While at PV America last week I had the chance to stop by and speak with Canadian power electronics company ARDA. Representatives showed me the company’s Opti-Combiner Box, which they explained contains all the necessary controls and power electronics to manage four (4) small groups of solar PV modules (i.e. each box has 4 power tracking inputs).
Rooftop Solutions: For rooftop installations the Opti-Combiner box is installed directly on the roof next to the PV modules. Each box manages 4 groups of 2 x 4 bi-polar Micro Sub-Arrays™ typically using 60 cell crystalline Solar PV modules (32 modules in total), or roughly 8 to 10 KW of solar power. The output of several boxes are connected in parallel to feed the Common Grid-Tied Inverter, dependent on local codes, ranging from +/-375 to +/- 412 VDC.
Land-Based Solutions: For land-based installations the Opti-Combiner can be easily affixed to the structures. In this case each box also manages 4 groups of modules (4 power tracking inputs) using either 60 or 72 cell crystalline Solar PV modules for roughly 8 to 10 KW of solar power. Again, the output of several boxes are connected in parallel to feed the Common Grid-Tied Inverter, dependent on local codes, ranging from +/-375 to well above +/- 500 VDC.
The manufacturer also says the device is inherently safer with:
• Low-Voltage, Solar PV Module wiring compliant with NEC2011 and CEC2012
• Arc Fault Detection and Interruption Not Required
• Isolation of ground faults at the Micro-Array
• Automatic disconnection of Solar PV Modules
The device is also designed for a long life and low maintenance, as it has:
• No Electrolytic Capacitors
• Convection Cooled (No fans)
• Totally Enclosed Electronics
• Fuse-less Design (PV Connections)
For more information visit ARDA Power at www.ardapower.com