Eaton develops 48-volt aftertreatment heater controller to help manufacturers meet emissions regulations

Energy management company Eaton announced today that its eMobility business has introduced a 48-volt programmable power electronics control unit for electrically heated catalytic converters that can be used by commercial vehicle manufacturers to meet stricter global emissions regulations

Energy management company Eaton announced today that its eMobility business has introduced a 48-volt programmable power electronics control unit for electrically heated catalytic converters that can be used by commercial vehicle manufacturers to meet stricter global emissions regulations. Rapidly warming up the exhaust after-treatment catalytic converter and keeping it warm at low engine loads is essential for optimum performance and reduction of harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) exhaust emissions.

“Commercial vehicle manufacturers face new challenges to generate and manage this level of electrical power for a single vehicle accessory,” said Tom Stoltz, chief engineer, 48-volt Systems, Eaton’s eMobility division. “Our control unit helps them meet these challenges and enables electrical integration to meet future regulations for ultra-low nitrogen oxide emissions.”

The air-cooled electric catalyst heating controller is part of Eaton’s broader portfolio of 48-volt electrical systems, which includes several technologies that allow manufacturers to integrate 48-volt architectures into next-generation vehicles. Eaton’s family of power electronics controllers for electric heaters are designed for solutions between 2 kW and 15 kW and operate at peak efficiency of up to 99%. The controller is designed to receive power commands from the aftertreatment system, provide soft start and soft stop capabilities to help maintain system voltage regulation and diagnostic feedback from the heating element.

“The aftertreatment catalytic converter heater controller contains all the necessary power electronics to power the heater smoothly and ensure the vehicle’s electrical system remains stable during heater operation,” said Stoltz.

This technology comes at a time when car manufacturers worldwide are faced with stricter emissions standards. In Europe, the next stage of emission standards, known as Euro VII for heavy-duty diesel trucks, should be introduced as early as 2026. In the US, the California Air Resources Board and the US Environmental Protection Agency will introduce stricter regulations in 2024 and 2027. Collectively, the new regulations are designed to lower NOx limits for exhaust pipes by up to 90%, eliminating the need for global manufacturers to introduce additional applying emission abatement strategies, such as electric catalyst heating, is accelerated.

Eaton is an intelligent energy management company dedicated to improving the quality of life and protecting the environment for people everywhere. We are guided by our commitment to doing business the right way, operating sustainably and helping our customers manage energy today and well into the future. By responding to the global growth trends of electrification and digitalization, we are accelerating the planet’s transition to renewable energy, helping to solve the most pressing energy management challenges and doing what is best for our stakeholders and the whole society.

SOURCE: eaton

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