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Switches for photovoltaic renewable energy applications

10 December 2010

A range of DC switch disconnectors and string boxes for photovoltaic (PV) applications is now available from Switchtec. For use in renewable energy applications, the Telergon switches' main area of use is when isolating the DC supply from a photovoltaic array. These switches are used as the main on/off switch or isolating switch for DC applications.

Switches for photovoltaic renewable energy applications
Switches for photovoltaic renewable energy applications

The switches are usually deployed before an inverter, which converts the generated voltage from DC to AC. Important users and application areas for the switches are PV Installers, PV kitters, PV arrays, DC switching applications, and panel builders.

The recent increase in the feed in tariff (payback for generating back into the national grid) has created a boom in the photovoltaic industry. Telergon, being at the forefront of control component technology, has developed this range of DC switches specifically for the renewable energy market and in particular solar energy or photovoltaic energy industries.

The DCN switches in the range are 2 pole switches rated 16, 25, 32, 65, and 200A, and rated to switch 1000VDC. All are supplied in grey with a black handle, alternatively a red and yellow padlockable handle, lockable in the off position. All handles are door Interlocked, thus for safety, enclosure doors cannot be opened with the switch in the on position.

The DCN switches operate with a knife switch mechanism configured so that when the switch is operated the operation gives a double break, minimising arcing. With the rotary action this gives continued contact integrity over the life of the product and also gives the product an extremely high short circuit withstand current.

Also available is the ACN switch disconnector series that are the matching AC switches (fitted after the inverter) to the DCN series. Some installers prefer to use an AC switch that physically matches the DC switch that is fitted before the inverter. That is what the ACN series provides.

The complimentary CFV string boxes are rated at 10A and are available in capacities from two to 15 strings. These boxes provide easier installations of PV systems with significant time and cost savings. They are equipped with a DC load break switch, optional surge protection and DC fuses. Customisation of boxes and higher ratings are available upon request.

Also available from Switchtec are Telergon's S5000 panel mount DC switch disconnectors, DC 10x38 gPV fuses, DC 10x38 fuse carrier, and surge arresters, all rated to 1000VDC.

For durability and reliability, all of the enclosed switches are mounted in IP65 plastic enclosures, making them perfectly suitable for outside applications. All the switches conform to IEC 60364-7-712, are CE marked and have been approved by Arsenal Research.

Telergon has lots of experience supplying the Spanish PV market that went through its boom period a couple of years ago. As a result they have used this vast market experience when designing the DCN and CFV ranges specifically for the UK market.

The Telergon range of switch disconnectors for PV applications has been specifically developed for arduous DC applications, giving high reliability switching of DC voltages within solar installations.

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