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The Automated Side of Assembling: SOLARLOK Automated Junction Box Ready for Fully Automated PV Panel Production

Wed, 06/08/2011 - 5:21am
Tyco Electronics

MUNICH, Germany -- June 6, 2011 -- TE Connectivity (TE), formerly Tyco Electronics, is expanding its product range for photovoltaic installations with a new junction box. The SOLARLOK automated junction box is suited for fully-automated mass production, providing manufacturers of crystalline solar modules a much shorter assembly time that contributes to lower costs. Another advantage: increased reliability in the manufacturing process. In addition, the robot-capable, 4-rail junction box inspires confidence due to its range of intelligent features.

Consistently high quality

During the manufacture of solar modules, 98 percent of junction boxes are still applied to the back of the modules manually. However, automating this process enables manufacturers of photovoltaic panels to significantly decrease the installation time and thus reduce costs. The automated assembly of modules is also more precise and less error-prone than manual assembly. The result: finished panels with a consistently high quality.

Manual assembly possible

This new product is also interesting for manufacturers who are not yet carrying out fully automated production, but are considering a changeover. The SOLARLOK automated junction box is flexible to suit customers' needs and can also be assembled manually during the transition phase to an automated production line.

Simple and fast flash test

The flash test, which checks the performance of the solar module and is usually carried out manually today, can also be performed by robots using the automated junction box. Contacts are made using two specially provided test points. Cumbersome connecting of the cables by hand is eliminated. This saves not only time, but also increases the reliability of the test.

Unique protection of the contacts

The quality of the connections significantly affects the performance and service life of a photovoltaic system. In the SOLARLOK automated junction box, the plug contacts are protected from dust and moisture throughout the process up to final assembly. In this way, the product offers the highest degree of mating safety - no other clamp-style automated box provides such complete connection protection.

No loose cables

The standard spooled cables of the SOLARLOK automated junction box ensure that everything stays in place and are ideal for assembly by robots.

New design prevents improper use

Simple but smart: The cable exits are mounted at an angle of 45 degrees. In this way, the SOLARLOK automated junction box prevents installers from misusing the cables as a handle to carry the panels. The cable and plugs remain intact; problems caused by mishandling do not arise. Module manufacturers, installers and consumers all receive the benefits, namely properly functioning solar systems and fewer complaints.

Quality from experience

TE has been active in the solar industry for more than 25 years. Its solar business also benefits from its decades-long international experience in other industries. As a result, SOLARLOK products are characterized by their exceptional reliability, robustness and durability.

The SOLARLOK automated junction box meets UL and IEC standards (IEC 61215 ed.2 - in approval process). TE provides two suitable junction boxes for crystalline modules: a clamped version and a soldered one. The SOLARLOK automated junction box will be unveiled at the Intersolar trade fair (June 8 to 10 in Munich, Germany) and will be available worldwide from July 2011.

Additional information about the new SOLARLOK automated junction box is available at: www.te.com/products/automated

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