Eaton has announced a new electronically controlled fuel tank vapour venting system – eVaptive – that it states can be ‘optimised for any vehicle platform, eliminating the need for car manufacturers to design unique venting systems for different vehicles’.
The eVaptive system uses software to control the transmission of fuel vapours to a charcoa canister while keeping liquid fuel confined to the fuel tank. For any given fuel tank application, the system can be optimised for all driving situations as well as stationary and refueling modes. The hardware is a “one-size- fits-all” unit that can be programmed to fit any vehicle platform.
“This new technology is an example of the advanced engineering capabilities of Eaton as we look to provide customers with solutions that not only provide a single packaging option but also the flexibility to customise the system based on the specific vehicle design,” said Deborah Kullman, vice president, general manager, Chassis Driveline Controls, Eaton Vehicle Group. “As the industry moves from traditional mechanical to electronic solutions, Eaton is leading the way with technologies such as eVaptive.”
In a conventional fuel tank design, optimal vapour venting positions are determined at the top of the tank where vapours accumulate. Once determined, Eaton’s eVaptive system vent points can then be opened and closed as needed for optimised venting via an actuator system. Any liquid fuel that enters the vent tubes is routed to a central liquid trap where it is drained back into the fuel tank. Once the vapour and the errant fuel are separated in the liquid trap, the vapour is routed to the charcoal canister for adsorption.
The actuator system is controlled by a computer algorithm that minimises fuel carryover to the interior liquid trap in all situations and controls the fuel level during refueling. It also can be used to mitigate the spillover that sometimes occurs when filling a tank to the top.
Eaton states that the eVaptive system is currently undergoing testing with a global vehicle manufacturer.