Release date：2021-12-28Author source：KinghelmViews：353
Innovations in connecting component materials, wiring design, and modularity are three key drivers for improving the productivity, efficiency and cost reduction of e-mobility systems.
Electric mobility (e-mobility) is an emerging technology. Electric vehicles first appeared in the early 19th century, including a battery-powered car invented by Thomas Edison. In the years that followed, the internal combustion engine dominated, and petroleum-powered transportation had dominated for decades. However, in the second half of the 20th century, engineers again turned their attention to electrification.
There are many means of transportation related to E-mobility, such as cars, trains, buses, bicycles, scooters, skateboards, wheelchairs, drones, and jetpacks. This growing market also includes electric air taxis and underwater scooters, and even GPS systems and charging stations that support EV and LEV technology.
These diverse electric applications include electric motors and energy storage units, all of which rely on compact, lightweight, and increasingly powerful interconnects and cables to transmit power and signals, connect adjacent charging equipment, communication systems, and smart city infrastructure.
Interest in EV and LEV technologies continues to rise as more innovative electric products hit the market. In the coming decades, our transportation vehicles will likely rely primarily on electric power. As electric adoption steadily increases, various component-level changes are being implemented to make these solutions more efficient. Changes in connection component materials, wiring design and modularity, in particular, are three key drivers that positively increase productivity and reduce the cost of building and operating electric systems.
Connector Materials for Electric Applications
Significant achievements have been made in the research and development and innovation of next-generation materials required for batteries and electric systems. Lightweight, durable materials that can withstand heat, current loads and harsh operating conditions help advance electric technology.
Interconnect products, such as the wire-to-board connectors often used in these systems, now have materials that can withstand external ambient temperature fluctuations and heat generated by the system's power units. Continuous improvements focus on connector housings, cable insulation and contact materials. In addition, designers are increasingly incorporating safety locking features to prevent failure under shock and high vibration levels. And refine mounting techniques such as surface mount and crimping, increasing robustness and shrinking the overall process. The goal of designing the new electrical connector was to identify the best materials to reduce product size, weight and cost without sacrificing power and signal performance and strong environmental suitability.
Likewise, there have been significant advancements in battery technology, with longer battery life and faster charging. One area of research is the development of a new generation of lithium-ion batteries with greatly reduced cobalt content. Other new battery technologies, such as dual-carbon batteries, are safer, cheaper, recyclable and charge up to 20 times faster than traditional lithium-ion batteries. These advancements are happening very quickly and, when combined with cutting-edge connectivity solutions, will help bring reliable electric products to more people.
Alternatives to Harnesses
A wire harness or cable assembly is a structural solution in a system. Wire harnesses provide a solution to space constraints and electrical requirements. The use of copper or copper alloys in these wires has always been a reliable choice for power and signal applications. Electric systems often require a lot of cables, which adds weight and reduces the range of electric vehicles. The transition from copper to aluminum and alloy wire is underway, and engineers continue to find solutions that can effectively reduce the weight of the wire harness while still providing equivalent performance.
Flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) are currently one of the most common alternatives to copper wiring harnesses used in electric vehicles. FPCB reduces the huge number of complex wiring harnesses, enabling simple layout in limited space, helping to reduce the weight of required electronic components and improve circuit performance. It also reduces power consumption, lowers cost, ensures durability in harsh environments, and has good electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) to help reduce crosstalk and maintain signal integrity. FPCBs are commonly used in communication, power and battery management systems for electric vehicles and LEVs.
Connector modularity is usually based on a specific application, and these connectors are very compact, versatile, cost-effective, and easily expandable. In addition to reducing the cost, weight, and routing of connector assemblies, modularity allows designers to make the most of space, which is especially important as consumers demand products that are smaller and more versatile.
Modular connectors also improve standardization and compatibility. Using a standardized set of modules for new connectivity solutions enables designers to quickly implement new designs using computer-aided design (CAD) tools. This helps bring new solutions to market that can be tested and adopted faster and at less cost.
Modular interconnect products also offer advantages such as stackability, ease of assembly, secure connections, high signal integrity, and low z-height (matching the overall stack height of the PCB within the connector system). As EV and LEV systems and products are able to provide more functionality in a smaller form factor, interconnections must enable more functionality within the limited available space.
Over the past 20 years, technology has shifted from internal combustion engines to electrification. The switch to cleaner, greener energy sources not only solves climate problems caused by emissions from large vehicles, but also improves traditional human transportation and wheelchair applications by transforming bicycles, skateboards, wheelchairs, and more into faster, longer-range lev tools.
Advances in interconnect technology are a key component in the development of electric energy. Low cost through material changes, copper wire harness replacements such as adoption of PFCBs, and modularity of connector systems to facilitate the development of today's high-performance electric systems that are increasingly competitive with combustion engines in terms of price and range of applications Competitiveness. Today's increasingly powerful connector technology has greatly aided the development of e-mobility.
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