SMK to Release Connectors for High-voltage Solar Plants

2014/03/20 20:53
Shinichi Kato, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute

SMK Corp, a Japan-based connector manufacturer, announced in March 2014 that it has added connectors supporting 1,000V and 1,500V to its "PV-03" series of connectors for solar panels.

The new connectors were developed in view of the increasing voltage of power generation systems at mega-solar (large-scale solar) power plants. They are used as relay connectors to connect solar panels with power transmission cables. In the mega-solar industry, there is a trend of increasing the voltage of an entire power generation system to improve the efficiency of the system.

The maximum voltage of a solar power generation system that Underwriters Laboratories Inc, a US-based certification company, can certify increased from 600V to 1,000V. And the voltage that Tuv Rheinland, a Germany-based certification company, can certify increased from 1,000V to 1,500V.

The new connectors support the two companies' certifications of power generation systems with outputs of 1,000V and 1,500V, respectively. SMK offers a plug and socket for each of the connectors. Their rated current is 30A. The operating temperature ranges of the 1,000V and 1,500V connectors are -40 to +85°C and -40 to +90°C, respectively.

SMK emphasizes their high waterproof performance realized with a new structure as well as their stable contact performance realized with a terminal having a multipoint contact structure. The company will release the connectors in March 2014 with a production capacity of one million units per month.