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Fault-tolerant battery system employing intra-battery network architecture

United States Patent

6,104,967
August 15, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A distributed energy storing system employing a communications network is disclosed. A distributed battery system includes a number of energy storing modules, each of which includes a processor and communications interface. In a network mode of operation, a battery computer communicates with each of the module processors over an intra-battery network and cooperates with individual module processors to coordinate module monitoring and control operations. The battery computer monitors a number of battery and module conditions, including the potential and current state of the battery and individual modules, and the conditions of the battery's thermal management system. An over-discharge protection system, equalization adjustment system, and communications system are also controlled by the battery computer. The battery computer logs and reports various status data on battery level conditions which may be reported to a separate system platform computer. A module transitions to a stand-alone mode of operation if the module detects an absence of communication connectivity with the battery computer. A module which operates in a stand-alone mode performs various monitoring and control functions locally within the module to ensure safe and continued operation.
Hagen; Ronald A. (Stillwater, MN), Chen; Kenneth W. (Fair Oaks, CA), Comte; Christophe (Montreal, CA), Knudson; Orlin B. (Vadnais Heights, MN), Rouillard; Jean (Saint-Luc, CA)
3M Innovative Properties Company (St. Paul, MN)
08/ 900,928
July 25, 1997
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS The Government of the United States of America has rights in this invention pursuant to Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC02-91CE50336 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.