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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 24, 2010

Molex Intros SolarSpec Junction Box and Cable Assemblies

By Raja Singh Chaudhary, TMCnet Contributor

Molex (News - Alert) Incorporated, a provider of comprehensive interconnect solutions for a number of markets including data communications, telecommunications, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, medical, military, lighting and solar, has introduced SolarSpec Junction Box and Cable Assemblies, which have been specifically designed for installation on the back of mono- and polycrystalline photovoltaic or PV solar modules. Leveraging these products, enterprises can establish interface between the conductor ribbons on the panel and the DC I/O cables, and will be of great use in the applications in the solar and renewable energy industries.

The SolarSpec Junction Box is equipped with spring terminals that establish direct connection between the base and the PV ribbon conductors, eliminating the need of using retention clamps or clips. Leveraging the optional patented Solder Charge technology, the company has developed this product for facilitating high-speed assembly and also doing away with the process of hand-soldering of the ribbon, which significantly reduces any process variation. Additionally, the optional double-sided tape enables attaching the connector base to a module without spending curing time on silicone.

Featuring a compact dimensional profile, the SolarSpec Junction Box is able to provide current ratings that are comparable with traditional larger products, and is supplied with two removable DC cables available in dual-qualified 'TÜV and UL' or single-qualified 'TÜV' variants. Equipped with bypass diodes to protect the PV panel from reverse current during hours of darkness, shade or when covered by leaves or other debris, the device encloses the diodes and DC cable in the removable top cover of the housing, so that users can easily repair or replace the components in the event of damage or wear. In order to prevent accidental exposure of high-voltage contacts, the top cover and base module of the device have been secured together with a locking mechanism.

Molex has manufactured the SolarSpec Junction Box in ISO certified production plants, and designating the device as SolarSpec, the company affirms that the unique requirements of solar applications are being addressed through the use of proven technology, solar-compliant materials and unmatched reliability in rugged environments. Molex has constantly been developing a range of connectors and cables assemblies for solar applications, the SolarSpec Junction Box being the latest addition to the list.

According to Peter Commane, Product Manager at Molex Incorporated, tremendous growth within the solar-power market is fueling competition in the manufacture of PV solar panels, and the automated fabrication of PV modules improves efficiencies, product integrity, and reduces production overhead. Commane noted that by utilizing automated production lines, assembly time of a junction box to a PV panel can be considerably reduced and the SolarSpec Junction Box from Molex is specially designed for pick-and-place panel assembly.

Previously this month, Molex Incorporated announced the availability of its LED Printed Circuit Assemblies, which have been developed to enable custom-lighting solutions that work seamlessly for LED subassemblies across several industries.

Raja Singh Chaudhary is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raja's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison