48 V control for heated catalysts

By Mike Brezonick02 June 2022

Eaton’s eMobility business has introduced a 48 V programmable power electronics control unit for electrically heated catalysts that can be used by commercial vehicle manufacturers to meet tightening global emissions regulations.

Eaton catalyst heater controller Eaton’s 48 V programmable power electronics control unit for electrically heated catalysts. (Photo: Eaton)

“Commercial vehicle manufacturers face new challenges generating and controlling this level of electrical power for a single vehicle accessory,” said Tom Stoltz, chief engineer, 48 V Systems, Eaton’s eMobility business. “Our control unit helps them overcome these challenges and enables electrical integration in meeting future ultralow nitrogen oxide emissions regulations.”

In Europe, the next stage of heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards, Euro 7, is targeted for introduction as early as 2026, while in the U.S., the California Air Resources Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are introducing more stringent regulations in 2024 and 2027. Collectively, the new regulations are designed to reduce tailpipe NOx limits by up to 90%, thus accelerating the need for global engine manufacturers to employ additional emission-reducing strategies such as electric catalyst heating and heated exhaust fluids.

Eaton’s family of electric heater power electronics controllers are being developed for solutions between 2 kW and 15 kW power output and operate with up to 99% peak efficiency, the company said. The controller is designed to receive power commands from the aftertreatment system, provide soft-start and soft-stop capabilities for assisting in maintaining system voltage control, and diagnostic feedback of the heater element.

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

The air-cooled electric catalyst heater controller is part of Eaton’s broader 48 V electrical system portfolio, which contains several technologies that allow manufacturers to integrate 48 V architectures in next-generation vehicles.

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