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Eaton’s eMobility unit introduces BDU with circuit protection technology

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Eaton‘s eMobility business has introduced a battery disconnect unit (BDU) that the company says can be combined with upgraded “Breaktor” circuit protection technology to provide circuit protection in electrified vehicles while reducing overall complexity and cost. 

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When paired with the Breaktor circuit protection technology, which combines current switching and resettable bidirectional short-circuit protection with fast actuation, Eaton’s BDU eliminates the need for up to 15 additional system components, the company says. Traditional systems require a combination of pyro and thermal fuses and contactors.

The BDU’s primary function is to serve as an on/off switch to the battery depending on the mode the EV is operating in, such as charging or driving. Current model EVs rely on one of three traditional BDU configurations: fuse and contactor; pyro fuse and contactor; or fuse, pyro fuse and contactor, all used together in a single BDU. While all provide switching and protection functions, they each have disadvantages, including overall system complexity, serviceability, coordination difficulties and susceptibility to fatigue under high current levels, the company says. 

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Eaton’s Breaktor circuit protection technology also enables up to 350 kW DC fast charging when used to protect and switch the DC fast-charge circuit, allowing EVs to charge in 15 minutes or less, the company says. This capability is made possible by recent upgrades to the Breaktor circuit protection technology’s thermal management and materials to boost its power capacity. Breaktor circuit protection technology is now able to carry 500 amps continuously and up to 750 amps of continuous current when an active or passive cooling system is leveraged.

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