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WARREN, Ohio -- Audi's penchant for bringing new vehicles to market with differentiating, leading-edge technology is allowing Delphi Corporation to establish in the industry the more prominent presence of an automotive safety innovation designed to help mitigate short circuiting in collision events.
Having helped Delphi mark the global debut of its Battery Disconnect Safety Device in 2004, Audi has expanded its use of the unique technology for the 2006 model year, featuring it on its most recent introduction, the first sport-utility vehicle offered by the brand. The Audi Q7, which made its official world debut last September at the 61st International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany, will be available in 2006 with the Battery Disconnect Safety Device.
This brings to two the number of Audi vehicles carrying the safety innovation. The Audi A6 begins its second year of utilizing the Battery Disconnect Safety Device after the technology was launched on the 2005 model, one that marked a redesign of the passenger car.
"Audi has forged a leadership position in the marketplace with its ability to integrate the most advanced technology into vehicles that enhance the wide spectrum of attributes important to consumers, such as performance, comfort and convenience, and safety," said Stefaan Vandevelde, managing director of European operations at Delphi's Packard Electric division.
"We are very encouraged by the confidence shown in our Battery Disconnect innovation, the value Audi places in having this safety feature included in their dynamic line-up of vehicles, and the role we play in being part of the exciting Q7's launch into the performance and luxury SUV market."
Activated during a collision event, the Battery Disconnect Safety Device is designed to help prevent potential short circuits, providing circuit protection for the cables connecting the battery to the vehicle's starter, alternator and electrical centers. It performs this through the utilization of a small pyrotechnic charge that quickly and safely disconnects protected circuits.
Robert DeAnna, business line manager for electrical centers at Delphi, noted that most automotive battery cables have no circuit protection between the battery and starter, due primarily to the inrush current experienced at vehicle crank. "This leaves this battery cable vulnerable to a short circuit resulting from a collision," DeAnna said. "This short circuit would result in a collapse of the vehicle's system voltage and in some cases can result in a post collision fire."
Operation of Delphi's Battery Disconnect Safety Device begins with the triggering of the unit by the Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which receives information from sensors in the vehicle and determines whether to send electronic signals to the airbags and/or the Battery Disconnect system. At the heart of the Battery Disconnect unit is a specially configured high-current conductor; in the Audi A6 application, for example, it is housed in a small fuse center near the vehicle's trunk-mounted battery. The pyrotechnic pressure drives a piston that cuts the conductor in less than a millisecond after activation occurs, disconnecting un-fused cables from the battery before collision-induced damage can cause a short circuit.
Delphi's Battery Disconnect Safety Device can be tailored to any typical automotive and commercial vehicle application, and it complies with all common initiator specifications in the industry. Load circuit interrupt testing has been performed to 2,500 amps.
 
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