Patents by Inventor Hiromi Kita

Hiromi Kita 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: 11456467
    Abstract: A solid oxide fuel cell including unit cells, including: a pair of interconnectors for electrically connecting the unit cells; a membrane-electrode assembly including an electrolyte membrane and a pair of electrode layers disposed with the electrolyte membrane therebetween; a pair of current collectors disposed between the electrode layers and the interconnectors so as to be in contact with the pair of electrode layers and the pair of interconnectors, respectively, and electrically connecting the pair of electrode layers and the pair of interconnectors; and elastic bodies biasing at least one current collector of the pair of current collectors toward a corresponding electrode layer and made of austenitic stainless steel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2022
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takashi Kakuwa, Hiromi Kita, Tomoya Kamata, Masatoshi Nakamura, Tomohiro Kuroha
  • Patent number: 11367890
    Abstract: A cell including: a pair of interconnectors for electrically connecting unit cells; a membrane-electrode assembly disposed between the interconnectors; a pair of current collectors, each of which includes an abutting surface abutting against a corresponding one of the electrode layers and a first base material surface being in contact with a corresponding one of the interconnectors and electrically connecting the corresponding of the electrode layers and the corresponding one of the interconnectors; and elastic bodies biasing the abutting surface of at least one current collector toward a corresponding one of the electrode layers. The elastic bodies includes: a second base material surface being in contact with the first base material surface; and an elastic body protruding portion supporting the abutting surface and protruding from the second base material surface toward the corresponding one of the electrode layers to bias the abutting surface toward the corresponding one of the electrode layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2022
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Takashi Kakuwa, Hiromi Kita, Tomoya Kamata, Masatoshi Nakamura, Tomohiro Kuroha
  • Publication number: 20220052352
    Abstract: An electrochemical cell unit according to the present disclosure includes a flat plate type membrane electrode assembly having a structure in which an electrolyte membrane, a first electrode layer disposed on a first surface of the electrolyte membrane, and a second electrode layer disposed on a second surface of the electrolyte membrane are laminated; a first current collector in contact with the first electrode layer of the membrane electrode assembly; an interconnector electrically connected to the first current collector, a second current collector in contact with the second electrode layer of the membrane electrode assembly; and an outer peripheral part made of a metal material that surrounds an outer periphery of the first electrode layer together with the interconnector and the electrolyte membrane to form a gas introduction space for guiding internal gas to the first electrode layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 27, 2021
    Publication date: February 17, 2022
    Inventors: TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, MASATOSHI NAKAMURA
  • Publication number: 20210408570
    Abstract: A compression apparatus includes a stack of electrochemical cells each including an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte membrane interposed therebetween, a pair of insulating plates disposed at respective ends of the stack in a stacking direction, a pair of end plates disposed on outside surfaces of the respective insulating plates, and a voltage applicator that applies a voltage between the anode and the cathode. The end plate having the cathode gas channel includes a first region that includes an outer peripheral surface of the cathode gas channel and is composed of a first steel material and a second region other than the first region which is composed of a second steel material. The first steel material has higher hydrogen embrittlement resistance than the second steel material, and the second steel material has higher stiffness than the first steel material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2021
    Publication date: December 30, 2021
    Inventors: OSAMU SAKAI, YUKIMUNE KANI, TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, TOMOYA KAMATA, TAKAYUKI NAKAUE
  • Publication number: 20210399324
    Abstract: A membrane electrode assembly according to the present disclosure includes an electrode, an electrolyte layer bonded to the electrode and containing an electrolyte having proton conductivity, a metal frame, and a bonding layer disposed between a peripheral part of the electrolyte layer and the metal frame and held in contact with each of the electrolyte layer and the metal frame, wherein the bonding layer has a thickness of greater than or equal to 0.50 mm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2021
    Publication date: December 23, 2021
    Inventors: TOMOYA KAMATA, TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, TOMOHIRO KUROHA
  • Publication number: 20210399319
