Lighting system with an interface having a power supply unit and at least one light source module

The authors of the patent

H05B33/08 - Circuit arrangements not adapted to a particular application

The owners of the patent US9445466:

OSRAM GmbH

 

Various embodiments may relate to a power supply unit including an output for outputting a current, a communications line, a current-measuring device and a microcontroller including an analog-to-digital converter. The current-measuring device generates a current on the communications line which is proportional to the conductance of a current-setting resistance, the current is convertable into a digital value by the analog-to-digital converter, the power supply unit assumes various operating states based on the digital value of the measured current, and at least one light source module is connectable to the output, wherein the at least one light source module has the current-setting resistance, which is connectable to the communications line. Various embodiments may further relate to a light source module including an input, a communications line and a current-setting resistance for setting the current applied to the light source module.

 

 

RELATED APPLICATIONS
The present application is a national stage entry according to 35 U.S.C. §371 of PCT application No.: PCT/EP2013/063317 filed on Jun. 25, 2013, which claims priority from Italian application No.: TO2012A000558 filed on Jun. 25, 2012, and from German application No.: 10 2012 224 349.6 filed on Dec. 21, 2012, and is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
TECHNICAL FIELD
Various embodiments relate to the field of solid state lighting, i.e. to general lighting primarily or exclusively by LEDs, and describes a lighting system with an interface between a light source module and the power supply unit supplying said light source module, the light source module and the associated power supply unit. Various embodiments generally relate to a power supply unit for supplying power to a light source module or a plurality of light source modules, in particular those with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as light sources, and to a lighting system including a power supply unit and at least one light source module. Specifically, various inventive methods and circuits disclosed here relate to a self-setting power supply unit for supplying power to a light source module or a plurality of light source modules having light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as light sources, and to an LED-based lighting system including a self-setting power supply unit and at least one light source module.
BACKGROUND
Lighting components which are based on semiconductor light sources such as, for example, LEDs provide a serious alternative to traditional fluorescent lamps, high-pressure discharge lamps or incandescent lamps. In principle, LEDs not only have a high conversion efficiency, a high optical efficiency, a long expected life and low operating costs, but also many other advantages. In some applications, an LED-based lighting system may include a power supply unit which provides an LED operating current for a plurality of light source modules, each in turn containing one or more LEDs. For example, a light source module can have a circuit board, for example a printed circuit or a printed circuit board (PCB), on which the one or more LEDs are mounted. Such circuit boards can be pushed into rails of a luminaire or plugged into female connectors on a main circuit board on which the power supply unit can be located.
In various applications or installations of an LED-based lighting system, the number of LEDs or light source modules required will be different in each case. For example, the number of LEDs or light source modules is to be matched to the required light emission of a specific installation. In general, the value of the LED operating current which is provided by a power supply unit is to be matched to the number of LEDs or light source modules to be supplied power by this power supply unit. If a single power supply unit is intended to be used in a multiplicity of LED-based lighting systems with different numbers of LEDs or light source modules, the power supply unit must contain an apparatus for setting the setpoint value of the LED operating current, which apparatus matches the operating current requirement to the different light source modules corresponding to the different number of light sources contained therein. At present, the number of LEDs and light source modules which are intended to be contained in a specific LED-based lighting system is fixed at the time of manufacture of this LED lighting system. If the same power supply unit is intended to be used in different LED lighting systems with a different number of light source modules, the power supply unit needs to be programmed for the intended LED lighting system at the time of manufacture, with the result that the LED operating current provided is appropriate for the specific number of light source modules which are contained in the intended LED lighting system.
As soon as a light source module with a relatively short life needs to be replaced during the relatively long life of an LED-based lighting system, the actual problem on which this invention is based arises: the advancement on the component part level of the LED is so serious at present that a light source module of the same type will emit much more light or will require substantially less current for the same emitted light if it is, for example, three years younger than the comparison module. Therefore, not only the specification present at the time of manufacture of the lighting system, but also the time per se play a significant role in this.
This problem has been addressed by setting up data interchange between the power supply unit and the light source module. Data interchange in this case means that the light source module transmits some information to the power supply unit, relating to the current requirement of the module for fulfilling its optical specification or its working temperature for the purpose of reducing the value of the current provided when a certain temperature limit value is exceeded. Various approaches are known for the interchange of this information between the light source module and the power supply unit. Buses can be used for data interchange. Known in this case are, for example, analog buses such as the 1 . . . 10 V interface or digital buses such as DALI (digital addressable lighting interface). Likewise known technologies are simple resistance networks, which can be measured by the power supply unit and transmit the current requirement of the light source module just connected or the light source modules just connected to said power supply unit. DE 100 51 528 A1 discloses an interface in which a special resistance, a so-called current-setting resistance, is connected between a third line and the negative supply line. If a plurality of light source modules are connected to a single power supply unit, the resistances are connected in series or parallel with one another, and in this way a summation signal is passed back to the power supply unit in order to define the total current requirement. The German patent application 102011087658.8 likewise discloses resistances for defining the current requirement of each individual light source module, i.e. module-specific current-setting resistances.
The bus solutions have the disadvantage of two additional connecting lines being required. The resistance solutions only require one additional connecting line, but the evaluation of the resistance network and the setting of the current value resulting from this can become very complicated.
Since complete lighting systems including a power supply unit and light source module(s) have appeared on the market, various companies have attempted to adopt a common approach for putting into operation the communication between the two component parts of the above systems; likewise, some digital protocols are in used for the more complicated high-end systems, but the latter technology is not the background of the present disclosure and needs to be discussed separately.
The company Osram, for example, has already proposed an interface which is also capable of providing an auxiliary power to an active circuit for thermal derating on a light source module. In this interface type, a current-setting resistance on the light source module in conjunction with a pullup resistance in the power supply unit forms a voltage divider, with the purpose of forming a center-point voltage which defines the output current of the power supply unit. An operational amplifier on the light source module begins to limit this center-point voltage and therefore the operating current provided as soon as the module overheats. The company Philips has proposed another interface in which one signal line is connected to the current-setting resistance and another signal line is connected to a temperature-sensitive resistance, and in which the thermal derating is performed by the power supply unit itself without any active component on a light source module being required.
Both of the last-mentioned interfaces require a third extra line for the common signal ground feedback and use a voltage generated by the current-setting resistance on the light source module for setting the setpoint operating current value in such a way that the operating current is set to be higher the higher the voltage across the current-setting resistance or across the current-setting resistances is.
Recently, the company Osram has proposed a slightly modified interface which is based on the 1 . . . 10 V bus mentioned already above, but modified by a precision current source in the power supply unit which makes it possible to achieve precise setpoint operating current value setting with only a single current-setting resistance per light source module. A further modification of this interface in turn consists in replacing the current-setting resistances on the light source modules with Zener diodes.
At present, a new demand is emerging on the market: the possibility of connecting various modules in parallel with one another and supplying power to said modules jointly by one and the same power supply unit. The operating current provided by this power supply unit in this case needs to correspond to the sum of the nominal current values of all of the light source modules connected thereto at that time, and the capability of thermal derating also needs to be maintained in the case of multi-module arrangements. A thermal derating signal on a data line should finally even be dominant with respect to a summation current setting signal.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to configure the lighting systems to be simpler, which at present results in the reduction in the number of the additional data lines. Bus-based interfaces require at least four lines, two for the light source module operating current and at least two for the bus.
