FCI extends Power.S3 range of EV connectors

October 19, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Connector supplier FCI has added a new member to its Power.S3 family of high power connectors for the EV (Electric Vehicle) market. The 2 way 230A/750V RCS890 is a 90˚ version of the proven RCS800, and offers greater design flexibility to meet the challenge of ensuring reliable connection with bulky, large diameter power cables.

With volume production scheduled for mid-2012, the RCS890 builds on the success of the RCS800, which is already being deployed in the first generation of mass production Renault/Nissan EV's, including the Nissan Leaf and Renault Z.E. range. Designed to complement the RCS800, the new connector will help alleviate the high mechanical stresses placed on connectors by the 35 - 50mm 2 power cables required in EV engine bays.

Significantly, the RCS890 can be used in both 'up' and 'down’ positions. It can also be used in conjunction with the RCS800, maximising the number of orientations possible. Incorporating large Li-ion batteries, EV applications are characterised by operating voltages up to 800 V and average continuous currents up to 300A. Connectors must therefore deliver protection against risks such as electrocution, interference and arcing. Furthermore, the need to maximise vehicle range while keeping budgets under control means that weight, size and total cost of ownership must be minimized.

In common with the RCS800, the RCS890 incorporates terminals with an 8mm round pin design. These make more efficient use of space than equivalent square designs and boast higher like-for-like current carrying capacity. The RCS890 also incorporate the same innovative features developed for the RCS800, such as a unique 2-step unmating process, incorporating a time delay between power disconnection and the interlock opening. Disconnection is impossible when the connector is live, eliminating the risk of accidental electrocution or arcing. In addition, the product offers integrated electric interlock and Connector Position Assurance (CPA), ensuring 100% safe mating.

New enhancements for the RCS890, which will also be implemented on the RCS800, include further improvements to the sealing performance. Uniquely in this market sector, FCI applies two levels of sealing: individual cable line sealing and global sealing when mated. Consequently during maintenance operations, RCS800 & RCS890 connectors are sealed even when disconnected. These connector solutions provide a combination of IP2xB finger touch protection and IPx9K, IP67 external sealing