Eaton’s new flex PDU delivers safer power for commercial EVs

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Oct 2019

Eaton’s Flex PDU, which is scheduled to go into production by 2021, is to be showcased at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, later this month.

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.

As power demands in electric vehicles continue to increase, the capabilities of PDUs, which connect the main battery power to the rest of the vehicle, must also increase,” said Scott Adams, SVP, eMobility, Eaton. “Our intelligent Flex PDU leverages our industry experience and electrical expertise to ensure complete power protection with enhanced vehicle performance and efficiency.”

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 maximise performance and efficiency.

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 ideal for low-volume commercial vehicle applications.

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.