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Air Managing System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004782D
Publication Date: 2001-May-17

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A device having a housing, an air-rechargeable battery in the housing, and an antenna having a retracted position and an extended position, wherein air can flow into the housing and to the battery when the antenna is in the extended position.

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Air Managing Systems

BACKGROUND

The invention relates to air managing systems for air-rechargeable batteries.

Batteries are commonly used electrical energy sources. A battery contains a negative electrode, typically called the anode, and a positive electrode, typically called the cathode. The anode contains an active material that can be oxidized; the cathode contains or consumes an active material that can be reduced. The anode active material is capable of reducing the cathode active material. In order to prevent direct reaction of the anode material and the cathode material, the anode and the cathode are electrically isolated from each other by a sheet-like layer, typically called the separator.

When a battery is used as an electrical energy source in a device, such as a cellular telephone, electrical contact is made to the anode and the cathode, allowing electrons to flow through the device and permitting the respective oxidation and reduction reactions to occur to provide electrical power. An electrolyte in contact with the anode and the cathode contains ions that flow through the separator between the electrodes to maintain charge balance throughout the battery during discharge.

In a metal-air electrochemical cell, oxygen is reduced at the cathode, and a metal, such as zinc, is oxidized at the anode. Oxygen is supplied to the cathode from the atmospheric air external to the cell through one or several air access port(s) in the cell container. To prolong battery life, it is desirable that the cathode be exposed to air flow when in use, and isolated from air flow when not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to air managing systems for air-rechargeable batteries. The systems help to prolong battery life by isolating the batteries from air flow when the batteries are not in use.

In one aspect, the invention features a device having a housing, an air-rechargeable battery in the housing, and an antenna having a retracted position and an extended position, wherein air can flow into the housing and to the battery when the antenna is in the extended position. Air flow to the battery can be minimized when the antenna is in the retracted position.

Embodiments of the invention may include one or more of the following features. The antenna can define an air passageway and at least one air access opening, which can engage a seal when the antenna is in the retracted position. The housing can define an exhaust port. A portion of the antenna may engage the exhaust port to minimize air flow to the battery when the antenna is in the retracted position.

In another aspect, the invention features a device having a housing with at least one air access opening, an air-rechargeable battery in the housing, and an antenna having a retracted position and an extended position, wherein air can flow through the air access hole and to the battery when the antenna is in the extended position. Air flow to the battery is minimized when the antenna is in the retracte...