Patents by Inventor Austin L. Newman

Austin L. Newman has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10811663
    Abstract: Methods and systems for welding a terminal of a battery cell to corresponding terminal tab or busbar are described using a magnet that causes the terminal and tab/busbar to be placed in physical contact. The terminal of a battery cell is aligned in contact with the tab/busbar by the force of a magnetic field. A welder, e.g., a laser welder, can then generate a laser weld beam to weld the terminal of the battery cell to the tab/busbar. Next, the laser weld beam is narrowed, reducing the first diameter to a smaller second diameter. Without touching the tab/busbar or terminal of the battery (which could affect the welding operation), the magnetic field can cause a force that brings the tab and terminal in contact during welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Patent number: 10784486
    Abstract: A tapered busbar for an energy storage device is provided. The tapered busbar is configured to interconnect with a first row of series-connected energy storage cells in a battery module at a first end of the busbar. As the busbar tapers from a first cross-sectional area at the first end to a larger second cross-sectional area at a second opposite end, the busbar is configured to interconnect with sequentially additional electrically-parallel rows of series-connected energy storage cells. The tapered cross-sectional area of the busbar provides a substantially uniform current density at any point along the length of the busbar regardless of the number of rows of energy storage cells connected before or after the point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander J. Smith, Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10775263
    Abstract: Systems and methods of detecting leakage and other issues with electrical battery housings are provided. By using an air compressor to alter the air pressure within a battery housing, a processor may detect an abnormal rate of change in the air pressure within the battery housing as compared to a rate of change of an ideal battery housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Adam H. Ing, Alexander J. Smith, Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10749156
    Abstract: A battery including supporting material is disclosed. The battery comprises a plurality of modules, each of which further comprises a plurality of battery cells that store and discharge electrical energy. To support the battery modules, a supporting material such as foam is inserted in the space between the battery modules. To support the cells within the modules, a supporting material such as foam is also inserted in between the battery cells in each of the modules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Joshua Smith
  • Patent number: 10741889
    Abstract: A multiple-zone thermocouple battery module temperature monitoring system is provided configured to determine a plurality of temperatures along a depth of the battery module at different locations. The system may include a number of temperature probes each including a first temperature sensor oriented at a base of a group of cells in the module and a second temperature sensor oriented at an upper portion of the group of cells in the module. Providing upper and lower battery cell temperature sensors in each probe of the system allows a battery management system to detect and record a temperature gradient of the battery cells in the module at a number of different locations. These recordings can determine a gradient and temperature difference between the upper and lower battery cell portions over an operable threshold difference, and command a thermal management system to return the battery module to limits within the operable threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith, Adam H. Ing
  • Patent number: 10741808
    Abstract: An energy storage device and structurally enhanced packaging for energy storage cells is provided. The energy storage device includes a number of energy storage cells spaced apart from one another and contained in a lightweight carrier. The energy storage cells and carrier are mechanically coupled together with a structural adhesive forming a unified structure and framework where each connection point acts as a node in a force distribution structure. The structural adhesive can be injected into the volume between the energy storage cells while in a fluid, or semi-fluid, state. While in this state, a retaining form or gasket inside the carrier can prevent the structural adhesive from leaking out of the energy storage device. When in a cured, or hardened, non-fluid state the structural adhesive may adhere to the various components of the energy storage device to mechanically join the component together into a structurally safe package.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Patent number: 10707471
    Abstract: Devices, methods, and systems for interconnecting all of the battery cells in a battery module from a single side of the battery cell and module are provided. The cell busbar system comprises a number of thin formed strips arranged to interconnect individual battery cells in a row together in series and each row in parallel along a length of the battery module. In particular, the cell busbar system may include two high voltage, or edge, strips and a number of cell-to-cell, or internal, strips electrically interconnected to the edge strips. All of the battery cells in the battery module may be oriented such that all of the positive terminals are facing the same direction. The interconnections between series-connected rows of cells, and parallel rows of series-connected rows, may all be made in substantially the same plane on a single side of the battery module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Patent number: 10668578
