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Conference Paper · May 2009

DOI: 10.1109/VETECS.2009.5073285 · Source: IEEE Xplore

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A Battery-less Tire Pressure Monitoring System

I-Hsiu Ho 1 , Jia-min Chung 1 , Hsiao-Chin Chen 2 , Hung-Wei Chiu 1

1 Graduate Institute of Computer and Communication, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. 2 Graduate Institute of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. hwchiu@ntut.edu.tw

Abstract—In this paper, we utilize the contactless power transmission technique in RFID system to achieve the battery- less tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The system adopts a high-efficiency Class-E Power Amplifier to transmit RF power. The circuit for the whole power transmission circuit from the tire transponder to the reader is modeled so as to achieve the optimal circuit parameters for a high efficiency. This system uses the load modulation to realize the data transmission, which includes the temperature and pressure data of tires. The optimal speed of 45km/hr is achieved with a 1000μF V DD capacitor.

Keywords-TPMS; Battery-less; RFID; Class-E PA

I.

INTRODUCTION

Due to the auto market concerned about the automobile safety, more and more TPMS’s research has been done. A typical example of such TPMS is a wireless system [1][2], which is shown in Fig. 1(a). The TPMS system consists of four battery-based wireless sensors, a high frequency (HF) antenna and a central receiver. The wireless sensors are mounted inside tires to measure the pressure and temperature, and send the data to the central receiver via the wireless link. Hence, the central receiver is able to receive the sensor signals and analyses the data. Once the received tire information is abnormal, the receiver would give a warning and inform the driver to take care of tires immediately.

A typical wireless tire sensor consists of a sensing circuit, a wireless transmission circuit and a wake-up circuit in the TPMS [1][2]. The sensing circuit contains micro-mechanical sensors to measure the pressure and temperature. The wireless transmission circuit contains an RF power stage, which generates an RF signal to an antenna. The wake-up circuit [3] would be triggered by a 125 kHz low frequency signal to trigger the following sensing circuit work, as shown in the Fig. 1(b). With the help of the wake-up mechanism, the battery life would live longer even if it is equipped with many power consuming circuits, such as the RF amplifier.

Such TPMS needs batteries to provide the power source of the pressure sensor and wireless module in tires. However, without a recharging power source, the system must have a dedicated power management, which would be discussed later.

In order to resolve the battery issues in TPMS, we utilize the RFID technique to achieve the power supplement and the data transmission. When the vehicle moves forward, the transponder embedded within the tire would rotate and couple with the coil in the receiver side. In the meanwhile, power and

the coil in the receiver side. In the meanwhile, power and Fig. 1(a). A typical TPMS

Fig. 1(a). A typical TPMS architecture. Fig. 1(b). Wireless tire sensor architecture.

data can communicate so that TPMS sensor circuit doesn’t need a battery any more

This paper aims to demonstrate the contactless link between the receiver and the tire transponder. This sensing circuit of the tire transponder is composed of a commercial temperature and pressure sensor IC, MCU, an RF rectifier and a modulation circuit. These circuits consume about 2000uA. Besides, the distance between receiver and the transponder is separated by 10cm. In order to cope with such a lossy contactless power transmission, we also used a high efficiency Class-E Power Amplifier to be the power source and proposed a model to optimize the efficiency.

II. SYSTEM STRUCTURE

Like the common RFID transponder, a tire transponder with an RF power rectifier circuit doesn’t need any battery as shown in Fig.2. This tire transponder also includes an antenna coil, a rectifier and a modulation circuit. The tire transponders are powered by the readers. The inductive power can feed the TPMS sensing circuit so that this TPMS sensor doesn’t need a wake-up trigger [3] circuit to save battery capacity.

We set a tire transponder with an antenna coil in tires and installed a RFID Reader with another antenna coil in vehicle body as shown in Fig. 2(a). Besides, the readers connect with the central receiver. The tire transponder includes a pressure sensor IC, MCU, an RF rectifier and a modulation circuit as

978-1-4244-2517-4/09/$20.00 ©2009 IEEE

shown

Battery-less TPMS.

in

Fig. 2(b).

Fig.

3

shown Battery-less TPMS. in Fig. 2(b). Fig. 3 is the illustration to install the Fig. 2(a).

is

the illustration to install the

in Fig. 2(b). Fig. 3 is the illustration to install the Fig. 2(a). Proposed Battery-less TPMS

Fig. 2(a). Proposed Battery-less TPMS architecture. Fig. 2(b). Proposed Battery-less TPMS sensing architecture.

