Requirements for operating electrical installations in ambient temperatures over 70°C or at altitudes higher than 6,500 feet differ from the requirements for standard installations due to the different climate conditions. Yet, it is precisely in areas with such harsh conditions, like deserts and high mountain ranges, that offer large spaces and optimal solar radiation for efficient photovoltaic systems. The original Stäubli MC4 connector portfolio has a proven track record for such kind of applications.
The worldwide expansion of photovoltaic (PV) installations is also giving rise to new areas of application in challenging environmental conditions. About 35 % of the Earth’s land surface is covered by deserts, leading to a push for efficient uses of these otherwise unpopulated areas with little economic potential – like the installation of PV solar power plants in hot, dry deserts in South America, Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East.
Areas at high elevations also show significant potential for solar energy production. Thanks to their high elevation, PV plants in these regions produce about 50% more energy than those at sea level. The extremely high levels of solar radiation and consistently clear skies provide optimal conditions for high electricity yields. Europe’s high Alpine regions aren’t the only candidate areas for these types of plants; an increasing number of PV plants are being built in the Andes range in South America at altitudes of over 6,500 feet above sea level.