Brad Connects...University of Waterloo Solar Car

Once in a while, I receive a press release that is a joy to's all about "doing well by doing good." Here's one that was fun to get, read, and run. We'll keep you posted on the race. Brad products provide the connections for University of Waterloo's Midnight Sun IX solar powered race car Durability and reliability in extreme conditions key to use of Brad products October 1, 2007 - Lincolnshire, IL USA. - Woodhead Industries, a division of Molex Incorporated,  is pleased to be a sponsor of the University of Waterloo's Midnight Sun IX solar powered race car team.
As a sponsor, Woodhead Industries provided the team with Brad products which were integrated in this year's Midnight Sun IX solar powered race car.  "The team has a lot of success using the Brad products because of their durability, allowing the solar vehicle to operate under rugged environments like the Australian outback" explains Johnny Yip, one of the team members involved with the design of this year's car.
 Products used included BradConnectivity cabling for DeviceNet and 4-pole Micro-Change cables as well as Molex connector sockets. Midnight Sun IX uses DeviceNet for the on-vehicle network allowing devices such as the motor controller and the drive control unit to communicate with each other.  BradConnectivity Micro-Change cables were used for low speed and analog signals including electrical connections for turn signal lights and the accelerator pedal.  And finally the Molex connector sockets were used to build custom cable sets for board-to-board communication.  Yip points out "one great advantage is the product's screw-in type connector. This provides extra robustness to our electrical connections when subjected to vibration on the road."
  Johnny Yip, a computer engineering student at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), is one of 100 students who were involved with the design and construction of the Midnight Sun IX.  Yip's responsibilities included electrical manager and specifically working on the battery protection system.
The Midnight Sun IX team will be participating in the Panasonic World Solar Challenge from October 21 to October 28, 2007 in Australia. The challenge is a 3,000 kilometer race that spans the Australian outback, starting in Darwin and ending in Adelaide.
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  • <p>The 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge (PWSC) began on Sunday October 21 at 8a in Darwin, Australia and will end on Thursday October 25 in Adelaide. This is the 20th annual running of this event that pits vehicles from all over the world against each other in a friendly competition. Each vehicle is powered only by the sun’s rays and must travel 3,000 kilometers in a test of strategy and endurance.</p> <p>The PWSC promotes and celebrates educational and technical excellence, and draws attention to the necessity and ingenuity of sustainable transport. This year’s event consists of 57 teams from 17 countries. The event has three different classes with the Challenge Class and Adventure Class representing the 37 solar cars. The third class is for vehicles demonstrating fuel-efficient technologies and is not part of the race. The Challenge Class features newly built solar cars, and the Adventure Class is an open event for the best solar vehicles in the world.</p> <p>Over the event’s 20 year history, the average speed of solar cars has risen significantly. The 1987 winner’s average speed was 67 km/h. Fast forward to 2005 when the winning vehicle had an average speed of 103 km/h with a maximum recorded speed of 147 km/h. There are only three main restrictions to the Challenge: vehicle dimensions, daily travel times of 8am-5pm, and vehicle propulsion derived only from direct global solar radiation.</p> <p>Here are highlights of the results for the first two days of the race. The TIGA car from Japan is in first place, the Nuna4 car from the Netherlands is in second place, and the Umicar Infinity from Belgium is in third place.</p> <p>Of special interest to automation folks is the University of Waterloo’s Midnight Sun IX car. As reported in this blog on October 15, the Midnight Sun is sponsored by Woodhead Industries, a division of Molex Incorporated. The Midnight Sun is currently running 21 out of the 37 entrants and will try to make up some ground over the next few days.</p>


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