Coil
Coil

Tire

Transponder

TPMS sensing architecture. Coil Tire Transponder Fig. 3. Implementation of the Battery-less TPMS A. Power

Fig. 3. Implementation of the Battery-less TPMS

A. Power Transmission

Nowadays, the most universal contactless power transmission technology is RFID (Radio Frequency identification). The most common transmission type is the inductive coupling method as shown in Fig. 4. Usually, the efficiency of the power transmission is not taken much into consideration because the RFID transponder doesn’t consume too much power. However, the tire pressure sensor IC MPXY8000 Series used in this paper is not very low power operation so that an efficient power transmission path is very important. Besides, the distance between the tire and the vehicle body must be as least 10cm. This paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4].

paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling
paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling
paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling
paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling
paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling
paper uses Class-E power amplifier as shown in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling

Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling method

in Fig. 5 [4]. Fig. 4. Typical inductive coupling method Fig. 5. Class-E power amplifier The

Fig. 5. Class-E power amplifier

The power transmission efficiency of the ideal Class-E power amplifier may approach 100 percent when the behaviour of the power transistor operates as an idea switch. Hence, the power transistor, which turns on and off abruptly, can forms a switching power amplifier. The switching power amplifier is not a linear amplifier, but it doesn’t matter because the power stage of the reader is not responsible for the data communication but only for the power transmission. In order to operate as an ideal switch, the timing control of the power transistor is very critical. It is derived [4] that the working condition of the power amplifier must meet the following requirement:

(1)The transistor sustains a zero voltage when it carries current, (2) the transistor carries a zero current when it sustains a finite voltage, and (3) inevitable transition times between on and off states are zero. From (1) and (3) reveal that the on-resistance of the switch must be very small and the voltage applied to the gate of the transistor must approximate a rectangular waveform. However, even with these two conditions, (2) may still be violated if when the transistor turns on, V DS is high. Furthermore, in practice it is difficult to obtain sharp input transitions at high frequencies.

According to Sokal’s Class-E PA [4], the circuit conditions to obtain the 100 percent are listed in the TABLE I, where V DD is 12V. The key parameter R load is necessary to be determined in advance so that other parameters could be derived. However, R load doesn’t really exist in the wireless power transmission circuit. The R load is the pseudo element representing the loading circuit from the transponder via the coupling antenna coils. Hence, R load represents the power consuming elements, such as MCU and the pressure sensing circuit. However, R load is not directly equal to these loading circuits because the antenna coupling loses and the nonlinear circuit of the power rectifier circuit. In order to calculate the value of R load , the wireless power transmission model is created as shown in the Fig. 6. First, suppose the loading of the power consuming circuit is R” load . The R” load could be transformed to R’ load with the following Equation (1) [5].

R

8

load

=

π

2

R ′′

load

(1)

Consequently, the tire transponder side circuit becomes a simple parallel RLC resonant circuit, which is shown in the Fig. 6.

Fig. 6. Rectifying circuit’s impedance transfer When the primary side antenna of the reader couples
Fig. 6. Rectifying circuit’s impedance transfer When the primary side antenna of the reader couples
Fig. 6. Rectifying circuit’s impedance transfer When the primary side antenna of the reader couples
Fig. 6. Rectifying circuit’s impedance transfer When the primary side antenna of the reader couples
Fig. 6. Rectifying circuit’s impedance transfer When the primary side antenna of the reader couples

Fig. 6. Rectifying circuit’s impedance transfer

When the primary side antenna of the reader couples with the secondary side antenna of the tire transponder, the passive LC would resonate and R’ load effect would appear as a reflected resistance, which cascades with the primary side antenna as shown as Fig. 7. This reflected resistance represents the secondary side impedance looking into primary side antenna L1 and have the relationship with R’ load as shown in (2) [6].

R

load

= ω k LC R

1

2

load

2

2

(2)

shown in (2) [6]. R load = ω k LC R ′ 1 2 load 2

Fig. 7. Tire transponder’s impedance transfer

Then, we obtain R load from R” load as follows:

R

load

=

8

π

2

TABLE I.

ω k LC R ′′

1

2

load

2

2

CIRCUIT PARAMETERS

(3)

Parameters

Names

Equations

 

P

out

Design output power

π

2

+ 4

8

I

2

dc

R

 
 

load

 

R

 

Load resistance

P

out

8 V

(

2

dd

2

π

+

 

load

4)

X/w

Excess inductance

2

dd

V

π

(

π

2

4)

2

P

ω

out

(

π

2

+

4)

 

L

Resonator inductor

2

dd

8 Q V

L

 

P

ω

out

(

π

2

+

4)

 
 

C

Resonator capacitance

P

out

(

π

2

+

4)

8

2

dd

Q V

ω

L

 

Cd

Shunt capacitance

P

out

πω

V

2

dd

Finally, a standard Class-E power amplifier circuit model can be obtained so that it is easier to design the power transmission with 100 percent efficiency. The conditions of circuit parameters achieving 100 percent PA efficiency are summarized in the TABLE I. [4].

