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Protection and monitoring of grid-connected solar PV plants

27 June 2011

Smart String Box bundles Carlo Gavazzi surge arrestors, power supply and EOS array master module, string controller, environmental module and I/0, together with a third-party isolator device, all packaged in an IP66 rated enclosure. Suitable for installations ranging from 10kW-120kW and managing up to 250A of total string current, Smart String Box systems can be fused on both the negative and positive side. The new DSF surge arrestors feature internal backup to ensure they remain safe at the end of varistor life.

Carlo Gavazzi’s recently-introduced Eos-Array controller is flexible and easily scalable. With no auxiliary bus wiring, the system is simple to install and straightforward to expand. String efficiency and inverter performance are monitored, enabling rapid isolation of faults, failures and inefficiencies as they occur.

Built-in independent monitoring provides basic or comprehensive plant control and monitoring on both the dc and ac sides. Controllers promptly advise users of events such as blown fuses, PV module disconnection or inverter failure. Monitoring systems also provide users with information including calculations of dc-to-ac conversion efficiencies and balance-of-system. In addition, solar irradiation, wind speed and PV temperature are recorded and available for analysis. Data are displayed in graphical and analytical format and in real time.

Alarms can be set for reduced efficiency and interrupted production, with notifications sent via email or SMS according to the type of alarm. Anti-theft monitoring can also be added to the Smart String Box, notifying users as soon as a panel is removed.

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