Most consumers don’t give much thought to their vehicle’s gas tank, other than filling it up. Yet for automakers, the gas tank is a critical element that requires careful consideration, specifically to its ventilation system to prevent leaking, vapor lock and harmful vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. Developing a ventilation system for each gas tank configuration takes time and money.
Eaton has developed a solution. It’s eVaptive™ electronic venting system is an electronically controlled fuel tank vapor venting system that can be optimized for any vehicle platform, eliminating the need for automakers to design unique venting systems for different vehicles.
eVaptive transmits fuel vapors to a charcoal canister while keeping liquid fuel confined to the fuel tank. For any given fuel tank application, the system can be optimized 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.
How It Works
In a traditional fuel tank design, optimal vapor venting positions are determined at the top of the tank where vapors accumulate. Once these vent points are identified, Eaton’s eVaptive electronic venting system vent tubes are placed in them and can be opened and closed as needed for optimized venting via an actuator system. Any liquid fuel that enters the vent tubes is routed to a central liquid trap, where the liquid is drained back into the fuel tank. After the vapor and the errant fuel are separated in the liquid trap, the vapor is routed to the charcoal canister for adsorption.
The actuator system is controlled by a computer algorithm that minimizes fuel carryover to the interior liquid trap in all situations and controls the fuel level during refueling. It also is used to mitigate the spillover that sometimes occurs when filling a tank to the top.
In today’s automotive industry, where new vehicles are introduced at an increasingly fast pace, designing new fuel and venting systems can lead to added costs, time and complexity. Add in the varying and evolving emission standards across the world and eVaptive’s ability to be applied to any number of vehicle platforms illustrates its advantage over competitive systems.
This new technology is an example of Eaton’s advanced engineering capabilities as it looks to provide customers with solutions that not only provide a single packaging option but also the flexibility to customize the system based on the specific vehicle design.
Eaton’s eVaptive electronic venting system offers numerous benefits over traditional systems. It reduces complexity, development time and cost by allowing automakers to use one set of hardware across all of its vehicle lines and tank variants.
eVaptive prevents liquid from leaving the tank when driving while still venting vapors, maintains overall lower tank pressures in dynamic situations and at high-fuel levels. Its On-Board Diagnostics II (OBDII) leak detection ensure no hydrocarbons escape into the atmosphere. In addition, the eVaptive system can be used for plug-in hybrid vehicles to due to its customized pressure relief of the fuel tank needed prior to refueling.
At a time when automakers are trying to save costs, bring products to market faster and reduce harmful emissions, Eaton’s eVaptive electronic venting system addresses all three.
Eaton has present eVaptive at multiple industry conferences in the U.S., Germany and China, and has garnered interest and feedback from multiple global automakers and fuel tank suppliers.