Eaton’s 48V DC/DC converter for harsh environments

Eaton is now offering a higher power version of its low-voltage 48-volt DC/DC converter for commercial and off-highway vehicles that is designed to withstand harsh operating environments.

Eaton 48-volt DC/DC converter The DC/DC converter takes power from a 48-volt system and steps it down to 12 volts to run accessories and other low-power systems. (Photo: Eaton)

“Our new converter has up to 40 amps of output current capacity and can be installed on the vehicle in areas that are subject to very harsh conditions, including frame rails, battery and engine compartments,” said Ben Karrer, head of engineering, Low Voltage and Power Conversion, Eaton’s Mobility Group. “These are environmental extremes with adverse conditions, shock and vibration that require robust protection features.”

The DC/DC converter takes power from a 48-volt system and steps it down to 12 volts to run accessories and other low-power systems. This design helps essential equipment — including antilock brakes and power steering — work even in the case of a power failure, Eaton explained.

According to the company, there is a growing demand for 48-volt DC/DC converters as off-highway and commercial vehicle manufacturers increasingly switch to dual-voltage electrical architectures. Eaton said its converters have a natural convection, air-cooled design for ease of integration and can operate at ambient temperatures up to 85 degrees C. In addition, because moving up to 48 volts decreases the electrical current, smaller wire can be used, reducing weight and helping to alleviate packaging concerns.

A Controller Area Network (CAN) bus allows direct communication from the DC/DC converter to other vehicle electronic control units to transmit diagnostic information.

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