Milwaukee Has A Patent For A Dual-Mode Possibly Dual-Voltage Battery

Milwaukee has a patent for a dual-mode battery pack where the cells can be selected between parallel and series configuration. This could possibly be a new dual-voltage battery similar to what Dewalt has with their 20/60V Flexvolt battery pack.

Methods and systems for selectively connecting a plurality of battery cells in a dual-mode battery pack in series and parallel configurations and/or for individual cell monitoring. A dual-mode battery pack may generally include a housing: a first set of battery cells connected in series. The battery pack may also include series connection contacts selectively connectable to the first set of battery cells and to the second set of battery cells and when engaged, connecting the first set of battery cells and the second set of battery cells in a series configuration, and parallel connection contacts selectively connectable to the first set of battery cells and the second set of battery cells and when engaged, connecting the first set of battery cells and the second set of battery cells in a parallel configuration.

This patent appears to be from December 2016 which is a little over a year ago and this means it might still be in the works although not all patent ideas come to life as is the case with any patent. This means that it may or may not come to fruition. I wonder if they do make it if it would be a 15 cell dual voltage battery pack like Dewalt did with their Flexvolt 20 volt / 60 volt battery pack or something like Hitachi or soon to be named Hikoki did with their 10 cell 18v / 36v dual voltage battery pack? Only time will tell. What do you guys think?

A big thanks to Andrew Livingstone for digging up this info!

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glenn
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glenn

Interesting that Milwaukee took out this patent some six months after Dewalt announced Flexvolt.

DrewM
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DrewM

I think 18/36 makes a lot more sense given the newest ~3-4ah cells than 18/54. However, the ideal voltage is very application dependent. The only interesting thing about 18/54 is that with two in series, you can run most corded power tools directly off the ~100v dc… IF the switches in them are actually rated for breaking a 100v dc circuit.