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Publication numberUS20100275619 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/433,155
Publication dateNov 4, 2010
Filing dateApr 30, 2009
Priority dateApr 30, 2009
Also published asCN102396098A, CN102396098B, EP2426776A2, EP2426776A4, WO2010126239A2, WO2010126239A3
Publication number12433155, 433155, US 2010/0275619 A1, US 2010/275619 A1, US 20100275619 A1, US 20100275619A1, US 2010275619 A1, US 2010275619A1, US-A1-20100275619, US-A1-2010275619, US2010/0275619A1, US2010/275619A1, US20100275619 A1, US20100275619A1, US2010275619 A1, US2010275619A1
InventorsWilliam Koetting, Josh Payne, Kwok Tom
Original AssigneeLg Chem, Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cooling system for a battery system and a method for cooling the battery system
US 20100275619 A1
Abstract
A cooling system for a battery system and a method for cooling the battery system are provided. The cooling system includes a housing having first and second enclosed portions, and a first evaporator and a first evaporator fan disposed in the first enclosed portion that recirculates air in a first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion. The first evaporator extracts heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of a first battery module in the first enclosed portion. The cooling system further includes a condenser disposed in the second enclosed portion and fluidly coupled to the first evaporator, which receives heat energy in a refrigerant from the first evaporator and dissipates the heat energy. The cooling system further includes a compressor disposed in the second enclosed portion that recirculates the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser.
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Claims(15)
1. A cooling system for a battery system, comprising:
a housing having a first enclosed portion and a second enclosed portion, the first enclosed portion configured to receive a first battery module therein;
a first evaporator disposed in the first enclosed portion;
a first evaporator fan disposed proximate to the first evaporator in the first enclosed portion configured to recirculate air in a first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion, the first evaporator configured to extract heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of the first battery module;
a condenser disposed in the second enclosed portion and fluidly coupled to the first evaporator, the condenser configured to receive heat energy in a refrigerant from the first evaporator and to dissipate the heat energy; and
a compressor disposed in the second enclosed portion that recirculates the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser.
2. The cooling system of claim 1, wherein the first closed flow path loop comprises a flow path through the first evaporator fan and past the first evaporator and then through air flow channels in the first battery module and then back through the first evaporator fan.
3. The cooling system of claim 1, further comprising a first temperature sensor generating a first signal indicative of a temperature level of the first battery module.
4. The cooling system of claim 3, further comprising:
a condenser fan disposed in the second enclosed portion;
a microprocessor operably coupled to the first temperature sensor that receives the first signal, the microprocessor configured to generate a second signal to induce the compressor to recirculate the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser to cool the first battery module when the first signal indicates the temperature level of the first battery module is greater than a threshold temperature level;
the microprocessor further configured to generate a third signal to induce the first evaporator fan to recirculate air in the first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion when the first signal indicates the temperature level of the first battery module is greater than the threshold temperature level; and
the microprocessor further configured to generate a fourth signal to induce the condenser fan to urge air past the condenser to induce the condenser to dissipate heat energy when the first signal indicates the temperature level of the first battery module is greater than the threshold temperature level.
5. The cooling system of claim 1, further comprising:
a second evaporator disposed in the first enclosed portion, the second evaporator fluidly coupled to the condenser;
a second evaporator fan disposed proximate to the second evaporator in the first enclosed portion, the second evaporator fan configured to recirculate air in a second closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion, the second evaporator configured to extract heat energy from the air in the second closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of a second battery module disposed in the first enclosed portion;
the condenser further fluidly coupled to the second evaporator, the condenser further configured to receive heat energy in refrigerant from the first and second evaporators and to dissipate the heat energy; and
the compressor further configured to recirculate the refrigerant through the first and second evaporators and the condenser.
6. The cooling system of claim 5, wherein the second closed flow path loop comprises a flow path through the second evaporator fan and past the second evaporator and then through air flow channels in the second battery module and then back through the second evaporator fan.
7. The cooling system of claim 5, further comprising:
a first temperature sensor generating a first signal indicative of a temperature level of the first battery module, and
a second temperature sensor generating a second signal indicative of a temperature level of the second battery module.
8. The cooling system of claim 7, further comprising:
a condenser fan disposed in the second enclosed portion;
