GB2549512A - Cell pack thermal management apparatus and method - Google Patents

Cell pack thermal management apparatus and method Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2549512A
GB2549512A GB1606875.1A GB201606875A GB2549512A GB 2549512 A GB2549512 A GB 2549512A GB 201606875 A GB201606875 A GB 201606875A GB 2549512 A GB2549512 A GB 2549512A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
cell pack
chamber
thermal management
management device
flexible conduit
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB1606875.1A
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GB2549512C (en
GB2549512B (en
Inventor
John Carpenter Nicholas
John Whitney David
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Delta Motorsport Ltd
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Delta Motorsport Ltd
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Publication date
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Priority to GB1606875.1A priority Critical patent/GB2549512C/en
Publication of GB2549512A publication Critical patent/GB2549512A/en
Publication of GB2549512B publication Critical patent/GB2549512B/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2549512C publication Critical patent/GB2549512C/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/65Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells
    • H01M10/655Solid structures for heat exchange or heat conduction
    • H01M10/6552Closed pipes transferring heat by thermal conductivity or phase transition, e.g. heat pipes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/61Types of temperature control
    • H01M10/615Heating or keeping warm
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L50/00Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle
    • B60L50/50Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using propulsion power supplied by batteries or fuel cells
    • B60L50/60Electric propulsion with power supplied within the vehicle using propulsion power supplied by batteries or fuel cells using power supplied by batteries
    • B60L50/66Arrangements of batteries
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60LPROPULSION OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; SUPPLYING ELECTRIC POWER FOR AUXILIARY EQUIPMENT OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRODYNAMIC BRAKE SYSTEMS FOR VEHICLES IN GENERAL; MAGNETIC SUSPENSION OR LEVITATION FOR VEHICLES; MONITORING OPERATING VARIABLES OF ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES; ELECTRIC SAFETY DEVICES FOR ELECTRICALLY-PROPELLED VEHICLES
    • B60L58/00Methods or circuit arrangements for monitoring or controlling batteries or fuel cells, specially adapted for electric vehicles
    • B60L58/10Methods or circuit arrangements for monitoring or controlling batteries or fuel cells, specially adapted for electric vehicles for monitoring or controlling batteries
    • B60L58/24Methods or circuit arrangements for monitoring or controlling batteries or fuel cells, specially adapted for electric vehicles for monitoring or controlling batteries for controlling the temperature of batteries
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/61Types of temperature control
    • H01M10/613Cooling or keeping cold
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/62Heating or cooling; Temperature control specially adapted for specific applications
    • H01M10/625Vehicles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/63Control systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/64Heating or cooling; Temperature control characterised by the shape of the cells
    • H01M10/643Cylindrical cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/65Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells
    • H01M10/655Solid structures for heat exchange or heat conduction
    • H01M10/6554Rods or plates
    • H01M10/6555Rods or plates arranged between the cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/65Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells
    • H01M10/655Solid structures for heat exchange or heat conduction
    • H01M10/6556Solid parts with flow channel passages or pipes for heat exchange
    • H01M10/6557Solid parts with flow channel passages or pipes for heat exchange arranged between the cells
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/65Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells
    • H01M10/656Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells characterised by the type of heat-exchange fluid
    • H01M10/6567Liquids
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/65Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells
    • H01M10/656Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells characterised by the type of heat-exchange fluid
    • H01M10/6567Liquids
    • H01M10/6568Liquids characterised by flow circuits, e.g. loops, located externally to the cells or cell casings
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M10/00Secondary cells; Manufacture thereof
    • H01M10/60Heating or cooling; Temperature control
    • H01M10/64Heating or cooling; Temperature control characterised by the shape of the cells
    • H01M10/647Prismatic or flat cells, e.g. pouch cells
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02EREDUCTION OF GREENHOUSE GAS [GHG] EMISSIONS, RELATED TO ENERGY GENERATION, TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION
    • Y02E60/00Enabling technologies; Technologies with a potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
    • Y02E60/10Energy storage using batteries
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02TCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES RELATED TO TRANSPORTATION
    • Y02T10/00Road transport of goods or passengers
    • Y02T10/60Other road transportation technologies with climate change mitigation effect
    • Y02T10/70Energy storage systems for electromobility, e.g. batteries

Abstract

A cell pack thermal management device with an intake side manifold 320; an exhaust side manifold 321; and at least one flexible conduit 311, 315, 317 which provides a fluid communication path between the manifolds. The conduit may be connected through ports 319; there may be multiple chambers and conduits, the chambers beside each other communicating by chamber connectors (230-233 fig. 9) and preferably including intermediate chambers 320c, 321c. The chambers may be made by injection moulding. The fluid may be an ethylene glycol and may be pumped to heat or cool the batteries. The conduit may be made from a polymer or composite e.g. with polyethylene or polyester. The device is designed to be simple, light, and easily adaptable, the conduit conforming to surface contours or expanding around any cell pack or battery configuration or shape (fig 20), providing a large contact area for heat energy transfer without requiring an intermediate material. The pack is designed for use in a hybrid or electric vehicle, for instance with lithium-ion batteries to ensure a suitable operation temperature.

Description

Cell Pack Thermal Management Apparatus and Method
TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to cell pack thermal management and particularly but not exclusively to cell pack thermal management devices, cell pack thermal management systems, and a method of thermally managing a cell pack.
Cell packs are used in many modem applications. For example the energy source for a hybrid electric motor vehicle (HEV), an electric motor vehicle (EV) or any electric or hybrid sea, air or land vehicle. Cell packs are also used in or any static installations, for example a domestic household which requires a remote electrochemical energy source. Thermal management of a cell pack is often required. This includes both heating and cooling of the cell pack.
BACKGROUND
Cell packs, cell clusters or batteries (referred hereinafter simply as cell packs) are typically provided in clusters or modules of individual cells arranged in a matrix. A cell pack is typically an arrangement of individual cells or groups of cells which are interconnected in series anode to cathode, which may be arranged in a parallel fashion to form a cell pack. Due to packaging constraints it is often necessary for the cell matrix to be densely packed. The more dense the arrangement of cells the greater the energy/power density that can be achieved for a given volume.
