Weidmuller Terminal Blocks Pass Insulation Tests | Automation.com

Weidmuller Terminal Blocks Pass Insulation Tests

Weidmuller Terminal Blocks Pass Insulation Tests
September 8, 2010 - Weidmuller announces the completion of specialized insulation testing on their terminals blocks, geared specifically for solar photovoltaic (PV) applications. This testing ensures that Weidmuller terminals can withstand a continuous voltage of 1000 VDC under all climatic conditions.

Specialized insulation testing is required for PV applications because standard insulation tests performed on terminals 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 1000 VDC in global applications, or 600 VDC 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.

“Weidmuller is well positioned to serve the global photovoltaic industry”, says Jim Cahaly, Director of Custom Engineered Solutions for Weidmuller. “Our engineers have developed a complete offering of high quality and innovative connectivity solutions for the entire DC pathway of a solar energy system, including connections in and between the solar panels, combiner box, and inverter.”

Weidmuller is the leading provider of solutions for the transmission of power, data and control signals in industrial environments. The company develops, produces and sells industrial electronics, network infrastructure components and connectivity solutions such as Industrial Ethernet, Relays, Power Supplies, I/O modules, printed circuit board connectors, terminal blocks and complete DIN Rail assemblies. The Weidmuller group has a strong international focus with manufacturing and sales locations in over 70 countries.
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