Tesla Motors Patent Applications

Battery Pack Base Plate Heat Exchanger

Granted: July 27, 2017
Application Number: 20170214008
A heat exchanger integrated into an electric vehicle's battery pack enclosure is provided, where the heat exchanger conduits are mechanically and thermally coupled to the inside surface of the enclosure base plate and where the battery pack enclosure is mounted such that ambient air flows over the outside surface of the enclosure base plate during vehicle motion. A thermal management system is coupled to, and controls operation of, the integrated battery pack heat exchanger such that in…

HEAT-RECOVERING TEMPERATURE-GRADIENT BASED OVEN SYSTEM

Granted: June 29, 2017
Application Number: 20170184345
A heat-recovering oven system based on temperature gradient comprises: multiple chambers arranged in a sequence, the chambers configured for operating at various temperatures according to a temperature gradient arrangement that spans the sequence; a conveyor configured for transporting product through the multiple chambers in the sequence for heat treatment according to the temperature gradient arrangement; and multiple temperature-segregated heat exchanger systems, each heat exchanger…

FUNCTIONAL REDUNDANCY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DATA TRANSMISSION IN ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM

Granted: June 22, 2017
Application Number: 20170177048
An energy storage system includes: a host; energy storage modules; a plurality of nodes, each implemented at a corresponding one of the energy storage modules and configured to monitor and control that energy storage module; a communications and data transmission medium forming a loop from a first portion of the host and sequentially through the nodes to a second portion of the host; and in each of the nodes, first and second devices configured to perform at least partially redundant…

MULTI-PORT VALVE WITH MULTIPLE OPERATION MODES

Granted: June 1, 2017
Application Number: 20170152957
A multi-port, multi-mode valve includes: a valve housing; multiple ports on the valve housing, a spacing between first and second ports being smaller than a spacing between third and fourth ports; and a stemshell positioned at least partly inside the valve housing, the stemshell having at least two channels configured for selectively coupling one or more of the ports to a selected at least other one of the ports.

INTEGRATED VEHICLE-END STRUCTURE

Granted: May 25, 2017
Application Number: 20170144717
A method for constructing an integrated end structure for a vehicle includes placing a center module for an integrated end structure for a vehicle in a fixture separate from the vehicle, attaching a side bracket to the center module in the fixture to form an assembly, the side bracket configured for holding a light unit of the vehicle, mounting the assembly onto at least a bracket in the vehicle that provides adjustability of the assembly in at least a z-direction, and, after mounting…

DUAL-HINGE CLOSURE WITH LATCHING IN HORIZONTAL DIRECTION

Granted: May 11, 2017
Application Number: 20170130495
A closure system for a vehicle comprises: a dual-hinge closure comprising a first portion hinged to the vehicle by a first hinge, and a second portion hinged to the first portion by a second hinge; a frame that at least in part surrounds an opening in the vehicle; an adjustable bump stop subassembly mounted to the first portion, wherein the adjustable bump stop subassembly rests on the frame when the first portion is in a closed position; and a latch system comprising a latch configured…

SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE WITH STACKED TERMINALS

Granted: May 11, 2017
Application Number: 20170133316
A semiconductor device includes: a housing; a substrate inside the housing; first and second semiconductor circuits on the substrate; and first and second planar terminals electrically connected to the first and second semiconductor circuits, respectively, the first and second planar terminals stacked on top of each other, wherein each of the first and second planar terminals extends away from the housing.

Hazard Mitigation Through Gas Flow Communication Between Battery Packs

Granted: May 4, 2017
Application Number: 20170125760
A system and method for mitigating the effects of a thermal event within a non-metal-air battery pack is provided in which the hot gas and material generated during the event is directed into the metal-air cells of a metal-air battery pack. The metal-air cells provide a large thermal mass for absorbing at least a portion of the thermal energy generated during the event before it is released to the ambient environment. As a result, the risks to vehicle passengers, bystanders, first…

CHARGING STATION PROVIDING THERMAL CONDITIONING OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE DURING CHARGING SESSION

Granted: April 6, 2017
Application Number: 20170096073
A vehicle includes an energy storage configured to store electric energy for at least propulsion of the vehicle, an energy storage thermal system configured to provide thermal conditioning of the energy storage, and a coupling configured to receive thermal conditioning of the energy storage from a thermal system external to the vehicle. The coupling provides thermal conditioning of the energy storage while charging when available from the thermal system external to the vehicle. The…

SCALABLE AND FLEXIBLE CELL-BASED ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM

Granted: March 30, 2017
Application Number: 20170093156
An energy storage system includes: a grid tie unit comprising at least one DC/AC converter; and multiple pods connected to the grid tie unit, each pod including: a number of cells; and a power electronics unit, wherein the cells are floating relative to the system and are galvanically isolated therefrom. The multiple pods may be organized into packs, with a pack including a thermal management system.

ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM WITH DUAL-ACTIVE-BRIDGE CONVERTER

Granted: March 30, 2017
Application Number: 20170093157
An energy storage device includes: a number of cells; and a dual-active-bridge converter connected to the cells, wherein the cells are floating relative to the system and are galvanically isolated therefrom. The energy storage device can be included in an energy storage system that includes: a grid tie unit comprising at least one DC/AC converter; and multiple pods connected to the grid tie unit, each pod including: a number of cells; and a power electronics unit, wherein the cells are…

METHODOLOGY FOR CHARGING BATTERIES SAFELY

Granted: March 16, 2017
Application Number: 20170074918
An apparatus and method for identifying a presence of a short circuit in a battery pack. A fault-detection apparatus for a charging system that rapidly charges a collection of interconnected lithium ion battery cells, the safety system includes a data-acquisition system for receiving a set of data parameters from the collection while the charging system is actively charging the collection; a monitoring system evaluating the set of data parameters to identify a set of anomalous…

HIDDEN ULTRASONIC SENSOR ASSEMBLY

Granted: March 2, 2017
Application Number: 20170059697
An ultrasonic sensor assembly is placed against an inside surface of a panel for sensing objects on an opposite side of the panel and includes an ultrasonic sensor, a preload structure, a coupling element, and a damping material. The preload structure applies a preload on the ultrasonic sensor toward the inside surface of the panel. The coupling element interfaces between the ultrasonic sensor and the inside surface of the panel. The damping material is placed against the inside surface…

GASKET AND DIAPHRAGM FOR ELECTROCHEMICAL CELL

Granted: March 2, 2017
Application Number: 20170062778
An electrochemical cell includes a can configured to serve as one electric contact of the electrochemical cell, the can containing active materials, a diaphragm configured to serve as an opposite electric contact of the electrochemical cell, and a gasket that is initially of generally cylindrical shape, the diaphragm positioned inside the gasket in an opening of the can wherein an outer edge of the can is crimped onto the gasket, the gasket having an inner periphery inside the can and an…

TRIP PLANNING WITH ENERGY CONSTRAINT

Granted: February 2, 2017
Application Number: 20170030728
A method includes: receiving information corresponding at least to (i) a state of charge of an energy storage of a vehicle, (ii) route information corresponding to a planned driving route for the vehicle, and (iii) a predicted driver characteristic; determining using the received information, and presenting to a driver of the vehicle, a first energy-versus-distance measure for the planned driving route; receiving a user input indicating a proposed change in at least the driver…

Battery Swapping System and Techniques

Granted: April 21, 2016
Application Number: 20160107619
A battery pack lift system includes: a frame having nutrunners mounted thereon according to a battery pack fastener pattern for a vehicle; a lift configured to raise and lower the frame with regard to the vehicle; a first air bearing positioned between the frame and the lift, the first air bearing configured to allow relative movement between the frame and the lift; and a second air bearing positioned on the frame, the second air bearing configured to allow relative movement between a…

INTER-PROTOCOL CHARGING ADAPTER

Granted: February 4, 2016
Application Number: 20160036256
An inter-protocol charging adapter for equipment to be charged via a bus includes: first connectors corresponding to a first charging protocol that requires the bus to be energized before the equipment closes onto the bus; second connectors corresponding to a second charging protocol that does not energize the bus before the equipment closes onto the bus; and a boost converter coupled to the bus and to at least one of the second connectors, wherein the boost converter uses energy from…

HEATSINK WITH INTERNAL CAVITY FOR LIQUID COOLING

Granted: November 26, 2015
Application Number: 20150342092
A heatsink with an internal cavity for liquid cooling includes: a first part having a first group of fins extending into the internal cavity; a second part attached to the first part so that the internal cavity is formed, the second part having a second group of fins that extend into the internal cavity and that are configured to fit among the first group of fins; an inlet into the internal cavity on at least one of the first and second parts; and an outlet from the internal cavity on at…

Bobbin Design for Conduction-Cooled, Gapped, High-Permeability Magnetic Components

Granted: November 5, 2015
Application Number: 20150318106
A coil former, also referred to herein as a bobbin, is provided for use in conduction-cooled magnetic components that contain an air gap. The diameter of the disclosed bobbin is increased and ribs/splines or tabs are created to keep the winding centered about the core center post while allowing thermally conductive silicone-based or equivalent encapsulant to fill the voids between the coil former and the core, the coil former and the windings and/or both depending on the placement of the…

CHARGING STATION PROVIDING THERMAL CONDITIONING OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE DURING CHARGING SESSION

Granted: October 29, 2015
Application Number: 20150306974
A method of thermally conditioning an energy storage of a vehicle while charging includes: receiving, at a charging station, thermal information about the energy storage; supplying, by the charging station, electric energy to the energy storage in a charging session; and providing, by the charging station and based on the thermal information, thermal conditioning of the energy storage during at least part of the charging session.