The number of solar installations is growing fast and with it the risk that mistakes assembling DC connectors lead to fires. Simple errors in installation that can cause an arc fault to develop include: poorly crimped joints, cross-mating connectors from different manufacturers, assembling electrodes while wet and incomplete insertion that doesn't engage the connector locking mechanism. Solar installers are making millions of these connections every year - sometimes in bad weather and awkward locations.
The ArcBox enclosure simply snaps around a DC connector to ensure that if an arc ever occurs it is safely contained and doesn't spread to combustible materials in or around the solar installation. The effectiveness of the product has been independently verified by the KIWA fire test laboratory and Loughborough University.
BIPV solar installations are one application for the ArcBox since DC cabling is installed near combustible building materials. Flat roof solar installations above roof coverings such as single ply membrane or ashphalt is another. Some buildings, if put out of use even temporarily, would have high knock-on consequences - hospitals, schools, care homes, and factories are applications where risks must be carefully controlled.
Electric arcing is very energetic and results in incredibly high temperatures - far in excess of the melting temperature of metals. Painstaking research by engineers at Viridian Solar has resulted in the development of new manufacturing technologies that can form the complex shapes required for ArcBox from materials found in crucibles and furnaces and previously available only as simple bricks or blocks.
With its patented design, the two hinged halves of the ArcBox snap together to completely enclose the DC connector within this high-temperature material while suspending it in free air between cable sealing grommets at each end. Ventilation and drainage ports keep the connector within its operating temperature limits while carrying its rated current and prevent the accumulation of moisture around the connector.
A range of brackets is available to mount ArcBox in different solar systems.
For roof-integrated solar systems a batten bracket hooks over tile battens to hold the ArcBox in the batten space behind the solar panels or solar tiles.
For other solar panel mounting systems including flat roof mounting systems, systems for fixing above pitched roof and ground mount applications, mounting brackets are available to fix to different manufacturers rail systems.See Mounting Options