(19)
(11)EP 2 976 802 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/33

(21)Application number: 14707631.9

(22)Date of filing:  20.02.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
H01M 12/08  (2006.01)
B60L 1/00  (2006.01)
B60L 11/18  (2006.01)
B60L 1/08  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2014/017379
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/130666 (28.08.2014 Gazette  2014/35)

(54)

METAL/OXYGEN BATTERY WITH MULTISTAGE OXYGEN COMPRESSION

METALL-/SAUERSTOFFBATTERIE MIT MEHRSTUFIGER SAUERSTOFFKOMPRESSION

BATTERIE MÉTAL/OXYGÈNE AVEC COMPRESSION D'OXYGÈNE À PLUSIEURS ÉTAGES


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 21.02.2013 US 201361767596 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.01.2016 Bulletin 2016/04

(73)Proprietor: Robert Bosch GmbH
70442 Stuttgart (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • ALBERTUS, Paul
    Washington, DC 20012 (US)
  • CHRISTENSEN, John
    Mountain View, CA 94043 (US)
  • LOHMANN, Timm
    Mountain View, CA 94043 (US)
  • KONZINSKY, Boris
    Waban, MA 02468 (US)
  • RAVI, Nikhil
    Mountain View, CA 94043 (US)


(56)References cited: : 
DE-A1-102004 051 359
US-A1- 2012 040 253
US-A1- 2011 143 226
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a vehicular batter system comprising an oxygen reservoir.

    [0002] US 2012/0040 253 A1 discloses a vehicular battery system comprising an oxygen reservoir having a fist outlet and a first inlet; a compressor supported by the vehicle and having a second inlet and a second outlet, the second outlet operably connected to the first inlet; a cooling system; and a vehicular battery system stack including at least one negative electrode including a form of lithium, the vehicular battery system stack having a third inlet removably operably connected to the first outlet, and a third outlet operably connected to the second inlet.

    [0003] A multistage compressor with a cooling system being operably connected to the multistage compressor and configured to provide a coolant to the multistage compressor to cool a compressed fluid within the multistage compressor is described in DE 10 2004 051 359 A1

    [0004] Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are attractive energy storage systems for portable electronics and electric and hybrid-electric vehicles because of their high specific energy compared to other electrochemical energy storage devices. As discussed more fully below, a typical Li-ion cell contains a negative electrode, a positive electrode, and a separator region between the negative and positive electrodes. Both electrodes contain active materials that insert or react with lithium reversibly. In some cases the negative electrode may include lithium metal, which can be electrochemically dissolved and deposited reversibly. The separator contains an electrolyte with a lithium cation, and serves as a physical barrier between the electrodes such that none of the electrodes are electronically connected within the cell.

    [0005] Typically, during charging, there is generation of electrons at the positive electrode and consumption of an equal amount of electrons at the negative electrode, and these electrons are transferred via an external circuit. In the ideal charging of the cell, these electrons are generated at the positive electrode because there is extraction via oxidation of lithium ions from the active material of the positive electrode, and the electrons are consumed at the negative electrode because there is reduction of lithium ions into the active material of the negative electrode. During discharging, the exact opposite reactions occur.

    [0006] When high-specific-capacity negative electrodes such as a metal are used in a battery, the maximum benefit of the capacity increase over conventional systems is realized when a high-capacity positive electrode active material is also used. For example, conventional lithium-intercalating oxides (e.g., LiCoO2, LiNi0.8Co0.15Al0.05O2, Li1.1Ni0.3Co0.3Mn0.3O2) are typically limited to a theoretical capacity of ∼280 mAh/g (based on the mass of the lithiated oxide) and a practical capacity of 180 to 250 mAh/g, which is quite low compared to the specific capacity of lithium metal, 3863 mAh/g. The highest theoretical capacity achievable for a lithium-ion positive electrode is 1794 mAh/g (based on the mass of the lithiated material), for Li2O. Other high-capacity materials include BiF3 (303 mAh/g, lithiated), FeF3 (712 mAh/g, lithiated), Zn, Al, Si, Mg, Na, Fe, Ca, and others. In addition, other negative-electrode materials, such as alloys of multiple metals and materials such as metal-hydrides, also have a high specific energy when reacted with oxygen. Many of these couples also have a very high energy density

    [0007] Unfortunately, all of these materials react with lithium at a lower voltage compared to conventional oxide positive electrodes, hence limiting the theoretical specific energy. Nonetheless, the theoretical specific energies are still very high (> 800 Wh/kg, compared to a maximum of ∼500 Wh/kg for a cell with lithium negative and conventional oxide positive electrodes, which may enable an electric vehicle to approach a range of 300 miles or more on a single charge.

