Here on the University of Michigan Solar Car team, we pride ourselves on systems excellence, and that includes our technical and operational systems.
TE Connectivity helped our team and our systems tremendously. In 2016, the Solar Car we designed, built and raced won the US national championship and, in 2017, took 2nd at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in the Australian Outback.
TE provided us with high voltage system connectors as well as contactors, which connect our electrical systems and activate them, respectively. This was huge in contributing to the functionality of our vehicle as we raced through the rough terrain of the Australian outback. Our car saw temperatures in the 100s, thunderstorms and very high winds along the 1,800 mile journey. Electrical safety and true automotive grade durability were paramount, to say the least.
In the outback, it is imperative that everything we have, everything we make, and everything we do works to its maximum capacity no matter what, and our high voltage systems did just that in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge.
The contactors we received very much complemented the functionality and quality of the connectors, allowing our systems to run at their optimal efficiencies and capabilities. Our students gained tremendous insight and experience in world class Automotive and Electric Powertrain engineering working with TE professionals and TE components.
The connectors we received from TE saved us an immense amount of time on crimping, connecting, and disconnecting our high voltage components. With strong and durable physical connections from the battery to motor controllers, battery to array controls, and motor controllers to motors, our race crew could have the utmost confidence in our system efficacy and focus in on race strategy.
According to BWSC 2017 Race Crew Engineering Director Clayton Dailey, “The equipment TE Connectivity gave to the team simplified and expedited our high voltage component handling, helping us immensely during the race.”
We look forward to using TE’s equipment again in the upcoming 2018 American Solar Challenge as well.
With everything we do, we take a systemic point of view. Every part is crucial to the other part, and systems work in tandem to produce the best possible result. Having an efficient and well-connected high voltage system allowed us to move forward and perform to our highest potential.
And so we say Thank You to the team at TE Connectivity who have helped us and worked with us on the 2017 World Solar Challenge and more. Thank you, TE, for your support: in work and in spirit.
We are grateful to have you as an engineering partner and a Gold sponsor, and we look forward to seeing what can happen in the future!