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Battery clamp with embedded environment sensor

Imported: 23 Feb '17 | Published: 22 Oct '02

J. David Vonderhaar, Kevin I. Bertness

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

An apparatus configured to couple to a battery contact is provided. The apparatus includes an electrical connector for connection to a battery contact and an environment sensor integrated with the electrical connector, the environment sensor senses changes in a battery environment during battery charging or testing. In addition, a method of coupling an electrical circuit to a battery contact is provided.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1-1 to

1-

3 illustrate cross-sections of prior art battery contacts that the combined clamp and sensing device of the present invention is capable of grasping.

FIG. 2 is a simplified block diagram of a combined clamp and sensing device of the present invention.

FIG. 3 shows a combined clamp and sensing device that provides a Kelvin connection to a battery in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4-1 and

4-

2 show simplified block diagrams of combined clamp and sensing devices in accordance with embodiments of the present invention.

FIGS. 5-1 to

5-

4 show perspective views of combined clamp and sensing devices in accordance with other embodiments of the present invention.

FIG. 6 shows a combined battery clamp and sensing device employing a conduit for sucking air from the battery environment to a remote sensor in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a simplified block diagram of a battery charging system incorporating a combined battery clamp and sensing device in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a simplified block diagram of a battery testing system

800 using the present invention.

Claims

1. An apparatus configured to couple to a battery, comprising:

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector is adapted to electrically couple a single ended electrical connection to the battery contact.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector is adapted to electrically couple a Kelvin connection to the battery contact.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector comprises:

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector includes a bolt-on clamp.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector includes a clip-on clamp.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector comprises a Plier-Type clip.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector comprises an Alligator clip.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector comprises a Kelvin clip.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the electrical connector comprises a Pee-Wee clip.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the environment sensor comprises a hazardous gas sensor.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the environment sensor comprises a combustible gas sensor.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the environment sensor comprises a multigas sensor adapted to sense a plurality of combustible and toxic gases.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the environment sensor comprises a non-contact infrared thermoplie temperature sensor.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the environment sensor comprises a conduit adapted to suck air from the battery environment to a remote location where the air is sensed for combustible and toxic gases.

16. A battery charger employing the electrical connector with coupled environment sensor of claim 1.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the environment sensor is coupled to a microprocessor included in the battery charger, such that feedback from the environment sensor is used to control operation of the battery charger.

18. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the electrical connector includes a grasping member adapted to grip the battery contact by operation of a bolt and a nut included in the grasping member.

19. A battery tester employing the electrical connector with coupled environment sensor of claim 1.

20. The apparatus of claim 1 employed in an automobile.

21. A method of coupling an electrical circuit to a battery contact, the method comprising:

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the electrical connector is capable of electrically coupling a single ended electrical connection to the battery contact.

23. The method of claim 21, wherein the electrical connector is capable of electrically coupling a Kelvin connection to the battery contact.

24. The method of claim 21, wherein the providing an electrical connector step (a) includes providing a bolt-on clamp.

25. The method of claim 21, wherein the providing an electrical connector step (a) includes providing a clip-on clamp.

26. The method of claim 21, wherein the providing an electrical connector step (a) includes providing a Plier-Type clip.

27. The method of claim 21, wherein the providing an electrical connector step (a) includes providing an Alligator clip.

28. The method of claim 21, wherein the providing an electrical connector step (a) includes providing a Kelvin clip.

29. The method of claim 21, wherein the providing an electrical connector step (a) includes providing a Pee-Wee clip.

30. The method of claim 21, wherein the coupling an environment sensor step (b) includes coupling a hazardous gas sensor.

31. The method of claim 21, wherein the coupling an environment sensor step (b) includes coupling a combustible gas sensor.

32. The method of claim 21, wherein the coupling an environment sensor step (b) includes coupling a multigas sensor capable of sensing a plurality of combustible and toxic gases.

33. The method of claim 21, wherein the coupling an environment sensor step (b) includes coupling a temperature sensor.