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1. WO2010076076 - REDUCING POWER CONSUMPTION ON DEVICES WITH MULTIPLE POWER SUPPLIES

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CLAIMS

1. An apparatus to increase efficiency on devices with redundant power supplies, the apparatus comprising: a load module that determines that a load of an electronic device is operating at a power level below a predetermined power threshold, the electronic device receives power simultaneously from two or more redundant power supplies, each redundant power supply receives input power from one or more power sources and provides regulated output power to the load of the electronic device, the redundant power supplies redundantly providing power to the load such that if one of the redundant power supplies fails, the remaining power supplies are capable of supplying power to the load while maintaining regulation of a voltage on a common bus connected to the load; and a disconnection module that disconnects at least one of the two or more redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level below the predetermined power thresho Id.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the disconnection module disconnects all but one of the redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein determining that the load is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold comprises receiving a standby signal, the standby signal indicating that the electronic device is in a standby mode.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein determining that the load is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold comprises monitoring an amount of power provided to the load and detecting whether the amount of power provided to the load is below the predetermined power threshold.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein 'n' comprises the number of the two or more redundant power supplies required to supply sufficient power to the load to maintain regulation of a voltage on a common bus connected to the load during operation of the load at or below the predetermined power threshold, and wherein the disconnection module disconnects all but 'n' of the two or more redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein 'n' comprises the number of the two or more redundant power supplies required to supply sufficient power to the load to maintain regulation of a voltage on a common bus connected to the load during operation of the load at a maximum rated capacity of the load, and wherein the disconnection module disconnects all but 'n' of the two or more redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 or claim 4, further comprising a reconnection module that reconnects at least one of the two or more redundant power supplies to the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level above the predetermined power threshold.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the reconnection module reconnects all of the disconnected redundant power supplies to the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level above the predetermined power threshold.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the disconnection module comprises one or more switches configured to selectively disallow input power to flow from the one or more power sources into the redundant power supplies in response to an electrical signal.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein one of the one or more switches is placed at the input of each of the redundant power supplies.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein each of the switches is positioned in a power path of each redundant power supply such that substantially no input power is consumed by any power component in the power path of the power supply during operation of the switch in an 'open' position.

12. A method to increase efficiency on devices with redundant power supplies, the method comprising: determining that a load of an electronic device is operating at a power level below a predetermined power threshold, the electronic device receives power simultaneously from two or more redundant power supplies, each redundant power supply receives input power from one or more power sources and provides regulated output power to the load of the electronic device, the redundant power supplies redundantly providing power to the load such that if one of the redundant power supplies fails, the remaining power supplies are capable of supplying power to the load while maintaining regulation of a voltage on a common bus connected to the load; and disconnecting at least one of the two or more redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein disconnecting at least one of the two or more redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources comprises disconnecting all but one of the redundant power supplies from the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level below the predetermined power threshold.

14. The method of claim 12, further comprising reconnecting at least one of the two or more redundant power supplies to the one or more power sources in response to the load module determining that the load of the electronic device is operating at a power level above the predetermined power threshold.