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Title:
STEERING WHEEL TEMPERATURE REGULATING APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/209972
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The system for regulating temperature of a steering wheel includes a Peltier element having a first surface and a second surface, heat pipes. running through a steering wheel rim of the steering wheel, and cooling fins, Copper mesh can be used for improved heat distribution and a heat reflective leather is maintains the steering wheel at initially lower temperature by reflecting heat. The Peltier element can regulate the temperature of the steering wheel, wherein the first surface of the Peltier element is bounded with heat conducting plates and connected to the heat pipes to trans.port heat from a surface of the steering wheel through the heat pipes, and the second surface of the Peltier element is connected to the cooling fins to transport heat away from the heat pipes.

Inventors:
MAUL, Holger (Schillerstraße 28a, Groß-Zimmern, Hessen, Hessen, DE)
DIENELT, Ulli (Peter-Cathrein Str.1, Bad Camberg, Hessen, Hessen, DE)
Application Number:
US2019/028950
Publication Date:
October 31, 2019
Filing Date:
April 24, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KEY SAFETY SYSTEMS, INC. (7000 Nineteen Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI, 48314, US)
International Classes:
B62D1/06; F25B21/02; F28D15/02
Foreign References:
US5850741A1998-12-22
US4640340A1987-02-03
US20040261567A12004-12-30
US20110084055A12011-04-14
US20170352794A12017-12-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KING, David, L. (5131 NE County Road 340, High Springs, FL, 32643, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

We claim ·

1. A system for regulating the temperature of a steering wheel, the system comprising: at least one Peltier element, having a first surface and a second surface, adapted to regulate temperature of the steering wheel, wherein the first surface is bounded with one or more heat conducting plates;

one or more heat pipes, running through a steering wheel rim of the steering wheel, connected to the first surface to transport heat from a surface of the steering wheel through the heat pipes; and

one or more cooling fins, connected to the second surface of the Peltier element, adapted to transport heat away from the heat pipes.

2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the heat conducting plates are plated with one or more heat conducting materials, the heat conducting materials are, preferably, selected from a copper material or an aluminum carbon, or gold or platinum.

3. The system according to claim 1, wherein the cooling fins connected to the second surface of the Peltier element are adapted to transport heat away from the heat pipes, during cooling of the heat pipes, when the second surface is heated due to heating of the first surface.

4. The system according to claim 1, wherein:

the cooling fins the Peltier element and the conducting plates are adapted to integrate into a cooling unit and fit inside the steering wheel rim; or

the Peltier element and the heat conducting plates are adapted to fit inside the steering wheel rim and the cooling fins are adapted to connect the Peltier element from outside the steering wheel rim.

5. The system according to claim 1, further comprising: a cooling mechanism adapted to cool or maintain temperature of the cooling fins, wherein the cooling mechanism is at least a fan or an air conditioner.

6. The system according to claim 1, wherein the steering wheel rim is covered with at least one cool leather, the at least one cool leather is, preferably, a TFL Cool Leather.

7. The system according to claim 1, wherein the heat pipes are surrounded by a mesh of a heat conducting material, preferably by a copper mesh, adapted to distribute the temperature around the steering wheel rim, and wherein the mesh of the heat conducting material is enclosed inside cool leather covering the steering wheel rim.

8. The system according to claim 1, wherein the Peltier element is adapted to cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters.

9. The system according to claim 1 is characterized in that regulating the temperature of a steering wheel without utilization of any mechanical device, preferably a pump, using suction or pressure to cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters.

10. A temperature regulating steering wheel, comprising:

one or more heat pipes embedded in a rim of the steering wheel; and

at least one heat conducting material, coupled to the heat pipes, adapted to transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel to a Peltier element, wherein the Peltier element comprises a first surface bounded with one or more heat conducting plates and a second surface connected with one or more cooling fins adapted to transport heat away from the heat pipes, and wherein the Peltier element is adapted to heat the heat pipes and the heat conducting material to heat the surface of the steering wheel in cold conditions and cool the surface of the steering wheel in hot conditions.

