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VEHICLE BATTERY CHARGING BY EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLY SOURCE

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234061D
Publication Date: 2014-Jan-09
Document File: 4 page(s) / 78K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention relates to a system for detecting when a vehicle battery is being charged by an external power supply source, e.g. a battery charger. The system alerts the vehicle operator before takeoff if the external power supply cord is still connected to the vehicle battery. This way, damages to the vehicle, external power supply source and its cord can be prevented. The condition indicating that an external power supply cord is connected to the batteries can be based on the determination of that battery charging is still ongoing.

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VEHICLE BATTERY CHARGING BY EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLY SOURCE

The present invention relates to a system for detecting when a vehicle battery is being charged by an external power supply source, e.g. a battery charger. The system alerts the vehicle operator before takeoff if the external power supply cord is still connected to the vehicle battery. This way, damages to the vehicle, external power supply source and its cord can be prevented.

The battery system of a truck consists typically of two batteries which are connected in series in order to obtain a nominal system voltage of approximately 24 V. The main purpose of the batteries is to provide starting power to the starter motor, which in turn starts the combustion engine. When the engine is running, the alternator is used to charge the vehicle batteries and to provide power to the consumers of the vehicle. The output voltage of the alternator is normally 28.3 V. When the engine is off or the alternator is overloaded, e.g. when the engine is idling at low speed and heavy electrical loads are present, the vehicle batteries provides the necessary power to the consumers of the vehicle.

A common concern among truck drivers is not being able to start the engine due to discharged batteries. The driver might have been using heavy electrical consumers like a cab cooler/heater during an overnight stop. The main purpose of the battery charger is to prevent such scenario to happen by charging the batteries of the vehicle. It could also be used to prevent the vehicle batteries from discharging by acting as an additional power supply source when the alternator is off.

When charging of the vehicle batteries is necessary/desired, the battery charger is connected to the vehicle batteries using a power supply cord. The battery charger can for example be mounted on the chassis of the vehicle or is an external handheld unit. There is a risk that the driver forgets to disconnect the battery charger after battery charging has finished, especially if the driver is sitting inside the cab. Moreover, if the driver decides to drive away without first disconnecting the power supply cord, the battery charger, its cord and/or the vehicle can be damaged.

It is therefore desirable to alert the driver that the power supply cord is still connected before driving away.

The condition indicating that an external power supply cord is connected to the batteries can be based on the determination of that battery charging is still ongoing. 

One way to detect that battery charging is ongoing is to measure the system voltage.

Fig. 1 illustrates a circuit diagram comprising two batteries connected in parallel to a battery charger and to a Electrical control unit (ECU). The ECU can for example be an electronic module which can transfer data to/from the driver controls to a vehicle system. When the ignition key is turned to driving mode the ECU is activat...