What is a solar distribution box?
The solar distribution box is often an overlooked part of the solar panel. Usually, pre-installed on the back of a solar module, installers pay little attention to it until they connect the panels.
The photovoltaic junction box has a simple but important role: to house all the electric bits on a solar panel and protect them from the environment. The wires connect to the diodes inside, which provides an easy way to attach the panels.
Although developers and owners of solar energy do not have the option of choosing the type of solar distribution box (module companies draw up such contracts during manufacturing), it is important to understand the role of this cabinet, especially since it houses more smart technologies. Pas Solar can give you all the info you need, and we’ll let you know the solar distribution box price in Dubai.
Fundamentals of the solar distribution box
A solar DB box has bypass diodes that keep the energy flowing in one direction and prevent it from being fed back to the panels. Frank Rosenkranz, solar energy product manager for EMEA, India, and the Americas at the connector and solar distribution box company TE Connectivity, described the junction box as the most important part of a panel. If you are looking to buy solar distribution box, Pas Solar is here to offer you the best in the market.
Each string is protected by a diode [in the junction box], he said. The diode is the gateway that allows an endless flow of energy.
If part of a solar panel is shaded, that string will want to consume energy, reversing the flow of electricity. The diodes inside the junction box prevent that from happening.
There are two different solar distribution box production techniques: welding/encapsulation and clamping. With the welding and potting method, the sheets coming out of the solar panel are soldered to the diodes in the junction box. Next, the junction box needs to be filled or filled with a kind of adhesive material to allow thermal heat transfer, keep the solder joint in place and prevent it from failing. Once enough time has passed for sufficient curing of the encapsulating material, the panel is ready for operation.
Using clamping production, a normal clamping mechanism sticks the foil to the wires and the dc cable for solar systems. There are no fumes and no major cleaning as with the welding/potting method. The prices of both methods are quite equal when comparing the costs of materials and labor as a whole and can affect the solar distribution box price. The clamping box may be more expensive, but the labor required to weld and encapsulate the other boxes is usually higher.
Although there are different opinions about the best way to produce a junction box, there has been little discussion about the main role of this often ignored product, until new technologies became involved in the industry.
Progress of the solar distribution box
As the modules have changed, the junction box has maintained the same functionality. But now, with higher power outputs and voltages, junction boxes have had to improve their ability to protect that power.
The overall role of the junction box has remained the same. What has changed is that the modules are becoming more and more powerful, said Brian Mills, North American PV product manager with Stäubli Electrical Connectors? As the output of the module increases, those bypass diodes have to do more work. The way they absorb that energy is by giving off heat. You have to handle that heat from the diodes.
Cold-bypass switches are replacing traditional diodes in some junction boxes to mitigate excessive heat generated by the outputs of higher modules. When shaded panels instinctively want to consume energy, a traditional diode prevents that from happening, but heat is generated in the process. A cold-bypass switch functions as an on/off switch and opens the circuit when the panels try to draw power, preventing heat from building up.
Bypass diodes are technology from the 1950s. It’s very simple, Mills said. They are robust and reliable, but heat generation has always been an issue. Cold bypass switches solve that heat problem, but they are much more expensive than a 20-cent diode. And everyone wants the modules to be as cheap as possible.
To get the maximum return on their investment, many system owners are turning to bifacial panels. The power is still fed through a solar distribution box, even though the power is produced both at the front and the rear of the module. Solar distribution box manufacturers have had to be creative with their designs.
On a bifacial panel, you need to place the junction boxes on the edge where you are sure that the back is not shaded, Rosenkranz said. When it is on the edge, the junction box is no longer possible for it to be a rectangle, it has to be small.
TE Connectivity offers three small SOLARLOK photovoltaic edge junction boxes for bifacial modules, one for the left corner, the middle corner, and the right corner of the module, which work in the same way as a larger rectangular box. Stäubli is developing a solar distribution box for positioning along the absolute edge of bifacial modules.
Future of the solar junction boxes
The rapid rise in popularity of bifacial modules meant that junction box designs had to be updated on the fly. Other sudden updates to solar systems include a quick shutdown and various module-level functionalities requested by the National Electrical Code, and the junction box has to keep up.
The industry is changing so fast that it’s hard to stick with a cabinet and expect it to be viable, Mills said. How do you make a device that can handle photovoltaic temperatures and work properly and last long-term? How do you do it so that you can change that technology if it breaks down or becomes obsolete? That is why having a solar distribution box warranty is essential.
The PV-JB/MF Multifunction solar distribution box from Stäubli can be customized with an open format, so it is ready for any future upgrades, including full optimizers or microinverters if your electronic components are small enough.
TE Connectivity has also recently launched an intelligent junction box that allows custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) to be integrated into solar panel solutions with monitoring, optimization, and quick shutdown functions.
The majority of microinverters and optimizers are added to the rear of the panel in addition to the DB box. But the SolarEdge energy optimizer can replace the junction box in factory-assembled smart modules. The integrated power optimizer provides intelligent capabilities while performing the basic power functions of a junction box. They do all that without raising the solar distribution box cost.
It has an advanced thermal design that allows heat dissipation to maintain a lower cell temperature and avoid hot spots, said Lior Handelsman, founder and vice president of product marketing and strategy at SolarEdge. They have specifically designed our integrated power optimizer to allow manufacturing flexibility so that a module manufacturer can quickly adjust manufacturing according to demand. They designed a fixed base with bypass diodes and also two additional covers. One cover contains a power optimizer, while the other is for a standard junction box with a bypass connector.
Solar distribution box distributors are also considering adding one of the many types of solar inverters technology to their future models.
The next thing will be that panel that the inverter has in the standard solar distribution box with an AC source coming out. It simplifies installation and makes the module more versatile. It seems that the overlooked solar distribution box is attracting more attention. Finally, you can contact Pas Solar to find a solar distribution box for sale.