Browse Prior Art Database

Battery Type Indicator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110170D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Balasubramanian, PS: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is an idea of providing a battery type indicator on a battery. Since the battery charge/discharge characteristics are different from one type of battery to another type, it is necessary to detect the battery type in order to use various types of batteries in electronic equipment that uses a battery as a power source.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Battery Type Indicator

       Disclosed is an idea of providing a battery type
indicator on a battery.  Since the battery charge/discharge
characteristics are different from one type of battery to another
type, it is necessary to detect the battery type in order to use
various types of batteries in electronic equipment that uses a
battery as a power source.

      In conventional electronic equipment that uses a battery as a
power source, such as a portable computer or a wrist watch, the
battery type that can be used is limited to a couple of types.
Although a user has a battery pack of one type, one has to buy a
new one if the equipment uses other types.  Even when a user is
willing to pay extra money to use a higher capacity battery, one
cannot do that freely if the battery type is different.  Inserting
the wrong type of battery can even damage the equipment.  This
unfortunate accident is often seen when one ignorantly swaps a coin
cell battery in wrist watches.

      In portable computer markets, the major battery type that is
being used is a Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) secondary (rechargeable)
battery.  Unfortunately, the NiCad Battery not only has environmental
problems due to its Cadmium contents, but also its capacity per
volume is lower than Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery or Lithium
Ion (Li-Ion) battery.  However, due to its low cost, NiCad battery is
still dominating in the portable market.  Today, engineers wish to
design the equipment so that it can be used with any batteries since
they foresee that the cost of NiMH battery or Li-Ion battery will go
down in near future.  However, it is not an easy task to detect what
kind of battery is being used by just measuring its voltage
especially if more than one battery is configured in series in a
battery pack.

      If a battery has a type indicator that can be used in the
equipment,  the equipment can be easily designed to use different
types of batteries.  By providing the battery type indicator right on
the battery that can be detected by the system, it can save a lot of
difficulties in designing the equipment so that it can take more than
one type of battery.  The indicator could be a mechanical indicator
or electrical indicator or even an optical one.  Whichever indicator
is provided in the bat...