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Title:
POWER SUPPLY DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/152594
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A power supply device comprising: a support body (6) having at least one housing space (7) configured to engage a top portion of the upright (3) of a sunshade (2); at least one photovoltaic panel (11), associated with said support body (6) and configured to be arranged above the fabric (5) of the sunshade (2); movement means (12) of said panel (11) with respect to the support body (6) to switch the panel (11) itself between an operating condition in which it is completely exposed to the sun and an non-operating condition in which it is not completely exposed to the sun; and at least one supply member (18) electrically associated with said photovoltaic panel (11) and configured to be anchored on a median portion (19) of the upright (3) of the sunshade (2).

Inventors:
GIGLIOTTI FILIPPO (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/050485
Publication Date:
July 30, 2020
Filing Date:
January 22, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
GIGLIOTTI FILIPPO (IT)
International Classes:
H02S30/20; A45B25/00; H02S20/30
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014018990A12014-01-30
Foreign References:
CN206836445U2018-01-05
US20150216273A12015-08-06
US20170324367A12017-11-09
FR2942351A12010-08-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TANSINI, Elio Fabrizio (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Power supply device characterized in that it comprises:

- a support body (6) having at least one housing space (7) configured to engage a top portion of the upright (3) of a sunshade (2);

- at least one photovoltaic panel (1 1 ), associated to said support body (6) and configured to be arranged above the fabric (5) of the sunshade (2);

- movement means (12) of said panel (1 1 ) with respect to the support body (6) for switching the panel (1 1 ) itself between an operating condition in which it is completely exposed to the sun and a non-operating condition in which it is not completely exposed to the sun;

- at least one supply member (18) electrically associated to said photovoltaic panel (1 1 ) and configured to be anchored on a median portion (19) of the upright (3) of the sunshade (2).

2. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said support body (6) comprises an annular element (8), internally defining said housing space (7); said annular element (8) being movable on the top portion of the upright (3) defined by the upper end (4) of the upright (3) itself.

3. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said annular element (8) comprises a plurality of support projections (9) and in that it comprises a plurality of photovoltaic panels (1 1 ) each for a respective support projection (9).

4. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that each support projection (9) comprises a shaft (10) extending along a substantially tangential direction to the circular profile of the annular element (8). 5. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said movement means (12) comprise a pair of hooking elements (13) having respective mutually coupled inner faces; each inner face having a groove (14) for housing the shaft (10) and an anchoring portion (15) of the panel

(1 1 ).

6. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said grooves (14) define a seat for housing the shaft (10); said hooking elements (13) being rotatable about said shaft (10) to switch the panel (1 1 ) between the operating and non-operating condition.

7. Device according to claim 5, characterized in that said anchoring portions (15) are arranged on the opposite side of a respective panel (1 1 ) and are engaged to the panel (1 1 ) itself to retain it during the movement between the operating and non-operating condition.

8. Device according to claim 3, characterized in that it comprises a plurality of panels (11 ) rotatably engaged to respective shafts (10) to be movable towards/away from the upright (3) of the sunshade (2); each panel (1 1 ) having a planar extension extending along a surface defined by the fabric (5) of the sunshade (2).

9. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said panels (1 1 ) in their respective operating conditions have a planar extension transverse to the longitudinal extension of the upright (3) of the sunshade (2) and in the respective non-operating conditions have a planar extension substantially parallel to the longitudinal extension of the upright (3).

10. Device according to any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said power supply member (18) comprises an anchoring body (2) to the upright (3) of the sunshade (2) having at least one power connector.

11. Device according to the preceding claim, characterized in that said connector is a USB socket and in that said connector and said photovoltaic panels (1 1 ) are connected by electric cables (1 ) passing along the upright (3) of the sunshade (2).

12. Device according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that said power supply member (18) further comprises a wireless data transmission system configured to send a signal (S) representative of the use of the device (1 ) to a receiving unit.

