Development of an Alternator-Powered Electrically-Heated Catalyst System 941042

Numerous papers have been written about electrically-heated catalysts (EHCs) as a potential technology able to provide the quick catalyst light-off key to meeting California Air Resources Board's Low Emission Vehicle Standards. Most studies have focussed on using a battery as the power source for the EHC. Consequences of battery-powered systems include severe battery life impacts, complicated electrical switching mechanisms, very large wires, and uncertain reliability. A more practical solution may be to provide power directly from the alternator at an elevated voltage level. This paper describes an alternator-powered EHC approach developed at Ford that reduces many of the drawbacks of battery-powered systems.


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