11. An apparatus for selectively modifying temperature a steering wheel surface, the apparatus comprising:

a cooling unit comprising a thermoelectric cooler device having a first surface and a second surface, the first surface is bounded with one or more heat conducting plates coupled with one or more heat pipes embedded in a rim of the steering wheel to transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel to the cooling unit, and the second surface is connected with one or more cooling fins adapted to transport heat away from the heat pipes, wherein the cooling unit is adapted to cool the surface of the steering wheel in hot conditions, and heat the surface of the steering wheel in cold conditions.

Description:
STEERING WHEEL TEMPERATURE REGULATING APPARATUS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates generally to steering controls for automotive vehicles in particular, the present disclosure pertains to cooling or heating the steering wheel of such automotive vehicles to increase comfort and safety of the driver.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A steering wheel (also called a driving wheel or a hand wheel) is a type of steering control in vehicles and vessels (ships and boats ). Steering wheels are used in most modem land vehicles, including all mass-production automobiles, as well as buses, light and heavy trucks, and tractors. The steering wheel is the part of the steering system that is manipulated by the driver; the rest of the steering system responds to such driver inputs. This can be through direct mechanical contact as in recirculating ball or rack and pinion steering gears, without or with the assistance of hydraulic power steering (HPS) or as in some modem production cars with the assistance of computer-controlled motors, known as Electric Power Steering.

[0003] Heretofore, various improvements have been made for improving the driver’s sense of touch on a ring portion of the steering wheel, for example, the ring portion is formed of an elastic material or covered with leather. Conventional steering wheels have drawbacks. For example, when a motor vehicle is parked in direct sunlight during the summer, or in a hot climate, the temperature of the passenger compartment becomes quite hot so that the temperature of the steering wheel may be uncomfortable to touch. Likewise in the winter, or in a cold climate, the steering wheel can become so cold that it is uncomfortable to touch. Even if the vehicle is provided with a powerful heating and cooling system the steering wheel can take a considerable time to reach a temperature that is comfortable to touch.

[0004] Various ways to solve the problem of a quick steering wheel temperature control have been suggested. The prior-art US 4640340 provides an apparatus for heating and cooling a steering wheel and includes a skin layer coupled to the outside surface of the steering wheel, a heat conductive plate coupled to an inside surface of the skin layer, a thermal storage core extending along a central portion of the steering wheel, and at least one thermoelectric transducer thermally coupled between the heat conductive plate and the thermal storage core. The thermoelectric transducer either generates heat or absorbs heat in accordance with the direction of a current flowing through the transducer. When the steering wheel is hot, current is caused to flow' through the transducer in a first direction so that the transducer absorbs heat. The transducer absorbs the heat from the heat conductive plate and passes it to the thermal storage core. In turn, the heat conductive plate absorbs the heat on the skin layer of the steering wheel, thus cooling the steering wheel. When the steering wheel is too cold, the current is caused to flow' in a second direction in the transducer so that the transducer generates heat. This generated heat is provided to the heat conductive plate, which in turn, heats the skin layer of the steering wheel.

[0005] The prior-art US 20110084055 provides a steering wheel heating system that includes an ambient sensor detecting temperature of external air, an in car sensor detecting temperature of internal air of a vehicle, a water temperature sensor detecting temperature of engine cooling water, a temperature switch receiving FATC-set (Full Auto Temperature Control) temperature, and a controller supplying or cutting power supplied to heating wires in a steering wheel on the basis of the temperature of the external air detected by the ambient sensor, the temperature of the internal air detected by the in car sensor, the temperature of the engine cooling water detected by the water temperature sensor, and the FATC-set temperature.

[0006] Hie prior-art US 5850741 provides a vehicle steering wheel having the temperature of its normally gripped regions or rim of steering wheel 12 modified from extremes to acceptable values by a heat pump 20 with heat transfer occurring along heat pipe sections 22, 24 between primary heat exchangers 26, 28at the gripped regions and a temperature modifiable surface as shown in FIG. 1. Fig .1 is a composite view containing figures 1 and 2 of the above patent. The numerals mentioned above are from this patent.

This patent also show's a schematic of a circuit which is used to automatically energizes the heat pump to provide heating or cooling, as needed.