a microprocessor operably coupled to the first and second temperature sensors that receives the first and second signals, respectively;
the microprocessor configured to determine a first temperature difference value by subtracting the first signal from the second signal;
the microprocessor further configured to generate a third signal to induce the compressor to recirculate the refrigerant through the first evaporator, the second evaporator, and the condenser to cool the second battery module when the first temperature difference value is greater than a threshold difference value;
the microprocessor further configured to generate a fourth signal to induce the second evaporator fan to recirculate air in the second closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion when the first temperature difference value is greater than the threshold difference value; and
the microprocessor further configured to generate a fifth signal to induce the condenser fan to urge air past the condenser to induce the condenser to dissipate heat energy in the refrigerant when the first temperature difference value is greater than the threshold difference value.
9. The cooling system of claim 7, further comprising:
a condenser fan disposed in the second enclosed portion;
a microprocessor operably coupled to the first and second temperature sensors that receives the first and second signals, respectively;
the microprocessor configured to determine a first temperature difference value by subtracting the second signal from the first signal;
the microprocessor further configured to generate a third signal to induce the compressor to recirculate the refrigerant through the first evaporator, the second evaporator, and the condenser to cool the first battery module when the first temperature difference value is greater than a threshold difference value;
the microprocessor further configured to generate a fourth signal to induce the first evaporator fan to recirculate air in the first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion when the first temperature difference value is greater than the threshold difference value; and
the microprocessor further configured to generate a fifth signal to induce the condenser fan to urge air past the condenser to induce the condenser to dissipate the heat energy in the refrigerant when the first temperature difference value is greater than the threshold difference value.
10. The cooling system of claim 1, further comprising a cooling coil that receives a liquid therein to remove heat energy from the refrigerant in the condenser.
11. The cooling system of claim 1, wherein the first enclosed portion is an airtight enclosed portion.
12. A method for cooling a battery system utilizing a cooling system, the cooling system having a housing, a first evaporator, a first evaporator fan, and a condenser, the housing having a first enclosed portion and a second enclosed portion, the first enclosed portion configured to receive a first battery module therein, the method comprising:
recirculating air in a first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion utilizing the first evaporator fan, the first evaporator configured to extract heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of the first battery module in the first enclosed portion of the housing;
receiving heat energy in a refrigerant from the first evaporator in a condenser disposed in the second enclosed portion of the housing and dissipating the heat energy utilizing the condenser; and
recirculating the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser utilizing a compressor disposed in the second enclosed portion.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the cooling system further has a condenser fan, a temperature sensor, and a microprocessor, the method further comprising:
generating a first signal indicative of a temperature level of the first battery module utilizing a temperature sensor;
generating a second signal to induce the compressor to recirculate the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser to cool the first battery module utilizing the microprocessor when the first signal indicates the temperature level of the first battery module is greater than a threshold temperature level;
generating a third signal to induce the first evaporator fan to recirculate air in the first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion when the first signal indicates the temperature level of the first battery module is greater than the threshold temperature level; and
generating a fourth signal to induce the condenser fan to urge air past the condenser to induce the condenser to dissipate heat energy when the first signal indicates the temperature level of the first battery module is greater than the threshold temperature level.
14. The method of claim 12, wherein the cooling system further comprises a second evaporator and a second evaporator fan disposed in the first enclosed portion, the second evaporator fluidly coupled to the condenser, the first enclosed portion configured to receive a second battery module therein, further comprising:
recirculating air in a second closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion utilizing the second evaporator fan, the second evaporator configured to extract heat energy from the air in the second closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of the second battery module in the first enclosed portion;
receiving heat energy in refrigerant from the first and second evaporators in the condenser disposed in the second enclosed portion and dissipating the heat energy in the refrigerant utilizing the condenser; and
recirculating the refrigerant through the first evaporator, the second evaporator, and the condenser utilizing the compressor disposed in the second enclosed portion.
15. The method of claim 12, wherein the first enclosed portion is an airtight enclosed portion.
Description
TECHNICAL FIELD

