03 July 2012
SolarBOS, a manufacturer of balance of system (BOS) solutions for the solar industry, announces a new current-sensing combiner solution. The new combiners are listed to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 1741 for up to 1000 volts direct current (VDC). The patent-pending design uses small hall-effect sensors to measure the current flowing through each fuse holder, thereby allowing system operators and owners to detect underperforming circuits.
The new current-sensing combiners communicate via RS-485/Modbus and can be configured with disconnects or contactors, as well as surge suppressors and voltage transducers. These combiners also record bus-bar temperatures—an important tool for detecting a loose connection before it causes a problem in the system—and provide "string out" indication with built-in light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
SolarBOS currently offers 8, 12 and 16-circuit versions at both 600VDC and 1000VDC and up to 250 amperes (amps). Pricing has not been set but SolarBOS expects that the 16-circuit, 250-amp smart disconnect combiner (photo above) will sell for less than $1000.
The contactor version of the new smart combiners can also detect and interrupt series arcs in the array wiring. Both contactor and disconnect models will be on display at Intersolar North America 2012 on 10-12 July at the Moscone Centre (booth 8247) in San Francisco, California, US.