US20120183823A1 - Battery module - Google Patents

Battery module Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120183823A1
US20120183823A1 US13/266,074 US201013266074A US2012183823A1 US 20120183823 A1 US20120183823 A1 US 20120183823A1 US 201013266074 A US201013266074 A US 201013266074A US 2012183823 A1 US2012183823 A1 US 2012183823A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
battery module
cooling
accordance
cells
terminals
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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.)
Abandoned
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US13/266,074
Inventor
Felix von Borck
Björn Eberleh
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Akasol AG
Original Assignee
Von Borck Felix
Eberleh Bjoern
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE200910018787 priority Critical patent/DE102009018787A1/en
Priority to DE102009018787.1 priority
Application filed by Von Borck Felix, Eberleh Bjoern filed Critical Von Borck Felix
Priority to PCT/EP2010/002524 priority patent/WO2010121831A1/en
Publication of US20120183823A1 publication Critical patent/US20120183823A1/en
Assigned to AKASOL GMBH reassignment AKASOL GMBH ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: VON BORCK, FELIX, EBERLEH, BJORN
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M2/00Constructional details or processes of manufacture of the non-active parts
    • H01M2/10Mountings; Suspension devices; Shock absorbers; Transport or carrying devices; Holders
    • H01M2/1016Cabinets, cases, fixing devices, adapters, racks or battery packs
    • H01M2/1072Cabinets, cases, fixing devices, adapters, racks or battery packs for starting, lighting or ignition batteries; Vehicle traction batteries; Stationary or load leading batteries
    • H01M2/1077Racks, groups of several 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
    • H01M10/42Methods or arrangements for servicing or maintenance of secondary cells or secondary half-cells
    • H01M10/44Methods for charging or discharging
    • H01M10/441Methods for charging or discharging for several batteries or cells simultaneously or sequentially
    • 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
    • H01M10/42Methods or arrangements for servicing or maintenance of secondary cells or secondary half-cells
    • H01M10/44Methods for charging or discharging
    • H01M10/443Methods for charging or discharging in response to temperature
    • 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
    • H01M10/42Methods or arrangements for servicing or maintenance of secondary cells or secondary half-cells
    • H01M10/48Accumulators combined with arrangements for measuring, testing or indicating condition, e.g. level or density of the electrolyte
    • H01M10/482Accumulators combined with arrangements for measuring, testing or indicating condition, e.g. level or density of the electrolyte for several batteries or cells simultaneously or sequentially
    • 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
    • H01M10/42Methods or arrangements for servicing or maintenance of secondary cells or secondary half-cells
    • H01M10/48Accumulators combined with arrangements for measuring, testing or indicating condition, e.g. level or density of the electrolyte
    • H01M10/486Accumulators combined with arrangements for measuring, testing or indicating condition, e.g. level or density of the electrolyte for measuring temperature
    • 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
    • H01M10/64Heating or cooling; Temperature control characterised by the shape of the cells
    • H01M10/647Prismatic or flat cells, e.g. pouch 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
    • H01M10/653Means for temperature control structurally associated with the cells characterised by electrically insulating or thermally conductive materials
    • 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
    • H01M10/6553Terminals or leads
    • 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
    • H01M10/66Heat-exchange relationships between the cells and other systems, e.g. central heating systems or fuel cells
    • H01M10/663Heat-exchange relationships between the cells and other systems, e.g. central heating systems or fuel cells the system being an air-conditioner or an engine
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01MPROCESSES OR MEANS, e.g. BATTERIES, FOR THE DIRECT CONVERSION OF CHEMICAL ENERGY INTO ELECTRICAL ENERGY
    • H01M2/00Constructional details or processes of manufacture of the non-active parts
    • H01M2/10Mountings; Suspension devices; Shock absorbers; Transport or carrying devices; Holders
    • H01M2/1016Cabinets, cases, fixing devices, adapters, racks or battery packs
    • H01M2/1022Cabinets, cases, fixing devices, adapters, racks or battery packs for miniature batteries or batteries for portable equipment
    • H01M2/1061Cabinets, cases, fixing devices, adapters, racks or battery packs for miniature batteries or batteries for portable equipment for cells of prismatic configuration or for sheet-like 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
    • H01M10/05Accumulators with non-aqueous electrolyte
    • H01M10/052Li-accumulators
    • 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

The invention relates to a battery module which consists of a plurality of interconnected cells that have respective positive and negative terminals. The module is characterized in that the flat terminals have cut-out sections and are arranged in two rows in such a manner that the short ends of adjacent flat terminals of a respective row face each other, in that the terminals of every row are maintained at a distance to each other by specifically arranged, conductive spacer elements and optionally insulating spacer elements, in that within the module, the cells are electrically connected in series and/or in parallel by specifically arranging their positive and negative terminals in the one or the other row, and in that the terminals of every row and the interposed spacer elements are pressed against each other by a bracing device.

Description

  • The present invention relates to a battery module comprising a plurality of cells connected to one another which each have a positive and a negative terminal and in particular concerns accumulators especially lithium ion cells which are used for forming a traction battery or battery module for vehicles with an electrical drive drain. Such battery modules can for example be used in electrical vehicles, hybrid vehicles with combustion engines or hybrid vehicles with fuel cells. Through the modular construction of a battery module in accordance with the invention it can also be used for other purposes, for example for stationary applications or for small traction applications, such as for example in a wheelchair.
  • The battery module in accordance with the invention is preferably built up on the basis of lithium ion cells however any other available rechargeable battery cell can in principle also be used.
  • A battery module system, which can for example be built up from a plurality of like battery modules, can for example be designed to cover a power range with an energy content between 1 kWh and 400 kWh or more and can straightforwardly operate in a voltage range between 12 and 800 V. A battery module can for example be designed with twelve individual cells each having a cell voltage of 3.6 V and a capacity of 40 Ah in order to built up a battery module having a total energy content of 1.728 kWh which, depending on the interconnection of the individual cells, has output voltages in the range from 10.8 V to 43.2 V with capacity extraction in the range between 160 Ah and 40 Ah. By way of example with a 3s4p connection, i.e. with four respective cells connected in parallel which are connected three times in series after one another an output voltage of 10.8 V (3×3.6 V) can be generated and a battery module of this kind then enables a capacity extraction of up to 160 Ah. With the configuration of 12s 1p, i.e. with twelve cells in series, an output voltage of 43.2 V can be achieved (12×3.6 V) and a current extraction of 40 A for one hour is possible. In general the notation: XsYp has to be understood in such a way that X recites the number of cells in series and Y the number of cells in parallel. Through the circuit variants the possibility also exists of obtaining different module voltages with the same module size and the same basic construction.
  • In order to achieve higher voltages a corresponding number of battery modules can be connected electrically in series, the connection of the individual battery modules to one another can also take place in accordance with the pattern XsYp.
  • A reference system for use in electrical battery compact vehicles can for example be orientated on the following corner point data: total energy content of modules 13.824 kWh (i.e. eight battery modules each having 1.732 kWh), voltage level 400 V and continuous power ±20 kW. In this connection it should be noted that for the generation of a voltage level of 400 V it can be necessary to step up the total output voltage of the battery with the aid of an inverter and/or a transformer. For example when using eight battery modules of the above-named kind in a 6s2p configuration with 21.6 V output voltage per battery module, a total output voltage with a series circuit of all eight battery modules of 8×21.6 V=172,38 V is achieved.
  • Even though a battery module of this kind may be designed for a continuous power of ±20 kW nevertheless peak powers of for example 100 kW can be demanded in short term from the battery for example for acceleration purposes, whereby excellent acceleration values can be achieved.
  • In charging operation one can for example operate with a charging power of 40 kW.
  • The above quoted values are simply named as an example, but on the other hand represent values which can entirely be achieved with commercially available lithium ion batteries.
  • Basically the technology of the battery design which appears most suitable in accordance with the criteria of the technical potential can be used at the cell level, such as for example energy and power density, reliability and working life, cost potential and resource availability. At the system level or module level the reliability, the long working life and comfort in operation must also be taken into account. Furthermore, the additional measures which are required to achieve a functioning battery system should involve a minimum of additional cost, weight and volume. Such additional measures relate for example to the electrical management of the battery module, to the thermal management of the battery module, to the integration at the cell level and module level and also to the integration into a vehicle.
  • The present invention is based on the object of making available a battery module or battery module system consisting of a plurality of like modules which is compactly designed and of thermally optimized design, with the operating temperature of the battery module or of the battery module system being able to be held within tight limits in order to avoid as far as possible local overheating of individual cells or elevated temperatures of one or more cells.
