New circuit protection solution for EVs

Eaton Electrical (Australia) Pty Ltd

Tuesday, 31 May, 2022

New circuit protection solution for EVs

Power management company Eaton’s eMobility business has received a contract to supply its Breaktor circuit protection technology to a European vehicle manufacturer for use in multiple models of 800-volt battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

The Breaktor technology is a new advanced circuit protection solution for BEVs that combines the function of fuses, pyro switches and contactors into a single coordinated device. As electric vehicle power levels increase, the challenge for circuit protection solutions such as Breaktor is managing the ever-increasing coordination between fuses and contactors while offering fast, safe and reliable protection for high-power battery and inverter systems.

“To meet EV consumer demand for longer range and faster charging, new EVs have increased power levels, which drives the need for advanced circuit protection for these high-voltage systems,” said Scott Adams, President, eMobility, Eaton. “Our Breaktor technology offers improved EV system safety and reliability with a simplified architecture. In fact, one Breaktor circuit protection unit can replace up to 15 components. We are excited to bring such a critical part of the EV system to this world-class vehicle manufacturer.”

Eaton reports that, with a less than 4-millisecond actuation for short-circuit faults up to 900 volts and 25,000 amps, its Breaktor circuit protection technology improves vehicle safety and protects components from any level of overcurrent condition more effectively than traditional circuit protection methods. The Breaktor circuit protection solution is resettable like a circuit breaker, enabling reactivation of the device following a functionality check and reducing cost for both the OEM and consumer.

“In the event of a collision, Eaton’s Breaktor circuit protection technology works in tandem with a vehicle’s safety systems,” Adams said. “It rapidly disconnects the high-voltage battery from the rest of the vehicle for protection and safety in the event of any unsafe condition.”

The Breaktor circuit protection technology provides BEV manufacturers with several additional features, including:

  • a self-triggering device that can sense a current spike and interrupt the circuit without the need for any external sensing or triggering;
  • a current-limiting device in the event of a short circuit, improving system-level protection;
  • operation that is independent of current direction, which allows for both charging and duty use under full electrical load;
  • availability in multiple configurations, including voltage levels and multi-pole designs.

The Breaktor circuit protection solution was designed and tested at Eaton’s advanced electrical facility in Bonn, Germany, with sub-production scheduled to begin this year in Gummersbach, Germany, and final assembly to take place in Győr, Hungary.

Image credit: © photography

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