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Eaton Introduces 48-Volt DC/DC Converter Designed for Harsh Environments

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Intelligent power management company Eaton today announced it 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 the harsh environments in which those vehicles operate.

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Eaton’s 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: Business Wire)

“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.”

Eaton’s 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, making it unique among product offerings in this space.

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’s converters feature a natural convection, air-cooled design for ease of integration and can operate at ambient temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the converters are designed with high efficiency to prevent power loss over a wide operating range.

The converters are also designed to reduce weight and save space. Most modern vehicles operate on 12-volts or 24-volts, so moving up to 48-volts results in up to four times the voltage, which decreases the electrical current by the same ratio. Because wire size is chosen based on the amount of electrical current, decreasing the current allows for the use of smaller wires, which reduces weight and helps alleviate packaging concerns.

Eaton’s DC/DC converter portfolio provides flexibility through multiple power and voltage levels and can be optimized to work seamlessly with a manufacturer’s charging system specifications. It also features a Controller Area Network (CAN) bus, which allows direct communication from the DC/DC converter to other vehicle electronic control units to transmit diagnostic information.

“This unit is the ideal solution for manufacturers that require a dependable method to manage the higher power loads of modern commercial and off-highway vehicles,” Karrer said.

Learn more about Eaton’s portfolio of 48-volt solutions.

Eaton is an intelligent power management company dedicated to protecting the environment and improving the quality of life for people everywhere. We make products for the data center, utility, industrial, commercial, machine building, residential, aerospace and mobility markets. We are guided by our commitment to do business right, to operate sustainably and to help our customers manage power ─ today and well into the future. By capitalizing on the global growth trends of electrification and digitalization, we’re accelerating the planet’s transition to renewable energy sources, helping to solve the world’s most urgent power management challenges, and building a more sustainable society for people today and generations to come.

Eaton was founded in 1911 and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for more than a century. We reported revenues of $23.2 billion in 2023 and serve customers in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com. Follow us on LinkedIn.

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Contact information

Thomas Nellenbach
(216) 333-2876 (cell)
thomasjnellenbach@eaton.com

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