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Nihon Superior's SN100C Plays a Part in the WORLD SOLAR CHALLENGE

Oct 21, 2011

Nihon Superior Co. Ltd., a supplier of advanced soldering materials to the global market,  announces that its unique SN100C® lead-free solder has been used to assemble the controller of 17 of the solar cars participating in the World Solar Challenge (

The World Solar Challenge, which started on October 16, is a race that begins in Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory and finishes in Adelaide, South Australia after a drive of approximately 3000 km through the tropical and desert conditions of the center of this continent.  This event has been held every second year since 1987 (in 2009 under the name “Global Green Challenge”) and this year is expected to attract entries from 37 teams across 21 countries.  In 2007 and 2009, Nihon Superior sponsored battery-powered cars that participated in The Eco Challenge, which was held concurrently with the World Solar Challenge for vehicles that use other alternative energy sources. SN100C was used to make critical connections in the electrical circuitry as well as in the assembly of the controller of these battery-powered cars. In 2009, the sponsored car won its class.

The controller that has proved so popular with participants is the “Wave Sculptor 22” that proudly carries a sticker declaring “SN100C Inside.”   These controllers are manufactured by Tritium Pty Ltd which specializes in the design of powertrain systems for electric vehicles.  The Wave Sculptor 22 solar motor controller is ideally suited to the ironless permanent magnet motor used by leading solar car design teams. Its peak power rating of 20 kW, a weight of only 855 g and a cruising efficiency of 99.2 percent means that it is well-suited to this application.

Vapor phase reflowed SN100C solder paste is used in all SMT attachment on both the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) and main power PCBs in the controller.  These boards include large high-power components, passives, fine-pitch ICs (0.5 mm) and one BGA. SN100C wire solder is used for hand soldering through-hole connectors and other large parts on the DSP board.

Tritium’s Engineering Director James Kennedy said, “We are very happy with the SN100C solder paste. The visual quality of the joints is excellent.  Results from hand soldering with SN100C flux-cored wire also are excellent.”

Tritium’s Electric Vehicle (EV) powertrain solutions are suited to high performance sports cars, larger sedans, light commercial vehicles and buses.  They have been providing powertrain solutions to solar power racing teams around the world for many years. In the 2007 and 2009 World Solar Challenge races, their previous generation WaveSculptor20 was used by over half of the participating teams.

Nihon Superior was founded in 1966 when it began marketing unique flux products imported from the US. The company made its mark on society by gathering the most advanced soldering and brazing technologies and products from around the world, and supplying them to companies in the metal-joining industry. A turning point for the company came when it started developing its own soldering materials and with the success of its unique SN100C lead-free solder alloy Nihon Superior has become a major player in the global market. To support the growing demand for its products, Nihon Superior has established manufacturing and sales centers in Japan, China and other Asian countries, and the United States, and formed business partnerships with companies in other markets.

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