Patents Examined by Pia Tibbits
  • Patent number: 7268518
    Abstract: A battery charger and emergency power supply assembly includes a housing. A switch is positioned in the housing and electrically coupled to a power supply. At least one electrical plug outlet is mounted in the housing and electrically coupled to the switch. A battery charger is mounted within the housing and is electrically coupled to the power supply. Each of a plurality of charging ports extends into the housing and is electrically coupled to the battery charger. Each of a plurality of rechargeable batteries includes plug members adapted for electrically coupled to the charging ports. An inverter is electrically coupled to each of the charging ports. The inverter is also electrically coupled to the switch. The switch may selectively open a circuit between the plug outlet and the power supply or the plug outlet and the inverter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2007
    Inventor: Michael H. Goff
  • Patent number: 7256566
    Abstract: The maximum power point (MPP) of a photovoltaic array that can be coupled to power inverter is determined. A capacitor on a DC-bus side of the inverter is used as a load from which I-V characteristics of the photovoltaic array can be generated. The photovoltaic array is connected to the capacitor, which has been previously discharged by a bleed down resistor. Short circuit current, open circuit voltage, and values of current and voltage as the capacitor charges are determined and used to generate I-V characteristics of the photovoltaic array. From the I-V characteristics, the MPP can be calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2007
    Assignee: Ballard Power Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Vijay Bhavaraju, Kerry E. Grand, Anil Tuladhar
  • Patent number: 7245107
    Abstract: A charging and discharging strategy for a rechargeable battery pack is disclosed. The strategy involves monitoring and learning the battery pack's condition (a cycle life parameter) in terms of its progression through its life cycle. The life cycle parameter may be determined as a function of both time (i.e., the battery pack's age) as well as the number of discharge/recharge cycles. The strategy intentionally under-utilizes the battery during the initial stages of its life, based on the cycle life parameter, by charging it to a first level less then the maximum state of charge. This approach reduces charge voltages, reducing stress on the battery's active materials, thereby increasing its life.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Assignee: Enerdel, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen W. Moore, Brad T. Hanauer, Peter J. Schneider
  • Patent number: 7239146
    Abstract: A manganese dioxide (MnO2) or silver vanadium oxide (SVO) or other battery of an implantable medical device having a relatively flat quiescent battery voltage during a beginning portion of the battery's useful life, makes it difficult to use quiescent battery voltage as an indicator of remaining battery energy during this portion of the battery life. A substantially constant load current pulse is drawn from the battery and a pair of loaded battery terminal voltage measurements is taken during this pulse. A difference between the voltage measurements is computed. This difference can be expressed as a rate of change, a slope, or a polarization angle, and can be used with stored data from similar batteries to determine remaining energy of the battery. A quiescent battery voltage can also be used in combination with this technique, and/or for distinguishing between different remaining energies corresponding to the same difference, slope, or polarization angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2007
    Assignee: Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.
    Inventors: Kristofer J. James, Shawn Kelley
  • Patent number: 7235326
    Abstract: The reducing treatment of the negative electrode of which the battery capacity decreases slightly and the internal resistance increases slightly, does not affect the battery performance. Accordingly, by merely supplementing the electrolyte, the battery performance can be recovered. On the other hand, when the level of the degradation of the negative electrode is high, the negative electrode is detached from the battery and is subjected to the reducing treatment so that the negative electrode can be reduced sufficiently without reducing the positive electrode. Consequently, the performance of the negative electrode can be recovered, whereby the battery performance is recovered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2007
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kenji Nakamura, Takashi Ito, Taketoshi Minohara
  • Patent number: 7233127
    Abstract: A battery management system for managing a plurality of subsystem circuits and functions of a mobile communication device powered by a battery is disclosed. The battery management system includes a battery monitoring circuit, a user interface, and a battery management module. The battery monitoring circuit is operable to monitor a present battery capacity and generate a battery capacity signal based on the present battery capacity. The user interface is operable to receive a user-input allocation of battery capacity among the subsystem circuits and functions. The battery management module is operable to receive the user-input allocation and the battery capacity signal, and to selectively disable each subsystem circuit or function when each subsystem circuit or function has depleted its allocation of battery capacity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2007
    Assignee: Research In Motion Limited
    Inventors: Joseph C. Chen, Jonathan Malton
  • Patent number: 7227333
    Abstract: A battery comprising a storage section for storing battery management information transmitted/received to/from outside through a communicator; wherein, the battery management information is at least either available device information on a device which can use the battery or chargeable charger information on a charger which can charge the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Susumu Yamada, Tsunehiko Yatsu
  • Patent number: 7221125