Typically individual cells are in the form of pouch cells, prismatic cells or cylindrical cells with Lithium Ion chemistry. The dimensions of each type of cell is generally driven by the packaging space available for each application, as such there is a range of 'standard' size cylindrical cells available and generally no standard size pouch cell, rather the dimensions are often unique to each individual application. The cell pack size is driven by the specific requirements of the application, for example the voltage demand and energy output required. The performance of a cell pack is limited by a number of factors including the operating temperature of each individual cell. Typically a cell has a preferred operating temperature range, and when operating in this range the cell is able to perform preferentially. However, during discharge and recharge of cells, the cells produce heat as a by-product. When arranged in a densely packed matrix, the cells have limited heat dissipation pathways to the environment. This causes the overall temperature of the cell pack to rise and heat the individual cells to a temperature outside of the preferred operating temperature range. Also, the individual cells cannot operate effectively if they are too cold. Therefore, for devices that operate at low temperatures it is necessary to heat the cell pack to raise the temperature of each cell to its preferred operating temperature range.
Cell packs, by their very nature are heavy and expensive, it is therefore advantageous to provide a thermal management system that is efficient and relatively low weight and low cost. A portion of the cell pack overall weight and cost can often be attributed to the cell pack thermal management system. The cost and weight of a cell pack can be reduced by optimising the performance of the cells in the pack. By optimising the performance of individual cells, the cell pack performs more efficiently and the requirement for extra cells is negated. Efficient thermal management of a cell is required for the performance of the cell to be optimised.
Conventional cell pack thermal management systems are often complex, heavy, and typically not readily adaptable to cell packs of different size and shapes.
The present invention seeks to address one or more of the aforementioned problems.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention utilises a flexible conduit arranged between the individual cells or cell clusters of a cell pack, through which a working fluid, typically a liquid, is circulated. The flexible conduit conforms to the surface of each cell thereby allowing heat to be transferred efficiently to or from the working fluid. Beneficially the invention is simplistic, and easily adaptable to fit any cell pack or battery configuration. Furthermore the flexible nature of the conduit and the manner in which it is able to conform to the individual cell shape allows for a substantial contact area thereby allowing a large area for heat energy transfer without the need for an intermediate thermally conductive material. Existing cooling systems generally require a thermally conductive intermediary material between the cell surface and the surface of the cooling system to ensure that there is a sufficient thermal pathway for heat energy exchange. A flexible conduit that conforms to the cell surface shape does not need an intermediary material.
According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a cell pack thermal management device suitable for use with a cell pack comprising an intake-side chamber, an exhaust-side chamber, and at least one flexible conduit, wherein the at least one flexible conduit provides a fluid communication path between the intake-side chamber and the exhaust-side chamber.
The present invention may be used with cell packs, having cells of any shape. The flexible nature of the conduit allows the conduit to conform to the particular shape of the individual cells and maximise the individual cell surface contact area. This creates a large area for heat transfer. A plurality of cells may be cooled with a relatively small number of fluid connections, increasing the reliabihty and robustness of the device.
The at least one flexible conduit may comprise a plurality of flexible conduits which provide a plurality of fluid communication paths between the intake side chamber and the exhaust side chamber. Thus the cooling or heating of cells may be performed in parallel and thereby reduce the overall required flow rate and/or length of flow path. and thus provide a more efficient system. The shorter flow path provides for a smaller pressure drop along the flow path. Further reduction in length of flow path may be achieved by providing a plurality of cell pack thermal management devices in connected in series.
The plurality of flexible conduits may be configured to provide a matrix like fluid conununication path. This further increases the options for parallel flow of working fluid.
As such, the dimensions of the cell pack thermal management device may be configured to provide a pre-determined pressure drop across the cell pack and also may be configured to provide a predetermined flow rate through the or each flexible conduit. The predetermined pressure drop and flow rate may be selected given the modular nature of the chamber and conduit arrangement. Thus the cell pack thermal management device may be optimised for a specific cell pack and performance characteristic.
At least one of the plurality of flexible conduits may be configured to be interlaced between the cells of a cell pack and conform to the surface contours of the cells.
Interlacing the flexible conduits in between the cells of a cell pack enables heat energy to be added to or removed from the cell pack, and therefore the temperature of the cell pack can be regulated. The efficient regulation of the temperature of the cell pack allows the overall performance of the cell pack and the cells therein to be optimised. The optimisation of the performance of the cells in the cell pack allow a reduced number of cells to be used and therefore weight to be saved in the form of reducing the number of cells required in the cell pack to achieve a particular performance.
At least one of the plurality of flexible conduits may be configured to conform to be contiguous with a cell pack support plate (also known as a cell pack collector plate).
The cell pack support plate may be configured to electrically network the cells in a cell pack.
As the cell pack support plate forms the electrical connection between individual cells, or individual cell modules in a cell pack, it also forms a thermal conduction pathway into each of the cells and/or cell modules. Cooling the cell support plate enables the efficient removal of heat from the cell or transmission of heat to the cell pack therefore allowing the cell pack to be optimised.
The intake-side chamber and or the exhaust-side chamber may be configured to be in fluid communication with a plurality of flexible conduits.
The flexible conduit may have an inlet port at one end thereof that may be adapted to be connected to the intake-side chamber. The flexible conduit may have an outlet port at another end thereof which may be adapted to be connected to the exhaust-side chamber. The flexible nature of the flexible conduit allows the conduit to readily conform to the surface shape of any shape of cell.
The flexible conduit allows the thermal management of any shape cell and cell pack. Furthermore, the flexible conduit can be increased or decreased in length and easily adapted to any type of cell pack without the need for extensive modifications. This means that the manufacture of the thermal management system can be low cost. The readily adaptable nature of the cell pack thermal management device permits the application of the device to a wide range of applications and provides for easy modification to provide a thermal management optimisation for a wide range of cell packs.