B. Data Transmission

The power consumption issue of a typical TPMS sensor is important for TPMS products. The TPMS sensors in the tire should be tiny and prevent from affecting the tire rotation balance. Hence, it limits the size of the battery and the battery life. However, automobile manufacturers still expect the battery life to be as long as possible. In general, a 5 years life and the 220mAh capacity are the basic requirements of TPMS battery. Therefore, low power IC and the power management become necessary. TPMS usually utilizes the active mode and hold mode to manage the power. The active mode is triggered when the automobile starts to run. When TPMS is transmitting RF signal, the power consumption is much higher than not transmitting. Hence, the system has requires a lower transmission rate in order to save energy. It is common to use a RC oscillator to be a wake up trigger in TPMS, the current of RC oscillator and circuit leakage amounts approximately to be 400nA, which is a large value when the system is expected to live for 5 years.

This battery-less TPMS solves the whole battery issue. The TPMS can continuously monitor the pressure data without switching between hold and active mode as shown in Fig. 8. A antenna coil of the reader, which connects with the central receiver, is installed in the splashboard. Another antenna coil and tire transponder is installed in the tire. However, the speed of tire rotation becomes the main issue of this inductive coupling technique. Because the power and data transmission must be done within one cycle time, which is the time from the coil of the transponder rotating close to and far away from the reader coil. The data frame including synchronizing bits data, pressure data, temperature data and checksum data have 65 bits in total. In this paper, the carrier frequency is 16kHz, which can be used to derive that a data packet takes 4 ms to be sent out. If the coil is rectangular with 8cm long, a highest speed of 72km/hr can be figured out. However, the optimal moving speed is lower than 72km/hr due to the charging time, which would be discussed later.

is lower than 72km/hr due to the charging time, which would be discussed later. Fig. 8.

Fig. 8. Tire transponder installation

C. Modulation and Sensor Data

Once the reader transmits power to the tire transponder through the power amplifier and the antenna coil, the transponder V DD would rise and start to drive the MCU and the sensing IC. It would cost some time to let V DD rise to a normal operating voltage. However, in the process of the V DD rising, the MCU is possible to start to run and fail. In order to prevent this possible state, a counting loop would start before the normal procedure running. The counting time must be larger than V DD rise time, which depends on the V DD capacitance. This capacitance is importance and discussed later.

The tire pressure sensing IC MPXY8000 Series fabricated by Freescale Co. utilizes the successive approximation method through 8bits SPI port to provide an accurate conversion of the sampled temperature and pressure. In the first place, the sensor received the guess value from MCU and converted it to an analog signal to compare with the real sensing value. After the comparison, sensor IC sends back the result of the comparator to MCU. The benefit of this process is that MCU doesn’t have to obtain a complete value of sensor value but just compare with a lowest acceptable pressure value so as to save power and sense data faster. However, the power is not an issue, so a complete 8 bits is measured and costs only 128us.

A common transformer type communication is usually achieved by Load-shift keying (LSK) as shown in the Fig. 9. A resistive load-shift method is utilized because it is more robust than capacitive type. When S1 is OFF, the impedance R’ load is R1. When S1 is ON, the impedance R’ load become R1//Rs. According to (2), the R load is relative to the R’ load . A modulated R load would reflect on the voltage of the antenna coil. Hence, the demodulation circuit detects the voltage change of the antenna coil and demodulates the digital data from the tire transponder. Since the data are carried on the amplitude of the antenna coil, the ASK demodulation is implemented as a demodulation circuit which includes an amplitude detector, a low pass filter, an amplifier and a smith trigger to restore the digital data.

Fig. 9. LSK modulation and demodulation Rectifier
Fig. 9. LSK modulation and demodulation
Rectifier

III. RESULT AND ANALYSIS

In this paper, we didn’t really install the battery-less TPMS sensor in a tire but on a rotating wheel, so the signal loss in tires was ignored. First, we have monitored the power transmission performance while the wheel was rotating. It is achieved by adding a wireless sensor with an ADC to measure the V DD voltage and send back to a wireless receiver. Besides, a 2K resistor is connected to V DD and ground to simulate the loading effect of MCU and sensor IC. Therefore, we could

monitor the relationship between the rotating speed and power transmission as shown in the Fig.10.
monitor the relationship between the rotating speed and power
transmission as shown in the Fig.10.
Fig. 10. Characteristics of the rectified V DD while rotating
Voltage
Voltage