    Abstract: A system and method for charging a battery is provided. The method includes applying an excitation current pulse to the battery to determine the battery type and whether the battery is capable of holding a charge. To charge the battery, a series of current pulses are applied in groups with the average current being reduced for each succeeding group to take advantage of changing battery charge acceptance. When the voltage of the battery matches a predetermined value, application of the current pulse groups is ended. A single current pulse is then applied to complete the battery charge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Inventor: Yi Ding
  • Patent number: 7221062
    Abstract: A hybrid drive system is for a vehicle and includes an intermediate circuit and an energy accumulator. The energy accumulator is connected to the intermediate circuit by way of a diode, whereby a transistor enabling current to flow in an opposite direction is connected parallel thereto. The transistor is placed in a blocking position in order to discharge the energy accumulator and the diode enables current to pass. If the energy accumulator is not used, the diode is also blocked by increasing the voltage of the intermediate circuit with the aid of the voltage on the energy accumulator. In order to charge the energy accumulator, the transistor is conductingly switched. The diode does not allow the current to pass in this direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Eugen Holl, Swen Ruppert
  • Patent number: 7221064
    Abstract: A power circuit for a battery for, even when an idle-stop operation is continuously performed, preventing reduction of an electric power supplied to a motor at start-up to obtain a set engine rpm. The power circuit includes a series-connected power supply in which a battery having a load and a capacitor group are connected in series with each other, a DC/DC converter for shifting electric power between the battery and the capacitor group, and between the battery and the load, and a controller for controlling the DC/DC converter. The controller detects the voltage of the capacitor group, and when the voltage detected is lower than a first threshold voltage, controls the DC/DC converter so that the capacitor group is charged with electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tatsuya Okuda, Takahiro Urakabe
  • Patent number: 7221124
    Abstract: The charger includes a controller, a battery power source having at least two power settings connected to the controller, a power supply connectable to an outside power source, the power supply receiving a current and voltage from the outside power source for providing power to at least one of the controller and the battery power source, and a foldback circuit for switching between two power settings depending upon at least one of the current and voltage received from the outside power source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2007
    Assignee: Black & Decker Inc.
    Inventors: Geoffrey S. Howard, Nathanael A. Mackley, Vickie J. Mead, Brian C. Sterling, Danh T. Trinh, Robert A. Usselman, Fred S. Watts, Janelle Young
  • Patent number: 7218118
    Abstract: A method for monitoring the condition of a battery of a marine propulsion system provides the measuring of a voltage characteristic of the battery, comparing the voltage characteristic to a preselected threshold value, and evaluating the condition of the battery as a function of the relative magnitudes of the voltage characteristic and the threshold value. The voltage characteristic of the battery is measured subsequent to a connection event when a connection relationship between the battery and an electrical load is changed. The electrical load is typically a starter motor which is connected in torque transmitting relation with an internal combustion engine. The voltage characteristic is preferably measured at its minimum value during the inrush current episode immediately prior to cranking the internal combustion engine shaft to start the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: Brunswick Corporation
    Inventor: Steven J. Gonring
  • Patent number: 7218076
    Abstract: A battery charging system comprising: a current source; a battery; and a voltage and current regulator, which regulates voltage applied to the battery and current supplied to the battery. The battery charging system shapes the current supplied to the battery, and may be used to taper the current supplied to the battery. The voltage and current regulator may comprise: an adjustable band-gap voltage reference diode, a potentiometer, a resistor, and a transistor, or an adjustable shunt regulator, and a transistor operating in conjunction with the adjustable shunt regulator, or other suitable voltage and current regulator means. The battery charging system regulates the current flow supplied to the battery, which originates from a constant charging current source. As the battery voltage exceeds a predefined terminal voltage, the battery charging system diverts charging current through a transistor, thus clamping the battery at the terminal voltage and shaping the current supplied to the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: Zinc Matrix Power, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Cheiky, Te-Chien F. Yang
  • Patent number: 7208915
    Abstract: A constant-current battery charger includes a power supply for supplying a charge current to a secondary cell, and a current monitor for monitoring a charge current being supplied to the cell. A controller is included for varying the charge current in accordance with the monitored charge current. The controller calculates a current difference between a predetermined target current and the instant charge current, and generates a demand of varying the charge current at a first charge rate when the current difference is out of a predetermined range, and varying the charge current at a second charge rate when the current difference is within the predetermined range. The controller generates the demand repeatedly at regular or varying intervals for varying the charge current. The first charge rate is set to be higher than the second charge rate in order to make a rapid charging until it comes close to the target current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.
