Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

Eaton Working to Shrink Battery Size for Better Hybrid Performance

September 05, 2012

SOUTHFIELD, MIEaton Corporation has strengthened its commitment to hybrid vehicle technology by developing a cost-effective power control system to reduce the size of the system battery without a loss of battery life or vehicle performance. The fuel-efficient application is intended to optimize the operation of hybrid electric vehicles, from passenger cars to commercial vehicles, according to the company.

The $2.8 million project is funded jointly between Eaton and a grant from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E). The goal is to reduce the size of the battery by 50 percent and improve the total performance of the system and its charge rate while maintaining fuel economy and overall vehicle performance.

“This project is a continuation of Eaton’s keen focus on hybrid technology development and our confidence in the value of hybrids for the future,” said Tom Stover, chief technology officer for Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “Eaton is continuing to invest in developing the infrastructure that supports the future of the transportation industry, and this project is an example of how we are working to find safe, efficient and sustainable ways to improve hybrid vehicle performance.”

The development project will be led by Eaton’s Innovation Center team in Southfield, Mich., who will work with a team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Eaton’s engineers and scientists will leverage the company’s expertise in intelligent power management systems and hybrid technology with the NREL’s expertise in battery modeling and prognostics.

In addition to hybrid vehicle applications, Eaton sees opportunities to extend this technology into other areas where hybrid power management requires extended battery life, including community infrastructure, data centers, manufacturing and industrial.

“Only the best projects were chosen for this highly selective grant,” said Chris Roche, Eaton’s vice president, Innovation Center, Corporate Technology. “This type of grant is designed to fund highly transformative technologies, and Eaton and ARPA-E believe this technology is a true game-changer in the area of hybrid power management.”

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