13. Sunshade comprising an upright (3) and a fabric (5) arranged at the top of the upright (3) and movable between a minimum bulk position in which it is folded on the upright (3) and an extended position in which it develops transversely to the upright (3); said top of the upright presenting an upper end (4) projecting above the fabric (5);

characterized in that it further comprises at least one power supply device (1 ) according to any one of the preceding claims.

Description:
POWER SUPPLY DEVICE

The present invention relates to a power supply device.

In particular, the present invention relates to a power supply device of the photovoltaic panel type, used in outdoor sunshades such as for example beach sunshades.

As it is known, portable electronic devices such as smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, wireless audio systems, Bluetooth® amplifiers, etc. are increasingly popular.

These devices are equipped with internal power batteries, generally lithium batteries, which make the devices easy to carry and with sufficient autonomy to accompany the user even in the absence of continuous power supply.

However, portable batteries are also subject to depletion in their life cycle and therefore require frequent recharging through connection to power supply sources.

Therefore, in order to ensure the continuous operation of the portable electronic devices, the user must reach a socket belonging to a respective domestic or possibly public power line with a certain frequency.

However, it is not always possible to access a domestic line and public areas do not always provide power sockets, as in particular in suburban environments where there is no power source.

To solve this drawback, portable electric accumulators, commonly called power banks, are used to provide an energy reserve in case of extreme need.

Even the accumulators are not free from drawbacks since, although useful in case of contingent need, they do not ensure the prolonged operation of the electronic devices. Moreover, once discharged, also power banks need an energy supply source.

The drawbacks described above occur mainly in situations in which the user remains for a long period in areas without energy supply, typically seaside resorts such as, for example, public or private beaches, where the absence of a power supply source constitutes an important limitation in the use of portable electronic devices.

In fact, in case of depletion of the electric autonomy of these devices, the user must necessarily access an equipped area, not always easily accessible from the beach.

According to the present invention, the drawbacks of the prior art are overcome by means of a power supply device comprising the characteristics expressed in claim 1 and/or in one or more of the subsequent claims.

In particular, the object of the present invention is to propose a power supply device that can be used in particular in outdoor sunshades such as for example beach sunshades.

In greater detail, the object of the present invention is to propose a power supply device capable of continuously recharging portable electronic devices and which is not subject to depletion.

Another object of the present invention is to propose a power supply device which is structurally simple, low-cost and easy to implement.

Further characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the detailed description of a preferred, yet not limiting, embodiment of a power supply device, according to the present invention.

Such description will be set out hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings given only for illustrative and, therefore, non- limiting purpose, wherein:

- figure 1 shows a perspective view of a power supply device according to the present invention, associated with a respective sunshade and in an operating condition;

- figure 2 shows a perspective view of the supply device of figure 1 associated with the sunshade and in a respective non-operating condition;

- figure 3 shows an enlarged perspective view of the supply device; - figure 4 shows an enlarged and partially sectional view of a detail of the device of figure 3;

- figure 5 shows a perspective view of the device associated with the sunshade in the operating condition and in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention; and

- figure 6 shows an enlarged and partially sectional view of a construction detail of the device of figure 5 according to the second embodiment of the invention.

With reference to the appended figures, number 1 indicates globally a power supply device according to the present invention.

In particular, with reference to figures 1 and 2, the device 1 finds particular use in outdoor sunshades 2, such as, preferably but not limited to, beach sunshades.

Advantageously, the sunshade 2 is of the type consisting of an upright 3, in the form of a vertical pole, emerging from a support base, up to a top portion. This top portion defines an upper end 4 of the upright 3.

The sunshade 2 also comprises a fabric 5 which is foldable between an extended condition of use (figure 1 ) in which it is open and extends transversely to the upright 3, and a condition of non-use (figure 2) in which it is folded along the upright 3.

The device 1 comprises a support body 6 having at least one housing space 7 configured to engage said top portion of the upright 3 of a sunshade 2.