The flexible conduit may have a wall thickness in the range of 0.05mm to 3.00mm. Preferably, the flexible conduit may have a wall thickness in the range of 0.1mm to 0.5mm. Reducing the thickness of the flexible conduit allows heat to more readily be conducted between the surface of the individual cells and the fluid passing through the flexible conduit.
The at least one flexible conduit may comprise a single sheet that may be sealed at a longitudinal edge to define the flexible conduit with a single longitudinal edge seal.
Alternatively, the flexible conduit may comprise two sheets that may be sealed along opposing longitudinal edges to define the flexible conduit with opposing longitudinal edge seals. Alternatively, the flexible conduit may be extruded as a thin walled tube.
The or each longitudinal edge seal may be provided by adhesive bonding. Alternatively, the or each longitudinal edge seal may be provided by welding.
The sheet may be made of a polymer such as polyethylene. Alternatively, the sheet may be made of polyester. This provides a cell pack thermal management system that is of low complexity and is relatively inexpensive to manufacture. Alternatively, the sheet may be a composite material comprising one or more lamina, for example, a foil-polymer composite.
As is well known, utilising identical parts reduces the cost of manufacture and therefore the overall cost of the cell pack thermal management device.
The cell pack thermal management device may comprise a plurality of intake-side chambers, the plurality of intake-side chambers may be in fluid communication with each other and together may define an intake manifold.
The cell pack thermal management device may comprise a plurality of exhaust-side chambers, the plurality of exhaust-side chambers may be in fluid communication with each other and together may define an exhaust manifold.
The cell pack thermal management device may have an intake manifold and exhaust manifold that are substantially identical.
The manifolds may comprise a first chamber and a second chamber, each chamber may be in fluid communication with the other.
The first chamber has a body which may define a first cavity, a first conduit port which may be adapted to receive the inlet or the outlet port of the flexible conduit, or a system port. The first chamber may have a chamber connector which may be adapted to receive another chamber.
The second chamber has a body which may define a second cavity, a second conduit port which may be adapted to receive the inlet or the outlet port of the flexible conduit and a chamber connector which may be adapted to receive another chamber.
The first chamber and second chamber may be in fluid communication with at least one intermediate chamber, which may be positioned between the first chamber and the second chamber.
The intermediate chambers comprise a body which may define an intermediate cavity which may have an intermediate conduit port which may be adapted to receive the inlet and/or outlet port of a flexible conduit, a chamber connector and a further chamber connector wherein each chamber connector which may be adapted to receive the chamber connector of any one of the head manifold chamber, tail manifold chamber or another intermediate manifold chamber.
The chamber connectors may be arranged to mate so as to form a fluid tight seal.
The chamber connectors may be adapted to be joined by mutually interlocking features. The mutually interlocking feature allows the manifolds to be assembled in a modular format, as per the application thermal management requirements.
The chamber connector of the first chamber may be welded to the chamber connector of either the second chamber or of a further intermediate chamber. The chamber connector of the intermediate chamber may be welded to the chamber connector of either the second chamber or of a further intermediate chamber.
The inlet or the outlet port of the flexible conduit of the present invention may be bonded to one of the first conduit port, the second conduit port or the or each intermediate conduit port.
The inlet or the outlet port of the flexible conduit of the present invention may be welded to one of the first conduit port, the second conduit port or the or each intermediate conduit port.
The chambers of the present invention may be manufactured via injection moulding methods.
The chambers of the present invention may have a wall thickness in the range of 0.5mm to 5mm.
The intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the at least one flexible conduit may be suitable for use with a working fluid. The working fluid may be a liquid coolant, preferably wherein the intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the at least one flexible conduit may be suitable for use with ethylene glycol, alternatively wherein the intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the at least one flexible conduit may be suitable for use with a transformer oil.
According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a cell pack thermal management device comprising: a first flexible conduit having and inlet and an outlet; a second flexible conduit having an inlet and an outlet; an intake manifold comprising a first chamber and a second chamber connected in fluid communication; an exhaust manifold comprising a first chamber and a second chamber connected in fluid communication. The inlet of the first flexible conduit is connected to the first conduit port of the intake manifold first chamber and the outlet of the first flexible conduit is connected to the first conduit port of the exhaust manifold first chamber; the inlet of the second flexible conduit is connected to the second conduit port of the intake manifold second chamber and the outlet of the second flexible conduit is connected to the second conduit port of the exhaust manifold second chamber; and the first flexible conduit and second flexible conduit are arranged longitudinally in a substantially parallel formation.
According to a third aspect of the present invention there is provided a cell pack thermal management device comprising: a first flexible conduit having and inlet and an outlet; a second flexible conduit having an inlet and an outlet; an intermediate flexible conduit having an inlet and an outlet; an intake manifold comprising a first chamber, a second chamber and an intermediate chamber. The intermediate chamber is positioned between the first chamber and the second chamber and is connected in fluid communication with the first chamber and the second chamber; an exhaust manifold may comprise a first chamber, a second chamber and an intermediate chamber. The intermediate chamber is positioned between the first chamber and the second chamber and is connected in fluid communication with the first chamber and the second chamber. The inlet of the first flexible conduit is connected to the first conduit port of the intake manifold first chamber and the outlet of the first flexible conduit is connected to the first conduit port of the exhaust manifold first chamber. The inlet of the intermediate flexible conduit is connected to the conduit port of the intake manifold intermediate chamber and the outlet of the intermediate flexible conduit is connected to the intermediate conduit port of the exhaust manifold intermediate chamber. The inlet of the second flexible conduit is connected to the second conduit port of the intake manifold second chamber and the outlet of the second flexible conduit is connected to the second conduit port of the exhaust manifold second chamber. The first flexible conduit, the intermediate flexible conduit and the second flexible conduit is arranged longitudinally in a substantially parallel formation.