[0007] The prior- art DE19935862 provides a steering arrangement that has an actuating element or steering wheel for introducing a steering movement with at least one holding region and at least one device for influencing the temperature in the holding region that caries away heat from at least a heated zone of the holding region within the actuating element using a heat conducting coating or channel. [0008] The prior- art US 7908941 provides a steering wheel that has a ring portion, spoke portions and a hub portion. The steering wheel is provided with a thermoelectric reversible heat pump to heat or cool a fluid. A closed hydraulic circuit includes a hydraulic pump and at least one duct extending along the ring portion of the steering wheel. The fluid is heated or cooled by the thermoelectric heat pump and is circulated by the hydraulic pump within the ring portion of the steering wheel to heat or cool the ring portion. However, US 7908941 uses a liquid and a pump to transport the temperature through the steering wheel, which create issues due to sealing and filling the system as well as having different volumes of the liquid at hot and cold. Further, such system shows the cooling just in a sector of the rim.

[0009] Further, some prior-art documents, for example US 5850741 and many others, utilize pipes along with or inside the steering wheel which carries a cooling liquid for transporting heat from the steering wheel. However, inclusion of such pipes in the steering wheel is costly since an addi tional pump mechanism be may be required for circulation of the cooling liquid through the pipes. Further, in order to accommodate the pipes and pumps in the conventional steering wheels, there may be a requirement of an additional space near the driver ' s compartment, or the design of the conventional steering wheel needs to be changed according to the speci fication of the pipes and pumps. Furthermore, it is also observed that the conventional mechanisms for changing temperature of the steering wheel are limited to either only heating of the steering wheels or cooling of the heated steering wheels. There is no effective mechanism that operates in both the conditions, i.e., hot and cold conditions, as per the change in weather or climate.

[0010] While there is certainly nothing wrong in the existing mechanisms for adjusting the temperature of the steering wheels, there still remains a need for providing an impro ved and advanced mechanism that makes the steering wheel more comfortable for operating when it is hot in the summer or cold in winter.

[0011] The information disclosed in this Background of the invention section is only for enhancement of understanding of the general background of the invention and should not be taken as an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that this information forms the prior art already known to a person skilled in the art. All publications herein are incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication or patent application w r ere specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference. Where a definition or use of a term in an incorporated reference is inconsistent or contrary to the definition of that term provided herein, the definition of that term provided herein applies and the definition of that term in the reference does not apply.

[0012] In some embodiments, numerical parameters set forth in the written description and attached claims are approximations that can vary depending upon the desired properties sought to be obtained by a particular embodiment. In some embodiments, the numerical parameters should be construed in light of the number of reported significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques. Notwithstanding that the numerical ranges and parameters setting forth the broad scope of some embodiments of the invention are approximations, the numerical values set forth in the specific examples are reported as precisely as practicable. The numerical values presented in some embodiments of the invention may contain certain errors necessarily resulting from the standard deviation found in their respective testing measurements.

[0013] As used in the description herein and throughout the claims that follow, the meaning of‘"a,”“an,” and“the” includes plural reference unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Also, as used in the description herein, the meaning of“in” includes“in” and “on” unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[0014] The recitation of ranges of values herein is merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range. Unless otherwise indicated herein, each individual value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. All methods described herein can be performed in any suitable order unless otherwise indicated herein or otherwise clearly contradicted by context lire use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g.“such as”) provided with respect to certain embodiments herein is intended merely to better illuminate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention otherwise claimed. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-clairned element essential to the practice of the invention.

[0015] Groupings of alternative elements or embodiments of the invention disclosed herein are not to be construed as limitations. Each group member can be referred to and claimed individually or in any combination with other members of the group or other elements found herein. One or more members of a group can be included in, or deleted from, a group for reasons of convenience and/or patentability. When any such inclusion or deletion occurs, the specification is herein deemed to contain the group as modified thus fulfilling the written description used in the appended claims.

SUMMARY

[0016] The present invention remedies the above-mentioned drawbacks. It is an object of the present disclosure to make the steering wheel more comfortable to use when it is hot in the summer or cold in winter by providing an improved and advanced steering wheel rim that includes heat pipes and a heat conducting material to transport the heat to and from the surface of the steering wheel to a cooling unit which is placed inside the steering wheel.

