Title:
Method and Device for Cleaning a Wet Mop
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method cleans a wet mop having a planar holding device on which a mop cover is disposed. The method uses a washing apparatus for washing the mop cover disposed on the holding device, the washing apparatus has an electromotive drive unit which is supplied with power from an accumulator and by which the wet mop is retracted and conveyed to the washing apparatus. The power input from the accumulator is limited during the time the wet mop is retracted. Additionally or alternatively, retracting of the wet mop is supported by an energy store that has previously been supplied with power from the accumulator.



Inventors:
Damrath, Joachim (Bachhagel, DE)
Holzer, Stefan (Aalen, DE)
Spielmannleitner, Markus (Ellwangen, DE)
Wetzel, Gerhard (Sontheim, DE)
Application Number:
11/793734
Publication Date:
06/19/2008
Filing Date:
11/25/2005
Assignee:
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/105
International Classes:
A47L13/00; A46B15/00
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Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LERNER GREENBERG STEMER LLP (HOLLYWOOD, FL, US)
Claims:
1. 1-17. (canceled)

18. A method for cleaning a wet mop having a planar holder and a mop cover supported by the planar holder, the method comprises the steps of: providing a washing device having an electromotive drive device supplied with power from an accumulator for washing the mop cover disposed on the holder; inserting the wet mop into the electromotive drive device and conveying the wet mop to the washing device and during an insertion of the wet mop performing at least one of: limiting power consumption from the accumulator; and supporting the insertion of the wet mop by an energy store previously supplied from the accumulator.

19. The method according to claim 18, which further comprises limiting the power consumption of the electromotive drive device by use of a current limitation device.

20. The method according to claim 18, which further comprises starting motors of the electromotive drive device in a staggered manner.

21. The method according to claim 18, which further comprises starting motors of the electromotive drive device, of a fluid pump and of a squeezing device for wet mop in a staggered manner.

22. The method according to claim 18, which further comprises: providing an electrical energy store as the energy store; and charging the electrical energy store from the accumulator before the wet mop is inserted, and a charge in the electrical energy store is used for starting at least one motor of the electromotive drive device.

23. The method according to claim 18, which further comprises: providing a mechanical energy store, being a flywheel mass, as the energy store; driving the flywheel mass from the accumulator before the wet mop is inserted; and coupling the flywheel mass to the electromotive drive device when the wet mop is inserted.

24. The method according to claim 18, which further comprises: developing a pressure in at least one of a dirty water container and a container for cleaning fluid before the wet mop is inserted; and using the pressure for a subsequent discharge of the cleaning fluid or for energy discharge in a mechanical form.

25. A device for cleaning a wet mop having a planar holder and a mop cover supported by the planar holder, the device comprising: a washing device for washing the mop cover disposed on the planar holder; an accumulator; an electromotive drive device supplied with power from said accumulator, with said electromotive drive device, the wet mop being inserted and conveyed to said washing device; and a control unit provided for limiting power consumption from said accumulator during insertion of the wet mop.

26. The device according to claim 25, wherein said control unit for limiting the power consumption of said electromotive drive device has a current limiting circuit.

27. The device according to claim 25, wherein: said electromotive drive has a plurality of motors; and said control unit has switching devices for starting said motors in a staggered manner.

28. The device according to claim 25, further comprising a fluid pump with a motor; further comprising a squeezing device with a motor for the wet mop; wherein said electromotive drive device has at least one motor; and wherein said control unit has switching devices for starting said motor of said electromotive drive device, said fluid pump and said squeezing device in a staggered manner.

29. The device according to claim 27, wherein said control unit has an electrical energy store being charged from said accumulator by one of said switching devices before the insertion of the wet mop, and said electrical energy store is connected to at least one of said motors by said switching devices when said motors start or when the wet mop is inserted.

30. The device according to claim 29, wherein said electrical energy store is a high capacity capacitor.

31. The device according to claim 30, wherein said capacitor is connected permanently in parallel to said accumulator.

32. The device according to claim 25, wherein said control unit has a mechanical energy store being a flywheel mass, said flywheel mass being driven from said accumulator before the wet mop is inserted and is mechanically coupled to said electromotive drive device having a drive motor when the wet mop is inserted.

