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Eaton announces suite of 48V technologies

16 August 2021

Eaton Corporation announced its Vehicle Group has developed a series of 48V technologies to assist its global on- and off-highway commercial vehicle customers transitioning from 12- and 24V vehicle systems to systems that include 48V architecture.

“This development comes as global vehicle manufacturers are making decisions to adopt new technologies to meet emissions regulations,” said Ben Karrer, manager, Technology Development, Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “Of the options available, 48V architectures are becoming more popular because they can decrease both CO2 and NOx simultaneously, which helps both our customers and the environment.”

Most vehicles today are powered directly from mechanical power generated by the engine, which runs 12V systems such as air conditioning and pumps. Eaton is developing 48V systems that include motor generators and inverters that generate 48V DC power for the vehicle. Eaton also produces 48V DC/DC converters that step power down from 48V vehicle architectures to power 12- and 24V systems.

New emission regulations—already adopted in California and announced by the US EPA—are expected to reduce tailpipe NOx limits by up to 90%, accelerating the need for engine manufacturers to employ additional emission reduction strategies.

Eaton’s Vehicle Group is also developing power electronics for 48V electric catalyst heating, which provides heat directly to the vehicle’s aftertreatment system. This active heating helps catalyst components reach efficient operating temperatures faster upon engine start and maintain those temperatures during low load operation. According to Eaton, the electrically heated catalyst (EHC) will be an essential strategy for reducing emissions to the levels required by future regulations.

Other components under development include an electrical engine cooling fan and electric air conditioning compressor.

Eaton is also working on 48V energy storage systems, ranging from lead-acid batteries to super capacitors. Eaton notes that the latest lead-acid batteries are inexpensive compared with lithium-ion packs and can offer a safe and efficient energy storage solution.

Source: Eaton