Tesla is always committed to improving customer satisfaction by providing the best possible products, convenience and service. The manufacturer has begun production of the Semi Truck, so the company is now working on improving the Megacharger that will charge it, which is described in the patent "Charging system with cooling system." In addition, the patent shows other options for the charging connector (controller), which is of particular interest.
On April 4, 2022, Tesla filed the patent, “Charging system with cooling system.” Published on October 13, 2022, the patent describes an improvement to a liquid-cooled charging cable and charger for charging electric vehicles, including semi-trailers. In addition, the drawings contained in the document show a cable cover that is different from the standard Tesla charging connector (controller), which is of particular interest.
Tesla writes that improvements in electric vehicle components such as batteries have increased the need for power provided by charging equipment that supplies the electricity. Some vehicle fast charging systems are designed to operate with a continuous current of 100 Amps or more, and there is already equipment that provides excellent charging on them. However, with the advent of larger electric vehicles such as Semi, charging duties have increased. Tesla writes that this may require charging cables to charge at 2000 Amps or more.
Charging at a higher current also creates additional difficulties that must be overcome. Higher current in the charging cable (e.g., the conductors) generates more heat, which must be dissipated to prevent overheating and damage to the charging cable. As a result, charging cable conductors are traditionally larger to accommodate more current draw, resulting in more mass.
Tesla describes that the use of liquid cooling can provide higher current through the charging cable as heat exposure is eliminated or greatly reduced. In addition, the use of liquid cooling can provide a more convenient cable design. By removing or significantly reducing heat exposure, bulky and large cables are no longer needed to protect equipment and the user from generated heat. Thus, the charging cable can be lighter, thinner or more flexible.
Among other things, the patent is also of interest because it contains a drawing of a charging cable that has an unusual cover, as an option. Instead of the usual shape of connector (controller) for Tesla cars, there are two larger rectangular connectors and several small round ones. Tesla described the drawing:
“FIG.6 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the controller 102 having an alternative cover 450 and interface 452, such as for utilization by different configurations of vehicles. However, as illustrated in FIG.7, the utilization of the return channels 410, 412 and supply channels 414, 416 remains the same or substantially similar. Other embodiments may also be incorporated in accordance with aspects of the present application. As previously discussed, in embodiments in which the cooling fluid is water-based, the fluid flow illustrated at 450 can be facilitated through narrower channels 418, 420 relative to channels that would otherwise have been required due if a non-conductive fluid was utilized, such as based on the viscosity, density or other properties of traditional non-conductive fluids. Accordingly, the connector and geometries illustrated in FIGS.6-7 also provide additional heat exchange and fluid flow for conductive fluids.”
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.