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Eaton Says OEM Selects Its Tech for EV Platform

By Eaton Corp. Press Release

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 6, 2021 -- Power management company Eaton today announced its eMobility business secured a contract to supply power distribution units (PDUs) and Bussmann series fuses to a global vehicle manufacturer for use in a new battery electric (BEV) light-duty commercial vehicle, which is a rapidly growing segment for BEVs. The PDUs are scalable in design to be applied to a wide range of future vehicles within the portfolio.

PDUs, also known as junction boxes or fuse boxes, connect the main battery power to the rest of the vehicle, similar to how a home service panel connects the main power source to each of the branch circuits in the house. While distributing power through the vehicle, the PDUs deliver a safety function by providing circuit protection.

Eaton’s eMobility business earned the supply agreement due to the unique features it was able to offer over competitors, including the complete integration of the Bussmann series fuses into the PDUs for the protection of four auxiliary circuits.

“Eaton’s extensive experience and application of fuse and circuit protection technology allowed for PDU integration at levels others could not match,” said Kevin Calzada, global product strategy manager, Power Distribution and Protection, Eaton’s eMobility business. “Eaton was able to secure this program through technical agility in the PDU feature design and assuring high reliability in the system.”

Eaton’s eMobility team leveraged its extensive electrical expertise to design a functional and cost-effective product to meet the stringent circuit protection requirements of the vehicle. The PDUs also went through rigorous testing to ensure long-term reliability.

“Fuse durability simulations are unique in the industry and help OEMs reduce risk,” said Calzada. “If not specified correctly, auxiliary fuses can have issues with nuisance trips —but with our experts leading the fuse coordination, we were able to demonstrate high long-term reliability with our fuse sizing analysis.”

The OEM also required the PDUs to offer multiple levels of safety. Eaton’s PDUs have a unique design regarding access to the box to ensure safe repair and service. Additionally, Eaton units feature a test port that allows for an electrical meter to be used as a probe to contact miniature circuit boards that signal if the unit is still charged, preventing the technician from contacting high voltage.

Eaton’s eMobility business was formed by combining products, expertise, and global manufacturing capabilities from Eaton’s Electrical and Vehicle Groups. Eaton plans to further develop new products and technologies, including smart diagnostics, intelligent power electronics and predictive health monitoring systems, to strengthen its global capabilities and deliver intelligent electrification solutions to passenger car, commercial vehicle and off-highway customers.

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