For Solar PV, Eaton has Convenient Switching and Protection
- Published: Wednesday, 24 August 2011 09:03
Eaton’s new integrated PV Switch & Surge Unit has been designed to make the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems faster and easier and more cost effective.
These innovative units were developed in conjunction with Solarcentury, the UK’s most experienced solar company. For the first time, the unit provides DC and AC isolators with surge suppression components in a single, easy-to-fit assembly.
To ensure safe operation and allow for convenient maintenance, all solar PV installations must include a DC isolator that can switch the power coming from the PV array. Additionally, an AC isolator that can disconnect the PV inverter from the mains supply must be incorporated. The provision of surge suppression components for both the AC and DC circuits is also highly recommended to protect the installation against damage from voltage transients.
The new PV Switch & Surge Units provide all of these functions in a single unit, which is supplied pre-wired, labelled and tested, ready for immediate installation.
This arrangement offers big time savings when compared with the traditional approach of using individual isolation and surge protection devices. In addition, the cost of the new units can be lower than that of the individual devices purchased separately. A further benefit is that, in case of problems or queries, the user has a single point of contact for advice and support.
Housed in compact moulded enclosures measuring just 274 x 259 x 138mm, Eaton’s PV Switch & Surge Units have an IP65 ingress protection rating making them equally suitable for indoor and outdoor use. They incorporate a DC isolator rated 30A at 600V and an AC isolator rated 63A at 240V, and so easily meet the requirements of domestic scale PV systems in the up-to 4kWp Feed in Tariff segment. As an aid to speedy installation, the units use standard solar panel connectors for the DC circuits and convenient screw terminals for the AC circuits.
AC surge suppressors are included as standard, while DC surge suppressors are offered as a factory-installed option. Both sets of surge suppressors feature user-replaceable cartridges, and both incorporate visual status indicators to show whether they are functional, or whether they have experienced and protected against a voltage surge and therefore need to be replaced. As the units have a clear lid, the status indicators and the positions of the isolators are always readily visible.
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