Surge Protection Devices safeguard photovoltaic systems.

Press Release Summary:

Available in max discharge currents of 15 or 40 kA with 600, 800, and 1,000 Vdc max continuous operating voltages, OVR PV UL 1449 3rd Edition SPDs protect solar panels from damage from direct/indirect lightning strikes. DIN rail units utilize metal oxide varistors to limit overvoltage to values compatible with sensitive equipment connected to network. Providing built-in thermal protection with 25 Adc breaking capacity, devices feature pluggable cartridges and optional remote indicator contact.

Original Press Release:

ABB LV Products Introduces UL 1449 3rd Edition OVR PV DIN Rail SPDs Specifically Designed for Photovoltaic Systems

New PV surge protection devices will protect solar panels from damage and extended downtime often caused by direct and indirect lightning strikes

NEW BERLIN, Wisc. – The ABB Low Voltage Products division has released a line of OVR PV UL 1449 3rd Edition, pluggable DC DIN Rail surge protection devices (SPD) specifically designed for photovoltaic applications. The new SPDs will protect solar panels from damage from direct and indirect lightning strikes, which solar panels are especially susceptible to because of their large, fully exposed surface areas and prevalent installations in open, isolated areas.Catastrophic damage from lightning strikes can ruin expensive solar equipment or cause long term downtime. The PV specific SPDs will be available in maximum discharge currents (Imax) of 15 or 40kA, maximum continuous operating voltages of 600, 800 and 1000 VDC, all with pluggable cartridges (“P”), and optional integrated remote indicator contact (“TS”).

The 3rd Edition OVR PV DIN Rail SPDs are of the same high quality of the 2nd Edition devices, with improved safety features that respond to the more rigorous testing required by the UL 1449 3rd Edition standard.  The new PV product range utilizes fast acting metal oxide varistors (MOV) to limit overvoltage to values compatible with the sensitive equipment connected to the network.  Extensive damage and expensive repairs can result from lightning strikes if surge protection is not present. The PV SPDs are approved as Type 1 component assemblies, and will carry UL’s cßUUS certification mark.

Highlights of the 3rd Edition OVR PV DIN Rail SPDs include:

• Built-in thermal protection: with 25A DC breaking capacity.

• Pluggable cartridges: when one or more cartridges reaches end-of-life, the electrical circuit need not be isolated, nor does the entire device need to be removed. Simply pull the dead cartridge from its housing and plug in a new one.

• Integrated auxiliary contact: optional remote monitoring capability. Wiring an integrated 3-point 1A volt-free contact enables the operational state of the SPD to be monitored remotely (TS versions).

• Safe: no subsequent short-circuit current and no risk if the polarity is reversed.

“The new SPDs allow ABB to more effectively serve the solar market,” said Jeff Disbrow, product manager of modular DIN rail products at ABB.“Proper utilization of SPDs in solar applications is very important to ensure safe operation. Selecting SPDs rated for PV use, such as the new OVR PV line from ABB, reduces the risk of short circuit and the complications that can arise.”

The UL 1449 standard for SPDs has been the primary safety standard for surge protection since 1985.  Prior to UL 1449 3rd Edition, the devices covered by the standard were known as Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors (TVSS), operating on circuits not exceeding 600 V.  With the 3rd Edition these devices are now known as SPDs and may operate on power circuits not exceeding 1000 V.

About ABB

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 130,000 people.

About ABB Low Voltage Products

The ABB Low Voltage Products division ( manufactures low-voltage circuit breakers, switches, control products, wiring accessories, enclosures and cable systems to protect people, installations and electronic equipment from electrical overload.

Alex Miller

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