July 7, 2016 - 1:51 PM EDT
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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Power Systems and Methods Using Voltage Waveform Signaling", for Approval (USPTO 20160181861)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Familiant, Yakov Lvovich (Brown Deer, WI); Nowak, Michael P. (Milwaukee, WI); Bhavaraju, Vijay (Germantown, WI); Navarro, George Arthur (Raleigh, NC), filed on December 19, 2014, was made available online on June 30, 2016.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The inventive subject matter relates to electric power systems and methods of operating the same and, more particularly, to power system control apparatus and methods.

"Islanded power systems include systems that may be isolated from a utility grid. Such system may include, for example, systems served by uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, motor-generator sets, fuel cells, and the like. Typical uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems are designed to provide uninterrupted power to a protected load by transferring the load from a failed primary source, such as a utility line, to a secondary source, such as a battery, flywheel, fuel cell or the like. UPS systems may also be interfaced to other energy sources, such as motor/generator sets, microturbines, wind-powered generators, and photovoltaic arrays. UPS systems may have a variety of different architectures, including on-line (double conversion), standby and line-interactive. Various different converter (e.g., inverter) architectures may be used in other types of islanded power systems.

"Data centers commonly use UPSs in their power distribution systems to ensure a desired level of availability. These power systems may have a variety of different configurations of power sources (e.g., gensets, photovoltaic arrays, batteries and the like), UPSs and interconnecting switchgear. For example, some data center power systems may include a combination of one or more UPSs that provide short-term backup power and one or more diesel and/or natural gas fired generators that provide longer-term backup power. These various power system arrangements may provide various levels of availability. A tiered availability scheme for data centers is defined by the Uptime Institute and described at www.uptimeinstitute.com.

"Some systems use redundant UPS arrangements wherein one UPS may be used to back up another UPS. For example, some systems may utilize parallel redundant arrangements in which two or more UPSs (or UPS modules) are connected in parallel to a common bus, with the paralleled system having a capacity sufficiently greater than a maximum projected load to provide redundancy. Other systems may use an isolated redundant arrangement in which one or more primary UPSs serve respective protected loads (e.g., respective server rack rows in a data center) and one or more reserve or 'catcher' UPSs is configured to pick up a protected load in the event of a failure (e.g., hardware and/or capacity) of its serving primary UPS. Other types of redundant UPS arrangements are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 8,850,237 to Familiant et al. These UPS arrangements may be further backed up by generators or other power sources."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Some embodiments of the inventive subject matter provide methods including providing power from a power source and controlling a waveform of an AC voltage generated from the power source to signal a status of the power source. The status may include, for example, a capacity of the power source. In some embodiments, controlling a waveform of an AC voltage generated from the power source to signal the status of the power source comprises signaling the status by controlling a frequency of the AC voltage. In some embodiments, the power source may include an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and controlling a waveform of an AC voltage generated from the power source to signal a status of the power source may include signaling the status using an inverter of the UPS.

"In some embodiments, the UPS may include a first UPS, signaling the status using an inverter of the UPS may comprise controlling an AC voltage on a first bus coupled to the first UPS. The methods may further include detecting the signaled status on the first bus and, responsive to the detected status, selectively coupling the first bus to a second bus configured to receive power from a second UPS. In further embodiments, the signaled status may be detected at a load and the load may be controlled responsive to the detected signaled status. For example, load may include a power distribution unit (PDU) and controlling the load responsive to the detected signaled status may include selectively de-energizing branch circuits coupled to the PDU. In further embodiments, the load may include a data processing device and controlling the load responsive to the detected signaled status may include altering a computing process executed by the data processing device.

"Further embodiments provide methods including operating a power source to produce a voltage on a first bus, signaling a capacity of the power source by controlling a waveform of a voltage provided by the power source, providing power to a load from a UPS via a second bus and selectively coupling the first bus to the second bus based on the signaled capacity. The power source may include another UPS.

"In some embodiments, providing power to a load from a UPS via a second bus may include providing power to a first load from a first UPS via the second bus, and the methods may further include providing power from a second UPS to a second load via a third bus and selectively coupling the first bus to the third bus based on the signaled capacity. Selectively coupling the first bus to the second bus based on the signaled capacity may include coupling the first bus to the second bus responsive to a failure of the first UPS and selectively coupling the first bus to the third bus based on the signaled capacity may include coupling the first bus to the third bus responsive to a failure of the second UPS if the signaled capacity is sufficient to serve the second load.

"In some embodiments, the power source may include a third UPS. In some embodiments, the third UPS may be operated as a catcher UPS. In further embodiments, power may be provided from the third UPS to a third load via a fourth bus and operating the power source to produce the voltage on the first bus may include coupling the first bus to the fourth bus such that the third UPS generates the voltage on the first bus while providing power to the third load.

"Still further embodiments may provide a system including a power source and a control circuit configured signal a status of the power source by controlling a waveform of an AC voltage generated from the power source. The power source may include a UPS, and the control circuit may be configured to operate an inverter of the UPS to signal the status. In some embodiments, the power source may include a generator and the control circuit may be configured to operate the generator to signal the status of the generator. The signaled status may include a capacity. The control circuit may be configured, for example, to set a frequency of the waveform of the AC voltage to signal the status of the power source.

"Additional embodiments provide a system including a load configured to receive power from a power source and a control circuit operatively coupled to the load and configured to detect a status signal conveyed by a waveform of an AC voltage provided by the power source and to alter the load based on the detected status signal.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power system according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating operations of the power system of FIG. 1 according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram illustrating an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with waveform signaling capability according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power system including a generator with waveform signaling capability according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 5 is a graph illustrating an example of a voltage waveform signaling scheme according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power system with a redundant catcher UPS arrangement according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power system with a redundant catcher UPS and dual input bus arrangement according to further embodiments.

"FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power system with a UPS reserve bus arrangement according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram illustrating a power distribution unit (PDU) with a voltage waveform detection capability according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram illustrating a computer apparatus with a voltage waveform detection capability according to some embodiments.

"FIG. 11 is a flowchart illustrating power system operations according to further embodiments."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Familiant, Yakov Lvovich; Nowak, Michael P.; Bhavaraju, Vijay; Navarro, George Arthur. Power Systems and Methods Using Voltage Waveform Signaling. Filed December 19, 2014 and posted June 30, 2016. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1584&p=32&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20160623.PD.&OS=PD/20160623&RS=PD/20160623

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronics, Photovoltaic, Information Technology, Information and Data Processing.

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