High-voltage string inverter cuts costs

Renewable energy, ABB, solar PV, inverter
ABB string inverters with 900 V capability made the installation of this 50 kW solar PV system easier and quicker.

A 50 kW solar PV installation for fashion house David Nieper Ltd is the first in the UK to use ABB’s PVS300 string inverters to reduce the time needed to achieve a fully operational system. The installation uses six 8 kW string inverters, each with three strings of solar panels with 15 panels per string. A major benefit of these inverters is their 900 V input, compared to 600 V for comparable inverters, enabling more PV modules to be connected in series to reduce cabling power losses, size and cost.

Installation work was carried out by Greenheart Energy, and ABB supplied all the components — including the AC distribution board, mains isolator, meter and distribution MCBs.

David Eyre, a director of Greenheart Energy says, ‘We chose the ABB string inverters as a cost-effective device that offers far more integrated components, such as isolator and surge protection, than other competing inverters. This makes installation easier and quicker to install as there are no external components to wire up. We estimate that they can reduce installation time by as much as 15% compared to a similar-sized solar-power system. Using ABB means that all the peripherals are in one neat package, so we do not have to deal with multiple suppliers.’

The fuse-monitoring capability of the inverter proved useful when the installation was first switched on. One of the fuses had failed, and the installation team quickly identified the fuse and replaced it.

For more information on this story, click here: May 2012, 105
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