July 13, 2023: Wu Kai, the chief scientist and co-president of China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology and his team, have been honoured for contributions to lithium ion battery safety by the European Patent Office (EPO).
The European Inventor Award 2023 in the non-EPO countries category for transport tech was presented on July 4 at a ceremony in Spain.
According to the EPO, Wu and his team (pictured) have been working since 2019 on cell-to-pack technology that uses a single integrated structure to optimize space used in the battery pack and increase the pack’s energy density.
Other innovations include a safety device that short-circuits an overcharged battery.
The EPO said the device features an embossed flip-top cover that does not melt, while the cover acts as a barrier that dissipates heat and absorbs the temperatures and excess pressure.
When overheating inside a battery cell causes the air pressure to rise, the cover flips and makes contact with the conductive pole piece in the battery, thereby stopping the charging process.
Wu said: “I hope that more inventors will dedicate themselves to the e-mobility and energy transition so that together we can develop more innovations for the benefit of mankind.”
Wu, who is also the co-president of CATL’s Future Energy Research Institute, began his career as a lecturer before moving into industry to work on magnetic recording.
In 2002 he accepted a post as a technical director of a company that manufactures lithium batteries then joined CATL in 2012.
The European Inventor Award was launched by the EPO in 2006.
The non-EPO category recognizes the work of outstanding inventors from outside the body’s 39 member states who have been granted European patents.