Connectors for hybrid and electric racing platforms
It’s hard to avoid todays green electric vehicle (EV) revolution since it’s all over the front pages right now as manufacturers announce new vehicles as well as their plans to replace the current polluting models in time for the deadlines set by various countries. In the UK that’s as soon as 2030 but, before that deadline, many areas of autosport will have migrated to fully electric only power.
“At Lane Motorsport, we have been supplying connector solutions to support the EV revolution in motorsport for several years now.” Says Lane’s Peter Costin “And these connector systems are finding their way into all types of motorsport platforms including all levels of racing cars, bikes and boats. We also support several Formula Student teams currently developing their own electric racing cars incorporating some very innovative ideas.” Adds Peter Costin.
As the move to electric vehicles in racing gathers pace - there are new Formula “E” categories being announced on a regular basis across many autosport sectors – every serious autosport team is currently moving towards a fully electric platform while currently adding more “hybridisation” to their offerings.
Designers working on these new platforms are requesting ever more complex cable assemblies and harnesses that not only have smaller and lighter connectors but also have more contacts, a higher current capability and much faster signal and data speeds to cope with the developments in communications and the new high-power motors.
“We have ranges of connector systems designed specifically for autosport that are currently being specified for many on-board applications across petrol, hybrid and fully electric racing platforms.” Says Costin. “In addition to the traditional connector applications found in today’s racing cars, we expect to see an increase in the need for smaller and lighter sensor connectors that are equally resistant to demanding environments. These will be located around the power packs and the power pack cooling systems as well the motors and their control and monitoring systems.” He adds.
Many of these EV connector applications are suited to the latest 8STA connector systems manufactured by Souriau-Sunbank by Eaton for whom Lane Motorsport is a value-add distributor. Designed and made to meet the requirements of MIL-DTL-38999, these tiny circular connectors are the preferred connector solutions across the world of competitive motorsport for sensors and electronics systems in applications such as engine management, data acquisition, steering wheel systems, telemetry, fuel tanks and hybrid energy recovery systems.
Souriau’s 8STA circular connectors are based around a rugged aluminium body plated as standard with conductive black zinc. The 8STA range includes high density versions which provide up to 68 size 26 contacts compatible with 24 to 30 AWG wire as well as high-power versions capable of handling up to 200A.
Operating temperature is – 55ºC to +175ºC and, when mated, the connector meets the requirements of IP67 making it able to withstand the demanding environments found across motorsport platforms.
Souriau’s 8STA range also includes an ultra-miniature size 01 version whichoffers a significant 20 percent saving in size and weight over the popular size 02 series yet it maintains all the larger connector’s performance advantages – including its anti-vibration design and the high resistance to the motorsport environment. These size 01 connectors accommodate three removable size 26 contacts.
In addition to the connectors themselves, Lane Motorsport’s 8STA connector solutions package features a comprehensive range of connector accessories made by HellermannTyton and Weald Electronics. These include protective caps, gaskets, nut plates, heat shrink boots as well as all the assembly tools needed to complete the application.