This application relates to a cooling system for a battery system and a method for cooling the battery system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In a typical air-cooled battery pack, ambient air from ambient atmosphere is directed across battery cells in the battery pack and is subsequently exhausted from the battery pack. However, the typical air-cooled battery pack has a major challenge in maintaining a temperature of the battery pack within a desired temperature range.

In particular, a maximum operating temperature of the battery cells can often be less than a temperature of ambient air utilized to cool the batteries. In this situation, it is impossible to maintain the battery cells within a desired temperature range in an air-cooled battery pack.

Accordingly, the inventors herein have recognized a need for an improved battery cell assembly that minimizes and/or eliminates the above-mentioned deficiency.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A cooling system for a battery system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment is provided. The cooling system includes a housing having a first enclosed portion and a second enclosed portion. The first enclosed portion is configured to receive a first battery module therein. The cooling system further includes a first evaporator disposed in the first enclosed portion. The cooling system further includes a first evaporator fan disposed proximate to the first evaporator in the first enclosed portion configured to recirculate air in a first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion. The first evaporator is configured to extract heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of the first battery module. The cooling system further includes a condenser disposed in the second enclosed portion and fluidly coupled to the first evaporator. The condenser is configured to receive heat energy in a refrigerant from the first evaporator and to dissipate the heat energy. The cooling system further includes a compressor disposed in the second enclosed portion that recirculates the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser.

A method for cooling a battery system utilizing a cooling system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment is provided. The cooling system has a housing, a first evaporator, a first evaporator fan, and a condenser. The housing has a first enclosed portion and a second enclosed portion. The first enclosed portion is configured to receive a first battery module therein. The method includes recirculating air in a first closed flow path loop within the first enclosed portion utilizing the first evaporator fan. The first evaporator is configured to extract heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop to reduce a temperature level of the first battery module in the first enclosed portion of the housing. The method further includes receiving heat energy in a refrigerant from the first evaporator in a condenser disposed in the second enclosed portion of the housing and dissipating the heat energy utilizing the condenser. The method further includes recirculating the refrigerant through the first evaporator and the condenser utilizing a compressor disposed in the second enclosed portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic of a power generation system having a battery system and a cooling system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a schematic of a portion of a housing, battery modules, and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic of a top view of the housing, battery modules, and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional schematic of the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of components of the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a schematic of a portion of the housing and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is another schematic of a portion of the housing and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is another schematic of a portion of the housing, battery modules, and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is another schematic of a portion of a housing, battery modules, and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged schematic of a portion of one battery module shown in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is another schematic of a portion of the housing, battery modules, and the cooling system utilized in the power generation system of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 12-19 are flowcharts of a method for cooling a battery system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment; and

FIG. 20 is a schematic of a portion of a housing, battery modules, and the cooling system utilized in another power generation system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a power generation system 10 for outputting electrical power in accordance with an exemplary embodiment is illustrated. The power generation system 10 includes a battery system 20 and a cooling system 22.

The battery system 20 is provided to output electrical power. The battery system 20 includes the battery modules 24, 26. Each of the battery modules 24, 26 has a similar structure and includes a plurality of battery cell assemblies that can be electrically connected in series to one another or in parallel to one another. For purposes of brevity, only a portion of the battery cell assemblies in the battery module 24 will be described in detail. For example, referring to FIGS. 8-10, the battery module 24 includes battery cell assemblies 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 38, 40 and 42 and flow channel manifolds 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76 and 78. Each of the battery cell assemblies has a battery cell therein that generates an operational voltage between a pair of electrodes extending therefrom. In one exemplary embodiment, each battery cell is a lithium-ion battery cell. In alternative embodiments, the battery cells could be nickel-cadmium battery cells or nickel metal hydride battery cells for example. Of course, other types of battery cells known to those skilled in the art could be utilized.

The flow channel manifolds are provided to allow air to flow through air channels defined in each flow channel manifold. The air that flows through a flow channel manifold that is disposed between adjacent battery cell assemblies, extracts heat energy from the adjacent battery cell assemblies.

For example, referring to FIG. 4, a brief explanation of the flow channel manifold 60 will be provided. It should be noted that the structure of flow channel manifolds 62, 64, 66, 68, 70, 72, 74, 76 and 78 have the same structure as flow channel manifold 60. As shown, the flow channel manifold 60 has an upper rail member 82, a lower rail member 84, and a plurality of vertical members 86. The upper rail member 82 and the lower rail member 84 are disposed substantially parallel to each another. The plurality of vertical members 86 are connected between the upper rail member 82 and the lower rail member 84 and are disposed substantially parallel to each other. The plurality of vertical members 86 are spaced apart from each other and define a plurality of air flow channels therein. For example, some of the vertical members 86 define air flow channels 100, 102, 104 (on a right side of FIG. 4) in the flow channel manifold 60. Further, some of the vertical members 86 define air flow channels 106, 108, 110 (on a left side of FIG. 4) in the flow channel manifold 60.

