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Should I pursue this charging method patent?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by henderrj, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    Like many early adopters here I started an ICE conversion project back in the eighties. Out of that came an idea for connecting for charging as a part of parking. No cable to plug in, but a direct connection. Did nothing with it until I read my first article on the Roadster. For the last 7+ years I've been working at it. Filed an international patent more than a year ago. Now the national phase is approaching. In other words tens of thousands more dollars to pour into it.

    So, here are my questions.
    • Is the idea of dropping the cord but having direct connection of any use to you?
    • Would you pay $2500 for a port/probe system to give you this option.
      • If Tesla never picked it up and you only ever got to use it in your garage and maybe at work?
      • If Tesla outfitted all their supercharger stations with the system?
    I'll provide a video link below as well as a basic description. Please post comments, positive or - not - and ask any questions you can think of.

    Thanks,

    Rick



    The Power Docking Port System
    “A young mother is traveling to grandma’s house with her newborn safely ensconced in the back seat of her autonomous vehicle. The driving blizzard would have been terrifying in previous cars but not this ultimately safe vehicle. About half way there she pulls off the dark highway towards the EV charger. As they approach she doesn’t get pelted with ice nor is her child blasted with chill air. No door even unlocks: a light touch to the ‘Connect’ confirmation icon on the center console and she turns to watch her sleeping baby as her vehicle autonomously drives up to, and connects to, the Power Docking Port equipped charger.”

    PDP System Features:
    • Compatibility with autonomous and manually driven vehicles
    • Eliminates the need for a cable while maintaining direct connection
    • Allows easily double the current charge rate, potentially over 500 kW
    • Robust design allowing the vehicle to be up to 4 inches off center and 15 to 30 degrees off in angle of approach or even rotationally
    • Even with significant misalignment, which should not happen, this thing will plug in!
    • System integrates with vehicle manufacturer specific charging circuitry
    • Adaptors allow backwards compatibility for cord centric charging
    PDP System Protection and Integration:
    • Provisional patent application 14 November 2014
    • International patent filing date 13 November 2015
    • PCT International Search Report completed 01 February 2016
      • The title and abstract text was approved as submitted
      • 25 of 25 claims were positive for novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.
    • Conceptual model completed in 2014
    • 3D printed prototype completed 2016
     
  2. LuPapa

    LuPapa Member

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    Had to watch the video twice to realize your demo was actually in the tiny boxes. I'm sure most manufacturers would frown on you using their trademarks in the video as well.

    Does it work? Do you have a real world one built and in use? Show us that video.
     
  3. thimel

    thimel Member

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    It seems cool, but I wouldn't pay that much to install one in my garage. I also don't find it at all painful to plug in at an SC. I always get out of the car to stretch anyway.
    For autonomous vehicles used for car sharing it could be very useful.
     
  4. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    It does work, but we are still in the process of putting it in our cars for daily use. The electrical is pretty easy - it was the physical shape (for passive alignment) that required the most design and testing. We've kept it under wraps until now but i'll update once we can show you something more. I decided to ask for input since we've reached this next level and have to make some decisions.

    I'm not too worried about Tesla, on anyone else, complaining much. It's not like millions of people will view this! And, yes, primarily we are thinking of autonomous vehicles. I mean what are they going to do? Hire a bunch of "super charger station attendants"? What a job that would be! Of course they could use the Teslabot/snake. but why make another device with self driving smarts in it? We've already got one of those! Even my AP1 S could do this with the right programing.

    I'll get Aaron to put together a video with just our examples and try to get it on youtube. Thanks!
     
  5. Altes

    Altes Member

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    well considering you just publicly disclosed the information, unless you have already filed you have none chance of a patent.
     
  6. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    I accidentally replied to part of your post up above. Sorry about that!

    I also prefer to get out an SCs so, you are correct, it's mostly about automated vehicles. I will admit that I do sometimes tire of taking the 20 seconds to plug in every night. Pretty sad! But still true.

    Hopefully the price would come down dramatically - maybe not to the HPWC's $500, but hopefully close. The point is that small production run units, which we would have to do if we decided to pursue production ourselves, could end up retailing for that, including install in the car.

    Oh, it could be installed in the rear somewhat more easily than the front. Obviously on the facelift cars (including all X's), but even on the earlier vehicles. Guess that's another question - would you prefer to back in or is face in better?
     
  7. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    Thanks, yes, we filed more than a year ago. The US patent office did the international search for us. Found all 25 claims to have industrial application, show inventive step, and to be novel - that is they could find no other patent in any international search that conflicted with even one of our claims. Our patent attorney was nearly dancing! (No small feat considering he's pushing 350!)
     
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  8. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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  9. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    No. this is a direct connection system. in spite of my years of work on this and an associated desire to make it sound more wonderful the truth is this is just a new form of plug. Fancy plug! But really to claim more would be a misrepresentation.

    Wireless has a few problems. This system works with slower, level 2, power, but any such system introduces its own set of difficulties as one raises the power. Of course basic physics shows that it is impossible to be as efficient as a wired system (although others have made tremendous strides in that area). It can't be used in a grid connected bi-directional sense at all (efficiency being the main bug-a-boo). I'm sure they can solve any interference problems, but mostly it's the complexity and weight. Well, and the fact you've got something in the middle of your garage floor. (How will you run power to it?) I don't think wireless charging will be a long term solution, then again, I might be wrong! The fact is the Plugless system works fine for overnight charging. I hope they do well with it.
     