33. The device according to claims 29, wherein said control unit has a sensor for detecting the wet mop to be inserted.

34. The device according to claim 25, wherein said wet mop has a gently increasing insertion angle.

35. A device for cleaning a wet mop having a planar holder and a mop cover supported by the planar holder, the device comprising: a washing device for washing the mop cover disposed on the planar holder; an accumulator; an electromotive drive device supplied with power from said accumulator, with said electromotive drive device, the wet mop being inserted and conveyed to said washing device; and an energy store for supporting an insertion of the wet mop and supplied previously from said accumulator.

Description:

The invention relates to a method for cleaning a wet mop comprising a planar holding device on which a mop cover is arranged, with a washing apparatus for washing the mop cover arranged on the holder, and with an electromotive drive unit which is supplied with power from an accumulator and by means of which the wet mop is retracted and conveyed to the washing apparatus.

DE 106 53 71 A1 discloses a device for cleaning a wet mop.

The disadvantage of such an arrangement is that the accumulator is subject to an increased current discharge and hence a higher load when the wet mop is retracted, limiting the life of the accumulator or necessitating the use of higher quality and hence more expensive accumulators.

The object of this invention is to make available a method and a device for cleaning a wet mop which avoids peak loads of the accumulator and therefore contributes to its increased service life.

This object is achieved in respect of the method by the features of claim 1, and in respect of the device by the features of claim 8.

Because the power consumption is limited during retraction of the wet mop and the supply of additional energy from an energy store supplied previously by the accumulator, this ensures that the accumulator is not subject to peak loads. Despite that fact that no extremely high quality and therefore expensive accumulators are used, this enables the device to be operated for a comparatively longer period.

The power consumption of the electromotive drive device is advantageously limited by a current limitation.

If in the method according to the invention for cleaning the wet mop a drive device comprising a plurality of motors is provided, it is recommended that the motors be started in staggered fashion one after the other. This ensures that the load peaks that normally occur when a motor is started take place in staggered, attenuated fashion, i.e. not cumulatively.

Correspondingly it is recommended that the motors of the drive device, the liquid pump and/or a squeezing device for the wet mop also be started in a staggered fashion.

Furthermore, it is possible, advantageously, to charge an electric energy store from the accumulator before the wet mop is retracted and to use the charge in the electric energy store for starting the motor/motors.

Alternatively it is also possible, advantageously, for a mechanical energy store to be driven in the form of a flywheel mass from the accumulator, for example, before the wet mop is retracted, and for the flywheel mass to be coupled to the motor drive during retraction of the wet mop.

Finally, and also advantageously, a pressure can be developed in the dirty water container and/or the container of cleaning fluid before the wet mop is retracted, which pressure is used for the subsequent discharge of the cleaning fluid or energy discharge in mechanical form. In the former case there is no need to switch on a pump for the cleaning fluid if the accumulator is already loaded in any case due to the conveying drive for the wet mop. In the second alternative, on the other hand, the pressure can be converted to kinetic energy, i.e. it can be used to convey the wet mop or for the squeezing device.

To enable the energy to be stored at an early stage it is proposed, within the scope of the invention, that the control unit be provided with a sensor for detecting the wet mop to be inserted.

Finally it is also possible for the wet mop to be provided with a gently increasing angle of insertion, whereby a load maximum for the accumulator can also be effectively avoided when inserting the wet mop.

The invention is explained in further detail in the following by way of an exemplary embodiment shown in the drawing, in which

FIG. 1 shows a diagrammatic side view of a device for de-moistening a wet mop together with a wet mop for use with the device as an exemplary embodiment,

FIG. 2 shows an enlarged partial view from the front of the device according to FIG. 1 together with the wet mop, and

FIG. 3 shows a side view of the device according to FIG. 1 during the operation of the device for wetting and de-moistening the wet mop.

FIG. 1 shows diagrammatically, as an exemplary embodiment, a device 104 for moistening a wet mop 101, which device is manually operated. Wet mop 101 is provided with a holder 102 secured to a handle 118 for holding a mop cover 103. Mop cover 103 is flexible and absorbent so that it can be wetted for cleaning floors in particular with a cleaning fluid.

