Industrial Products and Applicationsyear , issue 2, april-may 2021

Nexans presents its innovative split & plug photovoltaic power cable

Nexans, a worldwide leading expert in the cable industry, is launching its innovative ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST split & plug photovoltaic power cable at Energaia 2011. This new cable concept binds together two highly flexible, rubber 1kV rated cables so that they can be reeled and handled as a single cable - yet still enables them to be simply pulled apart using the fingers alone to split them ready for the connection of PV panels to array boxes or inverters. The new ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST cables are the latest addition to Nexans' comprehensive KEYLIOS branded portfolio of cables, solutions and services. The traditional approach to cabling PV projects is to use either two single-core cables on individual spools, or coextruded single-core cables that need to be separated using a sharp-bladed cutter, with the risk of injury to the installer, damaging the cable insulation or making a poor quality connection, resulting in system failure. Easily separated with bare fingers, the two flexible rubber PV cables that comprise ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST are assembled with a soft binder for easy handling as a single cable. The cable will not accidentally separate in the middle, but pulls effortlessly apart at the ends, like a smooth-running zip-fastener. For immediate identification the positive cable is marked with a red stripe. Extensive field tests carried out by Nexans have shown that the split & plug design reduces installation time by at least 30 percent compared with using two separate cables and over 50 percent compared with twin coextruded single-core cables. Using ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST will also require fewer cable reels for transportation, storage and handling on site. ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST cables can resist extreme temperatures (-40C to +120C), as well as exposure to ozone and UV and are zero-halogen for enhanced fire security. They conform to relevant national and international standards, including TUV, LCIE and IMQ, for two certified individual cables that can be separated without damage. The ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST cables are optimized for the short DC connections linking PV panels to the array box or inverter. They are ideally suited for large rooftop PV installations such as on industrial, commercial or agricultural buildings as well as ground-installed PV power plants. Thermal simulation tests carried out at the Nexans Research Center (NRC) have demonstrated that they will offer exceptional longevity of over 30 years in this type of application. "As the costs of the major PV equipment such as solar panels and inverters continues to fall, the Balance of System (BOS) costs, including components, services, foundations, civil works, mounting of structures, labour, engineering and especially cabling now form an increasingly significant element in the overall project cost. That's why Nexans is focused on the development of innovative, highly-efficient and easy to install cabling solutions such as ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST that will enable project developers and installers to optimize their BOS costs", says Remy le Fur, Nexans Marketing Manager for Solar. "We believe that adopting new approaches to cabling will be crucial in the drive for grid parity, the point at which alternative energy schemes become as cost-effective as conventional generation". ENERGYFLEX BE-FAST cables will be launched initially in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain.