Eaton says new DC collection system could reduce large-scale BOS costs by 15 percent

Aluminum Harness Black and Red version 2

Power management company Eaton just introduced its new Crouse-Hinds series direct current (DC) collection system, designed to reduce costs and installation time in large-scale solar projects. The new Sunnector DC collection system includes wire harnesses and combiner boxes designed to support DC strings made with aluminum wire, which reduce labor and material costs by 15 percent on average.

The Eaton Sunnector aluminum DC collection system is designed for use with 5 MW and larger-scale, grid-tied solar photovoltaic projects that incorporate fixed-tilt ground-mount racking designs.

“Eaton is helping to advance grid parity by reducing costs and improving the reliability of large-scale solar installations,” said Tony Gulrajani, solar marketing manager, Eaton. “The new DC collection system incorporates Eaton connection technology for copper and aluminum termination that has been fielded for more than 50 years in harsh, outdoor environments.”

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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 ease and flexibility of using standard copper based tools for any field terminations. The Eaton 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 amperes (A) and 12 strings at 60A, with operating voltages of 1,000 volts (V) DC. Combiner boxes include National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) 4X, 4 or 3R enclosures with or without disconnects, surge protection, knockouts and pre-installed glands. Combiners are designed, tested, and listed to the UL 1741 standard for reliable connection to the utility grid. Harnesses are listed to UL 9703 and 6703.

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