ABB launches new range of PI-Spring terminal blocks for Solar PV installations

ABB has launched a new range of PI-Spring terminal blocks for Solar PV installations that make connections faster and simpler. ABB in a statement said that its patented connection mechanism is up to 50 percent faster than terminal blocks with screw clamp or busbar connections.

Gael Grenat, global product manager for ABB’s Connection business, said: “The solar power industry looks to ABB for innovations to make photovoltaic installations more robust, durable and cost effective. The ZK-PV range of terminal blocks makes connecting photovoltaic systems quicker and the commissioning work more reliable. The smart two-in-one connection gives installers more flexibility, real time savings and higher quality results.”

The new ZK-PV range is for large commercial and utility-scale photovoltaic installations with a rated voltage of 1500V DC (IEC) / 1000V DC (UL). ABB’s unique design gives installers two different ways to connect wires quickly and securely. A Push-In mode lets installers just push solid wires into the terminal – ABB’s patented design automatically clamps the wire to create a strong, reliable connection. In Spring Mode, non-prepared, stranded wires can be inserted just as easily. The installer just needs to slide a screwdriver into the adjacent slot, insert the wire and the connection is secure noted the firm.  (Read ABB expands its solar inverter portfolio with the launch of PVS-100/120 inverter)

The ease-of-use and flexibility of ABB’s PI-Spring technology helps significantly reduce connection times. In tests, the design was up to 50 percent faster than terminal blocks with screw clamp or busbar connections. (Watch: How ABB Distribution Automation Systems give visibility into the power grid, improving efficiency and reliability)

The ZK-PV range for photovoltaic installations is as compact as the rest of the PI-Spring terminal block range, adding just 2mm to the unit’s depth. To differentiate positive and negative poles, two colors are available: grey and blue. The distribution blocks are suitable for cables with maximum cross-sections of 10mm² / 6AWG and 16mm² / 4AWG. The range provides two and three connections so that two circuits can be grouped in parallel in one line. To group more than two circuits, several ZK10…PV terminals (10mm² / 6AWG) can be interconnected.

The terminal blocks use proven ABB technologies and components, upgraded to accept 1500V DC voltage, to guarantee higher levels of safety and creepage distances.

ABB’s PI-Spring products have a long track record for quality and performance in harsh environments, providing robust resistance to high heat levels and temperature variations, humidity, solar UV, vibration and shocks. The specialist metal and plastic materials used in their construction are common in rolling stock and railway applications. (Read Indian tea plantation goes greener embracing solar power)

ABB’s new range complements the popular DBL distribution blocks, MC4-EVO2 PV connectors and SNK screw power terminal blocks ZS150 / ZS240, which are already rated 1500V.
Key features:

  1. Quick selection: 2 connections (ZK10-PV, ZK16-PV), 3 connections (ZK10-3P-PV, ZK16-3P-PV)
  2. 2 colors: grey and blue colors to differentiate (+) and (-) poles
  3. Rated voltage of 1500 V DC (IEC) and 1000 V DC (UL),
  4. Compatible with 1500V PV cables up 10mm² / 6AWG and normal cables up to 16mm² / 4AWG
  5. Closed by a pre-mounted end section with light grey color specific to this application,
  6. Improved design with internal ribs to increase creepage distance,
  7. Compact solution only 2mm thicker than normal products (12mm or 14mm),
  8. Easy interconnections between blocks by using screwless JB12 jumpers with ZK10…PV products.