2008-06-01  YAMAICHI

Yamaichi Electronics for the first time presented its new Y-Sol® series for the complete wiring of PV systems at the intersolar 2008 trade show in Munich. PV module junction boxes for silicon and thin-film modules, as well as connectors and cables, ensure reliable system operation and maximum efficiency throughout their entire operating life. All products are developed and manufactured in Germany.

Junction boxes with IP65-class protection are available for both module technologies, i.e., silicon modules (both monocrystalline and polycrystalline) as well as thin-film modules. Junction boxes are installed on the back of the PV modules, where their primary task is to conduct the direct current generated by the module to the outside via contact terminals. Depending on the application, the junction box for silicon wafer-based modules comprises one or more voltage-controlled bypass diodes. If one module fails due to shadowing or soiling, for instance, the bypass diodes will ensure that the current is conducted around the affected cell areas.

One special feature of the Yamaichi junction box, or J-Box, is the use of SMD diodes instead of conventional radial diodes. SMD diodes have a lower thermal resistance than radial diodes: Whereas the thermal resistance of radial diodes normally measures approx. 4 K/W, the SMD diode used by Yamaichi has a thermal resistance of only 1.5 K/W. Therefore, when current flows through the bypass diode due to shadowing of the module, the SMD diode will heat up considerably less than would a conventional radial diode. The advantages for users are a higher current capacity, reduced thermal loading and thus also lower power loss.

Pre-assembled connectors with optional interlocks:

Cables with assembled connectors are used to conduct current away from the junction box. In this fashion, several modules can be wired up in a row. Pre-assembled connectors ensure greater convenience and higher functional safety. They are completely overmolded and can be mated immediately, with the sealing elements already undetachably installed in the connector. Various cable conductor cross sections – from 1.5mm² up to 6mm² – can be ordered, depending on the system performance requirements. Reliable IP68-class protection is also assured.

Due to the high system voltage of up to 1,000 volts in photovoltaic systems, at a direct current of 20A, electric arc discharge during separation under load presents a life-threatening danger. To prevent inadvertent separation, the connector may thus only be separated through high pull-out forces. According to the TÜV VDE 126-3 standard, this force must be at least 50N if the connector does not have an interlock. The UL standard even stipulates pull-out forces of greater than 20 pounds (corresponding to approx. 70 Newtons) for non-interlocking connectors.

For Y-SOL3 plugs (3 mm contact diameter), inadvertent pulling out of the contact is prevented via high pull-out forces of > 70N. The Y-SOL4 (4 mm contact diameter) connector has an interlock that is realized via lateral catches. Once it is mated, the connector can only be opened purposely using a tool (e.g., screwdriver).

Resistant materials and electrical characteristics:

All components are designed for temperatures from -40°C to +110°C. Synthetic polyester materials, for example polycarbonate, are predominately used for the junction boxes; and the boxes’ impermeability is achieved with a sealant that is undetachably injected into the lid. TPE materials are used for the connectors’ plastic parts.

Contact resistance values are lower than 5 mOhms per connection, while secure bonding is achieved with spring cage contacts in which the ribs surround the contact pin at several contact points. High-performance copper alloys are used as contact materials.

The six advantages of the Y-Sol® series at a glance:

• Junction boxes are available for both module types: silicon modules and thin-film modules.

• Substantially lower heat generation of the junction boxes through the use of SMD bypass diodes instead of conventional radial diodes. This results in a higher current/power loading capacity and lower power losses.

• The Y-SOL3 and Y-SOL4 connectors are suitable for both module types and are completely overmolded.

• High pull-out forces or – in the case of the Y-SOL4 – an interlock that cannot be loosened without tools prevent faulty loosening of the connector under load.

• First available power connector for a performance of up to 30A by Yamaichi Electronics.

• Development and production both take place exclusively in Germany. This allows the development of future products together and in close cooperation with module manufacturers and users.



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