[0017] Aspects of the present disclosure relate to cooling or heating the steering wheel of automotive vehicles to increase comfort and safety of the driver by creating the temperature difference with a Peltier element (device) and getting relief from the heat to achieve cooling with a cooling element. Such relief from the heat is achieved by distribution of the temperature difference through the steering wheel using heat pipes which do not require any additional mechanical devices, such as pumps, and also do not require filling of any kind of fluid in it or even maintenance

[0018] An aspect of the present disclosure relates to a system for regulating temperature of a steering wheel. The system includes at least one Peltier element having a first surface and a second surface, one or more heat pipes running through a steering wheel rim of the steering wheel, and one or more cooling fins. The Peltier element can regulate temperature of the steering wheel wherein the first surface of the Peltier element is bounded with one or more heat conducting plates and connected to the heat pipes to transport the temperature from a surface of the steering wheel through the heat pipes, and the second surface of the Peltier element is connected to the cooling fins to transport the temperature away from the heat pipes

[0019] In one aspect, the heat conducting plates can he plated with one or more heat conducting materials. The heat conducting materials can be selected from a copper material or an aluminum carbon or gold or platinum.

[0020] In another aspect, the cooling fins connected to the second surface of the

Peltier element can transport the temperature away from the heat pipes when the second surface is heated due to heating of the first surface to achieve cooling of the heat pipes. [0021] In another aspect, the cooling fins, the Peltier element, and the conducting plates are adapted to integrate into a cooling unit and fit inside the steering wheel rim. In another aspect, the Peltier element and the heat conducting plates are adapted to fit inside the steering wheel rim and the cooling fins are adapted to connect the Peltier element from outside the steering wheel rim.

[0022] in another aspect, the system can further include a cooling mechanism adapted to cool or maintain temperature of the cooling fins, wherein the cooling mechanism is at least a fan or an air conditioner.

[0023] In another aspect, the steering wheel rim can be covered with foam and a reflective leather that can include an infrared reflecting material or layer to maintain the leather and steering wheel at an initially lower temperature. One such cool leather is known as“TFL Cool Leather”. In another aspect, the heat pipes can be surrounded by a mesh of a heat conducting such as copper material to distribute the temperature around the steering wheel rim. The heat conducting material can be a copper mesh, and the mesh of the heat conducting material can be enclosed inside a reflecting leather covering the steering wheel rim. Such leather covering enables the possibility to distribute the temperature underneath the leather with minimum of disad vantage in haptic with a foil or the copper mesh.

[0024] In another aspect, the Peltier element can cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, preferably during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, preferably during winters.

[0025] in another aspect, the system can regulate the temperature of a steering wheel without utilization of any mechanical device, preferably a pump, using suction or pressure to cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, preferably during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, preferably during winters.

[0026] Another aspect of the present disclosure relates to a temperature regulating steering wheel. The temperature regulating steering wheel includes one or more heat pipes embedded in a rim of the steering wheel, and at least one heat conducting material coupled to the heat pipes. The heat conducting material can transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel to a Peltier element. The Peltier element includes a first surface bounded with one or more heat conducting plates and a second surface connected with one or more cooling fins adapted to transport the temperature away from the heat pipes. The Peltier element is adapted to heat the heat pipes and the heat conducting material to heat the surface of the steering wheel in cold conditions and cool the surface of the steering wheel in hot conditions.

[0027] An aspect of the present disclosure relates to an apparatus for selectively modifying temperature of a steering wheel surface. The apparatus includes a cooling unit having a thermoelectric cooler device having a first surface and a second surface. The first surface can he bounded with one or more heat conducting plates coupled with one or more heat pipes embedded in a rim of the steering wheel to transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel to the cooling unit. The second surface is connected with one or more cooling fins adapted to transport the temperature away from the heat pipes, wherein the cooling unit is adapted to cool the surface of the steering wheel in hot conditions, and heat the surface of the steering wheel in cold conditions.

[0028] Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the inventive subject matter wall become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, along with the accompanying drawing figures in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present disclosure, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the present disclosure.

[0030] FIG. 1 illustrates a selectively temperature conditioned automotive vehicle steering wheel assembly as available in the prior-art.