    Abstract: Methods and systems for welding a terminal of a battery cell to corresponding terminal tab or busbar are described using a magnet that causes the terminal and tab/busbar to be placed in physical contact. The terminal of a battery cell is aligned in contact with the tab/busbar by the force of a magnetic field. A welder, e.g., a laser welder, can then generate a laser weld beam to weld the terminal of the battery cell to the tab/busbar. Next, the laser weld beam is narrowed, reducing the first diameter to a smaller second diameter. Without touching the tab/busbar or terminal of the battery (which could affect the welding operation), the magnetic field can cause a force that brings the tab and terminal in contact during welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10644282
    Abstract: An energy storage device including a staggered energy storage cell internal array with two-dimensional inline terminal edges is provided. The energy storage cells in a battery module may be staggered in an internal array, such that a first row of cells in a line are spaced apart, or offset, in a first direction from an immediately adjacent second row of cells in a line, and wherein a first cell in the second row of cells is offset from a first cell in the first row of cells in a second direction orthogonal to the first direction. In some cases, at least two adjacent rows in the battery module may include energy storage cells that are offset from one another but aligned in one direction, such as, the second direction. A mechanical frame may define the arrangement of the energy storage cells relative to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Patent number: 10604120
    Abstract: Sensor cleaning devices, methods, and systems are provided. Output from sensors of a vehicle may be used to describe an environment around the vehicle. In the event that a sensor is obstructed by dirt, debris, or detritus the sensor may not sufficiently describe the environment for autonomous control operations. In response to receiving an indication of an obstructed sensor, the sensor cleaning devices, methods, and systems described herein may proceed to remove the obstruction from the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10598734
    Abstract: Systems of an electrical vehicle and the operations thereof are provided. In particular, a vehicle is described with the ability to gather State of Charge (SOC) information as well as State of Health (SOH) information for one or more batteries in a vehicle and then display both SOC and SOH information to a driver of the vehicle as well as other interested parties. The displayed SOH information may be accompanied by suggestions to modify driving and/or charging behaviors that will improve or contribute to a slower degradation in the SOH of the batteries.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith, Adam H. Ing
  • Patent number: 10601090
    Abstract: Embodiment include a power source module comprising one or more power cells. Each power cell can comprise a pressure vent on a side of the power cell. The pressure vent can be adapted to relieve an internal pressure of the cell when the internal pressure exceeds a threshold. A cooling plate can be disposed adjacent and substantially parallel to a side of the one or more power cells having the pressure vent. One or more spacers can be disposed between each of the one or more power cells and the cooling plate and substantially surrounding the pressure vent of one of the one or more power cells. A thermally conductive potting material can be disposed between the one or more power cells and the cooling plate. Each spacer prevents the potting material from intruding into an area around the vent of one of the one or more power cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Patent number: 10471829
    Abstract: Methods and systems of an electrical vehicle are provided that recognize a power system fault with the vehicle and in response autonomously drive the vehicle to an identified safe location to self-destruct. Upon reaching the location, the vehicle can evaluate the location using imaging sensors to determine whether the location is free of objects, animals, or people. If not, the vehicle may autonomously drive to another safe location. Prior to destruction, the vehicle sends messages, including information about the power system fault, to at least one device or third party. The messages include location information for the vehicle or information about the power system fault.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Yadunandana Yellambalase, Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10471838
    Abstract: Systems of an electrical vehicle and the operations thereof are provided. More particularly, a vehicle including a first charging port at a first location on the vehicle and a second charging port at a second location on the vehicle is provided. The first charging port of the vehicle may be different from the second charging port of the vehicle. That is, a standard associated with a receptacle of the first charging port may be different from a standard associated with a receptacle of the second charging port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Rick Rajaie, Miaosen Shen, Alexander J. Smith, Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10476115
