According to calculations by the global database Statista, the nominal capacity of photovoltaic systems installed worldwide by 2022 was around 1185 gigawatts. In 2022, another 243 gigawatts of capacity were added – a record. Most photovoltaic systems were installed in Asia, followed by Europe and North America. This trend is set to continue, although no final figures are yet available for 2023.

Efficiency is also increasing in parallel. Modern photovoltaic systems are already operating at a significantly better performance level than just a few years ago. As a result, the requirements for connection solutions within photovoltaic systems are also increasing. Depending on the type of system, cables and components must fulfil special requirements. In particular, the increasing system voltage due to ever more modern PV systems requires equally powerful connection solutions. Long durability and extreme robustness are also required, as the cables are constantly exposed to weather. Reliable performance requires special resistance to heat, wind and frost – and rodent protection is also recommended. After all, PV systems today are expected to provide energy for several decades. This requires, among other things, large, robust underground cables for power plants through to filigree connection technology for the flexible modules of the OPV. The global market leader for integrated solutions in the field of cable and connection technology has developed high-quality, robust and reliable cables and components for this purpose. LAPP thus offers customised solutions for all potential applications – from large-scale systems to systems for single-family homes.

Robust solar connectors and solar cables

LAPP has developed the EPIC® SOLAR 4Plus male connector and the EPIC® SOLAR 4Plus female connector made of high-quality, UV-resistant plastic especially for photovoltaic applications. The LAPP connector system has a crimp connection for cable cross-sections up to 10 mm². The reason: crimp connections, carried out correctly, are the best connections between cable and connector. They reliably transmit solar power over the entire service life of the photovoltaic system. TÜV certification and testing in accordance with the DIN EN 62852 standard are important proof of the reliability and durability of the connectors. Thanks to special jacket materials, LAPP solar cables are not only flame-retardant and halogen-free, but also resistant to ozone and UV. In close co-operation with users, the TÜV and the North American UL approval institute, a large number of tests and performance tests have been carried out on the ÖLFLEX® cables, solar cables, SKINTOP® cable glands and EPIC® SOLAR connectors, proving their high quality. All products are ready for use worldwide and RoHS-compliant.

“We work with customers to understand their needs and offer them customized solution. We provide a complete product portfolio, support with the installation and correct use of the components on site and deliver the components to the construction site just in time – wherever in the world they are needed,” says Fernando Triguero, who supports the LAEMEA Region on the Project Business Development Department at LAPP.

Fast delivery in Estonia

One of LAPP’s long-standing customers is the Estonian company Energiapartner OÜ. It was founded in 2008 and has already installed 60 MW of solar power plants and 4 MWh of energy storage systems since then. Initially, LAPP only supplied EPIC® SOLAR connectors, but since 2023 the company has also been ordering solar cables. “Our customer was particularly impressed by our fast and reliable deliveries. This means they have lower stock levels and we deliver directly to the construction site,” says Janis Purmalis, Managing Director of Lapp Miltronic in Riga (Latvia). “This saves Energiapartner storage costs and, thanks to our high product availability and fast delivery, he can rest assured that his construction project will not be delayed.” The H1Z2Z2-K solar cables have a halogen-free core insulation and sheath mixture. Cross-linked insulation and sheath materials favour durability at high temperatures or high current loads, ensure high dielectric strength and a high short-circuit temperature. The cables are therefore suitable for the unprotected connection of solar modules and inverters in earthed and unearthed photovoltaic systems in accordance with EN 50618, as well as for connecting solar modules to each other. Rait Huusmann, Purchase Manager at Energiapartner OÜ: “The LAPP customer service is very fast – and the right solution is always found for all our requirements, no matter how complex. We are very satisfied with the quality of the products, the ability to deliver and the just-in-time delivery to the construction sites.”

Huge solar park in Denmark

LAPP also recently received a large order from European Energy in Denmark. The company built a huge 175 MW solar park with 266,616 solar modules on an agricultural area of 170 hectares in Holsted, Denmark. That is the equivalent of around 350 football fields. This can supply around 42,500 households with green energy. To visually shield the panels, 18 kilometres of wire fencing were erected around the Holsted Solar Park and 61,000 shrubs and trees were planted around the solar park. LAPP supplied 1,400 kilometres of optimised solar cables (H1Z2Z2-k), 44 km of bare copper conductor and 23 km of HITRONIC® HVW armoured fibre optic outdoor cables for the connection solutions in the solar park. “The quality of our products, our ability to deliver and the expertise of our team were particularly important to European Energy. LAPP has a lot of experience with such large projects,” emphasises Glen Huscher, Account Manager at Lapp Miltronic AB in Denmark. “The biggest challenge in such projects is to deliver the entire order quantity, divided into fixed dates, with as full a truck as possible in order to optimise transport costs. The whole project business team, project managers and our sales support were in constant dialogue with the customer for several months to coordinate delivery dates and quantities. We also took care of the necessary authorisation documents for the products so that there were no delays.” European Energy was convinced. The key to the decision to work with LAPP was the expertise gained from previous experience with large-scale solar projects, the high stock levels and the logistics service.

Photovoltaics on Turkish factories

Another customer example is the company General Solar in Turkey, which specialises in the construction of solar roofs for factories. Solar roofs enable factories to generate clean energy and save money as they can use this energy themselves. For a recent project, General Solar used LAPP’s H1Z2Z2-K solar cable – a total of 500 kilometres! “Our customer specifically asked for cables of European origin,” reports Zafer Dalgic, Sales Manager at Lapp Kablo in Turkey. The customer, General Solar, is a project developer. “Using products of European origin in its projects increases reliability for the end user. And if it is labelled with the LAPP brands, it is of course even better,” smiles Dalgic. The customer is also satisfied with the way the project was handled: “The service was good. The LAPP sales team also gave us technical advice, informed us well about the delivery conditions and supported us with the logistics,” says Ercan Dincer, Project Manager at General Solar: “LAPP solar cables will be our first choice for our future projects if the price and other conditions are right. We want to continue working with LAPP!”

To summarise: high-quality products and optimum logistics services with just-in-time deliveries to construction sites are among the decisive factors in the photovoltaic industry. Fernando Triguero: “Expert knowledge is required not only in the selection of the components used, but also in the installation and correct use of the components – right through to the handling of logistics. We are offering a complete product solution helping our customers to buy everything from one source. We have a competent project business team that provides support in the planning and implementation of PV systems.”

> More information on complete solutions and project handling for your LAPP PV system

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