Referring to FIG. 10, the flow channel manifold 60 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 28, 29, and the flow channel manifold 62 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 29, 30. Further, the flow channel manifold 64 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 30, 31, and the flow channel manifold 66 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 31, 32. Further, the flow channel manifold 68 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 32, 33 and the flow channel manifold 70 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 33, 34. Further, the flow channel manifold 72 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 34, 36, and the flow channel manifold 74 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 36, 38. Further, the flow channel manifold 76 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 38, 40, and the flow channel manifold 78 is disposed between the battery cell assemblies 40, 42.

Referring to FIGS. 2, 3 and 5-8, the cooling system 22 is provided to maintain a battery system 20 within a desired temperature range, and in particular below a threshold temperature level in accordance with an exemplary embodiment is provided. The cooling system 22 includes a housing 130, evaporator fans 132, 134, evaporators 136, 138, flow balancing baffles 140, 142, a support member 144, conduit portions 146, 148, 150, flow balancing trays 160, 162, inner side walls 170, 172, 174, a dividing wall 176, a condenser 190, a condenser fan 192, the compressor 194, conduit portions 196, 198, 200, temperature sensors 210, 212, and a microprocessor 220. In one exemplary embodiment, the cooling system 22 can maintain the battery modules 24, 26 within a desired temperature range of 15°-35° Celsius. Of course, other temperature ranges could also be utilized. In another exemplary embodiment, the cooling system 22 can maintain the battery modules 24, 26 at a temperature level less than a threshold temperature level of 40° Celsius. Of course, another threshold temperature level could be utilized.

Referring to FIG. 1, the housing 130 is provided to enclose the battery system 20 and the cooling system 22 therein. The housing 130 includes a base member 230, a top cover 232 configured to be coupled to the base member 230, and standoff members 234, 236 that are disposed on the bottom surface of the base member 230. In one exemplary embodiment, the housing 130 is constructed from plastic. However, in alternative embodiments other materials known to those skilled in the art could be utilized to construct the housing 130.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 6 and 8, the evaporators 136, 138 are provided to extract heat energy from the battery modules 24, 26, respectively. The evaporators 136, 138 are disposed on the base member 230 of the housing 130. Further, the evaporators 136, 138 are disposed in an enclosed portion or space 180 within the housing 130. The evaporator 136 is configured to extract heat energy from air in a first closed flow path loop (described below) into a refrigerant flowing through the evaporator 136 to reduce a temperature level of the battery module 24. Similarly, the evaporator 138 is configured to extract heat energy from air in a second closed flow path loop (described below) into a refrigerant flowing through the evaporator 138 to reduce a temperature level of the battery module 26. Exemplary refrigerants include R-11, R-12, R-22, R-134A, R-407C and R-410A for example. Of course, other types of refrigerants known to those skilled in the art could be utilized.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, a refrigerant flow path in the cooling system 22 will now be explained. As shown, the evaporator 136 is fluidly coupled to the compressor 194 via the conduit portions 200, 146. Further, the evaporator 136 is fluidly coupled to the evaporator 138 via the conduit portion 148. Further, the evaporator 138 is fluidly coupled to the condenser 190 via the conduit portions 150, 196. Further, the condenser 190 is fluidly coupled to the compressor 194 via the conduit portion 198. During operation, the compressor 194 pumps the refrigerant through a closed loop including the conduit portions 200, 146, the evaporator 136, the conduit portion 148, the evaporator 138, the conduit portions 150, 196, the condenser 190, the conduit portion 198 and back to the compressor 194.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 6, the evaporator fan 132 is disposed on the base member 230 of the housing 130. The evaporator fan 132 is configured to recirculate air in a closed flow path loop 240 within the first enclosed portion 180 of the housing 130. The closed flow path loop 240 includes a flow path through the evaporator fan 132, and past the evaporator 136 and then through air flow channels in the battery module 24 and then back through the evaporator fan 132.