    [0008] FIG. 1 depicts a chart 10 showing the range achievable for a vehicle using battery packs of different specific energies versus the weight of the battery pack. In the chart 10, the specific energies are for an entire cell, including cell packaging weight, assuming a 50% weight increase for forming a battery pack from a particular set of cells. The U.S. Department of Energy has established a weight limit of 200 kg for a battery pack that is located within a vehicle. Accordingly, only a battery pack with about 600 Wh/kg or more can achieve a range of 300 miles.

    [0009] Various lithium-based chemistries have been investigated for use in various applications including in vehicles. FIG. 2 depicts a chart 20 which identifies the specific energy and energy density of various lithium-based chemistries. In the chart 20, only the weight of the active materials, current collectors, binders, separator, and other inert material of the battery cells are included. The packaging weight, such as tabs, the cell can, etc., are not included. As is evident from the chart 20, lithium/oxygen batteries, even allowing for packaging weight, are capable of providing a specific energy >600 Wh/kg and thus have the potential to enable driving ranges of electric vehicles of more than 300 miles without recharging, at a similar cost to typical lithium ion batteries. While lithium/oxygen cells have been demonstrated in controlled laboratory environments, a number of issues remain before full commercial introduction of a lithium/oxygen cell is viable as discussed further below.

    [0010] A typical lithium/oxygen electrochemical cell 50 is depicted in FIG. 3. The cell 50 includes a negative electrode 52, a positive electrode 54, a porous separator 56, and a current collector 58. The negative electrode 52 is typically metallic lithium. The positive electrode 54 includes electrode particles such as particles 60 possibly coated in a catalyst material (such as Au or Pt) and suspended in a porous, electrically conductive matrix 62. An electrolyte solution 64 containing a salt such as LiPF6 dissolved in an organic solvent such as dimethyl ether or CH3CN permeates both the porous separator 56 and the positive electrode 54. The LiPF6 provides the electrolyte with an adequate conductivity which reduces the internal electrical resistance of the cell 50 to allow a high power.

    [0011] A portion of the positive electrode 52 is enclosed by a barrier 66. The barrier 66 in FIG. 3 is configured to allow oxygen from an external source 68 to enter the positive electrode 54 while filtering undesired components such as gases and fluids. The wetting properties of the positive electrode 54 prevent the electrolyte 64 from leaking out of the positive electrode 54. Alternatively, the removal of contaminants from an external source of oxygen, and the retention of cell components such as volatile electrolyte, may be carried out separately from the individual cells. Oxygen from the external source 68 enters the positive electrode 54 through the barrier 66 while the cell 50 discharges and oxygen exits the positive electrode 54 through the barrier 66 as the cell 50 is charged. In operation, as the cell 50 discharges, oxygen and lithium ions are believed to combine to form a discharge product Li2O2 or Li2O in accordance with the following relationship:

            LiLi+ + e- (negative electrode)







    [0012] The positive electrode 54 in a typical cell 50 is a lightweight, electrically conductive material which has a porosity of greater than 80% to allow the formation and deposition/storage of Li2O2 in the cathode volume. The ability to deposit the Li2O2 directly determines the maximum capacity of the cell. In order to realize a battery system with a specific energy of 600 Wh/kg or greater, a plate with a thickness of 100 µm must have a capacity of about 20 mAh/cm2.

    [0013] Materials which provide the needed porosity include carbon black, graphite, carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes, and other non-carbon materials. There is evidence that each of these carbon structures undergo an oxidation process during charging of the cell, due at least in part to the harsh environment in the cell (pure oxygen, superoxide and peroxide ions, formation of solid lithium peroxide on the cathode surface, and electrochemical oxidation potentials of >3V (vs. Li/Li+)).

    [0014] While there is a clear benefit to couples that include oxygen as a positive electrode and metals, alloys of metals, or other materials as a negative electrode, none of these couples has seen commercial demonstration thus far because of various challenges. A number of investigations into the problems associated with Li-oxygen batteries have been conducted as reported, for example, by Beattie, S., D. Manolescu, and S. Blair, "High-Capacity Lithium-Air Cathodes," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2009. 156: p. A44, Kumar, B., et al., "A Solid-State, Rechargeable, Long Cycle Life Lithium-Air Battery, " Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2010. 157: p. A50, Read, J., "Characterization of the lithium/oxygen organic electrolyte battery," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2002. 149: p. A1190, Read, J., et al., "Oxygen transport properties of organic electrolytes and performance of lithium/oxygen battery," Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 2003. 150: p. A1351, Yang, X. and Y. Xia, "The effect of oxygen pressures on the electrochemical profile of lithium/oxygen battery," Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry: p. 1-6, and Ogasawara, T., et al., "Rechargeable Li2O2 Electrode for Lithium Batteries," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2006. 128(4): p. 1390-1393.

