Patent Number: 6,166,523

Title: Smart alternator method and apparatus for optimizing fuel efficiency and monitoring batteries in an automobile

Abstract: The invention provides a method and apparatus for controlling an alternator (605) by turning it ON or OFF depending upon the battery conditions and the operating conditions of the automobile monitored by various sensors (606, 609 and 611). By allowing the batteries of the automobile (610), controlled by a battery control unit (608), to charge and discharge based on its state of charge (SOC), the load imposed by the alternator (605) can be reduced such that the fuel efficiency of the automobile is optimized. By setting SOC limits, the alternator (605) can be turned ON or OFF, using an alternator control unit (604), depending on whether the SOC of the batteries is within the SOC limits. In addition, power loading limits can be preset so that the alternator (605) can be turned ON or OFF depending on the power loading conditions. The alternator (605) may be turned ON or OFF, using an alternator control unit (604), based on other conditions as well. Limits on idling speed, cruise speed, accelerating and decelerating conditions can also be preset. The alternator (605) can be turned ON or OFF based on whether the preset limits are exceeded. Since the alternator is only turned ON when needed, unnecessary charging is eliminated and the batteries of the automobile (610) operate at optimal efficiency. As a result, battery operation and fuel efficiency of the automobile are optimized.

Inventors: Singh; Harmohan (Rockaway, NJ), Maio; Stephen T. (Mendham, NJ), Huykman; Richard B. (Montville, NJ)

Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.

International Classification: H02J 7/14 (20060101); H02J 7/16 (20060101); H02J 007/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2017