[0031] FIG. 2 illustrates exemplary locations of heat pipes in a steering wheel in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0032] FTGs. 3.4 and 3B illustrate exemplary positions of a Peltier element and heat pipes in a steering wheel in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0033] FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary’ placement of the cooling fins and the cooling unit in the steering wheel in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0034] FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary placement of the Peltier element and the heat conduction plate inside while the cooling fins outside the steering wheel in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. [0035]

[0036] FIG. 6 illustrates a sectional view of an exemplary steering wheel in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0037] FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary working of heat pipes.

[0038] FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary working of the steering wheel in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0039] The following is a detailed description of embodiments of the disclosure depicted in the accompanying drawings. The embodiments are in such detail as to clearly communicate the disclosure. However, the amount of detail offered is not intended to limit the anticipated variations of embodiments; on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the present disclosure as defined by the appended claims.

[0040] Each of the appended claims defines a separate invention, which for infringement purposes is recognized as including equivalents to the various elements or limitations specified in the claims. Depending on the context, all references below to the "invention" may in some cases refer to certain specific embodiments only. In other cases it will be recognized that references to the "invention" will refer to subject matter recited in one or more, but not necessarily all, of the claims.

[0041] Various terms as used herein are shown below. To the extent a term used in a claim is not defined below, it should be given the broadest definition persons in the pertinent art have given that term as reflected in printed publications and issued patents at the time of filing.

[0042] The present disclosure relates to a mechanism tor making the steering wheel more comfortable to use when it is hot in the summer or cold in winter by providing an improved and advanced steering wheel rim that includes heat pipes and a heat conducting material to transport the heat to and from the surface of the steering wheel to a cooling unit which is placed inside the steering wheel.

[0043] In one embodiment, the present disclosure relates to cooling or heating the steering wheel of such automotive vehicles to increase comfort and safety of the driver by creating the temperature difference with a Peltier element (device) and getting relief from the heat to achieve cooling with a cooling element. Such relief from the heat is achieved by distribution of the temperature difference through the steering wheel using heat pipes which do not require any additional mechanical devices, such as pumps, and also do not require filling of any kind of fluid in it or even maintenance.

[0044] The present invention also relates to a system for regulating the temperature of a steering wheel. The system includes at least one Peltier element having a first surface and a second surface, one or more heat pipes running through a steering wheel rim of the steering wheel, and one or more cooling fins. The Peltier element can be adapted to regulate temperature of the steering wheel wherein the first surface is bounded with one or more heat conducting plates. The heat pipes are connected to the first surface to transport the temperature from a surface of the steering wiieel through the heat pipes. The cooling fins are connected to the second surface of the Peltier element and are adapted to transport the temperature away from the heat pipes.

[0045] The heat conducting plates can be plated with one or more heat conducting materials. The heat conducting materials can be selected from a copper material or an aluminum carbon, or gold or platinum.

[0046] The cooling fins can be connected to the second surface of the Peltier element to transport the heat away from the heat pipes when the second surface is heated due to heating of the first surface to achieve cooling of the heat pipes.

[0047] The cooling fins, the Peltier element, and the conducting plates are integrated into a cooling unit and fit inside the steering wheel rim. In another aspect pf the invention, the Peltier element and the heat conducting plates are adapted to fit inside the steering wheel rim and the cooling fins are adapted to connect the Peltier element from outside the steering wheel rim.

[0048] The system can further include a cooling mechanism adapted to cool or maintain temperature of the cooling fins, wherein the cooling mechanism is at least a fan or an air conditioner.

[0049] As mentioned in one embodiment the steering wheel rim can be covered with cool or reflecting leather capable of reflecting infrared radiation of the sun and reduces the temperature of the wheel. In another aspect, the heat pipes can be surrounded by a mesh of a heat conducting material to distribute the temperature around the steering wheel rim. The heat conducting material can be a copper mesh, and the mesh of the heat conducting material can be enclosed inside cool leather covering the steering wheel rim. Such leather covering enables the possibility to distribute the temperature underneath the leather with minimum of disadvantage in haptic with a foil or the copper mesh.

