New Industry Products

Power Distribution Unit Delivers Safer Power for Commercial Electric Vehicles

October 22, 2019 by Paul Shepard

Power management company Eaton today announced its eMobility business has introduced a new Flex Power Distribution Unit (PDU) for high-voltage electrified commercial vehicles that is uniquely designed to handle multiple load requirements. Eaton has reached an agreement with Cummins Inc. to supply elements of the Flex PDU, which reliably distributes power and keeps the vehicle and occupants safe while protecting power electronics from short circuits, crash events and other electrical system faults.

Eaton's new Flex PDU not only protects vital components and occupants, but it is also an intelligent unit that provides diagnostic information to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) via the Controller Area Network (CAN), including where the most power is being consumed to maximize performance and efficiency.

It provides programmable control of system components and operational status monitoring, communicating status and diagnostics with the vehicle via its CAN bus.

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Core features include:

  • Consists of a series of power distribution elements (PDEs) configured for the specific needs of the system
  • Delivers a completely customized PDU solution with short lead time
  • Software integration into FLEX PDU for complete programmable control of system components
  • Contactor and fuse operational status monitoring that communicates operational status and diagnostics with the vehicle via Controller Area Network (CAN)
  • Seamless over-current protection between fuse(s) and contactor(s) or Breaktor™
  • Optional ground fault detection for load circuits

The Flex PDU, which combines all the benefits of an automotive PDU into flexible and modular packaging, can be tailored to customer specifications with short lead time, making it well-suited for low-volume commercial vehicle applications.

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For each output channel, the high-voltage Flex PDU offers:

  • Isolation detection
  • Voltage and current sensing
  • Precharge functionality
  • High-voltage interlock
  • Circuit protection and switching capability

Eaton's Flex PDU is scheduled to go into production by 2021. The Flex PDU will be introduced on October 29 at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.