Product Spotlight: SI & SIM TRUE DC Solar Isolators

Keeping Solar Safe - IMO TRUE DC Solar Isolators.

In solar installations, the DC isolator is like a vehicle air-bag. You never know it really works until you need it. So it’s good to know that the IMO SI & SIM ranges have now surpassed six million installed units worldwide, without a single recorded electrical failure.

Our ranges of SI and SIM TRUE DC Isolators are specifically designed for use in Solar PV installations in accordance with EN 60364-7-712. The IMO design incorporates a user independent switching action so as the handle is moved it interacts with a spring mechanism which, upon reaching a set point, causes the contacts to "SNAP" over thereby ensuring a very fast break/make action. This mechanism means that the disconnection of the load circuits and suppression of the arc, produced by a constant DC load, is normally extinguished in 3ms using the specific pole suppression chambers incorporated within the design.

Our Solar Isolators are offered in a number of configurations, all rated for installation and use as switch-disconnects and all with options allowing for "LOCKABLE OFF" operation. Although able to offer the industry standard two position 90° handle operation from LOCKABLE OFF-ON, IMO have also introduced a SAFE-LOCK patented handle that allows for three rotational positions relating to ON-OFF-LOCK. The facility offered by this design gives a LOCK position that is removed from the OFF setting ensuring the handle can be placed in its own unique position when locked, which is fully compliant with IEC 60947-1 section 8.2.5.2.1 for classification as an isolator or switch disconnector.

When this design is used within the IMO enclosed Solar Isolators, it ensures that engineering access can only be attained to the enclosure when the handle is in the OFF position; whilst the "LOCK" position ensures secure power isolation combined with non-access to the enclosure (when the isolator block is secured with supplied screws) and thereby significantly reducing the risks of tampering when maintenance/repair is carried out on equipment in-line, after the isolator SAFE-LOCK. Once any work has been undertaken the locking mechanism can then be removed and the isolator returned to its normal operational mode.

With the advent of more worldwide installations and the requirements laid down in many country’s national wiring publications for the use of DC switches in PV installations, the IMO SI and SIM Solar Isolator ranges have also been assessed and tested under the latest UL standard UL508i which has been specifically written to cover the use of “Manual Disconnect Switches intended for use in Photovoltaic Systems”. The IMO TRUE DC Solar Isolator has successfully attained certification under the UL508i standard and as such is suitable for use as a disconnection method for the isolation of the output of DC PV array where it is to be connected to a DC/AC inverter. Not only that, the SI and SIM ranges carry additional approvals including IEC/EN 60947-1, UL 60947-1, IEC/EN 60947-3, UL 60947-4-1, RCM and CCC. In fact, our Solar Isolators have been tested by some of the most rigorous examiners and OEM manufacturers in the world, passing with flying colours every time.

SIM - The next evolution in DC isolation

When we first launched the SI Series DC isolator in 2010, little did we know that it would soon become the safety component of choice for many of the largest solar inverter manufacturers and installers around the world. Today, with over 6 million installations and zero reported electrical failures, the SI Series has proved itself more than capable of handling the most demanding DC switching applications.

The newest addition to the range - the SIM - represents the next evolution in DC isolation, offering all the benefits of its big brother in a compact, high reliability package. With a 35% reduction in cubic volume, reduced front plate "real-estate", increased ratings and extended mounting options, the SIM is packed with features. Yet it retains the high reliability technology of the SI Series including knife edge contacts, high speed operator independent switching mechanism and full arc control with guaranteed suppression time.

The NEW SIM represents the next step in meeting the global demand for high reliability, compact and competitive DC safety switching solutions.

8 months ago

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