  10. Missile Toad

    Missile Toad Member

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    I've plugged into 1 supercharger in my travels for the last 3 months, and about 5 different HPWC and L2 chargers. If I'm only using chargers at even just 1/4 the rate everyone else does, then a gadget that plugs in for me just saved 4 (times more frequent) x 6 visits = 24 visits in 90 days. Lets say it saves 30 seconds each time... and it is a whopping 12 minutes of time saved...., and if I'm using the bathroom or getting some drinks, I was going to be out of the car anyway.

    I'm a big fan of garage inventors, and I tip my hat to anybody who files a patent for anything. Having said that, this is a long-shot, that has lots of competitors that would compete _if_ it had true merit and traction in the market. So that is risk #1.

    Risk #2, is there are not enough grannies, mobility impaired people, hailstorms (and other precipitation) to generate interest in a way that would scale, and have the infrastructure vendors lining up at your door for your tech. In other words, I perceive the chief benefits to your invention to be to make it so that people don't have to touch the refueling apparatus.

    Given that, you might find your best market to be taxi fleet owners that have (or will soon have) driverless taxis. Those people really want to avoid hiring a trained monkey to plug-in and unplug. So this is probably your foot-in-the-door market to work with. Still, you have this chicken-egg problem, do you wait for real autonomous vehicles to show up, or do you capital-raise, staff-up, market-the-sh!t-out-of-this-thing, etc. now?

    Anyway, my 2 cents... good luck in your venture.

    FYI, I'm working on a patent, focussed on solving the navigation and/or convenience to en-route charging, where one of the inputs is 'how far away from my route is the charging station'. No hardware involved -- so I'm not competing with you. Strategy-wise, I'm filing U.S. only, and waiting until I have some 'wins' before I try filing other of my inventions international (which can really run the meter on multiple patent attorneys in several jurisdictions).

    One more thing -- the 'you' in your question at the top of your thread is the 'moneybags Tesla S/X' owners. Even if only 10% of them said yes, you won't get even 1/10th the interest among the Tesla 3 owners; Leaf owners; and everyone else downmarket.
     
  11. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    First, good luck on your patent! And thanks for the well wishes. Yes, the primary focus is towards autonomous vehicles. Still, if it costs no more for a Power Docking Port System than a conventional charging system why wouldn't one use it? The design is specifically focused towards easy manufacturing so - maybe it will happen.
     
  12. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    I asked Aaron to put up a video that showed just the PDP working. He remembered one we had made rather quickly to demonstrate it's use for VTOL drones. It pretty effectively shows the use of the probe and port though. Really makes clear how it would work with a drone, but that's another forum!

     
  13. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    #13 brkaus, Apr 6, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
    [​IMG]

    I can't find the post I made a long time ago here, but I would put this "plug" on the hood (with metal wrapped points), and design a outlet on the wall that would mate to it.

    It's specifically designed for easy visibility and alignment from the drivers seat.

    :)
     
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  14. Vince Cobelo

    Vince Cobelo Member

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    In your demo 2 posts above you don't have a thick cable attached. Doesn't really demonstrate much other than making something fit which is easy. No making it fit and then delivering power. What in heaven's name would you want to sell it for $2,500 for? Patent it and license it to whoever wants to take it to market if it is viable. If you think you have something sell the license for $20 royalty on each manufactured and let them go at it.

    Use a large portion of the royalty to lobby manufacturers to make it a standard across platforms.
     
  15. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    Thanks, yes we do hope to license it. In fact that's our primary aim. But I was trying to gauge interest, would people be as interested in this for instance has they would be magnetic pair charging or wireless charging.

    Making any given thing fit in something else is not that hard. Deciding a shape that will fit at any angle at any rotation and off center, that would work with single phase or 3 phase, and would work at pretty much any voltage and amperage level, in your garage or at a supercharger station, in China, Europe, or the Americas, that was not easy!
     
  16. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Supporting Member

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    For home use, no. For supercharging, yes. This would solve the safety issue, where should trouble arise while plugged in, you aren't a sitting duck. I don't mind getting out and plugging in during daylight hours, but as a woman traveling alone, I'm a little wary doing so at night. Especially at a few supercharger locations.
     
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  17. Vince Cobelo

    Vince Cobelo Member

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    I think making it fit is the easy part I guess I should say. Handling a power cable, waterproofing, quality control of the the entire mechanism, repetitive use in a hostile environment with varying temperatures and degrees of rapidity. Tamper resistance, online communications and diagnostics, serviceability. You may have it but I don't see it in any of your presentations. Crowd fund the development of it if you want to see if there is interest. Bunch of people in a forum doesn't tell you much of anything.
     
  18. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    Thanks, other than the obvious need with autonomous vehicles, this is where I thought the best use would be. But, if the car is already set up for charging this way would you think you would use it at home?
     
  19. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    All good points and, yes, lots more work to do. The devil is in the details. Will, are, seriously considering crowd funding but really it is autonomous vehicles we are most focused on.
     
  20. Btrflyl8e

    Btrflyl8e Supporting Member

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    If already set up, then likely yes
     
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