Solutions for photovoltaic systems

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OBO Bettermann cable trays ensure that the solar current can take the optimum route in and through the premises of SKF GmbH in Schweinfurt

In Germany, photovoltaic systems are on the advance. The ever more advanced technology means that it is possible to generate large quantities of solar current, even in our sun-starved latitudes.

In November, SKF GmbH instigated quite a special kind of major project in Schweinfurt. A truly special photovoltaic system was installed on the roof of the company’s logistics centre. An area of 18,000 square metres is covered with 3,888 hail-resistant solar modules. With a peak power level of 0.68 megawatts, they turn sunlight into power. In this way, SKF intends to feed 700,000 kilowatt hours of solar power into the public network every year. The output of the system covers the entire demand of the hall beneath – or the consumption of 450 single-occupant homes. The water in the social areas is also heated by the system on the roof. To ensure that the cables carrying the current from the system to the inverter and beyond to the public power network ran undamaged and along the quickest possible route to their destination, the system planners decided on cable support systems from OBO BETTERMANN. The project managers were convinced by the practical system components. Around one kilometre of perforated sheet steel trays of type SKS were installed in the system. The trays start directly at the rear side of the solar modules and carry the cables from there into the interior of the building. The different surfaces and materials of the cable trays provide safe corrosion protection. In addition, the cables are fastened with series and clamp clips. This means that wind and weathering have no effect on the cables. The system is even protected against storms. Amongst other things, by the OBO equipotential bonding systems, which earth the surge voltage conductors.

Besides the SKS cable trays, 400 metres of the OBO WKSG wide span system are installed in the photovoltaic system. The cable trays, cable ladders and connection parts can bridge large spans and carry high cable loads. “This means that they are ideally suited for a project such as that at SKF. They can carry the weight of the countless cables, which come together in the networking of almost 4,000 solar modules, and route them along difficult courses,” says Thomas Bitter, who managed the project for OBO. With its participation in the construction of this futuristic system, OBO is taking a decisive step to improving the climate. This is because the huge photovoltaic system on the roof of the SKF logistics centre avoids around 365 tonnes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which would have been created in electricity production using fossil fuels. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide is considered one of the most important causes of climate change. With its range of products for wind energy, SKF GmbH itself stands for clean energy production. Even if it will take 12 to 13 years for the investments in the system to amortise, the lifespan of such a project is of prime importance for the head of the SKF Group, Tom Johnstone. “The photovoltaic system in Schweinfurt is an impressive document of our commitment to the environment and the support of our planet.”