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Title:
BATTERY BLOCK
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/211772
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a battery system (10). In particular, a battery system comprising a first battery (12) and a second battery (14). The first battery and second battery are associated with at least one locking element (32) which extends away from the batteries (12, 14). A locking plate (38) is provided, the locking plate comprising an aperture (44) for receiving the at least one locking element (32). Further, a locking device is provided for locking the at least one locking element (32) and the locking plate (38) together.

Inventors:
MATTSSON, Ted (C/O Purcell Systems International AB, Augustendalvägen 19PO Box 1199, Nacka Strand, Stockholm, 131 27, SE)
PARTINGTON, Ken (C/O Enersys Limited, Oak CourtClifton Business Park,Wynne Avenue, Swinton Manchester M27 8FF, M27 8FF, GB)
WARBURTON, Liam (C/O Enersys Limited, Oak CourtClifton Business Park,Wynne Avenue, Swinton Manchester M27 8FF, M27 8FF, GB)
Application Number:
EP2017/063626
Publication Date:
December 14, 2017
Filing Date:
June 05, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
EH EUROPE GMBH (Baarerstrasse 18, 6300 Zug, 6300, CH)
International Classes:
H01M2/10; E05B73/00; H01M2/34
Foreign References:
JP2002008613A2002-01-11
US20150089981A12015-04-02
US3904439A1975-09-09
CN201562704U2010-08-25
US5052198A1991-10-01
US4249403A1981-02-10
US4191034A1980-03-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ABEL & IMRAY (Westpoint Building, James Street West, Bath Bath and North East Somerset BA1 2DA, BA1 2DA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A battery system comprising:

a first battery and a second battery, the first battery and second battery associated with at least one locking element extending away from the batteries,

a locking plate, the locking plate comprising an aperture for receiving the at least one locking element, a locking device for locking the at least one locking element and the locking plate together.

2. A battery system as claimed in claim 1, wherein the locking plate is arranged to cover the battery terminals of the first battery and second battery.

3. A battery system as claimed in claim 2, wherein the locking plate includes access points to allow cables to be attached to the battery terminals of the first battery and second battery.

4. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first battery and second battery are

associated with the same, single, locking element. 5. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first battery and second battery comprise battery handles.

6. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the at least one locking element is formed with, or mechanically coupled to, a back plate.

7. A battery system as claimed in claim 6, wherein the back plate is configured such that it may be inserted into, engage with, or otherwise be connected to, a battery handle.

8. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first battery is associated with a first locking element and the second battery is associated with a second, different, locking element.

9. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first locking element is integrated with the casing of the first battery.

10. A battery system as claimed in claim 9, wherein the second locking element is integrated with the casing of the second battery.

11. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the locking device is a padlock. 12. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the locking device is associated with an alarm, the alarm arranged to be activated in case of the locking device being tampered with. 13. A battery system as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the locking plate comprises a secondary cover, the secondary cover arranged to at least partially cover the locking device. 14. A kit of parts for locking together a plurality of batteries, the kit of parts comprising at least one locking element with a back plate, the back plate

arranged to engage with a handle of at least one battery, a locking cover with at least one aperture for receiving the at least one locking element, and a locking device arranged to lock the at least one locking element to the locking plate. 15. A method of locking batteries together to form a battery system according to claim 1, the method

comprising the steps of:

arranging a first battery next to a second battery, the first battery and second battery each comprising a handle,

supplying a locking element associated with a back plate,

engaging the back plate with the handle of the first battery and the handle of the second battery,

supplying a locking plate with an aperture for receiving the locking element,

engaging the locking plate with the locking element, such that the protrusion extends through the aperture, and

locking the locking element in position using a locking device.

16. A method of locking batteries together to form a battery system according to claim 1, the method

comprising the steps of:

arranging a first battery next to a second battery, the first battery and second battery each comprising a handle,

supplying a first locking element associated with a back plate and supplying a second locking element

associated with a back plate,

engaging the back plate of the first locking element with the handle of the first battery, engaging the back plate of the second locking element with the handle of the second battery,

supplying a locking plate with a first aperture for receiving the first locking element and a second aperture for receiving the second locking element,

engaging the locking plate with the first locking element and second locking element, such that the locking element extend through the respective first aperture and second aperture, and

locking the first locking element and second locking element in position using a locking device.

17. A method of locking batteries together to form a battery system according to claim 1, the method

comprising the steps of:

arranging a first battery next to a second battery, the first battery and second battery, the first battery comprising a first locking element and the second battery comprising a second locking element,

supplying a locking plate with a first aperture for receiving the first locking element and a second aperture for receiving the second locking element,

engaging the locking plate with the first locking element and second locking element, such that the locking elements extend through the respective first aperture and second aperture, and

locking the first locking element and second locking element in position using a locking device.

