Eaton’s Aluminum Direct Current Collection System Reduces Photovoltaic System Costs and Improves Energy Harvest in Utility-Scale Solar Applications

Date: March 23, 2016

SYRACUSE, NY — Power management company Eaton today announced 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 megawatt (MW) and larger-scale, grid-tied solar photovoltaic (pv) 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.”

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 Underwriters Laboratories® (UL) 1741 standard for reliable connection to the utility grid. Harnesses are listed to UL9703 and 6703. The solution also meets Canadian Standards Association® (CSA) c22.2 standard.

With a robust portfolio of electrical solutions and a team of experienced engineers, Eaton helps customers build solar systems tailored to their requirements. For more information, visit www.eaton.com/solar.

To learn more about Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds series solar wiring harness and combiner box technology, visit www.eaton.com/crouse-hinds.

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.

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton is a power management company with 2015 sales of $20.9 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 97,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.


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Michael Correll
tel. (315) 477-5646