New characteristics for meeting the requirements are envisaged:
    • a plurality of modules are intended to be connectable in parallel and capable of being supplied power by one and the same power supply unit using the same interface. In this case, the individual modules are considered to be the same as one another, or at least are considered to be modules which have the same operating voltage as one another.
    • the interface for setting the operating current should have a reduced number of lines and should be as simple as possible, for cost reasons, in particular on the side of the light source modules.
All of the interfaces previously proposed and known are not capable of correctly supporting multiple connections of light source modules. Furthermore, the known interfaces cannot identify faulty wiring or incorrectly connected modules. The known interfaces are not absolutely fault-tolerant. Faulty wiring and incorrect light source module can lead to defects in the power supply unit or in the light source modules. A novel interface is proposed which no longer has these disadvantages.
SUMMARY
Various embodiments provide a power supply unit and a light source module which have an interface for setting the current to be applied to the light source module, which interface is tolerant with respect to faults. Various embodiments further provide a method for setting a current value for at least one light source module which is connected to a power supply unit and can protect the components involved with little complexity.
By virtue of a power supply unit having these features, only one additional communications line is required for setting the current since an electrical line is also used between the power supply unit and the light source module. A plurality of light source modules can be connected to the power supply unit without the functionality for correct setting of the current being impaired.
In various embodiments, the light source modules, connected in parallel, are connected to the power supply unit. This has the advantage that the current-setting resistances are then also connected in parallel, and the resultant conductance of the parallel-connected resistances is proportional to the current requirement of all connected light source modules.
The operating states of the power supply unit may include function states and fault states. Therefore, faulty wiring and incorrect modules can be assigned to corresponding fault states, in which no current is released to the light source modules. In function states, a current fixed by the communications line is released by the power supply unit.
In various embodiments, in the case of at least one function state, a current is applied to the output which is proportional to the conductance of the current-setting resistance in the light source modules.
In various embodiments, in the case of at least one fault state, no current is applied to the at least one light source module. As a result, the light source modules and the power supply unit are protected from damage owing to a current of incorrect magnitude.
In one embodiment, a current-measuring device has an amplifier circuit, an offset matching circuit and an amplitude matching circuit. By virtue of these circuits, the measured current signal can be normalized to the input of the analog-to-digital converter in such a way that the desired functionality is ensured. The measured current value is in this case normalized such that it is within a predetermined control range of the analog-to-digital converter.
According to various embodiments, the light source module has an input and a communications line, and a current-setting resistance for setting the current applied to the light source module. These components enable the simple configuration of the light source module with the desired functionality.
A further embodiment may be that the light source module furthermore has a thermal derating unit. This thermal derating unit makes it possible to derate the current in the case of an excessive temperature of the light source modules. This can occur, for example, in the case of inappropriate installation positions and installation locations. By virtue of this embodiment, the light source modules can be protected from damage.
According to various embodiments, the lighting system has a power supply unit having all or some of the abovementioned features and at least one light source module having all or some of the abovementioned features, which light source module is connected to the power supply unit.
According to various embodiments, the method for setting a current value for at least one light source module connected to a power supply unit has the following steps:
    • applying a measurement voltage to a communications line,
    • measuring the current flowing in the communications line,
    • adding a DC component onto the measured current,
    • matching the amplitude of the measured current,
    • performing analog-to-digital conversion of the measured current,
    • evaluating the measured current value,
    • setting a function state or a fault state of the power supply unit using the evaluated current value.
One configuration consists in that, in the case of values below 15% to 25% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter and in the case of values above 75% to 85% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter, a fault state is set, and in the case of values of between 15% to 25% and 75% to 85% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter, a function state is set.
A further configuration consists in that the current flowing in the communications line is proportional to the conductance of a current-setting resistance of the at least one light source module.
A further configuration consists in that the added DC component and the amplitude of the measured current are matched in such a way that, for the current-setting resistance, which corresponds to the lowest current which can be output by the power supply unit, the value of the measured current flowing in the communications line after analog-to-digital conversion corresponds to a value of 15% to 25% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter.
A further configuration consists in that the added DC component and the amplitude of the measured current are matched in such a way that, for the current-setting resistance which corresponds to the highest current which can be output by the power supply unit, the value of the measured current flowing in the communications line after analog-to-digital conversion corresponds to a value of 75% to 85% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)
In the drawings, like reference characters generally refer to the same parts throughout the different views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead generally being placed upon illustrating the principles of the disclosed embodiments. In the following description, various embodiments described with reference to the following drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 shows the concept for the parallel circuit of the current-setting resistances,
FIG. 2 shows a very simple solution for thermal derating,
FIG. 3 shows the entire concept with the thermal derating unit TDU,
FIGS. 4A and 4B show two simple embodiments for the TDU,
FIG. 5 shows a simple embodiment of the interface on the power supply unit side, wherein Vout is a power supply unit-internal voltage which arises owing to the current in the communications line CL and is used as setpoint value for the control loop of the LED operating current provided by the power supply unit,
FIG. 6 shows a family of characteristics for the circuit shown in FIG. 5,
FIG. 7 shows a family of characteristics for the current-measuring device,
FIG. 8 shows a block circuit diagram of a lighting system according to the present disclosure,
FIG. 9 shows a flowchart as implemented by a microcontroller in the power supply unit,
FIG. 10 shows an example of a configuration in terms of circuitry of the relevant function blocks denoted in FIG. 8,
FIG. 11 shows a block circuit diagram of the digital embodiment of the lighting system according to the present disclosure including a simplified evaluation circuit,
FIG. 12 shows a first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU,
FIG. 13 shows a second embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU,
FIG. 14 shows a third embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU,
FIG. 15A shows a block circuit diagram of the digital embodiment of the lighting system according to the present disclosure including a simplified evaluation circuit,
FIG. 15B shows a fourth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU,
FIG. 16 shows a fifth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU,
FIG. 17 shows a sixth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and
FIG. 18 shows a seventh embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
The following detailed description refers to the accompanying drawing that show, by way of illustration, specific details and embodiments in which the disclosure may be practiced.
A plurality of embodiments of the circuit arrangement are described below. The basic concept is always a three-line interface or an “analog single-wire interface”, at which a light source module or a plurality of light source modules can be connected in parallel and connected to a single power supply unit, and the instantaneous requirements of each light source module are met in real time. The circuit arrangement according to the present disclosure uses a setting resistance to define a current value. Various embodiments are described in respect of the measurement of said setting resistance. An analog embodiment of the interface is described below in FIGS. 1 to 7.
FIG. 1 shows the general concept of the setting resistances for the rated operating current values. Three light source modules LEM are shown, which are connected to a single power supply unit PSU. The connection includes three lines: a supply line LED+, a common grounding line LED− and a communications line CL. Each light source module contains at least one LED array. The LED array includes a multiplicity of LEDs. A multiplicity within the meaning of the present disclosure means that at least three LEDs are connected in series. Each light source module or each LED array contains an individually assigned setting resistance Rsetm for defining the respectively applicable rated operating current value, the so-called current-setting resistance Rsetm. The current-setting resistance Rsetm or the current-setting resistances Rset1, Rset2, Rsetm couples or couple the common grounding line LED− to the communications line CL outside the power supply unit. This results in a parallel circuit including all of the current-setting resistances Rset1, Rset2, Rsetm provided in the system, with the result that the power supply unit PSU measures the equivalent resistance Rset of this parallel circuit. The concept states that the power supply unit PSU does not read a voltage, as in the related art, but a current as representative of the conductance of this equivalent resistance. Then, an inverse law is applied to the value of the equivalent resistance in order to preset the value of the LED operating current provided by the power supply unit. The law is as follows:
Iout=Kv/Rset
Kv has the dimension of a voltage. Rset is the value which is formed by a current-setting resistance Rset1 or by the parallel circuit including a plurality of current-setting resistances Rset1, Rset2, Rsetm. As a result, the value of the operating current provided by the power supply unit is inversely proportional to the current-setting resistance Rset1 or to the equivalent resistance Rset of the at least one light source module, i.e. the lower the equivalent resistance is, the higher the output current of the power supply unit PSU is. The requirement for the value of the operating current to ultimately correspond to the sum of the rated current values of each individual light source module is met by the known Ohm's Law per se.
