Intelligent Switch-off Solutions for Solar Modules: Electrical Disconnection for Solar Modules During Installation and in Case of Emergencies like Fire and Flood

Bosch Solar Energy is showcasing a new switch-off concept at the Intersolar trade fair
Intelligent switch-off solution increases safety for installers and emergency services

This year’s Intersolar sees Bosch Solar Energy showcasing a new automatic switch-off concept for solar modules. The system consists of module electronics in specially optimized module junction boxes and control units for commercial and residential applications. The solution allows a disconnection of the modules during hazardous situations. Besides, the modules are delivered in a voltage-free state, so that they can be transported and installed with no risk of electric shocks for installers. This means that not only emergency services benefit from the switch-off during fault or emergency events like fire and flood, but also installers when installing or maintaining the system.

Intelligent electronics in each junction box ensure an automatic switch-off of the individual modules and the whole system when the building mains supply is interrupted, by the fire service, for example. The switch-off function can also be activated by an external control signal from installations such as a fire alarm system control panel or an emergency switch. Unlike conventional switch-off solutions, the new Bosch concept automatically initializes a subsequent re-start once the critical situation has ended. In this way, full yield is ensured after a safety-relevant switch-off.

The system has been developed in collaboration with different business-units across the Bosch Group, using expertise from divisions such as Automotive Electronics. Compared to conventional Schottky diodes active bypass diodes in the module junction boxes substantially reduce production heat in the event of shading (bypass incident). Prototypes have proven their worth when used in the field and successfully passed numerous tests.

The solution can be used for all standard solar module types, both monocrystalline and multicrystalline. In many cases, there is no need to retool machines to integrate the solution into the module production process. In addition to a general improvement in solar power system safety, the new Bosch Solar Energy solution concept also ensures that solar power systems comply with different industrial standards and guidelines which already apply or are in preparation.

The concept is available for purchase due to Bosch’s decision to cease crystalline photovoltaics operations. It is being showcased at Booth 270 in Hall A2 at this year’s Intersolar trade fair in Munich between June 19 and 21. Other Bosch highlights at the trade fair are the new black premium solar module, the white high-performance module and the new frame concept.

Information on Bosch’s plan to cease crystalline photovoltaics operations
On March 22, 2013, Robert Bosch GmbH announced that it will cease its operations in crystalline photovoltaics by the beginning of 2014. The operations or its individual parts are to be sold as far as possible.

Activities in the Bosch Solar Energy Division are continuing to operate, customer support for business partners is assured and established contacts are still available for use.

The Bosch Group’s Solar Energy division is a leading supplier of photovoltaic products. From small-scale plants for family homes to finished large-scale photovoltaic projects, Solar Energy offers high-quality solar cells and modules for photovoltaic power generation. The division also develops top-quality turnkey solar power plants. In this area, Solar Energy handles the building of solar power plants, from initial planning to turnkey handover.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In fiscal 2012, its roughly 306,000 associates generated sales of 52.5 billion euros. Since the beginning of 2013, its operations have been divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent some 4.8 billion euros for research and development in 2012, and applied for nearly 4,800 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

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