    [0015] While some issues have been investigated, several challenges remain to be addressed for lithium-oxygen batteries. These challenges include limiting dendrite formation at the lithium metal surface, protecting the lithium metal (and possibly other materials) from moisture and other potentially harmful components of air (if the oxygen is obtained from the air), designing a system that achieves acceptable specific energy and specific power levels, reducing the hysteresis between the charge and discharge voltages (which limits the round-trip energy efficiency), and improving the number of cycles over which the system can be cycled reversibly.

    [0016] The limit of round trip efficiency occurs due to an apparent voltage hysteresis as depicted in FIG. 4. In FIG. 4, the discharge voltage 70 (approximately 2.5 to 3 V vs. Li/Li+) is much lower than the charge voltage 72 (approximately 4 to 4.5 V vs. Li/Li+). The equilibrium voltage 74 (or open-circuit potential) of the lithium/oxygen system is approximately 3 V. Hence, the voltage hysteresis is not only large, but also very asymmetric.

    [0017] The large over-potential during charge may be due to a number of causes. For example, reaction between the Li2O2 and the conducting matrix 62 may form an insulating film between the two materials. Additionally, there may be poor contact between the solid discharge products Li2O2 or Li2O and the electronically conducting matrix 62 of the positive electrode 54. Poor contact may result from oxidation of the discharge product directly adjacent to the conducting matrix 62 during charge, leaving a gap between the solid discharge product and the matrix 52.

    [0018] Another mechanism resulting in poor contact between the solid discharge product and the matrix 62 is complete disconnection of the solid discharge product from the conducting matrix 62. Complete disconnection of the solid discharge product from the conducting matrix 62 may result from fracturing, flaking, or movement of solid discharge product particles due to mechanical stresses that are generated during charge/discharge of the cell. Complete disconnection may contribute to the capacity decay observed for most lithium/oxygen cells. By way of example, FIG. 5 depicts the discharge capacity of a typical Li/oxygen cell over a period of charge/discharge cycles.

    [0019] Other physical processes which cause voltage drops within an electrochemical cell, and thereby lower energy efficiency and power output, include mass-transfer limitations at high current densities. The transport properties of aqueous electrolytes are typically better than nonaqueous electrolytes, but in each case mass-transport effects can limit the thickness of the various regions within the cell, including the cathode. Reactions among O2 and other metals may also be carried out in various media.

    [0020] In systems using oxygen as a reactant, the oxygen may either be carried on board the system or obtained from the atmosphere. There are both advantages and disadvantages to operating a battery that reacts gaseous oxygen in a closed format by use of a tank or other enclosure for the oxygen. One advantage is that if the reaction chemistry is sensitive to any of the other components of air (e.g., H2O, CO2), only pure oxygen can be added to the enclosure so that such contaminants are not present. Other advantages are that the use of an enclosure can allow for the operation at a high partial pressure of oxygen at the site of the reaction (for uncompressed atmospheric air the pressure of oxygen is only 0.21 bar), can prevent any volatile species from the leaving the system (i.e., prevent "dry out"), and other advantages. The disadvantages include the need to carry the oxygen at all times, increasing the system mass and volume, potential safety issues associated with high-pressure oxygen, and others.

    [0021] In order to realize the advantages that come with the use of a closed system in a vehicle it is necessary to compress the oxygen so that the oxygen volume is not too large on board the vehicle. In particular, a pressure in the fully charged state of greater than 100 bar, such as 350 bar (about 5000 psi), is desirable.

    [0022] What is therefore needed is an economic, efficient, and compact method to compress and store the oxygen produced during the charge of a battery system that consumes oxygen on discharge

    Summary



    [0023] The vehicular battery system according to the present invention is defined in independent claim 1.

    Brief Description of the Drawings



    [0024] The above-described features and advantages, as well as others, should become more readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art by reference to the following detailed description and the accompanying figures in which:

    FIG. 1 depicts a plot showing the relationship between battery weight and vehicular range for various specific energies;

    FIG. 2 depicts a chart of the specific energy and energy density of various lithium-based cells;

    FIG. 3 depicts a prior art lithium-oxygen (Li/oxygen) cell including two electrodes, a separator, and an electrolyte;

    FIG. 4 depicts a discharge and charge curve for a typical Li/oxygen electrochemical cell;

    FIG. 5 depicts a plot showing decay of the discharge capacity for a typical Li/oxygen electrochemical cell over a number of cycles;

    FIG. 6 depicts a schematic view of a vehicle with an adiabatic compressor operably connected to a reservoir configured to exchange oxygen with a positive electrode for a reversible reaction with lithium;

    FIG. 7 depicts a chart showing the mass and volume requirements for a carbon fiber O2 storage tank ;