According to a fourth aspect of the present invention there is provided a cell pack thermal management system comprising: a pump; a heat exchanger; and a cell pack thermal management device according to another aspect of the present invention.
The system port of the intake-side first chamber may be in fluid communication with the heat exchanger and the system port of the exhaust-side first chamber may be in fluid communication with the pump.
The pump may be provided to circulate a fluid, preferably a liquid, through the cell pack thermal management device which may generate a temperature gradient between each cell and the fluid.
According to a fifth aspect of the present invention there is provided a cell pack comprising: a plurality of cells; and a cell pack thermal management system of the fourth aspect of the present invention.
The plurality of cells may be arranged in a matrix, and the flexible conduit of the cell pack thermal management arrangement may pass between the plurality of cells so as to enable cooling or heating the cells.
The surface of the flexible conduit may advantageously conform to the shape of the individual cells to provide direct contact with the cell surface so as to provide a contact area for thermal energy exchange.
According to a sixth aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of thermally managing a cell pack, the method comprises the steps of: providing at least one flexible conduit; providing an intake manifold; providing an exhaust manifold.
The flexible conduit may be in fluid communication with the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold thereby providing a fluid passageway therebetween.
The method further comprises the steps of: providing a pump; providing a heat exchanger; providing a cell pack; providing a fluid.
The pump may be in in fluid communication with the heat exchanger and either the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold and the heat exchanger may be in fluid communication with the pump and the other of the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold thereby forming a fluid circuit.
The flexible conduit may be positioned between the individual cells of a cell pack; and the pump may be operated to circulate the fluid around the circuit.
According to a seventh aspect of the present invention there is provided a cell pack comprising: a plurality of cells arranged with a cell pack support plate; a cell pack thermal management system of the fourth embodiment of the present invention. The plurality of cells may be arranged in a matrix, and the at least one flexible conduit of the cell pack thermal management device may pass over the cell pack support plate, the surface of the flexible conduit may conform to provide proximal and direct contact with a cell pack plate so as to provide a maximum contact area for thermal energy exchange.
According to an eighth aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of thermally managing a cell pack, the method comprises the steps of: providing at least one flexible conduit; providing an intake manifold; providing an exhaust manifold.
The flexible conduit may be in fluid communication with the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold thereby providing a fluid passageway therebetween; providing a pump; providing a heat exchanger; providing a cell pack; providing fluid.
The pump may be in fluid communication with the heat exchanger and either the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold and the heat exchanger may be in fluid communication with the pump and the other of the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold thereby forming a fluid circuit.
The at least one flexible conduit may be interlaced between the individual cells of a cell pack and configured to conform and expand to fill spaces between cells in a cell pack; and the pump may be operated to circulate the fluid.
According to a ninth aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of thermally managing a cell pack, the method comprises the steps of: providing at least one flexible conduit; providing an intake manifold; providing an exhaust manifold.
The flexible conduit may be in fluid communication with the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold thereby providing a fluid passageway therebetween. The method further includes the steps of: providing a pump; providing a heat exchanger; providing a cell pack; providing fluid.
The pump may be in fluid communication with the heat exchanger and either the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold and the heat exchanger may be in fluid communication with the pump and the other of the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold may form a fluid circuit;
The at least one flexible conduit may be positioned in a contiguous fashion proximate a cell pack plate and may be configured to conform to the surface contours of the cell pack plate; and the pump may be operated to circulate the fluid.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
One or more embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: FIGURE 1 shows a schematic overview of a thermal management system according to the present invention; FIGURE 2 shows a side elevation of a cell pack thermal management device according to a first embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 3 shows a plan view of the cell pack thermal management device shown in Figure 1; FIGURE 4 shows a side elevation of an exemplar flexible conduit for use in an embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 5 shows a side elevation of a further exemplar flexible conduit for use in an embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 6 shows a plan view of a chamber for use in an embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 7 shows a side elevation of a cross-section taken at the line E-E of Figure 6; FIGURE 8 shows a side elevation of a cell pack thermal management device of a further embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 9 shows a cross-section of the manifold of Figure 8; FIGURE 10 shows a side elevation of a cell pack thermal management device according to a further embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 11 shows a cross-section of the manifold of Figure 10; FIGURE 12 shows a side elevation of a cell pack thermal management device according to another embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 13 shows a detailed view of area C of Figure 12; FIGURE 14 shows an isometric view of the cell pack thermal management device of Figure 12; FIGURE 15 shows a detailed view of area D of Figure 14; FIGURE 16 shows a cross-section of the manifold of Figure 12; FIGURE 17 shows an isometric view of the manifold of Figure 12; FIGURE 18 shows a side elevation of the manifold of Figure 12; FIGURE 19 shows a rear elevation of the manifold of Figure 12; FIGURE 20 shows a side elevation of a cell pack thermal management device including a matrix of individual cells according to another embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 21 shows a detailed view of section A of Figure 20; FIGURE 22 shows an isometric view of the cell pack thermal management device of Figure 20; FIGURE 23 shows a detailed view of section B of Figure 20; FIGURE 24 shows an isometric view of a cell pack thermal management device arranged in parallel with another cell pack thermal management device, including cell spacer plates according to another embodiment of the invention. FIGURE 25 shows a schematic plan view of a number of cell pack modules interlinked by cell plates; FIGURE 26 shows an isometric view of a cell pack thermal management device according to another embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 27 shows a plan view of a cell pack thermal management device according to another embodiment of the invention; FIGURE 28 shows a cross section view of Figure 27; FIGURE 29 shows a detail view of Figure 28; FIGURE 30 shows a side view of Figure 27; FIGURE 31 shows an isometric view of Figure 27.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
With reference to Figures 2 to 7, a cell pack thermal management device, has a flexible conduit 115, an intake-side chamber 120 and an exhaust-side chamber 121.
