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1. WO2020223277 - STAGGERED DRIVING ELECTRICAL CONTROL OF A PLURALITY OF ELECTRICALLY CONTROLLABLE PRIVACY GLAZING STRUCTURES

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A method for electrically driving a plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures using a single electrical driver comprising:

establishing an electrical drive signal for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures, each electrical drive signal including one or more drive parameters;

applying a first electrical drive signal to a first privacy glazing structure of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures; and

applying a second electrical drive signal to a second privacy glazing structure of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures;

wherein applying the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal comprises temporally staggering delivery of the first and second electrical drive signals such that at least one of a peak power draw and a peak current draw from the first privacy glazing structure is temporally offset from a peak power draw and/or a peak current draw from the second privacy glazing structure.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein:

the first electrical drive signal comprises a first square wave and the second electrical drive signal comprises a second square wave; and

temporally staggering deliver of the first and second electrical drive signals comprises temporally offsetting the timing of the changing between high and low states of the first and second square waves to temporally offset current spikes associated with the electrical drive signals.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the first square wave comprises a first substantially tri-state square wave and the second square wave comprises a substantially tri-state square wave.

4. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein temporally staggering the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal comprises applying the second electrical drive signal a predetermined amount of time after applying the first electrical drive signal.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the predetermined amount of time is based on one or more drive parameters associated with the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the predetermined amount of time is based on a frequency parameter of the first electrical drive signal and a frequency parameter of the second electrical drive signal.

7. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein

determining the electrical drive signal for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises:

determining one or more electrical properties of the first privacy glazing structure;

determining the first electrical drive signal based upon the determined one or more electrical properties of the first privacy glazing structure;

determining one or more electrical properties of the second privacy glazing structure; and

determining the second electrical drive signal based upon the determined one or more electrical properties of the second privacy glazing structure; and

temporally staggering delivery of the first and second electrical drive signals comprises determining an amount of temporal offset between the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal based on the determined first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the determined amount of temporal offset comprises a time delay and/or a phase shift.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein the determining the amount of temporal offset between the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal based on the determined first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal comprises comparing a frequency component of the first electrical drive signal to a frequency component of the second electrical drive signal and determining a temporal offset to reduce or eliminate superposition of one or more features in the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal based on the compared frequency components.

10. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, staggering the electrical drive signals applied to one or more of the electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises incorporating a phase shift between a first electrical drive signal applied to a first privacy glazing structure in the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures and a second electrical drive signal applied to the second privacy glazing structure in the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the first electrical drive signal is applied to the first privacy glazing structure and the second electrical drive signal is applied to the second privacy glazing structure simultaneously but out of phase.

12. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein staggering the electrical drive signals applied to one or more of the electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises staggering each of the electrical drive signals so that no one of the plurality of electrical drive signals is applied simultaneously and in phase with another of the plurality of electrical drive signals.

13. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, further comprising:

analyzing each of the plurality of determined electrical drive signals; and

determining which of the plurality of electrical drive signals can be applied simultaneously and in phase with one another without causing one or more electrical characteristics to exceed a predetermined threshold;

wherein staggering the electrical drive signals comprises staggering at least two electrical drive signals that cannot be applied both simultaneously and in phase without causing the one or more electrical characteristics to exceed the predetermined threshold with respect to one another.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the one or more electrical characteristics comprises a current spike resulting from electrical drive signals applied simultaneously and in phase.

15. The method of either of claims 13 and 14, wherein:

the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises a third privacy glazing structure;

establishing an electrical drive signal for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises establishing a third electrical drive signal for application to the third privacy glazing structure;

determining which of the plurality of electrical drive signals can be applied simultaneously and in phase without causing one or more electrical characteristics to exceed a predetermined threshold comprises determining that combining the first and second electrical drive signals results in the one or more electrical characteristics exceeding the predetermined threshold and determining that combining the first and third electrical drive signals does not result in the one or more electrical characteristics exceeding the

predetermined threshold; and

staggering at least two electrical drive signals that cannot be applied simultaneously and in phase without causing the one or more electrical characteristics to exceed the predetermined threshold with respect to one another comprises not staggering the first and third electrical drive signals while staggering the first and second electrical drive signals.

