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Mild Hybrid Vehicles High Power Converters for 48 V / 12 V Automotive Electrical Systems

Mustafa Dinc
Mustafa Dinc Business Development Automotive, Vishay Electronics GmbH

The challenges in 48 V mild hybrid vehicles are increasing, and 48 V / 12 V converters need the flexibility to satisfy future requirements. Power levels of at least 1.2 kW to 3.5 kW are needed, depending on the vehicle’s options. In addition to this broad power range, the priority is to offer scalable concepts optimized for cost, as not every vehicle can be sold with the same options.

Voltage Converters for Regulating Automotive Electrical Systems

In recent years, a large number of applications in the areas of active safety, consumption reduction, and emissions optimization have been incorporated into new vehicles. These applications include start-stop systems (micro hybrid), electric water pumps, air-conditioning compressors, turbochargers, steering, roll stabilization, parking brakes, automatic transmissions, and power brakes without vacuums. Added to this are ADAS (radar, lidar, camera with ultrafast processors) and SCR systems (AdBlue, etc.). As a result, voltage converters for regulating a vehicle’s electrical system up to 1 kW and bidirectional 48 V / 12 V voltage converters for up to 3.5 kW are necessary.

The question for developers is: how should a 48 V / 12 V converter be built and does it make sense to provide the maximum power of up to 3.5 kW continuously for all vehicle models? That is to say, power from 1.2 kW to 3.5 kW is required, depending on the vehicle’s options. There are 48 V starter generators already available and automobile manufacturers are offering more and more diesel vehicles with 48 V belt driven starter-generators.


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