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Photovoltaic cables are not designed for constant exposure to water and have not been tested or certified in this regard. Condensation can even form when cables are laid in supposedly safe protective tubes in the ground, where any liquids are unable to escape. The cables are therefore constantly exposed to moisture, which can penetrate the cables. This leads to a reduction in insulation resistance, which subsequently results in current leakage and inverter malfunctions.
‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ is very much the rule of thumb here, as cables and connection elements are ultimately designed to guarantee an electricity flow with low losses.
High demands, high LAPP brand quality
This is why we rely on a sheath material made of cross-linked copolymer in our solar cables. The ÖLFLEX® SOLAR XLWP by LAPP is an electron beam cross-linked solar cable that complies with the strictest requirements in terms of operating conditions and standards (in accordance with EN 50618). The optimised cable design of the ÖLFLEX® SOLAR XLWP now features consistently high resistance, even when submerged under water for longer periods of time.
We have tested it both in the lab and in many projects, such as floating solar parks in Asia.
High standards are part and parcel of the product range
If, rather than underground, you want to suspend the cables or install them outdoors or indoors, the tried-and-tested H1Z2Z2-K solar cables solar cables are a good and low-cost alternative. Unlike the ÖLFLEX® SOLAR XLWP, however, they are not designed or tested for ongoing operation in or under water.
Things to be mindful of when installing connectors
The choice of products and the ease of installation are key factors that you ought to be mindful of during installation. If one of the cables becomes brittle or malfunctions, it affects all other cables from the same drum. Reinstallation and upgrades can be expensive. From a long-term perspective, it is worth investing in a high-quality, durable material.
When purchasing a connector, please be aware of the following points:
- Choice of product: Use EPIC® Solar male connectors and EPIC® Solar female connectors made of high-quality, UV-resistant plastics
- Crimp connections, crimped according to specifications, are the best quality connection between cable and connector. Proven successful for many years, they transmit solar energy throughout the photovoltaic unit’s entire life cycle
- Make sure a test is performed to the DIN EN 62852 standard
The choice of material
The cables and linking connectors heat up with high levels of resistance and as energy is transmitted. The copper’s resistance in the cables increases, making it hotter. If the system is now switched off and the power source removed, the cable will cool. Constantly switching from hot to cold can make cables and connectors brittle.
The connectors in a solar power system are also exposed to years of sunshine. A similar phenomenon can be observed here: The sun’s UV rays turn normal plastics brittle. Cold nights and hot summer days take their toll on the locking hooks. As a result, LAPP uses plastics with high UV resistance, while the specially shaped locking hooks safely maintain the connection.
Safe and sturdy connection created by the crimping process
Crimping is used to guarantee a safe and sturdy connection. The connection is established through crimping, whereby crimp dies precisely tailored to the connecting part and conductor cross-section accurately crimp the connecting element and the conductor. Crimping tools, which can be used to crimp with the right amount of force, help here.
Imagine you are installing a photovoltaic unit on a roof. You have a pair of cutting pliers, wire strippers and a crimping tool to hand, but just two hands to work with – sounds impractical, right? Our developers have therefore designed our crimping tool to perform three functions in one: Cutting, stripping and crimping the cable.