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Bud Plastic Electronic Enclosures Speed Protection to Solar Race Car

Published on: April 4, 2019 by Blair Haas

Bud Industries electronic enclosures have many applications, but one of which we are quite proud is our association with  Calsol, the UC Berkley solar vehicle team. Calsol is made up of students from a variety of disciplines who develop Formula Solar Vehicles for racing. This is an ongoing program which is currently working on their 9th generation vehicle. 

The students do more than engineer the cars, but also are involved with business planning, marketing, and project management. The 8th  generation car, the Zephyr, was a resounding success winning the Formula Sun Grand Prix in 2017 and coming in second in 2018!  What does this have to do with Bud electronic enclosures?  We have provided product for both the Zephyr and the upcoming Tachyon. 

The PN series box is ideal for any outdoor or protection of key components that are used outdoors.
The Zephyr Car also used Bud PN series IP65, NEMA 4x plastic boxes to house and keep safe various boards and components

Bud Boxes Are a Practical Solution In Its Design

Bud Industries PN series IP65 NEMA 4x plastic enclosure is used to protect the components in this Big Power Box used in CalSol’s Solar Powered Formula Race car. 

They have been using our  PN series NEMA 4/IP65  enclosures with clear lids on various parts of the vehicle.  First, it encloses their maximum power point tracker.   This connects each of the four sub-arrays on their car to optimize the amount of power they get from the sun. 

Benefits of the PN Series Enclosures

It is much smaller and lighter than any off-the-shelf components they can buy. They were pleased with the light weight of the PN series, the strength of its polycarbonate material, and the ability to see through the clear cover.  The crew can see the critical information they need without cutting holes in the cover to make displays visible. Also, there is no need to open the enclosure and expose the contents to the elements.  

Solar racing is an outdoor sport. If water was to enter the enclosure, then the damage to the circuit board could prevent the solar car from racing. That’s why the team selected an enclosure that features a continuous seal and a tightly fitting cover.  

NEMA and IP Ratings 

The Bud PN Series plastic enclosure is rated NEMA 4X and IP66. These ratings provide assurance that the enclosure will protect the electronics inside it from the ingress of rain, moisture, dust, and dirt. Read more about NEMA and IP ratings here. The race team’s goal is to organize and weather-proof/dust-proof their circuit boards and electrical systems. Other Bud products include the enclosure for the board that controls the pedals and also to provide protection for their battery.  Bud Industries provides enclosures for many other companies involved in the solar energy field from boxes that control the distribution of excess energy to enclosures for monitoring loads. 

Everyone who works at Bud is proud to help budding engineers design a greener future. 

For all of your hazardous and non-hazardous applications, Bud has the enclosure that will help protect your equipment in a fast and cost-effective manner. 

Contact us  for information on the PN series and our many other product families or to obtain a quotation on having Bud provide our fast modification service! 

Or click here for tips on  selecting the right NEMA 4 enclosure. 

See our most popular blog posts on NEMA Enclosures: https://www.budind.com/blog/category/nema-boxes/