Northvolt has filed a patent for a movable walk-in chamber designed for testing secondary cells. The chamber includes an enclosure with thermally isolated temperature chambers, racking for inserting and removing cells, cycler interfaces with power and cell connections, and cabling to connect the interfaces to a central power connector. This invention allows for efficient and convenient testing of secondary batteries. GlobalData’s report on Northvolt gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData s company profile on Northvolt, hydrogen storage alloys was a key innovation area identified from patents. Northvolt's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Movable walk-in chamber for testing secondary cells

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Northvolt AB

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230168276A1) describes a movable walk-in chamber designed for testing secondary cells. The chamber includes an enclosure that forms a thermally isolated temperature chamber, with a walking aisle between an entrance and an exit. The inner walls of the enclosure are equipped with racking, where secondary cells can be inserted for testing and removed after testing. The outer walls of the enclosure feature a plurality of cycler interfaces, each with a power interface and one or more cell interfaces. Cabling is used to connect the power interfaces to a central power connector, allowing the cyclers connected to the cycler interfaces to be powered by the movable walk-in chamber. Additionally, the cabling connects the cell interfaces to the poles of the secondary cells in the racking, enabling the cyclers to perform testing on the cells.

The movable walk-in chamber also includes communication interfaces within each cycler interface, allowing the chamber to be controlled by a central user interface through cabling connections. The patent claims that the cabling is arranged to form a connection between the power interfaces, enabling energy recovered from discharging one secondary cell to be used to charge another. The enclosure itself has a minimum size of 10(l)*6(w)*2(h) meters, and the cycler interfaces are distributed along the outer walls with a specific distance between them. The racking is designed to accommodate at least 500 secondary cells simultaneously and can receive various types of cells, including pouch cells, coin cells, prismatic cells, and cylindrical cells.

The cabling in the movable walk-in chamber can be integrated into the walls of the enclosure or extend from inside the enclosure through the walls to the cycler interfaces. The chamber is modular, allowing multiple units to be stacked on top of or next to each other. It also includes an attachment mechanism for securing cyclers to the outer walls of the enclosure. The enclosure can form a single thermally isolated chamber or be divided into partitions to create multiple thermally isolated temperature chambers. The chamber features a temperature and/or climate control mechanism to regulate the temperature inside the chambers.

Other features of the movable walk-in chamber include a secure locking mechanism on the entrance door, sensors placed inside the enclosure to provide data on the test environment, and a control arrangement that can adjust the cyclers and temperature/climate control mechanism based on the sensor data. Openable doors are also present in the outer walls to facilitate the insertion and removal of cells from the racking.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies