Engineers at Yazaki North America in Canton, Mich., are helping to protect vehicle occupants and service shop technicians by preventing high-voltage system failures in electrified vehicles.
A failure caused by a high-temperature electrical arc — often thousands of degrees — is possible whenever an electrical device or motor is turned on or off. That's because the arc energy created between the switch plates of a contactor can weld or degrade the plating that conducts the current.
Yazaki's solid-state arc suppression device detects an arc situation and reacts to it in less than 100 microseconds to protect the circuit, says John Romain, senior manager of advanced development for Yazaki North America Core Engineering.
"U.S. manufacturers have been moving their focus to battery-electric vehicles," Romain told Automotive News. "But this requires a significant amount of cabling, which can be costly and heavy.
"That's why manufacturers are moving forward with higher-voltage motor drives. They need a lot of power with as little cable as possible."