16. The method of any one of the foregoing claims,

further comprising determining which of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures are active; and

wherein staggering the electrical drive signals applied to one or more of the electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises staggering the electrical drive signals to the active electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures.

17. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein

staggering the electrical drive signals applied to the one or more of the electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises substantially equally staggering the application of the electrical drive signal across each of the plurality of channel, including staggering the second electrical drive signal from the first electrical drive signal by a first amount and staggering a third electrical drive signal from the second electrical drive signal by the first amount.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the first amount comprises an amount of time delay.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the first amount comprises an amount of phase shift.

20. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein equally staggering the application of the electrical drive signal across each of the plurality of channels comprises applying each of the plurality of electrical drive signals sequentially, and wherein each electrical drive signal is applied a predetermined amount of time after the previously applied electrical drive signal.

21. The method of claim 20, wherein each of the plurality of electrical drive signals is applied within a single period of an electrical drive signal frequency.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the electrical drive signal frequency is within a range from 30 Hz to 70 Hz.

23. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal include different frequencies.

24. The method of any one of the foregoing claims, wherein:

applying the first electrical drive signal to the first privacy glazing structure causes an inrush current spike from the driver to the first privacy glazing structure;

applying the second electrical drive signal to the second privacy glazing structure causes an inrush current spike from the driver to the second privacy glazing structure; and temporally staggering delivery of the first and second electrical drive signals causes the inrush current spike from the driver to the first privacy glazing structure to occur at a different time from the inrush current spike from the driver to the second privacy glazing structure.

25. An electrical driver for electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures, the driver comprising a plurality of drive channels and being configured to:

apply a plurality of electrical drive signals to a corresponding plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures via the plurality of drive channels; and

stagger the application of electrical drive signals via the plurality of drive channels.

26. The driver of claim 25, further configured to determine electrical drive signals for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures.

27. The driver of claim 26, wherein determining electrical drive signals for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises determining one or more electrical characteristics of each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures corresponding to each of the plurality of drive channels.

28. The driver of either of claims 26 and 27, further configured to stagger the application of electrical drive signals based upon the determined electrical drive signals for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures.

29. The driver of any one of claims 26-28, wherein determining electrical drive signals for each of the plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures comprises choosing different drive frequencies for each of the plurality of electrical drive signals.

30. The driver of any one of claims 25-29, wherein staggering the application of electrical drive signals via the plurality of drive channels comprises sequentially applying each of the plurality electrical drive signals.

31. The driver of any one of claims 25-30, wherein staggering the application of electrical drive signals comprises phase shifting at least one electrical drive signal.

32. The driver of any one of claims 25-31, comprising at least ten drive channels and wherein the driver is capable of applying electrical drive signals to each optical privacy glazing structure within a group of optical privacy glazing structures simultaneously.

33. The driver of claim 32 comprising at least twenty drive channels and wherein the driver is capable of applying electrical drive signals to each optical privacy glazing structure within a group of twenty optical privacy glazing structures simultaneously.

34. The driver of any one of claims 25-33, wherein each of the plurality of drive signals comprises an AC signal.

35. A privacy system comprising:

a first electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure including a first electrically controllable optically active material;

a second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure including a second electrically controllable optically active material; and

a driver including a first drive channel configured to provide a first electrical drive signal to the first electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure and a second drive channel configured to provide a second electrical drive signal to the second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure;

wherein the driver is configured to temporally stagger the application of the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal by at least one of:

applying the second electrical drive signal after applying the first electrical drive signal;

incorporating a phase shift between the first electrical drive signal; or

applying the second electrical drive signal after applying the first electrical drive signal and incorporating a phase shift between the first electrical drive signal.

