High-voltage distribution units for hybrid trucks
Odyne Systems LLC is a leading manufacturer of plug-in hybrid powertrains for utility and commercial vehicles and trucks weighing over 14,000 pounds. HUBER+SUHNER has developed customised high-voltage distribution units for use in these systems that fulfil all market requirements, including electromagnetic compatibility and absolute safety.
Odyne has a particular focus on the work truck market. Its plug-in hybrid electric system is used primarily in trucks for utility operation and public infrastructure maintenance.
Reduction in emissions and a quieter job site
The hybrid system combines an electric motor with the existing drive train. When the truck is in hybrid driving mode, the electric motor and the truck’s engine work in parallel to improve acceleration. When braking, the truck’s engine generates energy to recharge the hybrid batteries. This saves fuel and reduces emissions. Once a truck arrives at the job site, its engine is turned off and the vehicle is placed in ePTO mode, in which only the electric motor is running. This makes the job site quieter and allows an extension of working hours. If there are any issues with the hybrid system, the vehicle automatically switches back to conventional vehicle mode, maximising both vehicle uptime and utilisation. If, for example, the batteries deplete, the engine automatically restarts to recharge the batteries to 30% of full charge.
Customised high-voltage distribution units
The high-voltage distribution unit provides the power distribution between the battery, generator, loader task and secondary output. It consists of the distributor (High-Voltage Distribution Unit - HVDU) and individual shielded and unshielded multicore cables as well as unshielded low-voltage cables for connecting the low-voltage electrical system to the powertrain. HUBER+SUHNER delivered 100 of these customised high-voltage distribution units, which were jointly developed at HUBER+SUHNER in the United States and Switzerland in line with customer requirements. The customer placed various requirements on the high-voltage distributor units, such as electromagnetic compatibility, liquid tightness, low transition resistance and absolute safety. The system is also customised to the specific vehicle size and weight, as well as its positioning within the vehicle. Once development in the United States and Switzerland was complete, serial production started at HUBER+SUHNER Mexico.
Thanks to Odyne’s hybrid system, the trucks cause fewer emissions and make less noise, which offer utility companies the opportunity to reduce costs and enhance productivity. For HUBER+SUHNER, this project is an ideal opportunity to apply its extensive experience in designing high-voltage distribution units and to work as a team involving members from different countries.