Compact connectors
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Compact connectors

Jan 30, 2024

Introducing a high-voltage connector that provides high levels of safety combined with versatility in integration

In the transportation sector, maximum reliability under harsh conditions, compact design and high vibration resistance are vitally important features of connectors used in various railway and e-mobility applications. The safety and reliability of these products are also essential for test and measurement technology.

Stäubli Electrical Connectors develops connector solutions for a wide range of electric vehicles (EVs) and their corresponding infrastructure. The broad spectrum of applications extends from the charging technology for AGVs, buses and ships, to battery contacts for two-wheeled vehicles, trucks and rail technology, to customer-specific test plugs. In all application areas, high-quality contacts provide secure power transmission even under tough environmental conditions, along with significant safety improvements throughout the vehicle.

Stäubli has introduced its new high-voltage connector, PerforMore, designed specifically for use in the electric powertrain of electric production vehicles based on delivery specification LV 215 for high-voltage contacts. Designed for voltages up to 1000V, the compact, bipolar connector provides high levels of safety while in use and delivers excellent versatility in integration. PerforMore was devised to meet the requirements of the latest standards and offers developers greater flexibility and extensive safety features, while offering high-performance and longevity for the next generation of EVs.

Despite a current-carrying capacity of 400A at an ambient temperature of 85°C, PerforMore has a compact, space-saving design, meaning efficient, flexible use of the installation space in the vehicle. The 10mm contact system with Multilam contact technology provides a perfect balance between size and power transmission; it ensures a long-term dependable contact system and low contact resistance. This minimises power losses and the corresponding heating of the connector. To achieve the nominal voltage of 1000V while simultaneously preserving the compact design, additional protective walls were integrated between the pin contacts.

The bipolar PerforMore is suited to a variety of vehicle types that require high performance and reliability, such as high-performance automobiles, electric commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses, as well as vehicles with high-power charging (HPC). Designed for use in the powertrain, for example in high-voltage batteries, inverters and high-voltage distribution units (HDVU), the PerforMore is highly resistant to vibrations. When mated, it offers the highest protection against water penetration with a degree of protection IP68 and IP69 in accordance with IEC 60529. The high-quality EM shielding was produced with a high number of contact points distributed evenly around the power contact. This 360° shielding prevents emitted interference and reliably protects the system from malfunctions.

PerforMore is fast and easy to install, thanks to an integrated lever that ensures quick locking. The lever is opened to the end stop for insertion, and then simply pressed downward for locking. Thanks to the two-stage locking system, removal is safe and user-friendly. A high-voltage interlock loop (HVIL) monitors the connection; when unmated, it sends a signal to the control unit which disconnects the system from the power supply.

For the first step of the unmating procedure, the lever is opened until slightly blocked, meaning the HVIL has now been interrupted. The second step involves pressing a button on the top of the connector to allow the lever to be opened fully and the connector to be disconnected. This mechanism ensures a time interval between the disconnection of the HVIL and power contacts. The power contacts are not unmated until the second step of the unlocking procedure in order to protect the user from accidental unmating under load and the resulting electric arcs. At high voltages, electric arcs can cause severe injuries; user protection is therefore the highest priority.

When unmated, the PerforMore is IP2X touch-proof to prevent users from touching voltage-conducting parts. Mechanical coding with four possible codes reliably prevents mis-mating, while colour-coding enables clear allocation of corresponding connector pairs.

Connector installation is uncomplicated and user-friendly. On the connector side, usually permanently installed, the connection is made to the busbar or cable using a screw connection. This means the outlet can be flexibly and infinitely adapted to the installation space, for example in an inverter.

Crimping or welding can take place on the socket, the flying connector. Mounting takes place with prefabricated cables that are simply inserted into the housing until they become noticeable and audibly locked into place. Incorrect mounting is not possible because the cable can be integrated into only once prescribed direction. Mounting is completed after closing the sealing cover, which is also inserted into the housing until it locks in.

The cable assembly process is suited for both mass and limited production. High-voltage non-metallic sheathed cables with cross sections of 50-90mm2 enable currents with low temperature rise and high peak currents. Upon delivery, the connectors are mostly pre-mounted and the cables can pre-assembled; this saves time and lowers costs when assembling the vehicle.

Winnijar Kauz is the Global Head of Business E-Mobility at Stäubli Electrical Connectors.

Introducing a high-voltage connector that provides high levels of safety combined with versatility in integration Stäubli Stäubli Electrical Connectors