The electric vehicle revolution has been happening for quite some time, and it’s becoming more difficult to evade the green movement that is at the forefront of what vehicle manufacturers are doing to reduce the spread of polluting models by certain deadlines all across the world. In the United Kingdom, the date that has been chosen is 2030, but prior to that deadline being met, there are areas such as in the realm of autosports that have fully migrated over to vehicles that only use electric power. And, what is behind it all? Connectors! Like those supplied by FC Lane Electronics.
“Lane Motorsport is now a supplier of connectors solutions in this EV revolution based around motorsport activities and has done so for years,” says Business Development Manager Peter Costin. “There are so many motorsport platforms, such as for boats, bikes, and racing cars, that are transitioning into these systems. Formula Student teams are also developing electric racing cars using innovative ideas that actually work.”
This transition from regular vehicles to electronic vehicles is becoming quite prevalent – Formula “E” categories are now being seen in the sectors – and every serious autosport is transitioning to electric platforms while also adding hybrid vehicles as part of their offerings.
Today, designers are also fast at work, producing new platforms and are also requesting harnesses and assemblies that are much more complex, possessing lighter and smaller connectors that have more contacts, larger current capabilities, higher data speeds, faster signals, all of which is designed to cope with the new high powered motors and the communication that must exist between them.
“We are using connector systems for autosports that use many different types of fuel including those that are designed for hybrid, petrol, and fully electronic racing platforms that are so popular”, Peter said. “In addition to what is found in today’s racing cars, specifically connector applications, we are waiting for smaller and lighter sensors that are designed for more demanding environments. These will be close to the power packs, as well as the cooling systems for those power packs, and they will provide the user with monitoring systems and more control than ever before”, he adds.
8STA Connector Systems
EV connector applications, specifically those like the 8STA connector systems, are manufactured by Souriau-Sunbank, as well as for Lane Motorsport, and have become a value-added distributor. These are designed to meet requirements for certain things including the MIL-DTL-38999. They are nothing more than tiny circular connectors, which are used in competitive sport situations around the world, designed to work with electronic systems and sensors for engine management, telemetry, steering wheel systems, hybrid energy recovery systems, and also for monitoring the fuel tanks of those vehicles.
Souriau’s 8STA circular connectors utilise aluminum, or at least in aluminum bodied plate, constructed with black zinc that is very conductive. It is in this 8STA, which is representative of the high density versions, will come in a multitude of different sizes with different contacts which will be compatible with up to 30 AWG wire plus high-powered versions that can handle as much as 200 A.
With an operating temperature that can reach as high as 175°C, when these are actually mated together, when the connector meets, it will be able to withstand the many different problems in the motorsport platforms, such as with the IP 67.
Souriau’s 8STA range has a size 1 version, and also one that is extremely small, saving 20% of the size and weight when it is made, whereas the size to series will work perfectly with the larger connectors which can have performance advantages, plus it will have anti-vibration design which is needed in the motorsport environment. The size 01 connectors will be able to accommodate three removable sizes 26 contacts as well.
In addition to all of this, Lane Motorsports 8STA has a wide range of comprehensive connectors that are made by Weald Electronics and other companies. HellermannTyton is also on that list. These will include gaskets, protective caps, heat shrink boots, not plates, and all of this will come with assembly tools that must be used in order to complete or construct the application.