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Eaton introduces DC-DC converters for 48V commercial vehicle architectures

Power management company Eaton introduced a family of 48-volt DC-DC converters for diesel-powered commercial vehicles that can be used to power accessories such as antilock brakes and lighting. Unlike competitive offerings, Eaton’s DC-DC converters are operational in ambient temperatures up to 85 ˚C and boast 97% design efficiency.

DC-DC converters are an essential part of our eMobility product portfolio and are used in a variety of vehicle applications. Many commercial vehicle manufacturers are transitioning to 48-volt architectures, so having the ability to efficiently convert power from high to low voltage is critical. We’re delighted to deliver power-conversion technology designed specifically to meet the demands of commercial vehicle electrical systems.

—Ben Karrer, director, Technology Development, Eaton’s eMobility business

Eaton’s DC-DC converter takes power from a 48-volt system and reduces it to 24 volts. The bi-directional unit then further reduces the power to 12 volts for use in low-voltage systems and charges a 12-volt battery that stores power in case of a fault in the main power supply.


Eaton offers a family of DC-DC converters that adhere to Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) B functional requirements and can be optimized to work seamlessly with a manufacturer’s alternator specifications. The converters can also be tuned for specific duty cycles via advanced digital control architecture, enabling flexible control modes through firmware adaptation.

The DC-DC power converter also features specialized high-power lock box (HPLB) power connectors. The HPLB connectors are designed by Royal Power Solutions, a leading manufacturer of high-precision electrical connectivity components that Eaton acquired earlier this year.

The DC-DC power converter’s HPLB terminals provide superior efficiency and reliability as well as protection against the elements. Additionally, the HPLB terminals are waterproof up to one meter deep and strong enough to withstand high-pressure water spray.

Eaton’s DC-DC converter includes noise reduction and rejection technologies, so the unit is unaffected by and does not interfere with vehicle electronics. Additionally, unlike competitive technologies, the design efficiency of Eaton’s air-cooled DC-DC converters reduces power loss over a wide operating range, while the die-cast design features a fin pattern that delivers optimal thermal performance.

Commercial vehicle 48-volt architectures also create the potential for the mild hybridization of drive systems. Additionally, the higher power systems can be used to power electrified heaters to quickly heat a vehicle’s aftertreatment catalyst to help reduce emissions.



"....and boast 97% design efficiency. "
There are several international suppliers of Si-carbide converters that boast an efficiency = / > 99.2 %; so 97% is really nothing to boast about.


Why do you need 48 volts for lighting. LED lights run on about 5 volts.


From an electric engineering point of view, I wouldn't object to a board voltage of 48 ( multiple of 12V) volts; but that could have been implemented decades ago.
At a higher voltage with the same power rating the current is lower and offers more advantages than drawbacks. Buses and many trucks also military vehicles have been designed for 24 V which is better than 12V any day.


Cars used to run on 6 volts, which is better for incandescent lights (filaments are thicker and more robust).

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