Molex Incorporated enthusiastically endorses the University of Michigan Solar Car team (UMsolar) in its bid to win the 2011 World Solar Challenge.  Hosted in Australia, the biannual competition takes place October 16-23, 2011.  The University of Michigan team’s entry car “Quantum” and rival teams will depart from Darwin, all aiming to be the first to race across the finish line in Adelaide, approximately 1,800 miles (3000km) to the south.

Quantum features several advanced electronic components from Molex, as well as  a variety of solderless terminals.  The Molex interconnect products deployed include: 

  • MX150 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, 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. 


“The interconnect solutions selected by the UMsolar team 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.” 

A student-run organization, UMsolar designs and builds solar-powered vehicles, and is widely recognized 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 consecutively.  The team has finished third in the World Solar Challenge four times.  Molex is chronicling UMsolar’s 2011 journey from the design phase through the competition.  YouTube video installments may be viewed at World Solar Challenge 2011.