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Fischer Connectors, technical partner of the GreenGT H2

Solving new challenges in extreme sports environments where expertise, innovation and reliability are key is Fischer Connectors electrical and mechanical engineer team’s favorite activity.  

By finding the right connector or cable solution to use at the right place for maximum efficiency, whether it is a standard catalogue item - connector or cable assembly - or a specially developed custom project, our team of highly qualified engineers thrives on winning the race to full customer satisfaction.

“Facing timing and safety challenges with our innovative hydrogen fuel cell car, we saw Fischer Connectors as the technical partner that would provide us with the complete problem-solving offer, including standard high quality reliable connections, complete harnesses and specially created high power and performance push-pull connectors. In short, we needed to find the connector that could transmit up to 800 Amps and 600 Volts to power the world’s first electric high performance racecar.” says Christophe Schwartz, Engineering and Program Manager for GreenGT H2.

Jean-François Weber, General Manager and Head of Research & Development for GreenGT, an independent company that designs, develops and markets clean and sustainable vehicle propulsion systems with a focus on competition and innovation explains why his team has chosen to partner with Fischer Connectors : “Fischer Connectors’ innovative products have an excellent track record to perform without constraint in highly demanding environments. We particularly value the expertise in developing the right connector that meets all our unique technical and environmental requirements since connectors directly impact the car’s safety, speed and reliability.”

To race, the car has to comply with FIA rules and safety standards, it needs to be fast on the flat and in the bends, be lightweight and 100% reliable. To shine, it needs the right connectivity inside. That’s where Fischer Connectors come in.

We worked according to the needs of GreenGT’, explain Olivier Testaz, Fischer Connectors’ engineering team member specialized in mechanical design and Thierry Goldhorn, mechanical engineer. ‘Although most of the connectors GreenGT wanted to use in their car were close to our standard product range, we needed to make sure we answered all of their specific requirements and decided to also develop new solutions; so we took the Fischer UltiMateTM Series as a starting point because of its built in ruggedness and continued from there.’

Its compactness and resistance to shock and vibration made it an ideal base connector in tight areas around the powertrain for example. “People wouldn’t believe how many components are packed within such a small space. In certain places on the chassis, every millimeter counts and we had to be very careful with the design, manufacturing, dimensional and electric control. We even created special working desks for the cable assembly of the harness. It’s like fitting an A380 cockpit into a glider.” Thierry Goldhorn adds.

Since the car must be able to reach 300km/hour in less than 10 seconds, the last thing it needed was heavy connectors and cable assemblies.

Made of aluminum, much lighter than standard brass connectors, the Fischer Ultimate™ Series fitted perfectly in this very light yet resistant structure. The chassis already integrates a lot of carbon fiber composite elements like the 2 x 160 liter tanks with H2 pressurized at 350 bar, complete bodywork and a double-hull &crash box shell. 

“We were looking for reliable high voltage and high amperage connectors that are extremely easy to connect and disconnect. To secure the car when service personnel need to work on it, it is important to disconnect the battery or fuel cell power source. There is no second chance, in these life-threatening conditions you cannot afford a spark or everything is over. More precisely, people needed to plug or unplug the connectors in less than a second without any risk of harming themselves” explains Jean-Francois Weber.

“GreenGT has developed a new high power fuel cell system that contains neither batteries nor fuel. It provides a linear power of 340 kW or 460 hp. In parallel, a new lightweight twin-motor power-train, providing up to 400 kW or 540 hp, has been constructed for this prototype.”

“We needed to develop these one of a kind high power connectors (delivering up to 275A for 7.0 kV DC / 5.0 kV AC) to kick start the system and the fuel cell, and the receptacles are so close to the pilot that we made them extremely safe to use and access.” confirms Olivier Testaz.

Easy to connect and disconnect is the definition of the Fischer Connectors push pull system that offers additional benefits to the GreenGT H2 team for whom time is of the essence. With thousands of mating cycles possible and the need to save precious milliseconds during the pit stops, these connectors had a special coating to reduce conductivity and were mechanically coded for safe super-fast blind mating.

Using hydrogen on the GreenGT H2 racing car improves safety because it is less flammable than petrol. Electric motors improve reliability because they have five times fewer parts than internal combustion engines, and the latest generation electronic control and telemetry system ensures optimal on-track performance. To cap it all, this high-performing car uses renewable energy and produces no pollutants or emissions of gas, CO2 or NOx.

With standard catalogue references, Fischer Connectors participated to the making of the GreenGT H2 compressor, beam acquisition system, push box, top box tour, light beam, taillights, fog signal, water pump control, 12V power supply, 24V power supply and much more.

Already strong with our Fischer Core Series supplying automotive equipment players like data logging systems, diagnosis systems and Test and Control systems manufacturers, we are active in developing innovative solutions and making sure they can be implemented throughout our customers’ application fields.

So remember to ask Fischer Connectors when you need a reliable innovative connector or cable assembly for your specific design need, if you are developing an exploration robot, a telecommunications device, a cardio-vascular measurement unit, a military tracking system or a race car. Not only will we be able to deliver a complete solution for the most demanding environments and unusual challenges you may face but also will we ensure quality from start to finish of your project.