Eaton EMobility Launches Battery Disconnect Unit, Breaktor Circuit Protection Technology 

Sapna Bhardwaj
Sapna Bhardwaj May 25 2022 - 3 min read
Eaton EMobility Launches Battery Disconnect Unit, Breaktor Circuit Protection Technology 
The main function of the Battery Disconnect Unit (BDU) is to act as an on-off switch for the battery, depending on the operating mode of the electric vehicle, such as charging mode or driving mode. 

Eaton has announced that its EMobility division has launched a battery disconnect unit (BDU) that can be combined with the modernized Breaktor circuit protection technology , to provide circuit protection in electric vehicles (EVs), while generally reducing complexity and cost. Eaton Corporation PLC is a multinational power management company with 2020 sales of USD 17.86 billion, founded in the United States with global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and a secondary administrative center in Beachwood, Ohio, United States of America.

When combined with Breaktor circuit protection technology, which combines current switching and reconfigurable bi-directional short circuit protection with fast tripping, Eaton's BDU eliminates the need to add up to 15 additional systems. Typical systems require combining pyrotechnic and thermal fuses with contactors.

Kevin Calzada, Global Director Product Strategy, Eaton’s EMobility Division said, “As manufacturers continue to increase power levels in EVs, it is becoming increasingly important to have high-performance and reliable protection solutions. Our BDU, combined with our Breaktor circuit protection technology, provides everything needed, in a compact and efficient package, to protect the vehicle and its occupants.”

Current EV designs rely on one of three common BDU configurations: fuse and contactor; pyrotechnic fuse and contactor; or fuse, pyrotechnic fuse and contactor, all used together in a single BDU. Although all of these components provide switching and protection functions, each has certain drawbacks, including overall system complexity, operating problems, coordination difficulties, or even a risk of wear in the event of high levels of fluency.

Adding Breaktor circuit protection technology to Eaton's BDU provides additional functionality and benefits, including active and passive tripping in a single device; the possibility of going into shutdown mode in a multitude of failure cases; better functional safety; a possibility of reconfiguration after a failure at high energy level; as well as the ability to replace up to four high-voltage electrical components, reducing system-level complexity and cost.

Calzada added, “The self-triggering design, diagnostic electronics and mirror-contact of our Breaktor circuit protection technology helps achieve the functional safety goals of the BDU. With its coil, economizer, and detection/trigger circuitry, Breaktor circuit protection technology also reduces the cost and complexity of system and battery management. Breator achieves class-leading current values, which can be increased even further with an appropriate cooling strategy, we are able to design and develop a compatible cooling system, based on customer specifications, and integrate it into a BDU to meet these increasing power constraints.”

Eaton's Breaktor circuit protection technology also enables fast charging up to 350kW DC when used to protect and interlock the DC fast charging circuit, allowing EVs to charge in 15 minutes, even less. This capability is made possible by recent upgrades to the thermal management of the Breaktor circuit protection technology, as well as materials to improve its power capability. Breaktor circuit protection technology is now capable of withstanding 500 amps continuous, and up to 750 amps continuous current when active or passive cooling is used.

Eaton is an intelligent energy management company committed to improving the quality of life and preserving the environment for everyone, around the world.  Guided by their commitment to do their job well, operate sustainably, and enable their customers to manage their energy, today and for many years to come. Capitalising on rising global trends in electrification and digitalization, allows Eaton to accelerate the planetary transition towards renewable energy, while helping to solve the world's most pressing energy management challenges, and focusing on the best for our shareholders and society as a whole.

Founded in 1911, Eaton's has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for nearly a century, it posted a revenue of USD 19.6 billion in 2021, serving customers in over 170 countries. 

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