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igus® S.L.U.

Ctra. Llobatona, 6

Poligono Noi del Sucre

08840 Viladecans Barcelona

+34 93 647 39 50
+34 93 647 39 51

Servo cables for high mechanical loads in solar off-road vehicle

Bend-resistant chainflex servo cables were required for extreme thermal conditions.

Solar vehicles have been developed at the Bochum University for 20 years. A completely independent project is the SolarBuggy, which began at the end of 2012 with the donation of a commercial buggy. The current model "Froggee" should cross the Australian desert in the spring of 2018, setting a new world record in the process. The buggy will carry chainflex servo cables, which are ideally suited for thermal and mechanical loads it will experience.


  • What was required: chainflex servo cables
  • Requirements: the cables must be able to withstand strong thermal loads as well as mechanical loads in motion and vibrations, have a low weight and be able to be used in the smallest installation spaces with minimal bend radii.
  • Industry: automotive industry
  • Success for the customer: the chainflex cables combine low weight with high load capacity and maximum mechanical durability. They can cope with bend radii of up to 7.5xd in the buggy in order to get along well even in very small installation spaces.


Since the beginning of 2016, 16 students from the University of Bochum had been working on the project to develop and build a solar-powered off-road vehicle. The team wanted to design and develop their SolarBuggy by themselves, in such a way that it can cope with the toughest conditions for off-road vehicles, sand and dunes without problems. Students from the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and mechatronics collaborated in working groups. In Spring 2018, the goal of the project was to cross the Simpson Desert in Australia as quickly as possible with the developed solar-powered vehicle, and to break the existing world record of four days, 21 hours and 23 minutes. For the Buggy, this meant a distance of 360 kilometres along the "French line" from Purni Bore to Birdsville. Attached to the roof of the vehicle are 2.5m2 of solar cells. Against this background, all components in the SolarBuggy must be able to cope with the heavy stresses caused by movement and occurring vibrations, while remaining lightweight.


This also applies in particular to the chainflex cables for connecting the motor controllers to the electric motors, for driving the vehicle and for the internal wiring of the contactors. A low weight and diameter as well as maximum mechanical durability are the strengths of the cables. The servo cables in the SolarBuggy have a special conductor design that ensures the high current carrying capacity and withstands the mechanical loads due to motion and vibration, so that there are no interruptions to the power supply. The cables are shielded, provide DC and AC voltage and have a high electromagnetic resistance to external influences. As they are very tough, they are ideally suited to thermal stress in Australia. We offer the chainflex servo cables with or without an inner jacket. Depending on the type, they are flame-retardant, coolant-resistant and oil-resistant and cold-flexible. Tested under real conditions in our in-house laboratory, they ensure a maximum service life and guaranteed operational reliability. 
In the case of the SolarBuggy, the selected servo cables CF270.UL.350.01.D can cope with bend radii up to 7.5xd in the smallest installation spaces. Due to their PUR outer jacket, they are oil-resistant, halogen-free, silicone-free and flame-retardant.

"Alternative products have rarely met all conditions at the same time - besides the conductor cross section, the colour of the insulation, the shield and the price were also important for us."
Kay Bollerhof, Team SolarBuggy
Solar buggy with chainflex cables Shielded chainflex cables used in the Bochum University SolarBuggy, are extremely tough, have a high current rating and are able to withstand the harsh conditions in the Simpson Desert.
SolarBuggy chainflex cables The positive and quick response from igus and the timely delivery convinced the Bochum student team. Spokesperson Kay Bollerhof: "We were able to cope with our technical challenges quickly. In addition, alternative products have rarely fulfilled all the conditions at the same time."

This is what the servo cables by igus® can do

Available with or without inner jacket

Depending on the type, they are flame-retardant, coolant-resistant and oil-resistant, and cold-flexible

Tested in the  igus® test laboratory  under realistic conditions

Maximum service life and guaranteed reliability

Low bend radius (in the case of the SolarBuggy e.g. 7.5 xd)

Halogen-free and silicone-free due to their PUR outer jacket

Used product:
CF270.UL.350.01.D chainflex® cable from igus®