The evaporator fan 134 is disposed on the base member 230 of the housing 130. The evaporator fan 134 is configured to recirculate air in a closed flow path loop 242 within the enclosed portion 182 of the housing 130. The closed flow path loop 242 includes a flow path through the evaporator fan 134, and past the evaporator 136 and then through air flow channels in the battery module 26 and then back through the evaporator fan 134.

The flow balancing baffle 140 is disposed proximate to the evaporator fan 132 on the base member 230 of the housing 130. The flow balancing baffle 140 is configured to allow a substantially equal amount of air flow through each aperture in the baffle 140 such than air flow is evenly distributed across a surface of the evaporator 136. In one exemplary embodiment the flow balancing baffle 140 is substantially u-shaped with a plurality of apertures extending therethrough and is constructed from plastic.

The flow balancing baffle 142 is disposed proximate to the evaporator fan 134 on the base member 230 of the housing 130. The flow balancing baffle 142 is configured to allow a substantially equal amount of air flow through each aperture in the baffle 142 such than air flow is evenly distributed across a surface of the evaporator 138. In one exemplary embodiment, the flow balancing baffle 142 is substantially u-shaped with a plurality of apertures extending therethrough and is constructed from plastic.

The support member 144 is disposed on the base member 230 of the housing 130 between the evaporators 136, 138. In one exemplary embodiment, the support member 144 is substantially u-shaped and is constructed from plastic.

Referring to FIG. 6, the conduit portion 146 is fluidly coupled to a first end of the evaporator 136. The conduit portion 148 is fluidly coupled between a second end of the evaporator 136 and a first end of the evaporator 138. Further, the conduit 150 is fluidly coupled to a second end of the evaporator 138. Thus, refrigerant can flow through the conduit portion 160, the evaporator 136, the conduit portion 148, the evaporator 138, and the conduit 150.

Referring to FIG. 7, the flow balancing tray 160 is disposed on the flow balancing baffles 140, 142 and the support member 144 in the enclosed portion 180 of the housing 130. The flow balancing tray 160 is configured to allow a substantially equal amount of air flow through each aperture in the tray 160 such that air flow is evenly distributed across lower surfaces of the battery modules 24, 26. Further, the flow balancing tray 160 is configured to hold the battery modules 24, 26 thereon. In one exemplary embodiment, the flow balancing tray 160 has a plurality of apertures extending therethrough and is constructed from plastic.

Referring to FIG. 11, the flow balancing tray 162 is disposed on a top surface of the battery modules 24, 26 in the housing 130. The flow balancing tray 162 is configured to allow a substantially equal amount of air flow through each aperture in the tray 162 such than air flow is evenly distributed from the battery modules 24, 26 through the flow balancing tray 162. In one exemplary embodiment, the flow balancing tray 162 has a plurality of apertures extending therethrough and is constructed from plastic.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 11, the inner side walls 170, 172, 174 and the dividing wall 176 are disposed proximate to side walls of the battery modules 24, 26. The dividing wall 176 has a sealing gasket 177 disposed on an outer periphery of the dividing wall 176 to form an airtight seal with the base member 230 and the top cover 232 that contact the outer periphery of the dividing wall 176. Further, the base member 230, the top cover 232 and the dividing wall 176 define an enclosed portion 180 having the battery modules 24, 26 disposed therein. It should be noted that the enclosed portion 180 is an airtight enclosed portion. Further, the base member 230, the top cover 232 and the dividing wall 176 define an enclosed portion 184. In one exemplary embodiment, the enclosed portion 184 fluidly communicates with ambient air external to the housing 130. In one exemplary embodiment, the inner side walls 170, 172, 174 and the dividing wall 176 are constructed from plastic.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, the condenser 190 is disposed in the enclosed portion 182 of the housing 130 and is fluidly coupled to the evaporators 136, 138 and the compressor 194. As shown, the condenser 190 is fluidly coupled to the evaporator 138 via the conduit portions 150, 196. Further, the condenser 190 is fluidly coupled to the compressor 194 via the conduit portion 198. The condenser 190 is configured to receive heat energy in a refrigerant from the evaporators 136, 138 and to dissipate the heat energy in the received refrigerant such that the heat energy is removed from the refrigerant for cooling the battery modules 24, 26.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, the condenser fan 192 is configured to urge air past the condenser 190 to induce the condenser 190 to dissipate heat energy in response to a control signal from the microprocessor 220. As shown, the condenser fan 192 is disposed proximate to the condenser 190 in the enclosed region 182.

