Solar Builder

JAN 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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36 JA N UA RY / F E B RUA RY 2 0 1 8 Large-scale PV wiring trends are leaving behind DC combiners, cables and breakers By Chris Crowell A ll large-scale PV projects will involve a ton of modules and only one grid connection, so all of the aggregation decisions made in between comprise a big chunk of a profitable project pitch. We asked two major eBOS suppliers for the trends lead- ing the way in large-scale PV wiring in 2018, and both of them point to huge reductions in traditional DC wiring and an emphasis on fuses. Goodbye DC combiners The most significant DC wiring trend for Jason Whitaker, president of Shoals, has been the migration away from the tradi- tional combiner paradigm to harness assem- blies, which is a big step toward simplifica- tion and reducing the amount of DC cable needed. The Big Lead Assembly (BLA) is a prime example. "What previously had been the feeder cable, running from the inverter to the com- biner, has now become the entire solution in itself: The BLA, a large conductor, tailored for each site, in which all the PV circuits are combined as they branch off from the BLA at the optimal electro-mechanical positions within the array," he says. "This allows for a streamlined, plug-and-play installation." Pre-paralleling PV strings and incorpo- rating in-line fuses can further reduce the amount of cabling needed. "If the ILF [in-line fuse] saves more than DC decisions Closer to the grid connection, interrupt ratings are higher, which is why SolarBOS recommends fuses instead of breakers.

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