As automakers unveil one battery-electric vehicle (EV) platform after another, high-voltage (HV) interconnects are emerging as one of the most important automotive components. They enable power delivery from chargers to batteries and from there to inverters, electric motors, power distribution systems and auxiliary devices such as air conditioners.
Because of their central role, well-designed HV interconnects can be key differentiators for EVs. OEMs need connectors that conduct electricity efficiently, save space and last a long time — while also streamlining manufacturing and adapting to a range of applications.
Direct contact technology can produce interconnects with all of those attributes, helping OEMs to achieve their ultimate goals of greater reliability, range and performance. Its simplicity is a breakthrough in HV connector design that will have a significant effect on the performance, compactness, flexibility, reliability and other attributes of the connector system as a whole.
Direct contact technology brings together the harness terminal and device terminal in a design that allows current to flow directly from one conductive element to the other, minimizing the bulk resistance and contact resistance by eliminating the lamella and the contact interfaces on either side of it. The work of securing the terminal to the busbar is performed by the terminal body using a separate component made of stainless steel, the optimal material for this task. The steel terminal body provides higher contact force and durability than a copper alloy contact spring.
The direct flow of current generates low and stable resistance over the life of the vehicle and thus less heat, while the stainless steel spring in the dedicated terminal body can achieve a higher contact force for a longer duration than a conductive spring can. As a result, the operational life span of a direct contact terminal is at least 100 times that of a conventional terminal system.
To learn more about the many benefits of direct contact technology, read our white paper.