Referring to FIGS. 3, 5 and 6, the compressor 194 is configured to pump and recirculate refrigerant through the evaporators 136, 138 in response to a control signal from the microprocessor 220. In particular, the compressor 194 pumps the refrigerant through a closed loop including the conduit portions 200, 146, the evaporator 136, the conduit portion 148, the evaporator 138, the conduit portions 150, 190, the condenser 190, and the conduit portion 198 back to the compressor 194. As shown, the compressor 194 is disposed in the enclosed region 182.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 5, the temperature sensor 210 is electrically coupled to the microprocessor 220 and is disposed proximate to the battery module 24. The temperature sensor 210 is configured to generate a signal indicative of a temperature of the battery module 24 that is received by the microprocessor 220.

The temperature sensor 212 is electrically coupled to the microprocessor 220 and is disposed proximate to the battery module 26. The temperature sensor 212 is configured to generate a signal indicative of a temperature of the battery module 26 that is received by the microprocessor 220.

The microprocessor 212 is configured to control operation of the cooling system 22. As shown, the microprocessor 212 is electrically coupled to the evaporator fans 132, 134, the condenser fan 192, the compressor 194, and the temperature sensors 210, 212. During operation, the microprocessor 212 receive signals from the temperature sensors 210, 212 indicative of temperatures of the battery modules 24, 26, respectively. Based on the received signals from the temperature sensors 210, 212, the microprocessor 212 generates control signals for controlling operation of the evaporator fans 132, 134, the condenser fan 192, and the compressor 194, as will be explained in greater detail below.

Referring to FIGS. 12-19, a flowchart of a method for cooling the battery system 20 will now be explained.

At step 260, the microprocessor 220 initializes the following flags: flag1 equals “false”; flag2 equals “false”; flag3 equals “false”; and flag4 equals “false.” After step 260, the method advances to step 262.

At step 262, the temperature sensor 210 generates a first signal indicative of a temperature of the battery module 24 disposed in the enclosed portion 180 of the housing 130 that is received by the microprocessor 220. After step 262, the method advances to step 264.

At step 264, the temperature sensor 212 generates a second signal indicative of a temperature of the battery module 26 disposed in the enclosed portion 180 of the housing 130 that is received by the microprocessor 220. After step 264, the method advances to step 266.

At step 266, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the first signal from the temperature sensor 210 indicates that a temperature level of the battery module 24 is greater than a threshold temperature level. If the value of step 266 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 268. Otherwise, the method advances to step 286.

At step 268, the microprocessor 220 sets flag1 equal to “true.” After step 268, the method advances to step 270.

At step 270, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the compressor 194 to recirculate refrigerant through evaporators 132, 134 disposed proximate to battery module 24, 26, respectively in the enclosed portion 180 of the housing 130, and through the condenser 190 disposed in the enclosed portion 182 of the housing 130. After step 270, the method advances to step 280.

At step 280, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the evaporator fan 132 to recirculate air in a first closed flow path loop 240 (shown in FIG. 4) within the enclosed portion 180. The first closed flow path loop 240 includes a flow path through the evaporator fan 132 and past the evaporator 136 and then through air flow channels in the battery module 24 and then back through the evaporator fan 132. After step 280, the method advances to step 282.

At step 282, the evaporator 136 extracts heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop 240 to the refrigerant flowing through the evaporator 136 to reduce a temperature of the battery module 24 in the enclosed portion 180. After step 282, the method advances to step 284.

At step 284, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the condenser fan 192 to urge air past the condenser 190 in the enclosed portion 182 that further induces the condenser 190 to dissipate heat energy from the refrigerant flowing from the evaporator 136. After step 284, the method advances to step 304.

Referring again to step 266, when the value of step 266 equals “no”, the method advances to step 286. At step 286, the microprocessor 220 sets flag1 equal to “false.” After step 286, the method advances to step 288.

At step 288, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the flag4 equals “false.” If the value of step 288 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 290. Otherwise, the method advances to step 292.

At step 290, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the evaporator fan 132 to turn off the evaporator fan 132. After step 290, the method advances to step 292.