FIG. 2 shows a conceptual circuit diagram of an interface with the capability of thermal derating. Very simple thermal derating is added by placing a PTC element in series with Rset. As soon as the temperature of the light source module LEM increases, the resistance value of the PTC also increases and results in a lower rated current value for this module. The disadvantage of such an arrangement consists in that it is not suitable for a multiple connection of light source modules because the effect of a heated solitary PTC on the conductance of the parallel-connected current-setting resistances Rset would only take away the contribution of its associated heated module, which is insufficient for an effective reduction in the temperature of the light source module affected. The parallel-connected colder current-setting resistances therefore counteract the temperature-dependent increase in resistance of a single current-setting resistance. The dominance nature of the thermal derating is therefore not ensured. Nevertheless, such a solution could be used for very inexpensive applications when a partial current reduction is still acceptable in the case of a temperature rise, for example in the case of a few light source modules supplied by a power supply unit or in the case of good thermal coupling of the light source modules to one another. Furthermore, a single thermosensitive element in series with the current-setting resistance has the disadvantage of reducing its conductance and therefore the value for the current of the light source module continuously, quasi linearly or gradually, without a precise starting point for the thermal derating being defined, even when a few PTC elements demonstrate a very steep response around their rated trigger temperature. Therefore, the “nominal” current setting would be corrupted by a “parasitic” effect of the derating element.
FIG. 3 shows the concept of the three-line interface with a thermal derating unit TDU on the light source module. This concept is based on another approach, namely of providing a current source for the thermal derating unit TDU on the light source module. This current source is temperature-controlled by means of a thermosensitive element with appropriate circuitry, and the required auxiliary energy is supplied to said current source either directly from the supply line LED+ or from a center tap from the at least one LED array of the light source module in question, in order to avoid additional lines for the interface. The current source includes an amplifier and a temperature-sensitive resistance, through which an input current for the amplifier flows, which amplifier intensifies this input current to give the current ITDU of the current source. The current source has a response threshold which inhibits any generation of a current ITDU as long as a certain excess temperature of the light source module is not reached. As a result, an increase in the amplified current with the temperature (increase of ITDU) is steep enough for an entire system including a power supply unit and a plurality of thermally independent light source modules to be successful in limiting the maximum temperature of a single overheated light source module without in the process triggering instabilities owing to shifts in heat transfer times. The current source for the current ITDU is capable of completely overriding the signal formed by the equivalent resistance value Rset of all parallel-connected current-setting resistances: in such a way, it can safely protect the entire system and in particular the light source module on which it is integrated, even in the case of a light source module multiple connection with at the same time very concentrated overheating.
With the above-described temperature-dependent current source, there is a further problem. It is necessary to measure the resistance Rset of the module No. x independently of the actual temperature of the module x and therefore independently of the current provided by the current source. It needs to be established how the resistance Rset is measured in order to make it possible to predict the effect of the current source. In the circuit arrangement according to the present disclosure, a permanent voltage source Vk is used in order to measure the resistance value by virtue of the fact that the circuit arrangement applies the voltage of the voltage source across the current-setting resistance Rset (or the parallel circuit of a plurality of current-setting resistances Rset) and reads the current flow caused thereby. The voltage of the voltage source is therefore output at the terminal on the power supply unit side for the communications line CL. This in turn leads the thermal derating unit TDU into direct interaction with the current, which is defined by means of Vk/Rset, and solves the finally addressed problem of dominant thermal derating.
FIG. 4A illustrates a first embodiment of the light source module, which provides the interface with only one bipolar transistor, an NTC element and some added resistances. The circuit contains a voltage source V1, which is derived from the supply line LED+ of the light source module. LEDs have a relatively stable forward voltage, with the result that they can be used as sufficiently good voltage source replacement. Depending on the feed voltage required for the TDU, the voltage source V1, always related to the common grounding line LED−, can be connected to a tap between two sections of the plurality of series-connected LEDs. This means that the voltage V1 can be set in such a way that it corresponds to a multiple of the forward voltage of a single LED. A series circuit including the NTC and a threshold resistance Rthr is located in parallel with this voltage V1. The base of an NPN bipolar transistor (BJT) Q1 is connected to the node between the NTC and the Rthr. The collector of Q1 is connected to the voltage V1. The emitter of Q1 is coupled to the communications line CL via an emitter resistance Rtg. All of these component parts described up to this point in FIG. 4A form the thermal derating unit TDU. The at least one current-setting resistance Rset is connected between the communications line CL and the common grounding line LED−.
In this circuit, the emitter potential of Q1 is raised to a voltage (in this case Vk) which is preset by the power supply unit PSU, as a result of which the threshold is realized below which no current ITDU is injected into the communications line CL. If the temperature increases, the NTC begins to increase the base potential of Q1 until the NPN transistor Q1 has come into the active range. From now on, the emitter resistance Rtg defines the gain of the thermal derating unit TDU and therefore the increase in the injected current ITDU over the increase in temperature. Based on the voltages V1 and Vk, the resistance Rthr and the resistance value of the NTC at the temperature specified as trigger threshold for the TDU determine the onset point for the thermal derating. A further advantage of this arrangement is the good linearity of the current ITDU over the temperature which can be achieved.
One of the most interesting advantages of the present disclosure, in addition to the simplicity of the implementation in respect of the light source module, is its suitability for use in systems with different levels of quality owing to the setting of the desired accuracies and features alone as a result of corresponding circuit complexity of the interface on the power supply unit side. In other words, it is possible to remove the read interface on the power supply unit side corresponding to the required accuracy and/or further necessary features.
FIG. 4B shows a complementary implementation as second embodiment of the interface on the side of the light source module LEM. In this case, a PNP bipolar transistor Q2 is used together with a PTC. A PTC is a temperature-sensitive resistance with a positive temperature coefficient. As in FIG. 4A, the voltage V1 is derived either from the total number of LEDs connected in series or from some of said LEDs. In contrast to the embodiment shown in FIG. 4A, the collector of Q2 forms the current source connection with the current ITDU, which is connected to CL. In this way, the thermal derating threshold is no longer dependent on Vk, but only on the voltage V1, which is easily reproducible, and on the values of the voltage divider formed by the temperature-sensitive resistance value of the PTC and the threshold resistance Rthr. As in FIG. 4A, the emitter resistance Rtg determines the gain of the thermal derating unit TDU.
No further figure is required to explain that when the order of the elements in the voltage divider which defines the onset threshold temperature is swapped over, in each case the bipolar transistor which is complementary in FIG. 4A or FIG. 4B is used. Of particular interest is the combination of the PNP transistor coupled to V1 in conjunction with an NTC, which is connected to the base of the transistor and the common grounding line LED−.
FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of the interface of the power supply unit PSU. This is a very simple circuit arrangement for relatively simple power supply units where a high degree of accuracy is not required. Owing to the requirement of as few connecting lines as possible and owing to the concept of a common grounding line LED−, there is the problem of the voltage drop on this common grounding line, caused by the operating current of the at least one light source module. The embodiment adopts a very simple circuit based on a single operational amplifier without any compensation of a voltage shift on the common grounding line owing to the light source module current. Said single operational amplifier OpAmp of the power supply unit interface is connected to the communications line CL at its negative input and is connected to the voltage Vk, already known, at its positive input, which voltage, owing to its direct reference to the common grounding line LED−, forms the reference for the interface circuit of the power supply unit PSU. The amplifier output is connected to the negative input via the current-measuring resistance Rfb, as a result of which the obligatory feedback of the operational amplifier is achieved. The behavior of the operational amplifier of wishing to match the potentials of its two inputs to one another first of all generates the reference voltage Vk on the communications line CL and secondly generates an internal measurement signal Vout, whose value corresponds to the voltage Vk, increased by the measurement current Icl multiplied by the current-measuring resistance Rfb. This measurement signal Vout is used to set the LED operating current lout which is provided by the power section CG to the output of the power supply unit. The output of the power supply unit is connected to LED+ and LED−, i.e. to the supply lines of the at least one light source module.
The measurement error can be reduced to a value suitable for the respective application by selecting an adequate value for Vk. In an embodiment, the maximum measurement error on the grounding line is fixed at 50 mV. This corresponds to one ampere on a 50 mohm connection. This fixing of the measurement error results in 5 V as the minimum value for the voltage Vk in order that Vout has an error caused by the voltage drop of below 1%.
In order to achieve better accuracy, other compensation techniques in respect of the voltage drop on the common grounding line can be used. One technique consists in disconnecting the operating current for the at least one light source module prior to the measurement of Rset. This measurement can be performed when the entire system is switched on by a delay to enabling of the operating current.
It should be noted that, when disconnecting the array of light source modules by removing the power supply on the power supply line LED+, the present current level on the communications line CL is not influenced by the temperature signal. This is not a disadvantage because this information is not necessary if the light source modules are completely switched off, but rather it is one approach for reading the value of Rset not only with a higher degree of accuracy, but also without any deviation as a result of possible overheating. The reading therefore takes place without any deviation caused by the respective light source module temperature.
The temperature information alone is available, on the other hand, simply by disconnecting the comparison voltage Vk from the positive input of the operational amplifier OpAmp and by connecting this input to the common grounding line. As a result, the voltage on the communications line CL becomes approximately zero, and the current in CL is therefore independent of the value of Rset. Therefore, the current in CL is now only a function of the light source module temperature. In the case of multiple connections, i.e. a plurality of connected modules, the current is a function of the module with the highest temperature. This means that the power supply unit operating the light source modules is now capable of reducing the operating current to these modules from the beginning and determining the present operating temperature of the light source modules even when said power supply unit is not overheated. For a high level of measurement accuracy of the temperature, it is advantageous if Rset is known.
FIG. 6 shows a temperature-dependent family of characteristics of the power supply unit. The family of curves shows the internal control voltage Vout of the power supply unit over the temperature of the at least one light source module. The individual curves relate to the current requirement of the at least one light source module which is connected at that time. It can clearly be seen that the thermal derating begins at a temperature of approximately 93° C. until, at approximately 100° C. to 104° C., the supply of operating current is completely disconnected.
The function of the interface will be explained below with reference to a practical example. As can be seen from the figure, an internal measurement signal Vout of 10 V results in an output current of 1 A. The interface is intended to be configured in such a way that a conductance of 1 mS for Rset results in an output current of 1 A. As shown in FIG. 6, the voltage source Vk is set to 5 V. This means that 5 V are applied to Rset (see FIG. 5). The operational amplifier operates in such a way as to minimize the level difference at its two inputs, which is made possible by its feedback via Rfb. If, therefore, Vk corresponds to 5 V, this means that 5 V are also present at the negative input of the operational amplifier. This results in 5 V at the respective current-setting resistance Rset and in a current through the communications line CL of 5 V/1 kohm=5 mA. These 5 mA through the communications line CL likewise flow through the current-measuring resistance Rfb because the input of the operational amplifier has a high impedance and therefore a negligible current consumption. Owing to the fact that the voltage of the internal measurement signal Vout is intended to be 10 V, corresponding to FIG. 6, for the desired operating current, the voltage across the current-measuring resistance Rfb likewise needs to be 5 V, which results in a resistance value of 1 kohm, or 1 mS for Rfb. Corresponding to this example, a light source module with a current requirement of 2 A would have a current-setting resistance Rset with a value of 2 mS or 500 ohms.
As already mentioned, the three-line interface has the disadvantage that the measurement signal is falsified by the voltage drop on the common grounding line LED−, which voltage drop is caused by the operating current of the at least one light source module. The measurement current is passed through the common grounding line LED− together with the LED operating current.
FIG. 7 shows the characteristic of the current-measuring device CMU, which is primarily dependent on the current-measuring resistance Rfb. The characteristic shows the internal signal Vout of the output of the current-measuring unit CMU against the normalized current-measuring resistance Rfb/RsetMin. RsetMin is the minimum permissible value of the at least one current-setting resistance which results in the maximum specified output current IoutMax of the power supply unit PSU. Therefore, the power supply unit provides its maximum current in the case of the value 1 illustrated, when Rfb=RsetMin, i.e. also provides its maximum power at its output in the case of the given voltage of the at least one light source module. The internal measurement signal Vout belonging to the maximum power is 2*Vk, as described in the example for FIG. 6.
Using the following FIGS. 8 to 10, a digital embodiment of the present disclosure will now be described. The following embodiments contain the expression “the light source modules LEM”. This expression is intended to include at least one light source module LEM, but it is also possible for a plurality of light source modules LEM1 to LEMm to be meant. The expression includes all light source modules which are connected to the power supply unit PSU. Each light source module LEM1, LEM2 . . . LEMm has a current-setting resistance Rset1, Rset2 . . . Rsetm. The light source modules, connected in parallel, are connected to the power supply unit PSU. Therefore, the current-setting resistances Rset1, Rset2 . . . Rsetm are likewise connected in parallel, and there is a resultant current-setting resistance Rset. Current-setting resistance Rset therefore always denotes the resultant current-setting resistance Rset of all connected light source modules LEM in the text which follows.
FIG. 8 shows a block circuit diagram of the digital embodiment of the lighting system according to the present disclosure. The resistance Rset1 is part of the light source module LEM, and the other circuit parts are located on the power supply unit PSU. The block circuit diagram therefore primarily relates to the relevant circuit sections in the power supply unit PSU which are capable of measuring the setting resistance Rset and converting the information into a current for the LEDs of the light source module LEM. The figure shows parts of the current-measuring unit CMU, which is responsible for detecting the impressed current and therefore the current-setting resistance Rset.
The current-setting resistance Rset is connected to an amplifier circuit 30, which impresses a voltage to the resistance and measures the current at the current-setting resistance Rset. The amplifier circuit outputs a voltage which is proportional to the conductance of the current-setting resistance Rset. This voltage is input into an offset matching circuit 33, which then inputs a matched voltage in turn into an amplitude matching circuit 35. Here, the voltage is now matched in terms of amplitude such that the downstream analog-to-digital converter 37, into which this voltage is then input, is controlled in optimum fashion. The analog-to-digital converter 37 is part of a microcontroller 39, which is to be assigned to the power supply unit PSU. The microcontroller then controls a power section CG, which in turn sets the corresponding current at the output of the power supply unit PSU.