  • Furthermore, starting from a basic construction and depending on the specific required conditions of use, the design of the respective battery modules should be variable and make possible the attainment of a compact and easily connectable design of the battery module or of the battery module system and also the manufacture of such battery modules and battery module systems at a favorable price.
  • In order to satisfy this object a battery module of the initially named kind is provided in accordance with the invention which is characterized in that the terminals which are of areal design and provided with cutouts are arranged in at least two rows such that the broad sides of adjacent areal terminals of a respective row confront one another, that the terminals of each row are held at a spacing from one another by systematically disposed conductive spacer elements and, if necessary, by insulating spacer elements, in that the cells are connected electrically in series and/or parallel to one another within the module by systematic arrangement of that positive and negative terminals in the one or other row and in that the terminals of each row and also the spacer elements arranged there between are pressed against one another by a clamping device.
  • A mechanical layout of the battery module of this kind makes it possible first of all, depending on the systematic arrangement of the positive and negative terminals of the cells within the module, to achieve different operating voltages and operating currents with a basically similar design of the battery module, so that most components can be used in the different variants and few special parts required, if at all, which would otherwise increase the manufacturing costs. It is also basically possible to select the number of the cells per battery module flexibly and nevertheless to use many common components in the manufacture of the respective battery modules. The battery size can be scaled by the modular concept and the electrical and hydraulic connection possibilities in wide ranges. The design principles can be rapidly and simply adapted with changed cell geometry or performance data to other flat cells.
  • The battery module in accordance with the invention can thus be flexibly designed and itself quasi has a modular construction.
  • Through the use of areal terminals it is possible, on the one hand, to make the individual cells, which are preferably of parallelepiped shape in plan view, relatively flat, whereby heat can be dissipated from the individual cells via the areal terminals. Through the flat parallelepiped shape of the cells which results through this heat can also be readily transferred away from the flat sides of the cell, whereby a precondition can be provided for attaining a tight temperature operating range in the cell. Since the terminals of each row can be pressed against one another by a respective clamping device or against spacer elements arranged therebetween, it can be ensured that resistance losses at the different terminals do not arise or only arise to a small degree and that the battery module always has the desired output voltage over the entire working life of the battery module corresponding to the respective state of charge, because constant circumstances prevail and changing ohmic losses are not to be expected.
  • It is particularly favorable when the areal terminals are formed by extensions of the electrodes of the cells and are designed for intentional heat dissipation from the cells for the active cooling of the cells and are connected to a heat dissipating cooling device. In this way the leading away of heat from the interior of the cell is favored.
  • The clamping devices are preferably formed by at least one clamping bolt, in particular by at least one preferably tubular clamping bolt for each row.
  • When using tubular clamping bolts which are favorable for weight saving reasons it would also be conceivable to cool these in the interior with a liquid cooling medium for example a liquid coolant in order to favor the dissipation of heat.
  • A tubular clamping bolt of this kind can be thermally connected at at least one position to the conducting or non-conducting spacer elements (and thus thermally to the cell terminals) and/or directly to the cell terminals. Thus the clamping device can also be used in order to intentionally dissipate heat from the cells.
  • The clamping bolts are as a rule surrounding by an insulating sleeve in order to avoid undesired short circuits.
  • It is particularly favorable when the cells have at least substantially the shape of a flat parallelepiped, with the positive and negative areal terminals of each cell preferably being arranged in one plane or in respective planes which is or are arranged parallel to the broad sides of the parallelepiped-shaped cells.
  • In this way not only is a compact arrangement favored but rather, depending on the design of the battery module, each cell can be built in either in one direction in which for example the positive terminal lies at the left side of the cell and the negative terminal at the right side of the cell or they can be built in inverted so that a negative areal terminal lies at the left side and the positive terminal at the right side. In this way serial and/or parallel connections of the individual cells can be selected depending on the direction of installation of the cells in the battery module, with insulating elements having to be provided depending on the selected configuration. With an arrangement of this kind the arrangement can be so designed that spacer elements having the same shape are always used, whereby the spacer elements can be manufactured per se in cost-favorable manner and rationally in large series.
  • In a practical embodiment it is favorable when the one pole of the battery module is connected to a first end of the one row and the other pole to the second end of the same row or also of the other row opposite to the said first end. The pole at the second end of the row is then led via an extension to the first end of the other row adjacent to the said first end. In this way electrical connections can be made to both poles at a common side of the battery module, for example the pole terminals can then lie at the top face of the battery, for example at the same side of the battery where they are readily accessible.
  • With this design it is straightforwardly possible to extend a spacer element of the said other row to the side of the other row to hold the extension.
  • It is in particular favorable when a cooling module is provided which has cooling plates at first and second oppositely disposed sides of the battery module and is also provided with heat conducting connection plates which extend between these sides and form compartments receiving the cells between them.
  • As will be explained later in more detail then it is possible with a compact manner of construction to effectively cool the two cooling plates by means of a coolant liquid over at least substantially their entire surface and it is hereby also possible to extract heat from the heat conducting connection plates between the two cooling plates, whereby the cells which are arranged adjacent to the cooling plates are likewise intensively cooled.
  • It is particularly favorable In an embodiment of this kind when an arrangement is used in which two especially areal cells in the shape of a parallelepiped are arranged in each compartment with a respective cell optionally being able to be arranged at the outer side of the outer connection plates. In this way each cell is arranged at at least one side adjacent to a heat conducting connection plate, whereby heat can be favorably extracted from the narrow flat cells via the corresponding broad side of the cell.
  • The cooling plates arranged at the side are preferably designed so that a liquid coolant can flow through them, which is preferably pumped through snake-like passages of the plates, if necessary, through a connection line between the cooling plates. In this manner the cooling plates can be cooled over their full area whereby a favorable heat extraction from the connection plates can likewise be achieved.
  • The snake-like passages each have an inlet and an outlet with the inlets and the outlets preferably being provided at one side of the battery module, in particular at the same side as the poles. This signifies that when using a plurality of battery modules in a battery module system not only the electrical connection between the modules but also the coolant connections between the modules can be made particularly favorably from one and the same side. An arrangement of this kind also makes the design of the module housing simpler in which the battery module is installed.
  • The cooling plates are preferably each formed by at least one base plate having channels and a cover plate, with the cover plate being welded, solded or adhesively bonded to the base plate. The plate with the channels can then be produced as a simple pressed part while the cover plate formed by an at least substantially non-deformed sheet metal part. This represents a favorably priced possibility of manufacturing of such a cooling plate. As an alternative the cooling plate can also be functionally replaced by a snake-like/meandering looping tube.
  • With the battery module of the invention a respective insulating, preferably two-part housing should in particular be used with the poles and the optionally provided cooling connections being led out of one of its parts.
  • The housing can have a clamping means, for example in the form of a foam inlay at its two oppositely facing inner sides which press the cells arranged at the opposite sides of the battery module against the heat conducting connecting plates arranged adjacent to these cells. Through this clamping the heat dissipation from the cells arranged at the outside is favored. The cells which are arranged pair-wise in the compartments beneath the cooling module can either tightly contact the connecting plates forming the respective compartments or can likewise be introduced with a foam insert or with a heat-conducting paste or an adhesive bond between the cells into a heat-conducting connection with the connecting plates.
  • It is particularly favorable when the housing furthermore has a connection point for a battery management system which is preferably provided at the same side of the housing as the poles and the coolant terminals. On installing the battery module in a vehicle both the electrical connections to the poles and also the coolant connections to the cooling module and also the connection of the battery management system can then take place from one side of the battery. In the case of the battery management system a simple customary interface plug or bus plug can be used.
  • As mentioned above the battery modules in accordance with the invention can be combined in the battery module system consisting of a plurality of like battery modules, with this preferably taking place in such a way that a plurality of parallel cooling circuits, in particular seven to nine parallel cooling circuits are provided which are fed via a distribution tube and also connected to a connecting tube. It is particularly favorable when in each case two to four and in particular two battery modules are connected to one another in series, with the coolant passages inside the battery modules preferably having a flow cross-section corresponding to that of a pipe having an internal diameter of 8 to 9 mm.
  • With a liquid cooling of this kind the distribution tube and the collection tube can communicate with a main line which has a pump and a radiator, optionally with a fan. The heat can then be extracted from the cooling system via the radiator and the preferably used fan.
  • The main line or any supply container for the liquid coolant from which the main line starts can furthermore have a heating device which can be used to preheat the liquid coolant and correspondingly the individual cells, for example when as a result of the outside temperature the operating temperature of the battery would otherwise be too low. In other words the existing cooling system can be straightforwardly used in order to preheat the battery modules, i.e. can also be used as a heating system.