[0050] lire copper mesh can have a flexible material without wrinkles, wherein glue can be used to join the copper mesh and connecting the leather with the glue moved out of the copper mesh.

[0051] In an example implementation, the Peltier element can cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters.

[0052] In an example implementation, the system can regulate the temperature of a steering wheel without utilization of any mechanical device, preferably a pump, using suction or pressure to cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters.

[0053] In an embodiment, the present disclosure relates to an apparatus tor selectively modifying the temperature of a steering wheel surface. The apparatus includes a cooling unit having a thermoelectric cooler device having a first surface and a second surface. The first surface can be bounded with one or more heat conducting plates coupled with one or more heat pipes embedded in a rim of the steering wheel to transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel to the cooling unit. The second surface is connected with one or more cooling fins adapted to transport the temperature away from the heat pipes, wherein the cooling unit is adapted to cool the surface of the steering wheel in hot conditions, and heat the surface of the steering wheel in cold conditions.

[0054] In an embodiment, the rim of the steering wheel can be provided with one or more heat pipes and a heat conducting material for transporting the heat from the surface of the steering wheel to a cooling unit which can be placed inside the steering wheel. This cooling unit can be capable of being heated so that the heat pipes and the heat conducting material get warm when required in cold seasons. In an exemplary embodiment, one or more cooling units are provided in the steering wheel. The cooling units can include a Peltier element capable of cooling and heating, a heat conducting plate and one or more cooling fins. In an example implementation, on one surface of the Peltier element the heat conducting plate can be bonded to transport the temperature from the surface of the steering wheel to heat pipes. Such heat pipes can run through the steering wheel rim. In an example implementation, more than one heat pipe can be incorporated in the steering wheel rim. Such heat pipes may have same or different distance between each other during incorporation.

[0055] Referring now' to FIG. 2 wherein the exemplary locations of the heat pipes

102, 104, 106 in a steering wheel 100 are shown in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. In an exemplary embodiment as shown in FIG. 2, three heat pipes are incorporated in a steering wheel having foam 108 covered over the surface of the steering wheel and having armature 1 10 at the center of the steering wheel.

[0056] As shown in FIG. 3 the heat pipes can be incorporated at the different spokes of the steering wheel. In an example, the heat pipes can be provided at a spoke 120 positioned at the 6 o’clock position as shown in FIG. 3 A or in two spokes 120 which are in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions as shown in FIG. 3B.

[0057] These figures also show exemplary positions of the Peltier element 130 and heat pipes 102, 104, 106 in the steering wheel is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. A heat conducting material 132 may be provided on the surface of the foamed steering wheel which is connected to the heat pipes. By using the heat conducting material a constant transport of the temperature around the steering wheel rim is assured.

This material consists of copper, aluminum carbon or other heat transporting material.

[0658] The Peltier element 130 as shown in FTGs. 3A and 3B may he provided in the steering wheel. The Peltier element includes a first surface) and a second surface (not shown). The Peltier element can regulate temperature of the steering wheel, wherein the first surface 140 upon which is bounded with one or more heat conducting plates 142(heat conducting material).

[0059] The heat pipes as shown in FIGs. 3A, 3B and 4 can be connected to the first surface 140 of the Peltier element to transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel through the heat pipes.

[6666] In an example implementation, the second surface (not shown) of the Peltier element can be coupled to one or more cooling fins (not shown) to transport the heat aw r ay from the heat pipes.

[6661] The whole steering wheel can be covered with reflective leather 150 to reflect heat.

[6662] Figure 4 shows two alternatives to place cooling fins 160 and the cooling unit

162 in the steering wheel 100. In the first alternative, all parts (cooling tins, Peltier element and heat conducting plate) can be bonded together to a single unit. This single unit can be placed in one or two spokes of the steering wheel as shown in FIG. 4. FIG. 5 shows the second alternative, in which the Peltier element 130 and the heat conduction plate 142 positioned upon a lower surface of a central structure of the steering which known as the hub plate 170, while the cooling fins extend away from the hub plate or steering wheel 100, these components can be bonded on the steering wheel armature to effectively transport heat from the Peltier element and cooling fins 102, 104. A cut through the rim show's how the heat pipes and the heat conducting material is placed.

