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Mechanism to Commission/De-Commission a Battery to Preserve Battery Life

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000226380D
Publication Date: 2013-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 16K

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The IP.com Prior Art Database

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E20130160 – Mechanism to Commission/Decommission a Battery to Preserve Battery Life

Background:

Electricity meters are often sold with a battery than can provide power sufficient to maintain volatile memory, specifically RAM, while the meter is in a power failure condition.  Maintaining memory allows for data to be preserved, but also allows for other parameters, such as the current date and time, to be maintained through the power outage and subsequent power restoration.  Utilities typically have the ability to order meters with a battery, without a battery, or with a battery installed and not connected.

If meters are ordered with a battery installed, power will be drawn from the battery the entire time that the meter is powered down.  Typically this is the time when the manufacturing process is completed at the meter vendor’s facility until the meter is installed in the field.  This time is typically in the range of several weeks to several months, but may extend to many months or years depending on how the utility manages their inventory of meters.  The disadvantage of having a meter shipped with a battery installed is the battery is being utilized when there is no actual metering data to be preserved and this usage that occurs prior to installation may reduce the useful life of the battery.

Utilities often order a meter with a battery installed, but not connected, to prevent the battery from being used while the meter is in the “storage” state.  This has the advantage of preserving the battery life for use when the meter is operational in the field, but the drawback is that the utility has to remove the meter cover, often breaking the seal between the meter cover and base to do so, to connect the battery prior to installing the meter in the field.

Utilities may also periodically remove meters from service for various reasons, such as to facilitate performance audits or when disconnecting service from a load point.  The meter may subsequently be placed in storage before being re-installed.  The ability to disconnect and connect the battery without physical access would be beneficial.

There are other embodiments, where the battery may be installed in the product in a manner where it cannot be connected or disconnected.  An example would be a product where the battery is directly soldered into, and included on, the electronic assembly.

Description:

The invention provides hardware and software mechanisms that allow a battery to be installed in the meter, but in a state where the energy drawn from the battery is significantly lower than would be drawn without this mechanism.  The mechanisms allow the utility to preserve battery life, while not having to open the meter cover to physically connect the battery to the meter electronic assembly.

To enable the mechanism, the meter recognizes and acts on messages to “commission” and “de-commission” the battery.  Prior to being commissioned, the battery is electrically disco...