An efficient and high-performing grid system that reduces costs and enhances competitiveness is key in convincing an energy provider to turn to renewable energy over more traditional energy sources. TE Connectivity, a global provider of connectors and sensors, has launched a new portfolio of 72.5 kV high-voltage connectors for offshore wind farms, offshore substations and solar power applications.
The new Raychem RSTF separable connectors are outer cone screened T-connectors for switchgear and transformers of bushing type F (according to EN 50673). With a maximum voltage of 72.5 kV and a continuous current rating of up to 1,800 A, they offer multiple connection possibilities for cables with cross sections from 70 to 1,200 mm2. Both base and coupling connectors are also available as surge arresters to prevent installed equipment from overvoltage damage.
Reliable product performance with design flexibility
The T-shaped design of the new connectors is compliant with EN 50673, tested according to IEC 60840 and was optimised in terms of performance and robustness to meet the requirements of offshore wind turbines such as high vibrations, humidity and harsh weather conditions. Furthermore, the Raychem RSTF connectors are maintenance-free and can be efficiently installed by one person without any special tools. Accessories for inline connections, fixing, different plugs for various applications and test equipment complete the portfolio.
“With more than 60 years of experience in the energy business, we make sure our customers not only get excellent products but also comprehensive support in terms of consulting, design, testing and training,” says Ariela Busato, TE product manager for high-voltage cable accessories. “For Raychem RSTF, we offer pre-installation and pre-testing services to provide maximum security of investment to our customers. This not only includes standard cable conductor connections, but also tried-and-tested screen connections.”
During the development phase, the new connectors were installed and tested in gas-insulated switchgear, delivering the required compactness and performance for the latest generation of 66 kV inter-array technology. Even though a special earthing system is required, TE was able to develop, test and adapt the installation instruction so the connector could be easily installed into the compact switchgear’s cable compartment.
Customised support for more efficiency
“The demand for renewable energy is growing and every project is different,” Busato adds. “As their connectivity partner, we support customers with creating custom solutions that perfectly meet the customised product specifications – from turbines and PV panels to grids, substations and energy storage. Consequently, this new Raychem portfolio will add flexibility, reliability and competitiveness to offshore wind farms and other renewable energy sources in the future.”