Power Electronics

AeroVironment Patent Covers Electric Vehicle Battery Charging

AeroVironment, Inc. has been granted a patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for technology that facilitates the optimal charging, management, control and maintenance of battery packs, chargers and electric vehicles (EVs). Patent No. 7,444,192 builds on AV's intellectual property portfolio in its Efficient Energy Systems business segment. This segment's products include PosiCharge(tm) systems, the leading fast charge systems for electric vehicles.

AV's technology is directly applicable to battery packs, chargers and battery-powered EVs that can be linked to the electric utility network and managed by a "smart grid" controller. The technology is designed to gather data from the EV or the charger, and uses the data to determine whether the rate of charge is optimized for the vehicle's performance, the battery's long-term health, and the utility's power availability. A device employing this technology could create and store a performance profile for the EV and charger. Based on this historical profile, the device could optimize the rate of charge or transmit an alert to the utility or end user.

The technology was developed for AV's PosiNET system, a Web-based motive power management solution which has been deployed in support of commercial EV fleets in the United States. PosiNET minimizes fleet downtime and optimizes vehicle utilization by providing real-time, predictive and historic reports as well as actionable alerts and equipment usage recommendations to fleet managers.

For passenger EV charging, the system would enable vehicle and grid optimization through grid-tied electric charging systems communicating with utilities via the internet. The system could send alerts and other actionable data to utilities which could then remotely control charge rates using the PosiNETsystem. The comprehensive information gathered by the system could also be used by the utilities for reporting and analysis. These same capabilities could also be applied by utilities to help enable real-time grid balancing on a local level.

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