    FIG. 8 depicts charts showing the practical system energy and energy density of a system including a carbon fiber tank for a 165 kWh pack, 350 bar tank at ST with L/D of 3, 100 µm electrode for Li2O2 & LiMO2, 300 µm electrode for LiOH·H2O, 20% excess Li, cell sandwich is 80% of stack mass and 70% of stack volume,
    LiMO2 capacity is 0.275 Ah/g, Eff. Li2O2: 90%, Eff. LiOH·H2O: 90%, Eff. Li/LiMO2: 95%;

    FIG. 9 depicts a chart showing the increase in temperature when a gas is adiabatically compressed starting from a pressure of 1 bar and a temperature of 298.15 K with constant gas properties (i.e., gamma) assumed;

    FIG. 10 depicts a chart showing compression work for an ideal gas (diatomic and constant properties are assumed for adiabatic) as a function of pressure with the initial pressure at one bar; and

    FIG. 11 depicts a process for how the temperature of the final compressed gas or of the gas at an intermediate stage is used by the battery control system to change the flow rate of the cooling fluid to ensure the correct final temperature is reached.


    Detailed Description



    [0025] For the purpose of promoting an understanding of the principles of the disclosure, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and described in the following written specification. It is understood that no limitation to the scope of the disclosure is thereby intended. It is further understood that this disclosure includes any alterations and modifications to the illustrated embodiments and includes further applications of the principles of the disclosure as would normally occur to one skilled in the art to which this disclosure pertains.

    [0026] A schematic of vehicle 100 is shown in FIG. 6. The vehicle 100 includes a vehicular battery system stack 102 and an oxygen reservoir 104. A pressure regulator 106 governs provision of oxygen to the battery system stack 102 during discharge while a multi-stage oxygen compressor 108 is used to return oxygen to the oxygen reservoir 104 during charging operations.

    [0027] The battery system stack 102 includes one or more negative electrodes (not shown) separated from one or more positive electrodes (not shown)by one or more porous separators (not shown). The negative electrode (not shown) may be formed from lithium metal or a lithium-insertion compound (e.g., graphite, silicon, tin, LiAl, LiMg, Li4Ti5O12), although Li metal affords the highest specific energy on a cell level compared to other candidate negative electrodes. Other metals may also be used to form the negative electrode, such as Zn, Mg, Na, Fe, Al, Ca, Si, and others.

    [0028] The positive electrode (not shown) in one embodiment includes a current collector (not shown)and electrode particles (not shown), optionally covered in a catalyst material, suspended in a porous matrix (not shown). The porous matrix (not shown)is an electrically conductive matrix formed from a conductive material such as conductive carbon or a nickel foam, although various alternative matrix structures and materials may be used. The separator (not shown) prevents the negative electrode (not shown)from electrically connecting with the positive electrode (not shown).

    [0029] The vehicular battery system stack 102 includes an electrolyte solution (not shown) present in the positive electrode (not shown) and in some embodiments in the separator (not shown). In some embodiments, the electrolyte solution includes a salt, LiPF6 (lithium hexafluorophosphate), dissolved in an organic solvent mixture. The organic solvent mixture may be any desired solvent. In certain embodiments, the solvent may be dimethyl ether (DME), acetonitrile (MeCN), ethylene carbonate, or diethyl carbonate.

    [0030] In the case in which the metal is Li, the vehicular battery system stack 102 discharges with lithium metal in the negative electrode ionizing into a Li+ ion with a free electron e-. Li+ ions travel through the separator toward the positive electrode. Oxygen is supplied from the oxygen storage tank 104 through the pressure regulator. Free electrons e- flow into the positive electrode (not shown).

    [0031] The oxygen atoms and Li+ ions within the positive electrode form a discharge product inside the positive electrode, aided by the optional catalyst material on the electrode particles. As seen in the following equations, during the discharge process metallic lithium is ionized, combining with oxygen and free electrons to form Li2O2 or Li2O discharge product that may coat the surfaces of the carbon particles.

            LiLi+ + e- (negative electrode)







    [0032] The vehicular battery system stack 102 does not use air as an external source for oxygen. External sources, meaning sources which are not carried by the vehicle such as the atmosphere, include undesired gases and contaminants. Thus, while the oxygen that reacts electrochemically with the metal in a metal/oxygen battery may initially come from the air, the presence of CO2 and H2O in air make it an unsuitable source for some of the media in which the metal/oxygen reactions are carried out and for some of the products that form. For example, in the reaction of Li with oxygen in which Li2O2 is formed, H2O and CO2 can react with the Li2O2 to form LiOH and/or Li2CO3, which can deleteriously affect the performance and rechargeability of the battery. As another example, in a basic medium CO2 can react and form carbonates that precipitate out of solution and cause electrode clogging.