This matching of the measured current to the current-setting resistance Rset1 is helpful for being able to implement the solution according to the present disclosure as efficiently as possible. According to the present disclosure, now not the entire value range of the analog-to-digital converter 37 is used for measuring the resistance, but only a subregion, whereas the boundary regions of the value range of the analog-to-digital converter 37 are used for detecting fault cases.
FIG. 9 shows a flowchart, as is implemented by a microcontroller 39 in the power supply unit PSU. At the beginning, i.e. when the power supply unit PSU is switched on or a mains voltage is supplied to said power supply unit, the power section CG in the power supply unit PSU is disconnected. The power section CG is responsible for supplying power to the light source modules LEM connected to the power supply unit PSU. The value range of this exemplary sequence is designed for an analog-to-digital converter with 8 bit resolution. 8 bit resolution means that the analog-to-digital converter can represent its voltage range using 256 values. The control range of the analog-to-digital converter therefore corresponds to the value 256. Naturally, analog-to-digital converters with different resolutions can likewise be used without departing from the teaching according to the present disclosure. For example, microcontrollers with analog-to-digital converters with a resolution of 10 bits are widespread on the market. These analog-to-digital converters can then generate values of between 0 and 1023, for example. The control range of the analog-to-digital converter therefore corresponds to the value 1024. The analog-to-digital converter 37 in the present embodiment therefore outputs a value of between 0 and 255 with a measurement, which value correlates with the input voltage. The sequence begins with the measurement of the voltage input into the analog-to-digital converter 37. The analog-to-digital converter provides a value of between 0 and 255 in return, as just described.
This value is now called up in a plurality of steps and assigned to a range. In the present embodiment, five different ranges are provided which can all be assigned to a specific function or fault case. Owing to the value measured by the analog-to-digital converter 37, the power supply unit PSU assumes either a function state or a fault state. The function state is characterized by the fact that the power section CG of the power supply unit PSU is switched on and current is being supplied to the connected light source modules LEM. The fault state is characterized by the fact that the power section CG of the power supply unit PSU is switched off or remains switched off and there is no current being supplied to the connected light source modules LEM.
In the present embodiment, the range of 0 to 23 should be assigned to the fault case of faulty wiring since the current-setting resistance Rset is too high or is not present. The power section CG of the power supply unit PSU remains disconnected, and operating current is not supplied to the light source modules.
The range of 24 to 86 is assigned to the fault case of an LED current which is too low, which can occur when light source modules LEM which are unsuitable for the power supply unit PSU are connected which require an excessively low operating current which the power supply unit PSU cannot provide. The power section CG of the power supply unit PSU remains disconnected, and operating current is not supplied to the light source modules.
The range 86 to 239 is assigned to the function case of rated operation. This is the only case in which the power section CG of the power supply unit PSU is switched on and the required operating current is being supplied to the light source modules.
The range 240 to 249 is assigned to the fault case of an excessively high LED current which can occur when light source modules LEM which are unsuitable for the power supply unit PSU or too many light source modules LEM are connected, which require an excessively high operating current which the power supply unit PSU can no longer provide. The power section CG of the power supply unit PSU remains disconnected, and no operating current is supplied to the light source modules.
The range 250 to 255 is assigned to the fault case of a short circuit. The current-setting resistance Rset is very low or close to 0 ohm. This can occur owing to a defective module or owing to faulty wiring. The power section CG of the power supply unit PSU remains disconnected, and no operating current is supplied to the light source modules.
After a cycle time of 100 μs to 500 μs, a new measurement is initiated. The connected light source modules LEM are therefore continuously monitored for faults. As soon as a fault occurs, the power section CG in the power supply unit PSU is disconnected in order to protect the light source modules LEM and the power supply unit PSU.
If the current level required by the light source modules LEM can be provided by the power supply unit PSU, said current level is provided by the power section CG of the power supply unit PSU and applied to the light source modules LEM.
FIG. 10 shows an example of a configuration in terms of circuitry of the relevant function blocks denoted in FIG. 8.
In this case, too, the principle in accordance with the present disclosure whereby a voltage is applied to the communications line CL and the current is measured in this line applies. The current flowing through the communications line CL in the present embodiment results in setting of an LED current Iout:Iout=1000 ICL.
In this embodiment, any power supply unit has a nominal control range Ioutmin-Ioutmax, which similarly corresponds to a range Rsetmax-Rsetmin of the current-setting resistance Rset.
The left-hand amplifier stage with the operational amplifier IC1a generates the voltage V1, which is indirectly proportional to the current-setting resistance Rset or directly proportional to the current on the communications line ICL.
The reference voltage Vref generated by a reference diode D2 is 5.00 V and is present at the current-setting resistance Rset. Therefore, the following relationship applies:
ICL=5V/Rset  [1]
Iout=5000V/Rset  [2]
V1=Vref(1+R1/Rset)+Vsh=Vref+R1ICL+Vsh  [3]
The resistance R1 is dimensioned such that the maximum voltage V1max occurring at V1 satisfies the following relationship in the case of the lowest possible current-setting resistance Rsetmin: V1max1 is a suppressor diode, which protects the input of the communications line CL from faulty wiring and ESD. This needs to be selected, inter alia, in accordance with low leakage currents in order that it does not falsify the light-emitting diode current lout. The resistances RA1 and RB1 are used for setting Vref. The RC elements R11, R12, C1, R2, R3, C3 and R4, R5, C5 around the amplifiers are used for low-pass filtering. The input variable of the communications line CL is Rset, i.e. is not a dynamic variable. Therefore, undesired higher-frequency interference can be alleviated by filters. The capacitors in the feedback path of the operational amplifiers IC1a and IC1b are used for stabilization. The output voltage V1 of the left-hand amplifier stage is now input into the right-hand amplifier stage. The right-hand amplifier stage with the operational amplifier IC1b is used for compensating for the voltage Vsh across the shunt resistance Rshunt. The following relationship applies:
V2=V1*R3/(R2+R3)*(1+R6/(R4+R5)−Vsh*R6/(R4+R5))  [4]
When R3=R4 and R4+R5=R6, this gives:
V2=V1−Vsh=Vref(1+R1/Rset)=Vref+R1ICL  [5]
In this way, the dynamic influence of the shunt resistance Rshunt, through which the operating current of the light-emitting diodes lout is flowing, is compensated for within wide frequency ranges. The voltage V2 now also needs to be matched to the control range of the analog-to-digital converter 37.
The signal is shifted downwards with the aid of a reference diode by a predetermined offset voltage FV and then reduced by a moderate divider.
This corresponds to matching of position and amplitude of the Rset range to the control range of the analog-to-digital converter. This measure ensures that the control range of the analog-to-digital converter is used effectively, and the following results:
VADC=(V2−FV)*R8/(R7+R8)  [6]
The resistances RA2 and RB2 are used for setting the offset voltage FV.
If [5] is now incorporated in [6], the following relationship results:
VADC=R8/(R7+R8)*(Vref+R1*ICL−FV)  [7]
Iout=1000ICL=1000/R1[(1+R7/R8)VADC−Vref+FV]  [8]
Iout=αVADC+β  [9]
One of the value of the reference voltage of the analog-to-digital converter and the bit resolution of the analog-to-digital converter (8 or 10 bits) is also incorporated in the constant α.
The function states and the fault states are now mapped as follows in the present embodiment:
The range Rsetmin-Rsetmax is mapped, for example, onto 60% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter. Then in each case 20% still remain at the upper and lower ends of the control range for detection of fault states and further function states:
  • a.) The current-setting resistance Rset is lower than corresponds to the maximum output current Ioutmax in the power supply unit. This range can be used, for example, to switch over the current regulation to an external input and to set the current by the DALI protocol, for example.
