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Molex Interconnects Power UMsolar Car on 1,800 Mile Australian Outback Journey

Fri, 08/26/2011 - 8:48am
WALLDORF, Germany –  Molex Incorporated has provided support to the University of Michigan Solar Car team (UMsolar) in its bid to win the 2011 World Solar Challenge. The UMsolar team’s car, named Quantum, features several electronic components from Molex, as well as a variety of solderless terminals.

“The interconnect products selected by the UMsolar team engineers directly address their challenging engineering and performance requirements, with design space at a premium and reliability a must,” states Mark Rettig, Director of Global Marketing, Molex. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to empower and support the next generation of innovative design engineers.”

Molex interconnect products deployed on the Quantum solar car include:

Molex interconnects UMsolarMX150™ Sealed Connector System, a high-performance, submersible interconnect solution for automotive, off-road and other harsh duty applications. The compact, pre-assembled MX150 connector system supports low-level signal and power applications.

MX150L™ Connector System, ideal for low-level signal applications as well as power applications. The environmentally sealed MX150L connector system supports high-power applications and long-voltage runs to eliminate voltage drops. Suitable for rugged, non-automotive applications, MX150L connectors can be modified to meet UV and water resistance requirements for solar and other outdoor applications.

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, the Mini Mi II system provides the same 1.5 amperes of current as similar 2.00mm (.079") pitch systems, but in a more compact design.

A student-run organisation, UMsolar designs and builds solar-powered vehicles, and is widely recognised as the most successful team in North America. Since its establishment in 1990, the team has built 10 vehicles and is the reigning champion of the North American Solar Challenge, a race it has won three times in a row.

The World Solar Challenge is a biannual event for which the UMsolar team has finished third 4 times. This year, the week long race starts on the 16th October and runs from Darwin to Adelaide, putting the solar-powered cars through their paces over the 1,800 mile (3000km) journey through the Australian outback. Molex is chronicling the UMsolar team’s progress on YouTube, with video instalments posted on World Solar Challenge 2011.

In preparation for the Australian competition, the UMsolar team conducted a mid-July mock race to simulate race conditions and refine their race action plan. The 1,000-mile, 4-day practice traversed Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, making five stops along the way. 

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