    [0033] In FIG. 6, all of the components are stored on board the vehicle 100. The volatile cell components are fully contained in the system. In some embodiments, the cell is configured to allow for periodic replacement of one or more of the volatile components. Shutoff valves (not shown) and couplers (not shown) are provided to allow for isolation and removal of one or more of the tank 104, the vehicular battery stack 102, and the multistage compressor 108. This allows, for example, the easy replacement of failed or depleted components such as battery stacks with depleted electrolyte. Additionally, in the event the compressor fails, oxygen generated during discharge may simply be vented to atmosphere and a replacement oxygen tank inserted to allow for continued battery operation.

    [0034] The mass and volume of the complete battery system (upper limit for small vehicle) should be <400 kg (>415 Wh/kg) - mass reference value, and <275 L (>600 Wh/L) - volume reference value. The mass of 02 for 165 kWh is 33.3 kg for Li2O2 and 14.5 kg for LiOH•H2O. The flow rate of 02 for 100 kW at STP, 90% efficiency, stoich=1 is 4.4 L/s of 02 for Li2O2 and 1.9 L/S for LiOH•H2O. The gas handling power requirement is ideally <5% of the discharge power. With a battery cost target of 100 $/kWh and the gas handling at 20% of battery system, the cost would be 3.00 $ / Standard Liter Per Minute (SLPM) of air for Li2O2.

    [0035] In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the oxygen storage reservoir 104 is spatially separated from the vehicular battery system stack 102 where the reactions take place. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the oxygen is stored in a tank or other enclosure that is spatially separated from the stack or cells where the reactions are carried out such that a minimal amount of high-pressure housing is required for the vehicle 100. In one embodiment, the storage reservoir 104 is a carbon fiber tank. Carbon fiber tanks with pressures of ∼350 and 700 bar have been explored for
    storing H2 for PEM fuel cells. For a 165 kWh pack, a carbon fiber tank at 350 bar would provide sufficient O2 as indicated by FIGs. 7 and 8.

    [0036] During discharge (in which oxygen is consumed), the pressure of the oxygen gas is reduced by passing it through the pressure regulator 106 such that the pressure of the oxygen that reaches the stack is close to ambient (i.e., less than about 5 bar). During discharge the compressor 108 does not operate. During charge the compressor 108 is operated to compress the oxygen that is being generated within the stack or cells where the reactions are taking place.

    [0037] The compressor 108 in various embodiments is of a different type. In one embodiment which is suitable and mature for a vehicle application in which it is desired to pressurize a gas to more than 100 bar in a unit with a compact size, the compressor 108 is a multi-stage rotary compressor. When embodied as a multi-stage rotary compressor, each compression step is nearly adiabatic because it involves the rapid action of a piston to compress the gas. This type of compressor unit is well known. For example, U.S. Patent No. 6,089,830 which issued July 18, 2000, the entire contents of which are herein incorporated by reference, discloses a multistage rotary compressor. Commercial units of the appropriate size are widely available at a reasonable cost; they are used for a variety of applications that require air compression.

    [0038] Because each stage of the compressor is nearly adiabatic, in addition to an increase in the pressure there is also an increase in the temperature, as explained with reference to FIG. 9. FIG. 9 shows the temperature at the end of a single adiabatic compression step starting at a pressure of 1 bar and a temperature of 298.15 K assuming constant gas properties. The figure shows that it is impractical to use a single compression step to achieve a pressure of, for example, 350 bar, because the output temperature would be far too high to inject into a tank of standard materials, which in turn is integrated in a vehicle that may have heat-sensitive components. In addition, the final pressure shown in FIG. 9 is for the temperature at the end of the compression step; thus, after cooling, the pressure will fall. It is important for the temperature of the compressed gas released into the tank to be within a certain range so that it is compatible with the tank material, which in different embodiments is a metal such as aluminum or a polymer, depending on the type of tank.

    [0039] In order to prevent the temperature from rising too high it is necessary to cool the gas at the end of each adiabatic compression step. This is accomplished using the radiator 110 shown in FIG. 6. The radiator 110 in some embodiments is the same radiator that is used to cool the battery system stack; in such embodiments the heat exchange loop also extends into the other components of the battery system such as the battery system stack 102 and battery system oxygen storage 104. Typically, fluid is passed through the oxygen compressor 108, removing heat from the oxygen gas after each compression step and bringing the temperature towards that of the radiator fluid. The fluid is passed through the radiator 110 where heat is exchanged with the atmosphere. The compressor is also insulated to prevent the exposure of other parts of the battery system or the vehicle 100 to high temperatures.

    [0040] The cooling of the oxygen after each compression step allows the system to operate closer to the isothermal compression work line shown in FIG. 10. In particular, FIG. 10 shows the difference in the work required for a single-stage adiabatic compression (assuming a diatomic gas and constant properties) compared to the compression work required for isothermal compression. As the figure shows, significantly more work is required for adiabatic compression than isothermal compression. For a multi-stage adiabatic compression process with cooling between stages the amount of work required is between the pure isothermal and single-stage adiabatic lines. Thus, the amount of work required for the compression can be lowered compared to adiabatic compression by using multiple compression stages with cooling of the gas at the end of each compression.

