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What is a combiner box?

by | 30 Oct 2020

  • Combiner boxes are used to clump cables together
  • They act as the inbetween solar panels and solar inverter
  • Smaller rated PV systems may not require a combiner box

Introduction to combiner boxes.

A combiner box houses all the wiring from the solar panels and collectively outputs them into a single connection, allowing cables to be neat and tidy. The single output then goes to an inverter or charge controller, depending on the solar PV system design. Combiner boxes naturally positioned after a string or an array of solar panels.

Why are combiner boxes so important?

Within a combiner box, we’ll find a section to place and connect circuit breakers. By installing circuit breakers into combiner box allows a layer of safety. Circuit breakers is “an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by excess current from an overload or short circuit. Its basic function is to interrupt current flow after a fault is detected” according to Wikipedia.

combiner box solar pv system 2

What else can you find in a combiner box?

Apart from circuit breakers, combiner boxes also provide grounding or surge protection devices which adds an additional layer of safety. In the event of a shorting or overload caused by any excess current, the circuit breaker would halt the excess current from reaching the solar inverter or charge controllers.

Don’t worry if you do not find that your solar PV system may not have a combiner box as its usually utilized for larger solar PV projects and certain residential solar projects may not need to include a combiner box. Whereby it is sufficient to connect a small residential solar PV project directly to a solar inverter instead.

combiner box solar pv system 1


With that, we conclude this part of the DISCOVER SERIES on combiner boxes. Don’t forget to ask for workmanship warranty if you’re having a solar PV installed. It would be advisable to get an extended warranty or a coverage plan if possible for your solar PV system– it’s worth it. Until next time and thank you for reading!

This is part of the DISCOVER SERIES.

Our DISCOVER SERIES: Solar PV Systems articles are filled with basic information in an easy-to-understand format to get you knowing more about solar power systems quickly. Here’s the complete series:

What are solar power systems and how they work?

What are solar panels?

What are solar inverters?

What are solar cables & wiring?

What are solar mounting & racks?

What is a combiner box?

What is AC and DC electricity?

*T&C where applies. The views expressed by the author, are of the author’s own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which the author have been, am now, or will be affiliated.


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