Combiner boxes make up around 0.5% of the initial investment when installing a photovoltaic system. But you shouldn't underestimate their quality. Opting for a lower-quality combiner box may well bring savings from a short-term perspective, but this can also have devastating consequences in the medium to long-term: temporary failures, an unexpectedly lower level of system efficiency, a multitude of maintenance tasks and even fire in the combiner box are all realistic consequences.
"We should give our customers high-quality solutions that they can rely on," states Arnau Sumpsi, Global Product Manager for Photovoltaics, explaining his standard. "That's why in all of the development
During construction, a photovoltaic system's technical data is precisely taken into consideration
The design process for a combiner box starts with the technical specifics of the photovoltaic system. Developers from the Weidmüller team ensure that the practical requirements are copied to highly detailed documentation pursuant to the international DIN EN 61439-2 standard. These then serve as a basis for further solution development.
Individual customer requirements are incorporated into the development process to create a prototype combiner box
If a suitable standard design has not yet been developed to satisfy the requirements of a photovoltaic project, the team firstly starts by developing a prototype. The responsible design developer ensures that everything can run smoothly during the subsequent mass production process. Upon request, clients have the opportunity of firstly testing the prototypes in their real application and providing feedback. The Weidmüller team is on-hand to provide help in any way it can during tests of this kind.
Here, a heating test pursuant to DIN EN 61439-2 is being performed
For certification pursuant to DIN EN 61439-2, Weidmüller performs the following checks with its combiner boxes: corrosion resistance, UV resistance, impact resistance, protection degree, clearance and creepage distance, dielectric strength, impulse withstand voltage, heating test, electromagnetic compatibility – and much more upon request.
From the tool, to the processes, to the individual employees; all elements of the production process are checked on a regular basis. In this way, Weidmüller ensures that the production of the combiner boxes completely satisfies the practical standards. As soon as a combiner box has undergone
Weidmüller individually checks every combiner box produced for potential deviations and production defects. The check includes the following tests (among others): protection degree check (IP), clearance and creepage distance, protection against electric shock, mechanical operation, dielectric strength, cabling, operational performance and function. Once the tests have been successfully completed, a test report is signed. Weidmüller then delivers this to the customer with each individual combiner box.
Within the context of ISO 9001 and to satisfy the quality standards that Weidmüller applies to itself as a manufacturer of high-quality combiner boxes, a random sample check is performed from every production batch before shipment. This closes any "quality loopholes" and allows Weidmüller to
Within the context of routine verification, the dielectric strength is tested pursuant to DIN EN 61439-2
Components and solutions for photovoltaic systems
Step by step towards the perfect combiner box
Published in August 2013
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