Designing your solar power system to include the proper electrical safety devices and equipment protects the system's installers, users, and the system itself. Electrical safety isn't just part of National Electrical Code (NEC) compliance - it's common sense!
Note: The NEC requires "overcurrent protection and a disconnect means" between any power source and any appliance.
Combiner boxes are where multiple PV strings or solar battery strings come together before heading to the inverter. Components like disconnect switches and rapid shutdown equipment may need to be integrated into combiner boxes for safety and code compliance. Some combiner boxes include these components pre-installed, while other combiner boxes are much more basic and essentially just an enclosure.
Unsure which combiner box is right for your solar power system? Give us a call at 800-919-2400 for help shopping.
DC disconnects are switches that complete or interrupt a flow of DC electricity. In a solar PV system, the DC disconnect is placed between the solar panel array and the power inverter so it can easily be thrown if you (or the fire department) need to shut off solar power to the house.
Properly sized and installed DC disconnects provide an easy, obvious way to shut down a renewable energy system and are essential for safety and code-compliance. For help choosing or sizing DC disconnects, call our Tech Desk at 800-919-2400 for their expertise.
A power panel (not to be confused with a solar panel) can significantly improve both the safety and the performance of a solar PV system. Power panels do not only provide protection from the elements for your inverter, charge controllers, fuses and circuit breakers - many of them come pre-wired for plug-and-play, UL-certified interconnection.
Most of our power panels are specific to a particular solar inverter model or family of models, so make sure you select the right panel for your inverter. (We also offer pre-wired inverters that include the correct power panel and remove any guesswork here.) And remember, our Tech Desk is available at 800-919-2400 to help answer any questions you might have.
As of 2014, the rapid shutdown of a solar PV system installed on or in a building is required by the National Electric Code (NEC).
This requirement came about to protect emergency workers who may need to operate near the high-voltage DC conductors in a PV system by giving them a clear and speedy way to de-energize them so they can focus on the emergency at hand without worrying about electric shock hazards from the system.
A solar PV system without any system monitoring is like a car without gauges on the dashboard – much more likely to exceed speed limits, run out of gas, or do accidental damage. Solar system monitoring equipment ranges from the basics – volt meters and amp meters – to computer software that logs and displays dozens of system readings in real time.
Some charge controllers offer basic solar system monitoring abilities, but the best monitors stand alone, mounted in the kitchen or living room where they're more likely to get regular attention. With the right solar system monitoring solution, you can even view your system's data over the Internet, giving you peace of mind when you’re away.