Description:
Battery Block

Field of the Invention The present invention concerns a battery system.

More particularly, but not exclusively, this invention concerns a battery system comprising a plurality of batteries that are locked together. The invention also concerns a locking arrangement for locking together a plurality of batteries.

Background of the Invention

Batteries in remote locations are vulnerable to theft, partly in order for thieves to try and sell the batteries on, and partly to sell the materials used in the batteries as scrap. This is particularly true of battery installations where several batteries are housed in a battery cabinet, increasing the potential value of the theft. Whilst efforts have been made to secure battery cabinets, these efforts are not always

successful, and further security measures are desirable. Another approach is to attempt to secure the battery interconnections, though typically this acts only to delay the thief for a short time.

The present invention seeks to mitigate the above- mentioned problems. Alternatively or additionally, the present invention seeks to provide an improved battery system.

Summary of the Invention

The present invention provides, according to a first aspect, a battery system comprising: a first battery and a second battery, the first battery and second battery associated with at least one locking element extending away from the batteries,

a locking plate, the locking plate comprising an aperture for receiving the at least one locking element, a locking device for locking the at least one locking element and the locking plate together.

Advantageously, the invention provides a battery system where a first battery and second battery are easily locked together to form a single unit. Locking the batteries together in a straightforward, but secure manner, may make it more difficult to the batteries to be stolen, particularly when compared to when the batteries are not locked together. This security may increase as the number of batteries that are locked together also increases, thereby making the battery system more

difficult to handle as a single unit. For example, a single battery may weigh 50kg. Individually, such a battery is relatively easy to move. However, if a number of batteries are locked together, resulting in a unit that weighs 100kg, 150kg, 200kg, or more, then it becomes much more difficult for a thief to remove the batteries from their proper location.

The battery system may be located within a battery cabinet, for example, a steel, weather-proof box. The locking plate may secure the batteries to each other independently of the battery cabinet, meaning that even if the battery cabinet is accessed by a thief, additional security measures still have to be overcome. For

additional security, the locking plate may also be locked to the battery cabinet, further increasing the difficult of taking the battery system away as a single unit.

The locking plate may be arranged to cover the battery terminals of the first battery and second battery. The locking plate may include access points to allow cables to be attached to the battery terminals of the first battery and second battery.

The locking element may be a locking pin, locking hoop, or locking bar, or any other element suitable for locking to the locking plate.

The first battery and second battery may be

associated with the same, single, locking element.

The first battery and second battery may comprise battery handles. The at least one locking element may be formed with, or mechanically coupled to, a back plate. The back plate may be configured such that it may be inserted into, engage with, or otherwise be connected to, a battery handle, or any other suitable formation on a battery.

The back plate may be configured to be inserted into, engage with, or otherwise connect to, both the battery handle of the first battery and the second battery. In such an arrangement, only a single locking device is required to secure the first battery and second battery to the locking plate.

Alternatively, the battery system may comprise a first locking element with a back plate associated with the first battery, and a second locking element with a back plate associated with the second battery. In such an arrangement, a first locking device and second locking device may be required to secure the first battery and second battery to the locking plate. Providing a locking element with a back plate allows the arrangement to be retrofitted to existing batteries. The back plates may be specifically designed for, or adapted to, particular battery handles.

The first battery may be associated with a first locking element and the second battery may be associated with a second, different, locking element. The first locking element may be integrated with the casing of the first battery. The second locking element may be

integrated with the casing of the second battery. Such integration may be by mechanically coupling the locking element to the battery casing, for example using a nut and bolt arrangement, or forming with battery casing with the locking element included.

The locking device may be a padlock, or any other suitable locking mechanism. The locking device may be locked and unlocked with a physical key or combination lock, or may be locked and unlocked remotely, via a remote control device associated with the locking device. The locking device may be associated with an alarm, the alarm arranged to be activated in case of the locking device being tampered with.

Where a plurality of locking elements are used, each locking element may comprise an aperture which extends through the locking plate. The apertures in the locking element may be arranged to receive a locking bar, and the locking bar may be secured in position by an additional locking device, for example a padlock. Alternatively, a cable may be threaded through the apertures and locked into position with a padlock. Using such an arrangement may reduce the number of locking devices which are required to secure the locking element in place.

