This patent application is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates in general to the field of information handling system batteries, and more particularly to a system and method for enhanced battery charge protection and fault alarm.
"As the value and use of information continues to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to users is information handling systems. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may also vary regarding what information is handled, how the information is handled, how much information is processed, stored, or communicated, and how quickly and efficiently the information may be processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.
"Portable information handling systems have become increasingly popular with end users due to the flexibility that portable systems provide. A portable information handling system typically includes all of the components needed to process information integrated in a small and portable housing. A typical housing has a rotationally-coupled lid that rotates from a compact closed position to an open position that exposes a keyboard and display. The housing supports processing components to process information, such as a processor and memory, which often includes wireless networking components so the end user can communicate with networks independent of a wired connections. In order to support operation of the processing components independent of a fixed power outlet, portable information handling systems typically include an integrated battery. An external adapter converts alternating current (AC) power from a power outlet to direct current (DC) power that is transmitted to the information handling system. Usually, the DC power enters at a plug exposed at the outer surface of the housing and feeds to a charger disposed within the housing. The DC power is used to power the processing components with excess power applied to charge the battery. When the plug is disconnected from the housing, the battery discharges to power the processing components.
"One disadvantage with a conventional portable information handling system battery power architecture is that the battery must be inserted into the information handling system to charge. However, in some instances, information handling system batteries are built with a charger integrated in the battery casing so that DC power from an external adapter enters directly into the battery to allow charging of the battery independent of the information handling system. An independently chargeable battery provides greater flexibility for an end user to charge the battery without the information handling system. A battery that provides a direct plug in to charge independent of an information handling system generally must have a protection circuitry connected to the battery cells to prevent catastrophic battery failure in the event of a fault. Battery protection circuitry integrated in the battery casing typically includes a charge field effect transistor (C-FET) and a discharge FET (D-FET) that automatically disconnect the battery cells from the charger when a fault is detected. When the cells are charged, AC adapter output regulated by the charger is applied to the protection circuit and cells so that the C-FET is the only protection against excessive DC voltage being applied to the battery cells."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Therefore a need has arisen for a system and method which improves information handling system battery protection during charge.
"In accordance with the present invention, a system and method are provided which substantially reduce the disadvantages and problems associated with previous methods and systems for charging an information handling system battery. The battery accepts a charge through first connector the provides external power to a charger integrated in the battery and having a first protection circuit or through a second connector that provides power from a charger of a device external to the battery. Power from either the first or second connector is monitored by a second protection circuit associated with battery cells of the battery.
"More specifically, an information handling system has plural processing components integrated in a housing that cooperate to process information. The processing components are powered by an external AC adapter that converts AC power to DC power with extra power provided to a charger of the information handling system. The information handling system charger provides the extra power through an internal connector to a battery inserted in a cavity of the housing to charge the battery. When the battery is removed from the cavity, an external power source connector in the battery casing connects to the AC adapter to accept DC power directly to the battery. A charger integrated in the battery casing regulates power received directly from the AC adapter to ensure safe charging of the battery. A first protection circuit associated with the charger monitors operation of the integrated charger to detect faults so that the charger is removed from charging if a fault is detected. A second protection circuit associated with battery cells within the battery detects faults associated with the battery cells and removes the battery cells from the charging circuit if a fault is detected. A fault indicator provides a soft fault indication if the charger protection circuit detects a fault and a hard fault indication if the battery cell protection circuit detects a fault.
"The present invention provides a number of important technical advantages. One example of an important technical advantage is that a second level of protection at the battery allows a 'soft' failure from which the battery recovers when the fault is removed. For example, a soft failure that results from the charger or embedded controller integrated with the battery will prevent direct charging of the battery from an AC adapter but allow indirect charging of the battery by inserting the battery in an information handling system. LED indicators visible at the battery casing indicate soft versus hard battery failure so that an end user will know whether the battery will accept a direct charge, an indirect charge or no charge at all.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The present invention may be better understood, and its numerous objects, features and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings. The use of the same reference number throughout the several figures designates a like or similar element.
"FIG. 1 depicts a block diagram of an information handling system having a battery with installed and separate charging capability; and
"FIG. 2 depicts a circuit diagram of a battery having protective circuits associated with an integrated charger and internal battery cells."
URL and more information on this patent application, see: Wang, Ligong;
Keywords for this news article include:
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