Photovoltaics Power Centers

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A power center is a consolidated unit that contains the circuit breakers, controls, and monitors needed for home-generated power. It makes the job of installing solar electricity much simpler and less costly.

Power centers usually contain two charge controllers (also known as voltage regulators) to protect the batteries from being overcharged or too heavily discharged. They control the charging current by sensing battery voltageThey have different locations:

1. One is located between the PV array and the batteries to keep it from being overcharged, which causes serious damage to the batteries. This might happen while your family is away from home for an extended time, such as on vacation.

2. Another is located between the batteries and the wires leading to the circuit breakers. Also known as a low-voltage cut-out, it prevents batteries from being too deeply discharged, also a cause of serious damage to the batteries. When the voltage drops below a preset level, it indicates that the batteries are very flow. At this point the charge controller cuts out and terminates the low of electrical current to the main service panel. You will not be able to use power until the batteries are recharged.

Power centers also contain safety disconnects (circuit breakers).

FYI: The National Electric Code requires a disconnect between the PV modules and the first charge controller. It requires a second disconnect between the charge controller and the battery bank. A third disconnect must be placed between the battery bank and the inverter.

The power centers are approved by the underwriter’s Laboratory (UL).

For further information about Renewable Energy or this area of Texas contact

Terry Jensen 972 251-1532 or 817 443-2553 Email

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