Methode was approached to develop an 80A custom connector to blind-mate a panel connector to a laminated bus bar.
Methode’s solution involved developing a complex connector that incorporated float and self-alignment for blind mate, as well as special pins to energize and de-energize the system to prevent arcing and pin degradation.
This application involved an array of battery drawer units that blind-mate plugs into the system’s central bus bar, providing power to the bus bar. Methode was asked to develop a power connector with a number of important attributes:
Low-connector electrical resistance
Low-connector insertion force
Shrouded pins and sockets to prevent accidental shorting
10 AWG wire on the panel termination for compatibility with existing hardware
A means to sense when the drawer was about to be pulled out so it could first be de-energized, protecting the power contacts from arcing and degradation.
A four-position connector was designed with two 2.4 mm pin contacts in parallel for power, and two for return on the laminated bus bars. On the mating panel side, insert/removable PowerBud® contacts with 10 AWG crimp barrels were used in a blind-mate housing that could float and self-align. To address the issue of the very high-current hot-plug requirement, signal contacts were added as a First Break/Last Mate control switch for safety, thereby eliminating the need for current interruption.