The locking plate may comprise a secondary cover. The secondary cover may be arranged to at least partially cover the locking device. Such an arrangement may increase the security of the battery system by making it harder to tamper with the locking device. Where a plurality of locking devices are used, because a

plurality of locking elements are received by the locking plate, the locking plate may comprise a plurality of associated secondary covers. Alternatively, a single secondary cover may cover a plurality of locking devices.

The battery system may comprise any number of additional batteries. For example, the battery system may comprise a third and a fourth battery. The third and the fourth battery may also be associated with a locking element. In a similar way as described above with relation to the first and second batteries, the third and fourth battery may be associated with the same locking element, or each battery may be associated with a

separate, individual locking element. One example arrangement includes a first locking element with a back plate being associated with the handles of the first battery and second battery. A second locking element with a back plate is associated with the handles of the third battery and fourth battery. The locking plate receives both the first locking element and the second locking element, and a first locking device and a second locking device lock the respective locking element to the locking plate.

In addition to the skilled person appreciating that any number of batteries may be secured together in this way, they will also appreciate that a locking element comprising a back plate may be inserted into, engaged with, or otherwise connected to, any number of battery handles. For example, a back plate may engage with three, four, or five batteries, and a single locking element from the back plate may be locked to the locking plate.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is also provided a kit of parts for locking together a plurality of batteries, the kit of parts comprising at least one locking element with a back plate, the back plate arranged to engage with a handle of at least one battery, a locking plate with at least one aperture for receiving the at least one locking element, and a locking device arranged to lock the at least one locking element to the locking plate.

According to a third aspect, there is provided a method of locking batteries together to form a battery system according to the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising the steps of:

arranging a first battery next to a second battery, the first battery and second battery each comprising a handle,

supplying a locking element associated with a back plate,

engaging the back plate with the handle of the first battery and the handle of the second battery,

supplying a locking plate with an aperture for receiving the locking element,

engaging the locking plate with the locking element, such that the locking element extends through the

aperture, and

locking the locking element in position using a locking device.

According to a fourth aspect, there is provided a method of locking batteries together to form a battery system according to the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising the steps of:

arranging a first battery next to a second battery, the first battery and second battery each comprising a handle,

supplying a first locking element associated with a back plate and supplying a second locking element

associated with a back plate,

engaging the back plate of the first locking element with the handle of the first battery, engaging the back plate of the second locking element with the handle of the second battery,

supplying a locking plate with a first aperture for receiving the first locking element and a second aperture for receiving the second locking element,

engaging the locking plate with the first locking element and second locking element, such that the locking elements extend through the respective first aperture and second aperture, and

locking the first locking element and second locking element in position using a locking device.

According to a fifth aspect, there is provided a method of locking batteries together to form a battery system according to the first aspect of the invention, the method comprising the steps of:

arranging a first battery next to a second battery, the first battery and second battery, the first battery comprising a first locking element and the second battery comprising a second locking element,

supplying a locking plate with a first aperture for receiving the first locking element and a second aperture for receiving the second locking element,

engaging the locking plate with the first locking element and second locking element, such that the locking elements extend through the respective first aperture and second aperture, and

locking the first locking element and second locking element in position using a locking device.

It will of course be appreciated that features described in relation to one aspect of the present invention may be incorporated into other aspects of the present invention. For example, the method of the invention may incorporate any of the features described with reference to the apparatus of the invention and vice versa .

Description of the Drawings

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying schematic drawings of which: Figures 1 to 5 show various schematic views of a

battery system according to a first

embodiment of the invention, the battery system in various stages of completion;

Figures 6 and 7 show schematic views of a battery

system according to a second embodiment of the invention, and

Figures 8 and 9 show schematic views of a battery

system according to a third embodiment of the invention.

Detailed Description

Figure 1 shows a battery system or block 10

comprising a first battery 12, second battery 14, third battery 16, and fourth battery 18. The batteries are 12V lead acid batteries, with an approximate weight of around 50kg per battery. However, the skilled person will appreciate that the invention may be applied to many different types of battery, both with regards to battery composition and battery size, weight, and dimensions.

Each battery comprises a set of connection terminals 20. Each battery also comprises a handle 22, 24, 26, 28, projecting from an end face of the battery. In the arrangement shown, the connection terminals 20 are disposed on a top face of the batteries 12, 14, 16, 18, adjacent the end face on which the handles 22, 24, 26, 28 are located.