    [0041] The magnitude of the compression energy compared to the reaction energy also depends on the negative electrode material with which oxygen is reacting. For example, if the oxygen is reacting with Li to form Li2O2 on discharge, the reaction energy is 159 Wh/mole O2. Thus, if the charging process takes place with 85% efficiency, about 24 Wh/mole O2 would be required for cooling for the reaction, suggesting that the amount of cooling required for the compression should be smaller than that required for cooling the stack or cells.

    [0042] In some embodiments, some or all of the oxygen generated during charge is vented to atmosphere. For example, in situations where extreme temperature changes are experienced, the tank may approach an overpressure condition during recharge, or the maximum pressure capability of the compressor may be reached. Depending upon the particular embodiment, one or more vents (not shown) may be positioned between the battery system stack 102 and the compressor 108, after one or more compression stages in the compressor 108, or on the oxygen storage reservoir 104. In some embodiments, one or more of the vents are automatic vents, while in some embodiments one or more of the vents are under control of the battery control system 112.

    [0043] In some of these embodiments, a gas regeneration system is used to provide supplemental oxygen during discharge. In other embodiments, a replacement oxygen tank is provided. The free energy of separating the 5 highest-concentration species in air (N2, O2, H2O, Ar, CO2) is <0.5 Wh/mol air, which is lower than the compression energy for 1 to 350 bar (-3.50 Wh/mol). Most of the free energy is associated with separating O2 and N2, which in some embodiments is not done. Consequently, less than 2 kW are required theoretically for this separation for a 100 kW discharge forming Li2O2.

    [0044] In the embodiment of FIG. 6, all processes associated with the operation of the battery system are controlled by a battery control system 112. The battery control system 112 controls the flow rate of the fluid that is passed through the radiator 110 and the oxygen compressor 108 and possibly other components on the vehicle 100. The battery control system 112 includes a memory (not shown) in which program instructions are stored and a processor (not shown) which executes the program instructions to control the temperature of the oxygen which is compressed into the storage system 104. The processor is operatively connected to temperature sensors (not shown) in the battery system stack 102, the oxygen storage 104, the radiator 110, and at various stages in the compressor 108 in order to more precisely control the system. In some embodiments, more or fewer temperature sensors are included. A schematic that shows how the temperatures are used by the battery control system 112 is shown in FIG. 11.

    [0045] In FIG. 11, the processor obtains a signal indicative of the temperature at the output of the compressor 108 and controls the flow rate of fluid based upon the obtained temperature. In some embodiments, the temperature of one or more intermediate stages of the compressor 108 is obtained, and cooling flow throw the particular stages is modified based upon the temperature. In some embodiments, the temperature of the cooling fluid is obtained, and used to determine or control the flow rate of the cooling fluid.

    [0046] The battery system stack 102 thus makes use of oxygen (which may be pure or contain additional components) stored external to a cell in a tank or other volume. The oxygen reacts electrochemically with the metal (which may include Li, Zn, Mg, Na, Fe, Al, Ca, Si, and others) to produce energy on discharge, and on charge the metal is regenerated and oxygen gas (and perhaps other species, such as H2O) are evolved.

    [0047] Beneficially, the battery system in the vehicle 100 is thus a completely closed system and species present in ambient air (e.g., H2O, CO2, and others) that may be detrimental to the cell operation are excluded. The battery system provides electrochemical compression of oxygen on charge, and the use of compressed oxygen on discharge, to reduce energy losses associated with mechanical oxygen compression (which is typically carried out adiabatically, including in a multi-stage adiabatic process) and to reduce the cost and complexity of a mechanical compressor. The components of the battery system are configured to handle the pressure of the compressed oxygen, including flow fields, bipolar plates, electrodes, separators, and high-pressure oxygen lines.

    [0048] The battery system in some embodiments includes high-pressure seals, an electrode, gas-diffusion layer, and flow field design that provide sufficient mechanical support to prevent pressure-induced fracture or bending (including with pressure cycling) that would be deleterious to cell performance and life, and a separator that is impervious
    to oxygen (even at high pressures, including up to 350 bar or above). The minimum pressure in some embodiments is chosen to eliminate delamination of cell components from one another. The minimum pressure in some embodiments is chosen to reduce mass transfer limitations and thereby increase the limiting current.

    [0049] The above described system provides a number of advantages. For example, the use of a multi-stage compressor results in a vehicle with a battery system that is smaller and more economical, and with a higher efficiency, than other compression strategies.

    [0050] Additionally, a higher oxygen pressure in the tank can be achieved if the compressor is properly cooled than if there is not a good cooling solution. In addition the compression can be carried out more efficiently if the oxygen can be adequately cooled between each stage.

