Surge Protection for Solar Farms (grid-connected)

Photovoltaic Power Plant or Solar Farm


Today’s increased reliance on very sensitive electronics makes surge protection an important topic for Surge Protection for Photovoltaic System or Solar Power System. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety study found that $26 billion dollars was lost due to non-lightning power surges. In addition, there are about 25 million lightning strikes in the US each year that cause between $650M to $1B in losses according to the Insurance Information Institute, State Farm©.

This article discusses the various aspects of Photovoltaic Systems or Solar Power Systems or Solar Farms to help you develop a comprehensive surge mitigation strategy for your equipment. Each section will conclude with a Surge Protective Device (SPD) Protection Point which identifies where and what SPD to use.

Solar Farm

The solar farm is exposed to the environment, induced surges via lighting, and switching transients by way of switching from the substation. Any damage or down time to equipment operating within the solar array directly affects the output of the solar farm.

SPD Protection Point - Solar Array

LocationSystemSurge Protector Model #Link
AC Combiner Box277/480VacDS74US-277Y
DC Combiner Box1500VdcDS50PVS-1500/51 DS50PVS150051
Weather Monitoring Station Power12VdcDS220S-12DC
Weather Monitoring Station I/O4-20mADLA-24D3 DLA-24D3 v.2
Weather Monitoring Station CommunicationEthernetMJ8-C6A MJ8-C6A
Solar Tracker Controller12-24VdcDS220S-24DC
Solar Tracker Controller I/O6VdcDLA-06D3 DLA-24D3 v.2

SPD Protection Point - Solar Inverter

The solar inverter is directly tied to the solar array. Just as important as the solar array, the solar inverter houses the power electronics needed to convert the DC to AC.

LocationSystemSurge Protector Model #Link
DC Input1500VdcDS50PVS-1500/51 DS50PVS150051
AC Output277/480VacDS74US-277Y
Power Supply AC Input120VacDS240S-120/G
Power Supply DC Output24VdcDS220S-24DC
Ethernet CommunicationEthernetMJ8-C6A MJ8-C6A

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Surge Protection for PV Power Plants

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