The intake-side chamber 120 and exhaust-side chamber 121 are substantially identical. Each chamber 120, 121 is a hollow body 125 defined by a wall 124. The wall 124 defines a cavity 126. A conduit port 122 and a system port 128 are defined in the wall 124 of the body 125, providing fluid communication between the cavity 126 and external to the body 125. The conduit port 122 has four ribbed (shown as planar) surfaces 123 which are formed by the chamber wall 124.
The flexible conduit 115 is made of two sheets of polyethylene. The polyethylene sheets are joined along there longitudinal edges to provide longitudinal edge seals 112, thereby forming the flexible conduit. The two sheets are joined by welding the polyethylene sheets. Alternatively, the flexible conduit 115 is made from a single sheet of polyethylene, folded and the opposing longitudinal edges joined by welding to form longitudinal edge seal 112, thereby forming the flexible conduit.
The flexible conduit 115, has an inlet port 110, an outlet port 111, an upper surface 114 and a lower surface 116. The flexible conduit has a longitudinal edge seal 112. The upper surface 114 and the lower surface 116 of the flexible conduit 115 conform to the shape of the cells to which they are contiguous. Where there is no contact between the flexible conduit and a cell, the surface of the flexible conduit 115 expand to the limit allowed by a plate. The plate (not shown) is provided to limit the expansion of the conduit and thereby maintain correct flow distribution through the system. This is shown in Figure 4, upper surface 114.
The chambers are made of injection moulded polyethylene.
The inlet port 110 of flexible conduit 115 is adapted to connect to the conduit port 122 of intake-side chamber 120 and the outlet port 111 of flexible conduit 115 is adapted to connect to the conduit port 122 of the exhaust-side chamber 121. The flexible conduit is connected to the conduit ports on the intake-side A and exhaust-side B of the device by welding the flexible conduit 115 to the conduit ports 122 of the intake-side and exhaust-side chambers 120 and 121. When the flexible conduit 115 of the cell pack thermal management device 100 is positioned between two rows of cylindrical cells (not shown) the upper surface 114 and lower surface 116 conform to the shape of the surface of each cell. The upper and lower surfaces effectively conform to the cylindrical cells creating a large surface area for thermal exchange.
Referring to Figure 1, the cell pack thermal management device 100 is shown connected in a fluid circuit thereby forming a cell pack thermal management system 600. The cell pack thermal management system 600 has a heat exchanger 604, pipes 610, 612, 614, pump 602, controller 616, a cell pack monitoring system 618 and a cell pack thermal management arrangement 606.
The cell pack thermal management arrangement 606 has one or more cell pack thermal management device 100, each cell pack thermal management device 100 is substantially identical. The cell pack thermal management devices are in fluid communication with each other in a parallel formation. The system port 128 of each intake-side first chamber 120 is in fluid communication with heat exchanger 604 via pipe 610. The system port 128 of each exhaust-side first chamber is in fluid communication with pump 602 via pipe 612. The pump 602 is in fluid communication with heat exchanger 604 via pipe 614. The pump 602 is controlled by controller 616 which is in wired or wireless communication with the pump. The controller 616 receives status data, either via a wired or wireless connection, from the cell pack monitoring system 618 which monitors cell pack 608.
In use, the cell pack thermal management system 600 is filled with fluid ethylene glycol.
The ethylene glycol is circulated around the fluid circuit in a conventional manner by creating a pressure gradient between the intake-side A and the exhaust-side B. The ethylene glycol enters cell pack thermal management device 100 at system port 128 of chamber 120, the ethylene glycol passes into cavity 126 and then exits cavity 126 at conduit port 122 of chamber 120. The ethylene glycol passes through conduit port 122, into flexible conduit 115, via inlet port 110. The ethylene glycol flows through the flexible conduit 115, acting on the conduit to push the upper surface 114 and lower surface 115 to conform and contact each individual cell. Heat energy passes to or from the ethylene glycol due to a temperature gradient between the cells and the ethylene glycol. The ethylene glycol exits the flexible conduit 115 at outlet 111 which is in fluid communication with conduit port 122 of chamber 121. The ethylene glycol enters cavity 126 of chamber 121 via conduit port 122 of chamber 121. The ethylene glycol exits cavity 126 of chamber 121 via system port 128 of chamber 121, into pipe 612 with which the system port 128 of chamber 121 is in fluid communication. The ethylene glycol is then recirculated by pump 602.
The cell pack monitoring system 618 monitors the temperature of cell pack 608 and provides data to the controller 616, should the temperature of the cell pack rise above or fall below the ideal operating temperature the controller 616 signals the pump 602 to operate. The pump 602 moves the ethylene glycol along pipe 614 and into heat exchanger 604. The heat exchanger either heats or cools the ethylene glycol depending on whether the cell pack is required to be heated or cooled. The ethylene glycol then exits the heat exchanger 604 and passes along pipe 610 into the cell pack thermal management device 100. The ethylene glycol passes through the flexible conduits and imparts or draws heat to each individual cell due to the created temperature gradient. The ethylene glycol exits the cell pack thermal management device 100 and passes into pipe 612 which feeds pump 602. The ethylene glycol is cycled through the circuit until the ideal operating temperature of the cell pack 608 is reached.
Figure 8 shows a cell pack thermal management device 200 similar to the cell pack thermal management device 100 described with reference to Figures 2 to 7.
Cell pack thermal management device 200 differs to cell pack thermal management device 100, in that a further layer of flexible conduit is provided, as will be described in more detail below, with reference to Figures 8 and 9.
Cell pack thermal management device 200 has an intake-side manifold 220, and exhaust-side manifold 221, a first flexible conduit 215 and a second flexible conduit 217.
The intake-side manifold 220 and exhaust-side manifold 221 are substantially identical. Each manifold (see Figure 9) has a first chamber 220a and a second chamber 220b.
The first chamber 220a has a body wall 225a which defines a first cavity 226a, a first conduit port 222a, a system port 228 and a chamber connector 232.
The second chamber 220b has a body wall 225b which defines a second cavity 226b, a second conduit port 222b and a chamber connector 233.
