cars may eventually use 42V system
By Michael Seaforth
For many people, their cars are almost as important as their homes.
They spend an increasing amount of time on the road and expect their
vehicles to be equipped with as many gadgets and extra features
as space would allow. However, these items can place a severe burden
on the electrical system and manufacturers have been forced to explore
better ways of meeting a carís future electrical requirements. Unlike
older cars, newer models are often equipped with many items that
draw substantial electric current.This has led to proposals for
a higher voltage to replace the current 12V system.
conversion from a 6V to a 12V electrical system took place in 1955.
However, the ability of the current 12V system to satisfy consumer
demand for more features and to accommodate upcoming advances in
technology is in doubt. Systems in use or under consideration such
as electric power steering, electric brakes, electronic traction
control and active suspensions are all part of the reason for the
drive to this new system. In addition the auto air conditioner and
engine valves could some day be electrically operated for better
flexibility and efficiency.
accommodate these new loads, a dual voltage, 14V/42V, system has
been proposed as the standard for cars in the future. This 14V/42V
system is really a 12V/36V system under a different name since a
12V/36V system would typically operate at 14 and 42V respectively.
This system is expected to be introduced initially in luxury cars
and as prices decrease lower priced cars will also benefit. Smaller
loads like lamps and low power electronics would continue to operate
at 12V while those demanding more power would utilize the higher
voltage. This could mean that some cars may be equipped with two
batteries , 12 volt and 24 volt, or that a single battery may be
supplied to provide both voltages.
operated devices can be optimized to suit the load by being operated
at exactly the speed needed for maximum efficiency or turned off
when not needed. By giving manufacturers the flexibility to replace
many belt driven and other inefficient mechanically operated devices
with their more efficient electrical counterparts which can be located
wherever space is available, better fuel economy and space utilization
would be realized.
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