    Abstract: A compression apparatus includes a stack of electrochemical cells each including an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte membrane interposed therebetween, a pair of insulating plates disposed at respective ends of the stack in a stacking direction, a pair of first end plates disposed on outside surfaces of the respective insulating plates, and a voltage applicator that applies a voltage between the anode and the cathode. Upon the voltage applicator applying the voltage, the compression apparatus causes hydrogen included in a hydrogen-containing gas fed to the anode to move to the cathode and produces compressed hydrogen. One of the first end plates have a first channel formed therein, through which the hydrogen-containing gas fed to the anode flows, and a second channel formed therein, through which a heating medium flows. The compression apparatus further includes a heater that heats the heating medium.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2021
    Publication date: December 23, 2021
    Inventors: OSAMU SAKAI, YUKIMUNE KANI, TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, TOMOYA KAMATA, TAKAYUKI NAKAUE
  • Publication number: 20210372379
    Abstract: A compressor includes an electrolyte membrane; an anode catalyst layer in contact with a first primary surface of the electrolyte membrane; a cathode catalyst layer in contact with a second primary surface of the electrolyte membrane; an anode diffusion layer disposed on the anode catalyst layer and including a porous carbon sheet; a cathode gas diffusion layer on the cathode catalyst layer; an anode support disposed on the anode diffusion layer and including a metal sheet having a plurality of vent holes; an anode separator disposed on the anode support and having, on the primary surface thereof closer to the anode support, a fluid flow channel through which an anode fluid flows; and a voltage applicator that applies a voltage across the anode catalyst layer and the cathode catalyst layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2021
    Publication date: December 2, 2021
    Inventors: TAKAYUKI NAKAUE, TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA
  • Publication number: 20210310137
    Abstract: A compression apparatus includes an electrolyte membrane, an anode on a principal surface of the electrolyte membrane, a cathode on another principal surface of the electrolyte membrane, an anode separator on the anode, a cathode separator on the cathode, and a voltage applicator. Upon the voltage applicator applying a voltage between the anode and the cathode, protons are extracted from an anode fluid fed to the anode to migrate to the cathode through the electrolyte membrane and compressed hydrogen is produced. The cathode separator has a first O-ring groove formed in a cathode-side principal surface of the cathode separator to surround a region of the cathode-side principal surface which faces the cathode. The compression apparatus includes a first O-ring held by the first O-ring groove and a face seal disposed on an outer periphery of a region of an anode-side principal surface of the anode separator which faces the anode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2021
    Publication date: October 7, 2021
    Inventors: TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, OSAMU SAKAI
  • Publication number: 20210305607
    Abstract: The compression apparatus includes an electrolyte membrane, an anode on a principal surface of the electrolyte membrane, a cathode on another principal surface of the electrolyte membrane, an anode separator on the anode, a cathode separator on the cathode, and a voltage applicator. Upon the voltage applicator applying the voltage between the anode and the cathode, protons are extracted from an anode fluid fed onto the anode to migrate onto the cathode through the electrolyte membrane and compressed hydrogen is produced. The cathode separator has a first manifold hole and a first O-ring groove surrounding the first manifold hole. The compression apparatus includes a first O-ring held by the first O-ring groove and a face seal disposed on an outer periphery of a region of an anode-side principal surface of the anode separator which faces the anode. The first O-ring is arranged to abut against the anode-side principal surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2021
    Publication date: September 30, 2021
    Inventors: TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, OSAMU SAKAI
  • Patent number: 10989184
    Abstract: An electrochemical hydrogen pump includes a hydrogen pump unit including an electrolyte film, an anode catalyst layer, a cathode catalyst layer, an anode gas diffusion layer, an anode separator, a cathode gas diffusion layer, and a cathode separator, a first end plate and a second end plate, a fastener, and a voltage applicator. The electrochemical hydrogen pump transfers and pressurizes hydrogen on the cathode catalyst layer, when a voltage is applied by the voltage applicator. Cathode gas flow channels in which the cathode gas flows are connected to each other. The amount of thickness reduction of the cathode gas diffusion layer due to compression resulting from fastening of the fastener is larger in the hydrogen pump unit positioned at at least one end of the stacked hydrogen pump units than in the hydrogen pump unit positioned at neither end of the stacked hydrogen pump units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kunihiro Ukai, Hiromi Kita, Takayuki Nakaue
  • Publication number: 20210071310
