Patents by Inventor Masaaki Sakano

Masaaki Sakano 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: 11081706
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack includes a stack body of power generation cells stacked in a horizontal direction. An oxygen-containing gas flow field is formed in the fuel cell stack, for allowing an oxygen-containing gas to flow along an electrode surface of a membrane electrode assembly. A plurality of oxygen-containing gas discharge passages for discharging the oxygen-containing gas as a reactant gas pass through the fuel cell stack in a stacking direction of the power generation cells. Each of the oxygen-containing gas discharge passages is connected to an outlet. The plurality of oxygen-containing gas discharge passages are connected together by a first connection channel at an end opposite to the outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masaaki Sakano, Hiroshi Morikawa
  • Patent number: 11011758
    Abstract: A power generation cell (fuel cell) includes a membrane electrode assembly and first and second metallic separators arranged respectively on opposite sides of the membrane electrode assembly. An oxygen containing gas supply passage, a communication passage bead section (bead seal) that surrounds the oxygen containing gas supply passage, and a bridge section are disposed on the first metallic separator. At a location where the bridge section is disposed, the width of a root section of the communication passage bead section is greater than the width of the root section of the communication passage bead section at other locations thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: Hond Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kentaro Ishida, Masaaki Sakano, Xi Yang, Liang Xi, Siguang Xu, Richard Blakeley
  • Publication number: 20200403253
    Abstract: In a fuel cell stack, an electrically insulating frame shaped resin film having a constant thickness is provided on an outer peripheral side of a power generation surface of an MEA. An outer peripheral end of the resin film protrudes outside of a first outer peripheral end of a first metal separator and a second outer peripheral end of a second metal separator over the entire periphery.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2019
    Publication date: December 24, 2020
    Inventors: Kentaro ISHIDA, Hiroyuki TANAKA, Masaaki SAKANO
  • Patent number: 10637091
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack and a method of assembling a fuel cell stack includes compressing fuel cells along their stacking axis. A compression retention device made up of an enclosure may be used with one or more optional insertable shims to correct for any stack height variations. Significantly, the enclosure is formed to allow the stack to be loaded in compression by a press such that the cells that make up the stack are placed into and maintained in a substantially compressed state while the compression force is not imparted to the enclosure. By resolving any stack height variances while the cells of the stack are maintained in their substantially compressed state, assembly operations are simplified in that repeated compression and decompression of the stack is avoided while trying to ensure that the stack and enclosure are joined into their final assembly form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2020
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: David A. Martinchek, Robert C Thompson, Masaaki Sakano, Hiroyuki Tanaka
  • Patent number: 10529996
    Abstract: A plate includes a working face and a header portion. The working face defines a plurality of reactant channels thereon. The header portion is disposed in a peripheral area of the plate and includes a plurality of flanges and a plurality of beads. The flanges are disposed on the header portion and define a plurality of apertures through the plate. Each flange defines a respective one of the apertures. At least one of the apertures is fluidly connected to the reactant channels. The plurality of beads is disposed on the working face. Each bead is disposed about a respective one of the apertures and thereby defines a respective one of the flanges. Each bead defines a shape consisting of bead-corners and bead-sides. Each bead has a sealing surface thereon. The sealing surface is configured to deflect when exposed to a contact pressure to thereby provide a substantially fluid-tight seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2020
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaaki Sakano, Xi Yang, Liang Xi, Siguang Xu, Joseph N. Lovria, Jeffrey D. Williams, Yu Tomana, Kentaro Ishida
  • Patent number: 10522852
    Abstract: A plate assembly includes a first plate having a planar portion and a first bead seal formed therein. The first bead seal includes a first end surface spaced away from the planar portion. The first bead seal includes first and second opposing sides extending away from the first end surface and contiguous with the planar portion. The first bead seal includes a first reinforcement structure having a first plurality of walls each intersecting the first opposing side of the first bead seal. The first plate includes a second bead seal formed therein. The first bead seal and the second bead seal may be joined via the first reinforcement structure such that the first plurality of walls of the first reinforcement structure each intersect a third opposing side of the second bead seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignees: GM Global Technology Operations LLC., Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Xi Yang, Siguang Xu, Liang Xi, Richard D. Blakeley, Masaaki Sakano, Yu Tomana, Kentaro Ishida
  • Patent number: 10305135