[0063] Reference is now' made to FIG. 6 which is similar to FIG. 2; FIG. 6 show ' s a sectional view of an exemplary steering wheel 100. FIG. 6 show three heat pipes 102 104 and 106 can be incorporated in a steering wheel having foam covered over the surface of the steering wheel and having armature at the centre of the steering wheel. The heat pipes may be covered with or provided with the heat conducting material 180 along their surface.

[0064] FIG. 7 illustrates the general principle of ho w heat pipes work. The heat pipes work in accordance with an adiabatic process, in which vapor travels from the evaporator to the condenser through the adjustable section. As the pressure drop is low, there is little temperature change in the area.

[0065] As shown in FIG. 7, the heat pipes may be surrounded with a working fluid adapted to adjust the temperature of the heat pipe. The working fluid may be circulated in a wick. When heat pipe surface is heated, this causes heat to enter in heat pipes at its evaporator where it causes working fluid to vaporize. The vaporized fluid creates a pressure gradient which forces the pressure towards the condenser. Heat exits the heat pipe at the condenser where the working fluid condenses and releases its latent heat of vaporization.

The condensed working fluid is drawn back into the pores of the wrick for return to the evaporator. Accordingly the wick serves as a pump using capillary pressure to return the fluid from the condenser to the evaporator. The wick also acts as an extended surface to allow' higher heat fluxes.

[0066] Referring now to FIG. 8, an exemplary working of the steering wheel is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. A Peltier element 130 having a first surface 140 and a second surface 141 is shown in FIG. 8. The Peltier element can cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters. The first surface can be bounded with one or more heat conducting plates 142 and can be connected to one or more heat pipes 102 running through the steering wheel rim 101 of the steering wheel 100 to transport the heat from a surface of the steering wheel through the heat pipes. The second surface 141 can be connected with one or more cooling fins 160 to transport heat away from the heat pipes.

[0067] The heat conducting plates can be plated with one or more heat conducting materials. The heat conducting materials can be selected from a copper material or an aluminum carbon, or gold or platinum.

[0068] The present disclosure enables regulation of temperature of a steering wheel without utilization of any mechanical device, such as a pump, using suction or pressure to cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters.

[0069] While the foregoing describes various embodiments of the invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof. The scope of the invention is determined by the claims that follow. Hie invention is not limited to the described embodiments, versions or examples, which are included to enable a person having ordinary skill in the art. to make and use the invention when combined with information and knowledge available to the person having ordinary skill in the art.

ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

[0070] The present disclosure enables making the steering wheel more comfortable when it is hot in the summer or cold in winter.

[0071] The present disclosure provides heat pipes in the steering wheel rim and a heat conducting material connected to those heat pipes which transport the heat from the surface of the steering wheel to a cooling unit which is placed inside the steering wheel. The cooling unit is capable of heating the heat pipes and the heat conducting material get warm when required in cold seasons.

[0072] The present disclosure provides an improved and advanced mechanism that makes the steering wheel more comfortable for operating when it is hot in the summer or cold in winter.

[0073] The present disclosure provides a mechanism for regulating temperature of a steering wheel without utilization of any mechanical device, preferably a pump, using suction or pressure to cool the surface of the steering wheel when heated, during summer, and heat the surface of the steering wheel when colder, during winters.

[0074] The present disclosure provides a mechanism for connecting the heat pipes on the Peltier element by means of a copper for the connection block to achieve efficient heat transfer.

[0075] The heat pipes according to the present disclosure are embedded in foam and are surrounded by a copper mesh to distribute the temperature efficiently around the steering wheel rim.

[0076] The present disclosure provides a mechanism that enables creation of the temperature difference with the Peltier and getting rid of the heat during cooling with a cooling element.

[0077] lire present disclosure provides a mechanism that enables distribution of the temperature difference through the steering wheel with heat pipes which do not require a pump and do not need filling or maintenance.

[0078] The present disclosure provides a mechanism that enables the possibility to distribute the temperature underneath the leather with minimum of disadvantage in haptic with a foil or copper mesh.

[0079] The steering wheel according to the present disclosure is covered with a leather that has a coating or layer which reflects the infrared radiation of the sun and reduces the heating of the wheel.