    Abstract: A hydrogen system includes: a water electrolysis apparatus including a water electrolysis cell; an electrochemical hydrogen pump that increases the pressure of hydrogen-containing gas produced by the water electrolysis apparatus; a gas flow path that supplies the hydrogen-containing gas produced by the water electrolysis apparatus to the electrochemical hydrogen pump; and a first flow path through which a first heat medium that is a liquid and has collected waste heat of the water electrolysis cell flows. The electrochemical hydrogen pump is capable of performing heat exchange with the first heat medium having collected waste heat of the water electrolysis cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 19, 2020
    Publication date: March 11, 2021
    Inventors: TAKASHI OTO, HIROMI KITA
  • Publication number: 20200340471
    Abstract: An electrochemical hydrogen pump includes an electrolyte membrane, an anode catalyst layer in contact with one primary surface of the electrolyte membrane, a cathode catalyst layer in contact with the other primary surface of the electrolyte membrane, an anode gas diffusion layer in contact with the anode catalyst layer, a cathode gas diffusion layer in contact with the cathode catalyst layer, and a voltage applicator that applies a voltage between the anode catalyst layer and the cathode catalyst layer. Application of the voltage by the voltage applicator causes hydrogen in a hydrogen-containing gas supplied to above the anode catalyst layer to move above the cathode catalyst layer and to be pressurized. The anode gas diffusion layer includes a porous carbon sheet that has a smaller porosity in a first surface layer, which is on the anode catalyst layer side, than in the inside layer deeper than the first surface layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2020
    Publication date: October 29, 2020
    Inventors: TAKAYUKI NAKAUE, KUNIHIRO UKAI, HIROMI KITA
  • Publication number: 20200044272
    Abstract: A cell including: a pair of interconnectors for electrically connecting unit cells; a membrane-electrode assembly disposed between the interconnectors; a pair of current collectors, each of which includes an abutting surface abutting against a corresponding one of the electrode layers and a first base material surface being in contact with a corresponding one of the interconnectors and electrically connecting the corresponding of the electrode layers and the corresponding one of the interconnectors; and elastic bodies biasing the abutting surface of at least one current collector toward a corresponding one of the electrode layers. The elastic bodies includes: a second base material surface being in contact with the first base material surface; and an elastic body protruding portion supporting the abutting surface and protruding from the second base material surface toward the corresponding one of the electrode layers to bias the abutting surface toward the corresponding one of the electrode layers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2019
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Inventors: TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, TOMOYA KAMATA, MASATOSHI NAKAMURA, TOMOHIRO KUROHA
  • Publication number: 20200044263
    Abstract: A solid oxide fuel cell including unit cells, including: a pair of interconnectors for electrically connecting the unit cells; a membrane-electrode assembly including an electrolyte membrane and a pair of electrode layers disposed with the electrolyte membrane therebetween; a pair of current collectors disposed between the electrode layers and the interconnectors so as to be in contact with the pair of electrode layers and the pair of interconnectors, respectively, and electrically connecting the pair of electrode layers and the pair of interconnectors; and elastic bodies biasing at least one current collector of the pair of current collectors toward a corresponding electrode layer and made of austenitic stainless steel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2019
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Inventors: TAKASHI KAKUWA, HIROMI KITA, TOMOYA KAMATA, MASATOSHI NAKAMURA, TOMOHIRO KUROHA
  • Publication number: 20200011313
    Abstract: An electrochemical hydrogen pump includes a hydrogen pump unit including an electrolyte film, an anode catalyst layer, a cathode catalyst layer, an anode gas diffusion layer, an anode separator, a cathode gas diffusion layer, and a cathode separator, a first end plate and a second end plate, a fastener, and a voltage applicator. The electrochemical hydrogen pump transfers and pressurizes hydrogen on the cathode catalyst layer, when a voltage is applied by the voltage applicator. Cathode gas flow channels in which the cathode gas flows are connected to each other. The amount of thickness reduction of the cathode gas diffusion layer due to compression resulting from fastening of the fastener is larger in the hydrogen pump unit positioned at at least one end of the stacked hydrogen pump units than in the hydrogen pump unit positioned at neither end of the stacked hydrogen pump units.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2019
    Publication date: January 9, 2020
    Inventors: KUNIHIRO UKAI, HIROMI KITA, TAKAYUKI NAKAUE
  • Patent number: 10364149