    Abstract: In a method of producing a fuel cell stack, press forming of a first metal separator of a power generation cell is performed to thereby form a first seal line as a seal around at least an oxygen-containing gas flow field. Further, a preliminary load is applied to the first seal line to thereby plastically deform the first seal line. Further, a joint separator and a membrane electrode assembly are stacked together, and a tightening load is applied to the joint separator and the membrane electrode assembly in a stacking direction, to thereby assemble the fuel cell stack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaaki Sakano, Satoshi Oyama, Masahiro Matsutani
  • Patent number: 10297841
    Abstract: A fuel cell includes a frame equipped membrane electrode assembly and a metal separator. The frame equipped membrane electrode assembly includes a membrane electrode assembly and a frame shaped insulating member connected to the membrane electrode assembly. The frame shaped insulating member is provided around the membrane electrode assembly. The metal separator includes a first bipolar plate and a second bipolar plate joined together, and the frame shaped insulating member includes a welding portion welded to the first bipolar plate by resistance welding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki Nitta, Yasuhide Fukushima, Masaaki Sakano, Shintaro Sumi
  • Publication number: 20180342741
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack includes a stack body of power generation cells stacked in a horizontal direction. An oxygen-containing gas flow field is formed in the fuel cell stack, for allowing an oxygen-containing gas to flow along an electrode surface of a membrane electrode assembly. A plurality of oxygen-containing gas discharge passages for discharging the oxygen-containing gas as a reactant gas pass through the fuel cell stack in a stacking direction of the power generation cells. Each of the oxygen-containing gas discharge passages is connected to an outlet. The plurality of oxygen-containing gas discharge passages are connected together by a first connection channel at an end opposite to the outlet.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2018
    Publication date: November 29, 2018
    Inventors: Masaaki Sakano, Hiroshi Morikawa
  • Patent number: 10074869
    Abstract: A fuel cell includes a membrane electrode assembly and a first separator. The first separator includes a first reactant gas channel, a first reactant gas manifold, and a first buffer portion. The first buffer portion is located outside of a power generation region of an electrode catalyst layer of the first electrode. The first buffer portion connects the first reactant gas channel to the first reactant gas manifold. A gas diffusion layer of the first electrode extends along a surface of the first separator to a first buffer region facing the first buffer portion. An intermediate layer of the first electrode covers a portion of the gas diffusion layer of the first electrode in the first buffer region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masaaki Sakano, Nagayuki Kanaoka
  • Publication number: 20180254503
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack and a method of assembling a fuel cell stack includes compressing fuel cells along their stacking axis. A compression retention device made up of an enclosure may be used with one or more optional insertable shims to correct for any stack height variations. Significantly, the enclosure is formed to allow the stack to be loaded in compression by a press such that the cells that make up the stack are placed into and maintained in a substantially compressed state while the compression force is not imparted to the enclosure. By resolving any stack height variances while the cells of the stack are maintained in their substantially compressed state, assembly operations are simplified in that repeated compression and decompression of the stack is avoided while trying to ensure that the stack and enclosure are joined into their final assembly form.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2018
    Publication date: September 6, 2018
    Applicants: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: David A. Martinchek, Robert C Thompson, Masaaki Sakano, Hiroyuki Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20180241055
    Abstract: A plate includes a working face and a header portion. The working face defines a plurality of reactant channels thereon. The header portion is disposed in a peripheral area of the plate and includes a plurality of flanges and a plurality of beads. The flanges are disposed on the header portion and define a plurality of apertures through the plate. Each flange defines a respective one of the apertures. At least one of the apertures is fluidly connected to the reactant channels. The plurality of beads is disposed on the working face. Each bead is disposed about a respective one of the apertures and thereby defines a respective one of the flanges. Each bead defines a shape consisting of bead-corners and bead-sides. Each bead has a sealing surface thereon. The sealing surface is configured to deflect when exposed to a contact pressure to thereby provide a substantially fluid-tight seal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 2017
    Publication date: August 23, 2018
    Applicants: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaaki Sakano, Xi Yang, Liang Xi, Siguang Xu, Joseph N. Lovria, Jeffrey D. Williams, Yu Tomana, Kentaro Ishida
  • Publication number: 20180226665
    Abstract: A fuel cell metal separator is stacked on a membrane electrode assembly to form a power generation cell. The membrane electrode assembly includes an electrolyte membrane and electrodes provided on both sides of the electrolyte membrane, respectively. The fuel cell metal separator includes a bead seal for preventing leakage of a fuel gas, an oxygen-containing gas, or a coolant as fluid. A top of the bead seal is configured to become flat in cross section by application of a compression load to the power generation cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2018
    Publication date: August 9, 2018
    Inventors: Satoshi Oyama, Masaaki Sakano
  • Publication number: 20180226662
