Samsung’s Alternative Energy Patents


Recently, when reviewing the latest published patent applications and issued patents for Samsung, we stumbled across a number of innovations that broadly relate to alternative energy solutions.There are many issues to be solved by engineers in the energy sector, from fossil fuel-based pollution to dwindling energy resources. Samsung has made commitments to alternative energy projects all over the world, including a sizable financing project for a 180-megawatt wind farm to be built in Kincardine, Canada. Samsung’s sustainable, low-cost alternative energies is even supporting the development of digital villages in Africa.


Recently Issued Patents

Fuel cells, which utilize hydrogen as an energy carrier for the generation of electricity, have been heralded as an alternative energy technology with applications in an incredible variety of machines, from vehicles to personal electronic devices. Samsung has already entered the fray and has improved its fuel cell patent portfolio through the issue of U.S. Patent No. 8889310, which is titled Fuel Cell System and Driving Method for the Same. This technology is designed to reduce deterioration to fuel cells through enhanced control of the operating conditions of the fuel cell. The fuel cell system protected by this patent is comprised of a fuel cell stack with a plurality of unit cells, a fuel supply unit, an oxidizer supply unit and a controller connected to each which calculates a total operation time of the fuel cell stack and can also adjust stack activation periods and cycles.

Samsung has also developed a rechargeable device for storing and supplying energy through U.S. Patent No. 8889292, issued under the title Rechargeable Battery. The battery claimed by this patent includes a plurality of electrodes and electrode uncoated regions, as well as a plurality of side plates which are coextensive and integral with a series of current collecting plates. The configuration of this rechargeable battery is intended to reduce the risk that an electrode assembly could contact the battery case, which causes short circuiting. Although Samsung SDI Co. of Yongin, South Korea, holds rights in this patent, this was also assigned jointly to German engineering giant Robert Bosch GmbH of Stuttgart.

Electronic Panels for Display and Solar Cells 

Samsung has recently also filed patent applications relating to a couple of inventions relating to display and solar panels. In terms of display panels, Samsung has some interesting technologies that they’re looking to implement in some of their products to be released in 2015, including flexible and bendable smartphone displays. In solar panel technologies, Samsung earned some notoriety by developing the world’s most efficient copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) conversion module in December of last year.

Further improvements to the productivity of thin film solar panels based on CIGS compounds are described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20140338751, titled Method of Manufacturing Thin Film Solar Cell, Device for Manufacturing Thin Film Solar Cell, and Thin Film Solar Cell Including Buffer Layer Manufactured by the Method (see figure below). The method of manufacturing a thin film solar cell that would be protected by this patent application involves supplying an alkali solution to a substrate inside a first bath, where the substrate is etched and washed, supplying a zinc source and solution within a second bath, and a third bath that provides a sulphur source and solution. This manufacturing method is intended to reduce the risk of poor band alignment characteristics from forming between a light absorbing layer and a transparent electrode layer, which results in a low open voltage.

We were also intrigued by a technology for the improved operation of organic light emitting displays (OLEDs) developed recently by Samsung, especially in light of the company’s recent decision to reduce the number of products utilizing OLEDs offered in 2015. U.S. Patent Application No. 20140333686, which is titled Pixel and Organic Light Emitting Display Device Using the Same, would protect a pixel comprised of an organic light emitting diode and multiple driving transistors for supplying power to the diode; one of the transistors can be operated in conjunction with a data signal supplied by a data line. This invention achieves not only low power consumption but more uniform luminance of an image being displayed on an OLED display panel.

Read full article HERE | SOURCE: Practising Law Institute (Patent Law Center)