A solar power system is a significantly expensive investment, but it is totally worth the price in the long run. A solar combiner box is a device that can be added to a solar power system. What is this solar combiner box? Why should you add it to a solar power system? If you are trying to find answers to such questions, read on to find out all that you need to know about the solar combiner box. Once you get to know its benefits, you would agree that it is a component that you would not want to skip.
What Is a Solar Combiner Box?
The solar combiner box refers to a device, which combines the output of many solar strings together. Further, it consolidates incoming power into a single main feed, which handles distribution to a solar inverter. This saves material costs through the reduction of wires used and also saves on labour costs. These boxes are devised to provide overvoltage and overcurrent protection to improve inverter safety and reliability. When placed optimally between the inverter and solar modules, it can actually improve the system’s efficiency. On the other hand, if it is placed non-optimally, it could possibly lead to an increase in power and voltage losses.
Components of Solar Combiner Boxes
In general, a basic solar combiner box consists of fuse assemblies for input overcurrent protection for many strings and the combined bus of these inputs to one main output. Advanced combiners boxes also comprise of many other components such as surge protective devices, string monitoring hardware, remote rapid shutdown component, and a DC disconnect switch.
Where Do Solar Combiner Boxes Find Application?
Solar combiner boxes find applications in utility scale and large commercial projects. However, they might not be very useful for residential projects, where there are likely to be just two or three strings. Ideally, it is for projects that have anywhere from 4 strings to 4,000 strings. If you are considering harvesting solar energy with multiple solar panels, these combiner boxes can be a great addition for conveniently management.
However, solar combiner boxes have one or the other advantage in projects of all sizes.In residential projects, this device can combine a few strings to a central place to ensure easy installation, maintenance, and disconnection. In commercial projects, combiner boxes of varying sizes can be used for capturing power from unconventional layouts of different types of buildings. In utility-scale applications, these devices help site designers to maximize power in addition to cutting down on labour and material costs.
On a final note, choosing the right combiner boxes is crucial for your project. If you end up making the wrong choice, the whole purpose of installing them could go for a toss. Consider the project’s scope, site, type, size, the other components and their relation to the combiner box before making a choice. Also, keep in mind that what works best for a commercial project might not be suitable for a residential project and vice versa.