Emission-reduction technology for hybrid vehicles released by Vitesco

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Vitesco Technologies has announced its electrical catalyst heating system will now be available for use in high-voltage hybrid vehicles.

With a new DC/DC converter design, the heating discs of the electrically heated EMICAT catalyst can now be supplied with electricity in high-voltage vehicles, alongside its previous applications within pure combustion engine vehicles and mild hybrids.

With new Euro 7 emission regulations edging ever closer, Vitesco says the high-voltage heating technology has enabled the company to extend its product range and use the e-catalyst to provide the lowest emissions possible for a vehicle being used in real-world operations.

Klaus Hau, executive vice president of the sensing and actuation business unit at Vitesco, commented, “Efficient electrification requires intelligent solutions. The perfect combination of our tried-and-tested EMICAT heated catalyst and our new DC/DC converter reduces real emissions in critical situations, namely when the combustion engine is restarted. With the converter for electrical catalyst heating in plug-in hybrids, we are making an additional option for electrification available to the market.”

Hybrid vehicles use combustion engine shut-off and switch to electric power to make fewer CO2   emissions, but if left for too long, the cooling down phase of the combustion engine can result in exhaust flow that is too cold to convert polluting gases within the catalyst, thus meaning a solution for cold start scenarios is needed.

“In other words, the cold start is actually the rule, especially with efficiently driven hybrids. From the perspective of emission reduction, this is a challenge, as the greatest share of the emissions in a cycle can be generated during cold start situations,” added Rolf Brück, head of catalysts and filters at Vitesco.

Until now, this form of aftertreatment for exhaust gases was not available for the ever-growing plug-in hybrid market, due to the heating element within the e-catalyst not being able to be supplied directly from a 200-450V system. However, the DC/DC converter developed by Vitesco can now generate the low voltage and power needed to heat the e-catalyst’s element from the high-voltage side of a vehicle’s drive systems. The new unit is said to achieve 95% efficiency.

Alexander Reich, head of product management, high voltage electronics, at Vitesco, concluded, “The converter is designed in such a way that it can even supply multi-flow exhaust systems with multiple heating discs via separate outputs. In the medium term, our DC/DC converter technology has the potential to supply other high-power consumers in the vehicle. Possible examples include electric roll stabilization or the electric steering assistance.”

Production of the new system is scheduled to start in 2023.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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