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Safety Mechanism of Power Supply

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000117344D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 97K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ikeda, R: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for safety mechanism of a complicated power supply system. A supervisor software with a simple assistant hardware can protect smoke and/or fire incidents caused by various modes of failures inside the complicated power supply. This method provides higher reliability, wider coverage of failure modes and lower cost than traditional hardwired safety circuit.

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Safety Mechanism of Power Supply

      Disclosed is a method for safety mechanism of a complicated
power supply system.  A supervisor software with a simple assistant
hardware can protect smoke and/or fire incidents caused by various
modes of failures inside the complicated power supply.  This method
provides higher reliability, wider coverage of failure modes and
lower cost than traditional hardwired safety circuit.

      Power supply unit must have some safety mechanisms to protect
fire/smoke incidents.  Today's complicated power supply has many
functions and many parts, so the safety requirement becomes more
complex and more reliable.  Fig. 1 shows an example of a power supply
and the traditional way to the safety requirement.  Input Power(1) is
supplied to Voltage Converter/Inverter(3) by Switching Device(2)
which is controlled by Drive Signal(6).  Output(4) is supplied to
Load(5) and the Sense Signal(7) reports the output level to Feedback
Regulator(8) which controls the Drive Signal(6).  Additional Safety
Circuits (9-1,9-2,9-3) are watching each status/conditions of the
elements of this power supply.  But the safety circuits implemented
by additional hardware themselves make the power supply more complex
and sometimes more unreliable because of the additional parts.
Software (i.e., microcode) can handle this dilemma well because it
does not require much additional parts, however, there is another
dilemma that who protects the incident if the microcode has hanged or
runawayed by wicked soldering, shock/vibration, Electrostatic
Discharge (ESD) or bugs inside the software itself.

      Fig. 2 shows the diagram of this invention.  Safety
circuits(9-1,9-2,9-3 shown in Fig. 1 do not exist...