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SOLAR-POWERED OFF-ROADER IS TOUGH TEST FOR SERVO CABLES

08-12-2017
by 
in 

Since the beginning of 2016, a team of 16 students from the University of Bochum in Germany have been developing and constructing a solar-powered off-road vehicle, the SolarBuggy. The current model, dubbed "Froggee", is set to cross the Australian desert in the spring of 2018, aiming to set a new world record in the process. The buggy has been constructed using chainflex servo cables from igus, which are ideally suited for the thermal and mechanical loads that will be experienced.

The goal of the project is to break the record of an Australian team for the fastest crossing of the Simpson Desert with a solar-powered land vehicle. This means a distance of 360 kilometres along the "French line" from Purni Bore to Birdsville. Attached to the roof of the SolarBuggy are 2.5 square metres of solar cells. The team has less than 4 days, 21 hours and 23 minutes to accomplish their project.

Against this background, all components in the SolarBuggy have to cope with the toughest demands and at the same time have a low weight. This is especially true for the chainflex cables that are installed. They are used to connect the motor controllers to the electric motors, for driving the vehicle and for the internal wiring of the contactors. The combination of low weight and small diameter as well as maximum mechanical durability is the strength of the igus cables.

The servo cables in the SolarBuggy have a special conductor design that features high current carrying capacity and withstands the mechanical loads due to motion and vibration, so that there are no interruptions to the power supply. "The cables are shielded, provide DC and AC voltage and have a high electromagnetic resistance to external influences," explains Kay Bollerhof of the SolarBuggy team. "As they are very tough, they are ideally suited to thermal and mechanical stress in Australia," he continues.

Treotham offers the igus chainflex servo cables with or without an inner jacket. Depending on the type, they are flame-retardant, coolant-resistant and oil-resistant, remain flexible at low temperatures, and were originally designed for use in energy chains.

Tested under real conditions in the in-house igus laboratory, they ensure a maximum service life and guaranteed operational reliability. In the case of the SolarBuggy, the CF270.UL.350.01.D servo cables used can cope with bend radii down to 7.5x their diameter, and so can fit in the smallest installation spaces. Thanks to a PUR outer jacket, they are oil-resistant, halogen-free, silicone-free and flame-retardant.

Treotham Automation
1300 65 75 64
www.treotham.com.au

 

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