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US Patent 10,132,452 Suspended Track and Planar Electrode Systems and Methods

Abstract

Suspended and planar electrode systems and methods are disclosed for applications such as lighting. Some embodiments incorporate removable twist-on elements providing uniform spacing between cable rod or strip electrodes extending through space. Multiple electrodes may be attached simultaneously. Twist-on elements may contain light emitting elements electrically attached to parallel electrodes. Embodiments may include mounting features for fixing electrodes above a mounting surface. Some embodiments include electrically insulated electrodes and modules with insulation displacement contact elements and environmental sealing. Some embodiments include polymeric insulation on both the module and electrodes providing environmental sealing when modules are disconnected from electrodes. Electrodes in sealed systems may be suspended with spacers or built into planar arrays in walls, ceiling or furniture. Some embodiments include folded electrode gyrating tracks having mounting positions providing different axial and radial pointing directions. Modules may be attached to electrodes by mechanical or magnetic forces.

Claims

1. A system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system comprising:an electrode system comprising:

a first electrode having a first electrode contact surface; wherein the first electrode comprises a ferromagnetic material;

a module comprising:

a housing; an electrical interface; wherein the electrical interface comprises: an electrical contact spike; wherein at least a portion of the electrical contact spike is capable of movement relative to the housing; a magnetic structure; wherein the magnetic structure comprises: a permanent magnet; one or more ferromagnetic pole pieces; wherein the magnetic structure is operable to provide a magnetic attractive force between the electrical interface and the first electrode that is directed substantially perpendicular to the first electrode contact surface;wherein the magnetic attractive force is characterized by a magnetic flux circuit including the permanent magnet, the one or more ferromagnetic pole pieces and the first electrode; wherein the magnetic flux is substantially perpendicular to the first electrode contact surface at the electrical contact spike; an electrically insulating layer; and wherein the electrically insulating layer is positioned to be compressed around the electrical contact spike by the magnetic attractive force when the electrical contact spike is electrically attached to the electrode contact surface.

2. A system for electrical connection between a module and an electrode system comprising:

a module; wherein the module comprises:an insulation displacement spike; a first electrode; wherein the first electrode comprises: a first electrode contact surface;an electrically insulating layer; wherein the electrically insulating layer is configured to be penetrated and deformed by the insulation displacement spike through a compressive force applied in a direction substantially perpendicular to the first electrode contact surface thereby providing environmental sealing of the insulation displacement spike; wherein the first electrode has a first linear segment; a second electrode;wherein the second electrode has a second linear segment; a spacer; wherein the spacer is configured to maintain the first linear segment substantially parallel to the second linear segment; and wherein the spacer is configured for attachment to the first electrode through a rotation about an axis perpendicular to the first linear segment.

3. An insulation displacement connection system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system comprising:

a first electrode comprising: a first electrical attachment surface; a first electrically insulating layer; wherein the first electrically insulating layer is positioned over the first electrical attachment surface; a second electrode; wherein the electrode system has a shape characterized by a plurality of folds; wherein the plurality of folds comprises: a plurality of positive fold line angles; a plurality of negative fold line angles; a plurality of positive surface fold angles; a plurality of negative surface fold angles; a module comprising: an electrical interface surface comprising:a first electrical contact; wherein the first electrical contact comprises: an insulation displacement spike; an electrical circuit;wherein the electrical circuit is adapted to transfer at least one of electrical energy and electrical data through the first electrical contact; and wherein the insulation displacement spike is configured to extend through the first electrically insulating layer when the module is attached to the first electrical attachment surface.

4. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 1 wherein the electrically insulating layer comprises at least one electrically insulating film; wherein the at least one electrically insulating film is configured to provide environmental sealing of at least one of the electrical contact spike and the first electrode contact surface prior to the electrical attachment of the module to the electrode system; and wherein the at least one electrically insulating film is configured to be pierced by the electrical contact spike during the electrical attachment of the module to the electrode system.

5. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 1 wherein the electrically insulating layer comprises an electrically insulating coating on the first electrode contact surface.

6. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 1 comprising an IDC plate wherein the electrical contact spike is formed on the IDC plate.

7. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 1 wherein the electrode system has a longitudinal axis and wherein the first electrode comprises:a first strip electrode comprising: a first front face;a first rear face; a plurality of first edges; wherein the first front face and the first rear face define a first thickness therebetween; wherein the first front face is oriented perpendicular to the longitudinal axis and has a lateral extent determined by the plurality of first edges; wherein the electrode system further comprises: a second strip electrode comprising: a second front face; a second rear face; a plurality of second edges; wherein the second front face and the second rear face define a second thickness therebetween; wherein the second front face is oriented perpendicular to the longitudinal axis and has a lateral extent determined by the plurality of second edges; and wherein the first front face and the second front face are essentially parallel where the module is attached to the electrode system.

8. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 7 wherein the first strip electrode has a first edge segment that is not parallel to the longitudinal axis.

9. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 7 wherein the first strip electrode and the second strip electrode are oriented back-to-back; wherein at least a portion of the second front face comprises:an obscured area; an exposed area; wherein the obscured area is separated from the exposed area along a boundary; and wherein the boundary comprises a segment of one or more first edges.

10. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 9 wherein the first strip electrode and the second strip electrode are shaped and positioned to expose portions of the following:the first front face;the second front face; the first rear face; and the second rear face.

11. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 9 wherein the orientation of the first front face is modified by twisting about the longitudinal axis.

12. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 9 wherein the boundary includes a segment that is not parallel to the longitudinal axis.

13. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 7 wherein the first strip electrode and the second strip electrode comprise a planar array and wherein the planar array is incorporated into a building panel, architectural element or furniture element comprising electrically insulating material.

14. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 2 further comprising a module insulating layer wherein the module insulating layer is penetrated by the insulation displacement spike when the module is attached to the electrode system.

15. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 2 wherein the spacer is incorporated into the module and wherein the module is electrically connected to the first electrode contact surface through rotation of at least a portion of the module about an axis that is not substantially parallel to the first linear segment.

16. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 2 wherein the spacer is attached to a mounting surface prior to the rotation of the spacer that attaches the first electrode to the spacer.

17. The system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 2 wherein the spacer further comprises locking structures operable to obstruct a reverse rotation after the spacer is attached to the first electrode.

18. The insulation displacement connection system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 3 wherein the electrical interface surface further comprises:a second electrical contact; and wherein the second electrical contact is located laterally of the first electrical contact.

19. The insulation displacement connection system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 3 wherein the module has a mechanical clamping element configured to provide a mechanical biasing force on the insulation displacement spike after the module is electrically attached to the electrode system.

20. The insulation displacement connection system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 19 further comprising an opening between the first electrode and the second electrode; and wherein the mechanical clamping element includes a portion that is designed to be inserted in the opening and rotated during the electrical attachment of the module to the electrode system.

21. The insulation displacement connection system for electrical attachment of a module to an electrode system of claim 3 wherein the surface fold angles have a magnitude of 130 to 145 degrees and the fold line angles have a magnitude of 30 to 45 degrees.