    Abstract: A hydrogen generation system including: a reformer generating hydrogen-containing gas using a raw material and reforming water; a combustor combusting hydrogen-containing gas and air and generating exhaust gas; a first channel passing cooling water; a condenser generating condensed water by heat exchange between exhaust gas and cooling water; a tank storing condensed water as cooling water; a pump supplying cooling water from the tank to the condenser; a second channel branching at a branch between the pump and condenser in the first channel, and passing some cooling water to the reformer as reforming water; a heater provided downstream of the branch, and heating the first channel; a temperature detector detecting the temperature of the first channel; and a controller, in an activation operation mode, determining whether the second channel is filled with reforming water, based on the temperature detected by the temperature detector after the heater has operated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jin Zhang, Shigenori Onuma, Hidenobu Wakita, Yoichiro Tsuji, Akinori Yukimasa, Hiromi Kita, Masashi Morita
  • Patent number: 10096851
    Abstract: A solid oxide fuel cell system includes: a fuel cell unit including a solid oxide fuel cell and a mixer, the solid oxide fuel cell including an anode gas passage and a cathode gas passage, the mixer mixing an anode off gas discharged from the anode gas passage and a cathode off gas discharged from the cathode gas passage; a power-generating raw material supply device operative to supply a power-generating raw material to the fuel cell unit; a combustible gas passage, which extends from the power-generating raw material supply device to a downstream end of the anode gas passage; an oxidizing gas supply device operative to supply an oxidizing gas to the cathode gas passage; and a controller operative to, after electric power generation by the fuel cell unit is stopped, control the power-generating raw material supply device to supply the power-generating raw material in a volume more than or equal to a volume of the combustible gas passage to the combustible gas passage, and concurrently control the oxidizing g
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignees: PANASONIC CORPORATION, TOTO LTD.
    Inventors: Yasushi Kaneko, Shigenori Onuma, Kunihiro Ukai, Akinori Yukimasa, Hiroshi Shirahama, Toshiharu Otsuka, Hiromi Kita, Taiichiro Sakamoto, Toshiharu Ooe
  • Patent number: 10090548
    Abstract: A fuel cell system includes a desulfurizer that removes a sulfur compound in a raw material, a fuel cell unit that performs electric-power generation using fuel obtained by reforming a raw material from which the sulfur compound is removed and electric-power generation air supplied, a combustion exhaust gas passage through which combustion exhaust gas generated by combusting fuel not utilized for the electric-power generation in the fuel cell unit is emitted, a combustion exhaust gas container that is connected to the combustion exhaust gas passage and accommodates the desulfurizer inside the combustion exhaust gas container, a purifier that removes carbon monoxide included in the combustion exhaust gas, and an air heat exchanger that performs heat exchange of the combustion exhaust gas and the electric-power generation air supplied to the fuel cell unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiromi Kita, Kunihiro Ukai, Toru Sukawa
  • Publication number: 20180105418
    Abstract: A hydrogen generation system including: a reformer generating hydrogen-containing gas using a raw material and reforming water; a combustor combusting hydrogen-containing gas and air and generating exhaust gas; a first channel passing cooling water; a condenser generating condensed water by heat exchange between exhaust gas and cooling water; a tank storing condensed water as cooling water; a pump supplying cooling water from the tank to the condenser; a second channel branching at a branch between the pump and condenser in the first channel, and passing some cooling water to the reformer as reforming water; a heater provided downstream of the branch, and heating the first channel; a temperature detector detecting the temperature of the first channel; and a controller, in an activation operation mode, determining whether the second channel is filled with reforming water, based on the temperature detected by the temperature detector after the heater has operated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: JIN ZHANG, SHIGENORI ONUMA, HIDENOBU WAKITA, YOICHIRO TSUJI, AKINORI YUKIMASA, HIROMI KITA, MASASHI MORITA
  • Patent number: 9705144
    Abstract: A hydrogen generator includes a hydro-desulfurizer, a reformer, a reactor and an electric heater. The hydro-desulfurizer is operative to remove a sulfur compound in a raw material and including a tubular first wall. The reformer is operative to generate a hydrogen-containing gas by using the raw material supplied from the hydro-desulfurizer. The reactor includes a tubular second wall provided coaxially with the first wall so as to be opposed to the first wall. The electric heater is annularly provided in a gap between the first wall and the second wall so as to extend in an axial direction of the first wall and turn back in the axial direction of the first wall. The electric heater includes a first portion contacting the first wall and a second portion contacting the second wall. A connecting portion, which connects the first portion and the second portion, has elasticity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Hiromi Kita