In particular, with reference to figure 3, the support body 6 comprises an annular element 8, internally defining the housing space 7. In this situation, the element 8 develops according to a circumferential path.

Advantageously, the annular element 8 is fitted on the aforementioned upper end 4 of the upright 3, as it is better represented in figures 1 and 2. Preferably, the dimensions of the annular element 8 are suitably determined on the basis of the dimensions of the sunshade and in particular of the cross section of the upright 3. Furthermore, the support body 6 comprises a plurality of support projections 9, emerging from the circumferential profile of the annular element 8.

Preferably, the projections 9 comprise respective shafts 10 (better illustrated in figure 4) extending along respective directions substantially tangential to the circular profile of the annular element 8.

The device 1 further comprises at least one photovoltaic panel 1 1 , associated with said support body 6 and configured to be arranged above the fabric 5 of the sunshade 2.

Preferably, a plurality of photovoltaic panels 1 1 are provided, each for a respective support projection 9.

Preferably, as shown in the accompanying figures, four panels 1 1 are provided arranged around the annular element 8 and developing along two perpendicular axes or with each other. However, it should be considered that the number of photovoltaic panels 1 1 can be any number according to the dimensions and the various construction needs.

Advantageously, each panel 1 1 has an active surface 1 1 a which in use (figure 1 ) is exposed to the sunbeams to convert solar energy into electricity.

For this purpose, device 1 also includes movement means 12 of panels 11 with respect to the support body 6, to switch each panel 1 1 between an operating condition in which it is completely exposed to the sun (figure 1 ) and a non-operating condition in which it is not completely exposed to the sun (figure 2).

As it is better illustrated in the accompanying figures, the movement of each panel 1 1 takes place by means of the action of the fabric 5 of the sunshade 2 which, in its opening phase (extended condition), raises the panels 11 placing them horizontally in a position favourable for receiving the solar energy. In greater detail, the movement means 12 comprise for each projection 9 a pair of hooking elements 13, symmetrical to each other and having respective mutually coupled internal faces.

Each internal face in turn has a groove 14 for housing the aforementioned shaft 10, and an anchoring portion 15 of the panel 1 1 (figure 4).

In this situation, the grooves 14 of the elements 13 define a seat in mutual collaboration for housing the shaft 10 suitable for sliding on the shaft 10 itself during the movement of each panel 1 1 between the operating and non-operating condition.

The anchoring portions 15 are arranged on the opposite side of a peripheral portion 16 of the respective panel 1 1 and constrained thereto by known hooking systems such as clamping screws 16a or the like.

In this way, the two hooking elements 13 retain the respective panel 1 1 during the movement between the operating and non-operating condition. It should also be noted that the projection 9 has a stop pin 17, which abuts against the elements 13 defining an end stroke in the movement of each panel 1 1.

Advantageously, the panel in the operating condition remains lying on the fabric 5 of the sunshade and the pin 17 prevents the panel 1 1 itself from overturning above the fabric 5.

In this situation it should be noted that the panels 11 are movable with respect to the support body 6 towards/away from the upright 3 of the sunshade 2. Each panel 1 1 has planar extension extending along a surface defined by the fabric 5 of the sunshade 2.

Therefore, the panels 1 1 in the respective operating conditions (figure 1 ) have planar extension transversal to the longitudinal extension of the upright 3 of the sunshade 2 while in the respective non-operating conditions (figure 2) they have planar extension substantially parallel to the longitudinal extension of the upright 2.

The device 1 further comprise at least one supply member 18 electrically associated to each photovoltaic panel 11 and configured to be anchored on a median portion 19 of the upright 3 of the sunshade 2 (figures 1 and 2).

In particular, the power supply member 18 comprises an anchoring body

20 to the upright 3 of the sunshade 2 having at least one power connector, preferably at least one USB socket.

