Browse Prior Art Database

Battery-Monitoring Device for Computer Systems

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120808D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 138K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Au, E: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Described is a battery-monitoring device for monitoring the condition of backup batteries used in computer systems and point-of-sale terminals. The monitor is designed to interact with computer systems and application software so that backup battery performance is automatically determined. This determination enables a user to replace defective batteries before an actual failure occurs.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Battery-Monitoring Device for Computer Systems

      Described is a battery-monitoring device for monitoring
the condition of backup batteries used in computer systems and
point-of-sale terminals. The monitor is designed to interact with
computer systems and application software so that backup battery
performance is automatically determined. This determination enables a
user to replace defective batteries before an actual failure occurs.

      It is quite common for power disruptions to occur, such as
blackouts and brownouts, which can affect computer operations.  As a
result, battery backup devices are installed to provide continuous
computer operations. However, the batteries used for backup do not
have an infinite life and can fail to provide the required power
backup.  In prior art, indicators, such as light-emitting diodes
(LEDs), have been installed to notify the user of the condition of
the battery.  However, such an indicator may not notify the user when
the battery is approaching an end of life.  Also, the indicator can
be easily overlooked by the user and has no way to communicate to the
application software.

      The concept described herein provides a battery-monitoring
device that detects a low battery operating and charging condition
that interacts with application software allowing software to monitor
the status of the battery through the use of a software monitoring
routine. The monitoring routine is capable of notifying application
layer software, device driver software, and other system level
software when a battery reaches a predetermined threshold voltage
level and how long it took to charge the backup battery.  The
application software can take action in response to the notification
of a defective or weak battery by logging a failure in a service
file, or reporting a failure to another system, over a communications
link.  The concept enables the software layer to collect information
of acceptable charging rates so that this information can be used to
predict battery failures, thereby enabling backup batteries to be
replaced before experiencing a failure.

      The block diagram shows how the battery-monitoring device
interacts with the computer system.  The battery-monitoring device is
contained in system board 10. The computer system's power supply 11
and backup batteries 12 provide a signal to system board 10 through
pull- up resistor 13 to digital input register 14.  Pull-up resistor
13 is used to force the signal line into a 'battery low' state in the
event the circuit carrying the signal is broken or disconnected.

      Timer 15 invokes signals to periodic interrupt handler 16 to
periodically interrupt normal program execution so as to enable
system level basic input/output subsystem (BIOS) software to gain
control of the processor.  The BIOS is located in read-only memory
(ROM), programmable read-only memory (PROM), erasable programmable
read-only memory (EPROM), or other non-volat...