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Method and apparatus for using pulse current to extend the functionality of a battery

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

Michael Schlicht

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A method to extend the functionality of a battery, the method comprising drawing power from the battery, and repetitively drawing a current pulse greater than the minimum conditioning current from the battery, thereby conditioning the battery.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is illustrated by way of example, and not by way of limitation, in the figures of the accompanying drawings and in which like reference numerals refer to similar elements and in which:

FIG. 1 is a voltage diagram of a prior art battery before use and after use.

FIG. 2 is a diagram showing the pulser coupled to a device.

FIG. 3A is a block diagram of one embodiment of the pulser.

FIG. 3B is a block diagram of an alternate embodiment of the pulser.

FIG. 4 is a more detailed block diagram of one embodiment of the control circuit of the pulser.

FIGS. 5A-E are voltage and current diagrams of one embodiment of the response of the pulser.

FIG. 6 is an exemplary voltage and current diagram of an actual pulse response.

FIG. 7 is a diagram of the minimum conditioning current versus battery voltage and load current, for a severely voltage depressed system.

FIG. 8 is a diagram of the minimum conditioning current versus battery voltage and load current, for a new system.

Claims

1. A method of conditioning a battery while discharging the battery, the method comprising:

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the minimum conditioning current is a function of the battery power remaining in the battery, and decreases as a function of a decrease of the battery voltage.

3. The method of claim 2, further comprising calculating the minimum conditioning current, comprising:

4. The method of claim 1, wherein a pulse width is between 5 s and 500 s.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein a pulse frequency is between 100 pulses per second and 1 pulse per minute.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the pulse occurs at irregular intervals.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the battery is used to drive a device, while the current pulses are being drawn.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the device is powered from an alternative power source while the current pulse is being drawn from the battery.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the alternative power source is a capacitor, and wherein the capacitor is charged by the battery.

11. A method of conditioning a battery to eliminate voltage depression, the method comprising:

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the period of time depends on an initial condition of the battery, such that less time is needed to condition a fairly new battery compared to an old battery.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the period of time ranges from a few minutes to multiple discharge cycles.

14. The method of claim 11, wherein the battery is a rechargeable nickel cadmium (NiCad) battery.

15. An apparatus to improve functionality of a battery comprising:

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the minimum conditioning current is function of the battery power, and decreases as a function of a decrease of the battery voltage.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the pulser comprises:

18. The apparatus of claim 17, further comprising:

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the secondary power source comprises a capacitor.

20. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising:

21. An apparatus to condition a rechargeable battery during use comprising:

22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the battery is a rechargeable nickel cadmium (NiCad) battery.

23. The apparatus of claim 21, further comprising:

24. The apparatus of claim 23, further comprising:

25. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the control circuit comprises:

26. A method of conditioning a battery while discharging the battery, the method comprising: