New Industry Products

Improving Battery Energy Storage With Rugged Connectors

April 06, 2024 by Mike Falter

Weidmuller is rounding out its portfolio of energy storage system products by releasing a series of rugged connectors designed for high-power battery energy storage systems.

Weidmuller USA, a leading supplier of intelligent industrial connectivity and automation products, has introduced a series of rugged, high-power battery connectors designed to meet the demanding requirements of grid-scale battery energy storage systems (BESS).

The connectors are part of Weidmuller’s larger portfolio of energy storage system (ESS) products designed for power, data, and signaling applications within BESS subsystems, including HVAC/fire control, surge protection, and power conversion.


Rugged battery connectors for energy storage

Rugged battery connectors for energy storage. Image used courtesy of Weidmuller


Weidmuller’s connectors are easy to install, requiring just a few steps to connect battery modules. They are designed to accommodate a BESS’ high currents with minimal power loss. The contacts are made from copper alloy with a silver finish and meet UL4128 battery connector standards through up to 100 connect and disconnect cycles at no load. 


Battery Energy Storage Systems

Battery energy storage systems (BESS) are grid-scale energy storage systems constructed from large numbers of smaller battery cells. They can store and transfer substantial amounts of energy. 

Lithium-ion cell chemistries are commonly used in BESS platforms for their high energy densities, but other cell chemistries can be used to achieve a different mix of price, energy density, or duration.

As the modern grid increasingly turns to renewable sources (like wind and solar) for carbon-free energy, demand for BESS and other energy storage technologies continues to grow. Cost-effective, long-duration energy storage is essential for balancing electricity demand with energy production from renewable platforms whose production capacities can fluctuate significantly over time.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA), U.S. battery storage capacity is projected to nearly double in gigawatt capacity in 2024 to more than 30 GW. With a nominal duration of four hours (the amount of time the storage system can deliver rated power) this represents about 120 GWh of total stored energy.

 Battery energy storage system

Battery energy storage system. Image used courtesy of Weidmuller


Connecting Battery Modules

Within the BESS, Weidmuller battery connectors allow the battery modules to be assembled into larger energy storage subsystems. They can handle large currents under potentially harsh environmental conditions. A reliable locking mechanism ensures a stable connection between battery modules, while an IP 67 rating offers protection against water and dust ingress.

The family of connectors accommodates currents ranging from 100 to 350 A, with conductor cross-sections measuring 16 mm² to 95 mm² on the connector side. They are rated to 1500 V and employ a female-type crimp connection to connect to an opposing male connector attached to the battery module via a busbar.


Connecting battery modules for energy storage.

Connecting battery modules for energy storage. Image used courtesy of Weidmuller


The connectors are also available as part of preassembled cables to facilitate system assembly and reduce the risk of errors during installation.

According to Pete Tecos, director of New Energy Solutions for Weidmuller USA, as the demand for battery energy storage grows, the functionality of these storage systems will continue to depend on the quality and reliability of the connections between battery modules.