ABB launches a few new eBOS components for 1,500 volt PV systems

ABB inverters

The shift to higher voltages is helping reduce the cost of utility-scale photovoltaic systems. Higher-voltage systems make installations more energy efficient, require fewer components and less wiring, and are less labor intensive to build. Most new solar plants have voltages of 1500V on the DC side and many are moving towards 800V on the AC side.

ABB is adding a new molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) for higher-voltage solar power plants to its Tmax PV range and launching the solar industry’s first fully optimized two-pole DC (OTDC) switch-disconnector for 1500-volt utility-scale plants covering 315-630A IEC and 250-600A UL current range.

Disconnector

The new design offers both a size reduction and an increase in efficiency and performance to help manufacturers of PV combiner boxes, inverters, and energy storage systems adapt to the industry’s rapid adoption of 1500V DC solutions.

The two-pole 1500V DC concept helps manufacturers improve system efficiency, reducing switch losses by up to 35 percent. Measuring just 150mm wide and 122mm high across the current range, the OTDC range of 1500V DC switches is also up to 30 percent smaller than conventional solutions. The compact size of the new OTDC range makes it possible for manufacturers to reduce the size of combiner boxes and inverters.

ABB’s unique design makes it possible to operate up to two 1500V DC strings with just one switch. In addition to the standard connections, the OTDC’s modular design also makes it possible for ABB to fulfil the non-standard requests that come from the quickly changing solar market.

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Molded case breaker

The breaker, designed to protect combiners, switchgear and inverters up to 1500V DC, is the latest addition to ABB’s complete range of protection solutions for utility-scale solar plants.

For 1500V DC installations with rated current up to 1200A UL and 1600A IEC, ABB’s product range now includes MCCBs and switch-disconnectors. The SACE Tmax PV range makes installation faster and reduces wiring costs for more advanced solar plants, helping utilities and engineers save time. The SACE Tmax PV offers design engineers, panel builders and inverter manufacturers a single–brand solution for photovoltaic systems installed anywhere in the world. All integrate readily with the electrical and mechanical accessories developed for the SACE Tmax T MCCB range.

For systems using string inverters, the SACE Tmax PV range now offers circuit breakers for up to 800V AC, the industry’s first to be type approved to UL 489 specifications and compliant with IEC 60947-2 Standard. ABB’s compact circuit breakers can break short circuit currents up to 32kA.

“We believe 800V AC will be a significant trend in large-scale solar plants,” said Marco Carminati, Global Product Specialist for ABB’s low-voltage breakers. “The response from partners indicates that it will be central to many developments in this field. We are now planning further innovations to support the shift to 800V so that solar plants have everything they need to optimize their power production.”

 

— Solar Builder magazine

Seaward improves PV testing range, uses new I-V curve algorithm

seaward solar i-v curver tracer

Solar test equipment manufacturer Seaward Group has relaunched the latest in its popular range of solar PV test equipment with new features to keep it at the forefront of the industry.

The new PV200/210 Complete Kit, which builds on the success of the original PV200 and 210 devices, has new functionality to boost performance and precision. Innovative new functions include a brand new I-V curve algorithm designed to produce higher resolution results.

Users will also find new messages that indicate if there has been a problem with the test – limiting occurrences of invalid tests and saving time on site. Even better, combiner box text leads and a mounting bracket are now included with every kit as standard – previously users had to purchase these separately.

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Michael Middlemast, category manager at Seaward, said: “We had a fantastic response to the original PV200 and 210 devices – which provide an intuitive and cost-effective way to measure the I-V curve of PV modules and strings. The improved level of accuracy makes the devices even more efficient to use –limiting downtime and increasing energy production.”

Seaward also announced exciting updates to the PV200/210’s software, SolarCert Elements V2. The latest version of the software now simply called SolarCert, enhances the I-V curve reporting function, allowing users to quickly and easily generate a report for thousands of strings.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar Snake Max is now available for utility-grade solar installs, see it at SPI

Snake Tray

Snake Tray

Solar Snake Max is Snake Tray’s new patented cable containment system for utility grade installations. The easy snap together elements allow for code compliant cable separation. Construction cycle times will be cut in half with this new approach to managing high voltage cables. Cables install with snap together components, no tools required or field fabrication. Solar Snake Max quickly mounts to any style of vertical pilings or poles and maintains code-compliant separation of power cables up to 2 KV. Booth 2281

— Solar Builder magazine

RBI Solar acquires balance of system provider SolarBOS

RBI solar Logo
RBI Solar, Inc. sent word that it has acquired California-based SolarBOS, Inc., a market leading provider of PV electrical balance of systems (BOS). As a single source provider of solar racking systems, RBI Solar will look to integrate SolarBOS’ products to more completely throughout its lineup.