    Inventors: Atsumasa Kubota, Tatsuya Miwa, Masaki Ikeda, Naoki Shimizu
  • Patent number: 7202631
    Abstract: In a method and system for operating each smart battery included in a smart battery system, the smart battery is initialized prior to the smart battery being electrically coupled to the smart battery system. The smart battery system or an external power source is selected to provide power to an information handling system device. The smart battery includes an electronics device, a charge switch and a discharge switch. The electronics device operates the charge and discharge switches to jointly control an operating condition of the smart battery in response to receiving a control input from a controller of the device. The charge and discharge switches are closed in response to the electronics device and the controller being in agreement to charge the first smart battery. The charge or the discharge switch is opened in response to either the electronics device or the controller directing either of the switches to be opened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2007
    Assignee: Dell Products L.P.
    Inventors: John J. Breen, Brent A. McDonald
  • Patent number: 7199588
    Abstract: A method for determining the buffering effect of the battery (2) for providing a voltage (U) for a power supply system (4), in particular for a vehicle, is provided in order to identify serviceability of a battery as easily and reliably as possible, in which method any voltage change and any current change are detected cyclically, the dynamic internal resistance of the battery is determined on the basis of the quotient of the voltage change and the current change, the specific dynamic internal resistance is monitored for exceeding an extreme value which can be predetermined, and a statement of the buffering effect of the battery is made and is output. In this case, the buffering effect of the battery is better, the smaller the quotient of the voltage change and current change.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Alf Blessing, Horst Brinkmeyer, Udo Fried, Rainer Maeckel, Wilfried Miller, Manfred Stege
  • Patent number: 7196523
    Abstract: A circuit for monitoring charge/discharge of a battery is disclosed. The circuit may comprise first and second terminal capacitors disposed for first and second terminals of a current detection resistor connected to a battery. The first and second terminal capacitors may develop an integrated voltage responsive to the charge/discharge current obtained from the individual terminals. The circuit may also include at least one comparator for comparing the individual integrated voltages developed by the first and second terminal capacitors with a reference voltage, the comparator having respective outputs which change when the individual integrated voltages reach the reference voltage. A terminal-by-terminal output change count difference output unit may count the number of times the output of the comparator changes and may output the difference between the number of times of change corresponding to the first terminal and the number of times of change corresponding to the second terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd
    Inventor: Susumu Yamada
  • Patent number: 7193389
    Abstract: An electronic apparatus includes a housing part in which a battery is housed and a body-side connector for connecting the battery housed in the housing part to an apparatus body. When a battery-side connector connected to the battery through a connecting cable is connected to the body-side connector, the battery is connected to the apparatus body. A label is affixed on the body near the body-side connector. Provided on the label is a connector-connection indication which indicates an orientation of the battery-side connector to be connected along with a battery-housing indication which indicates a shape and a housing orientation of the battery to be housed in the housing part. This provides a guiding indication easy to view and understand, allowing a smooth, correct connection between the battery and the apparatus body through the connectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Brother Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hakudai Kondo
  • Patent number: 7190171
    Abstract: A detecting method for detecting internal resistance of an inspective rechargeable battery when said inspective rechargeable battery is charged by the constant current-constant voltage charging regime, said detecting method comprising at least a step (a) wherein an accumulated, charged electricity quantity of said inspective rechargeable battery in the constant voltage charging mode is obtained and a step (b) wherein said charged electricity quantity of said inspective rechargeable battery obtained in the constant voltage charging mode in said step (a) is referred to previously acquired data of a normal rechargeable battery, which corresponds to said inspective rechargeable battery, with respect to relationships of charged electricity quantities Qcv thereof versus internal resistances thereof when increased or decreased or their increased or decreased magnitudes in the constant voltage charging mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2007
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Soichiro Kawakami, Yasusaburo Degura
  • Patent number: 7183742
    Abstract: A charging system for an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) is disposed within a submerged docking station. The charging system includes a battery, a fuel cell, a fuel source, and a charge controller. The battery supplies electrical power to an electrical distribution bus in the docking station. The charge controller monitors the charge state of the battery and, when needed, activates the fuel cell to recharge the battery. The charge controller also activates the fuel cell when a UUV is docked in the docking station for recharging of its power plant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2007
    Assignee: Honeywell International, Inc.
    Inventors: Calvin C. Potter, Sharon K. Brault, Paul T. Wingett