(a)

C VDD is 100μF while rotating speed is 10km/hr

(b)

C VDD is 100μF while rotating speed is 30km/hr

Fig.10 shows the time response of the rectified V DD voltage while the wheel is rotating. Because C VDD continues to be charged and discharged, V DD ripples with the rotation. Fig. 10(a) was measured with a lower rotating speed so that the charging and discharge time were both larger than that in Fig. 10(b). A larger charging time helps to achieve a higher V DD . The tire transponder needs 3V at least to operate normally. Hence, it can be found that running at 10km/hr speed has a longer period where V DD is larger than 3V. Although the minimum V DD is larger at 30km/hr than that at 10km/hr, V DD operating at 30km/hr is never larger than 3V.

However, 10km/hr is too slow for the vehicle. The antenna coil of the reader was enlarged to improve the performance because a larger antenna should have longer charging time. Fig. 11(b) shows that the peak value is up to 4.8V and the 3V period becomes longer.

peak value is up to 4.8V and the 3V period becomes longer. Fig. 11. Characteristics of

Fig. 11. Characteristics of the rectified V DD while rotating speed is 10km/hr and The C VDD is 100μF

(a) 8cm long coil (b) 80cm long coil

Because the wireless power system doesn’t have a stable power source, a large voltage source capacitor is necessary to store charges [7]. However, it is found that a smaller V DD capacitance caused V DD rising up faster and higher, which is up to a maximal 4.5V as shown in Fig. 12(a). But V DD with smaller capacitance also felt down faster due to smaller charge storage. On the other hand, a larger V DD capacitance caused V DD rising up slower and lower, which is only 3V as shown in Fig. 12(d). But V DD with smaller capacitance also felt down faster due to the smaller charge storage. In practice, the sensing circuit needs a 3V V DD at least to work correctly. Hence, a best condition should be set that V DD have a largest period remaining above 3V. Because there is a trade-off between the power charging time and the power loss time, an optimal V DD

capacitance could be found. It is found that a 1000uF V DD capacitance could has
capacitance could be found. It is found that a 1000uF V DD
capacitance could has largest 3V operating time about 129 ms
while the rotating speed is about 10km/hr.
Fig. 12. Characteristics of the rectified V DD with difference C VDD
while rotating speed is 10km/hr and coil is 80cm.
(a) C VDD is 100μF (b) C VDD is 470μF(c) C VDD is 1000μF(d) C VDD is 2200μF
VoltageVoltage
VoltageVoltage

Since an approximately optimal C VDD is found, a maximal rotating speed is tested up to 45km/hr, where the Manchester encoded waveform containing pressure and temperature data were read out from the reader’s demodulation circuit as shown in the Fig.13.

the reader’s demodulation circuit as shown in the Fig.13. Fig.13. Pressure and temperature bits data were

Fig.13. Pressure and temperature bits data were read out from a scope

IV.

CONCLUSIONS

A battery-less TPMS with a high-efficiency PA is demonstrated successfully. The circuit for the whole power transmission circuit from the tire transponder to the reader is modeled so as to achieve the optimal circuit parameters for a high efficiency. An optimal 45km/hr moving speed is measured with an optimized V DD capacitance and a larger antenna design.

V.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This work is supported by the National Science Council.

[1]

REFERENCE

Velupillai, S. Guvenc ,”Tire Pressure Monitoring [Applications of Control],” IEEE Control Systems Magazine, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 22-25, Dec. 2007.

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[4]

Communication Applied in TPMS,” Computer Engineering and Applications, vol.42, no.17, pp.191-193, 2006. N. O. Sokal and A. D. Sokal , “ Class-E A new class of high

[5]

efficiency tuned single-ended switching power amplifiers ” IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuitsvol. 10pp. 168-176Jun. 1975. B. ChoiJ. NhoH. ChaT. Ahn S. Choi” Design and

[6]

implementation of low-profile contactless battery charger using planar printed circuit board windings as energy transfer device”IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 140-147, 2004. Z. TangB. SmithJ. H. Schildand P. H. Peckham“Data

[7]

Transmission from an Implantable Biotelemeter by Load-Shift Keying Using Circuit Configuration Modulator” IEEE Trans. on Biomedical EngineeringVol. 42no. 5pp. 524-528May 1995. Yong Li, Liji Wu, Chun Zhang, Zhihua Wang, “Power Recovery circuit for Battery-less TPMS,” in Proc.of International Conference on ASIC (ASICON), vol. 1, pp. 454-457, Guilin, China, Oct. 2007.