36. The system of claim 35, wherein the driver is configured to:

characterize one or more electrical properties of each of the first and second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures;

establish the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal based on the characterized one or more electrical properties of each of the first and second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures; and

temporally stagger the application of the first and second electrical drive signals based on one or more characteristics of the of established first and second electrical drive signals.

37. The system of either of claims 35 and 36, wherein staggering the application of the first and second electrical drive signals comprises delaying the application of the second electrical drive signal with respect to the second electrical drive signals by a predetermined amount of time.

38. The system of claim 37, wherein the predetermined amount of time is shorter than a period associated with the first electrical drive signals.

39. The system of any one of claims 35-38, wherein the first and second electrically controllable optically active material comprises a liquid crystal material.

40. The system of any one of claims 35-39, comprising at least five electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures, each including a respective electrically controllable optically active material, the first and second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures being included within the at least five electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures;

wherein the driver includes at least five drive channels, each being configured to provide an electrical drive signal to a respective one of the at least five electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures.

41. The system of any one of claims 35-40, wherein the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal comprise AC voltage signals.

42. The system of claim 41, wherein:

the first electrical drive signal causes a first inrush current from the driver to the first electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure;

the second electrical drive signal causes a second inrush current from the driver to the second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure; and

temporally stagger the application of the first electrical drive signal and the second electrical drive signal causes the first and second inrush currents to occur at different times.

43. The system of either of claims 41 and 42, wherein the AC voltage signals comprise substantially square-wave AC voltage signals.

44. The system of either of claims 41 and 42, wherein each of the substantially square-wave AC voltage signals comprises a substantially tri-state square wave AC voltage signal.

45. The system of claim 43, wherein each of the substantially square-wave AC voltage signals comprises a slew-rate voltage signal.

46. The system of any one of claims 35-45, wherein the first electrically controllable optically active material comprises a liquid crystal material and the second electrically controllable optically active material comprises a liquid crystal material.

47. The system of any one of claims 35-46, wherein the first optical privacy glazing structure comprises a window, door, or interior partition.

48. The system of any one of claims 35-47, wherein the first optical privacy glazing structure comprises a first pane of transparent material and a second pane of transparent material, and wherein the first electrically controllable optically active material is positioned between the first pane of transparent material and the second pane of transparent material.

49. The system of any one of claims 35-48, further comprising a

a third electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure including a third electrically controllable optically active material; and

a fourth electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure including a fourth electrically controllable optically active material;

wherein the driver includes a third drive channel configured to provide a third electrical drive signal to the third electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure and a fourth drive channel configured to provide a fourth electrical drive signal to the fourth electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure.

50. The system of claim 49, wherein the driver is configured to temporally stagger the application of each of the first, second, third, and fourth drive signals relative to one another such that none of the first, second, third, or fourth electrical drive signals are applied both simultaneously and in phase with any other of the first, second, third, or fourth electrical drive signals.

51. The system of any one of claims 35-50, wherein applying the first electrical drive signal to the first electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure maintains the first electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure in a first optical state.

52. The system of claim 51, wherein the driver is configured to adjust one or more drive parameters of the first electrical drive signal to transition the first electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure from the first optical state to a second optical state.

53. The system of claim 52, wherein:

the first optical state is one of a transparent state and an opaque state; and the second optical state is the other of the transparent state and the opaque state.

54. The system of any one of claims 35-53, wherein:

the first and second electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures are a part of a plurality of electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structures; and

the driver is configured to:

establish, for each of the plurality of electrically controllable, a corresponding electrical drive signal and provide the electrical drive signal to the corresponding electrically controllable optical privacy glazing structure; and

determine which of the plurality of electrical drive signals can be applied simultaneously and in phase with one another without causing one or more electrical characteristics to exceed a predetermined threshold; and

if two of the plurality of electrical drive signals, when applied simultaneously and in phase with one another, would cause the one or more electrical characteristics to exceed the predetermined threshold, temporally stagger the two electrical drive signals relative to one another.

55. The system of claim 54, wherein the one or more electrical characteristics comprises at least one of a peak combined current draw and a peak combined power draw.