News Column

Patent Application Titled "Systems and Methods for Control of a Closed-Loop System" Published Online

September 9, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventor Montero, Adolfo (Pflugerville, TX), filed on February 20, 2013, was made available online on August 28, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Dell Products L.p.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "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.

"As processors, graphics cards, random access memory (RAM) and other components in information handling systems have increased in clock speed and power consumption, the amount of heat produced by such components as a side-effect of normal operation has also increased. Often, the temperatures of these components need to be kept within a reasonable range to prevent overheating, instability, malfunction and damage leading to a shortened component lifespan. Accordingly, air movers (e.g., cooling fans and blowers) have often been used in information handling systems to cool information handling systems and their components.

"Often, the operation of an air mover (e.g., rotational speed of air movers) is controlled by a proportional-integral-differential (PID) closed-loop control system. Typical PID closed-loop control is based on a mathematical equation summing proportional, integral, and differential terms of the variable (e.g., air mover speed) being controlled. Traditional PID control implementations are prone to oscillation and excessive lag if not tuned correctly. Oscillation occurs when a PID controller repeatedly makes changes that are too large and repeatedly overshoots a target variable setpoint, meaning that a system output would oscillate around the setpoint in either a constant, growing, or decaying sinusoid. If the oscillations increase with time then the system is unstable, whereas if they decrease the system is stable. If the oscillations remain at a constant magnitude the system is marginally stable. When PID control is used to control an air mover, oscillation may be audibly noticeable to an end user.

"Lag occurs when a significant change in a setpoint for a PID controller occurs, and the PID controller requires significant time to correct the system output to match the new set point. When used to control operation of an air mover, PID control may not respond quickly enough to prevent undesirable thermal increases.

"In addition to these disadvantages of PID control as applied to control of air movers, such disadvantages may also be present in other applications of PID control."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "In accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure, the disadvantages and problems associated with control of a closed-loop system may be substantially reduced or eliminated.

"In accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure, a system may include a feedback controller and a comparator. The feedback controller may be configured to, based on a setpoint value and a measured process value calculate a first difference between the setpoint value and the measured process value and generate a controller driving signal based on the first difference. The comparator may be configured to compare a second difference between the setpoint value and a previous setpoint value to a predetermined threshold, determine if a magnitude of the second difference is greater than the predetermined threshold, output as an output driving signal the controller driving signal if the magnitude is not greater than the predetermined threshold, and output as the output driving signal a setpoint driving signal if the magnitude is greater than the predetermined threshold, the setpoint value based on the setpoint value independent of the measured process value.

"In accordance with these and other embodiments a method may include calculating a first difference between a setpoint value and a measured process value. The method may also comprise generating a controller driving signal based on the first difference. The method may additionally include comparing a second difference between the setpoint value and a previous setpoint value to a predetermined threshold. The method may further include determining if a magnitude of the second difference is greater than the predetermined threshold. The method may also include outputting as an output driving signal the controller driving signal if the magnitude is not greater than the predetermined threshold. The method may additionally include outputting as the output driving signal a setpoint driving signal if the magnitude is greater than the predetermined threshold, the setpoint value based on the setpoint value independent of the measured process value.

"In accordance with these and other embodiments of the present disclosure, an information handling system may include an air mover and an air mover control system configured to control a velocity of the air mover. The air mover control system may be configured to based on a measured temperature, determine a setpoint velocity. In addition, the air mover control system may, based on the setpoint velocity and a measured velocity of the air mover, calculate a first difference between the setpoint velocity and the measured velocity and generate a controller air mover driving signal based on the first difference. The air mover control system may also be configured to compare a second difference between the setpoint velocity and a previous setpoint velocity to a predetermined threshold. The air mover control system may further be configured to determine if a magnitude of the second difference is greater than the predetermined threshold. The air mover control system may additionally be configured to communicate to the air mover as an air mover driving signal the controller air mover driving signal if the magnitude is not greater than the predetermined threshold. The air mover control system may also be configured to communicate to the air mover as the air mover driving signal a setpoint air mover driving signal if the magnitude is greater than the predetermined threshold, the setpoint air mover driving signal based on the setpoint velocity independent of the measured velocity.

"Technical advantages of the present disclosure will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the following specification, claims, and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"A more complete understanding of the present embodiments and advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features, and wherein:

"FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of an example information handling system, in accordance with the present disclosure;

"FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of an example air mover control system, in accordance with the present disclosure; and

"FIG. 3 illustrates a flow chart of an example method for air mover control, in accordance with the present disclosure."

For more information, see this patent application: Montero, Adolfo. Systems and Methods for Control of a Closed-Loop System. Filed February 20, 2013 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4519&p=91&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Dell Products L.p., Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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