At step 292, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the flag2 equals “false”; flag3 equals “false” and flag4 equals “false.” If the value of step 292 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 300. Otherwise, the method advances to step 304.

At step 300, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the compressor 194 to turn off the compressor 194. After step 300, the method advances to step 302.

At step 302, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the condenser fan 192 to turn off the condenser fan 192. After step 302, the method advances to step 304.

At step 304, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the second signal from temperature sensor 212 indicates that a temperature level of the battery module 26 is greater than the threshold temperature level. If the value of step 304 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 306. Otherwise, the method advances to step 316.

At step 306, the microprocessor 220 sets flag2 equal to “true.” After step 306, the method advances to step 308.

At step 308, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the compressor 194 to recirculate refrigerant through the evaporator 136, the evaporator 138, and the condenser 190. After step 308, the method advances to step 310.

At step 310, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the evaporator fan 134 to recirculate air in a second closed flow path loop 242 (shown in FIG. 4) within the enclosed portion 180. The second closed flow path loop 242 includes a flow path through the evaporator fan 134 and past the evaporator 138 and then through air flow channels in the battery module 26 and then back through the evaporator fan 134. After step 310, the method advances to step 312.

At step 312, the evaporator 138 extracts heat energy from the air in the second closed flow path loop 242 to the refrigerant flowing through the evaporator 138 to reduce a temperature of the battery module 26 in the enclosed portion 180. After step 312, the method advances to step 314.

At step 314, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the condenser fan 192 to urge air past the condenser 190 in the enclosed portion 182 that further induces the condenser 190 to dissipate heat energy from the refrigerant flowing from the evaporator 138. After step 314, the method advances to step 330.

Referring again to step 304, if the value of step 304 equals “no”, the method advances to step 316. At step 316, the microprocessor 220 sets flag2 equal to “false.” After step 316, the method advances to step 318.

At step 318, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the flag3 equals “false.” If the value of step 318 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 320. Otherwise, the method advances to step 322.

At step 320, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the evaporator fan 134 to turn off the evaporator fan 134. After step 320, the method advances to step 322.

At step 322, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the flag1 equals “false”; flag3 equals “false”; and flag4 equals “false.” If the value of step 322 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 324. Otherwise, the method advances to step 330.

At step 324, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the compressor 194 to turn off the compressor 194. After step 324, the method advances to step 326.

At step 326, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the condenser fan 192 to turn off the condenser fan 192. After step 326, the method advances to step 330.

At step 330, the microprocessor 220 calculates a first temperature difference value utilizing the following equation: first temperature difference value=second signal−first signal. After step 330, the method advances to step 332.

At step 332, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the first temperature difference value is greater than a threshold difference value. If the value of step 332 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 334. Otherwise, the method advances to step 340.

At step 334, the microprocessor 220 sets flag3 equal to “true.” After step 334, the method advances to step 335.

At step 335, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the compressor 194 to recirculate refrigerant through the evaporator 136, the evaporator 138, and the condenser 190. After step 335, the method advances to step 336.

At step 336, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the evaporator fan 134 to recirculate air in the second closed flow path loop 242 within the enclosed portion 180. After step 336, the method advances to step 337.

At step 337, the evaporator 138 extracts heat energy from the air in the second closed flow path loop 242 to the refrigerant flowing through the evaporator 138 to reduce a temperature of the battery module 26 in the enclosed portion 180. After step 337, the method advances to step 338.

At step 338, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the condenser fan 192 to urge air past the condenser 190 in the enclosed portion 182 of the housing 130 that further induces the condenser 190 to dissipate heat energy from the refrigerant flowing from the evaporator 138. After step 338, the method advances to step 360.

Referring again to step 332, when the value of step 332 equals “no”, the method advances to step 340. At step 340, the microprocessor 220 sets flag3 equal to “false.” After step 340, the method advances to step 342.

At step 342, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether the flag2 equals “false.” If the value of step 342 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 344. Otherwise, the method advances to step 346.

At step 344, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the evaporator fan 134 to turn off the evaporator fan 134. After step 344, the method advances to step 346.

At step 346, the microprocessor makes a determination as to whether the flag1 equals “false”; flag2 equals “false”; and flag4 equals “false.” If the value of step 346 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 348. Otherwise, the method advances to step 360.