Founded in 2004, SolarBOS brings deep understanding of solar electric systems, DC and AC applications, and experience in design and flexible manufacturing. The company’s focus on developing reliable, innovative and cost effective solutions has been the driving force behind its success. Over the years, SolarBOS has designed and perfected many BOS solutions, including Disconnect Combiners and Recombiners, Arc Fault Circuit Interruption (AFCI) Combiners, Rapid Shutdown solutions, AC Combiners, Wire Harnesses, and Overmolds.

RELATED: Some solar carport install cost basics from RBI Solar

SolarBOS will be a perfect match for RBI Solar, a leading solar mounting solutions supplier in the United States. As a single-source provider, RBI takes responsibility for the design, engineering, manufacturing and installation of the most efficient ground mount, canopy, roof mount and ballasted racking systems in the marketplace. With 85+ years of experience in the commercial design-build specialty structures market, the company provides value from project conception to substantial completion.

— Solar Builder magazine

Meet the Plug-N-Play Solar Tracker from RPCS, in partnership with Array Technologies, Shoals, CAB Solar

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RP Construction Services Inc. (RPCS) has formed a new partnership with solar balance of systems leader Shoals Technologies and CAB Solar to launch the Plug-N-Play Solar Tracker system. This turnkey system features the Array Technologies DuraTrack HZ v3 single-axis tracker, Shoals Technologies’ electric balance of systems wiring solutions, and CAB Solar’s above ground, messenger wire cable management system.

RPCS says this new partnership aims to simplify tracker project install by reducing trenching by 50 percent, utilizing less specialized labor, and requiring less time—all resulting in faster time to completion and CAPex savings. Shoal’s patented pre-labeled wiring systems are key here, and coupled with RPCS’s established reputation for turnkey success, this new system will eliminate the need for trenching within the array, reduce risk and complications associated with cost, lessen environmental influence, and improve trade coordination, creating faster, simpler installations.

What’s more, the Plug-N-Play Tracker approach also allows for more solar panels per string and fewer combiner boxes per site, cutting cost and solar electrical complications.

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“We’re really excited to be working with Shoals on our projects,” says Alex Smith, RPCS Chief Sales Officer. “RPCS is constantly striving to make project management easier and to allow our customers to win more projects and trust that the RPCS portion will be executed cleanly. Shoals wiring allows us to do that, as do Array trackers. We can provide a faster installation, a better price, and completely reliable products and project schedules that make executing tracker projects as easy or easier than fixed tilt.”

CAB Solar, the Cambria County Association for the Blind and Handicapped’s solar products division, pioneered the use of above ground cable management in grid-scale solar plants and has continually provided innovative designs and systems to meet customers’ needs. The newly released Integrated Grounding Cable Management System uses a copper composite messenger wire and specialized hardware for grounding and is safety listed by Intertek to UL 2703. For over 85 years, their various products routinely exceed the most stringent quality standards demanded by respected national and international customers.

RELATED: Tracking Trackers: We look at what’s new with these seven solar trackers

“CAB systems integrate well with both Array and Shoals, and RPCS is very knowledgeable in how to maximize CAB’s benefits. We are excited about the potential,” says Tim Wedding, CAB Solar Project Manager.

With over 400 MW and over 225 projects completed throughout the United States, RPCS provides full turnkey service and support for the industry’s most bankable and reliable tracker. The team at RPCS provides reliable support at every step of the project, delivering a level of quality and efficiency that parallels Array’s market reputation.

CAB Solar RPCS

“We are excited to partner with RPCS and are glad to support the highly optimized approach to solar construction that RPCS is taking by integrating a great family of products,” says Kent Miller, Shoals Technologies Senior Vice President of Sales, of the Plug-N-Play Tracker. “Combining above-ground wire management from CAB Solar Products, the Array Technologies tracker, and the Shoals wire management system is going to help developers and EPCs by providing a schedule-friendly and easier-to-maintain system.”

“As an electrical guy at the core, there is nothing better than a wireway that is accessible. RPCS’s installation, in combination with the Shoals wiring system, Array’s solar trackers, and the CAB Solar hangars, the installation process is smooth and keeps wires away from unknown underground conditions,” says Adam Larner, RPCS’s Vice President of Projects.

Through this latest offering, RPCS will be a single point of contact for design, engineering, installation, and procurement. From factory floor to field installation, RPCS makes tracker projects even simpler with the Plug-N-Play Tracker. Together, RPCS, Shoals, Array, and CAB provide customers the next evolution in solar tracker systems, making solar energy a more affordable, lower risk source of clean power for future generations.

— Solar Builder magazine