The first cavity 226a is connected to the second cavity 226b via chamber connectors 232 and 233. The chamber connectors form a fluid tight seal and thereby create a fluid passageway between the first cavity 226a and the second cavity 226b.
First chamber 220a of intake-side manifold 220 is in fluid communication with first chamber 221a of exhaust manifold 221 via flexible conduit 215.
Second chamber 220b of intake-side manifold 220 is in fluid communication with second chamber 221b of exhaust manifold 221 via flexible conduit 217.
Flexible conduits 215 and 217 are bonded to their respective conduit ports on each manifold at interfaces 219a and 219b.
Figure 10 shows a cell pack thermal management device 300 similar to the cell pack thermal management device 200 described with reference to Figures 8 and 9.
Cell pack thermal management device 300 differs to cell pack thermal management device 200, in that a further layer of flexible conduit is provided, as will be described in more detail below, with reference to Figures 10 and 11. A cell pack thermal management device 300, has an intake-side manifold 320, and exhaust-side manifold 321, a first flexible conduit 315 a second flexible conduit 317 and an intermediate flexible conduit 311.
The intake-side manifold 320 and exhaust-side manifold 321 are substantially identical. Each manifold (see Figure 11) has a first chamber 324a a second chamber 324b and an intermediate chamber 324c.
The first chamber 324a has a body wall 235a which defines a first cavity 326a, a first conduit port 322a, a system port 328 and a chamber connector 332.
The second chamber 324b has a body wall 325b which defines a second cavity 326b, a second conduit port 322b and a chamber connector 333.
The intermediate chamber 324c has a body wall 325c which defines an intermediate cavity 326c, an intermediate conduit port 322c a chamber connector 332c and a further chamber connector 333c.
The first chamber 324a is connected to the intermediate chamber 324c via chamber connectors 332 and 333c. The chamber connectors form a fluid tight seal and thereby create a fluid passageway between the first cavity 326a and the intermediate cavity 326c. The second chamber 324b is connected to the intermediate chamber 324c via chamber connectors 333 and 332c. The chamber connectors form a fluid tight seal and thereby create a fluid passageway between the second cavity 326b and the intermediate cavity 326c.
First chamber 324a of intake-side manifold 320 is in fluid communication with first chamber 321a of exhaust manifold 321 via flexible conduit 315.
Second chamber 324b of intake-side manifold 320 is in fluid communication with second chamber 321b of exhaust manifold 321 via flexible conduit 317.
Intermediate chamber 324c of intake-side manifold 320 is in fluid communication with intermediate chamber 321c of exhaust manifold 321 via flexible conduit 311.
Flexible conduits 311, 315 and 317 are bonded to their respective conduit ports on each manifold at interfaces 319a, 319b and 319c.
Figure 12 shows a cell pack thermal management device 400 similar to the cell pack thermal management device 300 described with reference to Figures 10 and 11.
Cell pack thermal management device 400 differs to cell pack thermal management device 300, in that a further two layers of flexible conduit are provided, as will be described in more detail below, with reference to Figures 12 to 23. A cell pack thermal management device 400 (see Figure 20), has an intake-side manifold 420, and exhaust-side manifold 421, a first flexible conduit 415 a second flexible conduit 417 and a plurality intermediate flexible conduits 411
The intake-side manifold 420 and exhaust-side manifold 421 are substantially identical. Each manifold (see Figures 16 and 17) has a first chamber 424a a second chamber 424b and a plurality intermediate chambers 426c.
The first chamber 424a has a body wall 435a which defines a first cavity 426a, a first conduit port 422a, a system port 428 and a chamber connector 432.
The second chamber 424b has a body wall 425b which defines a second cavity 426b, a second conduit port 422b and a chamber connector 433.
Each intermediate chamber 424c has a body wall 425c which defines an intermediate cavity 426c, an intermediate conduit port 422c a chamber connector 432c and a further chamber connector 433c.
The first chamber 424a is connected to an intermediate chamber 424c via chamber connectors 432 and 433c. The chamber connectors form a fluid tight seal and thereby create a fluid passageway between the first cavity 426a and an intermediate cavity 426c. The intermediate chamber 424c is connected to another intermediate chamber 424c, which is connected to a further intermediate chamber which is connected to the second chamber 424b. The intermediate chambers are connected via chamber connectors 433c and 432c. The chamber connectors form a fluid tight seal and thereby create a fluid conununication passage between the first chamber 424a and second chamber 424b via the plurality of intermediate chambers 424c.
Each chamber on the intake-side manifold is in fluid conununication with its opposite chamber on the exhaust-side manifold via a flexible conduit.
The intake-side manifold 420, exhaust-side manifold 421 and plurality of flexible conduits form a ladder like arrangement. Each conduit is arranged to pass over one row or between two rows of cylindrical cells 460 in a cell pack.
The skilled person will appreciate that the cell pack thermal management devices with one, two, three and five layers of flexible conduit are described, any number of layers may be used according to the provision of chambers in the intake and exhaust manifolds.
Furthermore, whilst the flexible conduits have been shown disposed adjacent to a row of 20 cells, the skilled person will appreciate that the length of each conduit is adjusted to accommodate any number of cells.
Figure 20 shows the cell pack thermal management device 400 arranged with a cell pack of individual cells 468. The individual cells 468 are arranged in cell clusters 470, with either the cell anodes 464 or the cell cathodes 466 all being aligned.
In between the cells there is a cell support 462. The cell support acts to limit the movement of each individual cell 468 and provides a rigid structure to the cell pack. The cell support 462 also provides an alternate thermal conduction path for areas of the cell that are not in direct contact with the flexible conduit. Referring to Figure 21 it can be seen how the surface 418 of the flexible conduit 411 conforms to the surface shape of the cells, and covers all the available surface of the individual cell 468 that is not abutting the cell support 462.