    [0051] Moreover, the vehicle can be charged using only a wall outlet if a compressor is integrated into the vehicle system itself rather than stored externally from the vehicle.

    [0052] Integration of the compressor on the vehicle allows for a completely closed gas handling system. If a compressor is stored separately from the vehicle a connection between the external compressor and the gas handling system on the vehicle may introduce contamination.


    Claims

    1. A vehicular battery system comprising:

    an oxygen reservoir (104) having a first outlet and a first inlet;

    a multistage compressor (108) supported by the vehicle (100) and having a second inlet and a second outlet, the second outlet operably connected to the first inlet;

    a cooling system operably connected to the multistage compressor (108) and configured to provide a coolant to the multistage compressor (108) to cool a compressed fluid within the multistage compressor (108);

    a vehicular battery system stack (102) including at least one negative electrode (52) including a form of lithium, the vehicular battery system stack (102) having a third inlet removably operably connected to the first outlet, and a third outlet operably connected to the second inlet; and

    shutoff valves and couples to allow for isolation and removal of one or more of the oxygen reservoir (104), the vehicular battery system stack (102), and the multistage compressor (188).


     
    2. The vehicular battery system of claim 1, further comprising:
    a vent (106) operably connected to the vehicular battery system.
     
    3. The vehicular battery system of claim 2, wherein the vent (106) is positioned on the oxygen reservoir (104).
     
    4. The vehicular battery system of claim 2, wherein the vent is positioned on the multistage compressor (108).
     
    5. The vehicular battery system of claim 1, wherein the oxygen reservoir (104) comprises a carbon fiber tank spatially separated from the vehicular battery system stack (102).
     
    6. The vehicular battery system of claim 1, further comprising:

    at least one sensor configured to generate a signal associated with a temperature within the vehicular battery system;

    a memory; and

    a processor operably connected to the memory, the at least one sensor, and the cooling system, the processor configured to execute program instructions stored within the memory to:

    obtain the signal generated by the at least one sensor, and

    control a flow of the coolant to the multistage compressor (108) based upon the obtained signal.


     
    7. The vehicular battery system of claim 6, wherein:

    the at least one sensor includes a first sensor located at the second outlet; and

    the processor is further configured to execute the program instructions to

    obtain a first signal generated by the first sensor, and

    control the flow of the coolant to the multistage compressor (108) based upon the obtained first signal.


     
    8. The vehicular battery system of claim 7, wherein:

    the multistage compressor (108) includes a first compression stage and a second compression stage;

    a cooler is located between the first compression stage and the second compression stage;

    the at least one sensor includes a second sensor located between the first compression stage and the second compression stage; and

    the processor is further configured to execute the program instructions to

    obtain a second signal generated by the second sensor, and

    control a flow of the coolant to the cooler based upon the obtained second signal.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem, Folgendes umfassend:

    ein Sauerstoffreservoir (104), das einen ersten Auslass und einen ersten Einlass aufweist;

    einen mehrstufigen Kompressor (108), der von dem Fahrzeug (100) gelagert wird und einen zweiten Einlass und einen zweiten Auslass aufweist, wobei der zweite Auslass mit dem ersten Einlass wirkverbunden ist;

    ein Kühlsystem, das mit dem mehrstufigen Kompressor (108) wirkverbunden ist und dazu ausgelegt ist, dem mehrstufigen Kompressor (108) ein Kühlmittel bereitzustellen, um ein komprimiertes Fluid in dem mehrstufigen Kompressor (108) abzukühlen;

    Fahrzeugbatteriesystemstapel (102), einschließlich mindestens einer negativen Elektrode (52), einschließlich einer Art Lithium, wobei der Fahrzeugbatteriesystemstapel (102) einen dritten Einlass, der lösbar mit dem ersten Auslass wirkverbunden ist, und einen dritten Auslass, der mit dem zweiten Einlass wirkverbunden ist, aufweist; und

    Absperrventile und -Kupplungen, um die Isolierung und Entfernung des Sauerstoffreservoirs (104) und/oder des Fahrzeugbatteriesystemstapels (102) und/oder des mehrstufigen Kompressors (188) zu ermöglichen.


     
    2. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 1, ferner Folgendes umfassend:
    einen Entlüfter (106), der mit dem Fahrzeugbatteriesystem wirkverbunden ist.
     
    3. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Entlüfter (106) auf dem Sauerstoffreservoir (104) angeordnet ist.
     
    4. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Entlüfter auf dem mehrstufigen Kompressor (108) angeordnet ist.
     
    5. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Sauerstoffreservoir (104) einen Kohlenstofffasertank umfasst, der räumlich von dem Fahrzeugbatteriesystemstapel (102) getrennt ist.
     