  • The main line can furthermore contain a heat exchanger (optionally an additional head exchanger) with at least one further circuit which feeds a heating system or an air conditioning system. In this way the heat which is extracted from the battery module system can be used for air conditioning or heating of the passenger compartment of the vehicle or can be cooled via this air conditioning system.
  • The battery module system can be in combination with a valve which can be controlled in such a way that the exhaust air from the radiator is optionally at least partially deflected into the interior space of the vehicle compartment for heating or outwardly if the passenger compartment is in any event adequately heated.
  • The invention will be explained in more detail in the following with reference to embodiments and to the drawing in which are shown:
  • FIG. 1 a perspective representation of a cooling module in accordance with the invention,
  • FIG. 2A a perspective representation of the front side of the cooling module of FIG. 1 with inserted lithium ion cells and also a front plate, i.e. the front side of the battery module in accordance with the invention without a housing,
  • FIG. 2B a plan view of a cell which is used in the embodiment of FIG. 2A,
  • FIG. 2C a side view of the cell of FIG. 2B corresponding to the arrow IIC of FIG. 2B,
  • FIG. 3A a front view of the battery module of FIG. 2 with the said front plate removed with only the terminals of the cell being visible,
  • FIG. 3B a view from above on the representation of FIG. 3A,
  • FIG. 3C a perspective representation of a base plate of the battery modules of FIGS. 2 and 3 with the clamping bolt being shown,
  • FIG. 4 a representation of some possible electrical configurations of a traction battery module in accordance with the invention including the 6s2p configuration which is used in the battery module of the invention in accordance with FIGS. 2 and 3,
  • FIG. 5 a second schematics representation of the connection of the battery module of FIG. 3A corresponding to the 6s2p configuration of FIG. 4,
  • FIG. 6 a further schematic illustration which makes it easier to bring the circuit plan in accordance with FIG. 5 into agreement with the representation of the battery module of the invention in accordance with FIG. 3A,
  • FIGS. 7A-7E drawings which show the construction of the cooling plate of FIG. 1 more precisely, with
  • FIG. 7A being a perspective representation of the cooling plate of FIG. 1 with the inlet and outlet tubes not yet having been attached,
  • FIG. 7B a section drawing of the pressed inner side of the cooling plate of FIG. 7A at the section plane VIIB-VIIB of FIG. 7D,
  • FIG. C an enlarged representation of the encircled region of the FIG. 7B,
  • FIG. 7D a plan view of the pressed inner plate of FIG. 7A and
  • FIG. 7E a perspective representation of the pressed internal side part of the cooling plate 18 of FIG. 7A to a smaller scale,
  • FIG. 8A a perspective illustration from the front and from above of the lower half of the housing for the battery module of FIG. 2,
  • FIG. 8B a perspective illustration on the underside of the housing half of FIG. 8A,
  • FIG. 8C a perspective representation from the front, from the right and from above onto the upper half of the housing of the battery module,
  • FIG. 8D a perspective illustration of the inner side of the upper housing half of FIG. 8C but to a smaller scale,
  • FIG. 8E a perspective illustration from the front, from the right and from above on the housing of the finished battery module,
  • FIG. 9 a perspective illustration of an alternative embodiment of the cooling plates of FIG. 7A through the use of one or more meandering bent pipes instead of a sheet metal construction,
  • FIGS. 10A-10C three drawings to explain the possible design of the cooling in a battery module system in accordance with the invention having eight individual battery modules,
  • FIG. 11A a cooling system in accordance with the invention having in each case two battery modules in series,
  • FIG. 11B a cooling system in accordance with the invention similar to FIG. 11A but having two separate cooling paths for each battery module,
  • FIG. 11C a further design of a cooling system in accordance with the invention having in each case four battery modules in series,
  • FIG. 11D a drawing corresponding to FIG. 11B but supplemented by four further modules,
  • FIG. 12A, 12B two tables for further explaining a cooling system in accordance with the invention,
  • FIG. 13 a representation of a cooling system in accordance with the invention having a pump and a radiator with a fan and
  • FIG. 14 a representation similar to FIG. 13 with a further heat exchanger,
  • FIG. 15 a plan view similar to FIG. 2B but in an alternative embodiment,
  • FIGS. 16A and 16B a perspective illustration and also a sectional drawing of a conductive spacer element,
  • FIG. 16C and 16D a perspective illustration and also a sectional drawing of an insulated spacer element and
  • FIG. 17 a perspective representation of a separating comb in accordance with the invention for the individual cell terminals of the cells of the battery module in front of a modified cooling module in accordance with the invention.
  • Referring first of all to FIGS. 1 and 2 a cooling module 10 is shown in a perspective illustration which is used in the following manner which will be explained in more detail for the heat dissipation from the individual cells 12 of the battery module 14. The cooling module 10 has cooling plates at the first and second oppositely disposed sides of the module and is furthermore provided with heat conducting connection plates 20 in sheet metal form which extend between these sides and which between them form compartments 22 to receive the cells 12. The connection plates 20 have side parts 24 bent at a right angle which are adhesively bonded over their full area to the cooling plates 16, 18 or welded onto the latter or solded onto the latter in order to ensure a high quality thermal transfer between the connector plates 20 and the cooling plates 16, 18.
  • It has been found in accordance with the invention that a connection plate of aluminum or an aluminum alloy having a thickness of about 1 mm is fully sufficient in order to achieve an adequate heat dissipation and an adequately uniform temperature of the individual cells.
  • Each cooling plate 16 and 18 respectively has a respective tubular inlet 26 and a tubular outlet 28 for a liquid coolant, which—for example as shown in FIG. 9—can flow through a snake-like coolant passage in each cooling plate 16, 18 from its inlet 26 to its outlet 28. In this connection the tubular inlets and outlets 26, 28 can for example be welded, soldered or adhesively bonded at the suitable points to the cooling plates 16, 18 and communicate with the respective snake-like passage. The tubular inlets and outlets 26, 28 are provided with a hose connection gland 30 and 32 respectively so that flexible hoses can be attached in liquid-tight manner to the hose connection glands.
  • In connection line 34 not shown in FIG. 1 but in FIG. 9 can connect the outlet of the left-hand cooling plate 18 (outlet in FIG. 1 not visible) to the input 26 of the right-hand cooling plate 16. As can in particular be seen from FIG. 2A the individual cells 12 are preferably used pair-wise in compartments of the cooling module and in addition one cell 12′ is provided on the top side of the upper connecting plate 20′ in FIG. 1 and a further cell (not visible) is arranged beneath the lowermost connecting plate 20″ in FIG. 1. Since, in this example, five compartments 22 are formed by means of six individual connection plates 20 which each accommodate two cells and since two further cells are arranged on the outer side of the outer connection plates 20′, 20″ the battery module 14 of FIG. 2A includes twelve individual cells 12. Naturally the number of the individual cells can be increased, for example to fourteen or more, by using further connection plates 20 and the corresponding formation of further compartments 22 accommodating the cells 12. Nevertheless the use of twelve cells 12 for each battery module 14 seems to be a particularly favorable design. In front of the battery modules in FIG. 2A there is a circuit board 302 of the battery management system which controls the charging and discharging of the battery cells in a manner known per se. The circuit board 302 is connected to the module with screws 304 which engage into the spacer elements 44 and 46 respectively.
  • The design of the cooling module can also be selected such that only one cell 12 is accommodated in each compartment. To increase the heat transfer from the cells to the connection plates (and optionally vice versa) a heat conducting paste (conductive paste), a defined contact pressure or an adhesive can be provided between the cells and the connection plates.
  • Each cell 12 has in this example a positive and a negative terminal 36 and 38 respectively with the positive and negative terminals 36, 38 in particular being visible in the form of black horizontal lines in FIGS. 2 and 3. They are arranged in two rows, a left-hand row 40 and a right-hand row 42 and in this example both rows are arranged at the same (front) side of the battery module 14. This is however not essential, the one row could for example be arranged at the front side of the battery module and the row at the rear side of the battery module. As can be seen particularly from FIG. 3A the broad sides of adjacent areal terminals 36, 38 of a respective row 40, 42 are arranged facing one another. From FIG. 3A it can be seen that the terminals 36, 38 of each row 40, 42 are held spaced from one another by intentionally arranged contacting spacers 44 and insulating spacer 46. As can in particular also be seen from FIGS. 5 and 6 and as will be explained somewhat later in more detail the cells 12 are connected pair-wise electrically in parallel to one another and the six so formed cell pairs are connected thereto in series by intentional arrangement of their positive and negative terminals 36, 38 in the one or other row 40, 42. In this connection the terminal arrangement of FIG. 3A can be relatively easily recognized in FIG. 5 and one can then better see the precise connection of the cells from FIG. 6 which can relatively easily be brought into agreement with FIG. 5.