Figure 24 shows an arrangement of cell pack thermal management devices 500a and 500b. The cell pack thermal management devices 500a and 500b are arranged between two strata of a cell pack. Cell plate 580 is connected to cell supports 562 and separates individual cells 568. The cell plate 580 serve as an electrical connection between each individual cell thereby forming a cell pack.
Figure 25 shows an arrangement of a cell pack thermal management device as is shown in Figure 24. Cell packs 590a to 590d are arranged in a matrix. As is well known in the art a cell pack plate 580a connects the anodes of cell pack modules 590a and 590b and cell pack plate 580c connects the cathodes of 590b and 590c. As is well known in the art cell packs and cell pack modules are often arranged anode to anode to form a cell pack module and the cell pack modules are arranged in a parallel series formation to form a cell pack.
The thermal management device according to the embodiments of Figures 2 to 25 may be used to provide a cell pack thermal management system having a predetermined pressure drop or flow rate. For example the length of the flexible conduit between the manifolds and the cross sectional area of the flexible conduit may be specified such that a fluid at provided at a given pressure produces an optimised flow rate and pressure drop across the flexible conduit.
Figure 26 shows a flexible conduit 615 of a cell pack thermal management device. The cell pack thermal management device 615 has an intake side manifold 620 and an exhaust side manifold 621. The exhaust side manifold is sealed to the flexible conduit 615 at seal 619. Flexible conduit 615 is attached to a manifold by ports 616. Figure 27 shows a plan view of a cell plate thermal management device wherein the flexible conduits 615 are arranged contiguously with cell pack plates 691.
Figure 28 shows a cross section of Figure 27 and shows flexible conduits 615, forming to the exterior plates of a cell pack to largely encapsulate the cell pack.
Figure 29 shows a detail view of Figure 28 in particular cross section of the exhaust conduit port 621 of the flexible conduit 615. Cell pack plate 680 is shown sandwiched between the flexible conduit 615 and cell modules 660.
Figure 30 shows a side view of flexible conduit 615 encapsulating a cell pack 667. Figure 31 shows an isometric view of a cell pack 667 formed of cell modules 690 being lodged and encapsulated by flexible conduits 615. The intake side port of the flexible conduits 615 are shown at 620.
The skilled person will be aware that the cell pack thermal management device may be adapted to the length, cross section and positional arrangement as is required to provide an optimised solution for a specific application.
The present invention seeks to provide a compact, lightweight and efficient solution to the thermal management of cells and cell packs. The flexibility of the conduit of the present invention enables the conduit to readily conform to the shape and configuration of the cells with which it is used. By being able to easily conform to the cell shape and configuration the flexible conduit is able to maintain thermally conductive contact with the cells of a cell pack.
The flexibility of the conduit further has the advantage that minimal separation between adjacent cell packs is needed in order to accommodate the thermal management system of the present invention. Thus the overall dimensions of a cell pack incorporating the thermal management system of the present invention is minimised. Additionally, the flexible nature of the conduit allows it to be flattened during, for example, storage and transportation and thus minimises the costs associated with storage and transportation.
The flexible conduit and manifolds are formed utilising tried and tested materials and methods. The materials are lightweight and robust and the components can be formed by low cost operations which are well known within the manufacturing field. The "clip together" nature of the manifolds provides compact and reliable fluid tight connections therebetween.
The underlying configuration of the invention is readily scaleable. It will be appreciated that the configuration, for example length and/or width, of the flexible conduit can be readily adapted by providing different sizes of sheet or sheets from which the flexible conduit is formed. The manifolds, on the other hand, can be standardised. When taken together, the adaptability of the flexible conduit and the standardisation of the manifolds provides a system that can be adapted for use with differing cell pack configurations without the need for specialised components to be designed and produced for each application. System variability is limited to the flexible bladder which is readily adaptable at low cost.
The system of the present invention further provides a user with the ability to, via selection of certain system dimensions, to balance pressure drop and flow rate across the thermal management system to ensure that the system fluid is in thermal contact with each cell for the optimum time with minimal parasitic loss.

Claims (37)

Claims
1. A cell pack thermal management device suitable for use with a cell pack comprising: an intake-side chamber; an exhaust-side chamber; and at least one flexible conduit; wherein the at least one flexible conduit provides a fluid communication path between the intake-side chamber and the exhaust-side chamber.
2. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 1 wherein the at least one flexible conduit comprises a plurality of flexible conduits providing a plurality of fluid communication paths between the intake-side chamber and the exhaust-side chamber.
3. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the plurality of flexible conduits are configured to provide a matrix like fluid communication path.
4. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 3 wherein at least one of the plurality of flexible conduits is configured to be interlaced between the cells of a cell pack and conform to the surface contours of the cells.
5. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 3 wherein at least one of the plurality of flexible conduits is configured to conform to be contiguous with a cell pack support plate.
6. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 5 wherein the cell pack support plate is configured to electrically network cells in a cell pack.
7. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the at least one flexible conduit has an inlet port at one end thereof adapted to be connected to the intake-side chamber.
8. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the at least one flexible conduit has an outlet port at another end thereof adapted to be connected to the exhaust-side chamber.
9. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 7 wherein the flexible conduit has a wall thickness in the range of 0.05mm to 3.00mm, preferably wherein the flexible conduit has a wall thickness in the range of 0.1mm to 0.5mm.
10. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the at least one flexible conduit comprises a single sheet sealed at a longitudinal edge to define the flexible conduit with a longitudinal edge seal and or wherein at least one flexible conduit comprises two sheets sealed along opposing longitudinal edges to define a flexible conduit with longitudinal edge seals, alternatively wherein the at least one flexible conduit comprises an extruded tube.
11. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 12 wherein the or each longitudinal edge seal is provided by bonding or the or each longitudinal edge seal is provided by welding.
12. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the flexible conduit is a polymer, preferably wherein the polymer is polyethylene, alternatively wherein the polymer is polyester.
13. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the flexible conduit is a composite, preferably wherein the composite is a polymer-foil composite.
14. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein intake-side chamber and or the exhaust-side chamber is configured to be in fluid communication with a plurality of flexible conduits.
15. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the intake-side chamber and exhaust-side chamber are substantially identical.
16. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim comprising a plurality of intake-side chambers, the plurality of intake-side chambers in fluid communication with each other and together defining an intake manifold.
17. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim comprising a plurality of exhaust-side chambers, the plurality of exhaust-side chambers in fluid communication with each other and together defining an exhaust manifold.
18. A cell pack thermal management device according to any of claims 16 to 17 wherein the one or each manifold comprises at least a first chamber and a second chamber in fluid communication with each other.
19. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the first chamber has a body defining a first cavity, a first conduit port adapted to receive the inlet or the outlet port of the flexible conduit, a chamber connector adapted to receive another chamber and a system port.
20. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 17 or claim 18 wherein the second chamber has a body defining a second cavity, a second conduit port adapted to receive the inlet or the outlet port of the flexible conduit and a chamber connector adapted to receive another.
21. A cell pack thermal management device according to any of claims 17 to 19 wherein the first chamber and second chamber are in fluid communication with at least one intermediate chamber, positioned between the first chamber and the second chamber.
22. A cell pack thermal management device according to claim 20 wherein each intermediate chamber comprises a body defining a intermediate cavity having an intermediate conduit port adapted to receive the inlet or the outlet port of a flexible conduit, a chamber connector and a further chamber connector wherein each chamber connector is adapted to receive the chamber connector of any one of the first chamber, the second chamber or another intermediate manifold chamber.
23. A cell pack thermal management device according to any of claims 18 to 21 wherein the chamber connector of the first chamber is interfaced to the chamber connector of either the second chamber or of a further intermediate chamber.
24. A cell pack thermal management device according to any of claims 18 to 22 wherein the chamber connector of the intermediate chamber is interfaced to the chamber connector of either the second chamber or of a further intermediate chamber and or
25. A cell pack thermal management device according to any of claim 18 to 23 wherein the chamber connectors mate to form a fluid tight seal.
26. A cell pack thermal management device according to any of claims 21 wherein the chamber connectors are adapted to be joined in a sealed fashion by mutually interlocking features and or welding and or bonding.
27. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the inlet and/or outlet port of the flexible conduit is bonded and or welded or otherwise sealed to one of the first conduit port, the second conduit port or the or each intermediate conduit port.
28. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein each chamber is manufactured via injection moulding methods, and preferably wherein each chamber has a wall thickness in the range of 1mm to 4mm.
29. A cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim wherein the intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the at least one flexible conduit are suitable for use with a working fluid, preferably wherein the intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the at least one flexible conduit are suitable for use with a liquid coolant preferably ethylene glycol, alternatively wherein the intake manifold, the exhaust manifold and the at least one flexible conduit are suitable for use with a transformer oil.
30. A cell pack thermal management system suitable for use with a cell pack comprising: a pump; a heat exchanger; and a cell pack thermal management device according to any preceding claim; wherein the system port of the intake-side first chamber is in fluid communication with a heat exchanger and the system port of the exhaust-side first chamber is in fluid communication with a pump, the pump provided to circulate fluid through the cell pack thermal management device thereby providing a temperature gradient between the cell pack and the fluid.
31. A thermally managed cell pack comprising: a plurality of cells a cell pack thermal management system according to claim 30; wherein the plurality of cells are arranged in a matrix, and the at least one flexible conduit of the cell pack thermal management device passes between the plurality of cells so as to cool or heat the cells, the surface of the at least one flexible conduit conforming to provide proximal and direct contact with the cell surfaces so as to provide a large contact area for thermal energy exchange.
32. A thermally managed cell pack comprising: a plurality of cells arranged with a cell pack support plate; a cell pack thermal management system according to claim 30; wherein the plurality of cells are arranged in a matrix, and the at least one flexible conduit of the cell pack thermal management device passes over the cell pack support plate, the surface of the flexible conduit conforming to provide proximal and direct contact with a cell pack plate so as to provide a maximum contact area for thermal energy exchange.
33. A method of thermally managing a cell pack, the method comprises the steps of: providing at least one flexible conduit; providing an intake manifold; providing an exhaust manifold; wherein the flexible conduit is in fluid communication with the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold thereby providing a fluid passageway therebetween; providing a pump; providing a heat exchanger; providing a cell pack; providing fluid; wherein the pump is in fluid communication with the heat exchanger and either the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold and the heat exchanger is in fluid communication with the pump and the other of the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold thereby forming a fluid circuit; wherein the at least one flexible conduit is interlaced between the individual cells of a cell pack and configured to conform and expand to fill spaces between cells in a cell pack; and operating the pump to circulate the fluid.
34. A method of thermally managing a cell pack, the method comprises the steps of: providing at least one flexible conduit; providing an intake manifold; providing an exhaust manifold; wherein the flexible conduit is in fluid communication with the intake manifold and the exhaust manifold thereby providing a fluid passageway therebetween; providing a pump; providing a heat exchanger; providing a cell pack; providing fluid; wherein the pump is in fluid communication with the heat exchanger and either the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold and the heat exchanger is in fluid communication with the pump and the other of the intake manifold or the exhaust manifold thereby forming a fluid circuit; wherein the at least one flexible conduit is positioned in a contiguous fashion proximate a cell pack plate and is configured to conform to the surface contours of the cell pack plate; and operating the pump to circulate the fluid.
35. A cell pack thermal management device constructed and/or arranged substantially as described herein with reference to and/or as illustrated in one or more of the accompanying figures.
36. A cell pack management system constructed and/or arranged substantially as described herein with reference to and/or as illustrated in one or more of the accompanying figures.
37. A method of thermally managing a cell pack constructed and/or arranged substantially as described herein with reference to and/or as illustrated in one or more of the accompanying figures.
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GB2549512B (en) 2020-07-22
GB2549512C (en) 2022-01-12

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