PV Next is Weidmüller’s new generation of combiner boxes

Weidmuller has over 11 years’ experience in PV technology and installation, offering comprehensive expertise, a vast range of services and a global presence with over 162,000 installed Weidmüller combiner boxes - with approximately 70 million connected panels with 14.2 GW.

PV Next is Weidmüller’s new generation of combiner boxes
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PV Next is Weidmüller’s new generation of combiner boxes offering quick, simple and safe cabling of photovoltaic systems

Today, large photovoltaic systems are associated with high costs and risks for owners and operators . Economic efficiency and safety during installation and operation are key requirements and with this in mind, Weidmüller has developed highly efficient solutions for the installation of roof and field systems.

PV Next is the latest generation of standardised, highly scalable combiner boxes for domestic and commercial photovoltaic applications. With PV Next, Weidmüller is offering a flexible concept for combiner boxes that provides system parts such as central inverters, string inverters, PV modules and monitoring units with protection against surge voltages. Based on a standard PCB design, PV Next allows for the efficient integration of additional functions, making it a crucial component in the safe and simple connection of individual strings.

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PV Next technology

With PV Next, Weidmüller is offering the world's first combiner box concept based on a standard PCB design. The benefits of this innovative development include its simplicity, safety and reliability, as well as the time savings achieved as a result.

The optimal operating point for a solar cell depends on factors such as irradiance and the temperature of the panel, with the solar cell type also playing a crucial role. PV Next enables the use of the Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) method which means that the electrical load of an individual solar cell, solar module or string is adapted that the maximum possible output can be achieved from the cells. PV Next also facilitates the quick and easy integration of additional functions, such as the integration of a switch, or a second MPPT system that is simply connected to the first PCB. The PCB design concept of PV Next forms the essential foundation for quick, safe and simple string connection.

There are two options available for PV Next - with five different variants: combiner boxes with fuses for 1 to 2 MPPTs or combiner boxes without fuses for 1 to 3 MPPTs. There is also a choice of five different housing sizes depending on the application in question: the ready-wired box with WM4C plug-in connectors as a simple plug & play solution or the combiner boxes with cable glands for self-wiring with PUSH IN wire connection.

Easy, Fast and Safe

Installation is particularly easy and convenient thanks to the integrated PUSH IN connection system, as no special tools are required. This reduces work steps, avoids connection errors and significantly cuts assembly time. Even in harsh environmental conditions, all connections remain secure and maintenance-free. In addition, the risk of a screw connection with the wrong torque is eliminated and the risk of fire through non-professionally established connections is greatly reduced. This intuitive construction principle of PV Next covers a wide range of current requirements regarding combiner boxes. There are forty variants that are simple to use, easily scalable and which offer a whole new level of flexibility. There is no longer any need for special customisation, and as a result, projects are significantly shorter in duration. Indeed, PV Next covers approx. 75% of current standard requirements.

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Tested in accordance with IEC 61439-1/2

The PV Next combiner box is tested in accordance with IEC 61439-1/2. This means that the following tests must to be passed: high-voltage test, dielectric strength of the overall construction and a test of the contact resistance before and after the vibration test in order to identify any weak spots. The vibration and shock test simulates transportation and incorrect handling. The self-heating test is an important factor when selecting the fuses in the device, as it helps to identify the maximum permissible power loss. The IP65 test regarding dust and moisture guarantees optimal operation in outdoor areas. All standard tests are performed at Weidmüller’s accredited and independent laboratory. As a member of the CTDP, Weidmüller is regularly audited with regard to its testing methods, its quality management and its documentation.

Standard-compliant surge protection

The VARITECTOR surge protection products in series VPU PV I (type I) and VPU PV II (type II), which are installed in PV Next, help to protect photovoltaic systems and their components from interference coupling that can occur from lightning and transient surge voltages, significantly below the limits prescribed in the EN 60664-3 / DIN VDE 0110-3 standard. This means that the infrastructure and inverter systems are protected from surge voltage and system availability is increased. The arresters are tested in accordance with product standard IEC 50539-11 / DIN EN 50539-11.