Microcomputer controlled electronic alternator for vehicles

  • US 4,659,977 A
  • Filed: 10/01/1984
  • Issued: 04/21/1987
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/01/1984
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. In a charging system for a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine including an alternator driven by the internal combustion engine for supplying a charging current to the battery of the vehicle whenever the field windings of the alternator are excited by a supply of current therethrough;

  • an improved voltage regulation system for controlling the excitation of said field windings in accordance with the voltage level of said battery, including;

    means for providing a battery voltage signal on a first sense line related to the voltage level at the positive terminal of the battery;

    means for providing a temperature signal on a second sense line related to the temperature of the battery;

    power switching means for controlling the supply of current through said alternator field windings; and

    logic control means located remote from said power switching means and including an integrated circuit microprocessor connected to said first and second sense lines and to said power switching means via a control line and programmed to determine in accordance with the temperature signal on said second sense line the desired battery voltage level, compare the desired battery voltage level with the actual battery voltage level as determined from said first sense line, and control the actuation of said power switching means by producing a control signal on said control line in accordance with said comparison;

    said microprocessor being further programmed to control the operation of said internal combustion engine;

    said logic control means further including diagnostic circuit means connected between said control line and said microprocessor for detecting when said power switching means is not conducting current through the field windings of the alternator despite the production of said control signal by said microprocessor.

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