Harwin, a hi-rel connector and SMT board hardware manufacturer, announced that it is sponsoring the TUfast ecoTeam from Technical University Munich (TU Munich) for the Shell Eco-Marathon in Rotterdam 2014. The team uses several Datamate and Hotshoe connectors in their energy-efficient race car.

The Shell Eco-marathon is a unique competition that challenges students to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car. At three events around the world, hundreds of teams compete to travel the furthest on the equivalent of one litre of fuel. All types of drive concepts and energy sources are allowed, including battery, petrol and diesel, as well as bio fuel, hydrogen and solar. At the Rotterdam 2014 event, the cars must travel a fixed route of about 16.3km in a maximum allowed time of 39 minutes with an average speed of at least 25km/h. The consumed energy is exactly measured and converted to get the equivalent of ‘kilometrage per one litre of regular petrol’.

Harwin was recommended to the TUfast ecoTeam by another sponsor when the team was experiencing connectivity problems with the connectors previously used. It’s connectors can withstand high shocks and vibrations, and Harwin now sponsors the race team from TU Munich with HotShoe connectors to connect the photovoltaic system. Datamate connectors are used for the battery management system and also for several PCB connections. In the future the team is also planning to use Datamate connectors for the new motor controller they need to build to accommodate  an upcoming change of rules. “The proven ruggedness was the most important criterion for us in choosing Harwin’s connectors, as the streets of Rotterdam can be quite bumpy compared to a smooth racetrack”, comments Philipp Wurdak from the TUfast ecoTeam. “But of course the light weight was also important as our car in total only weighs about 26kg”, he adds.

“We got some great support from Harwin and they certainly know about sponsoring university projects”, concludes Maximilian Amm from the TUfast ecoTeam.