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800V main distribution frames solar panels

Low-voltage switchboards transformation stations

Steel is needed to build solar parks. And electricity is needed to make that steel. ArcelorMittal invested in solar panels for their factory in Ghent in collaboration with Eneco Solar. We engineered and built the six main distribution frames for them at a record pace.

While ArcelorMittal Gent provided the land required, Eneco Solar supplied the solar panels. In this way, the energy supplier increases its production of green electricity, while the steel manufacturer reaps a double benefit. They reduce their energy bills – as well as their ecological footprint.

The panels were installed at six different locations on the ArcelorMittal site. With an equal number of transformation stations to convert the DC power generated to AC. Ready to inject into the high- voltage grid of the steel giant.

800V: a unique case

“We engineered and built a distribution board for each transformation station. A total of six 800V main distributor frames – a voltage that is only encountered in solar panels”, says project manager Chris Rasschaert. “In view of the exceptional nature of this voltage, we had to search for alternatives for our more common components and materials.”

“We decided to opt for an Okken board with an insulation voltage of 1000V, with matching materials, for this project. This meant that we had to consider other points of attention during the construction itself. For example, it is always important to carefully respect all insulation distances in all cases.”

But there is always a lower demand for niche materials and components. This also implies longer delivery times. “Everything is specifically made to order. Tailor made, in other words. And speed was all-important for this project: our given target was to complete everything within seven weeks. This included the whole gamut, from discussions to installation… Time was therefore extremely tight. A perfect opportunity to test the strong bond with our supplier (laughs). We told them that fast delivery times would be crucial to the success of this project. And they made an all-out effort to keep delivery lead times down to a minimum.”

An out-of-the- ordinary pressure combined with a tight deadline: this project was a challenge
Chris Rasschaert, project manager

“In the meantime, we continued to engineer ArcelorMittal’s electrical diagrams. Thanks to previous collaborations in the past, we already knew the territory. We have developed a sound understanding of their existing electrical installation. And we are also familiar with their internal standards. From their point of view, they know very well what they can expect from us,” concludes Chris. “This mutual familiarity helped accelerate the entire process and to quickly get our panel builders working on those switchboards.”

Main distribution frames solar panels

About the main distribution frames

Engineering and construction of 6 Okken low-voltage switchboards 800V

  • 2x 2500A
  • 4x 1250A
  • A total of 14 cells

Installation of a copper connection on busbar heads for the coupling to the transformers.