42 Volt Automotive Systems

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Back around 2000 there was some design work underway to change the automotive electrical standard from 12V (nominal) to 42V. There was several advantages to the higher voltage system such as:

Smaller wire size, less weight, integrated starter/alternator, more efficent engine functions such as electrically operated valves, fans, water pumps, AC compressor, etc. The idea was the engine would only provide the motive fource to move the vehice, not any other function. In operation when you took your foot off the gas after a few sends the engine would shutdown such as setting at a traffic light, when your pressed the gas the engine would restart and away you would go.

A couple of design problems they were working on were re-design the switches to handle the higher voltage and re-design the light bulbs for comparable life expectency as 12V bults.

I guess the hybrids killed the idea, haven't heard anything in a while.
 
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Another safety related item was the possibility of electrocution from a 42V system. Back before the REA electrified rural America there were 36V "farm" electrical systems with batteries and windmill chargers, there were many cases of people getting killed by these 36V systems.

Motorola and Ericsson were actually working on powering their radio products from a 42V system. Some design were down convertors to 12V applications and even up convertors to 120VAC to power home appliances in the vehicle.
 
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N_Jay

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Another safety related item was the possibility of electrocution from a 42V system. Back before the REA electrified rural America there were 36V "farm" electrical systems with batteries and windmill chargers, there were many cases of people getting killed by these 36V systems.

Motorola and Ericsson were actually working on powering their radio products from a 42V system. Some design were down convertors to 12V applications and even up convertors to 120VAC to power home appliances in the vehicle.
Most hybrid cars are well above 42 Vdc.

I think it may be a concern but was well dismissed long before the big move started. (from what I have understood.)
 
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Not having a hybride I would assume the High Voltage would be confined to well-shielded points all in the engine compartment.

Just think you could have and instant on lighter.
 
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N_Jay

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It depends on the hybrid, but the battery stack is usually not near the motors.
 
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