transmitter coil 110. The first transmitter coil 110 has first and second electrical connectors (only the first electrical connector 113 of the first transmitter coil 110 is labelled in figure 9).

In register with the first transmitter coil 110 and located between the first and second sheets of adhesive interlayer material 106, 108 is a first receiver coil 112. The first receiver coil is also substantially flat and has first and second output connectors (labelled as 115 and 116 in figure 8) in electrical communication with an electrically actuated device 120 via suitable electrical connectors shown schematically as line 118. In this example the electrically actuated device 120 comprises a sensor 121 which is manually operable by the presence of a user's hand (or a finger) contacting or proximal to at least one of the first and second sheets of glass 102, 104. The sensor is in electrical communication with a transmitter 140 via electrical connectors (represented by line 128).

On the first major surface 103 of the first glass sheet 102 is a printed icon 130 to indicate the position of the sensor 121 of the electrically actuated device 120.

The transmitter 140 is also in electrical communication with the output connectors of the first receiver coil 112.

Upon connecting the first and second electrical connectors of the first transmitter coil 110 to a suitable alternating current power supply (not shown), an oscillating primary magnetic field is produced in the first transmitter coil 110 that induces an alternating voltage in the first receiver coil 112 to provide an electrical current to the electrically actuated device 120 and the transmitter 140. By using a suitable rectifier circuit (not shown) the alternating current output from the receiver coil may be converted to a direct current to supply power to the electrically actuated device 120. The electrical current produced by the receiver coil 112 also powers the transmitter 140.

In use, the first transmitter coil 110 is electrically connected to a suitable power supply via the first and second electrical connectors thereof. This provides the sensor 121 with power such that the sensor is able to function. When a person contacts the first major surface 103 of the first sheet of glass 102 in the region of printed icon 130 the sensor sends a signal S to the transmitter 140.

In this example the transmitter 140 comprises an infrared (IR) LED 141 emitting in the 800nm- l um region. The IR LED is configured to emit a signal in the direction of arrow 135 towards a receiver 150 incorporated into a structural element 155 spaced apart from the laminated glazing 10 Γ. The structural element 155 has a surface 157 that faces the first major surface 103.

The receiver 150 in this example is a photodiode operable in the region in which the transmitter 141 is operable i.e. between 800nm and Ιμπι.

The receiver 150 is arranged such that upon receipt of an appropriate signal from the IR LED 141, an external electrically actuated device (not shown) is actuated by a signal being sent to the external electrically actuated device via cable 159 . For example, if the laminated glazing 10 Γ is installed in a vehicle, the sensor 121 may be used to control the opening (and/or closing) of a vehicle window such as a sunroof. An electrical motor or the like may be actuated upon operation of the sensor 121 because operating the sensor 121 causes the IR LED 141 to emit a signal to the receiver 150. The laminated glazing 10 Γ may be arranged in close proximity to the structural element 155 such that the first major surface 103 contacts the receiver 150.

Although in the examples shown the laminated glazing is shown as being flat, the laminated glazing may be curved in one or more directions. Preferably the radius of curvature in at least one of the one or more directions is between 500mm and 20000mm, more preferably between 1000mm and

8000mm. When the laminated glazing is curved in two or more directions, preferably two of the two or more direction of curvature are mutually orthogonal.

A typical soda-lime-silica glass composition is (by weight), Si0 2 69 - 74 %; A1 2 0 3 0 -

3 %; Na 2 0 10 - 16 %; K 2 0 0 - 5 %; MgO 0 - 6 %; CaO 5 - 14 %; S03 0 - 2 %; Fe 2 0 3 0.005 - 2 %. The glass may also contain other additives, for example, refining aids, which would normally be present in an amount of up to 2 %. The soda-lime-silica glass composition may contain other colouring agents such as C0 3 O 4 , NiO and Se to impart to the glass a desired colour when viewed in transmitted light. The transmitted glass colour may be measured in terms of a recognised standard such as BS EN410.

The laminated glazing shown in figure 1 was made as follows. First the sheet of glass 4 was laid on a horizontal table.

Next the sheet of PVB 8 was positioned on top of the sheet of glass 4 and cut to size such that the sheet of PVB 8 was coextensive with the sheet of glass 4.

The receiver coil 12, the rectifier circuit 18 and the electrically actuated device 20 were positioned on the sheet of PVB 8. An electrical connection between the output connectors of the receiver coil 12 and the inputs of the rectifier circuit 18 was made using suitable wires 14, 16. The output of the rectifier circuit was electrically connected to the inputs of the electrically actuated device 20 via suitable wires 14', 16' .

Next the PVB sheet 6 was positioned on the PVB sheet 8 to cover the receiver coil 12, the rectifier circuit 18, the electrically actuated device 20 and the wires 14, 14', 16, 16'. Next the sheet of glass 2 is positioned on the sheet of PVB 6. The sheet of PVB 6 can be cut to size to ensure the sheet of PVB 6 is coextensive with the glass sheet 2.

This assembly of "layers" can then be laminated using suitable lamination conditions (for example including at step at 120 ° C and 10 atmospheres).

The laminated glazing produced at the end of the lamination step is then able to be provided with the transmitter coil on the exposed surface (major surface 3) of the glass sheet 2. The transmitter coil 10 having input connectors 10a, 10b is positioned on the coupling region of the major surface 3, preferably to be in register with the receiver coil 12. The transmitter coil 10 may be mounted on the first major surface 3 of the glass sheet 2 using a suitable adhesive. If desired the transmitter coil 10 may be positioned on the unlaminated stack of "layers" prior to the lamination step. It is however preferred to mount the transmitter coil on the first major surface 3 after the lamination step to ensure the transmitter coil 10 is more accurately aligned with the receiver coil 12.

The receiver coil 12 may be provided with a ferro-magnetic core or a ferri-magnetic core prior to the lamination step.

The transmitter coil 10 may be provided with a ferro-magnetic core or a ferri magnetic core.

A laminated glazing according to the first aspect of the present invention has the advantage that electrical connectors do no extend beyond the periphery of the glazing, thereby eliminating a potential ingress of water into the laminated glazing. The electrically actuated device between the two sheets of glazing material is protected from the external environment but is still able to be electrically powered by inductive coupling between the receiver coil between the two sheets of glazing material and a transmitter coil on one of the exposed major surfaces of the first or second sheet of glazing material.

The present invention therefore provides a laminated glazing comprising first and second sheets of glazing material having therebetween at least one sheet of adhesive interlayer material, a first electrically actuated device and a first receiver coil in electrical communication with the first electrically actuated device. On a portion of a first major surface of the first sheet of glazing material is a first coupling region for positioning thereon a transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors. When a first transmitter coil having first and second electrical connectors is positioned on the coupling region and the first and second electrical connectors thereof are connected to an alternating current power supply, a primary magnetic field is produced in the first transmitter coil that induces an alternating voltage in the first receiver coil to provide an electrical current to the first electrically actuated device.