  • The arrangement of the cells shown in FIGS. 3A, 5 and 6 corresponds to the 6s2p variant of FIG. 4. The other variants of FIG. 4, i.e. the 12s1p, 4s3p and 3s4p variants can be realized by corresponding arrangement of the terminals 36 and 38 in the two rows 40 and 42, with corresponding positioning of conducting and insulating spacer elements 44, 46, and indeed using the same parts as in the embodiment of FIG. 3A. Many degrees of freedom arise through the flexible modular construction.
  • The terminals 36, 28 of each row and also the spacer elements arranged therebetween are pressed against one another by a clamping device 48.
  • The clamping device 48 for each row is formed by at least one clamping bolt 50, preferably by two or three such clamping bolts 50 (as shown in FIG. 3A). The heat conducting plate 52 (or base plate) is conductingly bolted here at its two ends 54, 56 to the respective right-hand and left-hand cooling plates 16, 18.
  • Each clamping bolt 50 is connected in this example by a rivet connection 57 in the form of a beaded-over joint to the heat-conducting base plate 52. Instead of this, an adhesive connection, a soldered connection or a welded connection could be used. The use of a plurality of clamping bolts or bolts per pole makes it possible to increase the contact pressure and also ensures an improved distribution of the force and of the redundancy. The pole outlets 66, 70 are designed independently of the passage bores for the clamping bolts 50. They can thus be led out flexibly as required.
  • It is particularly favorable when the clamping bolts 50 are made of aluminum to generate a heat-conducting connection. The construction can be so selected that the clamping bolts are each designed as an aluminum tube with a very thin coating which is electrically insulating, mechanically very stable and thermally conducting as well as possible (instead of providing a separate insulating sleeve which is detrimental for the heat dissipation). The use of the through going clamping bolts 50 minimizes the installation cost and complexity. Furthermore, the possibility exists for thermally connecting the clamping bolts 50 designed as tubes with a through flowing liquid coolant for cooling the terminals.
  • The insulation of the poles relative to the bolted connection and the base plate can for example take place via pertinax, ceramic or nomex paper.
  • The insulating spacer elements can furthermore consist of pertinax or ceramic.
  • The preferred embodiment of the spacer elements be it conductive elements or insulating elements will be explained later in more detail with reference to FIGS. 16A to 16D.
  • The electrical insulation of the clamping bolts formed by tubes can also take place through fiber materials or surface treatment.
  • In order to avoid electrical short circuits, the clamping bolts 50 are each surrounded by an insulating sleeve 58. At their upper ends 60 shown in FIG. 3 the clamping bolts are each provided with a thread onto which a respective nut 62 is screwed, with each nut 62 being arranged above a washer 63. The clamping bolts can be tightened in order to clamp the individual battery terminals 36, 38 to the spacer elements 44, 46 lying therebetween and hereby to ensure that transition resistances between the individual cell terminals 36, 38 and the conductive spacer elements 44 lying therebetween are precluded or are at least minimized. The washers 63 can be formed by individual washers or have the form of an elongate plate with two holes to receive the clamping bolts 50. As is in particular evident from FIG. 2B the cells 12 have at least essentially the shape of a flat parallelepiped with the positive and negative areal terminals 36, 38 of each cell 12 being arranged in one plane or in respective planes which is or are arranged parallel to the broad sides of the parallelepiped cell.
  • In order to facilitate the introduction of the cells into the battery module in accordance with FIG. 2A the terminals 36, 38 each have two U-shaped cutouts 37, 39—as is evident from FIG. 2B—which makes it possible to insert the cells 12 into the cooling module 10 from the rear and to push them forwardly so that they enter into the clamping region of the clamping bolts. It should likewise be possible to previously insert the cells 12 into the cooling module 10 from the front or from the rear and to introduce the clamping bolts 50 and the spacer elements 44, 46 from the front between the terminals 36, 38 so that the clamping bolts 50 enter into the U-shaped cutouts.
  • The reference numeral 66 points to the positive pole of the battery module 14 and is connected at a first end 68 of the left-hand row 40 of the terminals whereas the other, negative pole 70 is connected to the second end 72 of the left-hand row disposed opposite the said first end 68. The second pole 70 is guided via a conducting plate 74 and an extension 76 to the said first end 78 of the right-hand row adjacent to the first end 68 of the left-hand row so that electrical connections to the two poles 60 and 70 can be effected at a common side of the battery module 14. In this example both the positive pole 66 and also the negative pole 70 or the corresponding extension 76 are provided with a respective internal thread 80 and 82 respectively. This makes it possible to connect electrical connection lines (not shown) to the respective battery module 14 or to connect the respective battery module 14 to further like modules to form a battery module system. Furthermore, the internal threads 80 and 82 provided within upwardly projecting cylindrical collars (not shown) which on insertion of the battery module into an (insulating) housing on the one hand ensures the required electrical contact and, on the other hand, a seal against water entry, for example via means of an O-ring placed on the cylindrical collar which seals the housing, the cylindrical collar and the lower side of the electrical terminal.
  • A spacer element 46 of the right-hand row is extended to the side of the right-hand row 42 for the holding of the extension 76, i.e. is provided with a corresponding extension 84.
  • At this point it should briefly be mentioned that the ends of the connection plate 74 are likewise passed through by the clamping bolts 50 of the left and right-hand rows 40, 42. However, an insulating plate is inserted between the conductive connection plate 74 and the lower positive cell terminal 36 of the right-hand row because otherwise a short circuit will take place between the right and left terminals of the lowest cell 12, which is naturally not permissible. The upper ends 68 and 78 of the left and right-hand rows 40, 42 are likewise connected together with an insulating plate 79 through which the clamping bolts 50 correspondingly pass.
  • As indicated briefly above the cooling plates 16, 18 of the cooling module 10 arranged at the side are flowed through in operation by a liquid coolant, which preferably can be pumped in snake-like manner through corresponding passages of the plates 16, 18 and optionally through a connection line 36 between the cooling plates 16, 18.
  • The specific design of the cooling plates can be seen in detail from the FIGS. 7A to 7E. As FIG. 7A shows the tubular inlet of the cooling passage of the left-hand plate in this example is guided from the top to the bottom and is attached there to a lateral lug 86 of the cooling plate 16, which can for example take place by a solded connection, a welded connection or an adhesively bonded connection. The snake-like cooling passage leads then in the example of FIG. 7A with a first vertical section 88 upwardly then with a second horizontal section 90 to the right, than via a further shorter vertical section 92 downwardly, via the fourth horizontal section 94 to the left, via a fifth vertical section 96 downwardly at the left-hand side of the cooling plate, via a sixth horizontal section 98 to the right, via a seventh vertical section 100 at the right-hand side of the cooling plate downwardly and via an eighth horizontal section 102 of the cooling passage to the left to a further vertical section 104, which subsequently leads via a further horizontal section 106 to the right to a further lug 108 to which the tubular outlet 28 is connected (here likewise with a solded connection, a welded connection or an adhesively bonded connection).
  • The passages 86, 88, 90, 92, 94, 96, 98, 100, 102, 104 and 106 themselves are generated, as can be seen from FIG. 7B by a corresponding pressing of a sheet metal part or of a base plate 85 which leads to ribs 99 between the cooling passages 86, 88, 90, 92, 94, 96, 98, 100, 102, 104, 106, 108 and also at the top and at the bottom of the sheet metal part to which a flat sheet metal cover plate 110 can be attached, here also by means of a soldered connection or a welded connection or an adhesively bonded connection. The result, prior to the attachment of the connection tubes 26, 28, can be seen in a perspective illustration (to a smaller scale) from the FIG. 7E. The left-hand and right-hand cooling plates 6, 18 are identically designed so that only three different parts are required in order to form both cooling plates. These are the ribbed sheet metal part of FIG. 7B, the sheet metal cover part 110 and the turned tubular part which forms the inlet and outlet tubes 26, 28. All parts consists of aluminum or of an aluminum alloy.
