Molex, LLC has long been a valued sponsor of the University of Michigan Solar Car Team, supporting our operations with top-of-the-line connectors that make our system reliable, polished, and easy to repair.
Molex provides UM Solar Car with over a thousand Micro-Fit and C-Grid connectors that our electrical engineers solder onto the printed circuit boards (PCBs) that support various systems of the car. These connectors then plug into other matching Molex connectors, which all feed into the Control Area Network (CAN) line, a harness of wiring that connects all the circuit boards within the car, tying it all together like a central nervous system.
2017 Race Crew Electrical Engineer and Driver Caroline Subramoney elaborates on this, explaining that "Molex provides us with an unbelievable variety of connectors, which we use on all of our circuit boards. These give a real professional feel to our electronics and generally improve the appearance. They also, of course, reduce the risk of electrical failures, such as unintended shorting.”
Molex connectors boast an incredible ease of use that facilitates repairs and overall utilization. They latch into place, simplifying the process of detaching and reattaching new circuit boards, which comes in handy in the event of a failure on the team’s part because it enables a speedy and effective recovery—something that is especially crucial in the middle of the race. And although our electrical engineers could have just soldered the wires in, it would be unwise to place 12 volts so near to the ground and position the two CAN communication lines close to one another without Molex connectors to provide insulation. “Without Molex connectors,” Caroline explains, “doing this would be risky at best and catastrophic at worst.” Molex made it possible for us to build the optimal solar car by allowing us to be flexible in ways like this when designing our microsystems.
“Molex has never failed us,” Caroline aptly praises. “I'm ecstatic we had the opportunity to work with them as a sponsor!"