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In-situ fault detection apparatus and method for an encased energy storing device

United States Patent

August 8, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An apparatus and method for detecting a breach in an electrically insulating surface of an electrically conductive power system enclosure within which a number of series connected energy storing devices are disposed. The energy storing devices disposed in the enclosure are connected to a series power connection. A detector is coupled to the series connection and detects a change of state in a test signal derived from the series connected energy storing devices. The detector detects a breach in the insulating layer of the enclosure by detecting a state change in the test signal from a nominal state to a non-nominal state. A voltage detector detects a state change of the test signals from a nominal state, represented by a voltage of a selected end energy storing device, to a non-nominal state, represented by a voltage that substantially exceeds the voltage of the selected opposing end energy storing device. Alternatively, the detector may comprise a signal generator that produces the test signal as a time-varying or modulated test signal and injects the test signal into the series connection. The detector detects the state change of the time-varying or modulated test signal from a nominal state, represented by a signal substantially equivalent to the test signal, to a non-nominal state, representative by an absence of the test signal.
Hagen; Ronald A. (Stillwater, MN), Comte; Christophe (Montreal, CA), Knudson; Orlin B. (Vadnais Heights, MN), Rosenthal; Brian (Stillwater, MN), Rouillard; Jean (Saint-Luc, CA)
3M Innovative Properties Company (Saint Paul, MN), Hydro-Quebec Corporation (Montreal)
08/ 900,611
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.