Eaton
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Eaton introduces DC/DC converters for 48V commercial vehicle architectures

May 20, 2022
The DC/DC converter takes power from a 48V system and reduces it to 24V. The bidirectional unit then further reduces the power to 12V for use in low-voltage systems and charges a 12V battery that stores power in case of a fault in the main power supply.

Power management company Eaton introduced a family of 48-volt DC/DC converters for diesel-powered commercial vehicles that can be used to power accessories such as antilock brakes and lighting. Eaton’s DC/DC converters are operational in ambient temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius and boast 97% design efficiency, according to the company.

“DC/DC converters are an essential part of our eMobility product portfolio and are used in a variety of vehicle applications,” said Ben Karrer, director, Technology Development, Eaton’s eMobility business. “Many commercial vehicle manufacturers are transitioning to 48-volt architectures, so having the ability to efficiently convert power from high to low voltage is critical. We’re delighted to deliver power-conversion technology designed specifically to meet the demands of commercial vehicle electrical systems.”

Eaton’s DC/DC converter takes power from a 48V system and reduces it to 24V. The bidirectional unit then further reduces the power to 12V for use in low-voltage systems and charges a 12V battery that stores power in case of a fault in the main power supply.

Eaton offers a family of DC/DC converters that adhere to Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) B functional requirements and can be optimized to work seamlessly with a manufacturer’s alternator specifications. The converters can also be tuned for specific duty cycles via advanced digital control architecture, enabling flexible control modes through firmware adaptation.

The DC/DC power converter also features specialized high-power lock box (HPLB) power connectors. The HPLB connectors are designed by Royal Power Solutions, a leading manufacturer of high-precision electrical connectivity components that Eaton acquired earlier this year.

The DC/DC power converter’s HPLB terminals provide efficiency and reliability as well as protection against the elements. Additionally, the HPLB terminals are waterproof up to one meter deep and strong enough to withstand high-pressure water spray.

Eaton’s DC/DC converter includes noise reduction and rejection technologies, so the unit is unaffected by and does not interfere with vehicle electronics. Additionally, the design efficiency of Eaton’s air-cooled DC/DC converters reduces power loss over a wide operating range, while the die-cast design features a fin pattern that delivers optimal thermal performance.

“The converter is rugged and robust, sealed against environmental factors such as salt spray and water, and has high vibration resiliency,” Karrer said. “This unit is the ideal solution for manufacturers that require a dependable method to manage the higher power loads found in modern commercial vehicles.”

Commercial vehicle 48V architectures also create the potential for the mild hybridization of drive systems. Additionally, the higher power systems can be used to power electrified heaters to quickly heat a vehicle’s aftertreatment catalyst to help reduce emissions.