Browse Prior Art Database

Smart Energy System and Power Line Disturbance Fault Protection

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117272D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 2 page(s) / 106K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Benson, P: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Disclosed is a system which provides a method to properly handle Power Line Disturbances (PLDs) with IBM's Smart Energy System* (SES). This method solves a problem experienced by SES systems and also improves PLD fault protection for standard systems by lessening the possibility of a latch up in the power supply.

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Smart Energy System and Power Line Disturbance Fault Protection

      Disclosed is a system which provides a method to properly
handle Power Line Disturbances (PLDs) with IBM's Smart Energy System*
(SES).  This method solves a problem experienced by SES systems and
also improves PLD fault protection for standard systems by lessening
the possibility of a latch up in the power supply.

      With the introduction of PS/1* SES, suspend/resume technology
was introduced to the industry for desktop systems.  This new feature
increased user productivity and enhanced ease of use while
automatically saving energy for the user.  With green PCs becoming
more common in the industry, the IBM PC Company has focused on
developing new features to further enhance SES and provide product
differentiation from its competitors.  The invention enhances the new
features of SES by providing a more fault tolerant system.

      Power supplies are sensitive to PLDs originating from the AC
power outlet.  PLDs range from complete power loss (blackout) to
minor fluctuations of the AC line which may be caused by common
appliances.  Stages between blackouts and the minor fluctuations are
typically called brownouts and may cause the AC voltage to be reduced
which will then affect the voltage provided to the computer system.
PLDs may cause a power supply to latch up or corrupt the computer
system's integrity.  Computer systems with the Smart Energy System
(SES) pose their own unique difficulties, yet also provide a solution
to this common problem.  SES is currently available on a variety of
IBM computer systems.

      Computer systems not incorporating the SES are susceptible to
power supply latch up and also to voltages from the power supply
operating outside of regulation.  Currently, if the power supply
latches up in these systems, the user must remove AC power from the
supply, wait for capacitors to discharge, and then reapply power.  If
the voltages from the power supply go below regulation, problems may
range from the computer locking up to improper operation of only
certain components (such as the hard disk drive); either of these
cases may be dramatically harmful for mission critical applications.

For example, if a system server experiences a PLD and becomes locked
up, then clients connected to the server are unable to access the
servers data files, applications, or other services.

      Current SES systems provide a simple level of PLD protection.
The SES circuitry monitors a signal from the power supply (PGOOD)
which becomes inactive when the power supply determines that the
supplied voltages will drop below regulation.  The SES circuitry also
controls the state of the power supply (i.e., on or off).  The power
...