A solar combiner box combines multiple DC inputs from a solar array. It also improves overall safety and ease of installation. We offer standard solar combiners and suntree has new breakout combiners.
What is a Solar Combiner?
A Solar Combiner Box is an electrical distribution box containing DC circuit breakers and other related components. Its main function is to combine the DC inputs from multiple solar panels in a PV system into a single DC output and connect it to a charge controller or inverter. At the same time, the solar combiner box provides the ability to transition to larger wires to minimize the transmission voltage drop.
The number of DC circuit breakers in a solar combiner box depends on the number of solar panels connected in series in the PV system. For example, a solar combiner box named MNPV 3 can accommodate three solar panels in series with three corresponding DC circuit breakers. Similarly, a solar convergence box named SMA 12 can accommodate 12 solar panels in series and be equipped with 12 corresponding DC circuit breakers. Each series-connected solar panel needs to have over-current protection to ensure that the current can be cut off in the event of a fault.
In addition, the solar collector needs to comply with UL 1741, the U.S. safety standard for evaluating the safety and performance of solar electric systems. A solar collector that complies with this standard ensures the safe operation of the system and meets the relevant electrical codes.
In a nutshell, a solar combiner box is a distribution box equipped with DC circuit breakers and other components used to combine the DC inputs from multiple solar panels in a photovoltaic system into a single DC output that is connected to a charge controller or inverter. It also provides the ability to transition to larger wires and needs to be UL 1741 compliant.
Can I have AC and DC breakers in the same box?
Yes, you can put AC and DC breakers in the same box, but they are usually installed separately. Solar converter boxes were originally designed to combine multiple DC inputs into a single DC output, not to mix DC and AC.
If you use both DC and AC breakers in the same box, they will not actually be combined because DC and AC cannot be mixed in this manner. In this case, the box is really just an enclosure to hold the breakers, not a junction box for combining the inputs. In addition, placing both DC and AC circuit breakers in a solar convergence box may violate the relevant electrical codes.
Therefore, depending on code and safety requirements, it is often recommended that the DC and AC circuit breakers be housed in separate boxes or distribution panels. This ensures system safety and performance and compliance with relevant electrical codes.