  • Through the use of a tubular inlet 26 and a tubular outlet 28 the actual inlet and the actual outlet can in this way be provided at the same side of the battery module and indeed preferably at the same side as the pole connections 80 and 82, i.e. at the upper side of the battery module 14 as one can see from the specific embodiment of FIGS. 2A and 3A. It would, however, already be possible to realize the inlet and outlet connections to the snake-like cooling plate differently. For example, one can lead both of the connection tubes 26, 28 out at the top side of the cooling plate of FIG. 7A (instead of at the bottom side as shown in FIG. 7A) or can arrange the inlet tube 26 or the outlet tube 28 at the top and the respective other outlet 28 or inlet 26 at the bottom. It should be brought out that it is not absolutely essential to design the left-hand and right-hand plates 16, 18 of the cooling module 10 as directly cooled plates in the sense that liquid passages for a liquid coolant are present there, but rather it would also be conceivable to provide a rear plate of the cooling module and to correspondingly form this with cooling passages while the left-hand and righthand plate 18, 16 of the cooling module 10 can be formed by simple sheet metal plates. The preferred arrangement is however the embodiment in accordance with FIG. 1 or FIGS. 7A to 7E and 9.
  • The geometry of the cooling passages in accordance with FIG. 7A can be changed so that flow takes place in parallel through the channels. Thus, lower pressure loss arises and a plurality of cooling plates or cooling modules can be connected in series. This signifies that the tubular connection and discharge tubes 26, 28 must each be attached to a plurality of cooling passages of the cooling plates which extend parallel to one another instead of to the snake-like arrangements of FIGS. 7A to 7E.
  • The cooling module 10 in accordance with FIG. 1 with the inserted cells 12 in accordance with FIGS. 2 and 3 is received in a two-part insulating housing 111 of which details can be found in FIGS. 8A to 8E. The FIG. 8A shows that a lower half 112 of the housing 111 is at least substantially of parallelepiped shape, its lower side 114 in accordance with FIG. 8B is provided with ribs 116 for stiffening. At the inner side of the lower half 2 of the housing there is located a foam material inlay 108 which biases the lowermost cell 12 against the lowermost connection plate 204 of the cooling module 10 i.e. presses it into contact there, in order to favor the transporting way of heat from this cell. One can furthermore see in FIG. 8A that in each case two threaded inserts 120 are provided at the first and second longitudinal side 122, 124 of the lower half 122 of the housing and that further threaded inserts 126 are provided at a corresponding spacing from the inner side of the base part of the lower half of the housing. These serve for the screwing on and attachment of the cooling module 10 and the battery module within the housing.
  • The upper half 128 of the housing is similarly designed except that here the ribbing 130 which is provided for the stiffening of the upper side of the upper half 128 of the housing 111 is provided on the inner side of the upper half of the housing. This ribbing 120 lies in the assembled state of the housing 111 with the installed battery module 14 at the upper broad side of the upper cell 12′, if required via a foam material inlay and presses the upper cell 12′ against the upper connection plate 20′ in order to ensure a good heat transfer there also.
  • From FIG. 8C one can see that the front longitudinal side 132 of the upper half of the housing has two bores 134 which enable screws to be inserted which engage in the corresponding threaded inserts 120 of the first longitudinal side 122 of the lower half 112 of the housing 111. Two further bores are provided at the rear longitudinal side 136 of the upper half 128 of the housing 111 in accordance with FIG. 8C but are however not evident there but rather in the illustration of FIG. 8D.
  • As can be found from the finished housing with the installed battery module in accordance with FIG. 8E the two poles 66 and 70 or the inner threads 80, 82 provided there are accessible through the bores 138 so that there the electrical connection can be effected. The electrical connection thus takes place from the upper side of the battery housing but beneath the upper side. The electrical connection cable can also be guided beneath the upper side of the housing, for example within the step which extends around the upper side, so that the electrical lines do not enlarge either the constructional height of the module or the installed height in the vehicle. The tubular inlet 26 and the tubular outlet 28 for the cooling system or the corresponding connection glands 30, 32 project through the bores 140 of the upper half of the housing. Here also the coolant connection takes place below the upper side of the battery module and it is also possible here to so guide the external connection hoses that they do not increase the constructional height of the battery module or its installed height. If required the said steps can be made larger or deeper in order to enable this.
  • Furthermore, the battery management system is provided with a plug which is accessible through the opening 142 at the upper side 146 of the upper half 128 of the housing 111, with the housing 111 being equipped here with two thread inserts 148 which serve to accommodate fastener bolts of the plug.
  • The housing is a two-part injection molded component and can have the following design: The critical dimension is the short side (constructional height 155 mm). In this connection the connections (poles, cooling and data) are executed in sunk matter. The data plug is in practice sunk still further in order to enable a seal without additional constructional space. The dimensions can for example be selected as follows:
  • Base dimension: ca. 300×245×155 mm
  • Volume: ca. 111
  • Energy density: ca. 152 Wh/l
  • Mass: ca. 14.15 kg
  • Specific energy: ca. 122 Wh/kg.
  • The two housing halves 112, 128 can be closed against one another with a periphery extending groove and tongue system for sealing. If required the battery management plug can be provided with a sealed cap and seals can be provided between the housing and the coolant connection tubes 26, 28.
  • The modules can however be integrated with or without a housing to form a battery. The system limit and the functions which are to be realized thereby such as for example sealing against contaminants from the out- side, EMV and mechanical reliability can thus be flexibly placed around the module up to the complete battery. The module without the outer housing (cell stack) can for example be welded into a foil. These stacks are then installed in a number greater than 1 into a system housing.
  • Starting from a battery module system with eight individual battery modules 14 of the above-described kind some considerations in accordance with the invention relating to the cooling system will now be described.
  • Before the design of the cooling system is described in more detail it is appropriate to say some few words about the cooling of a traction battery system and for the air conditioning requirement in a vehicle which has the battery system.
  • A main goal of the cooling system in accordance with the invention is to ensure the operating reliability of the traction battery system with the motivation to avoid the exceeding of specific temperature limits which could otherwise lead to a permanent damage of the battery system and in an extreme case to fire or explosion. In order to achieve this, the battery system is cooled and indeed with the object of not exceeding dangerous and damaging temperature limits. For many battery technologies the temperature should not rise above 30° C. in order to obtain a maximum working life. In accordance with experience each temperature increase by 10° C. above 30° C. leads to a reduction in working life by ca. one half which is however technology-dependent.
  • For a traction battery system a thermal conditioning requirement also exists, for example in order to improve the cold starting behavior. This is necessary because at low temperatures the performance of the cells that are used reduces greatly. In order to counteract this the battery system must for example be heated in winter operation.
  • In general, in accordance with the concept of the invention, the traction battery system—which normally consists of a plurality of battery modules—and/or the individual battery modules are thermally well insulated. This prevents the battery modules or the cells contained therein cooling down rapidly with the consequence that they subsequently have to be heated up in a costly manner in order to enable the renewed starting of the vehicle.
  • One possibility of heating the battery cell is to use a resistance heating which directly contacts the electrically conducting spacer elements. For example a resistance heater can be provided for each conductive spacer element. Since the electrically conductive spacer elements are naturally thermally well conducting and have a high quality electrical and heatconducting connection or transfer to the metallic lugs of the electrodes of the cells the electrically generated heat can be introduced directly into the interior of the respective cells which is particularly energy-efficient for heating up of the cells. In a well insulated arrangement an energy input of 1 Watt per cell is already sufficient. This energy can be delivered by the battery modules themselves or during the charging of the battery modules from the power supply or from an associated combustion engine, combustion heater or fuel cell system. The resistors can also be attached to a circuit board which belongs to the battery management system and is pressed against the spacer elements.
  • The heating up of the battery modules can also be achieved alternatively to the described electrical heating via the cooling system that is present, as well be explained in more detail below.
  • Furthermore, it is appropriate to thermally insulate the individual battery modules per se and/or in the assembly relative to the environment in order, on the one hand, to store the self-heat of the batteries and, on the other hand, to reduce heat losses on heating of the batteries. If for example the battery system has a temperature in operation close to 30° C. one can, by suitable insulation within the module housing and/or outside of the module housing, reduce the heat loss of the battery system so that the battery system does not cool down very rapidly and remains adequately warm in order, after a break in a journey, to be able to economically start operation again.
  • A temperature equilibrium between the cells of the individual battery modules 14 should also take place with the motivation of exploiting the capacity of the cells to a maximum and to make the available power a maximum over the full working life. This also requires the cooling or indeed the heating of the individual cells 12 of the battery module 14. One aims at a uniform temperature level which leads to an equivalent cell behavior and to uniform discharge and aging of the cells. In other words, through the correct temperature level and a corresponding temperature equalization, one can ensure that all cells 12 make available the maximum power over the longest possible time period and that on achieving the maximum working life all cells 12 are at the end of their respective working lives, so that an economical exchange of battery modules 14 can take place, since one does not have to prematurely exchange individual battery modules and, on failure of one battery module 14 all cells 12 are likewise at the end of their working life.
