Monday, February 11, 2013

Connector Tests

TE Connectivity, previously known as Tyco Electronics, has been gracious enough to help the VBB3 with all of our connection needs.

Recently TE acquired Deutsch, a connector manufacturer that specializes in extreme environments. For years the Bullet team has used Deutsch as the primary connector for all the low power electrical systems in the vehicle and we are extremely excited to continue using such a high quality product. We are also very excited to try out TE's power connectors for the use in our high power systems.

The other day we received our first box of connectors. Specifically the connectors used as the service disconnect for the battery pack. Also referred  to as the "half-pack disconnect", these connectors act as an important safety feature when working around high voltage.

Like many of the components on the car the Bullet will be pushing these connectors well beyond their rated values. Because these connectors are specified for continuous use, that is 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year, we had to test to be absolutely confident that they also worked in our application.

the test setup

With a thermal video camera and a temperature sensor attached to what would be the hottest spot we ran tests simulating the power draw of the next car. 

While it was no surprise that the connectors operated safely for our application the team was blown away with just how amazing their performance was. Out performing our wildest expectations we are glad to say that these guys will absolutely be going into the car. 

 thermal image of the results

Thank you to everyone at TE who is helping us out.