Photovoltaic harness cuts solar cabling costs

Louise Smyth

Nexans has designed the new Keylios photovoltaic harness to help developers, installers and operators of  utility-scale solar farms cut the low-voltage (LV) direct-current (DC) cabling costs for their photovoltaic modules. Specifying a harness removes the need for cables to be cut to length on site, as the complete assembly of cables and connectors is manufactured under controlled factory conditions and delivered ready to fit. This offers both improved quality and reliability by reducing the number of connection points, while the major reduction in installation time and material wastage can reduce the overall cost of LV DC cabling by up to 15%.

“Nexans is fully committed to the global energy transition,” says Olivier Dervout. “50% of faults on solar farms are due to cabling and connectors. To decrease those risks, we have developed new solutions such as the Keylios PV harness. Easy installation and decreasing the risks on-site offer substantial CAPEX and OPEX savings.”

Nexans engineers considered three main factors: first, there was a need for high-quality, ready to connect products, so that strings of photovoltaic modules can be hooked up quickly without the quality risks associated with cable preparation on site. Second, long lasting and reliable cabling solutions were created to eliminate risks such as connection faults and fires, which account for 50% of failures. Finally, there was the need for developers to reduce the amount of cable and components they use during installation.

The result is the Keylios. Each harness is sized and manufactured on a bespoke basis and delivered as an easy to handle kit that ensures it will be a perfect match for the customer’s installation.

In a typical solar farm installation of 370MW, using a harness reduces the length of LV DC cable required from 4,200km to 2,800km. This reduces the LV DC capital cost by 15%. Less cabling also makes it possible to reduce the size and cost of components, such as connection boxes.

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