  • Two possibilities for the heat transfer from or to the cells 12 of an individual battery module 14 are basically conceivable. An energy exchange of the cell 12 with the environment can either take place by air cooling or by liquid cooling. With air cooling a direct contact is required between the cell housing and the environmental air but the poor thermal conductivity and the low density of the air require large volumetric flows and large exchange surfaces as well as a pronounced generation of noise.
  • In contrast, for liquid cooling, a better transfer of the energy can take place via heat conduction and convection from the housing 111 into a liquid coolant and following this via convection into the environmental air. With liquid cooling a better thermal conductivity can be achieved since the heat-conducting elements 16, 18, 20, 52, 46, 36, 38 stand in direct contact with the cells 12 and these, together with a heat exchanger cooling the liquid coolant permits smaller volume flows and exchange surfaces and also lower noise generation. The use of liquid cooling does however necessitate additional components in the form of hose connections and seals and also a heat exchanger to the environment.
  • If one decides for liquid cooling then one must simultaneously employ considerations in connection with the hydraulic design of the entire cooling system. Pressure losses arise in the tubes/hoses/cooling passages and components of the cooling system. For flow elements in the form of tubes with round cross-section and corresponding bends one can estimate these pressure losses with empirical formulae. In addition to the resistances in each cooling module the external loops and also the radiator introduce resistances into the circuit which must additionally be taken into account as soon as a design concept is present. The pump which is required for the circulation of the coolant imposes a volume flow against these resistances which is dependent on these resistances and generates a stable working point there where the pressure which can be supplied by the pump intersects the characteristic of the cooling system in the form of volume flow as a function of the applied pressure. It is particularly favorable when a small pump for the liquid coolant is used, for example a small automotive circulation pump with a typical power of 10 to 30 W which can achieve a volume flow per module of >50 1/h for a pressure loss in the system of 75 to 450 mbar.
  • The FIG. 10A shows a possibility of connecting the cooling modules 10 of all eight battery modules 14 in series. This is however not a favorable arrangement because the temperature of the cooling system consisting of the eight cooling modules 10 connected in series with one another continuously rises so that the last module 10′ or 14′ is the hottest.
  • If, in contrast, all cooling modules 10 are connected in parallel in accordance with FIG. 10B then one can ensure in this manner that all modules have the same coolant temperature.
  • However, if all eight modules are connected in parallel in accordance with this example then one must make an addition of effort in order to ensure that the volume flow is the same for each module 10.
  • It is more favorable, as shown in FIG. 10C, to use mixed forms in which several cooling paths are arranged in parallel to one another and with a plurality of modules 10 connected in series in each cooling path. The consideration is to decide how many modules are to be connected in series without the temperature difference which arises becoming too large.
  • After extensive considerations and investigations the applicants are of persuasion that the temperature difference which can be tolerated should not exceed 5° C.
  • Furthermore it has been found that a cooling system which operates economically and which can be realized economically can then be most favorably realized when, in a battery module system consisting of a plurality of like battery modules 14 with respective cooling modules 10, these are so connected together or can be so connected together that a plurality of cooling circuits 150 arise which are fed via a distributor pipe 152 and also connected to a collector pipe 154. Each cooling circuit 150 can include in each case two to four cooling modules 10 or battery modules 14 in series, with the cooling passages within the battery module 14 each having a free flow cross-section corresponding to that of a pipe having a clear internal diameter of 8 to 9 mm.
  • Some examples of such a cooling system can be found in the FIGS. 11A to 11D.
  • In the embodiment of FIG. 11A two battery modules or cooling modules 10 are connected in series in accordance with FIGS. 1 to 3, i.e. each battery module 14 or cooling module 10 has an inlet 26 and an outlet 28 which can be realized by the hydraulic design of each cooling module in accordance with FIG. 9, with the outlet 28 of the first cooling module 10 of the two modules 10, 10′ connected in series being connected to the inlet 26 of the next module 10′ in the flow direction and the inlet 26 of the first of the two modules 10, 10′ connected in series being connected to the distributor pipe 152 and the outlet of the two modules 10′ connected in series being connected to the collection pipe 156. Alternatively one could operate here in accordance with FIG. 11B. Here the cooling passages through the individual cooling plates 16, 18 of the respective module 10 are not connected via a connection line 34 but rather each module has two separate inlets 26 and two separate outlets 28 namely one inlet and one outlet for each cooling plate 16, 18. With an arrangement of this kind up to four modules 10 can straightforwardly be connected in series, as shown in FIG. 11B, so that parallel flow paths 158 (four parallel flow paths 158 in FIG. 11B) are produced, with the two rows 160 of modules which results being connected as previously to the distributor pipe 152 and the collecting pipe be 156.
  • If required, a plurality of cooling modules 10, i.e. battery modules 14 can be connected together with the system correspondingly supplemented in accordance with FIG. 11A or FIG. 11B. For example, if twelve battery modules 14 with twelve cooling modules 10 are provided instead of eight battery modules 14 with eight cooling modules 10 then, in accordance with FIG. 11D, the three battery modules or cooling modules 10, 10′, 10″ will in each case be connected in series instead of two battery modules or two cooling modules as shown in FIG. 11A. In contrast, with a corresponding extension of the example in accordance with FIG. 11B, in FIG. 11C six modules will in each case be connected in series instead of four modules 10 in FIG. 11B.
  • The tables in accordance with FIGS. 12A and 12B indicate, for two different power extraction rates (1.5 C and 2 C) how the temperature difference at the cooling modules or battery modules works out in practice, depending on how many modules are connected in parallel to one another and depending here on how many series modules are considered. The values given in FIGS. 12A and 12B apply for a tube diameter of 8 mm which determines an equivalent flow cross-section through the flow passages of the cells.
  • The areas of the table in accordance with FIGS. 12A and 12B provided with a dot show systems which, for different extraction powers, operate with a temperature difference between inlet and outlet of smaller than 5° C. One can see that the temperature difference depends on the power extraction rate (in these examples 1.5 C and 2 C respectively) and that, for example, a variant with twelve battery modules and up to three modules in series is well suited since reserves are present up to 2 C. Naturally, in this consideration, one not only has to consider the extraction rate but rather, at the same time, also the level of the required quantity of energy which for a smaller vehicle can certainly lie in the range between 16 and 40 kWh. In comparison to a clear internal pipe diameter of 6 mm a significantly better efficiency manifests itself with a clear internal pipe diameter of 8 mm, because the temperature difference AT is ca. 50% smaller. In contrast an increase of the clear internal pipe diameter to 9 mm does not lead to any further pronounced improvement.
  • In FIG. 13 one can see that the distributor pipe 152 and the collection pipe 156 communicate with a main line 160 which has a pump 162 and a radiator 164, in this case with fan 166. When the temperature of the coolant threatens to exceed a specific limit, the fan 166 is switched on in order to additionally cool the liquid coolant flowing through a main line and the radiator, i.e. in addition to the normal air flow through the radiafor 164, which is correspondingly placed in the vehicle and through which air flowing past the vehicle flows.
  • As additionally shown in FIG. 14 the main line 160 can furthermore have a heat exchanger 168 with at least one further circuit which feeds a heating system or an air conditioning system 172. In this manner the excess heat which is removed from the battery modules 14 by the cooling system is used to heat the interior compartment of a vehicle which is equipped with the traction battery system. If required a coolant circuit which is cooled by an air conditioning compressor can serve for additional active cooling of the system. If required the heating can also be supplied with energy from the outside in order to heat the cells 12 of the individual battery modules 14 via the cooling system, insofar as this is necessary in order to bring the cells to a reasonable battery operating temperature level. The cooling system operates then in this mode as a heating system for battery modules. As soon as a reasonable operating temperature is achieved the additional heating is stopped and the vehicle can be taken into operation using the energy of the traction battery system. Should an external energy source not be available for the heating of the battery, for example when the vehicle is parked at night on the road, then a part of the still present energy of the batteries can be used to heat up the batteries, for example by connecting the battery power to an electrical heating device of the heating system 172 which temporarily heats the liquid coolant and a part of the electrical energy can also be used in order to operate the pump 162 and hereby to circulate a heated liquid coolant through the individual cells 12.
  • Referring to FIG. 15 an alternative embodiment of the connection terminals or lugs 36, 38 of the cells 12 is shown. Instead of having U-shaped cutouts 37 and 39 at one side, such as are shown for the connection terminals of FIG. 2B, circular openings 37′ and 39′ are provided here in the two connection terminals 36, 38 which represent a continuation of the positive (*) and negative (−) electrodes of the cell 12. Although, as also shown in FIG. 2B, two cutouts are provided here in each case a different number of cutouts can also be provided, such as for example the three U-shaped cutouts of FIG. 17A.