Figure 2 shows the battery block 10 as described with regards to figure 1, with a first locking element 32 associated with the first battery 12 and second battery 14, and a second locking element 36 associated with the third battery 16 and fourth battery 18. The first locking element 32 is formed on a back plate 30, and the second locking element 36 is formed on a back plate 34. The first back plate 30 is inserted under, and into engagement with, the first handle 22 and second handle 24. The second back plate 34 is inserted under, and into engagement with, the third handle 26 and fourth handle 34. In this embodiment, the locking elements 32, 36, are approximately cylindrical pins, though the skilled person will appreciate that any other suitable size and shape of locking element may be used.

Figure 3 shows the battery block as described with reference to figure 2, including a locking plate 38 configured to locked the four batteries, 12, 14, 16, 18, together. The locking plate comprises a top plate 40 which covers the battery terminals 20, and an end plate 42 which extends over, and covers the battery handles 22, 24, 26, 28. The end plate 42 includes a first aperture 44 through which the first locking element 32 extends, and a second aperture 46 through which the second locking element 36 extends. The first locking element 32

comprises an aperture 48 located at the distal end of the locking element which extends through the end plate 42, and the second locking element 36 comprises an aperture 50 located at the distal end of the locking element which extends through the end plate 42. Figure 4 shows the battery block arrangement as described with regards to figure 3, with a first locking device 52 engaged with the first locking element 32.

Specifically, the first locking device 52 is a padlock with a shackle which is passed through the aperture 48. A second locking device 54 is engaged with the second locking element 36. The second locking device 54 is a padlock with a shackle which is passed through the aperture 50. The arrangement as described joins the four batteries 12, 14, 16, 18, together as a single unit, and it is not possible to remove a single battery from the battery block 10.

Figure 5 shows a potential handle arrangement in more detail. As can be seen on handle 26, the handle 26 comprises a number of reinforcing ribs 56. The back plates, as shown on back plate 30, may include a number of teeth 58 arranged to engage with the reinforcing ribs 56 to further increase the coupling between the back plate and the batteries.

Not shown in the figures for the sake of clarity are access points to either side of the locking plate 38, the access points arranged to allow cables to be attached to the terminals 20 of the batteries 12, 14, 16, and 18.

Figures 6 and 7 show a battery system similar to that described with regards to figures 1 to 5, with the addition of a secondary cover 56 associated with the first aperture 44, and arranged to protect the locking device 32, and a further secondary cover 58 associated with the second aperture 46, and arranged to protect the locking device 36.

Figures 8 and 9 show a battery system similar to that described with regards to figures 1 to 5, with the addition of a secondary cover 80 extending from the first aperture 44 to the second aperture 46. The secondary cover 80 is arranged to protect both the locking device 32 and the locking device 36. The secondary cover 80 may be welded to or mechanically fastened to the end plate 42, or any other suitable form of connection. The end plate 42 in this embodiment extends across the whole end of the battery block, covering the handles of each individual battery. Such an arrangement may

advantageously make it even more difficult to attempt to move the battery block 10.

Whilst the present invention has been described and illustrated with reference to particular embodiments, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that the invention lends itself to many different

variations not specifically illustrated herein. By way of example only, certain possible variations will now be described .

The back plates described about couple two batteries together. The back plates could couple any number of batteries together, potentially removing the number of locking element and locking devices needed to secure the locking plate in position. Alternatively, the back plate and locking element may be associated with a single battery, such that each of the batteries joined together by the locking plate is associated with an individual back plate and locking element.

The locking elements may be arranged such that a single locking bar or cable is threaded through the apertures which pass through the locking plate, needing only a single locking device to secure them in position.

The embodiment described with regards to figures 1 to 5 is suitable for retrofitting to a battery. In an alternative embodiment, the locking elements may be formed integrally with the battery casing, thereby removing the need to use a back plate to engage with the battery handle. Alternatively, the locking element and back plate may be engaged to any suitable formation on the batteries, not necessarily the handle of a battery.

The security of the battery block may be increased by adding a similar arrangement to the other, opposite, end of the batteries.

Various different locking devices may be used to secure the locking elements to the locking plate, for example various mechanically controlled locking devices, or electronically controlled locking devices. The locking devices may be associated with alarms which indicate that the locking devices are being tampered with .

Where in the foregoing description, integers or elements are mentioned which have known, obvious or foreseeable equivalents, then such equivalents are herein incorporated as if individually set forth. Reference should be made to the claims for determining the true scope of the present invention, which should be construed so as to encompass any such equivalents. It will also be appreciated by the reader that integers or features of the invention that are described as preferable,

advantageous, convenient or the like are optional and do not limit the scope of the independent claims. Moreover, it is to be understood that such optional integers or features, whilst of possible benefit in some embodiments of the invention, may not be desirable, and may therefore be absent, in other embodiments.