    6. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 1, ferner Folgendes umfassend:

    mindestens einen Sensor, der dazu ausgelegt ist, ein Signal zu erzeugen, das einer Temperatur in dem Fahrzeugbatteriesystem zugeordnet ist;

    einen Speicher; und

    einen Prozessor, der mit dem Speicher, dem mindestens einen Sensor und dem Kühlsystem wirkverbunden ist, wobei der Prozessor dazu ausgelegt ist, in dem Speicher gespeicherte Programmbefehle auszuführen, um:

    das von dem mindestens einen Sensor erzeugte Signal zu erhalten und

    eine Kühlmittelströmung zu dem mehrstufigen Kompressor (108) auf Grundlage des erhaltenen Signals zu steuern.


     
    7. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 6, wobei:

    der mindestens eine Sensor einen ersten Sensor einschließt, der sich an dem zweiten Auslass befindet; und

    der Prozessor ferner dazu ausgelegt ist, die Programmbefehle auszuführen, um ein von dem ersten Sensor erzeugtes erstes Signal zu erhalten und

    die Kühlmittelströmung zu dem mehrstufigen Kompressor (108) auf Grundlage des erhaltenen ersten Signals zu steuern.


     
    8. Fahrzeugbatteriesystem nach Anspruch 7, wobei
    der mehrstufige Kompressor (108) eine erste Kompressionsstufe und eine zweite Kompressionsstufe einschließt; sich ein Kühler zwischen der ersten Kompressionsstufe und der zweiten Kompressionsstufe befindet;
    der mindestens eine Sensor einen zweiten Sensor einschließt, der sich zwischen der ersten Kompressionsstufe und der zweiten Kompressionsstufe befindet; und
    der Prozessor ferner dazu ausgelegt ist, die Programmbefehle auszuführen, um ein von dem zweiten Sensor erzeugtes zweites Signal zu erhalten und
    die Kühlmittelströmung zu dem Kühler auf Grundlage des erhaltenen zweiten Signals zu steuern.
     


    Revendications

    1. Système de batterie pour véhicule comprenant :

    un réservoir d'oxygène (104) ayant une première sortie et une première entrée ;

    un compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) supporté par le véhicule (100) et ayant une deuxième entrée et une deuxième sortie, la deuxième sortie étant reliée de manière opérationnelle à la première entrée ;

    un système de refroidissement relié de manière opérationnelle au compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) et conçu pour fournir un liquide de refroidissement au compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) pour refroidir un fluide comprimé dans le compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) ;

    une pile de systèmes de batterie pour véhicule (102) comprenant au moins une électrode négative (52) comprenant une forme de lithium, la pile de systèmes de batterie pour véhicule (102) ayant une troisième entrée reliée de manière opérationnelle et amovible à la première sortie, et une troisième sortie reliée de manière fonctionnelle à la deuxième entrée ; et

    des vannes d'arrêt et des raccords permettant d'isoler et d'enlever le réservoir d'oxygène (104), la pile de systèmes de batterie pour véhicule (102) et/ou le compresseur à plusieurs étages (188).


     
    2. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :
    un évent (106) relié de manière opérationnelle au système de batterie pour véhicule.
     
    3. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 2, l'évent (106) étant positionné sur le réservoir d'oxygène (104).
     
    4. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 2, l'évent étant positionné sur le compresseur à plusieurs étages (108).
     
    5. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 1, le réservoir d'oxygène (104) comprenant un réservoir en fibres de carbone séparé spatialement de la pile de systèmes de batterie pour véhicule (102).
     
    6. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

    au moins un capteur conçu pour générer un signal associé à une température dans le système de batterie pour véhicule ;

    une mémoire ; et

    un processeur relié de manière opérationnelle à la mémoire, à l'au moins un capteur, et au système de refroidissement, le processeur étant conçu pour exécuter les instructions de programme stockées dans la mémoire pour :

    obtenir le signal généré par l'au moins un capteur, et

    réguler un flux du liquide de refroidissement vers le compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) en fonction du signal obtenu.


     
    7. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 6,
    l'au moins un capteur comprenant un premier capteur situé à la deuxième sortie ; et
    le processeur étant en outre conçu pour exécuter les instructions de programme pour

    obtenir un premier signal généré par le premier capteur, et

    réguler le flux du liquide de refroidissement vers le compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) en fonction du premier signal obtenu.


     
    8. Système de batterie pour véhicule selon la revendication 7,
    le compresseur à plusieurs étages (108) comprenant un premier étage de compression et un second étage de compression ;
    un refroidisseur étant situé entre le premier étage de compression et le second étage de compression ;
    l'au moins un capteur comprenant un second capteur situé entre le premier étage de compression et le second étage de compression ; et
    le processeur étant en outre conçu pour exécuter les instructions de programme pour

    obtenir un second signal généré par le second capteur, et

    réguler un flux de liquide de refroidissement vers le refroidisseur en fonction du second signal obtenu.


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description