  • b.) The current-setting resistance Rset is even lower up to the short circuit. This indicates faulty wiring and, correspondingly, the power supply unit PSU is brought into a fault state.
  • c.) The current-setting resistance Rset is greater than that which corresponds to the minimum output current Ioutmin. This range can also be used, for example, to switch over the current regulation to an external input and to set the current by the DALI protocol, for example.
  • d.) The current-setting resistance Rset is even higher up to the point where the terminals are open. This likewise indicates faulty wiring or defective light source modules and, correspondingly, the power supply unit PSU is brought into a fault state.
The limits between cases a and b or between c and d are selected purely by way of example here and can in principle be selected as desired. In the case of all limits, hystereses are provided in order to avoid oscillation between the modes. Case d also includes identification of overvoltage on the communications line CL (as a result of faulty wiring).
FIG. 11 shows a block circuit diagram of the digital embodiment of the lighting system according to the present disclosure with a simplified evaluation circuit. The simplified evaluation circuit is based on the knowledge that electrical isolation or a potential shift is required for suitable evaluation of the current-setting resistance Rset since a current-measuring element 43 is provided in the circuit for the LEDs, with the result that the measurement signal does not have a direct reference to ground to the circuit ground GND. Since most evaluation variants, whether they be digital evaluations by means of microcontrollers or analog circuits, presuppose a reference to ground of the signal, however, an evaluation circuit is required which makes available the measurement signal, in relation to ground GND. The ground GND is in this case the internal circuit ground of the power supply unit PSU. A connection of the current-measuring element 43 is connected to ground GND. The other connection of the current-measuring element 43 is connected to the negative output LED−, also referred to as common grounding line above. Therefore, it is necessary to differentiate between the common grounding line LED− and the internal circuit ground GND. The potential thereof is similar, but not identical. The measurement signal therefore needs to be shifted in terms of its voltage by the potential difference between the common grounding line LED− and the internal circuit ground GND. This takes place using a current mirror, which measures the current on the communications line CL. This current is converted into a voltage GND referenced to the internal circuit ground on the other side of the current mirror by a resistance. This can then be evaluated in a suitable manner by an analog-to-digital converter 47 of a microcontroller 49, for example.
FIG. 12 shows a first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The core of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is a simple current mirror, but which has been extended such that it applies the predetermined voltage Vk to the communications line CL. The current flowing through the current-setting resistance Rset is mirrored and can then be converted into the internal measurement signal Vout by means of the resistance Rout. This internal measurement signal Vout is related to the internal circuit ground GND. The current mirror has an input-side transistor Q1 and an output-side transistor Q2. The input-side transistor Q1 is now actuated in such a way that the predetermined voltage Vk is present at the communications line CL. This can be achieved by various circuit measures.
In the first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, the voltage at the communications line CL is adjusted to the predetermined value by a circuit including a Zener diode DRef and a third transistor Q3 in a basic circuit. The collector of the third transistor Q3 is connected to the base of the first transistor Q1. The emitter of the third transistor Q3 is connected to the collector of the first transistor Q1. This point is also the input of the communications line CL. The cathode of the Zener diode DRef is connected to the base of the third transistor Q3. The anode of the Zener diode DRef is connected to the common grounding line LED−. A resistance RRef is connected between the base of the third transistor Q3 and a supply voltage Vcc. The current mirror is connected to the supply voltage Vcc via resistances R1 and R2. The transistors Q1 and Q2 are PNP transistors, the transistor Q3 is an NPN transistor. Optionally, a filter capacitor Cf1 can also be connected between the emitter of the third transistor Q3 and the common grounding line.
The function of the circuit arrangement will now be explained below:
If the voltage on the communications line CL is too high, the base current of the third transistor Q3 is reduced. Therefore, the collector current of the third transistor Q3 is also reduced, in order that the base-emitter voltage of the first transistor Q1 decreases. Therefore, the collector current of the first transistor Q1, which corresponds to the current on the communications line CL, also decreases. The voltage which forms as a voltage drop across the current-setting resistance Rset is therefore likewise reduced. By virtue of this chain of action, the voltage on the communications line CL is kept at the predetermined value, and the current flowing through the communications line CL is measured and mirrored at the current mirror. There, it is converted back into a voltage Vout, which is a measure of the conductance of the current-setting resistance Rset. The circuit provides, to a large degree, supply voltage independence and good suppression of supply voltage fluctuations.
In the case of a predetermined voltage Vk of 5 V on the communications line CL and an emitter negative-feedback voltage of approximately 1 V to 5 V, the following applies with sufficient accuracy:
U(R1)=R1*l(R1)=R1*ICL  [10]
U(R2)=U(R1)  [11]
I(R2)=R1*ICL/R2  [12]
I(R2)=I(Rout)  [13]
Vout=ICL*Rout*R1/R2  [14]
When Vk=5V, the following therefore applies:
Vout=(5 V/Rset)*Rout*R1/R2  [15]
The output voltage Vout is therefore only now dependent on known values and the measurable current ICL on the communications line CL and is therefore simple to evaluate.
It is advantageous to use the transistors Q1 and Q2 as paired double transistors in a common housing since this increases the accuracy of the circuit. Depending on the requirements in respect of accuracy, however, this is not necessary and is therefore optional.
If a greater potential shift of the output voltage Vout is required, this can be achieved by suitably selecting R1 and R2. A further resistance can be introduced into the path from collector Q2 to Rout in addition to or instead of the value selection for R1 and R2 in order to be able to set the voltage drop across the collector-emitter path of Q2 to a desired value.
The first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU provides the advantage that it has a minimum temperature coefficient of +2 mV/K since the Zener diode used from 5.6 V has a very low temperature coefficient. Since the third transistor Q3 also has approximately a Tc of 2 mV/K, the temperature dependence of the arrangement is approximately 4 mV/K. In the case of a temperature difference of ±50 K, this would correspond to a change in the predetermined voltage on the communications line CL of ±2%. Therefore, a light source module LEM can be monitored precisely for approximately ±1 K. The voltage Vcc required for supplying power to the circuit is approximately 12 V, in comparison with the common ground LED−, and is therefore easy to provide. The capacitors Cf1 and Cf2 are used for filtering and stabilizing the circuit and are not absolutely necessary. The resistance RB serves to adjust the current mirror and is likewise not absolutely necessary.
FIG. 13 shows a second embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The second embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is similar to the first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and therefore only the differences with respect to the first embodiment are explained.
In the second embodiment, the voltage on the communications line CL can be set more precisely. As in the first embodiment, a series circuit including the reference diode DRef and a resistance RRef is connected between the supply voltage VCC and the common ground LED−. However, the node between the reference diode DRef and a resistance RRef is not connected directly to the base of the third transistor Q3 as in the first embodiment, but via a voltage divider including two resistances RRef1 and RRef2, which is connected between the node between the reference diode DRef and a resistance RRef and the common grounding line LED−. The base of the third transistor Q3 is connected to the center point of the voltage divider.
In order to improve temperature compensation, another double diode can be introduced between the resistance RRef2 and the common grounding line LED−.
FIG. 14 shows a third embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The third embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is similar to the first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and therefore only the differences with respect to the first embodiment are explained.