    Abstract: Methods and systems for creating a battery module. A battery cell can include a vent in the bottom of the battery. To allow the battery to be attached to a cooling plate and allow the vent to function properly, an opening is formed in the cooling plate under the battery. The opening can vent gasses from the vent in the battery to atmosphere through a chamber in the cooling plate or a conduit in the cooling plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Alexander J. Smith, Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10466061
    Abstract: Systems of an electrical vehicle and the operations thereof are provided. As vehicles become self-driven, safety should be improved. In the rare occurrence that a vehicle is performing an incorrect function or in an incorrect manner, the passengers need to be able to shut down the car and evacuate the vehicle in a safe manner. Highlighted by this is ride sharing vehicle that picks random passengers up. Inside the vehicle would be an override switch. When initiated, the override switch would send a lower level command to the vehicle control unit overriding any upper level signals, alert any near cars of the issue and immediately pull over and bring to a complete stop (unlocking all doors as well) the vehicle. This could optionally be coupled with one or more mechanical/electrical shut down/disconnect mechanisms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Austin L. Newman
  • Patent number: 10430833
    Abstract: Methods, devices, and systems of a sensor surface object detection system are provided. Output from sensors of a vehicle may be used to describe an environment around the vehicle. In the event that a sensor is obstructed by dirt, debris, or detritus the sensor may not sufficiently describe the environment for autonomous control operations. The sensor surface object detection system may receive output from the sensors of the vehicle to determine whether any of the sensors are obstructed. The determination may be made by comparing the output of one sensor to another, determining whether the output of a sensor is within a predetermined threshold, or comparing characteristics of multiple sensor outputs to one another. When a sensor is determined to be obstructed, the system may send a command to a cleaning system to automatically remove the obstruction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2019
    Assignee: NIO USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Austin L. Newman
  • Publication number: 20190296310
    Abstract: Devices, methods, and systems for interconnecting all of the battery cells in a battery module from a single side of the battery cell and module are provided. The cell busbar system comprises a number of thin formed strips arranged to interconnect individual battery cells in a row together in series and each row in parallel along a length of the battery module. In particular, the cell busbar system may include two high voltage, or edge, strips and a number of cell-to-cell, or internal, strips electrically interconnected to the edge strips. All of the battery cells in the battery module may be oriented such that all of the positive terminals are facing the same direction. The interconnections between series-connected rows of cells, and parallel rows of series-connected rows, may all be made in substantially the same plane on a single side of the battery module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2018
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Publication number: 20190296321
    Abstract: A battery module cell cover is provided including a number of features configured to orient, capture, and isolate battery cell interconnections relative to battery cell locations in an array of battery cells. Isolation features may block a negative terminal battery cell interconnect from moving out of an orientation receptacle aligned with a negative terminal of a battery cell and into contact with a positive terminal of the battery cell, or vice versa. The battery module cell cover can include a number of structural connection features protruding from a planar surface into a battery cell containment cavity, between battery cell locations, that provide a number of surfaces for curing to structural adhesive of the battery module. These structural connection features, in conjunction with the structural adhesive, can assist in forming a unified strengthened structure of the battery module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2018
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith
  • Publication number: 20190296407
    Abstract: A multiple-zone thermocouple battery module temperature monitoring system is provided configured to determine a plurality of temperatures along a depth of the battery module at different locations. The system may include a number of temperature probes each including a first temperature sensor oriented at a base of a group of cells in the module and a second temperature sensor oriented at an upper portion of the group of cells in the module. Providing upper and lower battery cell temperature sensors in each probe of the system allows a battery management system to detect and record a temperature gradient of the battery cells in the module at a number of different locations. These recordings can determine a gradient and temperature difference between the upper and lower battery cell portions over an operable threshold difference, and command a thermal management system to return the battery module to limits within the operable threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2018
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Inventors: Austin L. Newman, Alexander J. Smith, Adam H. Ing