  • The connection terminals 36, 38 themselves consist of sheet aluminum or sheet copper of low thickness such as for example (without restriction) 0.3 mm.
  • In practice it is relatively difficult to achieve a connection to such a connection terminal of aluminum with a continuously low contact resistance over a period of time of several years. On the one hand, an insulating oxide layer forms on an aluminum sheet in a short period of time. On the other hand, metallic corrosion which exists on contacting of the contact terminals and clamping forces which possibly change over a longer period of time, and which are in turn frequently temperature-dependent, must be counter-acted.
  • In order to provide assistance here, conductive spacer elements in accordance with FIGS. 16A and 16B and insulating spacer elements in accordance with FIGS. 16C and 16D are preferably used. Spacer elements 44, 46 of the same kind are thus used both for the embodiment of the connection terminals in accordance with FIG. 2B and also for those in accordance with FIG. 15 (i.e. apart from the shape of the cutouts 37, 39 and 37′, 39′) respectively.
  • Specifically the conductive spacer element 44 in accordance with FIG. 16A consists of a block 200 of aluminum having the shape of parallelepiped with two through holes 202 which correspond in diameter to the diameter of the circular openings 37′ and 39′ respectively of the embodiment of FIG. 15 and to the diameter of the rounded base of the U-shaped cutouts 37 and 39 respectively of the embodiment in accordance with FIG. 2B. As can be seen from the sectional drawing in accordance with FIG. 16B (at the section plane XVIB-XVIB of FIG. 16A) the block 200 of aluminum is provided on all sides with a galvanic nickel coating 204. The upper and lower sides 206, 208 of the coated aluminum block are roughened, for example by sand blasting, grinding, brushing or otherwise, whereby smaller raised portions and recesses arise or are present at the said sides 206 and 208. These dig slightly into the surface of the connection terminals 36, 38 on clamping of the battery module, break-through the oxide layer there and produce an excellent contact with the connection terminals. The nickel coating 204 can also be provided inside the holes 202, this is however not necessary.
  • The insulating spacer elements 46 of FIGS. 16C and 16D have a shape which is at least substantially identical to that of the spacer elements 44 of FIGS. 16A and 16B. Here also they consist of an aluminum block 210 having the shape of a parallelepiped. In order to ensure that the so conceived spacer elements are insulating the corresponding aluminum blocks are anodized over their full area whereby a thin high quality insulating layer 212 arises on all surfaces of the blocks. If the bores 214 have already been manufactured previously, then this anodized layer is also present in the bores 214 (not shown). In order to ensure that any damage to the anodized layer, which is in any event hard, does not lead to an undesired conducting transition between the insulating spacer element 46 and a conductive spacer element 44 or to a connection terminal 36, 38 of the battery cell a further insulating layer 216 is deposited on the anodized layer. This layer 216 can, even if not so shown in FIG. 16D, also be deposited within the bores 212, optionally on an anodized layer provided there. The insulating layer 216 is a very thin layer of an organic or inorganic compound or a paint layer or an insulating paint or a resin layer of a corresponding insulating resin.
  • The nickel layer 204 of the conducting spacer element in accordance with FIGS. 16A, 16B and the anodized layer 212 and also the insulating layer 216 applied thereon are kept comparatively thin, for example approximately 200 μm for the nickel layer 204 and the anodized layer 212 and approximately 300 μm for the insulating layer 216. Since both the conductive spacer elements 44 and also the insulating spacer elements 46 consist at least substantially of aluminum, the thermal expansion of the spacer elements as a whole correspond approximately to the thermal expansion of aluminum. Furthermore, as the clamping bolts preferably consist of aluminum it is ensured (because the thermal expansion coefficients of the parts other than the thin coatings are at least substantially the same) that after tightening of the nuts of the threaded bolts an at least substantially constant clamping force arises between the conductive spacer elements 44, the insulating elements 46 and the connection terminals of the battery cells of the battery module irrespective of what temperature fluctuations arise in practice. This clamping force not only ensures that the unevenness of the nickel coating 204 of the conducting spacer elements produces a good electrical contact to the connection terminals of the battery cells but rather the clamping pressure also leads to a type of seal between the surfaces which contact one another so that moisture or corrosion promoting substances cannot straightforwardly lead to a deterioration of the conducting transitions between the conducting spacer elements 44 and the connection terminals 36, 38.
  • The use of aluminum as a basic material of the conducting spacer elements 44 and of the insulating elements 46 lend itself because, on the one hand, this is the same material as the connection terminals 36, 38 and, on the other hand, aluminum has a low density so that the weight of the battery module can be kept small. It would however also be conceivable to make both the conducting spacer elements and also the insulating spacer elements of a different material, it would then be appropriate to make the clamping bolts of the same material or of a material with a comparable coefficient of thermal expansion in order to achieve the desired at least substantially constant clamping force.
  • FIG. 17 shows an alternative embodiment of the cooling plates 16, 18 of the FIG. 1. These cooling plates are converted in FIG. 17 into a unitary structure so that a three-sided cooling plate arrangement 220 results. More specifically, the cooling plate 222 at the right-hand side 223 of the cooling module 220 of FIG. 17 merges via a cooling plate 224 at the rear side 225 of the cooling module 220 into the cooling plate 226 of the left-hand side 227. Furthermore, the cooling passages 228 of the cooling plates are made parallel in the sense that all individual cooling passages 228 of the cooling plates are guided parallel to one another and with a uniform spacing around the three sides 223, 225, 227 of the cooling module and extend between a distribution passage at the left-hand side 227 on the cooling module 220 via the rear side 225 to a collection passage 230 at the right-hand side 223 of the cooling module 230.
  • The distribution passage at the left-hand side 226 is identically constructed to the collection passage 230 at the right-hand side 22. The collection passage 230 communicates via a long narrow connection passage 232 with the tube-like outlet 28 having the hose connection gland 32. In just the same way the tubular inlet 26 with the hose connection gland 30 communicates via an elongate connection passage (not visible in FIG. 17) with the distribution passage (likewise not visible). Liquid coolant thus flows through the hose connection gland 30 between the tube-like inlet 26 from their via the said elongate connection passage in the distribution passage into the individual passages 228 of the cooling module 220 which extend parallel to one another across the left-hand side 227 of the cooling module 220 and subsequently across the rear side 225 of the cooling module and across the right-hand side 223 of the cooling module 220 into the collection element 230 and then via the elongate connection passage 232 to the tubular outlet 28 and via the hose connection gland 32 into the cooling circuit again.
  • In this embodiment the sheet metal cooling plates and the connection plates 20 are provided with side parts with right angles at the left-hand side 227 and the right-hand side 223 through the cooling modules 220 and also at the rear side 225 and these are then adhesively bonded, welded or soldered onto planar sheet metal parts at the inner left, rear and right sides 227, 225 and 223 of the cooling module 220 in order to produce a good thermal transition between the connection plates 20 and the cooling plates at the three sides 227, 225, 223.
  • The outer side of the cooling plate regions 222, 224, 226 of the cooling module 220 is likewise formed by a sheet metal part which is depressed, in a similar manner to the sheet metal part of FIGS. 7A to 7D at positions in order to form ribs 99 which form the coolant passages 222 including the connection passage from the tubular inlet 26 into the distribution passage and the transition on the other side of the cooling module 220 into the collection element 230 and the connection passage 232 into the tubular outlet 26. The inner planar sheet metal parts are connected to the outer sheet metal parts by means of adhesive bonding, welding, soldering or otherwise.
  • FIG. 17 furthermore shows a comb-like part 240 with slots 242 which are arranged at the spacing of the individual connection terminals 36, 38 of the individual cells and have dimensions which receive the connection terminals. In this manner the comb-like insulating plate 240 can be pushed as the arrows 244 show onto the connection terminals 36, 38 of the cells in order to hold these in ordered arrangement and in order to ensure that the insertion of the conducting spacer elements 44 and the insulating spacer elements 46 can be introduced in ordered manner between adjacent connection terminals 36, 38.
  • A like plate can also be provided with the battery module of FIG. 2A and here it is possible for the rear side of the cooling modules to be opened, to push the cells forwardly through the slits 242 of the comb-like plate and also to push the plate onto the already installed cells.
  • In FIG. 17 the comb-like plate is shown with a central stiffening rib 246. This is however not absolutely essential.
