Surge protection devices are rated differently. As such, the right SPD for solar system protection must be carefully selected. That means considering the different parameters that affect the proper functioning of the SPD. The most important parameters to consider when selecting a solar SPD are discussed below.
What is a surge protection device in a solar system?
SPD stands for Surge Protective Device. Surge protection devices (SPDs) are used in electrical systems to protect against surges. Surges can come from many sources, including lightning, power outages, and electrical equipment.
Surge protection devices work by diverting the surge of energy that comes into the system. This protects the system’s components from damage. SPDs are required in many solar systems, especially solar arrays that cover a large area.
SPDs provide several benefits for solar systems. First, they protect the system’s components from damage. Second, they can improve the system’s performance by reducing the number of outages and power surges.
SPDs also extend the life of the system by protecting against wear and tear. Also, SPDs save money by preventing the need for repairs or replacements. But how do you go about selecting the right solar surge protection device?
How to Select SPD for Solar System
“How do I choose an SPD for my solar system?” This is a common question that we get asked. The answer depends on several factors, including the system’s design, environment, and application. The SPD selection process involves the following steps:
1. Identifying the different types of loads that will or are powered by the solar system. These include critical loads, non-critical loads, and occasional loads.
2. Assessing the risk of surges and determining the level of SPD protection required for each type. For example, you may want to know how likely it is that a surge from lightning will damage the equipment.
3. Familiarize yourself with the SPD requirements as specified by the equipment manufacturer or standards body and other rules such as your region’s electrical code.
4. Select the right SPD types for each type of load, considering the different ratings and features.
After you have looked at and considered all of the different factors that go into making a decision on what SPD is right for you, it will be time to actually select the SPD. Here are some things that you should look at when narrowing down your choices:
The first thing you should look at when narrowing your choices is the types of SPDs that are available. A solar system will usually be installed with several surge protection devices, right from the solar panels to the load. The three most common surge protection device types are listed below:
Type 1 SPD: These devices are designed to protect against surges that come from outside of the system such as solar arrays.
Type 2 SPD: These protect against surges that come caused by indirect lightning strikes.
Type 3 SPD: Type 3 protection devices are meant to protect specific types of equipment from surges. They are usually installed in the vicinity of the equipment or load.
Consider also, whether you need an AC or DC SPD. Each has its place in solar systems and must be used accordingly. In essence, an AC SPD will be used for alternating current (AC) circuits of the solar system, while DC SPDs are used for direct current (DC) circuits.
The next thing you should look at during solar surge protection device selection is the number of these devices that you need. The number of SPDs will depend on the size of the system and the level of protection that you want.
For example, a small system may only require a few SPDs, while a large system may require several. The number of SPDs also depends on the distance to the equipment that is being protected. The closer the SPD is to the equipment, the more effective it will be.
According to industry standards, the maximum distance between the SPD and the equipment that it is protecting should be no more than 10 meters (33 feet).
Consider the ratings, too. The SPD rating calculation will tell you how much surge current the SPD can handle and how long it can last. The two most important ratings to consider are the maximum continuous operating voltage (MCOV) and the nominal discharge current (In)
The MCOV is the maximum voltage that the SPD can withstand for a sustained period of time. The In is the amount of surge current that the SPD can handle for a short period of time. A higher In rating means that the SPD can handle larger surges.
Consider also, the features that are available with the solar surge protection device. Some features make the device more durable, while others provide usability. A remote monitoring capability, for example, would let you monitor the SPD from a distance. This may be desirable in some applications.
On the other hand, some features may be added to enhance the device’s protection capability while also ensuring your system’s safety, or they can be features to make the SPD last longer such as heavy-duty casing and insulated MOV.
When selecting an SPD for the solar system, you should also consider the warranty. A good SPD should have a warranty. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the SPD is covered in case it fails.
That also means choosing the best SPD manufacturer. Different surge protection device manufacturers offer different product quality levels, in addition to the variation in warranty length.
When searching for the many surge protection device suppliers for your solar needs, be sure to look for a well-known and reputable manufacturer. A good manufacturer will offer a high-quality product with a long warranty.
There are many factors to consider when selecting an SPD for the solar system. The most important things to look at are the SPD type, quantity, ratings, features, and warranty. By considering these factors, you can be sure to select the best SPD for your needs. Solar SPDs are vital protection components, and choosing the best one will give you peace of mind and safeguard your investment.