At step 348, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the compressor 194 to turn off the compressor 194. After step 348, the method advances to step 350.

At step 350, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the condenser fan 192 to turn off the condenser fan 192. After step 350, the method advances to step 360.

At step 360, the microprocessor 220 calculates a second temperature difference value utilizing the following equation: second temperature difference value=first signal−second signal. After step 360, the method advances to step 362.

At step 362, the microprocessor makes a determination as to whether the second temperature difference value is greater than a threshold difference value. If the value of step 362 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 364. Otherwise, the method advances to step 380.

At step 364, the microprocessor 220 sets flag4 equal to “true.” After step 364, the method advances to step 366.

At step 366, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the compressor 194 to recirculate refrigerant through the evaporator 136, the evaporator 138, and the condenser 190. After step 366, the method advances to step 368.

At step 368, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the evaporator fan 132 to recirculate air in the first closed flow path loop 240 within the enclosed portion 180. After step 368, the method advances to step 370.

At step 370, the evaporator 136 extracts heat energy from the air in the first closed flow path loop 240 to the refrigerant flowing through the evaporator 136 to reduce a temperature of the battery module 24 in the enclosed portion 180. After step 370, the method advances to step 372.

At step 372, the microprocessor 220 generates a signal to turn on the condenser fan 192 to urge air past the condenser 190 in the enclosed portion 182 of the housing 130 that further induces the condenser 190 to dissipate heat energy from the refrigerant flowing from the evaporator 136. After step 372, the method returns to step 262.

Referring again to step 362, if the value of step 362 equals “no”, the method advances to step 380. At step 380, the microprocessor 220 sets flag4 equal to “false.” After step 380, the method advances to step 382.

At step 382, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether flag1 equals “false.” After step 382, the method advances to step 384.

At step 384, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the evaporator fan 132 to turn off the evaporator fan 132. After step 384, the method advances to step 386.

At step 386, the microprocessor 220 makes a determination as to whether flag1 equals “false”; and flag2 equals “false”; and flag3 equals “false.” If the value of step 386 equals “yes”, the method advances to step 388. Otherwise, the method returns to step 262.

At step 388, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the compressor 194 to turn off the compressor 194. After step 388, the method advances to step 390.

At step 390, the microprocessor 220 removes a signal from the condenser fan 192 to turn off the condenser fan 192. After step 390, the method returns to step 262.

Referring to FIG. 20, a power generation system 418 for outputting electrical power in accordance with another exemplary embodiment is illustrated. The power generation system 418 includes a battery system 420 and a cooling system 422. The battery system 420 has a substantially similar configuration as the battery system 20. The cooling system 422 has a cooling coil 424 and a condenser 490, and further includes the other components of the cooling system 22 described above except for the condenser fan 192 and the condenser 190. The cooling coil 424 is utilized to cool the refrigerant and replaces the condenser fan 192 utilized in the system 10. The condenser 490 replaces the condenser 190 utilized in the cooling system 22. In operation, the cooling coil 424 receives a liquid from an external liquid source which cools the refrigerant flowing therethrough. It should be noted that the operation of the cooling system 422 is similar to the operation of the cooling system 22 described above, except that the cooling coil 424 is utilized instead of a condenser fan to cool the refrigerant.

The cooling system for a battery system and the method for cooling the battery system provide a substantial advantage over other cooling systems and methods. In particular, the cooling system and method provide a technical effect of recirculating air in a closed flow path loop within a housing of the cooling system to reduce a temperature level of the battery modules in the battery system. The closed flow path loop is within an airtight enclosed portion of the housing that allows the system and the method to utilize less power and have a smaller size than other systems and methods.

While the invention has been described with reference to exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed for carrying this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims. Moreover, the use of the terms, first, second, etc. are used to distinguish one element from another. Further, the use of the terms a, an, etc. do not denote a limitation of quantity, but rather denote the presence of at least one of the referenced items.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification62/79, 62/129, 62/259.2, 62/115
International ClassificationF25B7/00
Cooperative ClassificationF25D2700/16, F25D29/00, F25D2317/0682, H01M2/1016, H01M10/486, H01M10/5079, H01M10/5022, H01M10/5067, H01M10/5004
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Effective date: 20090417
Owner name: LG CHEM, LTD., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF