Missouri Patent of the Month – October 2023

In recent years, the demand for more efficient and sustainable energy storage solutions has driven substantial advancements in the field of electrical energy cells, particularly lithium-ion cells. These cylindrical energy storage devices have become the powerhouses behind modern technology, from portable electronics to electric vehicles. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and in this case, it’s the responsibility of managing the thermal performance of these energy cells.

One company that has risen to the challenge of efficiently cooling energy cells is ThermAvant Technologies, LLC. They’ve recently been granted a patent for their thermal management system which addresses the critical need for keeping energy cells within their optimal temperature ranges.

The system is designed around a singular body cold plate cell holder, which features multiple energy cell reservoirs, each capable of housing an electrical energy cell. What sets this system apart is the way it leverages direct contact with the energy cells to efficiently absorb and dissipate heat. The energy cell’s surface comes into direct contact with an interface wall of the respective energy cell reservoir. The cold plate cell holder acts as a heat sink, effectively cooling the energy cells as they operate.

To further enhance cooling, ThermAvant’s system incorporates a multi-pass cooling channel that meanders through the interior of the cold plate. This channel circulates a coolant to remove the heat absorbed by the cold plate cell holder. This combination of direct contact cooling and an efficient cooling channel creates a powerful cooling solution.

ThermAvant’s system also includes an oscillating heat pipe cover, which is positioned around a portion of the energy cell’s surface. This cover helps to ensure that the energy cell remains within the desired temperature range. It uses meandering heat pipe channels filled with a cooling fluid. The fluid’s thermal characteristics allow it to absorb heat, changing from a liquid to vapor and then transferring that heat to the cold plate cell holder. This clever mechanism ensures that the cells stay cool.

Importantly, the design prevents the propagation of heat between neighboring cells in case one of them goes into thermal runaway. This feature is crucial for safety and the overall performance of energy storage systems. ThermAvant’s efficient cooling system is a remarkable example of how innovative thermal management can significantly enhance the performance, safety, and longevity of electrical energy cells. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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