Photovoltaic Fireman's Switch
Danger! Voltage!: "Photovoltaic Fireman's Switch"
Bonn ... As one of the leading manufacturers of components and systems for electrical engineering and automation, Eatons Moeller business presented for the first time a "PV fireman's switch", the SOL30-Safety, at the Intersolar 2010 fair.
Whether for maintenance, cleaning or repair work, or even in the event of a fire, personnel must be able to have access to extensive information about a PV installation and take the necessary precautionary measures. PV installations are often unpredictable, particularly for fire crews: This is because accident prevention regulations stipulate that buildings that have not been isolated from the power supply must not be entered for indoor fire fighting. In this case, the fire brigade cannot do anything else but rescue persons and animals and prevent the fire spreading to adjacent buildings.
This is the reason why fire brigades are looking for a safe disconnection device for PV installations. Even with reduced daylight, the cables between the PV modules and the power inverter are energized with voltages of up to 1000V. In the event of a fire, rescue personnel are at risk of electric shock due to the damaged cable insulation. Even 120 V DC can be the cause of fatal electric shocks. A fireproof disconnecting device installed close to the modules is required, that must operate as automatically as possible and independently of the grid power supply.
The "SOL30-Safety" is a DC switch-disconnector (32 A) in an IP65 enclosure. This is installed in direct proximity to the PV modules and inserted in the DC cable to the power inverter. The "PV fireman's switch" has two switch positions. In the POWER position the current is fed through from the PV modules to the power inverter. In the SAFETY switch position, both DC cables are interrupted - the switch is also lockable, as is necessary for maintenance work in large solar installations. The integrated undervoltage release also enables the switch to be actuated remotely using a "PV stop button". If in the event of a fire, the fire brigade isolates the entire house from the grid, this automatically causes the tripping of the "PV fireman's switch" and thus also the isolation of the PV cables. Any danger to rescue personnel from live DC cables in the event of a fire is thus totally removed. Eaton Moeller designed its fireman's switch both for solar power systems in private homes, as well as for large PV installations on the roofs of public buildings or in agriculture.
The SOL30-Safety "PV fireman's switch" with a 230 V, 50 Hz undervoltage release is available from Eaton in three versions, depending on the connection type required: 2MC3-U, 2MC4-U and 2MV-U. The switch is tested in accordance with IEC/EN 60947-3 and is suitable for ambient temperatures up to 60° C. The maximum operating voltage Ue is 1000 V DC, the maximum operating current Ie is 32A. The SOL30-Safety is available from July 2010.
In addition to the "PV fireman's switch", Eaton has also completed its range of PV applications for residential and functional buildings. For the electrical equipment from the PV module up to the public supply grid, Eaton offers everything from a single source for the AC and the DC side - as well as the power inverter.
Eaton Industries GmbH
Phone: +49 (0)228 602-0
Fax: +49 (0)228 602-2275
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Corporate Communications, Phone: +49 (0)228 602-2915
Eaton's Moeller Business
Since April 2008, Moeller has been a part of the Eaton Electrical Sector of the Eaton Corporation, a diversified power management company with 70,000 employees and an annual turnover of about US$ 11.9 billion in 2009. www.eaton.com/moellerproducts
Eaton's electrical sector
Eaton's electrical sector is a global leader in power distribution, power quality, control and industrial automation products and services. Eaton's global electrical product lines, including Cutler-Hammer®, Moeller®, Powerware®, Holec®, MEM®, Santak®, and MGE Office Protection Systems™ provide customer-driven PowerChain Management® solutions to serve the power system needs of the data center, industrial, institutional, government, utility, commercial, residential, and OEM markets worldwide.
Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2009 sales of $11.9 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit
For more information, visit www.eaton.com.