Yazaki Launches Family of High Voltage Products for Hybrids and Electric-Drive Vehicles

Components intended for use in gasoline-electric hybrids and other vehicles employing electric drive technology.

Published: 12-Jan-2005

CANTON, Mich., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Yazaki Corporation (Yazaki), a leading supplier of vehicle power and data solutions to the automotive industry, has announced the launch of its family of automotive high-voltage products available for gasoline-electric hybrids and other vehicles employing electric drive technology. The components include connection systems for motors, inverters, battery packs, and other products include service plugs, battery bus bar modules, high-voltage cables, and high-voltage junction blocks.

Yazaki has been a leader in pioneering the first high-voltage, high- current systems for pure electric cars in North American and Asian markets. Its long history and successful track record of innovation and technological advancement has resulted in valuable partnerships with many of the world's automakers. Recently, the company has partnered with several leading manufacturers to develop harnesses, connectors and other products for hybrid electric vehicles.

"For over 10 years, Yazaki Corporation has been developing components to support the evolution of electric drive technologies, from battery-controlled to hybrid electric vehicles, and now, alternative fuel vehicles," said Myron Trenne, vice president of Research and Development, Yazaki North America, Inc.

"This experience has given us an advantage in bringing these technologies to
the American market."

Some of the unique needs of electric drive technologies include reducing electromagnetic interference (EMI), improving safety/serviceability, and reducing weight and size which necessitates unique packaging requirements.

Yazaki's high voltage product features include integrated shielding from electromagnetic interference for optimized vehicle assembly, durability in environments with high voltage and high currents, and automated cable termination and connector assembly methods that allow for significant cost cutting. In addition, the products are designed to increase efficiency and versatility while also reducing weight, which is accomplished with the option of aluminum wiring.

Following are descriptions of a few of Yazaki's high voltage components:

Two-Pole Inverter Connector

A two-pole inverter connector system connects the vehicle's battery pack to the inverter that converts direct current from the battery into alternating current to power the electric motor that drives the wheels. The Yazaki system includes two wire harness connectors, two EMI-shielded aluminum cables and header connectors that mount to both the inverter and the battery. The header connectors are lower cost because of simpler design and fewer parts.

3-Pole Inverter Connector

This high-voltage wire harness prototype connects an inverter to a motor or generator. Integrated inner and outer housings ensure isolation of power terminals from the electromagnetic shield structure. This Yazaki design, along with shielded cables, controls EMI.

Service plug

The service plug disconnects the vehicle from the high-voltage battery power supply to enable safe servicing of the engine, electric motor and other components. Incorporating an integrated fuse and lever-assisted terminal insertion/removal design, the unit saves space and is easy to use.

HEV Battery Bus Bar Module

Yazaki's battery bus bar module provides a lightweight, low cost alternative to a complex system of wires for connecting a 38-battery series into a circuit to monitor voltage. Benefiting from a simple design, the module incorporates a thin-wall housing with flexible hinges and an integral, flat bus bar. The hinges facilitate assembly of the module to the battery and secure seating of terminal contacts. Aluminum film wraps around the positive and negative power cables to control EMI.

High-Voltage Junction Box

The high voltages and currents that hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles require also put high demands on the junction box (JB). The JB distributes power from the main power source (battery or fuel cell) to major electrical systems throughout the vehicle. Yazaki's innovative, compact JB design meets all the functional challenges of these high-voltage vehicle systems, while safeguarding against electrical arcing between connections and protecting the circuits. Yazaki's JB has current and voltage sensors, main circuit shut-down features and leak-current detection that functions similarly to a ground fault interrupt (GFI) on the electrical outlet in a house wiring system. These features ensure safe vehicle maintenance and protect the vehicle's systems from unintentional grounding of supply power circuits.

Shielded EV-HEV Cable

Hybrid and fuel cell vehicles demand electrical cable that can handle high-voltage and high-current requirements. However, this must be done at acceptable cost. Yazaki has developed cable technology that effectively carries the power and controls EMI. Yazaki uses a multi-layer design comprising a conductor of thin, stranded copper or aluminum wire with insulation of cross-linked polyethylene. Surrounding these layers is a shield of tin-plated, copper-braided wire. The outmost layer is a cover of heat- resistant PVC.

The bending load of the thin, stranded wire conductor is 50 percent less than typical stranded wire, which enables outstanding flexibility in harness routing, packaging and installation. The harness saves weight and cost, compared to a first-generation version. The aluminum cable is 31 percent lighter than the copper cable it replaces. The shield contains the electromagnetic field that high voltage/high current hybrid and fuel cell vehicles generate by grounding it, thus controlling the EMI. The cover layer protects the integrity of the shield.

Yazaki Corporation is a global leader in the research, development and delivery of vehicle power and data solutions, as well as advanced electronic technologies for vehicle applications. Yazaki produces electrical distribution systems, fiber optics, instrumentation, solid-state power centers, connection systems and electronics. Worldwide, the company employs over 150,000 people in 37 countries, 1,500 of whom are based in the company's North American headquarters and research center campus in Canton, Michigan. For more information on Yazaki, log onto http://www.yazaki-na.com .

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