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Home / Technical Articles / Surge protection of cells and inverter – DC side

Application principle

Surge protection of cells and inverter - DC side
ABB - Photovoltaic protection

Providing power with photovoltaic solar panels is tremendously interesting in the context of renewable energy sources, as regards economical LV photovoltaic systems connected to the public electricity network.

Because of their exposition , frequently in isolated sites and of the extended surface of photovoltaic systems (PV), lightning strikes are a major components in the risk to be assumed, both for the direct effect of lightning on the structures, and of the surge overvoltages on the installation. Cells are generally associated with inverters.

The lightning group of ABB has developed a specific Din Rail product to protect DC side of cells and inverters against surge in power plant or residential application. In case of indirect surge , the cells, their electronic components and semi-conductors in the inverters which are essential and expensive equipment could be damaged. The reason is because the electronic components can not support the high value of over voltage.

Detailed description

Combination of MOV-MOV (Metal Oxyd Varistor) or MOV-spark gapWith the combination of MOV-MOV (Metal Oxyd Varistor) or MOV-spark gap, the overvoltage will be limited at the value of the voltage protection level of the ABB OVR surge protector.

Our surge protector, as recommended in standards and guides, insure all protections (between + and -, +and Ground and – and Ground).

On each surge arrester, as option, an available auxiliary contact will inform the end life status to ensure a maximum efficiency.

One easy solution

With this solution, many cells in power plant and residential application have been protected. Thanks to lightning protection group of ABB because for all kind of power in the installation ABB has a solution. If you don’t protect your cells, in case of several big surges, your cells will be completely damaged and in case of many small surges without visual damages for you, your efficiency will go down over the years.

You should use a surge protection to have a better return on investment.

Example of typical installation
Example of typical installation

You should also check with your insurance company if in your contract, a surge protection is required to be insured at 100%.

Technical Data

  • Official name: Surge Protection Device (SPD)
  • IEC 61643-1: International standard for surge protective devices connected to low-voltage power distribution systems
  • Surge arresters Type 1: for buildings protected by lightning rods
  • High capability: 15 kA up to 100 kA in 10/350
  • Low protection level: 1,8 kV (electronic triggering)
  • Very small size compared to performance.
  • Surge arresters Type 2: OVR SPD’S – in the other situations or in coordination with Type 1
  • Pluggable lightning arresters
  • Safety reserve
  • Optical monitoring bloc
  • Modular range
  • Surge arresters Type 3 – to protect equipment against small over voltages or in coordination with Type 2
SOURCE: ABB – Photovoltaic application, Surge protection Protection of cells & Inverter DC side

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Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.

One Comment

  1. Jaime Rios
    Jan 30, 2021

    Help me to understand whats all this about

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