Fluke has launched a new clamp meter designed to measure solar installation voltages at the new standard of 1500 V, while offering high safety specifications and being easy to use in congested solar combiner boxes. The Fluke 393 and 393 FC are claimed to be the world’s first true-rms solar clamp meters to be rated at CAT III / 1500 V DC according to the latest safety standard for clamp meters IEC/EN 61010-2-032:2019.
The clamp meter is capable of measuring up to 1500 V DC compared to standard instruments for this application, which are restricted to 1000 V DC. This, says Fluke, makes the 393 the ideal choice for the installation and maintenance of utility scale, large industrial and commercial scale solar farms. With solar generation growing in importance to meet renewable energy demand, the new clamp meter is a major addition to Fluke’s range of instruments for solar applications, such as the insulation multimeters Fluke 1577/1587 or the IP67 rated multimeter Fluke 87V MAX.
A high level of safety for users is ensured through the use of CAT III rated insulation at 1500 V, the only solar clamp meter to offer this level of protection for solar installation technicians and engineers. The meter’s insulated test leads are rated to CAT III 1500 V, while the meters offer CAT IV protection to 600 V AC.
The instrument’s IP54 rating makes the Fluke 393 clamp meter suitable for testing solar installations in a variety of climates and a wide range of weather conditions, protecting the instrument from both dust and rain ingress.
The ability to make quick, easy and accurate measurements allows maintenance technicians to keep solar installations producing energy. The challenge is that solar combiner boxes are often small and congested, making it difficult to attach meters to make measurements. The Fluke 393 meets this challenge with a 25% thinner jaw than previous Fluke clamp meter models, making it easier and faster to take measurements in restricted spaces.
The jaw design is durable, rugged and reliable and meets the stringent CAT III requirement for creepage and clearance.
The 393 FC offers connectivity to Fluke Connect, eliminating the need for handwritten notes. Fluke Connect allows maintenance technicians and service staff to document values and share them with their team. Up to 65,000 data points can be recorded and uploaded.
Beside voltage and current measurements, the new clamp meter provides DC power measurement and data logging to improve work efficiency.
Productivity is enhanced by an audio beep that indicates correct PV polarity, as well as visual continuity indication to make continuity testing easier in low light conditions. Additionally, the meters offer a dual line display for simultaneous measurements.
Hans-Dieter Schuessele of Fluke says: “As the world’s first solar clamp meters to offer CAT III safety at 1500 V, the new 393 and 393 FC clamp meters set a new standard in solar installation testing. Designed to be supremely safe and easy to use, they are a major contribution to helping installers and maintenance staff get solar farms online rapidly and keep them producing renewable energy.”