The University of Michigan’s 2017 vehicle’s carbon fiber aerobody and state-of-the-art array are exciting, but beyond the car’s exterior are other crucial elements, things like the steering rack or the microsystems--or the battery. Elcon Precision supported UM Solar Car by helping us optimize our car’s battery pack; Elcon supplied our team with copper tabbing, which allowed us to custom-design our battery pack.
In addition to providing us with custom copper tabbing, Elcon also advised our team on its design, revising the drawings of copper tabbing our engineers sent to them.
Copper tabbing involves welding copper to a battery in order to strengthen and aid electric current. For us, this is a crucial step in the battery-building process because incorrect welding of this copper increases the chances of experiencing voltage drops. This would make life for Novum particularly hard; as a car whose sole energy source is the unreliable sun, it helps to have a dependable battery pack.
2017 High Voltage Lead Brad Baker explains how complicated this crucial component is and how Elcon plays a key role. “On these tabs, it’s important to have precise cutouts with clean edges with no warping to make the welding process as good as it can be. Elcon graciously provided us with low resistance copper we used in the tabbing, and with chemical etching, a very specialized process.”
Chemical etching is a controlled material removal process that results in complex parts and is capable of producing great detail. Using chemical etching, Elcon very accurately cut thin, reflective materials without any of the edge warping that Brad mentioned would threaten the quality. Elcon helps make our battery so reliable because its copper tabbing is such high quality.
Thanks to Elcon Precision’s expertise, UM Solar Car built a strong battery that helped successfully carry Novum across the Australian Outback to a historic second place finish! Thank you!