Terminal blocks pass insulation testing for photovoltaic applications
Testing ensures that terminals can withstand a continuous voltage of 1000 V dc under all climatic conditions. Specialized insulation testing is required for solar photovoltaic (PV) applications because standard insulation tests do not detect low-energy (partial) discharges, which are common in PV applications.
Weidmuller announces the completion of specialized insulation testing on its terminals blocks geared specifically for solar photovoltaic (PV) applications. This testing ensures that terminals can withstand a continuous voltage of 1000 V dc under all climatic conditions. Specialized insulation testing is required for PV applications because standard insulation tests do not detect low-energy (partial) discharges, which are common in PV applications. Partial discharges can slowly work through a terminal’s insulation line, ultimately causing a defect. In addition, insulation lines react differently to partial discharge tests for dc voltage than to partial discharge tests for ac voltage. Since solar panels generate dc electricity, only terminal blocks that have passed a partial discharge test for dc voltage are suitable for safe use in photovoltaic systems.
To maximize the power generated by a PV system, solar panels that convert solar energy to dc electricity are connected in series or in parallel to create solar arrays. Arrays are connected to a dc-to-ac converter (solar inverter) via a combiner box. The combined voltage from the arrays within a combiner box may be as high as 1,000 V dc in global applications, or 600 V dc for NAFTA applications requiring UL certification. It is critical that terminal blocks used within a combiner box are able to safely and reliably withstand these voltages.
- Also see:
- Edited by Renee R. Bassett for Control Engineering, www.controleng.com
- Events & Awards
- Magazine Archives
- Oil & Gas Engineering
- Salary Survey
- Digital Reports
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.