For wetting, wet mop 101 is guided in the direction of the arrow by device 104 by a guide 113 which has individual guide elements in the form of horizontally arranged plates. Here guide 113 guides holder 102 horizontally along a horizontal path of movement beyond a nozzle 112. Nozzle 112 is connected by a fluid pipe 11 to a pump 108, which is arranged on the bottom of container 105 forming the base of device 104. Container 105 contains cleaning fluid 106 which can be sucked in from pump 108 via an inlet filter 107 and pumped through pipe 11 to nozzle 112. Fluid 106 can be sprayed through nozzle 112 from below against mop cover 103 of wet mop 101.

A sensor 114, for example, is provided in guide 113 in the form of a switch which detects the presence of holder 102 in guide 113. As soon as holder 102 is inserted in guide 113, and this has been detected by sensor 114, a control device, not shown, actuates pump 108 so that fluid 106 is sprayed upwards through nozzle 112. A motor driven driving roll 110, arranged underneath the path of movement, is simultaneously actuated. On the side of the path of movement opposite driving roll 110 are arranged two counter-rolls 109 which are arranged coaxially in respect of each other and are rotatable about an axis of rotation which runs parallel to the axis of rotation of driving roll 110. Holder 102 may therefore be pulled through, together with mop cover 103, between driving roll 110 and counter-rolls 109.

The distance between driving roll 110 and counter-rolls 109 is dimensioned so that holder 102, with mop cover 103, is in frictional contact with rolls 109, 110, so that it can be detected and driven.

Driving roil 110 extends over the entire width of mop cover 103 perpendicularly to the direction of driving so that it bears against mop cover 103 at the bottom throughout is width. Both counter-rolls 109 are each arranged so that they project from the edges of holder 102 and mop cover 103 in the lateral extension of holder 102, leaving open an interval between them. The interval between rolls 109 are used to guide through handle 118 of the wet mop.

FIG. 2 shows the upper part of device 104 together with the lower part of wet mop 101, viewed from the front. In this representation it can be seen that the counter-rolls 109 each consist of two cylinder sections 119, 120 arranged concentrically to each other, which sections have different diameters. The smaller cylinder sections 119 are arranged on the inside and the larger cylinder sections 120 on the outside. Consequently the gap between driving roll 110 and the larger cylinder sections 120 is smaller on the outside than between driving roll 110 and the smaller cylinder sections 119. Driving roll 110 is also connected to motor 116 for driving in the direction of rotation.

FIG. 2 also shows that mop cover 103 is wider in the direction of movement than holder 102, and projects from the sides of holder 102. The edges of mop cover 103 projecting from both sides here form a cushion for holder 102, which also serves as protection against damage to other objects, such as furniture, in particular, from holder 102. Since holder 102 must be able to transfer force for squeezing out wet mop 103, holder 102 is produced from a stiff material such as a metal, for example, so that holder 102 could well damage other objects on contact. For this reason a projecting mop cover 103 is particularly advantageous as protection.

In order also to be able to squeeze out the projecting parts of mop cover 103, the smaller cylinder sections 119 are dimensioned on the inside so that they are able to squeeze out holder 102, together with the part of mop cover 103 lying underneath on driving roll 110, and the larger cylinder sections 120 are dimensioned so that they are able to squeeze out the edges of mop cover 103 projecting from holder 102 on driving roll 110. For this purpose the height of the larger cylinder sections 120 in the axial direction is chosen to be at least equal to the width of the projecting edge of mop cover 103, and the diameter of the larger cylinder sections 120, together with the distance between the axes for the counter-rolls 109 and driving roll 110 are chosen so that the projecting edge of mop cover 103 can be compressed between them.

In the case of the smaller cylinder sections 119 arranged on the inside it is only necessary for them to be able to bear against holder 102 and squeeze it against driving roll 110 so that the part of mop cover 103 covered by holder 102 can be squeezed out. Between the two smaller cylinder sections 119 there is an interruption or gap for guiding through handle 118. The narrower the gap, the more difficult it will be to guide through handle 118. Conversely, the area with which the smaller cylinder sections 119 press against holder 102 is increases as the gap becomes narrower, and the bending moments acting on holder 102 are therefore reduced.

