Eaton Partners with Automotive Manufacturer on Integrated Exhaust Thermal Management System

April 22, 2021 by Alessandro Mascellino

Power management company Eaton and automotive manufacturer Tenneco announced a new partnership to develop an integrated exhaust thermal management system for automotive manufacturing facilities.

The collaboration will see Eaton’s Vehicle Group work in concert with Tenneco's Clean Air business group. It intends to allow commercial truck and light vehicle manufacturers to meet upcoming emissions regulations.


Tenneco Cold Start Thermal Unit (CSTU)

Tenneco’s Cold Start Thermal Unit (CSTU). Image used courtesy of Eaton


Eaton is a power management company focusing on designing and manufacturing electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical applications. Established in 1911, the company has acquired 46 companies over the years and currently counts over 90,000 employees worldwide. Eaton’s 2020 revenues were $17.9 billion, with the company selling its products in more than 175 countries.

Tenneco is another manufacturing giant. Founded in 1888, the firm designs, manufactures, and markets automotive products for original equipment and aftermarket customers. These include light vehicles, commercial trucks, motorsport, among others. Tenneco’s 78,000-strong team is divided into four business groups: Motorparts, Ride Performance, Clean Air, and Powertrain.


New Emissions Regulations

To keep up with the goals of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement and reduce global emissions, many institutions in different countries are tightening up the permitted CO2 limits for cars, vans, lorries, and buses.

In Europe, the EURO 7/VII standards essentially call for an almost total ban of combustion engines starting from 2025 in favor of wider adoption of electric vehicles.

Following the same principles, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved a regulation intended to dramatically reduce smog-forming emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks last August. Dubbed Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus, the new law introduced stricter emissions standards, overhauled engine testing procedures, and further extended engine warranties to reduce the emissions of NOx (oxides of nitrogen, a component of smog) by 2024.

Finally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released new guidelines intended to improve accuracy and reduce the testing burden for heavy-duty engines and vehicles before 2027.


An Integrated Exhaust Thermal Management System 

To keep up with the above standard and regulations, Eaton’s twin vortices series (TVS) blower technology will now be combined with Tenneco’s Cold Start Thermal Unit (CSTU). The resulting integrated exhaust thermal management system will be utilized to provide heat directly to the vehicle’s after-treatment system, which is designed to reduce harmful exhaust emissions. 


Eaton TVS V180 blower

Eaton’s TVS V180 blower, which will be used in the CSTU. Image used courtesy of Eaton


In other words, through selective catalytic reduction (SCR) at temperatures of approximately 225 ℃, the after-treatment system will be able to convert NOx into clean emissions. The process will also see Eaton’s electrically-driven TVS Roots blower being used to allow the airflow to be controlled so the CSTU can retain optimal after-treatment temperatures. 

Tenneco and Eaton specified the CSTU and TVS blower will be sold separately; however, the companies confirmed they would also engineer a system to allow vehicle manufacturers to integrate the components.

Moving forward, the development activities related to the new components will take place at Tenneco’s technical center in Germany, as well as at Eaton’s technical center in Michigan. The resulting integrated exhaust thermal management system is expected to be ready for commercialization by the end of 2025.

Featured image used courtesy Neri Vill from Pixabay