In this situation, the anchoring body 20, and therefore the USB connector, and the photovoltaic panels 1 1 are connected by means of electric cables

21 passing inside the upright 3 (illustrated only schematically and in dashed lines in figures 1 and 2).

Advantageously, the cables projecting from the upper end 4 of the upright 3 are connected to the panels 11 and passing along splines 22 obtained on the annular element 8 (figure 3).

In this way, the user can provide for the supply of the electronic devices by connecting with the USB connector which is positioned in an easily accessible area such as the median portion 19 of the upright 3.

In addition, the power supply member 18 further comprises a wireless data transmission system. The system is configured to send an "S" signal representative of the use of the device 1 and of data relating to the user who connects his/her electronic device to the supply member 18.

In other words, the wireless system, which can have different types of transmission such as, for example, via Bluetooth® protocol, Wi-Fi, or other technically equivalent system, allows communication with a reception unit to check whether the device 1 is connected to an electronic device, the possible identity of the user and other information about the operation of the device 1.

In this way, by means of a reception unit (such as tablet, smartphone, personal computer) equipped with specific software, it is possible, for example, to monitor all the devices 1 used in the sunshades 2 of an entire beach resort for the purpose of a data collection. These data are then used for the analysis in the operating system of the devices 1 , the efficiency of each device 1 and the frequency of use of each device 1.

According to a second embodiment illustrated in figures 5 and 6, the support body 6 is also equipped with a box-like element 23 arranged above the annular element 8. In this situation, the box-like element 23 is associated above the top portion of the upright 3 defined by the upper end 4.

The box-like element 23 which therefore appears to be mounted above the sunshade (figure 5) internally defines a chamber for containing a mechanical member for automatically operating the sunshade.

This member, not visible in the accompanying figures as it is not part of the present invention, is constituted of a motor which operates, by means of suitable connection belts, the sticks for opening the sunshade fabric. Furthermore, the box-like element 23 is in the form of a parallelepiped defining respective surfaces for housing additional photovoltaic panels 1 1 a, suitable for always remaining exposed to sunlight.

It should however be considered that the shape of the box-like element 23 as well as the number of walls suitable for housing additional photovoltaic panels 1 1 a can be any according to the individual construction needs. Furthermore, the element 23 is suitable for housing suitable motor control members which can be operated via wireless control.

In accordance with the second embodiment, and in particular with figure 6, an elastic thrust member 24 is also provided associated with the movement means 12 and configured to always keep each photovoltaic panel 1 1 pressed to the fabric 5 of the sunshade 2.

In other words, an elastic member 24 is provided for each panel 1 1 which always pushes the respective panel against the fabric 5 keeping it adhering thereto both in conditions of use and non-use. Advantageously, the elastic thrust member 24 allows to avoid overturnings or oscillations of the respective panel 1 1 for example in case of wind, therefore always ensuring the correct positioning of the panels 1 1.

With reference to figure 6, it should be noted that each elastic thrust member 24 is made in the form of an elastic spring, preferably of metal material, interposed between the hooking elements 13 and anchored to a respective projection 9.

In this way, the spring keeps the panel 11 pressed to the fabric 5 and the thrust form of the spring is overcome only by the opening action of the sunshade 2.

The present invention therefore solves the drawbacks of the prior art described above and brings important advantages.

Firstly, it should be noted that the device 1 supplies electricity even in the absence of a socket connected to a domestic or public line.

Therefore, the user can also recharge his portable electronic devices on the beach without necessarily having to reach a socket and without the support of accumulators.

It should also be noted that the device 1 is structurally very simple, easy to install in the sunshades mostly used in beach resorts, without having to intervene in the normal operation of the sunshades themselves.

On the other hand, the constructive simplicity of the device 1 also implies, in addition to a low manufacturing cost, a particular simplicity of operation which does not require user actions in the use of the device 1.

Furthermore, the availability of solar energy during the use of the sunshade, determines a constant energy resource that the user can obtain, for free and totally clean and renewable.