Connecting with a solar car

Dec 11, 2011 | Electrical & electronics

Electronic components from Molex have been selected by the University of Michigan’s UMsolar team for their Quantum car. The solar car will be taking place in the 2011 World Solar Challenge, a week long race which starts on the 16th October and runs from Darwin to Adelaide – a journey of over 1800 miles through the Australian outback.

According to the company, the interconnect products have been selected to address the challenging engineering and performance requirements, where space is at a premium and reliability essential.

As a result, the car features the compact MX150 Sealed Connector System, a high-performance,

submersible interconnect solution for automotive, off-road and other harsh duty applications. The system supports low-level signal and power applications. Also in use is the MX150L Connector System, which is suitable for low-level signal applications as well as power applications. Suitable for rugged, non-automotive applications, the connectors can be modified to meet UV and water resistance requirements for solar and other outdoor applications.

The solar powered car is also using the Mini MI II System, a space saving solution designed for use in high density wire harness applications. Available in wire-to-board and wire-to-wire options with different custom lengths and wire configurations, this provides the same 1.5 amperes of current as similar 2.00mm (.079″) pitch systems, but in a more compact design, explains the company.

UMsolar is a student-run organisation that designs and builds solar-powered vehicles. Established in 1990, the team has built ten vehicles and is the reigning champion of the North American Solar Challenge, a race it has won three times in a row.


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