Eaton Unveils Aluminum DC Collection System For Utility-Scale Solar

Posted by Joseph Bebon on March 24, 2016 No Comments
Categories : Products & Technology

Eaton has added to its Crouse-Hinds series with the new Sunnector aluminum direct-current (DC) collection system, which is designed for use with 5 MW and larger-scale, grid-tied solar PV projects that incorporate fixed-tilt ground-mount racking.

The power management company says the new system includes wire harnesses and combiner boxes meant to support DC strings made with aluminum wire, which help reduce labor and material costs by 15%, on average.

According to Eaton, the system allows installers to take advantage of lower-cost and lighter-weight aluminum wire while providing equivalent performance to copper wire. Cost savings correlate to string length, and the system is designed for applications where string run lengths are longer.

While taking advantage of the cost savings associated with aluminum harnesses, contractors have the flexibility of using standard copper-based tools for any field terminations, Eaton adds. The Sunnector aluminum DC collection system uses aluminum wires on the longest runs and copper branch terminations, which are factory assembled.

The DC collection system includes combiner box configurations up to 24 strings at 30 A and 12 strings at 60 A, with operating voltages of 1,000 V. Combiner boxes include National Electrical Manufacturers Association 4X, 4 or 3R enclosures with or without disconnects, surge protection, knockouts and pre-installed glands.

Combiners are designed, tested and listed to the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 1741 standard for connection to the utility grid. Harnesses are listed to UL9703 and 6703. The solution also meets the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) c22.2 standard.

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