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In-situ short circuit protection system and method for high-energy electrochemical cells

United States Patent

August 8, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An in-situ thermal management system for an energy storage device. The energy storage device includes a plurality of energy storage cells each being coupled in parallel to common positive and negative connections. Each of the energy storage cells, in accordance with the cell's technology, dimensions, and thermal/electrical properties, is configured to have a ratio of energy content-to-contact surface area such that thermal energy produced by a short-circuit in a particular cell is conducted to a cell adjacent the particular cell so as to prevent the temperature of the particular cell from exceeding a breakdown temperature. In one embodiment, a fuse is coupled in series with each of a number of energy storage cells. The fuses are activated by a current spike capacitively produced by a cell upon occurrence of a short-circuit in the cell, thereby electrically isolating the short-circuited cell from the common positive and negative connections.
Gauthier; Michel (La Prairie, CA), Domroese; Michael K. (South St. Paul, MN), Hoffman; Joseph A. (Minneapolis, MN), Lindeman; David D. (Hudson, WI), Noel; Joseph-Robert-Gaetan (St-Hubert, CA), Radewald; Vern E. (Austin, TX), Rouillard; Jean (Saint-Luc, CA), Rouillard; Roger (Beloeil, CA), Shiota; Toshimi (St. Bruno, CA), Trice; Jennifer L. (Eagan, MN)
3M Innovative Properties Company (Saint Paul, MN), Hydro-Quebec (Montreal, CA)
08/ 900,929
July 25, 1997
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS The Government of the United States of America has rights in this invention pursuant to Cooperative Agreement No. DE-FC02-91CE50336 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.