In the third embodiment of the current-measuring device CMU, the Zener diode is replaced by an adjustable Zener diode. The adjustable Zener diode can be, for example, an adjustable Zener diode of the type TL431. The adjustable Zener diode DRef is connected in the same way as the Zener diode in the first embodiment. The control electrode of the adjustable Zener diode DRef is connected to the center point of a voltage divider including two resistances RRef1 and RRef2. The voltage divider including the two resistances RRef1 and RRef2 is connected between the communications line CL and the common ground LED−. This circuit variant provides maximum accuracy when setting the predetermined voltage Vk on the communications line CL by means of the voltage reference which can be set.
FIG. 15A shows a block circuit diagram of the digital embodiment of the lighting system according to the present disclosure with a simplified evaluation circuit. FIG. 15B shows a fourth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The fourth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is similar to the first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and therefore only the differences with respect to the first embodiment are explained.
In the fourth embodiment, the base voltage of the current mirror is regulated by means of a microcontroller 39. The microcontroller 39 is programmed in such a way that it adjusts the voltage Vk on the communications line CL to the predetermined value, for example 5V. For this purpose, the current-measuring device CMU has two further outputs CL, LED− and an input PWM. The potential of the common ground LED− and the potential of the communications line CL are present at the two further outputs. Therefore, the microcontroller 39 is capable of measuring the voltage on the communications line CL with respect to its reference potential GND by virtue of it measuring the potential on the communications line CL using a first analog-to-digital converter 37a, and measuring the potential of the common grounding line LED− by means of a second analog-to-digital converter 37b. The two potentials can now be subtracted digitally from one another so that the voltage on the communications line CL with respect to its reference potential LED− is known. The internal measurement voltage Vout is measured by means of a third analog-to-digital converter 37c. The microcontroller then applies a pulse-width-modulated signal PWM to the input PWM. The input PWM is connected to the gate of a MOSFET QPWM. The drain connection of the MOSFET QPWM is connected to the base of the first transistor Q1 via a resistance RPWM. The source connection of the MOSFET QPWM is connected to the internal circuit ground GND. The microcontroller 39 applies a pulse-width-modulated signal to the input PWM, which pulse-width-modulated signal is regulated by means of the microcontroller 39 in such a way that the voltage on the communications line CL corresponds to the predetermined voltage. In this case, the voltage can be set by changing the duty factor at the input PWM. By virtue of corresponding programming, the temperature dependence of the current-measuring device CMU can be corrected almost completely. This can be achieved, for example, by stored tables in the microcontroller 39, which change the duty factor at the input PWM depending on the temperature.
In the case of digital actuation by means of a microcontroller 39, the current-measuring device CMU can also be operated in clocked fashion. Since the thermal inertia of the light source modules LEM is high, the measurement of the resultant current-setting resistance Rset can take place in relatively large time intervals; during the remaining time, the current-measuring device CMU is then inactive. As a result, the transistors Q1 and Q2 of the current mirror are not heated unnecessarily and the temperature dependence of the arrangement is reduced. For example, the current-measuring device CMU can always be activated for a few ms for determining the current requirement of the connected light source modules LEM in order then to be deactivated for one or more seconds. This gives the transistors Q1, Q2 sufficient time to cool down again and therefore results in a considerable reduction in the average current loading of these transistors.
FIG. 16 shows a fifth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The fifth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is similar to the fourth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and therefore only the differences with respect to the fourth embodiment are explained.
In contrast to the fourth embodiment, in the fifth embodiment the voltage supply VCC for the current-measuring device CMU is dispensed with and the current-measuring device CMU is instead supplied via the operating voltage of the supply line LED+ of the light source modules LEM. For supplying power to the circuit, it is necessary to ensure that the operating voltage of the supply line LED+ is at least 12 V above the common grounding line LED−.
FIG. 17 shows a sixth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The sixth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is similar to the fifth embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and therefore only the differences with respect to the fifth embodiment are explained.
In the sixth embodiment, too, an operating voltage VCC for the current-measuring device CMU is dispensed with and the current-measuring device CMU is fed from the supply line LED+. The voltage tapped off from the supply line is still filtered by means of the components Rsupply and Csupply, however. As a result, the influence of possible clocked operation of the current-measuring device CMU on the light emission of the light source modules LEM is reduced at low dimming settings.
FIG. 18 shows a seventh embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU. The seventh embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU is similar to the first embodiment of the simplified current-measuring device CMU, and therefore only the differences with respect to the first embodiment are explained. In this embodiment, too, the current-measuring device CMU is fed from the supply line LED+. The feed circuit has additionally a voltage-stabilizing function, however, with the result that the supply voltage for the current-measuring device CMU remains the same independently of the voltage on the supply line LED+.
Therefore, the power losses at the first and second transistors Q1 and Q2 are limited to a constant value, which results in an increase in the accuracy of the current-measuring device CMU.
While the disclosed embodiments have been particularly shown and described with reference to specific embodiments, it should be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosed embodiments as defined by the appended claims. The scope of the disclosed embodiments is thus indicated by the appended claims and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced.
LIST OF REFERENCE SYMBOLS

  • Power supply unit PSU
  • Communications line CL
  • Light source module LEM
  • Current-setting resistance Rset
  • Power section CG
  • Current-measuring device CMU
  • Amplifier 30
  • Offset matching circuit 33
  • Amplitude matching circuit 35
  • Analog-to-digital converter 37
  • Microcontroller 39
  • Thermal derating unit TDU
  • Internal measurement signal Vout


1. A power supply unit, comprising:
an output for outputting an output current,
a communications line,
a current-measuring device and
a microcontroller comprising an analog-to-digital converter,
wherein the current-measuring device generates a measurement current on the communications line which is proportional to the conductance of a current-setting resistance,
wherein the measurement current is configured to convert into a digital value by the analog-to-digital converter,
wherein the power supply unit assumes various operating states based on the digital value of the measured measurement current,
wherein the output is configured to connect to at least one light source module,
wherein the at least one light source module has the current-setting resistance, which is configured to connect to the communications line; and
wherein the operating states comprise function states and fault states.
2. The power supply unit as claimed in claim 1,
wherein the output is configured to connect to a plurality of light source modules connected in parallel.
3. The power supply unit as claimed in claim 1,
wherein in the case of at least one function state, the output current is applied at the output which is proportional to the conductance of the current-setting resistance.
4. The power supply unit as claimed in claim 1,
wherein in the case of at least one fault state, no output current is applied to the at least one light source module.
5. The power supply unit as claimed in claim 1,
wherein the current-measuring device has an amplifier circuit, an offset matching circuit and an amplitude matching circuit.
6. A light source module configured to connect to a power supply unit, the power supply unit, comprising: an output for outputting an output current, a communications line of the power supply unit, a current-measuring device, and a microcontroller comprising an analog-to-digital converter, wherein the current-measuring device generates a measurement current on the communications line which is proportional to the conductance of a current-setting resistance, wherein the measurement current is configured to convert into a digital value by the analog-to-digital converter, wherein the power supply unit assumes various operating states based on the digital value of the measured measurement current,
wherein the at least one light source module is configured to connect to the output, and wherein the operating states comprise function states and fault states, the light source module comprising:
an input,
a communications line, as well as
the current-setting resistance for setting the output current applied to the light source module configured to connect to the communications line of the power supply unit.
7. The light source module as claimed in claim 6,
wherein the at least one light source module further has a thermal derating unit.
8. A lighting system comprising:
at least one light source module connected to a power supply unit,
the power supply unit, comprising:
an output for outputting an output current,
a communications line of the power supply unit,
a current-measuring device, and
a microcontroller comprising an analog-to-digital converter,
wherein the current-measuring device generates a measurement current on the communications line which is proportional to the conductance of a current-setting resistance,
wherein the measurement current is configured to convert into a digital value by the analog-to-digital converter,
wherein the power supply unit assumes various operating states based on the digital value of the measured measurement current,
wherein the operating states comprise function states and fault states, and
the at least one light source, comprising:
an input connected to the output, and
the current setting resistance for setting the output current applied to the light source module connected to a communications line of the at least one light source and further connected to the communications line of the power supply.
9. A method for setting a current value for at least one light source module, which is connected to a power supply unit, the method comprising:
applying a measurement voltage to a communications line,
measuring the current flowing in the communications line,
adding a DC component to the measured current,
matching the amplitude of the measured current,
performing an analog-to-digital conversion of the measured current by an analog-to-digital converter,
evaluating the measured current value, and
setting a function state or a fault state of the power supply unit on the basis of the evaluated current value.
10. The method as claimed in claim 9,
wherein in the case of values of below 15% to 25% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter and
in the case of values of above 75% to 85% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter, a fault state is set, and in the case of values of between 15% to 25% and 75% to 85% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter, a function state is set.
11. The method as claimed in claim 10,
wherein the current flowing in the communications line is proportional to the conductance of a current-setting resistance of the at least one light source module.
12. The method as claimed in claim 11,
wherein the added DC component and the amplitude of the measured current are matched in such a way that, for the current-setting resistance, which corresponds to the lowest current output by the power supply unit, the value of the measured current flowing in the communications line after the analog-to-digital conversion corresponds to a value of 15% to 25% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter.
13. The method as claimed in claim 11,
wherein the added DC component and the amplitude of the measured current are matched in such a way that, for the current-setting resistance, which corresponds to the highest current output by the power supply unit, the value of the measured current flowing in the communications line after the analog-to-digital conversion corresponds to a value of 75% to 85% of the control range of the analog-to-digital converter.

 

 

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adaptation circuits allow discharge lamps to be replaced by light circuits with light emitting diodes, while keeping ballast circuits designed for connection to the discharge lamps. the adaptation circuits comprise conversion circuits for converting input voltage and current signals coming from the ballast circuits into output voltage and current signals destined for the light circuits . the conversion circuits reduce amplitudes of the input voltage signals to values below predefined values during predefined time intervals after energy from the ballast circuits has been transferred to the conversion circuits . the time intervals are synchronized with periods of the input voltage signals. between first draining states for draining energy and second releasing states for releasing the energy, third states such as holding states for holding the energy have been introduced. the third states allow relevant values as experienced by the ballast circuits to remain comparable to situations when the discharge lamps were powered.
an operating circuit for light-emitting means , in particular an led string, contains an actively clocked power factor correction circuit , which produces a regulated output voltage , by means of which the light-emitting means are supplied directly or indirectly via at least one further converter stage . the regulation is performed by means of a control unit , which, as manipulated variable , actuates clocking of a switch of the power factor correction circuit . the operating circuit is designed, in the event of the presence of a predefined event, for example a rapid or sudden change in the energy demand of the light-emitting means , selectively: —to change suddenly the value of the manipulated variable using feedforward control, and/or —to vary the time constant of the control loop of the output voltage .
disclosed is an led lighting device using a ballast for a fluorescent lamp, the led lighting device including: an led part which includes at least one led device; a rectifier which rectifies a power signal outputted from the ballast for a fluorescent lamp; and a controller which receives an output signal of the rectifier and controls power transmitted from the ballast to the led part.
disclosed is an improved light-emitting device for an ac power operation. a conventional light emitting device employs an ac light-emitting diode having arrays of light emitting cells connected in reverse parallel. the arrays in the prior art alternately repeat on/off in response to a phase change of an ac power source, resulting in short light emission time during a ½ cycle and the occurrence of a flicker effect. an ac light-emitting device according to the present invention employs a variety of means by which light emission time is prolonged daring a ½ cycle in response to a phase change of an ac power source and a flicker effect can be reduced. for example, the means may be switching blocks respectively connected to nodes between the light emitting cells, switching blocks connected to a plurality of arrays, or a delay phosphor. further, there is provided an ac light-emitting device, wherein a plurality of arrays having the different numbers of light emitting cells are employed to increase light emission time and to reduce a flicker effect.
an electroluminescent earphone with a bending-resistance and a high-brightness includes earphone wires having bending-resistant electroluminescent wires, earbuds, an electroluminescent wire driver and an audio inputting plug. each bending-resistant electroluminescent wire includes: a plurality of central electrodes; a luminescent layer coated on outer surfaces of the central electrodes; a transparent conductive layer coated on an outer surface of the luminescent layer; an outer electrode made of a plurality of wires arranged on an outer surface of the transparent conductive layer; and a transparent plastic covering the outer electrode and the transparent conductive layer. the bending-resistant electroluminescent wire is parallel with an earphone audio wire or coils around an outer surface of the earphone audio wire. a colored transparent plastic covers the bending-resistant electroluminescent wire and the earphone audio wire to form the earphone wire having the bending-resistant electroluminescent wire.
a battery pack and charger platform including a voltage coupling circuit comprising an input that receives an input voltage and an output that sends an output voltage, a voltage monitoring circuit having an input coupled to the voltage coupling circuit output and an output, and a power source having an input coupled to the voltage monitoring circuit output, the power source input receives an input voltage representative of a charge instruction.
the disclosed technology provides micro-assembled micro-led displays and lighting elements using arrays of micro-leds that are too small , numerous, or fragile to assemble by conventional means. the disclosed technology provides for micro-led displays and lighting elements assembled using micro-transfer printing technology. the micro-leds can be prepared on a native substrate and printed to a display substrate , thereby obviating the manufacture of the micro-leds on the display substrate. in certain embodiments, the display substrate is transparent and/or flexible.
an apparatus for generating light may be comprised of a light source with a lens interposed in a light path from the light source. the lens may be comprised of two or more sections wherein at least one section may be comprised of smart glass. electrical circuitry may be configured to control a transparency state of the smart glass lens sections. another embodiment may have two reflectors wherein one of the reflectors may be interposed between the light source and the other reflector and may be comprised of smart glass with a transparent state and a reflective state so that two different reflection patterns may be created. a method for illumination wherein at least one area's illumination is controlled by a section of smart glass is also disclosed.
a lighting device includes a housing , a light converter , one or more light sources , and one or more optical waveguides . the housing includes a light exit for outputting a combination of primary light and secondary light . the light source emits a primary light beam of a primary wavelength. the optical waveguide includes an input end optically coupled to the light source, and an output end facing a housing interior and positioned at an angle to an axial direction through the housing interior. the optical waveguide directs the primary light beam from the light source, through the housing interior and toward a luminescent material of the light converter. the luminescent material emits secondary light of one or more wavelengths different from the primary wavelength in response to excitation by the primary light beam. the light source may be mounted outside the housing interior so as not to obstruct light propagation.
the present disclosure is directed to a dual mode backlight system and related method. the system may include a circuit card including a first array of lights for use in a day mode and a second array of lights for use in a night mode. the system may also include a heat sink which may be connected to the circuit card, and a light filter assembly. the light filter assembly may include a light filter plate and a plurality of light filters disposed within the light filter plate, where the light filters are configured for filtering light from the second array of lights. the system may also include a diffuse reflector connected to the light filter assembly, wherein the light filter assembly and diffuse reflector create an optical seal between the first array of lights and the second array of lights.
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