The Lucid Group has filed a patent for an apparatus that includes a clamshell designed to hold an electrochemical cell with first and second terminals. The clamshell consists of hinged portions and is equipped with first and second contacts for connecting to the terminals. Additionally, a thermoelectric device is mounted on the clamshell to regulate the temperature of the electrochemical cell. GlobalData’s report on Lucid Group gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData, Lucid Group's grant share as of September 2023 was 53%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.
An apparatus for controlling the temperature of an electrochemical cell
A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230299388A1) describes an apparatus for controlling the temperature of an electrochemical cell. The apparatus consists of a clamshell that holds the cell and has two portions hinged together. The clamshell also includes first and second contacts that make contact with the terminals of the cell. A thermoelectric device is mounted to the clamshell to regulate the temperature of the cell. The form factor of the electrochemical cell can be either cylindrical or prismatic.
The thermoelectric device operates according to the Peltier effect, which allows it to control the temperature of the cell. The first and second contacts of the clamshell include spring-loaded pins that can move relative to the rest of the contacts to establish electrical contact with the cell's terminals. Additionally, the contacts are spring-mounted relative to the cell, allowing for movement.
Inside the clamshell, there is a thermal pad made of a dielectric material. A polymer film is positioned on the surface of the thermal pad, ensuring that the cell touches the film but not the thermal pad when placed inside the clamshell. The clamshell also includes a latch for keeping the portions closed.
The apparatus further includes a positive thermal coefficient device that detects the temperature inside the clamshell. This device can detect both the safety cutoff temperature and the testing temperature of the electrochemical cell.
In addition to the apparatus, the patent also describes a system that includes a frame with an interior channel for coolant. The apparatus is mounted to the frame, and a thermal pad is positioned between the apparatus and the frame. The frame can be an extrusion with inward-facing fins in the interior channel. The thermoelectric device is positioned between the clamshell and the extrusion. The frame also includes an upright and a coolant passage for the flow of coolant.
Finally, the patent describes a method for using the apparatus. The method involves placing the electrochemical cell in the clamshell and performing a charging or discharging sequence on the cell. During this sequence, the thermoelectric device controls the temperature of the cell. The method also includes detecting the temperature inside the clamshell using the positive thermal coefficient device and adjusting the temperature of the cell based on the detected temperature.
Overall, this patent presents an apparatus and system for controlling the temperature of an electrochemical cell, along with a method for using it. The invention offers a solution for maintaining optimal temperature conditions during charging and discharging sequences, potentially improving the performance and lifespan of electrochemical cells.