Eaton releases more powerful Power Xpert Solar inverters, 1,500-volt combiners

We met with power management company Eaton at Intersolar in San Francisco to see its expanded range of inverters and electrical balance of system (BOS) solutions.

“Eaton’s complete solutions and engineering services are helping customers around the globe improve return on investment for solar and energy storage applications,” said John Vernacchia, segment manager for renewable energy at Eaton. “At Intersolar North America, we look forward to showcasing how our expertise can help customers establish flexible, safe renewable energy systems designed to increase power generation and uptime.”

EatonOn display were new higher-power models of its Power Xpert Solar and energy storage inverters for grid-tied utility-scale projects. Eaton Power Xpert 2,000-kilowatt (kW) and 2,200 kW solar inverters and 2,500 kW energy storage inverters provide some of the highest power ratings for grid-tied, utility-scale projects.

The Eaton solar inverter technology yields best-in-class levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and has an industry leading 98.5 percent efficiency by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The solar inverters are designed and tested to meet the UL 1741 standard, are outdoor-rated and feature a wide Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) voltage range. A proprietary Eaton control strategy and filter design optimizes the inverter efficiency, while providing ultra-low output distortion.

Eaton Power Xpert energy storage inverters are designed to increase electrical resiliency in large-scale applications and work with a wide-range of battery chemistries to store and transmit power. The inverter design also helps provide precise power ramp rate control and frequency regulation to enhance the reliability of electrical power transmission and distribution.

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All Power Xpert inverters include integrated fiber networking equipment, grid protection relay, AC and DC switchgear as well as direct throat coupling to the transformer. Low pressure liquid cooling supports long component life with minimal parts count. The Power Xpert inverters are a central part of Eaton’s equipment portfolio for solar and storage applications. When combined in package solutions with Eaton’s medium-voltage transformers and interconnection switchgear, customers can rapidly deploy compact solutions designed to meet a variety of grid service requirements.

RELATED: What you need to know about 1500-volt inverters 

The company also released its new Crouse-Hinds series 1,500 volt DC combiner boxes for large-scale solar photovoltaic applications. The combiner boxes are designed to help customers reduce system costs by reducing wiring requirements and installation time.

For application flexibility, the Eaton solar combiner boxes are available with or without integral DC disconnect switches, up to 24 input circuits and a 15 ampere (A) fuse size. The combiner boxes are also available with National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) 4X, 4 and 3R enclosures for robust environmental protection. Additional customized options are available to meet specific application requirements.

Eaton engineered its 1,500v DC combiner boxes for greater heat dissipation to help support performance in the harshest of environmental conditions. The combiner boxes are rated up to 1,500v DC for continuous operation, meet UL 1741 standards for grid connection, and are Interek (ETL) listed for reliable performance.

Eaton offers a range of Crouse-Hinds series cable fittings, enclosures, plugs and receptacles, industrial lighting fixtures, signals and alarms, and electronic components designed for the most demanding environments. These products serve customers in the industrial and manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, solar, infrastructure and other markets.

Here’s a quicker rundown of everything Eaton had on display at this year’s Intersolar:

• Power Xpert Energy Optimizer controller, an energy storage and solar PV plant control system that simplifies control system configuration, is pre-engineered for device and system testing, and is adaptable to changing energy storage and solar PV plant assets.

• Power Xpert Solar inverters, which enable a skid-less inverter station design to reduce equipment requirements and installation costs.

• Power Xpert Energy Storage inverter that is designed to increase electrical resiliency in utility-scale applications, and work seamlessly with a wide variety of battery chemistries to store and transmit power when needed.

• Eaton’s Cooper PowerTM series high-efficiency transformers with overcurrent protection devices, which are designed to dramatically reduce maintenance and downtime.

• Power Xpert Solar 1,000 volts DC breaker recombiner tested by Underwriter Laboratories and certified to meet UL 1741 standards for safe and reliable operation in grid-tied applications.

• Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds series 1,500 volt solar combiner boxes with integral DC disconnect switches are designed to help reduce system costs and installation time.

• Eaton’s Bussmann series Solar PV fuses include XL size A range of 50 to 630 ampere 1,000 volt DC and 1,500 volt DC XL package PV fuses specifically designed for protecting and isolating photovoltaic array combiners and disconnects.

• An extensive range of PVGard solar circuit breakers and switch solutions up to 1,500 volt DC designed to help customers reduce design, installation, maintenance and inventory costs while saving space, enhancing safety and reliability, and improving energy harvest