ABB launches new solar string combiner range at Intersolar 2019

In response to increasing demand for higher levels of safety and performance in solar photovoltaic plants, ABB showcases its most powerful, ABB Ability™ enabled solar string combiner boxes range at Intersolar 2019.

For the first time, ABB’s updated plug-and-play solar string combiner series offers an extended power range of up to 1500 V DC (direct current) with more robust safety features, including the latest surge protection devices (SPDs).

Oliver Iltisberger, managing director of ABB Smart Buildings business line said: “We appreciate that safety and performance are front of mind when specifying and installing PV solutions. ABB has been at the forefront of writing the future of energy in the solar sector, and it is this knowledge and innovation that has enabled us to develop a new solution that responds to these concerns.”

Solar string combiners improve safety of solar panels and the entire photovoltaic plant. To counteract overvoltage, which is the common cause of irreparable damage to electrical appliances, ABB has developed a comprehensive plug-and-play solution.

For the first time, the range accommodates the over current protection devices, disconnectors and SPDs in one solar combiner box, together with monitoring devices to measure the current, voltage and temperature to maximize solar generation.

The plug-and-play solution, available as a pre-assembled string combiner box, can be configured easily to meet specific customer requirements. Retrofittable and upgradeable, it is up to nine times quicker to install than traditional solutions. The new range will also reduce OPEX by up to 38 percent.

Available in six different enclosure sizes, the innovative factory assembled combiner box solution includes CMS-660 circuit monitoring system and E 90 PV fuse holders. The addition of SPD Type 1 and Type 2 make it ideal for all residential, commercial and utility-scale applications with a single string inverter or up to 32 strings in 1000 V and 1500 V DC options.

The new string combiner range is part of ABB Ability™, the company’s unified, cross-industry digital offering, delivering web-enabled connectivity that allows operators to perform several functions, including remote monitoring and diagnostics.

For closer monitoring, ABB’s CMS-660 remotely checks the DC current produced by each string and provides up-to-date system status in real-time. Any potential issues, including defective strings, over-voltages, breaker trips or high temperatures, can be identified quickly and resolved.

The addition of E 90 PV fuse holders allow circuits and strings up to 1500 V DC to be isolated, safely and reliably. The solution can also perform in high temperatures, thanks to venting grooves and cooling chambers that improve heat dissipation. This provides higher levels of protection for installers as direct contact with live parts during fuse replacement can be avoided.

For added safety and performance smaller versions are equipped with the new MISTRAL65H consumer unit, which ABB launched last year. Designed to guarantee reliable distribution of energy to the point where it is required, MISTRAL65H is ideal for heavy duty environments and outdoor installations. It is self-extinguishing and resistant to abnormal heat and fire up to 750°C Glow Wire Testing (GWT) and provides shock resistance IK10 (20 Joules) and IP65 degree of protection.

New Type 1 and Type 2 SPDs also guarantee protection against direct lightning strikes in situations where external lightning protection is installed.

“This new, more powerful range combines all of our safety enhancing technology in one simple to install, highly effective plug-and-play solution. It is designed to make life easier and safer for our customers, as we continue to write the future of safe, smart and sustainable electrification,” added Iltisberger.

ABB is a pioneering technology leader with a comprehensive offering for digital industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB is today a leader in digital industries with four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by its common ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s market leading Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.