The demand of power is continuously increasing. Therefore, regenerative energy mix has become an increasingly important energy source from ecological as well as economical point of view. In addition to thermal power, photovoltaic is also fast gaining importance. Solar Power is the most efficient and clean solution for alternate power sources. Innovation for green ecological power generation is becoming important in power technology. Maximum availability of all system components is the basic perquisite for economical and safe operation.
According to the statistics of the insurers, the most frequent cause of damage to electrical items and of their failure are surge voltages caused by lightning strikes and switching operations. Lightning surges in the PV system can damage PV modules and inverters. This can have serious consequences for the operation of the system as it can lead to break down of the plant. Firstly, high repair costs, for example, those of the inverter have a negative effect, and secondly, the system failure can result in considerable revenue loss for the operator of the plant.
Increased availability of photovoltaic system
Photovoltaic plants are generally installed in exposed locations, it is important to consider that the exposed location of PV systems presents an acute threat of damage due to lightning currents and surge voltage. The threat of damage from surge voltage is ongoing and just one incident can cause the huge financial loss and erosion of considerable profit margin. Surge protection for photovoltaic systems is preventive, avoids unnecessary annoyance and helps plants run incessantly on track. Hence, there is a need for protection device for photovoltaic system in order to avoid any damage and shutdown resulting in huge loss.
Phoenix Contact surge protection – Lightning protection concepts for PV systems
Protection circuit devices
Surge protection devices must be considered for all circuits: On the DC side between L+, L- and the earth potential, and on the AC side between the phases L1, L2, L3, the neutral wire and the earth potential. In addition, all other circuits (e.g., data and measuring technology circuits), which are connected to the inverter, must be protected with specially designed surge protection devices for solar application.
Direct and indirect lightning protection
Direct (exterior) lightning protection must be implemented by observing the protection zones and galvanic separations by means of lightning rods for the PV generator. For induced effect of lightning impulses, there is a need to provide surge protection device on the power supply side (Both AC & DC).
These must be tested against both lightning and switching means T1 T2 SPD need to be installed at inverter box, and string combiner box in case installation has more than 4 PV panels. Phoenix Contact offers surge protection for voltages from 24 VDC – 1500VDC applications.
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