Battery Patent Apps Could Support Coda Automotive’s New Energy Storage Biz

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Greentech Media recently reported that Southern California electric vehicle startup Coda Automotive (Coda) launched a battery business called Coda Energy, which will enter the grid-scale energy storage market.

Coda’s patent portfolio offers a window into the battery technology that might be part of the new business.

Coda owns at least half a dozen U.S. patent applications relating to energy storage technologies, including U.S. Patent Application Publications Nos. 2011/0256431 (’631 Application), 2011/0256432 (’632 Application), 2011/0281145 (’145 Application), 2011/0304202 (’202 Application), 2011/0304298 (’298 Application, and 2012/0015242 (’242 Application).

A search in Cleantech PatentEdge™ yields an additional international application, Publication No. WO 2011/060074 (’074 Application), entitled “Battery thermal management systems and methods,” which is the international, or PCT, filing of the ’145 Application.

The ’431 and ’432 Applications were filed based upon the same provisional patent application and are entitled, respectively, ”Battery temperature control” and “Battery humidity control.”

The ’431 Application is directed to systems for controlling temperature in a battery pack including temperature control gas transported through a distribution and heat transfer system. The ’432 Application is directed to systems for inhibiting condensation in a battery pack which include a humidity sensor and control system.

Also pertaining to temperature control are the ’145 Application and its international counterpart, the ’074 Application. Entitled “Battery thermal management systems and methods,” the ’145 Application is directed to systems for thermal management of a battery pack in which the battery pack (102) has a thermally conductive interstitial member (108) disposed between the battery cells (104a-d).

The interstitial member (108) is coupled to a plate (110) along a bottom surface of the battery cells and fills at least a portion of the insterstitial space (106). A first plate (110a) may be located along the bottom of the battery pack (102), a second plate (110b) located along a first side of the pack, and a third plate (110c) located along a second side of the pack.

A cooling fluid (112) flows along the bottom surface of the battery cells (104a-d). The cooling fluid (112) draws heat generated by the battery pack and may flow in different directions to disperse the heat.

The ’298 Application is entitled “Battery charging using multiple charges” and relates to distributing charging load among multiple chargers. Less relevant is the ’202 Application, which is electric vehicle technology for disconnecting a battery during a crash.

The most recent application, filed in June of last year and just published January 19th, is the ’242 Application, entitled “Battery with improved terminals.” The ’242 Application is directed to a battery cell (10) comprising a casing (12), a cell core (14) housed within the casing, and a sealing lid (16).

A pair of terminals (18, 20) are supported on the lid. Fasteners (33) are spaced apart and offset relative to the terminals (18, 20). According to the ’242 Application, this arrangement provides a relatively large surface portion for connection to the terminals.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at elane@luce.com.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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