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1. WO2020110095 - APPAREIL D'ALIMENTATION ÉLECTRIQUE ET CONSTITUANTS DE CE DERNIER

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Claims

1 . A power supply apparatus comprising a main housing, a battery assembly and battery management circuitry;

- wherein the battery assembly comprises a plurality of batteries, the batteries having safety vents which are distributed on a first surface of the battery assembly for releasing gaseous discharge,

- wherein the main housing comprises a battery compartment in which the battery assembly is held,

- wherein the battery compartment comprises a discharge chamber which is in fluid communication with the safety vents

- wherein a venting aperture or a plurality of venting apertures is formed on the discharge chamber, and wherein a thermal sensor or a plurality of thermal sensors is provided on the discharge chamber,

- wherein the thermal sensor is configured to detect temperature inside the battery compartment and to deliver temperature information to the battery management circuitry, and

- wherein the battery management circuitry is configured to activate a counter measure or a temperature conditioning arrangement to condition temperature of the battery assembly when the temperature detected by the thermal sensor or the plurality of thermal sensors reaches an activation threshold temperature.

2. The power supply apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the main housing comprises a first housing portion which cooperates with the battery assembly to define the discharge chamber, and wherein a portion of the first housing portion which defines the discharge chamber has an inward-facing surface which is opposite facing the safety vents of the battery assembly such that gaseous discharge from the battery assembly can flow from the battery assembly to the inward-facing surface unblocked or unobstructed.

3. The power supply apparatus of claim 2, wherein the first housing portion is made of a thermally non-conductive material, and the discharge chamber is thermally insulated from the ambient air,

4. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claims, wherein the or each thermal sensor is mounted on the discharge chamber and is configured to oppositely face the first surface of the battery assembly through which the safety vents of the batteries are to release gaseous discharge.

5. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claims, wherein the battery of the battery assembly has a battery axis, and the battery assembly has an axial extent which is parallel to the battery axis and defines an axial extent of the battery compartment, wherein the discharge chamber is an axial extension of the battery compartment and has an axial extent; and whereon the axial extent of the battery assembly is defined between a first major surface and a second major surface of the battery module

6. The power supply apparatus according claim 5, wherein the axial extent of the discharge chamber is between less than 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30% or 40% and more than 2%, 3%, 4%, 5%, 6%, 7%, 8%, or 9% of the axial extent of the battery assembly, and wherein the axial extent of the battery assembly is measured in an axial direction which is parallel to a battery axis of the battery assembly.

7. The power supply apparatus according to claims 5 or 6, wherein a plurality of fluid movement guides is formed on the ceiling and surrounding a venting aperture, wherein the fluid movement guides are radially distributed to direct gaseous discharge from the battery assembly to move towards the venting aperture.

8. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claims, wherein the thermal sensor or each thermal sensor is mounted on or in abutment with the venting aperture or each venting aperture.

9. The power supply apparatus according to any of the preceding claim, wherein the discharge chamber is configured such that gaseous discharge emanating from the batteries of the battery assembly is guided to exit the battery compartment only from the venting aperture or from the plurality of venting apertures.

10. The power supply apparatus according to any of the preceding claim, wherein the discharge chamber has a volume which is substantially smaller than volume of the battery assembly, the discharge chamber having a volume not exceeding 5% , 10% , 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40% of the volume of the battery assembly.

1 1 . The power supply apparatus according to any of the preceding claim, wherein the apparatus comprises a thermal exchange arrangement and a cooling arrangement, wherein the thermal exchange arrangement comprises a thermal exchange device and a heat transfer network, wherein the heat transfer network is configured to transfer heat from interior of batteries of the battery assembly to the thermal exchange device and wherein the thermal exchange device is configured to perform thermal exchange with the cooling arrangement whereby temperature of an over-heated battery is lowered.

12. The power supply apparatus of claim 1 1 , wherein the thermal exchange device comprises a thermal exchange surface and a thermal contact surface, wherein the heat transfer network is physical and thermal connection with the thermal contact surface and terminals of the batteries of the battery assembly, and wherein the heat transfer network is electrically insulated therefrom.

13. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein the battery assembly comprises a plurality of battery groups, wherein each battery group comprises a plurality of batteries connected in parallel and the or adjacent battery groups are connected in series, and wherein batteries of an adjacent battery groups are connected in series and in parallel by an inter-group connector; and wherein the inter-group connector forms an integral part of the heat transfer network.

14. The power supply apparatus according to claim 13, wherein the inter-group connector comprises a metal grating which interconnects adjacent battery groups; wherein the metal grating thermally and electrically interconnects battery terminals of the adjacent battery groups; and wherein the metal grating is integrally formed from a metal sheet.

15. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein the heat transfer network comprises a first end which is in contact with battery terminals of the battery assembly which are of a first electrical polarity and a second end which is in contact with battery terminals of the battery assembly which are of a second electrical polarity opposite to the first electrical polarity.

16. The power supply apparatus according to claim 15, wherein the first end of the heat transfer network comprises a plurality of first contact tabs which are connected to first battery terminals of the first electrical polarity, and a plurality of second contact tabs which are connected to second battery terminals of the second electrical polarity; and wherein a first contact tab and a second contact tab are connected by an inter-battery tab to form an inter-battery connector.

17. The power supply apparatus according to claim 16, wherein inter-battery connector is integrally formed from a flexible metal sheet.

18. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein the apparatus comprises an electrical-powered air-moving arrangement or a thermal-electrical thermal- conditioning arrangement, and wherein the battery management circuitry is to activate the air- moving arrangement to generate forced air movement to condition temperature of the battery assembly as a counter-measure.

19. The power supply apparatus according to any preceding claim, wherein the battery assembly comprises an end portion which cooperates with the main housing to form a closed battery compartment except at the venting apertures, and wherein the end portion of the battery assembly is in thermal connection with interior of the batteries forming the battery assembly, and wherein the counter-measure includes cooling of the end portion of the battery assembly by forced air movement and/or thermal-electrical cooling; and/or shutting down of the battery module.

20. The power supply apparatus according to claim 19, wherein the main housing comprises a thermally conductive end portion, wherein the thermally conductive end portion of the main housing cooperate with the end portion of the battery assembly to define an air compartment, and wherein the counter measure includes moving ambient air through the air compartment to cool the batteries.