Apple CarPatents

Apple granted patent for thermal control systems for a vehicle

This Apple Car concept is courtesy of MotorTrend.

Apple may have abandoned plans for an Apple Car, but it’s still being granted patents regarding vehicles. The latest is number US 11993162 B1 for “Thermal Control Systems for Battery Charging.”

About the patent 

The patent related generally to charging electric batteries for a vehicle. More particularly, described embodiments relate to thermal control systems used to improve battery charging rates and raise or lower charging temperatures.

In the patent Apple notes that electric and hybrid-electric power-storing devices in the form of batteries are used to generate driving force, either alone or in combination with an internal combustion engine. In a fully-electric battery, the battery must be externally charged, for example, at a charging station using a charging cable extending from the charging station to a connector that interfaces with a charge inlet. 

The charging rate depends on the temperature of the various components within the charging system. The more quickly the battery charges at the charging station, the less wait time is required for the user.

Apple says that, during charging, and particularly during direct-current fast charging, resistive heat is generated by the charging current based on a change in entropy of the battery, and heat is released into the charging cable, the connector, the charge inlet, and the battery, raising the temperature of these current-carrying components. The higher the charging rate or the charging current, the higher the heat generation, limiting the overall rate of charge and increasing the wait time for the user. 

Existing charging systems rely on components such as a radiator and a fan to cool the battery during charging. The battery or internal combustion engine must expend power to operate these components, creating a noisy charging environment for the user and increasing charging time.

Apple thinks it can do better with its patent for a thermal control systems for use during electric vehicle battery charging, for example, using a charging station.

Summary of the patent

Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent: “A thermal control system for use during electric battery charging includes a charging station thermally conditioning a fluid and sending the fluid to a charge inlet. The charge inlet thermally conditions the fluid and sends the fluid to one of a thermal loop or a heat exchanger. Another thermal control system includes a charging station thermally conditioning a fluid and sending the fluid to a charge inlet. The charge inlet thermally conditions the fluid and sends the fluid back to the charging station. In another thermal control system, a thermal loop supplies a fluid at a first temperature to a charge inlet. The charge inlet thermally conditions the fluid to a second temperature and returns the fluid to the thermal loop.”

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Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.