Japanese Firm Releases Combiner Box for DC1,500V Solar Plants

2017/05/19 15:35
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The DC1,500V combiner box (source: Wave Energy)

Wave Energy Inc exhibited the "Solar Box" DC1,500V combiner box for solar power plants at JECA Fair 2017, which runs from May 17 to 19, 2017, in Koto-ku, Tokyo, and started to accept orders for it.

Wave Energy (Minato-ku, Tokyo) is a company that deals with distribution boards, solar power generation facilities, etc.

This time, the company added the DC1,500V model to the Solar Box series of combiner boxes (DC600V and DC1,000V). As a standard method, it employed a method that attaches an opening/closing switch and a backflow prevention diode to a junction based on the JIS (Japan Industrial Standards).

In the case of methods using a fuse, which are the mainstream in Europe and the US, if an erroneous open occurs at a high voltage, an arc is generated, posing a danger. On the other hand, in the case of "diode + opening/closing switch," an arc is not generated, meaning a higher safety, according to Wave Energy.

The number of string (panels connected in series) inputs is 12 or 16 (circuits). And it can be increased to up to 20. The 16-circuit model measures 820 (L) x 460 (H) x 170mm (W). The combiner box uses a door that is opened by pulling up the bottom side, preventing rainwater from coming in.

According to Wave Energy, DC1,500V mega (large-scale) solar power plants have just started to be designed, and the combiner box has already started to draw attention from companies considering building such plants. And the company expects to receive many orders in the latter half of 2017 or later. The company claims that the product will certainly reduce the construction costs of large-scale solar power plants by making it possible to use thin electric cables because of the increase in voltage.

The markets for DC1,500V mega solar plants first took off outside Japan. Therefore, products for such plants were mainly manufactured by manufactures outside Japan. However, the number of products made by Japanese manufactures is gradually increasing, according to Wave Energy. For example, Toshiba Mitsubishi-Electric Industrial Systems Corp (TMEIC) released a DC1,500V-compatible PV inverter in the Japanese market.

All of the components of the DC1,500V Solar Box including switches and diodes are manufactured in Japan, Wave Energy said.