    Abstract: A plate assembly includes a first plate having a planar portion and a first bead seal formed therein. The first bead seal includes a first end surface spaced away from the planar portion. The first bead seal includes first and second opposing sides extending away from the first end surface and contiguous with the planar portion. The first bead seal includes a first reinforcement structure having a first plurality of walls each intersecting the first opposing side of the first bead seal. The first plate includes a second bead seal formed therein. The first bead seal and the second bead seal may be joined via the first reinforcement structure such that the first plurality of walls of the first reinforcement structure each intersect a third opposing side of the second bead seal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2017
    Publication date: August 9, 2018
    Applicants: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Xi Yang, Siguang Xu, Liang Xi, Richard D. Blakeley, Masaaki Sakano, Yu Tomana, Kentaro Ishida
  • Publication number: 20180219233
    Abstract: A power generation cell (fuel cell) includes a membrane electrode assembly and first and second metallic separators arranged respectively on opposite sides of the membrane electrode assembly. An oxygen containing gas supply passage, a communication passage bead section (bead seal) that surrounds the oxygen containing gas supply passage, and a bridge section are disposed on the first metallic separator. At a location where the bridge section is disposed, the width of a root section of the communication passage bead section is greater than the width of the root section of the communication passage bead section at other locations thereof.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2017
    Publication date: August 2, 2018
    Inventors: Kentaro ISHIDA, Masaaki SAKANO, Xi YANG, Liang XI, Siguang XU, Richard BLAKELEY
  • Patent number: 9997800
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack and a method of assembling a fuel cell stack includes compressing fuel cells along their stacking axis. A compression retention device made up of an enclosure may be used with one or more optional insertable shims to correct for any stack height variations. Significantly, the enclosure is formed to allow the stack to be loaded in compression by a press such that the cells that make up the stack are placed into and maintained in a substantially compressed state while the compression force is not imparted to the enclosure. By resolving any stack height variances while the cells of the stack are maintained in their substantially compressed state, assembly operations are simplified in that repeated compression and decompression of the stack is avoided while trying to ensure that the stack and enclosure are joined into their final assembly form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: David A. Martinchek, Robert C. Thompson, Masaaki Sakano, Hiroyuki Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20180040907
    Abstract: A fuel cell stack includes a stack body including a plurality of power generation cells stacked in a stacking direction. Seal lines are formed on metal separators of the power generation cells. The seal lines protrude in the stacking direction of the stack body in a manner that the seal lines contact an outer circumferential portion of the membrane electrode assembly or a resin film provided on the outer circumferential portion of the membrane electrode assembly. Elastic seal members are provided on insulators or end plates. The elastic seal members abut against seal lines of the metal separators provided at the outermost ends in the stacking direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Publication date: February 8, 2018
    Inventors: Kentaro ISHIDA, Masaaki SAKANO, Hiroshi MORIKAWA
  • Patent number: 9793568
    Abstract: A fuel cell is formed by sandwiching a membrane electrode assembly between a first separator and a second separator. The membrane electrode assembly includes a cathode, an anode, and a solid polymer electrolyte membrane interposed between the cathode and the anode. In the membrane electrode assembly, a catalyst area of an electrode catalyst layer of the cathode and an electrode catalyst layer of the anode terminates at a position spaced upwardly from lower ends of an oxygen-containing gas flow field and a fuel gas flow field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaru Oda, Nagayuki Kanaoka, Shunsuke Itami, Ryohei Ishimaru, Masaaki Sakano
  • Publication number: 20170222247
    Abstract: In a method of producing a fuel cell stack, press forming of a first metal separator of a power generation cell is performed to thereby form a first seal line as a seal around at least an oxygen-containing gas flow field. Further, a preliminary load is applied to the first seal line to thereby plastically deform the first seal line. Further, a joint separator and a membrane electrode assembly are stacked together, and a tightening load is applied to the joint separator and the membrane electrode assembly in a stacking direction, to thereby assemble the fuel cell stack.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2017
    Publication date: August 3, 2017
    Inventors: Masaaki SAKANO, Satoshi OYAMA, Masahiro MATSUTANI
  • Patent number: 9653747
    Abstract: A fuel cell is formed by stacking a plurality of unit cells. Each of the unit cells includes a membrane electrode assembly, and an anode side metal separator and a cathode side metal separator sandwiching the membrane electrode assembly therebetween. In a surface of the cathode side metal separator, metal portions are exposed in at least part of a second flat portion in an area surrounded by seal lines SL of the anode side metal separator. Cutouts are formed on a surface of the cathode side metal separator by cutting at least part of the second flat portion up to the metal portions thereby to expose the metal portions through the cutouts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Watanabe, Masaaki Sakano, Satoru Terada