The two cylinder sections 119, 120, adjacent to each other, are preferably mounted coaxially to each other on a common shaft, wherein both cylinder sections 119, 120 are able to rotate independently of each other or can be adjusted in respect of their force of contact.

Because of the pressure of driving roll 110 acting throughout the width, mop cover 103 is again partially de-moistened and fluid is forced out of mop cover 103. Fluid 106 forced out runs onto an intermediate bottom 117 and from there through a dirt filter 115 back into container 105. As wet mop 101 is guided through by guide 113, as shown in FIG. 3, mop cover 103 is therefore sprayed with cleaning fluid 106 from below so that mop cover 103 is wetted and any dirt contained in it flushed out, and is then partially de-moistened again so that it escapes on the right side of device 104 with a defined moisture content. The effect of this is that mop cover 103 does not drip during cleaning. Here the control system also detects when holder 102 releases sensor 114 again, and when the rear end of holder 102 has passed sensor 114 and then actuates pump 108 and driving roll 110 for a further defined period of time until holder 102 has been pulled completely through rolls 109, 110. Here the actuation of pump 108 may also be completed before rolls 109, 110 are actuated.

The accumulator serving to drive motor 116 and pump 108 is subjected, during insertion of the wet mop, to increased current consumption and hence higher loads which, in the case of low cost accumulators, limit their service life or necessitate the use of higher quality and hence more expensive accumulators.

It is therefore important to avoid such peak loads of the accumulator as this contributes to longer service life.

The invention provides essentially two methods of achieving this: firstly the power consumption from the accumulator can be limited according to its maximum load capacity during the insertion of wet mop 101. This generally means that motor 116 starts more slowly. In addition, or alternatively, the insertion of wet mop 101 can be supported by an energy store previously supplied from the accumulator. This provides additional energy for the starting process, this energy having previously been taken from the accumulator in an energy-saving mode of operation.

These measures ensure that the accumulator is not subjected to peak loads, thus obviating the need to use particularly high quality and hence more expensive accumulators but without imposing noticeable limitations on the operating time of these accumulators.

To limit the power consumption of electromotive drive device 116 a current limitation system is provided, if only because of the direct current drive.

If the device for cleaning the wet mop is provided with a drive device consisting of a plurality of motors 116, the power consumption may also be limited by starting motors 116 in a staggered fashion. This results in a time distribution of the load peaks that normally occur when a motor is started.

Correspondingly motors of the drive device, the fluid pump and/or a squeezing device for the wet mop can and should also be started in a staggered manner.

In the case of the second possibility, already discussed, of limiting the power taken from the accumulator, an electrical energy store is charged from the accumulator before wet mop 101 is inserted. When motor 116 is started the charge in the electrical energy store is then also used for supplying the motor/motors with current.

Instead of using an electrical store a mechanical energy store may also be used in the form of a flywheel mass, which is initially driven from the accumulator. When wet mop 116 is inserted the flywheel mass is coupled to the motor drive unit, thereby reducing the power consumption of motor 116.

However, further possibilities of energy storage and its subsequent supply for inserting the wet mop are conceivable and possible: for example, a pressure can be pneumatically built up in the dirty water container and also, or alternatively, in container 105 containing cleaning fluid 106. The energy stored in this form is available for subsequent discharge by different methods. Either the developed pressure is used for discharging cleaning fluid 106, i.e. for spraying mop cover 103, so that the switching on of a pump for the cleaning fluid can be wholly dispensed with, in which case the power of the accumulator is only available for the conveying drive of wet mop 101.

Alternatively, however, the pressure can also be converted to kinetic energy and may therefore be used, for example, for conveying wet mop 101.

However, the energy storage prior to the insertion of wet mop 101 presupposes that the control unit has a sensor 114 of the type mentioned above for detecting the wet mop to be inserted.

A further possibility, if necessary even an alternative possibility of avoiding high loads of the accumulator when inserting wet mop 101 consists in the fact that wet mop 101 has a gently increasing angle of insertion causing the increased loading of the accumulator to be distributed over a longer period of time, thereby reducing the peak load.