  • REFERENCE NUMERAL LIST
    • 10 cooling module
    • 12 cells
    • 14 battery module
    • 16 cooling plate
    • 18 cooling plate
    • 20 connection plate
    • 22 compartment
    • 24 side part of the connection plates
    • 26 tubular inlet
    • 28 tubular outlet
    • 30 hose connection gland
    • 32 hose connection gland
    • 34 connection line
    • 36 positive terminal
    • 37 U-shaped cutout
    • 37′ circular opening
    • 38 negative terminal
    • 39 U-shaped cutout
    • 39′ circular opening
    • 40 left-hand row
    • 42 right-hand row
    • 44 conductive spacer element
    • 46 insulating spacer element
    • 48 clamping device
    • 50 clamping bolt
    • 52 heat-conducting plate
    • 54 right-hand end of the plate 52
    • 56 left-hand end of the plate 52
    • 57 rivet connection
    • 58 insulating sleeve
    • 60 end of a clamping bolt with thread
    • 62 nut
    • 63 washer
    • 66 positive pole
    • 68 first upper end of the left-hand row
    • 70 negative pole
    • 72 second lower end of the left-hand row
    • 74 conducting plate
    • 76 extension
    • 78 first upper end of the right-hand row
    • 79 insulating plate
    • 80 internal thread of one pole terminal
    • 82 internal thread of the other pole terminal
    • 84 spacer element
    • 85 base plate
    • 86 lugs
    • 88 first vertical section of the cooling passage
    • 90 second horizontal section of the cooling passage
    • 92 third vertical section of the cooling passage
    • 94 fourth horizontal section of the cooling passage
    • 96 fifth vertical section of the cooling passage
    • 98 sixth horizontal section of the cooling passage
    • 99 ribs
    • 100 seventh vertical section of the cooling passage
    • 102 eighth horizontal section of the cooling passage
    • 104 ninth vertical section of the cooling passage
    • 106 tenth horizontal section of the cooling passage
    • 108 lugs
    • 109 ribs
    • 110 sheet metal cover
    • 111 housing
    • 112 lower half of the housing
    • 114 lower side of the housing
    • 116 ribbing of the lower side of the housing
    • 118 foam material
    • 120 thread insert
    • 122 first longitudinal side of the lower half of the housing
    • 124 second longitudinal side of the lower half of the housing
    • 126 thread insert
    • 128 upper half of the housing
    • 130 projection
    • 132 first longitudinal side of the upper half of the housing
    • 134 bores
    • 136 rear longitudinal side of the upper half of the housing d128
    • 138 bores
    • 140 bores
    • 142 opening
    • 144 threaded bores
    • 146 top side of the housing 111
    • 148 thread inserts
    • 150 cooling circuit
    • 152 distribution pipe
    • 154 collection pipe
    • 156 collection tube
    • 158 parallel cooling path
    • 160 main line
    • 162 pump
    • 164 radiator
    • 166 fan
    • 168 heat exchanger
    • 170 further circuit
    • 172 heating/air conditioning system
    • 200 aluminum block
    • 202 passage holes
    • 204 nickel coating
    • 206 top side of 200
    • 208 bottom side of 200
    • 210 aluminum block
    • 212 anodized layer
    • 214 bores
    • 216 insulating layer
    • 220 cooling plate arrangement/cooling module
    • 222 right-hand cooling plate
    • 223 right-hand side of 220
    • 224 rear cooling plate
    • 225 rear side of 220
    • 226 left-hand cooling plate
    • 227 left-hand side of 220
    • 228 cooling passages
    • 230 collection passage
    • 232 connection passage
    • 240 comb-like part
    • 242 slits
    • 242 arrow direction
    • 246 stiffening ribs
    • 302 circuit board for battery management system
    • 304 screws for circuit boards 302

Claims (23)

1. A battery module comprising a plurality of cells connected to one another which each have a positive and a negative terminal, wherein the terminals which are of areal design and provided with cutouts are arranged in at least two rows such that the broad sides of adjacent areal terminals of a respective row confront one another, wherein the terminals of each row are held at a spacing from one another by systematically disposed conductive spacer elements wherein within the module the cells are connected electrically in at least one of series and parallel to one another by systematic arrangement of their positive and negative terminals in the one or other row and wherein the terminals of each row and also the spacer elements arranged there between are pressed against one another by a clamping device.
2. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein the areal terminals are formed by extensions of the electrodes of the cells and are designed for active cooling of the cells by intentional heat dissipation and are connectable to a cooling device capable of leading away heat.
3. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein the clamping device is formed by at least one tubular clamping bolt through which a cooling fluid can optionally flow and with which the cell terminals of the row are heat-conductingly connected.
4. A battery module in accordance with claim 3, wherein the clamping bolts are surrounded by an insulting sleeve or are provided with an electrically insulating coating.
5. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein the cells have at least substantially the shape of a flat parallelepiped, with the positive and negative areal terminals of each cell being arranged in at least one plane arranged parallel to the broad sides of the parallelepiped-shaped cell.
6. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein the one pole of the battery module is connected at a first end of the one row and the other pole is connected to the second end of the same row disposed opposite to the said first end and is connected via an extension to the first end of the other row adjacent to the said first end so that electrical connections can be effected to the two poles at a common side of the battery module.
7. A battery module in accordance with claim 6, wherein a spacer element of the other row is extended to the side of the other row to hold the extension.
8. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein the areal terminals of the cells have cutouts shaped to receive clamping bolts forming the clamping device.
9. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein a cooling module is provided which has cooling plates at first and second mutually oppositely disposed sides of the battery module and also heat conducting connection plates extending between these sides which form compartments between them accommodating the cells.
10. A battery module in accordance with claim 9, wherein two in particular areal parallelepiped-shaped cells are arranged in each compartment, wherein in each case one cell can be arranged at the outer side of each of the outer connection plates, whereby each cell is arranged at least one side adjacent to a heat dissipating connection plate, i.e. each connection plate is arranged between two cells.
11. A battery module in accordance with claim 9, wherein the cooling plates arranged at the sides can be flowed through by a coolant in one of a snake-like manner and in parallel through corresponding passages of the plates and optionally through a connection line between the cooling plates.
12. A battery module in accordance with claim 11, wherein the snake-like passages each have an inlet and an outlet, with the inlets and the outlets being provided on one side of the battery module, on the same side as the pole terminals.
13. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein it has a two-part insulating housing through one part of which the pole terminals and coolant connections are led out.
14. A battery module in accordance with claim 13, wherein the housing has a pre-stressing means to press the adjacently disposed cells against the heat-conducting connection plates arranged adjacent to these cells.
15. A battery module in accordance with claim 13, wherein the housing furthermore has a connection point for a battery management system at the same side of the housing as the pole terminals and the coolant connections.
16. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein an electronic system for monitoring and adaptation of the electrical and thermal cell parameters is attached to the side of the battery module at which the clamping device is provided and wherein the parameters are directly picked up at the spacer elements by contacting.
17. A battery module in accordance with claim 9, wherein a further cooling plate connects the two said laterally disposed cooling plates and wherein a plurality of cooling passages are guided in parallel from a common inlet at the one side of the battery module via the further cooling plate to a common outlet at the oppositely disposed side of the battery module.
18. A battery module in accordance with claim 17, wherein the common inlet and the common outlet are arranged at the front side of the battery module at least substantially in the same plane as the front side of the battery module in which the positive and negative terminals of the battery cells are arranged and wherein a further cooling plate which is integrally formed with the two cooling plates is arranged at the oppositely disposed sides of the battery module at the rear side of the battery module.
19. A battery module in accordance with claim 1, wherein both the conducting spacer elements and also the insulating spacer elements consists of metal and the insulating spacer elements are provided with an insulation at their surface regions contacting the conductive parts.
20. A battery module in accordance with claim 19, wherein the clamping bolts and the spacer elements consists of the same metal or of metals with comparable thermal coefficients of expansion.
21. A battery module in accordance with claim 19, wherein the spacer elements consists of aluminum.
22. A battery module in accordance with claim 21, wherein the conductive spacer elements are provided with a conductive coating, for example of nickel, and the insulating spacer elements are provided with an insulating coating, for example an anodized layer and/or an organic or inorganic insulating layer.
23. A battery module in accordance with claim 1 wherein the terminals of each row are held at a spacing from one another by systematically disposed conductive spacer elements and by insulating spacer elements.
US13/266,074 2009-04-24 2010-04-23 Battery module Abandoned US20120183823A1 (en)

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US20120188714A1 (en) 2012-07-26
US8830676B2 (en) 2014-09-09

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